Homebuyers Centre WA Turns 30!

I mean it’s a milestone and an accomplishment within itself- 30 years of making first homes happen, and building over 30,000 of them in that time frame!! I feel like I’ve become part of the family at Homebuyers Centre WA – trusting them to build two of my own homes, and also decorating their Display Homes for almost 4 years (gee whizz that has flown by!)

To celebrate HBC are giving back to their community this month with a bunch of giveaways happening on their social media platforms. In addition, I thought it would be a great idea (especially for those who have terrible luck winning competitions) to bring you an exclusive sale featuring over 30 AMAZING stores, each with exclusive sales on offer! Use HBHOMEBUYERS at the checkout, for the full month of August and the relevant discount will be applied to your cart. Scroll through the below list to view all the stores and discounts available (some even include sale items- Whoop!)

HBHOMEBUYERS

Valid for the month of August (ending 11:59pm AEST 31st August 2021.) **Some sale exclusions apply (listed below.)

Happy 30th Birthday team!! Here’s to another successful 30+ years of building magical, new home journeys x

  1. 3 Little Crowns– 15% off 3LittleCrowns Vegan leather range. –Baby ||Shop here||

2. Adele Naidoo– 30% off full print range. –Artwork ||Shop here||

3. Art and Framing Co– 25% off prints including artist range ** excludes the following artists JAI VASICEK, Emily ABAY, Greg Natale, Paul Blackmore, Brett Goldsmith, DANIELLEX, Studio Ellwood and Bonnie Gray. –Artwork ||Shop here||

4. Al.ive Body– 15% off storewide ** excludes sale and bundle items. Not to be used with any other promotional offer and standard shipping policy applies. –Hand and Body ||Shop here||

5. Bambury– 20% off storewide ** excludes clearance items. Code cannot be used with other discount codes. –Linen, bedding, cushions, throws||Shop here||

6. Boho Art and Styling– 15% off prints and wallpaper ** excluding already discounted items and pairs. –Artwork and wallpaper ||Shop here||

7. Decor Avenue– 15% off storewide ** excludes books and already reduced items. –Home Decor ||Shop here||

8. Floral State– 10% off all orders. -Fresh and preserved flowers ||Shop here||

9. Frisky Deer– 20% off Decorative, Tableware, Planters and Vases, Art In Stock, Cushions, Candles, Ornaments, Faux Flowers and Furniture. ** excludes reduced clearance items and not to be used in conjunction with any other sale promotions. –Home Decor ||Shop here||

10. Granite Lane– 15% off locally made sofas and beds. –Custom Upholstery ||Shop here||

11. Hides of Excellence– 10% off storewide. –Textiles ||Shop here||

12. Jen Sievers Art– 20% off Open and Limited Edition Prints – Artwork ||Shop here||

13. Jessie Rigby– 20% off all canvas prints. –Artwork ||Shop here||

14. Leo and Bella– 20% off storewide ** excludes sale items and following furniture brands- Banwood, Babyletto, Charlie Crane and Oeuf. – Kids and Home Decor ||Shop here||

15. Life Interiors– 10% off selected brands, including sale ** excludes the following brands Armadillo, Ethnicraft, Sarah Ellison, Bonnie & Neil, Slim Aarons, Ubabub, Leander, Quax, Troll, and House of Slim. –Furniture and Homewares ||Shop here||

16. Little Peach and Pip– 15% off storewide. –Kids art and cushions ||Shop here||

17. Marla and Co– 15% off storewide. –Kids Decor ||Shop here||

18. Minnie and Me Interiors– 20% off Luxe Width Wallpaper –Wallpaper ||Shop here||

19. Mulberry Threads– 15% off online store products. –Linen ||Shop here||

20. Oh Happy Home– 15% off and free delivery over $150 –Rugs and decor ||Shop here||

21. Onyx and Smoke– 20% off storewide ** excludes headboards, feather inserts and lockers. –Upholstery and cushions ||Shop here||

22. Olive Et Oriel– 20% off storewide ** excludes sale items and bundles. –Artwork ||Shop here||

23. Pretty Little Designs– 15% off storewide –Organisation ||Shop here||

24. Raja Homewares– 15% off storewide. –Rattan furniture and homewares ||Shop here||

25. RJ Living– 15% off storewide. –Furniture and Homewares ||Shop here||

26. Rugs of Beauty– 20% storewide. –Rugs ||Shop here||

27. Sage and Sea candles– 20% off storewide. –Candles ||Shop here||

28. Scandinavian Wallpaper and Decor– 15% off storewide ** Discount needs to be applied to invoice upon ordering, rather than entering the promotional code. –Wallpaper ||Shop here||

29. Sea Tribe– 20% off cushions and throw. –Textiles ||Shop here||

30. Snuggle Hunny Kids– 10% off storewide. –Baby swaddles, wraps, blankets, clothing, accessories. ||Shop here||

31. The Cover Collective– 25% off storewide ** excluding bundles, laundry and cushions. –Linen ||Shop here||

32. The Design Edit– 15% off storewide –Furniture and Homewares ||Shop here||

33. Urban Road– 20% off storewide ** excluding already reduced items. –Artwork and wallpaper ||Shop here||

34. White Beach Co– 15% off storewide. –Candles and preserved flowers ||Shop here||

35. Zanui– 10% off storewide including sale **excludes shipping –Furniture and Homewares ||Shop here||

36. Zenn Design– 10% off storewide. –Custom Upholstery and cushions ||Shop here||

Society 6 Compilation

Hey all,

Welcome to the back half of 2021!! Already!!

Today’s entry follows on from my previous ‘Artwork‘ post, because a fair few people have asked me to share some of my favourite artists on Society6. With a huge variety and saturation of affordable wall art online, I thought it would be nice to showcase some stand out sellers that have caught my eye over the years.

I use Society6 wall art a fair bit in the Homebuyers Centre display homes to ensure I meet budget, but still have the home looking full and beautifully presented. It is a fantastic platform to find a wide genre of styles, from abstract line art to still life photography, and everything in between. I personally prefer to purchase the ‘Art Prints‘ and have them framed them later, but framing options are available if you want to take the hassle out of organising it later. The only downside to their ‘Framed Prints‘ are the colour/ profile limitations and (depending on which size you’re after,) the white border does get larger. Overall, I am sure you’ll enjoy this round-up of my favourite Society6 stores and feel free to shop their collections by clicking on the header of each artist below.

