The Wallpaper Revival (again)

One of the products I'm happiest to see these days is wallpaper.  While some might think of wallpaper as a relic from the past, when done correctly it can be a super stylish way to add another layer to a room.   I'm starting to see and use wallpaper more and more, and I love the texture, color and pattern it can instantly bring to a room.  Whether it is a subtle small scale print or a big pattern that is almost a work of art, there are sooo many options out there that finding the perfect paper for a room is a challenge I love to be faced with! 

Wallpaper can be such a fantastic way to add some impact to an entry way, or bathroom, it makes a great feature wall in the bedroom or can warm up a living room.  There really isn't anywhere that you can't use wallpaper (we have wallpaper in our tiny under the stairs guest toilet - its such a nice surprise every time you open the door).  It can be completely daunting to even think about starting to search through wall paper books - and many of these designer papers are only available through design professionals - so if want to add some interest with wallpaper and don't know where to start please get in touch :) 

Here are some of my favourite examples from my lovely suppliers 

Cole & Sons Flamingos are so versatile - nursery, guest room, or bathroom! 

Cole & Sons Flamingos are so versatile - nursery, guest room, or bathroom! 

Another colour way of Cole & Sons Flamingos - so sophisticated in this guest room. 

Another colour way of Cole & Sons Flamingos - so sophisticated in this guest room. 

I love the Lohko range from Scion - gorgeous colour ways in available in both bold and subtle prints

I love the Lohko range from Scion - gorgeous colour ways in available in both bold and subtle prints

The latest range from Swedish based company Eco is mindblowingly beautiful - very subtle and delicate with prints from this gorgeous petal design to the look of woven paper and overlaid tiles.  Stunning 

The latest range from Swedish based company Eco is mindblowingly beautiful - very subtle and delicate with prints from this gorgeous petal design to the look of woven paper and overlaid tiles.  Stunning 

Doesn't this actually look like layers of paper tiles!? 

Doesn't this actually look like layers of paper tiles!? 

Linen by Boras Tapeter comes in a huge range of colours and has a very subtle linen look - giving you a simple look but more depth than a flat coat of paint would. 

Linen by Boras Tapeter comes in a huge range of colours and has a very subtle linen look - giving you a simple look but more depth than a flat coat of paint would. 

One of my favourite small scale prints.  This design in the Lohko range from Scion comes in some gorgeous colours and from across a room looks like a  single colour but up close you can see the detail - I also love that its slightly geometric but also organic looking.  

One of my favourite small scale prints.  This design in the Lohko range from Scion comes in some gorgeous colours and from across a room looks like a  single colour but up close you can see the detail - I also love that its slightly geometric but also organic looking.  

Window Treatments

Window Treatments can be one of the biggest expenses when decorating your home and you're going to live with them for a long time, maybe even through another redecoration.  

So it pay to make sure that you are working with professionals who will consider all the details.    Here are some of my tips for getting it right first time.  

Gorgeous fabric from the James Dunlop Contemporary Collection 

Gorgeous fabric from the James Dunlop Contemporary Collection 

Fabric

There are so so many options around, its overwhelming for even those of us in the trade.   An interior designer will make sure that you avoid that overwhelming feeling, and don't just pick something safe or something that 'will do' to get the decision made.  We will make suggestions that take into account the look that you are going for and the overall scheme of the room.  The fabric content needs to be considered especially if sun is an issue  - and lets face it here in NZ sun is almost always an issue.  Make sure you get it right first time and that the fabric chosen for your drapes or blinds is enhancing your overall interior design scheme, and isn't just something that 'will do'.  

Beautiful fabric from James Dunlop

Beautiful fabric from James Dunlop

There are also many different lining options these days.  You don't have to settle for a thick, heavy, coated lining in white.  Soft drape linings are available in many different colours and weights and they can really change the look of your window treatments depending on what you decide.  Make sure you get the right advice on the best lining for each situation.  

Contemporary Single Pleat Full Length Drapes on a recessed track.  Photo: Houzz 

Contemporary Single Pleat Full Length Drapes on a recessed track.  Photo: Houzz 

Pleat type 

If you want a sleek, modern look with an efficient stack you can't go past an inverted pleat.  A wave top is also a really lovely contemporary look.  For extra fullness a triple (or french) pleat is the way to go.   If budget is an issue use a single pleat to use less fabric.  

