26 October 2017
By portermathewsblog


When you’re in decorating doubt there are some steadfast rules to live by.

“Always have some form of contrast in a room,” says Victoria Bibby of Bibby and Brady.

Whether it’s with opposing colours like black and white, warm wood tones balanced with cool blues, contrasting textures or all of the above, it’s a rule to follow if you’re wanting to avoid a monotonous look.

Blue and yellow are complementary colours, they appear on opposite sides of the colour wheel.
Blue and yellow are complementary colours, they appear on opposite sides of the colour wheel. Photo: Jane Ussher

The idea is that 60 per cent of the room should be made up of wall space and large key pieces, 30 per cent of the room is comprised of medium scale accent pieces, smaller bits of furniture and area rugs; and the final 10 per cent is smaller accent pieces such as art and decor items.

When you think about it in colour terms, 60 per cent of a room’s hue should be achieved through the walls and anchor furniture. This is the main colour in your palette.

Thirty per cent of the colour in your room will come through furniture, textiles and lighting. These pieces should be shades in the same colour family as the dominant hue on the walls and key pieces.

There are some guidelines that lead you to the path of interior genius, but you don't always have to play by the rule book.There are some guidelines that lead you to the path of interior genius, but you don’t always have to play by the rule book. Photo: Jane Ussher

The final 10 per cent is the option to introduce different colours, patterns and textures that complement the dominant colour.

“We recommend three to four main colours in a room,” says Bibby.

Basic colour theory suggests colours on opposites sides of the colour wheel are complementary (opposites attract). Colours in the same temperature will also work well together.

Mixing metals adds visual interest into a space. Here brass accents work with chrome finishings on the ceiling fan and curtain rods.Mixing metals adds visual interest into a space. Here brass accents work with chrome finishings on the ceiling fan and curtain rods. Photo: Jane Ussher

With patterns, Bibby says, “keep them within your colour palette of three to four colours. Always mix small patterns with a large pattern for contrast.”

And make sure your rug is large enough. “They are such a key piece in a room for defining the zone and adding warmth and texture,” she says. “It’s our number one pet peeve to see one that’s too small for a room.”

A rug should ground all the furniture, not just the coffee table. “Always have at least two legs of your chairs and sofas on the rug,” Bibby says.

Mixing prints shouldn't be a taboo topic. Here a combination of animal and tribal print make for a cosy and interesting window seat.Mixing prints shouldn’t be a taboo topic. Here a combination of animal and tribal print make for a cosy and interesting window seat. Photo: Jane Ussher

Odd numbers have been interior decor’s best friend forever, and there’s a reason why. Even numbers create symmetry, but odd numbers are engaging – often why three it is considered interior design’s golden number. When thinking about grouping furniture, hanging photos on a wall or arranging objects on a table, think odd.

The last design rule Bibby swears by is always hanging curtains as high as possible, and always to the floor.

“Hanging them high will create a sense of space and elegance in a room,” she says. Always drop them to the floor unless there is furniture in the way or the window is too high or too small then use a blind instead.

But what about the rules you can break?

Forget the rule that all your metals must match. Or your woods, says Bibby.

Combining gold, copper, silver or iron is not a taboo but in fact a great way to add interest into the decor.

“Don’t be afraid to have brass cabinet handles and a chrome tap, it’s way more interesting!”

Small furniture for a small room? Forget it, says Bibby.

“It’s easy to see why this is the immediate option, but you’re in danger of making the room feel cluttered and a bit like a doll’s house.”

She suggests large furniture can actually make a small space feel bigger and create a sense of comfort.

Mixing patterns used to be a no-go zone. Jarring prints and clashing colours were to be feared.

But, as it turns out, stripes and florals, or polka dots and checks work effortlessly together to inject some personality into a space.

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19 October 2017
By portermathewsblog

 Make It Weather Appropriate
Image Source: Coco Republic

As far as 21st-century design conundrums go, small-space living is up there as a lingering problem. Because of this, we’ve become highly skilled in the art of creating stylish living areas with less floorspace — from decorating small bedrooms and kitchens, to choosing the best pieces to suit a smaller room.

With so much focus on making every square metre of the inside of our home count, it’s easy for our outdoor spaces to become an afterthought, or not be considered at all. “It’s way too small to matter, anyway” you’ll hear yourself say. But as with any other area in a home (and life, really), size is no object as long as you know how to make it work. We enlisted the help of Coco Republic interior designer, Amanda Pocock, to give us her best tips on how to make any small outdoor space sing. Keep reading to find out what she had to say.

