Featured: Tip’s Home Featured on DesignSponge!!!

House Tour Alert!

I’m so excited and delighted to share that Tip’s gorgeous family home is featured on DesignSponge today!

Tip Atkins Moore House Tour Design Sponge Apartment Diet

If you know about the interiors blogging world then you know that Design Sponge is THE place for interiors. And I couldn’t think of a better place for Tip’s home tour than there!

Too often every day life doesn’t look like the photos we’re being presented in interiors blogs and magazines. It’s styled, things are removed from the image. A stylists adds things that are borrowed to make things look prettier. Photoshop removes cords, cracks…

Not here! Tip’s home in the photos is exactly as it is: gorgeous, beautiful, and a real living breathing space that Tip and her family lives. Transforming spaces into places that are authentic, honest and feel great…and exactly what we’re all about. And of course, did I mention gorgeous?

You don’t need to trust me…off you go and have a look.

PS And just for kicks, here are two before photos so you can see just how much amazing work Tip has done transforming the space.

House Before House before 2


DIY Essential Quick Paint Tips

We’ve been talking about the power of paint this week as it is pretty much our number one thing to do to give a space (or furniture) a lift so I just wanted to give you a couple of quick tips to get you started with paint (because once you start it’s far less scary AND your decorating toolbox will seriously open up once you start seeing the potential of everything “once it’s been given a lick of paint”)!

Tip 1. Chalk Paint: It Paints Over Everything

I recently went to an interiors fair where I saw someone painting with Chalk Paint (Annie Sloan’s specifically) and I couldn’t get over how quick and easy it is. No messing about, just pop the paint straight on and transform away to a velvety matte finish. So, if you’re scared or confused about sanding, priming etc then definitely give chalk paint a go. (Don’t confuse this with chalkboard paint, which is also a fun type of paint to use but not the paint I’m referring to.)

Tip 2. Look at Form Rather Than Colour (& Don’t Be Afraid)

Someone that stands out as not being afraid of painting almost anything is Paulina Arcklin – who likes to gives the white treatment to everything she finds (though I also do see blacks and greys too.).  While white white white is not my style per se but I do love her style committment and how it works for her. I would NEVER have considered some of her painting projects – I love her creativity and imagination with it and I assure you, once you start ‘seeing’ (i.e looking for good shapes/forms rather than focusing on the colour) this way that the possibilities are ENDLESS! If you also look closely in the picture below, the plant is in a bag that has been painted too. Check out her blog for other great painting DIYs and also a visual feast of fab photos and styling but the message here is, don’t be afraid to try painting unexpected things AND pick 1 or 2 colours to keep it cohesive.

Paulina Aarklin before after for AD blog


Tip 3. White Paint is NOT always Best To Make A Room Brighter

My last tip of the day is something I learned when I was hired to paint out someone’s old kitchen walls a stark and bright white. Besides being the wrong paint that she bought for me (so gloopy and it took FOREVER!!!), she was also rather mad when I was (finally) done because well, it just looked bad. The reason being that the white paint just made her old ‘white’ kitchen tiles and grouting look extremely dirty. It was something I kept in mind when painting our bathroom which also has older white tiles (I went for a very pale blue instead) and have just been reminded about as we’ve just painted the stairs white again (so now the wall above them looks filthy – oops). A good thing to remember when you’re playing with paint and choosing your colours, especially white.

Now brushes out, go forth and PAINT!

The Power Of Paint

Few things have the power to transform a room instantly. Rugs are one, as is flooring. Art is another. Accessories like throws, covers and pillows, fixtures like a tap or a shower also work. But in my mind a lick of paint trumps them all.

-  Nat, ApartmentDiet.com

Tips painted bath before after

Some of our clients live in rentals. Other have limited budgets. Other times the budget is endless but either way, if I’m asked for where they should spend money I’ll often say – paint!

For instance, the above image is Tip’s bathtub. It was that salmon colour when she bought the house. What did she do? Painted it one afternoon with some leftover paint…and volia, it looks awesome!

Here are some examples of the power paint. It can:

  • Change the mood of a room – lighter/brighter/moodier/cosier/warmer/cooler
  • Increase the light and spaciousness of a room
  • Freshen up and rejuvenate a room
  • Transform/revamp an ugly or simple piece of furniture
  • Transform an ugly kitchen – just paint the cabinets
  • Change how an old light fixture looks
  • Freshen up a room
  • Give an old bench and stool a new lease of life
  • Allow us to be bold (it’s only paint after all…you can always repaint it)
  • Totally change the space you are seeing so it looks totally new … the list goes on


For DIY: A tip, don’t buy the cheapest paint, buy a good quality paint and you’ll have to use less and get a better finish. You can also use spray paint for a lot of jobs!

