Archive for November, 2010

November 30, 2010

Styling Idea # 76 Day Beds


Okay- tomorrow is Summer.

Well, as much I am looking forward to it I would like a refund on Spring please. I am not sure we received enough of the sunny, pollen filled days that require a soft woollen blanket (Planet Furniture has the most incredible textile collection) and a cup of tea to ward of the cold whilst soaking up the sun on our face.

Apartment Dreams

Apartment Dreams


  • mmmm these room should be unashamedly pretty- I am sorry. You will just have to clash prints, fabrics, florals and textures because this has to scream “lay down here and forget everything for a while”
  • Unlike Styling Idea # 37 Window Seats (a very popular post if you missed it) you need a hell of a lot more space and they do not run along the window (very technical difference between the two but it is my blog so I say so!)
  • Keep the things around you that you need – a table close by, a fan to blow a soft breeze, something to sip on (anything- hot, cold, alcoholic, fruity, fresh, indulgent- pick one)
  • Throwing a throw over a old day bed is perfectly acceptable for this idea so no need to spend up big.
  • Now, the weight of your cushions is important- mix a few soft feather downs with more structured supporting pillows to make reading and sleeping more comfortable.
  • If you feel the need to opt for an actual bed follow this rule to make sure it looks special and day bed like – MAKE SURE IT IS HIGH OFF THE GROUND!! Vintage beds will sort you out here.
  • If you have an area that gets sunshine or fresh air- hurry up! Summer is here you need a day bed.

PS I need your help- can another think of some words to describe my style based on what you have seen on this site??

November 29, 2010

Styling Idea # 75 Retro Colour Repeats


mmmm a long day working with retro furniture is surely bound to throw up some retro inspired pics. How do you get ramshackle retro pieces to work together? Repeating colours is the easiest way to keep it clean and create the harmony you need. Stick to one colour and repeat it in suitable ways.


  • Build on teak – teak furniture is synonymous with mid century Scandinavian design. Following WWII the ships returning from Asia loaded up with the teak so they did not return empty.  Hence this beautiful honey coloured wood became the iconic cost effective solution that delivered excellent design to everyone.
  • Turquoise and orange will be a standout retro colour to pick but don’t bother mixing them if you want a clean contemporary look- pick one and use restraint.
  • The use of the pink and white in the second shot is an example of repeats- the pink of the “Australia”, the chair and the soft pink lamp are all subtle.
  • For modern Scandinavian spaces be aware of negative space- the area around the onjects that allow their unique design and shape to be clear- the orange chair is an example of this. Let the design speak for itself- it is iconic and timeless for a reason.

All products currently available at Vampt Vintage Design. Sorry for the terrible lighting in these shots! It was the best I could do on a rainy afternoon in a dark warehouse 🙂

November 26, 2010

Styling Idea # 74 Patina’d Leather


Last night Vampt Vintage launched a series of 1950’s photographs and Garden Life launched a new cafe and outdoor eating space- it was all happening in Surry Hills! Luckily I managed to pop into both gatherings and sample the champagne at each (excellent champagne- no complaints).

I was involved in an interesting discussion, let’s say debate, between two established and respected landscape designers about designing for now and for longevity. The crust of the discussion centered around is “designer x” designing gardens that will be here in 100 years or are they designing gardens for now? Designer x is a very well known designer and I am not sure I am in a position to comment on their design principles or visions but I would like to think that all designers in all fields are hoping that their designs are here for years to come- either as a living, growing organism or a piece of beauty and integrity.


From Scandinavia With Love

  • Leather that is loved and aged looks so striking against fresh clean and modern backdrops.
  • Mix it up with some industrial pieces or retro prints.
  • Don’t try to cover this up with cushions or throws- the beauty is in the details.
  • Mix different pieces together- different colour leathers will all work in the mix.
  • While I am on about timeless designs, designers and patina – check out this amazing Kaare Klint Safari Chair!

Remember – the age is what makes this leather so stunning. I wish we could remember that about our own beauty.

Have a good weekend x

November 25, 2010

Styling Idea # 73 Outdoor used Furniture Indoors


I am a huge fan of indoor furniture being used outside. I have just booked festival tickets for new years (no, I am not too old) and I think I might take a couch, a coffee table, a rug, a few bean bags and a some lamps for my camping site (be sure to look out for photos if I actually pull that off!). However the reverse can be super clever and quirky – check this out.