Consider Your Purpose

Consider Your Purpose
Image Source: Coco Republic

If space is limited, think about what purpose your outdoor space serves and this will guide your decorating options. “Is dining your priority, or is a space to relax and stretch out going to be the main event?” Amanda asks. “Ultimately, try not to over-furnish your outdoor area and instead fine-tune your atmosphere with the use of styling and plants.”

Choose the Style of Furniture Wisely
Choose the Style of Furniture Wisely
Image Source: Coco Republic

Since you’re working with a small space, it pays to be strategic about the style of pieces you choose. According to Amanda, resist the urge to fill up the entire area with furniture, and instead focus on the essential pieces, like one occasional chair and a side table. “The open space is just as important as your furniture in creating a relaxing, calming space,” she says. “Outdoor furniture that has thin lines, open weaves and appears light and airy are fantastic pieces when you have a scenic view or limited natural light in the area.”

Pay Attention to Finishes
Pay Attention to Finishes
Image Source: Coco Republic

Unlike that prized designer mid-century sofa in your lounge, outdoor furniture has to be able to withstand the elements — the more durable, the better. “One of the best outdoor finishes to look out for is powder-coated aluminium,” Amanda says. “This is a fantastic finish that repels water, doesn’t rust and looks great for years even after being outside in full sun and rain.” Teak is another durable material that will thrive outside, all it needs is a little occasional love by way of a stain or varnish.

Layer Up
Layer Up
Image Source: Coco Republic

“Layering is the key to creating an inviting and comfortable outdoor space,” Amanda says. You can try this with:

  • Plants: “Potted plants are the easiest and most affordable way of layering your space and adding that extra touch of nature and colour,” suggests Amanda.
  • Cushions: Scatter softer decor items in a variety of fabrics throughout your space. “Introducing that indoor feeling of comfort will transform your balcony or courtyard into an extended living room that you’ll never want to leave,” Amanda says.
  • Side tables and stools: Ceramic and stone side tables are your best friends when it comes to layering. “Add a feature piece with a dynamic shape to inject some subtle character while being super practical,” says Amanda.
  • Rugs: “Your rug will create invisible walls for your outdoor setting,” Amanda says. They’re also great for tying all your pieces together.
  • Lighting: Outdoor lighting can work wonders for transforming an outdoor space and add to its ambience. For example, consider introducing candles or a few statement pendant lights to your dining setting.

Make It Weather Appropriate

Make It Weather Appropriate

Image Source: Coco Republic

Optimise the space for Summer and Winter by introducing some simple decor tweaks. During the warmer months, Amanda recommends adding greenery or flowers with a nice scent, and as the weather cools, considering a moveable fire-pit for ample cosiness.

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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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10 October 2017
By portermathewsblog

It’s no secret that the Perth rental market currently favours tenants, so if you’re looking to purchase an investment property it’s important to select a rental that appeals to your target market.

Unlike purchasing your own home to live in, buying an investment property needs to be approached with your head – not your heart. Features you may value in your own home, may not necessarily appeal to prospective tenants.

You need to think like a tenant and buy a property that meets their needs. Here are five tips for purchasing a rental that appeals to tenants:

1. Location is paramount

As with any property purchase, location is paramount. This is especially the case when buying an investment property.

A common tenant requirement is proximity to amenities. Be sure to buy in areas that are close to key amenities like shops, transport and schools. It’s also a smart idea to seek locations that offer a good lifestyle, for example younger tenants generally value living close to thriving hubs, while families with young children will value being close to parks and kid friendly facilities.

2. Consider the home’s internal layout

Give consideration to the internal layout of the property you choose to invest in. Many tenants choose to share accommodation, so it’s a good idea to look at properties that have features that appeal to this style of living.

Things to consider when assessing the home include:

  • Is there good separation between living areas and bedrooms?
  • How many bedrooms does the home have? Are they spacious?
  • Is there more than one bathroom?
  • Are there plenty of storage options?


3. Outdoor areas are important

We’re lucky in Western Australia that our climate is warm and favours outdoor living. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to factor in some kind of outdoor area into the rental home you purchase. Whether it’s a balcony, a courtyard or an enclosed alfresco – outdoor living options are attractive.

While many tenants value outdoor living space, it’s worthwhile choosing a home that is low maintenance. Gardens may look beautiful, but they require a lot of upkeep so it’s best to invest in properties with low maintenance outdoor areas as prospective tenants may be put off by the work required to keep a garden looking good.

4. Parking options are highly regarded

Being able to offer tenants a designated parking space is very attractive. While in WA most homes come equipped with a garage or carport, units or apartments – particularly those in the city – often require tenants to park off-street. A lack of parking options is an inconvenience to tenants, so it’s beneficial to look for investment properties that provide tenants with a secure space to park their car.

