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16 January 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

7 Ways to Stop Hating Your Small KitchenImage Source: A Beautiful Mess

 

So what if size isn’t on your kitchen’s side? You know the old “fake it ’til you make it” saying? Well, it applies to kitchen design, too! So, if your cook space’s dimensions have got you down, try these easy, foolproof tricks to make your kitchen feel and look bigger than it actually is.


1. 
Install a Vertical Backsplash

Install a Vertical BacksplashImage Source: Annie Schlechter for Domino

Want to visually increase your room’s dimensions? Simply turn subway tile on its head. Laying out the tiles vertically (rather than horizontally) draws the eye upward, making a kitchen ceiling appear taller than it actually is.

2. Open the Room Up With Open Shelving

Open the Room Up With Open ShelvingImage Source: Jeremy Liebman for Domino

Too many upper cabinets can make a tiny kitchen look top-heavy. Try removing a few and replace them with open shelving instead. Not only will your kitchen instantly open up, but you can show off prized cookware and accessories, too.

3. Lengthen With a Runner

Lengthen With a Runner
Image Source: House*Tweaking

For a quick and inexpensive way to make a kitchen look longer, simply add a graphic runner. Occasionally changing out the runner will give your kitchen a new look with little effort.

4. Save Space With Stools

Save Space With StoolsImage Source: domino

No room for a spacious kitchen table and chairs? Choose a narrow dining table with stools or benches that can tuck under the table. This set-up allows for better traffic flow while avoiding over-crowding your kitchen.

5. Get Your Shine On

Get Your Shine OnImage Source: domino

Even if you are shine-inclined, subtly reflective materials can help a kitchen feels larger by bouncing around natural light. Our faves: lacquered cabinets and reflective backsplash tiles.

 

6. Work With What You Have

Work With What You HaveImage Source: domino

Studio living can be tricky, especially since your living and sleeping quarters are limited to one room. This kitchen makes the most of the space with open shelving, a gallery wall, and even a TV! With clever arranging, you can cook and have your cable too!

 

7. Think Up

Think UpImage Source: hoto by Ditte Isager. Courtesy of Martha Stewart Living. Copyright © 2010.

Short on space? Think up! Pot racks are a great way to free up limited cabinet and counter space. If you’re on a budget, consider this affordable option.

 

 

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16 January 2018
By portermathewsblog


via therealestateconversation.com.au

As an auctioneer, clearly, I’d prefer that every auction made it to the big day. Sometimes, however, vendors opt to sell beforehand because of their unique financial or personal circumstances.

Can you really buy beforehand? 

There has always been some skepticism amongst buyers whether properties are really for sale prior to auction or whether it’s just a price fishing expedition.

In my experience, vendors who are open to selling before auction, generally are committed to the idea if an appropriate offer is made on their property. I generally find there are two types of buyers who make offers before auction.

The first is the buyer who is dipping their toe in the water, so to speak, and hoping to learn the seller’s price expectation. The other type of buyer is one who genuinely doesn’t want to bid at auction perhaps because they’ve missed out on a few properties already and want to learn sooner rather than later whether they’re in with a shot.

Selling before auction happens more often in specific market conditions, of course, but also at particular times of the year like before Christmas.

Some sellers just don’t want to have their properties still on the market over the holidays and for them certainty is more important than going to auction.

So, for those sellers, they are chasing peace of mind more than the best price. Selling before auction can happen in rising and falling markets in my experience. When a market starts to shift to the positive, more buyers tend to make solid offers before auction because they don’t want to run the risk of missing out on the day.

In southeast Queensland at present there are more sales before auction than usual for this time of year, because the market appears to be strengthening. In fact, I don’t think it’s increased this sharply for a number of years. If we use history as a teacher, it may be indicating that the southeast Queensland market is shifting into another gear as we head into 2018. Conversely, when a market starts to cool off, sellers think that they don’t have the same security blanket so they opt to accept offers beforehand.

What are the pros and cons?

Buyers must understand that buying before auction is an opportunity so you really must make your biggest and best offer if you’re serious about securing the property. You can’t try and buy prior by putting your toe in pool – you can only buy prior to auction by diving into the pool.

Don’t make an offer with the expectation that the seller or the agent is going to come back and tell you exactly what their lowest selling price is going to be, because that just doesn’t happen.

They’ll either say you’re close or you’re not even in the same ball park. Also, if a seller is prepared to accept offers prior, it’s unlikely that you will be the only buyer in the running so you must put your best foot forward.

Likewise, if you’re buying a property prior, you almost have to compensate the seller for the risk of them not taking the property to market on auction day. That means that quite often you have to pay a premium because you’re compensating the seller for not going through the campaign that they’ve been advertising for three or four weeks.

For vendors, selling before auction has to involve what I call a #noregretsprice. So it’s the figure that they’re not going to look in the rear view mirror and regret that they didn’t go to auction.

Going to auction could produce a spectacular result on the day if there are a number of competing bidders, backed up by a thorough marketing campaign. The reality is that sellers won’t know what the result will be until auction day – and for some peace of mind is more important, which is fine.

At the end of the day, buying or selling before auction can be a sound strategy as long as the vendor is prepared to accept that a higher price may have been achieved on the day and the buyer understands that they’re unlikely to get a bargain.

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11 January 2018
By portermathewsblog


via domain.com.au

Melissa Cowan on Houzz

The weather is seriously heating up, it’s light until 8pm and everyone is in the mood to socialise and drink sangria (rather than stay home and watch movies). Summer usually means an abundance of parties – from Christmas catch-ups to New Year’s celebrations, to “just because” gatherings of family and friends.

