Guest Blog: The Coastal Barn Dream

Lifestyle

SERIOUS. HOUSE.GOALS.

Lauren’s style looks completely effortless which to me, says a lot about the person who has put a space together. It is comfortable, liveable and relaxed while also being chic and luxe.In my opinion, that’s the perfect combination for a Coastal Barn Dream! Read on to learn more about Lauren, her building journey, the challenges she faced and where she found her inspiration.

My name is Lauren. I’m a mum to 5 beautiful kids, that are nonstop with their level of energy. I’m a wife, and currently enjoying my new path styling and designing interiors and my home.

We didn’t initially have plans to build. Originally we wanted to find a place that we could renovate into our dream home, but after looking we realised we couldn’t find what we were looking for and stumbled across the beautiful land we have built on now, and knew this was the path we wanted to take,

I knew that I loved Coastal homes living on the Gold Coast my whole life and loved the feeling it created. I also lived on acreage and loved the style of Country homes and Farmhouses. I wanted to somehow combine the two, which is where the inspiration for The Coastal Barn Dream comes was created.

A lot of my inspiration came from a lot Pinterest pics of Barns converted into homes and white cladded beach houses. It wasn’t until I came across Three Birds Renovations and watched Bonnie’s dream home come to life that the whole way through the series I kept telling my husband, This is exactly what I have envisioned for our new home!

I have so many favourite spaces in my home and it is constantly changing, but if I have to narrow it down it would have to be right now my laundry and my home office, but then I still love my main living area with those high cathedral ceilings. Therereally is too many.

I would absolutely build again! I’m not sure if it would be another Forever home, because I think we will be here for a long while, but I have such itchy feet to get back into it. I just loved the whole process.

I think the hardest part was dealing with delays in the building process and land settlement delays. And not being able to get finishes when it was time to order. Which caused delays with finding new finishes that were available in new times frames. 

Yes we absolutely did have a budget. Did we stick to it… no, no we didn’t. We tried so hard, but I just kept making changes and we made additions along the way. We didn’t go too crazy though. I think being the builders yourself, makes it harder to stick to the budget. In my experience anyway.

Yes, there a few things I would change about the home. My husband is happy with everything, but last-minute changes I wish I had more time to correct with a different solution. For example, removing windows from the mudroom, I should have put a skylight in. Things we can do later but would have been so much less hassle doing them during the build.

I have a few little bits and pieces in the pipelines that I am working on, that’ll hopefully open doors for more projects. I’m also on the look out for another location to do a Renovation on and become a holiday home and another photoshoot location. So watch this space!

It has been an absolute privilege to feature Lauren on the blog. Thank you for sharing your building experience with us and for taking us on a walk through your gorgeous home. I CAN NOT WAIT to see what you have coming for us….squeeeeee!

If you’d like to see more of the space, head to The Coastal Barn Dream on Instagram…you’ll fall in love with her deamy home!

Until next time, Dream Team!

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Guest Blog: Working With an Interior Designer

Lifestyle

The idea of working with an interior designer can be a little daunting. When I heard that the gorgeous Meagan from Fawn and Finch had recently worked with the talented design firm Cullin Interiors, I knew I wanted to share her room revamp experience with you. Meagan shares her inspiration, any struggles she encountered and reminds you that working with an interior designer is an enjoyable and rewarding experience.

Interior styling: Cullin Interiors Photography: Fi Mims Photography

Absolutely, my name is Meagan and I am the owner of Fawn and Finch a women and children’s shoe brand. I started the business back in 2014 when my first daughter Willow was born, it was a massive creative outlet for me in the beginning and it was away from me too keep active and busy whilst I was home with a newborn. It very quickly snowballed into what is now my full-time job and I am so grateful for the business itself and what it allows both me and my family.

Prior to falling pregnant with our third daughter Penny, Nathan and I had discussed what we would do with the bedroom situation as we have a four-bedroom house with one of those rooms is a dedicated toy room present. We came up with a solution that Willow and Blair could share a bedroom, and that left the empty room to become the nursery for the time being. 

Both of the girls had very different styled rooms and both of their beds wouldn’t have been able to fit in the one-bedroom together so this prompted us to sell the items from the bedroom that we couldn’t use, or didn’t feel that they would fit with the new aesthetic that we were going for. After we had Blair we had sold and had donated a lot of her items as we were certain we were done having children, fast forward three years later and we had to buy everything (big items- cot etc) again as we had given it all away.

Interior styling: Cullin Interiors Photography: Fi Mims Photography

We were fortunate enough to work with the team from Cullin Interiors, I personally knew Sarah through a mutual friend of ours and when Sarah’s project of the Monash Children’s Hospital didn’t progress due to COVID this year she very kindly reach out to me, knowing our history with the Monash Children’s Hospital and Blair’s birth and offered to work with me to create a space for both the girls and for our pending arrival.

Sarah really brought a whole new world of expertise to styling both of the rooms and had an entirely different skill set on offer in comparison to mine when it came to the world of designing interiors. I was really excited for the experience of working with an interior designer as I have never done so in the past, and it really excited me as I knew the calibre of work that Sarah was going to be bringing to the table (she did not disappoint that’s for sure!!!).

