THE DESIGNER NOTEBOOK

Our latest decor roundup

BATHROOM REDO TOP TIPS

Bathroom Redo Top Tips

HOLIDAY DECOR YOU’LL LOVE

Swinging Chair

DOWNSIZING? START HERE

Home Office
 

BATHROOM REDO TOP TIPS

Doing a bathroom makeover can be a costly exercise. But if your goals are clear and plan well, it's possible to achieve a great result that doesn't leave you penniless.

The first step is to ask yourself this question – does my bathroom require a complete renovation or am I simply looking to modernise it or add some sparkle?

1) COMPLETE REDO

If it's a complete back to bones remodel that you’re embarking on, then make sure you spend time up front looking at images and inspiration. Gather all the images in one place and start looking for commonalities and key elements that you're drawn to. Then refine your selection until you’re left with just a few that really make your heart sing. Only when you have a clear direction for the look and feel that you're after, do you want to go out looking at sanitary items, tap ware and tiles. This way have you a clear wish list and wont end up selecting a mishmash of items that you thought looked good in the shop but actually don't align with your dream bathroom. Once you have a good idea of the components, you’re ready to start talking with Trades. This pre-planning will save you time, help you secure the Trades you need because they can see that you have a clear plan, and will ultimately save you money. And of course, if it all get's a bit overwhelming, we're here to help.

2) BRING YOUR BATHROOM UP TO DATE

If the existing layout in your bathroom works, and the larger components like the bath, toilet and the shower are fundamentally fine, then lots can be achieved without the need for a total overhaul. Tap ware and vanities can be changed out very cost effectively when the plumbing doesn't need to be relocated. This gives you scope to invest your time and efforts in the fun things like paint colours, tile choice, taps and mirrors. It's also a great time to think about lighting. Just changing the tone of the bulbs you use can change the atmosphere of your bathroom enormously. Again, before you start chasing contractors, it's really important to trawl through bathroom images and narrow down your ideas. Once you have a scheme that you're happy with, it’s time to visit some plumbing, tile and paint showrooms to align your ideas with actual products. Then when you speak with your Trades (if you're not doing the work yourself), you'll have a clear plan and can move forward with ease. Give us a call if you need some help.

3) ADDING ATMOSPHERE

Whether it's a budget decision or because the basics in your bathroom are already strong, sometimes we just need a little more sparkle our homes. Bathrooms can be easily overlooked because we tend to focus on the larger rooms in our homes. But for very little investment they can be richly enhanced, adding moments of tranquillity and comfort to our day. Before getting started let’s get that bathroom as clean as it can be and remove any clutter. Do a little homework first to find the right product for each part of the room (ie. removing water marks and soap scum from showers, marks from the toilet bowl or mould from hard to clean spots). It’s amazing how good it can feel when the white or clear items in the room are fresh and bright again. The next step is to focus in on the details and work out a list in order of priority. This might include a new: plant, toilet seat, toilet brush, towels, bath mat or rug, candles, plants, essential oils, shower caddy to get all your products off the floor or ledge, light bulbs, robe hook, toothbrush holder or plants (did I mention plants already?) If you have a cupboard or drawers, give them a good clean out too. There’s nothing quite like a well-organised shelf to drawer to bring joy when you’re in a rush to do your make-up or shave and be on your way. Storage solutions also provide an opportunity for you to inject some personality into your space. Do you go natural and use woven baskets, or do you like the structure that a new or repurposed set of shelves offers? Whatever your taste, let’s get those towels, face cloths, toiletries and toilet paper stacked, bunched or hung up. Finally it’s time to think about the hand soap and shower products you have on display. There are some beautiful products available today and some beautiful bottles and dispensers. Reusable bottles are a great way to bring some pizzazz while providing you with the freedom to use products that suit your preferences.