If you find yourself hosting a summer party, here are some ideas to have on hand that will make it a soiree to remember.

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Photo by Elizabeth Home Decor & Design, Inc

Set up a self-serve drinks trolley
Setting up a drinks trolley to allow your guests to serve themselves will save you a lot of time during the event. Whether you’re planning for your summer party a long time in advance or throwing it together at the last minute, putting together a drinks trolley is an excellent idea. And being on wheels means you can easily cart it outside.

Tip: Pack your trolley full of everything you may possibly need, from liquor to cocktail shakers, straws and citrus. Keep a back-up supply nearby for when anything runs out.

Failing being able to have a drinks trolley, making sangria or punch before the party is delicious and easy. The great thing is that the mixed drinks will only get better as they continue to infuse with the added ingredients (like orange). Just make sure to keep it in the fridge until the guests arrive, and then periodically fill it with ice.

Offer your guests citrus-, mint-, strawberry- or cucumber-infused water to keep them cool on hot days; no one wants to get dehydrated. Also, keep a few ice buckets on hand to fill with ice and hold your water bottles. Try combinations of a few ingredients for variation, like strawberry, lemon and basil, or watermelon and mint.

Tip: Use thin slices and cubes so the flavour can infuse more quickly.

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Photo by Dreamy Whites

Use mason jars for … everything
What can’t you do with a mason jar? They make fabulous cocktail containers and beautiful makeshift vases. Plus it’s much quicker to make a big batch of cocktails in the blender and then pour it into the jars, rather than trying to mix them in each jar.

Jars also make for lovely candle holders. Add pebbles or shells at the bottom of the jar to create a beachy vibe (and to help prevent them from tipping over).

Tip: When using jars as vases, make sure they are filled with enough water to weigh them down, and that the flowers or branches put in them aren’t so heavy that they’ll topple over.

Display your garden cuttings
Plant cuttings are a surefire way to add vibrancy to your party. Use mismatched vessels for floating them in with water, and mix up the types of plants you feature. Succulents look particularly beautiful, but flowers are also a great option.

Give the foliage a home among the food to create a rustic and relaxed tone to the party. You could even intersperse herbs in pots for your guests to pick and sprinkle on their food.

String up some fairy lights

Who doesn’t love fairy lights? Lighting is one of the quickest ways to add ambience to a space. Stick to warm light to prevent the lighting from sticking out too much from its surroundings.

Tip: Before starting, measure the area where you want to use the fairy lights – and then add on a few more metres for slack.

28365304

Photo by Terri Clark Interiors

Paper lanterns are a great way to add a colour injection into your party. You have the option of having purely decorative lanterns, or ones containing small lamps or lightbulbs. As an added bonus, a “grazing centrepiece” of fruit and vegetables is a stunning and unique way of presenting your offerings.

If you don’t want to go to the effort of stringing up lights, or your party will only be during the day, consider putting up some pretty bunting instead. If your soiree will be continuing into the evening, put out a few light blankets for your guests to drape over themselves. You might be surprised how much the temperature can drop once night falls.

Prep your music situation
In my opinion, music can make or break a party. When choosing your sound system (unless you have a pre-existing one), bluetooth speakers are great because they can be easily moved from room to room. Tailor your music playlist to your guests – are they into the classics or the latest hits? A combination of the two will likely be a crowd pleaser. Try and estimate the amount of time your guests will stay (and take into account that there’s always one or two that stay well into the night!) and then make your playlist long enough. Five or six hours will usually cover it.

Tip: Rather than having one huge, really loud speaker, have a few smaller ones and put them in different spots around your house. Place them above ear level to stop your guests from getting blasted with noise.

Get out the fancy stuff
When people think of summer parties, they usually think of disposable plates and cups and paper serviettes. If you want to break the mould, and trust your friends not to break your teacups, go all out with your special crockery. Don’t worry about them being perfectly matching – mismatched crockery will be totally “boho chic”.

Prepare easy finger food
Light finger food is much easier to handle than a giant meal, especially when the weather is sweltering. Buy your ingredients seasonally to ensure freshness and cost-effectiveness. Dips, crackers and cheese always go down a treat. So that your guests don’t have to line up for their snacks, place a couple of food stations in different locations so they’re more spread out.

Tip: Be sure to include a few vegetarian options if guests have advised they don’t eat meat – or even if you’re not sure of their eating preferences.

Make sure there are shady spots available
Getting burnt and overheated is the quickest way to turn any guest into a sweaty grump. If your guests will be by the pool, put out some outdoor umbrellas. If they’re going to be on the grass, pop up a tent.

Get the pool ready
Having a pool party? As well as the obvious chores like making sure it’s clean and leaf-free, chuck in some inflatable pool toys for your guests to lounge on. Nothing says summer party more than an inflatable flamingo.

65490579

Photo by decor8, LLC

Have fun!
Remember that your highest priority for the party is for you and your guests to have fun. If you’re worried about your guests not knowing each other, or if you get a little uncomfortable in social situations, have a few conversation starters on hand. I particularly like “What’s the most annoying thing your mum does?” or the more conservative “What’s your favourite book of all time?” Relax, most guests will be more than happy to pour their own drinks and serve their own food.

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04 January 2018
By portermathewsblog


via popsugar.com.au

If lavish roof gardens and expansive backyards are only a reality on your Pinterest boards, that doesn’t mean your chance at outdoor living is crushed. If you have a balcony, a front porch, or a little patch of grass to call your own (if only on a “renting” basis), then you’ve got potential.

We’ve rounded up outdoor decor ideas for tiny spaces. From the dual purpose, to the fold-up, to the mini, there’s even something for those balconies that have a one-person-at-a-time limit.

