Chines New Year is just around the corner, and this year is celebrating the Sheep & Goat. In honour of this wonderful time of year for the biggest Asian nation I thought I would share some mind blowing & gorgeous Chinese inspired interiors. From the Ming Dynasty right through to Modern Chinese Design one thing is for sure, the Chinese have a way of refining & perfecting their work to the upmost standard. There are so many elements of traditional and modern Chinese design that are incorporated into western styling – take a look around and you may be quite surprised. From porcelain vases through to wall murals or lattice screens Chinese design brings us a lot more then just Feng Shui…
If I were into fashion as much as I am interiors, this would be my style icon. Actually Julia Engel is already my style icon, but she inspires me in other ways. Her blog Gal Meets Glam is one of my most frequented and I’m always dying to steal every outfit she wears. But I’m not here to talk about fashion, I’m here for interiors. So how on earth do these two relate? Julia’s site and style inspires me in a way that I would love to inspire people with their interiors. Everyone has different tastes, but one style that resonates closest with me would have to be casual elegance, and I don’t think this is too different to the wearable style the Julia oozes. So what is casual elegance? It’s all about creating a timeless space. A space that is elegant without being stuffy or uptight – using classic pieces or pieces that have stood the test of time, furniture that is natural in form or incorporating traditional elements such as a crystal chandelier.
It’s using neutral colour palettes with hints of colour. A neutral base, with classic design pieces will open up options to many different styles. If you are wanting to aim for a look that’s still casual and elegant, work towards keeping the space cohesive and use art or cushions to inject fun and personality….
It’s understanding that depth and character are important. Using a monochromatic colour palette, with varying shades of one colour is a great way to add depth while still keeping a space cohesive. But be careful with grey as it can quickly become cold or uninviting, so mix in some warm timber items to make a space more welcoming…
It’s about Using high quality and natural materials such as leather, linen or cotton for upholstery, marble or other stone finishes, timber, rattan, etc…
All up it’s about the meeting and crossover of two style: Elegant and Casual. Mixing these to a 80:20 ratio if your after a space that’s a bit more elegant or adjusting that ration to whatever look you’re aiming for…
At the start of each month Interiors Addict (one of my favourite blogs) runs a 7-day competition called 7 Vignettes. I’ve always wanted to play but have felt a little intimidated, however with the start of a new year I thought – why not? So, at the start of this year I resolved to join in and share my little creations each month. February is the second month I participated in 7 Vignettes (check out my January edition here) and the vignettes I created are shown below. Unfortunately I didn’t get around to completing all 7 vignettes in time but I learnt a big lesson about planning and organisation. Life really gets away from you if you let it! All the same, I had a great time thinking up different ideas for this months vignettes, putting them together and checking out what everyone else had created. If these little creations inspire you, then I definitely recommend that you checkout the full gallery of vignettes by searching #7vignettes on instagram – some serious talent there, and a big congratulations to this months winner – @lauren.storey.
I was really bummed to miss out on the last two days – Neutral and Cosy, but as the say: better late than never! Here’s what I would have posted, had I prioritised the time to get them completed!
We all have shelves, often filled with not just books but also life’s little trinkets that when not displayed properly can end up look like messy clutter. Whether you have an open bookcase, something with glass doors or a storage unit with solid doors – the difference between having those shelves well organised and styled or not can be quite significant. So here are a few tips to make your book case more appealing. Mix small and large items – Mixing in variety of items in different sizes gives your book case a sense of scale. It’s a knack that can be quite difficult to achieve, but it’s a process that will evolve differently for everyone – keep taking a step back and editing how your shelves look. Books stacked in piles with an item placed on top will give that item a “stage” or sense of prominence which is great for small accent pieces. Larger or heavier items can be used as book ends or placed in a vignette with a few smaller items.
Allow for white space – Keep in mind that white space is just as important as filled space. White space is basically just the air space around objects – not every inch of space needs to be filled (both vertically and horizontally). Move a few items around to give feature items space to breath and create focal points.
