Friday Faves: Ahhh It’s Almost Weekend

dive to the whirlpool

It’s been a week about light and lightness, so we thought we’d skip our little chat and invite you to take a lovely deep inhale and exhale.

Because hey, it’s almost the weekend!

xoTip + Nat

PS Don’t worry, we’re still sharing our favourite finds internet – check them out below.

norwegian house produces twice energy it uses

popcorn salad Roy Choi’s Furikake Kettle Corn joythebaker

Some fun:

kitchen makeover copper and mint

Some science:

eye maison derriere

Some trends:

Friday Faves: Some Light, Bright & Fun For The Weekend

Hey lovelies,

Somehow a second week of September has flown by and we’re celebrating! Tip’s well into her #sugarfreeseptemer – and lost weight, too! Nat had a curious thing happen. She went to ride her bike to the café, but realised she was actually more excited to ride her bike than about the café! She’s doing a little happy dance that finally her new habit has become automatic (and even fun!)…Yup, Nat’s a gal who’s started to like riding a bike! (She’s still in a little bit of shock about it too.) What new habit do you want to create that will make you feel happier and lighter?


We’re on the hunt for a new name

Shocked? Yes, we were too, but hey, we do practice what we preach…you notice you’re at a turning point…you can ignore or it or you can say OK, let’s turn, let’s ask for help, let’s do this with ease and grace if we can! It’s been coming for a while now…we realised we have outgrown what we started out doing. And while “Apartment Diet” will likely be the name of what we hope to be a very profitable ecourse / decluttering / downsizing / get lighter type services, what we do and who we are for our clients is now bigger than that. Two things that keep coming up are that we help people move (move on, move homes literally, change careers/exit planning) and lighten the load (the literal and subconscious weight that comes with things hanging over our heads and in our homes and bodies). We’ve been asking past clients and the universe and are also happy for you to weigh in. Drop us a comment or email us.

This week’s inspiration is designed to give you a visual and mental break from the images of fashion week, Maison & Object (bucket list: we’re there next year!), Kate Middleton or whatever else you’ve been bombarded with…and share some lovely gems from the internets.

Have a light, bright ans FUN weekend,

xo Tip + Nat

nectarandstone melbourne

DIY honeycomb table runner

top pins of the week:

polka dot wallpaper

…zebra hug to you all

Rugs, Rugs, Rugs: A Visual Feast

rugs on wallsTip spoke about rugs in our homes as this week’s #happyhouserule on Monday.

Today we’re trying something different – sharing a visual feast to illustrate this rug rule and inspire you in adding a rug/s to your home.

bedroom rug

layered aztec rugs

cowhide rug emily henderson

textured rug


bright round rug


The Animal Print Shop by Sharon Montrose

ikea rug kidsroom cool wallpaper

kitchen runner rug

cowhide rugs

So, …does this make you think about having a rug?

images: featured / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 /5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 /10

rug trends: overdyed persian rugs; layering rugs; cowhides and skins; hanging rugs on walls – part of a lovely larger weaving/loom/textile trend we are seeing going on like here

Are rugs an “absolute necessity”?


“A rug is 100% hands down … an absolute necessity in most rooms”

I saw this quote recently by Lucy Fenton and it triggered a strange response as I wondered if rugs were an “absolute necessity” in most rooms – it seemed like quite a bold statement to make.

Then I started thinking about my own home and quickly realised that I have a rug or mat in every single space except the WCs (’cause that’s just, eeew – I have a 5 yo old boy – say no more!).

So in practice, it’s something I do but hadn’t even realised that I do.

Why I do it is to add some texture, interest, colour or coziness to our wooden floors (particularly in the winter where they also add a layer of insulation). I love the feeling of stepping out of bed onto a rug, so it’s an absolute must in the bedroom for me.

I also suffer from a dust(mite) allergy so I need to have a rug in the bedroom to catch all the dust that is floating around our 100+ year old home.

Most people think rugs or carpet are bad for allergy sufferers but in my experience, so long as you clean regularly, they actually help keep a lot of dust grounded rather than floating about in the air making me sneeze.