Contemporary inverted pleat linen curtains on a feature rod mix nicely with the more traditional elements of the room.  Photo: Pret A Vivre

Contemporary inverted pleat linen curtains on a feature rod mix nicely with the more traditional elements of the room.  Photo: Pret A Vivre

Length

Think of your curtains as a pair or trousers - too short and they just look ridiculous.  My rule of thumb is that touching the floor is always best.  Breaking the floor, meaning you have an extra 10-20mm creating a fold is ideal.  You also want to allow for any movement, many fabrics absorb moisture and can shrink up in certain months so in this case too long is always going to look better than too short.  It is also best for insulation to make sure that you don't have any gaps at the top or bottom of your drapes.  I love it when there are also practical reasons for a decision that looks best as well!  

Photo: Bloglovin

Photo: Bloglovin

Even if your windows are half height your curtains should go to the floor.  It looks a million times better, or if you want to save space then go for a roman blind on these windows.  It's perfectly acceptable to mix romans and drapes in the same room, you can even make this a feature and use different but coordinating fabrics.    

Gorgeous coordinating fabrics from Warwick. 

Gorgeous coordinating fabrics from Warwick. 

Get the track right

Make sure your track is long enough that your drapes can stack against the wall and not in the window - so you can maximise views and light.   Consider going for a double track to give you flexibility with light filtering layers. 

Photo: Elle Denmark 

Photo: Elle Denmark 

Take your track as high as you can! To accentuate high ceilings taking the track to the ceiling can look amazing.  Equally if you have low ceilings, taking your track higher will give the effect of raising them and increasing the sense of height.  As a minimum I like to mount tracks at least 250mm above the top of the window where possible.  Unless you are going for a feature track, make sure it blends in.  You can have tracks custom painted to suit your walls.  So if you have black walls, go for a black track.  

Think outside the box

It's perfectly acceptable to change your window treatments throughout the house to suit the room and the windows.  Equally its perfectly acceptable to avoid drapes altogether and go for roller blinds, shutters, wooden venetians or roman blinds.   An interior designer can help determine the window treatment style that will work best for your home and your look.  

Bold Stripes work well in this fun playroom. Photo Dress My Nest 

Bold Stripes work well in this fun playroom. Photo Dress My Nest 

I have had some amazing results with roller blinds lately.  A lot of my clients are putting them in their contemporary living spaces.  They don't want the clutter or bulkiness of fabric drapes and even the most expensive and top quality roller blinds are affordable.  I work with SP Blinds and their rollers are top quality, their service is amazing and my clients have been absolutely loving them (and coming back to put them in more rooms they love them so much).  We can even install them with your building management system to give you full automation option.  They can also look beautiful softened with a sheer drape over the top as well.   

SP Blinds.  Duo Blinds give different options for block out or light filtering.  

SP Blinds.  Duo Blinds give different options for block out or light filtering.  

Choosing Paint Colours

One of my goals when I started Dress My Nest was to blog every week ... hahaha .... that was before I had real clients!  I took most of January off (well I staged two homes and had a couple of client meetings but it was mostly a lovely long break in the sun with my gorgeous girls) ... I was so excited to get back into in on the 1st of Feb!! Well, I forgot that when your juggling kids and work even the best laid plans can get thrown out the window -  we have had two weeks of illness in my house! Yes sick kids and sick Mama - the worst!  So I'm starting the 2016 today and wanted to blog about something very exciting that is happening today - but I jumped onto my website and found a blog post from NOVEMBER that I hadn't even published yet, so I'll finish that one first and then blog about the other exciting news next week - two blog posts in a week, crazy!!   My actual new goal is to try and blog once a month.  Watch this space.  In the meantime here are my thoughts regarding choosing paint colours (one of my favourite tasks)...  

I’ve been obsessed with paint colours since we renovated our first house, a tiny railway cottage, some 14 years ago.  Back then we hired a colour consultant who suggested half tea on the walls, double tea on the doors and quarter tea on the ceilings – the early 2000’s were the age of beige!  Quarter Tea is still a popular choice for walls, but in the last year the top two ‘colours’ in New Zealand have been whites.  In the US, Benjamin Moore have just announced their ‘colour’ of 2016 and surprise surprise it’s white!  I love love love white walls but this is a trend that might not be for everyone.  If the starkness of white is a bit too harsh for you, a pale grey or greige (grey / beige) neutral could be a lovely choice, especially with some fresh white trim.  Or, there are plenty of warm whites that give you the freshness of a white interior without it seeming cold or harsh at all.  

