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 when our surroundings are tidy, so it is crucial for me to maintain organisation and household chores (especially) when working from home, to ensure my mind is clear and focused. My second family over at Homebuyers Centre WA have asked me to chat about my favourite spring cleaning products/ cannot-live-without-items, organisation tips and some simple ways to get your home feeling fabulous for less… Yes, less- because we have even managed to get our hands on some exclusive discounts from 10 awesome brands that I love and use in my own home- you can view them all at the bottom of this post.

Maintenance is key.

I’d be fibbing if I told you our home is perfectly curated and magazine worthy everyday. It’s certainly not- but it is kept fairly tidy and we all try to pack away/clean up after ourselves throughout the day. Getting into the mentality of, “it literally takes two seconds,” stops clutter building up and chores feel way more manageable because they’re not made into mammoth tasks. When it comes to larger cleans (like spring cleaning) I break down the duties into specific areas and tackle them over a few different weekends. This means I still get to enjoy the majority of my weekend with family and I only have to dig out the cleaning products targeting the related areas I’m working on. The same principle applies for landscaping and exterior!! When I notice a little weed sprouting or some dry leaf litter floating around, I’ll make sure they’re pulled out/picked up promptly so that the chore doesn’t manifest over time.

Organise and simplify.

One key aspect that helps me maintain a clean home is having everyone know where possessions belong. This is especially helpful for children who are primary school age and above. Knowing where their toys, clothes and belongings are, eliminates a tornado of mess when they are trying to locate something specific. Clearly label storage tubs and group together similar items- eg cars, lego, technology, crafts… then the same with clothing- shorts, pants, tees, long sleeve. You can also rotate your seasonal clothes by packing away bulky, winter garments that you won’t wear throughout summer. I relocate ours and put them in the wardrobe of our spare bedroom, but if you’re limited on space you could try vacuum bagging some items and temporarily storing them in your linen cupboard. This frees up a lot of space in our main wardrobes and the whole area feels less cluttered.

Bedside Tables- Satara Living, Wardrobe System- Ikea PAX

The Cull.

Go from room- to-room and ruthlessly recycle, donate or appropriately throw away any possessions that are no longer being used/eaten/worn/played with. Don’t stop at your wardrobes either, consider culling old makeup, skincare products and expired medications in your vanities (Children’s panadol, nurofen and spare sunscreen tubes are notorious for expiring in my household.) Also take a look at your current bath/hand/face towels and consider donating any spares to your local women’s refuge or animal shelter. Same goes for linen, bedding and cushions. You might be overdue for new pillow inserts, fresh sheets or a summer quilt so bag it up and donate anything you no longer require. Then (if required) you can replenish and treat yourself using the discount code provided further down #winning

Storage.

This category could easily fall underneath the ‘organise’ umbrella, but I think ‘storage’ deserves it’s own mention as well. Often we focus on elaborate storage systems and custom-built units to impressively store belongings, forgetting that nifty hacks can also make the world of difference to de-clutter your home. One handy idea that I utilise in our home, is that we each have a bamboo basket which contains our day-to-day hygiene/beauty regime products- this is particularly convenient if your bathroom vanity has doors instead of drawers. You can easily take the items in and out (all at once,) which leaves your cupboards organised and your bench space tidy. They’re super affordable and are also stackable which is another awesome space saving pro!!

Bespoke joinery is beautiful, but this option is simply not obtainable for everyone. Thankfully, there are so many furniture pieces with great storage solutions on the market. In my opinion, Ikea is the retail leader when shopping for affordable and readily available storage units like wardrobes, drawers, entertainment units, bookcases and wall storage cabinets. My favourite systems to consider are the BESTÅ, PAX, KOPPANG, ALEX and EKET. There are hundreds of online hacks around to personalise these ranges but they have also just released new colour/material/profile options for some of the BESTÅ systems and they look NEAT!!! See below.

Buffets, console tables and blanket boxes are also lovely furniture options, if you want additional hidden storage. By placing a blanket box or storage ottoman at the foot of your bed, it can enhance the overall room aesthetic, as well as provide a convenient storage option in your bedroom. Utilise it to fold away a clean set of bed linen and towels in, so they are easily accessible when wanting a fresh towel or swapping over sheets on washing day. Here are 3 on-trend styles, currently available (and ready to ship) from Adairs.

|| 1. Norway Snow Boucle || 2. Burleigh Natural || 3. Francis Sand Velvet  ||

Enhance the ambience.

Create an atmosphere that relaxes you. No doubt after a good spring clean, your home will be smelling fresh but here are a few more ways to enhance tranquility in your surroundings.

  • Draw back your curtains.
  • Open your windows and let some fresh air in.
  • Use natural cleaning agents with aromatic scents, especially on your surfaces and floors.
  • Light a new candle or burn an incense stick.
  • Flip over a few reeds of your fragrance diffuser.
  • Buy yourself a bouquet of fresh flowers or gather some foliage from your garden.
  • Turn on some of your favourite tunes.
  • Cleanse and charge your crystals if required.
  • Put a wrapped bar of soap or a fresh fragrance sachet in your chest of drawers.
  • Water and fertilise your indoor plants.
  • Frame a new family portrait.

All of these small suggestions will help your home feel more inviting, more homely and more enjoyable.

My top home maintenance and spring cleaning products.

I have rounded up my favourite 12 products that help me maintain and keep our home looking tidy throughout the year. None of them are sponsored, so you can expect an honest review based on my personal use and their performance. A few stores have offered my community a discount, but this is purely because myself and Homebuyers Centre WA have reached out to the brand and obtained a discount code based off my love for their products. Enjoy!

