My Design Tips

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. 



10 tips for creating a black and white interior !!

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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image: likainen parketti

There is nothing as smart as black and white !! And you don't need another colour at all if you are clever with texture and pattern.  How inviting is the grey woollen blanket above, not to mention the rustic trunk .... the juxtaposition of the contemporary slick white walls with lots of texture, pattern and vintage !!

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Again, a simple white interior contrasted with the warmth and texture of the linen sofa and timber table.  Interestingly, it is the definite contrast of the black shade, television and other smaller pieces that create the statement. 

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images:jakob nylund

This is an example of pure white on white with not a lot of black ...... however you don't need a lot to make the statement. 

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image: apartmentsilike

In contrast, the black in this interior is strong and bold and looks fabulous !!

The combination of the very definite black and white stripes with the softer lines of the sofa and armchair works beautifully. The detailed window architrave and rustic side tables soften the linear effect of the rug. 

So be bold ..... go forth and embrace black and white for its simplicity, its inherent style and its flexibility.

Some black and white suggestions ......

almost black walls with white ceiling, doors, windows, skirting and architraves, floors pale bleached timber

white walls, ceiling and trims with black gloss timber floor

bathrooms with white wall tiles, predominantly white tiled floor with small black tile in check pattern, black vanity as a contrast with white bath and basin

all white kitchens with a very thick black benchtop ... particularly good with black timber floor or even grey bleached timber 

staircases in white with black handrail and tread only

charcoal to black painted exterior for timber houses or sheds with white trim on windows, doors and shutters

black and white photographs framed in black on a white wall or framed in white on a black wall

a soft black fringed throw rug on a bed made with crisp white bedlinen and doona

thick black bath towels hanging or folded in an all white bathroom

a large vase full of fully blown pink roses in any black and white interior .... 

 

 

 

grain sack fabrics both rustic and elegant

Deirdre Brennan - Wednesday, April 11, 2012

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I first stumbled across these fabrics at the iconic Peppergreen antique emporium in the Southern Highlands.....sadly no longer.  Shelves and even bolts of this vintage linen, cotton and flax grain sack fabric. I think what draws me to it is the subtlety in colour variation.  All very neutral, really only varying in texture from the soft scrubbed finish to a much coarser, almost hessianlike fabric.

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The faded imprint of the logo or manufacturer only adds to the appeal....almost like works of art.

 Also falling into this category of fabrics I feel are the gorgeous antique european mangle cloths.  These are a softer colour palette and finer texture....fabulous for tablecloths and serviettes. I love the subtle stripe to the edge.....always faded red or navy.   

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images: homelife

Being so neutral these fabrics combine well with pattern.....however with their subtle shades of cream, putty or taupe are at their most elegant when incorporated into a cream or white interior.   Have fun with scatter cushions and interesting trimming....and think about loose covers !!

The most exciting part is searching for these fabrics at your favourite antique market.....

 

 

trade secrets......interior designer's little black book !!!

Deirdre Brennan - Sunday, January 22, 2012

Artframing Pty Ltd

29 Salisbury Street Botany NSW 2019

PH 93166644 /0418 112 643 (Speak to Darry)

www.artframing.com.au

Corporate and Designer Artwork Specialist...extremely well priced framing !!

 

E&M Greenfield

30-36 Anne St Surry Hills NSW 2010

PH 92121944

www.emgreenfield.com

Fabric and Haberdashery for the fashion and design world....fabulous trims for soft furnishings!!

 

 

To be continued....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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