I know that rugs are hard – they can be expensive and it’s difficult to find the exact right one … this is why I do have a love-hate relationship with rugs sometimes BUT what I have now shifted to is the idea of layering rugs.

Using a few small ones to add a bit of interest over a larger plain area rug, for example. Abigail Ahern recently wrote about this so I suggest you take a look at her post if you want to get the lowdown on layering rugs. A great example that still comes to mind is Jenna Lyons living room (below).  Prrrrr.


Just think of the floor as your fifth wall and spend as much time thinking about it as you might about the wall paint and art.

So, after some consideration, I would agree that rugs are necessity in most rooms.  They’re an easy way of transforming a space, especially if you are unable to paint or hang anything on the walls (like in a rental, for example).

I’m curious – do you use rugs and if so, would you say that they’re “absolutely essential”?

Join the conversation and also keep an eye out for a visual feast of rugs later in the week!



Image 1 / 2

Friday Favs: Change, New Seasons + RIP Joan

truth quote

Hey lovely folks,

It was a fast week for us with #backtoschool for our kids and Tip (lecturing at university)…and we’re also starting September with a more focused and excited front on Apartment Diet, the business.

The seasons are shifting and this week Nat reflected on our happy house rule: accepting “change is the only constant”. She adds, “I realised after writing it that I have a lot of work to do around letting go of control”.

We all have our own work to do on our homes, bodies, work and lives. And we practice what we preach, because we DO ask for help. We don’t do it alone. (Yes, of course it’s possible to do it alone, but that’s usually how we get stuck and slow ourselves down. “Ask for help” is also a big happy house rule for us.) …so when is a good time do this type of work? Well, RIGHT NOW is one of the perfect moments – as the seasons change so do we (naturally with the things we choose to do, our homes, our wardrobe etc BUT it’s also a great time to change some other things while we’re at it).

So Nat’s working on letting go of control a bit more and Tip has started her #sugarfreeseptember but what we really want to get back to is YOU:

If you’ve been in denial / are avoiding, or simply running on full in some spheres (like work, stress, exhaustion) and empty in others (creativity, inspiration, rest) and want to address this, we have 6 one-on-one coaching spots left for September and 6 for October. Alternatively, why not can pre-enrol in our eCourse end do the process yourself, in your own time, online.

Working with women (of course we also work with men, just less often it would appear), to create homes and lives they love, is what we do! We know how to guide you to make those shifts. And there is never a better time to start than now!

While everyone comes into our sessions with different goals, examples of the challenges we have helped resolve are:

  • all the responsibility (home and / or breadwinning) is all on you (no work-life balance)
  • home is too full and you don’t know where to start
  • moving / down-sizing
  • never felt at home and don’t ever invite guests around
  • merging of things: moving in with a new boyfriend/partner OR separating from a partner and letting go to start afresh
  • renovating and struggling with decisions
  • styling your space to sell / rent

For one-on-one coaching: Each package is 5 sessions over 5 weeks and costs $349. Like when you go to a personal trainer, the first session is powerful but usually we need regular guidance to make it stick, to get your home and life into the shape, so 5 weeks is the key to making new habits stick.

If committing to 5 sessions feels like too much, no problem. We offer a ‘dip your toe in’ $99 session where we help you find a corner of relief. And if you choose to continue, you pay $249 for the remaining other 4 sessions. Or you can pre-pay $97 and one of the first to join our tried-and-tested eCourse that will be going fully online, for you to follow our 5 weeks to creating a happy house process in your own time:

Work with us to create a home and life you love.

