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Interior styling

Low-cost ideas to dress up plain white walls (no painting required!)

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Low-cost ideas to dress up plain white walls (no painting required!)

Whenever you think about how to liven up a boring plain white wall, paint is the first thing that comes to mind. The problem is DIY painting is no walk in the park, taping up edges, dealing with the fumes, getting an even finish, all these things add up to hassles and a considerable time commitment.

So why not skip it altogether? There are many other options out there to dress up that plain wall, which will not require you to pull out the roller and paint tin.

Custom canvas photo prints

With the advent of bubble jet printing technology, printing photos became much cheaper. In particular, when bubble jet techniques for printing on canvas were developed, custom home wall art was finally within reach for everyone.

A canvas print of your favourite family photo, a landscape shot from your last holiday or the family pet doing something silly, can all make wonderful additions to any room. Maybe even a collage from your wedding? They are especially effective as a budget solution to dress up plain white walls, simply because you already have the art (your own photos) and the printing itself is very economical.

Pick out your favourite shots and get them printed professionally, and you’ll have that plain wall brightened up in no time.

 Image: The Canvas Factory

Image: The Canvas Factory

Washi tape & decals

Washi tape and decals are decorative tape and stickers made from rice paper, usually coming from Japan. They hold on to walls well and come in basically every colour, pattern or design you can think of. This stuff is great for decorating walls as it comes off without causing any damage.

washi tape stock image.jpg

Your design can be as complicated or as simple as you like, from creating a full wall mural of mountain ranges to just being content with some even spaced crosses. Both will serve the purpose of making that plain white wall more exciting.

Just remember to wipe down the wall before applying the tape or decal otherwise dust or grime can interfere with the adhesion from lasting long term.

Gallery wall display

This one might go slightly beyond budget for some, though there are economical options available. A gallery wall display consists of multiple panels of large photo prints or artworks, in varying sizes, arranged for greatest optical effect.

 Image: RedAgape

Image: RedAgape

It’s essentially an upgraded version of a collage, and turns any blank wall into an interesting artistic feature. Add interest by getting a family happy snap or patterns printed on canvas or use mismatched frames containing swatches of fabric for added texture. It all depends on what will work best for your interior design aesthetic and taste.

Removable wallpaper

Give a blank wall an instant boost by applying peel and stick removable wallpaper. Made from woven polyester, modern self-adhesive wallpaper is easy to apply, tear resistant, fade-resistant and removes cleanly. In fact, it is so durable it can be removed and repositioned as many times as you like. 

From whimsical patterns, landscape murals, bold Art Deco prints, vibrant florals and brick look prints, you're sure to find a style that takes your fancy. Best of all it's easily swapped out for a new design when you want a new accent wall look.

A fabric drop wall

A fabric drop wall can be a great option for adding some colour to a plain white wall, and best of all it is incredibly easy to do and remove so there aren't any issues if you’re renting. Just head down to your nearest fabric store and pick out some patterns you like, and buy a size big enough to cover the area you desire.

 Image: Modestlyhandmade.com

Image: Modestlyhandmade.com

Then use tacks or adhesive removable wall hooks to drape the fabric across that plain white wall. instant colour! The best part is just how many different colours and patterns are available in fabrics, so you're bound to be able to find something that will work in your home.

For more cost-effective ways to makeover your place check out our budget savvy interior design tips, low-cost bedroom revam ideas and cheap ways to fix up your bathroom.

Company bio:

The Canvas Factory makes turning your favourite photograph or artwork into a canvas print easier than ever! Canvas prints are the perfect way to display your favourite photos. Our canvas prints, collages and mugs make the perfect personalised gift for that hard to buy for person. Offering 100% satisfaction guaranteed, and the quality that comes from 100% Australian made canvas prints. Follow the Canvas Factory on Facebook.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Reservoir real estate for sale and properties for rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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5 reasons you need to hire a property stylist before selling

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5 reasons you need to hire a property stylist before selling

If you want more bang for your buck when selling a property, it has to look amazing. It needs to outshine similar properties in the area by truly offering that ‘wow factor’. Sellers often assume the sales agent will ensure their property sparkles through the marketing; but the reality is, it’s a property owner’s responsibility.

Every agent knows an offer on a property comes the moment a potential buyer can visualise themselves living in the home. So how do you draw that emotional response from a potential buyer? Through the services of a property stylist.

A property stylist can walk into your home and view the spaces objectively. They don’t have your emotional attachment to the property, yet they’re able to make it feel like a potential home for a broad range of buyers.

If you’re in the process of placing your property on the market, here are five reasons you should consider hiring a property stylist today.

 Image: Grace & Co. Property Syling.

Image: Grace & Co. Property Syling.

1. They ensure the first impression is the right impression.

It’s often a mad rush to get a house looking amazing before your agent organises marketing photos or open for inspection dates. In fact, even when you first meet your agent, you want your property to look outstanding – after all, it will directly impact the asking price. 

If your property is styled immaculately, your agent knows they can confidently promote your sale at the maximum price. Your photos will draw interested buyers to the property; your stunning styling will make them want to sign on the dotted line. If you’re adamant about getting the best price for your property, you should consider a property stylist.

 Image: Grace & Co. Property Syling. Before & after.

Image: Grace & Co. Property Syling. Before & after.

2. Property stylists do what you can’t.

It’s very difficult for a homeowner to style their home in a way that doesn’t show off their own emotional blueprint. From family photos on the wall to the souvenirs from your last holiday, your home reveals all kinds of things about your life. A potential buyer needs to feel like it’s their home, not yours. A property stylist can objectively view a home and style it so it can appeal to a wider demographic.

If there are other houses for sale in your area, an experienced property stylist might just go and take a look. When they create a ‘design story’ for your property, they’ll be ensuring it goes above and beyond what’s offered nearby in the same price bracket.

Importantly, a property stylist knows what buyers want. They’re familiar with the current state of the market and who are snapping up homes in your suburb. Perhaps your home needs to be more appealing to families? Or perhaps your target is a dual income young couple? Styling a property to sell is different from styling to stay. A property styled with your ideal demographic in mind is sure to lead to more generous offers.

3. They organise what you haven’t considered.

A property stylist does more than just style a property for the photos. They also ensure it is gleaming and well-maintained before the property is listed for sale, and during the sale process.

There is much to do to prepare the home for sale. Your property stylist may: 

  • Remove items that don’t need to be on show and can deter potential buyers, like personal trinkets.
  • Carry out any cleaning, repairs or maintenance on the property; if they don’t do this work themselves, they will help you notice where work needs to be done so that you can arrange the right service.
  • Consider the property from all angles – have you thought about ensuring the pool is sparkling clean? The back patio is swept? The garden shed is tidy so that potential buyers can understand how much room they have to work with?  
  • If the home is empty at the time of sale, their job will be to fill it up with elegant, homely furnishings.

4. You will get higher offers.

There are costs associated with hiring a property stylist. This can be off-putting at a time when you’ll have many bills to consider already. But think about how much better the offers are likely to be for a beautifully appointed home?

It’s important to understand that hiring a property stylist is an investment in your biggest asset. The outlay will more than pay for itself if the home sells for above the reserve price because someone made that sure-fire emotional connection.

 Image: Grace & Co. Property Syling. Before & after.

Image: Grace & Co. Property Syling. Before & after.

5. Added benefits to you and your agent.

Photos are what sell homes. In fact, 70% of buyers look online at the photos of the home before they visit the open home or call the agent. The quality of the images on the listing online will determine how many ‘walk throughs’ happen on inspection day. 

If you want your property to catch the eye of a number of buyers who are looking in your area, the photos have got to make a visual impact on the potential buyer. 

In a recent Real Estate Staging Association survey, professionally styled homes spent 72% less time on the market. The longer a house is on the market, the smaller the appeal to new buyers as they assume there is something wrong with the property. 

Professionally styled homes also help buyers overlook property flaws. In fact, agents report up to a third of buyers will overlook flaws in a property if they make an emotional connection with the look and feel of a home.

How much will I pay for property styling?

The cost of a stylist is dependent on the size of your property and how much work may need to be done to get the house looking perfect for a potential buyer.

You will pay an initial consultation fee for a stylist to come out to your home and run through everything that needs to be done. They will give you a comprehensive quote, covering everything from preparations to furniture hire and their styling fee. This cost is well worth the money as it will highlight areas you may never have considered as a setback to a buyer.

On average, property owners that invest in property styling will receive a 7.5 to 12.5% better sales price.

When do I book my property stylist?

Timing is everything when considering a stylist. Spring is their busiest time of year, so they will require three to four weeks’ notice to style your property over those months. A consultation should be booked at least six weeks before an agent is due to walk through the door, and certainly that far in advance of any photography or open homes. This gives you plenty of time to hire furniture, make repairs or spruce up the garden.

