Hamptons Home Styling With I Wanna Go Home

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The Hamptons style of interior decorating is one that is always on trend. Due to its light and airy sophisticated look which gives a holiday home appeal, it is popular amongst home decorators of all ages and is a style we are constantly seeing on TV, in magazines and all over social media. So why is it so popular? Due to the use of fresh tones and timeless furnishings, the Hamptons style is a very elegant look and so it doesn’t date like some other interior trends do. So how can you create a Hamptons style in your own home? This is something I am asked often as here in Australia, Hampton’s style pieces can be harder to source. So I’ve collaborated with Australian business I Wanna Go Home to show and explain to you how by using the right furniture pieces, home decor pieces and colour palette, you can bring this style to life.

PhotoGrid_1535873729224As the I Wanna Go Home team will tell you, the key element to the Hamptons style is white, white and more white. Build on this with other key decorative elements and accent with touches of colour and texture where it counts. Think of your Hamptons decorating journey as one with 3 layers. Layer one: The base, which is hard finishes of the room. Layer two: The furnishings, which are your larger furniture pieces. And layer three: The styling, which are the decorative items which finish the space and pull it all together. For all three levels, you are looking for crisp, white finishes to create the bright, open look which is true of the Hamptons interior style.

The ideal flooring choice for The Hamptons look inside your home is to go for timber floorboards. Pale timbers with grey undertones that give the air of effortless coastal style. If carpet is preferred, look to natural tones and simple textures that evoke sandy shores and driftwood. For the walls, again we are looking for neutral colours such as white or ivory. Light and airy window dressing and statement lighting is also key to creating a genuine Hamptons home. Metal, timber of wicker pendant lighting are often popular choices. Keep to light-coloured benchtops and choose all white finishes for kitchen cabinetry with featured areas of open shelving or glass paned doors.

PhotoGrid_1534742386766When it comes to selecting furniture pieces for your Hamptons interior, think relaxed luxury resort style with deep, overstuffed sofas upholstered in pale neutrals. Sideboards and side tables in natural timber or white adds extra dimension to the room, as do occasional tray tables and cane or rattan armchairs with plump upholstered cushions. Shop for pieces that ooze the luxury, coastal style of the Hamptons such as these pieces to the right from I Wanna Go Home. The Australian Hamptons style furniture and homeware store stocks quality timber and MDF pieces which come fully assembled and are therefore better quality than a flat pack item. Offering delivery to all metro and regional areas around Australia, I Wanna Go Home also help you save money when furnishing with Hamptons style pieces by offering furniture bundles such as the popular Halifax essential Hampton’s bundle.

For decoration, layer with rugs in natural fibres of jute and sisal or woven with textures of natural cotton and bleached wool. Washed out blues also work beautifully on timber floors. Cushions piled on sofas is must and this is where you can bring in a little colour. If you are looking for accessories and items such as coat racks and floating wall shelves in Australia, I Wanna Go Home offer free delivery on these items. What colours should you use for the Hampton style? China blues and ocean inspired tones such as sea glass blue and sand work together and with the style so well. Texture is also an important feature to keep in mind when decorating. Quality linens, jute edges and piping on cushion edges really adds a whole new layer to the space. Use items such books, glass lanterns, china bowls and pieces of coral to create decorative vignettes around your living spaces on top of tables and counter tops to complete the Hamptons look.

Use these tips to guide you in creating a Hamptons style home which will give the look of luxe, whilst always being in style.

Zoe Gilpin – The DIY Decorator

DIY Dollhouse

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You guys know I love a good op-shop bargain. The things you can find if you put the time and energy in to looking are amazing. You can find items in the best condition and some which are in need if some love and care. I am very lucky when it comes to some of my finds as my mother in law is a keen op-shopper. Now that she’s retired and living in Perth, she’s hitting the second hand stores multiple times a week so I can can basically place my order to what I’m seeking and 9 times out of 10, she delivers. She’s found two doll houses for me so far. Both which at first glance you may have walked past and though nothing can be done to make them look better. But someone like me who sees the beauty in the impefect, knew that these structures could be turned in to someting great. Today I’m going to share with you how I turned this bright and colourful timber doll house in to something me and my kids, and maybe even their kids, will treasure for years to come.

Above left is the doll house when my MIL first delivered it to me. Pretty special right! But, I knew that all it needed was a good sanding and a coat of paint to make it look completely new. The shape of the doll house itself was great and the main reason why I could see the potential in it. I love the arched doors and the staircase especially and the fact that it could be turned in to something quite realistic looking. To start the makeover, I had to sand back the existing paint so that I could apply the new colour. The gloss paint was not overly easy to remove, so I did use an electric sander for the areas I could reach with it. Then the rest was gently sanded by hand. I removed all of the paint from the roof but didn’t worry as much about the inside colour as that wasn’t as glossy so was easier to paint over. Because I’m not the worlds best painter and have an unsteady hand, I simply painted the whole house white. I just used some leftover house paint we had in the shed. Two coats covered any existing colour and gave the house a fresh new feel. Now that I had a blank canvas to work with, I started thinking about the finishes for the interior and exterior. I wanted to in a way recreate our own home so decided to stick with white walls and to decorate PhotoGrid_1526963675847with neutral and natural items and finishes. For the roof, I made tiles (shingles) using large pop sticks I picked up for a few dollars at a discount store. They are the ones that beauticians use to apply hot wax. You could use regular sized ones as well but it would take longer to cut and stick them all on. I also used pop sticks, this time some miniature ones, for the skirting boards I glued around all the interior floor/wall joins. Now when I say glue, I used a hot glue gun for everything in this project. It’s easy to use, strong and dries fast which I like when I’m working on a DIY project. For the flooring, I picked up some timber look vinyl place mats from Kmart which were around $3ea. I simply cut with craft scissors to the floor layout and hot glued in. For the curtains, I cut up some lace fabric I already had, and threaded on to some thin dowel from Bunnings which I glued above the interior windows.