Interior styling: Cullin Interiors Photography: Fi Mims Photography

Upon meeting with Sarah for the first time, we both had agreed that the nursery would be gender neutral as we didn’t know their sex of our pending arrival. I really wanted something that would be easily transitioned into either space for a little girl or for a little boy once the baby had arrived, and could be done so by just simply adding in a few elements that were very gender specific.

For the girls are really wanted to be quite fun and colourful, and both Sarah and I were really excited at the prospect of working with pallet made up of many shades of peach, pink and mustard. We really wanted to keep with a Bohemian style theme, and work in modern pieces where we felt it was appropriate. Again, I was really after a space that could be easily tweaked with the addition of styling pieces, that is really important to me as I love to play around with different styling pieces in both of the bedrooms and spaces and can be easily transformed with different linens and soft furnishings.

Interior styling: Cullin Interiors Photography: Fi Mims Photography

I really love Raff’s style from Everyday Muse, and her little daughter’s bedroom gave me a lot of inspiration for the girl space. The rest of the inspiration for both of the rooms was found while scrolling Pinterest late at night. It really was collection of images that we had pulled from Pinterest that made up the mood boards and I also found helpful to checkout tag posts from brands on Instagram that I was interested in purchasing from and also working with on the project.

Interior styling: Cullin Interiors Photography: Fi Mims Photography

I really love the creative process when it comes to projects like this, and my most favourite part is seeing it all come together. At times it can feel like a collective pile of things that you have collected to create the face and the magic really is in seeing it all come together.

Interior styling: Cullin Interiors Photography: Fi Mims Photography

None whatsoever, Sarah from Cullin Interiors was incredible to work with and she contributed so much to both of these bedrooms on both the design level and a personal level. She really took on board everything that I wanted the spaces to represent and really made them feel like they seamlessly belonged within our home. It was really quite special to have someone to bounce off when it came to ideas for the spaces and when it came to sourcing product Sarah hands down one above and beyond to find the pieces that were right for these bedrooms.

Interior styling: Cullin Interiors Photography: Fi Mims Photography

My favourite feature within the girl’s room would definitely be the feature of rattan and the Bohemian vibe, and also seeing the playfulness of the space with the neon lights that I custom ordered with each of the girl’s names.

My favourite feature within the nursery would definitely have to be the softness of the space. Is really a peaceful room and so calming to be in.

Interior styling: Cullin Interiors Photography: Fi Mims Photography

I would definitely say that you need to find someone that you can bounce your ideas off, and that is open to working with you to create spaces. At the end of the day the spaces are going to end up being in your home and so they really need to be something that you are you excited to look at each and every day.

Interior styling: Cullin Interiors Photography: Fi Mims Photography

I don’t have any upcoming projects presently, I am doing a small revamp of our master bedroom at the moment. I definitely put that down to being bored in Victoria in isolation! I would love to redo our front living room at some stage – the couches in our front living room have seen better days and I would really love to be able to work a tan leather couch into that room at some point in time.

It has been an absolute privilege to feature Meagan on the blog. Thank you for sharing your experience with us and for emphasising the importance of finding an interior designer that you gel with – it’s seriously so important!

If you’d like to see more of the space, head to Fawn and Finch on Instagram…you’ll also fall in love with her gorgeous shoes for both woman and children. I’m off to do some browsing….*adds to cart*…..

Thank you to Cullin Interiors and Fi Mims Photography for allowing me to share their beautiful work.

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Walk-in-Robe Reveal

Building, Styling

It’s my own little slice of heaven.

When planning my walk in robe, I wanted a space that was functional as well as beautiful. It’s the first space I enter when I wake in the morning, so I wanted something serene, crisp and allow me to set myself up in a positive way for the day ahead – so having a place for everything was a must. The IKEA PAX wardrobes have been installed in our last 2 builds, and they work so perfectly if you do a little planning beforehand. They are also super easy to install – I was able to construct them myself with a little help from Dave at the end to put it all together – some pieces need an extra pair of hands.

We of course happened to be installing them on THE HOTTEST DAY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD…before our air-conditioning had been given it’s final tick – so there was a LOT of sweating involved, and looking back now, I love that we have yet another little story to remind of us of all of the hard work that we put in together to bring this home of ours to life.

When we were planning the build, my wardrobe was one of the first spaces that I already had mapped out in my head. I needed wall space for the robes, wall space for a mirror and lots of natural light. A few pretty little pops like a stunning chandelier – and you know Elok are my favourite! A custom colour to suit the space really brought my vision to life.

I used the process outlined in my ‘Planning the Perfect Wardrobe’ blog post that you can find here.

I’ve done all the hard work for you – each product is linked below so you are able to click straight through to shop.

Thanks for joining me – I cant wait to bring you the next room reveal!

Wardrobes – IKEA PAX wardrobe frame

Chandelier – Elok Chandelier

Ottoman – Brosa

Floor Mat – Similar style from IKEA

Barn Door – Corinthian Doors

Candle – Glasshouse

Brass Canister Jar – Zakkia

Jewellery Box – Purchased through Gorgeousness Home

Guest Blog: Making Space for what Really Matters

Lifestyle

I am delighted to bring you Leanne Baker from @organisingthe4ofus Leanne’s positive outlook on life, honesty and integrity is something we all aspire to. Not only is she an organisational queen, entrepreneur, high school maths teacher, wife and mother to 2 gorgeous boys, she also dedicates time from her day to support others in making time for things that matter. Sharing daily systems and practices that she implements daily to cut the ‘fluff’ in life and get back to the things that bring joy.

