Hanging Planters


When I saw this month’s theme for Urban Jungle Bloggers I got a bit excited as I thought it would be a great reason for me to get my craft on and create my very own hanging planter … well, February whizzed by and besides spending the last week painting my attic floor, no other house relating things happened! I DID go to IKEA (on Valentine’s Day no less – so romantic!) and picked myself up a number of new plant friends, including … wait for it … a hanging planter and little vine thingy, ‘just in case’:

File 26-02-15 22 36 23

I quite like it, I have to say. Let’s see how long it survives, as I am not known for my green thumb. I never let it stop me though, I just buy new plants when the old ones die!

Continue reading…

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

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!

Advent time of year

amm blog advent calendar idea 2


As we near December I’ve also got advent calendars on my mind…I keep saying each year that I will do something so the kids can enjoy this lovely tradition in the run up to Christmas but I have yet to do it. This year will be different (she says). So, a couple of pictures via a merry mishap from last year to start getting me inspired to try my hand at a little advent DIY. What are your traditions around this time of year?

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Mini Trend – Raw/Unfinished Wood

I’ve been noticing a lot of raw/unfinished or any other kind of wood popping up in the interiorsphere lately so thought I’d do a little roundup of ideas – because we all love a roundup, don’t we?

Some inspiration from the Amsterdam Woonbeurs earlier this month:

woonbeurs 101woonideeen woonbeurs barn 2

woonbeurs barn woonbeurs barn 3

You could try your hand at a plywood DIY (a desk or pegboard shelving perhaps):

Desk DIY peg board

Do your whole room like this small space storage awesomeness:

wooden bedroom storage darker

Or just bring in a few accessories here and there:

wood block side table raw wood accessories

Are you going to jump on this raw wood trend too? If so, let us know how (send us a pic – we’d love to see it!).

Pegboard Love

Love this pegboard in the current #insideoutmag. In the currently popular natural (ply)wood.

(Made by the Hornsby Berowra Men’s Shed.)

Chandelier DIY

Go check this DIY out at the LGN blog – it’s actually DIY heaven over there!  So many ideas, so little time …


quite possibly the coolest DIY ever. go @jennykomenda XO via