Thursday, 6 September 2018

Choosing a colour palette – the first step to a beautifully finished room

Let's talk about colour my friends, cos it's of monumental importance when it comes to the interior of your home. So important that when Moda by Dulux contacted me and asked me to partner with them to talk about it I leapt at the chance. 

I only work with brands I love and respect, and I think you'll love too, and everything is always 100% my own opinion, just so's ya know. 

So, one of the questions I get asked most frequently is something along the lines of "I painted and got new furniture, but my room still doesn't feel like it's "done". What am I missing?!". And nine times out of ten what those rooms are missing is depth. 

It might sound strange, and you might not have ever thought about it before, but I've put together a few points to break it down and I promise if you follow them they'll help you achieve the interior of your dreams!

1. Think about depth

What do I mean by depth? Well, decor that goes beyond the essential, art and objects that are personal to you, and a colour palette that contains more than just one or two colours. A successful room needs layers, and all these things added together will definitely elevate your room and make it feel more like the millions of pins you probably looked through before you even started!

2. Choose a palette

So, where do you start? Well, choosing a palette is always the first thing I do. I decide what kind of a feel I'm looking for first, and if you're not sure what colours you're into I suggest pinning (a lot!) of rooms that appeal to you on Pinterest. When you look at them all together later you should be able to see a theme emerging, whether that be light and bright, dark and moody or somewhere in the middle. From there, taking into consideration the colours of any furniture that is staying, pick your main colour. 

Now, this is where a lot of people think the paint part of the job is over, but that is where they are wrong friends, dead wrong. I go on to pick a further three or four complimentary colours that I will bring in to add depth to the room and make it feel "finished". 

I've done this so often that I'm pretty confident creating a palette from colour cards, but if you want some guidance then Dulux has put together many different colour schemes that you can use to help you figure out your own room, and I picked out a couple of my favourites.

Both the Moda Him and Her Capsule collection and the Moda Mineral Glow Capsule include the type of intense, moody colours that I've been drawn to recently, but what I love most about these suggestions is that it's absolutely up to you how you use them. Feeling brave? Then paint all four walls in Amaranth or Gatsby Blue. Not so sure? Then choose one of the lighter colours for the walls and go dark with your curtains and cushions (see my next point about how to accessorise) Whatever you choose, you're sure to end up with a beautiful room, full of character and dept, and that's exactly what we're all after!

neutral kitchen tile

3. Accessorise using the palette

Take my diningroom/kitchen for example. At first, it might seem like the palette in here is a very basic, white/grey combo, but actually there are two different shades of white, as well as grey on the floor, pink in the soft furnishings and artwork and gold and green in the decor and plants. Yes, I consider plants part of the colour scheme, and that goes for the wood tones in the furniture too. Each of these colours and tones is adding a layer to the overall scheme in here and making it feel cohesive and "finished".

Dark green, blush and gold.

Another way of getting big splashes of colour into a room, and a great way of using intense colour if you love it but are a bit wary of having it on your walls, is to paint a piece of furniture. I will often upcycle furniture to fit in with my scheme, and this is a particularly great way to furnish your home if you are on a tight budget, as pretty much any piece can be made to fit in after a few coats of paint!  And honestly, having a few individual pieces in a room instead of the usual items from the bigger furniture stores makes the room feel like it's been pulled together over time and that's exactly what you want.

dresser to bathroom vanity
This vanity unit started life as a stained pine hand me down dresser, which was then painted pink and used in my daughter's room before getting chopped up, repainted and fitted with new handles to take pride of place in my bathroom. Look at pieces with an open mind and I bet you or your family (or your local charity shop!) have many pieces that could be put to great use.

As my kitchen and living room are both open to the dining room I kept the same overall scheme in both of those rooms, but I played around with it, using more of the darker colours like the grey and green in the living room against blush pink walls, and sticking to black, white and grey with gold accents in the kitchen. In this way I kept the rooms looking distinct, while ensuring that they all flow into and compliment each other, which really helps to make this relatively small space feel spacious.