Wheel it out, and wheel it back in. VINDALSÖ Trolley ($149)

Wheel it out, and wheel it back in.
Wheel it out, and wheel it back in. VINDALSÖ Trolley ($149)
VINDALSÖ Trolley

$149
from IKEA.COM
Yes, it's instantly an Summer party when you're drinking from a cherry-printed cup. Party Drinkware Set ($39.95)

Yes, it’s instantly an Summer party when you’re drinking from a cherry-printed cup.

Party Drinkware Set ($39.95)

Yes, it's instantly an Summer party when you're drinking from a cherry-printed cup. Party Drinkware Set ($39.95)

Party Drinkware Set
$39.95
Stools that are as much seats as tables and completely stackable. VÄSTERÖN Stool ($14.99)

Stools that are as much seats as tables and completely stackable.

VÄSTERÖN Stool ($14.99)
Stools that are as much seats as tables and completely stackable. VÄSTERÖN Stool ($14.99)
VÄSTERÖN Stool

$14.99
from IKEA.COM
Fold up the legs and keep it with your ironing board. Ikea PS 2014 Bench ($75)

Fold up the legs and keep it with your ironing board.

Ikea PS 2014 Bench ($75)

Fold up the legs and keep it with your ironing board. Ikea PS 2014 Bench ($75)

Ikea PS 2014 Bench
$75
from ikea.com
Load it up with everything you need for dinner under the stars, and then take it all back to the kitchen in one go. Box also charade as a planter, lift, tray and storage unit. KNAGGLIG Box ($9.99)

Load it up with everything you need for dinner under the stars, and then take it all back to the kitchen in one go. Box also charade as a planter, lift, tray and storage unit.

KNAGGLIG Box ($9.99)

Load it up with everything you need for dinner under the stars, and then take it all back to the kitchen in one go. Box also charade as a planter, lift, tray and storage unit. KNAGGLIG Box ($9.99)

KNAGGLIG Box
$9.99
from IKEA.COM
Pull it out for max relaxing, then fold it up and hang it on the wall when you need to make space for the washing. MYSINGSÖ Beach Chair ($39.99)

Pull it out for max relaxing, then fold it up and hang it on the wall when you need to make space for the washing.

MYSINGSÖ Beach Chair ($39.99)

Pull it out for max relaxing, then fold it up and hang it on the wall when you need to make space for the washing. MYSINGSÖ Beach Chair ($39.99)

MYSINGSÖ Beach Chair
$39.99
from IKEA.COM
For small areas that need a little more shade. Tortuga Stripe Premium Beach Umbrella ($39)

For small areas that need a little more shade.

Tortuga Stripe Premium Beach Umbrella ($39)

For small areas that need a little more shade. Tortuga Stripe Premium Beach Umbrella ($39)

Tortuga Stripe Premium Beach Umbrella
$39
from fave.co
The answer to wall gardens for renters, this apparatus is a bench and storage box, and it allows you to keep plants vertically, leaving more floor space. ÄPPLARÖ Bench Wall Panel and Shelf ($159)

The answer to wall gardens for renters, this apparatus is a bench and storage box, and it allows you to keep plants vertically, leaving more floor space.

ÄPPLARÖ Bench Wall Panel and Shelf ($159)

The answer to wall gardens for renters, this apparatus is a bench and storage box, and it allows you to keep plants vertically, leaving more floor space. ÄPPLARÖ Bench Wall Panel and Shelf ($159)

ÄPPLARÖ Bench Wall Panel and Shelf
$159
from ikea.com
Opt for lighting that hangs, and requires no power (other than the sun). Smokey Bulb String Lights ($10)

Opt for lighting that hangs, and requires no power (other than the sun).

Smokey Bulb String Lights ($10)

Opt for lighting that hangs, and requires no power (other than the sun). Smokey Bulb String Lights ($10)

Smokey Bulb String Lights

$10
More cordless (solar) lighting options. Solar Ceramic Lantern ($12)

More cordless (solar) lighting options.

Solar Ceramic Lantern ($12)

More cordless (solar) lighting options. Solar Ceramic Lantern ($12)
Solar Ceramic Lantern
$12
The top of this table is a a removable tray. So smart. Metal Tray Table ($15)

The top of this table is a a removable tray. So smart.

Metal Tray Table ($15)

The top of this table is a a removable tray. So smart. Metal Tray Table ($15)

Metal Tray Table
$15
If you've only got space for one seat, make it a swoon-worthy (and comfortable) one. Torres Outdoor Lounge Chair ($360)

If you’ve only got space for one seat, make it a swoon-worthy (and comfortable) one.

Torres Outdoor Lounge Chair ($360)

If you've only got space for one seat, make it a swoon-worthy (and comfortable) one. Torres Outdoor Lounge Chair ($360)
Torres Outdoor Lounge Chair
$360
And a cheaper option. Woven Lounger Chair ($49)
And a cheaper option.Woven Lounger Chair ($49)

And a cheaper option. Woven Lounger Chair ($49)

Woven Lounger Chair
$49
from FAVE.CO
This bench could be the only piece of furniture you need for lounging, reading with a cup of tea, playing cards with a friend or painting your toe nails. Woven Bench ($39)

This bench could be the only piece of furniture you need for lounging, reading with a cup of tea, playing cards with a friend or painting your toe nails.

Woven Bench ($39)

This bench could be the only piece of furniture you need for lounging, reading with a cup of tea, playing cards with a friend or painting your toe nails. Woven Bench ($39)

Woven Bench
$39
All that bulky BBQ equipment in one multi tool. BBQ Multi Tool ($49.95)

All that bulky BBQ equipment in one multi tool.

