I manifested a new sofa …

I hate wasted space!

I have this area in our bedroom, it is front of a beautiful bay window, it is one of the loveliest spots in our home, especially on a winters morning with the sun beaming through the windows.
It had a sofa, a chair and a couple of side tables. It was not cohesive, it looked messy and it was not inviting. The sofa was too small and would only seat one person comfortably, plus it was far too squishy to lay down on. The chair was more suitable for a dining or office space. The side tables were just adding to the disorganised clutter. Basically it was a mish mash of things that didn’t fit anywhere else in the house.
It was a dead space.

I felt like it could be a great space if I reworked it. I thought about what we could use the space for and how I could make that happen. I had a couple of ideas and I decided that one sofa would solve all my problems, but it had to be the right sofa.

In search of the perfect sofa I found every furniture store that had a sofa that ticked all my boxes …
– classic shape
– must have slip covers
– available in a light colour, preferably white
– big enough to use as a bed
– feather filled cushions
Then I went in store and tested each and every one of them.
Yes, I actually sat and lied down on them to check their comfort level, I felt the fabric, I played with the pillows and I found the best one.

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I chose the ‘Serena‘ from James Lane, some of you might remember me shopping and sharing this process with you on my Instagram stories back in May of this year. I really appreciated all the advice and recommendations from you all during this process and that definitely had an impact on my choice.

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I started saving, planning the space in my head and imagining how we would use it. I was basically manifesting my new sofa. Then … magic happened and James Lane contacted me to see if I wanted to work with them. Ummmm YES, yes I do!

Hello new sofa, welcome home!

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Let me tell you exactly why this is the perfect sofa for us.

The shape is timeless and it will sit comfortably with most home styles. Even though it is contemporary, the square arms and classic box style cushions make it feel a little traditional, while the deep seats and lavish size make it extremely luxurious. The fact that it is long and low means it doesn’t block any light coming into my room from the windows and it feels light and bright. The slip covers are white linen, which is ideally what I was hoping to find. Linen is incredibly strong and durable, plus it is machine washable, perfect for a family home, especially mine with 3 kids, 2 cats and a dog!

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It is a generous 3 seater at 2360mm long and 1180mm deep. To give you an idea how big that is, a single bed is 1880mm long and 920mm wide, it’s substantially bigger than a single bed. Why is that so important to us? Because our 9 year old still sneaks into our bed in the middle of the night sometimes, he’s getting big, he tosses and turns and constantly disrupts our sleep. My plan was to make a little bed on the sofa each night and if he creeps in, he can jump in there instead of in our bed. I just toss the linen swag I keep at the end of my bed onto the sofa at night and he can come in quietly and jump in without disturbing anyone. It’s been a week now and it’s worked beautifully. We’ve all had a whole week of solid sleep, yippee!!!

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It is crafted from a solid timber frame with feather filled cushions, so it’s super squishy and comfortable. It’s a great spot for Terry and I to escape the kids when they have tribes of friends here and have taken over downstairs. I’ve always wanted a ‘parents retreat’ and this little zone is the perfect answer to that. No kids allowed (unless they are sleeping in the middle of the night). I also added the Luni stool as it’s versatile and can be used as a footstool or a small side table for us to pop our snacks and drinks on.

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I’m so glad we addressed this space, we could have just left it because it was furnished and looked ‘finished’, but it wasn’t functional. By changing the furniture to something that catered to our needs, we’ve created an area that is being used. I know this sounds dramatic, but it has actually changed the way we live, Terry and I have somewhere to escape when the kids are driving us crazy and we are all getting better nights sleep.

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Then there’s the fact that is looks absolutely AMAZING! The larger sofa in place of the small sofa + a chair looks much cleaner, less cluttered and simply more stylish. I kept the decor to a minimum with the solid acacia wood stool and the stunning Lush Fiscus tree. I love the organic shape of the stool and the wood tones bring some warmth to the space, while the tree gives a sense of height and life … yes I know it’s faux, but I bet you weren’t sure from the photos, it looks so real.

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I am thrilled with this space now, I’m glad I did my research and found the perfect sofa for our needs and space. It’s got me wondering what other areas in our home I can reclaim and reconsider.

Do you have a space that could be more functional, more practical or more beautiful? Maybe a new sofa is the answer!
I might be able to help with that, James Lane are offering my friends 10% off with the code MLL10.

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Happy pondering!

