Thursday, 26 November 2015

Stunning Office Tour

I'm a big fan of Ellie Cashman's Floral Wallpaper, so when I saw it featured in the office of Candace Kalasky - Rue Magazine's web coordinator - I knew I'd like the rest of the space.

As well as working for Rue, Candace is the owner and creative director of Weddings + Events. With the business growing she needed an official work space so set about renovating a studio with awesome results.

The office is a contrast of airy white walls and the beautiful dark, moody wallpaper. Candace's attention to detail is spot on, and obviously a much-needed skill for an event planner.

I think it's so important to create an inspirational workspace, it makes you want to be at work, and helps those creative juices flow (especially in an industry like mine). I would have no problem working in this office!

To see more of Candace's amazing office, pop over to Rue MagazinePhotography: The Mullers

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

The Block Villa Wars | Backyard Reveal

Last week on The Block Villa Wars the contestants had to perform an act in front of a live audience, no east feat. Reluctant comedians, Cat and Jeremy won the challenge ahead of Jamie and Hayden's dance routine, Sarah and Minanne's singing, and Brooke & Mitch's circus act. Their prize was the ability to knock one team completely out of the running for backyard judging (also no easy task for the resident nice couple). Not wanting to risk another win for Brooke and Mitch, they chose to take them out, but at the end of the day it was the largest backyard belonging to Jamie and Hayden's that came out on top.

Jamie and Hayden: 1st place | 18.5 points

It was nice to see these guys finally win a room challenge, and get some much needed cash. They were the favourites all week as their yard is by far the biggest, and they also had a previous prize of plants and trees to their advantage.

A patio off to one side gives them a spot to relax in the sun, while the huge lawn will be a real draw card for buyers with a family and/or pets. It compliments their deck beautifully, I think the outdoor area is definitely the best part of Jamie and Hayden's home so far.

Cat and Jeremy: 2nd place | 15.5 points

Obviously if Cat and Jeremy had knocked out Jamie and Hayden they would've walked away with the cash this week. But I know they felt bad about using their "+1" to beat them in the outdoor room week, and these guys are super nice. Knocking out Brooke and Mitch, who had given everyone "0's" a few weeks before was the easier choice. They did well to come in second with the tiniest back yard of all.

It's very cute, and I like the raised garden beds along the deck. There's not a lot of privacy from the street, but hopefully the trees will eventually help with that.

Brooke and Mitch: 3rd place | 15 points

Coming in at third place, but essentially scoring zero, as they were knocked out, Brooke and Mitch's back yard was very simple. That seems to be their formula - simple, if not a little plain - but it has worked for them with the judges in the past.

They wanted their outdoor room to be the feature, so have kept the planting very minimal. I really like the outdoor arm chairs, I'd be happy sitting on one of those with a glass of wine and good mag!

Sarah and Minanne: 4th place | 12 points

Once again quite a harsh score I feel. Sarah and Minanne did such a great job considering the budget they have. The criticism was that there was the deck at one end and the seating area at the other with nothing much in between. Perhaps a fair call, but I still think they did well They continue to hold their heads up and keep giving it their all.

If I was to buy this property I would do away with the umbrella and invest in a pergola. I'm sure the sisters would've done this if they had the money to do so. Last night's episode ended on a lovely note when Sarah and Minanne's backyard got top points from their fellow contestants to give them their first little room win. The tears flowed from the girls and all was happy again on The Block. Let's see what this week brings. My daughters and I are still waiting for the marriage proposal TV3 have been teasing us with - who will it be?

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Modern Bohème

I have a hard time describing my design aesthetic mainly due to the fact that it's several styles merged together. I love a global, Bohemian vibe, with a touch of luxe, a bit of Zen, and a tiny bit of traditional influence. When I came across the beautiful home of LA interior designer Katie Hodges recently it made me smile - "Modern Bohème" is what she calls her style. She likes to mix contemporary design elements with her love of vintage, Bohemian textiles. I think that fits me well too.

When you're an interior designer, you work on lots of clients' homes, all with differing aesthetics and lifestyles. Your own home is the truest representation of you, and the key is to create a home that makes you happy. "There's no better feeling than waking up every morning being surrounded by things you love," says Katie.

