Friday, April 19, 2013

Six Tips for Studio Spaces

If you live in an inner city studio apartment, chances are you are facing a constant battle to achieve more space, or at least, the illusion of more space. With years worth of furniture, memories and bits and bobs collected from around the globe, this task is not an easy feat. 
Stephen Nicholls, property editor at, has noted the exponential growth and popularity of apartments, especially studios, as both investments and rentals. In his recent article here, he even acknowledges the reversing roles of apartments over houses.
 Image Source: French By Design 

With this in mind, there is a need for intuitive thinking and classic design tricks to turn your little spot of heaven into something that resembles… well, a much larger spot of heaven. Below are six tricks to turn your crowded abode into a calming respite. 

1. Let in the light! The curse of a studio can often be the limit of natural light. To step out of the darkness, apply blinds or curtains that have minimal blockage when they are open. 
2. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. A tried and tested home decor trick to create more space is the addition of mirrors to accentuate and elongate any room. However, many get the scale wrong. The trick is to add in large, simple and expansive mirrors, rather than small and dainty ones that can often achieve the opposite affect. 
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3. Possession Purge! Be honest with yourself and throw out any unnecessary items or space stealing (but largely non-functional) furniture. A good tip is the One Year Test. If you haven’t used the item in over a year, chuck it. Come on, do you really need those lecture notebooks from your SCLG101 class 7 years ago? 
4. Organise and Order.  Find a place for EVERYTHING, and I mean every last safety pin and half empty hair spray bottle. When living in a small place, clutter and confusion results from items not having anywhere to ‘go back’ to. Ikea is renown for its space saving organisational designs. Measure your place up and go and grab some. 
5. Swipe the Surfaces. Have clean and uncluttered surfaces on your desks, sideboards and benches to help create the illusion of more space. Leave knick knacks to a minimum by using one or two bold and eye catching pieces. (Also note: in a studio, dust gathers quickly, less clutter equals easier cleaning, yes please!) 
6. Think Smart, Not Small. Today, just a quick search of ‘space saving furniture’ can reveal some truly innovative and functional designs. If you have limited space, try a sideboard that turns into a table, cushioned storage boxes that allow for extra seating or even get creative with how your bed can be transformed from day to night. Seriously, check out this couch-come- dining table below! 
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Do you have any small studio tips for decorating? What is the best storage system you have managed to find? 

Sarah x

Monday, April 8, 2013

Concrete Interiors

Lately I have been a little umm… obsessed. Obsessed with concrete. A very weird obsession. But if you want to get a little more specific, concrete interiors. 

There is something about interior concrete walls and floors that is so appealing to me. Maybe it’s in the ways that such a simple palate and neutrality can create such daring lines, angles and space. 

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Industrial design has been going strong for a few years now, with harsh minimalist features it focuses on what’s not there rather than what is.  However, lately I’ve seen a surge in creating welcoming, rather than cold, minimalist design. 

What can I say, I like it. 

Vibrant colours, foliage and Scandinavian warmth in furniture and accessories are allowing concrete and neutral backdrops to do their thing, without the feeling of living in a factory. 

Design Milk showcased some of these beautiful interiors just the other day also with an emphasis on the warmer side of concrete. 

I’ve also noticed the growth of using comforting textures in rugs and soft furnishings to minimise the hard edges of rooms that use heavy materials. 

However of my biggest loves of the moment and a way to mix in these different textures is mixing neon and concrete, yep… neon! It adds a really playful vibe to mixtures of grey and also allows a fun warmth into any industrial design. To slowly move into neon, try adding one of these two sided screen printed cushions from The Print Society .

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Some of you may be letting out some heavy sigh’s right about now. Yes, you love concrete, yes, you even love neon, and yes, you want to hug them when they’re together but this concrete caper comes with a huge price tag!

Never fear! The look of minimalist design and materials can be achieved on a small scale and a small budget! Hallelujah!

In a non-cluttered and neutral room, preferably of grey’s and white’s, simply accessorise with bold pieces in concrete and add splashes of neon. The key here is to not over clutter and let the pieces speak for themselves. 

Something as simple as a few of these nifty little planter’s from Dachshund in the Desert on Etsy can create the look you’re after. 

Image Source: Dachshund in the Desert on

What's your interiors obsession of the moment? Do you have any tricks or products for decorating with concrete? 

Sarah x

2013 Colour of the Year

It’s with great excitement that I found out about Pantone’s 2013 Colour of the Year being (drum roll please…) EMERALD! 

