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Dining chairs are an easy and affordable means to refresh or develop your dining room aesthetic.

Yet, there are so many different dining chairs out there that choosing a set for your dining room can be pretty daunting. So whether you’re first moving out of home, or your current dining chairs are falling apart, or you’re simply falling out of love with them, check out this easy guide to take all the stress out of the shopping.

START WITH THE PRACTICALITIES

There’s no point thinking about how to make your room look inviting as a place to eat if you’ve got little idea about the functional aspects of your furniture.

If you’re buying a new dining table with dining chairs, the first and foremost constraint that you’ve got to come to terms with is the room itself. What shape is it? How large is it? If, like most people, your room is a rectangular prism, then rectangular dining tables are probably the way to go. If your room is closer to a cube, you could go for something more adventurous, like a custom-made square dining table. If it’s a spacious room, you should go for a larger table. If it’s smaller, or you’re in a unit, go for a smaller table (circular ones are pretty cute in these settings). From there, you can consider things like sideboards, mirrors, display cabinets, artwork, and other furniture pieces or homewares that you might want to include in the dining room. We won’t go into that here.

Once you’ve sorted out the table, you sort out the chairs. Firstly, how many people are you expecting to host at any given time? Secondly—and you’ll need the measuring tape for this—what’s the maximum chair width that allows you to seat that many people at your table? And thirdly, what is the maximum seat height for your dining chair that will allow 300 mm from the top of the seat to the underside of the dining table? (Or, more clearly: measure from your dining room floor to the underside of the dining table, deduct 300 mm, and that’s the maximum height for the seat of your dining room chairs.)

You consider these questions because 1) you’ll need as many chairs as the number of people you’re expecting to host, 2) those chairs will have to be correctly proportioned so that you can fit the maximum number of people at your table, and 3) you want the people sitting in those chairs to be able to fit their legs comfortably under the table. There’s no use having a pretty room if people’s legs are jammed under the table every time they try to sit, or if every time a guest comes over they have no chair, or worse still, they can’t even fit at your table because the chairs you chose were too large!

 

THEN, CONSIDER THE AESTHETIC QUALITIES

Your dining chairs don’t have to match your dining table. Your dining chairs don’t have to match your dining table. Your dining chairs don’t have to match your dining table.

Did I mention that your dining chairs don’t have to match your dining table?

Yes, dining tables can come with dining chairs. In fact, these dining packages, as they are so called, are one of our specialties. But you’ll notice that even with our recommended dining packages, we like to mix and match dining chairs with dining tables. You don’t have to have Tuscan dining chairs with a Tuscan dining table. You could go for French Cross dining chairs, instead; even in a contrasting colour. Another option is to move away from timber dining chairs and go for fabric in a matching colour—for example, our Gallery chairs with the Tuscan table. Another option still is to be more adventurous—for example, by going for chairs in a similar but noticeably different tone and texture to your dining room furniture. Really, the (dining chair) world is your oyster!

Now, what to do with those old chairs? Landfill isn't the answer. There will be some person, family, or charitable organisation out there that will be willing to give your old dining chairs another life. Consider storing them for your kids until they’re ready to move out, passing them on to relatives, selling them at a garage sale, or calling an organisation running a community shelter to see if they could use them. Alternatively, keep them in your garage for your own use. Having spare dining chairs may come in handy down the track -- you know, for any emergency seat-uations. 

Happy dining!

How to Choose Dining Chairs

We have so many customers who dream of owning a table that will be large enough to seat the family at Christmas time, or simply a standard 1500mm square dining table, but are unsure if they have enough space.

Even if you measure your room before you start shopping for a dining table and chairs, it can be a bit confusing knowing how much space you should allow between the table and the nearest obstruction. What you want is enough space for your guests to be able to comfortably pull back their chairs and move away from the table, and room to walk behind a person who is already seated (e.g. to serve food).

I won’t bore you with the technicalities of ergonomics, except to say that the diagrams below are from my old university 'bible', Human Dimension & Interior Space (Panero & Zelnik, 1979, page 146).

