Interior Design Tips

Styling to Sell

Well, don’t they all look pretty!Furnishandfinish
Property styling is a very important tool & is a fast growing industry allowing people to make their homes look spectacular, fresh & contemporary – for a profit.
But does it work?
Honestly, yes.
When you walk into an older home, filled with older furniture, the whole space feels dated & unappealing. Whereas when you walk into an older home with fresh styling, it looks liveable & bright.
So where do you start? before after office styling
This is taking out all the old stuff. This can be a hard process as some of these items have always been in the room, from your perspective, so it almost feels wrong to move them. But remember, a buyer won’t have those items in the room.
You need to think from a buyer’s point of view. What would you like to see?
The answer is usually a clean, open & fresh space. One where you can see what can fit in the room without being cluttered. This means you keep a bed in the bedroom, with one small side table but perhaps not the dresser, the freestanding wardrobe, the armchair & all the other items you have. They just need to see that a ‘double or queen sized’ bed fits in that room.
The lounge room needs a sofa or two, with small side tables. Don’t fill the room too much with furniture as the artwork & décor will take centre stage.
Deck it out with décor.Styling for Sale bedroom side table
Decorating is a large part of our contemporary design. This is a useful tool for staging as you can grab loads of fashionable pieces at quite a bargain price. Shops like Kmart, Target & Big W are jumping on the décor trend & keeping the prices low.
How do I make it work?
When choosing décor items, keep a theme. This may be a similar colour palette, such as powder pinks with blonde timber, or a theme with patterns, like geometric shapes. This will make the random pieces you pick part of a cohesive set while still being individually interesting.
Layer your décor.
Make sure you have soft items as well as harder pieces. Throws & cushions are a great softness for chairs & beds, with lamps & vases being the harder pieces. Rugs are a great way to define spaces, which is helpful in separating larger rooms into décor nooks. And make sure you add lamps, as this helps significantly with the photographing process to give more interest. before & after stylingIf possible, choose lighter or brighter colours. Older homes tend to be darker or have bad lighting. This is where the new, fresh pieces look lively & breathe a new life into the old house.
Décor is movable, so if something doesn’t fit or work in one room it can be moved to another quickly.
Styling will make a huge difference to the feeling of the house, & the best part is – you can keep all this for your home after the sale!
It can bring thousands more dollars at the sale & can make your home look much more inviting for the open-house. And, since it is an easy & cost effective way to jazz up an interior, it is the perfect time to jump on the ‘décor’ bandwagon!
But what if you aren’t selling your home? What if it isn’t the décor, but the house itself which is the problem? How do you fix a flaw in the layout of a room with simple measures?
See my blog – Renovating For Sale –

Wallpaper is back naturalWe’ve all seen the reality shows lately that have the contestants plastering the walls with (most of the time, badly hung) wallpaper. And before you start cringing at the memory of our 70’s-styled houses with all its dated orange & brown patterns, wallpaper is a bit different than you remember. And you may even fall in love with the new designs!

To start with, now days wallpaper is used primarily for feature walls. Gone are the days of whole rooms being clad in traditional patterns or florals. And this option of feature walls allows the new styles to feel more appropriate & proportioned in the room.

So what’s new in wallpaper?

Well there are a few types to choose from.

Wallpapers are usually a repeated pattern as they are hung in strips from the ceiling to the floor. This makes it great for geometric patterns, florals & textures like wood or stripes.Komar mural magnolia

However, wallpapers now include full Wall Murals, Anaglypta, Grasscloths, Flocking, Metallics, Textures & Beads.

Murals are a large image that has been blown up to a full wall size. This can even be your own images of family or maybe your travels. These can be made to your wall widths & usually come in panels that match together rather than strips.Animal print wallpaper

Anaglypta wallpaper is textured wallpaper which is paintable. These come in a wide variety of patterns & textures so they look like pressed metal panels or old render. This is great if you want to change your colour but keep the pattern. As these papers are thicker, they are great for hiding walls with cracks or damaged living

Grasscloth is a natural fibre that is woven & stuck onto a paper backing. This gives a natural look & over time can fray a little giving an even more natural appearance. This can be difficult to apply due to the fraying.