Making your property stand out amongst the many that are on sale in your area is as easy as hiring a property stylist. The benefits far outweigh the costs and the peace of mind that comes from knowing you did everything to get the maximum price for your property is invaluable.

Author bio:

Melanie Grace is an Interior Stylist and the creator of Grace & Co. Property Styling. Grace & Co. works with reputable Brisbane real estate agencies to transform houses going under the hammer into every buyer’s dream.

Need an experience property stylist with a great eye for what sells? Contact the team at Grace & Co. Property Styling today.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Ipswich real estate for sale and properties for rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Sell your small apartment for more with these 10 styling tricks

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Sell your small apartment for more with these 10 styling tricks

So we don’t all live in a grand, family-sized home (we don’t all want to!), but when selling a small apartment, exactly the same principles apply – buyers want functional, usable living spaces that they can enjoy every day; where they can entertain family and friends. They love great outdoor spaces. They want rooms that feel spacious and light, well-loved and well-presented. Specifically, apartment buyers are also looking for privacy. And, of course, they will pay more for any or all of these things.

When selling an apartment, you also need to remember that there may be others exactly the same as yours for sale at exactly the same time. Why would someone buy your apartment rather than the one upstairs? Or the one that’s really similar right across the road?

By considering the furniture layout carefully and styling it well, you can have a dramatic impact on your buyers’ perception of value and its bottom-line sales result. Here’s how you can create a lot of extra space and impact that will make your apartment the one that stands out.

1. Create impact with colour

Styling apartments for sale always has a couple of very specific issues: 1. You need to make your apartment the one that stands out from its many similar competitors also on the market, and 2. Apartments are often designed for broad appeal, and as a very neutral ‘backdrop’. Sometimes they are so generic they can border on bland if they are also filled with very neutral furniture and accessories.

So if your apartment lacks great architectural features or detail, it’s important to add some drama, interest and warmth by adding a few key signature pieces – furniture, art, lamps and cushions. And don’t be scared to add colour, shape and texture – you want to be way more memorable than ‘all-beige’, after all.

2. Simplify living spaces

Show your buyers clearly defined living spaces (living room, dining room, study nook, outdoor living, etc.), rather than a jumble of assorted furniture pieces. A simple, well-planned layout flows and ‘makes sense’ to buyers, but more importantly, creates more visual floorspace, making the area feel larger.

3. Use the 80:20 colour rule

Another great rule for creating the illusion of more space is to use a neutral colour for all of the larger furniture pieces. This is the 80 per cent, and provides the perfect canvas to then add small pops of colour (the 20 per cent). Add colour using cushions, throws, smaller signature furniture items, lamps and accessories.

4. Make your sofa ‘disappear’

You can take the 80:20 colour rule one step further…

A great styling trick to make rooms feel larger is to use a neutral coloured sofa that is the same as the wall colour behind it. It almost seems to ‘disappear’. From a theoretical point of view, when there’s little contrast, your eye is able to move through a room uninterrupted, which creates the illusion of additional space. So you can still showcase a lot of lounge seating (great selling feature!), but without it dominating the space.

5. Use lightweight furniture

If possible, remove any oversized, heavy pieces of furniture. Instead opt for low-profile sofas with legs, chairs without arms, glass dining tables and/or coffee tables and consoles in the entry (rather than heavy chests of drawers).

BONUS TIP: Don’t be tempted to believe the myth that pushing all your furniture hard up against the walls will make your rooms feel larger! Placing a couch even a few inches away from the wall creates more ‘breathing room’ and more visual space. 

 

6. Repaint dark walls

I actually love dark walls … BUT they usually aren’t the best option for selling an apartment. The problem with dark colours is they can make walls appear to close in and are especially confining in small rooms.  Some buyers will obviously love them too, but the majority will not. So light colours are a wiser choice. Simply re-paint any dark or feature walls with light colours to make the walls appear to recede, creating a bright and airy feel.

7. Don’t use contrasting colours on the floor

An area rug will add warmth and softness to your room, but use rugs that are a similar tonal value to the floor, rather than a strong, contrasting colour or pattern, to make the room feel larger. It’s better to keep your buyers’ attention focused at eye level on the room itself (and any great views beyond!) rather than on the floor.

8. Upscale the balcony furniture

By maximising your balcony, you can create another valuable living space, so do not skimp on this key area.

Use furniture as bold and large as possible (rather than a couple of plastic folding chairs in a corner) as it will really make the balcony feel grand and impressive. As long as you keep a clear walkway around the furniture (1-1.5m), this trick will definitely make your balcony feel larger.

9. Add reflective surfaces

Mirrors are the perfect addition to small spaces as they amplify the available light and space to create an expansive feeling. But also consider adding other reflective elements like mirrored bedside tables, lamps … or crystal, silver and glass accessories.

10. Use bold artwork and accessories

Large, bold artwork will actually open up a small room (again, this can be counter-intuitive, but it works). Avoid scattering smaller prints around the room, as they will look too busy and chaotic in a small space.

The same applies to accessories. Keep it simple. Pack away most of your knick-knacks and collectables and save them for your next home. To keep an open feel, it’s far better to pick a few, bold items and display them in a creative way.

For more tips on prepping your home for sale check out dos and don'ts of house plant styling, must-dos for a successful open house and use Australia's favourite furniture styles to sell your house.

This article was originally published on Houzz.com.au. Read the original article here.

Author bio:

Deb Lindner is a Houzz contributor and began her design career at age nine, when she told her mother that her lilac walls really did NOT match her olive green carpet, and things needed to change. Ever since that day Deb has been designing everything with a passion. She worked as a graphic designer for 16 years in Melbourne (working with multinational companies on 'big brand' packaging). Her clients included Gillette, Kraft, Cussons and Orlando Wyndham. In 2008 Deb was looking for a new challenge and discovered the wonderful world of property styling - and Mink Home Staging was born. Then in 2011 she founded The Australian Institute of Home Stagers. She lives in Brisbane (in a Queenslander of course) with her husband, 2 kids and an assortment of pets.

houzz_logo 22.jpg

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Port Melbourne real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Quiz: Which interior design style best suits your personality?

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Quiz: Which interior design style best suits your personality?

From glitzy and opulent, to pared-back and sleek, to grungy and lived-in, we all want something different when it comes to the environment we live in and our approach to decorating it.

Everyone wants their home to be comfortable and reflect who they are. If you’re looking to refresh your interiors but unsure which direction to go in style wise, answer these ten questions to find out what look suits your personality best.

1. Which city would you most like to live in?

A. London.

B. Paris.

C. Tuscany.

D. New York.

E. Brazil.

2. For a costume party you would dress up as:

A. A mime.

B. Marilyn Monroe.

C. A cowgirl or cowboy.

D. Where’s Wally.

E. A hippie.

3. What colours are most prominent in your wardrobe?

A. Black, black and more black.

B. Pink and gold - Anything sparkly or girly really!

C. Red and other earthy tones.

D. Black, grey and white.

E. Calming blues and greens.

4. Your artwork of choice for your living room would be:

A. A minimalist print.

B. A super glam self-portrait.

C. A hand-painted landscape.

D. An abstract iron sculpture.

E. A shaggy woven yarn wall hanging.

5. You never leave the house without:

A. Your smartphone.

B. Your hair and makeup done.

C. An umbrella and scarf.

D. Your glasses.

E. Food scraps to pop in the compost bin.

6. On pay day you:

A. Put it towards the new ultra thin smart TV you have your eye on.

B. Head straight to the shops.

C. Save your money for a rainy day.

D. Shout your mates a night at the pub.

E. Buy a hammock.

7. Your dream kitchen benchtop finish is:

A. Engineered stone or stainless steel.

B. Calacatta marble.

C. A warm and solid timber butchers block.

D. Custom designed concrete.

E. Colourful Moroccan style patterned tiles.

8. You want your home to feel:

A. Clean, contemporary and sleek.

B. Impressive, rich and stylish.

C. Welcoming, cosy and lived-in.

D. Cool, edgy and slightly grungy.

E. Effortlessly chic and inviting.

9. Your closest friends would describe you as:

A. Practical, smart and a perfectionist.

B. Beautiful and sassy.

C. Kind-hearted and an old soul.

D. Artistic, witty and quirky.

E. Laid-back, down to earth and fun.

10. The words you live by are:

A. Less is more.

B. Treat yo self.

C. Home is where the heart is.

D. You only live once.

E. C’est la vie.

 

And your interior design style match is...

You chose- mostly A: Modern

You like everything to serve a purpose and to be in its rightful place. Simplicity is key in all aspects of your organised life, so clutter free streamlined surfaces are your goal at home.