AmberTextiles

Full of incredible illustrations and vibrant creations, Amber’s artwork has been a firm fave of mine for a while now. I used the caravan print in Huxley’s nursery and had it professionally framed by Demmer Gallery in Osborne Park. It makes a beautiful feature in an area of his nursery that has a more neutral approach.

CityArt

I love how CityArt has a variety of prints, with a cohesive colour palette. This makes it simpler for me to decorate different areas and know the home will have a harmonious flow.

Dada22

Quirky, fashion, femme type artwork- all of which scream style! Using posters with ‘people’ in them is great way of ensuring that the artwork has a point of difference and the same ‘style’ is not repeated throughout the entire house. I prefer a variety of subject matter eg- florals and botanics, abstract, people, paintings, shape/ geometric and line art, photographic etc.

BriBuckley

I’ve followed Brian’s store for almost a decade!!! When I first started out decorating display homes, I specified some of his illustrations in various children’s bedrooms. It’s great to see how far his career and whimsical creations have come.

Mauikauai

This photographer has so many vibrant, fun coastal prints available. I used the surf board print (below) in the ‘Cali’ Homebuyers display home and it was a beautiful feature in the space- Perfect for a growing child, teen or surf enthusiast.

MiaCharro

I only discovered Mia’s page today but it is full of delicately sweet illustrations that I will be using in the near future. The primary factor that caught my eye was her sketch style, but I quickly fell in love with the palette and drawn texture too. These designs are so versatile and not limited to an age bracket- I would happily use them in both a nursery and tween girl’s room.

KevinRuss

I have followed Kevin’s work for a really long time now. He captures the most beautiful, picturesque sceneries and native wildlife. The moody, forest tones have a comforting masculinity about them, that would make a beautiful statement in a boy’s bedroom or nursery. I also adore the ‘Winter Horse’ series and would specify this as a subtle addition to any living, dining or bedroom.

Nina Stajner

Oh my goodness! Nina’s illustrations are beyond adorable and this is why I love sourcing artwork from platforms like Society6. She only has a few designs available as wall art, but she also prints her creations on wallpaper and decor! Super cute!

Ingrid Beddoes

I have a bunch of Ingrid’s photographs saved in my ‘to use’ folder when the perfect project comes up. The pastel, low contrast tones featured throughout her work, emphasise the dreaminess of the artwork as a whole.

Paul Fuentes

Paul has a really cool Palm Springs style and all of his work is bold, fun and super impactful. I’m in awe of the colour palette and vibrancy in each of his images- they have me reminiscing of summer holidays!

ThingDesign

There are so many cohesively beautiful abstract prints in this store!! The mixture of cool and warm tones work harmoniously together to create tranquil and restful artwork.

That’s a wrap!! I hope you have enjoyed discovering some of my top wall art finds on Society6. I know it can be overwhelming sorting through such a big website, so try using the search bar and looking for specific keywords like ‘Cheetah’ or ‘Nursery’ to help narrow down the selection. If you have seen any other great pages, let me know in the comments below and I’ll be sure to check them out.

Have a lovely evening,

Tarina x

Everything Artwork

Heyaa,

I hope everyone is keeping safe and well! Perth has just come out of a snap lockdown but it was quite nice to get some writing done- since my last entry was about 10 weeks ago!! Today I’m going to shed some insight into how I plan artwork for a new home or client project. It is one of the most important areas I focus on when decorating the Homebuyers Centre Display Homes and one that I spend a lot of time on. The Homebuyers Centre family know exactly how much effort I put into selecting artwork for an upcoming display and have engaged me to share with you all some of my top tips and favourite suppliers.

From the colour palette, placement and theme, right down to the frame thickness, colour and depth- all of these factors contribute to a cohesive and flowing interior. One thing to mention is that I’m approaching this post from a full home fit-out point of view where the client wants their artwork cohesive. Some clients (and you might be one of them) prefer to hang sentimental or unique pieces in their home, which is always encouraged as well. Those special frames inject personality and individual style to the space and make your house feel more like a home.

Theme

Artwork selections will depend on the brief I am given and the theme/direction we are styling the rest of the home. For example a ‘Coastal’ home will prominently feature palms, sandy shorelines, pampas and other natural flora, water/ocean/ waves, island villas, coral, shells etc… Whereas an ‘Urban’ home would have a more contrasted palette, with a slightly more masculine approach- think dessert dunes, highway roads, recycled brick textures and city-living subjects. If I were selecting a flora artwork for an ‘Urban’ style project I would hunt for cactus, succulents or native artwork, oppose to pretty florals. When a general theme is adhered to, the artwork will create more impact and emphasise your chosen interior style.

Colour palette

I’m very meticulous when it comes to colour palette but that’s just personal preference. There are no set rules! I personally love cohesion, but the ‘interior police’ definitely won’t rock up on your doorstep if you have mismatched artwork. If you have a fairly neutral interior palette, artwork is a great way to inject colour into your surroundings. You can then draw on the featured tones to style your space with complimenting decor and soft furnishings. Once the style, theme and colour palette has been chosen, I open up a blank document on either powerpoint, pages, photoshop (whichever is more convenient at the time) and start pasting images from artwork websites and suppliers. The document looks chaotic and messy, but having all of the potential pieces on one page helps me visualise if the colours work well together. I then start grouping them into rooms and eliminating any that don’t quite fit.

Placement

There are a few guidelines I follow when it comes to selecting and hanging artwork. Again, they’re not strict rules but they might be useful for you to refer back to when factoring in scale, size and placement of new artwork pieces.

Hanging above a console or buffet

  • I like to keep the artwork size within the edges of the furniture piece underneath. They don’t need to line up with the edges, but I generally won’t extend the artwork past the furniture below.
  • If you have a relatively small console or buffet (under 1100mm,) a larger square frame will do the trick nicely. It should fill both the height and width beautifully and not leave too much of a gap between the furniture and bottom of the frame.
  • Statement mirrors also look great above consoles or buffets and this can help break up the rest of the room if you have other artwork in the area.

