17 October 2017
By portermathewsblog

Are you preparing to sell your home in Perth? Home staging and styling has become a big trend, particularly in this challenging market. Potential buyers will judge your home and form their opinions before they even attend a home open through the online advertisement, so it’s important to make a good first impression.

By making some small but effective changes, your property photos can play an important role in enticing buyers to attend your home open.

Here are five budget friendly tips to help style and stage your home for a sale.

1. De-clutter your space

The first thing you will want to do when listing your property for sale is to de-clutter and throw out or donate any items you do not want following you to your next home. It is also recommended to store away any personal items just for the home open to create a neutral space for potential buyers. This can include:

  • Personal photos.
  • Artwork on the fridge.
  • Letters and bills.
  • Toiletries and clothes (keep these neatly packed away in the cupboard or draws).

De-cluttering creates more space and shows off the storage potential of your property, whilst also allowing potential buyers to imagine their own life and personal items inside the house.

2. Clean up

Once you have de-cluttered, it’s a good move to clean your house to ensure it’s presented in the best possible way for photos and home opens. Aside from general tidying and vacuuming, this can also include:

  • Cleaning up the outdoor area – trim hedges, clear pathways, lay mulch or pebbles to tidy up garden beds and discard unruly weeds.
  • Address any lingering odours – perhaps due to a blocked drain or a pet’s toilet training accident.
  • Get your cupboards in order – buyers are going to open draws, cabinets and cupboards, so be sure to neaten things up in there and create the illusion of more space.
  • Clean soiled items – such as stains in your carpet and curtains (including your shower curtain), and any other household items.


3. Update your paint colour

You may love that red feature wall in the living room, but it might not be quite to your potential buyers’ taste. The most effective way to style your home is to neutralise your space with lick of paint.

Choose neutral paint colours, such as whites, creams and light greys to freshen up your walls and hide any scuff marks or small chips. You can even go as far as re-painting cupboard doors or tiles to update your kitchen and bathroom.

4. Invest in some on trend décor

Update your décor with some on trend pieces, but be sure to not clutter the space. Small, subtle touches are best, not to mention easier on the budget, and can include:

  • A statement rug or hall runner.
  • Pillows and throws for your couch.
  • Decorative ornaments and artwork, such as a vase with flowers or a trendy print.

Don’t be afraid to add pops of colour as well, especially if you have neutral walls and furniture.

5. Create a welcoming environment

For the home open itself, create a great first impression and a welcoming environment with small touches, such as:

  • A scented candle or fresh flowers.
  • Relaxing music.
  • Ambient, comfortable lighting.

Be mindful of the season as well – perhaps pop on a fan or the air conditioner if it’s a warm day, or light a fire (if you have a working fireplace) to create a cosy atmosphere on rainy winter evening.

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13 October 2017
By portermathewsblog

Perth is well known for its sunshine and hot summer months, and while we are in the transitional spring season it’s the perfect opportunity to prepare your home for the warmer weather ahead.

Although the beach becomes a second home for many West Aussies during summer, it’s also a great time of year to spend at home with family and friends enjoying the long summer days. So we have put together five tips to help you prepare your home and make the most of it this summer.

1. De-clutter

Start with a clean home and head space by decluttering each room of the house.

Get rid of anything you don’t use by giving it to charity, friends and family, or throwing out broken and unusable items. Pack away winter specific items as well, such as blankets and heaters, in vacuum sealed bags or boxes and stow away in the shed.

2. Spring clean

Once you have de-cluttered your home, the next step is to do a thorough spring clean to freshen up your space and ensure it’s ready for your guests and summer BBQs. This can include:

  • Washing your walls and windows.
  • Thoroughly cleaning carpets, rugs and floors.
  • Cleaning out cupboards and throwing away expired food.
  • Removing mould, dust and cobwebs.
  • Defrosting your freezer (and creating space for your favourite ice cream).


3. Make sure your summer appliances are in working order

Whilst performing your spring clean, it’s also a good idea to ensure your most used appliances during the summer months are in working order, such as:

  • Air conditioners and fans – Perth summers pack a lot of heat, so it’s important you have good ventilation to cool your home. Double check the settings work on your fan or air conditioner units, and the blades/vents are clean to ensure you don’t circulate dust and allergens around the room.
  • BBQ – an essential part of any summer dinner party is the Aussie BBQ. Now is a good time to deep clean your hotplates, check the gas and ensure the all the fittings are safely working.
  • Pool and spa – if you’re lucky enough to have your own private oasis in your backyard, be sure to get your pool and/or spa ready for use during the hotter months. Get out the pool cleaner, check the jets and ensure your safety gate/fences are in tip top condition.


4. Prepare your outdoor area

It’s a safe bet you will be spending many nights and lazy days during December through to March outside on the deck or under the pergola. In this case, don’t forget your outdoor area in your spring clean.

Small but effective measures can be taken to ensure you backyard is summer ready, including:

  • Mowing the lawn, cutting back hedges and trees, and removing any weeds.
  • Hosing down pavement and/or oiling the deck.
  • Cleaning your outdoor furniture to remove any dust and cobwebs.
  • Fixing shade sails, purchasing an umbrella or replacing missing roof panels in your outdoor area to ensure you have appropriate shade from the harsh summer sun.


5. Decorate for summer

Just as winter brings out the richly scented candles and heavy fleece linens, in summer you may want to lighten up your décor.

Swap out heavy linens for lighter, cotton blends in the bedroom, and replace your fluffy blankets for a light throw in your living room. You can even introduce some greenery to your kitchen and living areas, such as a low-maintenance succulent plant, to create a more summery ambiance – some plants can even purify the stuffy summer air.

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05 October 2017
By portermathewsblog


Why wait until 29. Oct to create the set of Stranger Things in your living room? For those truly dedicated to the Halloween holiday, clusters of skulls, pumpkin patches, and that perfectly positioned crow are already taking pride of place. Once you see how these creeps have decked out their pads, it will spook you into following suit. And if you really mean business, decorate yourself a Halloween tree, too. Then you’ll be decked out until the new year.























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28 September 2017
By portermathewsblog

September is the month for shaking off the Winter blues and your walls deserve a bit of love, too. If you’re sick of blank space and monochrome rooms, it’s time you find a cheery print or painting that will lift your whole space.

Selecting art for your home is one of the building blocks of home decor, even if you’re in a rental (remember, 3M strips mean you don’t have to worry about putting holes in the wall). If your space is feeling a bit bland — a repercussion from taking your mum’s “beige goes with everything” advice — then look for something bright and colourful. It doesn’t have to tie into a colour you already have in the room, it’s actually best to look for something opposing with impact that you can build on with other decor.

Below is our pick of the best new batch of framed wonders to cure your boring walls.