Neutral colour palettes are your preference and you love the clean crisp lines of steel, glass and timber. If you do want to add a pop of colour to your modern interior, stick to one or two primary coloured accessories for simplicity's sake.

Other styles you’ll like: Minimalist, Scandinavian and mid-century modern.

You chose- mostly B: Hollywood glam

Dramatic and decadent is your home décor M.O. You enjoy making a statement and wowing people when it comes to your design choices. An outdoor kitchen, butler’s pantry, indoor pool, sauna and Jacuzzi are all on your home luxury upgrade wish list.

The more the merrier when it comes to blingy chandeliers, mirrors, plush textiles (think faux fur and velvet), bold colour palettes and deluxe finishes. Your home is your castle after all, so only the very best will do!

Other styles you’ll like: Hamptons, French provincial, Parisian, Victorian and Art Deco.

You chose- mostly C: Country

A pretty style where comfort and charm are king, country lovers crave a quaint cosy cottage feel at home. Shades of blue, yellow, beige and green lend themselves well to creating a tranquil country feel.

Think plush simple floral print armchairs, chesterfield lounges, antique furniture and dramatic drapery for living areas. Accessorise with classic candle holders, handmade quilts, china and crystal vases of fresh cut flowers.

Other styles you’ll like: Farmhouse, traditional and French country.

You chose- mostly D: Industrial

You love the feel of pared back interiors and materials in their most raw and textural form. You dream of polished concrete floors and exposed brickwork, beams and ductwork in a converted warehouse to call your own.

Achieve an industrial vibe in your décor with oversized metal pendant lights, Edison light bulbs, open shelving, slightly shabby or raw reclaimed timber furnishings, and stripped back metal (i.e. brass, copper and steel) fixtures.

Other styles you’ll like: Retro and rustic.

You chose- mostly E: Boho

Creating a cosy, lived-in and personalised atmosphere is your prerogative when it comes to your homes interior. You don’t shy away from vibrant colours and bold patterns, which is a great way to inject personality into boho inspired rooms.

Get the boho chic look by layering on different textures such as cowhide and sheepskin floor rugs, woolly pom pom cushions, linen upholstery and natural textiles. Other ways to up the boho ante include colourful Moroccan floor cushions, macramé wall hangings or dreamcatchers, lots of greenery, quirky artwork and trinkets, and loads of wicker furniture.

Other styles you’ll like: Shabby-chic, vintage and eclectic.

Happy decorating!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Pakenham real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to choose the perfect kitchen stools

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How to choose the perfect kitchen stools

Whether you’re short on space for a dining table or you just want to create a breakfast bar for convenience, the type of kitchen stool you choose can be make or break for the practicality of your space.

Here are the key considerations to be made when shopping for kitchen stools to end up with a stylish and comfortable result.

DURABILITY

As with all furniture choices, it's important that the stool you select will last you for a long time. You don’t want to waste your money on items that'll be easily damaged or that show wear and tear quickly, right?

Choosing a durable stool will help you save more money long term and that is why, timber, steel or plastic varieties should be included in your list of potential purchases. Timber is not only durable, it is extremely versatile and works with a variety of kitchen styles, from vintage to contemporary.

Opt for a material that you can easily remove any dirt or spills from by simply wiping the stool down with a damp cloth. It would also be ideal if the stool does not have fabric parts that absorb cooking smells and splashes from day to day use of the kitchen. If you’re going for a style with cushioning look for leather or other easy to clean durable textiles.

COMFORT BEFORE STYLE

No doubt on-trend kitchen stools are nice to have and help to add flair and interest to a kitchen design. While no one wants their kitchen to look boring or unfashionable, at the end of the day being comfortable should be the main priority when selecting kitchen stools.

A stool with a cool style might make you want to buy it based on appearance, but you’ll quickly live to regret it later when you’re uncomfortable and struggling to enjoy your morning coffee. The style can deceive our eyes but not our body. So always test out a stool in a showroom before buying and double check the stool height will fit snuggly under your benchtop leaving plenty of leg room.

Foldable varieties are a good option for a temporary seating solution and smaller households. They occupy less space, make the stool easy to store and move, and are perfect for people with a smaller kitchen area.

STABILITY

Stability plays a major role in choosing the right kitchen stool, especially if you have children. There’s nothing worse than perching atop a stool feeling as though you might topple off and having to focus on keeping your balance. Check that the legs or base of the stool stays firmly on the floor and that the stool itself is weighty enough not to wobble or tip when you get on and off. Having a stable stool will make you feel at ease and can lessen the chance of children or any guests having an accident.

Adjustable styles can be a practical idea if you’re in household that includes people with vastly different heights (i.e. kids versus adults) to improve comfort at your breakfast bar. Stools with adjustable heights allow people of different heights and ages to feel stable and comfortable at your bench.

BACK SUPPORT

Though most bar stools don’t include arm and back rests, there are now many styles designed with backrests and armrests to provide extra support and comfort. When you’re trying out stools look out for high and low backrests, straight backs, solid backs, ladder backs, cross-backs and others to see which style you prefer and feel most comfortable in.

 Image: Relaxhouse

Image: Relaxhouse

COMPARE AND CUSTOMISE

Once you start searching you’ll come to realise there are almost endless varieties of modern designer kitchen stools to choose from online. With just a few clicks, you can explore and compare different sizes, shapes, colours, styles and materials for your kitchen stools.

Some companies even let you customise your kitchen stools where you can mix and match frame colours and cushion colours to suit your unique colour scheme.

 Image: Relaxhouse

Image: Relaxhouse

To find the right kitchen stool, you need to figure out the main purpose for the seating and check if the stool is capable for its intended purpose. Shop around with this and these other considerations in mind to find the perfect kitchen stool for you and your family.

For more tips on finding the right furniture take a look at our sofa buying guide, how to find the right tv cabinet and advice to buy patio furniture that'll last.

Author bio:

Simone Hayes writes for Relaxhouse furniture. Combining a love for colour and design, Relaxhouse has set out to create fresh, dynamic and above all affordable designs, accessible to all.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for St Kilda real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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What’s new in tile design for 2017

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What’s new in tile design for 2017

2017 is shaping up to be a massive year in the tiling world, with more and more people daring to create stunning feature walls with decorative tiles in their wet areas. Tiles that dare to be different are going to be the new black (or concrete grey) for 2017.

Here are our predictions of the top 6 trends for tile design in 2017:

1. Geometric

2016 saw a rise in the hexagon tile and 2017 is going to take this trend of geometric shapes above and beyond, with more exotic shapes taking centre stage. Look out for stunning picket porcelain tiles in a range of styles and colours. Geometric tiles create a bold, contemporary look. Add a dash of colour to take it to the next level.

 Image: Design Tiles

Image: Design Tiles

2. Texture

No longer will you see plain tiles on bathroom and kitchen walls, with textured tiles coming into vogue. You’ll be seeing texture in the form of patterns but also surfaces that have a textured finish that you won't be able to stop yourself touching. This will range from brick lookalikes to classic Spanish patterns. This look will create a fun and inviting space anywhere in the house.

3. Inconsistent colours

Gone are the days of perfectly coloured neat tiles. In 2017 you will notice a rise in patchy, inconsistent colour or worn out looking tiles. This look will create that hand made; authentic feel people are now wanting from their tiles. The beauty will be in the way each tile looks unique as if it is a one off.

 Image: Design Tiles

Image: Design Tiles

4. 3D

3D tiles are the new contender for 2017 with people wanting to take their love of geometric tiles up a notch. 3D tiles literally make a room ‘pop’ and provide a feature wall like no other! 3D tiles are taking over the splash back world, as well as feature walls in bathrooms. With a range of different styles coming on the market, including for floors, there'll be a style to suit every project. So dare to be different and stand out (literally!) from the rest with 3D tiles.

 Image: Design Tiles

Image: Design Tiles

5. Subways

The ever-faithful subway tile will continue to reign supreme in 2017. However, more styles, colours, textures and finishes are flooding the market with a combination of the first four trends discussed above being incorporated in the subway market. You'll see people taking subway laying to a whole new level with the brick pattern being over shadowed by vertical laying and herringbone becoming the new favourite.

6. Blue/green tones

2017 will see blue/green shades being the colours of the year! Pantone have announced the shade 'Greenery’ as the colour of the year for 2017 and this will be reflected all throughout the design world, including interior tile design.

We hope these bold tile design trends have inspired you to take a more daring approach in your tile selection in 2017. For more inspiration check out these bathroom tile trends we love.

Author bio:

Emily Taylor is the marketing and sales consultant for Design Tiles. She has a background in communication and marketing and recently completed her bachelor’s degree. Since joining the team at Rockdale in August 2016 she has found a real passion for tile design and colour and enjoys helping customers bring their ideas to life.

