Exteriors

A contemporary reimagining of an Arts and Crafts home

The Arts and Crafts movement was born in the mid nineteenth century in England as a backlash to the mass production of items from the industrial revolution of that time.  These were perceived as being sub standard and this movement sought to refocus on handmade furniture and items of beauty.. Read more

How to use Colorbond Wallaby

Colorbond Wallaby is often overlooked as a colour choice for roofing, garages and fencing, but it is actually one of the nicest and easiest to use of the Colorbond range.  I am going to show you how to use Colorbond Wallaby for your next new build or renovation. What is.. Read more

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How to create a classic outdoor room

If you are not making good use of outside space then you are missing out on an entire extra room for your house.  An outdoor area doesn't just have to be where you store the BBQ and perhaps just a couple of chairs, or even worse, tools and equipment for.. Read more

How to use Colorbond Woodland Grey

Colorbond Woodland Grey is one of the most classic of the Colorbond range.  I have been specifying this colour for the past 20 years and it is still enduring.  Sometimes perceived as a little outdated once Monument became available, I still think it is one of the most successful greys.. Read more

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Dulux exterior trends 2024

A fresh year, with a fresh start. As we enter 2024, revitalising the exterior of your home with a fresh colour scheme not only makes a strong first impression for visitors, it also has the ability to increase street appeal – ultimately adding value to your home. To fuel your.. Read more

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How to use Colorbond Dover White

There was a collective thank you to Colorbond when they released their Dover White colour.  At last, a crisp fresh white in the range, which has been widely welcomed.  As good as this is, you do need to know where and, more importantly, where not to use it.  In this.. Read more

Recreating a Redfern terrace house

What happens when you combine a leading architectural firm, a talented interior designer with a client who is a leader himself in the Australian design industry?  Recreating a Redfern terrace house details this amazing collaboration and showcases a truly fabulous renovation.  Read the full story below, together with what I.. Read more

Sikata House by The Designory

Sikata House, designed by The Designory team, sits within a quarter acre corner site in Byron Bay’s coveted golden grid, mirroring the sandy warm tones of the surrounding beaches, clifftops and bushlands. Exuding all the hallmarks of the global travel experience, the home is an exploration of the concept of.. Read more

The Block 2023 Front Facade

Remember that expression that you have 5 seconds to make a good first impression?  After this you have reached the point of no return.  Well, this applies to the front of your house which is why street appeal is so very important.  If you get this right, it sets you.. Read more

The Block 2023 Backyard

There was a time, not too long ago, when a backyard consisted of an area of grass, some shrubs and pots and a pathway to the Hills Hoist.  How times have now changed.  The Block 2023 backyard reveal includes plunge pools, various locations for outside seating and dining, bbqs, pizza.. Read more

Single storey coastal home

Located on the Illawarra coastline in New South Wales’s South Coast, ‘The Bach’ is a single storey coastal home that showcases relaxed living at its best. Transformed from a dark and outdated space to a spectacular coastal holiday home, The Bach effortlessly combines coastal charm and contemporary influences to create.. Read more

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Taylor's of Berry Guest House

Back in 2016 I wrote a blog post about painting your house black and it has proved very popular.  What started as quite a unique exterior colour palette has evolved into a mainstream trend. Colour, and more importantly the tone of that colour, has the ability, more than any other.. Read more

Contemporary update to a 1970s home

It is so interesting to see how architects can transform a home, particularly a 1970s project home in the suburbs.  What these houses do offer are usually large blocks with established gardens and trees surrounding them.  I am so glad to be able to show you this update to a.. Read more

The Block 2022 Landscape week

Do you remember when The Block started in Bondi?  With just a few rooms to renovate, the programme has come a very long way.  The Block 2022 landscape week really highlighted this. Since the Covid pandemic, the dream of many is to live in a country setting with space around.. Read more

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A contemporary suburban home

Why is it that when we talk about a suburban home it conjures up a more pedestrian life?  One that doesn't have the glamour of a city terrace, a beach house, a mountains retreat or a country homestead.  It shouldn't be this way as the majority of people do live.. Read more

