Designer’s Tip…Can you mix different timbers and metals in same room?

Designer’s Tip…Can you mix different timbers and metals in same room?

I get some many clients who think that if you have an oak table, everything must be oak! Nothing could be worse…it’s like the 80s all over again where people bought who sets of furniture that matched. • As your interior designer, I want you to loosen up…Think of your timber furniture as all being part of a larger happy family, like kissing cousins rather than identical twins. • How far can you go with this? Well, recycled rustic light coloured timbers can go with white washed timber, elms, walnut (not too dark) and oak, but it can NOT go with glossy rosewood. • Don’t mix a highly glossy dressy wood with a beachy matte rustic wood regardless of the colour. • Dark timbers include species like wenge, walnut, mahogany, etc. Even this tortoise shell cane looks great in this room. • Important: Timber floors are like a pair of jeans, think of them as neutral not the colour blue! Anything can go on top Metals…Can you really have brass or gold in same room as silver and chrome? Your interior design says YES!! • Make sure your various metal finishes are reserved for different types of furniture. This space above works well because the brass is on a pendant light and the chrome reserved for the table and chair. I would not have a brass coffee table next to a silver side table…oh no! • Brushed finishes mixed with polished? No problem! • In this fantastic bedroom below, a silver side table looks great with gold mirrors. Very eclectic …in the best...
My Humble Home on Houzz

My Humble Home on Houzz

Houzz was kind enough to do a feature on how I’ve applied my interior design skills to my own home. Very humble, comfortable and totally me…check out this feature on my eclectic bohemian home on the Gold Coast....
Whats the difference between clutter and styling?

Whats the difference between clutter and styling?

I’m forever going to my friend’s homes and rearranging their all their bookshelves while they cook dinner (they don’t ask me to, I am an interior designer who just cant help myself!) and the response is inevitably “I had no idea my stuff could look that good!” It is not a secret…here are my top three tips for turning your clutter into stylish arrangements 1. Group common objects – ideally they will be related in type i.e. vases, style i.e. tribal or color and that will make many multiple things work as one larger thing 2. Gather small things together on top of book or in a tray – lots of small things all in a row are horrible, but objects clustered together create tension between them and appear to the eye as one larger thing. Space too far apart and you just get clutter. 3. Balance – if you have lots of small things on a shelf or console table, balance that against one larger thing on the other side, as if weighing on scales. This works for art on a wall as well. 4. Stack it! – Its is the interior designers favorite tactic, why spread everything around in a mess when you can create artful little stacks? Neat and...
Inside Out

Inside Out

When your stuck indoors on a chilly Winter day pining for the sun,  wouldn’t you just love to bring nature inside?!  I could spend all day in this room and do nothing but kick back in the chaise and look up at my indoor trees.  Really this look is SO simple but just incredibly effective…what have the interior designers done here to get it so right ? The tree cuttings of course – one big bold gesture can make the whole room…everything else can be understated.  How easy is this idea!  We all have some rambling trees that need pruning, bring them in to your home rather than down to the bin.  Unlike flowers, they will last several weeks. Then you can change them out with new cuttings and get whole new look every month! Kudos on the generous use  of white – and not a dirty or creamy white either…a nice crisp white that is the same on walls, brick, trim and ceiling. Not possible in my house with small children…someday…. Furniture that looks like it did NOT come out of a factory.  The reclaimed timber coffee table is a clever play on the “tree” theme and compliments the retro modern chairs beautifully.  Not so sure about that couch though…think it should be a bit more comfortable The honey tones in the timber and rug add much needed warmth.  Many timber pieces  today shy away from yellow tones,  but they are very homey. There is almost NO pattern – as a dedicated print lover,  I admire that this space focuses on all different textures – the brick, art, rug, wood, lantern and trees to keep it dynamic and stylish....
Hip Home

Hip Home

It’s hard to be this hip and not look like you’re a hipster (bad thing these days), but we reckon the interior designer of this living room featured in Cococozy pulled it off, without looking like she was tryign too hard.  It is beautifully crisp and has an brave colour scheme, but somehow manages to still feel inviting & homey. What are the design ingredients that make this room really tick? Pick the “volume “of each piece. By this we mean that not every piece of furniture has to make a statement. The comfy sofa is understated with a white slip cover, while the rug and the green ottomans say “Hey you.. Look at me!” Dial up the colour in small does. This kelly green would really knock me out en masse, but on the ottomans it is a brilliantly chic counter point to the sunny yellow in the scatter cushions. Don’t worry about finding every perfect match. Look at how the rug is not in the same shade of yellow as in the cushions? This makes the space feel like a real home, not a showroom! A dash of vintage makes everything better. The mid century modern Eames chair and retro lamp are just enough…any more and we would be terribly bored. The wallpaper trend is here to stay (or at least for a bit longer) and we like the very subtle print chosen – really finishes the room off without risk of looking dated in six months. Handmade mismatched accent cushions and a blanket draped casually over the sofa…a tried and true look that is always in style and looks...
Orient Express Yourself