Black fireplace, blush pink walls, gold feature wall and a charity shop sideboard serving as a tv stand. All adding character and depth to my living room.

Once you have your palette sorted and the room painted you're on to the fun part of every room makeover, the soft furnishings and accessories!! Curtains, cushions in a variety of complementary colours and patterns, plus inexpensive art and accessories will really tie the whole room together. Charity shops are a treasure trove of great accessories and with a little luck and some imagination you can find some really great stuff. 

If I need to bring in particular colours to a scheme I often do it with diy art. This one was done by letting the kids loose with a potato stamp and my selected paint colours.

So easy right? If it seems scary it really doesn't need to be. You can do it, I promise you. Colour can completely transform a space, and painting a room is a cheap and easy way of totally changing how a room feels, so start there. Be on the lookout for inexpensive throws, cushions and curtains that tie in with your palette, and check sites that offer free downloadable images and art that might incorporate some of your colours. You can have a beautiful home, and with a little creativity you can do it on any budget. Good luck!

Sunday, 18 March 2018

choosing actual an adult.

affordable art roundup
Abyss of the disheartened by Heather Landis

I don't know if it's because I'm turning into an actual grown-up or because the selection and availability is getting so much better, but I recently find myself wanting to invest in some proper art for our home.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not at a point where I can shop in galleries or anything, so I won't be forking over hundreds for a single piece, but with the emergence of sites like Etsy and Society 6 it's getting easier and easier to find great prints from original artists online.

I'll always love a good DIY for jazzing up a bare space in a hurry but I think I've reached the stage in my life where I'd like to own something that wasn't made by me...with a sharpie.

I have a few blank walls that are crying out for decor so I've been trawling through these sites for the last couple of weeks trying to pick a few of my favourites, and this is what I came up with.....

affordable art roundup
1. Frida - Lucja
2. Dissolve me - Daniel Taylor
3. Woman with flowers - dada22
4. A certain kind of magic - Louie Jouver
5. Metamorphosis - Christian Schloe
6. Message from the sea - Christian Schloe
7. The old astronomer - Charlie Bowater

So, I wasn't expecting it, but after looking at most of the images I chose it would seem that I have a taste for the surreal! LOVE "Message from the sea", that one needs to be mine. I also like "Dissolve me", I think it might be dramatic without competing with the colours in the stair runner so it might work well in the hall. "Frida" is amazing too, I absolutely love the colours, and as my kitchen/dining room has splashes of pink I think it might look great in there.

affordable art roundup

8. The Breath - Vanessa Poutou
9. Sky - Elisabeth Frederiksen
10. Books - Carlos ARL
11. Sunrise (2) - Alyssa Hamilton Art
12. Beach - summer of love - Ingrid Beddoes Photography
13. Sunny daze - Helo Birdie

These are a little more like what I would usually have gone for, abstracts in more pastel shades. Love "The Breath" but I'm not sure I have a place for it at the moment. I think I need to own "Books" though cos that's basically a picture of my subconscious.

affordable art roundup

14. In another world - Daniel Taylor
15. Ballerina - Vanessa Poutou
16. This isn't you - Daniel Taylor
17. Everything will be fine - Wanker and Wanker
18. Holynight - Fran Rodriguez
19. Lush peony flower - Gina Jessica Smith

I love "Ballerina" and "This isn't you" in this group. They're darker than what I would have chosen in the past and I think they would look amazing against the lighter palette we have going in the house now. I also love "Everything will be fine", because...obviously. 
affordable art roundup
I also really want to get the amazing Spacex poster set. I don't think they're right for most of the house but they're definitely going somewhere. I feel a space-y kids room coming on....

And while we're talking space I have to mention the amazing Nasa "Visions of the Future" posters that they released last year. They're free to download so you can get them printed yourself and they're pretty amazing. I love "Venus" and "Titan", and I've been keeping them in mind since they released them so I really need to get them printed and find the perfect spot for them.