I am delighted that Leanne has agreed to share her 3 top strategies to help her keep on top of work and mum life. Welcome to The Dream Team Leanne!

Thank you so much for asking me to write a guest post for you to share my top tips to help you create space in your life for what matters most to you.

I am always pleased to share some of the strategies and tools that I use in my life, and I really hope there is something you can take away from this post, and include in your own households.

Read on to learn about 3 of my favourite strategies that I use to help me feel organised and have more free time to spend with my family creating memories.

This is one of my favourite tips, and if you have seen my Leanne Baker Daily planners, you will know that every page has a space for you to write your List of Three! You don’t need one of my planners to use this strategy though – just a piece of paper, or your phone will do!

Spend a few minutes each night thinkingabout what you need to do the next day. Write up a “List of the Three” – the three most important tasks you need to get done tomorrow.

If you have a really long list of “to-dos”, pick three to work on each day until you work through them.

Write up your List of Three in order of the most to least important.

If you spend a few minutes in the evening doing this, then the next morning you already know exactly what to focus on when you get up.  As soon as you have a chance (yes I do mean before you start to scroll on your phone! Or perhaps it won’t be until after work) – whatever works for you, pick the top task on your List of Three and get started. Try not to procrastinate, or question it – just start!

Focus on the first task and nothing else. Block out other distractions, and stop thinking about what else you think you need to do – fully focus on No. 1 of your List of Three.

Remember to be flexible, and if you do get interrupted (family, emergency etc…) take care of the interruption and then get back to your task, or it’s ok to reschedule it to another day.

Then move on to No. 2 and No. 3.

If I have a big item on my List of Three for tomorrow, then I will add two smaller, shorter ones to go with it. For example the other day I needed to clean up the back yard and hose down after the dog, before the gas-mancame to refill our gas cylinders. I knew that this would take up around 40 minutes, so my other 2 items were quick and easy. The whole idea is to set yourself up for success not for failure.

I strongly recommend that you don’t put three big items on your List of Three on any given day. This will increase feeling overwhelmed, not reduce it, which is the total opposite of what we are trying to do here!

If you have a hotspot in your home where mess regularly accumulates, then I suggest you include tidying up that spot on your List of Three regularly. For us, this is the Dining Room table – so you will find that regularly on my List of Three!

This is probably one of the most regular tips that I share on social media. If you have been following me for a while you will know all about this strategy. It’s actually really surprising how much you can get done in a 15-minute block, when you are focussed and get stuck in!

Set a timer on your phone, or the oven or microwave for 15-minutes daily, every dayand whizz around the house and do a quick, general tidy up, resetting your home putting everything back in place and restoring order.

One important note – this is not about cleaning your house, it is a general tidy up and re-setting of your space. This means picking up anything that is out of place and putting it back in its home, for example, items of clothing, or toys on the floor, items on the bench-tops, or on the dining table (this is our worst spot for collecting random items).

Choose a time that suits you – this might be when you get home from work, after school pick up, or just before bed. You don’t necessarily have to do it at the exact same time every day, but if you link it to another activity, such as just before bed, or as soon as you get home from work/school etc …this will help you embed it as a habit. You can use a habit tracker to mark off your progress too!

Try it once a day for the whole week, and develop this into a habit – just watch what a difference it can make to your household. This is a real game-changer!

One of my simplest and proven strategies for starting the week off on the right foot and feeling prepared for what might come at us during the week is to spend some time getting set up for the week ahead.

‘Set me up Sunday’ is all about setting yourself up for success for the week ahead.

It’s important to note that this doesn’t have to be done on a Sunday if you work or choose to rest and recharge on a Sunday.  You might choose to set yourself up for success on a different day of the week, and of course that is perfectly fine.

In our home, Sundays are a mix of recharging and preparing for the week ahead. If I spend an hour on a Sunday preparing for the week, that hour pays back over and over again.

Sometimes what will help is meal prepping, conquering the laundry piles and doing some power cleans, other times it’s a call to a friend, a Sunday nap and a rest day.

This week since we had a really busy week, Sunday was for catching up on washing the dishes, and laundry – ready for the week ahead. Then we went out and had some fun together as a family!

Is there one thing you can add into your Sunday routine to set yourself up for success?

Thank you Leanne for helping us to stay on top of the juggle and beating through the struggle. To find out more about Leanne, her planners, her amazing Project 14 program, head to Leanne Baker Daily and follow Leanne on Instagram @organisingthe4ofus

IKEA Hack: Arts and Crafts Caddy

Lifestyle

Who doesn’t love a good DIY project…and one that is SO easy – but makes a big difference? For me personally, having organisation systems in place keeps me sane. Having a specific place for everything takes clutter out of sight and also out of my mind.