BBQ Multi Tool ($49.95)

BBQ Multi Tool

$49.95
Yard lighting that's as much about the look as the glow. Garden Solar Powered Flamingo Lights ($39.95)

Yard lighting that’s as much about the look as the glow.

Garden Solar Powered Flamingo Lights ($39.95)

Yard lighting that's as much about the look as the glow. Garden Solar Powered Flamingo Lights ($39.95)

Garden Solar Powered Flamingo Lights
$39.95

 

 

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01 December 2017
By portermathewsblog


Office Closure Christmas

Our office is closed from Friday 22nd Dec and reopening on Thursday 4th January 2018.

During this time, If you have a query in regards property management please email your Property Manager.If you have a query in regards to a sale please ring or leave a message with your selling rep.

In the meantime, you may want to visit our website www.pmmetro.com.au for more information

Comments (0)

27 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Adrian Ballantyne via realestate.com.au

With the real estate market continuing to roll from strength to strength, trying to determine a property’s true value is an ever-present challenge for buyers.

Snaring the property you want while avoiding paying too much is the dream, but how do you make that happen? As a buyer, how do you ensure you purchase at the right price every time?

Some of Melbourne’s leading buyer’s agents share their tips.

suburbs housesBuyers need to know what a property is really worth. Picture: Getty

Know your goals

The “right” price for a particular property won’t be the same for everyone.

For example, a first-home buyer might see a certain price as fair for a property, while an older couple looking at downsizing might be perfectly comfortable paying $100,000 more to ensure they get hold of it.

Kristen Hatt, from buyer’s advocates Woledge Hatt, says being crystal clear about what you want from a property will help determine what your right price is.

“It’s about having a really good understanding of what you’re trying to achieve, and then making sure that property will meet all of those goals, because then you can make decisions around price as well,” she says.

“Understanding what the property is and the likelihood of (a similar property becoming available again), will determine the right price for you.”

How to negotiate a property price:

Capture23

Research, research, research

When it comes to determining the right price for a property, there’s no substitute for market knowledge and conducting your own research.

Luke Assigal, from Parley Property Advisory, says it’s important to frame your own market, rather than blindly following the selling agents and their indicative price ranges.

“That includes taking the statement of information with a grain of salt as well,” Assigal says.

“The statement of information gives you a bit of an idea, but there’s been a lot of examples where the indicative selling range is out by 10% to 20%.”

“Look at the location, look at the council area. What is it close to? Is it close to commission housing; is it close to industrial; is it on a main road; what age is the property; has it been renovated in the last five years; what is the aspect of the property; what is the floor plan like? All of these little characteristics add up to what the property’s worth. At the end of the day it’s like a science.”

Get a property value estimate as part of your market research.

researching property prices

Inspect in person

All property knowledge isn’t necessarily equal. While looking at properties and results online will give you some measure of knowledge, there’s no substitute for checking out properties in the flesh, Hatt says.

“Just getting the results of properties doesn’t necessarily tell you about the properties,” she says.

“Sometimes a property sells for a certain price because it has a major structural issue, and you can say: ‘Well that’s why it was cheap’. Understanding more about each property is important.”

Home tips  for buyers:

Capture24

Calculate based on square metres

Some agents are reporting that for many properties, calculating the likely sale price based on the rate per sqm of land is proving increasingly accurate.

Again, it’s about research. If a number of properties nearby have sold for around $5000 per sqm often you can expect a very similar rate for the house you’re eyeing off.

“You can do square meterage, particularly when you’re dealing with larger blocks and development blocks in blue chip areas,” Assigal says.

“You can get access to stats quite easily – most properties have the square meterage listed online.”

It doesn’t necessarily mean the property will be the right price for you, but at least you’ll know how much you’re likely to be up for if you decide to bid.

Use a buyer’s advocate

Studying the market yourself each week is one thing, but consider for a moment that there are people who do it professionally.

buyers downsizers

While the average punter researches properties only when they’re actively looking to buy one, buyer’s advocates/agents have knowledge and expertise built up over many years, and can give an almost instant appraisal of what a property should be worth.

Hatt says that with buyer’s advocates, you’re paying for that superior market knowledge, as well as their ability to sniff out properties based on your personal requirements and circumstances.

“We were chatting to clients the other day and talking about a specific bayside area, and I said that over the last five to 10 years I would have been through 80% of the homes in that area that have been for sale over $1 million,” she says.

“That’s knowledge that you can’t just get by going to a few open for inspections and thinking that you’ve got an understanding. A lot of buyers are only in and out of the market in a very short period of time.”

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27 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


The latest data from REIWA shows 53.4 per cent of sellers are having to discount their property in order to sell and the average amount they’re discounting by is seven per cent.

If you’re on the market or considering selling, you need to adapt to the current property conditions. Otherwise, you may need to discount to achieve a sale, which can lead to significantly longer selling times.

The latest September quarter 2017 data shows it takes on average 70 days to sell a property in WA, so if you want to beat the average you need a strategy to encourage a quicker sale.

Meet the market from the get-go

Pricing your property appropriately as soon as it goes on the market is key. The number one reason why a home stays on the market for an extended period is because it’s considered over-priced by the market. If you want an expeditious sale, you need to be realistic about price.

A suitable price will attract more buyers and, subsequently, more offers and competition. If you’ve not had an offer to buy within the first four weeks’ of coming to market then you need to consider either the asking price or marketing/selling methods being adopted.

Consider expressing the price differently such as a price range or shifting to an auction campaign.

Auctions can achieve a quick sale

Auctions are gaining in popularity in WA and are a considerably faster way to sell, taking an average of 27 days for a seller to secure a buyer. While listing numbers are relatively stable across the Perth market, stock levels remain higher than the long term average.

