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Tag Archives: Home and Garden

Outdoor Furniture – No need to spend big bucks

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blue painted folding chairs

blue painted folding chairs

We are just getting ready for Spring here in Australia and once again our thoughts are turned to outdoor living and entertaining. It wont be long before we have to dust off the outdoor furniture for the warmer weather or perhaps you are looking at buying some new furniture?

Outdoor stores are filled to the brim with beautiful options to choose from but you don’t have to spend big dollars to jazz up your outdoor area.

There are so many options for upcycling and giving a new lease of life to some existing or second hand furniture even indoor pieces can be used to liven up the space. Even a cote of colourful paint will cost a lot less than a new suite and have loads more character.

Check out some of the following pics for some inspiration….

side table upcycled for outdoor use

side table upcycled for outdoor use

powder blue adirondack chairs

powder blue adirondack chairs

wine barrel side tables

wine barrel side tables

red painted cane outdoor

red painted cane outdoor furniture

Decorating with colour

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Choosing the right colour scheme is what scares people the most about decorating their interior spaces but it really shouldn’t be something to be frightened of.
I must admit that despite being an artist in a former life with a very good sense of colour I still find it difficult to sometimes stray from the neutral colour palette I favour but when I do the results have so much more impact.

Decorating a space in terms of colour is as easy as 60-30-10. You’ll notice that the rooms you like the most are almost always divided into percentages of 60-30-10. Below is an example of this colour percentage.

When decorating a particular room, divide the colours into percentages:
60% of a dominant colour
30% of a secondary colour
10% of an accent colour

Translated to a room setting, it typically means:
60% of the room’s colour is the walls
30% of the room’s colour is the upholstery
10% of the room’s colour is, say, an accent piece or a floral arrangement.

Colour can be the biggest mood lifter there is so dont be afraid of a touch of colour.

Eclectic Living Room by Jamestown Furniture and Accessories Barbara Schaver @ Furnitureland South

Eclectic Living Room by Charlotte Interior Designers & Decorators Lucy and Company

Eclectic Living Room by San Juan Capistrano Closet & Home Storage Designers Tara Bussema

Sources: Houzz, HGTV

Coastal Homewares

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Ralph Luaren design

Ralph Lauren Design

As I sit here and write this post, outside is torrential rain and wind so not the most inspirational weather to be talking about coastal homewares but why not?

Whitewashed wicker lantern

Whitewashed wicker lantern

A beach or coastal theme is extremely popular in Australia because of our huge stretches of coast line and our love of living outdoors in the warmer weather.

You don’t need to over do it on beachy accessories, just a few different pieces around your home can give it a coastal feel.

white punched metal urn

White punched metal candle holder

Blues and pale greens and white can also be used anywhere to lighten up the room to make it more airy, if you have children and are cringing at the thought of white furniture, use it in accessories like cushions, curtains and decor.

Monterey melamine dinner setting

Monterey melamine dinner set

Your table is also an easy way to bring a coastal element to a room. Table runners and dinner settings can both be used to great effect.

Coastal twig table runner

Coastal twig table runner

Using white in accessories is one way of bringing the beach inside, a white lantern or a grouping of white candles.

l_shaynna blaze classic ivory trilogy

Shaynna Blaze flameless candles



Flameless Wax Candles

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enjoy lighting candles

I must admit I have always had a serious addiction to candles. In the time that we refer to now as B.C. (before child) there was hardly a flat surface in my home that didn’t have a candle on it, but once my daughter got to toddler age the candles became something that had to be kept far out of reach and definitely not  for ambience on a coffee table.Caribbean Collection Candle Duo

I then came across flameless wax candles from an Australian company called Enjoy Lighting Australia and these seemed to fit the bill perfectly. Some of the earlier candles available on the market in Australia had an almost ‘flashing’ flame effect but these candles were made of real wax and used a triple LED light source to make the flicker as realistic as possible, at last there was something on the market that would give the effect of a real candle burning without the obvious safety issues that come with using the real thing.

flameless candles

The candles from Enjoy Lighting also came equipped with a set and forget timer, a range of colours and on some sets a remote control, we were so impressed that we decided to buy these for our online store and haven’t looked back. I realise this may look like a shameless plug for a product that we stock and no doubt we are impressed with these but I would encourage anyone who hasn’t tried these to get one and see for yourself, the ambience is amazing and the effect so realistic it will save you a fortune in buying candles and the safety aspect alone is worthwhile with so many house fires started from candles.

