Spring Clean: Top 6 Home-Office Beauty Essentials

Spring is on its way, baby – hurrah – so it’s time to look to beauty land to get gorgeous and spruce-up your work space. After all, it’s not just important to surround yourself with positive people; your office space matters too – ambient, luxurious and beautiful objects of desire will help put you in a good mood, look and feel great and perform at your best. These are a few of my favourite things…

RELATED: Heaven Scent: Top New Fragrances To Covet

1. Burn for you: Relax, and produce your best work, via an aromatic journey with this luxurious, limited-edition Glasshouse Fragrances Triple-Scented Candle in Arabian Nights – White Oud, $42.95. It’s a glorious sweet and woody fragrance combined with saffron, white rose and amber. Love! Find it online or at David Jones, Peter Alexander, Sephora and selected boutiques.

beauty essentials, beauty, interiors

2. Pucker up: One lip balm to rule them all: the Sara Happ The Nude Slip: One Luxe Balm, $33, at Lulu and Lipstick is a cult beauty favourite you need now for your home office beauty kit. It’s guaranteed to keep your pout smooth and luxurious, offering the richest, glossiest hydration imaginable. Wear stand-alone or over colour for high-gloss shine and intense hydration repair.

beauty essentials, beauty, interiors3. Hands-on help: Soothe rough, dry hands fast with Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream, $19.95. It’s all about feeding and nourishing your hard-working hands with this super rich, all-natural cream, made with sweet almond oil, vitamin E and beeswax.

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4. The perfect pout: Kiss winter goodbye with this pretty spring lippy: Arbonne Smoothed Over Lipstick in Peony, $41. This great, moisturising formula goes on smoothly for long-wearing, luxurious colour to help you look and feel glam. Infused with fruit extracts for lip-volumising effects, it has a smooth, satin-glossy finish.

beauty essentials, beauty, interiors

5. A messy situation: Did you eat pasta for lunch? No problem: Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes in Pink Grapefruit, $9.95, will clean up your act in no time.  They’re also great make-up removers, made with natural cloth and infused with natural ingredients to keep your skin looking and feeling great. You’ll go from greasy to breesy, lickety split.

beauty essentials, beauty, interiors, home office

Blushing beauty: Ain’t nobody got time to spend hours on make-up touch-ups, so get glam fast with this new little beauty: Arbonne Blush in Ballet, $41. It’s incredibly lightweight, mineral-infused pigment creates a natural-looking blush sure to give you a rosy outlook. Suitable for all skin types, this pretty pink is a great pick-me-up for fair complexions like mine.

beauty essentials, beauty, interiors, home office

Feature image via womanandhome.com

Interior Essential: The Butterfly Chair

Looking for a way to update a sad corner in your bedroom or living room? Butterfly chairs are a trendy way to decorate any room, especially if you’re looking to splurge on a permanent piece. Pay attention to the finish; leather only looks better with age and is quick and easy to spot-clean.

Style your own butterfly chair with a little inspiration from our favourite rooms below!

RELATED: 5 Interior Design Tips For Winter


A minimalist lamp is the best way to update any room without going completely OTT, and out of your comfort zone. A chic side table plus a few throw pillows help to bring some life to any room.

Interior Essential: The Butterfly Chair


Bring some depth to the room with a no-fuss rug which is suitable for both summer and winter. Something such as a cow hide rug is ideal since it also ages really well.

Interior Essential: The Butterfly Chair


If leather isn’t really your thing, canvas butterfly chairs are also a popular item to invest in. Simply change the cover, and throw it into the washing machine once it stains!

Interior Essential: The Butterfly Chair

Faux fur

Make any room look instantly cozy with a faux fur throw. Choose darker colours if you don’t want them to stain, or simply use them as a decorating piece.

Interior Essential: The Butterfly Chair


Who knew a butterfly chair could make such an amazing piece for the office? Position it near the desk or in a corner for a quick nap!

Interior Essential: The Butterfly Chair

Brown leather

If black decor just isn’t your thing, try a softer colour palette to match the rest of the home. Copper and rose gold look great with brown leather, and they age so well.