Company bio: 

Design Tiles is located in Rockdale, NSW and was established in 1999 because of a passion for delivering design, quality and service. With Ibrahim a tiler of 20 years’ experience and Pelin a qualified decorator, they found that when people were undertaking a design project in their home or business, they really needed some expert help to get the results they were really looking for.

Design Tiles offers free 1 hour design consultations with a qualified interior designer to help you bring our project to life. Our showroom in Rockdale showcases a wide variety of tiles including decorative, natural stone, porcelain and mosaics and bathroom ware. Visit our website to see what we stock or visit our showroom to have a chat with one of our friendly staff members.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Daisy Hill real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our new iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Spring fling: On trend paint colours to brighten your day

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Spring fling: On trend paint colours to brighten your day

Reflecting on the colourful eras of the 60s and 70s, interiors are predicted to feature an unexpected mix of hues this spring.

According to Dulux, the colour trends this season will comprise contrasting shades of blue and green, decadent browns and charcoals as well as light pink, hot red and crisp white.

Inspired by the Retro Remix theme from the 2016 Dulux Colour Trends, 'Design Age', the Dulux spring palette celebrates a revival of the retro movement with a modern twist.

The Retro Remix theme mixes together iconic elements from across the mid to late 20th century and aims to inspire homeowners to experiment with unusual colour combinations this coming season.

 Colour: Titi Islands

Colour: Titi Islands

Dulux Colour Expert, Andrea Lucena-Orr, says the key colours of spring including Dulux Deep Sapphire, Rockpool, Hot Lips, Luck, Titi Islands, Clay Play and Vivid White, create a fun and playful atmosphere.

Andrea reports 'the 2016 spring palette is a move away from last year’s muted, earthy tones. Heading into spring, we will feel energised and refreshed with a much brighter palette that incorporates pop colours'.

'The palette allows homeowners to achieve an eclectic look and to experiment with an unexpected range of colour combinations in order to make the Retro Remix theme their own,' says Andrea.

With such a varied collection of hues, homeowners who are adventurous can select from daring colours such as Dulux Hot Lips and Rockpool. To create a more subtle look, use a delicate pink such as Titi Islands.

'Have some fun as we head toward spring! Create a fresh and airy look by accessorising a lighter background with brighter pops of colour, or introduce a dramatic look with a darker background then highlight with light and vibrant accessories,' says Andrea.

'To achieve the Retro Remix look on a smaller scale, use one or two colours in smaller volumes. To create depth, use Dulux Deep Sapphire or Luck as your wall colour and then accessorise with bold and striking hues.'

Dulux’s spring predictions are the product of research into global design, colour and finishes inspired by trade shows, fashion, technology, media and trend information.

Andrea’s top tips for homeowners using colour this spring are: 'Don’t feel afraid to use bolder colour this spring. With the dawn of new life, spring offers luscious greens and striking floral hues with an opportunity to bring a fresh essence into your space. Most importantly, ensure the colour you’ve selected is perfect for your home to create a sanctuary that you will love.'

For more colour or painting advice, view the Dulux ‘how to projects’ online.

Company bio:

Dulux has been involved with the manufacture and marketing of paint and related systems in Australia since 1918. Dulux has since established itself as the clear market leader within the decorative coatings market and is the household name in decoration and protection. 

Our mission is to produce products to the highest quality standards. We are committed to providing innovative product solutions that satisfy the needs of our customers today and into the future.

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Kellyville real estate for sale and properties to rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about!

Download our new iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Cool study ideas & why you should work from home

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Cool study ideas & why you should work from home

Have you ever thought about how many hours you spend travelling to work? Whether it be a start-stop traffic session, or a shorter smoother route, the time spent sitting in your car each day adds up significantly over a lifetime. And by significantly I mean years. Yes, entire years of your life spent driving!

Want to find out how many years it adds up to? Read on!

This online calculator works out how many years in your life you'll spend commuting to work. It also estimates the total amount of money you've spent on transport fares or petrol, and then lets you know what kind of house you could have bought with that money instead. Inspiring huh?

I decided to give the Magic Calculator a go. Here's the stats. From now until the age of 70, the calculator tells me I'll spend approximately 2.6 years sitting in traffic! That's 963 days, of which I've already used an estimated 19 days. Great comfort, only 944 days to go! Aside from my individual figures, I'm also told the average Australian spends 58 minutes a day in traffic!

This makes the idea of working from home more often seem all the more wonderful. Imagine if you could have those years of travel back. They would become time you could spend with your friends and family. Time relaxing or working on side projects *BLISS*. Time doing anything but sitting in a car doing 7km/h.

Wondering how you can add a home office to your home? A lot of people wish for a home office but don't have the space or resources in their current house. You could repurpose an existing room or nook in your house, convert a corner of the living room, or add a home office in your backyard! This option is fast, easy and economical, and also adds significant value to your property.

Once you've chosen where to set up your new home office, just add a few key elements to create the perfect space for productivity, creativity and focus! Start with a sturdy desk and a comfortable chair, and then layer on colours and accessories to suit your taste to make the space somewhere you enjoy being. Scroll down for some inspiring home office photos to wet your whistle... now get ready to hit those targets and smash your career goals all from home!

5 super cool home offices that'll make you never want to venture into the office again:

1. A home office with a spell-binding view.

2. When working from home you occasionally may need a comfy place to lounge on breaks.

3. A private detached studio office with peace and quiet and room to think. 

4. A breezy light and bright home office that brings the outdoors and fresh air in.

5. A study with plenty of in-built storage to make organisation a cinch.

For more on how to set up your very own functional and stylish home office check out our 6 step guide and these five essential home office elements to boost productivity and stay motivated.

Author bio:

Laura Jayne is the Content Coordinator at Melwood Cabanas and Garden Rooms. She loves connecting with clients, and helping them to find the ideal backyard building to suit their lifestyle. When she’s not doing that, she’s blogging, commenting and chatting on all things backyard-related.

Company bio:

Melwood Cabanas and Garden Rooms have been specialising in pre-fab, portable backyard cabanas since 1976. All Melwood cabanas come with a solid 10 year warranty, a dash of Aussie pride and a whole lot of character. Installation in Sydney Metro is fast and free.

This article originally appeared on the Melwood Blog. Read the original here.

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Tinana real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Roll out a rug to help sell your house

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Roll out a rug to help sell your house

An area rug can dramatically change the look and feel of your home. When selling, it’s important that every room, every space, and even every tiny nook looks its absolute best!

A simple way to add some va-va-voom to your key living spaces is to start from the ground up – by using an area rug. Rugs are practical, provide warmth and comfort. But, when selling, it’s important to know they can also provide an instant face lift to your home and even add value by overcoming possible buyer objections before they arise.

Often considered ‘artwork for the floor’, here are some rug ideas for easily adding the warmth and layering in the emotion and style your buyers will love.

1. Help an older home look more current.

Buyers love homes that feel fresh, contemporary and ‘on-trend’. So if your living room is feeling a little drab or outdated it might be time for the old, worn rug to go and to bring your home more up to date. Beautiful, geometric patterned rugs in fresh colours, like this chevron design, are popular right now and will give your room an instant lift.

2. Engage buyers right at the front door.

If your home has a long hallway (or perhaps a dark and uninspiring entry), you don’t want them to be put off before they have even seen your home! Instead, you want to engage them immediately so they can’t wait to see the rest of what your property offers. Adding a beautiful runner – perhaps in bright, inviting colours, a bold pattern as seen here, or a more sophisticated oriental – will lead your buyers’ interest down the hallway and straight through to the rest of your home. 

Browse beautiful home entries

3. Add impact with a difference.

You want your home to be the one that buyers remember (and fall in love with!). If any of your rooms are feeling a little too ‘structured’ – or even boring – why not loosen them up a little by adding a cowhide? It’s amazing how well they work in many different settings and are available in a wide range of colours, even bright fluoros. Best of all, they are pretty inexpensive and add a striking touch of drama.

Round rugs are also a great alternative to the standard rectangle. A round rug can work really well in a bedroom or living room by offering contrast and breaking up the monotony of square lines.

4. Define a living space.

A key principle when presenting your home for sale is to have one clear purpose for every living area, so your buyer can easily see the best use for every room. (If you confuse them, you lose them!) In a multipurpose living space – for example, a warehouse or open-plan apartment – well-positioned rugs can help to define these living spaces. As you can see here, this rug defines the dining area and separates it from the kitchen.

BONUS TIP: If using a rug underneath a dining table, make sure the rug is large enough that all the chair legs easily fit on the rug and don’t hang off the edge. This will ensure the space feels comfortable, not cramped.

5. Increase the size of a room.

One of the biggest mistakes I see sellers make is using rugs that are too small – just peeking out from under the edges of the coffee table. This is ok for when you're living in your home, but not a great option when you're selling. The size of the rug generally conveys the size of the room, and so a small rug in a large living room is really working against you – as it makes the room feel smaller than it really is, and buyers are looking for spacious rooms.