Orient Express Yourself

It’s still a bit cold though the calendar tells me it is in fact Spring… what is one to do with this shoulder season? Take a mini break!  Steal a weekend in a fabulous hotel, then steal their decorating ideas for a whole new take on life once you’re back at home. Here’s one look we are dying to lift – and why! The colour palette is to die for, mustard never looked so good (don’t call it yellow). Chic, sophisticated and tasteful, it’s one you will never tire of and one that is oh, so adaptable. Cool grey paired with earthy mustard is a year round winner and can be given seasonal pizazz with the addition of just about any other complementary colour, especially emerald green or any jewel tone. Fantastict use of ethnic shape and global symbolism is always successful, and in this room it excels. The trick is to keep the ethnic touches  pulled back and take care not to overload a theme. In this room, three key elements add exoticism – the shape of the fireplace, the Moroccan lantern and the tribal artefacts on the mantelpiece. Any more than that and it becomes overkill. Mixing metaphors! We interior designers love to mix things up and it works too, too well in this room. A Bedouin rug with Louis  armchairs, Phillippe Starck inspired lamps with Little Miss Muffet side tables, a masculine, tailored bed with a fret work lace bed head, take-me-seriously wall colours on fantasy ceiling stanchions – it’s all going on but with such cool restraint it’s irresistible! Mannigan Edwards Interiors can help you escape September on your own...
The Art of Display

The Art of Display

What a  beautiful tableau…personal and chic without being to overly contrived.  Sometimes it is the small spaces that make a space special more than grand or expensive gestures.  What is about this little corner that is so wonderfully nuanced by the interior designer? First off,  it is in fact a “nook”, and they have made it beautiful by adding a console/bookshelf that fits in perfectly…right choice, right space. It is not about the furniture, but what is ON the furniture in this case.  The table is simple and is the same color as the walls, which makes the items on display really pop. A smart mixture of symmetry and asymmetry is employed.  The lamps are symmetrical but the art isnt, while the bold vase arrangement feels very ikebana.  Below, the three stacks of books are nicely counterbalanced by the bowl. The power of numbers in interior design – normally we like odd numbers but in this case two is working nicely on the top shelf – 2 books, 2 frames, 2 lamps.  A tray with three items on top left balances the three stacks on the lower right shelf. Subtle eclecticism – I love that the art frames on the wall and shelf do not match, but they are all classically understated. Color – a refined palette of neutrals accentuated by three bits of blue in the painting, picture frame, and book ties the whole ensemble together, and a little punch of orange is a delight. Picture from Lonny Magazine Check out our blog regularly for more home decorating...
Bigger IS Better (at least when it comes to house plants)

Bigger IS Better (at least when it comes to house plants)

I’ve never really been a big fan of small house plants…perhaps it was growing up in the 70s when those awful trailing ones used to be everywhere.  Even the new trend towards hanging plants leaves me feeling a bit squeamish…making the macrame holder in neon does improve it’s standing…a little too hipster /art student for my taste.  Now, the obvious exception is a nice herb garden in a sunny window, brilliant, and the other exception is big ass plants, the more tree like the better.  Here’s why I love them: Large house plants are very dramatic and inject a bit of colour that doesn’t actually need to match anything else! They Improve air quality and reportedly in encourage positive and calm feelings They remind me of resorts and tropical vacations. Adds some height into a room when most furniture is waste high or lower…this is especially important in double height spaces So what kind of large house plant?  You can’t go past a nice palm like …easy to take care of.  The interior designer of this room  (see above) is a genius in my book.     Fiddleback Fig trees….love those big leaves. A classic choice    Giant bird of paradise…this was my choice for the interior design of my house on the Gold Coast.  It looked amazing in my living room for about 2 years and then it decided it wanted to be outside and it’s getting some much needed sun and rain. My parting advice…if your plant doesn’t look robust and healthy with ALL the brown trimmed off…better not to have one at...
Boho Glam Bedroom