Interior Essential: The Butterfly Chair

Images via CocoLapine Design, ShowHome, Essenziale, Stories By Me, A Gentle Woman

10 Of The Best Storage Solutions For Small Spaces

Clutter is the bane of many UK households, with homeowners struggling to find enough storage space to keep it all under control. According to The Express, the average Briton clings on to £514 worth of unused goods that simply lie dormant. The British Heart Foundation survey found that 15 per cent of people said their clutter made them feel ‘stressed’. Whether you occupy a small flat or a large house, we all seek the need for extra space once in a while. Below are ten of the best storage solutions to help you:

Double duty furniture
In a small room, try to ensure that every component is multifunctional. For example, in the bathroom double up the cabinets to be mirrors too and in the children’s room, turn a toy storage box into a bench to sit on.

Mobile self storage
Mobile self storage from Kelly Store is the perfect option for anyone seeking space for a short period of time. A storage pod will be delivered to your door, you can load at your convenience and it will then be taken away and stored securely until you’re ready for it again.

Under-the-bed storage
Many beds nowadays come with drawers underneath so you can hide all those items that take up so much space in a smart way. Alternatively, you can buy under bed storage boxes.

You’ll find there are many unused and dead spaces around the home such as in corners or under the staircase where shelves will fit perfectly. Alternatively, an open shelving unit will instantly add more storage without taking up too much floor or visual space.

Wooden crates
Wooden crates are perfect for a rustic DIY look within the home. Stack a couple together using screws and ‘L’ brackets and you have yourself a very interesting bookcase or storage tower.

An attic or cellar
It’s easy to forget about how much space your attic or cellar holds. Move the items that you occasionally need into the attic or cellar so they are out of the way.

Coat rails and stands
It’s very easy for shoes and coats to clutter up a small hallway, but by using a hanging rail or coat stand, you can make a real difference to the space. It’s amazing how a tidy hallway will make your entire house feel in order.

A multi-use coffee table
If you struggle for space in the living room, use a chest or an ottoman as a coffee table. Not only will it look the part, it can hide away all those magazines and DVDs.

Kitchen hooks

Hooks work wonders in the kitchen. You can hang utensils, mugs, pots and pans. Some people choose to place them on a pegboard, hang them on a linear rack or even from the kitchen windows. Houzz shares some great examples of this.

Creative shoe storage
Children are the worst for leaving their shoes around the house. Avoid this by using wine boxes to store them in, hanging them on clothes hangers or even using an old ladder.

Decluttering Tips and Tactics For Your Home

A cluttered home often results in a cluttered mind and it can be difficult to find space where there isn’t any. If you’re at the stage when you simply can’t find any more room in your home and you’re beginning to worry about the very real possibility that you may be, for lack of a better word, a ‘hoarder’ it may be time to call in the professionals.


The easiest and quickest way to free up some space in your home is to rent a self-storage unit from a company such as www.alligatorstorage.co.uk. Storage units come in every size imaginable so that you can store anything from large pieces of furniture to smaller household items and electronics with ease. The company will then take care of everything, allowing you to free extra space in your house.

Create space

Creating some much needed space is very simple. Transform a back garden shed into a mini storage room. You can also create additional space by putting up shelves in your bedroom or living room to store your favourite books, CDs and DVDs, etc.

Charity shops

If you have tons of old clothes, books or other items that you just don’t use anymore, take them to your local charity shop so that someone else can benefit from them. You will not only be helping others but freeing your closet space for the more important things in life…such as new shoes.

Attic space

The attic is usually where everyone keeps the Christmas decorations and old camping gear but people often forget all that useable space when in reality, it provides the perfect solution to house all the things that you rarely or never use. This concept is not new, as the Telegraph suggests that you should “organise your things into ‘occasional need’ and ‘regular use’ categories. Put the occasional stuff in the attic or the cellar,” which is good advice, especially if you have a large attic with plenty of free space around the baubles.

Wicker baskets

If you have a family or younger siblings who have a habit of leaving their toys scattered about the house, then a wicker basket or plastic box is the perfect storage solution and can be tucked away under the coffee table or by the sofa.

