Life isn’t all Beer and Skittles

So here is the thing…. I actually get the pain, the blood, sweat and tears you experience when you are renovating or an owner builder.  I actually get how hard it is to achieve things when life gets in the way.  Yeah I have a designer badge and I can help make people’s dreams come alive, but it wasn’t just because I studied and had a great job as a designer/colour consultant for major building companies.  It was also because renovating and building my dream home was my passion and with that I rolled my sleeves up and I did it.  I spent hours pulling up carpet nails from all the floorboards in every room. I spent months stripping back windows and weatherboards with a heat gun and a full on industrial breathing mask on that looked like I was straight out of Ghost busters….yep it was that hideous.  I wanted to give up.  I wanted to cry…actually I did cry.  I pulled down walls with a rope (at a distance)..I cleaned up mouse and pigeon shit from rafters, I broke nails, got sun burnt, forgot to eat and had many blews with my partner as we were trying to live the dream.  We had a vision with this old 1890’s cedar brick home, that it was going to be so beautiful and to be our forever home.  Some nights sitting on the verandah beams that were to be stripped and repainted with a nice sunset and a beer in our hand looking over our work for the day, it felt good.  I felt like I was accomplishing some days.  However, other days I just wanted to say ‘F*@k This!’ and quit!

Half way through, I found out I had a little beautiful surprise growing inside and that stopped me in my tracks!!  OMG I was so ill with morning sickness that I could not get off the couch, nor away from the bucket beside me!  And guess what?  At that point, it was time to select paint colours.  I could not even!

But the show had to go on as…while doing up this old beauty, we were living in a glorified caravan.  I shit you not, it was so small that it only had two walls in it.  We sacrificed so we could live on the property and work on that gem of a house at the same time.  Working as we went with the money we were making…. Anyway…

Back to choosing the colour.  My partner came into the little caravan where I was laying on the couch feeling like I could die, with a test pot (I was so not going to Bunnings with him). He painted a little patch of this colour, Dulux ‘Hakea’ that he chose himself and loved.  It was an olive greeny colour and HOLY SHIT…it made me vomit!  I mean literally.  That colour looked like baby poo and although I was looking forward to my cherub arriving, the nappies and all, I just couldn’t deal with that colour right now. (This is why I bang on about colour and emotion).

It took us 10 years to get that house how we wanted it.  We went through some hard times. We worked our absolute butts off!!  And…then….we SOLD IT!!  It was beautiful!  But we were over it and ready to move on to the next chapter. People asked ‘how can you sell it with all that you did?’  But, it was an easy decision.  Nothing has to be forever.  It was a lesson.  It was character building.  I made the mistakes. It was an experience that made my love for what I do even deeper.  It enables me to relate to you guys and know EXACTLY what you are going through.  I know it’s tough.  I know it’s hard.  I know how you get pushed to a point you never thought you would get to.  But I also know it’s worth it.  I know it’s an amazing accomplishment.  I know that your rewards can be abundant.  AND I know that if you want to progress a lot faster and a lot easier than I did as a rookie, then you can certainly be assured that I made the mistakes so you now don’t have to. I have got your backs babes, I am here to help you achieve greatness and happiness.

If you want to know more about colour, design, styling, renovating tips, tricks and strategies… Click Here so that you can get access to them straight into your inbox to save and use at your leisure.

PS… This was a while ago and while design and trends have evolved and I have grown in my career since, I think I did alright for a 20 something new mumma. I was pretty proud of it.  But I am feeling my age….hehe

Oh AND!  I loved my living room with Dulux ‘Hakea’ 😉


The Colour Phenomenon…

…is inconsistency!  Yep it’s sometimes precarious.  One colour painted in 6 different homes will look like 6 different colours!  Not only does colour change in different lights as we know, but can vary from brand to brand, even when using formula’s.  This is why I always trust my paint guy.  The guy that has been mixing formula’s for 20 years.  Or the dude at the paint shop who is passionate about paint!  You can usually tell because they ask questions about what you desire and will be consistent with their knowledge.

Don’t let this worry you…pfft you have so got this.  So here are a few quick tips to help you select the right colour for you as well as a short video to show you why it is important not to take short cuts and choose off a paint card.


  • Always look at paint swatches/test painted surface outside (not in direct sunlight) as it will give you a true indication of the colour – particularly if you are choosing exterior paint!  Fluorescent lights change things dramatically.
  • Always choose a colour that YOU are drawn to.  Don’t be talked into going for a neutral light colour so your room will appear larger.  If you want dark…go dark!  Make bold courageous decisions based on your taste and style.  Who care’s if your room will look cosy?  That’s beautiful!
  • Always take your time deciding.  It can be a costly mistake.
  • Always ask an expert if you are unsure, that is what we love, that is what we do, that is why we do it, to help you…because we love making you feel happy!!

So here is the vid. Just click the link… catchya!

Watch Video Here

Just take the damn break!

If you are anything like me, you tend to keep going and going to get things done.  You put yourself under extreme pressure to make everything perfect.  You are so hard on yourself and so when that creative block comes, and trust me it happens to everyone, you are so frustrated!  Your head is foggy, you feel like it can’t fit anymore information in and it’s so damn crammed, you can’t get information out either!  You can feel your body warming up, you are a bit hot under the collar.  In fact you are starting to snap at the kids, at your mum on the phone, at your friend who is only trying to help, at the dog who keeps wanting love from you but can’t it see you are trying to make a creative decision here!!!  Would everyone just please go away!

This my friend is so normal for high achievers.  But guess what?  You need to take the break!  That one you have been putting off because you don’t have time. You are not getting anywhere!  You need to recharge, regroup, declutter the mind. You cannot make the right decisions when you are in a frenzy!