If it’s IKEA or formica or old painted wood consider sanding it down and bit using a primer first – and don’t forget the internet, just search for ‘how to paint a…’.

Moreover, the beauty of paint is that it’s pretty cheap (but please please please don’t buy the cheapest) and it’s within the capabilities of most of us – even me )and you should know my version of DIY is buy the box and buy the wheels and get the Mr. to attach the wheels…or skip the DIY altogether). And even I can paint.

Of course, we also think it’s a great investment to hire a professional painters, especially for big jobs like painting the ceilings, the whole house and so forth.

Whatever your style – DIY or hire someone, paint is definitely something to consider!

Still not sure? Scroll down and you’ll find a series of befores and afters and DIY paint jobs to get you inspired and thinking HAND ME A BRUSH or LET’S HIRE A PAINTER STAT! And of course if you’re stuck, need clarity on where to start and prioritise those decisions, schedule a session with us anytime (just click on the “You’re ready” calendar link below).

OhHappyDay’s Dining Room Revamp:


oh happy day before dining room


oh happy day after dining-room1

Emily Henderson’s living room – painted ceilings and railings:


Emily Henderson before Living-Room

After:emily henderson after living room paint

Anna Dorfman’s Whole House but let’s feature the radiators here because it’s something really simple and all you need is $28 of spray paint:


This kitchen


kitchen before


kitchen after

This cosy dark bedroom

cosy dark bedroom

This door

painted door

This office:

office space

These stools:

Coral painted stools

These dip-dyed spoons:

dip dyed diy spoons

This Ikea Storage

Ikea hack entrance piece


Off you go or give us a call…and if you want even more inspiration, check out our pinterest boards especially those on colour, the dark side and DIY home.

Related blogposts: Have fun with colour and Make Mistakes

Have Fun With Colour

This week’s #happyhouserules is all about having fun with colour!

Whichever part of the colour spectrum you’re on, adding (or removing or changing) colour is a very quick way to change up a space and atmosphere. And it’s fun!

rachel castle living room

Do you like colour? Are you afraid to use it? Or are you the person that splashes it everywhere, all over their wardrobe, accessories, walls…

I had a big shock last week when I looked down at my personal instagram feed and realised how colourful it was! And then I took some pics of my home and realised it was colourful there too. Perhaps I didn’t realise because in my head I have white walls, light wooden floors, white sheets, white & grey towels…I have a neutral base but there are a lot of colour pops. I guess over the last years I’ve let go to experimenting with colour via art and fabrics (I’m a pillow obsessed lady ;)) and hadn’t realised how colourful it had gotten over here.

I realised that while my home is still relaxed and calm like I like it, but there’s a whole lot more colour here and it makes it a whole lot more fun to be in.

colour kitchen

Have a quick look around your space. Are there some corners that could do with some colour infusion?

The solution: Add something bright and sunny like a yellow. Paint some walls. Buy new happy colourful linen or towels. Or fun napkins and accessories. Want to go all out? Be inspired by Joy of Oh Joy, Rachel Castle and Interior designers Ghislaine Vinas and Emily Henderson, to name a few.

Colour need not be bright. It can also be used to create a moody broody space. Look to add rich dark colours and textures. Abigail Ahern has great examples.

Or dip your toe in tentatively with some low commitment items, a bunch of brightly coloured flowers, colour code your books and add a simple poster or pillow.

colour code books © ghislaine viñas interior design losfeliz

Whatever your feelings, we’d love to challenge you to have fun with colour this week! Be bold and show us what you’re doing by tagging us @apartmentdiet #happyhouserules #colour on Instagram or emailing us your pics so we can feature them.

And go on, have some fun with colour!

PS If you are someone who loves colour, a good tip borrowed from Emily Henderson, paint your walls white or grey, to give your colour a way to shine, rather than overwhelm.


image inspiraton: 1 / 2 / 3

Shop the house

lampshade DIY before and after


A fancy way of saying use what you have but much more fun, “shop the house” is a real way to change your room(s) without spending a cent. I was short on cash a while ago but still wanted to “finish” all the bits and pieces in our home that still had to be done.  The above quick lampshade DIY was a result of shopping my house and finding a broken lampshade and bits of remnant fabric from an old set of curtains I had shortened a while back. Add some wire and voila, a solution for the ugly bare lightbulb. It was “good enough” until we could afford something nicer!

“Shop your house” also ties in nicely with our Happy House Rule of movement – moving things around to keep your home looking fresh for your eyes (as we stop seeing things that remain in the same place after a while).

