Three things a building inspection could tell you


Just as you would naturally take a car for a test drive before deciding whether to buy it, before purchasing a property you would not give a second thought to getting an independent building inspection, right? Given that buying a home, investment or business property is a huge financial outlay and commitment, it’s surprising that some people don’t use an independent building inspector who has no ties to the vendor or agent.

Using inspectors recommended by vendors and agents raises the risk of conflicts of interest and arguments over the veracity of reports. If you are borrowing funds to buy the property, the bank will need a building inspection to assess risk to their investment, so it’s best to hand them a report you trust.

Even when considering to sell your property, you can organise an inspection to warn you of any issues that might reduce your property’s value or make it hard to sell. Here are some key things that the inspection can tell you:

1. Structural Integrity

Unless you intend to demolish the building and start afresh, it almost goes without saying that structural integrity is paramount in any domestic or residential building. Ensure your building inspector thoroughly checks and reports all support structures for deformities and damage caused by the elements, ground movement, mould and pest infestation. As a seller, you will find out what (if anything) you need to do to increase the value or saleability of your property. Or, as a potential buyer, the structural integrity assessment will help you to avoid any nasty surprises.

2. Robust Pipes And Drains

Pipes and drains carry the lifeblood of a building, circulating fuel and essential fluids while quietly removing waste. Often, a problem can lurk undetected for a long time and only become apparent at the most inconvenient of times. As a seller, a detailed building inspection should uncover problems with your pipes and drains, allowing you to make repairs before it’s too late. As a prospective buyer, on the other hand, you will be forewarned and forearmed, helping to inform your buying decision.

Repairing blocked or leaky water pipes and drains doesn’t necessarily mean excavation or destruction. Drain and pipe repair professionals such as Nuflow Technologies use non-destructive methods to clear blockages and repair cracks and leaks while protecting against further damage and preserving the value of your property.

3. Pest Nests

Pests such as termites, rodents, cockroaches and possums are not only unsightly and sometimes noisy; they can also damage a building’s structure or create serious electrical hazards. Termites, also known as white ants, can slowly chew away at timber frames and supports. And repairs can be frightfully expensive. Rodents, meanwhile, have a well-earned reputation for gnawing through the insulation surrounding electrical wires. Although they usually come off second best upon reaching the copper, sometimes they satisfy their appetite for PVC and avoid a shock, leaving exposed wires behind and creating the risk of fire. A thorough building inspection should identify damage initiated by pests, enabling you to make decisions on further action.

The best way to be sure is not to risk it!

Image from here.

Six ways to bring summer fun to your home


The long, hot days of summer provide the perfect opportunity to throw open the doors of your home and welcome visitors for a season of sharing and entertaining. It’s also a chance to embrace the great outdoors and bring that relaxed, tropical lifestyle to your home. If you’re looking to make the most of the long days of summer, here are five additions to make your home a perfect summer oasis.


Patios have become hugely popular in recent years, with patio designers and builders such as Altec specialising in designing outdoor areas perfectly suited to the home. Patios provide an outdoor area that is shaded from the sun and protected from the rain. Useable all year-round!


Nothing says summer quite like an outdoor barbecue with friends, and nothing sets the scene quite like a deck. Decking is a great addition to any home, adding a resort feel and extra living space. While decking is a good go-to option for multi-level homes, it’s not confined to raised properties and can even be incorporated as a garden feature when used as a separate stand-alone destination in the yard.


A gazebo positioned strategically in the garden can add a great focal point for your backyard, and also provide a fabulous destination for entertaining or relaxing. By adding a gazebo to your pool area, you can create a resort feel, perfect for afternoon drinks by the poolside.


Careful landscaping can transform any backyard into a beckoning oasis. By planting a mix of shade trees and creating regions in your backyard, you can turn your backyard from a standard suburban block into an inviting retreat from day-to-day life. The best landscaping is based on creating points of interest in the yard, such as a series of small rooms.


When it comes to ultimate ways to beat the heat, the good old-fashioned swimming pool is the quintessential big ticket addition to your property. Should you have the budget, the climate and the space, a pool can add solid lifestyle and monetary value to your property. Even in small backyards, a plunge pool can provide a great place to cool off and dip your toes as you enjoy a hot summer’s afternoon.

Water Feature

If a pool is a little beyond your means but you crave the tranquillity of water, then a simple water feature can add life to your home as well as a touch of Feng Shui. The sound of running water or the calm reflection of a small pond provides a cool allure so often sought after in the heat of summer.

Summer is the perfect season to enjoy all that your home has to offer, both inside and out, and to share that enjoyment with family and friends. With a few simple additions you can create a resort feel that will have you clamouring to head home, kick off your shoes and simply sit back and relax in the comfort of your own space!

Image from our Pinterest page here!

My tour of The Block 2015!


How fortunate was I to be invited for a personal tour of the 2015 The Block ‘Blocktagon’ and meet the couples of the show themselves?! And they were exactly how they come across our TV screens – funny, playful and normal people (surprise, surprise!).

I was there to check out the newly renovated kitchens but I couldn’t help but eye off the rest of their apartments! More on that soon!

With only four points dividing the winners and fifth place, all the kitchens scored extremely well in the much-anticipated (and dreaded?!) ‘Kitchen Week’. Kitchen design specialists from The Good Guys Kitchens worked closely with the couples to create five completely different looks.

“We had to work with the couples to ensure the look and feel of the kitchen was a reflection of their overall vision for their apartment, and this required close consultation and creative planning to make the most of the building’s unusual spaces,” said Julie Hanover, kitchen design expert at The Good Guys Kitchens.

“The results really speak for themselves, and the amount of fantastic storage solutions, soft close inclusions throughout and top of the line appliances from The Good Guys, these are some of the best kitchens we’ve ever seen on The Block!”

Kingi and Caro took out the coveted title of Kitchen Week winners, with their Good Guys Kitchen scoring a huge 29/30. Judge, Neale Whitaker, scored the couple a perfect 10, describing their urban style kitchen as “the hero of the apartment”.

