Lucy’s bedroom

Last of the kids bedrooms, I’m not sure I’m finished this room, something doesn’t feel right, but it’s a work in progress. A few small updates have made a big difference and Lucy is happy. We didn’t really have a plan for this space, we started by identifying the problems and finding solutions for them first.

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Lucy is 20 now and apparently her room made her feel like a little girl, she thought there was too much colour, too many patterns and too little mirrors … seriously! The issues we needed to address was her need for more desk space and the fact that one of her windows looks directly into the next door neighbours balcony, or more importantly that the next door neighbours look directly into Lucy’s room and they often make eye contact when she is sitting at her desk studying … awkward!

The first thing I did to create a new look in her bedroom was to remove all the things we no longer wanted or needed, then I gave everything a fresh coat of paint so we had a clean slate and could see what we were working with.
We decided to keep the bed, bedside tables and wallpaper, everything else was flexible.

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Now to start addressing the functional problems of the room before we move on to the pretty things.

Firstly, desk space, I spent weeks looking for the perfect desk. I wanted it to run the entire length of the window, nearly 2 metres long, but only be as deep as a standard desk, about 60cm. I looked everywhere, I looked at desks, dining tables, console tables, 2 desks pushed together, nothing was quite right. So I found a picture of what I wanted and asked my husband if he would help me make it. It was very easy, cost under $200 and only took 1/2 a day. I painted the legs white and waxed the spotted gum top.

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Problem 1 solved.

Next, the privacy issue. Obviously choosing the right type of window coverings was important in this room. We decided to go for plantation shutters from Tuiss Blinds Online for a few reasons. Firstly, they are contained within the window frame, with the desk sitting right under the window I didn’t want to use anything that might hang on the desk or get in the way. Next, the blades allow you to control who can see in and out while still allowing the daylight in. Lastly, they are nearly complete block out to keep the room dark for a 20 year old who parties all night and sleeps all day.

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Problem 2 solved.

Now, the pretty things, Lucy wanted me to to remove some of the colour and pattern. We both agreed the wallpaper is staying because we still love it, so we stripped the bed back and only used very neutral linens to reduce the colour and pattern in the room. We chose a clay and natural linen quilt cover and cotton throw in the colour Woodrose to add some texture.

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Lastly, the mirror. I let Lucy choose her own mirror and she found this glamorous gold one in a beautiful shape. We initially tried it above her bed but it was overpowering and too visually heavy, we moved it to the adjacent wall and it is the perfect finishing touch to her bedroom.
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Problem 3 and 4 solved.

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We didn’t make any major changes in this room, but it was just enough to give it a new look. I always say paint and window coverings make the biggest impact in a room and this room has proven that point again.

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If you’re keen to update a room at your home, start by making a few small changes and see where it leads you.

Happy updating!

Hayley x

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Orly’s Dog Bedroom

Who remembers when I was all excited to create a summer camp style bedroom for Orly? I was planning log bedside tables, brightly coloured wall pennants and striped blankets … then I stumbled across the most adorable curtain fabric … I fell in love and everything changed.

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EMMA BRIDGEWATER FOR TUISS BLINDS ONLINE

When I saw Tuiss Blinds Online had a range of Emma Bridgwater fabrics available for curtains and blinds, I knew I was going to love them. I popped online for a little sneak peek thinking I could use them somewhere else in my house, then I saw the Dogs Multi fabric. I knew I had to use them, I would happily put them in any room of my house but I decided they would look amazing in Orly’s room. I showed Orly and he loved them too.

Orly’s only request for his room was to use his favourite colour – orange. When the fabric sample arrived I knew it was going to be fabulous, the colour palette is warm with shades of brown ranging from tan, to mocha and rust through to greys and a touch of black. I knew I could mix a burnt orange into this mix perfectly. I didn’t waste a second ordering them, I chose a pencil pleat curtain with the light filtering lining. I hung them on simple black rods to flow with the rest of the house.

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I had already painted his room green (Dulux Backyard) ready for his summer camp room. I really love the colour and although I probably wouldn’t have chosen this colour to go with the new look I decided to leave it and if it didn’t work I could easily repaint. In theory, using split complimentary colours on the chart, I knew it should work, especially if I added a little bit of blue to balance it all.

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So, the curtains were locked in, the wall colour was flexible and we decided to keep his bed frame, then we worked the rest of the room around these elements.

 First we addressed the practical problems in this room. Storage! Although he has a double wardrobe, it is quite small and he didn’t have any drawers. I decided to use drawers as a bedside table, unfortunately I could only fit them on one side of his bed, if I had more room I would have used them on both. I wanted to encourage the modern country vibes of the fabric and I went to Facebook Marketplace and found a beautiful old set of drawers complete with brass handles. They are a perfect fit while still keeping the bed centred under the window (I’m totally OCD about that).