Selling via auction can help your property stand out from the competition and separate the genuine buyers from those just browsing.

Presentation is key

With good choice for buyers (particularly in select markets), you’ll need to take extra care and effort when it comes to presenting your property. While you don’t need to do a full blown renovation, making mild cosmetic improvements to the property, including the garden and any fencing, can go a long way in attracting more buyers.

Do your research before coming to market

If you are buying and selling simultaneously under similar market conditions, the state of the market is almost irrelevant. While you might not sell for a price you want, you’ll also be buying in a market that offers adequate choice and competitive prices.

When you’ve made the decision to sell, do your research and find out how the market is performing in your local area. Speak to our agents in the areas you’re interested in buying in. They’ll be best placed to give you an idea of what’s going on in and around your area.

There are buyers out there and we know that if your property is priced correctly from the start, it will be snapped up by those eager to buy their first home, trade up or downsize.

Visit our website for more details pmmetro.com.au

 

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27 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


NICOLA MCDOUGALL via domain.com.au

During property transactions, sometimes the seller hasn’t found anywhere else to live by the time they sign on the dotted line.

One of the most common solutions to this situation is renting back the property to them for a period of time, but is it a good idea?

Property Pursuit director and buyers’ agent Meighan Hetherington said the “rent-back” option was more likely in an off-market sale that happened sooner than the seller had anticipated.

Deciding whether to offer a long settlement or a rent-back depends on each party’s circumstances. Photo: Gabriele Charotte

 

Renting back the property to the seller also gave the buyer a stronger negotiating position, she said.

“That’s a really strong position to be in from a negotiation point of view because we can meet the seller’s needs without offering more money,” she said.

“The seller can either have a long settlement with the comfort that they have got the sale or they can have a normal 30-day settlement and they can be cash buyer to jump on any opportunity if something comes up but not have to move before they’re ready.”

It's important for the tenancy agreement to be explained in detail to the seller to prevent any potential issues.It’s important for the tenancy agreement to be explained in detail to the seller to prevent any potential issues. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams

Deciding whether to offer a long settlement or a rent-back depended on each party’s circumstances, but one usually put the buyer in a stronger position than the other, she said.

“You can often negotiate a better price by offering a normal settlement with a rent-back than you can in offering a long settlement,” Ms Hetherington said.

Long-standing Toowong sales agent and principal Doug Disher said rent backs were often mutually beneficial to both the seller and the buyer, such as when the property had been bought for future re-development purposes but the original owner had not found a replacement home.

But he said it was imperative that a formal lease was drawn up if renting back the property to the seller, to ensure the terms and conditions were clear.

“The most important thing in any arrangement is to ensure the terms are legal, clear and precise,” he said.

“It’s essential that both parties understand their obligations under any such arrangement. It is always best to get legal advice before entering into any agreement involving rent-back situations.”

Ms Hetherington said one of the risks with renting back a property was that many sellers had not rented for a long time and often misunderstand their rights and responsibilities as well as those of the landlord and property manager.

It was important for the tenancy agreement to be explained in detail to the seller to prevent any potential issues during the tenancy, she said. Likewise, an entry condition report was imperative.

“The entry condition report is the only piece of evidence that the new owner has to say what state that property should be left in by the tenant when they vacate,” she said.

 

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22 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Erin Delahunty via realestate.com.au

Property auctions can be intimidating, especially for first-time buyers, so knowing what to do and what not to do is essential.

David Holmes, LJ Hooker’s national auction manager, shares his advice.

private sale vs auction

Four top tips for a successful auction day…

Be prepared

Holmes says pre-auction preparation is absolutely vital to success. Would-be buyers should talk to the selling agent, research comparable properties, decide on a strict price limit and commit to sticking to it, he says.

“Once you’ve inspected the property, know you have a connection and want it, ensure your finances are all sorted and your deposit is ready to go. If your bid is successful, you will be required to pay the deposit on the day,” Holmes says.

“Get all the necessary inspections done before auction day too, because when that hammer comes down, it’s unconditional, with no cooling off period,” he adds.

Capture.JPG

Don’t let nerves take over

The biggest mistake many potential buyers make is turning up to an auction and not bidding because of nerves, Holmes says.

“If you’ve done your homework and know the market value of a property, put your hand up and bid, strongly and confidently. While it can be daunting, an auction is a genuinely transparent process, a negotiation that happens out in the open, with people who want to buy a property,” he says.

“People can have real peace of mind that they’re not paying, say $50,000 over the market value, because it’s all done in public.”

Think about your body language

At an auction, it’s also important to appear confident, Holmes says.

“You need to look confident and essentially, like you have very deep pockets, like you can bid all day long, to deter your competition,” he says.

worried couple

“Don’t be on the phone or looking like you’re out of your depth or stressing out, as other bidders will be able to sense that. Appear very, very confident, put your hand straight up with a decent bid and you’re half-way there,” Holmes says.

Don’t be ‘invisible’

“As an auctioneer, I always go and meet the potential buyers before an auction, to ensure they’re aware of the relevant legislation and terms and conditions. There’s no point trying to hide up the back and not talk to the auctioneer and agent staff,” Holmes says.

“If you’re keen, polite and courteous from the get-go, the auctioneer will be more likely to engage positively with you too.”