Their colour scheme is bold yet timeless, matching their overall apartment look. It featured contrasting cabinetry colours of Matt Black and Serene, which Neale Whitaker referenced:

“It was not that long ago when the judges all thought a black kitchen was a big risk, but today this feels totally appropriate”.

The benchtops in Silestone Zeus together with Kingi’s rendered island added depth and texture while the graffiti-style artwork on the island bar introduces the couple’s signature artistic element to the space.


Coming in a very close second by half a point with a score of 28.5/30, Dean and Shay created a contemporary entertainer’s kitchen in their penthouse with an on-trend colour palette of black, white and timber grain with brass and copper accents. By moving their kitchen to the other side of the building to the other couples, it has a different feel altogether and importantly, it has a butler’s pantry! Their mirrored splashback and vertical garden bring the outdoors in, with their long bench under the window capitalising on the north-facing space and city views.



Next was Ebony and Luke who scored 27/30 for their contemporary classic kitchen. They blended classic and contemporary just like in the rest of the apartment by pairing classic white Shaker-style profile doors with contrasting shadow line details. In fact, they had black timber and copper handles imported from Europe to be the star of their space. The Silestone island benchtop in Ariel was cleverly angled to complement the irregular shape of the room and by removing a wall, Ebony and Luke opened up their room, making it more spacious and inviting.


In fourth place scoring 25.5/30 was Whitney and Andy with their Scandinavian-inspired kitchen. My favourite element was their huge black Seg freestanding oven, which added serious industrial edge to the space. Their palette of white, grey and timber grain was fresh and for the first time on The Block they used an inverted sharknose profile benchtop by Silestone in White Storm, which contrasts with the marble-inspired island benchtop in Lyra. Their herb garden cut into their island was a fun touch too!


Finally, Suzi and Vonni’s kitchen, which scored 25/30, was sleek and moody, just like the rest of the ladies’ apartment. It featured all the bells and whistles, including a large island with built-in Bosch induction cooktop and expansive prep space. Matt black dominates throughout with the Silestone benchtops providing contrast and adding a sense of luxury. Particularly noteworthy is the thin 12mm top in Carbono with its metallic effect, integrated sink and metallic effect, befitting this show-stopping kitchen.


For more information on The Good Guys kitchens and for expert advice please visit

The divine Circa Home (and its new limited edition Christmas collection!)


I need a stronger word than ‘love’! The Circa Home candles are seriously heavenly.

The Australian brand says it is ‘reminiscent of a bygone era, a special time, a captivating memory’, which is fitting of course as fragrances are a key way to evoke memories of people and places from the past.

Circa Home sets itself apart from many other candle brands, with its products being made from non-toxic soy wax, using lead-free cotton wicks and containing natural ingredients, while their jars are reusable and recyclable. I love their timber lids too!

And now, Circa Home has brought out its Christmas collection. Oh my! Think mulled wine, apples, berries and rhubarb, and you’ll start to get a feel for the limited edition fragrances.

I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on the DIVINE ‘Red Spiced Pear’ candle. It’s so festive and reminds me of my childhood Christmases in England where we’d circulate the neighbours’ homes after morning church for minced pies!

Here are some of Circa Home’s gorgeous Instagram (and re-gram) images (follow Circa Home here!)…

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The new top five cafe interior trends


The brunch scene is making leaps and bounds around the country, as cafes serving haloumi and bacon, smashed avocado, sugar-infused milkshakes and acai bowls continue to pop up on every corner. The food is great and the caffeine hit is welcomed with open arms, but it’s the café designs that really get people talking.

As breakfast and brunching becomes more popular, we are seeing cafés pull out all of the stops to create a lively and welcoming dining area that patrons simply can’t resist. Café owners are increasingly joining forces with specialist shop fitters such as TU Projects to design a space inspired by modern café trends that works well for customers and the business.

Here are five of our favourite café design trends right now!

Flora galore

Nothing sings spring like fresh blooms and a splash of colour. Flowers and plant life have been making their way into local cafes for some time now, adorning the tabletops, service counter, and front doorway of every humble café spot. We’re not talking about the bouquets you can pick up at your local supermarket, we’re talking about curated bunches filled with in-season blooms and greenery, all in the same colour palette of course. Some cafes are taking this to a whole new level and incorporating a leafy feature wall or vertical herb garden into their space to create an outdoor oasis that can be enjoyed all year round.

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Untraditional seating arrangements

Like plant life, untraditional seating arrangements have become the norm when you think of sidewalk cafes, especially those with an alfresco dining area. The plastic restaurant chairs of the 2000’s are gone, replaced by funky seating arrangements such as long bench seats, mismatched antique chairs, padded milk crates, colourful cushions and high bar stools.

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Open kitchen

Perhaps inspired by the concept of sharing food in the home, commercial café kitchens have followed suit and switched their kitchens to an open plan design rather than a hidden shack out the back. Many cafés and restaurants have adopted the ethos of bringing the kitchen into the café and making it a feature of the space, and it seems to be getting a huge tick of approval from diners who like to see where their food is being prepared.


Statement pendant light

Oversized and geometric pendant lights are in the spotlight when it comes to interior trends in the home, and cafes are no different. Opting for gorgeous droplights over each table, instead of florescent lighting, creates a stylish feature throughout the café and also sets an ambient mood for evening diners.
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Clashing textures

Last but not least, clashing textures are a café design trend that will only continue to get more popular as we move into the summer months. Instead of creating interest with colour and patterns, cafes are opting for a minimalist approach and creating detail with clashing textures. Think up-cycled wood tables, concrete, copper fixtures, marble bench tops, intricate iron bars, crisp white shelves and shaggy pillows. The possibilities are endless when it comes to clashing textures for interior prowess.

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Images from our Pinterest page, here!

6 month catch up with Fazeek!


I featured the sassy metallic napkins of Melbourne’s Fazeek in April. Now, 6 months on, founder Jackie Fazekas is smashing goals left, right and centre. I can’t help but feel proud of and excited for Jackie seeing her business grow from inception to ‘officially killing it’!

Jackie started with linen napkins and has now expanded into aprons, cushions, table runners and tea towels, along with plenty of custom orders!