We regularly upscale the size of the rug for our sellers (2m x 3m often works well), and instantly the room feels larger and more luxurious.

6. Add light.

If you have large expanses of dark timber flooring, it can make your room look and feel heavy, and we know buyers always respond well to rooms that feel light. A large, white or neutral-toned rug will instantly transform a dark room.

7. Upgrade the master.

A rug in the master bedroom is a definite upgrade that just oozes luxury. The secret here is that it works best in a large room – using a large rug. Position the rug so it creates a wide perimeter around the lower two-thirds of the bed.

View popular bedroom designs on Houzz

8. Make an outdoor living room more intimate.

A stunning living room outside will also wow your buyers, and adding an outdoor rug to this space instantly elevates it, helping it feel more like an extra room of the house, rather than just an outdoor area. Outdoor rugs are available in a wide array of sizes, colours and designs. Choose a style that works well in your space and appeals to your target buyers. A simple, neutral style designed to blend in may be best for a more upmarket property, and adding a pop of bright colour and pattern may work well for younger buyers.

Shop a wide selection of rugs

Author bio:

Deb Lindner is a Houzz contributor and began her design career at age nine, when she told her mother that her lilac walls really did NOT match her olive green carpet, and things needed to change. Ever since that day Deb has been designing everything with a passion. She worked as a graphic designer for 16 years in Melbourne (working with multinational companies on 'big brand' packaging). Her clients included Gillette, Kraft, Cussons and Orlando Wyndham. In 2008 Deb was looking for a new challenge and discovered the wonderful world of property styling - and Mink Home Staging was born. Then in 2011 she founded The Australian Institute of Home Stagers. She lives in Brisbane (in a Queenslander of course) with her husband, 2 kids and an assortment of pets.

This article was originally published on the Houzz.com.au. Read the original article here.

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Tinana real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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6 bathroom tile trends we’re completely obsessed with

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6 bathroom tile trends we’re completely obsessed with

When it comes to home renovations, bathrooms are the one room you definitely don’t want to mess up and when done well can have a significant impact on the resale value of your home.

When deciding on the style and feel of your bathroom the type of tiles you chose can be the factor that can either make or break the space. Tiles set the mood, colour palette and overall theme of your bathroom. So it's important to be confident in your tile choice as obviously its very costly to change them if you aren't happy with the result.

If your bathroom has seen better days but you're not ready for a full on renovation, updating the tiles can work wonders to transform the space. Depending on the design of the rest of your house you might want to go for a more traditional neutral look or splash out on a sleek modern upgrades.

No matter your budget or taste, we're going to take a look at some of the latest and most creative bathroom tile ideas to get inspired and dream about a new bathroom design of your very own.

Penny round tiles

This elegant early 1900s bathroom staple has made a major come back of late. If modern vintage styling is up your alley, the penny round may be the perfect fit. They bring beautiful intricate detail to a bathroom floor, shower niche or feature wall without having to add colour, so you can easily avoid a bathroom reno that will quickly date. They also work perfectly to soften chic modern marble walls or sleek porcelain tile bathroom fit outs.

For a more modernised crisp version of penny tiles, opt for hexagon or honeycomb tiles. Hexagon tiles have a similar subtle patterned look to penny tiles but provide a chance to go bolder with more colours, texture, sizes and arrangements to choose from.

Subway tiles

Perfect for fans of retro styling and timeless appeal, the subway tile is a finish that comes in a huge variety of colours, edges and looks (matte or gloss). Popular because of their versatility, classic subway tiles can work well in contemporary, country, traditional and even industrial bathroom settings.

Using a charcoal grout can transform the humble white subway tile from old school to modern in an instant. Contrasting grout will help to break up and emphasise the shapes of the subway tiles, giving you a busier brick patterned surface. For a more traditional or country look, use a grout in the same colour as the tile to achieve a more subtle and tranquil aesthetic.

Fish scale tiles

Evoking a restful mood, this fun feature tile would be ideal for adding pizazz to a beach house powder room or shower. Shiny glazed tiles like these ones work best when used as decorative feature walls because they can be overpowering to the senses when used on too many surfaces in a small space and more importantly they're very slippery underfoot when wet. For safety purposes pair fish scale feature tiles with a matte finish porcelain floor tile to reduce the risk of slips.

Woodgrain look tiles

It doesn't get much edgier than the exposed industrial appearance of woodgrain tiles. Just like traditional timber, these types of tiles come in a variety of 'stains', sizes and grains. Best of all some varieties have a non-slip texture, so they're great for busy family bathrooms.

For a vintage beachy look opt for a white-washed worn effect woodgrain tile. For a moody contemporary look select a rich dark chocolate look woodgrain tile with large white or grey porcelain wall tiles.

Herringbone tiling

For a charismatic look consider repurposing an age-old pattern typically used in timber parquetry flooring, with some herringbone tiling. Herringbone or chevron tiles inject sophistication and some serious wow-factor into any bathroom. Depending on the size and finish of tile you chose, chevron tiles can work well as flooring as well as on bathroom walls.

Mix and match neutral tiles to create interest in a feature wall or add quirk to your flooring with a bold shade of large herringbone tiles.

Geometric and patterned tiles

To bring understated glamour, personality and playfulness to your bathroom opt for a bold geometric tile or a shiny pattered feature tile. Patterns and shapes can work wonders to bring warmth to any bathroom style because of the huge variety of products and inventive designs on the market. Patterns and geometric tiles complement industrial and modern fixtures and fittings particularly well.

 9 Westbourne Street, Brunswick, VIC

9 Westbourne Street, Brunswick, VIC

If you're after a cheerful, exotic or more rustic feel, there are stunning Moroccan and Spanish influenced designs with eye popping swirls, sunny colours and floral patterns on offer. Make a dramatic statement by pairing Moroccan tiling with copper or brass tap ware, Moroccan inspired pendant lanterns and an elaborate Arabian mirror.

 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, NSW

Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, NSW

Do you have a favourite bathroom tile trend that we missed? Please let us know in the comments sections below. For more bathroom reno ideas check out these three hot bathroom trends.

Happy house hunting!

From the Homely Team

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Tinana real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Real life reno: Quirky Collingwood apartment

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Real life reno: Quirky Collingwood apartment

In collaboration with a Melbourne freelance Interior Designer, Perini Kitchens and Bathrooms recently completed a one of a kind renovation in one of Melbourne’s most stylish suburbs, Collingwood. The colourful finishes selected in the newly renovated bathroom and kitchen of this converted warehouse apartment truly showcase the client’s adventurous personality. Find out how you too can achieve a similarly, quirky, cool yet functional result from your bathroom and kitchen reno below.

Moody bathroom makeover

A seductive and dark colour scheme of deep sapphire, liquorice and copper, this bathroom creates the feeling of relaxing underwater. To further enhance the illusion of a relaxing underwater oasis, all walls have been tiled in a Mediterranean blue tile with a rippled glaze finish, while the ceiling has been painted to match in Dulux 'Blue Mediterranean'.

The space features all custom designed cabinetry, finished in Lamiex's ‘Battalion’ colour – from the all drawer wall hung vanity unit to the Euro-Laundry with base and overhead cabinets surrounding the trough, there is ample storage space for all the necessities, making this bathroom both functional and practical.

Quirky kitchen revamp

In carrying on the aquatic theme of the bathroom, the newly renovated kitchen in this eclectic Collingwood apartment is accented with aqua, copper and silver features. A combination of aqua tiles and flamingo themed wallpaper create a focal point in the splashback, while the Tom Dixon ‘Melt’ feature pendants complete the look.

A custom designed and made bookshelf finished in Laminex’s ‘Peacock’, complete with library ladder painted in Dulux’s ‘Metalise’, adorn the mezzanine balcony and cleverly conceals the upstairs bedroom.

The kitchen has been designed to make use of every available space in order to maximise storage and functionality. The Quantum Quartz ‘Ash Grey’ benchtop presents a length of neutral luxurious stone in the colourful space. 

For more kitchen reno and design ideas take a look at these 11 kitchen design tips. For the budget conscious, check out these ideas for making over your bathroom on a budget.

Company bio: 

In conjunction with Perini Tiles, Perini Kitchens & Bathrooms offers clients a complete design experience. Our team of qualified and experienced Interior Designers will assist your clients through the entire specification, design and construction process.

We offer a range of services: from expert advice on colour schemes and finishes, to a complete design and construction package, inclusive of project management by John Perini, Registered Building Practitioner.

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Deepwater real estate for sale, and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au

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 5 steps to creating a perfect teenage retreat

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5 steps to creating a perfect teenage retreat

Do you ever feel like your teenage kids are taking over your house? Even just a little bit? Maybe just one room, or a little bit of every room? There is a solution! You can have your space – and your sanity – back in a few quick easy steps!

