Best in The Business!

Building, Decor, Home, Styling

It was love at first sight.

The moment i laid eyes the amazing spaces Three Birds Renovations created, i knew I had to work with them. The opportunity arose to be part of their Reno School community and as soon as i signed up, i sunk my teeth so deep into the modules and i was literally swimming with ideas, strategies and a whole lots of interior inspiration…and it came at just the right time, we had started planning our next building project, and i was in need of a little direction and reassurance. Despite this being our third construction project, it was the first time we have decided to take on….HOLD YOUR BREATH….an owner build. Looking back now, i can’t even imagine what we were thinking. Probably something along the lines of

“we’ve built before, surely it cant be that hard

(Insert future Jo’s eye roll and forehead slap). Rookies. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but thankfully The Three Birds did, and the guidance they have provided through the use of their Reno School program has been incredible. A life saver, and a real game changer. You would think that the concepts of renovating and building would be vastly different, but what i have come to realise is that the planning and preparation is so similar. Despite this being a ‘renovation’ guide, it REALLY works for a new build to. The modules within the program include the areas of planning, finding the right trades, and planning stunning interiors, kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. They also offer advice on how to transform the exterior of your home as well. No stone is left un-turned!

And then this happened….Meeting the Three Birds Renovations girls was beyond fabulous. They are as down to Earth, helpful and as gorgeous in person as you could imagine they would be. During their guest appearance at the Sydney Home Show, they spoke candidly about their work and offered tips and tricks to bringing your dreams to life. I only had one question for them:

“How do you convince you builder…AKA husband…that white everything is a good idea?”

Thankfully Dave was with me at the time, and heard it straight from the source.

“It just is. It always is. Trust in your wife, she knows what she is doing.”

THANKS BONNIE!

I’m not going to lie and say that this piece of advice has avoided further arguments, but I can tell you that line is used over and over again when Dave tries to take the reigns on the design front! They reminded me to go with my gut instinct on design and to follow with my heart. That our home is our sanctuary and it needs to be a place we fall in love with over and over again when we wake up each morning.

So if you’re not sure where to start on your building or renovating journey, i can not recommend highly enough The Reno School by the Three Birds Renovations. You’ll find their content informative while also thoroughly enjoyable. They also offer amazing discounts to their tribe which can really save you a bundle. Their online videos make you feel as though you are a part of their design conversation and also offer plenty of laughs in what can be a really stressful experience.

I’d like to personally thank these amazing women for being so open in sharing their knowledge and advice and for letting me be a part of it. And also for giving me a little ammunition in the ‘creative discussions’ (that’s a nice way of putting it, right?) that i have with my husband when I inform him of my next design choice!

I owe you one girls…!

I can’t wait to share my spaces with you a they are brought to life. Make sure you are following along over on my design page, @dreaminginteriors to keep up to date with all the progress – wont be long now!

If you’re currently building, about to build, want to build, plan to build in the future, want to reno your current house, have a reno project you’d love to tackle, or are even slightly interested in any of the above, you HAVE to pop over and check out The Three Birds Reno School. Click HERE to find the answer to ALL of your questions!

Ensuite Reveal

Building, Styling

Light. Bright. Timeless. Airy. Elegant.

This was the design brief for the master ensuite. And I think this was achieved to a tee.
In entering the ensuite, I wanted the main focus to be on custom joinery that was designed specifically for this space. The timeless shaker style vanity is complimented beautifully by brass handles and tapware, a Calacatta stone top and gentle curvaceous polished concrete double bowls.

This wall of timeless design provides ample privacy for the generous shower and toilet, which are hidden behind this wall. As much as a toilet is practical and essential in a toilet, I really believe that they should be out of sight where possible. Choosing to install floor to ceiling tiles provides an extra element of luxury to this space.

…And can we just stop for a minute and appreciate these mirrors! They took over 12 months to source the perfect shape, scale and size that accentuates the height of the ceilings of the ensuite. But I really believe the they were worth the wait!

I’m so delighted to be sharing this gorgeous space with you. Thank you again for your continued support of my design projects. I can’t wait to bring you more spaces and projects this year!

Much love,
 Jo

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

Tiles – Beaumont Tiles Lux Calcatta 600 x 600mm

Brass Taps – ABI Interiors

Brass Cabinetry Handles – Lo&Co Interiors

Polished Concrete Sinks – Nood Co.

Mirror – Oval Mirrors

Turkish Towels – Miss April Towels

Marble Dish – The White Place

Handmade Soaps – Saarde

Black Pot- Gorgeousness Home

Magnolia Stems – Floral Interiors

Plantation Shutters – Inland Shutters and Blinds

Toddler Room Reveal

Decor, Styling

A blast from the past!

Welcome to Aoife’s Toddler Room reveal! Even though this was one of my first ever interior projects over 3 years ago, it holds the most special place in my heart. Read on to find out why!….

Aoife’s eyes are bright enough to light any room she enters. She is my three year old daughter who loves her cat Murphy, gets lost in books and adventures for hours and her favourite thing is twirling. It was essential that her room had the perfect space for her dolls house, a reading nook and plenty of floor space for twirling in her capes and tutus.