Candles in Glass Bowl

Celebrity designer Shaynna Blaze star of Selling Houses Australia and The Block was so impressed with the product that she put her name to her own range of Enjoy Lighting candles in Classic Ivory. The candles also just won best product at the Melbourne 2013 Reed Gift Fair.

Shaynna Blaze Signature Collection

If you try one thing different in your home this year, make it one of these candles, trust me you wont regret it!


Some ranges of these candles available through us at Urban Spice Homewares and wholesale enquiries and stockist info from Enjoy Lighting Australia

The Outdoor Chandelier

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outdoor lightingoutdoor umbrella chandelier









We still have a couple of months of warmer weather here in Australia and this idea for an outdoor chandelier is perfectly suited to our love of outdoor living. All that is required is an outdoor umbrella and a table setting with a hole in the table top to hold the umbrella upright. This idea could also be easily adapted to hang around the perimeter of  an alfresco area, large tree or from a balcony, just make sure you properly secure them to whatever they are hanging from.

There are now real wax flameless candles that are available in Australia that are perfect for this type of outdoor setting and the fact that cant be blown out by a breeze and are completely safe makes them a great option. But if you are using real candles as shown in the pictures please use caution.

D.I.Y. Lanterns

marthastewart.comCollect a dozen glass jars or votive holders in different sizes, each with a wide top or a rim (as on jelly jars). Wrap wire around each top, and twist to secure. Bend another piece of wire into a loop, and attach as a handle. Cut varying lengths of chain, and attach a small S hook to the top of each. Slip hook over a spoke of your patio umbrella, and secure hook with adhesive putty. Attach another S hook to the bottom of each chain, and use it to hang the lantern.

TIP – Make it truly unique by using coloured glass jars or votive holders. If you cant fins any paint some regular glass jars with some coloured glass paint.

Sources-, Pinterest

Colourful Outdoor Living

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Queen of love throne chairs

Queen of Love throne outdoor chairs by Italian design house Moro Pigatti

Outdoor living and entertaining is one area that you can be brave in your colour choices. If you are like me and extremely safe with your interior colour schemes, your outdoor area is something that you can experiment with by trying brighter options as this area of the house can be changed so easily.

Seasonal change dictate our outdoor living habits so Spring and Summer is the time that we entertain the most outside, so using colour  need not be permanent out here and can be changed as simply a bright dinner setting or a coat of paint to some wooden furniture. You could even be a little braver and paint a feature wall if you have one as a really bright wall outside looks fabulous as a garden backdrop but inside could be quite disastrous.

Pink wall

Pink wall

Garden furniture designers are beginning to manufacture brighter pieces and most stores now stock really colourful cushions and table accessories to give a really vibrant look to your outdoor space.

Be brave and try something different in the warmer months to give your outdoor space a real lift, you will be glad you did.

Rattan coloured lanterns

Rattan Coloured Lanterns from Urban Spice

Outdoor Dining

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One thing I love about Summer is eating outdoors. Evenings seem to stretch further when you are sitting outside enjoying a meal with the family, it is one reason we decided that melamine / bamboo dinnerware an absolute must to stock on our website and it continues to be one of our most popular lines.

For anyone with kids the durability is great or even if you want something a little more stylish than plastic picnic plates melamine really fits the bill for dining outdoors in the Australian Summer. The range of vibrant patterns available now make a fashionable addition to your outdoor table.

We make sure our melamine exceeds all Australian standards and is imported from the U.S.A. where strict F.D.A. testing makes sure the products are safe. We also have an eco friendly range of 45% bamboo 55% melamine plates.

Check out our range at and enjoy your weekend!