  1. ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum– I cannot live without this little creature! It vacuums and mops (although I primarily use it for vacuuming,) has a nifty mapping function, carpet detection and so many other great functions. It has been the best investment/purchase I have made this year. ||Click Here||
  2. Bissell SpotClean Carpet Cleaner- In all honesty I thought this machine would blow my mind. It’s good but I wouldn’t say incredible… It still cements itself as a ‘must-have’ because I believe if our furniture were a bit older and more worn, I would see better results. What I can recommend being amazing, is the next Bissell product. ||Click Here||
  3. Bissell Tough Stain Pre-Cleaner– THIS little bottle of magic, is amazing! It mentions being a Pre-cleaner, but on the marks I have treated, this solution completely cleaned them off my sofas without having to use the (above) machine itself. Super convenient to have on hand for any unexpected stains that appear. ||Click Here||
  4. Koh Microfibre Cloths (4 Pack)– These microfibre cloths are great quality and they get the job done! The white polishing cloth (for mirrors and glass) is excellent and it’s the only product that leaves my glass streak-free. ||Click Here||
  5. Koala Eco Natural Multi-Purpose Kitchen Cleaner– I first received this solution as a handover gift from HBC when we received our keys and now I’m absolutely hooked. The fragrance is divine, it’s both biodegradable and eco-friendly, plus the formula is completely plant-based. 20% off storewide when using OHEIGHTOHNINE at the checkout. ||Click Here||
  6. Bondi Wash Non-Toxic Floor Wash- This floor wash smells amazing (loveee the citrus fragrance,) and it doesn’t leave your floor sticky or with a filmy residue. It is highly concentrated so the bottle goes a long way it’s safe to use on all floor types- hardwood, engineered timber, vinyl, hybrid, tiles, laminate etc… 20% off storewide when using OHEIGHTOHNINE at the checkout. ||Click Here||
  7. Chux Magic Eraser Spot Cleaner– These little gems are really handy for spot cleaning scuffs off walls and skirting boards. Try a small, isolated wall area first because it works/dries differently on certain paint finishes. They’re magic though- just like the name implies! ||Click Here||
  8. Philips Fabric Shaver– This is a recent purchase of mine but holy moly… I’m already addicted and am amazed at how my upholstery and clothes have been transformed!! ||Click Here||
  9. BÄSTIS Lint Roller– Yessss, the sticky lint roller is essential if you own a pet or simply want to keep fabrics dust/fibre/lint/hair-free. I use mine mostly on the sofas, headboards, ottomans and our clothing because it collects our dog’s fur that the vacuum can sometimes miss. ||Click Here||
  10. Selley’s Rapid Mould Killer– Okay so this product is definitely not natural and it’s quite strong, BUT it’s the only product I am satisfied with for effectively cleaning showers and grout. It’s not so much needed in our current home (because everything is new) but in my previous homes it has worked an absolute treat so I have continued to use it here as well!! || Click Here ||
  11. Koh Spray Mop– To be honest I think the actual mop itself is pretty on par with other brands, howeverrrr, the pads are what seals the deal for me. The green one is particularly good because it has some sort of interwoven, rubbery material among the rest of the fabric. I have no idea what it is called (lol,) but there is a noticeable grip and it definitely cleans my floor better than pads that just glide over the surface… Oh and the bundle is currently 55% off for anyone interested. || Click Here ||
  12. Bamboo Stackable Basket– I mentioned these above in my little vanity life hack, but they can be used anywhere in the home to organise items and save space in your pantry, study, laundry cupboards, nursery etc… 15% off storewide when using OHEIGHTOHNINE at the checkout.|| Click Here ||

Exclusive offers.

Whether you’re about to start an intense clean, or need to replenish a few items- the below 10 stores have you covered for all your cleaning, interior and organisation needs. Scroll through to see what discounts are on offer and enter OHEIGHTOHNINE at the checkout of each store for the full month of October. Valid until 31st October 2021, 23:59 AEST.

Discount code: OHEIGHTOHNINE

PRETTY LITTLE DESIGNS

15% off storewide- including sale items || Shop Now ||

KOALA ECO

20% off storewide ** excluding bundles and subscriptions. || Shop Now ||

LOOM TOWELS

10% off storewide ** excluding sets. || Shop Now ||

HOUSE OF WELLINGTON

15% off storewide || Shop Now ||

BONDI WASH

20% off Bondi Wash products ** excludes subscription boxes and cannot be used with any other discount code. || Shop Now ||

THE COVER COLLECTIVE

25% off storewide ** excluding sale and bundles, laundry and cushions. || Shop Now ||

LITTLE LABEL CO

10% off storewide **excluding new arrivals. || Shop Now ||

LOOM TOWELS

10% off storewide ** excluding sets. || Shop Now ||

WHITE BEACH CO

15% off storewide || Shop Now ||

MISS APRIL TOWELS

15% off storewide || Shop Now ||

I feel like this topic and post could go on forever because there are so many great hacks around to help you maintain a clean, functional home. Just remember, it’s okay to let things get out of hand a little at times (life gets busy) but if you’re feeling overwhelmed with some of the cluttered areas in your home, a good spring clean always boosts my mood and mind once complete… so it’s worth a try right?! If you have any ‘must have’ products or tips that your really love, feel free to comment below and share them with me and other readers.

Have a lovely October everyone!!

T x

Ps: How big is my little man now? Fully reaching his own wall hooks, like a grown teenager *sniff*

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.

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||

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

|| 1. || 2. || 3. || 4. || 5. || 6. || 7. || 8. || 9. ||

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

|| 1. || 2. || 3. || 4. || 5. || 6. || 7. || 8. || 9. ||

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

|| 1. || 2. || 3. || 4. || 5. ||

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.

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.

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.