And now…enjoy these lovely links to take you into what we hope is a wonderful weekend,

xoTip + Nat

“Listen, I wish I could tell you it gets better, but it doesn’t get better. You get better. ” –  Joan Rivers
RIP Joan rivers – thanks for reminding us to say it like it is (though Tip would add “be honest but make it come from a place of love”)
scandinavian apartment love

the proper way to set a table – visualized

kids room rope ladder

every kids room needs a rope ladder (or any room really)

diy safari gift tags (below)

diy safari gift tags

some genius invented “brookies” (brownie – cookies)

smashed potatoes

amazing textile wall hanging
Trend alert (well it’s been going on for a little while now but we still love it, especially if it’s Jacqui Fink’s knitting!): rugs on walls: above + here
This home improvement ad (video) – aaawww. Even though it’s an ad, it’s definitely an example of how changing your space can change your life

Happy weekend!

PS If you are still intrigued by our coaching offer for you email us and our VA Elizabeth will answer your questions and schedule you in.

If you know someone who you think would love our services, we’d love you to pass on our details, too. And yes, you can always gift us to someone!

Friday Faves: Art + Inspiring Goodies

She designed a life she loved

It’s Friday again (how did this happen so quickly this week??) and we’ve been all about art this week (see here, or use our art pinboard for inspiration) – and having you show us you art collections too!

If you’ve noticed we’ve been a bit quieter than usual on social media you’d be right. We’re busy behind the scenes preparing for our business new year (September here we come) and have a lot of ideas and things to share, plus new coaching packages, ecourses and more in the coming months.

In order to focus, Tip + I have been making a ton of space in our homes, closets and lives (Tip even quit lecturing in finance!) to leap fully into Apartment Diet – we are literally practising what we preach as we open for business even wider and clearer, and ready ourselves to spread the magic of all we’ve been learning and teaching the last years in big ways. Creating / designing happy healthy homes is a vehicle for real, lasting change and it’s a hell of an awesome magical ride!

Importantly, we are focused on sharing what we know and because of that, we are also only offering a limited number of 1-1 coaching places every month to people who are ready so we can ensure we deliver the results we’ve been giving our test clients the last year.

Stay tuned here, sign up to our newsletter (on the right) or follow us on instagram for announcements large and small in the coming months.

And now, let’s spread some prettiness, check out below.

Happy weekend!
Nat + Tip



What better artist than nature herself? Angus Ritchie and Daniel Tyler’s gorgeous cabins in Scotland are coated with mirrors, reflecting the beauty around. (via Shareen)
Amazing art
Pinapples trend interiors megan morton
Pinapples (above) are still trending everywhere – be inspired to use them as 3D art / decor, wallpaper (see below) or you know, eat them ;)

girls bedrooms

Top pins of the week:

Our kids pinterest board was on FIRE…

This crib

These girls bedrooms + these boys bedrooms (curated by Life, Love + Hiccups)

Personalise your rental home via design sponge

this lovely home tour on design sponge (especially since the note above from the tour is exactly what we love to do – help you create homes that have your personality stamped all over them….and lives too!)
TDF-Bondi Dominique Brammah and Ashley Ryan House Tour
…and this gorgeous home tour on the design files for pretty much the same reason.
Also, the art and fun pattern mix! Lots of fun not taking itself too seriously going on over there.
This cake and while you’re at it, this gluten free white chocolate cake (below) too!
Gluten free white chocolate mousse cake and other food stories blog


Happy weekend!

Our Top 7 Unkillable Indoor Plants + The Ultimate Desk Plants

Apropos to our post on decorating with plants I promised you guys a list about our favourite air purifying, black thumb resistant, healthy lush unkillable indoor plants to which I’ve added my ultimate office plants.

Indoor Plants For Stress Relief Skinny Laminx Paradise Is Here

“The next time you’re feeling frazzled by the city, look around you for a plant…And for that moment, enjoy the gift of feeling paradise right there with you.” - Skinny Laminx Paradise is Here collection

So. Decorate your home and office with real, live plants.

Why did I add office plants? I suddenly remembered this email I received and answered earlier in the year:

Nat, What is the ultimate desk plant for work?

Time for a little desk transformation and office politics detox. – Tx C

So I rolled the two into one blogpost with a humongous title. Because decorating with indoor plants is a small change that makes a HUMONGOUS difference to our lives and is such an easy way to transform your home and office life!