Fazeek’s first client was South Melbourne’s Lume where Jackie created their very own custom aprons and napkins! And don’t get me started on the custom napkins in white and pink that Jackie designed and hand painted for The Style Co (top image in this post). Talk about a dream job!

Also, Jackie has a new website and spot on product photography – take queues anyone else looking at taking your business to the next level.

Explore the full range here and follow Fazeek on Instagram and Facebook too! And take a look at Fazeek’s latest products, with the gorgeous food shots below shot by the very talented Melanie Lionello of Naturally Nutritious.
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Interview with print queen Kate Fenning of Yorkelee

Prints make artwork accessible for all budgets, AND they’re so much fun! As someone who gets buyer’s ‘freak out’ after dropping my hard-earned coin on expensive items, prints are my best friend! And if you’re print-obsessed like me, I have a treat in store for you.
We have an exclusive interview with Kate Fenning – the founder of Yorkelee Prints, a.k.a the store dominating the print space here in Australia! With 50k followers on Instagram alone, Kate Fenning sure knows what prints are in! And her prints are super reasonable – I’m talking $7 up people!
Take a read of the story behind this successful Australian business and Kate’s tips for introducing prints into your home. And, Kate has generously given us a discount code for 20% off her entire store! Simply enter VIP20 at checkout!
What made you decide to start Yorkelee?
I started Yorkelee after having Yorke (my first son). I had worked in the advertising industry for over 15 years and wanted a break. I didn’t want to go back full time and just loved spending time with Yorke at home and was really after work life balance. I started contracting to clients from home in design and marketing services and was doing some art and design for styling around my own home. I couldn’t find many affordable prints around that worked in with my vision for our house and my boys’ rooms so I decided to design my own. Friends and family went nuts asking for some for their places so eventually I designed and developed the website to make it easier for everyone to select the designs they wanted. Before I knew it, I had an overwhelming amount of orders; I was on Instagram and Facebook; and had people wanting to interview me on blogs about interior styling! It was a total dream to be able to start designing and create art that others liked and wanted, it really all started out from my need to fill a gap.
Why prints?
I decided prints because I wanted it to be affordable and easily changeable for customers. I think prints are such a great way to change the shape of a space in seconds. I’m all about affordable design so I wanted everyone to be able to afford our prints. I really believe that everyone should have the opportunity to have a beautiful, stylish home they dream of, so this was my way of helping people achieve that.
Do you have any favourite prints?
My fave prints, oh there are so many, most of our prints were initially designed for spaces in our house so they really do mean a lot to me. It’s so hard to choose! Rose premium – which is one of our new prints from the premium collection – is a new fave of mine. Dreamer, one of our home prints was created by using ink and my handwriting. I remember doing it on our kitchen bench and thinking “I love this”! I’m also really into our abstract range. Expressions is such a diverse, trendy piece of art, I also love Stunner, she is just beautiful.
Tell us your best tips for choosing and hanging prints in different rooms!
1. Work out what style you want to go for in each room/space before choosing art prints. Once you work out the style, choosing the prints is easy! For example if you want minimalist, monochrome, you would choose something like the Dreamer print or one of the custom letter prints in a large size like A2 or A1. If you want bold, artistic, creative look and feel you might select something like our Wild, Geo Pastel or Expressions prints.
2. Plan your wall out first before hanging, step back and look at your space, map out where everything is going to go before you start hammering, trust me… this is coming from someone with a million holes in all my walls : )
3. Measure out your space, even if you like to just wing it, it’s always better to mark where you want each print to hang and measure the frame and space to make sure it is going to look exactly how you imagined it. Often frames have hooks on the back that sit below the top of the frame, so you might think it will hang off the top, but it doesn’t and it can totally change the space if you hang the print too high or too low.
4. Get creative with your frames. You don’t have to go for the same style of frames that everyone else has. I have found so many amazing old frames at garage sales, second hand stores and even the reject and dollar shops, look everywhere, you might be surprised at what you find. Also look into different materials you can use. There are some great print hangers now made from wood, they clip onto your prints using magnets at the top and bottom and look amazing! You can also tape up prints with washi tape or even use frames without glass. Look on Pinterest for ideas and get creative!
5. Personally I like two kinds of styles in my rooms, the first being one BIG feature print, go large, on a nice big wall (don’t put a big feature print on a small wall, it makes the space look smaller). Make sure it’s the feature and placement is key when it’s a really big print. The second is a gallery wall, love them, lots of different size prints in frames (or without taped up) to create a visually interesting feature in any room.1920350_1646528885623372_1692473126554798030_n 10247507_1641240169485577_7664069469678239653_n 10409563_1642230062719921_2076627338047688521_n 11231094_1648744368735157_7107047686316022601_n 11949374_1642559372686990_7876970206263871818_n 11953227_1648867902056137_465936908091293335_n 11988229_1641596632783264_5375876449226685130_n 12002981_1646265265649734_9153747115018304623_n 12003382_1648532382089689_49886722967642286_n 12006135_1646170128992581_8152818973253943304_n 12036464_1646570482285879_3315912465260560824_n 12036964_1647508328858761_8539694288796687463_n
A huge thank you to Kate for sharing her story and tips with getinmyhome. getinmyhomers – use your discount code here!

Four garden makeover ideas

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Like your home, your garden should be a sanctuary – a place to retreat to and enjoy some quiet time OR a fun space where you can host your friends. Ideally your outdoor space is another living area that reflects who you are, what you enjoy and the lifestyle you lead. So, to help you with a little outdoor sprucing, here are four garden makeover ideas that will allow you to make the most of your own great (or small!) outdoors.


Outdoor room

More and more of us treat our outside as an extension of our living area, which has given rise to the outdoor room. This entertaining area adds extra living area to the home, creating a seamless flow from the inside to outdoors.

Featuring a roof, barbecues, paving or decking, seating and wall art, the outdoor room is the perfect place to host a casual dinner or Sunday barbecue. If this space isn’t already provided, look into having a patio, pergola or pavilion added to your property.

These are the perfect addition, adding value and liveability to your home. Building companies like AdaptIt can design and create the right item to suit your home and garden.