Dean Martindale The Floating Pineapple Art Print ($23 — $500)

Urban Road Immerse ($34 — $149)
Urban Road Immerse ($34 — $149)

Rachel Castle Ace of Hearts Screen Print ($170)
Rachel Castle Ace of Hearts Screen Print

Sarah Johanna Eick White Chair ($529).
 Urban Dreams Photography Palm Springs Dino Art Print ($23 — $500)
Erik Chmil Lago di Como ($1,149).
Rachel Castle Big Garden 5 Screen Print ($540)
Amy Lincoln Jungle Waterfall Art Print ($23 — $500)
Sven Fennema Lightless ($1,259).
A Dozen Dynamic Donuts by April Walters ($24 — $1,200)
Sarina Diakos Awakenings #4 ($400)
Urban Road Hidden Fields Blue ($34 — $149).
Grand Canyon National Park by Vintage Editions ($24 — $800)
Shellie Cleaver Still Life 3 ($550)
Urban Road Surf ($34 — $149).
Urban Road Surf ($34 — $149).
Sarah Johanna Eick Gas Station ($769).
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22 September 2017
By portermathewsblog

Author: Emma Bolger via

“If you can create something time cannot erode, something that ignores the eccentricities of particular eras or moments, something truly timeless… this is ultimate victory.” – Dr Ferry Porsche.

When attempting to create a timeless interior, it’s important to be clear about your interior decorating style, while also considering past, present and future trends.  Here are five key elements that will enable you to create a timeless foundation that you can develop – or easily reinvent – over time.

1. Choose open-plan design
Open-plan living provides a seamless transition through different areas of the home and allows a unified approach to interior design.

Particularly notable is the relationship between the kitchen, dining and living areas. To create a seamless relationship between zones, consider carrying your flooring, colour scheme, any motifs or lighting styles through both spaces.


2. Go for white walls and ceilings

White walls and ceilings create continuity in open-plan spaces, while providing a blank canvas to evolve your decor at any time.

With so many variations of white paint available, it’s important to select the white that best suits your interior style and the feeling you want to create in your home.

Cool whites: Ideal for neutralising bright light in spaces abundant with natural light, the crispness of cool whites also makes them a popular choice for modern and minimalist decorating styles. With a black or blue base, start your search with Dulux “Vivid White” or Porter’s Paints “Milk”.

Warm whites: If you want to make a room feel more inviting or have a lot of natural textures in your home, then warm whites are for you. With yellow, brown or red bases, my favourite is Dulux “Antique White USA”, but other popular warm whites include Taubmans “Plain Vanilla” and Porter’s Paints “Long Grain”.

As you start to investigate whites you may also be drawn to greys. Cool greys are ideal for glamorous spaces, whereas warm greys set a more relaxed tone.


3. Think about your flooring

We’ve moved past the days where carpet dominated flooring choices at home. As hard flooring takes its place, texture is moving to the forefront. Here are some good textural options:

Timber: Oak is a popular timber choice as its grain adds just the right amount of texture to suit any interior style. From the blonde oaks that are seen in Scandinavian decorating styles to dark chocolate tones that amp up the glamour, the variation of tints make oak easy to team with your style. Spotted gum, blackbutt and other Australian species are growing in popularity, and their distinctive grains and colours make them a good match for timeless interiors.


Polished concrete, stone or tiles: These look classic in various shades of grey. Selected in this instance as an alternative to timber, they are also useful in wet areas of the home, such as laundries and bathrooms, where timber flooring is not as suitable.

Carpet: Carpet provides a luxurious foundation to sink your feet into and works particularly well in bedrooms or other secluded areas of the home that aren’t high in traffic and suit softness underfoot. With timelessness in mind, it’s hard go to past twist or textured carpet designs. While both styles are easy to maintain and work well with all interior styles, a twist carpet is ideal if you have pets, as their claws are less likely to get stuck in the fibres.

Rugs: Rugs enable you to enhance your interior style, while softening the sound, and defining zones within a larger area. When it comes to rug fibres and textures, it’s best to be guided by the look and feel you want to create – keeping in mind that timelessness is about quality not quantity.

Tip: Selecting the right size rug for your space is key and one of the best ways to determine this is by using a sheet. Simply place a sheet down in the area you want to place a rug in and play with the size of the sheet and placement of your furniture until you find a balance you’re happy with.

4. Move to metals
From stainless steel and chrome, to copper and rose gold, metallic finishes have a lifelong appeal. Ideal for lamps, fixtures, vases and other smaller accessories, keeping metallics as accents within your interior scheme will allow it to remain timeless while adding character to your home.

Although it’s important to stay true to your interior style, don’t be afraid to challenge conventional thinking by mixing different metallic finishes in the same space.  This kitchen provides a good example as the stainless-steel appliances and fittings recede into the background while the copper light fittings take centre stage.

5. Select clean, simple lines
Choosing streamlined fixtures, fittings and appliances allows them to seamlessly tie into your interior. You can either:

Make your fixtures fit in with your wall colour: If you prefer a minimalistic approach or have selected statement pieces throughout your space, then consider following the lead of this interior, which ties the tones and textures of the kitchen cupboards and stainless steel appliances into the hue on the walls.


Or mix it up: If your decorating style embraces different textures, or you’re looking to do something a little different to the norm, then select a different material, colour and/or texture (timber, metallic, glass or statement colour) for cupboards, splashbacks, benches, or fixtures and other fittings.
This kitchen is a good example, utilising American oak veneer (un-stained with a sprayed clear coat) for the cupboards and extended ceiling in addition to a black veneer bench, the streamlined design creates a statement within the home while not overpowering the rest of the interior. It is this balance, between statement and a complementary streamlined design – that makes it timeless.


As you combine these five key elements with your interior style, you’ll find you’ve created a timeless home to sit back and enjoy.

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14 September 2017
By portermathewsblog

The Paint Colours You'll be Seeing in Homes Everywhere in 2018Image Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

When it comes to interiors, colour is a huge, if not the most important, player. It sets the mood of the entire room, and in turn, influences the kind of decor you have to work with. Pick the wrong hue, and everything will be thrown off-guard, whereas the right one can have an enormous transformative effect. But, as evidenced by the weight of global announcements, such as Pantone’s Colour of the Year, gone are the days of picking a traditional neutral (those varying shades of cream or white). Instead, there’s an increasing open-mindedness when it comes to hues of the home, and 2018 will be no different.

According to Dulux, 2018’s colour palettes fulfil one thing: balance. Whether it’s between work and play, giving back and taking the time for self-care, or mixing the old and the new, the new shades will prioritise personalisation over prescription — paving the way for individual expression and customisation. “Natural, earthy colours and textures will be coming to the fore and there will be even more of an appreciation for the splendour of imperfection” says Dulux Colour Expert Andrea Lucena-Orr. “At the same time, we’ll also see an inspiring travel palette emerging.” Ahead, you’ll find the 12 biggest emerging paint trends, along with some tricks to get the look in your home.

Rich Shades Derived From Nature

Rich Shades Derived From NatureImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

Rich colours inspired by nature are on the rise. According to Andrea, greens like Dulux Herbalist (pictured), are a flexible way to create a nurturing and relaxing atmosphere. “[It’s] a peaceful green around mid-tone in depth, so will create some light reflectance,” she says. “You could scheme Herbalist beautifully with terracotta, blue, yellow, orange and red.”

