Monday, October 29, 2012

My latest project: Cheerful family home

I finally have some photos of my latest project to share with you! This home was designed for a local builder as their display home. They are targeting first home buyers and young families so I wanted the house to feel fresh, modern and fun.

I was working with a fairly strict budget (for both the fixtures like the kitchen and the furniture) so the whole house has a mix of budget chain store furniture (from places like Super Amart and Target), along with some revamped vintage pieces and online purchases.

I wanted to show people a basic laminate kitchen or simple budget-friendly tiles can still feel interesting thanks to some colourful accessories!

The master bedroom features my latest colour obsession - mints and emerald greens. How gorgeous are those stools?

I decided on a modern black, grey and white scheme for a boy's bedroom with lots of layered graphic patterns.

The guest bedroom took shape around the vintage bed which has a modern graphic shape for the headboard and footboard. I spraypainted it in matt grey (it was timber laminate). Inspired by some pretty prints of galahs and cockatoos (more on these soon!) I filled the room with shades of red, orange and pink.

If you'd like to see a few more photos you can see them on my Ethos Interiors website.

Let me know what you think!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Some favourite blogs (and a Liebster award)

The enticingly named Angel from the blog 'Hammer and Heels' nominated me for a Liebster award! If you haven't come across her blog before, make sure you visit. Angel is building a new home and shares the building and decorating progress she makes (like her lovely new living room).

Angel explains all about the award over here and I'm sure you've heard it before, so I'm not going to explain it again! I will however quickly answer her questions so you can all get to know me a little better (feel free to skip if you're more interested in the decorator Anna!).

1. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

To be honest, I can't say I've ever done anything horribly embarrassing that I brood over. I do mildly embrassing things regularly though; I believe the latest was opening the decorative can case of a particular perfume with a can opener, because I didn't realise the lid just popped off!

2. If you could time travel for one day to anytime in the past 5 billion years, where would you go?

This is tricky! Maybe back to the 1920s for a day of glamour, drinking and dancing? 

3. How any pairs of shoes do you own?

Probably too many! Maybe 30 pairs of heels alone?

4. Dogs or cats?

Dogs always and only.

5. What kind of cell/mobile phone do you have?

HTC. I haven't become an iPhone convert yet.

6. If you won $50 million dollars tonight, what’s the first thing you would do tomorrow morning?

Go house shopping, and then jump on a plane overseas!

7. Qualities you look for in a girlfriend, boyfriend, life partner?

They make me laugh and have fun.

8. Finish this sentence – ‘happiness is…….’?

Loving your familiy, friends, work and life (and musk lollies - I have a weakness for those!).

9. Why did you start your blog?

For lots of reasons but mostly to connect with new people and share my love of design, as well as chronicling the growth and changes of Ethos Design.

10. What’s your favourite season?

In Townsville we only have two really; a hot, humid wet season (summer) and a mildly cooler time of year (winter). So winter wins every time!

11.What’s the one thing you wish you were better at? 

Switching off from work!

I get to nominate five of my favourite bloggers which inspire me, and here I will include...

1. A Jane Day - Jane just got married so make sure you visit to see all her beautiful wedding ideas, and hopefully some photos soon!

2. Glamour Drops - The perfect blog to add a little glamour, sparkles, fashion and interiors to your day.

3. Lady Chatterley's Affair - Tina has the most gorgeous, feminine style in everything she does from party planning to furniture.

4. navy & orange - For a fashion and homewares with a style as bold and gorgeous as the colour combination.

5. The House on Chambers - Brooke captures snippets of her life as a city girl on a country farm. You'll adore her interiors style if you are a fan of modern country interiors.

And here are my quick estions for these lovely ladies...

1. Favourite colour?
2. Lusting after at home or fashion?
3. Little or large dogs?
4. Chevron or stripes?
5. Dream holiday?
6. Casual or glamorous?
7. Painted or natural (for nails & timber!)?
8. Fave online store?
9. Modern or classic?
10. Middle name?