Create interest

Regardless of the size of your backyard, there is always the potential to create an interesting space. Sectioning off your yard using plants, screening and seating adds intrigue, making even the smallest yard look huge.

The aim is to create different areas where you enjoy spending time. It might be a deck, raised garden beds, a tree with a hammock, or areas to perch and enjoy the yard from a different view. By screening and using plants of varying heights, your yard becomes a wonderland that begs to be explored.

Don’t forget practical items such as light and shade either. If you look to your favourite parks for inspiration, there are always areas to bask in the sun or seek refuge from its heat.

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Colour your world

We all know the value of colour inside the home, so why should the backyard be any different? By colour coding or using feature plants and hues throughout the yard, you can really tie the area together. You might consider extending your home’s colour palette into the great outdoors, or better yet take your lead from a feature tree and add either plants of similar hue or direct contrast.

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Have purpose

The best backyards consider the inhabitants of the home and reflect their needs and hobbies – think raised herb gardens for the avid cook, fabulous play areas and sandpits for children that meld into communal entertaining spaces where the adults can watch on.

Making over your backyard is about designing spaces and areas that work for you. For example, if you have a pool, a nearby seating area or zone where you can watch over it is perfect for supervising swimming while enjoying some hard-earned leisure. But don’t plant tall trees or deciduous plants too close or they’ll fill your pool with leaves.

Creating the perfect backyard is part practicality, part aesthetics and partly down to the lie of the land. But the ultimate outcome is a place where you enjoy spending time with your family and friends.

All images from getinmyhome’s Pinterest board ‘Outdoor Spaces‘.

Introducing NOD: environmentally friendly, artistic bedheads!

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What better way to launch a new business than with a photo shoot? The clever founder of Sydney’s NOD, Lauren Esplin, brought together a number of Australian designers for a bedroom inspiration photoshoot.

The photoshoot features the products and designs of celebrated homeware designers Kip & Co, Olli Ella, Milkcart, Bramwell Designs, Major Minor, One Two Tree and Staple & Seed and showcases NOD’s gorgeous range of environmentally friendly, hand-painted headboards.

The new patented design headboards are ideal for ensemble beds and feature fresh colours and patterns. Lauren says said her desire for a fresh bedroom inspired her new range of decorative modular headboards.

“I had a chunky upholstered headboard that sat on the floor behind our ensemble bed. I recently felt it no longer reflected my taste or suited our new bedroom linens. I also found it collected a lot of dust. My husband suffers from asthma and was constantly sneezing and snoring despite frequent cleaning. To find a creative solution to our problem, I decided to combine furniture design with my passion for art.”

Ms Esplin said her range of headboards, which are made from lightweight eco-balsa tiles, stick directly to the wall – saving valuable floor space.

I’m impressed to hear that NOD’s headboards ‘stick’ directly to the wall and can be removed and replaced as your linen and design preferences change.

Ms Esplin said her decision to collaborate with other designers on the launch was cemented when she read about big business stealing ideas from smaller designers.

“I wanted to connect with and showcase the work of some of my favourite local designers. There is a lot of talent in Australia, and with our weak dollar pushing up the price of exports, there really has been no better time to buy locally,” she said.

The shoot took place in Sydney at Switchboard Studio, St Peters and was styled by Lauren Esplin and shot by David Collins Photography.

NOD Headboards are available in all sizes to suit Australian-standard ensembles. Range includes designs for kids and adults, with prices starting from $159.

NOD Bermuda Headboard in Aqua Grey and Charcoal NOD Bermuda Headboard_closeup NOD Bermuda Headboard_detail NOD Circus Headboard_Kids Bedroom 2 interior design blog NOD Criss-Cross Headboard_closeup NOD Criss-Cross Headboard_prodcut image NOD Founder Lauren Esplin interior design blog australia interior design blog NOD Muse Headboard_Model 1 NOD My Spot Headboard_ Kids Bedroom 1

Why I love UGG Australia’s new homewares range


If I say the word ‘UGG’ to you, chances are one thing comes to mind: those comfy, fluffy moccasins that have become a national symbol here in Australia. So you might be surprised to learn that the footwear brand designs homewares too – and very stylish ones at that!

But before I share the new collection, I only just found out myself that UGG was founded on the shores of Southern California in 1978 by an Aussie surfer! The brand’s first flagship store opened in Soho, with stores now trading in Japan, China and Beyond. It has even collaborated on a capsule collection with the luxury footwear super-brand, Jimmy Choo along with Swarovski Elements® in 2009.

So why homewares? UGG Australia’s president Connie Rishwain said:

“Our longtime customers tell us there’s a feeling you get when you slip on an UGG boot or slipper – a combination of relief and utter comfort that is almost indescribable. We’ve translated that feeling of luxurious comfort into our first collection of UGG products for home.”

Striking a balance between the much-loved UGG comfort and functional yet stylish decor, the Home Collection launched in 2014.

Along with their classic homeware pieces (think beautiful woollen throws and cushions) the team has just launched its new summer collection (surely that means summer is not that far away?!).

A couple of my personal favourite pieces are the bamboo knit throws made of natural fibres and the huge sheepskin ‘Quarto’ rugs, which are a new take on the traditional sheepskin rug and are beautiful underfoot, or thrown over chairs or beds all year around.

UGG Australia’s new collection is in store now. Here’s where to find the store closest to you!


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Four personalised wedding gift ideas!


What can you give a couple on their wedding day that hasn’t already been given? Sure, if they’ve registered with a bridal registry, it’s easy – just pick a gift from the list, knowing that’s what they actually want. But what if you want to give something more original and personal? Here are five wedding gift ideas for every couple.

1. Engraved Photo Frame

Photo frames never go out of style, especially a really beautiful frame that has a meaningful phrase engraved into it – make it something that will resonate with the couple and what they stand for. The newlyweds be able to put a photo of their choice in it to remind them of their wedding day or any other special occasion they hold dear in their hearts. You can find plenty of original frames in online stores like Personalised Favours – often items you can’t find elsewhere!

2. Personalised Chopping Boards

Ok, so not every couple likes to cook, but they’ll have to do some kind of chopping at some point! An engraved wooden board or set of boards will make the task more enjoyable. They may even double as cheese boards for the entertainers. Get the board engraved with the couple’s names, wedding date, or whatever you think will resonate with them and they’ll have something a little more special than their typical wares in their kitchen.