Mixing Subtle Neutrals and Bold Hues

Image Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

For some eclectic flair, pair a neutral with a bold, earthy shade, such as this mid-grey and brown-based red. “Using a stronger colour at the end wall creates a focal point in the space and can help the perceived space feel larger,” Andrea says.

Red-Based Palettes

Red-Based PalettesImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

“Reds and oranges are such amazing colours to rejuvenate your home with,” says Andrea. “They’re warm, inviting and add a sense of sophistication, particularly in formal living areas and bedrooms.” Balance this fiery palette by incorporating natural materials in your decor, such as wood or stone.

The Paint Colours You'll be Seeing in Homes Everywhere in 2018Image Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

Soft, Nordic Influences

Soft, Nordic InfluencesImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

The minimalist movement shows no signs of slowing down, with warm shades of leather, putty and cool green-greys forming a largely muted palette. “Scheming with subtle pastel greys and neutral pinks is very soothing and easy to live with,” says Andrea. “These colours harmonise well together and are flexible with many other colours.”

Natural Textures

Natural TexturesImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

Let go of your inner perfectionist and emphasise the rustic finishes of a room — particularly if the space you’re working with has little character. “Highlighting a brick wall with Dulux Suede Effect in Century Mist gives this space another dimension and really creates a beautiful focal point for this room as you enter,” Andrea says.

Pink as a Neutral

Pink as a NeutralImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

It’s time to expand your vocabulary of neutrals with a new addition: Pink. According to Andrea, softer tones like Dulux’s Mornington Half are becoming a popular way to add a little elegance to a space, and look particularly great when paired with soft greys or crisp whites.

The Paint Colours You'll be Seeing in Homes Everywhere in 2018Image Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

Saturated, Contrasting Colours

Saturated, Contrasting ColoursImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

As the global lust for travel grows, so too is this increasingly reflected in decorating styles. Saturated, summery tones such as pale mint will create a playful retreat for your home. “To ensure your space is not too overwhelmed with clashes of colour, consider the proportion and balance of the colours used,” says Andrea. As pictured, you can use shelving to break up the colour or darker furniture to offset the brightness.

Bright and Playful Exteriors

Bright and Playful ExteriorsImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

Who says the fun is just reserved for the inside? Make like a luxury boutique hotel and opt for a bright exterior. Andrea’s tip: Make sure the space lends itself to a bright hue, and that the natural light won’t wash it out too much.

Playing With Geometry and Different Colour Tones

Playing With Geometry and Different Colour TonesImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

The simple additions of geometrical shapes and diagonal lines can really take a feature wall up a notch, and you can experiment with colour for added effect. “Stay within one colour family so you don’t overwhelm the room,” Andrea says. “Here, you see the undertones for these colours are all from the red colour group. They work well together and dramatise the geometric pattern without creating a kaleidoscope of colours, which would impact the feel of the space.”

The Paint Colours You'll be Seeing in Homes Everywhere in 2018Image Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

Retro Glamour

Retro GlamourImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

Take cues from the glamour of the ’70s and swagger of the ’90s to invoke some old-school elegance. Shades of plums and mauves like Dulux’s Chainmail will imbue any room with an air of nostalgia, while a decorative line along the ceilings (as pictured) will give the room a more contemporary spin.

Moody, Dramatic Rooms

Moody, Dramatic RoomsImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

Moody schemes consisting of rich green, grey-purples and burnt rose can instantly lift a room’s decadence levels and add just the right hint of drama. To prevent the room for appearing to dark, Andrea advises to use a mid-based colour like the Dulux Goyder Green. Pair it with white for the perfect contrasting balance.

The Paint Colours You'll be Seeing in Homes Everywhere in 2018Image Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

Rich, Opulent Velvet Hues

Rich, Opulent Velvet HuesImage Sources: Styling by Bree Leech and Photography by Lisa Cohen

We saw velvet take over the fashion scene, and it’s not going anywhere on the decor front, either. Draw on the splendour of jewel tones — think warm shades of pink, deep blues and burgundy — to create an opulent and tastefully elegant palette, and don’t be afraid to use contrasting furniture and accessories. To ensure the look is kept fresh and modern, Andrea says to use grey-based hues.

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05 September 2017
By portermathewsblog

The Spring-Perfect Buys Your Home Needs This Season
Being the sun-favoured country we are, it’s Spring rather than Summer that blesses us with the biggest shift in weather and style. And oh boy, are we ready for a style shake-up — maybe it’s all The Block we’ve been watching.We’re feeling black rather than white to pair with the strong olives greens and blues that started popping up in stores last month, and those velvety finishings are looking fine with bamboos and linen. This is also prime time to start investing in objets d’art (French for arty objects). No matter what your budget, there’s a gorgeous vase, tray, bottle or trinket with your name on it that will be the perfect finishing touch to any room.

West Elm Carlo Mid-Century Chair, $899

Stockists: West Elm

Dinosaur Designs Art Sand Medium Vase, $195

Dinosaur Designs Art Sand Medium Vase, $195

Stockists: Jardan
Ikea Stockholm 2017 Cabinet, $499
Ikea Stockholm 2017 Cabinet, $499

Zara Home Multi-Coloured Paisley Print Linen Curtain, $139

Zara Home Multi-Coloured Paisley Print Linen Curtain, $139

Stockists: Zara Home

Bed Thread Charcoal 100% Flax Linen Bedding Set, From $230

Bed Thread Charcoal 100% Flax Linen Bedding Set, From $230

Bed Threads
Urban Outfitters No Bad Days Woven Throw Blanket, $124.31
Urban Outfitters No Bad Days Woven Throw Blanket, $124.31

Stockists: Urban Outfitters

Zara Home Irregular Decorative Bone Tray, $39.95

Zara Home Irregular Decorative Bone Tray, $39.95

Stockists: Zara Home

H&M Textured-Weave Cushion Cover, $39.99

H&M Textured-Weave Cushion Cover, $39.99
Stockists: H&M
Freedom Nook Console Table, $799
Freedom Nook Console Table, $799
Stockists: Freedom
Country Road Malvi Tea Towel Pack, $ 34.95
Country Road Malvi Tea Towel Pack, $ 34.95
Stockists: Country Road
Cotton On Home Kapel Print, $59.40
Cotton On Home Kapel Print, $59.40
Stockists: Cotton On Home
Kip & Co. Electric Blue Velvet Beanbag, $129
Kip & Co. Electric Blue Velvet Beanbag, $129
Stockists: Kip & Co.
Maison Balzac 2067AD, $69
Maison Balzac 2067AD, $69Stockists: Candle Library
West Elm Linden Mid-Century Wide Shelf Unit, $1,099
West Elm Linden Mid-Century Wide Shelf Unit, $1,099
Stockists: West Elm
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31 August 2017
By portermathewsblog

Many a pet parent out there can point to their furry friend and say, “This is why we can’t have nice things.” Living with animals in a Pinterest-worthy home is a hard thing to pull off, but not impossible.