Hayley x

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My IKEA slipcover review with Comfort Works

This last year has taught us all a lot. Spending so much time at home has made us rethink the type of houses we want to live in. For my family and I, we realised that we don’t want to live in a cold, over-style house where everything looks too perfect and shiny to touch. We wanted to create a home that felt warm, cosy, comfortable and inviting.

Lucky for us, we also moved houses at the beginning of 2020 and it’s been a great opportunity to change our style and create a whole new look for our home. Unfortunately, we didn’t win the lotto and we don’t have any money trees so we are creating our forever home on a budget like most people.

We have been doing this slowly, room by room, bit by bit and letting it evolve over time, waiting for the perfect pieces instead of rushing things just to get it finished. This week I put the final pieces in the living room and I am thrilled with the overall look we achieved in here.

If you’ve been here a while you will know we changed the window coverings and transformed the fireplace when we moved in, you can see those before and after pics here and here, while those changes are amazing, it still didn’t feel warm. It still felt a little coastal and cool.

BEFORE

That’s when I decided we needed to get rid of the blue and white striped sofa, while I love stripes, it just wasn’t giving me the warm and cosy feel I was after. New sofas were not in the budget, and we still love our IKEA Stocksund sofas, so I knew exactly where to go – COMFORT WORKS. I have used Comfort Works in the past for some sofa covers and was thrilled with the workmanship and quality of them, so I had no hesitation in using them again for some new Stocksund sofa covers.

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This is where the fun begins. There is so many options to choose from, it really is like designing a custom made sofa. Obviously, the base shape will depend on what sofa you have, they don’t just make IKEA sofa covers, Comfort Works do covers for so many different brands and if yours is not listed on their website, they will work with you to make a custom slipcover just for your sofa.

AFTER

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I have an IKEA Stocksund 3 seater and two armchairs. I found my sofas in the menu selections, then chose my slipcover style, There is 5 styles to choose from, the differences between them might be subtle, but it’s these small details that help to create the exact feel you want for your sofa. For example, this time I chose a style without piping because I wanted it to feel very casual. I also chose a skirted style so we could really appreciate the way linen drapes so beautifully. I chose the minimalist style.

Then you chose your fabric.
If you are not confident choosing fabric online, you can order some samples from Comfort Works before you order your covers so you can touch them, feel the weight and texture and decide on a colour in your own space. I highly recommend doing this.
There is a big range of fabrics ranging from synthetics, to cotton, linen, velvet and leather, including a vegan leather option. There is also a great range of colours suitable for every style from modern to country, coastal or cottage and everything in between.

I chose the Pure Linen in Natural. I decided to lean into the relaxed vibe and embrace the crumpled linen look. It’s a beautiful fibre that I really love in other places in my home, we sleep in linen bedding and I use linen on my dining table. It is soft and cool, it washes well and is durable enough to withstand a busy family with kids and pets.

I finally feel like this room is finished. It has evolved slowly and the sofa covers are the perfect finishing touch to the space. They have transformed this room from a cool space with a summertime vibe, to a warm and cosy space that works well with the fireplace, window coverings and rug.

Once again, I am thrilled with my new slipcovers. The whole experience from receiving my samples, ordering online, then unpacking and fitting my covers has been fabulous.

If you are ready to give your sofa a facelift, you can create your custom sofa covers and get an instant quote here.

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

DISCLAIMER – I was gifted my sofa covers from Comfort Works. I chose my own style and fabric for my covers. All opinions are 100% my own.

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Entry makeover – part one

I’m sure indoor gardens with black rocks, black elephant statues, grass tree plants and green lighting were very fashionable once upon a time … maybe some people still like it, each to their own, it’s just not for me.

BEFORE

It’s the first thing you used to see when you walk through the front doors.
Our front doors are truly beautiful and one of my favourite things about this house, the black rock garden was detracting from the gorgeous french doors and giving the wrong first impression for our home.

AFTER

The entry is quite a large space, it’s open with high ceilings and beautifully bright natural light, but it is also an awkward space and has doors everywhere. I love entries and foyers with seating, somewhere to put on your shoes or sit and wait for the postman with your online shopping. The ‘black rock garden’ was the perfect spot to create a huge day bed and it was easier than you think.

Structurally I didn’t need to make any changes, most of the updates to this space have been aesthetic changes with lighting, fabric, paint and decor.

