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Home Design

Engineered Oak Floorboards Transformed Into Feature Surfaces

moku satu white smoked engineered european oak  used on feature surfaces

If you think European oak floorboards are only for floors, you’ve got to see what some of the best architects are creating nowadays.

Architecture and design blog Contemporist recently pointed out an architectural detail in a Sydney house, the interiors of which was done by Luigi Rosselli Architects. The article showed photos of a sliding pocket door that separates the entryway and the main living area:

floorboards used for door

(Source: Contemporist)

Two interesting design details stood out:

  • There is a curving wood shelf that runs along the wall and intersects the door.
  • The door was designed with a cutout that wraps around the shelf on the wall.

The shelf and the door work wonderfully together, BUT…

There’s more: Because Contemporist fittingly chose to focus on those features, allow us to point out three other facts shown in the photos:

  1. The pocket door is made of floorboards,

  2. The shelf itself is made of floorboards, and

  3. The stairs are made of floorboards.

floorboards used for door, shelf, stairs

(Source: Contemporist)

The style of floorboards used in this new house is popular due to its natural grain and colour, with a distressed white wash for character.   We have recently sold this style from our Moku range to many architects and interior designers — see to view these floorboards on sale!

Because more designers and renovators are flexing their creative muscles using engineered oak floorboards, expect to see more doors, shelves, walls, stairs, and even ceilings transformed into cost-effective feature surfaces with these floorboards.

If you just got inspired to do your own, note that Moku stocks a variety of floorboards to suit your interiors, and matching stair nosing when you choose to extend work to your stairs.

Do you have other innovative ideas or examples of how floorboards can be transformed into such wonderful feature surfaces? Tell us about it in the comments section below or via email!

(You can read here the Contemporist article in full. Images used here are also from that page, with photo credits to Justin Alexander.)

Top Kitchen Remodelling Trends for Millennials

kitchen with grey walls, white cabinets, pendant lights, wood flooring

As millennials are joining the ranks of homeowners, there have been plenty of fresh trends on the rise in the world of interior design. Literally every aspect of this field has been experiencing changes regarding the way in which things are being done, the materials that are being used, as well as the overall appeal that ends up being created in a particular room.

Hence, the changes and trends that have made their way in the kitchen remodelling efforts really come as a no surprise. So, let’s dive right into this matter and try to find out exactly what news the millennial generation has in store for us this time.

white kitchen island with pendant lights cabinet stools

Thinking ahead

An interesting phenomenon that can be noticed in millennials’ remodelling and redecorating efforts is their future-oriented way of thinking. Unlike the previous generations, millennials are not particularly fond of major changes. This becomes particularly obvious if we observe the way in which millennials approach the matter of choosing a home. Instead of buying so-called starter homes, millennials are more likely to wait until they can afford to buy a “forever” home. This way of thinking only brings forth another interesting thing about millennials – they hate wasteful behaviour.  

That’s why, more often than not, millennials opt for neutral hues when redecorating their living environment, as they present a perfect backdrop that can welcome many different styles. Additionally, when millennials do something, i.e. remodel their kitchen, they do it in such a manner that won’t require any additional work for many years to come. Therefore, in a millennial kitchen, you can expect to find various shades of cream, beige, off-white and – a millennial favourite – grey.

Going for the aesthetic

Among other things, millennials are well—known for their love of unique, visually appealing design solutions. While older generations prefer the use of practical but commonly not particularly appealing lighting solutions, millennials, on the other hand, choose to illuminate the hearts of their homes with lighting solutions that tell the tale of their own.

This means that instead of traditional overhead lighting solutions, in a millennial kitchen, you can expect to find a multitude of differently shaped Edison light bulbs, fairy lights instead of traditional task lights, and various other – some might even say unexpected – lighting solutions.

Nothing should be wasted

As we have previously mentioned, millennials are not the biggest fans of wasteful thinking. That’s why, when it comes to appliances, you should expect to find nothing short of the best and eco-friendliest alternatives.

Energy efficiency is the name of the game here, which means that Energy Star certified appliances, such as a reliable Bosch 800 refrigerator, are the only ones the millennials will even consider. Aside from being less harmful to our environment, such appliances waste significantly less energy which, in turn, means a lower energy bill.

white kitchen counter cabinets walls with black stools and lights

The budget plays a huge role

While a millennial will never shy away from seriously investing in something that, according to their beliefs, is worth investing in, they do tend to refuse to pay for things they can do on their own. That’s why, millennials are more likely to avoid hiring a general contractor, an architect and a designer and take on these tasks themselves. Only in case they run into problems will they consider asking for professional help.