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 The next issue in this room is only a problem in summer, but his room faces west and the sun really heats up his room in the afternoons. It makes it uncomfortable to go to bed when it’s so hot. Plantation shutters provide awesome insulation properties, they keep the heat out in summer and help retain the heat inside during winter. You really can’t beat the clean lines and versatility of shutters, being able to tilt the slats and control the heat and light is worth every cent. Plus, we ordered them from Tuiss Blinds Online again and fitted them ourselves, it saves a tonne of money and it really is surprisingly easy. I shared all the details of how to fit your DIY shutters here.
I also wanted to use shutters in this room as his window is along the front of the house, by keeping all the windows coverings the same along the front facade it creates a cohesive and stylish look.  The office is directly under Orly’s room and I used shutters in there too.

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I couldn’t fit a big bedside table on the other side of his bed due to the 45 degree turn in the wall, I hunted high and low for a vintage style round table. I couldn’t find anything I liked within my budget that was in stock (thanks Covid), so I settled on this table, which turned out to be perfect.

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The last thing I had to address in this room is how to inject Orly’s request – orange. I had intended on using blue or green bed linen with orange cushions and a throw, but then I found this coverlet in the perfect shade of orange (brick) and I decided to go for it. Yes, it’s a lot of orange, but it really warms the space up and Orly’s loves it.

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Everything else in this room we already had. His desk sits in the corner and although I’d love to use that space for some gorgeous drawers and a gallery wall, he uses it all the time, he builds lego, plays with his air dry clay and I’m hoping one day he’ll do his homework there, so it stayed. I paired it with a $20 vintage chair I found on Marketplace and recovered with a remnant of fabric.

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We also kept his basket ladder, this is such a handy piece and I could definitely use it in multiple spaces around the house, but for now it is home for his plush toy collection.

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This room seemed to evolve by me changing my mind multiple times, working with what I could find and not being scared to take risks, and I have to say I think it is my favourite out of all the children’s rooms I’ve done. Sometimes things don’t go to plan, sometimes you have to work within a budget, sometimes you can’t find what you want and sometimes you just change your mind, but sometimes all those things end up being positive and your room comes together beautifully. I love the colours, the little gallery of Orly’s art, the mismatched bedside tables and the curtains … the curtains make me so happy.

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As you can see, Skipper loves this room too, this is often where I find her snoozing during the day.

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I also love pulling the curtains closed at night, this room feels so warm and inviting. I took this photo in the middle of the day, you can see how much light the shutters stop, they are nearly complete block out. Orly loves going to bed and I have to admit I have fallen asleep in there while reading him a book. It’s such a cosy room.

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I hope you love it as much as we do. As always, I’m happy to answer your questions, you can comment here or pop over to Instagram and find me there.

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Happy Styling!

Hayley x

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Bella’s Boho Chic (but not really) Bedroom

Arabella, Bella, Beellah, Bee, BB.
Daughter, Big sister, Little sister.
Virgo.
Creative, Genuine, Quirky, Loyal, Witty, Considerate.
Alternate music fan, Thrift shopper, Crystal collector.

I love this kid … but when she requested a ‘Boho’ style bedroom I had to question where she came from. Really? Boho? in my house? Ummmmm …. NOPE!

But, I also know that we all have our our style and I want Bella’s bedroom to feel like her home, her sanctuary and her special haven. I want to let her personality shine through and let the room tell her story.

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 She told me she wanted a ‘Boho’ vibe, after discussing what that meant to her I discovered that it wasn’t really boho, it was more of a vintage and collected feel that she wanted in her room. She told me what she wanted – light colours, nothing too bright, minimal patterns and no blue. She wanted to be able to hang her own art, photos and treasures on the wall (eeeek). She wanted somewhere to display her crystals and use her record player. She also wanted block out curtains since she loves a long sleep-in.

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So, we brainstormed a plan that would fuse her style with the rest of the house. We talked about what colours she connects with and I was so relieved when she suggested shades of green or pink, mixed back with layers of neutrals like brown and tan.

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We started with the curtains since they needed to be ordered first, and in my opinion are one of the most important parts of a room, especially when they take up an entire wall like they do in this room. They really are the make or break features of a room, we gave this room a mini makeover just after we moved in and while it looked pretty, the previous window treatments let the entire room down and it always felt dated and shabby.
We already knew we wanted block out curtains with a sheer. She has a large double door that goes out to the balcony and she uses it often. Curtains made sense as they are quickly opened to access the doors. We have used the same sheers throughout the house for continuity and also because they are perfect – the Tahiti Sheer Snow curtains.

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We sat down together and ordered a few samples from Blinds Online that we both liked. When they arrived I let Bella choose from the samples, there was no bad choice and I liked them all, but I must admit, I opened them first and I totally would have hidden any I didn’t like from her first, haha!