The frame work was already in place, it just needed some updating. I applied the same process that I did to the bench seats in the living and dining room here.
Removing the high gloss 2 pac paint finish and adding the moulding updates it to a more classic style that fits with the look I’m trying to achieve as we renovate our home.

The day bed seat and cushions were one of the most important choices I made in this space. Although I contemplated different colours, I decided to keep this area predominantly blue and white, it always look fresh, calm & inviting and I wanted to include lots of glossy green plants in blue and white pots.
I played with a few different fabric ideas for the seat cushion, I really wanted to use a fabulous blue and white pattern but I was mindful of the angular shape of the cushion and all the mirrors in this space, I decided it was going to look too busy and ended up choosing a plain fabric for the seat.
It’s a beautiful fabric crafted by a traditional silk mill, it has a delicious nubby texture like a natural fibre, but it is actually a high performance polyester that will withstand my kids and pets.

Handcraft Moonstone from Materialised

Since I chose a plain fabric for the seat, I went to town with the throw cushions and selected a stunning collection of blue and white cushions from Florence Broadhurst Fabric.

Florence Broadhurst is an Australian icon in wallpaper and fabric design. Her library consists of around 500 designs and lucky for us, Florence Broadhurst Fabrics are making a handful of them available to purchase, including some of her most well know classics. The designer fabrics are available by the metre in three different base fabrics with a cotton, velvet or brushed cotton feel.

I love the way the mix of textures, patterns and shades of blue all work together harmoniously.

Cushions by Florence Broadhurst Fabrics

I also changed the downlights to something a little more interesting. Finding a stylish light that works on the curved underside of the staircase was quite a mission, but I think the brass spotlight adds some warmth and a hint of vintage charm.

Seattle Wall light by Emac & Lawton

We will replace the floors eventually, that’s stage two of the entry makeover which will also include the staircase treads, I can’t wait for that! For now, I’ve added a natural jute rug to add some interest to the floors and break up the large expanse of empty space. It was really affordable and looks great.

The only other change we made in this area was to add sheer curtains on the huge glass sliding doors. The white sheer fabric gives the entire area a dreamy white glow that I just adore.

Tahiti Snow Sheers from Blinds Online

I am thrilled with this little makeover, it has made such a huge difference to this space and I love welcoming guests to our home now without having to explain ‘what on earth‘ the mess under the stairs was.

It’s also a favourite spot for our fur babies to sit and watch the world go by, or wait for us to get home. I’m pretty sure they think it was just put there for them.

Stay tuned for my office makeover next, followed by my master bedroom before Christmas.

Happy Styling!

Hayley x

SOURCES

Seat cushion fabric – Handcraft Moonstone from Materialised.
Blue and White cushions – all Florence Broadhurst Fabric.
Floor rug – Tessellated Star rug, sold out, this one is similar at Catch.com.au.
Sheer curtains – Tahiti Snow from Blinds Online.
Lighting – Seattle Wall Light in Brass from Emac & Lawton.
Tray – Heathcote Parquetry Tray from Madras Link.
Flowers and Vase – Silk Flora.
Throw – Linen House Australia, discontinued, similar from here.

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Dining Room – before & after

Hello lovely friends!

Firstly, before I show you what we did in the dining room, which really wasn’t much at all, I want to answer a question a few of you asked after my ‘winter room’ reveal. Lots of you were surprised that my sofa is from ikea and that I buy things from Facebook marketplace. I had lots of comments from you guys wondering how I ‘make it look fancy’ and why my house doesn’t look like a flea market when so many of my pieces are second hand or from budget friendly stores.

I definitely believe there are places you can save money and places where you need to spend a little more, but that doesn’t mean that it has to cost a fortune, you’ve just got to be smart and know where to spend and where to splurge.

I have young kids and pets, we don’t have adults only zones and our home is pretty relaxed, I don’t like to spend a lot of money of sofas because I know they are going to get jumped on, have food spilt on them and who knows what else! I look for an affordable option with covers that can be removed and machine washed.

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Where do I splurge?
I’m happy to spend money on quality house fixtures like taps, hardware, lighting and custom made window treatments. These are things that you don’t want to get wrong. They form the foundation for all the layers of furniture and home decor. If you get them wrong nothing will flow harmoniously.

Lets talk about window treatments today as that is what has made a huge impact in my dining room make-over.

My dining room has grey tinted glass and lots of it, the grey glass reflects a dark hue throughout the dining room. I wanted to use white sheers to change that to a bright, white light radiating in the room.