Knowing this, it’s completely expected to assume that there are no two similar millennial kitchens as they are known for their love of uniqueness and authenticity. Furthermore, it’s quite common to find various vintage, refurbished and DIYed pieces in a millennial kitchen, which only says even more about their craftiness and sense of style.

kitchen with black counter wood panels white walls

Rules are there to be broken

Finally, millennials – or “the generation everyone loves to hate” – do find the traditional rules of decorating to be, well, boring. The typical “no more than two styles combined” and “walls should be single-coloured” rules do not really apply here.

Instead, styles like rustic-tech chic are being born. Since millennials are the generation that started reaching out to nature once more – which means they simply adore natural materials such as cork, stone and wood – and they are also the generation that grew up and evolved alongside technology, it’s no wonder that they have found a way to mix all of these, seemingly unmixable elements together and create a cohesive environment. Metallic elements are the thing that perfectly combines nature with technology, so you can expect to find various metallic surfaces and finishes in the millennial kitchen as well.

kitchen with wood floor pendant lighting grey walls

As you can see, there are plenty of neat ways millennials improved the world of interior design. The beauty is that all of the aforementioned trends are not reserved solely for the kitchen area. Instead, they can be implemented throughout your home and are bound to work as perfectly in any other room.


Author Bio

Derek Lotts is a Sydney-based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business — he thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

10 Tips for Designing Your Home Office

designing your home office

If you are among the growing ranks of those working from home, the one thing you are probably interested in is a way in which to set up your home office to increase productivity. While working from home does have its advantages, there are some setbacks that can be easily remedied once you have a workspace created that enables you to work efficiently. Here are 10 tips for designing your home office to help you maximise your productivity.

1. Keep Your Home Office Removed from Distractions

One of the biggest detriments to being productive when working at home is the distractions you may be subjected to. Try to set up your home office in a location that isn’t too near where the family will be interacting and if you have a garden building, a loft or a room in the garage, those might be ideally situated to convert quickly into a home office.

white office desk mac notebook glasses cup

2. Use a Proprietary Computer for Work

Never use your home computer for work. There are a number of reasons why, but the biggest being that it is easiest to safeguard your files and client information if no one has use of your computer but you. Don’t let the kids play online games on your computer and as a matter of fact, you shouldn’t do anything but work-related tasks as well! It’s altogether too easy to get a virus that would compromise your sensitive client files, and that would be a nightmare in the making.

man with glasses using laptop on wood table black walls

3. Set up Space to Receive Clients or Peers

Most professionals working from home need to meet with clients, sales reps or even peers from time to time. Always ensure that there is a place for clients to sit comfortably when visiting you at your location. You do want to keep this as professional as possible and that would include designing your office with a professional level of appeal and functionality when receiving work-related visitors.

mac screen with time white table white wall black lamp wood bookshelf

4. Keep Wires Neat and Tidy

Always ensure that wires are tucked away and/or run in a neat and tidy manner. You don’t want to be tripping over them and nothing is as unappealing as wires running everywhere. Look back at the offices you have worked in and you will see that most have wires hidden from view or neatly bundled together and run along a baseboard.

wood themed office table chairs shelves cabinets

5. An Ergonomic Chair Is an Absolute Must

If you will be sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, it pays to invest in an ergonomic chair. This puts less strain on your back which, in turn, will enable you to focus on working rather than running out for a quick kip on the couch.

office desk computer monitor phone keyboard be creative sign

6. Invest in a Large Flat Screen Monitor

No matter what style of computer you use, always opt for a large screen monitor. This will enable you to have several windows running at the same time so that you can keep multiple files and/or tasks opened simultaneously.

wood table mac air glasses white mouse white chair

7. Two Desks Are Better than One

Some interior designers advise you to invest in a standing desk. While this is a good idea for those who tend to get drowsy after extended periods sitting at a desk, it wouldn’t be good for someone working from home for eight to ten hours a day. A second desk that allows you to stand for a period of time would be the better choice but an adjustable height desk, if available, would be the best option of all.

white themed office table chair mac windows wall speakers

8. Use Natural Light as Much as Possible

While natural lighting can help reduce your power bill, that isn’t the only reason you would want to take advantage of natural light. The truth is, your vision improves under natural lighting and there is something invigorating about sunlight if it isn’t too overpoweringly bright. Studies have shown that working in natural light increases productivity.

person on office desk mac ipad dark glasses iphone

9. Keep Regular Office Hours

While many people claim that working from home enables them to ‘make their own hours’ around their otherwise busy schedule, this could be a serious error in judgement. If you are going to work from home, you need to be no less professional than you would be at a nine to five. This means, keep your hours of operation as regular as possible and this might even include being ‘closed for business’ one or two days a week. Everyone deserves a weekend, don’t they?

man on desk holding pen with mac screen lamp headset window

10. Never Use Your Home Office for Anything BUT Work

Finally, never use your home office for anything BUT work. If you can’t step into your office with a mindset ready to work, you will be defeating the purpose of having one. After all, you don’t step into your office at a place of employment looking to play an online game of poker or two, do you? Keep work and home tasks as separate as possible to be your most productive when ‘on the job.’