PhotoGrid_1526962177490When it came to decorating the interior of the doll house, I didn’t just want to buy items which you always see in doll houses. I wanted to make it more realistic looking. Not having worked with a doll house and miniature items before, I went in to the project not really knowing what to get or where to get it. I measured the house and did some Googling to find out the scale of items I needed. Which for this house is 1:12. (Barbie doll house is 1:6). I found out quickly that buying doll house furniture can cost a small fortune. Especially if you get obsessed like me and want to buy all the things! After much research, I found out that purchasing items from international sellers on eBay was the way to go to keep the cost down. The plus side: it’s super cheap. Like $1 for an item plus free postage. The PhotoGrid_1526962206885most expensive piece I purchased from from eBay was the kitchen at $24 which I think is still very cheap considering the detail to it. The down side: buying items from places like China takes time to receive. But if you are willing to wait a few weeks, it’s definetly worth it. Some items arrived within two weeks. Some were longer at around 5 weeks. Each seller is different. I had no issues with any of the items I purchased from Chinese sellers. They were all exactly as they appeared online. And they all arrived safely. My tip when buying from eBay us to search ‘miniature’ under the doll house & miniature category as to the left. Then change the settings to search lowest price & postage to find the cheaper items. There’s a lot of sellers listing doll house pieces for rediculous prices. I’m talking hundreds! Don’t let that trick you I  to thinking you need to buy expensive items. Go the cheap ones! Apart from eBay, I picked up a few items from friends whose kids didn’t use their doll house furniture anymore, and I also found some items in discount stores and op shops. Some needed a bit of DIY which I’ll go in to next.

PhotoGrid_1526962086722I made a few items myself using my friend the hot glue, dowel, pop sticks and fabric offcuts. I found jute twine really useful and made items like the little baskets and the basket wall feature simply by coiling the twine and gluing it together. They turned out great and literally cost cents to make. I found some jute edging at a discount store which I cut in to strips and glued together to make the floor rug to the right. I also found artificial plants I had laying around the house useful as I cut them into smaller pieces and turned them in to miniature plants for decoration. I made bedding and cushions out of scraps of fabrics. And even tiny artworks which were simply interior magazine photos of artwork, cut out and glued to some cork backing. Some of the items I purchased from eBay or got second hand weren’t the right colour so I simply repainted them to make them fit the scheme. I really just played around with buying, making and hacking items until I felt that the house was coming together. Once the furnishings were in, I really went to town on eBay purchasing items like food, books, framed art and decorative items to give that realistic look to the house. Overall, I am beyond happy with the final result. I know I’ve created something social for my son and daughter which for the moment will sit up very high on the shelf where they can’t touch it. But, in future when they are a bit older, will surely love. I have another doll house to work on which is Barbie doll sized. So I’m looking forward to finding items for that and sharing another doll house makeover project with you guys soon.

Zoe – The DIY Decorator

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Whollygrail

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Communities make the world better. From our commitment to fair trade, to finding the best small, family owned businesses and supporting life changing organisations; the Whollygrail Store gives you peace of mind for quality and integrity. – Whollygrail.

IMG_20180514_135944_066In a world where the environment suffers for our wants and needs, we can help remove some of the strain by making smarter choices when it comes to buying both decorative and functional items for our home. Empowering people with knowledge is an important factor to helping us understand the issue and make the effort to purchase more wisely. For this blog, I not only have the pleasure of interviewing an Australian company whose sole purpose is to produce and distribute these items, but also try out, style and share some of the range with you guys. But first, a little bit about the amazing Australian small business making waves with their affordable, eco and fair trade friendly home and body products.

IMG_20180515_115739_190Whollygrail was created by #girlboss Danielle to inspire conscious choices for our every day decisions, simply because that’s where we can make the biggest impact for our health and the biggest change for the planet. Based in Mona Vale NSW, Danielle, who is a Mum, nutritionist and passionate health advocate, created Whollygrail which focuses on personal care products, sheets, towels, kitchen linen and baby wear for their first edition range. The Whollygrail range contains no nasties and are produced by small scale family owned, Australian businesses. Their textile range is GOTS certified organic and made from fair trade cotton and theres no use of chemicals or pesticides in the making of their products which means no nasties against your skin.  Quite often body care items can contain chemicals and toxic ingredients which have been linked to a variety of health issues in people’s systems. Whollygrails personal care range is completely chemical free so you know its safe for you and your families skin. The two products I will be working with for this blog are the Bedding in a Bag Sheet set, in colour stone. And the 7 piece Towel set which is also in the stone colour.

IMG_20180515_121429_418Whollygrail prides themselves in not only environmentally friendly produced products, but also ones that are well made and perform well too. And you can tell that both their towel set and bedding range is of the best quality and is going to last. The towels are thick, heavy and made with the finest quality organic and fair trade Indian cotton offering ultimate softness and absorbency. The set consists of two bath towels, two hand towels and two wash cloths, with a beautifully soft 900gsm foot towel for ultimate in luxury. My favourite piece in the set is the oversized hand towels. The perfect size for drying big hands and little hands which need washing multiple times a day! The stone colour is the perfect neutral tone for my bathroom and adds just the right pop of colour against our white tiles. The set is also available in a charcoal and linen colour. Whollygrail also stock beach towels and a range of other eco friendly bathroom items including bamboo toothbrushes, vegan makeup brushes and hand-cut soaps.

IMG_20180515_115313_949I’ve said it before, I am not a huge fan of folding fitted sheets. I can not do it. I will never master it and have resorted to hiding those sheets in the back of the linen cupboard to hide my shame. So I was quite excited when I saw that the Whollygrail sheet set range comes in a matching drawstring bag which, I can hide my fitted sheet in! Hoorah! This isn’t the only thing I love about these 300 thread count 100% organic and fair trade Indian cotton sheets. The fitted sheet is a deep base fit which means that it is as larger than average fitted sheets and therefore can be used for pillow tops and mattresses with thicker depths. The sheet sets are available in white or the stone colour I have used and come in all sizes from single to king. They not only feel great, but look IMG_20180515_115355_093amazing as well. As with the towel set, you can tell by the feel that the sheets are of great quality and are worth investing in as you know you will have them for years to come. Whollygrail also stock a gorgeous range of cot sheets, along with other baby items including rompers and onsies which you can find on their website.

