When it comes to re-decorating, renovating or building a lighter palette is often the go-to choice, but it can be hard to get the balance right. Palettes which use too much white can often look stark and un-inviting, whereas a mix of too many different tones can look messy. We asked our designers Margo and Larissa to share with us their perfect mix of light tones to incorporate into your next project…
Every project is different but some of my favourite tones to mix together are:
- White-washed oak floors: for instant casual yet cool style, perfect for beach-houses too!
- Marble: a timeless classic, use for tiles, bench-top or as decor throughout the home.
- Neutral velvets: introduce velvet with a cushion, or re-upholster a tired armchair for instant glamour!
- Luxurious natural linens: add a neutral print, these cushions are a must for a sofa in need of some love.
- Dulux Natural White paint: a designers go-to, works in any room.
- Sheer linen curtains: use against windows in sunny rooms, they diffuse light but also blow beautifully in a breeze.
I adore the palette our Director Mel has used in her home, it’s not white but more a soft palette with layers of neutral tones:
- Natural Oak: whether used on the floor, joinery or as accents on furniture pieces.
- Dulux Vivid White: this paint colour works beautifully against darker colours to make them pop but also works well in light soaked rooms and isn’t too creamy.
- Dulux Subdue: rich yet soft, this paint works beautifully on joinery or as a wall colour in the living or bedroom.
- Quantum Quartz in Ash Grey: The perfect benchtop tone
- Natural Jutes: We adore the natural jute rugs by Armadillo and Co, the quality cannot be beaten.
- Monochrome hides: a hide rug, cushion or throw– the more the better!
It’s on again! Vivid continues to light up Sydney and ignite our love of this great city. Promising to be bigger and better then ever this year, organisers are trying to increase last years attendees and win Best Tourism Event in Australia for the fourth year in a row…
Here is our list of unmissable events and installations:
Taronga Zoo will host the ‘Be the Light of the Wild’ display featuring ‘an illuminated trail of giant multimedia light sculptures, depicting ten critical species from Australia and Sumatra,’ a media release by Vivid stated. This is the perfect place to introduce your young ones to Vivid and avoid the Circular Quay 6pm crowd crush! We suggest making a day of it and spending the day at the Zoo and staying past sunset for the lights!
An absolute must see! Bjork has created an amazing digital exhibition at Carriageworks which will be an all consuming experience of virtual reality. If this installation is anything like Bjork’s eclectic vocals, then we are in-store for a revelation of both body and mind…
After seeing the light show we suggest going to Kingston Public for a bespoke cocktail or two! After all Vivid is about more then just the lights, but also about exploring new places especially in some of the outer suburbs.
Revealed on the news, the “Cathedral of Light” installed at the Botanic Gardens looks simply amazing. This is the first time the Gardens will be involved in Vivid, extending the festival throughout the inner city. The Gardens will also extend their opening hours to 11pm throughout the festival, making it much easier to see everything throughout the 22 days of events.
As always, Vivid is a must see and Instagrammers dream! Let the selfies commence #vivid2016 !
It has been a very busy couple of weeks in the studio, with both Larissa and Margo well into some very large scale projects. Read on to see all the behind the scenes action which makes those ‘before and after pictures’ so amazing!
Larissa’s North Bondi project is starting to take shape! This project is essentially an entire free-standing home renovation, including an extension to the first level with a master walk in robe, ensuite and a larger main bathroom.
On the ground level Larissa is working on the design of the kitchen, living and laundry area along with the powder room. The design will also encompass updates to all the outdoor areas, both front and back.
This week, the extension is completely framed, roof is on and window frames are in! All plumbing has begun being installed upstairs so the design which has been in the pipeline for months is now becoming a reality. Larissa has begun discussing lighting selections, as well as finalising all the joinery details and decisions along with selecting the palette for the exterior painting and pavers. We’ve also started looking at the new overall carpet selection, this will help us to select the best fabric for the clients upholstered wall which will be installed in the master bedroom.
Margo has been working away on her large Bellevue Hill project with the installation of both tiling and joinery finishing off the week.
Simplicity is the key brief for this family home with an overall palette focused on minimal design and a monochromatic palette.