There you have 10 tips for designing and using your home office. If you think of this office as your place of employment and set it up in a way that enables you to work as efficiently as possible, you will find that it really is a joy to work from home!


Author’s Bio

Alex Morrison has been a digital marketer in Melbourne for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in-depth understanding of many different industries including printing, graphic and web design. As the owner of Integral Media, he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals. Social Profiles: Facebook Google+ Linkedin Twitter

Why You SHOULDN'T Hire An Interior Designer

Kim Dugina of Harp Interiors
This guest post was shared on Renovator Mate by an interior designer who believes "you can have a chic, polished, clutter-free home that meets both your schedule and your budget delivered straight to your inbox".

Why You Shouldn't Hire An Interior Designer

Why I SHOULDN'T hire an interior designer... WHAT?!?

I bet you’re surprised to hear this from an interior designer! But there are some very good reasons why full-service interior design is not for everyone.

Having a beautiful home that fits your style and budget IS for everyone, but that doesn't mean that you need to hire an interior designer for a full service. In fact, there are certain types of people who could and should save their money to spend on the all-important furniture and décor items. Keep reading to find out who...

I love shopping in heart shape

You Love Shopping

If you love spending your weekends scouring furniture and décor shops searching for that perfect piece, that’s the right colour, size and price etc. — then hiring a designer may not be for you.

Working with a designer is more like dining in a 5-star restaurant: You place your order and the chef works his magic in the kitchen before serving your meal — you don't see every detail of how they made it happen.

When you hire a designer for a full service, they don’t expect you to shop for the "ingredients." If you would prefer to mix up your cake yourself, then perhaps you shouldn't hire an interior designer. 


Have a consultation with a designer who can send you to the right sources, with the perfect shopping list for your next shopping adventure. An e-design package is perfect for you if you love hearing that beautiful sound of the courier knocking on your door, without the fear of hoping it will fit where you want it or if it will look how you imagined.

hand holding alarm clock

You Have Heaps of Free Time

Designing, sourcing, renovating and installing any space takes a LOT of time. You might love this type of challenge, and want to dedicate all of your free time to doing just that. Maybe you have taken the time to educate yourself on the technical software that designers use to document and illustrate their designs.

Interior designers spend countless hours staying up to date on the latest product offerings and continuing education. We take a substantial amount of time attending workshops, markets and courses to be sure that we can provide you with the best solutions.

If you have tons of free time that you can dedicate to doing the same, then perhaps you don't need any interior designer. 


Consider a virtual consultation with an interior designer that can fill in the gaps where you need it from the comfort of your computer.

 pink piggy bank

You're Not Ready to Make the Investment

If you haven't taken the time to think about how much you would like to invest into your home, you probably shouldn't be hiring an interior designer. Although having a beautiful home is something that everyone can achieve on ANY budget, working with a designer is making a choice to hire a professional.

When you go to the dentist, you expect to pay dentist fees.  The same goes for an interior designer! We love what we do but that doesn't negate the fact that we are business professionals providing both an experience for our clients and an expertly tailored end product.

When you're ready to invest in your home and your lifestyle, hiring an interior designer will help you get amazing results.


E-design packages start at only $499 and you'll get a detailed plan and a shopping list. You can design one room at a time and you are then free to purchase the recommended furniture and décor pieces in your own time and when your budget allows.

Save your coins and when you're ready, call an interior designer. I promise it will be worth the wait!

mood board

You're A Control Freak

It’s ok, it’s not always a bad thing and I’m guilty of it too. However, working with a designer requires a measure of trust that you have to be able to give. Designers will always have your budget, lifestyle needs and timeline at the very top of their priority list.

The advantage of working with a designer is that we juggle all the little pieces that need to be coordinated for you to be able to get the results you want. In order for us to do that, you have to let go!

As the saying goes, too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the broth. Yes, the process is collaborative, but you have to allow yourself to rest in the fact that your designer's got the big picture handled.


Empower yourself and let your inner control freak shine first with an e-design package. After our collaboration and the design is in place, the ball is in your court. You get all the information, floor plans and shopping lists that you need for you to take control of the project whenever you’re ready.

 hammer paintbrush hex screw drivers on a clipboard

You're A DIYer

When hiring an interior designer for a full-service design project, you would never be expected to lift a finger. That means everything from the shopping, to the deliveries, to the installation is left up to us. If you would prefer to do it yourself, then hiring an interior designer may not be the best fit for you.

Lucky for you, many designers (me included!) provide e-design services where we provide a detailed design plan for you to implement yourself! That allows you to flex your DIY muscles and save a few coins too.


