Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Bathroom design ideas :: Little details

Sometimes it's the little details that make a room...

I have been looking for ideas to add some interest to my small bathroom design. With the high cost of refurbishing a bathroom I am quite keen to introduce some ideas with cheaper recycled elements.
For those like me that live in a warmer climate and do not have a radiator in their bathroom, an old ladder can easily be used to throw those bathroom towels over.
Vessels can also make lovely additions to any bathroom design with a variety of uses. Instead of buying a new vase an old milk bottle, cup or jug can make a lovely vase.
images from Debi Treloar & Baileys Home and Garden 
Similarly, decorative side tables and wicker baskets can and an extra dimension and additional storage to any bathroom design. Have fun.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Interior design workshops :: Interior design tips

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my Interior Design Workshop survey. I really appreciate your comments and will be announcing the details of the workshops in December.

In the meantime I will leave you with something from a workshop I held earlier this year. Where do you start when you want to re-design a room?

When thinking of changing a room, an old colour scheme or the design of a kitchen or bathroom there are a few questions that are worth considering before you start:

What is the main reason for change?
A new room use, new furniture, dated decor, more storage or space?

What do your like or dislike about your room?
The colour scheme, the light, the current style, the furniture, the finishes or lack of storage?

What is your family type & lifestyle?
Couple, single, family orientated, teenagers with lots of friends, babies, pets, retired and relaxed, home office, entertainers, formal or casual lifestyle?

How will you use the room?
How will the space be used on a daily basis and what elements are required?

What would you like to retain, revamp, reuse or de-clutter?
What key pieces of furniture would you like to retain, re-upholster or re-paint?

What is your budget?
Set a budget with a contingency amount.

How much time do you really have?
Have you considered how long the works can take and whether to do the work yourself or pay a professional?

These are just a few basic questions you should ask yourself at the beginning of the design process so that you start your project with a clear direction.

Have fun.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Pretty beach House :: NSW, Australia

Whilst looking for more bathroom design ideas I stumbled across this private beach house resort just outside Sydney called the Pretty Beach House.

I have not had the luxury to stay but it is on my list for when I visit Sydney next.
This private resort has three homely pavilions with interiors that feature raw natural and reclaimed materials balanced with classic and modern furniture.

I love the bathroom design with the use of a raw timber table and reconditioned side cabinet mixed with a contemporary feature bath.
Also the use timber slats with this beautiful wall fabric drape above the headboard has a lovely balance with the black furniture. This use of black adds a level of sophistication to a natural room.
image via Pretty Beach House
For more information check out the site prettybeachhouse.com.au.

If you are interested in finding out where to obtain some of these lovely pieces of furniture please feel free to email me. Have fun.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Small bathroom design ideas :: Mirrors

If any of you are following my journey to explore the options when designing a small bathroom I have another tip for you.

With small bathrooms it is all about introducing detail into the room. Even though larger mirrors can make a room feel bigger they also reduce the opportunities you have to introduce detail into a small space. Sometimes there is just not enough depth in a small room to allow for these built in storage mirrors. I will deal with storage in a later post.

Instead you can introduce a smaller decorative mirror or two. Better still would be to recycle an old picture frame and convert it into a mirror to add interest, detail and character.
image via House and Home
image via Homes and Gardens
top image via Living etc and bottom image via Decorpad
images via Living etc, House to Home & Carolina Eclectic
image via Anna Spiro
Above are just a few examples I have found that I hope you will find inspiring. Have fun.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Interior design workshops :: Last chance to vote

A special thank you to everyone who has already voted in my 2011 Interior Design Workshop survey. 

If you have not yet had chance to vote this is just a quick reminder that voting will finish in a few days. 

Just to recap, earlier this year I presented an interior design workshop in Brisbane on "Discovering your design style". It was a great chance to meet some lovely people and to help them answer questions regarding specific interior design and decoration issues.
I have found that many people under estimate the amount of time and do not fully realise what is involved to create their desired room look. The challenge is knowing where to start, what to do, how to prioritise and who to call. Also with so many choices in the market it can be quite confusing to make decisions.

I had great feedback from that workshop and now plan to run a further series of interior design workshops next year and would love to hear what topics you would be most interested in. The topics could be:

"Discovering your own design style"
"How to decorate - the first steps"
"How to use colour in the home"
"How to design a bathroom"
"How to design a kitchen"
"How to create a healthy, non toxic & eco friendly home"
"How to style a property for sale"
"How to design a French inspired room"
"How to design an eclectic Asian inspired room"
"How to renovate for profit"

I would love to hear your feedback so I've have created a poll in my sidebar. Please feel free to vote for your preferred workshops including their location.

