This amazing beach residence is situated in Watsons Bay, Sydney, Australia. Internally I love the restrained colour palette enlivened by bright splashes of colour in the wall art. The smooth surfaces complemented by textured rugs and linen sofas. The open plan living area that would be perfect for entertaining.

But most of all I love the outside space. Just look at that view!

Contemporary Beach House in Sydney by Walter Barder Design -Terrace

Contemporary Beach House in Sydney by Walter Barder Design - Sitting Room

Contemporary Beach House in Sydney by Walter Barder Design -Living Area

Contemporary Beach House in Sydney by Walter Barder Design - Dining Room

Contemporary Beach House in Sydney by Walter Barder Design - Kitchen

Contemporary Beach House in Sydney by Walter Barder Design - Bathroom

From the portfolio of Walter Barda Design.

Creating a new garden from scratch is a bit of a daunting task. Last year while we were still settling in to the new house I planted up a few pots and made a feature of the garage wall (you can see the results here) but this year I’m going to tackle the job full on with hard landscaping and an amazing planting scheme. Fingers crossed.

Of course, I looked to Pinterest for some inspiration.

Garden Ideas [1] via Dear Designer's Blog

I want lushness. I want to look out of the window and see green plants of every shape and form. Large tropical looking leaves, tall rustling clumps of bamboo, clipped box, prolific climbers and fragrant herbs. I’m not afraid of repetition. I had some early advice (and a roughly sketched plan from garden designer Lisa Cox) who urged a limit to the amount of plants used as well as a limit to the number of colours and surface textures. Good advice I will be sticking too.

I want to see a combination of grey and green and a small amount of terracotta/orange. Grey from the painted fences, naturally aging garden decking, concrete planters, raised beds, and the garden furniture. Terracotta from the brick garage wall and a few ancient pots.

Garden Ideas [2] via Dear Designer's Blog

I want a shady place to sit. To ponder. To enjoy a glass of wine or a cup of morning coffee. Deep upholstered seats that invite an afternoon nap and chats with friends long into the night. A pergola where I can hang lanterns and that will throw shadows in the afternoon sun.

A want a place to potter. To plant and pot and nurture cuttings. An old pre-loved table maybe that will double as display and the occasional serving surface for family barbecues.

I want a lot I know.

Image sources.

For all those of us who believe there should be a touch of humour in every room.

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw these monkey lamps from one of my favourite stores at the moment, Out There Interiors and I’ve been wracking my brains to think how I could use one of them at home. Available in three designs (hanging, standing and seated) each lamp comes supplied with its own lighting cable so that it can get on with its ‘Monkey’ Business.

Monkey Lamp - Seletti

Moe (standing), £300. Curly (sitting), £200.

Monkey Lamp - Seletti

Larry, £300.

Think I like the standing chappy best. He has presence.

If only I had a wardrobe of clothes consisting of a carefully curated collection of designer items. A selection of covet-able outfits with a limited colour palette to make coordinating a breeze in the mornings. Less choice would bring freedom I feel. If only.

And if I did, I’d have this Lume Coat Rack from BEdesign.

BEdesign - Lume Coat Rack - 1

BEdesign is a young and innovative company founded in 2012 by sisters Bette and Cilla Eklund. Their collection is quintessentially Finnish, using only the highest quality materials and putting equal emphasis on aesthetics and functionality. Both sisters are passionate about and inspired by nature – having grown up on a farm, they spent their childhood surrounded by animals and outdoor life.

BEdesign - Lume Coat Rack - 2

And if only I had a small collection of first editions to display on this Deer Shelf.

BEdesign -Deer Shelf 1

This impressive bookshelf is made in the shape of a wild deer. Its large, open shelves make it a lightweight piece, despite being built from solid oak. The various shapes and sizes of shelf make it perfect for storing books and magazines, or it would work equally well as a piece of art.

BEdesign - Deer Shelf 2

BEdesign is available from Clippings.

Pooky Mix and Match Lamps

November 4th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

Pooky is a new lighting brand created by Rohan Blacker, the founder of sofa.com. The table and floor lamps on offer are stylish and affordable which is music to my ears. There are also 90 lamp bases to choose from and 150 shades which you can buy separately so that at last, the customer can have more input into the design choice.