So if you are in the paint shop or the tile shop trying to make a selection, or you are choosing curtains, or working out furniture layouts….whatever it is and you are feeling like you are going in circles and you have that massive block….Go take the damn break!!!

Be in control.  This is supposed to be fun.  Don’t let it take your creativity away from you and have you making hasty decisions because you are done.  Breathe lovely.  This is going to be amazing if you take your time.  Ask for help if you need it, but please don’t make a decision when you are shitty!  A shitty decision makes for a shitty space.





Budgets, function and style

Ever bought cheap furniture before because you can’t stand the thought of spending money on something like a table when you could put that money towards something else? Did that piece of furniture turn to crap very quickly, leaving you with a wonky, unstable and now ‘cheap’ looking piece that gives you the absolute shits each time you go to use it? Is it really reflective of your style and how you want your home to feel?  Because!  To be honest, this happens all the time and people feel disharmony within their homes because things just..aren’t…working!!!! The one thing I tell people is this…You should really spend your money on the items you will use every day.  For example, your bed, your dining table and chairs and your sofa.  It is absolutely necessary to have quality with these things for a number of reasons.  Comfort for one!  This is where you congregate for meals and conversation, to lounge on to read, cuddle, watch tv…your downtime and there are a lot of reasons why you need a good bed. We all know them right?  (or maybe that is another blog for later 😉 )

So what do you budget on?  The other things that won’t get used as much.  The things that are cheap to replace should you need to.  The thing is, you won’t need to be replacing them as often as your items that you use everyday, they will last a while and they can look bloody amazing!!  Things like side tables, lamps, decorative pieces, occasional chairs.  There are many many items you can save money on and work them so they are still stylish and functional.  You can style on any budget.  But you need to make some smart choices on function.  Just remember you do get what you pay for.  Buying cheap will sometimes cost you.IMG_0867

Keep what you love, let go of the stuff!

Are you wondering where the heck do you start?  You know you need to de-clutter, there is stuff everywhere!  Your dining table looks like a dumping ground, actually it is a dumping ground!  If you look around your home, how much ‘stuff’ are you holding on to?  It is filling your home with clutter and every surface is full!  This has a massive impact on how you feel!  If your home is not functioning and looking how you dreamed it to be, it’s time to change that!  It can impact on how we interact with our co-habitors, the ones we love.

Time for change!

Fill your home with the things you LOVE!  So many of us hold onto ‘stuff’ for the sake of it.  It is too hard to throw it away, or move it on.  Remember it is not wasted if it goes to a new home, but you can’t hold onto things just because they are things!  If it doesn’t fit, doesn’t work, or if it’s just plain ugly…move that baby on!  You don’t want it really do you?  To sit there gathering dust and adding to your chaos. Be ruthless and ditch it!  You will feel amazing and bit by bit your home is going to feel freakin beautiful, full of the things you love and is a true reflection of who you are and how you and your family feel.

Find your style and stick to it!  It is supposed to feel like the best place on earth!!



What are the differences with prints?

This is something a few of my clients have asked over the years as some would like Art hanging that is unique, others just like what they like and aren’t too phased if it’s printed by the masses.  There is no right or wrong in design either.  If it works and it looks good, then it doesn’t really matter, it is personal.

Prints are reproductions of original art using different methods but usually done by the artist themselves.  Generally, they will have limited editions of these prints to keep them rare and to have added value.  They may also be signed by the artist adding that little bit of extra authenticity.  Open editions, however, are just that.  Reproduced on a bigger scale, keeping the cost down for the consumer.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with an open edition print.  It just let’s most of us enjoy art on our walls that we can afford.

Posters are obviously cheap as they are printed with low quality ink so can fade within two years or so.  Keep that in mind when hanging something you really love.  It is worth spending that extra $ on a print.  But whatever you do, make it look stylish yeah?

Art is so variable in cost, however no matter how low or how high the price tag, it makes an amazing statement to your home!  I am a fan of oversize pieces!  Love them!

Embrace Art.  Go visit your local gallery, there is amazing stuff out there!!



How to let go of your tradie…

Pains pains pains me to say this.  I have too been let down by someone that is all gung ho and gives you promises they just can’t keep. To say they will be there, then they don’t show.  Or make an excuse day after day to not turn up.  All you asked for is a quote and positively given the impression, that yep you want them to work for you.  You want their business!  All you want is honesty.  Like a ‘Hey Shon, I really am pushing to get this job done for you this time’.  Freakin awesome! Honesty, integrity respect!  I would say ‘no sweat’ and would absolutely ask again for the next job.

Yep, they decided it was ok to put you off with a hope still in the air.  Never get back to you. When do YOU decide to let go?  Well for me it’s one more raw and honest attempt. ‘Hey, I know you are busy, but I am really tight with the time frame for this job. Just giving you the opportunity to say no this time and that’s OK.  It won’t stop me from using you again, I just need to look after myself (or my client) in this instance.  If you could let me know one way or the other today it would be greatly appreciated.’  A response would be admirable. No response… See ya later sunshine.

So what I have learned.  Trades persons own and run their own business.  They can do what they want with their time at their own will.  As we do.  They owe us nothing.  But!  They owe a working relationship everything.  If they cannot do that, then maybe it is time to move on to someone with passion, a will, a yearning, commitment and authenticity.

Honesty. Integrity. Authenticity.  Look and seek this.  It’s ok to be let down, but don’t let yourself down.  Stand up and choose who you want to work for you.  You have control. There are many many AMAZING Tradies out there.  Let’s support those that make life easier for us and in turn we make it easier and lucrative for them.  What goes around comes around right?