Thursday, December 31, 2009


Budget Home Makeovers
Budget Home Makeovers

Last night on Current Affair I was sharing my tips with how you can add value to your rooms when working on a budget. Have a look at the video for some inspiration and if you want more details on what was used go to my website.

We all love to get as much information and tips as we can on interiors - so we are delivering!

In 2010 you will see the beginning of 'SB TV' which is my very own youtube Channel....We will be showing you the "HOW TO... " of Interior Design... anything from colours, rugs, wallpaper, furniture, candles....ANYTHING to do with INTERIORS !

And most exciting of all, is you can tell me what YOU would like to see on SBTV, or ask me questions!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Harrods Christmas Display

Ding-dong the Witch is dead but Harrods is ready for business!

Never being to Harrods before I am sure they have wonderful displays all year round but being here at Christmas time is a real treat. To coincide with the musical Wicked, Harrods has filled their windows with homage to the play and movie and a yellow brick road to help you get around. I was there at nine at night so the crowds were easy to deal with but I hear the frantic shopping is here now so I hope you have done your shopping!

One of the magical window displays

Inside you can follow the yellow brick road to Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel but there is not pot of gold - I checked!
The things you find in the wheat fields, just past the scarecrow!

How to shop for your pet the Harrods way

Turn up the oven and get ready for lunch. Pheasant anyone?
Harrods even have wreaths ready to take home

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Guesthouse that gets it right

Brooks Guesthouse
When you book accomodation online you can sometimes be playing a game of chance but on this occasion it came up a winner! Brooks guesthouse in Bath ticked all the boxes with attentive hospitality, a tasty and filling breakfast but my big tick was the interiors. I love to mix period and modern details when I design, and the interiors of the guest house carry if off with ease. The guesthouse is sympathetic to the original Victorian features and as you make your way around the charm is slowly revealed and produces pure delight.
Sit in the guest lounge by the fireOur room was relaxing in an old fashioned way and finished with lush silk curtainsThe ensuite was small but was fitted with good quality modern fittings and a hot shower was welcomed at the end of the day with the temperature hitting a high of four degrees
The 'comforting' cooked breakfast was served on the lower floor. Original parquetry and bluestone floor and complimented with simple modern and aged furniture and cleverly decorated with teapots.A diversion to the powder room revealed a sense of whimsy.
The corridors to the rooms displayed varied lighting and pictures

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Incredile Bath and its Spas - Day one

Entry to Thermal Spa - 1hr massage and 2 hours in the spa and steam room and your day is set!Bath, England was created by the Romans as a place of relaxation and to honour the gods with rituals. After spending two days there I am in love with the place! A morning in the modern Thermal Day spa, followed by boutique shopping surrounded by elegant Christmas lighting, wandering the streets and finally settling for lunch with a bottle of wine was a great way to spend day one

Thermal plunge pool and its modern glass roof
The incredible view from the upstairs spa is breathtaking makes it easy to wile away 2 hours

Subtle and Classy Christmas lights at Bath

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Shopfronts to inspire

Through the looking glass
Do you go into a shop because you need something? Want something? Or just purely inspired by what you see from the street? With the speed internet shopping has steam-rollered its way into the retail market it is even more relevant that the art of window dressing is not lost. I put retail merchandising and window dressing in two different categories. Merchandising is about the push of the product and purely about sales, but window dressing now there is is where the creative mind lies. In one day of walking the London suburbs I came across very different types of window dressing and all made me want to see more. Unfortunately a couple of shops were closed and I may never get there again but just by me telling you, could be enough for you to want to walk through the door and support these shops.
All Saints
Osbourne & Little

Vive La rose
Moosh Cafe

Through the looking glass, Antwell, East London-Through the looking glass was all about the Alice reference but the cheeky placement of Flamingos and bunnies kept my gaze...
All Saints, Chain store - These shops are dotted through put London and the same display is in every window, with antique sewing machines floor to ceiling in every window. Now it is regimented, but it makes you stop and look to see if they are real and wonder how they collected all these and how long it must have taken AND it is repeated in every store.
Moosh - Fulham - This shot is taken inside and I couldn't wait to get in. A juice bar in the middle of Fulham with no park to be seen, so they created their very own with fake grass, trees and even a 70's mural of woodlands.
Osbourne & Little, Kings Rd - Wholesalers of fabrics and wallpapers but instead of blurting rolls of fabrics making it obvious, they have taken to the Christmas Spirit with Rudolph as their spokesperson!
Vive La Rose, Princes Arcade- I have seen many flower shops that look like this but it caught my eye as it was in a tiny arcade amongst shops that were awash with bright colours, lights and 'bling' . The simple beauty of this display lead me inside for some quiet respite.