Pooky Lamps - resin range

I’m rather fond of these colourful resin lamp bases and ikat inspired shades.

Pooky Lamps - Trafalgar table lamp in Antique bronze £115, Drum shade in card £48

Trafalgar table lamp in Antique bronze £115, Drum shade in card £48.

Pooky Lamps - Felix Table Lamp in Gold £95, Empire Shade in Red Silk Ikat £56

Felix Table Lamp in Gold £95, Empire Shade in Red Silk Ikat £56.

Pooky Lamps

I’ve always had a fascination for lighting, its impact on any decorative theme is dramatic and immediate. When you walk into a space, whether in a home, restaurant, or a performance space, when the lighting clicks, there is a quiet magic at work. At Pooky we have designed a range of decorative lights, in marble, brass, resin, wood and glass and we’ve also a brilliant website where our customers can try out combinations of bases and lampshades to transform their homes.”  Rohan Blacker

A Taste of the Orient

October 1st, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

A touch of escapism from Tesco Direct this Autumn.

China Girl is a colourful collection of bright bedding and textured accessories with more than a touch of Eastern promise making it very easy and super affordable to give the home an Oriental makeover for autumn.

tescodirect_china girl [1]

Traditional flower and bird print double duvet set, aqua, £18. Manhattan headboard, black, double, £149. Butlers tray table, black, £35. Etched barrel vase, £12. Cylinder fluted bud vase, £3.50.

tescodirect_china girl [2]

Julianne loveseat, velvet, midnight blue £399. Savoy mirror glass occasional table, silver, £129. Butlers tray table, black, £35. Texture chenille cushion, shocking pink, £10. Gatsby cushion, teal, £10. Fan cushion, purple, £14. Butterfly triptych, 20x60cm, £6. Etched barrel vase, £12. Damson and pomegranate candle in a jar, £2.

tescodirect_china girl [4]

Butlers tray, black, £35. Etched barrel vase, £12. cylinder flared bud vase, £3.50. Butterfly triptych 20x60cm, set of three, £6. Damson & pomegranate candle in a jar, £2.

The Lust List – Rose & Grey

September 30th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

I love compiling imaginary shopping lists. Doesn’t everyone? I could never afford to buy everything I lust after but it’s always fun to imagine you could. I even go so far sometimes of putting them in the shopping basket before coming to my senses and exiting the website pronto. It must drive shop owners mad!

What I can do however is share here. And it’s a tangible moodboard/filing system for my likes and aesthetics, and occasionally I do use my own search box to find something I saw in the past and now have a genuine need for. So you see, all that surfing is not a waste of time it’s necessary!

Rose and Grey - High_res_Italian_Tan_Leather_Chesterfield

Rose and Grey is a favourite place to ‘window shop’.  This classically-styled Italian leather chesterfield in tan is simply stunning. It will never go out of fashion, and will just get better with age. The ultimate in statement seating for your home at £2,750.​

Rose and Grey - High_res_Organize_Storage_Box_on_Wheels

And I guarantee I will always find a use for more storage. This handy and chic box on wheels will banish the clutter, whether storing magazines or keeping paperwork neat and tidy in between uses. I’m more and more working from the sofa (not good I know) and it would be great to have one of these to drop things into for a quick tidy up. £55.

Rose and Grey High_res_Cirque_Side_Table

And I love this very simply styled and understated side table with the look of classic Danish furniture, the Cirque Side Table, £95, would be a great addition in the living room to hold a stylish lamp or a cup of tea.

Rose and Grey

And you can never have too many accessories!  The charming metal-framed mirror is a perfect heart-shape with rusting looking hanging rope. Choose from either small (£50) or large (£65). The Moosehead bottle opener (£14.95), tall stemmed shot glasses (£26.50 for the set), and the retro Peacock mug (£7.50) would all make good gifts too.