The trend for Mediterranean arches

What do you think of the Mediterranean trend for arches in our homes?  For many, including myself, a house with interior arches usually meant a frantic call to the local plasterer to square off those rounded edges.  I have always loved them in the Mediterranean and have swooned over houses.. Read more

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Renovated 1930s Australian beach house

When you see a renovated 1930s Australian beach house that has been produced by the talented Lucy Glade Wright, founder of Hunting for George, and her husband Jonno, you know that it is going to be a treat.  This house is everything it should be.  Beautifully renovated with a simple.. Read more

How to use Colorbond Basalt

Equally at home on a sleek contemporary building, a classic Hamptons home or a country cottage, Colorbond Basalt is one of the most classic and easiest of the range to work with.  This is also a colour that I specify regularly.  I have all the tips to show you if.. Read more

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Black and white houses

There is something very appealing about an exterior colour scheme with strong contrasts.  They make an impact and this is no more true than with black and white houses.  Pinterest is full of inspiration for gorgeous black and white houses.  Many will be white with black trim and windows or.. Read more

How to use Colorbond Shale Grey

Colorbond Shale Grey is one of the classic colours in their range.  Originally called Gull Grey and sometimes still referred to as this, Shale Grey is a simple silver tone that works beautifully as an exterior colour.  For lovers of grey schemes or anyone looking for a simple colour scheme,.. Read more

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The Block 2021 Front Garden and Facade

The Block 2021 has been an interesting series as the houses are all so different and the front garden and facade reveal show they all have merit.  It's much harder therefore to judge them fairly as they all hold appeal.  Personally, I love Mark and Mitch's house as this is.. Read more

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The Block 2021 Back Garden reveal

With three couples taking second place, only just behind the winners, the judges clearly thought that the Block 2021 back garden reveal was a very tight contest this week.  I thought that all of the back gardens had their merits but none were as close to perfect as the scores.. Read more

Contemporary Mediterranean house tour

As I love Spanish style, I was thrilled to see this house cross my desk and had to share it with you.  Let's take a tour of this gorgeous Mediterranean house, a Spanish home with a definite Australian twist. Characterised by its defining arches and subtle Mediterranean tones, Arcos Villa.. Read more

Get great curb appeal – 5 tips to follow

The exterior of your home is a window into your personality as the outside of your house can say a lot about you.  This is often overlooked with the inside taking priority in the decorating stakes, however don’t forget this important area as it really sets the scene for your home.. Read more

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Shelley Craft's Byron Bay Beach House

This house tour of Shelley Craft's Byron Bay Beach house is a real treat.  Forget the classic white coastal look, this is an altogether different proposition which is refreshing and fun but very tasteful.  I love this home as I am a fan of lovely warm tones.  I would love.. Read more

How to use Colorbond Dune

Colorbond Dune has been a mainstay in the range for many years and is still an extremely popular choice.  I really like to use it for a number of reasons which I will tell you below.  If you're considering a new roof or are building a new home, this may.. Read more

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House 13 – The Three Birds

The concept of The Three Birds has been hugely successful.  It's how many of us would like to live, working with close friends and renovating properties together – what a fabulous job!  It's always interesting to see the next house and The Birds are now up to house number 13. .. Read more

How to use the colour Sage Green

Have you noticed the recent love affair with green in the world of interiors?  Green, in general, is making a comeback, but Sage Green is really causing a stir and fast becoming many people's new favourite colour.  I am thrilled as green is my favourite colour and I also love.. Read more

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Albury House Tour – an award winning environmentally responsive home

An environmentally responsive home is one which many of us aim to achieve when we are building a house.  Sustainable finishes and inclusions together with buildings that can withstand our tough climate conditions are often front of mind, but then budget constraints get in the way, builders don't always want.. Read more

