3 WAYS TO REVIVE YOUR SHELF STYLING

Most people consider shelves a convenient and mostly practical interior element, ready to be stacked with all kinds of odds and ends. The problem is, shelves naturally do not serve the ‘out-of-the-way’ purpose. They are open, visible to everyone’s eyes and therefore wrongly used by most of us.

A beautifully curated shelf is a game changer to any room. Instead of randomly stuffing it with unconsidered objects, it is time to train your eye and acknowledge the art of shelf styling.  And the good news is, it’s not hard at all, and all you need is a bit of time.

There are a few different ways to approach this exercise.

First, you should decide where you want your shelves to hang. The most obvious option for most of us is the hallway or the living room. They are great spots, however, why not give it a try in your bathroom or bedroom?

I will leave this choice up to you.

Next, walk around your house and select all the things that are dear to you. From your favourite book to shells, button jars, shoes, vases or rugs. Anything goes. Of course, you might prefer styling your shelf differently depending on the room they are in. But let’s start with a less practical approach and concentrate on aesthetics first. You can always add a few more practical objects you might need in, let’s say a bedroom or bathroom, later on.

Once you have collected a good amount of favourite knicks and knacks, I suggest dividing them into colour groups.  This step is crucial as it will be easier to kick start your styling mission.

And now the fun part begins. Take a look at which colour groups work in harmony together. Often natural tones such as terracotta, salmon, mustard or off white, look beautiful together. On the other hand, all shades of white make an equally stunning combination. Once your colour scheme is decided, make sure you have enough bits and pieces of all heights to display. If you end up with only small and shallow objects, your shelves will look empty and out of balance. What matters is less about how many objects you have, but more about a good assortment of heights and potentially texture.

For a more minimal look, choose your absolute favourites and arrange them neatly. Some closer together, or in a group, others placed on their own.

Add and layer color-matched art or pictures as a background, to create a more casual feel. Turn books around, showcasing only the off-white pages instead of the colourful spine of the book. Add fashion accessories, candles, plants or dried flowers – the choices are endless. The more personal your selection, the better. Treat this space like your very own art gallery and you can’t go wrong. If you are a bit unsure, step back, take a good look, come back to it later and rearrange. Sometimes a bit of distance or a second opinion can be very helpful.

Below, we have selected a few images we thought look great and can serve you as a starting point to dial up your shelf styling project!

Good luck!

Keepsake pieces

As discussed above, pull out anything you consider special or simply beautiful and display it for everyone to see. This can be many different things, but also one particular item, in different forms of shapes such as the shell selection in the picture below. How stunning does the diversity in colour and texture, shape and size look? A great idea if you are after a very luxurious and monochrome feel.

 

The Kids Room

The biggest challenge with opening shelving is the kids’ room. Many colourful toys of different shapes, odd boxes of lego and hand-crafted objects, can be overwhelming. But do not stress, even in a cluttered environment such as a busy kids space, you simply need to find a way to group items (by colour, texture, context, etc.), display special pieces and store all the penny-ant stuff in visually pleasing boxes or baskets. And Voila, in no time, even the most eclectic playroom, will look well-balanced, whilst keeping the fun purpose and whimsical feel.

In the Bathroom

I love the idea of filling a bathroom space with a variety of plants! Shelves are the perfect place to start your indoor-jungle and add a bit of tropical feel to your bathroom walls. Invest in all kinds of indoor greenery. The more diverse the better. Another cute idea is to use your shelves in a more practical way, keeping towels and soap handy. If this is more you, try adding a few interesting objects such as shells, mirrors, baskets or vases. This creates a nice contrast to the otherwise rather sterile bath accessories.

 

Q&A WITH INTERIOR STYLIST LENKA ALLEN

We have good news for you!

IWGH teamed up with Interior Stylist Lenka Allen, who will be sharing her extensive know-how with you. Every Friday between 12-2pm at our Melbourne store Lenka will offer a complimentary 15-minute consultation to help you select the right furniture pieces for your home and how to style them in an attractive yet functional way. Bookings are essential. Call 0447 990 042 to book your free consultation. But first things first, allow us to introduce this talented lady and give you some insights into her world. Welcome, Lenka!

Would you please be so kind to introduce yourself?

I’m Lenka Allen, the founder and director of ROOM for STYLE, an interior design & decorating business located in the beautiful suburb of North Balwyn in Melbourne, Australia. I’m a residential interior designer + decorator, event stylist, renovator and a founder of my own homeware label ALLENKA Home. I was born in the Czech Republic but made Australia my home in 2001. I was a stay home mum with my three children until 2008 when I started my business and never looked back.

When did your interest in interior design emerge and what were the first steps you took to pursue this career?

I come from a very creative family that afforded me a beautiful childhood. My Dad is a photographer and he built our one and only family home – spacious with breathtaking views of the mountains and the valley in the heart of Europe. My grandmother was a dressmaker and ran her own salon so I must have inherited the entrepreneurial genes from her. Both of my grandmothers as well as my mum – taught me how to cook, sew, knit, crochet and do needlework. My sister and I took piano and art classes from a very young age so I learnt to appreciate all art forms, colours, fabrics & hand-made furnishings. I studied, travelled and lived in many countries around the world, which has allowed me to understand and appreciate the way of life in various cultures. Study of interior design and decorating started when my kids were little. We bought a home, sold a home and built our own beach house, so those were my first hands-on projects. My first paid job was property staging for a real estate agent. Over time I realised that what I really want to do is to create beautiful homes that reflect the Australian lifestyle. My homeware label ALLENKA Home is designed exactly with that in mind.

Could you please name three major influences we may discover in your work?

I have an appreciation for creative design and especially work of fashion designers. They are my biggest influencers. The interior design draws from fashion industry trends. Ermanno Scervino has been my fav for 20 years, he’s the master of colour. Colours are a crucial element in all my work.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Each home is unique. Nature and the environment around me inspire me. Then there are trends, which bring seasonal novelty into our homes. But my customers are by far my biggest inspiration. I want their homes to reflect who they are, where they come from, what they love and who they aspire to be. I want them to fall in love with their home every time they walk in.

When consulting private clients, where do you start?