Hanging in a hallway or on a wall with no furniture / visual obstruction

  • Hallways and walls with no furniture against them can be difficult to dress because you have the full height, from floor to ceiling to factor in. You’re not obviously going to hang artwork at floor or ceiling level but there is a vast area to fill in the middle.
  • On a generous size wall, I prefer to hang two larger portrait pieces of art instead of one landscape piece. I feel that the wall is better filled with the length of a large portrait pair.
  • As an alternative, you could dress the wall with gallery images of your family or various artworks that tie in with your interior and style.
  • A landscape orientation is usually my last preference on a completely empty wall (with no visual obstruction) because often there is too much space left bare underneath the frame. I tend to only use landscape artwork in narrow hallways or if it is really large in scale and can fill both the width and height nicely. Even then, I would save something that big to use as a feature on a dining or living room wall.

Hanging above a headboard

  • I have a personal guideline that I generally stick to when combining artwork, feature walls and pendants in a master bedroom. If the room has pendant lights and a feature wall, I will only use one piece of art above the bed.
  • Either the artwork or feature wall is kept understated and simple, otherwise there are too many features competing in the space.
  • If the bedroom has pendants and no feature wall, I will generally use two pieces of art (see below image,) or one striking piece of artwork to create more substance.
  • If the headboard is higher than 1300mm I will either select a landscape design with less height, or use a feature lining board or wallpaper behind the headboard instead of artwork.
  • Choose a particular colour from within the artwork to feature somewhere in your bedding layers, eg a cushion, throw or sheets. This keeps the room feeling harmonious and well thought out.

Above a sofa

  • I will either use two large portrait artworks as a pair or one (really large) landscape artwork.
  • This decision is usually made up by considering what wall space I have in the surrounding areas and if it is open plan.
  • For example, if I have a dining room wall (that cannot house any furniture against it) I would hang a decent size portrait pair here so the length fills the wall better. Then in the living room I would choose a landscape artwork for above the sofa since the furniture fills a majority of the wall space already.
  • Using a frame colour that compliments your furniture always looks really sleek and bespoke (see images above.)
  • If your posters or prints aren’t quite large enough to make a statement, consider getting your local framer to put a white mount around the edge. If you put a 60mm white mount on a 70x100cm wide poster, this would bump the overall size up to something like 85x115cm wide including the frame (depending on the chosen frame thickness.)

In nurseries or children’s bedrooms

  • Of course your number one concern should be your little love’s safety. You know your child and if you think they would touch artwork or pull items off of shelves, then it is best to have anything ‘hanging’ completely out of reach.
  • Hanging objects can pass as artwork because they add a visual layer without being repetitive. If you have used artwork already in the room but feel like a different area is lacking, try hanging a garland, cute mobile, canopy, a hanging plant, book ledges, some fun wall hooks, an age appropriate mirror, LED wall light, plush animal heads, a woven hall hanging, customised name plaque etc… The list of cute wall decor for children’s interior is endless and an example can be seen in the above and below images.
  • Have fun with colour and use artwork to emphasise your chosen colour palette.
  • Framing for children’s interior can be kept budget friendly because you might change the posters as your child grows and their personality evolves. A few of my go-to retailers for store bought poster frames are Target, Spotlight, Country Road, Ikea and Freedom Furniture. Target have a great timber range at the moment with a white return trim, that looks quite lovely. You can shop the Elena range here.

Budgeting for artwork

It’s no surprise that artwork can add up very quickly, especially if you appreciate original, commissioned or limited edition pieces. When furnishing the Homebuyers Centre WA display homes I take a more conservative approach when buying artwork, but I still allocate enough budget to purchase a few large and feature framed prints.

Start with your most seen walls and lived in areas like the master bedroom, entry, living, dining and theatre. Then work your way down to less visible walls like back hallways, offices, laundries etc. Allocate more funds for high traffic areas and less for the others. Here are my go to stores that sell a beautiful range of prints, posters and framed artworks.

  1. Olive Et Oriel
  2. Art and Framing
  3. Urban Road
  4. Desenio
  5. Greenhouse Interiors
  6. Boho Art and Styling
  7. Norsu Interiors
  8. The Print Emporium
  9. Frisky Deer
  10. Society 6 (for both adult and children’s posters)
  11. Leo and Bella (for children’s posters)
  12. Pretty in Print (for children’s posters)

If you want to stretch your funds further or decorate on a more conservative budget you can purchase printable files from various stores off Etsy and print them locally. Just make sure you read the description and check what the maximum print size is (some are not printable in large formats.) You can be even more savvy by purchasing printable sets, which offer a few coordinated artwork designs for a discounted price. Here are some of my favourite ‘Digital Wall Art’ stores that I have previously purchased from, or saved for future projects.

  1. Nolla Studio– TOP PICK- Soft photographic and abstract artwork
  2. Umaiana– Simplistic and neutral abstracts
  3. LilaXLola– Photographic art and baby animals
  4. Little Folk Printables– Children ‘s art and Landscape prints.
  5. My Dream Wall– Vibrant, fun mid century art
  6. Infintite Noon– Minimal line art.
  7. Baydreem– Photographic art and quotes.

Commissioned or original artworks

These are special and unique pieces because they are one off designs created by talented artists. They will obtain an ‘investment piece’ price tag compared to a printed artwork, but are authentic and one of a kind. A Commission is where you engage the artist to work on a customised artwork with your requests in mind, where an Original artwork is one the artist has created themselves. While it is notable to own an original or commissioned artwork, it is unrealistic for me to budget (even one) into a display home. Instead of shopping for an original, I will check if the desired artist has released a limited edition print of the same design. This is where the artist has had the artwork professionally photographed and a small number prints are available to buy. They are a great alternative if you value artisanship but cannot justify the price of an original or commissioned artwork. I wish I could feature all of the incredible Australian artists I know but that would get crazy long, so here are some of my favourites.

|| 1. Jessie Rigby || 2. Anya Brock || 3. Kate Fisher || 4. Prudence DeMarchi || 5. Adele Naidoo || 6. Tracey Mock || 7. Annie Everingham || 8. Katie Clulow || 9. Tegan Lloyd || 10. Beth Kennedy || 11. Dina Broadhurst || 12. Kimmy Hogan || 13. Jade Fisher || 14. Brent Rosenberg || 15. Sarah Kalidis || 16. Leah Bartholomew

Other handy tips!