Pantone, an authority on colour in all things design and interior, polls numerous designers and brands on strong trends for the coming year. This year, the people have spoken and Emerald will be everywhere.

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Well, this just happens to be my favourite colour AND my birthstone. I’m not usually a believer of signs, however, I’ve decided that this means 2013 is my year!

I’m also pretty excited that I will be able to feature numerous emerald accented interiors on this here blog. You lucky readers, you! 

Also it may just be a coincidence but I found it funny that Emerald is the colour of the year when ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’ is being released…  maybe that’s just my tangential thought patterns though?!  

Head on through to Pantone to see more about the 2013 Colour of the Year

The Importance of Interiors

Many people think that interior design is a topic that only a select group of people can afford or relate to. This may have something to do with the idea of it being a luxury, especially when you see many of the publicized aspects of the industry.

We all know the way interior design is portrayed in the media. Three hundred dollar cushions, one of a kind pieces flown in from far away places and costly hiring of polished and uppity designers who have endless budgets.

Image Source: Natural Modern Interiors

While these aspects are of course alive and well, there are many more interesting and important factors in interior design affecting a large proportion of the world. Maybe without them even knowing.

From basic utensils or furniture we use in our house, to the ways in which our surroundings affect our moods and productivity. Interiors are an important part of life for people on all areas of the economic spectrum.

The growth in recent years of DIY and a resurgence of socializing in the home has brought interior design into a wide and varied audience as an industry that is available to everyone.

Yet there are aspects of interior design that are more than aesthetics and creating social spaces. The field also plays a role in moods and actions of people. Everyone from sociologists to psychologists’ to childcare workers use tools of interior and design to affect the way people act, interact and feel. 

Most well known for its ability to alter people’s mood is colour therapy in interiors. Studies have tied strong links to colour particularly in ways to relax or energise individuals through use of bright or even subtle room dressings.

The use of space and furnishings in public and commercial interiors and designs can also be a powerful way to impact peoples movement and interactions with others. Creating spaces that control the flow of crowds in particular are put to use in areas like galleries and shopping centers.

With all of these aspects, it is easy to see why interior design has such an impact on our day to day lives. But we can’t also discount the fact that it’s a nice way to make things pretty! 

Check out this infographic on the use of colours and the ways in which they can affect our moods and habits - 

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A Little Bit of Art

This work caught my eye on my trip home on the bus. I was so intrigued I jumped off at the next stop to take a picture.

The sculptures which were in a fenced in front yard in Lilyfield, Sydney created the most colourful garden. I am yet to discover who the artist is, though I will keep looking.

Why Interiors and Design?

So why do I like interiors and design SO much that I am starting a whole damn blog about it? 

Well, I’m a homebody for starters. Some would even describe me as an extroverted introvert and because of that I NEED a place that is my own. In other words, I draw energy and comfort and relaxation from being in my home.

I also find it as a place of function, memories, shelter, socialisation and personality. Put simply I love to create spaces which feel good and make you feel great.  

Image Source: Sophie's Fashion

The conundrum is that I also love to travel and as such, I draw much of my inspiration from worldly design and far away places. This means that my homebody status when in Sydney is very much aided by the memories of my travels and the sights, colours and textures of other worlds.

Looking even further back however, my unrequited love of furniture, interiors and design probably stems from my Dad, a devoted antiques dealer. From the age of 5, I could spout off names of all kinds of furniture, from Chippendales chairs to a Chesterfield chaise. So this interiors caper has been a natural progression.

Team my Dad’s love of furniture with my Mum’s insistence that we experience different cultures and wammo, you have this here blog, thanks for that parents!

While interiors can be a broad topic in and of itself, design fits snugly in there as well. In the last few years I have increasingly become obsessed with innovations from people who are making the home experience streamlined, cohesive and damn good looking!

It is a love/hate relationship with design however, alternating between awe and then jealous due to the fact that I cannot think of something as cool as A Very Slim Table by Nilly Landao… seriously! I’d even be pretty happy if I was the person who thought to use a pasta strainer as a lampshade! 

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The Print Society

Image Source: The Print Society 

Have a look at these fantastic ‘Colour Collector’ double sided cushion from The Print Society.

Born from Sydney designer, Karen Johnston, the collection consists of dramatic yet simple constructions of colour, style and pattern. They are eco friendly designs with materials of hemp and yak, each pillow is individually hand printed. Starting from $60.

With an emphasis on soft furnishings, cushions are available along side table linen and bedding. For more information and online store -
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