It starts with a private conversation in their home. I want them to share who they are and what is important to them so my solutions address their needs. During the session, we walk through their home and assess what works and what doesn’t work as well as what they would like and what could be done to remedy it within their preferred time frame and budget. The clients can take notes and ask questions. In the end, they are ready to take action and turn their homes into dream homes.

What is the best part of your job?

The best part of the job is making a difference in the quality of life in every home I have the privilege to work on. For people being able to walk into their home and be happy with what they see and how they feel, be inspired by who they are and be proud to show it off to their friends and family is some achievement.

How do you manage family life with a busy business of your own?

Being organised is the key but as my business is growing I will soon have to outsource some aspects of my business operations. Just like many Australian parents, I juggle the school and sporting engagements the best I can. Fortunately, my kids are growing into accomplished teens and young adults so they are more and more independent. At home, my husband Justin is my rock, my star and my rock star. I couldn’t do it without him by my side.

If you were given carte blanche and an empty room/house, how would you go about creating your perfect interior dream?

I like light so it would have to be a home with large windows that give me views of my environment. The layout would be based on the functionality of the space. The furniture & finishes would take into consideration the design and period style of the property. I love nature’s colours and textures so these would be reflected in the surfaces and soft furnishings as well as decorating. I would have to love everything I look at.

And last but not least, could you please share your three favourite Instagram accounts with our audience?

I WANNA GO HOME AUSTRALIA of course

National Geographic

Vogue Living

THANKS, LENKA!

P.S. For those who need further assistance IWGH offers interior design and styling consultations in the privacy of your home. Priced at $295 for a one-hour session, you get a 1-on-1 professional advice on the furniture placement, colour pairing and hands-on styling that shows off your personality and preferred lifestyle. Bookings for your private consultations can be made via IWGH Melbourne store on  0447 990 042.

 

Take a look at Lenka’s work here:

Lenka’s Instagram

Lenka’s Facebook

ALLENKA Instagram

10 DREAMY COASTAL-STYLE HOLIDAY ESCAPES IN NSW

At the moment, my Instagram feed is flooded with beautiful, sunshine-drenched imagery. Tanned bodies, lined up on picturesque beaches in the South of France; mouth-watering Antipasti neatly arranged on antique ceramic plates straight from Tuscany; big overjoyed selfies; glorious and stylish pool parties full of lighthearted souls – people whom I have never met, display their greatest holiday moments right onto my screen, unaware of the fact that I am dying 125 deaths of jealousy thousands of miles away! It’s summer in Europe and Instagram’s sneaky algorithm does not bother to hide it! 🙂

While I try to come up with new ways of layering my favorite clothes without feeling awkwardly deformed,  the good life is happening on the other side of the world. August in Europe, the month of long-awaited freedom, is not far off, adding plenty of new pages to this digital catalogue of pleasure and vacation!

Of course, some of you may say that summer in Australia is just as fun and in fact lasts much longer than the European warm season. You are right!  But as we all know, the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side and let’s be honest, Europeans just know how to make the most of their long sunny days. Italy, France, Spain, Croatia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and more. No matter where you look, heart crushing scenery, elegant interiors, style-filled culture, palatable culinary feasts…Oh my, I am in heaven!

But then I realised, wait, take a look around and stop marvelling in other people’s lives!

With so much beauty to be found right here in Australia (even in winter!), I had to pinch myself back to reality, open my AirBnb App, only to be struck by stunning homes that are not only heaven for the eye but also ideal for a weekend away when winter just seems too long to hang around with.

Here is my revenge for all those perfect Instagram accounts! 😀

Invite a few friends, put the champagne on ice and create your own ‘green with envy’ moments in one of these dreamy Coastal-Style inspired rentals and promise to turn your phone off! 🙂

Enjoy!

The Secret. Stunning Palm Beach Getaway

Palm Beach, NSW

Pool, Oceanview, white on white furniture. What else do I need to say? This place is the perfect spot for a romantic getaway with your beloved one. Enjoy champagne and oysters all day long, laze around the house in bathing robes and revive the vows 🙂

 

1880’s Church on the Colo River

Lower Portland, NSW

Oh dear! Those French people know a thing or two about aesthetics and how to turn an abandoned church into a charming haven full of character and lovely details! With two bedrooms available, invite your besties to join you for a weekend away in this stunning abode! Enjoy extensive dinners around the heavy wooden table, go for walks and taste all kinds of wine around the area! Most of all, HAVE FUN!

 

The Cottage

Byron Bay, NSW

Stylish, comfortable and oh so lovely! Take the entire family to this place and experience Byron Bay the Hamptons Way! Relax on the porch, take a walk to the famous Byron Bay lighthouse or simply sit by the pool and do absolutely nothing. With three bedrooms available, there is plenty of space to enjoy your own company AND spend quality as a group.

 

Hampton house at the beach

Patonga, NSW

Accommodating up to 12 guests, this is the place you go to when planning to cater for everyone’s needs at once. Beautiful interior, spacious rooms, short walk to the beach, what more do you need to relax and enjoy a few days away from daily routines. Stunning views are just the cherry on top!

 

Coastal Retreat Toowoon Bay

Toowoon Bay, NSW

Contemporary and deluxe at its best! Just take a look at the color palette that seems to run through the entire house like a red thread. Absolutely stunning and tasteful. Ready to be booked for up to 4 guests, this place is perfect for a family trip to the coast. With beautiful beaches nearby and great cafes around the corner, there isn’t much that could potentially spoil your stay 😉

 

Hampton Cottage

Byron Bay, NSW

If you feel generous, spoil your in-laws and family with a stay at this beautiful house in Byron Bay. 12 beds ready to be filled, a gorgeous open-plan kitchen to cook up a feast, a large backyard to throw the footy, let’s be honest, we secretly wish we could swap houses and take on the relaxed Byron Bay lifestyle right here and then.

 

Seaside Splendour

Salamander Bay, NSW

1,2,3, steps and voila, you are swimming in the water of Salamander Bay! Come inside this modern duplex and take a good look around. Beautiful, Hamptons Style inspired furniture and a view that is worth a million bucks, this home provides everything you need to escape your daily routine and relax for a few days away.