The first diagram (below) shows the minimum clearance required – measurement A – between the edge of the table and the wall, or a buffet, etc. You need to allow at least 76cm.

The second diagram (below) shows the minimum clearance required – measurement F – between the edge of the table and the wall, or a buffet, etc. if you desire circulation space. 

You need to allow at least 122cm.

By doing a few simple calculations before you start shopping you’ll already know what size table will be suitable for your room and, therefore, avoid at least one of the mistakes made by the owners of this dining room!

Image courtesy of Tuckrbox.com.

How to choose the right size dining table

So what's all the fuss with two-tone furniture?

The label ‘two-tone furniture’ applies to those pieces of timber furniture which have two different tones of finish. Our favourite pairing is our signature ivory wash with a honey-coloured top. It’s tried and true, which is why you’ll see it in so many of our core collections. We also do a weathered top and ivory combination in our customer favourite Byron collection, too. (Yep, we really love the two-tone look!)

I bet two-tone furniture doesn’t even go with that much, right?

Wrong. Two-tone timber pieces work with many different furniture styles, for the simple reason that having two different tones gives you twice as many colours to work with. For example, you can take our ivory/honey combination and use it as the base of pretty much any room, and particularly rooms furnished in country style, French country style, French provincial style, Hamptons style, or shabby chic. That’s pretty versatile!

Two-tone furniture also adds another layer of depth and character to your home, and is a super easy way to break up timber floorboards. Just consider the Byron dining package below: that simple-but-gorgeous cross detailing in the legs of the table and the backs of the chairs would be much more lost if the furniture were painted with just honey or ivory.


All right, I’m listening. How might I furnish my dining room with two-tone furniture?

The foundations of the room: wall paint and the floor. Often there’s not much you can do about this without a lot of work (time and/or money), but a few pointers for your foundations are:

  1. Use tiles or floorboards rather than carpet. There tends to be less crying over spilt milk when it takes two minutes to clean rather than twenty!
  2. Your wall paint or paper should feature a soft, natural colour (look to nature for inspiration)  that makes people want to eat and relax. 
  3. Take advantage of natural light as much as you can. It’ll make any eating area more inviting.

Next step: filling your dining room. We always recommend that you get the full dining set if your room can fit it: a buffet, a dining table, and enough dining chairs for your family and a few guests. The dining table and buffet can absolutely come from the same furniture collection (and take a whole lot of the guesswork out for those of us who aren't pro interior decorators), but feel free to mix and match to suit your personal taste.

Final step: personalise the space with homewares. You can really go crazy with homewares! One piece of advice, though: artificial fruits and foliage might be easy to maintain, but they’re probably not the best idea for a dining room. People want to feel like they’re eating real food when they’re in your dining room, and that’s always more believable when they’ve got real fruit and foliage to look at. Besides, guests don’t like feeling outsmarted by a deceptive piece of “fruit” if they’re looking for a sneaky bite while they’re visiting...


How about my living room?

Two-tone furniture is an easy way to make any room come to life, especially if you live in a small space. Need inspiration? Look no further than our display below.

So, what’s so good about this display? Without the honey-coloured tops, the similar-coloured legs of the sofas would become lost, and it would become a sea of beige and grey. Which is fine. But that extra dimension of colour adds a little something really makes the room pop, without being so dominating that you can’t make the room your own. With such a characterful yet harmonious living or lounge setting, who wouldn’t want to take an afternoon nap?


And the bedroom?

Everything about two-tone furniture in the living room applies to the bedroom, too. But what makes two-tone perhaps even better in the bedroom is that just about any quilt cover design will go with it. You want to continue the navy scheme? Go for it. You want to go with a lighter scheme like below? Go for it. You want to change the look of your bedroom every season without changing the fundamental pieces? Go for it. Two-tone furniture will help you feel cosy regardless of your preferred decorations.


Looks good. I’m willing to give it a go, but is there something subtler that I can consider whilst I’m at it?

There certainly is. Our Florence collection is not strictly two-tone, but it runs in a similar vein. This is because the rough-sawn tops give the pieces in this collection a different texture to the rest of the timber. Let’s call it ‘two-texture’: a perfect halfway house to our veritable two-tone collections.

