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 texture, ambience and colour can effect the overall warmth and feel of a space. Home decorating can become expensive if you re-style seasonally but rest assured, the pieces I am going to show you are staples you will love getting out year-after-year, during the cooler months. I’ll be sharing some really handy styling tips along with some of my favourite products so you can easily shop the look. Then over on my IGTV you can watch how I have restyled the ‘Capri’ master bedroom making simple and affordable decor changes to demonstrate all of the above. This could be my favourite post yet, I hope you enjoy it too!

Layering

This is a styling essential! I use layers all the time to create comfy, cosy beds. By adding an extra blanket or throw to your bedding, you instantly create a more inviting place to rest. Additional layers= additional warmth… just like my clothing right now! How do I keep the bed looking cohesive with 3 (or sometimes even 4) layers? I break each layer down and make sure it relates back to another accent in it’s surroundings. Eg Euros match the quilt cover, 1 set of standard pillowcases match the sheets, the other set of standard pillowcases match the coverlet, then the addition throw or blanket ties back with a particular cushion, artwork or feature colour within the room.

Layering also applies to any lounging areas you use regularly. In winter, most people prefer to stay indoors to escape the miserable weather, so styling your sofas, reading nooks or occasional chairs with a deliciously soft throw or tactile cushion will add extra comfort and visual delight. Here are some of my favourite throws at the moment. It’s quite clear I’m absolutely loving earthy, buttery, warm tones right now!!

Shop the Look

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Full inserts

Plump inserts in quilts and cushions are another great way to add extra warmth in your home. Feather or wool filled quilts have a beautiful full, fluffy appearance and often look much cosier than thinner, flat inserts. The down or wool products will incur a higher price tag because they’re a natural fibre, however, there are some great polyester ‘high loft’ quilts around that look perfectly lavish for winter. Adairs is a great store to shop for inserts, because they accomodate for both luxury and more affordable budgets.

Feather filled is my ‘insert preference’ for scatter cushions and standard sizes can be purchased at various retailers like H+M, Spotlight, Potterybarn, Adairs and Ikea. FF inserts don’t permanently loose their shape (because you can fluff them back up) and they are more mouldable than polyester/dacron filled cushions. This means you can achieve a slouchy relaxed looking cushion, or a more tailored ‘chop.’

Texture

Texture is a really important design element to consider when decorating a space, especially in the cooler months. Texture emphasises warmth and creates a point of interest. Too much texture can appear busy to the eye, whereas not enough will leave the area feeling cold and flat. Even though texture is defined more-so as the tactile quality of a surface, it can absolutely be ‘felt’ through an image- without physically touching the surface itself. This is important to note if you are styling a property to sell, or operate a home inspo account on social media because you want your audience/buyers to feel visually invited into a homely setting.

Soft, plush materials are great for winter styling, so think shags, sheepskin, velvet, faux fur, boucle, chunky knits, woollen and woven textiles. As a general design guideline, I try to place the textured elements away from each other, so the overall space feels balanced and cohesive. Some of my favourite textured finds are below.

Shop the Look

|| 1. Cushion || 2. Vase || 3. Stem || 4.Rug ||

Ambience

The use of lighting within your home can drastically increase the cosiness of your surroundings. Most homes have some form of downlight to all main areas but by decorating with an opulent feature lamp or floor lamp and using the dim light from this source, you can emphasise the ambience in a particular area. Dimmable lamps are great and so are designs with an oversized opal bulb as the main light source. Don’t forget to ask for a warm or natural globe, rather than a stark/cool globe. Below are some table lamps that have caught my eye over the past few months.

Shop the Look

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Candles also create a beautiful, romantic ambience when lit and there are some incredible products on the market, which double as styling decor. Gone are the days where candles only came in a jar or bowl. Within the past couple of years (and hugely trending now) are candle styles with projection and ribbing, ball and soft shape curves, femme and unique vessel designs, PLUS a wide range of coloured wax choices. There’s honestly a candle (and scent) for everyone’s liking- Check out Norsu for an extensive range.

PIC CREDIT: NORSU INTERIORS

Colour

Colour can emphasise whether a space feels warm or cold, especially in Winter. Overcast skies and the lack of sunlight will automatically make your home feel darker and duller, but the introduction of warmer tones (and texture) will help make your home feel pleasantly snug. If you gravitate naturally towards cooler tones like blues, greens, greys etc, and don’t want to change out your decor to a warmer colour, try adding an element of warmth alongside (or layered with) the cooler palette. Creamy neutrals like linen/sand, beige, ivory, caramel, fawn, taupe or tan will work beautifully alongside blues, greens or greys and keep the space feeling cosy. Colour can be dispersed through the styling of artwork, cushions, vases, vessels or candles, throws, rugs, upholstery, bedding, feature paint or even wallpaper. Foliage and florals are another area you can experiment with colour and there are plenty of faux cream/brown toned stems available to purchase, as well as dried or preserved arrangements. This doesn’t mean you need to swap out your greenery, in exchange for the above. It simply suggests you can use it as a point of difference or feature, especially if it helps tie in other blocks of colour around the room.