Apartment Therapy

Interior Decline

The Beautiful Soup


  • What do you have gathering cobwebs in your garage or on your front porch? Clean it up, paint it up and bring in for some love.
  • Look for pieces that are an interesting shape or texture.
  • If people cannot see the potential of outdoor pieces are second hand stores and garage sales you might be in luck!
  • Think about comfort factor- are you really using it for sitting or is a statement piece.
  • Don’t leave the gnomes outside alone- they should come in too!
November 24, 2010

Styling Idea # 72 Industrial with Black and White


Earlier this week I was prepping for a shoot that required industrial pieces- lamps, chairs, fans, trolleys the like. I can tell you if you are in Sydney there is PLENTY out there to choose from at the moment. It seems to be the trend of the moment. Metal, steel, wood, brass, bronze, aluminum eat your heart out.

Some of the best finds were seen at ici et la , A Pair of Chairs and David Met Nicole . If you have a trillion dollars and like your furniture to be the price of a small car check out The Country Trader also.

Try these pieces with effortless black and white.

All pictures found on the incredible From Scandinavia with Love site- check it out for plenty more!


  • Everyone seems to have industrial lights at the moment and floor lamp variety are huge- think about other ways lights can be used- industrial lights attached to the top of shelves or either side of a doorway is effective.
  • Use the pure palette of black and white to offset the harsh lines of industrial pieces- if you are keen to make it softer or add some surprise a posey of short stemmed roses would look smashing and be such a contrast.
  • Keep pictures plain, hanging staggered and colours muted.
  • Have a think about other ways the black and white could add something else to the metal- try frilly black and white cushion on the metal frame chair or a vintage black and white ceramic jug/ wash basin poised on top of an old metal stool in the kitchen.
  • I love the trolley idea- fill it with books like above or old white ceramics for an eye catching neutral display.
  • If you want to add some colour do it in interesting ways- an empty frame hang on the wall in a popping colour would work (think yellow, green or gold) or use wallpaper to create a patterned background for this minimalist styling.
  • There are also lots of filing cabinets around at the moment which make such excellent storage spaces!

A final note- if you have not checked out A Pair of Chairs on Regent St I would urge you to do so – the website is nothing compared to the gems in store and the excellent service!

November 23, 2010

Styling Idea #71 A touch of Orange


I think orange is such an underrated colour for styling. I love it in all it’s guises- from strong citrus tangerine to primary orange to softer peaches and yet you see so little of it used. I guess people are not sure how to bring it into the space, how to introduce it without it taking over or how to use it without it screaming 70’s!!. These shots are great examples of it done correctly.

Coco and Kelley

Living Etc


  • Although I really want to re-style the top photo I do love the orange sideboard and the idea of the fabric on the chair- pick one strong piece of furniture in a block orange colour and break it up with a printed white and orange piece nearby- easy.
  • I was going to make a rule that orange should be in white rooms but I love the second picture and the dreamy cream and dusty blue palette seems to be working a treat. Ottomans in a bright colour are an excellent idea for adding an unrelated but harmonious colour to your room. Skip the tufting if you want a cleaner look.
  • Yes, feature walls are dated, but not all feature walls are painted the colour of Sherbet Lollies- if they were they would still be totally acceptable (however I suspect the full room is in the colour).
  • Ideas for pieces of furniture you could paint in a great orange – drink trolleys, tallboys, side tables, bentwood chairs, blanket boxes, stools or kids desks.
  • If you want a smaller touch of orange think of cushions, clocks, piping on upholstery (pretty!!) photo frames, throw rugs, jugs, vases, serving trays on coffee tables, penguin book spines.
  • Yes, orange is a huge retro colour so you will find plenty of second hand vintage pieces to add a splash until you get used to the hue.

Did anyone hear Lucy on Triple J yesterday- what a clever little lady! Congrats on launching such an exciting calendar- still loving your blog! (The Design Files)

November 22, 2010

Styling Idea # ?? “Why be a stylist?”

INSPIRATION FOR THIS POST – PS this is not a normal post- it deviates from format…for good reason.