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She chose a beautiful green linen, I was actually quite surprised as I thought she would choose a pink, but I couldn’t be happier and I ordered them immediately before she changed her mind. Since she chose a plain colour, I decided I wanted to add a little something to them. I’ve seen interior designers use beautiful trim on their curtains and I knew I could achieve the same look for much less with Blinds Online. All of the curtains and blinds from Blinds Online are already custom made to your requirements, adding a simple upholstery trim is one of those details that elevate them and make them feel designer and expensive. I ordered a couple to choose from in our colour palette from Etsy, we ended up going with the multi coloured pom pom and they looks super cute. As I have hand stitched them on with a simple running stitch, they are easily removable later on if her style changes.

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Next, we chose the wallpaper. Wallpaper takes up a lot of real estate and makes a big statement. This is where Bella and I had very different ideas on what we wanted. I would have loved to use the Buffalo Check in brown from Edge Wall Art, but Bella wanted something a bit more ‘boho and spiritual’. She really loved the Astrology Hemisphere but we decided her bedhead would cover most of it on the wall we had in mind. She also loved the Bohemian Forest but the colour palette wasn’t quite right with the green curtains. We came to compromise and decided to ask our friends at Edge Wall Art if they could do the Bohemian Forest in the same colour way as the Buffalo Check in brown. Thats the great thing about supporting small business, they print the wallpaper themselves and they can customise it to suit your needs, they can even add your kids names into some of the kids wallpapers.

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With the two biggest decisions made, it was down to the details.

I gave the whole room a fresh coat of paint in a more neutral and brighter white. The last owner chose a pink based white and while I initially thought I could live with it, the constant pink glow just wasn’t working for me. I chose Dulux Snowy Mountains in 1/4 strength, and I painted all the trims and doors with Dulux Vivid White. I also changed out the door hardware to matte black which modernises them. It’s these small details that make a big difference in the overall feel of the room. I will continue these elements through the entire house.

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We shopped the house for as much as we could before deciding what we needed to purchase.

We decided to keep the furniture, we still love her bed which was a lucky eBay find years ago, but it was looking a little shabby and while I don’t mind vintage and worn furniture, this was looking more trashy than chic. I gave it a fresh coat of white paint and it looks amazing. Her bedside tables are still current at Early Settler and we both agreed the timber brought some much needed warmth to her room.

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We still needed to find a storage solution for her to display her crystals, record player and special treasures. While her room is a great size, there isn’t much wall space, between the entire wall of glass windows and sliding doors, the door to the walk-in wardrobe, the door to the bathrooms, the door to the storage closet and the entry door to her room, there was barely any wall space left. I had one skinny wall left to work with, and I mean skinny at just over 80cm wide. After much searching we finally found a bookshelf  that we both agreed on, it was deep enough for her record player, but not overly heavy and imposing on the space, and had lots of shelves for her to display her collections.

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The last big hurdle in this space was wall art. Bella wanted a wall where she could change out her photos, pictures, art and mementos, I was picturing an 80’s wall full of ripped boy band posters and smiley face stickers, Nooooo! We considered a giant cork board, but that idea didn’t excite me. Then we considered hanging vintage wooden windows and using the glass panels as frames for photos and art, again, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about this idea either. When I was putting the vintage windows back in the garage, inspiration struck me, I saw a piece of VJ board there that was leftover from my bedroom. I thought it would make a great display area, like a giant cork board, but more grown up. It would give Bella a space to display her things, but keep it confined to one area instead of exploding all over the entire wall. We screwed the VJ board to the wall and framed it with Dado rail, I painted it with the same enamel paint I used for the doors and trims. We think it’s practical and pretty.IMG_0090

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We love how this bedroom has turned out. Just a few changes have made such a big difference. The fresh paint has made it feel bright and clean. The wallpaper has given it the ‘Boho’ vibe Bella wanted. The curtains make it feel luxurious and bring the colour to the space. All the small details together have made this room a space that Bella feels is more ‘her’ and truly reflects her personality and style, while also keeping it relevant to the rest of the house.

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We hope you love it as much as we do!

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Stay tuned for Orly’s and Lucy’s rooms in the next couple of weeks.

Happy Styling!

Hayley x

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Are DIY shutters really DIY?

I’ve always loved the look of plantation shutters, there’s something so sophisticated about them, yet they are also casual and classic. They complement nearly every home style and are very practical.

I knew I wanted shutters in my office space for a few reasons.

Firstly, our office is right at the front of our home, it is visible from the street and I knew shutters would compliment the curb appeal, they look just as beautiful from the outside as they do inside. I would eventually like to match the entire front elevation of  our house with the same plantation shutters.