How to use Colorbond Monument

I really like to use black accents both inside and outside of my home, however pure black can sometimes be too heavy, particularly over a large expanse.  I was therefore really pleased when Colorbond introduced Monument into their range.  It has been with us for some time now and is.. Read more

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A contemporary Hamptons farmhouse

Situated in the sprawling rural community of Tallai, on the outer edge of the Gold Coast, lies a home with a unique take on the luxurious contemporary Hamptons farmhouse style and the timeless comfort of the Australian Country aesthetic. Fontaine, by Australia’s Metricon Homes, is an acreage design spanning 600m2.. Read more

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How to use Colorbond Windspray

I really like to specify Colorbond Windspray but it is often a maligned colour in the Colorbond range.  The thing about Colorbond Windspray is that it has a base that sometimes appears blue and sometimes green, depending on the time of day, and it is this chameleon quality that can.. Read more

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How to style with baskets

I can't think of a time when the humble basket has not been integral to everyday home life.  As we gravitate to organic shapes and styles more and particularly appreciate handmade products, the basket has come to centre stage in the home styling stakes so I am going to show.. Read more

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Quintessential Hamptons home in the Hunter Valley

Home design is always evolving and it's interesting to see how the COVID 19 restrictions have transformed the way we live and use our homes.  We are now prioritising spaces for connection and retreat, as well as functions such as home offices and a seamless indoor-outdoor transition for relaxation and.. Read more

What colour do I paint my downpipes?

I am often asked by clients what colour do I paint my downpipes?  This can be pretty straight forward but always causes a lot of consternation, because let's face it, who wants to make a feature of the plumbing?  It is trickier however if you are installing new downpipes that.. Read more

How to renovate for profit

The value of renovation projects across the country has increased by 7% to $748 million, the highest level recorded since April 2016, as homeowners take advantage of recent favourable market conditions and realise renovations dreamed up during lengthy COVID-19 lockdowns.  If this is you, then I have some inspiration of.. Read more

The Block 2020 Winners – Jimmy and Tam

Wow!  Jimmy and Tam walked away from The Block 2020 as winners with a cool $1,066.000.  House number 5, which was faithfully renovated in a Retro 1950s style, sold for a whopping $4.256,000 which was $966,000 above the reserve.  I must say that I am thrilled to see this outcome.. Read more

The Block Backyard and Pool reveal

This is it.  The Block backyard and pool reveal is the final piece of the puzzle for The Block 2020.  This week has seen Sarah and George go from strength to strength and take out the final win, which I must say in my view, was absolutely deserved.  Their attention.. Read more

Connect the inside to the outside with Caesarstone

For many of us in Australia, our outdoor living areas are an extension of our home interior.  With clever design, a good outdoor space can provide an additional room that can substantially extend your useable living area.  Somewhere that can be used for a large degree of the year, and.. Read more

The Block Front Garden and Facade

The Block contestants are now on the home stretch with the commencement of the outdoor areas.  This week sees the reveal of The Block front garden and facade, which is a great opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the era they are designing to.  We had joint winners this week,.. Read more

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How to create the perfect outdoor space

They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home, but with Australia’s beautiful weather and outdoor lifestyle, an outdoor room might just be the space that really captures the heart. This area, that bridges the divide between interior and exterior, can be an alfresco with a barbeque or.. Read more

Nat Wheeler's 1920s Californian Bungalow renovation

Do you love Scandi style?  The decorating mantra of light, white, texture, beautiful muted grey colours, natural finishes and simplicity.  Where can you go wrong with that?  The team behind the successful Melbourne based Scandinavian Interiors store Norsu Interiors have lots to tell you and tempt you with if you.. Read more

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US Hamptons style compared with Australian Hamptons

At home on the East Coast of America, the upmarket, but very understated Hamptons style has swept the globe.  It seems that every second house that I work on is based on this classic style.  Whether it is the delicate colour palette of soft blues, greens and greys or the.. Read more

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Tips to create healthy green spaces

For many of us, we have our families at home with us either full time or certainly with restrictions still in place, more than has been the case.  We therefore need to keep everyone busy and interested in life and this is the ideal time to plant a seed to.. Read more