Believe it or not, I actually created this about 12 months ago – before covid and lockdowns and working from home became the norm. I was looking for a storage solution for my daughters arts and crafts. One that holds her texta’s, pencil, crayons, sharpeners and paper all in the one go. Something that a 4 year old is able to easily get out and pack away on her own.

I found this LUSTIGT Art and Craft Caddy and RÅSKOG trolley from IKEA. Super cute and super simple….however the green noggins and clear acrylic lids just weren’t doing it for me. A quick little spray paint and some cute contact, and we have a gorgeous little work station that’s not only practical, but also ties in with the theme and style of our store room….more to come on THAT little gem later!

I’ve linked below the products that you can head straight to to check them out for yourself. A little birds has told me that the IKEA LUSTIGT Arts and Crafts Storage caddy is currently on sale….you’re welcome!

If you have any questions, be sure to hit me up below. I’d LOVE to see your own transformations, so make sure you tag me @dreaminginteriors when you post to your stories!

RÅSKOG Trolley – IKEA

LUSTIGT Arts and Crafts Storage – IKEA

Pink Glitter Contact – Officeworks

Pink Chalk Spray Paint – Bunnings

Glass Jars – Reject Shop

Guest Blogger: Morgan Kelly @casa_morgan

Styling, Uncategorized

Morgan Kelly’s photography skills are

NEXT LEVEL

And it is no surprise that her amazing talent has been showcased in so many of Australia’s most prestigious interior magazines. But even more than that, she is humble, kind and genuinely supports other women in business. So get cosy, get to know Morgan and then slip on over to Instagram to follow along with @casa_morgan on her amazing interior photography business…and if you’re anything like me – you’ll be hanging out for posts, I promise you – Morgan never disappoints!

Photography by Morgan Kelly for Pottery Barn Australia

My name is Morgan Kelly and I am an interior photographer and stylist. I have always had a passion for interiors as I grew up with avid renovators as parents. I just love seeing what can be achieved in the spaces you already have in a home. My passion is shooting homes that have a story behind them from 100 year old Queenslanders to homes that have moved interstate and started their story all over again. 

Morgan ‘s creativity is inspired by travelling the world and appreciating different cultures

Besides growing up renovating all of our family homes, I was fortunate enough to work for an Australian owned homewares company for almost a decade where I photographed and styled their products in a studio. As much as I enjoyed that role, the urge to get out and meet people, hear their stories and share their passion for their homes and their renovations was too great and I started this wild ride that is Casa Morgan. 

Shooting living and dining room goals for @theplot_binnaburra

Although it seems fairly straight forward, Casa Morgan not only refers to me shooting home interiors (casa is Spanish for house) but I wanted a company name that also “housed” all my other talents. I can photograph, style, design, paint, sketch, build and design studio sets and have an insane talent (well, that’s how others describe it) for photoshopping. So in the end Casa Morgan was perfect as it was more like the house of Morgan’s talents.

Left: Shooting for @theplot_binnaburra, which was featured in Country Style Magazine Dream Kitchen edition.

Right: Stunning master bathroom imagery for @theplot_binnaburra

I have been fortunate to meet some incredible people along this journey. From the beautiful homeowners themselves, people who enjoy my instagram account and also the editors of the magazines I have been lucky enough to have my photography featured in. I have also met some of my ultimate idols such as Steve Cordony, Neale Whittaker and also Tanya Buchanan! Someone else who I consider an idol is Shelley Craft and when I worked for the homewares company I also had the absolute privilege of photographing and working alongside her! (And yes, I can confirm, she is one of the nicest humans on the planet!) 

Left: Shooting at @this_old_house52 for Pottery Barn ‘The Collected Home’ campaign

Right: Shooting at @this_old_house52

I wouldn’t say I have a “style” as such, but I certainly look at myself as an extended member of the family when shooting. I love to capture the home as if I too lived there. I love to capture the true essence and vibe of the rooms where people have poured their hearts and souls into creating them. I think I would describe it as warm, for warmth is what makes a house a home. 

Capturing the amazing canvases by @beetwomey located @this_old_house52

When I am not shooting homes I am usually found to be editing imagery for wall art. I love to fill our home with memories of our overseas trips. I am also a keen renovator myself, although my fiancé and I are not yet ready to undertake our renovation/building project – we have painted our fences, tidied gardens, hung our favourite wall art and started to curate what we would like to achieve in our forever home.

Left: office goals for Pottery Barn #thecollectedhome

Right: The perfect nook for coffee and books @theplot_binnaburra

@dreaminginteriors (of course!) 

@this_old_house52 

@stevecordony 

@shelleycraftofficial

@drewlewisstyllist

Adore Home Magazine (Loni is a champion – if you don’t already read her mag – you need to!) 

Country Style  

Vogue Living 

Belle 

Real Living 

It’s been an absolute delight to share Morgan and her talents with you. I personally love knowing the journey behind someone’s story, and what an amazing ride! I am excited to see more from Morgan – to follow along and be inspired by all of her amazing talents, head to @casa_morgan

Picking your Perfect Flooring – The Pros and Cons

Building, Styling

Picking a flooring can be a really confusing experience. There are so many different options out there and your decision shouldn’t only be based around how it looks. How if feels, its durability and how easy it is to clean are all important factors to consider when selecting a flooring option that suits you best. And, like everything, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach…you really need to think about your lifestyle and your style preferences to get this right. THINK ABOUT YOUR VISION! I’m going to help you through what is available and the pros and cons of these choices. Come on boots, let’s get walking’!