White tiles, paint and Corian bench tops run through with floors in a contemporary black and grey terrazzo tile, black sisal carpet and Japan black stained existing timber floors to separate areas.
With the end in sight we’ve seen the kitchen, dining and living spaces opened up with joinery and finishes renewed, bi-fold doors opening to the rear and the laundry relocated to the entry. The existing bathroom has been extended in length and robes have been replaced in the bedrooms featuring custom joinery handles to bring the minimal style together. This project is being completed with B2 Constructions.
The Design Hunter’s Melissa & Margo spent the last week working hard on their Re-Love Project for Feast Watson. The Re-Love Project celebrates the up-cycling or ‘re-love’ journey of numerous Australian designers, using a range of Feast Watson wood-care products, to transform a worn piece of timber furniture into a stunning, unique statement piece.A true example of design for a cause, all funds raised go to the Salvation Army. If you want to read a bit more about our inspirations and the other designers completing this project then click here.
Margo and Mel made a visit to NSW Leather to hunt for the perfect hide to line the drawers of the chest, a designer detail sure to impress! With plenty to choose from, they found an amazing piece which will add a beautiful textural surprise every time you open the drawers.
With the interior details taken care of, it was time to focus on the outside… They found a spectacular piece of marble for the top of the chest of drawers from Marble & Ceramic Corp , sure to create a more designer feel. That was the shopping done… follow us on Instagram to see the transformation as we sand and paint our piece!
Once complete design enthusiasts (like YOU!) will have a chance to bid for our creation, as all re-loved Feast Watson items will be auctioned on eBay, with proceeds going to Salvos Stores.Tweet
Where to stay:
After many great trips to Byron, here’s our top three places to stay.
- The Villas of Byron Bay Gordon St, Byron Bay – These are the most beautiful Balinese inspired villas outside of Bali! Every detail has been thought of from the bikes, beach towels, baskets and umbrellas, to the outdoor showers, sumptuous couches and daybeds, this place has everything you could possibly need for your home away from home. And the private pool and spa is just the icing on the cake.
- The Atlantic Marvell St, Byron Bay – The Atlantic is semi famous these days for it’s laid back tropical vibe, carefully put together interiors and it’s fabulous location right in the heart of town easy walking distance from the beaches, shops and great cafes. No kiddies though, so this one is great for a couples weekend away, but make sure you plan ahead as they book out quickly!
- The Byron at Byron Broken Head Rd, Byron Bay – This a hotel with it all – great restaurant, great pool and day spa and beautifully appointed rooms set amongst the beachside bush. Located on Tallows beach and slightly out of Byron, it feels like your worlds away as you walk the winding bush tracks between the buildings. Great for families, couples or just a break on your own.
- Gaia Retreat Newrybar – Ok, this is probably one of my favourite places in the world. There is something about Gaia that never leaves you. It’s a magical and spiritual place located at the highest point in the Byron Bay hinterland. Famously owned by Olivia Newton-John, this retreat is a beautiful blend of incredible day spa, insane food custom designed just for you and the most incredible staff who you feel you’ve known for a lifetime. A true rarity in accommodation and a regular treat of mine – this one is the perfect place to reconnect with yourself, your partner or your friends.
What to do:
- Hire a bike! If you can hire a bike while you’re in Byron it’s an awesome way to trek around the Byron area as it’s so flat. Take the bikes to breakfast, to the beach or just venture out for a ride in the fresh air!
- Go to the beach! Our favourite beaches are The Pass for the long waves perfect for surfers and kids boogie boarding as well, Tallows beach for the incredible long expanses of deserted beach, and Wategos for it’s tranquil, tucked away location.
Favourite shopping – there’s so much happening in the area now, but here are our favourites!
- Island Luxe – the original store in Bangalow as well as the newer Tribe in Byron Bay are both nothing less than spectacular. Despite the higher price point, their selections and global edit are nothing short of inspiring.
- Haveli – a gorgeous, well priced and carefully curated selection of global treasures from Indonesia, India and beyond.
- The Newrybar Merchants – this newby is a wonderful collaboration of creatives who’ve taken up space in on old house in Newrybar and have turned it into a magical space full of handmade and globally sourced goodies.