If choosing a colour scheme for your home is overwhelming my first piece of advice is to start a pinterest board.  Be warned though once you get started it can be addictive!  Find some boards to follow and prepare to be inspired.  Once you start pinning you can have a look back through your board and have a look at the trends emerging – you might be surprised by what you are attracted to and you will get a great insight into the look that you are trying to achieve in your own home. 

Don’t try and choose a paint colour at the paint shop – take some samples home and have a look at them in your own space, with your own décor and window treatments, in different lights.  Pay attention to the undertones - if you’re choosing a neutral colour does it have a pink, yellow, green or blue base? 

Don’t be afraid to have different colours in different rooms.  Colours work differently depending on the natural light, the direction of the light and the furnishings of the room.   When we moved into our house it was freshly painted in ... yes you guessed it Quarter Tea!! Argh that colour is haunting me!!  I don't mind it sooo much in the rooms that are flooded with northerly light, but in some of the shadier parts of our home, ugh it could definitely look better.  So we have been slowly repainting each room in ... yes you guessed it WHITE!  We have mainly used Resene Black White but have mixed this up with Dulux St Claire in our master bedroom which is lovely and crisp with a definite grey tinge.  We have also added a few paint features - its so easy and adds personality to the space.  

How you use the room and who uses the room should also have an influence on your colour choice.  It is however, a good idea to ensure that your colour scheme flows and that you don’t feel like you are moving house when you enter a different room.  We have lots of white paired with almost black walls in our lounge, a yellow stripe in our office, a pink stripe in our bedroom and a very slightly different pink triangle in Annabelles room.  So all the rooms are unique but they do look like they belong to the same family.  I am choosing colours for our family bathroom at the moment and we are going to do the bottom two thirds of the wall a colour and the top third & ceiling white - I'm trying REALLY hard to choose something other than another shade of pink!  I have been visiting my clients homes recently that I have specified the paint colours for and am loving the pale blues and aquas used in some of their rooms so I may just have to use them myself! 

Use the resources available to you.  Paint charts will often list complementary colours.  Dulux has just released their colour trends for 2016 with four distinct palettes that also provide a great starting point. 

Dress My Nest provides a colour consultancy service and I love to design colour schemes.  If choosing paint colours is daunting or you need some inspiration -  give me a call, I’d love to have a chat.  Using a professional who deals with paint colours every day in different rooms and different houses will save you making costly mistakes. Most importantly it will give you the confidence you need to get your renovation projects completed. 

Simple but gorgeous craft project - Dipped Feather Garland

I love crafting.  I do tend to have lots of projects on the go however, so I've learnt that what I'm looking for is a craft project that is simple, quick and has outstanding results for minimum effort!  This one actually fulfils my criteria! I may actually finish it - watch this space!  

I had a feather dream catcher delivered for a client today and I just love it, its really going to add a lovely soft element to her little girls room and create a sense of whimsy.  It's so nice to add some handmade elements to your home, if crafting isn't your thing then something handmade by someone else will also do a great job to create that lovely, warm feeling that handmade objects add!  The delivery inspired me to search for some other dreamy craft ideas and I stumbled across this one. I am definitely going to take my girls to the beach tomorrow so we can get on with collecting feathers to make our own feather garlands!  

Weekend in Brisvegas!

I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with some girlfriends in sunny Queensland!   Much earlier in the year some cheap flights were advertised and we decided to book a girls weekend in this sunny city to enjoy cocktails, great food, fabulous company and LOTS of shopping!!  The weekend did not disappoint!  You would usually expect shopping and city nightlife in Melbourne or Sydney and then head to Queensland for beaches and family holidays - but we had a fab city get away and enjoyed the sun at the same time.  Brisbane has lots of stylish hot spots and a huge range of chain stores, department stores and boutiques! 

To maximise our time away, we booked the very early flight to Brisbane so I had a wakeup call from Kapiti Coast Shuttles up at 3.30 am on Friday and they picked me up ten minutes later.  Eeeek it was early!!!  I was worried about how I would last the day, but coffee and food stood me in good stead and we enjoyed a full day in Brisbane and great dinner out that night too.  