Please excuse me while I wipe away my drool. This has got to be the ultimate in terms of looks when it comes to flooring. You can’t beat the feel and the sound of genuine timber flooring. And don’t even get me started if it is original timber flooring in a Reno project…..GOALS! But there are certainly some points to consider before hammering this one home.

ProsCons
Genuine beauty – you can’t beat the look! It brings so much warmth and character to your homeCost to install is higher than other flooring options, but once installed and with the proper maintenance, it can last a lifetime
Hugh variety of colours available and you can also stain later on down the track to change the lookCan be affected by humidity and fluctuations in temperature – may swell in cool, damp weather and shrink in warm and dry conditions
Relatively easy to clean by sweeping or vacuuming and mopping with the correct equipmentMore prone to termite attacks than other flooring options
Non-toxic, organic, allergy friendly and does not tend to trap unpleasant odours Can be damaged by excessive water and harsh detergents and therefore not recommended for all the areas in your home eg. kitchens and bathrooms
Adds value to your homeProne to dents, stains and scratches
Environmentally sustainableCan be noisy, especially when installing on multiple story homes

Vinyl planks have come a long way since they were first introduced to the market. It’s a great option due to its cost, versatility, durability and visual appearance. There are some really luxurious options available that can look and feel really high end…but without the price tag of hardwood timber flooring.

ProsCons
Cost effective and tends to be cheaper than many other flooring optionsEasily damaged by sharp or heavy furniture and objects or punctured by something like a falling knife
Comfortable due to it’s foam underlayTough to remove if renovating or replacing
Quieter than timberDoes not add value to your property like hardwood timber flooring
Easy to maintain through regular sweeping and moppingSome vinyls can dent if a heavy object is dropped on them
Waterproof and can be installed all over the house including the kitchen and bathroomNot environmentally sustainable
Visually appealing as it can easily mimic genuine timber flooringCan sometimes be difficult to install – highly recommended to have a professional install this type of flooring
Stain resistant as spills can be easily wiped with a cloth

Bamboo is extremely eco-friendly and cost effective as a flooring option. It can add warmth, character and beauty to your home.

ProsCons
Lots of colour varieties availableThinner than hardwood and therefore can be quite cold.
Much more cost effective than timber hardwood flooringSome bamboo flooring can be produced using toxic glues – be sure to check
Can be used in damp climates where hardwood floors would not be recommendedSusceptible to scratching and scuff marks over time. Can also be damaged and discoloured by sunlight – you may need to move your furniture to prevent discolouration
Highly environmentally sustainableBeing a natural material, too much moisture can cause warping, discolouration and growth of mould. Excessive and continued water can cause bamboo to swell and weaken
Easy maintenance and durable if sealed twice a yearSensitive to humidity and can swell and shrink

This is the product I get most excited about, because it is what we have chosen to install in our last two properties. Our flooring is the Quick Step Impressive Ultra and is BEYOND amazing. While our flooring is premium in both quality and cost (going top of the range always is), there are lots of different laminate options across the board that come with lots of different price tags. Timber laminate flooring is made from composite wood pressed together and can be more cost effective than hardwood flooring. It can also be quite easy to install if you have a little experience…Dave and I have installed our own flooring on the past two builds, however Dave is highly experienced in construction. You’ll need to discuss and research this yourself.

ProsCons
Waterproof options make this suitable for every room in the home, including kitchens and bathrooms.Not all finishes are waterproof – discuss this with supplier
Click system prevents dust and dirt gathering between the boardsCan not be sanded and re-finnished to give a new appearance like timber hardwood flooring
Can be placed on top of underfloor heating systems when installed correctlyLike all products, they vary from one manufacturer to another. Do your research on product reviews
Solid, pleasant soundPattern repetition occurs, as there are generally 5-10 different patterns in the boards when manufactured
Extremely strong, hardwearing and durable and very difficult to scratchAs with other products, a small number of chemical sensitive individual may have reactions to the glues ad resins used in the flooring. Do your research!
Will not stain like other flooring options
Keeps original colour even when exposed to sunlight
Easy to maintain and clean
Allergy friendly
Quick and easy to install – no need for glue, mortar or nails
Huge variety of colours and finishes – from timber look to natural stone and concrete look finishes.
Warmer to the touch than other flooring such as bamboo and vinyl planks.
Variety of different thicknesses

Engineered flooring is a great alternative to timber hardwood flooring, because it basically IS timber flooring…it is just strategically manufactured to give optimal performance. It’s made up of three layers: a protected lacquered hardwood top, plantation grown core, and a pine back.

ProsCons
Authentic look and feel due to the fact that is is made of 100% timberWhile it is cheaper than hardwood flooring, it is more expensive than the other flooring choices
More stable in high-humidity environmentsDifferent manufactures have different quality standards. Do your research to get top quality!
More environmentally sustainable than hardwood flooringSome engineered planks can sound hollow – research different thicknesses for their sound and quality
More affordable than hardwood timber flooringEngineered wood is made with adhesives and resins, some of which can give off harmful gases. Research which is the best for you.

