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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Creating a beautiful Easter table.

I love to set a beautiful table for Easter!
Actually, the Easter table is my favourite table setting all year. It’s much more relaxed than Christmas, the weather is lovely and you get to eat chocolate for breakfast, what’s not to love?
We usually have a family breakfast followed by an Easter egg hunt with the kids and their cousins, which runs onto lunch, then afternoon nibbles and drinks with friends. It’s so nice to set a gorgeous table to take you through the day.

I have to admit I am a bit of a sucker for a festive dinner set and when I saw this one from Villeroy & Boch I knew I had to have it.
It is the Spring Awakening collection, I fell in love with the scalloped edges and pretty floral display, we all know how much I love flowers.
I really love that because it isn’t all bunny rabbits and easter eggs it can be used it for multiple occasions throughout the year, Mother’s Day morning tea is next on the agenda.
It is festive, but versatile, while still captivating the Easter spirit.

I did a little trial run and took some photos for y’all to see what my table will look like on Easter morning, it was also a good excuse to have an Easter egg binge a few weeks early.

 I started with a crisp white tablecloth and layered it with a square of green gingham. I chose the shade of green from the dinner set, which is the hero of the table, and bought a couple of metres from my local fabric supplier. Don’t underestimate the power of a great tablecloth to pull everything together!

Decorating my table and taking pride in all the elements is important to me. I always like to include fresh flowers and I usually buy whatever is in season. Today I used pale pink roses with lilac irises, they look amazing together and really bring out the colours of the dinner set.

I also like to add a couple of elements that indicate what we are celebrating, for this Easter table I chose these dainty little bunnies, they are seriously sweet!

I also included these custom made biscuits, they are such a treat and they look incredible sitting on this beautiful footed cake stand.

I wanted to create interest at eye level as well as on the table. I decided to hang a few ceramic eggs with pretty ribbon from my pendant light that hangs over the dining table. I love the way they gently sway in the breeze bringing movement and life to the table. I also hung my sweet little vase from the pendant. Who says it has to sit on the table? I filled it with a few pink roses and it looks gorgeous swaying with the ceramic eggs.

When I buy a dinner set I like to get all the pieces, even if you don’t think you’ll use them for the meal your planning, you never know what you’ll need in the future. The extra pieces look great stacked on the table or layered underneath other plates to create height and interest.

Don’t be scared to use your dinnerware for things it may not have been intended for, I used the adorable little egg cups for a few chocolate sweets rather than boiled eggs. Don’t they look cute with the little ‘flake’ birds nest and baby candy eggs.

Do you set your table for Easter?
I hope I’ve inspired you to this year!
I’d love to see it, send me an e-mail or tag me on social media.

Happy Easter!

Hayley x

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Have yourself an ethical Christmas …

This Christmas wouldn’t it feel good to know that your spending is helping shape the world in a positive way?
Wouldn’t it be nice to know that your hard-earned dollars are in someway helping others, fighting poverty and saving lives?

If one in four Australians made just one ethical purchase this Christmas, we’d raise more than $2.2 billion for people living in poverty.
Be one of those Australians ….

There are so many ways you can make a difference!
This year Oxfam have made it easy with four ways to make your Christmas an ethical one.
They include gifting an ethical card with their Unwrapped gift cards or buying an Oxfam Christmas tree.
They have also compiled a ‘Naughty or Nice‘ list, naming and shaming the clothing companies who use ethical practises and who don’t.

Lastly, you can buy an ethical gift from the Oxfam Shop.

Hello … did somebody say shopping?
I can help the world by shopping?
Then let’s go!

I scoped out the Oxfam shop and found my favourite things this Christmas.
My selection of table ware and decor look beautiful set together for your Christmas table, or each piece is a stunning gift on its own.

For all my blue and white lovers I picked 2 of my favourite pieces from the Peony range.
The Peony range is a blue and white lovers dream, everything from cake stands to coffee mugs hand painted in our favourite blue floral designs.
I chose the serving bowl and the dip dishes to add to my collection.

The serving bowl is big enough for a family salad but not so big that you feel like you have to use 3 lettuces to fill it. It has a beautiful pattern inside and out and it’s definitely going to be a regular guest at our dinner table.

The dip dishes consist of five separate dishes that come in a sweet rattan basket with a lid. I know they are called dip dishes and they would be perfect for just that, but I’m also thinking of taco night, antipasto, yum cha and sweets. Or in this case, for a summer breakfast of fresh fruit with a greek yogurt dip, yum!

I fell in love with this sweet little reindeer and just knew he would fit right in at my house.
He is made from coco fibre and wicker and looks perfect watching over our dinner table.

My favourite piece is this stunning Copper Matka, or water jug.
It isn’t just beautiful, it is also highly valuable for its properties of purification and keeping water cool. Copper is bang on trend right now, but drinking from copper water vessels has been popular for many years, and considered by the Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) as the ‘water of immortality’ due to its multiple health benefits.
I’m looking forward to trying it out, and if I don’t notice a change in my health … I still have a gorgeous water jug!

I also love the matching copper pyala or water tumbler. It has all the same qualities as the water jug, crafted from pure, food grade copper. I have used it on my table as a little vase, I’m wondering whether it’s anti-microbial properties will help my flowers stay alive for longer, I hope so!

What do you think?
Are you tempted by any of these gorgeous items, for yourself or for a gift?

If you’d like to shop ethically this Christmas you can find more details at Oxfam here.

Happy (feel good) Shopping!

Hayley x

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#mypotterybarntable

As promised in my post – Why you NEED to invest in a white dinner set I am sharing some of my favourite table settings styled by you, my gorgeous readers and IG followers.
Have I told y’all lately how much I love it when you play along, I really do! Every time somebody tags me in a picture that was inspired by me I do a little happy dance.
You guys are the best!

Here we go!
The first one is by @fortheloveofmyhome
Mel has created a bright and colourful Easter setting with some PB bunny plates and her PB brass bunny. Check out the PB Easter range here.

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Next is this blue and white beauty from @ingridand3
She has added some shimmer to her table with her PB glass hurricane. You can find one similar here.

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Oh My @tabledecoratecelebrate has shared quite a few expertly styled table settings with us (you can enter as many times as you like).
This is one of my favourites, it features the Tava round chargers and Tava napkin rings, and also the Coastal Enamel Cutlery, I love this cutlery set, it’s a great price and it’s definitely on my wish list!

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Next up is the gorgeous Cheryl, AKA @che_crc
Cheryl couldn’t resist these Antique Silver Chargers, and who can blame her, they are showstoppers.

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Lyndsay from @homesweetrental showed true dedication to table styling.
She stayed up half the night hand dying eggs to match her beautiful new Majolica Snack Bowl Set, but boy it paid off, her table looks incredible!

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Annette of @love.to.style came home with a new set of Majolica Salad Plates.
She loves the vintage feel of them and they look stunning on her beautiful blue and white table. I think I might need these too!

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Nicole from @yardagedesign has created a colour clash that makes me week at the knees.
Big Love!
Nicole has layered the PB floral rim plates (sold out online, but Lyla is available and just as pretty) with some West Elm blue and white Collector’s Edition Dinnerware and finished it with a sweet little sea anemone she picked up from West Elm Brisbane’s latest pop up shop by @coastetc.

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Aren’t my readers so style savvy! I’m so impressed!

Happy Shopping!

Hayley x

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