Opting for items which are better for the planet doesn’t mean forking out huge amounts of money or losing quality and style. Quite the opposite. Purchasing products such as those from Whollygrail guarantee you well made, on trend pieces which are available at a suitable price point. They are items that are worth investing in and which you will get your money out of for years to comr. For more information on Whollygrail and their approach to everything nature friendly, or to view other items from their range, head here to their website.

Whollygrail have kindly set up a discount code for my followers. Use code ‘MAY20′ at checkout for 20% off all sheet sets, including cot sheets, and 7 piece towel sets (Expires end of May, 2018). Plus free shipping for all Australian orders over $130.

Zoe – The DIY Decorator

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Natural Decorating

 

 

Nature is man’s teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence. -Alfred Billings 

IMG_20180326_091148_468I’ve always been drawn to the natural decorating trend. As much as my personal style changes and evolves, I always end up back at a natural style in my home. For me, it’s a favourite because it’s full of textures and tones and is quite a relaxed style so you are free to incorporate what you like in to it. For this blog, I am going to share with you what I have kept in mind when I created a natural master bedroom,  and give you some decorating tips and ideas for what to use when decorating your own home. I’ll also be sharing with you some amazing products from some great businesses that I have used in my space to show you how to decorate your own home in the natural style.

IMG_20180326_082115_260To create a natural interior, you can not only use items made from natural materials or use colours inspired by nature, you can also use items from nature iteself. I love going for a walk in the bush and foraging for worn branches which can be turned into something like a clothes hanger, or some dried reeds which look perfect simply sitting in a vase or woven belly basket. Collecting and decorating from nature’s creations is not only fun, it doesn’t cost you a thing! When purchasing items to style, pick ones that reflect the colours of nature. Earthy browns. Coastal blues. Lush leafy greens. Nature offers up a variety of colour, so explore these beautiful tones and portray them in to your space. Nature is also full of texture. So it’s another great element to use when decorating. Textured accessories. Textured IMG_20180326_090552_751soft furnishings. Textured wall decor. Texture is particularly good to use in an interior like my master bedroom as I’ve concentrated on using earthy tones rather than colour. The textural elements add another layer and some dimension to the space. So, you can use items given to us by nature. You can purchase decorative accessories which are inspired by nature from retailers. And for this theme in particular, you can go thrifting. Hit up the op-shops or search places online like Gumtree to find second hand items. It not only saves you pennies, it also keeps your interior unique by using one off pieces and combining them with new items to create a style which is a one off.

 

So what items should you use when decorating using a natural theme? Light and natural coloured fabrics in pieces like bedding, throw blankets and cushions. Texture in pieces like floor rugs, wall art and decorative accessories. Use elements such as ceramic, terracotta, cane, wicker, recycled paper, crystals and rocks, timber, textured glass etc. All these elements come from nature and are not only beautiful, but packed full of texture as well. Include art pieces that contain textures and tones. Or that are reminiscent of natur i.e. flower, plant, landscape or animal drawings. Decorating in a natural style can lack colour, so by using a variety of tones and textures, it will add dimension and doesn’t leave the space looking flat and dull. Also use plants in your space to compliment the natural tones. Plants finish any room and work particularly well for this decorating style especially. If real plants aren’t your preference, you can purchase very realistic and affordable ones these days.

IMG_20180326_085943_088When decorating any room, it is important to remember to please all of the senses. We are already seeing something beautiful. We are touching textures. But we can add even more to the room by also catering to our other senses; sound and smell. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it in every decorating blog I do in future, finish a room with something that smells devine. It is amazing how when we smell something gorgeous when entering a room, it lifts it to a whole new level. This is because it is satisfying another one of our senses. Adding a item like a candle, reed diffuser or an electronic oil diffuser to a room makes it very appealing and inviting. The Gather Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser by Ellia Australia, which I have included in my bedroom, not only gives off a gorgeous scent, its basket-weave design is a great decorative addition to any room in the home. I love having mine on my bedside table as it looks good, smells amazing and plays a variety of IMG_20180326_084839_868relaxing and uplifting sounds which makes our master bedroom seem like a day spa. The combination of scent and sound really gives a room a whole new feel. Another clever and attractive way to add sound to a room is with a portable blue tooth audio system. This one I have in my room is from The House Of Marley and is the sexiest speaker system I’ve ever seen with its bamboo finish and sleek design. It fits in perfectly with the natural decorating theme and is great to use when I’m relaxing or working in our bedroom. So if you are planning on redecorating a room and want to perfect it, make sure to think about pleasing all the senses. Not just sight and feel.

If natural decorating is something you would like to include in your home, I suggest you start by making a mood board to work out what look you want and if the items you love work well together. Research products online and then plan a day to start gathering your natural or nature inspired items. Find some bush land and go for a forage. Stalk your favourite small businesses and see what they stock that suits your space. And go have a look at some local op shops. You’ll be surprised at what you can find! Then bring it all together, remembering to include sight, touch, smell and sound to create the perfect relaxing, natural themed interior space. Most importantly, have fun creating and decorating and remember to stay unique to your personal style.

Zoe – The DIY Decorator

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CONTRIBUTORS

Creating an Eclectic Interior

IMG_20180129_060240_993Eclectic styling has always been a popular trend for interiors all across the world. But, as easy as it looks to do, it can in fact be a hard style to achieve. There’s actually a skill to creating the look. As hectic and spontaneous as the style appears, there is method behind the madness. If you are trying to create this interior style in your home, rather than throwing a bunch of items together and hoping for the best, plan the eclectic look you are after before you start. Do your research. Google search eclectic interiors and put together a collage of images that appeal to you. Browse stores, both in store and online, to see what’s available. And create a mood board, like my dining and living room eclectic board above made using the Design It Yourself Style Board maker. Assembling items and finishes via a digital mood board gives you an indication of the final result before you begin your decorating journey.

