Mirror, mirror on my walls: which colour is the best of all?

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Image from mackenziehoran.com

Lately I’ve been pondering covering my living room wall entirely in mirror.  Doubling the size of the room and bouncing extra light into every corner, mirror panels are a relatively inexpensive way to create impact and add drama to a space.  Vast expanses of mirror can look harsh, so I will be softening the look by layering furniture, art and accessories in front (as shown above).

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Image from silverwoodinteriors.com

The entry to your home is also a great place for mirror, bringing light to a sometimes small and dark space.  I love attaching wall sconces to mirrored walls, treating a neglected area to even more light and drama.  Just watch the feng shui, you want to be directing those positive vibes the right way!

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Image source unknown.

Mirror comes in a variety of colours and finishes.  Silver is a colour that everyone will be familiar with and is perfect for contemporary spaces.  Grey and bronze are great colour choices to create a moodier effect.  The image above shows how bronze mirror can warm a space and add a touch of glamour.

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Image from thelennox.com

A popular and favourite finish of mine is the antiqued effect.  No two mirrors will be the same because artisans use a variety of interesting techniques to achieve the look.  The mirror can become an artwork in itself.  I find antiqued mirror adds such an interesting element to most interiors, sitting happily in the most glamourous rooms as well as amongst traditional antique furniture.

It’s a big decision, so just like a new paint colour, getting in mirror samples to see how they look in the space first is the best first step.

Colour of the moment: Radiant Orchid

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Image source unknown

Beautiful colours flow in and out of fashion with changing trends, seasons and locations.  Whilst I always recommend using a base of neutrals for the large and often expensive items in your home, it’s the accents of colour found in art and accessories which will personalise the room.  If you’re looking for some fresh colour inspiration, why not try a colour that you wouldn’t normally consider?

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mylusciouslife.com

At the moment, I’m loving ‘Radiant Orchid’, which has just been announced as the colour for 2014 by colour forecaster, Pantone.  This bright magenta cross fuchsia purple sits surprisingly well next to all neutrals, from white to greys and even the deepest charcoal.

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Ease in to this colour with scatter cushions, throws or a new accessory.  If you’re feeling bold, paint or wallpaper an entire room.  The trick is to ensure there is another expanse of neutral colour in the room for the eye to rest on, such as a sofa or floor rug.

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image from Barbara Groen

Have a look at my instagram @thedesignanthologist for my interpretation of using this colour with beautiful fabrics.

Interview with Stylist + Photographer Meghan Plowman

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Meghan Plowman

On a recent trip to Perth, I was lucky enough to meet and work with Stylist and Photographer Meghan Plowman. I quickly discovered Meghan was a wealth of information and inspiration for anyone looking to make the move into a freelance creative career. After much hard work, Meghan is now enjoying the beginnings of great success turning her two passions, styling and photography, into a full time career. Shuffling around living room furniture, we got to chatting about the challenges of living a creative life, creating our own job descriptions and taking the leap of faith from a stable full time job to chase a dream. I knew I had to interview Meghan and share her knowledge!

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Photograph + Styling by Meghan Plowman

DHS – Hi Meghan, how did you get started in the styling and photography industry? Did one come before the other?

MP – I actually began my career in graphic design however I have always had a passion for photography, film and telling stories through imagery. I had been photographing for a few years before I decided to embark on a styling career.

It was during my search for a way to tie together my interests I came across the role of a stylist through the work of mentors such as Sibella Court, Vanessa Colyer Tay and Glen Proebstel. I knew that I also wanted to create these images that were far more than products on a page, but clever story telling. I was hooked!

I began to build up a portfolio by styling and photographing my own work, then approached editors and agencies for experience. Networking with those in my industry exposed me to some great opportunities, which have grown from there.

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Photograph + Styling by Meghan Plowman

DHS – I imagine that venturing out on your own comes with some level of risk and a fear of the unknown. How did you manage the transition from a stable full time job in to freelancing?

MP – There was definitely some fear of going out on my own that’s for sure. I know I couldn’t have done it without the incredible support of my family and friends.

