09 March 2018
By portermathewsblog


Image Sources: Laura Metzler and Homepolish

The way Shannon Smith transforms a bare apartment into a cosy home might cause you to confuse her for a magician, or an interior design fairy godmother at the very least. The Homepolish interior designer can do wonders to a space no matter how tight the budget or small the square footage.

The secret to creating a stunning home, she says, is to focus on three things when decorating. “I am a firm believer that you don’t need a lot of stuff to make your space feel finished. If you consider these three things — texture, colour, and scale — you can make any space feel cosy.”

Keep reading to hear what Shannon has to say about approaching each.

  1. Texture: The More The Merrier

    Image Sources: Laura Metzler and Homepolish

    “Add texture with area rugs, drapery, vintage pieces, or natural fibers,” Shannon advises.

  2. Colour: Layer Three

    Image Sources: Laura Metzler and Homepolish

    “Layer colour in your space to add depth, even if it’s neutral,” she says. “I always try to choose three colours — a light colour, a dark colour, and something in between — and scatter them throughout the space.”

  3. Scale: Go Big, or Go Home

Image Sources: Laura Metzler and Homepolish

“Large art pieces, leaning floor mirrors, and big area rugs accentuate the height of the ceilings or the width of a room,” explains Shannon. “If you are worried about living in a small space, focus particularly on this tip as it will usually make your space feel larger.”





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20 November 2017
By portermathewsblog

Emily Blatchford

It’s time to get crafty.

We know, we know. It’s still only October. But you’d be surprised how quickly this end of the year seems to slip away.

October turns into November and then all of a sudden it’s Christmas Eve and you’re at K-Mart playing tug-o-war with another shopper for the last set of fairy lights.

So to save you the hassle of trying to decorate last minute (and having to resort to the leftover red and green tinsel), HuffPost Australia spoke to Deb Bibby, editor-in-chief of JONES Magazine for a sneak-peek into the must-have Christmas trends of 2017.

But wait. Before we start, we have to ask. Do Christmas trends actually exist? Or is it pretty much also Santa and Rudolph every year?

“Yes, I think they do,” Bibby said. “And I think they are kind of dictated a little bit by fashion. This year we are seeing trends such as all white… just beautiful layers of crisp white all in different textures.

“And you can do that beautifully on a tree. It can be really elegant and chic. Though I would say if you are going for all white look, make sure you get baubles that are different textures to create some interest.”

As for other trends to watch out for, Bibby said organics, crystals and even underwater, beachy themes will be appearing in stores, as well as more traditional fare.


“There is a lovely trend for all the organics and more natural decorations. So for instance in the upcoming issue we have this gorgeous tree with earthy colours and gold baubles.

“This style really lends itself to home-made decorations as well. That natural thing is very on trend. You could pick a dull gold bauble and then make some things with the kids using cardboard or brown paper, such as little origami pieces tied with a bit of gold thread. You’d be surprised how much fun the kids have making these things. They just love the process.”

For those wanting something less earthy, Bibby said filling the tree with crystals can make for an eye-catching look.

“Then there is slick crystal, and you can use real crystal or a more affordable crystal style decoration, depending on your budget. Mass decoration looks beautiful if you can do it. You know, really filling the tree.”

While a crystal-covered tree may be stretching the budget for some, Bibby maintained Christmas decorations don’t have to be expensive.

“I mentioned before the earthy organic tree, with all those beautiful homemade pieces. Or if you wanted to invest in one thing a year, David Jones does beautiful limited edition hand blown baubles. I think that’s a really lovely thing for a young family to do, to start a tradition. Every year you could buy one of those to add to your tree.

“If all else fails, resort to fairy lights. Even if you took a branch — like a white branch — if you took a branch out of the garden and hung a simple selection of baubles on it, or threaded some fairy lights through the tree, even simple touches like that can look magical. Especially for kids, too. If you can’t afford lots of baubles, my advice would be to go for fairy lights.”


If in doubt, use fairy lights.

Given Christmas falls in the Australian summer, Bibby also said it can be fun to play around with beachy themes.

“I think underwater themes are really fun. You can get little decorative characters and little fish — it’s just beautiful for kids,” she said.

“You can have a lot of fun with little fish, little mermaids, starfish, beautiful blues… I think there’s something to be said for just having fun with the tree and not taking it too seriously. Let the kids contribute by decorating the tree with you.”


For those with more traditional tastes, Bibby said it’s fine to embrace the old red, green and gold but warns not to overdo it.

“If you are more for a traditionalist going for the greens and the reds, tone it back a little bit,” she said. “I wouldn’t go full on green and red. Perhaps the odd red through a green tree but not a full on multi-colour extravaganza.”

She also notes there are other ways to embrace Christmas traditions such as getting into candles, wreaths and pine cones.

“Candles are a beautiful thing at Christmas time, as well as being massive gifts at Christmas. They are just not dying… a candle is still a beautiful, beautiful gift,” she said.

“Even the scent of a particular candle at Christmas can really be special. Pick a particular ‘Christmas scent’ so that’s a memory for your children.

“Speaking of scents, using pine somehow on the table is lovely if you don’t have an authentic tree. And I love a good wreath. It’s a really nice welcome to Christmas.

“If you are having people over to your house, you want to make it feel special, and having something on the door to announce Christmas is a great way to do that.”

As for Christmas decoration no-nos?

“I think tinsel… if you were stuck with tinsel, stick to one colour you might be able to get away with it,” Bibby said. “I wouldn’t add different colours of tinsel. Look, it’s not my favourite decoration.”

For more Christmas decoration inspiration, see our favourite pins below.

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