PhotoGrid_1516081676567Let’s start by exploring the eclectic interior trend a bit more. Although the word eclectic has been around for a long time, the eclectic decorating style is a more modern term. The style evolved when designers and architects realised that their particular style wasn’t that of others and so formed their own ‘eclectic style’ trend. Instead of sticking to one particular style, they combined features from other design trends to create this new look. Like these designers, to create a cohesive elclectic interior, you need to carefully put items together which are of interest via shape, texture and colour in order to come up with something that looks and feels harmonious.

PhotoGrid_1516066182519The style of eclectic really is an open book. But to make it work and not look like a junk store, there are some simple rules to keep in mind. Keep your background colours (walls, floors etc.) neutral so that your decorative items are the feature. I would suggest picking either 1 or 2 base colours to work with in your furniture and decorative pieces. This is so there is some harmony and repetition in the space. Using colours that work well together, such as olive green and mustard yellow, keeps the overall look appealing whilst still keeping with the eclectic look. Mix periods and styles. Use old items and new. These days you can get some great replica pieces, but do also go op-shopping or head to weekend garage sales to try and find some fun and quirky pieces.

PhotoGrid_1516066210670To create an eclectic interior, you can combine items which are retro, vintage, rustic and of other styles. It really is such an open form of decorating. Remember to use colour, texture and pattern to add depth to the space. Use items such as books and plants to fill gaps and add interest to the room. Velvets and luxurious fabrics tie in perfectly with the eclectic style. As do patterned rugs and bright cushions. The pops of colour against leather or timber furniture is a great contrast and makes the overall look pop. Really jump in and have fun with using colour and pattern. This is the perfect style to explore and experiment with them. But do remember to step back every now and then to make sure the space isn’t getting cluttered or losing its overall look. Why not try creating your own eclectic mood board using The Design It Yourself style board maker before you start to inspire you and give direction. As they say, practice makes perfect!

Zoe – The DIY Decorator

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

Everyone knows how hard it can be to buy gifts for interior lovers and those who are obsessed with home décor. (Just ask my husband). We know what we want. And chances are, what you think we would love, we probably won’t…sorry 🙈 We have already pre-decorated our homes 10 years in advance in our heads. So, either give us the cash to go buy what we want or listen to our heavily dropped hints. To help those of you who sweat at the sign of Christmas because you have no idea what to get that special friend or loved one, I have put together my top gift ideas for lovers of all things home décor.

SOMETHING THAT SMELLS NICEPhotoGrid_1509855464114. A candle is always a good idea. (A good quality one anyway) And a refillable candle is an even better idea! Inoko is a Sydney based company offering a stunning, on trend range of refillable candles and diffusers to suit any personality, room or occasion. The timber, concrete and marble vessels are simply gorgeous. With beautiful scents to match. Priced from $30. Website HERE.

 

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SOMETHING BOHO. The biggest trend of the year! Every interior lover has or wants something Boho in their home. Even if it’s a non-decor item (lets be honest, they will decorate with it still) like the Avery bag ($99) from popular NSW based small business Sea Tribe. They have an amazing variety of Bohemian styled home decor items to choose from including cushions, throw rugs and ottomans. Website HERE.

 

PhotoGrid_1509855429596SOMETHING FOR THE GREEN THUMB. Something for the crazy plant lady (or man). The Tuscan Path fiberglass Abbey Pots are a perfect piece for any interior of exterior and are a favourite amongst many home decor lovers! They also have a large range of other on trend planters, available it most Bunnings Warehouse stores. Prices start at $29. Website HERE.

 

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SOMETHING FOR THE NOT SO GREEN THUMB… If you are buying for someone who isn’t so good at keeping plants alive, consider an artificial plant. These days, they are more realistic than ever and well priced as well. A good investment if you are a plant killer! This lemon beauty vine from Freedom Furniture is just $17.95. A great gift to give for that not so green thumb who can’t handle the real deal. Website HERE.

 

PhotoGrid_1510141323124SOMETHING PRETTY TO DRINK FROM. Someone who is home decor obsessed is quite likely to love something pretty to sip their tea or coffee out of too. Because let’s be honest, everything is decor obsessed own must look good in a styled photo! The Pavia textured circles mug from Zanui (currently on sale for $4.77ea) will be better received than a mug that says ‘Keep calm, Christmas is coming’ any day! Website HERE.

 

PhotoGrid_1509857766443SOMETHING TO READ. Home decorators and interior lovers love to gain inspiration by looking at other peoples gorgeous homes and unique styles. Scrolling Pinterest and Instagram is fun, but having an actual hard copy magazine is a lovely gift to receive. A Home Beautiful Magazine subscription is the gift that keeps on giving. A monthly subscription delivered to their door for a whole year for just $79. Subscribe HERE.

 

PhotoGrid_1509879541405SOMETHING LEATHER/FAUX LEATHER. When isn’t leather in trend? It fits in with a Boho interior. A Scandi interior. An Eclective interior. Leather (or a good faux leatter) is always in style. This Ezibuy Boyd Pouf is a steal at just $79.99. Both a decorative and functional piece, it would make a great addition to any living room or bedroom. Website HERE.

 

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SOMETHING TO HANG ON THE WALL. Photographic prints are very popular at the moment. Florals and botanical prints are especially sought after, especially in large sizes. This Protea prints from Love Your Space are simply gorgeous and would make a great statement piece to any space. Sure to be greatly appreciated by any home decor lover. Prices start from $12. Website HERE.