Tap into a designer's tips and long list of retailers (with furniture pieces you will never find at your regular shops), with a detailed plan prepared just for you in an e-design package.


You're Too Attached to Ugly Things

Yep, I said it! Some of you are holding on to things that just don't belong in your home anymore. I know it has sentimental value, or you paid a pretty penny for it 20 years ago but sister, it's gotta go!

Interior designers can do some amazing things with your existing beautiful furniture, art and accessories. But we can’t work magic on the things that just simply do not fit your current design goals.

If you prefer to hold on to grandma's vintage quilt and grandpa's dusty recliner, then working with an interior designer may not be for you.

Allow a designer to help you edit and enhance what you have so that you can live your best life! Let's chat!.


Did you see yourself in these reasons? If you did, that's ok!

The beauty of the design industry today is that there are so many ways that you can work with a designer.

Even though a full-service interior design may not be the best option for you, I encourage you to seek out a design service that will suit your personality, time and budget. (Hint: See Author Bio below.)


Author Bio

Kim Dugina of Harp Interiors helps homeowners create the beautiful, organised homes that they really want to live in and can’t wait to come home to. She likes to hang with her husband and kids, going to the gym, cooking for her teenagers, and watching UFO documentaries.

Kim Dugina of Harp Interiors

Passive Housing: A Smarter Way of Living [Infographic]

Our friends at EZ Living Interiors created an infographic about passive housing and they're delighted to share it here with you!

Passive housing is an innovation that maintains an ideal temperature in your home and reduces utility costs. This is known to produce energy savings of almost 90% on conventional homes, which is better for the environment and for your bank balance.

With this infographic you can quickly learn about:

  • What passive housing is about,

  • Its characteristics,

  • The benefits you can gain from it, and

  • What experts think about it.

Read away!

[caption id="attachment_14744" align="alignnone" width="800"]infographic on passive housing to help reduce home heating costs Source: EZ Living Interiors[/caption]

How to Blend Natural and Modern in Your Home

Can you mix natural and modern in your house? How can sleek appliances match natural elements? What can you do to harmonise nature with geometric shapes?

modern interior rendering of living room with green sofa coffee table plant shelf

Natural and modern styles can actually look swell together. You can integrate these two design types and enhance your home in the process. In fact, you can use contrasting styles (or what seems that way) in a single room and achieve an impressive look. It’s just a matter of how you do it.

So how do you bring nature into a modern home? Here are some ideas to spark your imagination.

fabrics with earth hues and patterns

Use Fabrics with Earth Hues and Natural Patterns

Black, white, and other neutral colour schemes are common in a minimalist house, but it’s highly advised to add a few highlights here and there. Some experts would suggest bright and bold accents, so how about orange floral throw pillows on a plain black sofa? Or a carpet with leafy patterns?

You may also consider these:

  • Upholstery with earth tones like raw sienna, deep Indian red, or forest green

  • Natural fabrics like a jute rug in a room with plain white walls

  • Curtains with animal-inspired patterns (think giraffe spots or zebra stripes)

  • Bed covers designed with seashells or aquatic animals

You can surely come up with a few more ideas! Just remember to use these on accents, as they are meant to beautify and not to distract or dominate.

hammock with plants in background

Choose Pieces That Bring Peace

Studies show that spending more time with nature lowers your pulse rate, blood pressure, and concentrations of cortisol (a hormone released during stressful situations). Think of each room in your house and ask, “What can I add here that will give me a more calming and relaxing feeling?” It can be as simple as family photos on your living room wall, or it can be a cosy bed that brings you restful thoughts even before you lay your body down.

elegant egg shaped limestone bath tub freestanding_preview

In a contemporary style bathroom, you could consider a handcrafted, egg-shaped bath. The one shown here evokes comfort and luxury as you imagine yourself taking a soothing bath. It is made from limestone and painstakingly hand-sanded down to get a smooth textured matte white surface. Freestanding stone baths from Aguzzo even come with basins to match, in egg, oval, rectangular, or square shapes. These minimalist artstone baths and basins are perfect for your own peaceful bathing sanctuary.

Aguzzo Brennero rounded rectangle limestone white bathroom basin on black benchtop

You can also add natural home furniture to your house like a grass-coloured sofa in the living room, wicker dining room chairs, and nature-inspired Zen-style furniture.

mosaic of a vine leaf with white and black pebbles

Display Stone Decor or Landscape Art

Rocks and stones provide a solid connection with nature. It’s convenient that these are now readily available and there is a range of ideas to add these to your decor. Here are some:

  • Rocks or pebble as knobs on cabinet doors

  • Natural stones on your bathroom floor

  • DIY painted rocks picked up from the river or beach

  • Different kinds of unique stones on a display shelf

painting of sunset on the Dnieper

Shells, sand, driftwood, and other finds from nature can also be part of your home decor. Of course, you could also hang landscapes, pretty sunsets, and other wall artwork depicting nature if that’s your preference.