We chatted to two interiors experts who share their tips for creating pet-friendly and polished interiors.

  1. Be positive: “Focus on the cuddles and devotion, not the hair/droppings/puddles/inevitable round-the-clock wake-up calls. Cuddles, kisses and those eyes you get when you’ve been out all day are worth any amount of vacuuming!” says stylist and writer, Heather Nette King. And she should know, her housemates are Dougal the golden retriever, and Sugar, her cat.
  2. Make it easy for yourself: “Invest in a vacuum with a pet hair attachment — particularly if you have a deep-pile rug or carpet. Having said that, I’ve already blown one up, but I bought quality the next time and now all those little blonde ‘puppies’ as I like to call Dougal’s coat sheddings, are easily vanquished!” says Heather.
  3. Put in the effort: “Teach them early if there is a no-go zone in your home. Doogs stands at our bedroom door and knows he can not place even a paw through the doorway. No matter how sad his eyes are! It’s my husband’s rule — he’s a bit allergic, and I get it, so create boundaries that please everyone, and your fur-babies will co-exist happily with you, hopefully for the longest, happiest time,” says Heather.
  4. Opt for leather: “You can’t be too precious about your home. It’s a living, breathing space that’s meant to be comfortable. As soon as you walk through that door at night and drop your bags — you want to relax, not be worrying about your pet climbing on furniture. I always recommend leather for pet-loving homes. It’s pretty simple to keep clean, it’s hard-wearing and I like to think any scratches or marks add to the patina of the leather — telling a story of your family,” says Jodi Hall, National Field Visual Manager at West Elm.
  5. Don’t hide it: “Sharing your home with a pet is a simple joy! Don’t try and hide their presence — choose a pet bed that you’re happy to show off. I always suggest a great floor cushion that goes with your decor, then you don’t have to hide it — who has time for that! And let’s be real, cats and dogs like clocking up sleep (living the dream!) so make it something you love,” says Jodi.
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28 August 2017
By portermathewsblog


“We are loving this idea so much, and our front office is also decorated up with some beautiful orchids.”


Moth orchids can produce up to 30 flowers at a time, which is how these popular orchids earned their common name. When seen en masse, their exotic flowers do somehow evoke images of moths or butterflies in flight. According to some plant suppliers, moth orchids are now the number one plant sold throughout the world, and along with that demand has come a rapid increase in the variety of shapes, sizes and colours available.

Some people may find them tricky to grow, but if you remember that moth orchids are from warm, tropical regions with high humidity and try to replicate those conditions at your place, your plant will be sure to thrive. Our checklist below will give you a good start.

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18 August 2017
By portermathewsblog

How to Decorate a Designer-Worthy Nursery on a Budget
 Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

Welcoming a new baby into your home is one of the most exciting, joyous, and expensive life milestones, and nursery preparation is proof. So when we stumbled upon interior designer Autumn Clemons’s chic, budget-friendly nursery, we knew we had to share. Filled with thoughtful details and brilliant design hacks, this space proves that you don’t have to overspend to create the nursery of your dreams!
To leverage the room's plush carpeting, Autumn chose to envelope the space in soothing neutrals. For the walls, she chose Benjamin Moore's Grey Mist. By laying a smaller rug with soft textures at a diagonal, Autumn was able to create a strong focal point.

Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

To leverage the room’s plush carpeting, Autumn chose to envelope the space in soothing neutrals. For the walls, she chose Benjamin Moore’s Grey Mist. By laying a smaller rug with soft textures at a diagonal, Autumn was able to create a strong focal point.

The crib (an Ikea score!) is accessorised with an adorable owl pillow. How cute is the little animal hook that works perfectly for displaying a special outfit?
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

The crib (an Ikea score!) is accessorised with an adorable owl pillow. How cute is the little animal hook that works perfectly for displaying a special outfit?

Instead of taking up space with a clunky bookshelf, Autumn chose to hang floating shelves to keep books handy while also displaying the covers.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

Instead of taking up space with a clunky bookshelf, Autumn chose to hang floating shelves to keep books handy while also displaying the covers.

For the curtains, Autumn picked up an Urban Outfitters tapestry, cut it in half, and added blackout lining.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

For the curtains, Autumn picked up an Urban Outfitters tapestry, cut it in half, and added blackout lining.

For the pendant, she added a DIY touch to this inexpensive light from Home Depot. What looks like wood planks on the ceiling is actually wallpaper from eBay.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

For the pendant, she added a DIY touch to this inexpensive light from Home Depot. What looks like wood planks on the ceiling is actually wallpaper from eBay.

A low, vintage dresser becomes the ideal changing table with the addition of painted drawers and new hardware. Also, can we talk about this cute changing pad cover?
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

A low, vintage dresser becomes the ideal changing table with the addition of painted drawers and new hardware. Also, can we talk about this cute changing pad cover?

Floating acrylic shelves make switching up art and accessories a breeze.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

Floating acrylic shelves make switching up art and accessories a breeze.

Cushioned rockers don't come cheap, so Autumn decided to add rocking chair legs to an Ikea chair to create her own affordable version.
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

Cushioned rockers don’t come cheap, so Autumn decided to add rocking chair legs to an Ikea chair to create her own affordable version.

What looks like a spendy sconce is actually another crafty DIY project.
Check out the full tour with links to all the DIYs on her blog!
Image Source: Sara Boulter Photography

What looks like a spendy sconce is actually another crafty DIY project.

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10 August 2017
By portermathewsblog

Liz Durnan via

We all know those super-organised people, don’t we? They’re up at the crack of dawn baking muffins for the school fundraiser, work nine-to-five in a high-powered job, have numerous well-turned out children and, on top of it all, their house is always perfectly clean and organised – without any paid help. Do they make you sick, or do you secretly envy them? Don’t waste your energy. Instead, watch how they do it and see what you can learn.

Our homes shouldn’t be driving us mad; they should be our sanctuary. As much as I wish I could pay one of those personal organisers to come into my house and turn it upside down, I don’t have the spare budget (sigh). So I’ve learned from my clean-freak friends and I’m forever reading up about what I can do to take control of my home. Here’s what I’ve found helpful:

Photo by Juliette Byrne – More living room ideas

Regular clean-ups

Like many people, I’m more of a regular procrastinator than a regular cleaner, often preferring the motto “Why do it it today, if I can do it tomorrow?” However, since having kids and a home to look after, I’ve learnt the hard way that this motto isn’t really doing that much for me.

I’ve often watched friends with tidy homes and wondered what their secret is. Now I know; they simply clean up as they go rather than wait for the magic fairy to come in and do it.

Photo by Juliette Byrne – More living room ideas


They never wake up to a kitchen full of dirty dishes.

By doing a little bit each day in bite-sized chunks – and getting other members of the household to do the same – things don’t pile up and become overwhelming. Create a roster so that everyone knows what they have to do and when.