 

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SOMETHING BLUSH PINK. Yep, blush pink is still hugely in trend and still filling our instagram feeds. What’s great about this muted shade of pink, is that it goes with so many colours and styles of interior. Scandi, boho or any other current trend, blush pink fits right in. One of my fave blush pieces is the Adairs Home Republic Pom Pom throw blanket, which retails for $119.95. Website HERE

 

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SOMETHING TO PUT FLOWERS IN. A nice vase is a great gift idea for a home decor lover, as it is almost guaranteed that they will have fresh blooms somewhere in their home. The Habitat 101 Kano Glass Vase With Timber Base is a great choice as its simple, get eye catching design suits most interior styles. Website HERE.

 

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SOMETHING FOR THE KITCHEN. Kitchens are the heart of the home, and so for a home decorator, it of course must be as styled as the rest of the home. Yet functional as well. The Salt & Pepper Home bread bin fulfills both these needs. Simple, sleek, stylish design as well as an attractive way to store and cut bread. Website HERE

 

PhotoGrid_1510217960415SOMETHING FOR THE BATHROOM. Country Road Bade bathroom items might not seem like a very exciting gift to give, but trust me, a matching set of gorgeous timber items for the bathroom will have any decor lover drooling. The straight lines and simple combination of whote and timber is perfect for most bathrooms. Prices start from $24.95. Website HERE.

 

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SOMETHING SCANDI. Will this trend ever fizzle out? I dont think so. There’s so many variations of it that I think it’s here to stay. Any Scandi lover will adore the Morphy Richards Scandi Kettle and toaster which are available at  Harvey Norman and other electrical retailers. The stone and pink are both gorgeous and will make any kitchen shine. Priced from $149. Website HERE.

 

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SPLURGE. If you really want to give a gift to impress, how about a new set of dining chairs. These Replica Wishbone chairs from Pillow Talk are not only a gorgeous design, they all fit into many styles of interior and are very popular amongst home decorators. Currently on sale for $179 each (usually $259 each). Website HERE

And if all else fails, but them the largest jar of Nutella you can get your hands on. Because who wouldn’t love that?!?!

Zoe – The DIY Decorator 

Sleep Soundly in Style

DSC_0069 (1)Next year I am 33. My mind still thinks I’m 23, but after giving birth to two children and working a physical job as a decorator for many years, my body just ain’t what it use to be. At the end of an exhaiusting day, I camt wait to jump in to bed. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, so being comfortable and having the right mattress is extrememly important. And especially so for someone like me who relies on a good nights sleep to function. We have had our current mattress for a little over 10 years now and it just doesn’t do the job any more. Or maybe I just care more about comfort these days. Unlike my husband who is the world’s best sleeper and can fall asleep on a concrete floor (I’ve seen this with my very own eyes…) I need to be comfortable or I will have a restless nights sleep. After a decade with our mattress, it is time to say goodbye and switch to something with a bit more support for this achy, half way to 66, body of mine.

PhotoGrid_1512202978359I’ve teamed up with the wonderful team at Amart to test drive (sleep drive?) the Orthokinetic Prestige Decadence Ultra Plush Queen Mattress. Endorsed by the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia, this luxurious mattress contains pocket on pocket construction which provides ultimate spinal support and body conformity, comes with a 20 Year guarantee. Aaaaand if you are quick enough, is currently on sale for $2,699.00 (Usually $3,999.00). Features include:

  • 7-Zoned Foam Encased Patented Air Pocket TM Micro Coils – High Coil Count
  • Micro Tencel Top Panel for a Luxurious Feel
  • Gel Infused Visco Elastic Memory Foam and Gel Infused Latex for Ultimate
  • Comfort and Support Anti Pill Surface Treatment with Quality Upholstery Grade Border Fabric

Click here to find it on the Amart website.

DSC_0009 (1)My experience: Dealing with Amart and the delivery team was a breeze. All I had to do was sign on the dotted line and rip of the protective plastic wrapping. I was like a kid on Christmas day, eager to get into my gift. Once unwrapped, it was time to test the comfort. Oh. My. Lord. Was there comfort! What had we been sleeping on for the past ten years? Whatever it was, the Orthokinetic beat it hands down. I kid you not, I popped fresh sheets on and spent the next 2-3 hours sitting and laying on it, counting down the hours until bed time. So how did I sleep? I’ll admit that the first few nights my body was adjusting to sleeping on a softer mattress, which I think is natural. But now my nights have been fabulously comfortable and I’ve been getting really great nights sleeps. My body feels like it’s sinking into the softness of the mattress, yet also feels supported at the same time. I usually wake during the night but now I’m sleeping through. Which is marvelous now that both kids are sleeping 10+ hours at night. I wish I had this mattress when I was pregnant as I think it would have made the world of difference to how I slept. Which was not a lot… This mattress is so soft, but not too soft like some mattresses can be. It really is luxurious and I am beyond happy with it. My husband can sleep on anything, but he agrees that it is super comfortable and that we’ve earnt a mattress this good after having our old one for so long. And we are looking forward to years of comfortable nights, knowing that our mattress comes with a 20 year warranty.

For further information on the Orthokinetic Prestige Decadence and other mattresses available from Amart, head here.

Zoe – The DIY Decorator 

 

Christmas with Salt & Pepper

During my years as a visual merchandiser, I quite often had the pleasure of working with the Salt & Pepper range. Beautiful items which are of a fantastic quality and are also very affordable. S&P have always had their own unique look while staying on trend with current interior styles. Almost everyone I know has at least one of their pieces in their home and I’m sure wouldn’t say no to adding another item this Christmas. Below is a selection of goodies put together by S&P to suit everyone’s style this festive season. A gift for every one which can be used not only at Christmas, but in every day life as well.

 

PhotoGrid_1509931677909GIFTS FOR THE HOME DECORATOR

Possibly the hardest people to buy gifts for. They can be fussy. They know what they want. And they tend to buy what they want when they want it… So knowing what to get them can be difficult. Trust me, I’m one of them so I know well how difficult we can be to buy for. S&P have a large range of decorative items including woven baskets, photo frames, lamps, planters and more, which home decorators will certainly approve of. My favourite piece from this range has to be the Zeppelin vase in green.