  • Canvas prints/paintings are great for areas that have lots of natural light opposite or near where they are hung. This reduces an intense reflection you would get on a framed glass print.
  • If you’re set on a framed glass print, your local framer should have anti-reflective glass as an option. It’s actually very effective at reducing glare and reflections but it is a little pricier than your standard option.
  • When hanging two artworks side by side I usually ask my picture hanger for a 100mm gap. The gap completely depends on the size of the pieces but it’s usually between 80-150mm.
  • Miniature frames still create impact! Even though they’re small the point of difference in size creates a feature within itself, however placement is key! I would avoid hanging a Mini in the middle of a wall… Group it with other elements in the room, for example above a bedside table or next to an occasional chair.
  • Artwork or photo frames can absolutely be displayed on shelves or in cabinetry. It is a great way to bring in a contrasting element and break up the use of decorative items such as books and vases.
  • If you’re struggling with a room having too many pieces of artwork, consider incorporating other objects like a mirror, clock, shelves, wall decor (juju hats, straw or rattan pieces,) greenery or wall planter and woven wool hangings. This avoids using an overload of frames on the wall and introduces other shapes into the space.
  • Try and disperse the type of artwork you have in one area to avoid repetition- photographic/abstract/paintings/mirrors. For example in an open plan living and dining area (where all of the walls are visible at once,) I will plan an abstract painting pair for one space. Then I would select a complimenting photographic artwork for the other wall.
  • If you’re unsure on the size and scale of your artwork, you can use painters tape to mark out the shape directly on your wall. Be careful that you don’t pull your paint off though!
  • Alternatively, if you’re savvy with photo editing software you can always create a mockup of the space. Photograph the empty wall and drop in, then rescale the desired artwork.
  • Make sure you have weight appropriate wall plugs/fixings, especially for mirrors. You also might need to factor in whether your home is a brick or steel/drywall construction.

Well I hope all this artwork info has given you some insight into how I make refined decisions when buying and hanging artwork. Please feel free to ask any other questions below in the comments section. You might actually be able to help me out too… I’m always keen to discover new and talented artists or artwork/print suppliers to use in upcoming projects. If you have a favourite store that I haven’t listed above, please also link it in the comments section and I’ll have a sticky beak! Thanks for reading and we owe a big thank you to Homebuyers Centre WA for allowing me to share all this info with you. Thanks teammm!!

Have a wonderful week,

Tx

Homebuyers Centre WA has kindly sponsored this blog entry, based on my experience as their decorator and our own building journey. All thoughts, design work, styling and written content are my own.

WE’RE IN!!!

My first entry for 2021! We have officially moved into our new home and are currently in Covid lockdown for the next 5 days!! What better way to get ontop of organising and unpacking?! Our construction journey went really smoothly and Homebuyers Centre did an outstanding job of sticking to the handover date and providing us with keys the week before Christmas. We had organised for our aggregate to be poured later that week but Paul and I made the decision to postpone it until the new year because it was too hot (and risky) to lay the driveway in 40deg heat. All of that seems a distant memory now that we have been settling into our new home for just over 2 weeks.

With the construction of our new home complete, it’s time to inject some of our own personality into the place with small additions to enhance the overall look and feel of the interior. Since neither of us are handy in the slightest, I organised quotes during the build that allowed us to budget and schedule trades in once key handover took place. In this post I’ll touch base on the areas we have tackled since receiving the keys and how they have created such a visual difference already.

Cabinetry and storage

When working with my design manager on the layout and floorplan of our home, we designed certain areas with bespoke cabinetry in mind. For example, I knew I wanted a custom built office space so we pushed the window down the wall a bit to allow enough depth for cupboards and a desk etc. We also included two nib walls, dividing the study and key drop which allows me (structurally) to have a floating console with drawers between the two walls. This also helps define the two rooms, even though they are flowing on from each other. Then in the games room we pushed the sliding door down again, to allow enough depth for built in storage. I worked on some design sketches throughout the build and took them to my trusty cabinet maker Anthony from Midtown Project. He does all the custom cabinetry for my private clients and he is excellent at what he does. Our study comes off the entry so we had a beautiful 6.3m span of cabinetry built into this area with full height storage cupboards, a two person work zone with two banks of drawers, two curved-edge shelves and a key drop floating unit installed. This study fit out will be used every single day since I work from home, so I can’t wait to enjoy my spacious new workplace.

In the games room we had 4 full height cupboards, two floating shelves and a benchtop installed. This area has already been used SOO much in the two weeks we have lived here and it is home to all of Chet’s lego, cars, craft, toys, games, school work etc. Best investment ever in my eyes! The Archive handles are from Kethy Australia and have been stained (by the cabinet maker) to match Polytec Prime Oak which is slightly darker and less saturated than the original colouring. I made the decision to use smaller storage tubs because they are easier and lighter for Chet to lift in and out by himself. The 10L storage tubs below are from Bunnings and four of these fit perfectly on each shelf. The front opening tubs are kitchen organisers from Kmart. Two of them fit perfectly next to each other on one shelf and are great if you don’t want to take the whole box out. Now I just need to arrange some of those neat, little labels to go on each tub!

Ikea PAX wardrobe

In our contract we had a provisional sum allowance for a custom built wardrobe but when we looked into the Ikea PAX we were happy with the reviews and preferred to put those funds towards other upgrades at Prestart. I designed a simple wardrobe system to fit our space using Ikea’s ‘Pax Planner.’ It consists of 4 half hanging and 1 full hanging area. 10 drawers, 3 larger/deeper drawers and 8 open shelves. Both Paul and I are tall, so this design works for us but it might not be practical for shorter people because the top rail is sitting really high. In our favour, we have enough hanging height now to add a shoe shelf on each side. We organised the installation through Ikea and someone came out on a SUNDAY (super convenient) and built the whole thing/secured it to the walls for $200.00. In comparison to the provisional sum allowance and the total cost of the PAX we saved $3,000 and so far we’re really impressed.