How to choose windows

Choosing the right style and colour for your windows is one of the most important decisions you will make when it comes to planning and building a new home or renovation project. With so much at stake, let me show you how to choose windows and ensure you get the.. Read more

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Trend Report – Terracotta

Have you noticed the recent trend for Terracotta?  Warmer neutrals have been making a comeback and gorgeous rich terracotta is at the forefront of this trend.  I wrote about this colour back in 2016 as I could see this beginning to appear in trend reports and fashion designs and now.. Read more

How to upscale your furniture and accessories

How often do you see perfectly good pieces of furniture out on a nature strip destined for the local waste facility?  It's heartbreaking to see an item destroyed and clogging up landfill that with some TLC could be updated or repurposed. Over the years I have painted items of furniture.. Read more

Surf shack to stylish Byron Beach house

How many of us don't dream of having a gorgeous little beach house to escape to?  Somewhere that offers a completely different environment to our regular day to day abode.  I certainly do and what appeals to me the most is that rather than a sensible home in neutrals and.. Read more

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The Secrets to Modern Scandinavian Barn Style

In the global world of design, the hot trend of the moment has to be Scandi Style.  Whether it's our love of the Scandinavian mid century classic designs of the Modernist movement or the Danish passion for Hygge, we can't seem to get enough of it.  While this has been.. Read more

Hamptons style in Queensland

The Hamptons style is becoming increasingly popular for homes nationwide, particularly as it suits the Australian climate. Nowhere is it more at home than in Queensland, as the majority of the population lives on the coast.  The Hamptons look is reminiscent of the style of traditional Queensland homes, making it.. Read more

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Australian Coastal meets Mediterranean villa

Expert renovators Kyal and Kara Demmrich have wrapped up their latest project – a three-bedroom family home and studio just metres from Blue Lagoon beach on the Central Coast of NSW. Drawing inspiration from a Frangipani tree in the front yard of a small fibro cottage, the couple were able.. Read more

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A home that embodies all the elements

Just occasionally, a house crosses my desk which is truly breathtaking and which helps you to understand the value and purpose of great design.  Renowned American architect John Lautner, who was an apprentice of Frank Lloyd Wright, sums up perfectly what the purpose of architecture is – to improve human.. Read more

Using your garden during winter

Gardens can be such wonderful places.  Whenever I think that apartment living might be an alternative, I realise that I could never leave my garden.  They are a refuge to retreat to and the perfect spot to entertain friends and family.  Australia certainly has some vastly different regional temperatures and.. Read more

Doors for a Hamptons Style

With any style, it is often the design elements that you don't always consider first that can either really enhance and finish the look or mean that you don't quite achieve it properly.  The much loved Hamptons Style is no exception.  While we may adapt it to suit our own.. Read more

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Australian Hamptons Style

From its origins on the East Coast of America, the Hamptons Style has swept the globe and has become firmly entrenched in Australian design.  As with any popular trend, the Australians, with our love of design, decorating and renovating, have put our own stamp on the look.  It's really interesting.. Read more

Hamptons Style – 7 steps to achieve this look

At home on the East Coast of America, the upmarket, but very understated Hamptons style has swept the globe.  It seems that every second house that I work on is based on this classic style.  Whether it is the delicate colour palette of soft blues, greens and greys or the.. Read more

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Control heat and light with these interior and exterior roller blinds

As much as we all love sunshine and blue skies, when it comes to being at home, we need the flexibility to control the heat and light that they generate. There's nothing nicer than coming home to a house where the temperature is regulated (without relying on air conditioning that.. Read more

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How to upscale and improve your existing home

There is no doubt that we Australians love to renovate.  Rather than move, we prefer to upscale and improve our existing homes.  Growing up in England, for me the focus was more on decorating your home.  With so many older style houses and smaller blocks, the emphasis was just on.. Read more

Using Surfmist as a Trim Colour

Selecting colours for an exterior scheme can be tricky, mainly due to people not getting the tone quite right.   Colours perform so differently outside to inside and we often don't take into account quite how much impact the sun has on an exterior colour palette.  Colorbond Surfmist sometimes gets.. Read more

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Which paint finish should I use?

