Top Apps For Interior Designers

‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans’A very famous quote from the late great John Lennon.  But have you heard the modern version of this?!  ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy on your smart phone’ and in a word, I agree!  But there is a whole lot of interesting going on in my smart phone! Hours and hours of endless entertainment in news, fashion, design, photography and the list goes on and on.  But it is also so imperative to our business world now.  Where would we be without technology and social media?  Applications like Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Instagram have opened up the communication lines and it’s a free for all – a community of sharing information which I think is quite brilliant and feel lucky to be a part of this viral age.  Apps are also an amazing creation.  We now have software that allows us to do anything on the go; draw, plan, design, play and learn.  Here are some design apps that I use regularly for interior design and think they’re fantastic (and just for the record, I’m sure John Lennon would own a smart phone if he was alive today…)

Penultimate (free)

This app comes from the same designers of Evernote. It’s an app for iPad and when used with a stylus, it simulates the experience of writing.  It’s great for sketching and making notes which is a handy tool to have when you are with a client taking a brief of a space.

Room Planner (free)

Room Planner by Chief Architect allows you to create floor plans and 3D models. As well as drawing floor plans, it allows you to arrange rooms with furniture, doors and windows.  There is a multitude of colours, materials, textures and 3D objects to choose from.  Excellent when you are planning a space for a client brief and easy to use.

Houzz (free)

Houzz is a beautiful visual app that allows you to browse millions of design ideas and add them to your own virtual idea book.  There are great features like the ability to click on links in a photo which will give you information on where to buy the furniture or accessories.  You can also search for local professionals in your own area in the ‘Find Local Pros’ tab.

Pinterest (free)

The virtual mood board – this app makes my life a happy one!  You can create boards for any scenario; to plan projects, make wish lists, plan trips and with an unending sea of images, there is so much to be inspired by.  It also has the added functionality of clicking on the image and it takes you directly to the website to where the image came from which I have found great when trying to source items for clients.

Evernote (free)

This clever app allows you to organise notes, photos, audio recordings, lists and more that you can then tag and file into stacks.  It also decodes your handwritten notes so you can search for those too!  An ample little office on the go!

What are your favourite apps?  I am always on the lookout for new and upcoming apps and would love to hear what your essentials are!

Thrifty Tuesday – 10 Frugal Finds Under $50!

I cannot believe a week has passed since my last Thrifty Tuesday post – time is flying by!  Anyhow, it’s that time of week again for us to hunt down some gorgeous goodies to treat ourselves to, at a very affordable price tag of $50 or less!  As you’ve probably noticed, the monochromatic colour scheme is back in a big way this year, so I have decided to check out what accessories are out there in this bold and striking  theme.  Monochromatic accents will add sophistication to any space.  So let’s see what fabulous gems we found this week!

Feather Print $42 http://www.bodieandfou.com

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Blackboard Pan $6.95 http://www.domayneonline.com.au

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Kitchen Board $38 http://www.theminimalist.com.au

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Handmade Deer Purse $24 http://www.shelflife.com.au

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 Wedding Ring Dish $22 PromisePottery at Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/PromisePottery
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Blackboard Mug $21.95 Outliving http://www.virtualmerchant.com.au

Tote Bag $18 http://www.society6.com

ain't nobody got time for that Tote Bag

Paris Decal Photospot $50 http://www.countryandco.com

Paris Decal

Rope and Onyx Necklace $49 http://www.tenthings.com.au

Rope and Onyx Necklace

Design Dilemma – How To Hang Wall Art

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If you’re like me, you’ll be dreaming of building and designing your own home some day!  I have so many ideas for my dream home and look forward to a day when I can put it all into practice!  But for now, all I have is a ‘bottom drawer’ of ideas (or in this age, we call it Pinterest!).  On my ‘to do list’ is a display wall, housing art, photographs and treasures.  It’s a high impact look that gives that personal touch to your space.  But it can be a tricky concept to put together!  Here are some tips on how to pull off an effortless display wall;

1. Check Your Foundation

Before you begin, you need to consider the type of wall you’re hanging your pictures on.  For concrete, you will need a rotary hammer drill. Use a drill bit that’s smaller than the plug especially with older houses as this will slowly create the hole without disturbing the masonry.  For plasterboard, a basic screwdriver will do.

2. Measure Up

Pictures should be hung at eye level, with the centre of the artwork sitting at approximately 1.45m – 1.52m from the floor. When hanging art in children’s bedrooms, lower it to their height, so they can enjoy it too.