Small item storage

If you have lots of small items and nowhere to put them then you may consider using jewellery boxes to store little gadgets. Real Simple advises that instead of throwing the boxes out, “clip them together to create tidy divided storage for pens and pencils, lipsticks, plastic flatware, whatever it is that clutters your drawer.”

Clean and organise

Grab a black rubbish bag and begin filling it with all the things lying about your house that you no longer need. Last night’s Chinese leftovers? No, thank you. An ex-boyfriend/girlfriend’s T-shirt? Throw that in there too … or maybe burn it, the point is that you will feel so much better after a good clean-up.

10 Tips To Save You An Incredible Amount Of Space

Anyone who has lived in a small apartment or house will understand the problems of trying to create extra space within your living environment. Many older houses don’t have built in cupboards, so you’ll have to discover some novel ways of storing your belongings. Here are 10 ideas that will help you.

1. Use a storage facility

If you have nowhere in your home to keep your ‘stuff,’ then this might be the time to consider an alternative storage option. Ready Steady Store is a useful facility where you can keep your belongings safely and free up some space in your home.

2. Kitchens collect clutter

However large your kitchen, it’s still very easy to run out of space. According to The Daily Mail, a New York couple got around this problem by hanging their pots and pans from the ceiling, thus freeing up room in the cupboards and units.

3. Use your under stairs space

The strange shaped space under a conventional flight of stairs is frequently under used. The blog UKTV advises that with some clever carpentry, you could always install some custom made units that will fit snugly into this space and hold your books, plants and other paraphernalia.

4. Stair drawers are innovative

You could always convert your staircase into an additional storage space. Some designers suggest that a wooden staircase can be used as an additional set of drawers with the help of an expert carpenter. You don’t have to convert the whole flight, perhaps just the bottom two steps, and use them for stashing shoes or cumbersome household tools.

5. Sofa beds are always useful

If you live in a one-room open plan apartment, then a sofa bed is always useful. You can store your linen and towels in the base of the sofa, and pull out the mattress at night for sleeping.

6. Use your walls for storage

If you have a contemporary flat screen TV, then hang it on the wall. Leaving your TV on its stand will only make your living room look more cluttered and it does take up a lot of room.

7. Build a sleeping platform above your living area

Apartments with high ceilings are wonderful. See if you can create a mezzanine-sleeping platform over your living area. A stepladder that can be put away during the day can be used for climbing to your bed, and you’ll have created a stylish solution to your lack of conventional space.

8. Build shelves around your windows

In most homes, the area surrounding windows is left bare, but if space is at a premium, then why not erect some shelves in this area, where you can store books, ornaments or anything else that you can think of?

9. Use the area under the bed for storage

Kids always come accompanied by clutter. If you invest in bunk beds for your children, then you’ll be able to use the area under the bed for toy storage. You can also buy a trunk and use that for heavy winter clothes.

10. Use sliding panels instead of doors

Doors can take up a lot of room. If you install sliding panels as room dividers, then you’ll have gained a few extra feet throughout your home.

BMID In LA: Taking Inspiration From Where You Sleep

When ever I find myself in LA, my must do is touring the latest boutique hotel interiors. This is where designers can push the boundaries to create unique environments to draw the hip crowds, especially when your in a city with the population and cache of LA. Taking these cues can help inspire you in creating your own spaces and, more importantly, show you how it is possible to make an interior relevant to its exterior without making it a restoration.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

Our first stop was the beautiful new Palli House Property in Santa Monica. The spectacular Moorish-influenced, Mediterranean revival architecture has been retained and enhanced. Designed to be more a exclusive club-residence for the guests with opulent, unobtrusive service. The lobby has deep teal walls with stencilled exposed beamed ceilings. It’s full of vintage furniture and contemporary pieces with a wink to the past; then layered with a myriad of decorative objects including, my favourites, taxidermy and porcelain animals. The rooms are more like small apartments with kitchens and sitting rooms that contain a masterful blend of furnishings and fabrics. Toiles, florals, plaids and velvets are all at home here. A must do for an extended stay in Santa Monica.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decoratingNext stop, Downtown LA. This area is full of beautiful architecture that has been long neglected. Downtown is now pumping. The Hotel de jour is ACE Hotel, Downtown LA. Situated in the historic United Artist building, this is a renovation that highlights the existing architecture and, at the same time, creates a visual platform for the artists involved in designing the interior.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