This products has been described as the best of both worlds. It is durable and strong like laminate, whilst also giving the soft and luxurious look of vinyl planks.

ProsCons
Superior scratch resistanceCan be dearer than some other floors
Easy maintenance and cleaningLooks like timber, but doesn’t feel like it
100% waterproof
Can handle huge difference in humidity

Tiling was the most poplar choice in flooring until technology came along and reinvented timber flooring and their look alike friends. However, because of the different features of tiles, they are still an excellent choice for flooring throughout the home and in particular in bathrooms, laundries and splash backs.

ProsCons
So easy to maintain and cleanBecause they are so hard, they often break whatever falls on them
Glazed tiles are 100% water resistantGrout can become discoloured and stand due to mildew
Extremely durable Ceramic, porcelain and mosaic are able to handle high amounts of traffic.In cooler months, tiles can be really cold
Temperature and chemical resistant so they do not corrode when exposed to chemicals or extreme weatherNeeds a professional to install
Hygienic and inhibit viruses, mould and fungi from growing
Environmentally friendly when made from clay and raw materials like ceramic tiles
Diverse and affordable so can suit anyone and everyone’s preferences

Such a statement, polished concrete is one of those products that you either love or loathe. They are suited beautifully to minimal, modern and industrial style homes. They are making a real come back onto the design market, so here is what you need to know about polished concrete…

ProsCons
Extremely durableCan be very, very cold in winter and can retain heat in summer
Flood and fire resistantNot suitable for homes that lack sunlight – sunlight is needed to heat the concrete slab
Ideal for high traffic areasExpensive – they sit at a similar price point to timber hardwood flooring
Easy to clean and super hygienicCreating an amazing aggregate, quarts and coloured polish can be very expensive
Can be rebuffed to reshine when it becomes a little dull from wear and tearCan be very hard, especially when standing on for periods of time eg. cooking in the kitchen or when little ones fall over
Can incorporate underfloor heating into polished concrete flooring (needs to be discussed and approved during planning stages)Cracks may appear due to the house settling over time
Can be installed to use for so many different surfaces eg. flooring, kitchen benches, vanities, stairs, etcWill show more dust due to the gloss effect
Can be poured on site, so is made to suit your space. For this reason, it is made to measure and will not show join lines like many other products willMay show scratches, however this depends on the sealer that is used. Different sealers have different pros and cons – so do your research on this too!
Ideal for those who suffer from allergies
Available in a wide variety of colours, aggregates and finishes
Can create a seamless finish from indoors to outdoors

Phew! So there you go…..there is so much information for you to digest! I tend to find that clients have a preference for a timber/timber look, tile or polished concrete depending on the style of home they are going for and the vision and mood they want to create when they step foot through the door.

Remember, do what works for you, weigh up all your options and enjoy sliding those feet out of bed in the morning and landing those tootsies on your floor of choice!

If you have any questions, I am always here to help! Contact me through the ‘Contact Us’ page, or alternatively, send me a DM on Instagram. Either way I will be sure to get back to you with whatever info I can offer.

Much love,

Beautiful Laundry Hampers

Decor, Styling

Making the mundane beautiful, a laundry hamper is a simple way to breathe a bit of life into the laundry, bathroom or bedroom where clothes need to be collected. They don’t need to be expensive, but I tell you what, these beauties below sure do beat the old ‘plastic fantastics’. Made from a variety of fabrics and materials including linens, wicker, sea grass and hyacinth, they add warmth and texture to your space. This extensive list also includes a variety of different options to suit your lifestyle, whether you prefer solid hampers, baskets or laundry bags, there is sure to be something here that will work for you.

The laundry hampers below work to different price points as well. Some ranging from extremely affordable, mid-range, right up to the high end luxury hampers. There is something here for everyone’s budget.

I’ve curated my top picks below when it come to adding a bit of style and luxury into your laundry hampers. Each link is clickable, so feel free to do a little online shopping, and be sure to pop back here (or on Instagram) to let me know what you think!

I hope you are able to find something you love. Because home should be the one place you never want to leave.

Much love,

Top 10 Coffee Table Books

Decor, Styling

It’s a fact – I am obsessed with books, especially as styling pieces. They’re the perfect way to polish off your decor and I believe that they help to tell a story in your space. It is important to have a mixture of books, wether it is high fashion, interior design, travel, architecture or gardening. Find the ones that set your soul on fire and help to define your tastes and interests.

The wonderful thing about books as decor pieces, is that you can style them in SO MANY different ways. Sitting down, standing up, within beautiful book ends, spines showing, spines hiding, decor pieces on top, decor pieces beside….the possibilities are literally endless and each different way brings a new life to your space.

I’ve popped my top 10 interior styling coffee table books below, with direct links to where you can find them.

1. Tom Ford

One of fashions greatest icons, Tom Ford transformed Gucci from a stagnant accessories label into one of the sexiest fashion brands in the world. His designs have increased Gucci sales astronomically and has helped transform and build the brand into the luxury goods conglomerate it is today.

