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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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

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