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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Winter Interior Decorating Projects

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With the cold weather keeping us from enjoying the outdoors, why not take the opportunity to update your interiors with these budget interior decorating ideas.

Wallpaper Bookcase

Use wallpaper, fabric or wrapping paper remnants to line the back of an old bookshelf  for a huge colour and design  impact.

family photo Vignette

Create a family photo vignette by using  existing family photos brought together in black frames displayed with some smaller treasures for a personal family display.

coffee table books

We have all heard of coffee table books but how many of us actually bring books off the shelves and onto a coffee table to create a display.

kids art

I for one have a fridge full of gorgeous paintings but how about displaying your kids artwork in stylish frames, you can change the pictures as the collection grows.


Picture Collage Walls

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As the weather turns colder here in Australia a good interior design project is a picture wall collage.

We all have heaps of framed photos that we struggle to find homes for so this Winter I am determined to create a photo collage on a wall in my home, in my case I am going to attempt the stairs. There are so many ways you get a cohesive look to your collage. If you have a modern home you may prefer to go with a standard grid which looks fantastic with large black and white photos.

Stairs can be a little trickier but so long as you determine a diagonal line up the stairs (maybe use a piece of string taped to the wall as a guide) and have a handful of photos that corners touch this line then you can hang in any order above and it will never look wrong.

A good suggestion is to make paper patterns of all your frames first and blue tac them to the wall, that way you can play around with your placement before you go hammering hangers into your walls.

Choosing frames all the same colour is another way of tying the look together.

I have found some pics below that might give you some inspiration showing a number of different collages. Hope you can find something to spark your creativity!

Eclectic Entry by Knoxville Artist And Artisan Sawdust Girl

Photo source:

Tiramisu Ice Cream Cake

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Tiramisu ice cream cake


1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups strong, freshly brewed espresso
1/3 cup coffee liqueur, such as Kahlua (optional)
Vanilla Sponge Cake
1/4 cup finely ground espresso
4 cups espresso ice cream
4 cups coffee ice cream
Chocolate Curls

Place sugar and 2/3 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in espresso and Kahlua. Let the syrup cool.

Using a serrated knife, cut sponge cake in half horizontally, making two layers. Place one layer in the bottom of a 9-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan. Using a pastry brush, brush with 3/4 cup cooled syrup. Sift 2 tablespoons ground espresso over cake.

Place espresso ice cream in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on low speed with the paddle attachment until spreadable. Spread ice cream over cake; top with second layer of sponge cake. Brush with remaining syrup. Transfer cake to freezer for 20 minutes.

Remove cake from freezer; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of ground espresso. Place coffee ice cream in a mixer bowl. Beat on low speed until spreadable. Spread ice cream over cake, forming large swirls. Return to freezer; freeze until completely hardened. To serve, garnish with chocolate curls.


Charlie Albone

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Charles Albone

Being a business that is based around a love of outdoor living one of our absolute favourite Australian garden designers is Charlie Albone. The talented garden designer from the Lifestyle channel’s Selling Houses Australia never fails to pull a rabbit out of a hat, with what is most of the time a shoe string budget, and creates some remarkable outdoor spaces on the hit series. Having been a viewer right from the first series I am amazed at what Charlie is able to achieve in some of these homes being responsible for the buyers first impression and the street appeal.

stone table

Stone Table from Inspired Exteriors

Charlie has been in the landscape biz for the last 14 years and also owns Sydney based landscape design business Inspired Exteriors. Charlie’s business offers an extensive range of services that encompass landscape design, project management, garden styling, outdoor furniture including bespoke pieces, preparing your house for sale and our personal favourite veggie patch installation! anyone who is willing to get Australians growing food from scratch for their families has our vote.

Whitehaven day bed from Inspired Exteriors

Whitehaven day bed from Inspired Exteriors

One of the services that Inspired Exteriors offers are green wall’s, these are are brilliant if you are short on space or have a courtyard garden. Charlie has done a few on Selling Houses and they always look brilliant.

Greenwall by Inspired Exteriors

Greenwall by Inspired Exteriors

We look forward to the next season of Selling Houses Australia to see what magic Charlie can perform outdoors to get some more unsellable houses sold and also to give us some tips we can use for our own backyards.

Photo source – and 

Hampton’s Outdoor Living

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As some of you may have read in an earlier post we are in the process of owner building a home. I have been engrossed with the interior fittings lately and have neglected any research on the outdoor finishes, paving and plantings for the outdoor area. I have come across these pics as inspiration, seeing as we are going for an Australian beach house look I thought what better inspiration that the Hampton’s. There are a lot of great ideas for paving  and decking here. What’s your favourite style?

Traditional Patio by New York Architect Iris Designs


Heirloom Tomatoes At Home

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Heirloom tomatoes

Ever heard the term ‘Heirloom tomatoes’ and wondered what the difference is between these and the supermarket variety? well there is a huge difference in both taste and the origin of Heirloom tomatoes. Put simply these are tomatoes that have not been altered like the hybrid varieties available to us now in fact these are old varieties that have remained unchanged for years.

Brandy wine tomato

The taste is also amazing, nothing at all like the unsatisfying supermarket tomatoes. The taste differs with each variety and this half the fun of growing these vintage breeds, why not experiment and try a mix of different tomato plants, that will not only look visually exciting but give you a wide variety of tomato tastes.

tiger green tomatoes

If you are in Australia one such company sells a huge range of Heirloom tomato seeds, check out the Australian Gardener  and if you are in the U.S. just google to find a multitude of sites that can ship you some heirloom seeds.

Photo sources:  and the Australian Gardener

Relaxing Outdoor Spaces

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Creating a relaxing outdoor space doesn’t take much effort. From a large open space to an inner city balcony, it is all about filling the space with things that evoke a sense of relaxation in you personally. It doesn’t have to be any more complicated than a comfortable chair and a side table to hold your drink/books.

Below are a few of my favourite relaxing outdoor images, each one works for different reasons and has different size spaces but they all end up with the same result which is a relaxing outdoor environment.

Traditional Exterior by Minneapolis Architect Charlie Simmons – Charlie & Co. Design, Ltd.
All pictorial content from Houzz