Colour Block – Colour blocking is a great way to give the illusion of a tidier space. If you are purely filling your selves with books, try stacking them or lining them up by colour blocking and you’ll instantly see a space that is more cohesive and a pleasure to look at. As a bonus, I also find this helps trick me with finding my books as I have a visual memory!
Remember heavy items at the bottom, light at the top – Those old laws of physics will always apply with bookshelves – whether you have your bookcase attached to the wall or not (you should for safety reasons!) keeping heavy items on the lower shelves will help keep your shelving stable. Big heavy items, be it thick books or a large accent piece also look great at lower levels, are less likely to break if they don’t have as far to fall and most importantly will prevent your shelves from toppling over or becoming top heavy!
Keep child friendly items at child friendly heights – If you have children that are using your bookshelf, keep their books on the lower shelves which are reachable for their little fingers…
Can you believe January is almost over? Soon it will be Valentines day and then we’ll be moving into Autumn – time sure does fly when you’re having fun! Anyways, before you head out for a weekend of rest and relaxation, here are five things I’ve been loving and inspired by this week – to give you a little extra Saturday and Sunday inspiration… Sunday baking inspiration:
Minimal Rustic design:
This bedroom styling:
This gorgeous hand painted globe:
Drool worthy outdoor living spaces (especially with firepits):
Call me old fashioned, but I have always loved the idea of having my (future) children study in a space that is in a common area (like the dining or living room) where I would be able to easily see or help them. Back when I was at school, this space was usually the dining table, as it was for many others in my class. These days anything goes and if you’ve got a spare nook or some blank wall space, creating a small study area can be a lot easier than you think. Check out some of the below images for some inspiration on how you can create a productive and stylish space for your children to work at… 1. Keep in sleek – With most computing done on laptops, these days desks don’t need to be the full 600mm they’ve always been. A slimline desk can house a laptop and all that’s required for a great, versatile study space.
2. Build it in – Built in cupboards always tend to make a space appear bigger. By using cupboards that go floor to ceiling and then incorporating a desk in between, a space is created that feels open and bright – as a bonus, think of all that storage!
3. Keep it simple – A simple desk, chair and power-points is really al that’s needed to create an effective study space. Storage is important too, so having some drawers for stationary and filing will also help keep the space looking a little tidier. The key is using some items that tie in with your other décor to store bits a pieces which will give the space character without cluttering it up too much.
4. Make it fun – After all you are creating a space that’s for children to use. Having their space a little fun, or even better designing it with the little ones will help foster creativity and inspire them to use their space.
5. Be unique – I absolutely love this idea of incorporating a little house around this study space. It would be great for if you’re little one gets easily distracted and it also creates a zone that is entirely theirs. Even better if there was a little door on the front to hide away mess at the end of each study session!
Over the Christmas break, we finally found the time & drive to finish off our kitchen. It’s been a long time coming but I didn’t want to reveal the finished product until it was well…. finished! We’re not quite there but what’s left is just a final coat of paint and probably some new (white) barstools. My Husband did about 99% of the work on this kitchen – from ripping out the old appliances and cupboards; putting together our new cupboards (okay I helped a bit with that); building custom bulkheads and cabinetry details; installing everything; titling; painting; flooring and the list goes on. Basically the only things we didn’t do ourselves were the electrical and plumbing work – and even with that being taken care of I still managed to zap myself on a power point part way through. As this was our first renovation, I’m so proud of the space we created. We’ve learned a heap about building over the past few months and spent countess hours figuring out the small details – in the end it’s been 100% worth it! So, now that it’s ready I cant wait any longer to share this with you, first up are some before and during photos…
Tearing the kitchen apart was probably the most fun part for me – I’ve always had a love for getting rid of the old so it was very satisfying pulling up the flooring and taking all the cupboards out. We were super careful with removing the cupboards as afterwards they went onto Gumtree and off to another home – which is not only good for the environment but also helped us save on getting a skip bin.
Stage two was building and installing the new bulk head with some seriously detailed angles for the pantry (this part actually took the longest), putting together and installing the new cupboards and getting everything square and level!
Once all the cupboards were in, we had to wait a few weeks before the counter could be installed, then it was hooking everything up, tiling, flooring and eventually a finished product!