Whilst working for an interiors boutique (before I ventured out on my own), I had the opportunity to work closely with the local papers. I found myself contributing ideas and images for interiors stories and assisting on photo shoots. It came to a point where I couldn’t say no to the opportunities coming my way and I had to trust in both my instinct and passions that more would follow and that I had to take the next step.

Learning to schedule my time has been the biggest challenge, which is different from and a lot more time consuming than a full time job – but I am still learning more about managing this as I go. It can also be quite a lonely journey for a freelancer; being someone who loves people I ensure that I stay in touch with other freelancers in my network who I can bouce ideas off and discuss challenges with – I feel really blessed to have these people in my life as extra support in my business and now personally. They have become my co workers in a way and I also couldn’t do this without them.
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Photograph + Styling by Meghan Plowman

DHS – You’ve enjoyed great success and attracted much of your business from your Instagram profile (16,000 followers). How did you attract so many followers? Please share with us your tips!

 MP – I have been so incredibly amazed by the support I have had from Instagram and the community it has helped to build. In fact I am seeing this worldwide with Instagram helping build connections and business in huge ways. It’s essentially the real ‘social’ media!

I began using Instagram as an outlet for my own photography and styling work, because I love taking photos. It’s still the reason I use it but it’s become more of a daily portfolio for me – I have developed my style and will keep developing it through the constant inspiration and quality of images I see everyday.

I think my main pointers with building a following on Instagram would be to interact with people, don’t be afraid to comment on their images and be specific. Tell them what you like about a certain image and why. Also, try to find your own consistency and build your own style, be it through your subjects, editing, and even the way you speak to your following. I follow some users who simply make me laugh! 

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Photograph + Styling by Meghan Plowman

DHS – What advice can you give to upcoming Stylists and Photographers hoping to build their own profile and portfolio?

MP – I’d definitely recommend looking for other creatives you admire who are also starting out, and collaborate on a project. That way you can all help build your portfolios together. I recall assisting on a shoot in the beginning where the team including a hairdresser, model, makeup artist, photographer, stylist and assistants were ‘paid’ in images. If you can come to an agreement with your photographer then everyone involved benefits from a professionally produced shot for their portfolio.

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Photograph + Styling by Meghan Plowman

DHS – I can’t wait to see you upcoming projects, what’s in the pipeline?

MP – I’m really excited to have the opportunity in the new year to work closely with Mobilia and international design studio CulDeSac on an exhibition they are bringing to Perth called Design Circus, an adventurous concept to spark the imagination and challenge the way we see design.  Think a full circus experience mixed with clever visual display of industrial design!

I will also be continuing work with a number of U.S. brands such as Hearth and Mornings Like These, where I will be developing branding as well as contributing lifestyle stories and photography.

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Photograph + Styling by Meghan Plowman

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Photograph + Styling by Meghan Plowman

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Photograph + Styling by Meghan Plowman

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Photograph + Styling by Meghan Plowman

Inside the creative retreat of Julie Paterson, founder of ClothFabric

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Photograph by Marcus Arruzza

Over the weekend I was very fortunate to interview artist, fabric designer and founder of ClothFabric, Julie Paterson. Observing Julies creative process in her leafy Blue Mountains studio was a real treat, and I can promise you there is a very exciting post and my first vlog on its way! To tide us all over until the editing is complete, I’m sharing some quick snaps that we took of Julie’s home that she shares with her partner Amanda.

Upon walking in the front door, it’s clear that Julie and Amanda take great pride in this home and love to express their creative, down to earth spirit in every nook and cranny. Venturing across a random assortment of cleverly styled and layered floor rugs, the eye is guided throughout the open plan living area. Retro furnishings and timber details house an assortment of curious personal collections.