Enter the Backyard Teenage Retreat (*applause*). A new trend is emerging for flexible teen-friendly spaces where your children can spend time alone or hang out with their friends. The perfect space for teens to study, read, relax, and play their music and video games to their heart's content.

Five key steps for creating the perfect teenage retreat

Step 1. Get your teen involved.

‘The aim is to create a space they love spending time in’, says Kate Abdou from Kate Abdou Design. ‘Teenagers are stepping into their independence and they are maturing, so it’s a good idea to give them some input – within reason, of course’, Kate says.

Having your teenagers input will make them feel valued and appreciated, and it will also invoke a sense of ownership for the area– it becomes their special little space, so they take on some responsibility in having to put it together and looking after it.

Step 2. Keep it separate.

As your teenager develops into adulthood, a natural desire for independence will make them seek their own space. A teenage retreat that is separate from the house is the perfect solution for this.

By giving your teen their own retreat, you help to foster the sense of identity and independence your teen will need as they transition into adulthood.

Step 3. Think: funky + functional.

‘Technology will nine times out of 10 be at the top of the list, but the space could also include comfy furniture to chill out in’, says Kate.

It’s important to ensure that your teenager’s retreat will be funky enough for them and their buddies to enjoy spending time in, yet functional enough to suit a wide variety of activities.

By using clever ideas such as a fold down desk, and a chalkboard wall you can achieve a great-looking and workable space that will suit kids of all ages.

Step 4. Establish guidelines for use.

As with any new privilege given to your teen, it’s important to set out what they can and can’t do with their retreat.

Think about establishing rules regarding food and drink (perhaps include a bar fridge or mini kitchenette?), cleanliness, and time restraints. Reaffirm that this is their space and you have created it for them, so it’s their responsibility to look after it and use responsibly.

Step 5. Motivate, encourage and inspire!

When it comes to schoolwork and study, a little motivation can go a long way. Get your teens to help you choose their favourite motivational posters and quotes to display on the wall near their study space.

Another study-enhancing idea is to create charts and reward systems to display and track their results. Also, make sure you display their past successes (i.e. trophies, medals, certificates) in their space – because, admit it, you’re proud of them too!

 Image:  Diana Studios

Adding a backyard cabana or studio space to your property is one of the easiest and most effective ways for you and your kids to create the perfect teenage retreat.

So, parents, are you ready to claim your space back? Ready to create the perfect teenage retreat that will make you the perfect parent the eyes of your teenager? Your future (happier) self will thank you, trust us! Click here to get started.

Author bio:

Laura Jayne is the Content Coordinator at Melwood Cabanas and Garden Rooms. She loves connecting with clients, and helping them to find the ideal backyard building to suit their lifestyle. When she’s not doing that, she’s blogging, commenting and chatting on all things backyard-related.

Company bio:

Melwood Cabanas and Garden Rooms have been specialising in pre-fab, portable backyard cabanas since 1976. All Melwood Cabanas come with a solid 10 year warranty, a dash of Aussie pride and a whole lot of character. Installation in Sydney Metro is fast and free.

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Kellyville real estate for sale, and properties to rent in Sydney. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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The 11 cosiest living areas on the market

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The 11 cosiest living areas on the market

Is there anything better than snuggling up on the couch in front of a roaring open fire with hot chocolate with marshmallows in hand and a good Netflix series in front of you when the weather is cold, wet and miserable outside? We don’t think so!

As homeliness and warmth are essentials when it comes to searching for a suitable home, here are eleven of the cosiest living areas and lounge rooms currently on the market. The only question left to ask is 'how soon can we move in?!'.

1. Converted church, Daylesford, VIC. 

This divine living area showcases features of its former life as a church and its recent restoration into a modern unique home. The gothic windows, vaulted ceiling, modern light fittings, Persian rug and freestanding Lopi wood-heater combine to give the space a grand but also inviting feel.

2. Glam urban oasis, Paddington, NSW.

Looks like the perfect spot to laze away chilly winter nights for a casual movie session. The sheer recessed LED lit curtains and EcoSmart biofuel fireplace add warmth and beautiful focal points to this living area.

3. Vibrant solid brick Victorian cottage, Caulfield North, VIC.

The gorgeous original marble open fireplace paired with an oversized L-shaped couch with plenty of colourful scatter cushions and a reading lamp makes this the ultimate winter reading corner.

4. Sophisticated Californian Bungalow, Northcote, VIC.

The faux-fur throw, the velvet cushions, hand woven wool rug and the gas log fire are perfect ways to soften and warm up a sleek living space like this one.

5. Immaculate Queen Anne Federation home, Camberwell, VIC.

This elegant light filled sitting room featuring pretty leadlight windows, original fireplace, oak panelling and ornate ceilings looks like the ideal spot to peruse the Sunday paper over a cup of morning coffee.

6. Victorian Italianate mansion, Woollahra, NSW.

We can see it now: sipping an old fashioned cocktail curled up by the flickering warmth of this elegant marble fireplace. The only feature missing from this sophisticated setting in our opinion is a well stocked bar cart.

7. Contemporary architect designed residence, Maleny, QLD.

The tranquil hinterland views, light drenched reading nook, adjoining deck, open fireplace and cool mood lighting make this vast sitting area warm and welcoming.

 For sale:  Maleny, QLD

For sale: Maleny, QLD

8. Bespoke designer home, Collaroy, NSW.

You get the best of both worlds in this charming sunlit living room, where you don't have to choose between watching the stunning gas log fire or the wall mounted TV. 

9. Elegant tri-level waterfront mansion, Mosman, NSW. 

The warm colour scheme, plush cushions and shag pile rug work beautifully to create a comforting and soothing sitting area. 

10. Chic renovated Victorian home, Woollahra, NSW.

The only thing missing from this glam grey and white sitting area is you, a pack of your favourite biscuits and a hot cup of tea.

11. Double fronted Victorian, Birchgrove, NSW.

This spacious designer living area exudes a warm, cosy and calming mood thanks to the eco fireplace, comfy couch and fresh potted orchids.

We hope these cosy living rooms have given you some inspiration on how to make your home extra cosy this season. For more ways to dress up your place for the cooler month ahead take a look at these six autumn home decor trends.

Happy house hunting!

From the Homely Team

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Windsor real estate for sale, and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.  

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6 home décor ideas to try this autumn

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6 home décor ideas to try this autumn

With the changing of the seasons comes time to get your winter woollies out of storage, pull on your comfiest pair of ugg boots and start prepping your place for hibernation to escape the worst of the winter chill.

Here are six autumn decor trends to try out to make your home extra cosy and inviting for the cooler months ahead.

1. Branch out.

Bring the beauty of autumn indoors by adding in natural textures and organic shapes using twigs, branches and firewood to decorate your home. There are a number of inventive ways you can work rustic branches and timber into your décor. A branch can be turned into a beautiful work of art, a sculptural dining table chandelier, a feature vase, a jewellery organiser or clothes hanger. For a fun DIY weekend project try making rustic timber coasters or placemats.

2. Rug up.

Investing in a quality rug come autumn is an easy and practical way to make a room feel warmer and more inviting. Natural fibre, jute and hand woven wool rugs are all stylish and highly durable additions. Not to mention they’re a great way to add an interesting textural element to a living space or bedroom. It’s also a smart idea to add an easy to clean hall runner or rug in your entrance foyer to protect your floors from muddy and wet shoes that go hand in hand with wintry weather.

3. A splash of velvet.

This opulent textile is the perfect addition to the home for autumn decorating. The rich colours, the soft weighty feel and luscious appearance make it the ideal material to snuggle up to in cooler months. Introduce a statement velvet piece into your living room or bedroom for added warmth and its heavenly texture (such as a headboard, sofa or ottoman). If you’re not up for a large purchase, swap out your lightweight summer linen and cotton cushion covers for velvet ones. Introduce on-trend autumnal accent colours such as turquoise, mulberry or emerald to instantly add an elegant touch to any room.

4. Lots of layers.

While you’re layering up your wardrobe to stay toasty and warm this season, why not do the same thing at home. Dress your bed by layering rich and tactile textiles (think quilts, wool blankets or cashmere, faux fur and sheepskin throws). Add in luxurious throw pillows in rich shades for a glamorous feel. Add warmth and visual interest to sitting areas by having cosy and colourful throw rugs within easy reach and a variety of luxe fluffy plush cushions on hand to cosy up with on cold winter nights.

5. Warm up your outdoor space.

Don't discount your alfresco area when in comes to autumn home decor and entertaining in cooler months. Introduce a weather resistant rug for comfort underfoot and durable pillows to your outdoor setting. Add in a patio heater, fireplace, fire pit and blankets for increased warmth while entertaining outdoors.