 

PhotoGrid_1509931811745GIFTS FOR HER

You mum. Wife or girlfriend. Sister. Friend. They deserve something special for Christmas. Salt & Pepper have a great range of items to decorate with and that are also functional. My favorite gift in this selection is definetly the Luna swing chair. It comes in black and natural and retails at $129.95. Other items suited for that special lady in your life include decorative bowls and planters, lanterns and scented items including candles and diffusers. A beautiful range of gift items to choose from that are guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the receiver.

 

PhotoGrid_1509931766313GIFTS FOR HIM

It can be so difficult to buy gifts for men. I struggle with what to get the males in my family, so love when I come across a gift guide like this one from S&P to give me a helping hand. I love the idea of getting my husband something like the Bond whisky set as it’s something he would appreciate and enjoy. And it’s also an attractive item that would like great in our home. So I win too. 😉 Anything to do with alcohol or cooking is usually a winner, so items such as cocktail shakers and cheese boards are sure to be a hit with the man in your life.

 

PhotoGrid_1509931717151GIFTS FOR THE ENTERTAINER

Tis the season for entertaining and celebrating. And so, a gift for the Christmas table or in the kitchen will be very well received by any host and entertainer. A gorgeous punch bowl set, serving trays or some beautiful gold salad servers will spruce up any table in your home or the home of you Christmas host this festive season. My top pick from these items is the Raaw dinner set, which is not only great for entertaining, but every day meal presentation as well. A great gift idea for anyone who takes pride when serving up a meal. Other matching items available in this range also.

GIFTS FOR ME

I have been lucky enough to style and photograph some gorgeous pieces from the Salt & Pepper range. These items are perfect for any home decor lover and are both beautiful and functional.

PhotoGrid_1511920858656The Hudson utensil multi purpose holder is a fun addition to any kitchen and perfect for someone who likes to cook up a stormThe two in one kitchen accessory is both a utensil holder and a phone or pad holder. The perfect spot to place your device while reading a recipe. Available in white, blue and charcoal, and with gorgeous timber base, the utensil holder retails at just $29.95. Making it a very affordable gift to give a loved one this Christmas. Find it here on the Salt & Pepper website.

 

 

PhotoGrid_1511918628969Every home needs a serving board for both decorative and serving purposes. When I’m not using my MADEIRA paddle, it sits in the middle of our dining table holding our salt & pepper grinders, coasters and some decorative pieces. And when we are entertaining, it will become our serving tray. The gorgeous natural mango wood paddle, with roped handle, retails at $59.95 and is not only a great gift to give, but perfect to use to serve up yummy treats on Christmas day and beyond. Find it here on the Salt & Pepper website.

 

PhotoGrid_1511919607947I am loving natural decor items for the home at the moment and the IRIS footed bowl is definetly one of my favorite pieces in the current Salt & Pepper range. Each hand crafted terracotta bowl is unique, featuring slightly different textures and colours. Retailing at just $39.95, this piece has so many uses including a serving bowl, planter or decorative piece. I’m still deciding what to use mine for…I think after featuring on dining table at Christmas, it might be filled with succulents and used as a decorative piece on our dining table. Find it here on the Salt & Pepper website.

 

PhotoGrid_1511920028086Is it really Christmas without a touch of bling? The gold Pollock salad bowl is sure to impress any guest this Christmas. The gold splatters add some fun to the Christmas table and is the perfect item for serving your favourite salad or dessert in. Retailing at $39.95, this bowl can be used for any special occasion at any time of the year and would be a well received gift for the entertainer or home decor lover. The Pollock range also includes a matching dinner set, mugs and a platter. Find them here on the Salt & Pepper website.

 

PhotoGrid_1511919004478I don’t know about everyone else, but a cheeky alcoholic beverage or two is a must have on Christmas day. Of course Santa (dad) will be likely to knock back a few whiskies as well. These BOND tumblers are the perfect addition to the festive season, both to give as a gift and to use. One thing I personally don’t like, is drinking from cheap, thin glass/ware. The Bond tumblers are thick and have a good weight to them. Giving them an overall classy look and feel. Retail price is $39.95 for a set of 4. Find them here on the Salt & Pepper website.

 

To view the entire range of items to give as a gift or maybe even keep for yourself this Christmas, and to find your nearest stockists, head to the Salt & Pepper website here. I love the S&P slogan ‘Salt & Pepper is Fashion For Your Home’, as it really is. Something special for everyone one. Every home. Every style. And every budget. Happy shopping and a very a very Merry Christmas ❤

Zoe – The DIY Decorator  

Amart Oslo Replica Coffee Table

DSC_0381Back when I was studying for my interior diploma, one of the subjects I enjoyed learning about the most was the history of furniture design. I went in to the course thinking furniture was just something appealing that looked nice within an interior. I finished the course with a whole new appreciation and respect for all furniture designs. Pieces made in the Modernist furniture period especially are some of personal favorite designs. To own one of these original designs would be amazing. However, finding an original and being able to afford one is something that someone like me can only dream about. But that doesn’t mean we have to miss out! Places like Amart Furniture, are offering amazing and affordable replica furniture pieces which the every day home decorator, like myself, can own.

DSC_0348For today’s blog, I have the pleasure of working with the Oslo replica coffee table from Amart Furniture. Click here to view and for product info on the Amart website. A classic , Modernist design with an affordable price tag (currently on sale for $199, down from $249. Bargain!) I have loved this design from early on in my decorating career, so it was easy to choose which coffee table would be perfect in our home. A coffee table is a key piece to a living room. So choosing one that suits your style is key. This glass top table is both perfect for my home and my personal style of decorating. The timber base ties in perfectly with the other natural elements throughout my interior and the unique shape is perfect for our little living room space.