You can also expand on this idea and use rock doormats, stone mosaics, or even white brick walls.

Jazz D200 black granite kitchen sink one-and-one-half bowl with reversible drainer

Use Modern Fixtures Made from Natural Materials

Another simple way to get nature into your home is by installing fixtures that are actually designed for a modern home but made from natural materials. There’s handmade contemporary lighting, bamboo bathroom basins, or a hexagonal mirror with a wooden frame.

A granite kitchen sink with a contemporary design is another such fixture. The sink above is made from natural quartz granite and a very hard acrylic resin, making it eco-friendly and a natural bacteria repellant. Many such granite sinks in the market are specifically designed for modern kitchens, like those made by Cino. They design premium Italian-made sinks that use environmentally safe, composite materials. These are available in black and in white, any of which will match a minimalist or modern kitchen.

If you want to include just a subtle hint of nature amid contemporary, you can also do it with your tapware:

  • A matte black waterfall bath spout,

  • A rustic tap with stone or wood parts,

  • A square rain shower head, or

  • An animal-shaped tap.

Terrus Waterfall Spout Black

Feature House Plants

Plants are for all home design styles, and they blend especially with modern interiors. You can either work with a single large plant or several smaller plants.

For a feature plant, you can choose from the following:

  • Bird of paradise (strelitzia reginae)

  • Fiddle leaf fig (ficus lyrata)

  • Madagascar dragon tree (dracaena marginate)

  • Weeping fig (ficus benjamina)

  • Norfolk island pine (araucaria heterophylla)

house green plant succulent Senecio serpens or Blue Chalksticks in bathroom close up

For smaller plants, try these:

  • Air plants (tillandsia)

  • String of pearls (senecio rowleyanus)

  • Chain of hearts (ceropegia woodii)

  • Rubber plant (ficus elastica)

  • Maidenhair fern (adiantum)

table top indoor decorative miniature garden in clear glass bubble with cactuses and succulents. Decorative glass vase with succulent and cactus plants glass interior terrarium with succulents and cacti

The great thing about plants is that you can have them in many different ways — potted, hanging, or in a vase. Other wonderful ideas for houseplants are:

  • Terrariums, which are very low maintenance and a favourite of creative people,

  • Indoor vertical gardens (living wall) or framed succulents,

  • Hanging eucalyptus on a shower head, which is good for aromatherapy, and

  • High-quality artificial plants that look like the real thing, if you don’t have a green thumb or have no time to take care of real ones.

oak floorboards interior living space

A Billion Ideas for Blending Natural with Modern

If you just look around, there are really a billion things you can do to introduce natural elements into your contemporary home. We’ll add here installing wood backdrops or floorboards, using environment-friendly and sustainable products, or simply by letting natural light into the room.

Anything you want to pitch in? Leave a comment below if you have other ideas, something that you’ve already done in your house, or if you need some advice.

How to Build a Family Room Addition to Your Home

Is there anything better than spending time with your family and friends? Only maybe spending time with your family and friends in a bigger, airier and more comfortable space!

So, if you think your home is lacking some space for quality family time or friend entertainment, consider building an additional family room. This addition will provide you with extra space, boost comfort and fun, and even increase your property's value. Here are some great family room addition ideas just for you.


Bump-out Room

One of the most common ways people choose to enlarge their interior is to add a bump-out room. An average bump-out usually adds around 4 to 5 square meters (50 square feet) to your existing space which is perfect for introducing bigger furniture, extra entertainment or simply providing you with a bit more elbow space.

This is without a doubt the most affordable way to add a room to your home, though still not cheap. However, since the final square footage isn't very big, the costs will not skyrocket!

family room white ceiling walls wood floorboards grey carpet

Basement Remodel

Another quite practical way to add living space to your home is to repurpose and renovate your basement. That is, if you already have a basement that doesn't play a significant role in your household, of course.

It's quite affordable since you're not exactly adding extra space, you're just repurposing your existing space. You don't need new foundations, new roofing, or new walls.

However, basements are often full of moisture and mould that needs to be taken care of before you start putting up drywall. Also, basement insulation is very important. Exterior walls and ceilings should be properly thermally and acoustically insulated.

sunroom as family room


Sunrooms can be an amazing way to add living space to your home as long as they are built in the right way. In the past, sunrooms have usually been too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. However, today, with prefabricated elements, insulation is much better and sunrooms are getting more comfortable and practical.