Having only opened this year, it is the place to introduce yourself to the hip crowd at the fab restaurant and pumping roof top pool bar. I love the cleverly inserted art pieces throughout the common spaces. The back wall of the lobby desk is clad in wool and a sketch artist has been commissioned to do intricate pencil sketches intermediately around the walls and ceilings in the public areas. A collection of the old chains and pulleys from the buildings original days as a theatre have been used to make a cool installation above the pool bar. Love it, but this is not a place to find seclusion and quiet.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating


interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

Our final stop for this trip was the LINE Hotel in Korea-town. This mid-century building had had some connection to the old train line, hence the name. Now this is a creative use of materials by the first time hotel designer Sean Kibb. He has definitely played upon the theme of the original structure with travertine floors and exposed concrete walls. Like the ACE, artists have been commissioned to incorporate interior elements that are more like art instillations. Behind the lobby desk that is clad in burgundy coloured metal, is a beautiful sculptural piece made from recycled plastic bottles.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

The lobby furniture, predominately formed from a mauve stained wood veneer with matching velvet upholstery, resembles a mountain landscape that meanders around the space. Punctuated with hessian covered arm chairs with orange piping and, perhaps the most creative use of materials of all, a ceiling made of decoupaged T-shirts painted in accent colours. Also love the gold balloon installation above the bar, where you must order the house drink called the penicillin. Delicious!

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating


interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

Like all the latest venues, this hotel also has the mandatory pool deck, restaurant and bar. I love the concept for the restaurant. There is some alfresco dining and the rest of the seating is in a glass house like structure; ready for all weather conditions. The styling is casual / industrial. The rooms follow the theme of raw industrial meets mid century with a killer floor to ceiling view over the hollywood hills. Furniture in the rooms is either mid-century or custom designed with a definite deconstructed style. This hotel is like nothing else you will see and will definitely open your eyes to creative uses of materials. Be inspired.

interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating


interior design, LA, Los Angeles, Brett Mikan, Brett Mickan Interior Design, interiors, decorating

Spring 2014 Ushers In A Fresh New Season Of Colour

Luxurious copper-based metallics, earthy greys and calming blues and greens will dominate interiors this spring as homeowners cast off the deep and decadent hues of winter to add a lighter touch. That’s the forecast from Dulux experts, who have studied design, colour and finishes from around the globe to develop the season’s predictions.

Dulux colour expert Andrea Lucena-Orr says:

“It’s natural to want to welcome the first blush of spring after a long cold winter and there’s no better way to do that than with a fresh coat of paint.”

Popular colours are likely to include Dulux Sun Sensation – Design Metallic, a luxurious copper-based metallic; the earthy ambiance of neutral Dulux Malay Grey; and the fresh, cooling tones of Dulux Antarctica Lake Quarter.

Dulux also has two serene greens – Dulux Classic Calm, which is easy to blend from inside to outdoor space for spring entertaining, and Dulux Gentle Calm, a mid green suitable for any room. Partner the greens with light and bright Dulux Whisper White to inspire a stylish spring space. The hero colours for spring come from the Dulux Precious Elementals palette, which is influenced by the earth, minerals, natural stones, and geographical formations.

The director and head designer of Zuster, Wilhelmina McCarroll, styled the Precious Elementals and says the 2014 Spring colours of greens and greys are perfectly paired with blonde timbers and a touch of warm metallic. She says:

“Consumers can be adventurous with colour by painting architraves and skirtings in different colours and adding some of this season’s gorgeous warmer metallics, such as copper and gold in a small way.”

For example, using a subtle, soft green like Dulux Gentle Calm in a bathroom creates a sense of luxury and the perception of a larger space. Adding a touch of glamour with Dulux Sun Sensation in metallic brings out key features in the space.