3. Gift Baskets

Gift baskets are fun because you can fill them with items that you know the couple will enjoy – relating them to their hobbies or personalities. Find a pretty basket or tray, both of which are reusable, then fill with just about anything. If they couples are foodies, fill the basket with gourmet foods. If they are movie lovers, fill it with popcorn a couple of movies, and a throw they can snuggle under. Do they love coffee? Choose a selection of coffees with a classic Italian percolator. Be creative!

4. Personalised Glassware, Crockery and Appliances

As is the case with most weddings, a couple will probably receive several sets of glassware and crockery, not to mention appliances. To stand out, you can give them a set of glasses or crockery that have their names (or a message) printed on them, as well as on the lovely wooden box they’re kept in. Or for something really quirky, you can arrange for a toaster that is specially modified to toast bread with their picture on the bread slices!

There’s nothing better than buying a gift for a newly married couple and knowing they truly appreciate, and will cherish, what you give them. It’s even better when your gift has a personal touch to it, so they’ll know you really put thought and love into it.

Image from here.

Four ways to put that empty space to use!


Empty space – it’s something so many people crave! Empty space basically equals a blank slate, the opportunity to arrange things just as you want and to fully put your mark on the place. A truly empty space can be rare to find but minimalism is an enduring interior design trend.

To give yourself the opportunity to create the interior that you want, consider moving items into storage. At quality storage facilities such as Fort Knox Storage, storage units can be hired according to the amount of items you have and the unit size that you require. These storage facilities are clean, well-ventilated, secure and readily accessible (more info here!). Putting items into storage means that you can access items as and when you need them and even rotate the items that you have in your home or office without causing clutter or increasing the demand for storage space within your home.

So, how can you make the most of empty space?

1. Capitalise on the spacious, airy feel

One of the most wonderful things about empty or uncluttered space is that it feels airy and spacious. To keep this feel, be committed to not cluttering up the space and using furniture that serves a number of purposes. A good example of this is a stylishly upholstered ottoman that can be used for extra seating or a coffee table. If storage space is available within the ottoman, all the better!

2. Strategically arrange your furniture so that large items are positioned at the back

Situate large, bulky items of furniture away from the entrance to the room to preserve the feeling of spaciousness. The heaviest, boldest items should be placed on a wall far from the door with all other items of furniture arranged in a way that balances out the rest of the space. This approach helps to avoid the sense that furniture in the room is smothering you as you enter the space.

3. Use paint to your advantage

Try minimising the visual weight of a piece of furniture through camouflage. You can either paint the piece of furniture the same colour as your wall or possibly try painting the wall the same colour as the furniture piece. It’s a strategy that does work if you are serious about maximising space. When a wall and item of furniture are the same colour, your attention is not so easily drawn and the item of furniture no longer feels so intrusive or heavy. In the same way, paint can be used to hide or disguise other large, unwanted items such as fans and heaters that may only contribute to the visual clutter in a room.

4. Don’t give in to clutter temptation!

As excited as you may be about arranging furniture and styling your previously empty space, be committed to keeping surfaces clear and free from clutter. Of course, it’s unrealistic to think that space will keep the completely empty vibe, but clearing surfaces can give you great insight into the parts of the room that look better and create a better energy when they are empty.

To make the most of empty space and preserve the feeling of a clean, uncluttered environment, position items strategically, look for furniture which can serve a dual purpose, think about colour combination and be dedicated to keeping surfaces free from unnecessary clutter.

Image from here.

Bonnie and Neil’s new Winter Garden drop

The Melbourne-based Bonnie Ashley and Neil Downie have just released their new collection onto their online store. They say their ‘Winter Garden’ range is inspired by historical conservatory gardens with their mosaic floors, glass ceilings, tapestries and ornate framework.
The ‘Winter Garden’ collection features geometric designs, abstract florals, lush plant life, and the detailed tile patterns that the brand has become famous for.
Colours of rich emerald, indigo, ink and mustard feature strongly, and are great to see during these duller winter months.
Excitingly, Bonnie and Neil have als0 added ceramics to their range, helped along by the fab Robert Gordon Australia (check out RG’s copper jugs if you haven’t already – very slick!). I love that the ceramics are made from stoneware. It adds that bit more texture and weight. Talk about a good collaboration!
And, as with all Bonnie and Neil collections, spotto the cheeky bird or two.
Shop online here and check out the range below.
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The getinmyhome Mother’s Day 2015 gift guide


Mother’s Day is rolling around fast, and while I know none of us are fans of all the tacky, cheap nic nacs that flood the shelves for Mum, there are some quality, artisan products to treat the mother figure in your life with. I’ve chosen the favourites from my favourite designers and online stores, with a mix of budgets in mind.

Take a look…


This Mother’s Day Decoration Kit from Kikki K features pretty, Swedish deco-inspired paper flower, gift tags and paper ribbon. It’s a slick addition to your Mother’s Day gift and a nice price at $9.95.

Australian interiors blog

If your Mum likes muted tones and neat patterns, she’ll love this ‘Spring Sampler No 1‘ print by Etsy retailer Eloise Renouf. Eloise says the print is based on her textural drawings of leaf shapes. It features pretty shades like bubblegum pink, salmon, grey, tan and black on a stone-coloured background. Shop online for $45.94.

CREDIT- The Citizenry

One of my all-time favourite chairs is this Palermo Gold Series butterfly chair by The Citizenry. It’s in a gorgeous stone-coloured and lightly speckled cowhide with a tan underside. The chair has been handcrafted in Argentina and retails for a cool $875 (that will be one spoilt Mum!).


Let Mum put her feet up with these saddle bar and counter stools by West Elm. The swivel seats have a modern and clean aesthetic and feature pecan-stained legs and a choice of two upholstery options. They have a casual elegance about them and are taken from a mid-century design. From $369.