Secondly, the office is a bit of a dumping ground in our house, if someone doesn’t know where to put something, – in the office, anything that needs to be retuned to a store or someone else – in the office, half done projects – in the office, leftover decor that I haven’t found a spot for yet – in the office …. you get the idea. So, I wanted something very clean in the office, clean looking to reduce the visual clutter and easy to keep clean. Shutters tick all the boxes.

Lastly, the office faces west and has 3 huge windows, the afternoon sun can be awfully hot in summer and absolutely gorgeous in winter. I like being able to control the light by tilting the slats to an angle that blocks the light or lets it stream in, while the bifold design makes them easy to open to access the windows.

So, they say DIY … how easy is the DIY and can you do it?

If you can measure your window, drill a hole, read a spirit level and screw in a screw – YOU CAN DO IT!

If you said no to any of those things, keep reading and I’ll show you how easy it really is.

I’m going to give you the quick version of how they arrive and what you need to do to put them together and install them. Please don’t use this as your instructions if you order your own shutters, it’s just meant to show you the process so you can see how simple it is.

Depending on what fitting option you choose your installation may be slightly different. The fitting guide from Tuiss Blinds Online gives you step by step instructions that are simple to understand and easy to follow. We have the ‘Recess with Sill’ option to fit on the inside of our sill, at the same projection as the architraves.

You shutters will arrive in separate parcels with the framing in one package and the shutter panels in another. Unpack everything before you start, lay your components out on the ground and familiarise yourself with the tools in the fitting kit.

The fitting instruction from Tuiss Blinds Online tell you to assemble your frame first, then drill your fixing holes, but we found it easier to drill the holes first as our frames were so big and it was much easier to manoeuvre the frame lengths before they were assembled.

I know this bit sounds scary, but if you have basic knowledge of how to use a drill, it really is very easy. We drilled one hole 10cm in from the top and bottom of the ends on all 4 sides and also another hole in line with the centre of each hinge on the side pieces. We measured and marked our holes with a pencil first, my tip is to measure twice and drill once!

To assemble your frame you just need to push the hoffman keys into the holes, you might need to give them a little hammer into place.

Now you are ready to install the frame into your sill, or whatever fitting option you chose. Use a spirit level to make sure it is sitting level and straight in all directions. You can use the ‘shims’ or ‘packers’ provided to adjust it horizontally or vertically.
Drill your pilot holes through the holes you made in the frame and into your sill or wall. A pilot hole is small hole that is used to guide the threaded screw, it reduces the risk of the wood splitting and makes it much easier to drive the screw in.

Once all the pilot holes are drilled, use the long screws from your kit to secure the frame to your opening. We put the screws in loosely at first then checked the frame with the spirit level again to make any small small adjustments before tightening up all the screws.

It is worth taking your time through the frame installation step to make sure everything is level as your shutters will hang straighter and operate smoothly.

Now you are ready to hang the shutters.

If you loosen the hinges just a little it will give you some movement and flexibility which makes popping the pins in much easier. This is the only part of the process where I found it helpful to have someone else help me, the panels are not heavy, but the extra hand is helpful, one person to hold the shutter steady in place while the other person pops the pins in. They just push in, but they are made to fit snug and may need a little tap from your hammer.

You shutters are now installed.

If they are not perfectly level or sitting slightly off centre, you can adjust them. The fitting guide shows you the best way to adjust them depending on where they are uneven.

See, it’s really not hard at all!

And your next question – Why would you WANT to install your own shutters.
Two reasons, convenience and money.

I find it much more convenient to measure up myself, order online and fit my shutters at my own convenience instead of having pushy salespeople coming to my home and having to wait all day for them to turn up when they feel like it. I’m not saying all tradies are bad (I married one) but I have had a few that walk dirt through the house, bump into walls and the worst – use your loo for number two, ew!

And money … do you have any idea how much money you can save by doing this yourself? You’re basically doing the labour yourself, and we all know that the labour costs is quite often the most expensive part of any home renovation. Obviously I can’t tell you exactly how much you’ll save as prices differ from business to business, but to give you an idea – we ordered shutters from a local business at our last house, we looked at their invoices and worked out a rough meterage price, then we did the same with our quotes from Tuiss Blinds Online. The DIY shutters were LESS THAN HALF the price of what we paid last time.
Seriously!

We chose the Sherbrooke Egg Shell shutters from Tuiss Blinds Online and we couldn’t be happier.

Here’s a few before and afters.
The first ‘before’ is when we first moved in, the windows had greenish-grey sheers over the blinds. We removed them pretty quickly. The second picture shows the blinds just before we removed them.
I’m thrilled with the transformation in this space!

What do you think?
Leave me your thoughts or questions here or on IG here.

Happy DIY’ing!

Hayley x

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