Which paint finish should I use is a question I am regularly asked.  As part of specifying I always advise clients but it isn't always that straight forward and personal choice is important too. Firstly before I get into specifics or even think about styles, these are the main points.. Read more

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Update your outdoor entertaining area

Has your outdoor entertaining area seen better days?  Are you watching the summer months go by thinking that you should really update your backyard?  If so, I have some great inspiration and tips for you to update your outdoor entertaining area courtesy of Dulux.  Let me tell you more here... Read more

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The Humble Garden Bench – my favourites

With Spring upon us my thoughts are turning to my garden again which needs much love, care and attention.   I love a nice place to sit and the humble garden bench, which has been popular for centuries, makes both an ideal resting spot and a great focal point and.. Read more

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Tropical Style – 7 steps to achieve this look

A new fresh contemporary Tropical Style is currently on trend.  Related to the more traditional British Colonial Style, this modern version is fresher and more akin to a breezy coastal look.  If you love open plan living, open windows to catch the breeze, fresh clean white with injections of some.. Read more

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What is Greige? Find out how to use it in your home

I am often asked, what is Greige and why all the fuss about it? Quite simply, Greige is a combination of beige and grey.  I love it and find it is one of the colours that I specify the most.  Find out why I like it and how to use.. Read more

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How to use colour for exteriors

What do you think about using colour for exteriors?  Have you ever considered using colour for the exterior of your home?  Or are you a fan of a safe neutral colour palette?  Children love colour and respond very well to its uplifting effects but as we get older and more.. Read more

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My Guide to Country Style

Country Style covers a wide range of looks and will vary greatly depending upon which country you are in so this guide is to show you how to get the general look and feel.  Later I will be writing in more detail about the different types of country style as.. Read more

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How to decorate with pastels

Have you noticed that beautiful soft pastel tones are back on trend?  In fact, even though so many interiors and exteriors are white at the moment, colour in general is also getting more popular.  Which I must say I am very happy about.  People tend to be a bit frightened.. Read more

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Why I love a weatherboard home

Growing up in England, weatherboard homes were few and far between but I always admired the clapboard houses of East Coast America and longed to live in one of those.  Moving to Australia, I thought I would achieve my dream of having a weatherboard home, as they are referred to.. Read more

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How to select roofs, gutters and facias

It can be exciting, or daunting, some of you would say, to select the paint finishes for the exterior of your new home but the practical bits like roofs, gutters and facias are sometimes not given a lot of thought or attention.  Often clients look at me with a blank.. Read more

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My Guide to Moroccan Style

Beautifully evocative, Moroccan style is simply stunning.  The richness of the colours, the classic lines of the architecture and the exotic furniture designs make this one of the most interesting of all the global decorating styles.  Difficult to replicate in its entirety, there are nonetheless many features from this look.. Read more

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How to link your outdoor room to the inside – 5 Easy Steps

Garden designers know all about borrowing the outlook from your neighbour and making use of their trees and hedging in your own scheme and the same principles apply when looking at an outdoor room of your very own.  Your indoor space absolutely must benefit from your outdoor area or you are wasting valuable.. Read more

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My Guide to painting eaves

There can be a misconception with choosing the right colour to paint your eaves.  Often people group eaves with the fascia.  Sometimes the right colour can relate to the trim of your house but this is not necessarily always the case. Eaves, or soffits as they are sometimes referred to,.. Read more

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Australian Coastal Style – 7 steps to achieve this look

There is something quintessentially wonderful about Australian Coastal Style that is difficult to replicate anywhere else in the world.  Perhaps it has something to do with the laid back persona of the Aussies or just the magnificence of the natural beauty of the coastal regions with their gorgeous sandy beaches.. Read more

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Why I love a crisp white trim

