A small balcony attached onto an apartment or terrace is a great way to bring the party outdoors. With the luxury of light, fresh air and of course the views, decorate this charming outdoor space with a few of our essential design ideas.
Fill the space with fresh pot plants, flowers and herbs (if you’re lucky enough to have the sun shining). If you’re not working with much space, simply place them over the table or on the balcony itself.
Adorn the space with fairy lights to make it feel more rustic and homely. If there’s no power point available outside, use an extension cord to easily tether the electricity from inside.
A waterproof lounge is a great way to maximise on space and hold a few parties of your own while the weather is warm.
A few candles are ideal if your party runs into the evening and the lights are just too bright to turn on. Keep your tea lights in a lantern to keep them burning for longer.
Invest in a dark, waterproof rug which is non-slip for your patio or outdoor area. It will also keep water from entering the bottom of the door into the house.
To fill up some space on an empty wall, make your own herb planter and position it in a bit of sunlight. This might change depending on the seasons, but it’s a great DIY project to work on!
Images via Issuu, BluLabel Bungalow, House Beautiful, Flickr, Apartment Therapy, Elle Decor
It feels as if we have just taken down our Christmas lights, but Easter is right around the corner, so get out those bunnies, eggs, and anything pastel coloured. Or maybe don’t, as all those pinks, yellows, and greens can quickly make your home look like Barbie’s house. If you don’t want your place to look tacky, here are a few classy and easy Easter decoration tips:
How genius is this door decoration? All you need is an old fashioned umbrella, a ribbon, and flowers of your choice (fake ones are fine). You might still have a hook on your door from the Christmas wreath, so why not make use of it and welcome your guests with this creative umbrella-turned-vase.
This makes for a great centrepiece and requires little effort. Take a big vase and fill it with Easter eggs in neutral colours. Then add large twigs or flowers of your choice.
This bunny shaped serviette is almost too cute to unfold and definitely prettier than paper napkins with tacky looking Easter bunnies on them. Get the folding instructions here and impress everyone.
Easter without eggs is like Kim without Kanye, but instead of colouring them, spare the mess and opt for styrofoam eggs decorated with simple gold tacks that you might already have in your stationery drawer. They definitely look more expensive than they are.
This is for the slightly more arty people among us. Collect a few bottles and wrap them in linen, which can be spray painted with letters beforehand. Tie the necks of the bottles with some twine and put pretty flowers in these classy DIY vases.
Images via blissbloomblog.com, marthastewart.com, familyholiday.net, theinspiredroom.net, savittjagvetblogg.blogspot.it
Everyone deserves a treat. Whether your idea of luxury is a cream tea at Fortnum & Mason, or a home makeover, we all need to have something to dream about. Affordable luxuries make life worth living.
What is an affordable luxury?
An affordable luxury is an aspiration that won’t break the bank, but is an activity or treat that is special. For some people, this might be making your home secure and warm. Thermostats from Underfloor Heating Store are one way of making sure that your home is always welcoming and well heated. Another person’s idea of a treat might be to buy the latest wallpaper or even possession of a Marc Jacobs handbag.
It all depends on the word, ‘affordable.’
You can afford luxury
If you are earning and see most of your valued salary disappearing on bills, office suits, food and other necessities of life, you may feel that you can’t always afford a treat. Wrong. Everyone deserves a treat, and if you cut a few financial corners throughout the month, you’ll soon see that you may have the pounds to spare for an affordable luxury.
A recent article in The Daily Telegraph highlighted the growing popularity of saunas and steam rooms across the UK. Apparently one in ten Brits has a hot tub according to international insurers Lloyds; this amounts to an impressive 2.6 million households. You may have to save up for some time to have one of these luxuries installed in your home, but their price is coming down all the time. The basic sort of hot tub in 2013 was £3,000, but you could spend up to £16,500 for a Jacuzzi J470: obviously this all depends on your budget.
Entertainment on the go
The days of the desktop PC would appear to be numbered and technological innovations in the fields of tablets and smartphones mean that an increasing number of people are investing in these appliances. According to an article published on the BBC website ‘global shipments of PCs have been hurt by the popularity of tablets and smartphones.’ If you have some spare cash, make sure that you invest in one of these devices, then you can watch films and TV, message your friends and access your Facebook and Twitter accounts all from the same platform. You can also take selfies, film your friends and even make Skype calls to your nearest and dearest all over the world.