 

New Brighton Beach House

New Brighton, NSW

This stunning Coastal-Style inspired home is very family friendly, catering for both, young and old. With its tasteful interior, light ambience and generous deck with a pool, parents are offered a relaxing environment in which to let the soul dangle and forget about daily life. Kids, on the other hand, are enjoying ample grounds to explore and play, forgetting time and space for a while.

 

Bronte Beach House

Bronte. NSW

If it’s hard for you to leave the big city, well, this one might be just up your alley. Located on one of Sydney’s most popular beaches, this stunning home provides the best of both worlds. Ocean right at your footstep, buzzing city life only a few minutes away. Stunning furniture wraps this experience up beautifully, warding off the thought of every leaving this place.

 

Watsons Bay Cottage

Watsons Bay, NSW

Another getaway gem right in the City of Sydney! Wake up with ocean in your eyes at this Watson Bay abode. White furniture, light rooms, spacious kitchen area. This home away from home is absolutely on point if you are after the true Hamptons Style experience. Just put on your white polo shirt, sling a basket over your should and off you trot, exploring one of the most sought-after inner-city areas of Australia!

Q&A WITH INTERIOR STYLIST ELISSA WALSH FROM SABLE INTERIORS

We spoke to lovely Elissa, who runs SABLE, a boutique Interior & Design firm based in Melbourne’s North East. In this short Q&A, she shares details of her love affair with interior design, including a run-down of property styling, her suggestions of signature elements to achieve the Hamptons Style feel and what it takes to be a successful interior stylist.

It is THE dream job for many of us – Interior Stylist. Getting your hands on the most beautiful furniture, selecting piece by piece and putting together a well-balanced mix of objects that please the eye and convey an atmosphere that pleases the client.

But what does this actually mean? How do you approach each project and client differently and how do you know where to start and when to finish?

Is there a recipe to follow, do you need to have background knowledge to be able to create a beautiful space or is it a talent more than anything?

I believe it’s a mix of a lot of studying, research and design knowledge combined with a keen eye for details, colors and shapes as well as being able to understand the needs of your clients.

But who am I to talk.

Let the professionals grant you a close insight and take you on their journey!

In the coming weeks and months, we will open up the curtain to people who have worked in this field for years, packed with knowledge, tips & tricks and inspiration.

Our first guest is Elissa Walsh. WELCOME!

 

Dear Elissa, could you please grant us a sneak peek into your background, where your love for interiors emerged from and a quick overview of your work?

As long as I remember I have loved Interiors, Architecture and Design. I was always very particular with my own bedroom and as a teenager instead of buying Dolly or Smash Hits magazines (ok I’m showing my age ) I was buying Home Beautiful with my pocket money.

I have since completed cert 4 in Interior Decoration & Design at NMIT and I’m also a member of IIHS (International Institute of Home Staging). I have built homes, done major and minor renovations of my own and understand the upheaval that renovations can bring. As a mother of 3 and a step-daughter, I also understand the importance of future proofing a family home with its changing needs and dynamics. 

I offer clients as little or as much design help as they need. I can do brainstorming sessions with them (min 2 hrs) or full specifications and documents. I have worked with Property Developers and clients with both large and small budgets. I can also offer Real Estate styling.

How is your creative approach different from a residential styling project to a real estate/property styling job?

Property styling is “all business”. It’s about understanding who your purchaser is and appealing to as many of them as possible to create competition. Also importantly is playing up best assets and overcoming, or at least minimising its shortfalls. I make all the decisions based on my research and the Real Estate Agents advice.

Residential projects are all about understanding and discovering the client’s own style and what makes their heart sing. Some clients have a real vision but just don’t know how to achieve it and other clients have no idea and are really vague. We talk about how they want to use the spaces and also if the spaces will enable future-proofing (especially important for families). It’s far more collaborative, as it needs to reflect them and how they want to live. 

In regards to property styling, where do you source your furniture and home accessories from? And what are the guidelines here? (no vintage, one style, etc…)

I have started to acquire my own stock but I also hire stock to ensure that each property has not only the correct sized furniture but also the right look based on the style of the property and the likely buyer.

I purchase my stock from far and wide. At the moment I’m doing a lot of 1 and 2-bed apartments in the CBD so I’m tending to use white and oak furniture keeping it quite contemporary. However I do love a beautiful vintage piece and while it’s not always relevant, it can add some class and character especially if it works with the age of the property. Recently I was involved in a beautiful original 1950’s property development that I also staged ready for sale. I found a set of original bedside draws that were being thrown out by a neighbour. They were covered in wallpaper and I stripped them back and repainted them in Dulux Domino (almost black). They worked perfectly!

(a mood board example Elissa created, including the IWANNAGOHOME range)

Can you give us an example that demonstrates the value of property styling?

There are three key reasons to stage a property.

1. Properties sell quicker when they are staged. From 30% to 50%.

2. Staged properties also achieve a higher sale price, anything from 7%-17% more.

3. By understanding the likely buyer and catering to their needs, a staged property shows buyers the potential in the home, showcasing its strongest points.

A recent property that I did in East Melbourne ended up having 2 parties fly down from Sydney on Auction day and achieved an amazing result for them. The owners were “thrilled” with the outcome. It was always a fantastic property and we really played up it’s unique selling feature which was its large terrace. No views but huge for inner city living. I added heaps of plants and gave it 3 distinct zones; cooking, dining and relaxing. It was in investment that really paid off for the owners.

https://www.realestate.com.au/sold/property-apartment-vic-east+melbourne-125552070

Your work includes home make-overs. Can you please describe the kind of client that would approach you for this kind of project and what goes into the preparation process before starting the job?

I have a variety of clients. Some want help with the finishing touches and others want to update major parts of their homes.

We have an initial meet and greet and this is really about the sharing of information and not a design consultation. I will show them examples of my work and explore how I may be able to help. Together we discuss anything and everything that is central to their lifestyle understanding their requirements and exploring their style, as I want to get to know as much as possible about our customers so the design process is as streamlined as can be. This gives the confidence to make sure that we are both on the same wavelength before engaging SABLE.

In your view, what makes a good interior stylist?

Research research research!  Understanding the market for the area and ensuring that you look at each property in its own right and showcasing its strengths and downplaying any negatives.