Available to purchase through Hampton Lane

2. Simplicity

Nancy Braithwaite

Interior designer Nancy Braithwaite’s long-awaited first book is a striking tutorial in the power of simplicity in design. In the world of interior design, Nancy Braithwaite is known for her single-minded devotion to the principle that has guided her work for more than forty years: simplicity. Braithwaite’s work is luxuriously minimalist, its beauty inextricably tied to its Shaker-like purity.

Available at Provincial Home Living

3. French Country Cottage

Courtney Allison

A romantic interpretation of French country style in a California cottage. With beautiful photography and tale about a little forgotten house that could, Courtney shares the story of her renovation of a 1940’s cottage in the California countryside. An abandoned vacation house, set in the center of rolling fields and trees becomes the cottage home of her dreams . . . a French country style cottage filled with original elements and an exquisite mix of rustic and refined. 

Available for purchase at Booktopia

4. Ballerina Project

Dane Shitagi

With over one million followers on Instagram, Ballerina Project has the largest network of followers in the world for ballet and has become an online phenomenon. Created by New York City-based photographer Dane Shitagi over the span of eighteen years, Ballerina Project has become the most significant, unique, and creative photographic archive of renowned ballerinas in the world. 

The artistry, strength, and dedication of over fifty accomplished ballerinas are beautifully captured here with over 170 inspiring photographs in both black-and-white and full color. Iconic locations across the globe including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, London, Rome, and Paris create a timeless backdrop to these remarkable portraits.

Available through Booktopia

5. The Game Changers

Samantha Brett & Steph Adams

The path to success is rarely straightforward. However, with more female trailblazers out there than ever before, achieving their career goals in the worlds of business, entertainment, fashion, politics and beyond, the game is being changed forever.

Journalist Samantha Brett and editor and art director Steph Adams have spent more than two decades between them interviewing and profiling some of the most inspiring and successful women in the world. They quickly realised that these women had a few distinct qualities in common- they are fearless in their pursuits and unafraid to go after what they want, and they do not let fear of failure stop them.

Available to purchase through Amazon

6. Dior: Catwalk

Alexander Fury

Dior: Catwalk is the first comprehensive overview of the legendary house of Dior, featuring more than 180 collections presented through original catwalk photography.

Every haute couture collection is represented inside, as are ready-to-wear collections from the arrival of John Galliano onwards. Complete with an introduction and designer profiles by Alexander Fury, Dior: Catwalk offers a unique opportunity to chart the development of one of the most influential and luxurious fashion brands of all time and discover rarely seen creations.

Boasting more than 1,100 images, Dior: Catwalk is a treasure trove of inspiration and a must-have for all Dior fans.

Available to purchase through Peters of Kensington

7. Peonies

Georgianna Lane

Peonies have always been a favourite with gardeners and cut-flower fans alike, but in 2016 their popularity went beyond bridal bouquets as the blooms took over social media – their gramming power was so huge this year that by May, Elle UK had already crowned the flowers as ‘The New Avocado’.

First outlining the history of the peony, Peonies is then split into chapters Pure, Dramatic, Romantic and Fragrant, and includes over 50 beautiful varieties as well as detailing when they bloom, their size, and, of course, what they’ll look like. From Shawnee Chief to Sarah Bernhardt, you’ll discover an eclectic selection of specimens from those that have the best visual appearance to those with the most fragrant perfume. The final section, Growing and Care, outlines those varieties which are easiest to grow and which produce the best flowers for cutting.

With contemporary commentary on each bloom, easy-to-follow advice and glorious photography, this book will appeal to everyone who appreciates the beauty of the majestic peony.

Available to purchase through Amazon

8. Homebody

Joanna Gaines

#1 New York Times Bestseller – In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts as well as your likes and dislikes with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style.

Room by room Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.

Available to purchase through Target

9. Paris

Serge Remelli

Paris… so familiar and yet surprising. In pastel shades and dazzling details like the palette of French Impressionism, Serge Ramelli presents a unique and personal photo homage to the City of Lights. With romance and history in her blood, Paris shows her tender side as never seen before.

Only Paris offers the inimitable stage that can turn every photo into a film still. In its architectural splendour, its wealth of churches, palaces, parks, and grand boulevards, the city is peerless in its beauty and allure. Add to that a long, rich, and influential history, and this coveted capital is art in its purest form.

From the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, to Montmartre and Saint-Germain-des-Pres – the traces of painters and photographers and echoes of actors and movie directors can be found all over the city. In this exquisite Paris photo book, Serge Ramelli pays tribute to this unique legacy of art and culture, capturing the city’s poetic flair. As in vintage postcards, with glowing street lights or only certain details in colour in a black and white panorama, Ramelli accentuates particular picture elements to create a modern, 3D effect, while retaining a close connection to Parisian history.

Available to purchase through Booktopia

10. Paul Bangay: Small Garden Design

Paul Bangay

Paul Bangay is renowned for the expansive and elegant gardens with classical lines and symmetrical plantings that he has created in Australia and all over the world. Yet gardens on this grand scale are not accessible to everyone. With more of us living in apartments, townhouses and terraces, our gardens are now being squeezed into small spaces such as balconies, courtyards, lightwells or rooftops – and this makes for challenging garden design.