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Photograph by Marcus Arruzza

An Australian map and globe hints at Julie and Amanda’s adventurous spirit. The couple are planning many upcoming trips in a prized new vintage caravan, which we had a lot of fun with trying to help reverse up the narrow driveway. If only I’d thought to get a picture of that…

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Photograph by Marcus Arruzza

Their kitchen is admirable for being such a great example of working modestly with what you have. The lack of storage which would normally be perceived as a flaw in kitchen design, has become an unapologetic and quirky feature piled high with literally everything but the kitchen sink. I for one, was curious and pleased to see what crockery, pots and pans belonged to this home. Note the cheeky use of rope pull handles on the drawers and cupboards.

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Photograph by Marcus Arruzza

Situated just off the main living area, the visual journey continues with an eclectic gathering of artworks adorning the bedroom walls. Hung in a french hang style on one side and a bit more higgledy-piggledy on the other, the room becomes an intimate gallery. The floor, walls and ceiling are painted a soft white which opens up the space and allows for their collections to be shown to full potential. Taking pride of place on the bed is one of Amanda’s rescued blankets, which she collects from second hand stores. Julie tells me with humour that Amanda has amassed quite an extensive collection which you will notice throughout the home.

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Photograph by Marcus Arruzza

Completing the picture is an iconic Australian rickety screen back door. What’s not to like about the local map painted by Julie on red fibro, complete with gum leaves all over the ground?

A Designers Guide to Gift Buying

Ho Ho Ho!  The silly season is upon us and it’s time to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones.  As an Interior Designer, I spend a lot of time online hunting down the latest accessories and homewares.  I like to consider where and how the items are made, so you will find a common thread in my gifts of local design, local manufacture, sustainability and even a good cause.  Happy shopping.

FOR THE FESTIVE SPIRIT

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Clockwise from the top left * Large watermelon bowl, $330, http://www.samantharobinson.com.au * Posy gold vase, $168, http://www.designedbythem.com * sticthed cups, poa, http://www.keikomatsui.com.au * Antler wreath gold, $133, www.choosy.com.au * Looking for water redrust cushion, $150, http://www.clothfabric.com * Plume wall hanging, $165, http://www.xavierandme.com * Australian Christmas medium soy candle, $20, http://www.etsy.com.au * Bone servers, $100, http://www.dinosaurdesigns.com.au 

FOR THE HOLIDAY HOME

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Clockwise from the top left * Hand painted cushion, $185, http://www.bonnieandneil.com.au * New range of ceramics, poa, http://www.kwceramics.com.au * Mini parasol set marine, $59, http://www.bellamee.com * Frangipani soap, $9.95, http://www.stateofgreen.com.au * Isabella Wang Koi series plate, poa, http://www.potier.com.au * Vanda blue table cloth, $185, http://www.bonnieandneil.com.au * Range of ceramics by Dimity Kidston, poa, http://www.dimitykidstonceramics.com * Limited edition Beach towel, $150, http://www.dinosaurdesigns.com.au

FOR THE NATURALIST

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Clockwise from the top left *  Gold bee notebook, $10.95, http://www.appleandbeeshop.com, Marigold floor rug, $485 , http://www.armadillo-co.com * Trio of herbs, $8.95, http://www.stateofgreen.com.au * Charlie Sandford rocket candle stick, $99, http://www.gormanshop.com.au * Check green cushion with ribbon trim, $155, http://www.bonnieandneil.com.au * 100% pure beeswax ‘make your own candle‘, $120, http://www.queenb.com.au * Porcelain tableware, from $55, http://www.littlewhitedish.com.au * Sisal pot belly floor basket, $289, http://www.countryculture.com.au

 

FOR THE BACHELOR PAD

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Clockwise from the top left * Handmade ‘Bent Ply’ newspaper/magazine rack in Australian blackwood timber, $238, www.etsy.com.au * Monsieur Chapeau sculpture, $110, http://www.brideandwolfe.com.au * Bright beads ‘Africa’ pendant light, $395, http://www.marzshop.com * Water colour plate small black, $65, http://www.bonnieandneil.com.au * Indigo maya cushion, $80, http://www.walter-g.com.au * Laundry bag ‘boy’, $29.95, http://www.appleandbeeshop.com * Antler wall decal gold, $45, http://www.choosy.com.au * Interlocking wine rack 9 bottle set, $68, http://www.choosy.com.au