We stayed at the Sebel Suites.  Brisbane has no shortage of apartment hotels, but we chose this one because a two bedroom apartment is actually made up of a hotel room and an adjoining one bedroom apartment.   This meant we had tons of space, two bathrooms and two big bedrooms that could both have twin beds as well as a fold out sofa in the lounge.  We had full kitchen facilities which we didn't use other than to make a cup of tea, but this would be really handy if you were travelling with kids.  The location was fab!  Top Shop was virtually across the road and we were only a couple of minutes walk from the Eagle Street Pier dining precinct on the river. 

View of Brisbane River from Sebel Suites 

View of Brisbane River from Sebel Suites 

The weekend consisted of shopping, drinking and eating.  

We started off by hitting the chain stores to pick up some essentials - Target, H&M, Top Shop, David Jones and Ikea.   It was frantic but we were rewarded by great basics.   After two days of exhausting ourselves in that world of crazy shopping business, we spent Sunday hanging out in the upmarket, but relaxed James Street precinct.   This is a must see area of Brisbane.  Gorgeous shops, fresh food markets, cool cafes and bars.  Fabulous design stores inspired with their eclectic mixture of furniture, artwork and accessories.  St Barts, Kova & Mozi were my fav's and I will definitely be back to visit the huge West Elm and Pottery Barn stores that are opening 1st October - I can't believe we missed these by two weeks!! 

If you need a pick me up while exploring through Top Shop - they have a new donut shop instore - There were queue's of people coming in specifically to grab a donut from this new hot spot.  

If you need a pick me up while exploring through Top Shop - they have a new donut shop instore - There were queue's of people coming in specifically to grab a donut from this new hot spot.  

Beautiful styling and artworks at St Barts, James Street 

Beautiful styling and artworks at St Barts, James Street 

I loved everything at Kova and wished I could just transport this stunning shop to be my local homeware store! 

I loved everything at Kova and wished I could just transport this stunning shop to be my local homeware store! 

Eating out was the highlight of the weekend.  First off lunch at Jamie's Italian.  I've been wanting to try one of Jamie Olivers rustic Italian restaurants for years so when we hit the wall after the early flight followed by a morning of shopping, we were thrilled they could squeeze us in for lunch.  The food was beautiful.  We all had a different freshly made pasta.   My ravioli was delicious but if I make it back again I will be trying the carbonara which looked amazing!   While we were feasting on carbs and recharging with a mojito, we were also loving the decor.   There was extensive use of lots of different tiles, and an eclectic mixture of tables, chairs and amazing lights.  It is a huge restaurant spread over two levels but there are lots of different seating and bar areas and the industrial styled space is jammed full of so many features it doesn't feel empty or too big at all.  We finished  off with a delicious Affogato - with the excuse that the coffee would keep us going for the afternoon.   Overall the service at Jamie's was probably the worst we experienced over the weekend which was really disappointing.  The staff didn't reflect the enthusiasm and passion that you can imagine Jamie Oliver expecting.  But the food and decor made up for this and we had a great lunch.  If I come back to Brisbane with my family I will definitely be bringing the kids here.  It would be a perfect dinner or lunch spot that would keep everyone happy.  The kids menu's were super cool - viewed on a retro view finder toy - there were colouring in supplies and they would leave happy with a free badge too.  

Real displays of cured meats and veggies hang over the bar seating at Jamies 

Real displays of cured meats and veggies hang over the bar seating at Jamies 

Just one of the amazing lights at Jamies 

Just one of the amazing lights at Jamies 

Lot of cool details to keep kids happy too 

Lot of cool details to keep kids happy too 

Dinner at Jellyfish was outstanding. One of Brisbanes' top restaurants, it commands a large site on the Eagle Street Pier.   We had a gorgeous table outside with views of the river and Story Bridge.  Our waiter was enthusiastic, down to earth and really friendly.  He even provided us with extra fish balls after we devoured the delicious amuse bouche!   The menu is extensive specialising in fish cooked in many different styles - you can specify the cooking style and chose from various batters, crumbs, sauces and sides to essentially design your own main.  Delicious.  The cocktails were fab and so was the creme brûlée!  

Flaming brûlée at Jellyfish 

Flaming brûlée at Jellyfish 

View from our table at Jellyfish.  An outstanding spot to enjoy the scenery, including the boats cruising up and down the river and fabulous people watching as locals hitting the town after work mingle with tourists out for the night. 

View from our table at Jellyfish.  An outstanding spot to enjoy the scenery, including the boats cruising up and down the river and fabulous people watching as locals hitting the town after work mingle with tourists out for the night. 