Carpentry

We had Rob from Perth Bespoke Carpentry install VJ panels to our master and guest bedroom feature walls. We used a groove profile on some of our kitchen cabinetry, so I wanted to continue the repetition of line through to the bedrooms as well. There are new, trending styles of lining boards and cladding on the market, but I lived with VJ panels in my last house for over 5 years and never got bored of it so I felt that this was a safe and classic choice for the new home also. Rob was able to cut the sheets perfectly to size, allowing for the GPO points then he got stuck into the skirting boards. The profile we used is a 92mm half splayed skirting board, painted in Aquanamel Lexicon Quarter with a semi gloss finish. The quality and workmanship of the skirting board installation is absolutely beautiful and this small addition has completely transformed our new home.

Bathroom Extras

In our Prestart meeting we removed some of the bathroom accessories like towel rails, to have these installed at a later date. The reason I did this is because our guest bathroom is quite narrow and I preferred to have a few towel hooks installed at a height of my choice, after handover. By having the hooks up higher it made the space feel more usable at waist/hip level. Below are some my favourite towel/robe hooks on the market- Feel free to shop the look.

|| 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 ||

Wallpaper

During the build Chet and I started looking into feature wall options for his new bedroom. I was deciding between a feature paint colour or a wallpaper, but Chet was quick to ask for wallpaper. There is something so fun about a great wallpaper in a child’s bedroom, so I was in absolute agreeance. My next task was to find a traditional (not self adhesive) wallpaper that is age appropriate now, but also versatile enough for him to grow with throughout his primary and high school years. I narrowed the selection down to 6 wallpapers from Scandinavian Wallpaper, then got Chet to select his favourite. He actually chose the most perfect wallpaper- Not my #1 but better than the one I had in mind and it suits him to a tee. It’s busy and bold but it also has a sense of softness too (just like his personality- WILD but sensitive.) The lovely ladies (Lollo and Diane) at Scandinavian wallpaper helped me out hugely with customisation of the pattern size/scale etc, then I ordered enough to wrap two walls of Chet’s bedroom. Once it arrived Matthew from MWD Interiors installed the wallpaper to perfection, like he always does. I use both Scandinavian Wallpaper and MWD interiors for feature wallpaper in the Homebuyers Centre display homes so I know that they’re both quality suppliers/trades.

Feature wall painting

We had a painter come out to patch, fill, gap and paint the new VJ panels. I chose a beautiful muted eucalyptus tone from Wattyl called Westerley for the guest bedroom feature, and in our master bedroom we used the same as all of the other internal walls. We are also going to engage Robin to paint the limestone retaining blocks we have on our boundary (below the fence) once our landscaping brickwork is complete. If you’re keen to read up and view some inspirational rooms painted in my favourite subdued green tones, stay tuned in the coming weeks. Or sign up to receive my newsletter when it goes live (it’s next on my ‘to write’ list.)

Upholstery

I know furniture and upholstery can overlap into styling but I thought it was worth mentioning here too. Especially when custom pieces can enhance the overall look and cohesion of your home drastically. We had both of our main lounges upholstered to fit the space because the living and theatre room are both quite long. We also had some ottomans upholstered to fit under cabinetry or coffee tables, in fabrics that will compliment the artwork and colour palette we are wanting to achieve. To weigh up the pros and cons of bespoke upholstery, here are a few pointers to compare.

Pros-
  • Usually locally made.
  • Extended or lifetime warranties depending on the brand.
  • Thousands of fabric or leather options.
  • Ability to shorten, lengthen, deepen, make narrower, fit to a specific measurement.
  • Choice of leg designs.
  • More choice of filling- foam, dacron, feather, a mixture of two etc..
  • Choice of stitching- piped, flanged, standard, twin needle.
  • Usually the seat and back cushions are able to be taken off/washed, instead of being sewn onto the frame (depending on the sofa design you choose.)
Cons-
  • Incurs a lead time.
  • Price usually reflects a quality product.
  • If selecting a different fabric than the displayed model, you might not be able to see an image or demo of how your chosen design will look ahead of purchasing.
  • If selecting a different filling than the displayed model, you might not be able to test out the comfort of how your chosen design will feel ahead of purchasing.
  • Some companies might not ship interstate, or will incur a premium freight charge.
  • Make sure you check access for any (one piece) extra long sofas or headboards. Narrow hallways or low ceilings might prevent the product from easily being delivered in one piece.
  • If you live in an apartment check the lift clearance before ordering something that won’t fit.

Aggregate

We subtracted the driveway and alfresco off of our contract to organise this after handover. My client’s family own Total Concrete so we engaged them to do both our front and back aggregate. We went with a bold choice for the driveway and front path, using a black exposed mix. We absolutely adore the finished product and it works really well with our facade being majority white, grey and timber. Out the back we used a white mix with grey and greenish stones throughout and I love that it doesn’t throw any cream or beige tones. They’re both Limecrete mixes- Black Pepper (dark,) Travertine (light,) poured by Total Concrete.

Next on our list

At the moment I’m not overly worried about ‘finishing our home’ or styling each room. These little additions are helping add our own personality and style to the beautiful shell it already was and it’s great to see my visions slowly taking shape. On the top of my interior shopping list are feature lighting and rugs, but this week is all about the exterior with our landscaping commencing (pending Covid lockdown restrictions.) Our reclaimed bricks were delivered last week and the concrete footings were poured for the front and back planter boxes, as well as the letterbox. You can read about our landscaping plans below along with some other entries focusing on our building process with Homebuyers Centre.

Make It Sparkle

Hey everyone. How is it October and a month into Spring already?! That means we moved into our new home almost 9 months ago- Crazy! I remember unpacking box, after box and making a conscious decision to Spring clean regularly, ensuring the house is kept looking fresh, clutter free and manageable. I feel much calmer… Continue reading →

Homebuyers Centre WA Turns 30!