New frames are cut more precisely than ever and the whole structure can be much more stable. There are plenty of steel frame options for all sunroom sizes and types and they can help create a really amazing addition to your home. And when you combine these frames with thermal-resistant glass, proper ventilation and good lighting, you'll never want to leave your new family room.

teamwork and people concept - group of smiling builders in hardhats with tools indoors

Garage Addition

Another addition that can be super practical (and resembles a sunroom in a way) is a garage repurpose. The most important part of this addition is definitely insulation. Garages are usually not built as living spaces, so you need to add proper thermal and acoustic insulation. However, many people choose to leave the garage doors during the remodel, so that they can open up the space in the summer and create a cool atmosphere.

period family room with pool table yellow walls tiled floors winding stairs

Think Multipurpose

A good family room is definitely versatile. So, make sure to add plenty of storage for your collections, introduce a few entertainment elements you've always wanted, and invest in comfy modular furniture that can be easily arranged and rearranged according to your needs. Another great way to multipurpose is to use one corner of the family room as your home office or kids' study area.

family room with bookshelves tv sofa sculpture lamp blinds carpet wooden floorboards

Cherry on Top

Once you know how you will use your additional space, it's time for the best part—decoration. For instance, if you're planning to use the space for late-night movie watching, you can invest in a comfy fireplace that will create just the right ambience. It's a beautiful touch, especially if you live in a colder climate.

If you love to read, you can install plenty of bookshelves and create a little reading nook. Put up a comfy chair, add a warm throw and a stylish reading lamp. If you wish to use your room for entertainment, first decide whether your aim is mingling or dining. There are furniture arrangements that allow people to socialize and those that allow plenty of seating for comfy dining. Parties with a lot of action can greatly benefit from a wet bar with a counter, sink and some storage for glasses and drinks.

So, if you're ready to provide yourself and your family with some extra breathing space, make sure to consider one of these additions. These can make your home more comfortable and interesting and also make it more attractive for buyers and renters.


Author Bio

Derek Lotts is a Sydney-based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business — he thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

How to Choose the Right Colours for Your Home

When it comes to home interior design, choosing the right colours is often the most difficult part. Your whole house colour scheme can dramatically transform the way your home looks and feels, so it’s important to get it right.

colour wheel

There are endless ways to use colour to reflect your personality and style at home. Here are some tips and important things to consider when choosing colours and patterns for your home.

Use the Colour Wheel

In order to choose the right colour combinations for your home, you need to have a basic understanding of colours, shades and undertones. The colour wheel is a favourite colour scheme tool used by interior designers and decorators. On the colour wheel, different colours are laid out according to their relationships with each other. For instance, colours opposite each other like red and green are complementary to one another, while colours near each other are analogous to each other. Understanding how different colours and shades affect each other will help you choose a colour scheme that works well in your home.

Consider Lighting


One of the most important things to consider when painting your home interior is the impact of natural lighting in each room. The type and amount of natural light that hits a room can significantly alter the colour’s appearance. Window blinds like roller blinds or Venetians are a great way to control the amount of light that enters each room. You can use these to make the room as dark or bright as you need.

Before you decide on a room colour scheme, experiment with the colours by placing fabric and swatches in your home to see how they change throughout the day and into the evening. You should also take into account that these colours will be altered as the light changes through the different seasons.

Decide on the Mood of Your Home

living room

Before choosing colours and patterns for your home, you will need to figure out what you want the general mood of the space to be. For instance, if you want your home to feel vibrant and lively, then look for bold, contrasting colours. A contrasting colour scheme is dramatic and helps to bring more energy into your home’s interior design. If you would prefer a more homey and comfortable feel, then a warm, soft colour scheme may be the way to go. These types of colours help to create a cosy and welcoming vibe and are a popular choice for home interior design.

The elegant, modern look is another popular trend within contemporary home interior design. This is achieved through a light, neutral colour scheme like varying shades of white or beige. These subtle colours help to create a space that feels quiet and relaxing and match well with natural elements like wood or stone. It also tends to be a safe choice for interior design if you’re considering selling your home. A neutral colour scheme on the walls also leaves a lot of flexibility to bring out the colour in other ways. Adding some patterned accessories throughout your home like throws, pillows, artwork, rugs and window dressings is a great way to balance out the lack of colour on the walls and add personality to the room.

Finding Colour Inspiration

colour inspiration

If you’re not sure what you want the look and mood of your home to be, try using Pinterest. Pinterest is a popular online platform used for sharing pictures and ideas. You can discover loads of family room design ideas by looking through the hundreds of pictures posted by other users. This is a great way to find style inspiration for your home and figure out what colour schemes you like or don’t like.

You can find colour inspiration all around you. For instance, you could get inspiration from the colours and patterns of your favourite furniture, fabrics, rugs or artwork on the walls. Beautiful colour combinations can also be found in nature, like the colours of the early sunrise, the beach or a garden filled with flowers.