A place for everything
I know Marie Kondo didn’t invent this idea, but if there’s one thing I’ve taken from her much talked-about book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it’s the idea of having a place for everything and putting everything back there.

Apply this rule to all areas of the house – from the kitchen and the laundry to the linen cupboard. Take stock of every single item you own and ensure there’s a place for each one.

Best of all? Your mornings will be transformed. No more running around the house first thing in the morning looking for your keys, your coat or the other shoe – you’ll know exactly where to find everything, and fast.

Use storage wisely
However, good storage with a place for everything only works if you’re managing it. Have you ever blamed your messiness on your lack of storage? I used to, but recently I finally got the new fitted wardrobes and mudroom of my dreams installed, only to find we were still messy – alas, the storage doesn’t magically tidy up for you. Of course it helps, but you still have to do the work of keeping it organised. The other members of the household need to be schooled in the simple ways of putting their things away too.

Photo by Schmidt Kitchens Palmers Green – Search kitchen design ideas

Declutter sprees
One of the ways our houses can drive us mad is by having too much stuff. Are you forever unable to find things – your wallet, the potato masher, your favourite pan? This is often because we can’t see the stuff we’re looking for among the chaos. If you have a family and new things regularly coming into the home, it’s important to get rid of stuff often too. Regularly – even as often as monthly – go through kitchen drawers, pantries and wardrobes and take stock of what you have, getting rid of what you’re not using.

Tags: Home, Lifestyle, Tips
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27 July 2017
By portermathewsblog

15 Easy Ways to Make an Old Home Look Like New
Image Source: Inspired by Charm

This past weekend, my husband and I moved from the 94-year-old home we’ve been renting in the Berkeley Hills to a 58-year-old home around the corner. I have always had a soft spot for old homes — the architecture, the charm, the doorknobs! — but they definitely come with their quirks. Love ’em or hate ’em — if you’re living in an old house, you know there are some issues to contend with. Read on to find a list of 15 (relatively) quick fixes to make your old home feel new again.
Paint the Cabinets

Paint the Cabinets
Image Source: A Beautiful Mess

This is a big project, I won’t lie. I painted my cabinets once despite being spectacularly DIY averse. But that monotonous oak was killing me, so I persevered. And it is so worth it! A few cans of paint (and many hours of your life) will completely transform your kitchen — in fact, your whole home.

Paint a Tile Backsplash

Paint a Tile Backsplash

Image Source: One Kings Lane

Boring white tile backsplash? No matter — geometric patterns are hot this year, and you can make your own in a weekend!

Give Your Pantry a Makeover
Give Your Pantry a Makeover
Image Source: Polished Habitat

What with layers of paint and warping wood, old house pantries can definitely be lacking, so give yours a makeover! Make it the happiest place in the house.

Paint a Brick Fireplace

Paint a Brick Fireplace

Image Source: Inspired by Charm

If your brick surround is an eyesore, not to worry — just paint it.

Cover a Popcorn Ceiling With Wood Planks

Cover a Popcorn Ceiling With Wood PlanksImage Source: Domino

Is this a major project? Yes. But then everything related to the ubiquitous popcorn ceiling seems to be. This is a doable DIY if you plan ahead. And the outcome is gorgeous!

Replace Ugly Doorknobs With Vintage Versions

Replace Ugly Doorknobs With Vintage Versions
Image Source: House Tweaking

This is an easy fix, but buying reproduction doorknobs can get pricey fast. To keep the budget down, shop local salvage yards or source an eclectic collection on Etsy.


Paint Kitchen and Bath Hardware
Paint Kitchen and Bath Hardware
Image Source: Brittany Makes

Old kitchen and bath hardware can look pretty tired, and it’s no wonder, what with all the heavy lifting they do for us every day. But with a little sanding, primer, and paint, you can give them a new life. Check out this tutorial on how to spray-paint hardware for some inspiration!

Paint the Floor

Paint the Floor
Image Source: Little Green Notebook

Check out this great tutorial on how to paint a tile floor. Let your creativity run free with multiple colours and a repeating pattern.

Paint a Wood Fireplace
Paint a Wood Fireplace
Image Source: The Makerista

Does your old house have a room (or rooms) full of wood siding? Can there be too much of a good thing? Sometimes a focal point is all that’s needed to draw the eye.

Dress Up a Cinder Block Wall With Chalk Paint

Dress Up a Cinder Block Wall With Chalk Paint
Image Source: Sarah Hearts

Are you cursed with a dated cinder block patio wall? Do this now! Cutest solution ever, although definitely opt for paint over chalk to make sure your hard work lasts and lasts.


Paint Your Trim

Paint Your TrimImage Source: The Makerista

Old homes often have intricate architectural details — show them off by painting them a dramatic contrasting colour.

Container Garden in Place of Landscaping

Container Garden in Place of LandscapingImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

If your landscaping looks as old as your house but new landscaping is not in the budget, try a container garden instead. Add a few at a time (just remember to water them from time to time), and soon your garden will be looking cheerful.

Spray-Paint ’80s Brass Light Fixtures

Spray-Paint '80s Brass Light FixturesImage Source: Brittany Ambridge for Domino

Sometimes a can of spray paint and an afternoon is all it takes to update an old light fixture.


Tile Over Your Countertop

Tile Over Your CountertopImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Dated tile? Yucky grout? Tile over it! Click here for the DIY.


Paint Your Stone Patio Tiles With Pops of Colour

Paint Your Stone Patio Tiles With Pops of ColourImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

Leave it to the bloggers at A Beautiful Mess to make even an ugly concrete patio look adorable.


Tags: Home, Lifestyle
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21 July 2017
By portermathewsblog

How to Have the Most Unique Nursery on the BlockImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

There are many steps on the road to preparing for baby, but one of the most fun – and certainly most creative – steps is decorating the nursery. For my baby boy, I set out to transform my home office into a welcoming nursery that was at once personal, sophisticated, and wonderfully whimsical; more than just looking beautiful, however, it had to accommodate the essential nursery functions – and all without breaking the bank. I had my work cut out for me!

For some professional guidance, I turned to the experts at Laurel & Wolf, an online interior design marketplace that, for a reasonable, one-time flat fee, guided me to a top-notch designer with whom I created a custom room plan. Laurel & Wolf allowed me to try out the service at no charge for this project.

The design process was simple; after creating a detailed room profile, multiple designers submitted initial project proposals. I fell in love with the eclectic style of Pamela R McIntyre of The Curated Life. I selected her as my designer, and we got to work, exchanging design ideas and products over Laurel & Wolf’s online platform. The final design she gave me included a style board, detailed floor plan, and shopping list.

Check out pictures of the resulting nursery below, and read my 13 tips for creating a truly unique space for your little one.

Hang Personal Art

Hang Personal ArtImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Decorating with art and decor that are meaningful to you and your partner is a simple way to infuse your family’s personality into the nursery. I’ve long collected silk scarves, and I wanted to share their style and beauty with my son. I found a circus print by one of my favourite designers and had it framed to hang above his changing station.