I mean it’s a milestone and an accomplishment within itself- 30 years of making first homes happen, and building over 30,000 of them in that time frame!! I feel like I’ve become part of the family at Homebuyers Centre WA – trusting them to build two of my own homes, and also decorating their Display… Continue reading →

Winter Home Decorating Ideas

Hey everyone. I’m currently writing this post with a hot water bottle covering my lap, wearing about 4 layers of clothing. Coincidently the topic of my blog entry today is ‘Winter home decor,’ and sharing my favourite ways to make your home feel instantly cosier. I was recently asked by Homebuyers Centre to explain how… Continue reading →

If you have any questions regarding the additions I’ve mentioned here in this entry, please feel free to comment below and I’ll reply with an answer. Have a lovely week ahead and for everyone in Western Australia, stay safe and positive!

Tarina x

Homebuyers Centre WA has kindly sponsored this blog entry, based on my experience as their decorator and our own building journey. All thoughts, design work, styling and written content are my own.

Furniture and Continuity

Hey everyone,

Can you believe it?! There are only 5 weeks until Christmas! We will have a great little gift this year with the completion of our new home scheduled to finish up in roughly 9 days! Eep! My last entry was at the beginning of October and within 7 short weeks our ceilings, cornicing, windows and doors, sanitary fittings, cabinetry, tiling, stone and part of the internal painting has been completed. All of the exterior has been painted and our feature linings have been installed. We are really impressed with the build progress so far and we are beyond happy with how all of our selections look installed. Another big thanks to the amazing HBC team for making this journey so enjoyable.

With Christmas fast approaching and lead times blowing out as a result, I have now locked in window treatments, extra cabinetry, carpentry (skirting boards,) upholstery and wallpaper installation. I’ve also been sourcing some new pieces of furniture. We won’t be replacing everything because I still like a lot of things we own already, but there are a few pieces that will be too small in the new house. In this post I’ll touch base on buying selected furniture and give some tips on how to achieve continuity and flow in your home. So sit tight, or make sure you bookmark this as a ‘must read’ at some point this week or over the weekend.

I’ll start with furniture. For large ticket items like sofas and beds I always suggest to select a quality product, in a neutral tone. Try to avoid trending, seasonal colours when purchasing anything expensive, unless you really love it and will continue to like it when the trend passes. If you want to inject some vibrance into your home, you can easily style each area using pops of colour in decor, artwork, linen and textiles.

Top tips for buying a sofa

  • Look into sofa designs with removable or reversible seat and back cushions. This way you can rotate them to maximise the life of the foam or feather insert and you can conceal any unexpected stains or imperfections, by flipping it over.
  • If you want elongated sofa seat cushions, expect some sagging in the fabric over time. Stitching helps the fabric stay in place so a long span of cushion will naturally stretch in the centre more than a shorter seat cushion.
  • Consider your family dynamic and the way you will use your sofa before selecting a fabric. Larger/thicker weave fabrics are more likely to pull and catch on sharp objects like pet paws, jean studs, jewellery etc. A finer and tighter weave won’t catch as much but it will show up marks a bit more than a chunkier weave.
  • If you are wanting a leather sofa make sure you do your research on what category/grade of leather will be most suitable for you. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘genuine’ leather. It doesn’t represent a higher grade or quality, in fact it is less breathable and prone to splitting/cracking because of the thin top layer of PU or vinyl bonded on the top.
  • A sofa that is on glides (frame goes to the floor) is easier to keep clean in a darker colour because the bottom of the frame will get shoe marks across the fabric. If you’re wanting a lighter coloured sofa, consider a design on legs so there is no fabric at foot level.
  • If you have an open plan living area and the sofa is not against a wall, take into account the ‘backside’ of your new sofa. Some cheaply made lounges are upholstered to only be seen from the front and will have multiple panels of thinner fabric pieces stitched together to create the back… and not in the ‘luxe quilted’ way either.
  • When choosing a sofa with a modular or chaise option, consider your room layout and locate the chaise on the far side of where you enter the room. This will open up the area and ensure the space is accessible and usable.

I generally have all my sofas custom made here in Perth, but here are some of my favourite store bought designs that I have used or specified in projects.

|| 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 ||

Bedside tables

  • Bedside tables with drawers are practical for any bedrooms being ‘used.’
  • Side tables are a great, affordable way to furnish a guest bedroom, where bedside storage isn’t necessary.
  • Designs with a shelf can be aesthetically pleasing, but in reality can collect a fair amount of dust.
  • In my (tried and tested) opinion, one of the best features on a bedside table is a rim around the top edge. It is so handy as nothing falls off eg phone on the charger, reading glasses, books etc.
  • Try and purchase a bedside table with height in mind. Compare the height of your mattress to the height of the table so they are similar measurements. Double pillow-top mattresses usually look better with a taller bedside, whereas low-lying beds look better with shorter bedsides.
  • Be cautious of resting drinking glasses or water bottles on both veneer and timber bedside tables. Watermarks are common and are hard to fix on veneer products, so the best way to avoid them is by keeping a coaster nearby.
  • If you are looking into a hinged/door design, make sure you can specify opposite swing directions. If both hinges are on the same side, one will open towards the bed (rather than away from the bed.)

Some beautiful 1 and 2 drawer bedside table options are linked below. These are a few of my favourite designs at the moment and the first two have the brim around the top (that I mentioned above.)

|| 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 ||
Homebuyers Centre ‘Cove’ Display Home

Beds VS ensembles

Choosing a bed with a frame or an ensemble completely comes down to personal preference, but there are a few factors to think about before making a final decision. In the Homebuyers Centre display homes I mostly specify ensembles, paired with a headboard. The base of the ensemble doesn’t need to look pretty because it is covered with a bed wrap or valance, so as a result this is a more cost effective option for us. It also allows me to customise headboard designs based on the style and the colour scheme I want to adapt. In client projects I always gravitate towards a full bed, as it’s a more unified piece of furniture.