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20 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


If there’s one thing that gets a bad rap in design, it’s the studio apartment. Often a rental with very little in the way of space, studios must do it all without room to spare. While it is a tall order, we found a place that does it just right. Tucked away in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, this studio is just as relaxing as it is energising. Keeping rental restrictions and their client Jamie’s laid-back style in mind, designers Lindsay Boswell and Ali Levin of LABLstudio created an urban oasis filled with ideas that anyone would sacrifice square metres for.Mixing earthy and glamorous touches, this “hidden gem” evolved into a room suitable for sleeping, living, and entertaining. Getting creative with the space, Boswell and Levin incorporated unexpected pops of colour using removable wallpaper and made sure every piece served a variety of purposes. The result proves that size isn’t everything! Keep reading for a full studio tour and Lindsay and Ali’s favourite tricks for decking out a small space.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

POPSUGAR Home: How do you create a space for both living and entertaining, especially in a studio? LABLstudio: In studio apartments, it's really important to make sure that you carve out distinct areas for sleeping, living, and entertaining, even if they're all in the same room. Whenever possible we like to make sure there is a proper living area (i.e., a sofa, side table, coffee table), as well as a place where you can sit, eat, or work. Sometimes this means sacrificing some of the "bedroom" to make for a larger "living and entertaining" area.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

POPSUGAR Home: How do you create a space for both living and entertaining, especially in a studio?

LABLstudio: In studio apartments, it’s really important to make sure that you carve out distinct areas for sleeping, living, and entertaining, even if they’re all in the same room. Whenever possible we like to make sure there is a proper living area (i.e., a sofa, side table, coffee table), as well as a place where you can sit, eat, or work. Sometimes this means sacrificing some of the “bedroom” to make for a larger “living and entertaining” area.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: How do you make a studio livable without looking cluttered? LS: Make sure that all of your main pieces serve multiple purposes. For example, the console that we placed between the windows doubles as a place where two people can comfortably dine, a place where Jamie can sit with her laptop, and a place where she can put her makeup on in the morning.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: How do you make a studio livable without looking cluttered?


LS
: Make sure that all of your main pieces serve multiple purposes. For example, the console that we placed between the windows doubles as a place where two people can comfortably dine, a place where Jamie can sit with her laptop, and a place where she can put her makeup on in the morning.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
Similar to the living space, the bathroom uses pops of colour to reflect the apartment's earthy, glam vibe. For a personal touch, the designers even switched out the vanity knobs.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

Similar to the living space, the bathroom uses pops of colour to reflect the apartment’s earthy, glam vibe. For a personal touch, the designers even switched out the vanity knobs.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

PS: We love the wall art. How did you do that? It is from your Femme and Gem collection? LS: The one wall (next to the bed) is wallpapered in our "Gemma" print (in Sapphire) from our "Femme and Gem" collection. It's removable, and you can hang it yourself! For the other walls, we hand painted watercolour pinstripes to add personality and to tie everything together. Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

PS: We love the wall art. How did you do that? It is from your Femme and Gem collection?

LS: The one wall (next to the bed) is wallpapered in our “Gemma” print (in Sapphire) from our “Femme and Gem” collection. It’s removable, and you can hang it yourself! For the other walls, we hand painted watercolour pinstripes to add personality and to tie everything together.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
The entryway is proof rental lighting doesn't have to be boring. For an industrial touch, you can find a similar light fixture here.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

The entryway is proof rental lighting doesn’t have to be boring. For an industrial touch, you can find a similar light fixture here.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

LS: The goal was to give Jamie a cool place to call home — a space that was relaxing yet energizing and a space that reflected her personality. We tried to make the apartment feel as large as possible and use fun and unexpected pops of magenta and purple throughout.  Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio LS: The goal was to give Jamie a cool place to call home — a space that was relaxing yet energizing and a space that reflected her personality. We tried to make the apartment feel as large as possible and use fun and unexpected pops of magenta and purple throughout.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
LS: In this apartment, we opted to place the bed in the corner and mount a shelf on the wall rather than a bedside table. This allowed for a larger living and entertaining space. If you make the bed the priority, the apartment ends up feeling like a bedroom rather than a real place where you can hang out with friends and entertain. Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio LS: In this apartment, we opted to place the bed in the corner and mount a shelf on the wall rather than a bedside table. This allowed for a larger living and entertaining space. If you make the bed the priority, the apartment ends up feeling like a bedroom rather than a real place where you can hang out with friends and entertain.
Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
To maximise space, Ali and Lindsay choose side and coffee tables that double as stools for additional seating. To add personality, they hung a magenta juju (African feather headdress) above the sofa. Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

To maximise space, Ali and Lindsay choose side and coffee tables that double as stools for additional seating. To add personality, they hung a magenta juju (African feather headdress) above the sofa.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: Any tips for renters looking to add a personal touch? LS: Do not be afraid to paint your walls or hang some wallpaper! So many people who rent end up leaving their walls bright white. If you keep all of your walls this colour, your place will look like a rental and not like a home. There are so many removable wallpaper options out there to personalise your space. Get your hands dirty and paint or hang the paper yourself — make a day of it, invite a friend or two over to help, and open a bottle of wine! Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

PS: Any tips for renters looking to add a personal touch?

LS: Do not be afraid to paint your walls or hang some wallpaper! So many people who rent end up leaving their walls bright white. If you keep all of your walls this colour, your place will look like a rental and not like a home. There are so many removable wallpaper options out there to personalise your space. Get your hands dirty and paint or hang the paper yourself — make a day of it, invite a friend or two over to help, and open a bottle of wine!

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
PS: What is one piece of advice you could give city dwellers? LS: Living in a big city can be hectic and overwhelming at times, and it’s important to make your apartment feel like a real home, especially if you rent. Good design doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money or take up a lot of your time. These days, there are a lot of affordable design options out there. Photo by  Matthew Williams via LABLstudio

PS: What is one piece of advice you could give city dwellers?