You mentioned your love for Hamptons Style interior. What exactly draws you to this style and what do you think are the signature elements that give a home that true Hamptons feel?

I love the elegant, classic, timeless appeal of the Hamptons style.    

Signature elements include:

  • Coastal colours of white, blue, green, sandy tones, taupe, yellow
  • White painted furniture or Dark timber furniture
  • Light coloured upholstery/ slip covers   
  • Chrome & Nickle    
  • Linen, cotton & natural fabrics
  • Stripes, florals, paisley, checks, botanicals, lattice and other elegant geometric patterns
  • Timber floors with rugs
  • Wall panelling, bead board and detailed cornices
  • Wicker and cane
  • Shaker style cabinetry

Please share your 3 favourite interior-inspired Instagram accounts with us.

Belle Magazine https://www.instagram.com/bellemagazineau/?hl=en

Realestate.com https://www.instagram.com/realestateaus/?hl=en

Three Birds Reno https://www.instagram.com/threebirdsrenovations/?hl=en

Hamptons Style inspired places: Do you have a secret spot in Melbourne or Australia that our audience should know about?

https://www.bannisters.com.au/bannisters-by-the-sea

Collette Dinnigan added another impressive entry on her resume when she undertook the Interior Design for Bannisters in Mollymook Beach NSW. It has a beautiful Hamptons feel with wood panelling, dark wooden floors, and lots of blue and white.

Last but not least, what part of your job do you love the most?

I get such a kick when a client sincerely thanks me.

Thank you, Elissa.

Find her work here: http://www.sableinteriors.com.au/

 

5 INTERIOR DESIGN MISTAKES TO LEARN FROM

Before you jump to your next home improvement project, let us map out a few lessons we’ve learnt from ones that didn’t go so well.

When it comes to interior design, flipping through beautifully curated magazines or clicking through top interior blogazines, one might think that styling a room, filling it with beautiful furniture, is done with the flick of a finger. Well, it isn’t quite so.

When turning your home or room into a visual masterpiece,  expertise, talent and taste are hard at work. Being familiar with seasonal trends and different interior styles will get you started, but understanding the theory of colors, the impact of indirect lighting and the harmony of proportions really sets you up for success.

Here are five mistakes you can and should avoid when planning to furnish a room:

#1 Disproportions

Take a good look at your room and start by measuring your dream furniture before purchasing. Filling a small room with big pieces covering, every single wall, will have you in tears in no time. What you’ll end up with is an area full of treasures overwhelming the space with their presence, leaving no room to admire or simply use these pieces. Instead, focus on finding gems that suit the proportions of your room. Are you lucky enough to live under high ceilings? Why not invest in a large piece of art to enhance the altitude of your room? If a small room is all you’ve got, make the best of it and choose smaller furniture such as two-seaters, comfortable pouffes and a round table to maximise the usage of your space. Special Tip: Mirrors are a secret weapon to make restricted areas look bigger!

#2 Lack of color scheme

Even the most eclectic interior spaces are well-planned projects. Ignoring the importance of a color scheme can make a room feel busy, unbalanced and most of all, messy. To avoid diving into a uni-student patchwork pad, make sure you are clear on what colors you wish to incorporate in your interior space. Coordinating your furniture alongside a color theme, will help you choose pieces that last and allows you to experiment with different patterns and prints too. No matter your style, if you follow a certain color rule, older pieces will comply with contemporary furniture and different mediums of art will work nicely next to each other. For a bit of fun and eye-candy, add one or two flashy hues, to set accents. This can be done beautifully with cushions, throws, home accessories and more. A great place to get color inspiration from is nature. Take a look around you and analyse which colors work well together and use this knowledge to create your interior haven.

#3 Bad lighting

There is nothing more repelling than stark, unnatural lighting. Your room may be the most sophisticated interior space, displaying beautiful pieces in a wonderful set-up, but if your lighting choices have been neglected, you may as well have spared yourself the effort. It’s pretty simple. The more light, the better. The more natural the light temperature, the better your indoor atmosphere. Let’s take a quick look at those clever Scandinavians, who are not shy to express their love for candles to create a cosy, welcoming environment. So the trick is, to simulate the candle-effect (cosy, warm, gentle). Table top lamps, floor lamps, desk lamps, get your hands on any type of lamp that can be placed in dark corners, behind a plant or on top of the couch table, so that you are able to bypass the direct ceiling light which tends to make everything look extremely sterile and highly illuminated. Creating indirect lighting is the key to a snug and welcoming home.

#4 DIY

As much as we love D.I.Y. projects, knowing when to hire a professional is precious wisdom. Sure, painting a wall white is easily done, but if you decide to go for color, get help and let the pro do his job. This will spare you nasty painting mistakes such as uneven color marks or dry paint on your beautiful wooden floors. It will also allow you to put your time and effort into other things such as mentioned above. Laying tiles or floorboards is another area that is better handled by someone who knows who to do it quickly and with best practice in mind. Not only will a professional have a routine and be gone before you know it, if something does go wrong, it’s not your fault, but his and he will have to resolve the issue at no extra costs. When hanging large, precious paintings, I would always recommend having a third-party involved. Consulting someone who has done it before, will make you feel more confident than if you start drilling holes into the walls yourself, but also ensure your art is hung safely. What may seem like an extra cost, in the beginning, will definitely pay off in the long run.

#5 Overfurnishing

There is almost nothing worse than cramping your house with unnecessary furniture. A real interior expert knows when to stop. He also knows where to leave space for a room to become livable and enjoyable. Just because you live in a large space doesn’t mean you need to fill every corner of it! Limit your furniture to the essentials first and then slowly add ‘extras’ such as lamps, armchairs, buffets etc.. Make every piece stands out and allows your furniture to exist in its own right. Instead of buying multiple storage pieces, choose a larger buffet with plenty of shelves and drawers. Instead of three armchairs and a four-seater sofa, why not take a look at a corner sofa instead? Also, keep the functionality of a room in mind. An office really only needs a desk, a chair and a spacious cupboard. A bedroom should be kept clean and simple to ensure a serene area to calm yourself down and recharge your energy. I guess de-cluttering is the keyword here. Be strict with what is purely there because you are too lazy to get rid of it, and what’s really needed. Signature pieces, that may have no function and are purely visually pleasing are absolutely fine. But be sure to create a mess-free space for them and let the jewel shine.