We’ve now been using the kitchen for about 3 months and it’s been an absolute dream! Having an oven that actually heats to the correct temperature, a range-hood (or extractor fan) that sucks air out of the kitchen and great bench-space are among my favourite features, but what I love most is the bright, fresh and welcoming feel we created.
Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about some fun ideas that I could add to this blog. One that kept coming back to me was the idea of a creating a design challenge for each month. Generally I’ll be setting the challenges for me – to help bust out of my comfort zone or to learn new skills, but as each challenge comes along you’re welcome to join in. To start the process (and ensure I stay accountable) here’s a few rules I’ve set….
1. The challenge: Will be set on the first Tuesday of each month. Whether it’s learning a new art or trying something new in the home I’ll spend the next few weeks figuring out as much as I can on the topic.
2. The reveal or results: Will be shared on the last Tuesday of that month. I say reveal or results as some may end with a tutorial of what I found, while others may result in a reveal of what’s been created.
3. Taking part: You are welcome to join me on these little adventures using the hashtag #DesignChallenge & tag @Livwithvision.
4. The most important: These challenges are mostly about having fun and exploring new ideas! It’s all about being friendly, generous, supportive, sharing.
So lets get started already….
It’s no secret that I absolutely adore flowers – we even have a weekly budget to spend on flowers for our home! But there’s one thing that I’ve never really known how to do and that’s arrange them. I’m not talking a bouquet to carry down the aisle, but arranging for the home – in vases big & small. I always buy flowers thinking “oh I’ll just do a rustic thrown together bouquet” but then it never quite works out how I’d like it to. Sometime this year I’d love to take a weekend course on the topic, but for now I’m setting myself the challenge to find out as much as I can from the wide, wonderful, web. Over the next few weeks I want to learn some ways to arrange flowers, from YouTube to other blogs, I’ll do the foot-work (or finger-work) to find as many tips and tricks as I can. Whether I succeed or fail, I’ll keep you posted on Instagram (follow @livwithvision) and share my results here on Tuesday 27th Jan…. wish me luck! x
Whether you have floorboards, tiles or polished floors there is no denying the warmth and character that can be added to a space simply by using the right rug. Be it a runner down the hallway, something soft for your feet in the living room or a statement under the dining table – rugs are a brilliant way to break up large spaces or create zones. There are a couple of myths and rules to keep in mind when choosing your rug – so to ensure you get the best bang for your buck here’s a few tips that may help. Size Matters– This is probably the most important of them all. Take a look at this video below for some very practical tips on how to know what size to buy for your lounge room.
For dining rooms, ensure your rug covers the area where chairs sit when they are pulled out for use – about half a metre all the way around the edges of your table (So your chair doesn’t fall off or catch on the rug edge when it’s being pushed out) should do it. Also keep in mind your table’s shape – rectangular rugs for rectangular tables, square for square, round for round….
In the bedroom you have a couple of options. A runner down the side or at the bottom of the bed can inject some character and warmth to a room and is a great choice if you already have carpet or floors that don’t get too cold. The next options is to use an extra large rug where the width reaches to the far ends of each bedside table (for a queen size bed your looking at a rug that about two and a half meters).
It’s okay to layer – Actually it’s great and also looks pretty amazing too! If you have a large space to cover, layering a small patterned rug over something textural can be an excellent solution. Likewise, layering textural rugs in different directions can be a super effective way to add another element to your space.
Rugs on Carpets – are perfectly okay! There’s a myth that goes around to say rugs should only be placed on hard floors, but I totally disagree with it! So don’t let the fact that you have carpets in your home deter you from adding a rug to your floors – all floors can look amazing with rugs.
Today is Melbourne Cup. In Australia it’s the biggest horse race of the year and commonly known as “the race that stops the nation.” It’s a chance to skip out of work for a few hoursspend time celebrating with friends or co-workers. In celebration of this wonderful day I thought I would share some images on ways you can incorporate some horse décor into your home. I grew up horse riding and am a huge fan of these magnificent animals so am quite fond of all of these styles. From Pony hides to rocking horses and all that lies between, I hope you enjoy these rooms as much as the race itself!