PhotoGrid_1510291270595When picking a coffee table that is right for you, consider the following. Is it a design you are happy with and fits in with your interior? Don’t always opt for items which are in trend. Trends don’t last, so choose something that you actually like and which looks like it belongs in your home. Is it practical for you and your family? If you have kids and don’t like cleaning fingerprints off the top of the table, avoid glass. Is it functional? Are you looking for something with storage or just somewhere to place items upon. Does it fit in the space it is going? Very important! Don’t buy a small coffee table if your room is large, and don’t by a huge table if your room is small. Measure the space you have before heading to the shops. If you aren’t sure what you want, jump online for a browse. Amart have many other great designs apart from the Oslo which are perfect for any style and any budget. Prices starting from just $59. Click here to see the many other coffee table designs in their range. Above left are a few more of my favorites from Amart as well.

Happy shopping and decorating!

Zoe – The DIY Decorator 

We Wish You A Very Natural Christmas

 

DSC_0296It may come as a surprise to some that I am a bit of a Christmas Grinch. Yes I’m obsessed with home decorating. But Christmas decorating has never been something I could get in to. The rule ‘red and green should never be seen’, I’m a big believer in that and think that’s why I’ve never never gotten into the Christmas spirit and decked out my house with 101 holiday decorations. But, with a 3 year old who is extremely excited for Christmas and a 6 month old who in time will be just as obsessed, I though it was time to ditch my grinch ways and turn our home into a into something Santa himself would be proud of.

BUT there are rules. No red and green. No tinsel. Minimal glitter. No over the top decorating and no battery operated plush chrismtas toys singing irritating Christmas carols (OK, maybe there’s a little touch of grinch left in me still…). So what I have come up with is a natural themed Christmas full of gorgeous white, timber and gold items. A theme that I love in every day decorating so figure I will also love it in Christmas form. With the help of some amazing small business, I have had the pleasure of styling with some gorgeous Christmas items within my own home to share with you how to style your own home this Christmas if a natural theme is up your alley.

PhotoGrid_1510560878252THE TREE. The main attraction and must have item when it comes to Christmas decorating. But, you don’t have to settle for a traditional green tree. These days white and even black trees are very popular. Or an alternative such as a twig ladder tree, a fabric banner tree or even wall decal trees and are a great alternative. This matte gold removable tree sticker to the left from Moonface Studio is a great alternative if you don’t have room for a tree or have tree destroying kids or pets… My tree was a bargain buy. Just $7 in the after Christmas sales at Kmart. I would absolutely love to have a real tree! Maybe next year I’ll be able to convince my husband that we need one.

  • Artificial Christmas Tree. Kmart.
  • Christmas tree wall decal. Moonface Studio. Website. Instagram. From $43.

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TREE DECORATIONS. A combination of natural and non coloured ornaments mixed with a little sprinkle of gold is a great combination for any Christmas tree. The ornaments pop against the green and although lacking in colour, are really eye catching when hung on the tree. I’ve used a combination of small business items, retailer items, home made DIY items, along with some cheap eBay decoration wish I’ve used just to fill the gaps. Buying a special decoration each year and adding it to the tree is a great tradition to have with the kids, and one that I myself will be doing from now on (since I’m no longer a grinch 😉). Personalised ornaments are also a beautiful addition to a tree and make decorating it all that more special.

  • Felt ball snow flake ornament. Hello Red Hen. Website. Instagram. $4.95/set 3
  • Personalised name baubles. Famille Designs Website. Instagram. $15
  • Recycled tea bag decorations. Import Ants. Website. Instagram. $18/set 4
  • Paper Diamond drop decoration. Pol & Pom. Website. Instagram. $12
  • Acrylic personalised ornament. Design Mummy. Website. Instagram. $15
  • Felt ball wreath decoration. Hello Red Hen. Website. Instagram. $12.95/set 3
  • Bamboo personalised ornaments. Arlo and Co. Website. Instagram. $15
  • DIY baubles. EBay (search plastic baubles) Prices vary from each supplier. You can also pick up similar ones from Target, The Reject Shop and Riot Art & Craft
  • Personalised LED baubles. Creations by Han. Website. Instagram. $18

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GIFT WRAPPING. My all time favorite gift wrapping is plain, brown paper. It’s cheap. You can use it for other occasions throughout the year. And it looks great! The simple combination of the brown paper, some twine and a gorgeous Christmas gift tag, to me is a beautiful way to present a gift. The addition of some fresh rosemary from the garden makes it that extra special. For this theme, you could also use a plain white wrapping paper. Some recycled newspaper or to add a little more sparkle, some gold glitter wrapping. For an added touch, a personalised bamboo name tag such as the ones from Arlo & Co not only look beautiful, but are also a gift as they can be kept by the recipient too.

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THE GIFT. Any lover of a neutral themed Christmas will love a gift to match! My pick for a gift any mum would love this Christmas is a Morphy Richards kettle and/or toaster available from Harvey Norman and other electrical retailers. The gorgeous Scandinavian design is ideal for the home decor lover who loves a well designed, on trend piece for their kitchen. I love mine, Merry Christmas to me!! Click here to view the Morphy Richards range. $149.

 

 

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FOR THE KIDS. Something a little extra special for Christmas is giving the kids their own santa sacks and/or stockings. This year, we will give each of the kids a Christmas Eve gift in their personalised Small Print Design stocking and then their other gifts in their personalised Santa Sacks from Just Because Prints on Christmas dayTo really make the Chrismas Eve experience fun, why not put out a treat board for Santa and his reindeer. Some cookies and a glass of milk for Santa and of course a carrot or two for Rudolph. Grandad Pats Treasure Trove offer great boards which can be personalised with your family name. Details below. To go with the board, a personalised scrabble art frame (Love J Frame) is something the kids will adore. Howe & Zo are a fantastic Perth small business who handmade many gorgeous timber items including these Christmas blocks. My son already loves playing with them. I am so excited to watch the kids experience Christmas this surrounded by all these gorgeous items.

