My Design Tips

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. 





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. 




 

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