“I don’t think colour will ever go out of fashion. We are currently seeing many colours being mixed and clashed with fantastic results. There are no rules anymore as to what colours should go together, if it works it works!” 

How To Revamp Your Bedroom

One of the easiest ways to reinvent a room is with a fresh coat of paint! And we decided the best way to prove this point was to show it to you in action. This dramatic bedroom makeover showcases the impact of a fresh coat when it comes to instant bedroom transformations.


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interiors, bedroom, interior decorating, room revamp, renovationStyling notes

  • Wattyl paint in Ocean Dive for fresh colour injection
  • The inclusion of artwork adds source of inspiration for room’s colour scheme
  • Patterned rug infuses inviting texture
  • Functional and stylish lamp update

Wattyl paint in Ocean Dive E71W supplied by Masters Home Improvement at Chullora. 

Content and images from TheHome.com.au

Charlotte Dawson’s Homewares Collection

The homewares line spearheaded by late celebrity Charlotte Dawson will be launched this month to carry on the much-loved media personality’s legacy in support of her favourite charities. The range of handmade Balinese canvas cushions and coasters carries elegant old world-style images of palm trees, elephants, ships and toucans that will add a whimsical touch to any indoor or outdoor area.

Charlotte first fell in love with the cushions on a holiday to Bali when she spotted them at the villa belonging to her longtime friend of 25 years, homewares designer Billy Allen. Charlotte styled the cushions around Billy’s Seminyak villa, taking snaps to post on Instagram. The pair collaborated and the line Charlotte Dawson Home was born. The business was already rolling ahead before Charlotte’s passing in late February. She was so passionate about the cushions that they became her main focus, the warming designs having caught her keen eye for style, beauty and fun. The new homewares line was also one of the many ways in which she planned to expand her talents in the coming year.

Charlotte Dawson, homewares, interiors, lifestyle, cushions, soft furnishings

Seven different styles of cushions are in the range with colourful designs printed on white canvas. Patterns include a black and white elephant, a large cruise liner in two shades on white and orange background, toucans in two sizes as well as a palm tree.

The homewares line is being run by one of Charlotte’s long-time friends, Jai Evans, who had partnered with her on the project. Jai wanted to continue both Charlotte’s legacy and support of her favourite charities.

Jai said:

“Charlotte is still with us, she was always there for others, and this is a great opportunity to give back. This will put a smile on Charlotte’s face wherever she is now.”

Proceeds from the sale of the handmade Indonesian cushions and coasters will be donated to Charlotte’s favourite charities: Lifeline, Community Brave, ACON, Variety’s Smile Program, and Angels Goals for whom Charlotte campaigned relentlessly.

Interior Trends For Winter 2014

After studying design, colour and finishes around the globe, Dulux predicts 2014 winter interiors will feature deep and decadent hues, perfect for adding warmth during the colder months. The warm and earthy palette to ward off the winter chill includes moody browns, violets, greys and dusty pinks offset with a spark of colour or metallic tones.

Artist Geoffrey Carran said home decorators could draw inspiration from expressive, decorative periods such as Deco, Baroque and Renaissance, choosing a contrast between dark backgrounds and illuminated highlights. Popular wall colours for Winter are likely to be Dulux Double Bass and Dulux Laylock, with accents in Dulux colours such as Moroccan Leather, Cosmic Aura and Stellar Glow Design Metallic.

Mr Curran says:

“It’s natural to want to hibernate in the Winter and this season will bring about contrast of warm and cool colours. Bring a sense of solidarity and balance to your space by contrasting a gorgeous metallic hue, such as Dulux Stellar Glow, with a contrasting deep charcoal brown, such as Dulux Double Bass.

“Then pile on some luscious, textured textiles with a blend of patterns and surround yourself with your favourite things to create an escape from the bleak weather outside.”

Dulux’s colour expert Andrea Lucena-Orr says:

“Be brave in your choice… Try painting your architraves or skirting boards in different colours or add a touch of metallic. And always remember that a little ignition of colour helps to liven up your space on a dull and gloomy day.”

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