Well, that's enough chat from me! I'm home now, so it's back to regular posting. Make sure you check back for some gorgeous giveaways I have planned!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Feature Home: Elegant and contemporary on the lake

Here's a treat for you today. This gorgeous home was featured on New England Home and I thought it was too gorgeous not to share again.
This home is everything I think a good vacation home should be; bright and airy with lots of natural light, family friendly, relaxed and comfortable yet still stylish. 
The sisal rug might be an obvious choice in a lakeside home, but it is perfect, don't you think? The kelly green and blue accents is a preppy colour scheme that screams holiday time.
Traditional architectural elements such a tongue and groove (or beadboard) walls have been mixed with contemporary furniture to create a home that feels stylish without being too trendy.
The kitchen looks like a dream family kitchen with lots of storage and a big breakfast bar. Personally though, I'm in love with this navy velvet loveseat (below); a sophisticated piece which feels much more casual and vacation friendly when paired with the cheerful patchwork rug.
This neutral office should provide great inspiration to anyone trying to design a shared office space, and I'm sure that desk could be easily DIYed with some Ikea cabinetry and a benchtop. Any takers?
The master bedroom has a more serene feel with grasscloth wallpaper and soft shades of blue and green. The streamlined metal bed is a gorgeous contrast against the more traditional and rustic elements of the home.
The girls share a bunk room in a cheerful space featuring aqua, orange and red. How great are those sea creature photographs as well?
Any favourites for you? I think my favourite space might be those denim covered wing chairs with the gloss white modern coffee table.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Tiling techniques (and pretty bathrooms)

I'm not going to deny there are some very, very beautiful tiles in the world. But, like most things, they come at a price. If you are on a budget though, you don't need to despair. Using simple, affordable tiles you can create a stunning bathroom using a little creativity.

You've all seen the dark grout with the white subway tiles, which is a fantastic way to get a little graphic flair. Here's a few other ideas for you to try as well...

Abramson Teiger Architects
A simple 100x300 or even a 300x600 tile laid horizontally can create a striking striped effect if you use two colours. For a subtle look, try a beige with a bright white, or black and white for a really graphic style. Mosaics (below) aren't going to be budget friendly, but picture this with a flat grey tile - it's still stunning!

Domestic Ease
Or, why not expand on the classic white tile with black grout and try a different mix. Kelly Wearstler combines a green tile with contrasting white grout to stunning effect in this bathroom. Note the use of two different patterns, both horizontal and vertical running bond patterns.

Kelly Wearstler
Now, I'm not sure if the image below is tiles, but I would love to try this technique. You often see contemporary square tiles with a streaked or striped pattern in them. Rather than laying them in a continuous line, try a random pattern to create a basket weave effect.

Canadian House & Home
Whenever I see a great use of tile I add it to my 'Tiles & Techniques' board on Pinterest, so visit for more lovevly spaces!

Monday, October 8, 2012

A Garden Path

I think all the beautiful gardens here are inspiring me to start thinking about the landscaping when we eventually get this new house! I have never done a lot of gardening, so this will be all new to me.

Helen Thompson Blog

I'm starting to think of it like a beautifully designed room. It needs good bones, a great layout, a classic base layer (the foliage) and the pretty decorative details (the flowers, sculptural pieces and accents).

So far, my goal is to minimise maitenance as much as possible, while maximising the creativity and beauty of the space. We will only have a smll yard, so I want only a small piece of lawn for my pups, and design the rest using patios and garden beds.

I'm guessing we will be on a strict budget, so apart from doing everything ourselves, I'm picturing some budget ideas like a gravel patio. Has anyone had an experience with their own?


I don't want concrete paths down the sides of the house, due to both the cost and the heat reflecting back toward the house. I think the best option would be some low maitenance garden beds, and a pretty stepstone path.

Pinecone Camp
A patio and bench is a must, and I'm looking for ideas for a fire pit as well. I've already saved an old single bed frame, and have been deciding whether to build it into a permanent bench, or build something on oversized castors.

Small Garden Love

Beautiful tropical greens are a must for any garden in North Queensland, and I do love some enormous containers mixed into the beds as well.

My plans will develop as the year goes on, but if you have any ideas, tips or suggestions, please share!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Choosing exterior colours...dark and bright?

If you're wondering why I've dropped off for the last few weeks it's because I'm currently on holiday! I just had two lovely weeks in Italy, and have just arrived in the beautiful city of Budapest. I will try to keep a bit more up to date with posting from now on, and will share some pics soon!

Home in Manhatten. Via Blue Pueblo.

After seeing all the beautiful buildings in Europe though, I have been feeling so inspired by their gorgeous exteriors and passion for using bolder colours. At home, the trend has very much become beige or white. While lovely and classic, sometimes something bolder would be nice!

Sarah Hulbert blog.

My new place will be in an American Colonial/Cape Cod style and I'm thinking a lovely deep charcoal might be nice...

But the idea of a pretty blue or green trimmed in black and white sounds very appealing as well!

Design Darling Tumblr
Are you brave enough to have a colourful or dark house? What did you choose? Or, if you weren't worried about repainting, what colour would you choose?


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