LS: Living in a big city can be hectic and overwhelming at times, and it’s important to make your apartment feel like a real home, especially if you rent. Good design doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money or take up a lot of your time. These days, there are a lot of affordable design options out there.

Photo by Matthew Williams via LABLstudio
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20 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Jane Hone via domain.com.au

If there’s one room in your house that needs to be functional, surely it’s the kitchen. So what’s the secret to ensuring that your kitchen works in the most functional way?

Architects and designers agree that if there were one magic ingredient to kitchen design, it would be the “kitchen work triangle”.

For the uninitiated, the work triangle is a design principle in which the three most utilised components of a kitchen—usually the fridge, stovetop and sink—are within easy reach of each other, traditionally in the shape of a triangle. The idea is that you only need to take minimal steps to move between each point.

Ema House. Architect: Evelyn McNamara Architects.Ema House. Architect: Evelyn McNamara Architects. Photo: Jeremy Toth

“The maximum steps are two to three,” says interior designer Fiona Lynch, who has designed hundreds of kitchens, all with some form of work triangle. “Any more than that and you’re going to get a workout while cooking – but it’s probably not good if you’re trying not to burn something!”

Interior designer Pascale Gomes-McNabb agrees. “Kitchens that are planned with the sink, stove and fridge in a triangular formation are generally more efficient and ergonomic to use”.

“You definitely work faster in a well-planned kitchen.”

Hahei House. Architect: Studio2 Architects.Hahei House. Architect: Studio2 Architects. Photo: Simon Wilson

It’s a concept that was first developed in the 1940s by design researchers from the University of Illinois, who gave very specific guidelines on how the work triangle was to function.

There should be between four and seven feet (1.22 and 2.13 metres) between the refrigerator and sink, they said, four to six feet between the sink and stovetop, and four to nine feet between the stove and fridge. There was also to be as little foot traffic crossing the triangle as possible.

Of course, kitchens today are not the same as the standard kitchen of the 1940s. We are seeing more open-plan designs, for example, rather than a separate kitchen, which actually makes the work triangle even more important.

Seddon House. Designers: Red Door Project Photographer.Seddon House. Designers: Red Door Project Photographer. Photo: Shannon McGrath

“People are wanting very large kitchens,” says Lynch. “Often the most functional kitchens are quite small. Some houses seem to be getting bigger, but [you need to make sure] that the triangle still works.”

On the other hand, there are more people living in small inner-city apartments. Gomes-McNabb says that in these spaces, the components might be arranged in a linear style. However, the basic idea of these three points remains.

Architect Brad Swartz suggests making sure the spice rack is within easy reach of the stovetop, and refers to a decent amount of bench space as the “fourth element” of good kitchen design.

Imo's Modular Kitchen. Designers: IMO KXN.Imo’s Modular Kitchen. Designers: IMO KXN. Photo: Toaki Okano

“I’ll typically push the cooktop to one side and the sink to the other side so you can then have a good space between for preparing food,” he says. “Also, a slightly deeper-than-standard bench top is really nice. A standard bench top is 600mm deep, but if you do one that is 650 or 700, you can do two sets of plates, front and back.”

Nick James of Architecture Architecture adds that the bench height should be tailored to homeowners for maximum cooking efficiency and that using island benches in work triangles isn’t for everyone.

“People either love it or hate it because the dishes end up piling up on the island bench,” he says.

Sayes Stock House. Architect: Sayes Studio.Architect Chloe Naughton points out that there should be ample space on which to place hot or heavy dishes and that kitchen designers should be careful when it comes to galley-style kitchens.

“The distance between either side of the kitchen is key to the triangle working successfully,” she says. “If the space between is too large, it seems to interrupt the flow of the kitchen.”

The good news is that once you’ve got the flow of the kitchen down pat, you can set about making the place look beautiful.

“If you get the kitchen design right, you can go to town on the aesthetics,” says James.

Sayes Stock House. Architect: Sayes Studio. Photo: Simon Wilson

 

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20 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Modified via domain.com.au

As the holiday season approaches, one more thing to worry about on the ever-increasing list is how to create a multi-purpose guest room for the family and friends who come to stay once a year, without tying up precious space in your home.

But, according to interior designer Meredith Lee, it can happen quite easily.

“Multi-use rooms are the key to doubling the feel of a home,” says Lee. “Whether it’s sectioning off spaces to create study nooks with creative uses of bookshelves as room dividers or adapting a living space into a guest bedroom at short notice.”

The King Living Felix Studio bed works well in guest rooms that double as a study when not occupied.The King Living Felix Studio bed works well in guest rooms that double as a study when not occupied. Photo: King Living

She says the easiest thing to do is start with an idea of the main purpose of the room – for example, understanding whether you have a lot of guests coming to stay or just a few every now and then.

Likewise, if you only use the space as a study from time to time, cabinetry that hides away the workspace will help you relax in the room when there’s no work to be done.

Furniture designers are also helping in the trend towards more efficient storage options for living rooms and guest bedrooms, such as King Living, an Australian furniture manufacturer that has specialised in innovation, quality and design, superior comfort and enduring performance for the past 40 years.

Furniture with multiple functions is the key to saving on space and money.Furniture with multiple functions is the key to saving on space and money. Photo: King Living

David Hardwick, global buying manager for King Living, says functional furniture such as the brand’s award-winning Delta sofa and multi-award-winning Jasper provide a place to sit as well as storage, making them perfect for multi-use rooms, especially as their modular designs can be reconfigured and have backs and arms that can be repositioned.

