Styling your collections: the kookier the better!

I am a firm believer that happiness lies in the simple things.  It’s amazing how much joy a person can find collecting, organising and then just admiring whatever objects their heart desires.  I like to collect teapots, with best intentions to use them though I rarely do.  If you saw my balcony, you might say I collect (and obsessively grow) plants.  It doesn’t matter what you collect so long as it gives you a thrill – and the kookier the better I say!  Collections can be used to great effect in styling your home and showing your personality.

Imagine the person who owns this collection?  I bet the thought made you smile… even if in a slightly odd way.

Fornasetti plates look more like artwork here than a collection and is a good example of how a collection can be styled to really add something special to an interior.  The subtle monochrome palette, warmed up with timber, allows the artworks to take centre stage.

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This collection isn’t all the same object, but could be more of a theme like their favourite finds at a flea market.

A simple and inexpensive display such as this one can be made more interesting with some fresh flowers.

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I’ve been thinking of starting two new collections, pottery and hand held clocks!  What do you collect?

Bondi blue: dreaming of Summer

It’s mid winter here in Sydney and we’ve been spoiled by a lovely week of warm sun and sparkling blue skies. There was even a whale visiting down at Bondi beach!  Suddenly today, the rain is back and it’s got me reminiscing about all of the beautiful blues that mother nature treats us with.  Here’s some interiors in Bondi blues (‘Bondi’ is the best description I can think of!) and some tips on why they work.

Blue and Green should be seen.

If there was ever a rule that should be broken, it’s to mix blues and greens.  I think the image below is great evidence of this.  The reason these colours work so well together is that the blue and green are of the same intensity.  Instead of competing or one colour being washed out, they sit together happily balanced.  I love the timber bench seat, see how it softens the whole room because it brings in an organic element and looks so interesting because it is aged.  I’m already wondering if it’s from an overseas trip, found in an antique store… much more interesting that a chain store buy!

Contrast for maximum impact.

Speaking of interesting furniture pieces, I was out sourcing today and saw a few of these oriental armoires.  Not only are they incredibly practical and versatile, they come up so well when refinished in brighter colours.  This armoire really pops because it is placed in front of the red wall.  Red/orange and green/blue are complete opposites on the colour wheel, which guarantees maximum contrast.  Notice again, the colours are of similar intensity.

Just another great example of colour contrast, this time the colours reversed.

Break the rules.

There’s a lot going on in this room, but doesn’t it look fab?  I’m putting this one in just because even though it’s not perfectly balanced, looking at it makes me happy.  It must be all those beautiful jewel colours!

Now for the count down ’till winters end…

Styling your home office: get productive!

Today I’m dreaming of styling my own, perfect home office.  It will be filled with light, super organised and comfortable.  Here’s my styling advice to create a beautiful home office space.

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Comfort comes first

It’s really important to be comfortable in a home office, particularly if you work from home.  Probably the hardest part of styling your office will be finding a chair that not only looks great but is also ergonomically correct.  I recommend treating chairs as you would a new mattress purchase – don’t be afraid to try them out.  Sit in them for a while, right in the shop!

Further comfort can then be brought in with a cozy floor rug.  Keep in mind if you choose a chair with rollers, a shaggy rug won’t fair so well underneath.

Shed some light on the subject

Hopefully you are lucky enough to have your desk right near a window, letting the sunlight spill right through your space and enabling you to gaze out when tired eyes set in.  If not and for night time, an adjustable task lamp is essential.  Also consider the location of your screen to minimise glare.

A place for everything

Depending on what your space is used for, you will need a variety of storage.  Try getting creative with pinboards, where you can style your most inspirational images, swatches and important reminders.  Bookshelves and loose shelving are ideal for styling favourite objects amongst books and files.  Best not to have too much clutter though.

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The fun part

Once all of the essentials are in place, it’s time to style and have fun.  Hang art on the walls or stacked on shelves.  Put together a pleasing vignette and bring in some life with at least one indoor plant.  If you have a dedicated home office, it’s a great opportunity to wallpaper or paint the walls a feature colour.  Keep in mind that soft neutrals and the cooler colours, such as blue and green, tend to promote concentration.  Red and purple a renowned for being distracting.

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