Start by picking a colour that you love for the central, biggest room in your home, like the kitchen or living room. Try to use varying shades of your dominant colour for a more dynamic and interesting look. Once you’ve figured out the colour palette for the main room, you can start putting together your whole house colour scheme. If you need a little extra help selecting the right colours, talk to a salesperson at your local paint about the look that you want.


About the Author

Alex Cordier is a freelance writer, who has been published across various sites on topics including home, travel, health and lifestyle. She is most passionate about home design and is always on the lookout for the latest interior design trends. See more of her work here.



How to Nail Your Rustic Inspired Renovation

Are you looking to renovate your home to embrace the rustic trend? Whether you want to add more charm and character to your home or become more environmentally friendly in your decor choices, we have several tips designed to help you nail your rustic inspired renovation.

1. It’s all about the woodwork

Rustic-inspired home renovations tend to require more attention to the installation of wooden features from unique custom woodwork furniture to full patio or porch builds. If you have carpet or tile flooring, the first step would be to remove other types of flooring and replace it with hardwood flooring. Darker woods like Engineered European Oak Floorboards tend to look best in a rustic home. Wooden flooring adds character to a home and contributes to a country cabin-style interior design. The installation of wooden kitchen cabinets also contributes to a charming rural home. Add woodwork in every room in the home in as many creative ways you can think of. When it comes to a  rustic renovation, the rule is that you can never have ‘too much’ woodwork. The installation of wood pallets applied to walls will up your rustic atmosphere tremendously. If you are sticking to a  renovation budget that doesn’t allow for a full installation, installing one accent wall with a beautiful woodwork design does the trick.

2. Nail DIY woodworking projects

If you are sticking to a renovation budget as most of us are, there are many opportunities for DIY  woodworking projects for the rustic home. Many lumber suppliers offer incredible wood pieces for extremely affordable rates. Many of these suppliers can be found at local mountain markets selling their materials. A big wood slab to create a beautiful kitchen or coffee table top typically runs you about $80.00AUD at a local market supplier. A set of four small, thin log stumps used for coasters typically runs you about $25.00AUD at a local market supplier. You can stain and glaze these items yourself with materials found at a local trades store to create unique, one-of-a-kind woodwork household furniture and decor staples.

3. Hire a talented carpentry professional

For the bigger, more complex woodworking jobs, it is wise to hire a professional carpenter. A  professional carpenter typically charges an hourly rate of $45.00AUD to $60.00AUD per hour not including travel or other project-specific materials. Carpenter jobs are vast, can range from simple to extremely complex and are mainly to construct, install and repair structures made of wood and other materials. Carpentry is an extremely versatile profession from being responsible for a patio build on the side of your home to a trendy woodwork custom furniture piece. In order to find the right carpentry professional for the job, make sure to review their previously completed projects and get multiple quotes from different professionals in the trade.

4. Nature inspired home decor

Look to nature to inspire all of your interior home decors. The idea is to bring the outdoors inside your home. This includes plant, fire and of course wood elements. Baby’s breath, sunflowers and lots of greenery contribute to a country-inspired home interior.

Using a unique log centrepiece on your main dining table and wooden candle holders on side tables will bring more nature inside.  Using nature-inspired home decor not only contributes to a rustic home atmosphere but also contributes to your wellbeing the same way walking in nature tends to. Wooden tools in the kitchen not only contribute to your new reno, but also have added benefits such as longevity, non-scratch,  heat resistant, and are more eco-friendly.

5. Cosy elements

Nothing compliments a rustic style home interior design more than a Canadian-style free-standing wood burning stove fireplace. The more antique and vintage-looking, the better. A full wood stove installation can cost up to $3000.00AUD and the stove itself typically costs $1000.00AUD to  $2000.00AUD. We recommend buying the cast iron wood heater online and getting it installed later.  Exposed brick installation behind the wood stove creates a trendy cosy feel that will put the cherry on top of your rustic home renovation. You can purchase bricks that are cut in halves to be more cost-effective with the same look achieved. Candles and fleece throws are another way to cause feelings of relaxation and comfort within the space. Brown faux leather furniture also contributes to a cost-effective yet elegant element to add to the rustic theme. Cosy and unique elements are important features of homes that nail a rustic renovation.

*All the costs quoted were sourced at the time this article was written. They are to be used as an  AUD cost guide and may vary locally, and are subject to market changes.

About the author

Kaylyn Jeffrey is the Web Content Manager for, a trades and services platform that connects everyday homeowners to local tradies. When Kay isn't writing articles with ♥ from the Gold  Coast of Australia, she is spending time in the Hinterlands with her fiancé and researching eco-friendly and sustainable homeowner tips.