Next morning we wandered around the city looking for somewhere to sit outside and have brunch.  The Brisbane Cafe at Brisbane Square is in a wide open space next to the colourful Brisbane library.  The menu was divine and the service was fab.  Breakfast was amazing - smashed avocado & goats cheese on sour dough with dukkah and a squeeze of lemon.  So fresh and delicious!   Sunday morning we ended up having almost the exact same breakfast at a local spot in New Farm called Bitter Suite.  We had a lovely table in the sun on a tree lined neighbourhood street.  Bitter Suite looks like it would be a fab pub with tons of beers and ciders on tap, a relaxed atmosphere and great staff.  We had our best coffee of the weekend here - so good that we had to have another one.    

New Farm was probably my favourite spot in Brisbane.  A really lovely leafy neighbourhood on the fringe of the city with amazing shops in the James Street precinct, and then lots of neighbourhood cafes and bars dotted on street corners.   We had an amazing meal at Chow on Saturday night.  Such a great, lively atmosphere.  Beautiful decor in the footpath courtyard with vertical gardens and hanging pendant lights.   We shared lots of little plates with their pork belly pancakes being the best.   Sunday afternoon looks like a great time to hit neighbouring bar Sixes and Sevens.  We loved sitting in the sun enjoying our last drink of the weekend watching lots of hip locals meet up with friends for the afternoon.  

Chow House in James Street.  Such a great spot and this is definitely our mantra for the weekend!

Chow House in James Street.  Such a great spot and this is definitely our mantra for the weekend!

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Oh my goodness if you're a chocolate fan like me - you will LOVE the Noosa Chocolate Factory.   They have four locations throughout Brisbane and its definitely worth hunting them down if you are in town.  They make small, fresh batches of chocolate daily in their Noosaville factory.  Rocky Road is a speciality along with all sorts of chocolate covered fruits and nuts.  I brought home a few slabs of the peppermint chocolate brittle, honeycomb and coconut rough. YUM! 

There was so much laughter in our weekend along with all our eating, drinking and shopping.  It was awful saying goodbye to my good friend Jo who was a wonderful, local companion for us Kiwi girls. Thank you Jojo for your brilliant company, can't believe the only photo we took was at the airport drop off!  

The only good thing about coming home from a weekend away shopping, is unpacking!!  Here are some of our favourite purchases of the weekend.  Best tip for packing is to put what you take with you into a carry on bag, then pack this into an empty suitcase.  On the way home you can have the suitcase full and take your carry on bag on board with you!  Worked a treat!  We flew into Wellington at 12.35 and luckily Kapiti Coast Shuttles were there waiting for me again as I don't think I would have coped with the drive home.   After such a jammed back busy weekend I'm feeling surprisingly refreshed today!  Thats what good company, good food and a hotel bed to yourself does!!  

Unpacking is one of the best things about coming home,  todays wintery weather makes me wonder when I'll get to wear these things but here are some of our favourite purchases from the weekend!  

Can't have too many stripes.  Loved these t-shirts at Witchery, such a beautiful soft knit.  I think my denim shirt from Top Shop will end up being one of favourite purchases from the weekend.  

Can't have too many stripes.  Loved these t-shirts at Witchery, such a beautiful soft knit.  I think my denim shirt from Top Shop will end up being one of favourite purchases from the weekend.  

Patterns and plains. My best buys from H&M.  And I can never walk past a comfy pair of silver flats.  They are my go to shoe for all seasons and these just happened to be half price!  

Patterns and plains. My best buys from H&M.  And I can never walk past a comfy pair of silver flats.  They are my go to shoe for all seasons and these just happened to be half price!  

Nothing major from Ikea - I have been known in the past to bring back cow hide & kilim rugs, pendant shades and chairs.  This time lots of little handy bits and pieces. 

Nothing major from Ikea - I have been known in the past to bring back cow hide & kilim rugs, pendant shades and chairs.  This time lots of little handy bits and pieces. 

One of the highlights for Debs was getting her hands on the new Smeg kettle - not available in NZ yet - and how GORGEOUS has she styled it in her kitchen this morning!! Perfection xo

One of the highlights for Debs was getting her hands on the new Smeg kettle - not available in NZ yet - and how GORGEOUS has she styled it in her kitchen this morning!! Perfection xo

This blog post is not sponsored by Queensland Australia, the City of Brisbane, the Sebel Suites, Air New Zealand, Kapiti Coast Shuttles, H&M, Ikea, Witchery, Smeg or Top Shop ... but boy do I wish it was!!