5. Extra features will help your rental stand out

As an investor, you need to be competitive in the current market to secure a tenant. In order to make your home stand out, it’s worth ensuring the property has some attractive extras like:

    • Airconditioning – WA’s long hot summers can be uncomfortable without airconditioning. Tenants want to be able to escape the heat when inside, so airconditioning is often a key requirement.
    • Quality appliances – modern appliances like ovens, dishwashers and cooktops can go a long way in helping your home stand out.


    • Digital connections – we live in a technological age, so features like good cable connections for internet and wifi and strong mobile signals are increasingly important factors for tenants.


  • Pet friendly – rental properties that accommodate pets will appeal to a wider selection of applicants.

If you have any questions about renting out your property in Perth, speak to Ron Padua on 0404 428 843 or email

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10 October 2017
By portermathewsblog


The McGowan Government has handed down its 2017-18 State Budget and has listened to the concerns of the WA property industry by not meddling with property taxes.

In the Treasurer’s speech, the Hon. Ben Wyatt MLA advised the State Government did not consider increases to property taxes for WA residents as part of their Budget repair measures, recognising the impact of the three consecutive land tax increases in previous Budgets.

REIWA Deputy President Damian Collins said given the McGowan Government had faced challenges when it came to the State’s fiscal position, it was pleasing to hear there would be no increases to property taxes for WA residents.

The Government is planning to introduce a four per cent foreign owner duty surcharge on purchases of residential property by foreign individuals and entities from 1 January 2019. This is expected to create $49 million in revenue by 2020-21.

“The introduction of a new foreign owner duty surcharge could hinder overseas property investment. Despite foreign investors only representing a small proportion of the WA property market, caution must be placed to ensure this section of the market does not reduce further.

“The Government expects to create revenue from this surcharge, however, it may only worsen the situation in terms of transfer duty revenue, as potential foreign investors may be less incentivised to purchase residential property in WA,” said Mr Collins.

In its pre-budget submission, REIWA recommended the Government introduce five key areas of reform:

  1. Make no further changes to rates or thresholds for land tax.
  2. No increase to transfer duty rates or change thresholds.
  3. Undertake a state tax review to assess the viability of a shift to a broad-based land tax system that ultimately removes transfer duty.
  4. Maintain the existing transfer duty exemption for first home buyers at $430,000 and re-introduce the $3,000 First Home Owners Grant for existing dwellings.
  5. Introduce a $10,000 concession on transfer duty for seniors over the age of 65 to encourage ‘right sizing’.

“REIWA welcomes the State Government’s commitment to keep property taxes on hold for WA residents and whilst some of the reforms we recommended were not addressed in the Budget, we appreciate the current fiscal position,” said Mr Collins.

The State Budget also revealed that growth in the State economy is expected to recover from 0.25 per cent in 2016-17, to three per cent in 2017-18. Employment growth is also forecast to recover, with nearly 20,000 jobs expected to be created in 2017-18, attributed to a modest increase in population growth expectations.

“The McGowan Government should be congratulated on their efforts in reducing the State’s debt. REIWA will continue to work with the Government to help home ownership become a reality for more West Aussies and also assist the Government in getting the Budget back to surplus,” said Mr Collins.

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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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03 October 2017
By portermathewsblog

Written by Natalie Hordov via Eastern Reporter REAL ESTATE

REIWA president Hayden Groves.

THE Perth property market is showing signs of stability with both the median house price and overall median rent holding steady in the three months to August 2017.

According to data, the median house price was $515,000, while the median rent was $350 per week for the fourth month in a row.

President Hayden Groves said it was encouraging to see the median price remain firm across both sectors of the Perth property market.

“The stable medians are good news and indicate that seller’s and landlord’s expectations are matching those of buyers and tenants,” he said.

Listings for sale have continued to trend downwards over the past month, decreasing by 1 per cent and are 10 per cent lower than three months ago.

“The reduction of properties for sale should create a better balance between the supply and demand of Perth’s overall housing stock,” Mr Groves said.

“Traditionally in spring, there tends to be a lift in sales activity which means there is potential for the median house price to increase in the coming months as we see more demand for housing and increased competition from buyers.”

In the residential rental market, data showed stock reduced by 6 per cent to 10,046 properties for rent, with leasing activity up by 8 per cent during the month of August.

“The boost in leasing activity is pleasing to see and has contributed to the declining trend in listings levels as rental stock gets absorbed due to the demand from tenants,” Mr Groves said.

“This improved activity is also helping to keep the overall median rent in check at $350 per week, stable for the fourth consecutive month, which is welcome news for landlords and property managers alike.

“With the warmer weather ahead, we should typically see both buyer and tenant activity levels increase.

“Together with the stabilising trends in median house and rent prices, the Perth property market is showing positive signs as we head into spring and summer.”

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