Easy Ideas to Help Spruce Up Your Outdoor Home Window Design

Ensuring your home’s exterior is pleasant to the eyes and is in solid shape is an important part of maintaining your home’s value and boosting its curb appeal. The outside of your home is the part of your house that all visitors will notice first, so it’s important to help it appear welcoming and eye-catching.

Exterior upkeep and decorating don’t always have to involve massive renovations or expensive additions, as often times, it’s the small details that end up making a big difference when setting the tone for your home. Windows are an area of the home that can easily be transformed to instantly add some flair, sophistication, or creativity to your outdoor home design, but they are overlooked during the design process far too often.

If you’re looking for some easy ways to spruce up your outdoor window design and draw some positive attention to your house, you may find some inspiration in the following ideas:

Add or Improve Trim and Pediments Around Your Windows

The before-and-after effect of adding trim to a window is striking without being showy. Unless you choose an extremely elaborate design, the decorative touch is subtle, but when you compare how windows look with either no trim or with a dull, chipped trim, you can see how it drastically helps them stand out.

There’s also a practical element of adding exterior window trim to your home. Both the head casing’s drip cap and the window sill help to prevent the elements, such as rain, from getting into any broken seals or gaps and entering into the interior of your home.

Window pediments are another great option when you’re trying to spruce up an otherwise plain exterior window. If you find the right pediment that matches or complements your desired trim, it can easily transform your design by adding a sophisticated touch.

The trick is to find a pediment that is the right proportion to the window, and it should also blend in design-wise and color-wise. If you have a large colonial-style header and it’s placed over a small contemporary-style window, the design will look clunky and messy instead of cohesive. When picking out both the trim and the pediment, choose colors, materials, and shapes that will harmonize with the overarching tone of your home’s exterior, not distract from it.

Install Home Window Awnings

Home window awnings will accentuate and elevate your outdoor window design, but they also serve another practical function. Because they are designed to block the sun’s rays from entering your home, they reduce the indoor temperature of your home, resulting in lower home cooling costs. According to a study conducted by the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association, awnings can help households save up to $200 on cooling costs annually.

If you want to focus on energy savings and staying as green as possible with your home design, you can look into solar-powered window awnings, which automatically extend and retract based on direct sunlight.

Home window awnings typically come in a variety of fabrics, colors, and designs, so it’s easy to find one that will best flatter your home. As a bonus, because awnings reduce the amount of direct sunlight that enters into your home, they will help prevent fading from sun damage on your indoor paint and furniture.

Add Cheer With Window Boxes

Window boxes are one of the easiest tools you can use if you’re truly trying to make your window design pop. They instantly add a splash of charm and warmth to your home and depending on what you fill them with, you can get pretty creative with your design.

Again, it’s crucial to find one that complements your exterior color and design scheme, as even a small detail such as a window box can fiercely clash with your intended ambiance if it’s not chosen carefully.

Flowers and herbs are easy go-to options for window boxes and the colors and vibrancy that plants exude add an immediate liveliness and cheerfulness to your home. If you don’t want to make the commitment to care for any plants, there are always faux flowers you can plant in there too.

If you want to get a bit more creative, you can add a festive effect by decorating the boxes for each holiday or season. For example, add mini pumpkins in the fall, mistletoe, and pinecones around Christmas time, or bright flowers with colorful faux eggs for Easter spring. No matter what design you choose, window boxes will help draw attention to your windows in the best of ways.

Provide Security and Add Style With Window Grills

Window grills can add style and enhance your home security, helping to add value to your house. Today’s designs stretch much further than the typical steel-bars-over-windows look, so you don’t have to worry about your home looking like a prison.

Whether you want a grill that looks Victorian, is diamond-patterned, or resembles delicate lace, there are countless shapes and styles to choose from. You’ll be able to rest a little easier knowing your home is better protected against any break-ins, all while adorning your windows with a captivating look.

Keep Your Design Clean and Polished

No matter what type of embellishments you adorn your exterior windows with, your efforts won’t reach their full potential unless you commit to properly maintaining your design. Sometimes all it takes to spruce up your windows is polishing up what you already have. This means keeping your windows themselves clean on the outside and inside, repainting any trim or window sills that are chipping away, keeping your awnings debris-free, and removing dead plants and foliage from any window boxes.

The point is to regularly maintain your windows and any accessories so that they appear well cared for, not run down and neglected.

In Summary

Hopefully, these tips help give you some direction on where to take your new window design. If you’re handy, you can complete many of them yourself, or you can easily find an expert renovator to safely add any accessories you’d like.


Just like all parts of your home, your window design should be a direct reflection of your own personality. After all, you peer outside of the windows to get a glimpse of the world, and in turn, others can take a look at your window design and get a small sense of the unique person who lives there.

Happy designing!