Boho Glam Bedroom

I think we have found a bedroom  that manages to make pink look all grown up…we just might be starting to like this colour!  Plus this room feels bohemian AND  sophisticated at the same time.  It’s a great look, how do they pull it off? Baby pink on the walls was a brave choice by this interior designer, and it is counterbalanced with the strongest of colour palettes: dark brown, gold, leaf green and red.  This combination is not the least bit trendy which is really refreshing. The stylistic choices in this room are super eclectic, traditional lamps and bedside tables are paired with modern art and a boho paper lantern.  It is obviously a room full of things that are loved which makes it feel authentic. Notice the bed has a very low headboard  to keep the pillows off the wall and then that great piece of art acts like a really grand headboard. I love how the lamps are not centered on the bedsides,  they are closest to the bed which is just where you want them and little collection of books fill the rest f the space, keeps it casual and inviting. How great are these accent cushions?  Classic white, a sexy French floral, plus a modern black and white pattern!  Unexpected and fun. To get the look start with some  Italian Cotton Sheets  in crisp white (may make it a bit hard to get out of bed)!  The Art site Paper Cartel  has a great array of brightly coloured prints. For a nice traditonal bedside lamp, check out Bloomindales Lighting.  www.Hardtofind.com.au have  lots of great accent cushions and many  have free...
Timeless Appeal

Timeless Appeal

A classic and timeless room that will never date…it ticks all the boxes – the interior design of this living room is inviting, casual but elegant, comfortable and chic.  How does a room manage to look fresh and yet not overly trendy? White sofa – If it is humanly possible to pull this off in your own house (I have small children so no go) than a white sofa will ALWAYS make a room look so very chic. Bookcases – They add texture and colour all while making you seem so smart and cultured!  This one has a dark  background which makes it MUCH more interesting and hip than an all white one. Pendant lights – they aren’t just for over a dining table.  They add warmth and interest to the ceiling, give good light, and this case they are mismatched – one black one white…very cool. Mid century modern – Adding a collectible piece like this butterfly chair just seems to add depth and soul to a space.  This room successfully mixes pieces from all different design eras. The chesterfield – This style sofa in that gorgeous distressed leather is a true classic, comfortable, handsome and always in style.  A great counter balance to anchor a light room. Eclectic accents – None of the throw pillows match in size or fabric and that keeps the space from feeling too traditional or formal.  The books are also arranged in an eclectic atyle, not filling the shelves entirely like a library. Neutral colour palette – If you want truly timeless, go for white, black, and natural and then just throw in a few coloured accents...
How to Hang Art (stylishly that is)

How to Hang Art (stylishly that is)

What height should you hang art ?? Lower than most people think!  This is the single biggest mistake i see when i walk into peoples homes as an interior designer.  Eye height you are a tall woman or short man, so about 165 cm to the middle of the artwork or framed print.   How close should my art be to the furniture below it? Please don’t give too much breathing space…have a quick look at any interior design mag.  Art hugs the sofa or table below so they relate to each other as a collection.  Most people leave way to big of a gap here!   How far apart should I hang multiple pieces of art? Diptychs or multiples should be 5-10 cm apart so work as a whole.  You want to create tension between them like they are pulling towards each other, not floating on their own   Gallery Art Walls…Create a collection and let your imagination run wild! Think first about what’s your style is – Matching frames or Eclectic frames? Symmetrical or Asymmetrical? You can combine a range of paintings, drawings and photographs and styles,  mix different sizes and frames…the more eclectic the better in our design opinion! For some great limited edition art prints check out...
Visual Feast

Visual Feast

Wow love it!!  And so simple too.  Who isn’t a pushover for an all white room with a fireplace!  Normally we think of white as a bit impractical to live with but this dining space is as usable as it is gorgeous…how come? The colour white is used in all right places…on walls ceiling and lighting, while more user friendly darker finishes are reserved to the surfaces that get dirty like the floor and table.  The dining chairs are white leather (or vinyl) so can just be wiped down. While the trend seems to be towards hard surface chairs, we ALWAYS prefer upholstered chairs…great for  2 hour dinner parties.  These manage to be comfy and modern at the same time. If you have the space, a table for ten just seems to say “this is a festive house and I have loads of friends” Why have one dining pendant when you can have twelve?  This room has high ceilings and so can accommodate the look, and by choosing white pendants, they don’t clutter up the space, makes it fun and informal too. Whoever thought brick could be so cool.  It is affordable and modern, yet textural and inviting.  Paint it white and voila! Fireplace in the dining room….is there any better way to set the mood?  This is quite common in the other parts of the world,  and we find almost all our interior design clients here on the Gold Coast are asking for them! To get this look with Eco Chic, check out their Saratoga solid walnut dining table.  Also, they have lots of great pendant lights, but we think the coolest idea is to...