Add Simple DIYs

Add Simple DIYsImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

When I couldn’t find the lighting I wanted within my budget, I began to think of ways to create it myself. Not wanting to get into electrical nitty gritty, I layered two super affordable Ikea hanging lighting fixtures — a paper lantern to softly diffuse light covered with a natural wood pendant. To make it extra unique, I wove a vintage French ribbon through the wood slats. Sometimes the simplest style is not only easier and cheaper, but it looks better too.


Blend Children’s and Adults’ Decor

Blend Children's and Adults' DecorImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

I tried to balance whimsical and sophisticated touches to create a nursery where both my child and I would enjoy spending time. Decorating with a mix of children’s and adults’ decor was an easy way to achieve this look; for example, a felted wool elephant head is framed by succulents in contemporary CB2 vases above the mantel.


Scavenge for One-of-a-Kind Pieces


Scavenge for One-of-a-Kind PiecesImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

While I love to browse through the beautiful nurseries in catalogs, I wanted my nursery to have a more unique and eclectic look, so I shopped for a mix of new, store-bought items, like the crib, and distinctive decor, like the blue Moroccan Kilim rug my Laurel & Wolf designer found from a Tunisian rug dealer on Etsy. It was the first piece I purchased for the room, and it set the whimsical tone for everything that came after.

Thoughtfully Lay Out the Room

Thoughtfully Lay Out the RoomImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Every space presents its own challenge, and my home’s was its outdated Victorian floor plan; fortunately, Pamela, my Laurel & Wolf designer, evaluated my needs and came up with a creative layout that allows the room to function as both a nursery and playroom. Using the measurements of the space and essential furniture pieces, she created a layout to scale on Laurel & Wolf’s platform, allowing her to play around with configurations. You can draw your own or check out one of the many websites and apps that allow you to do it on your computer or tablet.

Shop Second-Hand Finds

Shop Second-Hand FindsImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

I knew I wanted a high-quality glider, but every style I liked gave me a serious case of sticker shock. While the glider is an important piece of the nursery, it’s not one with versatility or longevity, so I didn’t want to splurge on it. Instead, I set up a Craigslist alert and pounced immediately when the high-end glider I loved popped up for sale in mint condition at nearly a third of the new price.


Splurge Where It Makes Sense

Splurge Where It Makes SenseImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

As the nursery design process progressed, I fell hard for the timeless yet exotic look of campaign dressers.The initial plan was to purchase an affordable vintage set or DIY my way to the style, but ultimately I decided to splurge on Pottery Barn Kids’s Gemma dressers. Their aesthetic was perfect not only for a baby boy’s nursery, but could also fit seamlessly into a girl’s room, or our own bedroom down the road. The furniture pieces could eventually even be converted into a bar cart or sideboard. The quality, versatility, and storage potential of the campaign dressers made them a worthy splurge.


Get Family and Friends Involved

Get Family and Friends InvolvedImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Rooms decorated with love and care really do feel warmer and more welcoming. To bring all the love the baby’s family has for him into the space, his cousins filled the bookshelf with their favourite childhood reads. They even inscribed the inside cover of each book with a special message to the baby.

Seek Help For Design Dilemmas

Seek Help For Design DilemmasImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia
Not sure how to solve that diaper storage problem or where to put the crib? Get help! Working with Laurel & Wolf gave me the pro insight I needed to really polish and refine my design concept. Whether a professional interior design service or a best friend with a great eye, it’s never a bad idea to get a fresh take on your space.
Turn Cute Baby Items Into Decor
Turn Cute Baby Items Into DecorImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia
If you’ve ever heard the ooing and ahhing that happens at baby showers, then you already know how adorable baby clothes and accessories are. Instead of hiding them in a drawer, I decoratively displayed a few of my favorite pieces, like these knitted booties grandma bought in Ireland, around the room.

Keep It Interesting by Mixing High and Low

Keep It Interesting by Mixing High and LowImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia
Avoid a stale, straight-out-of-the-showroom look by mixing retailers, styles, and price points. From eBay to Land of Nod, I shopped a variety of sources to give the nursery rich, eclectic style and added flair through small, affordable items, like these playfully striped Ikea seagrass baskets and the fluffy faux fur accent rug.
Get Creative With Storage
Get Creative With StorageImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia
The room we transformed into a nursery had no closet, but instead of dragging a heavy armoire into the space to store hanging clothes, I mounted a rod into the wall. It not only gave me a place to put all of baby’s hanging clothes, it also put some of his most adorable ensembles on display.

Take Your Time

Take Your TimeImage Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Lisette Mejia

Don’t rush to fill in every gap in the nursery at once. It’s OK if the bookshelf isn’t full or there’s a blank spot on the wall. Great design takes time, and there will be plenty of opportunity to fill the space with meaningful mementos after the baby is born. Trust me, you’ll be glad you waited and did it right the first time.


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14 June 2017
By portermathewsblog

Nicola McDougall via

Whether you’re a homebuyer or a homeowner wanting to refinance, valuations can result in you uncomfortably sweating on that all-important final number.

But, while valuers are professionals who clearly know what they’re doing, are there any strategies to improving your valuation?

Should you highlight every single improvement when the valuer is on-site or is it best to leave them alone so they can get on with the job?

Should you highlight every single improvement when the valuer is on-site or is it best to leave them alone so they can get on with the job?

Herron Todd White national director Valuation Tony Higgs says it can be beneficial for owners to be on-site but you don’t want to be over-eager.

“Obviously we’re trying to get as much information as we can while we’re on-site and if the owner is constantly following us around and going, ‘This is the toilet. This is the laundry’, well, those sorts of things we can work out for ourselves,” he says.

“It’s those things that they’ve done recently that they want to point out to the valuer, which is great, and that’s the stuff we want to know.”

For properties that have been recently renovated, Higgs suggests owners mention the improvements at the start of the valuation process and then point them out once the valuer has moved inside the property.For properties that have been recently renovated, Higgs suggests owners mention the improvements at the start of the valuation process and then point them out once the valuer has moved inside the property. Photo: Jessica Shapiro

Highlighting improvements which might be not immediately visible, such as solar panels, is also a good idea, Higgs says.

For properties that have been recently renovated, Higgs suggests owners mention the improvements at the start of the valuation process and then point them out once the valuer has moved inside the property.

Higgs says being on-site during the valuation not only allows owners to provide relevant information to the valuer, it also helps them to understand the process.

Metropole Brisbane Director Shannon Davis meets valuers on-site to point out improvements as well as to provide information about comparable properties.Metropole Brisbane Director Shannon Davis meets valuers on-site to point out improvements as well as to provide information about comparable properties. Photo: Peter Riches

“For the owner, it’s always beneficial for them to be on-site because they can get an understanding of what  the valuer has done while they’ll out there,” Higgs says.