PhotoGrid_1510562244366CHRISTMAS TABLE. Whether you like to go all out and dress the dining table for Christmas lunch or simply add a bon bon with your regular tableware, it’s fun to spruce up the table in celebration for a day of fun with family and friends. I like the idea of a little decoration without too much preparation. So for our natural themed Christmas table, I have put together a few simple items including dinner ware and cutlery, a linen napkin with a personalised name tag, and a delicious scented soap bon bon from Murphy & Daughters. All sat upon a glitter placemat from Kmart to add a bit of sparkle. To add to the table, I have run some of the brown paper gift wrap down the centre to create a table runner and have used some lantern string lights also from Kmart, along with some gorgeous Christmas scented candles from Aria Rose Collection to finish the table setting. Touches of greenery, real or artificial, compliment the natural items used and make the table setting pop.

  • Fangipani scented soap bon bons. Murphy & Daughters. Website. Instagram. $11
  • Bamboo personalised ornaments. Arlo and Co. Website. Instagram. $15
  • Felt ball garland. Hello Red Hen. Website. Instagram. From $24.95
  • Gold glitter placemat. Kmart. $1.50
  • Irregular natural dinner plate. Kmart. $3
  • Lantern string lights (party section). Kmart. $2
  • Bamboo cutlery. Kmart. $3/pack 18
  • Wooden bead cutlery hold and garland made by me. More info further down the page in the DIY section.

PhotoGrid_1511060582794TABLE CENTREPIECE. If you have the room, it can be nice to include a centerpiece in the middle of your Christmas table. For this centrepiece I have used a white woven basket and filled it with a variety of Christmas items of varying heights to create an eye-catching centrepiece. The inclusion of candles and twinkle lights works well with the white and natural items and really makes the piece stand out on the table. The gorgeous timber Christmas scene from Habitat 101 is a gorgeous inclusion and one of my favorite Christmas decor items. The blonde timber model which lights up, plays music and has a little train which moves around will be loved by both the kids and adults.

 

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DIY CHRISTMAS. I wouldn’t be The DIY Decorator if I didn’t I include some DIY in my Christmas decorating now would I! Me and the kids had fun making some DIY goodies for the Christmas tree.

DSC_0047DIY beaded garland. A quick and easy DIY project simply using various sized wooden beads and some twine. I purchased my beads from eBay and the twine is from Spotlight. Simply create a loop at the end of a length of twine then string on your beads to the desired length. Finish with another loop then wrap around the Christmas tree. This would also look really nice with some twinkle lights wrapped around it.

 

DSC_0144Salt Cookie ornaments. Such an easy and fun project to make on your own or with the kids. There are no limits to what you can make with this recipe. We made some fairly straight forward ornaments but if you had the time (and patience) you could make some very detailed decorations. Simply make your ornaments, making sure you leave a hole to string twine through for hanging on the tree, and bake. Your salt cookie will then be rock hard and ready to decorate. You can paint them or leave them plain as the natural dough colour fits out natural Christmas theme well.

PhotoGrid_1510560743144CHRISTMAS SCENTS. Ginger bread. A roast cooking or BBQ grilling. Some if the wonderful scents of Christmas day. I also love to have a candle or two lit just for that something extra special. A Gorgeous mulled wine, ginger bread or a frosted cranberries scented candle is the perfect special touch for a special occasion. The air filled with a fragrant scent is a nice treat for your Christmas guests. They are also a gorgeous gift to give to someone if you a guest in their home on Christmas day.

 

 

  • Christmas candle in clear jar. Milkies Candle Co. Website. Instagram. From $18
  • Christmas candles in amber jar. Aria Rose Collection. Website. Instagram. From $25

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SOMETHING SPECIAL. Something personalised or a little different from the usual Christmas decoration, is a great idea for making your Christmas day that extra special. A family Christmas baubles to hang on the tree is a great way to personalise your decorating. It would also be a lovely gesture to give one as a gift to friends or family. These ones from Creations By Han are not only personalised, but also contain LED lights which you can turn on and off via an attached switch. They look absolutely stunning hanging on the tree! The stack of books from Perfect Print Co is one if my favorite items I’ve had the pleasure of working with for the blog. They are very unique and something to keep and treasure for years to come. And they look perfect amongst the other natural decorations in our home.

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EXTRA TOUCHES. If you are a real Christmas fanatic, you will want everything on the day to be extra special and Christmas related. These gorgeous hand made tea towels by Riverlane Studio are that perfect addition to the Christmas table for our natural theme. These are not only items perfect to use on Christmas day, but also to give as a gift. The screen printed range includes tea towels, aprons and bunting (which looks stunning draped around the Christmas tree). Website. Instagram. From $17.

 

 

PhotoGrid_1510809745719DECORATIONS TO USE ALL YEAR. Items such as these eco-friendly Christmas tree decorations aren’t just for Christmas. Using natural items to decorate with is a bonus because they aren’t red and green and so aren’t screaming Christmas. So you can use a lot of the items all year round. These decorative tress are from Import Ants and are actually made from coconut husk and other recycled products. Available in two designs, timber or wire base, they are long lasting, biodegradable and plastic free. And they tie in beautifully with the rest of our home decor and so I wont be packing them up after Christmas! Website. Instagram. From $13.95.

PhotoGrid_1510659608916SOMETHING TO EAT. And also something you can make with the kids. My son Jack loved making these shortbread cookies with his Christmas stamp from The Little Cook Australia. My go to recipe for yummy biscuits that are easy to make in no time at all. Butter, sugar, vanilla essence and flour. Easy! Google simple shortbread recipe for full ingredients and method. Once the dough is made, simply stamp with The Little Cook Australia round Christmas tree stamp and bake. We are going to whip up a batch Christmas Eve to give to everyone on Christmas day. And some for Santa of course. Website. Instagram. $8.95.

I know it’s a lot to take in, but I hope the gorgeous items in this piece have given you some inspiration for your own Christmas decorating this year. I have been so lucky to work with some amazing businesses and simply stunning decorative pieces over the last few weeks and have really enjoyed styling up a natural, winter wonderland. And I actually think that the Grinch in me may be gone for good!

*keep your eyes on my Instagram over the next few days as many of the featured businesses will be offering discount codes for their online stores. Lots of saving to be had! 

Zoe – The DIY Decorator