Rose and Grey

One of the highlights of attending LDF for me these days is spotting designers and companies that are either new or have so far alluded me. Quite how I had failed to notice the Kristjana S Williams Studio up until now I’ll never know because her work is not exactly quiet. It is in fact an explosion of colour, strong graphic lines, intricate drawings and all manner of cavorting creatures. Whether it’s a wall mural, an upholstered chair, a cushion or a piece of art, you will see very intricate collages of materials that have been collected from Victorian engravings, photographs, found objects and real leaves and twigs.  A limited selection have been delicately adorned with gold leaf in order to create an utterly desirable and innovative piece of work.

Kristjana S Williams Studio - Red Parrot Tapestry Chair

Kristjana S Williams is first and foremost an artist whose experience spans illustration, interiors, fashion and design.  She is inspired by nature upon nature ‘the symmetry in all things living‘ which stems from her childhood growing up in Iceland.  As a child growing up with a stark landscape, she was always craving colour and natural wonders, and now looking back she admits she can see the true unique beauty in her homeland which adds ever more inspiration.

Kristjana S Williams Studio - Lear Blue Stripe

Kristjana S Williams Studio cushions


Kristjana S Williams Studio - House Plant Wall Mural

Kristjana S Williams Studio

Kristjana S Williams Studio

Shower Yourself with Luxury

September 23rd, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Interior Design - (0 Comments)

We all want to recreate a little hotel luxury in our homes these days, and in particular we would all love our bathrooms to be a little more spa-like and indulgent. With a little planning this is not too difficult to do and so, here’s just a few little design tricks that will make the morning shower ritual just a little more relaxed.

Bathroom Shower via Living etc

Incorporate a walk-in shower if you have the space. Not only does it look better from a design point of view to have the shower the full width of the room, it also gives much more room to move around and alleviates the need for inconvenient doors. In the image above the soap shelf and heated towel rail are conveniently within reach yet out of the water stream. I always find too, that it’s better to dry off before leaving the shower so that you don’t leave a puddle of water to clear up after.

Minimal Shower enclosure via Living etc

Always plan for a recess or shelf for shampoo bottles. There really is nothing worse, or less relaxing than grappling round on the floor with soapy eyes looking for the shower gel. It’s always best to have them at the correct height to start with. The image above also has a lovely minimalist shower enclosure that makes the room look more spacious and this is emphasized by having the wall tiles continue around the room too.

Bathroom wet room via Living etc

You can always opt for a wet room for the ultimate spacious showering experience. It works particularly well in this traditional bathroom with its roll top bath and large chrome showerhead. This is a job for the experts though so always get professional help and under-floor heating is a must to keep the room dry and damp free.

Shower idea via Living etc

If you like the idea of a wetroom but are not sure about having water splashing everywhere there are compromises to be had. The bathroom above has solved this problem by having a narrow glass screen between the shower and the basin, and by continuing the shelf across both areas there is a handy shower seat and also visual continuity. I love this bathroom.

quadrant shower via Living etc

If space is an issue and you really do favour a shower enclosure, a quadrant shower is often a good choice. It takes up less space and there are no sharp corners to bump into. They are deceptively spacious inside too.

Over bath Shower via Living etc

And finally if you have no choice but to put the shower over the bath, choose one with a wider end. The glass screen looks quite unobtrusive and allows the light to flow freely.

What’s your idea of showering luxury?

All images via House to Home.

Dangerous Liaisons at M&S

September 18th, 2014 | Posted by deardesigner in Shopping - (0 Comments)

The M&S autumn/winter range has all of the ingredients needed for setting the scene for some seduction in the bedroom. Colours are dramatic, dark and moody with curvaceous furniture shapes and oodles of overblown blooms.

marksandspencer AW14

This is not a half-hearted look. Walls, floors, doors and even ceilings should be from the darker end of the spectrum. Wallpapers are oversized florals or maybe with a hint of metallics to reflect all of that candlelight.

M&S Marcel Mona Dressing Table, Mirror & Stool Set

marksandspencer AW14 [1]

Furniture has more than just a suggestion of French baroque and lampshades are unashamedly black. As are the sheets!

PicMonkey Collage

marksandspencer AW14 [2]

And don’t forget the details. Bird sculptures, intricate photograph frames, chandeliers, candelabras and vases of hothouse blooms.

marksandspencer AW14 [3]

Romance isn’t dead just yet!

All from M&S bedroom collections.

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