Revamp your house
Art never goes out of fashion, and sometimes the addition of a piece of sculpture or a painting or print can make all the difference to your home. Take a look at your local art galleries and see if you can afford an original piece of work. Once you’ve acquired your new artwork, you’ll be able to see exactly how your hard earned cash was spent, gain hours of pleasure just looking at the work, and maybe it might even increase in value.
Have you ever found it difficult to compromise on just one item in your home? Interior trends come and go; just a few years we were all obsessing about feng shui, which more or less is about harmonising the home. How often do you hear about it now?
Although taste is subjective and comes down to your own personal style, there are a few interior trends which should never see the light of day (again).
DON’T: Match everything
The couch, curtains, formal chairs, and rugs do not have to match! Unless you have a serious case of pattern-envy, there’s no reason to keep this look in your home. One of the best aspects of interior design is that you have the freedom to buy from a variety of different stores – so don’t stick to just one pattern or theme throughout.
If you want to switch this up without buying completely new furniture, you can always accessorise with cushions, paint the hardware, and re-upholster the couch and chairs.
DON’T: Carpet in the bathroom
Needless to say, that carpet does not belong in the bathroom. Rugs in front of the bath or sink and given a free-pass, but your entire floor should not be covered in carpet, it’s just not practical. Stick to tiles which are easy to clean, and look nice and tidy in the bathroom.
DON’T: Hoard the pool room
In this respect the pool room refers to any place of the house which is dedicated to preserving mostly un-used pieces of furniture. The odds are that this room was used to welcome guests who wanted a quick drink, snack, before they were on their way within the hour.
Now the room has become a shrine to almost everything and anything – which makes it difficult to match with the rest of the house.
DON’T: Layered rugs
Do you know of anyone who has their entire home fitted with quality floorboards, yet hides them under too many rugs and runners? Guilty. Not only is this trend outdated, but completely ruins the idea of having floorboards in the first place! Stick to a skinny runner for the hallways, but keep the rest of the house rug-free.
DON’T: Collect too many photo frames
While you might think that this trend is slightly over-the-top, too many frames can often clutter up an entire table.Stick to a gallery wall which will free up some space, but also showcase your photos in a really nice way.
What are some interior trends you hate to see?
Images via HG TV, Bijou Kaleidoscope, Honestly WTF, The Maisonette, I Like To Waste My Time, Medley By Oanasinga
In 2007, while on a trip to New York, a friend booked dinner at a hot new restaurant in an up and coming area of the city; the Bowery. “Now make sure the cab drops you right at the door”, she said, as the area was a little salubrious. Well no longer, the Bowery is now another hot spot on the ever changing island of Manhattan. Once the home of the down and out, the Lower East Side is now full of restaurants, bars, funky new hotels and residences.
A recommendation from another friend, this one in the hotel industry, had us based on our most recent trip to New York at the fabulous Hotel Ludlow, right in the thick of the Bowery; so new that the restaurant is still under construction. This pumping new spot, frequented by many in the arts industry, looks like it could have been an old bank or boutique department store in years gone by, but in fact it’s all new construction, with beautiful wood panelled walls, exposed beams and mosaic marble tiled floors. The furniture and lighting is a fab mix of custom, contemporary pieces and funky vintage. A cool eclectic sound track full of remixed retro music, makes the public spaces a delight to spend time in. The rooms have a perfect mix of Bowery vintage and contemporary luxury, with larger suites including potted garden balconies. Obviously I enjoyed my week here.
The neighbourhood is full of casual dining restaurants and bars, many with an industrial chic aesthetic. The clothes boutiques are another sign that this is a hot area; definitely a district made to wonder and explore. I loved the name of a bar a block from the hotel. It has a neon sign “No Fun”. With the “No” never being switched on. Love it.
Now that there doesn’t seem to be a bad area to live in Manhattan, some of the once questionable areas in the boroughs have also come into there own. None more so than Brooklyn, that includes the centre of the hipster universe, Williamsburg. This once industrial area has gone into hyperdrive as warehouses and small commercial buildings are developed into restaurants, hotels, stores and residences. This is the place for cool little boutiques, vintage markets and easy market style food. A visit to “Smorgasburg” is a must, with small stands selling an array of delicious home made food and drinks. The lobster roll is delicious. The “It” place to stay is the Wythe Hotel; it includes a fantastic restaurant on the ground floor and a sky bar on the 6th floor, with a killer view of Manhattan. Dress funky casual and prepare to hang with the uber cool.