If you would like to know any further details please feel free to email me here or if there are any other interior design issues you would like to know more about please leave a comment.

Thank you for your guidance and have a great week.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Fjall :: Falls Creek, Victoria, Australia

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to stay in Falls Creek and do some skiing which is one of my favourite outdoor activities.

As I am always on the hunt for unique places to stay I could not help myself to tell you about Fjall Ski Lodge in Falls Creek. This luxury alpine lodge with interiors designed by Hecker, Phelan & Guthrie brings a strong sense of nature and the outdoors inside with a subtle reference to the Scandinavian interior design style. 

Their palette uses a mix of oak timber floors, custom designed oak timber joinery softened with a palette of charcoal, white, black and pale grey fabrics and upholstery. They also keep to an Australian made focus with their beds and ottomans made by Jardan.
images by Peter Bennetts

These rooms certainly provide a sense of calm and balance reflecting the landscape that surrounds this lodge. If you are interested in staying at Falls Creek for your next Ski holiday, click here for further details on the Fjall Ski Lodge. Have fun.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Small bathroom design ideas :: Vessel basins

I am still looking for a recyled bathroom vanity unit but in the mean time I have stumbled across these lovely vessel basins. These basins sit entirely above counter and can make an attractive detail to any small bathroom. We are all used to the white ceramic variety but they can also be made from bamboo, copper or stone (travertine or marble).

These are just a few that I have found recently.
bamboo basin image via stone forest
image via decorfair

images via colours of Mexico
images via china sink & treasures of old Mexico
I may now have to revise my previous white china selection as these are so full of character. Have fun.
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Thursday, 11 November 2010

Balinese day spa :: Ikatan Day Spa, Noosa, Qld, Australia

One of the many things that I love about my work as an interior designer is that I get the opportunity to research unique places and experiences.

One of my favorite locations to travel through and research is Bali. Back in England I use to dream of travelling to tropical Bali and now that I live in Australia Bali is in easy reach. I found the culture, the people and the places I stayed truly amazing.

So can you image my surprise when I discovered a small piece of Bali within a two hour drive from Brisbane. A few years back when I was looking for a venue for my wedding I discovered Ikatan Balinese Day Spa located just outside Noosa.

Ikatan is an authentic Balinese day spa offering body treatments with natural ingredients and massages in pavilions and villlas set within mature tropical private gardens.

The style of architecture is very similar to the spa environment you will find in Bali. Even the interior decoration, cushions, fabrics, timber bowls, garden decor, doors and window frames have all been imported direct form Bali.

images courtesy of Ikatan
I believe the experience is truly authentic and the closest I have experienced to Balinese body treatments and massages outside of Bali.

If you are looking for a wedding venue or a place to escape to for a few hours I can highly recommend Ikatan. All you need to do is book in and leave your children and mobiles behind! Have fun.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Searching for tiles & small basins

The hunt for bathroom tiles and small hand basins has begun...
I am looking for small tiles to balance a larger tile size for the small bathroom. Using small tiles balanced with a larger tile can add an extra detail to a room size which does not allow much space to add many details. 

I have also decided on a slim oval hand basin to sit on a recycled vanity unit and will be going to look around Brisbane's reclaim yards tomorrow for a piece of furniture that can be used for the vanity and also provide some much needed storage. Have fun.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Small bathroom design ideas

This week I will be starting on the design of what I consider to be one of the hardest rooms to design in the home, a bathroom. It is not a large bathroom but a very small bathroom. These rooms can be quite complex.

This bathroom needs to have more storage space, a bath and shower and appear larger than it is! The room also needs to be feel comfortable and not too cold, a space to enjoy a good soak in a bath.

I have started with looking for a few inspirational images and styles that will suit this type of bathroom.
image via phorm interiors
image via better living through design 
Have fun.

Abseiling :: Mt Tinbeerwah, Nr Noosa, Queensland

Have ever wondered what and an Interior Designer gets up to when they are not designing?

Well I will let you into a little secret. My husband and I set off very earlier this morning for a 2 hr drive to Mt Tinbeerwah near Noosa. Here we joined Jane from Adventures Around Brisbane for a full day of abseiling from the top of Mt Tinbeerwah. Now I am fine with rock climbing but have never been too overjoyed with abseiling. However, with fantastic views of the Sunshine Coast and expert guidance and tuition from Jane all my fears passed away. I can honestly say that jumping off 20m, 35m and then 50m cliff faces was an amazing experience!
Its quite hard to appreciate the height from these photos but trust me it was high!