Flocking is a velvet-feeling finish to the paper. It is a decadent look that works well with the Glam style. This is sometimes teamed with metallic to highlight the velvet look.

Metallics are not new in wallpaper but can give a fantastic appearance. The shiny nature of the metallic colours are usually highlighted with geometric patterns for an Art Deco feel or damask leaves for the Glam look.rock wall mural

Textures are making a huge comeback as they don’t interfere with any decorating choices but give depth to a room. These can be natural looking elements like wood, furs, stone, woven baskets, linen & silks. Some of these textures look so real, like planks of timber have been stuck to the walls or zebra skins on your mantle. Many of which also feel quite textured. These sit beautifully with many of the current design styles, like timbers for Scandinavian, timber panelling for Hamptons, rustic bricks & metal beams for Industrial & stacked stone for the Modern look.

Beads or glitter are also being added to give the Glam & 3D look. As these are usually stuck to the wallpapers, it can add quite a fair bit of price to the cost of the wall art.

So how much does wallpaper cost??

The price has risen a lot since the 70’s but the papers are much better than back then. Now days they are vinyl based, so they are stronger & come off easier for when you want to change. They areWallpaper geo black & gold also usually water resistant, making them great for decadent bathrooms, & also have great UV protection which many old ones didn’t have.

The price of papers vary significantly from about $50 per roll to $400 per roll, however there are many great styles around the $99-$160 price range. If you were hoping to wallpaper a bedroom wall of approximately 3.5m wide & 2.4m high, you would usually need 2 rolls, assuming there is minimal pattern match & they are the stand widths. So your fantastic feature wall could cost you about $200-$360 in paper. Not bad for a massive change!

But then there is the application….

Can I put it on myself?

The answer is yes. There are plenty of DIY help tutorials available to explain how to apply your paper, but the best thing to do if read the instructions with the paper. Some papers are pre-pasted, some need you to paste the wall, so just read what your paper requires. But remember – measure three times & cut once.

If you aren’t comfortable putting it up yourself, then you can hire a painter or wallpaper hanger to do the job for you.wallpaper floral

After that you get to sit back & admire the huge difference some personality will make to your home!

Advertise your office

What does your office set up say about your business?Google Office Cambridge

We are so used to thinking about our marketing, our social media, our personal presentation, but what about our office presentation?

Looking around now can you see computer cables & overflowing filing cabinets? Stacks of paper, uneven flooring & unappealing lighting?

You don’t have to go all out & have an interactive space like at Google Headquarters with bean bags, indoor grass or hammocks. But does your office show who your business is? Does it inspire your team or just soak up all their energy? And this could be losing you business!

Before you say – “we’re in a rented space so there’s not much we can do” you could be amazed of the difference you can make with small changes.

So how do I start?

Think about your business. What are your Values? What do you stand for?

Then consider who you need to speak to. Do you deal with the general public or is this just for your team?oFFICE dESIGN

If this is for the general public, invite someone in to look at your office from a critical point of view. You see it all the time & become blind to the possibilities, whereas a new pair of eyes may catch simple alterations.

If this is just for your team, or a combination of both, you need to consider inspiration. What will engage with your team & clients? Do they need more comfortable seating, inspirational artwork, a better desk configuration, more storage, softer lighting? Also don’t be afraid to ask them. They usually know what may help them do their job better & may love to be included in the process.

Of course, if you really get stuck there are Interior Designers out there to help. These people are trained to look at the flow of the space, the inappropriate lighting & possibilities to really bring out the personality of your business. It is YOUR business so you can ask for a more cost effective design solution rather than a large renovation or expensive change. Also this whole process would also be a Tax Deduction so you don’t have to worry too much about the price.

Don’t be afraid to ask the question.

Your office presentation can gain you new clients, keep existing clients & also make for a more productive & happy work environment.

For more information on getting the most out of your consultation with a Designer see this blog –

6 Years of Procrastinating

I saw a client of mine yesterday & she spoke of a friend of hers who hired a designer but was unhappy with the result.

My heart sunk when I heard that.Open invite Taubmans

An average people think about a renovation for 6 years before starting any work.