“If they’re there with the valuer at the time, and if there are issues that they want to raise, that’s the best time to flag them.”

Metropole Brisbane Director Shannon Davis meets valuers on-site to point out improvements as well as to provide information about comparable properties.

And he’s not afraid to challenge a valuation that’s nowhere near his own research.

“There can be some valuations that are way off. We’ve challenged valuations before, especially near the turn of the market,” he says.

“You might have someone who’s just out of the odds who brings it in $20,000 or $30,000 under, but we’re at the market coalface day in and day out.”

One such valuation, Davis says, was a valuer who missed one bedroom entirely and therefore came in about $70,000 below the expected value.

Insisting on an on-site rather than kerbside or desk-top valuation could help to reduce mistakes and also potentially improve the end result, Davis says.

“I think wherever possible, it’s worthwhile to meet the valuer at the property and show them through the scope of works and bring a list of comparables as well,” he says.

“Also (challenging a valuation) might cost a little bit more… but spending money to get access to more money can be really worth it if you’re acquiring an appreciating asset.”

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14 June 2017
By portermathewsblog

Jane Eyles-Bennett via

You’ve made the decision to sell your home, but do you leave it as is or give it some renovation love? I work with clients every week who battle this question.

They are often worried that dollars spent could be dollars down the toilet. Where exactly is the happy balance between adding value and appeal to your home in order to attract buyers and the best price, and spending money unnecessarily?

The answer, unfortunately, is different for every property. However, after having helped hundreds of home sellers prepare their properties for sale, I have learnt a number of things. Here is a list of the most common mistakes I’ve seen:

You've made the decision to sell, but do you leave your home as it is or do some renovation?You’ve made the decision to sell, but do you leave your home as it is or do some renovation? Photo: Simon Potter

Renovating the bathroom

This is a controversial one. I wrote an article recently called Renovating to Sell; You’re doing it wrong. In it I claim that the most important areas to get right when you’re preparing your home to sell are, in order, the exterior, kitchen, living spaces and then the bathroom.

The bathroom should get a little bit of loving, but do not splurge on this area if the exterior and kitchen aren’t in good shape. Sometimes a bathroom does need a major overhaul, but in many cases they’re no worse than the exterior and kitchen, which can be deal breakers for potential buyers.

If you need proof that a bathroom doesn’t necessarily need an overhaul, check out my client’s renovation, where he did almost nothing to it and still made $343,000 when he sold.

Totally transform the interior

Aside from costing an arm and a leg to completely gut and renovate the interior of your home (and risk not getting your money back, come time to sell), completely changing the design of an interior can be a dangerous move to make, especially if it doesn’t tie in with the style of your home.

Be it a Federation style, a Queenslander, an 80s brick house or something else, there’s nothing worse than a home with a super slick modern interior and no link to its original style. Creating a modern version of your home is the best way to go. Update old elements with new ones, in a way that complements and blends the original period with the current one.

The before shot of one of Jane Eyles-Bennett's projects. The before shot of one of Jane Eyles-Bennett’s projects.

Paint feature walls

In my opinion, feature walls are an absolute no go when selling a property. If you have them, my advice is always to get rid of them.

These days, the trend is to add impact with furniture, rugs, artwork and cushions. Decorating in this way will give the perception of a larger space. This is because the focal point is in the centre of the room. The more a feature wall or ceiling is focused on, the smaller a room can appear.

Render a brick exterior

I’ve seen so many homes unnecessarily rendered prior to selling. This is such a waste of money. Many assume that they will add value to their home automatically by rendering it but this is not always the case. An earlier article I wrote for Domain explains this in more detail.

Suffice to say, if you own a brick house, you usually don’t always need to render it to make it look great. Simple tricks with trim colours, new focal points and landscaping can work absolute wonders.

The after shot of one of Jane Eyles-Bennett's projects. The after shot of one of Jane Eyles-Bennett’s projects.

Don’t forget to clean and tidy your home

While you do need to clean and tidy your home, it’s essential that you also declutter. This includes getting rid of any items that make the home specific to you. Things like family photos, Nana’s crochet blanket, kids artwork and trinkets – all need to go.

Pare back your space, but leave enough visual interest so the house isn’t boring. The intention is to create a blank canvas for buyers to imagine themselves living there. Be sure to leave enough room for their imagination to fill in the gaps.

Jane Eyles-Bennett is one of Australia’s leading home renovation and interior design experts. She is an award-winning interior designer with more than 25 years’ experience designing the interiors and exteriors of homes; specialising in kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces.


For more information about what might suit for your own property gives us call on 9475 9622 or email us at

Tags: Advice, Home, Moving
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14 June 2017
By portermathewsblog

You’ve got your bedroom looking cosy and the kitchen has been overhauled. Now it’s time to turn your attention to the living room. Luckily, the lounge is one of the easiest rooms in the house to redecorate: a lick of paint, a new sofa (or cover) and some cleverly chosen ornaments, throws, and cushions are often all you need. The following rooms cover all styles, from minimal Scandinavian-inspired design to upcycled boho, and will inspire your next living room revamp. It’s time to start hoarding paint samples!

1 Palm Tree Accents1.PNG

2 Pastel and Wicker2

3 Moody Blue

4 Teal Touches

5 Cherry Pop

6 Cosy and Chic

7 Colourful Eclectic

8 Dark and Dramatic

9 Grey Days

10 Bold Gold

11 Cobalt and Lilac

12 White and Gold Marble

13 Midcentury Music Fans

14 Salvaged Chic

15 Pastel Pink Perfection

16 Upscale Pastels

17 Classic Linen

18 Retro Revival

19 Colourful Crafts

20 Ladder Shelves and Houseplants

21 Statement Furniture

22 Fashionista Greys

23 Pink, White, and Cosy

24 ’60s Orange

25 Blue-Grey and Bold

26 Pastel Sofa and Statement Rug

27 Shades of Beige and Brown

28 Let the Light In

29 Retro Woods and Pops of Colour

30 Greyscale Chic

31 Cosy Cream

32 Pops of Pink

33 Textured Layers

34 Bringing the Outside In

35 Bowie and Velvet

36 Grey and Copper (and Cats!)



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14 June 2017
By portermathewsblog

Ugly window treatments are the thorn in almost every renter’s rear. Plastic mini blinds — or worse, vertical blinds — are automatic aesthetic killers, but they can be remedied for a shockingly small amount of money. The key to making dirt-cheap window treatments look like a million dollars is as easy as knowing where to shop and mastering the designer tricks for hanging them properly. This foolproof formula will instantly elevate the look of any room — we promise!

Start With the Classics: White Linen Curtains + Black Curtain Rods

You cannot go wrong with white linen curtains and black rods with simple finials. Think of it as the tuxedo for interiors, only a tux that plays well with any style, from formal traditional to California casual. This pared-down colour palette also grants you permission to go bananas with colours and prints in other places in the room and you won’t get sick of your choice halfway through your lease.