Katie's aim was to create a space that was inviting and warm, layered and collected, yet modern and clean. She truly is a girl after my own heart!

Even though she is only renting this one bedroom apartment, Katie plans to be here a while so she decided to have a dining banquette built-in. Although she won't be able to take it with her when she moves, she enjoys every single day that she gets to sit at it.

The little dining area is the space that really epitomises her - cushions covered in vintage textiles sit happily with the clean, modern lines of the Tulip table and Bertoia chairs.

With no wardrobe in her bedroom, Katie has cleverly installed an Ikea wall unit to house her shoes and accessories. It's slim form and white cupboards means it disappears into the wall and allows the shoe collection to shine.

photos by Amy Bartlam

If you'd like to see more of Katie's home pop over to My Domaine. In the meantime let me leave you with more of her wise words... "When you truly love the foundation pieces you own, the rest comes naturally".

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

The Block Villa Wars | Laundry + Stairs Reveal

The contestants on The Block Villa Wars thought laundry and stairs week was going to be easy compared to past weeks, but it turned out to be a really tough one for most. Brooke wasn't happy when her laundry failed to be installed first, which put all her tradies behind schedule. She caused a bit of a stir by storming off the site, but came back composed. A mis-measure meant their hero piece (an American oak feature wall by their stairs) was too short, and their builders were forced to do some quick thinking to come up with a solution. Despite all this drama the pair finished the week with yet another win.

Brooke and Mitch: 1st place | 18 points

With an extra large space, Brooke and Mitch were able to add a small powder room next to their laundry, which is a definite bonus for buyers. The laundry space is clean and functional, but once again (in my opinion) lacking any kind of "wow".

I love American oak, so I do like the feature wall, even with the tacked on piece at the top. The stairway is clean and tidy, but screaming out for some beautiful art on the wall, don't you think?

Sarah and Minanne: 2nd equal place | 16.5 points

Bridesmaids again, the girls came equal second with Cat and Jeremy. I like that they used black marble tiles as their laundry splash back, which ties in with their main bathroom. Loads of bench space makes it very functional, but it's still a little underwhelming in terms of style and design flair.

Another wood feature on the stairs, but as Sarah and Minanne don't have as big a budget as Brooke and Mitch they had to use a more cost effective pine. It still looks great, and adds warmth and texture. Space at the top of the stairs has been turned into a study nook. It's a good thought to utilise the space, I just wonder whether you'd want to study or work in this particular spot. I'd rather have a beautifully styled console table with a piece of art that would make me smile every time I came up and down the stairs.

Cat and Jeremy: 2nd equal place | 16.5 points

These guys usually have a bit more flair than the others, and remain my favourites because of that. They certainly haven't gone crazy in their laundry either, but have some nice touches like the washing basket, the hooks on the wall, and the little space under the washing machine and dryer for shoes.

Cat and Jeremy also had room for a small bathroom, and I love the repetition of circles in their mirror and the artwork on the stairs. Love the choice of artwork (they've used art as a feature throughout their home), and the scale is great, it's nice to have something substantial as a focus in the stairway.

Jamie and Hayden: 3rd place | 15 points

You have to give them some credit - they are often coming in at the back of the pack, but each week they say that "this is their week", and they haven't been swayed from their black and white theme. The addition of a large fridge in the laundry will be appealing to buyers, and all four of the laundries are fantastic in acting as mudrooms where bags, shoes, sports gear etc can be stored before entering the rest of the house.

Jamie, acting as project manager, butted heads with her builder this week, but they managed to put their differences aside and finish all of their spaces.

All of the teams' spaces are functional, clean and tidy, but am I the only one wanting more?! I know budgets are tight for some teams, and the timing for all is insane, but everyone seems to playing very safe. Perhaps because Brooke and Mitch are winning continuously with their minimal look, the others teams are adopting this look too (?) I'm a big believer that small spaces like toilets and laundries should have personality too. Because you don't spend long periods of time in them, you can afford to be a bit adventurous - bring in wallpaper, pattern, colour, life. Maybe this week :)
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