When I created Aoife’s Once Upon a Time room, I imagined more than just the furniture, the rug and the cushions. I dreamed of a room where we would cuddle, read books and twirl. A room for her to grow, to learn and to dream. It is my honour to welcome you into Aoife’s room and my greatest wish that you can hear the whispers and giggles of child play as they float out from these images.

I have always adored a classic and timeless design style that could be effortlessly updated as my darling girl grows. Everything Parisian inspires me, so wall panelling was an absolute must. I love a mixture of old and new pieces and adore the fact that a piece found in an op-shop has a secret prior life, bringing stories to the new space. I wanted to focus on styling that would leave anyone who enters the room transported to another place and time.

If you ask those around me, they will agree that pink absolutely runs through my veins, so selecting this colour was without a doubt. I love the elegance of mixing the softness of the pink with the classic beauty and simplicity of white and gold. This white and gold theme also runs throughout the rest of our house, so I wanted Aoife’s room to be a seamless continuation of that same theme.

The panelling is one of my favourite features, I love that it brings an extra dimension and layer to the room without being overwhelming. It also works as a beautiful ‘frame’ for the Mrs Mighetto prints, which bring a sense of magic to the space. I also adore the pink pinboard – it is so versatile to be used in so many different ways as Aoife grows.

While it is my favourite feature, the panelling was quite challenging to style with (and photograph – thank goodness for the talent of the amazing Aimee Cook!). The placement of the panelling means that art pieces can be quite difficult to place as a feature of the room.

I adore that the room is a mix of new and re-loved furniture. The antique suitcases were a small project of mine and came from a beautiful old homestead auction. I often wonder what items have been carried around in them, and what adventures they have been on. There were some names and addresses written on the inside, and newspaper lining the inside. (both of which I could not bare to remove, so are still there).

The tea set was a piece that caught my eye on a last minute op-shopping adventure. Some pieces in her dolls house were sourced from a beautiful little dolls house shop, discovered whilst on a family adventure. My favourite thing about this space is that it is not picked from a catalogue and placed in her room, each piece has a story.

I was lucky enough to work with an amazing local photographer – @aimee_cook who captures the most amazing memories. I have been lucky enough to have Aimee photograph our wedding, the birth of my daughter and now her Once Upon A Time big girls room.

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


Luna Pop Heart Light by Livly
Nordic House Cushion by Little Nordic Kids
San Fran Dolls House by Calevie Designer Dollhouses
Sequin Crown and Cape by Pretty Petite Co
Sippy and Sunny Book by Uncle Bearskin Productions
Book Shelf by Pottery Barn Kids
Pink Set Decals by Sailah Lane
Numero 74 White Canopy from Petite Jolie
White Woven Cotton Rug by Naco
Single House Box by Gold Frankincense Myrrh
Valentine Floor Cushion by Little Connoisseur
Single Bedspread Quilt  in Powder by Bonne Mere
Alaska Sheet by The Young Co
Sleigh Royale Co by Boori 
Mrs Mighetto Prints from Norsu Interiors
Bunny Wall Head by Little Lops
Custom Doll by Winnie Flora
Sequin Bunting by Pretty Petite Co
Sequin Hearts by Wool and Willow
Pink Ottoman by Kmart
Studded Pinboard  by Pretty Petite Co

Dining Room Reveal

Building, Styling

It’s time for another one!

This space is one of my favourites, but it was also not planned from the beginning. Where the dining room sits, was going to be an extension of our alfresco area. During the period of waiting for our land to register and become available to stat building on, we decided that this space would be utilised best if it was turned into a dining room.

And it is the best decision we made. As frustrating as the wait was, and as angry as we felt about it, it was also a blessing in disguise, because it afforded us time to make some really smart decisions about the layout of our home. I will be filling you in on this at a later date, trust me!

The reason that I love this space so much has to do with its functionality. When we were eating to begin this build, we were renting a house that we were only supposed to be in for a few months. It was a smaller house and FILLED with carpet, so putting a dining table in was very tricky. We sat up at our bench for every meal, and I HATED it. For me, sitting around the dinner table at the end of the day and chatting is so important for us as a family. Staring at the kitchen cupboards rather than each other while we ate in our rental was so disconnecting – it really drove me kinda batty!

So adding in a designated dining room was an absolute must. And this is why I love interior design and floor plans – each person’s situation is so different, and everyone has different priorities. For someone else, eating at a bench really serves their needs, and a separate dining room would be an absolute waste of space and money. This is why you really need to consider your lifestyle and your priorities when you are planning your own home.

So come on through and take a look below at our dining room.

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

Chandelier – Elok Chandelier

Beaded Garlands – Elok

Sheer Curtains – Blinds Online

Farmhouse Napkins – Elok

Wingback Arm Chairs – Brosa

Dining Chairs – Brosa

Champagne Bucket – Similar one here

Candle Sticks –Horgans

Gold Cutlery – Similar ones here

Flooring – Quick Step

Table – Restored with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Pure White

Mirror – sourced from Facebook Marketplace

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,