Using mirrors to make your little space BIG

ImageWhat’s the fastest and cheapest way to double your little apartment space?  With mirrors!  Just like magic, this mirror creates twice the light from the nearby lamp, twice the decoration of the beautiful lavender in a fresh white jug, and doubles the amount of space visible.  The white furniture and surrounds helps to keep the whole space light and open.

The opposite wall continues the bright white and lavender theme, bringing a little piece of country to an inner-Melbourne sanctuary.

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Busy city, quiet spaces – The other side of Singapore

ImageSingapore – if there’s anywhere in the world that gets me thinking of apartment living, this place has to be it.  Every time I go there the city is alive with cranes, drills, towering metal frameworks and little trucks full of builders.  It feels like a whole city’s worth of apartment blocks are built and re-built there, every day.  I actually love the excitement of it and how ordered it still manages to be.

Last time I visited I noticed for the first time those quiet little spaces that people have created for themselves in the middle of this BIG, noisy city.

The following photos are all very different but the feeling these places evoked was the same, of reflection, of peace and calm, of a little oasis. From the colourful opulent space for prayer, to the smooth carving of the statue, to the bright little flowers in a quiet patch outside a busy market place, these areas created a big change in pace and feeling.  

It’s easy to do this in your little space too, by choosing beautiful pieces of furniture and decoration, as opulent or as simple as you like, that evoke a reaction of calm when you see it.  And the outcome, as you can see below, is a really special and personalised space…

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Luxury decor for a luxurious Sydney weekend

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I’m in Sydney this weekend around Mosman and North Sydney. As well as finding some incredible views, I happened upon some great interior inspiration in a Sydney Thai street food restaurant. There are luxe gold walls mixed with dark wood, chandeliers and cushions and light shades that pop with colour.
Absolutely brilliant for enjoying a Sunday moscato, thank you Sydney!

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The little porch – a festival of colours

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How can you inject some springtime colour to your outdoor space?  Here’s a tiny place I happened upon in Capri, proving just how much life can be packed into one little porch.  The tiles, flowers, and even the name plate are all fantastic excuses for a festival of colours!

This has been my weekend inspiration for potting up some beautiful flowers in coloured pots for my own little space.  Enjoy!

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The Thinking Chair

The Thinking Chair

Every apartment needs a good, oversized, comfy chair. Somewhere to read, think, write, blog, or sit oracle-like while you offer your friends advice over a glass of wine. Especially on rainy Tuesday nights like tonight. This chair has a good … Continue reading

Decorating with unexpected objects

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Decorating with unexpected objects can be a brilliant talking piece as well as show BIG personality in a small space.  I found this little ledge in a cafe close to me over the weekend with my family.  The singer sewing machine brought up fantastic memories of a similar one my Nan used to sew with.  Over the course of a very yummy brunch, we talked about birds, native flowers (my Nan was also a florist), sewing, and of course new decorating ideas for the home – all while surrounded by beautiful objects that provided a quirky and quite familiar environment.

Up-cycling can as simple as an old family object (here a sewing machine and old jars) or using something from nature (branches hung on a plain wall with a bird as a feature).  The story of where the object was found or how it was used can be just as special as the piece itself.

Note the textured walls which provide a brilliantly simple and effective backdrop for the hero of the story, which is the display.

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Fixing it up – medicine cupboard

Gen Y does DIY!!!  This is a really simple fix it job that I did in a few hours over my weekend…

I found this old pine cupboard, which was actually a really good size for a very little bathroom. Then I found a cool vintage tin poster which I inserted into the middle like this:

ImageIt still wasn’t quite right for my place, so I embarked on my very first (mini) DIY project:

  • Get a Screwdriver – Unfortunately not the cocktail variety, these little things come in very handy for taking doors off cupboards.  Pick one up from your Dad, brother, mate, partner, or a local hardware shop!
  • Parts and pieces – Now that everything is in parts and pieces, sand them back (pretty roughly).  It doesn’t need to be perfect, just a bit roughed up so the paint will stick (and look smooth).
  • Undercoating – I love painting, especially things this small as you see a result so quickly.  The undercoat needs to be painted with the grain which means the way the wood would stand if it were still a tree.  Don’t make it too thick as it can get uneven, but don’t worry, you can always sand them back once the paint is dry.
  • Topcoats  – I let my undercoat dry overnight, however with topcoats you don’t need to get bored watching paint dry!  I did three, and with only an hour needed between coats of paint (check with your local handyman how long to leave yours), I knocked this over in a day.  Antique white was the right colour for me, but these days there are more paints than imaginable that have all sorts of textures and effects.  So it’s very easy to give BIG personality to reflect your style.
  • Putting the pieces together – it’s a bit like a puzzle but much easier!  Use that screwdriver again to put back in the screws, find a new handle that you like (I went with a simple black one), and there you have it, a new storage cupboard for your little space!

I’ll be completing my weekend DIY in tomorrow’s post on putting it up!

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Alternative uses for herbs

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As a single person house, sometimes I don’t use up all my herbs.  Here are some alternate uses:

  • Make a display – My herbs bolted so to keep them alive, I had to prune them back.  They looked and smelt divine with my lavender
  • Dry them – Herbs also look beautiful when hanging up to dry.  So decorate your house with them, and they will come in handy when cooking over the slower-growing months, too!
  • Make tea with them – Mint tea, with real mint, is divine.  Try using different types of mint for different strength and flavour
  • Swap them! Think of all your friends, neighbours and family who also cook, and you’ll realise there’s no reason to let your herbs go to waste.  Even better, encourage people around you to grow something for you to share.  Contribute to your community, make new friends, improve the air quality in your little space, and enjoy BIG flavours.  Win, win, win, WIN!

Outside, Inside

Not all apartments have the luxury of outdoor space.  So bring your outdoors, indoors!  Here’s some inspiration…

ImageFlowers on a coffee table add colour.  Change the water daily to keep your flowers fresher for longer!  These flowers from my Nan’s garden stayed beautiful for over three weeks!

ImageMix and match the size of flowers and vases.  White and glass will look beautiful anywhere.

ImageIndoor plants make your house feel alive, but make sure you get advice before buying. Like us, plants like a certain lifestyle – some love sun, some love shade, some need more water, some struggle in heat.  Keep your plant happy by choosing the right one and giving it the right care, and it will keep you happy, too!