What do you think? Do you have any other sources for art that you'd recommend? I have a few artists I would love to commission pieces from too but that's a project for an older, richer me. I will definitely be investing in a few of these prints in the coming weeks though, and I do love the idea of giving (or receiving, hint hint) prints as a gift too. It can be tough to find something thoughtful and personal to give someone when you don't want to spend an awful lot of money, and I think a nice print ticks all the boxes.

*This post contains some affiliate links, because unfortunately no matter how many times I feed these darn kids they keep coming back for more. Thanks for supporting my little blog ;)

Sunday, 11 March 2018

industrial chandelier for the hall

                                 industrial retro chandelier lighting

The latest part of the entryway makeover is finally in situ and I just had to share it with you guys! I think I did rather well to end up with something so dramatic on such a tight budget.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

mother's day wish list

Image of Mothers Day Card
The Bitch Box

I don't like fuss, I HATE surprises and I am the least sentimental person in the world so I usually hate things like mother's day. You know, those "holidays" where you feel compelled to buy an overpriced card to write down how crazy you are about people you see every day so they can take a pic of it and share on facebook? Yeah, I hate all of that, and so I did used to kind of ignore Mother's day, but by god if the destruction of my pelvic floor hasn't instilled in me an appreciation for a day that's supposed to be all about moi!

And said pelvic floor, which valiantly battled to hold in three giant babies. I miss you girl #neverforget

Sunday, 4 February 2018

finding the perfect mirror....almost

I've been looking for a new mirror for over our bed for a while now. I did have the diy paper sunburst mirror I made hanging there, but two years later it was looking really limp and tired so I took it down, and I've been looking for a replacement ever since. I wanted gold, I wanted mirror, I wanted an interesting shape and I didn't want to spend too much money on it!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

plants for the black of thumb

great faux plants

Plants are absolutely my favourite things when it comes to home decor, hands down. There really isn't a decor problem that can't be solved by adding a leafy friend.

Want to add natural texture to a room?


Need a pop of colour and not sure how to bring it in?


Not confident of your decorating ability but want to add some drama?


Running low on oxygen?


They're basically the coconut oil of the decor world. 

Sunday, 21 January 2018

budgeting - frustrating this family since 2014


A piggy bank on a white surface
The end is in sight people, the longest, poorest month is drawing to a close. This time next week I'll be out doing something with the kids that costs actual money instead of sitting at home colouring and trying to come up with yet another "inventive" pasta dish for dinner. We'll be living the high life, visiting cafes like rich folk!

I've mentioned budgeting here a few of times over the last couple of years and every time I do I get questions about it. As it's early in a shiny new year I thought it might be the right time to share how we do it....

Thursday, 11 January 2018

industrial glam bathroom reveal.....finally

    industrial glam budget bathroom makeover monochrome brass                  

Cast your mind back to oh, about a million and a half years ago, back in the mists of time, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I had an urge to paint something.....of course I'm was definitely only the early 90's when I started this project. I kid, I kid,it was a mere eighteen months ago,it just feels like more because I spent most of it having the same argument with a four year old about why she couldn't watch a third hour of youtube kids, and that shit drags.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

new year plans

          Related image


Hi everyone, remember me? Yeah, so it looks like one kid was easy, two I could handle, but three has me crashing through life in that kind of weird "what the hell just happened" way that's really hard to keep up with. Not that the actual looking after of the offspring is harder, cos for some reason it's not, it's just that there's so much to do that my brain can't keep up, and the days are flying past me at a frightening rate. 

My life is basically that scene from Thor Ragnarok where he meets Doctor Strange.......Anybody? No? Well you're missing out. Taika Waititi, Jeff Goldblum, what more do you want?!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

my favourite interior trends this season

FANCY! Design Blog | NZ Design Blog | Awesome Design, from NZ + The World
The New

As someone who's really into interiors I always love watching new trends emerging and seeing how people incorporate them into their homes. There are so many things I'd like to try myself, and while my own style is some kind of a scandi/mid-century/eclectic mash-up, there is only so much experimenting I can do before my home starts looking like I have multiple personalities!