HAMPTONS INSPIRED HOTELS WE WANT TO ESCAPE TO

Attention: this article is a bit of weather whinge, coming from a wounded soul in Melbourne who envies EVERYONE living in eternally sun-drenched places.

We can’t deny it any longer. WINTER. HAS. ARRIVED. And yes, we should have seen it coming, but really, who doesn’t want to hold on to warm summer nights and long days at the beach for as long as possible? Yes, we admit strolling around in light cotton t-shirts and open sandals in late April is a bit illusionary (at least down here in Melbourne!). It took crisp autumn leaves and frosty winds to send us the much-needed wake-up call! So now what? We are stuck with this climate for at least 5 months, morphing into hibernating squirrels. And don’t get me wrong. I do believe that winter has its beautiful sides. Cozy Sundays in bed, without feeling pressured to step outside, the smell of cold air and finally being allowed to light all the candles you’ve stocked up on without being called ‘wasteful’ by your clan. That in itself makes the cold season worthwhile. If only it was over sooner 🙂

There is only one way to get you through this bleak drought: ESCAPE it for a week or two.

My family and I have recently discovered that taking a little break during winter is the perfect way to set your spirit back into place and keep a positive mind underneath that woolen beanie. Planning a holiday to a warmer location during the cold months does three things to you:

Number 1: pre-travel you have something to look forward to and daydream about. Secondly, during your stay, you get to relax and soak up and store some warmth and let your soul dangle. And thirdly, post-travel you are able to nourish your soul from memories collected during your time away, making you feel light and more enjoyable to be around. To be honest, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

Number 2:  during your stay, you get to relax and soak up and store some warmth and let your soul dangle.

Number 3:  post-travel you are able to nourish your soul from memories collected during your time away, making you feel light and more enjoyable to be around.

To be honest, it’s a win-win situation for everyone.

To get you going, we thought we’d do the research on great Hamptons Style hotels around Australia, that make you want to pack your suitcase straight away. 🙂

 

Halcyon House (Cabarita Beach, NSW)

 

Como The Treasury (Perth, WA)

 

Bells at Killcare (Killcare Heights, NSW)

 

Cape Lodge (Margaret River, WA)

 

Spicers Clovelly Estate (Monville, QL)

10 INSPIRATIONAL INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS WE LOVE

Can you believe it? It’s only been 6 1/2 years since Instagram first launched, shaping people’s perception of what’s going on around them dramatically. No matter the subject, art fanatics, fashion devotees, interior enthusiasts, animal lovers and more have since been served image, after image, after image, of things that tap right into their desire. On a visual level, emotional connections are built within a matter of seconds. As a result, consumers, no matter their location, have a huge influence on a brand’s success story. A platform developed that now gives a stage to whoever chooses to perform on it. As Instagram grew, so did the variety of accounts that it gave birth to. Not only brands understood how powerful this tool had become. Individuals such as bloggers or people like you and me joined in to tell a story and started curating their day to day lives, personal visions, or unique aesthetics. Beautiful accounts blossomed, granting people a glimpse into often very personal worlds that had the power to inspire us and broaden our vision. If you start scrolling through all the people you are following, you will probably discover that they are located all over the world – Korea, California, Sweden, Spain, South Africa….you name it.

Remember when finding inspiration for your kid’s bedroom wall color was a nightmare? Stacks of magazines were browsed through before finding a tiny image of something similar to what you had imagined. The beauty of Instagram lies in its extensive geographic accessibility.

Why I write all this? Well, I must admit, I am obsessed with this platform! Whenever I find a minute or two, you will spy me fiddling with my phone, scrolling through picture after picture on my personal feed.

I am following 1,109 people.

I rarely see a post twice.

I am a fanatic.

What I love most is the fact that I am allowed access (virtually) into the most beautiful homes out there. If I am thinking about investing in a new set of dining chairs, I tap the rainbow-camera icon button on my phone and am opened up to an entire catalog of interior ideas.  If I am uncertain about where to place that beautiful, yet bulky antique buffet my grandparents handed to me, I am offered 1,652 solutions and given multiple DIY repainting tips en passant.

So with all that in mind, I thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite Hamptons Style inspired Instagram accounts with you, hoping that they may provide you with some new ideas for future rearranging projects, or simply spoil your eyes on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

Do you follow people that we should know about? Share them with us in the comments below! 🙂

 

janelle_rigby

This lady is based in Australia and I think her Insta account shows this beautifully. Inspired by the classic Hamptons Style, she manages to sneak in a few Australian beach snaps here and there, making her feed inspiration AND personal. I could scroll through all day!

coastal_living

If you feel a bit blue, take a scroll through this account. Beautiful imagery, introducing you to the most divine coastal homes and lifestyles! Images that will truly touch the soul!

megan_morton

Now, this account does not entirely fit into the Hamptons Style category, yet, I can’t suggest interior accounts without mentioning my absolute favorite interior stylist in Australia! Megan is very well-respected in the industry and travels the globe to find inspiration in everything she comes across! I am addicted.

studiomcgee

Welcome to the world of the namesake interior design studio! Take a look a classic white on white furniture combined with modern features providing plenty of interior inspiration! Great aesthetic and feel.

abbie_melle

Abbie is an Australia-based lifestyle, interior and travel photographer and I really don’t need to say a lot more about her profile because…it’s simply stunning! Take a look for yourself.

cottonstem

Erin and her family of 5 from Cottonstem, is an Interior Designer, who knows a thing or two about French Provence styling and Coastal Style furniture. I love her taste and beautiful home!

smalltowngirllife

Sharing her discoveries of inspirational home decor ideas, from Hamptons Style to Provence and Coastal furniture, Sheana’s feed is a lovely accumulation of beautiful imagery.

nordikspace

This account takes you to a more, as the name suggests, nordic-inspired interior style. They do however manage to tastefully walk the line between Scandinavian clean lines and coastal-inspired romanticism. Worth taking a look and snitching a few ideas here and there.

franque_11

This account lets you enter the world of Melbourne-based luxury shop Franque. What you will find is stunning goods from candles to chandeliers, vases, and mobiles. This feed inspires my because of its vast product knowledge and introduces you to brands mostly found in Europe and rarely found here. A true gem.

littlevintagenest

Sarah from Little Vintage Nest, is based in Colorado and has made a name for herself by opening up her personal home to her followers. She shared her love for coastal-inspired furniture and home accessories, from her kitchen through to her kid’s bedroom, I love following her around on a daily basis. 🙂

 

 

 

 

HOW TO CREATE A HAMPTONS STYLE BATHROOM

Bathrooms. Probably the most private place in a house, wouldn’t you agree? What other space serves as a safe haven, where we can remove our facade and not feel the need to BE anything but ourselves?