Some other ‘Winter Warming’ points worth mentioning:

  • Shop for some new plush bathroom towels and invest in a couple of matching bath mats.
  • I’ve heard great things about outdoor fire pits and how it is a lovely social and family bonding way to spend cooler evenings.
  • If you’re in need of a new area/ floor rug, try shopping for a loop pile wool rug or something with a bit of texture. This will not only be soft under foot in winter, but versatile throughout summer as well.
  • Take a look at flannelette sheets if you’re wanting a toasty night sleep. ‘Cotton flannelette’ is amazing at retaining body heat and although the cotton fibres are soft and fluffy, they’re also very breathable. See below for my round up of top flannelette sheets.
  • Changing out artwork can be affordable if you shop around for posters or printable designs.
  • Make sure your indoor plants are still getting enough natural sunlight. I know a few of mine are looking a little worse for wear. Oopsie!

Shop the Look

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Well that’s it for me today!! If you’ve enjoyed these tips and product round-ups, there are plenty more to browse through below. Another big shout out to Homebuyers Centre WA for kindly sponsoring this post and allowing me to share all this valuable information with you. As always, all design work, styling, ideas and written content are my own. Hit me up in the comments section if there is a styling topic you’d like me to cover next.

Have a fab evening everyone,

T x

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

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.

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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.

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 →

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 →

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.

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.

Where to spend and save money during pre-start

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With loads of people taking advantage of the new home builder government grants, I thought I would share some tips on where to spend money during PreStart. We completed our Pre Start about 6 weeks ago with Homebuyers Centre and I know first hand how overwhelming (but exciting) this part of the building journey can be. So relax and take a breathe, I have a few insightful and informative tips that might help ease the pressure, or highlight an area you haven’t thought about yet.

Electrical and Cabling

The most obvious area to budget for is the cable and electrical plan. Most people will add several more GPO points and change locations of the current ones to suit their day to day life. For additional points- think about:

  • Where you charge your mobile phone frequently, outside of the bedroom.
  • In the broom or linen cupboard for a cordless vacuum.
  • On the island bench.
  • In the corner of the living room for a floor lamp or your Christmas tree lights.
  • Where you sit and use your laptop outside of the study area, to easily recharge it (eg dining table or next to the couch.)
  • Either side of a bed in each room.
  • An extra one in the garage for high pressure cleaning, gym equipment, power tools or to easily vacuum the car.
  • If you don’t have a microwave box in your kitchen cabinetry, one in the pantry is handy.
  • In any long hallways so the vacuum cord reaches into the bedrooms.
  • We added a double GPO in the alfresco at 6c, for possible speakers or bar fridge.
  • An additional one in the study if you have more than one computer. We have built in cabinetry spanning 5 meters in our study so I added another GPO for our second computer, then a hidden one in the cabinetry for my printer, scanner and camera battery charger.
Add an extra GPO in the corner of your living area for a floor lamp or Christmas tree lights.linebreak

Another handy tip is to move the fridge GPO higher to sit behind the overheads above (if you have any.) This way the fridge sits further back in the recess and doesn’t stick out as much- Check how long your fridge cord is before committing to the higher location though.

On your cabling plan you will need to budget for additional costs to have your TVs wall mounted and conduits provided. This will create a channel in the wall to run (hide) the cables, cords and wires from the TV to the data points and GPO below.

An easy upgrade decision for me was to change our ducted aircon zoning pad to a MyAir smart system. It’s user friendly, easy to navigate and will be perfect for our family! You can see these management control pads at all the Homebuyers Centre display homes and it was one of the first upgrades we confirmed in our PreStart! You can read up about them here.

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Lighting

Most people will also add additional downlights to their plan. From memory Paul and I only added 2 down lights- one in the walk in shower and an additional one in a long hallway. However we did put 3 fan base plugs in the roof where we intend on having feature lighting. Fan base plugs are essentially just a power source for future pendants to minimise cords running through the roof. This was super handy because I haven’t chosen our feature lighting yet and didn’t want the added pressure of choosing an exact location for installation before the furniture goes in. More than one pendant can be connected to each fan base so we got one put in the ceiling above our dining room, master and kitchen. This info might only be relevant to single storey homes though- double storey might be different if the roof space is not easily accessible on the ground floor.

