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.

Image

The Fab Weekend Entertainer’s Courtyard

Image

It’s the weekend, and the weather in Melbourne is gorgeous!  I am super inspired to come out of hiding and start entertaining again.

So what to do if you don’t have a big backyard for a barbecue?  You can still make your small outdoor (or indoor) space completely stylish!  My fabulous friend recently invited a group of us for a simple and glamourous Sunday brunch in her small courtyard.  Apart from being a brilliant cook, she made the day special using these touches:

  • Create a theme – here the green and white was fresh, and enhanced the lush outdoor feel.  Even if you are indoors, you can add some flowers for an outdoor feel.
  • Small touches count – my friend had grown her own rosemary, and as well as using it in her cooking, she made little displays in small glasses.  It didn’t take up too much space on the table, but having real herbs with beautiful fragrances really made it feel like spring.
  • Fresh food can be the best ornament of all – it may sound boringly functional, but where space is tight, using your meal as a centrepiece can actually be very exciting!  Think beautiful fresh fruits, lime in glasses, and great, colourful salads
  • Keep it simple – you don’t need to overcrowd with big floral arrangements that people can’t see over!  Keep the hero of the day as the food you serve and the fabulouscompany you keep!

Happy weekend everyone!Image

Framing it right

IMG_6400

I’ve always been told that when you do something, do it well.  And that definitely applies when displaying your things in small apartments.  Space comes at a premium so it’s important that each area tells a story, and tells it beautifully.

So fill your space with things you love!  This is a poster I found in an antique market in Beijing, playing charades to overcome language barriers, bargain and swap stories with a shop assistant in the middle of a Chinese market place.  It travelled all the way around China in a cardboard tube before taking up residence in said cardboard tube at the bottom of my wardrobe back in Melbourne.

Although it cost me very little, this poster has shared BIG adventures with me so it was destined for much greater things than being stashed away in the dark.

It’s not hard to bang a nail into a wall and hang up a picture, but theres a big difference when it’s done well, so here are my top tips:

  • Measure up your wall.  Pick a space where there is enough room to stand back and appreciate your artwork, but not so much space that your picture will get lost.  Smaller pictures can work in a larger spaces if you group them together.
  • Understand your colour scheme. What are the colours and features you want to draw out?  Picking out a backing colour that drew out the beading in this Shanghai lady’s clutch bag, as well as highlighting her dress and some of the Chinese characters helped to bring this poster to life.
  • Pick the right frame. The frame needs to suit the picture and your apartment.  I picked French provincial to go with the very French colonial feel of my picture.
  • Get help. This is a feature in my apartment so it needed to be done well and it was important to get advice.  There are fantastic framing shops who can help you pick out the right colours to make your picture stand out.  It’s worth every cent!
  • Keep your area simple. When your picture or a painting is a feature, keep the area around it simple.  In a little space, too much clutter is sometimes your enemy!

IMG_6402

Let’s start at the very beginning….

Room with a view

It’s a very good place to start….  When you read you begin with ABC, however the decision to purchase or rent your first apartment isn’t quite that simple.

After enormous amounts of preparation, saving and more than a few heartbreaking auctions, I found myself very surprised one Saturday morning sitting in a little apartment on a little couch with little decoration (furnished for sale) and one very large purchase completed.   I realised what I’d done five minutes before by putting up my hand.  Just like at school when the teacher asked a question, I put up my hand to answer.  Only this time, my answer was “I’m ready to grow up”.

Such a little space, was the biggest decision I’d ever made.  So it deserves to be extraordinary.  This view above was my first inspiration, and the first thing that made me fall in love with my new little space.

And so over the past year I have embarked on a journey to create my own little oasis, a place where friends and family come to relax, to talk, to tell stories, and to create memories.  Hopefully my space can inspire you to do the same and make a BIG life in your little space.