Monday, December 7, 2009

London - to Market to Market!

Dr martens

I have been here a very short time and through my fuzz of jetlag I seem to bump into a market where-ever I go! So far I have been to Brick Lane which had Pop-Up! Vintage markets in abondoned warehouses, Portobello Road- the longest antique market, Petticoat Lane- selling cheap mass produced items and then Spitafields market which is a melting pot of individual designers sitting amongst large cafes and some chain stores. Even the stores are fitted out with a quirky designer touch. The pictures above are all from Spitafield market as this is the one that captured me the most and I loved the creativeness of the artisans.

Elemental - interiors shop

Spitafield Market

Some of the artists -
Josh Baum makes delicate artwork cut from paper. My favourite was a tiny butterfly that sits in a dome and you take the 'magic' wand and it flutters at your command.
Dan Hillier who produces quirky artwork of 19 Century Gentry mixed with the animal and insect world. Humorous with a touch of old fashioned side-show entertainment. I loved the Tuxedoed Mooses.
Zoe Larkins makes the most adorable puff buttons I have seen and her display is quirky and eye-catching with a giant hare keeping watch!
Doc Martens is a mass market shoe that was once and still is, 'The Shoe' that typified London. I of course bought my first pair this year, red tartan, so I was impressed to find them in the market and with a unique shop interior. A stark retail space and in the centre flouoescent yellow strips that usually are associated with commercial refrigeration doorways.
Outside the market are more artists with permanent shops, all tiny but very apealling. The outdoor shot was taken at 4.30pm so it shows to have good lighting in London's winter!
Elemental is one of stores that caught my eye, filled to the brim with handcrafted and Vintage Furniture.
Off to walk London again today so I look forward to sharing more through the lens of a designer!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Off to London soon!

As my busy year comes to a close rapidly, and following a shoot for Selling Houses Australia next week, I'll be jumping on a jet plane and heading overseas for 3 weeks - back in time for Xmas !

Make sure you follow my blog and tweets as I seek out interesting Interior trends in both the UK and Europe, and share them with you.

Our latest makeovers will be featured in magazines early next year, but here's a teaser of what's to come....

Glamour Bedroom Makeover....

New York Loft-Style Apartment

And our "Fashion meets Interiors" shoot, with beautiful gowns supplied by J'Aton Couture, to bring out the princess in every woman....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Create your own work of art - if you dare!!!

It is amazing what you can find on and the things it inspires you to do! Andy Jones, my PA found this video featuring great works of art by Joe Ponciano that he created and thought "it looks pretty easy" and gave it a go. Well it truly became a labour of love - her eyes are now the size of pins as she focused on the minature holes in the chicken wire and she swears she has no feeling in the ends of her fingers from the thousands (she said tens of thousands?) of cable ties she threaded. I think the results are pretty spectacular and she said she will never do it again, till she looked re-looked at the site and thought 'the wall feature looks good'! Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


What a long day! From 9am till 5pm people from the design industry moved around design precincts of Sydney looking at current and future furniture, fabrics and anything to do with interiors. But it was far from serious business!! Each place you entered had a theme and displays that either inspired your design challenges or put a cheeky smile on your face. One of my favourites was at Living Edge where Chandon created a whimsical competition to 'create a minature chair'. The material? The cork of the champagne bottle of course!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Houses while you travel

I dont know what it is like in your house but it's late night TV for The Ashes in England and Le Tour de France! Alot of armchair travelling has been going on as we wind our way through the Swiss Alps and admiring the lush green mountains and quaint rural houses that look like Monopoly figurines randomly dotted on the country side. This Auto by Ing.M.Voglreiter house looks like a modern day chitty chitty bang bang but it is a renovated 70's house!
What you do have to admire about the Tour is the comeback king Lance Armstrong - to be a winner for all those years, take a break, then a break-up (Sheryl Crow) and a new wife and family and be in the front pack of the tour is nothing but inspiring. I am hoping to be able channel a bit of that inspiration to getting off the couch (who am I kidding) for for the time being I'm pretty happy with the scenery!

Scenery of Le Tour - Arm Chair Travelling

Pictures from a spectators blog keeps you fully informed

Maybe a poster on your wall! for inspiration

Just some pics to get you outdoors!

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Part of my job is to think of new and intersting ways to do things. Then come the normal obstacles of budget, client preferences, building restrictions etc... But a bigger problem is the mental block. See the list below of ways to build your creative juices and ways to laugh about it.
Yvonne Adele from Ideas Culture has got me out of a few creative slumps and she has an online programme you can do in your sleep!!


When you cant get the creative juices going - put on a piece of music. Strings by Carneval and 'blow-your-mind' vocals by Ben Thomas give me enery to tap into.

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