Another lighting area to think of before finalising your electrical plan, is to decide whether you want any internal wall lights. This needs to be put on your plan with a specified height because it cannot easily be done afterwards, unless it is located on a cavity wall. So if you are planning on having wall lights in your ensuite or master bedroom- PreStart is the time to add it in.

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Storage

It’s a vital area to think about when building a family home and the chances are your wardrobe fitouts will be fairly basic unless you have included a custom design in your contract variations. In our master bedroom we chose to completely remove the rail and shelf to have something customised after handover. You can either get this done through a cabinet maker/ wardrobe specialist, or have a crack at designing one yourself using the Ikea PAX system (which is also fairly customisable.) Below is an example I have started designing on the Ikea website and it is a fraction of the price a custom one would cost. This whole setup amounts to only $1560.00, whereas a custom made one would be roughly triple the price.

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To improve function and maximise storage in your cabinetry designs, some areas to consider upgrading are:

Add in overheads in the kitchen, fridge recess, laundry and scullery if they’re not already included in your build. If your cooktop is below overheads, the overheads will meet up to a range hood. However, if you want the overheads to run the full width, you’ll need to upgrade and get a pull out rangehood.

Drawers are so handy and can be upgraded from standard doors throughout your home. Drawers create more accessible space in your cabinetry and minimises having to stack high piles of kitchenware like pots, pans and tupperware. They can also be added in the centre of your ensuite or bathroom vanity, however to avoid substantial costs, your vanity ideally needs to be long enough so that the drawers avoid the basin plumbing. Drawers can be customised around the plumbing, however this usually incurs a large cost because of the labour and materials involved.

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A microwave box is really handy to have somewhere in your kitchen design, if you have the space. For a flat upgrade price Homebuyers Centre can include a box surround (matching your laminate selection,) factor in a GPO and add a pot drawer below. Having a microwave box will maximise bench and pantry space in your new kitchen and your PreStart consultant can guide you on it’s ideal location.

Window Coverings

Lastly, before this post get’s too long, an expense that most people are often shocked by is custom window coverings. It’s an area to definitely budget for if you want to upgrade your selections to quality products like sheer curtains and plantation shutters. We opted to remove all the window coverings included in our contract at PreStart so I can organise them after hand over. It’s hard to predict how much to set aside for window coverings of a full home because it completely depends on how large the windows are, how many, fabric and product selections etc.. but they can easily amount to 10K (plus) if you’re including sheers in majority of the rooms. In saying this, some banks/ home loan lenders require the home to be turnkey ready which means the property is ‘move in ready’ with flooring, window coverings etc (so removing is not an option.) If this is the case, I would suggest getting roller blinds as a blockout, then after handover you can invest in some beautiful sheer curtains in addition to the covering you already have.

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So in a nutshell here are a few key points that I personally think are worth upgrading at PreStart, oppose to doing yourself after handover.

Upgrade:

  • Electrical- additional GPOs, downlights and fan base outlets.
  • Cabling- conduits and tv mounts.
  • Flooring- quality carpet and underlay.
  • Functional storage options in cabinetry designs- drawers, microwave box, overheads.
  • Tapware.
  • Tiling.

Things you can do yourself, after handover or in the future:

  • Window Coverings.
  • Wardrobe Fitouts.
  • Change internal passage and privacy handles.
  • Internal door profiles.
  • Alfresco flooring.
  • Internal painting.
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As always, if you have any questions please comment below or send me an email. I hope this post is useful to anyone beginning their new home journey. Good luck and enjoy the ride! T 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.

Shop the Skater Look

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Good evening everyone!

I recently completed this fun, skate inspired bedroom for Homebuyers Centre WA and I’m so happy with the way it turned out. I have compiled a list of the supplier details and created a ‘shop the look’ section below with clickable links for anyone wanting to source items from this vibrant boy’s room.  You can also check out this space in person at the new ‘Ascend’  display home in Banksia Grove (address and details here.)

In the coming weeks I will write a separate blog entry on designing fun-filled kid’s bedrooms and how to style with colour. It will be quite informative and full of handy tips, so stay tuned.

Have a lovely week!

T x

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Sheer Curtains- The Blinds Gallery in ‘Warwick Sicily Slate’ fabric

Paint Colour- Taubmans ‘Barely Beige’ 1/4 strength

Carpet- Victoria Carpets ‘Everest Mirage’

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shopthelook

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Styled images are the property of Oh Eight Oh Nine and must not be used without written consent.