Thank you so much Joe, Joanne, Tracey and Megan for a truly amazing birthday present. Loved it... A fantastic day :)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Dickebusch :: Patonga, NSW, Australia

I have had my eye on staying at this lovely weatherboard beach house cottage in Patonga for some time now as I was inspired by the use of restored, collectable and unique designed furniture.

Situated 80 minutes north of Sydney in the quiet fishing village of Patonga this cottage has been lovingly restored by a couple who own their own furniture and design company called Koskela.

Their brief was to create a beach house with warmth, texture and a lived-in vibe.

A warm feel has been created by using recycled timber floor boards, exposing the existing ceiling beams and using an old recycled timber shop counter to create an additional kitchen bench.
images courtesy of Koskela & photographer Anson Smart

Instead of buying from a furniture showroom, the Koskela team created unique pieces of furniture specifically to suit their beach house, like these hand-woven cane light fittings above the dining area. Natural fabrics like jute and linen were chosen for the cushions, upholstery and curtains.

If you fancy staying in this beautiful beach side cottage click here for booking details. 

What is your favourite beach side cottage? Have fun.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Interior design by ifdesign, Brisbane :: Three Little Girls and a Boy Named Ted

ifdesign recently completed the interior design scheme for Three Little Girls and a Boy Named Ted on Oxford Street, Bulimba, Brisbane.

Owned by Charmaine McDonald, this young children's clothing store sells quality children's clothing made from natural fabrics with labels from Australia, France and Italy.
With an increasing awareness of the benefits of healthy environments and natural materials we were delighted to work with Charmaine, Greener Kitchens (for the joinery) and Building in Green (the builders) to create a natural and healthy environment one should expect from a Children’s clothing store.

The project involved the strip out of existing walls and finishes to allow for a new retail layout, new kitchen and stock area all with new floors, lighting scheme, bespoke joinery and furniture.
new store plan
Our brief was "to create a French inspired retail store" with healthy low toxic materials and a sustainable focus. Working closely with Charmaine our inspiration was drawn from an ecletic mix of French shabby chic, the Hamptons and shaker styles. We also combined a mix of hand crafted items, fair trade products, reclaimed and natural finishes. The use of healthier materials and finishes such as low VOC and no VOC natural paints, low energy light fittings and recycled timber was used to create a healthy and sustainable retail environment.
early design ideas
Rather than select mass manufactured retail fixtures and furniture we designed a family of “Shaker inspired” original joinery cabinets. A local wood turner was commissioned to make traditional “Shaker coat pegs” for product hangers and many decorative items were sourced from local reclaim centres around Brisbane.
ideas from our trip to reclaim centres
The biggest delight was finding some vj’s from an old Queenslander in West End. These timber panels were stripped of nails and old paint, then installed to create a feature display wall to the rear of the store. Once installed they were painted with a natural based paint made from milk bi-products and given a wax finish as shown in the images below.
the feature VJ wall "under construction"
Hand made jute display baskets were also sourced from the Dharma Door, a local supplier working with a “Fair Trade” program in Bangladesh.

Finally, many thanks to Katrina Philips of Style My Room in Brisbane for all your beautiful final touches such as the beautiful French jars that complete all the joinery cabinets.

For a fine afternoon of retail therapy why not pop along to Three Little Girls and a Boy Named Ted located at Shop 4, 77 Oxford Street, Bulimba.
We are also very proud to be featured in this months copy of Brisbane's River Wrap... Thank you!

Also just stumbled across the October's issue of Style Magazine Brisbane and seen an article on one of my latest Interior Design projects. 

Three Little Girls and a Boy Named Ted, owned by Charmaine McDonald, is a beautiful young children's clothing store selling Australian, French and Italian labels in Oxford Street, Bulimba.
With an increasing awareness of the benefits of healthy environments and natural materials, we were delighted to work with Charmaine, Greener Kitchens (for the joinery) and Building in Green (the builders) to create a natural and healthy environment one should expect in a Children’s clothing store.

Our inspiration was drawn from an eclectic mix of hand crafted items, fair trade products, reclaimed and natural finishes reflecting the quality clothing and natural fibres available within the store. The use of healthier materials and finishes such as low VOC and no VOC natural paints, low energy light fittings and recycled timber was used to create a healthy and sustainable environment.

I hope to explain the interior design in more detail later on, but in the meantime if you fancy some retail therapy in Brisbane, feel free to pop along to Three Little Girls and a Boy Named Ted, Shop 4, 77 Oxford Street, Bulimba.