King Living has recently released The Reo Grand sofa bed, blending contemporary design, functionality and comfort. It also features Smart pockets on the arms to accommodate side tables that swivel, as well as phone charging, adjustable lights and wireless speakers to make small spaces extremely functional.

“Most customers will be surprised when you reveal this sofa bed as the form helps to mask the function hidden within,” says Hardwick. “A 15-stage adjustable headrest complemented by the streamlined aesthetic and deep-seated comfort create what we believe is the most comfortable sofa bed on the market.”

Make sure the room works well with the rest of your house, but has a few unique style choices. Bedroom by designer Meredith Lee.Make sure the room works well with the rest of your house, but has a few unique style choices. Bedroom by designer Meredith Lee. Photo: Elizabeth Schiavello

King Living’s Felix Studio bed is another innovative option, with a quick conversion that only requires the push of a button as it’s fully automated. The armless model is also perfect for small spaces without compromising on seating space and King Living products come with a 25-year steel frame warranty.

“When choosing one, it’s best to try and operate the sofa bed yourself when browsing various options, and have a good lie on the mattress or press down firmly to see where the lumps might be. Also consider the full size when opened to ensure there is still enough space within the room to move around the bed.”

Lighting is another important consideration when multi-purposing a room, and it can be tricky – such as having a bedside reading lamp rather than a floor lamp to provide the flexibility to turn a bedroom design into a living room area with minimal effort.

“It’s also about clever use of colour – in bedroom environments blues and greens are more calming and cooler colours make spaces seem larger,” says Lee. “You want to keep the guest room in synch with the rest of the house so any patterns, colours and textures are consistent. A guest room should feel different, but not completely different, to the others.”

And while it’s important to live in the moment, also consider adapting to life stages when you’re designing your guest bedroom and what the room could be used for in the future. Just don’t make your guest rooms too comfortable. As Benjamin Franklin said: “Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days…”

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20 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Kate Shaw via houzz.com.au

When it comes to dream kitchens, there are two elements that feature highly on Australians’ must-have lists – a generous island bench, and bi-fold windows to connect the kitchen space with a family-friendly outdoor area. Why not take the concept one step further and install a kitchen servery – combining a kitchen island and alfresco dining in one? Take a look at these great spaces and be inspired to add some cafe-style cool to your home. Even better, if you’ve got the window, the benchtop is weekend-DIY friendly.

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20 November 2017
By portermathewsblog


Lucy Feagins via domain.com.au

Who: Milliner Carla Murley, her husband Troy, and their young children Ruby and Oscar

Where: Beaumaris, Victoria

What: Sympathetically updated mid-century home

The Beaumaris home of the Murleys encapsulates many of the best attributes of mid-century design.The Beaumaris home of the Murleys encapsulates many of the best attributes of mid-century design. Photo: Eve Wilson

The Beaumaris home of Carla Murley, her husband Troy, and their children Ruby and Oscar perfectly exemplifies the hallmarks of classic late 1950s Australian architecture. It’s a relaxed, robust home, honest in its materiality, with a strong connection to the outdoors.

The Murley family moved here in November 2013. At the time, it was a small 1950s house on a corner block, slightly run down but full of potential. “The bones of this little mid-century house were perfect. The existing house only needed minimal updating to bring it up to scratch,” Carla Murley says.

The original house was built in 1958 using a “small homes service” plan published in The Age and modified slightly by a local builder.

Milliner Carla Murley and her young kids Ruby and Oscar.Milliner Carla Murley and her young kids Ruby and Oscar. Photo: Eve Wilson

In the early 1960s, it was extended to include a studio for the original owner, who was a graphic designer. “It was the owner’s studio that sold the house to us, the brick floor sealed the deal,” Murley says.

The couple was keen to preserve the mid-century character of the house, while adding a few extra rooms to accommodate their young family.

A year after moving in, they extended either end of the existing house, creating a central courtyard. This gave them an extra bedroom and bathroom, and a home studio for Carla Murley’s millinery business, Murley & Co.

The home perfectly exemplifies the hallmarks of classic late 1950s Australian architecture.The home perfectly exemplifies the hallmarks of classic late 1950s Australian architecture. Photo: Eve Wilson

Having created a courtyard visible from almost every room, landscaping became a top priority for the Murleys once the renovations were complete. Luckily, the family inherited a treasure trove of mid-century plants from a local development site.

“I rang the developer initially and asked if he had any plans to keep the many mature agave americanas on his development block, which was just up the road from us – some were over 50 years old!” Murley recalls. “He just laughed at me and said, ‘take what you want’.” The couple spent three weekends removing and replanting the lot.

Furnished with an eclectic mix of mid-century treasures and vintage finds in every room, there’s a lot to love about this bright and breezy, relaxed family home.

The couple added a few extra rooms to accommodate their young family.The couple added a few extra rooms to accommodate their young family. Photo: Eve Wilson

With its original red brick floor, optimal orientation for sunlight and airflow, and strong connection to the garden, it’s a home that perfectly encapsulates so many of the best attributes of mid-century design, thoughtfully updated for contemporary family living.

The Design Files guide to brick

Wait long enough and every design trend comes around for a second (and third, and fourth) moment in the spotlight. Now, the humble brick is having a renaissance.

  • Bricks are a robust, low-maintenance material that requires no sealing or finishing for most applications.
  • Anywhere you might typically consider tiles, bricks are an option.
  • Bricks retain heat in winter and keep the house cool in summer.
  • If you’re not sure about the colour of a brick wall, consider painting it a neutral colour (we’re loving white painted brick). Be sure to prime bricks before painting.
  • Mortar can have a big impact on the look. A safe option is a colour as close as possible to the bricks (mortar can be colour-matched).
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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.

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“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.”

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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.”

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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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