  • Bed frames are usually fixed to the headboard making it a more solid unit, in comparison to an ensemble/headboard pairing. In saying this the headboards I have custom made, feature a built-in wall mount option to secure it safely and prevent movement.
  • A quality bed will usually be more expensive than an ensemble setup.
  • With an ensemble you don’t necessarily need to have an upholstered headboard at all. You might want to create a feature wall with VJ panels, wallpaper or a boxed out plinth as your statement headboard.
  • Do you like the look of a valance or bed wrap being visible? Even if you go up a size with your quilt to create extra hang on either side of the bed, you’ll still see part of the valance or bed wrap somewhere around the perimeter (see above image.)
  • An ensemble base will either come with castors (small wheels) or fixed legs. Castors are good if you need to move the base around the room. However in a main bedroom where it get’s used more, the fixed legs will be more practical.
  • For either product, I always try to keep the headboard around 1100mm high. 1050mm is my go-to measurement because it allows enough height for europeans pillows but ample room above for a statement piece of art too. If I’m not using any art, I will arrange to have the headboard made at a taller height of 1200-1400mm.

Ensuring continuity and flow throughout your home

  • One way to create flow with your interior is to use the same timber tone throughout your home. RJ Living have a beautiful European Solid Oak range which extends across various products and this is a neat way to ensure the tone of your wooden furniture is consistent. You can shop their timeless collection below.
|| 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 ||
  • Using a ‘Colour’ palette is another great way to create continuity in your home. By dispersing pops of a similar colour palette into each room, it helps the overall interior feel connected and harmonious. You can decorate with colour in so many different ways for example in artwork, cushions, florals, ottomans, rugs, books, vases, textiles, linen, lighting and planters- to name a few. This pointer can also be applied to neutral or monochrome interiors by replacing colour with the use of repetition in texture and tone.
  • This next tip is not essential but I personally like to keep a majority of the interior hardware and trims consistent. Below is an example compilation of how you can create cohesion in your home between hardware, furniture, lighting and decor. I’m actually in love with all of the below!!
|| 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 || 7 || 8 ||
  • ‘Shape’ can also be cleverly used to keep your interior looking unified. ‘Curves’ are insanely popular at the moment and it’s soft, round form can be applied in many areas of the home. In lighting, mouldings, accent chairs, artwork, cushions, shelves, cabinetry handles – you name it! There are plenty of products on the market to inject the repetition of shape into each space, and it doesn’t have to be costly or permanent at all.
  • Similar to the previous dot point, ‘Pattern’ can transform a space and create flow in your home. Linear patterns have been trending for years but they continue to be a huge influence with new, innovative designs evolving. Lining boards like Easycraft Vj panels have been circulating in mainstream residential design for around 6 years now, but batten and half dowel cladding has quickly gained momentum with brands like Porta and Glosswood becoming increasingly popular. Kit Kat tiles are also a firm fave of mine, with many styles and finishes available. These materials use the repetition of linear pattern to generate a textured focal point and feature in your home.

Well if you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading and I hope this content was informative or helpful in some way. If you’re a first time home builder, I have documented our journey from the beginning and included some shop the looks and handy tips in each entry. Feel free to navigate through them below.

Society 6 Compilation

Hey all, Welcome to the back half of 2021!! Already!! Today’s entry follows on from my previous ‘Artwork‘ post, because a fair few people have asked me to share some of my favourite artists on Society6. With a huge variety and saturation of affordable wall art online, I thought it would be nice to showcase… Continue reading →

Everything Artwork

Heyaa, I hope everyone is keeping safe and well! Perth has just come out of a snap lockdown but it was quite nice to get some writing done- since my last entry was about 10 weeks ago!! Today I’m going to shed some insight into how I plan artwork for a new home or client… Continue reading →

WE’RE IN!!!

My first entry for 2021! We have officially moved into our new home and are currently in Covid lockdown for the next 5 days!! What better way to get ontop of organising and unpacking?! Our construction journey went really smoothly and Homebuyers Centre did an outstanding job of sticking to the handover date and providing… Continue reading →

It’s crazy to think that the next time I write a post, it will be from my new desk, in our new home!!!!

Have a fab weekend everyone,

T x

7 week progress shots
Cabinetry installed> Cornicing installed> Ceiling, doors, frames and cornicing painted> Exterior painted and linings installed> Stone bench tops in > Tiling complete>

Homebuyers Centre WA has kindly sponsored this blog entry, based on my experience as their decorator and our own building journey. All thoughts, design work, styling and written content are my own.

Landscape Planning and Design

Our HBC build has reached a new milestone to document! My last update was at the end of July and within 9 short weeks our brickwork, plumbing, electrical and roof has been completed… As well as the float (grey cement render) and set (white plaster coat.) We’re seriously impressed, not only with the process but the whole team involved!! The build is quickly taking shape and resembling an actual home, so it got us thinking about what is left to finish after handover. We decided to make a list and start getting quotes for various things like landscaping and aggregate, built in cabinetry, window coverings, plus any furniture/ decor we want to buy new. We have decided to tackle the largest $ outlay first to ensure we give ourselves as much time as possible to save. As a result, landscaping is our first priority at the moment because we are not savvy gardeners but want to create and enjoy a beautiful outdoor space.

By making our house floor plan larger, we knew it would cut into our backyard space. We aren’t too phased though, because there is a large grassed area/ park being built a few houses down. Knowing our space is limited, I designed an outdoor area that flows on from our interior, maximises space and sunlight, is practical, functional and stylish. When I had finished some rough sketches, Paul and I contacted Landscapes WA and set up a meeting with Nic and Ryan to discuss our landscaping wants/needs. I have worked alongside their team for over 2 years now on all the current Homebuyers Centre Display Homes and am always impressed with their creations. We love our base concept and can’t wait to get started.

The look we want to achieve is a contemporary, urban style outdoor area. After looking at some products in person, I put the above textures together to form some initial inspiration. We love how they work together with the rest of our home, so they quickly became key elements in our landscape design.