Let me explain to you why I love a crisp white trim.  The ubiquitous neutrals are a perennial favourite for exterior and interior decorating schemes.  In fact, I really don't get asked about much else when it comes to selecting paint colours. So, what exactly is a neutral? In theory it should.. Read more

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Ultra Violet – 2018 Pantone colour of the year

So, Ultra Violet has been chosen by Pantone as its colour of the year for 2018.  Quite a provocative choice, by their own admission, particularly after the well regarded and universally liked Greenery of 2017. What do you think of it?  What do you know about it? A little background.. Read more

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My 10 favourite balcony gardens

Small spaces are often fun to decorate and style as your boundaries are limited but, as you will see from these gorgeous images, your ideas definitely don't need to be.  Spending time on trains and in cars, I often look at all the new apartment developments and find that most balcony.. Read more

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How to select the right grey for your exterior

Grey is the colour of the moment.  Whether you are searching for the right interior or exterior colour, grey inspiration is everywhere.   A grey exterior is a classic choice. The designer's secret weapon though has always been this beautiful neutral. In the past, grey has been a much maligned colour, however.. Read more

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Country Home Ideas – Colours for a Coastal Style

You can't think about coastal style without conjuring up the beautiful colours of the ocean. This isn't to say that you must have blues and greens in a coastal style palette.  A gorgeous tactile neutral palette also works well for coastal style decorating, however for my colour feature page for.. Read more

Let me show you how to use Terracotta

Trend setters in paint companies are starting to talk about Terracotta again.  A much maligned colour for years, people denounced terracotta for being related to the colour schemes of the 80s and 90s.  It has been seen to hold no place amongst the smart neutrals and cutting edge blacks, whites.. Read more

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Country Home Ideas – Inside Out Colour Schemes

The latest Country Home Ideas is in the shops now and my colour feature article this month is about how to link your inside space to the outside using colour schemes.  Perfect timing for those of us in Australia where it is warming up. Even in cooler areas, or for.. Read more

How to find the right white for your exterior

Finding the right white for an exterior project contains all the pitfalls that are there when selecting whites for an interior scheme, and more! However there are rules to follow and I have some great tips to help you to select a colour scheme for your white exterior project that.. Read more

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My 5 top tips to create the perfect cottage garden setting

It's the first day of Spring here in Sydney; the windows and doors are open and you can smell that summer is on the way.  I love this time of the year when you can start to think about living outdoors again and in particular dining outdoors.  Food really does taste.. Read more

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How to achieve a classic neutral exterior

Why opt for a classic neutral exterior scheme About 15 years ago a local builder asked me to design an exterior colour scheme for his new display home.  We wanted to achieve a classic timeless appeal for the property as it was important that the house remained contemporary and relevant.. Read more

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Colourful Front Doors – What they say about you!

There is something about a colourful front door that makes me smile.  In a world where we are too often careful with our use of colour, particularly on the exterior of our homes, it is a welcome change to see a bright front door.  Arriving at a home with a.. Read more

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The Gardener's Studio and the Art of Pottering

One of my favourite pastimes is to potter and whether that is around the house, in the local antique and craft stores or around my garden, it is a fabulous way to waste some time.  In a world that is full of fast moving technology, deadlines and general day to.. Read more

Don't paint your house black until you have read this

Have you noticed the trend for painting exteriors black?  Would you consider painting your house black?  It is certainly a very stylish look and one that is appealing because it makes a statement.  In a world of greys and whites, it can be quite shocking to see a house which.. Read more

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Behind the Garden Gate

We all love the anticipation of getting a glimpse of something hidden.  This is the appeal of the perfectly wrapped birthday present or the smart red front door.  It is boring when everything is on display and there are no surprises.  Garden designers know this better than anyone.  They are.. Read more

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Why the big deal with street appeal?

Two reasons really – you might be thinking of selling or you want your house to say something about you. This post is about the latter. I’ll say more about street appeal for selling in subsequent posts. Our homes and the way they look say a great deal about us... Read more