- Mary Ryan’s Bookshop – this is my all time favourite book shop in the country! The staff have incredible knowledge and can find every customer the perfect book for them! I always leave with way too many books and regret the hand luggage the whole way home!
- The Dispensary – This Bangalow staple is a favourite – but it’s a pharmacy! It has the most divine range of candles and beauty products all set in a gorgeous old building with beautiful vintage cabinetry. It’s the kind of place you feel like you need to tip toe through and just take it all in.
- The Corner Store – a great selection of home-wares and lifestyle pieces that are hard to find anywhere else. It’s hard to walk out empty handed.
- Pompediou – a great selection of fashion! A little something for everyone!
- Ahoy Trader – a colourful collection of art and home-wares that makes you feel instantly at home. Definitely somewhere to pick up something a little different.
Where to eat:
- Bay Leaf Café 2 Marvell St, Byron Bay, 02 6685 8900 – This is a long time favourite of the locals and tourists alike. The menu is incredible with something for everyone and the most delicious selections for Breakfast and Lunch – my pick is the mushrooms – so insanely good that I had them twice!
- Harvest Café 18-20 Old Pacific Highway Newrybar, 6687 6244 – Located in Byron’s beautiful hinterland, Harvest café is located in the historic village of Newrybar ( 20 min drive from Byron Bay) Harvest is one of the most celebrated restaurants in the area and has the most amazing rustic, wood fired bakery and deli as well. Reservations are a must. Tip – go there for outstanding bakery treats on weekend mornings from 8am.
- Three Blue Ducks, at the Farm 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale, 02 6684 7795 – The team from our local fave, Three Blue Ducks, have poured a whole lot of love, sweat and creativity into this 86 acre green space to create a unique farm-to-table dining experience for all – especially the kids. The farm animals, tours, huge playground and vast green spaces mean that the kids are perfectly entertained while the adults enjoy their meal, browse the produce, the store and the garden centre. Tasty wholesome Ducks’ meals are served for breakfast and lunch Monday to Sunday, as well as dinner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights – but don’t forget to grab something amazing from Bread Social to nibble on throughout the day – delicious!
- Red Lantern Byron Bay & Bangalow – This is both dumpling house and Chinese knick knack store! Perfect pit stop for something yum for lunch!
- Main Street Burger Bar 18 Johnson St, Byron Bay, 02 6680 8832 – Seriously the best burgers I’ve ever eaten!! The milkshakes and fruit sodas made in house were incredible and the sweet potato fires were an absolute MUST! Best place to grab a bite for lunch on the way back from the beach. The kids loved it!
- Fleet Restaurant 2/16 The Terrace, Brunswick Heads, 02 6685 1363 – This is a gorgeous new restaurant with well designed wine bar, share plates style with fantastic and creative food. It’s a small space and a booking is a definite must – as well as a babysitter!
- Milk and Honey Mullumbimby Shop 5/59a Station Street, Mullumbimby, 02 6684 1422 – Milk and Honey is a casual family restaurant specialising in delicious, artisan wood fired pizzas showcasing seasonal, locally sourced produce. This one is a hit with the kids!
For all mums: Saskia Havekes new book Flower Addict is at the top of our list! Not only does this gorgeous book boast some of the most beautiful floral photography, it also is alive with plenty of inspiration for the design lover. Beautiful scents and luxurious soaps just scream Mothers Day! Lumira’s darsana paired with Planet Luxe’s rose petal soap is the ultimate indulgence for lovers of floral scents. Be sure to take advantage of our free online shipping to spoil mum this Mothers Day, we also have some gorgeous screen-printed cards to complete the gift!
For the travelling mum: For frequent flyer mums go with the leather cedar travel candle and a soothe tube to revitalise both body and mind after long journeys. The new Uashmama paper notebook and clutch is also perfect for planning and keeping all the nessecities close at hand when on the road.
For the house-proud mum: Choose one of our new herringbone blankets or signature poppy cushions to instantly revive a tired corner of the house. Our new Urchin vase and Nordic mugs also make for easy updates to the home interior. Moroccan babouche slippers will keep mum looking and feeling effortlessly relaxed when at home.