There is 2 glass doors and one window in this space, they are all different heights and widths, I’ll tell you more about this later, but their varying sizes made it impossible to get a cohesive look without having them custom made.

This is where you splurge.
When I say splurge it doesn’t actually mean you need to spend a lot of money. There are ways to get custom made, professionally finished curtains, crafted from quality materials at a fraction of the price you would pay an Interior Decorator. It just means you need to measure them and hang them yourself.
I talked about choosing your window treatments here and installing them here.
It really is very easy, promise!

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Back to my dining room sheer curtains, you’d think choosing would be pretty easy, right?

I went to Blinds Online to order my sheer curtains and discovered there were quite a few to choose from. I decided to order samples just to make sure I got exactly what I wanted. You can order up to 10 samples free of charge!

I have a little trick that I use to help me choose my sheer curtain fabric. I sticky tape all my samples to the window where the curtains are going and observe them in different lighting. It’s the best way to see how your curtain fabric will look in the room and against the window.

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I chose TAHITI VOILE SNOW with a Pinch Pleat head and centre parting panels.

There wasn’t much to do in the dining room. It is in an open living area with the ‘winter room’, the two rooms are separated by one of the bench seats that we did while we were doing that living space. The living space is ‘sunken’, 2 steps lower than the dining room. I love how cosy it feels in there.

The only real change we made to the room was to refresh the paint, add pendant lights and curtains.

We patched all the holes in ceiling and the walls, my husband started out in the building industry as a plasterer, it’s very handy! Then we gave everything a fresh coat of paint.

I chose two oversized rattan pendants, they have a beautiful aged patina and even though I thought they were going to be too big when they arrived, once we got them up they looked perfect.

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The real hero in this room is the new curtains, they’ve made a huge impact and they make the room so bright and light. They way they dance in the breeze is dreamy, it’s like something from a beautiful movie. It’s worth putting sheer curtains in your house just to get your movie moment.

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 There are three windows/sliding doors in this area, two are in the actual dining room and one is on the adjoining wall. They can all be seen at the same time from multiple views, but they are different heights which is not pleasing to the eye and disrupts the harmony. Both the sliding doors also lead out to a central courtyard area which I am planning on making into a seating area, so I thought it was important to make them feel cohesive.

I decided to hang them all at the height of the highest door which was just under the cornice, and to be honest I probably would have chosen to hang them there regardless because the added height makes the windows feel larger.

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It’s important to measure all your windows, don’t just assume they are all the same height. I thought my ceiling to floor measurements was the same throughout this area, but there’s a 15mm difference from one side of the room to the other. This is very common, especially in older homes, so check your measurements.

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I chose the same curtain rods I used in the living room, firstly for continuity and secondly because I like being able to pull the curtains completely to one side or the other of the rod without a centre support interrupting them. The rod system is simple and unobtrusive which lets the curtains steal all the attention.

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As for the furniture in this space, there’s a mixture of old and new. I’ve had the chairs for about 10 years, they are a classic French Provincial design, they’ve been moved to and from 4 houses, they’ve been tipped over by kids, they’ve been broken and repaired … but I still love them.

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I bought the table 3 houses ago, again it’s a timeless design, very simple in a warm timber with a parquetry top. It’s a long table at 270cm, almost impossible to find tablecloths, but I like that I can fit 4 chairs each side. I love a beautiful carver chair at the end of a table, but sometimes I don’t want to block the view down the table to what’s at the other end. This is one of those times …

I bought the huge cabinet especially for this room. I wanted somewhere special to display all my collected and sentimental china and all the shelves and glass doors in this cabinet was perfect. The cabinet gives me the ability to add personality to an otherwise very simple room.

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Eventually we will remove the carpet from this room and do either timber or stone floors. I personally don’t like carpet in dining rooms, especially when you have kids, they are feral creatures and spaghetti bolognese doesn’t mix well with wool carpet! The floors are always the last thing we do in a house, we’ve learnt from experience that flooring can get damaged during a renovation and it’s best to leave it till last unless you need to do it due to a change in floor plan.

Thats about it in this space, lets have a quick look at the before and after to see what a huge difference a few small changes can make.

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Before we moved in.
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During, progress.
AFTER!
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Before we moved in and AFTER
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Before we moved in.
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AFTER

As always, I’m happy to answer questions, e-mail me or find me on IG anytime.

What do you think?

Happy Decorating!

Hayley x

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