It’s a place where we should all be allowed to flee into a private vacuum away from overawing, omnipresent cacophonies of daily life. The word ‘restroom’ makes a lot of sense, don’t you think?

So it comes as no surprise that a  beautifully designed bathroom – clean, elegant, spacious and timeless –  makes most people’s heart beat a little bit faster.

START WITH THE BASICS

No matter how rustic or basic your home, with a bit of attention to your bathrooms, your house will repay you for the effort.

If your budget allows, invest in good quality vanity units or cabinets that will endure a humid environment. Heavy woods, finished with waterproof paint or varnishes are the way to go. STYLE TIP: high gloss finishes transform a classic white piece of furniture into extravagant eye candy! As with most things, the ‘wow-effect’ lies in the details. Do your research and choose knobs and pulls that suit your style. If necessary, exchange those that come with the cabinet for ones that hit your taste. Large mirrors are equally pleasant to be around, especially if you are working within a small space. Not only are they practical, oversized mirrors also bring in a bit of modern touch and extend the room. A glamorous display cabinet, filled with all your beloved fragrances and cremes, adds a divine dressing-room feel. Absolutely covetable!

So with these basics covered, we are now breaking the grounds for more indulging interior choices.

INDULGE YOURSELF

Let’s start with the tiles! This is where your own creativity (or that of your styling expert) comes into play. Natural stones instantly convey a  luxurious yet warm atmosphere. Choose between Marble, Travertine or Terra Cotta if variations in colour and texture and an earthy feel are what your dreams are made of! Most bathrooms are designed with the more common glazed floor tiles. Invest in this option for a more uniform, monochrome look.

Don’t be shy to experiment with different patterns and shapes before deciding on the final look. Large format tiles as long as 1500mm are beautiful for a more continuous span of the floor. A herringbone pattern or subway tile on the other side can look stunning for a more classic Hamptons Style feel.

Whatever your choice, trial and error, before puddling the mortar!

Another desire for most is a free-standing bathtub! Romantic and chic at once, you probably can’t avoid putting one of those on your list to complete the Hamptons Style bathroom of your dreams!

My only tip here: do your research on the difference in quality of these trendy baths! Today, the most common material is acrylic, however, compare your options! The sturdier the tub, the more you’ll get out of it in the long run!

ACCESSORY ALERT

If you’ve got the basics covered and only plan on changing a few things, take a closer look at your overall decoration and accessories such as towels, lights, plants or candles. Remember to stick with one color palette. This is crucial as it will allow you to experiment with slight variations, yet still, keep a coherent and harmonious overall feeling. For a true Hamptons Style Bathroom look, choose white or off-white towels and bathmats. These are not only pleasing to look at but also easy to wash! Add a few pastel-colored eye-catchers to things like lotion bottles, tumblers or candles but keep it light and elegant. Less is more.

Lustres, and chandeliers as well as the occasional candle holder, will help you create a more dramatic, yet deluxe ambiance. Choose one or two, but be careful not to go overboard here!

What does your Hamptons Style bathroom look like? Share it with us using #IWGHbathroomlove!

PROVENCE STYLE INTERIOR IDEAS

Life in the city is great. You’ve got the buzz of a busy metropole, an agenda filled with great entertainment and cultural adventures and if it all becomes too much,  you simply retreat to your small inner city abode, take a rest before immersing yourself once again into this world of 24hr-merriment!

But don’t you sometimes wish you could have it all? Who doesn’t dream of a nice place in the big city AND a small home in the country? In fact, isn’t this what everyone strives for once their life has shifted from ‘freedom’ to ‘family’, nights out’ to ‘in bed by 8pm’,  ‘afternoon tea’ to ‘witching-hour’? I mean seriously, don’t we all, at one point or another long for a quiet, neat place where we can count birds and eat biscuits all day long? Well, for everyone who craves an idyll of bumble bees and roses, we prescribe you the Provence Style interior cure.

SOFTNESS and ROMANCE

Generally, the beauty in this interior trend lies in its softness and romantic vibe. Which is exactly what you need (plus a glass of Champagne please!) when life becomes a bit frantic and confusing.

The Provence Style look is based on furniture and accessories that depict a vintage yet romantic feeling. Imagine a combination of French Provence elegance and victorian-era charm from early century England.

Pastel colors, mingled with shades of lilac, gold, beige or turquoise quicken your tired soul. Prevailing white furniture adds to this fairy-like haven whilst color-patterned dishes, vases or tea sets complete the look with a bit of contrast – subtle colours have a thing for ornaments. Arabesque patterns and Toile de Jouy motives on wallpapers, Damask graphics on linen or curtains, but floral patterns seem to be the most popular motive by far! Remember, our goal is to create a romantic hideaway to untangle our daily knots and morph into an elf-like creature, just for a little while 🙂

FLOWERS, FLOWERS, FLOWERS

Decorate with dried flowers such as lavender, roses, and sunflowers. Add them to a white rattan basket or wattle them into beautiful small garlands to hang above the door. Fresh flowers work well too! Ranunculus, Peonies and fresh herbs are absolute winners!

If this is the look you are going for in your bedroom or living space, there are a few elements you need to add to your list.

Take a look at these Provence Style interiors and get inspired!

10 COASTAL-INSPIRED ARTWORKS WE LOVE

You know that feeling when you enter an empty space – blank walls, deserted corners – and in your head you start decorating every inch of it, picturing your favourite sofa next to your antique coffee table, adding piece by piece in your mind until the room is fully furnished?

We get you! We’ve been there, too.