I’d been searching for the “perfect” couch for a long long time and we had nothing to sit on (which in hindsight is a little crazy really) so I decided that the garden furniture could come inside for a while as it was winter anyway … it was actually a great move as it helped me decide the size, style and proportions that I need – hopefully one day I will be able to afford that too!



So next time you think your room is missing something, before rushing online or going shopping, have a quick look around your home – it’s more than likely that there is something you already have that just needs to be relocated.

Happy shopping!

PS It’s also worth letting others know what you are looking for as it may well be something they are looking to let go – friends, family members etc have been known to let you shop their homes too!

Estelle’s Bedroom Before & After

estelle's bedroom after
As we are focusing on ‘le boudoir’ this week, it felt like a perfect time share before & afters from one of our first ever Apartment Dieters Estelle:

“Our bedroom was the most important space to get right. I needed a place I could snuggle in at the end of the day and feel totally at peace.

The Apartment Diet course made me address my embarrassing corners of mess in our apartment. It gave me the inspiration to conquer them and create a more calm and soothing space that I love being in!”
Like for so many of us, the bedroom had become filled with piles of washing, things that needed to be done, things that needed a new home, pictures that needed framing etc. All very ‘normal’, but it was no longer working…
“We were also expecting our first baby and needed to plan how to fit him into our 1 bedroom layout. Apartment Diet was totally necessary in forcing us to create a clutter-free space for our entire family to share for the next couple of years!”
before after bedside

e before after bedroom corner

The result I think you’ll agree is very calm & soothing.

Thanks for allowing us to share your bedroom transformation Estelle!

We hope this inspires you! It certainly inspired us.

Is your Bedroom a place of “rest & romance”?

How would your bedroom look if you (re-)designed it for rest & romance?
bedroom designed for rest and romance happyhouserules apartmentdiet

“Sometimes we forget about the bedroom, we concentrated our effort in our living room, dining, but the bedroom is our sanctuary, the place where you can have a great sleep zzzzzzz” – @1happymess

I’ve spent the last few years making our bedroom calm and empty except for some pretty things to wake up to like art, small bedside tables and a lamp each.

What’s your opinion on technology in the bedroom?

Over a year ago I took it a step further and banned our phones & electronics from the bedroom too arguing they were counter to restful sleep (and distracting, plus they also emit little lights that I’m convinced disturb us).

FYI: while this change was relatively seamless because we both like watching TV etc on our couch, it was not without argument. For the first 2 weeks my Mr would bring his phone in every night and I got mad…until I finally asked him “Why?”. He grumbled that he gets up earlier and didn’t want to stumble 20m out of the bedroom to turn it off. “Oh?” I said and I bought us an old school battery powered, no light emitting, alarm clock. Argument over.

OK, that’s technology but what about those piles that well, pile up, you might ask?

Is your bedroom the household’s storage unit?

bedroom piles apartment diet

From our work with clients (we’ve seen a LOT of bedrooms), we’ve also understood that for many of us the bedroom can become a storage unit.

We get how it happens. Most of us want the public spaces to be neat when people come over, so somehow stuff just lands in our bedroom. We’re here to help you with some solutions. One part of that is to decide to make your bedroom about rest & romance. Sleep and sex/intimacy. That means no ‘not done’ piles that weigh on your head when you sleep.

Don’t be upset if it is. Let’s do something about it, together, with some of our Happy House Rules.

Do you have 5minutes? Take it and start into those piles. Just start small and repeat…over the next week. Then come up with ways to ensure ‘everything in its easy place‘ & letting go.

before after apartmentdiet client

I decided to stop using the bedroom for stuff that doesn’t have a home.

Right now ours doesn’t have many piles (except for two pieces of art that I want to hang) and it’s deliberate.  Where does our ‘extra’ stuff go’? Pretty much everywhere else. I make sure we have a lot of storage. We have a few pieces that are in a storage garage and we use our flat’s public spaces & the top of closets and shelving in the bathroom/laundry area to keep our excess stuff. I have a hamper in the bathroom. It seems to make it easier to get rid of things.

I KNOW the reality is our bedrooms often seem like the only place we can put surplus stuff.

I just want to introduce the idea that they don’t have to be. I bet you’ll sleep a lot better, too.


So: How would your bedrooms look if you (re-)designed it with rest & romance in mind (and sleep & sex).  What would you change? Would you allow ‘technology’ or not? And would it make letting stuff go easier?

Let us know in the comments what you think – we’d love to hear your thoughts!

If this inspired you to act please email us before & after pics, we’d love to share them with the world…or join us on instagram and share your bedroom pictures and what changes you are making just use the hashtag #happyhouserules + @apartmentdiet.