Find Affordable Versions of the Classics

Absurdly cheap price point aside, these Ikea Lenda curtains ($29.99 for a pair) are actually beautiful in person and well-loved by design bloggers. You can add Ikea’s black-out liner to create a thicker, heavier drape, which can make them look even more formal, or leave them as is if you want them to filter (not block) light while adding privacy. They also come with heading tape along the top back of the curtains, which makes it easy to create pleats with hooks and curtain rings.

Use Curtain Rings:

Using curtain rings makes opening and closing curtains a cinch, but designers also prefer their polished aesthetic. Adding rings creates neatly pinched pleats that keep curtains looking beautiful, open or closed.

Know How to Hang Your Curtains:

Create the optical illusion of sky-high ceilings by hanging your curtains as close to the ceiling as possible. You’ll be amazed by how drastically this shifts the look and feel of a room.

  • Extend drapery rods out about four to six inches (not including the finial). This will make your window appear wider and allow you to enjoy the full spans of your window when the curtains are open.
  • Hang curtains so that the bottoms barely touch the the floor or have one or two inches of fabric on the floor. If your curtains are longer, you can have them hemmed by measuring and pinning them to the desired length once you’ve hung them. If they aren’t long enough, you can add more fabric for a cool colourblock look, no sewing needed!
Image Source: Studio McGee
Tags: Hacks, Home, Lifestyle
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14 June 2017
By portermathewsblog



The search is over – you’ve settled on your new address. The movers are booked, the boxes are packed, now what? It’s time to make that place feel like home. It’s easy to get carried away with all the big changes and costly renovations you’d like to make, but they are not always possible, at least not right away. In the meantime, here’s your six-step go-to guide to turning any space into a place you’ll love calling home.

1. Clean and scrub

Okay it might seem obvious, and an easy one to palm off to a professional, but even if you do spring for an expert to help with the heavy lifting, there’s much to be said for getting down and dirty yourself. It helps you bond with your home and get to know its structure and its unique quirks. You can’t beat a sense of intimacy with your space for making it feel like a home.

Photo: Pottery Barn

2. Respect those who came before you

Whether it’s the architect who designed your apartment or the decades of homeowners before you, take a moment to put yourself in their shoes. Can’t bear those old slate floors at first sight? Hang in there. Embrace your home’s idiosyncrasies, including the questionable style choices of past owners, and try not to be arrogant. Maybe the house has a point. Wait to see what it might be before diving into an expensive new fitout.

3. Make a floor plan for the way you actually live

This includes choosing furniture that will service the way you use your home. For instance, there’s no point taking up precious space with a large formal living room if you only ever eat at the kitchen bench. Maybe a few new barstools are all that’s required for an eat-in kitchen, leaving you a whole spare room to turn into a much-needed study. Alternatively, replacing your pair of bulky, two-seater sofas with a single sectional sofa might help de-formalise and open the layout of your new living area.

Photo: west elm

4. Run for covers

The easiest, most affordable reno-free makeover you can give any space is paint and textiles – in that order. If paint is a priority to freshen up a tired or grubby place, then you can’t go wrong with basic white (and it’s easy to go over later). Textile-wise, start with rugs and curtains, choosing designs that reflect your style and complement the period of your home. Finally, finish with cushion covers – you’d be amazed at the way they will transform any tired sofa or uninspired corner.

5. Allocate a place for everything you own and everything you use

A little planning at the start will help curb the clutter and keep your home tidy and more manageable over time. For example, if a vast book collection is your pride and joy, then a wall dedicated to open shelving may be a better use of space than a pretty sideboard and mirror. Or if you’re keen cyclists in a tiny apartment, a wall-mounted bike rack might be just the wall decor for you.

6. Tell your story

Displaying photos, personal collections and travel mementos are well worn ways of reflecting and celebrating the people who live in a home, but there are other subtle solutions, too. Introduce a favourite, memory-inducing fragrance via a vase of fresh flowers or a scented candle. Or add a glass cloche or display box with a favourite childhood object or holiday souvenir to instantly bring that personal touch home.

Photo: Pottery Barn


Tags: Home, Lifestyle, Tips
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06 June 2017
By portermathewsblog

Has your place been looking a little . . . clogged up lately? Well, it may be time to do a little cleaning up! However, if you’ve been following these rules below, you wouldn’t need a decluttering session as your home is guaranteed to be clutter-free.

1. Get rid of duplicates

If you have duplicates lying around, get rid of them if they are not necessary. Keep the better duplicate and trash or donate the other.

2. Get rid of things you haven’t used in a year

So you keep telling yourself that you’ll use it eventually, but if you haven’t touched it in a year, chances are that you’re not going to in the near future. Do your home a favour and get rid of the items that aren’t getting any use.

3. Digitise nostalgic items

Do you have too many nostalgic items that you can’t seem to get yourself to give away? Take photos of them and then get rid of them — you’ll be able to keep them around forever without cluttering up your space.

4. Don’t keep items out of guilt

I’m sure you have a thing or two around the house that you keep out of guilt. Perhaps it’s a sweater sweet Aunt Betty knitted for you for Christmas that you never wear or that fancy dress you splurged way too much on. Time to be brutal and get rid of them all.

5. Put things back where they belong

It’s easy to just leave things lying around, but that’s how clutter builds up. After you’re done using something, immediately put it back where it belongs so you won’t procrastinate.

6. And find a home for them

Make sure every item in your home has a place, whether it be a plastic container or an under-the-bed organiser. And remember: a pile of items is not a true place for your things.

7. Sell, give away, donate, upcycle, or throw away

When assessing things you want to get rid of, start by seeing if you can make some of your money back by selling it. Here are some avenues for selling different types of clutter.

If you don’t think it’s worth the effort to sell, give it away to people you know who will use it. Perhaps to your family and friends, or even your Facebook network. You can also choose to donate it to get a tax write off.

8. Don’t keep items you wouldn’t buy now

Are there some items you have that you would never buy now? Perhaps you should take a good hard look at them and figure out why you need them now and if you can do without them.

9. Opt for covered furniture

If you have a clutter problem, choose furniture that is covered, such as a closet with a sliding door instead of open shelves. This will help your place look cleaner and more organised.

10. Don’t forget storage under your bed

There’s a lot of real estate in your home that’s not being put to good use; one that people often forget about is under-the-bed storage.

11. Think tall

Use up all the space in your home to make the most of it, including the vertical space. The more space you have for your stuff, the less likely it’s going to get cluttered up.

12. Evaluate your spending

If you’re buying things you don’t need, take a hard look at your spending. Perhaps you need to take part in our 30-day spending hiatus to motivate yourself.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography
Tags: Home, Lifestyle, Tips
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30 May 2017
By portermathewsblog

Modiefied via

Embrace the new season by making your home a cosy and comforting retreat you won’t want to leave.

There are plenty of things to love about winter – soft, woolly blankets, hearty vegie soup and cosy, candlelit nights in, just to name a few. Consider these simple ways to prepare your home for the cooler months ahead and you will love it even more.
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