One of my favourite products on the market at the moment are these salt and pepper Bottle Grinders from Resident GP. There’s nothing else quite like them with the combination of ceramic, wood and rubber. You can even use them for pumpkin seeds, dried blueberries or nuts! Retailing at $129.95 in various colour combos, but these blush beauties are my pick.

Herbivore Botanicals Detox Bath Salts

Don’t we all wish we could run a bath and relax more often? Give Mum that extra incentive to do just that with these Detox Dead Sea bath salts by Herbivore Botanicals. The salts are infused with a blend of lavender and eucalyptus essential oils along with highly detoxifying Cambrian Blue clay. Snap one up for $18.

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These woven hemp rugs are a perfect way to update a space and add a sense of organic and relaxed styling. The Daisy Weave edition by Armadillo & Co is called just that because of the cute coiled ‘petals’ around the circular inner rug. Place it in the entrance hall, bathroom, living room or next to the bed for extra spring under your step. Crafted by artisans in India and retailing from $200.

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I’ve been a fan of Vice and Velvet ever since they popped up in the Melbourne West Elm store launch. The Melbourne-based company creates the most amazing body products, and I reckon they get bonus points for their photography, styling and delicious product names! Above is the ‘Blushing Phoenix Bathing Whip‘ – an exquisite blend of fresh lychee pulp, sweetened oolong tea and palmarosa syrup, emboldened with a drop of aged vetiver. And at $11.50, it’s a great value way to say ‘thanks Mum’!

Here’s to a loved-up day (or why not make it a weekend?!) of celebrating the mother figure in your life!

Interview with Geelong’s Boom Gallery: the city’s creative mecca


It’s a trend happening the world over: satellite cities and former industrial towns are being transformed by gutsy creatives who use affordable real estate to springboard their dreams. Such is the case in former industrial city Geelong where business partners Ren Inei and Kate Jacoby spent the past four years transforming a former wool mill into a gallery and creative hub. The result? A a multidimensional creative mecca.

Independently funded, Inei and Jacoby began their journey early 2011 with a set of keys and a concrete grinder. Step inside Boom Gallery and you could be mistaken for thinking you’re in Brunswick (Melbourne), Redfern (Sydney) or even Daikanyama (Tokyo). Polished concrete, custom cabinetry and light fittings are tellings of a space lovingly handcrafted by its owners.

Boom Gallery represents the changing face of Geelong and many small cities and towns around the world. Boom Gallery now houses a gallery, retail showroom, cafe, shared studios, education space, function space and later this year, an urban garden.

Inei and Jacoby have created an environment where artists from around Australia can showcase their work, whilst local creatives from Geelong and the Surf Coast can rent an affordable workspace, or grab a coffee and soak up the atmosphere. Still relatively undiscovered by non-locals, Boom Gallery is tucked away in a riverside industrial pocket that sits alongside one of Geelong’s most affluent suburbs.

True to form, Boom Gallery supports local artists and designers and watch as their careers progress. One of their most notable successes is emerging furniture designer Adam Lynch. Co-founder of award-winning design studio Lab De Stu, Lynch and his partners were invited to exhibit at Milan Design Week and National Gallery of Victoria’s Melbourne Now (2013).

Boom Gallery exhibits a diverse range of art and design including shows by Jeff Raglus, Ellie Malin, Jiri Tibor Noval and Glen Smith. Their buyers are loyal and enjoy Boom’s accessible pricing and relaxed atmosphere. Boom is akin to city galleries in its quality and passion, but distinctly laid-back – a luxury afforded by a slower pace.

I caught up with former teachers Inei and Jacoby, who were both born and raised in Geelong, about changing the face of their hometown’s creative offering.

Where do you go in Geelong for inspiration, the best coffee, the best creative wares (outside of Boom Gallery and The Dirty Rascal of course!)?

Geelong is ever-evolving and improving on all these fronts! When I get the chance, I go down to Swell cafe at Jan Juc for breaky followed by a cliff top walk to Bells Beach. In town I love to visit the Coffee Cartel Brew bar, with the best bookshop over the road – Barwon Booksellers. Also Fuel and King of the Castle for their excellent coffee. In terms of creative wares, I love a vintage treasure hunt, there are several great places to go…. Geelong Vintage Market, Brougham Street Markets, stacks of op shops… The Den Supply Co are relatively new and have a beautifully curated store well worth a visit.

How would you describe Boom Gallery’s impact on the local community?

We feel that Boom has had a significant impact. We have created a dynamic multi-faceted space that is different to anything else in our region. Through the gallery we have enabled many local artists and creatives to exhibit and sell their work, whilst the set up of Factory 21 has provided workspaces/studios to artists and creative professionals, contributing to the existing creative community of Rutland St (neighbours of the gallery/factory being a dance studio, commercial photographer, video production company, web designers, marketing agency….& more……). It is an exciting, mutually inspiring and supportive community. 

How would you describe the Boom Gallery buyer?

We have all sorts of people visiting and engaging with the Gallery, not a specific ‘type’. From the outset we wanted to create a space that was accessible (the opposite of intimidating, austere, precious) by incorporating a coffee bar into the centre of the gallery we have people popping in and out all day. Over the last few years we found a dedicated and enthused art audience with great responses to exhibitions and events such as artist talks/lunches and workshops. Customers looking for unique handmade design objects and jewellery have plenty of delightful things presented in our design store.

What has been your most proud moment to date relating to Boom Gallery? 

There have been a lot of highs over the last few years; lots of fantastic events and achievements.  I think the thing I am most proud of is the beauty of the physical space we have created. I still find the space captivating even though it is so familiar to me, knowing that we have achieved this through hard work, undertaking most of the physical work ourselves also makes me feel proud.

What are your future hopes and dreams for Boom Gallery?

We hope that Boom continues to evolve and grow possibly in ways we do not expect, as has been the case with our journey up to now. We are really excited to see our education space ‘The Workroom’ open in the next few weeks and see the timetable of art classes and workshops expand. The other major development for this year will be the set up of Boom Gardens (urban landscaping and permaculture display showcasing sustainable urban gardening practices). 

What are your online sources of inspiration?

My main online source of inspiration is Instagram, for its immediacy and networking potentials. I also tend to regularly check in on The Design Files for their range of stories & features (I enjoy the local aspect) and Broadsheet similarly. 