So that means that lovely person had waited for years, finally gathered the courage to get started, only to hit another road block. And who knows when they will finally get what they want.

It is devastating as this is YOUR HOME. This is the place you return to on a daily basis, & 6 years of coming home to something that truly bothers you is quite sad.

Our lives should be filled with things & people that make us feel good. Not a list of reasons to be unhappy.

So stop procrastinating. Order that new sofa, paint that feature wall & contact your tradesperson & get the ball rolling.

LOVE your home, everyday. Not 6 years from now!


Colour Proportions

When choosing paint colours for a room, it’s hard to know if you should do the whole lot in one colour, or add feature walls. And will that work with my flooring, & how do I add pops of colour in my décor?

Well there is a formula that can help you with how much of each colour to use!

It’s the 60-30-10 proportion method.

This stands for 60% of the colour in the room should be the same. Most of the time this is the walls & ceiling in a similar colour.

Then 30% of an opposing colour. This is usually brought in with furniture or the flooring.

The last 10% is the fun decorator items. This is the pop of colour that may be too overwhelming in a large quantity. But don’t underestimate the 10%, this can still dominate if positioned correctly!

You can play with shades of colours, with these usually being able to blend together into one proportion percentage. For example, light to mid greys will blend into whites, whereas mid to dark greys can blend with black tones. Just consider if an item jumps out at you, if it does then it doesn’t blend with its surroundings. This makes it a contrast & therefore a different proportion to what is around it. You may choose to move the item to blend with something nearby & allow another piece to be the feature contrast.

Using these colour proportions helps prevent your home from looking cluttered & mis-matched. As well as helping you choose which colours you want to dominate to bring fun to the space.

The top Interior Design Elements

A list to help you design & decorate your home

Have you tried to decorate your home but something seems to be missing? There is a science behind interior design which most people don’t know about, & once you learn it – decorating is easy! Follow these basic steps.


We all know that the right colour can create a massive change in a room. Colour is known to bring warmth or give a cooler feel, can be light & airy or dark & moody. It is also known to tie to certain eras & themes, & the combinations can give contrast or be simple.


Contrast is about the differences between two pieces. This can be with colour like black & white, or with texture being sleek or shaggy, with finishes like flat & shiny. Contrast highlights both.


Light is necessary to be able to see what we are doing, but it also brings interest. It is best to have natural, task & ambient lighting in each room to allow a quick change in illumination. Light can be soft & relaxing or stark & fresh. It can also throw patterns on a wall or change the colour of a room.


This is the most understated element. Balance is important for a sense of consistency. This is where you ‘find a friend’. Balance allows you to repeat an element in the room. If you have a timber dining table, add a timber chopping board, or lamp with timber legs to balance across the room. This can be done with colour, shape, size, texture, light & pattern.


This refers to oversizing or undersizing an item in the room to give emphasis. This is seen regularly with large artwork or clocks. In the alternative, it can be great to undersize items to make a room look larger.


Emphasis is the feature of the room. It draws the eye & makes a statement. This can be done with colour, texture, pattern, size, shape or lighting effects.


Texture is in every item. Even the sleek, straight lines are an absence of texture. This makes a room cosy, relaxed, or sleek & hygienic. Texture can be brought in with fabric, bricks, timber, stone, metal, wallpaper, linens & plants.


We all know that the difference between a good job & a great job is the attention to detail. This is the cherry on top. It can be a shadowline or bevel edge in kitchen cabinetry, piping on cushions, turned legs on a table or different coloured tile grout. This can easily be overlooked when building or renovating as you are focused on the overall look, not each element.


Unity is the same thing, variety is different things. The combination of the two allows you to group different items together which have a unifying theme, such as all white vases of different sizes, or multi-coloured chairs of the same design. This helps to unify a room of random pieces.


Rhythm is repetition to draw your eye through a space. This can be done with colours, shapes, lighting, balance & proportion. Visual Inertia is similar, with the rhythm of the items making the illusion of movement, like zebra stripes in a group.

Most of us have an eclectic mix of items in our homes, with heirlooms & favourite items. Now you are able to find a way to make all these pieces work together & balance your interiors. As well as having fun interior decorating!