 
Modern Bathroom
 

HOLIDAY DECOR YOU'LL LOVE

Now that summer is here, it's time to spruce up our outdoor areas, decks and courtyards. Too often, we don't make enough use of these spaces, so you don't want to miss out now because you don't have anywhere to sit with friends or read a book. As you walk around your home, assess the spots that have the best potential. These might be areas that provide a choice of sun and shade, are flattish, have a nice outlook or provide the greatest amount of privacy. Once you’ve selected one or two spots, it’s time to prioritise your wish list around how you’re likely to use that space. For example, there’s no point investing in a lovely large outdoor table and chairs, if you rarely entertain. On the flip side, if you don’t have a selection of seating options available and places for plates or drinks to go without spilling over, then it’s unlikely you’ll spend much time outside with friends no matter how lovely it is. The key is to consider your lifestyle and needs and make selections accordingly.
Items that might make the wish list include: Outdoor lounge, beanbag, umbrella, table, hammock or hanging chair. Personally I love a round daybed. There are several designs available that allow you to snuggle in with a good book and just while away the afternoon. Something else to consider is lighting. There are some great deals on now and post Christmas for fairy lights and they make a wonderful addition to any outdoor area.
You can also repurpose a lot of items that will allow you to get a fabulous, personal look at a fraction of the cost. The key is ensuring that what ever you have outside can withstand the conditions (sun or rain) and that it’s got some weight to it so it wont blow away when the wind picks up.
When you’re weighing up the options and details, make sure you look online or in magazines for inspiration. Here’s a link to my pinterest page to get you started.

 
Holiday decor you'll love
 

DOWNSIZING? START HERE

Are you moving from a house to an apartment, or a family home to something more comfortable for just one or two people? This can provide a great opportunity to re-finance your life and start afresh, but it doesn’t often come without some angst about what to keep and what to let go. So, here are some tips to help you on your way.

1) LET’S DO THE MATH

It can be hard letting go of personal items and furniture that we’ve grown used to over a period of time, but when we’re downsizing the rooms simply can’t accommodate the same size or volume of furniture. To help you take the first step to making some changes, start by comparing the size of the rooms you’ll be moving into against the ones you currently live in now. Take note of the location of doors, windows and any built-in features, as these can create challenges when it comes to layout. Then measure your furniture. When you’re able to compare the volume from one place to the other, it takes the guesswork and angst out of the conversation. If your future home is 2/3’s of the size compared to your current home, then it’s clear that some choices will have to be made. If you would like some help taking the first step, let us know.


2) WHAT DOES YOUR NEW LIFE LOOK LIKE?

When you make a move as big as this one, it opens up an opportunity to shake things up a bit. And, depending on where you are moving from and to, perhaps your lifestyle will be changing quite dramatically. Maybe you’re retiring, or starting out on your own again. Perhaps you’re moving closer to town and have a suite of activities you’re looking to sign up to. Whatever direction this move is taking you, it’s good to think about what your new life is going to include and what of your current life you can move on from. This translates into what you decide to pack and take with you and what you sell, give away or pass on. For example, don’t let a huge work desk and chair take up valuable space in your new home if you can actually do all your correspondence and catch up on socials on a tablet or laptop. Let it go, and embrace the simplicity your new life offers.


3) THINK FORM AND FUNCTION

When you have limited space, it’s really helpful if some of the furniture you select serves multiple functions. For example, it would be great of your bedside tables have some storage in them. The same goes for an ottoman or bed base. Having virtually invisible storage solutions for items like blankets, bulky clothing, or household supplies within furniture items that primarily serve another function is a win-win.


4) PRIORITISE YOUR NEEDS

Before moving in to your new home, it’s important to consider how you will use each room for the majority of the time. If you are moving into a new place that has two bedrooms, does it make sense to dedicate one room to being a guest bedroom? While it’s great to have somewhere comfortable for visitors to stay, if this happens only a few nights a year, do you actually need to set the room up with a bed and drawers that take up 50% or more of the space? Perhaps you have an interest, side hustle or hobby that brings you a great deal of joy, and could benefit from having a permanent space within your home. Thinking this through and not feeling constrained by a predetermined idea of how each room ‘should’ be used, but instead allowing yourself the freedom to make the rooms work for your lifestyle, will ensure you get the most out of your new home. Let us know if we can be of any help.