Not only do living plants look great, I truly believe they make you feel better and relieve stress, which in turn will likely make your work better. They also have the power to transform a space (someone once called visiting my desk in a shared workspace “a refreshing greenhouse”). If that’s all too existential, well, they also purify the air*.

And if I’m not convincing enough, this happy house rule is backed by science. Even NASA agrees:

“NASA researchers suggest efficient air cleaning is accomplished with at least one plant per 100 square feet of home or office space.”

NASA Clean Air Study

For those of us spending way to much time in urban environments, I’d say that’s a reason enough. But just in case, let me bamboozle you with one more pretty picture:

Unkillable Indoor Plants tfad

Can you tell this is one of my favourite happy house (and office) rules?

So, without further ado here is my ultimate list of unkillable indoor green plants for your home and desk:

  1. Money plant / Golden Pothos: my fav. because it doesn’t need natural light or much water but looks good – the leaves are even heart shaped!
  2. Areca Palm: lush but recommended in lighter/brighter spaces
  3. ZZ Plant
  4. Mother in law’s tongue
  5. Peace Lily
  6. Fiddle Leaf Tree: I have it as 6 because it’s big. Like all the others it thrives from neglect, needs watering every two weeks and only needs indirect sunlight.
  7. Succulents: I love them, but recommend being careful with the spiky ones especially in office spaces ;)

In addition to being pretty and air purifying, all of these have the added benefit of being low maintenance and able to cope with a more than a bit of neglect.

Ultimate Office Desk Plant

So now you have no excuses. Use our list to go buy yourself a simple air purifying unkillable indoor plant. Or 3. And add living green to transform those corners in your home or office space.

PS Don’t forget to tag us on twitter/instagram @apartmentdiet #plantchallenge if you want us to see what you’re doing with plants + possibly feature you in our feeds.

PPS *For those wanting more inspiration and science on benefits of plants in the office, watch this TEDTalk “How to grow your own fresh air”.

Ah plants, you’re awesome!

Images:  1 / 2 / 3

TGIF: Friday Inspiration, Yummies + Link Pack

pineapple-boat the house that larsbuilt

TGIF! Don’t you just want to dive into this pineapple boat ?!

Somehow it’s August 1st and this week flew by with Tip coming back from a lovely week away and me taking some rest and distracting myself from the situation here in Tel Aviv with some great client work. We’re re-focusing our business so that we have a business model that works and allows us to do what we love – work with you all to Design & Create Happy Healthy Homes.

We spent the week on our #happyhouserules: The Power of Paint and some DIY paint tips. Folks are playing along with us over on Instagram: Join us & say hi! And of course, here’s some of our favourite links and inspiration from the internet this week.

Kidsroom bunk beds girls by kronprinsessene

Favourite Pins

Our Kids Board was on FIRE this week especially these kidrooms: this and this gorgeous girls room above

Also loving this great kids linen by Feliz


gummy bear popsicles

Goodies + Links Gummy bear popsicles anyone?

Pineapples & summer fruit are STILL trending – like Jennifer Loiselle’s collection, this t-shirt + Tip’s new hall pineapple-ish chandelier

Live with a cat? Emily’s cat friendly design tips are for you (for pet + cat owners everywhere)

In case you’re don’t want to paint, here are 10 ways to add colour without paint Justina’s thoughts on being called an interior designer resonated with me because like her while we help people to create happy healthy spaces our primary training is more change and process focused: with a lot of other formal and informal education in coaching, design, teaching, business, finance and more. While Tip is doing an interior design course but it’s not our main background. What we do have a lot of experience in is helping people make real changes, finding their own styles, creating spaces that feel great and doing the real work to deal with their stuff and cementing strategies to organise and manage their homes…and working with them to make changes that last.  Lots to ponder on but would love to hear your thoughts on this too!

Hem: Accessible beautiful design yes please!

How to make perfect hardboiled eggs: Works everytime

Avocado, spinach & mozarella pizza: I’ll make it this weekend (or next week if I’m too lazy)

TGIF + a happy weekend folks, nat (& tip)

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,

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