3. Come Together

For a vintage feel, mix frames of varied shapes, sizes and textures of photos and memorabilia. Hanging a collection of frames is ideal for large walls. Experiment with the configuration on the floor first, using an important piece as a focal point and then spread them out in all directions, thinning out at the edges. Separate two similar-sized pieces with a smaller one and keep spacing tight.

4. Think Outside The Square

Don’t restrict yourself to traditional options.  You can frame tickets to a favourite concert, dried flowers, plates or anything that means something significant to you. You can even leave some funky frames empty to create a minimalist look, or put up a shelf to display a sculpture.

5. Location, Location

You don’t always have to place a painting or picture in the middle of a wall.  Instead, anchor it over a piece of furniture, such as a sofa, or reference it to a feature, like at the end of a dining table or above a mantelpiece.

6. Don’t Step Into The Light

Sunlight exposure will fade artwork.  Also, if you hang a glass covered photo across from a window, the reflection of the light will restrict your view of the image.  It’s best to display your photo or art away from natural light and if possible, display it under an artificial recessed light which will highlight it.

Trend Alert! Make Room For Copper and Brass

Move over silver and gold; your classy cousins copper and brass are in town!  These beautiful metals are taking their turn in the metallic spotlight and rightly so.  They bring an old worldly charm to any space in an understated way and are less flashy than their glamorous cousin, gold. They add richness and character to a room and are the must have accessory for 2013.  But as trends come and go, these precious metals only get better with age when cared for.  Copper constantly changes in colour which adds to it’s charm but you can slow down this process with automobile wax treatments a couple of times a year.  And keep brass clean and polished to prevent tarnishing.

Copper/Brass Briki – $16.70 http://www.metrio.com.au

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Stone and Brass Pestle and Mortar http://www.tomdixon.net

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Cage Brass Tea Light $49.95 http://www.hardtofind.com

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How To Style Cushions

Cushions; they are just like candy in a candy store, so many colours and so much to choose from (sigh!) Cushions are such a fun accessory and an inexpensive way to make a big impact to any space. But it is a task in itself to select the right ones for your room because of that very reason – there is just so many to choose! And trying to put a look together is not always easy. One of my favourite sites, Temple & Webster, have come up with a great video giving the virgin cushion arrangers among us, some great tips! In the video, Head of Styling Jessica Bellef describes how to pull together cohesive cushion looks by following three easy rules:

1. Colour

Choose a colour scheme that ties in with your existing room. Pull the scheme from your art work, a rug or even an accessory.

2. Pattern

You can mix and match patterns, but always be mindful of the scale, keeping the pattern size similar. Also, you can use some block colours to place between the patterned cushions, adding interest but more importantly, in design language, it gives the eye somewhere to rest!

3. Placement

Its all about the layering! Place larger cushions at the back and smaller ones in front, but keep in mind that form follows function in interior design! You have to be able to sit comfortably on your couch, so choose cushions that are in proportion to your couch and make sure there is room to snuggle in! Happy cushion styling!

Thrifty Tuesday – 10 Frugal Finds under $50!

Every week in our ‘Thrifty Tuesday’ feature, we will be on the hunt for some beautiful bargains under $50!  Here are our finds for this week:

This cute storage basket is a cool $29.95 and can be found at Mozi http://www.mozi.com.au

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How adorable are these hooks!  Sparrow Set from Outliving http://www.outliving.com.au $19.95

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I want this!  This beautiful hammered cooper serving bowl can be found at Safari Living http://www.safariliving.com $48

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Beautiful candle Holder – Dunlin http://www.dunlinhome.com $45

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Geometric Clock – Ikea http://www.ikea.com.au $39.95

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Cool Melbourne Artwork Print – Loosepetals at Etsy http://www.etsy.com $26

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Ahoy Kitchen!  Nautical Tea Towel – Table Tonic http://www.tabletonic.com.au $29

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Your sugar will look pretty in this bowl!  Elevate Design http://www.elevatedesign.com.au $43

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Keep Calm Clock – My Clock Face http://www.myclockface.com.au $39.95

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Scrabble Fridge Magnets – Hard To Find http://www.hardtofind.com.au $14.95

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What’s your favourite find?  Mine is definitely the copper serving bowl, I think that will be my treat this week!  Check back next week for more thrifty Tuesday finds!