winter whites .. the warmth of white interiors

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, June 10, 2015
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Winter is officially here, the ski season has commenced and we have had our first fall of snow ... much to the relief of all.

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I may have said this before but ... white does work in winter. We have all heard the expression in the fashion world ... winter whites !! Well the same can be applied to the world of interiors.

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There is nothing quite as warming as white on white with the accent being on texture, line and self pattern. Mixing shades of white and cream adds a richness to the palette.

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A white scheme is enhanced by incorporating neutrals such as sisal rugs, hints of gold or other metallics and timber furniture and flooring.

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Bedrooms allow you to build upon a predominantly white/cream scheme with layers of bedlinen as we move from Summer to Winter. Don't feel the need to add colour for warmth.  There is nothing quite as cosy as cream mohair blankets, a cream silk eiderdown, cream velvet or quilted scatter cushions or a rich cream flannel bedhead.

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The elegance of white is transseasonal !!
images: gabriel flores, this is glamorous


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stylish storage in all forms

Deirdre Brennan - Sunday, November 23, 2014

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Industrial display ... like with like

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Faux and fabulous

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Making the most of every usable space ...

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So simple .. so elegant.





Images: thisisglamorous
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the new neutral interior ... how to create this look

Deirdre Brennan - Tuesday, August 19, 2014
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The new neutral is really just a combination of black and white, grey and timber ... think Scandinavian and pared back design.

It is natural, organic and calming.

The perfect backdrop for vibrant colour, should you desire it.



To achieve this look, your first stop should be Ikea for wall hung storage in all shapes and sizes.  This helps create a sense of space and clean lines. 

For 'modern classic' timber and painted furniture, visit Thonet.  Bentwood always works and you can customise your colours.

The choice in pendant lighting is endless however Huset will give you an overview of the different styles.  Once you have decided on your look ... and budget, you can start shopping.

Koskela is all about thoughtful design ... rugs, fabric and homewares, followed by lunch at Kitchen by Mike, under the same roof.





  

Stylish Inner City Living with a Smart Studio Apartment Makeover

Deirdre Brennan - Saturday, August 02, 2014

THE APARTMENT
A 30 square metre studio apartment on the top floor of one of Potts Point, Sydney's finest Deco buildings.

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD
Potts Point, Sydney has the best of both worlds ... proximity to the city and the buzz of the best restaurants, bars and cafes on your doorstep combined with the Botanical Gardens and Rushcutters Bay for a breathe of fresh air.

THE INSPIRATION
To transform a tired, cluttered space into a stylish, functional apartment on a shoestring budget and in a limited timeframe. Inspiration for owners wishing to spruce up prior to selling or buyers looking at an investment property with potential. 

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WHAT I DID
I wanted to create the illusion of space and maximise storage.
This was achieved by choosing a colour scheme of simple black and white. Crisp white walls to lighten and brighten, contrasted with a smart black floor of painted floorboards. 
Fortunately, the sliding wardrobe doors were mirrored, reflecting both light and the view. An additional wall was mirrored to further enhance the reflection of light.
To maximise storage and create a decorative element, bookshelves were built in on the wall surrounding the bed.
A range of lighting options and dimmers were installed, allowing for
a change of mood and focus depending on the time of day.
 
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MY ADVICE
Create as much hidden storage as possible.  
Disguise doors to storage cupboards where you can and split a door into a pair, so as to limit intrusion into the space.
Apartments in Deco buildings usually still have the wonderful original bathrooms.  These can be added to but do not necessarily have to be replaced.

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FUTURE PLANS
Unfortunately the tight timeframe did not permit a new kitchen at the time of the original makeover.  Three years down the track the next step is to install a new all white kitchen. A simple and stylish design, with mirrored splashback will add even more light and further expand the space. 
To provide more flexibility when entertaining, a customised wall bed is an exciting option under consideration.

With a small space, good design does not have to cost a lot of money. 





winter greige ... your warm colour palette

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, July 23, 2014


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I am taking my winter inspiration from The Wild Rabbit in the Cotswolds.  This is yet another stylish project by Carole Bamford of the Daylesford Organic empire. 

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The classic English Country House style that we have loved for so long has come of age.  Still deliciously warm and inviting, the colour palette has changed and is very much of the moment ... stone, putty, greige, khaki and cocoa ... just perfect for a cold climate or in fact, our winter.