Boom Gallery hosts a monthly exhibition calendar and trades Monday – Saturday, 9am – 4pm where guests are invited to view the gallery, shop the retail space or visit on-site cafe The Dirty Rascal

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Images by Tom Ross.

Sassy metallic linen napkins from Melbourne’s Fazeek!


Anyone who loves greys, metallics and linen, I’ve got a treat for you!

Jackie Fazekas launched her linen napkin business Fazeek last year from her Melbourne studio. She hand paints each 100% linen napkin with her simple, modern and bold designs. Her designs add sass to the table setting and are large enough to be used as tablecloths if you like!

Jackie is soon to expand her range to include aprons, tea towels and cushions and even takes custom orders! Imagine having your own design hand-painted onto napkins for your wedding, baby shower or big birthday bash… or am I the only one that gets excited about things like that?!

Take a look at the full range here and follow Fazeek on Instagram and Facebook too.

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3 things to consider for turning your home into a rental property

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Are you looking at moving to a new house and wondering what to do with your current family home? Sure, you could sell… but more and more savvy individuals are now taking the investment route in situations like these. Maybe turning your family home into a rental property is the best thing to do once you’ve found your new residence. If you’re inclined to take this path, here are three things you should keep in mind.

1. You need professionals you can trust on your side

You better get used to dealing with agents! There are lots of them out there and they all want you to think they’re the best at leasing properties for investors. While you won’t have any trouble locating professional real estate agents who would happily take your property under their wing, it can be much more difficult to find one you can really trust. You should start by doing your research online. Sites like Local Agent Finder can give you a real advantage when sizing up different real estate agents. Then you can connect with the one who comes out on top when you compare, allowing you to skip the uncomfortable phase of dealing with numerous agents that aren’t a good match for you.

2. Is now the right time?

Some circumstances don’t give you the luxury of choice. A new job in a distant city, for example, means urgency is a priority. However, if your situation is more relaxed, seriously think about whether right now is the ideal time to be moving and leasing your home to renters. There are a number of factors to consider when making this decision. Some factors are personal (e.g. how your family feels about moving, how far away you’ll be going, and your current finances), while others are external forces, like current rent rates and the health of the property market. You should carefully consider anything that would influence your decision; you may discover that waiting a few months or longer might be a better option than taking action now. And, even if this isn’t the case, at least you’ll have peace of mind from knowing you’ve made a well-informed, calculated decision, rather than a spur-of-the-moment choice.

3. Does it need any work?

Perhaps one of the reasons you’re moving is because your current home doesn’t quite suit your family anymore. Whether you’ve outgrown the space or want more modern facilities, consider that these limitations could also restrict your potential rental revenue. While it may be tempting to rush out of your house and get it onto the market as soon as possible, it could actually work out better financially for you to renovate or add an extension before jumping ship. An extra bedroom or contemporarily styled kitchen can make a substantial difference to the rent you can feasibly charge.

These are just a couple of the things you should be thinking about if you’re considering turning your family home into a rental property. For more thorough and tailored guidance, nothing beats a one-on-one appointment with a property investment consultant.

<p>Has your decision been made yet? Will you definitely be hopping over to a new home, leaving your old one to send rent income your way? What are some of the things you’ll be taking into consideration between now and moving day? Share your thoughts in the comments below.</p>

Image from here.

Stunning renovated Victorian townhouse for sale in Ballarat, Victoria


I love seeing the results of a renovation and this central Ballarat townhouse is no exception. The couple bought the townhouse a few years ago and set to work updating the home. The centrepiece is the modern, industrial-style kitchen, which now features a concrete benchtop, black textured splashback tiles and a trough sink. Another standout of the home is the very functional, modern workshop/studio at the bottom of the garden.

Here’s what the real estate agents have to say:

113 Dawson Street South Ballarat Central – Sexy Central Bungalow with Ultra-Modern Twist

This stunning Californian Bungalow is the epitome of class and elegance coupled together with position and style. Exuding the charm of yesteryear just one block off Sturt Street this central city Californian Bungalow has been meticulously refurbished both inside and out. From the gorgeous master suite with high ceilings, new carpet, paint and warm open fire to the stunning polished timber flooring in the hallway / entrance you will fall in love with this labour of love the minute you step inside. Featuring ultra-modern kitchen, renovated bathroom with massive shower and spa bath, this chic renovation has a modern sleek ‘Melbourne / warehouse’ feel with concrete benches, stainless steel appliances including Asko dishwasher and freestanding Italian 900mm oven and cooktop and raised flooring to set it apart from the open plan meals living room with beautiful views to the private rear yard. With so much more than meets the eye this home is a cut above the rest with paved outdoor alfresco, workshop, gorgeous manicured garden surrounds and open carport with remote access into the secure rear yard. But wait there’s more… the fitness fanatic will LOVE the separate purpose built Gym with built in floor mats and rack which could also make the ideal home office, studio, rumpus or sleepout. This truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy an exquisite central city home where all you need to do is move in and start living the dream.

Explore the home here.

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Klaylife: clay bead chandeliers making a difference to a South African community

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Melbourne-based father and daughter duo Phillip Jones and Kerri Wallace had always dreamed of one day working together.

After migrating to Australia from South Africa in 1989, the pair maintained ties with their heritage by returning to South Africa annually to visit family and friends. Their strong connection with the people and culture ignited a life-long desire to find a way to give back to the South African community.

But it wasn’t until two decades later that this dream was realised, with both pursuing very different paths before finding the perfect opportunity to finally work together. At the age of 19, Phillip began working as a supermarket trainee manager at Grand Bazaars in South Africa where he got his first taste of the food importing industry.


“I’ve always had a passion for great tasting, good quality food, and realised that the South African market needed more variety of an international nature. So I decided that one day, I would try and do something about that,” Phillip said. Phillip soon moved up the ranks at Grand Bazaars, and in 1980, bought shares in a specialty food importer, Patley’s Fine Foods in Johannesburg.

Upon moving to Australia with his family, Phillip bought shares in one of the more prominent food importation companies, Manassen Fine Foods. He then became Partner and Director, running the commercial business for the next 26 years until his retirement in 2014.