Happy Mothers Day from The Design Hunter!Tweet
This beautiful free-standing weatherboard home was the beloved family home of our client and her husband and three children. They loved their home and it’s layout and functionality for them as a family but it was feeling tired and lack-lustre and they wanted to inject some colour and personality in to it. The project brief was to decorate and style most rooms within the home to create a cohesive, layered and finished look while including their many treasured pieces and collections from family life. Two different living zones were created – one which was designed more for the adults and the second downstairs for the children with a connection to the backyard and pool. The Kitchen and connected dining area were updated with some tweaks to the joinery, a chalkboard wall and some clever styling.
Some beautiful Mark Tuckey pieces had already been sourced for the Master Bedroom so a favourite piece of art was used as the inspiration to complete the room and it was given some finishing touches with linen, beautiful blankets, lighting and small furniture.
Last but not least on the list were the guest and children’s bedrooms. Each child was given a unique look based on elements that they loved – a colour, a picture or a favourite item. Finally all art was placed throughout the home and collections displayed on new furniture or in new found nooks.
The end result for the home is a beautiful, vibrant family home that pulls together all of the things that they loved in a new and fresh environment – hopefully for them to enjoy for many years to come.Tweet
Mr Pinchy & Co pieces are designed and made to last, working with artisans across the globe their pieces exude a masculine air of old world collector presence with a modern relevance.
We were lucky enough to catch up with Michael, the brains behind this unique brand.
1. We’ve been loving your little brass creatures for a while now and enjoy your eye for detail when recreating them. Can you tell us about how the Mr Pinchy brand came to life?
Ah there is a funny story behind this… The name actually started with the ‘Mr Pinchy’ crab, our first piece which we had purchased from a craftsman in a small village in Java (Indonesia)… Lou my wife to be and now business partner were back at our Villa, some discussion ensued with several drinks to loosen the creative thoughts about developing a brand around the crab piece we had just bought… Now this is where it gets risqué… I de-robed into the pool and began a crab dance using my hands as claws and danced side to side as you’d imagine a crab would do… Lou in hysterics said oh ‘Mr Pinchy’ and then and there it stuck! We love brands that don’t take themselves too seriously but are passionate about producing quality pieces.
2. Where do you draw your inspiration for the collections from?
Mr Pinchy & Co draws inspiration from the rawness of the animal kingdom with our sourcing and design process always lead by what objects would we like to have in our own house. Brass is a timeless material that carries an old world feel which encapsulates what Mr Pinchy & Co is all about, beautiful and masculine pieces that are made to last.
3. We love your latest inclusions of Champagne coolers and gorgeous serving trays. What’s next for the Mr Pinchy range?
Without giving too much away we are currently developing more animals along with a further entertainer range incorporating our signature brass accents, marble and some new materials you haven’t seen from us yet… Stand by Life In Style Melbourne.
4. What does a typical day for Michael Beer, aka Mr Pinchy, look like?
It’s a juggling act shared with my wife and business partner across day to day Mr Pinchy & Co and our young kids, nothing is ever as structured as you would hope but there are many people doing the same thing as us! Thus many a late night ensues…
5. What’s a lesson you’ve learned in starting your unique and creative business?
Keep pursuing what you truly believe in, it sometimes seems like a long road but if you are passionate about your brand and your product is unique people will engage with it. It is also extremely important to stand behind your design and don’t let a manufacturer tell you it can’t be done… The designer/manufacturer relationship is key, it’s the difference between shit boring seen everywhere product and amazing product.Tweet
As the summer months have closed in and before daylight savings ends my quest for a weekend away in the great outdoors (minus the actual fuss) has lead me to Seal Rocks and the new ‘glamping’ set up by Simple Pleasures Camping Co.
The current site sits at Trechery in Seal Rocks on the Mid North Coast.
Before your arrival the team set up beautiful canvas bell tents or tipi’s in the best locations and fit out the space with carpeted rugs, a proper bed, lighting, linen and cutlery.
All you need to do is pop the champagne and light up the campfire.
What I’m bringing along …
Bread board for cheese plater