6. Winter friendly house plants.

For cooler times of year it can be a good idea to introduce hardy house plants into your environment to add a splash of colour. House plants also have several benefits such as purifying the air, increasing oxygen levels and other health benefits (like decreasing incidents of sore throats and colds). Cacti have loads of wow factor and are perfect examples of fuss-free greenery, as they don't shed leaves or collect as much dust as leafier house plants. They require minimal watering in winter but need sunlight, so positioning them near windows works best. 

For more ideas for entertaining at home during winter take a look at our post on 5 ways to heat your outdoor area this winter.

Happy decorating!

From the Homely Team

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne and across Australia. With over 330K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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How to: Set up a home office

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How to: Set up a home office

The idea of working from home is a dream for many of us – no more lengthy commutes, battling peak hour traffic, office politics or overpriced café lunches to contend with. But like anything, success lies in the planning. A practical home office setup, with plenty of well-organised storage, is just one of five key features you need to set up a functional home office.

Create a dedicated work space.

Working at the kitchen or dining table allows you to stay connected with the other members of your household, but it’s all too easy to get distracted. Instead, aim to create a clear distinction between work and home life by setting up your home office in a separate room altogether. This will allow you to close the door for privacy and quiet when you need it. If you don’t have the luxury of a spare room, consider turning a section of the living room into a work space, and screening it off for privacy, or concealing a desk behind joinery in the kitchen or under the stairs.

Selwyn street

Invest in quality furniture.

You don’t need much in the way of furniture for a home office, but what you choose should be sturdy and comfortable. Ensure your desk is large enough to accommodate a computer and paperwork, and is at a comfortable height - 70cm is generally ideal. If you have a window, position the desk so it’s looking out over the view (if you’re concerned about being dazzled by sunlight, consider hanging semi-sheer blinds that will cut the glare but not the light completely). Choose a comfortable office chair with good support and an adjustable seat. If you expect to be sitting at your desk for extended lengths of time, consider investing in footrests and ergonomically-designed mouse instruments.

clontarf

Smart storage.

Keep your desk clutter free by creating a place for everything; filing trays for paperwork, holders for stationery, and open shelving next to the desk for larger files and books. This will also mean everything is within easy reach, so you won’t have to stretch or strain to access them. If you find you need additional storage, consider a drawer unit on castors that can be rolled under the desk, or floor-to-ceiling shelves on the wall opposite your desk. 

Good lighting.

Decent lighting is a must in any work space. Boost natural light with a dedicated desk light that allows you to read paperwork and the computer screen without straining your eyes. There are myriad lighting designs to choose from, including wall-mounted lamps (which won’t clutter up your workspace); standard lamps that go on the floor next to your desk, and desk lamps with flexible arms that clip to the side of your desk. Whatever you pick, make sure it casts a good, even light, and that there’s no globe in your line of sight when you’re seated at your desk. Also, avoid positioning the lamp directly above your computer screen where it could create glare.

Techno wise.

When planning your home office space, make sure you factor in enough power and data sockets for all your electronic devices now and in the future (it’s a good idea to opt for more than you think you’ll need). If you like having the flexibility to move around and work from another room occasionally, a wireless internet connection is a wise investment.

Calming colour scheme.

Colour can influence your energy levels and concentration, so think carefully about the type of work you do before selecting a paint colour for your walls. If you need to be energised and inspired to come up with creative ideas, go for bright whites, cheery yellows and vivid purples. If your work is calmer and more contemplative, consider cooler shades of green, grey and lilac. To make the room feel warmer and more inviting, consider a grasscloth wall covering or textured wallpaper.

Don’t forget to personalise the space. Decorating your office with a few family photos and souvenirs from your last holiday is sure to bring a smile to your face, and will give you another reason to enjoy spending time working there.

Author bio:

Georgia Madden is a freelance interiors journalist and writer. She is a regular contributor to House & Garden magazine and a number of interiors websites. Confessions Of A Once Fashionable Mum is her debut novel. 

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Sydney and across Australia. With over 330K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Hallway overhaul: 4 decor tips

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Hallway overhaul: 4 decor tips

Whether you're putting your home on the market or you're just a big fan of home entertaining, lets face it first impressions matter and make a difference.

The hallway sets the tone for the rest of your home, and is your opportunity to make a great first impression and welcome guests or potential buyers to your place.

So if your hallway is dark, cluttered, showing some wear and tear or devoid of any decorative appeal, now’s the time to give it the attention it deserves. Here are four considerations to make when dressing up and increasing the overall homeliness of your hallway.

Clear the clutter

The first step to creating a welcoming hallway is to ensure that guests can walk through comfortably. Keep the floor as clear as possible by removing clutter, and consider installing a cupboard, rack or pegs on the wall for keys, coats, umbrellas and school bags.

When it comes to furniture, narrow is best. Seek out a slimline console table for post, handbags and keys that won’t swallow up precious floorspace. If you need extra storage, say for shoes or sports equipment, look for a shoe rack or storage box that tucks neatly under the side table.

Maximise light

Aim to make the hallway as bright as possible by maximising natural light and boosting this with carefully-considered artificial lighting. Replace heavy curtains or blinds with ones that offer privacy while still letting the light through, or forgo window treatments altogether. Keep wall finishes bright and cheery, and consider adding a mirror along one wall to reflect the natural light and visually widen the space.

When it comes to artificial lighting, adding uplighters along a hallway with low ceilings will give a feeling of height, while a lamp on the side table will create an inviting glow for guests and make it easy to see and safely move around the house at night.

If natural light is in short supply, you might even consider adding a skylight or replacing a solid timber front door with one with frosted glass panels to let in more light.

Hardwearing finishes

The hallway is likely to be the area of your home that receives the heaviest footfall, so tough finishes are essential. For the floor, consider tiles, a hallway runner or a heavy duty carpet that is designed for high traffic areas. Wall finishes should be durable and washable, particularly if you have pets or a busy family home: think low sheen paint for walls, gloss for woodwork or stain resistant wipeable wallpaper.

Focal point

Engage guests from the moment they step inside your front door with an eye-catching focal point. This could take the form of a fabulous colourful work of art hung on the wall, family photos, a dramatic feature wall, a glamorous chandelier or pendant light, or simply a beautiful arrangement of seasonal flowers on the side table.

Now that you have a beautiful hallway, why not move on and makeover your living areas to match. Here are 11 kitchen design tips and tricks and 5 hot alfresco area design tips

Author bio:

Georgia Madden is a freelance interiors journalist and writer. She is a regular contributor to House & Garden magazine and a number of interiors websites. Confessions Of A Once Fashionable Mum is her debut novel. 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Sydney and across Australia. With over 330K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.


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How to decorate an open plan home

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How to decorate an open plan home

There’s so much to love about open plan living – it’s a great way to maximise light and space, gives you plenty of room to entertain, and allows the whole family to stay connected. But large, open areas can be a challenge to decorate.

The key to making an open plan area work is to choose a simple, cohesive colour scheme that can be used throughout the space, and then carve out distinct zones for separate activities with furniture, artwork and accessories. Here are six tips to guide you in styling and laying out your open plan living space to maximise functionality in your home.

Smart planning.

Think about how you want to use the space, and plan accordingly. For example, do you want it to remain fully open at all times, or would you like the ability to close certain areas off for privacy? Sliding doors or folding screens will give you the ability to close areas off when required. Will acoustics be an issue? If so, carpet would be a better choice than hard flooring as it will help muffle sound. Does the room open onto a deck, and would you like to create a seamless sense of flow between the two? Running the same flooring material or colour will help achieve this. Do you have sufficient storage, or do you need to consider adding built-ins or wall shelves?

Furniture and finishes.

To keep the area bright and open, select light colours for the walls, ceiling and cabinetry finishes. Consistency is key – aim to use the same ones throughout the living, dining and cooking zones. If you’re keen to add a touch of pattern or bold colour, look to do so with furniture upholstery, scatter cushions or artwork.

When it comes to furniture, rather than cluttering up the space with lots of small pieces, seek out a few large-scale furniture pieces such a generous modular sofa, a bold patterned or leather armchair, and a beautiful dining table. Don’t forget to measure up before you hit the shops - regardless of the types of pieces you choose they should still allow enough space for people to move around the room comfortably.

Great storage.

Open plan living gives mess nowhere to hide, so smart storage is essential. If you have the space, consider dedicating an entire wall to shelving, taking it all the way from floor to ceiling – it will not only provide a great spot for books, but display items too. If empty wall space is in short supply, look elsewhere for storage opportunities, such as the areas around windows and door frames for shelving, an under-utilised hallway or corridor where you could install built-in cupboards, or by choosing double-duty furniture such as storage sofas or ottomans.