While Phillip was busy running a successful international business, his daughter Kerri was finding her own direction. After completing a Media and Communications degree from Swinburne University, Kerri began a career in advertising, which saw her producing some of the most recognised television commercials in Australia such as Brand Power and Zoot. While her job allowed her to meet new people and travel the world, she couldn’t shake the feeling that the industry wasn’t for her.

“While the advertising industry opened up a lot of doors for me and gave me invaluable experience, I just felt it wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing; so I made the decision to take some time off and really think about what I wanted to do next.”

It was while watching an episode of Oprah about the laws of attraction that sparked a light-bulb moment. “At the time, I thought I really wanted to work in radio, so I wrote it down and soon after, I managed to land my first radio job,” she said.

klaylife australia

In 2006, Kerri began a job in promotions with Nova Entertainment’s popular Hughesy & Kate show. By 2009, she had made the move into production, and in 2011, she was poached by Southern Cross Austereo to work as a Producer for the Fifi & Jules show. Within a year, Kerri was promoted to Executive Producer of Fifi & Jules and Hamish & Andy, and in 2014, Kerri became Executive Producer of the new Fifi & Dave show.


After countless 3.30am starts, Kerri finally decided to leave the exciting and fast-paced world of breakfast radio behind to follow her heart.

Kerri had always wanted to lead a life that combined four things: Art and design, her South African heritage, giving back to a community in need, and working with her dad.

It wasn’t long before this dream was realised. In February 2014, after seeing an Instagram post of a beautiful clay-beaded chandelier and learning the heart-warming story behind it, Kerri immediately received her dad’s support to arrange a meeting with its creator, South African native Merewyn De Heer.

interior design blog australia

Kerri and Phillip soon learned that Merewyn, a former advertising executive, gave up her occupation to pursue her passion for design and social responsibility. At the time, however, she hadn’t considered exporting her products to an overseas market.

“Merewyn’s a brilliant designer and business woman, but she didn’t have any knowledge or experience in importing and exporting. Fortunately, my dad had spent his entire life in the industry, so from there, we entered into a really great partnership,” Kerri said.


Merewyn’s farm is located close to an HIV centre, and wanting to find a way to help the local HIV impacted women who couldn’t find work due to the stigma attached, offered them employment. Merewyn’s business started with eight HIV impacted staff; this quickly grew to a team of 65 women of varying backgrounds and circumstances who all want to work for Merewyn to produce the hanging masterpieces.

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After meeting with Merewyn and seeing first-hand how the chandeliers are produced, Kerri and Phillip fell in love with the hand-made creations and the women who worked to produce the stunning centrepieces.

“As soon as we met Merewyn, we knew we wanted to work with her: here’s a woman who took the brave step of leaving a successful career in advertising behind to pursue her passion for design and social responsibility,”

Phillip said, “Merewyn designs these beautiful and unique chandeliers, while at the same time, provides employment to local HIV impacted women so they can support themselves and their families. It’s such an amazing initiative, that we wanted to help share her creations with an Australian audience to further support this small South African community – and so klaylife was born.”

klaylife retails the chandeliers online, along with retail stores in Melbourne and stockists across Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Every chandelier is numbered and comes with a certificate of authenticity, in addition to being fully compliant with Australia’s electrical requirements. The chandeliers are available to order from the website, and come in a range of colours and sizes, with a 12 to 16 week turnaround time from order to delivery. Each bead is hand-rolled using raw clay from the region; they are then dried, kiln fired and dip-dyed before being masterfully strung onto its unique wrought iron frame. This handcrafted process ensures no two lights will ever be the same.

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“We hope those looking for a unique and show-stopping centrepiece – whether it be for a home, hotel or restaurant – will consider klaylife chandeliers as a beautiful addition to their space,” Phillip said.

“Not only are the chandeliers stunning creations, they go a long way in helping a small group of South African women be self-sufficient to support their families and local community.”

In 2012, 8 ladies were permanently employed by klaylife. There are now over 65 dedicated women rolling beads and creating their own masterpiece. More importantly, they’re making a difference to their local community.

Watch this stunning video: ‘The Story Behind the Lights’ and follow klaylife on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

Teardrop – Medium – Pale Seaspray with white belly band Ornate – MEDIUM – Charcoal L.I.M – MEDIUM – White L.I.M – LARGE – Black

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Explore more here.

Styled by Jacqui Moore || Photographed by Armelle Habib

Sydney interior design ladies deliver the sexiest fish and chip shop in Aus

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Do you remember my interview with the impressive three ladies behind Sydney-based interior design and architecture company TomMarkHenry earlier this year? Well, Jade Nottage, Cushla McFadden and Chloe Matters haven’t stopped – they’ve just completed their latest project, and the result is the most sophisticated fish shop in Australia.

The renovated ‘Bondi Best‘ in located on Hall Street in the chic Bondi, NSW, and throws all connotations of our regular fish n’ chipperies well and truly overboard.

Bondi Best was a recognised brand prior to the Hall St venture and the market-fresh, quality food had to be reflected in the quality of the interior fit out. Taking cues from its Bondi Beach location but staying away from design elements characteristic of a traditional fish shop, Bondi’s Best offers a new take on this iconic Australian institution.

An intimate experience has been created with lowered rope ceiling and ambient tonal explorations of blues and grey, accented with brass and timber. Alongside these sits silver Travertine clad counters with fine brass trim, indicative of the distinctive fusion between the natural, artistic elements and the very crisp and clean. The unique split-use floor plan comprising both fresh seafood and dining was the inspiration for the feature fish locker wall.  Acting as both form and function, the display windows house large fresh fish but are also a visual connection between the takeaway and dining.

The dreamers and do-ers behind the architecture and interior design firm, Jade, Cushla and Chloe, say that it’s one of their favourite projects yet in the hospitality industry.

 “It’s a tonal exploration of blues that emulate a sophisticated seafood restaurant with hints of shapes and textures that speak to the sea without being your average seafood joint”, said Cushla.

Follow the team on Facebook and Instagram and take a look at their stunning new project below…

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Follow getinmyhome on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.