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We do a cooler version of it here with our warmer climate, however in winter it is all about replacing the crisp white with softer hues of rich cream, biscuit tones and greige.

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Stone flooring in warm tones (see The Wild Rabbit above) can underpin the overall feeling of warmth and can be layered with wonderfully textured rugs in a similar colour palette.  

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The introduction of soft bleached timbers works well with this colour palette as does a fabric choice of stone washed linens or aged leather in faded shades.

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To complete the picture just add an open fire and a cashmere throw rug ...




my tips for a cosy southern highlands winter

Deirdre Brennan - Monday, June 23, 2014
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Winter in the Southern Highlands .. an easy 90 minutes south west of Sydney (out of peak hour) ... is my favourite time of year.  More akin to a northern hemisphere winter and every bit as enjoyable, once you have geared up for it.  I have to admit that I did freeze during my first couple of winters.  

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The first step is to invest in good quality blankets ..  and I don't think you can go past  beautiful Waverley blankets.  They are always coming up with a new collection and the latest colours to feature rather than hide under a bedspread.

My very favourite thing to do when returning home to the Highlands after a trip to Sydney is to make sure that the wood basket is full to overflowing .. even if it means many trips to the wood pile .. quite a pleasurable task.  You never know what you will discover in the garden along the way .. so much can change from week to week.  This week it was the snowdrops ... 


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Of course a stylish wood basket is a must.  Dirty Janes is a your first stop for a traditional basket or Cloth and General for a more contemporary version.  Koskela in Sydney would offer something creative.

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It goes without saying that an inviting ambience is essential and this is all about cosy furnishings, the right fabrics and of course an open fire.  Don't be afraid of a little glamour ... a chandelier is never out of place.

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And I will end on a practical note .. always have curtains made with a bumph lining (layers of flannelette will do the job).  This will guarantee that the winter chills are kept firmly at bay.

There is nothing like a true winter in our beautiful Southern Highlands. 



Is there an art to hanging art ?

Deirdre Brennan - Tuesday, May 20, 2014
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I am not sure there is any right or wrong when hanging art.  What I do know however is that it either works or it doesn't and only your eye will tell you that.  It must be visually or aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

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And of course what is pleasing to the eye for one is not so for another.  I personally love the order and symmetry above, however aspire to the eclectic and seemingly effortless style below.

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Take time to think about the space you are working with ... sometimes it is obvious which way you should head.  The size, proportion and colour of frame and artwork all come into play. I find laying it all out on the floor to organise groupings first is a great start.  

Lastly, a professional hanger will take the angst out of the equation ... all you have to do is stand back and admire.

http://www.thehangman.com.au




5 ways with dark colour ... timeless

Deirdre Brennan - Saturday, August 10, 2013

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1. dark colours on walls really let the furnishings, artwork and in fact, anything else in the room, shine !!

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2.  dark colours on walls work particularly well with polished concrete floors and sisal flooring in natural tones 

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3.  dark walls show the richness of timber and leather

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4.  dark walls are timeless ... and classic style

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5.  dark colours are inviting in winter but equally so in summer, teamed with crisp white and pale timber ... enjoy creating your own stylish interior. 

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images:browndresswithwhitedots

 

how to do black and white ... softly

Deirdre Brennan - Friday, July 05, 2013

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it is all in the detail .... a predominantly neutral palette with a hint black or charcoal ...

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or a hint of buttoning, antique stud trim or cushion detail

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or a smart contrast ... just one

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a distinct contrast in style, line and materials ... this works

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black, white and stone to soften

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the detail softens what would otherwise be ... just black and white

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black, white and shades of grey ... always !!

 

 

 

the warmth of wood ... now winter is here

Deirdre Brennan - Thursday, June 27, 2013

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Cold, wind and rain abound and we are thinking warm and cosy interiors and all that go with it. 

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The glow of candles, bamboo lamp light and the warmth of timber.

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Earthy tones and rustic settings.

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Exposed timber new or old, makes an architectural statement and creates its own warm colour palette.

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The appeal of wool and cashmere fabrics no matter what colour palette.

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The warmth of rustic materials, fabulous design and clever lighting .. so simple !! 

images: tumblr, browndresswithwhitedots

 

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