The areas of Brooklyn heights and Park Slope are full of beautiful architecture from the late 1800s, most predominately the “Brownstones”. Spectacular rows of ornate terrace homes grace tree lined streets. It’s a quick subway ride into Manhattan, so these neighbourhoods are perfect for family homes. We have the great pleasure of working on one of these homes for our clients who have relocated from Sydney. This visit was our first site inspection and we were delighted with the incredible potential this grand old home provides, with 12 foot ceilings, marble fireplaces, ornate plaster work and concealed shuttered multi paned windows. The look for this home is NY loft meets Brooklyn funky with a gallery edge. A beautiful space with great clients, a perfect mix. This city never fails to inspire.
By Brett Mickan, a Sydney-based interior designer specialising in high-end residential design at Brett Mickan Interior Design
It’s the finishing touches that truly bring a room to life. Cushions, throws, and vases all play their role when it comes to inviting havens, but it’s the artwork all eyes will notice first.
1. Draw inspiration from your room
Discover the perfect art palette by assessing your space. Take note of three to five prominent shades already featured in your room’s rug, cushions, and accents to start with.
2. Follow your eyes
The best art choices are those you are instantly drawn to. Forget trends and select a design you love and are happy to look at all day, every day.
3. Mix and match
Art will come and go over the lifetime of your home, so it’s important to make existing pieces work with new additions. Ensure one common element features for a seamless look: think colour, style or theme.
4. Size and position
Don’t be afraid of over-scaled art that makes a statement. A piece that’s too small will make a room look out of proportion. Hang with the work’s centre approximately 150cm up the wall, and keep an eye out for balance.
Remember: you don’t always have hang a piece of art directly in the middle of a wall or above a piece of furniture. Consider an off-centre position that’s balanced by an accent such as a floor lamp or side table vignette.
5. Group with confidence
Add interest to larger wall spaces with a grouped collection of small-scale art. This gallery wall style works best with an odd number of pieces. Start with a central foundation work, and scatter smaller, more flexible art pieces around that.
Tip: art should be fun and flexible. Move your pieces around the house regularly to reinvent your space.
Content and images via THEHOME.COM.AU
Thinking of giving your home a makeover but need some interior design inspiration? Leading homewares stylists Betty Wong and Lucy Wolstoneholme for MyHouse, who have just launched their Spring Summer Catalogue, share their exclusive round-up of the four hottest trends from colours to home accessories.
Cool and Coastal
Drawing inspiration from raw and rustic natural settings, this trend shies away from the signature ‘nautical’ style we already know that encompasses nautical stripe prints. Instead, this trend embraces the harmony of soft sand and sky colours from warm sandy beiges, seashore-inspired blues and cool grey stone qualities. This trend takes a renewed look at our relationship with the natural world and our fascination with organic looking spaces filled with natural materials and textures, weathered surfaces and a lot of light.
Bright and Breezy
Loud colour promises to be big in two ways this season. The first colour trend that remains hot this season is high-summer brights in all types of geometric patterns, embracing loud neon accents that instantly freshen up a room. No longer limited to smaller items, neon geometrics will be used to create modern depth with larger furniture such as a statement chair or coffee table. The second emerges from the great tropical escape that embraces everything from bright florals to tropical bird prints. Think dark, mossy greens lifted with neons to create an edgy and eclectic look and deep-rose hues combined with bright accents of intense yellows and electric blues.
Calm and Collected
Gone are the days of formal interiors. Home-owners long for a space to which they can retreat that exudes comfort. From this comes a new spin on the minimalistic trend of white on white. A far contrast from the days of sterilised spaces in cold hues, the new white movement embraces sophisticated shades of white married together with an abundance of texture. Throw into the mix soft greys, natural textures and stripes and you will create an environment that is peaceful and inviting.
Soft and Sweet
The more romantic of the trends sees the reemergence of soft & sweet. This sentiment is captured by the resurgence of spring-time colours that are inspired by nature’s wild foliage and care free textures, asserting a strong reference to childhood innocence. Blossom pinks are mixed with sky blues and buttercup yellows to create a family of floral inspired pastels.
What’s your favourite design trend for summer?
For more information or to view the full MyHouse range visit www.myhouse.com.au.