The excitement when all those 89 moving boxes arrive at your new home and all you can think of is getting your Elle Decoration snippets out, filling the space with your beloved pieces, telling YOUR story!

What a bliss!

Whilst most people start their interior adventure with trips to IKEA and Bunnings, by our late twenties, we have accumulated pieces that are close to our hearts and stick around for more than a season. We invest in sofas, tables, beds and fridges, but leave one thing unattended: ARTWORKS.

Unless you’ve grown up in an art-filled environment, for the majority of us, art just doesn’t seem to take up a lot of thought, when planning our next interior acquisition.

But here is the thing: Art can do wonderful things. Whilst it brightens dull spaces and expands tiny nooks, the real beauty of art lies in it’s power of taking you to places where your mind can wander off. A saturated Palm Tree print, it’s shadow twilighting against the surface of the beach; an oil painting, capturing the intense moment of breaking waves hitting the shore; or what about a simple photograph of clear skies with migrating birds high up in the distance?

Nature is full of fantastic imagery, telling stories of beauty and bliss. Indulge yourself and add a bit of magic to your home. As the days are getting cooler and we are spending more time inside, choose artworks that speak to your soul and lift you up after a long day at work or a busy weekend with the kids.

We had a look for you on Etsy Australia and are absolutely smitten by these 10 pieces! To be honest, it was hard to choose only 10, as the choices are endless! But take a look for yourself!

ps: if you have any other art recommendations, share them with us in the comment section!

EXILEPRINTED

WHITE ORCHID PRINTS

UNDO ART STUDIO

BARBARY BAY

LEELA PRINTABLE ART

HONEY TREE PRINTS

EMILY AND CO DESIGN

RUBY AND B

YELLOW MOON PRINTS

SARAH BELL ARTIST

AND THE WINNER IS….


Our INSTAGRAM COMPETITION continues….
Get your hands on a $250 IWGH VOUCHER by granting us a view inside your home.
All you need to do is show us how YOU style your favorite IWGH piece, add the #IWGHLove tag and share it on Instagram.

As simple as that.
Start snappin’ 🙂

5 TOP TIPS: HOW TO GET THE BEACH BEDROOM FEEL

I once read of an entrepreneur who found a balanced and happy life by capturing the holiday spirit within his everyday routine.  Now, you may wonder, what did he do? Truth is, I don’t remember. Oops… But what I took from it is this is: holidays, getaways, time well-spent, if that’s what keeps us happy, why do we limit them to just a fraction of our lives? Why do we work day in, day out, towards that long-craved holiday, for a few measly weeks per year, only to hop back on the hamster wheel and do it all again? Wouldn’t it be nice to wake up every morning with a holiday mindset, stepping out of bed light-footed and still mastering our daily commitments?

Starting with your interior is an easy and convenient way to lift your spirit. Our bedrooms, they say, are the place where we make plans, rest and fill up on energy for a new day ahead. So what better place to start our little experiment here!

We put together 5 Beach Bedroom ideas that will turn your bedroom into a Hamptons-Style beach abode:

HARMONIC COLOR PALETTE

Start with a beach-inspired color palette. Anything from natural tones such as sand, grey, beige or light brown through to different shades of blue! Play around with patterns and textures too. Stripes, in combination with floral prints, create a beautiful contrast and add personality to your interior, as long as you stay within your chosen colors. Let your creativity go wild. Avoid primary tones such as red, yellow or green. These color tend to dominate and often feel out of place. Instead experiment with setting color accents with navy blue, warm orange or geranium pink. These hues feel much more in line with your overall goal of creating a nature-inspired haven.

DISPLAY NATURE

Get crafty! Driftwood, shells, sand, plants, shrubs…you name it. Choose whichever prop suits your style and pimp it up. Different shells placed neatly in a glass jar and placed on top of your favorite dresser. A large driftwood stick serving as a coat hanger in the empty corner of your room. Tropical plants planted within an ample glass vase – check Pinterest for decor ideas. The choices are endless!

ADD WICKER WORKS

Natural materials add warmth to any interior. Wicker baskets are not only super practical but create a welcoming contrast to your white Hamptons-Style furniture. Rustic textures and rough surfaces, similar to what you would find in the natural environment of a wild beach, are the essence of any outdoor holiday experience. Bring those long beach walk memories home and get your hands on a few small baskets to store your lingerie or magazines. Invest in larger size pieces to keep anything from winter quilts to queued up laundry.

CREATE INDIRECT LIGHTENING

There is nothing worse than bad lightening. It’s a nightmare for any interior designer, in fact when asked what makes a beautiful room, most professionals have ‘good lighting’ on the top of their list! Indirect lighting, meaning floor lamps, bedside lamps or any other lighting sources that don’t come directly from the ceiling above is called ‘indirect lightening’. The beauty of these lamps lies in their subtlety. With winter around the corner, the last thing you want is waking up with a bright neon beam hitting your sleep-drenched face! Instead, starting your day with a soft, warm summer glow is a big win! Spend your dollars on any kind of lamp you fancy and squatter them around your room (3 or 4). When it comes down to the light bulb, choose a lower watt (warm white – soft white) globe, to create a gentle atmosphere and avoid hospital-climate inside your home.

BLINDS VS. CURTAINS

This one really comes down to your personal preference. However, blinds often translate to a lighter, summer-feel look. If this is what you’re after, definitely go with white or off-white hardwood blinds instead of those nasty synthetic plastic types. They are slightly more pricey but oh my, so worth their money. Nothing beats the real thing. Waking up with a bit of sunlight streaming through each panel is priceless! Assuming you live near us, in the South of Australia, you might feel that curtains are keeping your house cosier and snuggly for winter. In which case, my suggestion is to choose natural fabrics over synthetic look-alikes. Again 🙂 It makes such a difference. Heavy canvas or thicker linen with or without patterns, create a jovial environment and in which you can relax and detach yourself from the busy and fast-paced life outside.

Now it’s your turn! Take us with you and share your makeover on Instagram using #IWGHmakeover! Good luck! xx

HOW TO GET THE SIGNATURE HAMPTONS – STYLE LOOK

As the Australian summer slowly bids us farewell, we wanted to share a few tips and tricks to transform your living area into a Hamptons-Style retreat for those shorter, grey days ahead.