On Saturday night I watched A Single Man and was completely mesmerized. Following the movie (in fact during it) I spent ages working out how I could instantly change my wardrobe and house. You kinda want to chuck out everything you own, buy an amazing white shirt, drink expensive gin and use black eyeliner in areas of the eyelid that have been abandoned for decades (perhaps for good reason).

Following that I opened my  (FREE- YAY) Russh magazine. That was it. My mind went off into “creation” land of amazing and wonderful possibilities. In this land I can style with any products I want without being told no from suppliers (shame on you Living Edge) I have studios and locations and products and textiles designers and photographers and we sit around and create spaces that are so damn sexy you will feel like this or this or actually even this just by being in them. In my mind the art of fashion and the personal expression of interiors are not separate- there is no interior styling and fashion styling – there is only inspiration.

The wonderful, dense, grounding feeling of witnessing beauty.

Ladies and Gentleman I talking about images like this…

Will Davidson- used with permission from Will . Styled by Stevie Dance

This is the stuff of stylist and photographers wet dreams….this is why I am in this game and this is why I think everyone should be inspired to create a space around them that is beautiful and personal. Dress the way you want, live the way you want.

This post is not about a styling idea but about the concept of grand gestures and big dreams… passionate, be memorable and come home to an entrance that looks like this.

Apartment Dreams

Thanks to Will for letting me use the incredible shot.

November 19, 2010

Styling Idea # 69 Shelf Above Bed


It is really cold in Sydney today. I’m not going to buy into the Sydney/ Melbourne weather debate because I think it is about the most boring conversation that you can have – but really Sydney is this all you’ve got? It’s enough to make you think a day lounging around in bed with the papers would be nice (I wish it was Saturday). It would be extra nice if my room looked like this.


  • I love how this shelf allows you to continue the style and colours of the bedding and bedhead up the wall creating a perfect layered look.
  • Think about what you place on this shelf- it needs to be in harmony with the room so that it doens’t look messy. Think about matching frames and cushions colours to keep it neat.
  • Think about using a floating shelf to avoid the bracket.
  • DON’T use this space for family photos or any photos – it is not the mantle!
  • DON’T be too matchy – create a little haven for beautiful things that you love looking at.
  • You have two options- symmetry or balanced mismatched- pick one and stick to it.
  • One of the key strengths of this image is the perfect use of gold from the side table, to the wall clock to the ceiling pendent- copy this order to get a seamless result!

PS – what do you think about the purple colour? I am not a purple fan but it keeps growing on me and popping up in unexpected places- like stunning bedrooms!

Have a good weekend 🙂

November 18, 2010

Styling Idea # 68 Wallpaper Above Picture Rail


Yesterday I went shopping at Bunnings to get a rod for my bathroom window to hang some curtains. I wanted an adjustable rod that works by using a spring to push the ends away from each other and therefore doesn’t need to be attached to the wall. They didn’t have it. Renting and Bunnings suck. And while I am having rant- when did storage solutions become soooo expensive? Obviously the world has too much stuff and the retailers have worked out that we will pay through the roof for a boring box to put it in.

There you go…I have said my piece, back to the post and the reason I started talking about the curtain rod..

I really want some prints in my life to make things look a bit more Sara style and unique. I love the idea of using wallpaper high like this…

Apartment Therapy

Bear Hill Interiors


  • Use the colours above the picture rail in the room below to marry them altogether.
  • Don’t be afraid to use a strong print or a busy pattern – you are seeing only a small area of it and it is above eye level.
  • Keep the room below clean and fresh with a great base of white or other neutrals.
  • This bathroom and entrance work well but I would love to see it add drama to a small dining room- smart!
  • Don’t forget about the ceiling- it can be wallpapered too!
  • Think about ways to light this area so that you can see the pattern at night also.

PS if you are clever you would have noticed two extra styling ideas that are great in these photos- First is the box around the bathroom mirror (quirky plus extra storage) and the second is the desk in the hallway (excellent place to store all the admin of life!)

November 17, 2010

Styling Idea # 67 Hanging Side Lamp


Working with Sheridan I have linen on the brain. I think this linen is to die for! I have been saving this picture a while.


  • What do you think- have we seen the end of table lamps?? Are hanging lamps and floor lamps ever going to replace table lamps???