If there are one or two areas that are prone to mess, such as a home office or an entertainment area with television and gaming accessories, look for a desk or cabinet with sliding doors so that everything can be hidden away without any fuss.

Create separate zones.

Large open plan rooms can often lack intimacy. You can combat this by creating distinct zones for different purposes within the space, such as a lounging zone with sofas and television; a dining zone with dining table and chairs for family meals; and a practical zone with a desk and shelving.

Give each zone its own focal point, such as a dramatic pendant light hung above the dining table, a work of art above the fireplace in the living room, or a bright statement splash back in the kitchen.

Flooring is also a great way to help create the sense of rooms within a room – consider laying rugs under the coffee and dining tables, and if you’re building or renovating, you could even vary the floor height between the different zones.

Smart lighting.

Good lighting will help make your open plan room feel bright and airy. Make the most of natural light by opting for sheer curtains or blinds, and supplement this with dedicated up or down lighters in the form of pendant lights or lamps in each zone, and accent lighting to highlight artwork, a statement splash back or architectural detailing.

Ventilation.

Cooking smells wafting from the kitchen to the lounge area is one of the unfortunate – and often overlooked – side effects of open plan living. To overcome this, invest in a good kitchen ventilation system (Schweigen, Miele and Ilve are some good brands to check out). Whichever model you choose, make sure it boasts a quiet mode so that operating noise won’t disturb conversation or your favourite television programme.

We hope these six tips will be useful when it comes to planning and decorating your open plan living areas. Happy decorating!

 

Author bio:

Georgia Madden is a freelance interiors journalist and writer. She is a regular contributor to House & Garden magazine and a number of interiors websites. Confessions Of A Once Fashionable Mum is her debut novel. 

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne and across Australia. With over 330K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Top window dressing trends for 2016

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Top window dressing trends for 2016

If you're looking for a new style or simply want to update the look of your home's interiors, the window dressing is one of the easiest and most cost effective ways to refresh a space. 

Popular at the moment, the modern look is all about minimalism. A chic, stylish design is at your fingertips with the help of a few key techniques and just a little know-how.

Keep it simple

Less is more when it comes to interior design and window dressing for 2016 with clean, simple lines being used to enhance the potential of any space. Contemporary window dressing trends are based on this goal – and shutters are the perfect choice to create a chic, timeless effect. Shutters offer an uncomplicated linear pattern while blocking light, and they can easily be layered with sheer curtains for a softer look.

Use patterns wisely

The general trend regarding patterns in terms of furniture and fittings is to prioritise comfort and practicality. This means opting for texture and tone in a room to increase the warmth of a space, rather than cluttering things up with too many complex patterns or additions. When it comes to window dressings however geometric patterns are definitely still the go-to design.

Trellis designs, bold and bright colours, and large scale florals are also worth considering depending on the particular window you are dressing. Bright shapes such as triangles will draw attention to the view outside a window but be sure to choose colours that will match visible foliage all year around.

Blend your colours

For a contemporary feel to any room ensure your window treatments match the walls of your room. The current trend in tones has moved in the direction of jewel colours such as burgundy, bottle green and teal, which have the effect of creating a cool, natural feel to a space. Maintaining a crisp, neat look by blending colour tones rather than contrasting them is important. Layering is also a good strategy here – it’s possible to use a wide range of blinds under drapes to achieve a layered look, but do remember it’s usually best to keep the palette consistent for both treatments. This will allow the view beyond the window to actually become an integrated feature of the room.

Thinking about the purpose of the space is also key when choosing colour tones – if it’s a room for children to play in the brighter and bolder the colours the better, whereas if the window you are dressing will be used as a study it would be better to go with more neutral, calm tones.

Make use of long, soft pleats

The current trend for pleats is to keep them long and soft to offer a more contemporary, less structured feeling to a room. Pinch pleated drapes are best if you’re looking to design an elegant, sophisticated space as they easily retain their shape and hang very well making them suitable in terms of practicality. For an exceptionally modern, sharp look consider using inverted box pleats.

Creating simple lines and flat look

One of the most popular and versatile window treatments on the market today are shades that use honeycomb-shaped cells in the design. Cellular shades create a simple motif and muted light perfect when layered with other treatments and make a statement in any living space, as well as providing high levels of insulation. They are also available in cordless models, which are much safer for children.

 Honeycomb blinds,  Sydney Blinds and Screens

Honeycomb blinds, Sydney Blinds and Screens

If you’re wondering how to make the most of your living space, try these window dressing and treatment ideas to transform the look of your room. Finding the style that best suits the space you are dressing is key, so do your research before making any big decisions and remember if in doubt, just keep it simple and neutral.

For more window dressing inspo take a look at the six hottest window convering trends this spring and five reasons to install external blinds.

 

Author bio:

Jamie Ashton is Community Manager at Sydney Blinds & Screens, which provides competitive, affordable and top quality blinds, shutters, and security & screen doors.

 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for Red Hill real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, Homely is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about!

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If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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Guide to buying a new sofa

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Guide to buying a new sofa

Today’s sofa is the ultimate multi-tasker, providing somewhere to kick back at the end of the day, entertain friends and even store your vacuum cleaner. It’s also probably one of the most expensive purchases you’ll make for your living room, so it pays to do your research and find a design that fits your needs perfectly.

A good quality sofa should last upwards of 10 years, so it’s important to seek out a style you’ll love for years to come and one that won’t date quickly. There’s no shortage of options; a quick trawl of the shops will reveal everything from versatile modulars and chic, tailored sofas to slouchy, low-slung ones that are all about relaxation. Many of the latest designs also come packed with impressive features, including auto-extending seats, built-in lights and side tables, and even recharging stations for your smart phone or tablet.

Consider your needs

To help narrow the search, ask yourself a few questions. Where will the sofa be located? For small living rooms, slim line sofas with exposed legs work best as they won’t swallow precious floor space and will visually maximise the space you’ve got; while for spacious, open plan rooms or to accommodate large numbers of guests you might like to consider a generous modular. Do you have children or pets? If so, you’ll want fully removable covers that can be washed or even replaced, in a durable fabric that will stand up to wear and tear. Will you need to accommodate overnight guests? If so, a sofa bed might be your best option. Do you require extra storage space? Seek out a sofa with a concealed storage compartments in the base.

  Freedom  Aspect Modular Sofa

Freedom Aspect Modular Sofa

Cushion fillings

You should also pay attention to what the cushions are filled with, as this will determine how comfortable the sofa will feel. Feather-filled cushions feel incredibly soft, but if you don’t want to spend your life plumping cushions, you might prefer feather-wrapped foam core ones, which are soft and inviting but hold their shape well. Foam-filled cushions come in different densities, ranging from low to high, to provide as much or as little softness as required.

  Pottery Barn  Chesterfield Sofa

Pottery Barn Chesterfield Sofa

Sofa frames

Construction is also important, as the better made your sofa is, the longer it is likely to last. Quality sofas will be made with galvanized steel or solid timber frames, which are at the upper end of the price bracket, but will hold their shape for years and provide good back support. MDF frames are cheaper, but are less supportive and tend to sag over time.

  Natuzzi  Tempo Sofa

Natuzzi Tempo Sofa

Sofa trends

When it comes to colour and pattern, the latest sofas run the full gamut from neutrals and pretty pastels through to bold patterns. Textured neutrals are still the most popular choice, and it’s not hard to see why; they’re easy to live with, blend in with most decorative schemes, and you can update them as often as you like with colourful scatter cushions.

Leather is losing none of its appeal as an upholstery material, but expect to find more than just standard black and brown on offer – think pale grey, rich burgundy and even lime green. 

Sofa arrangements have also evolved. The traditional matching three-piece set is giving way to a more eclectic arrangement, where you might mix a neutral sofa with a bright patterned armchair and a leather chaise – all designed to add individuality to a space.

  Domayne  Grande 2-Seater Leather Sofa in burgundy

Domayne Grande 2-Seater Leather Sofa in burgundy

Be prepared

You can save yourself considerable time and hassle by going to the shops armed with all the information you’ll need to narrow your search. This includes measurements and photographs of your living room, flooring and fabric samples, and pictures of any existing pieces that need to be incorporated into the arrangement. And once you’re there, take the time to sit down on any design you fall in love with to make sure it provides all the comfort and support you need.

Author bio:

Georgia Madden is a freelance interiors journalist and writer. She is a regular contributor to House & Garden magazine and a number of interiors websites. Confessions Of A Once Fashionable Mum is her debut novel. 

About Homely:

Homely is a new way to search for real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. Homely incorporates beautiful design and community engagement, to create an enjoyable and simple experience that helps you find a new home quickly.

Check out our suburb reviews and Q&A pages to see what everyone is talking about!

 

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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