Now, if you follow us on Facebook and Instagram (if not, get over there! 🙂 ), you may already have a good understanding of that beach-house feeling. However, let’s start at the top with some easy-to-follow advice for hampton style interior decorating ideas!

The goal is a space that comforts and soothes your everyday life. A place of summer holiday memories, where you can just retreat and let your soul dangle.

Monochrome is the key here – in furniture, walls and accessories. Clean, consistent colours provide a calming and positive space. Paint your walls in lighter colours. We’re obsessed with off-white tones rather than stark white, which can feel cold and lifeless. Anything from a slightly grey nuance to a more yellow tone works well to create a blank canvas and a subtle but beautiful contrast to your clean white Hamptons-Style furniture.

And this leads us to our next point: classic Hamptons-S tyle wares are known for their romantic, elegant shapes and soft finishings. Of course, you can find many variations these days, the trend in coastal-style furniture just keeps growing. But nothing beats the original – crown moulding, shake-style doors or wainscoting details are a few examples of the subtle character you’ll find in any true Hamptons-Style piece.

Invest in one or two larger items, such as bookcases or cabinets, and build the rest of your room around these centrepieces. Next, it’s time to de-clutter and remove any dark or overly bright coloured accessories. Get your hands on some natural linen and throw it over everything! Use that shabby old couch and get creative – cover it with striped blankets or cushions, and randomly place a driftwood mobile or rattan baskets around the room. Stock up on candles and dredge up your seashell collection to display in a simple cylinder-glass vase. Source artworks, inspired by the ocean and beach lifestyle, frame them and add them to the mix.

Lastly, don’t forget to sign up to a weekly flower delivery from your local florist. A beautifully assembled bunch of peonies, hydrangeas or tulips will change everything!

Now, it’s over to you! We would love to see what you come up with. Simply use #IWGHmakeover to grant us a sneak peek! 🙂

Good luck!

AVOCADO-PESTO ADDICTION

Does this sound familiar?

You’re at the supermarket, heading towards the cherry tomatoes and Lebanese cucumbers, and there they are: those bargain semi-ripe avocados. In your mind, you picture them beautifully sliced and placed neatly in your kid’s lunch boxes, smashed on top of your morning toast or mixed in with that 12 o’clock smoothie your girlfriends rave about. So you grab a few and the anticipation for your perfect, plump, produce begins. You place them carefully on the register, they are your prized sprouts waiting to bloom. But back at the circus (ie. home) things tend to get a little ‘out of sight, out of mind’.  

Fast forward five days and you discover mushy, brown-skinned oddities nestling with your bananas and apples. Their semi-ripe status long gone. 

Maybe next time, you tell yourself.

So here’s to next time!

Next time, why not try it this way – an easy and hassle-free dinner idea that will catch those pesky Avo’s before they disappear of the edge of recognition.

Start with setting a pot of water to boil.

Continue with peeling and slicing the garlic. Next, wash and gently pick the parsley leaves and cut roughly. Now get on to the parmesan and grate it in a small bowl. Take your avocados, halve, stone and cut their flesh into small cubes. It’s now time to move on to your tomatoes. Give these little guys a good wash before cutting them neatly in halves. Once you have chopped your macadamia nuts roughly, put them aside and cook your pasta as required.

As simple as that, place the avocado, parmesan, macadamia nuts, garlic, parsley and cream cheese in a mixer, add 10 TB olive oil and 5 TB of white wine vinegar and start blending! 

Meanwhile, heat up 2 TB olive oil in a pan and give your tomatoes a 2 min. fry, cut-side down. Add another minute if needed (you want them to be soft and juicy). Season with sugar and salt.

Add some pasta water to your pesto mix, right before taking your spaghetti off the stove. Season your mix with pepper and salt and Voila! All you need to do now is drain your pasta and mix it with your pesto sauce. Last but not least, garnish with tomatoes and serve to your hungry tribe 🙂

Ingredients:

(for 4 people)

500 g pasta

1 garlic clove

1 bunch of parsley

50 g parmesan

2 avocados

12 cherry tomatoes

50 g macadamia nuts

80 g cream cheese

10 TB olive oil + 2 TB olive oil

5 TB white wine vinegar

salt, pepper, sugar

5 ENDLESS SUMMER DINNER TABLE IDEAS

And suddenly, Autumn snuck up on us whilst we were still on the hunt for that perfect summer bikini. How did that happen, you wonder? Well, we can’t give you all the answers, but what we will do, is help you prolong those carefree, endless summer nights just a little. As the warm Summer glow starts to fade, these inspiring dinner table settings should set the mood for any indoor or outdoor party:

BOHO:

This setting is fairly simple to achieve: all you need is a glorious local florist! Flowers, flowers, and flowers again. Pick as many colours and kinds as you wish, the more the merrier! Combined with simple tableware and monochrome candles, you can’t lose!

 

BOHO Dinning Table

CLASSIC:

Get out your grandma’s silver! Keep it simple and clean to achieve a sharp and classic setting. Avoid any distracting accessories or colors. Instead, focus on quality dining essentials.

 

Classic Hamptons

COUNTRY:

If you are lucky enough to own a house with a big Provence-like yard, don’t think twice! This is your opportunity to create a breathtaking dining experience. Get your hands on all the linen you can find and effortlessly throw them over your table, creating a rustic, ‘je-ne-sais-quoi’-look. Plenty of candles in jars as well as rosemary-sticks and lavender-stalks scattered throughout the setting and VOILA!

FINGERFOOD:

This one is an absolute fuss-free option!All it comes down to is the quality of your antipasti (and a stack of good quality napkins)! Visit your local Deli and get your hands on a variety of cold meats, cheeses, olives and dried fruits. Add crackers and fresh figs or dates to the mix and assemble them freely on large wooden boards. Placed on white table clothes, and off you go!

 

GARDEN-SHED:

Set the table amongst your garden beds. Simply create the menu from seasonal ingredients and use the latter, for your table decoration too! Adding tomato twigs, lemons or selected herbs in jars adds character to your dinner setting! Get creative, show off your green thumb and mix and match your tableware, as if you just don’t care!