Available to purchase at Provincial Home Living

I hope you’ve managed to find something that you can see working in your home. If you’d like to see more styling and decor tips, be sure to sign up to my newsletter, I promise that you’ll only receive the good stuff! Sign up below!

Much love,

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Entryway Reveal

Building, Styling

As I step foot inside the door, I immediately feel calm. I feel safe. I feel joy. Within these walls we laugh, we dance and we slide down the hallway in our socks. We are 100% ourselves and I would never ever want it any other way.

Our entryway is made up of a few spaces, each of them with their own purpose and each of them I love equally because they work together to welcome us home.

I love bright, white and fresh interiors, so knew that the interior of our home would be predominantly white. White walls and white ceilings with a few pops of interest here and there. During the planning stages of our home, I informed (read: warned) Dave that we would be having timber mould panelling EVERYWHERE. I am sure he thought I was either joking, or that I would grow out of the idea. I can tell you that neither will ever happen. I take my moulding very seriously and it’s possibly one of my favourite design features that help to bring texture and character to a space. Believe it or not, we’ve actually added more to our home since we moved in! Being such a white space, I was looking for ways to bring warmth and interest to our entryway. I chose to install Shiplap on the ceiling (also known as VJ panelling). I love the way it draws your eye upwards. We’re planning to install some gorgeous feature lighting in the hallway, but i just haven’t found EXACTLY what I am looking for in Australia yet. Another little project to look forward to creating later on down the track.

Our hallway leads down to the part of our house that we call the ‘entryway’ – even though technically it all is. This space has changed in the 4 months we have been in our home….and probably the space that has changed the most dramatically! I never, in a million years thought that I would be painting any wall in our home black…..but it happened. And I LOVE it! It has added real depth, mood and a touch of luxe. Another thing I love is the gorgeous stone bench. Originally we were going to have a piece of stone floating between the two walls, but I am delighted that we went with the downwards return (also, the stone floating was ridiculously heavy and we would have needed brackets, really taking away from the look we were trying to achieve). The gorgeous stone legs add another view of our stunning EssaStone Calacutta, and I couldn’t be more obsessed with it. I love that it can be styled as either a welcoming space, or that it can also be used as a quiet little study nook and a place of peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the home. We popped some power there too to charge laptops and power lamps if we want to change it to a study nook. The versatility of this space is going to be great down the track. But for now, it’s just a peaceful and welcoming space as we enter the home.

…and can we all stop for a moment to appreciate that exterior pendant? It’s a little (big) showstopper, and I adore it. As soon as I saw this style, it was love at first sight. I have another of this pendant featured somewhere else in our home…can you guess where?

As you would have expected, we have used the same floors throughout all of the home. And we used them all through the last build. Yep – we are obsessed. The quality is BEYOND and their durability will rival any other flooring. Not to mention that colour. *smitten*.

Throughout our designing, planning and building stages, I asked you, my beautiful Insta Fam, what colour door you thought we would go with, and a majority of you said pink…UNDERSTANDABLY! And to tell you the truth, I really did have my heart set on it. But I asked Dave how he would feel about being the guy who lived in the house with the pink door. He thought about it for a bit and said he was ok with it….but I could tell he wasn’t 100% keen. Completely fair. We decided to choose another colour together and used a lot of inspiration from our last trip to Paris. We had light blues and forest greens picked out and didn’t totally love them. Black was the one colour that we really loved – and I am so glad we went with it – it really makes the brass finished POP!

Speaking of the door and the brass finishes (excuse me while I wipe away my drool), do you remember the struggles I had trying to find a brass door handle?! I searched high and I searched low. I trawled the internet and looked in all the hardware shops both local and in Sydney. And none of them were quite right….you know how fussy I am about these kinds of things. They were either too orange in their brass, or not the right style. But when I found these, they were meant to be. So happy that we could make them work on the exterior and in the interior of the door. The other brass accents including the bell, dummy door knocker and kick plate just work together to finish it off.

And then there is the actual door itself….it’s a beauty! It’s gorgeous and is from Corinthian Doors. We knew we wanted something traditional to really support the exterior architectural moulding and painted brick finish, and this was the only door from the beginning. In previous houses we had chosen pivot doors which were a LOAD more expensive, just for the way that they close. Having had one house previously with a pivot door, and one without, we really couldn’t justify the expense of them and decided to invest the money somewhere else. And it’s not a decision we’ve ever regretted. If you’re looking for great quality and beautifully solid doors, I can 100% recommend Corinthian Doors.

I hope you have enjoyed this little welcome to our home. If you have any questions about anything, you are always welcome to leave a comment below or send me a quick email through the Contact Us page. Be sure to sign up to become an email subscriber here…my subscriber recieve all the goods before anyone else…and more!

Thanks for joining me – I cant wait to bring you the next room reveal!

Front Door – Corinthian Doors

Tiles – Beaumont Tiles

Fiddle Leaf Fig – Pillow Talk

Doormat – Pillow Talk

Architectural Moulding – Mould It

Light – Beacon Lighting

Stone – EssaStone

Flooring – Quick Step

Mug – Cristina Re

Brass Pendant – Canalside Interiors