  • The cladding- The battens are consistent with our feature walls out the front and will be used in two areas of the backyard. To save floorspace we will have a large L shaped bench seat constructed in the same material, as well as a feature screen along part of the fence line. The spotted gum colouring works really well with our monochrome facade and the linear repetition will be fluent throughout the rest of the home and outdoor spaces.
  • Magnolias- Their full foliage will provide a nice screen in front of the fence and create a nice backdrop to the bench seat. The colouring is also spot on with their brown undertone leaves and contrasting white flowers.
  • Aggregate- We’re undecided on colour at the moment but we have narrowed the honed aggregate in the backyard down to two white Limecrete options. One has black and grey stones (Salt and Pepper.) Whereas, the other has green and grey- like the above image (Travertine.) For our driveway and front path, we are set on a very dark charcoal (almost black) exposed aggregate. It’s a bold choice but it will balance out the roof colour and contrast nicely against the painted render and garage. The maintenance factor of aggregate has sold us both because there are less joins for weeds to grow through in comparison to paving.
  • Reclaimed/ recycled brick- We love the raw, organic texture of recycled brick and it is bang on the ‘urban’ style we are wanting to achieve. A planter box running along our fence line will house the magnolias, enhance the height and create a point of interest in front of the black fence. The various warm tones of the brick will help tie in the spotted gum battens and soften the black and white contrasting colour scheme. We will also be using this material in our front landscaping in the form of a letterbox/ low wall design.
  • Black steel- The use of black is apparent throughout the landscaping and facade against white, timber and warm grey. Our roof, window frames, fence, open structure (yet to be drawn in on the design,) garden edging and some of the outdoor furniture will all be similar shades to Colorbond Monument. This ensures a continuous and harmonious flow throughout the outdoor areas.

Here’s how we maximised natural light in the drafting stage of our build to suit our home and it’s orientation. Majority of people choose to extend their alfresco longer to create a larger undercover area. We broke away from this concept knowing our space was limited and instead, chose to create a boxed recess ceiling over part of our alfresco. The roof ends at the middle pillar but you must be thinking why? Why on earth would you reduce it? First of all, it’s just our personal preference and other’s might think otherwise. It’s important you design your home based on what you and your family will use and enjoy. We both love the sun and don’t want to be lounging in complete shade. Our block faces east, so we get the northern sun down the side of the house all day. The sun then sets at the back of our home so if we kept the roof cover to the extent of the aggregate, hardly any of the open plan living (which includes the kitchen, living, dining, games room) would ever get direct sunlight because it’s covered predominantly by a large alfresco. Instead, we are having an open structure built by Landscapes WA (in addition to the alfresco) that allows the sunlight through and creates a second entertaining zone. This will ensure that the lounging area of the yard is light filled, as well as the games room which filters through to the rest of the open plan area. Our outdoor dining space will still be completely roof covered and we felt that this design made the most of Perth’s climate, the natural sunlight and the way we want to use our backyard.

We move in hopefully at the end of the year so outdoor furniture is also on the forefront of our mind so we can enjoy some warm, summer weather outside. We won’t need a sofa because of the large built-in bench, however we would still like 2x occasional chairs, a couple of side tables and an outdoor dining setting (for under the alfresco.) Quality outdoor furniture can cost a small fortune, so I thought it would be nice to share with you all, some mix and match pieces that I have recently saved. To keep costs down, I think we will choose a plain (somewhat affordable) dining table and invest more on quality chairs. In saying that, the $60.00 Bunnings rope dining chairs (further down) are surprisingly comfy!! All of the dining tables below, are priced as a 200cm or larger size- Pair it with a feature chair and you have a winning outdoor setting, that looks designer- for less.

|| 1. Hattholmen Table || 2. Lava Bronte Table || 3. Maine Table || 4. Terrazzo Table || 5. Switch Cement Table || 6. Havelock Table ||

Last image credit- Adam Robinson Design, Other Images- Globewest

Here are some chairs that caught my eye while scrolling through endless outdoor furniture websites. I also discovered that there are a lot of really affordable chairs, or a lot of really expensive chairs. There is little middle ground and the vast price difference purely comes down to material. The more expensive woven chairs will likely consist of an ecolene wicker and galvanised steel frame. Ecolene wicker is a polyethylene synthetic material which is made to withstand our harsh climate and weather conditions- including UV, heat, mould, sea and chlorine water. It is really durable, washable and even better, recyclable. They’re a true investment piece, whereas the cheaper alternatives will need replacing as they wear and tear.

|| 1. Mimosa Rope Chair || 2. Zarli White Chair || 3. Slope Natural Chair || 4. Granada Scoop Chair || 5. Gallery Wire Chair || 6. Leah Chair White ||

Image credit- Brickworks Truganina, Image credit- WB ‘The Cabin’

And lastly, before this post get’s any longer, I threw together some monochrome side table options. I do love natural wood tones, but seeming as though the side tables will be next to our batten bench seat, the neutral colour on any of these will work better as an understated piece. I’m leaning towards #5 or #8 because I am drawn to the sharper/ clean lines for our style home. I also really like the nesting shapes of #3 and #4 (along with their price tag haha) so I think I’ll wait until we confirm the rest of the larger outdoor furniture… then I can match it to those selections.

|| 1. Leon Concrete Stool || 2. Kaia S/table Stool || 3. Lucas Side Table || 4. Lucas Coffee Table || 5. Hammer Stool || 6. Akoni Side Table || 7. Aksel Side table Set || 8. Livorno Round Side Table || 9. Etta Cream S/Table Stool||

Well, I am beyond excited with the progress of our home so far and I can’t wait to see where we are at within the next 8 weeks. I’ve been informed by HBC that the ceiling, cabinetry, basins, tapware, wastes and tiling are all happening within the next month! Eep! I know a lot of you are also building/ renovating/ redecorating so I hope this post has been a joy to read. If you have any questions or topics you want me to cover next, please feel free to comment below.

Have a lovely weekend and I’ll leave you with a few progress snapshots.

Tx

11 week progress shots.
Pad down > Plate high brickwork > Electrical and Plumbing provisions installed > Roof on > Render applied > Plaster applied.

Homebuyers Centre WA has kindly sponsored this blog entry, based on my experience as their decorator and our own building journey. All thoughts, design work, styling and written content are my own.