Image sources: 1 / 2 / 34

Mel’s Living Room Rethink

mel bomba after 4

“What you have done for me is to ‘RETHINK’ my space. My space was beautiful in bits – which showed on Instagram but as a whole it wasn’t all together…you helped me with that. Now my living room has a sense of harmony.”

I’d been following Mel Bombardiere’s gorgeous feed on Instagram for a while. Like all of us I was thinking “Oh, what a gorgeous house she has” (read: envy, jealous, mmm love her style). Then one day she put up a picture of her kitchen (below) and started complaining about her living room and I was like “What? You?” and my second thought was “I can help you with that”.

So I asked Mel if maybe I could help and she emailed me with some pictures of her living room. “Ever since my rant about my living area I’ve been on a mission…. My biggest problem is making decisions and spending money”. “It’s a funny situation because I’m unsure of how I need help … but I’m keen to get my space sorted”.

This is the type of question that has us written all over all over it! Often there’s not enough money for new furniture or you’re stuck with what you want BUT that doesn’t need to be a limitation.
mel bomba before

Tip & I have been running our online courses for the last 2 years and have always wanted to do it as coaches 1 on 1 – you know go into homes and help people get started or resolve their challenges at home (around design, layout, clutter … or achieving a general feeling). We always thought it would work via email but we needed a guinea pig…and suddenly there was Mel based all the way over there in Australia!

So, over email I took Melissa through a process to get her clear on her goals which she established were “complete” & “inviting”.

First things first, we dealt with the living room layout.
mel before 2
mel bomba after 1
“One of our first conversations was about movement and how movement can help us see things in a different way – that helped me a lot! Moving the lounge and then living in the space for a week made me realize that the new spot brought a sense of harmony to the space – even though I had tried the lounge in that space before it didn’t work because I couldn’t see the space for what it could be – which leads back to our conversations.”
mel bomba after 3
“The biggest impact from our conversations was that they made me totally rethink my space.”
mel bomba after 2
Most importantly, it works for her and her family and feels good!
Not only that, the changes in the living room had flow on effects all around the house. Mel also changed her bedroom, created a kids corner and her husband built a gorgeous cubby in their backyard. Mel just emailed me to say Nina’s room is up next.

Thanks Mel for letting me into your inbox, life & home – and for being the best guinea pig ever!

PS Those of you joining our #happyhouserules project on Instagram will notice that one of our big rules is movement – Mel’s room changed by moving her couch and letting it sit there for a week…so go on, move something big!

Of course, if you want more personal help and someone to guide you through getting clear on what you want from your space and getting you moving using what you have… before you start spending tons of money on new storage or a new couch you may not need drop us a linenow that we know it works we’re offering this service globally… and in the meantime enjoy her transformation!


all images by mel

Cat’s Course Transformation

Sometimes we forget the work we do in the hurry of our day-to-day lives.

As part of our personal commitments to gratitude, celebrating our successes and being present in our own lives, we are revisiting some of our early course participants to share their transformations…and how it’s still transforming their lives.

Our first stop, Cat from Studio Hunting Bears.

Cat before


“From being a part time freelance designer and mother at home I was dropped into full time work with my hubs… less time at home meant I wasn’t able to clean and keep tidy as often and when I did it took forever. I was sick of dusting under and over excess stuff so really needed to declutter my house to declutter my brain!

After a knock on my proverbial, pink front door from the wonderful Tip & Nat, as well as being joined on the course by some amazingly lovely ladies I knew from IG, I embarked on my Apartment Diet journey. It was very refreshing to see peoples’ ‘real’ home photos, the problem corners, the messy sideboards with papers everywhere, the piles of laundry. Believe me it’s very easy to avoid posting these bits of your ‘real home’ on Instagram… especially when there are so many perfectly curated feeds. I’m guilty! So shoot me ha. The other thing I loved was being able to share my thoughts, ideas & suggestions with the other course participants to help with their issues and trouble spots. We all helped and learnt from one another and also learnt that we all strive for different things in our homes and that is what it’s all about. What’s right for one person isn’t necessarily what the next person wants.

My journey has only just begun and I plan to continue until my home is what we want it to be. Thanks ladies for all your help… You’ll never know quite how you came to the rescue at just the perfect time! X”

cat after


Thanks Cat for your generous words. So proud to have been a part of your room (and ongoing house) transformation!

You can read Cat’s full story & see more pictures here over on her awesome blog.

 PS Need a kickstart too? Our next course starts March 17th. More here

Spare Room

Slowly pulling together things for spare room—> baby room transformation xnat #apartmentdiet