So that’s our take on two-tone, in a nutshell. But what about yours? Join our Facebook group or tag us on Instagram to partake the conversation about this wonderful way to furnish the family home!

How to Decorate with Two-Tone Furniture

There's a big difference between a "house" and a "home".

While a house is a space that serves your basic needs, a home is a beautiful place for your friends, family, and you to create memories and enjoy life. Choosing the right furniture and accessories that are both personal and functional will transform your house into the haven you desire.

Start with an open space

A clutter-filled home environment is often the result of general family living. But the more space you're able to create, the more options you'll have when it comes to choosing furniture and accessories to suit your lifestyle.

Take a good look at your furnishings, accessories and storage spaces, in order to begin afresh. Sell, donate, or dispose of anything that's just gathering dust, creating obstacles in high-traffic areas or contributing to a cluttered look. This way you can step back and visualise the environment you want to create.

Get creative with colour

Colour is the perfect way to infuse your home with your own personal style. Colour can enhance your mood, establish a theme and evoke specific emotions. For an organic, natural look which fits beautifully with coastal, shabby chic and French Provincial styles, choose timber furniture in white, ivory or warm honey as the base for your scheme. Neutral wall colours provide a perfect backdrop for coloured accessoriescushions, ceramics, frames and printswhich can easily be changed at little cost when you feel like a quick refresh. The key is to surround yourself with colours that make you feel positive, uplifted and relaxed.

Choose functional furniture that suits your style

Once you've decided on a theme and your colour palette, take some time to think about the purpose your furniture needs to serve. For example, if you'd like to create a country-style kitchen and dining room, consider a timber dining table that seats the appropriate amount of people but also fits comfortably into your space. Match it with timber cabinets, shelving and wine racks that convey your style, but are also useful for storage, thus reducing clutter.

The finishing touches

Finally, to give your house a 'homely' atmosphere, accessorise to suit your interests, hobbies and personal style. For example, if you love the shabby chic style and you've chosen white or ivory timber furniture, highlight the eclectic look with baskets, hat stands, books, antique style hooks and displays of vintage crockery. You could also design a photo wall or scatter framed photos of family, friends, travels and inspirations throughout your home. Large photo frames are also perfect toppers for timber buffets and hall tables, mixed with your cherished knick-knacks to highlight your personality and give you pleasure.  The possibilities are truly endless!

With the right mix of open space, furniture and individual style, your house will transform from a mere shelter to a wonderful place you simply can't wait to come 'home' to.

How to Turn Your House Into A Home

Whether you’re heading to a new job, school, uni, TAFE, or are about to start working from home on a more permanent basis, you'll want to be able to think and create in a space that is inviting and inspiring.

Timber furniture can enliven any workspace, and with the right storage options and careful consideration of lighting, furniture placement and colours, you can say goodbye to 'Monday-itis' for good!

Choose your colour palette

Let your personality shine through décor. A feature wall is an easy way to brighten a room, especially if you choose inspirational colours such as turquoise or purpleperhaps at half-strength if you are not feeling brave. For a small space, white walls with splashes of colour in paintings, vases or rugs to reflect your personal style will help you feel comfortable and motivated.

Invest in space-saving timber furniture

For a functional yet stylish office, choose your furniture wisely to avoid clutter and retain a feeling of spaciousness. A matching timber bookcase, desk, filing cabinet and printer stand may be the only pieces you need to keep your office organised. Timber is sturdy, durable, and complements just about every colour scheme. It can add a natural feel to your office and give a sense of bringing the outdoors in. Look for stylish pieces that are practical as well as beautiful.

Coordinating timber pieces will also create a cohesive look that will enhance your sense of calm and productivity. Before you purchase timber furniture, measure your room carefully to ensure that all pieces fit comfortably in the space available. Try out different styles of chairs as well, taking ergonomics into account, so that your body is well supported while you're working.

Think about practical furniture placement

Make sure you set up your office as an efficient workspace. For example, if you often refer to books while you're working, place your bookshelf next to your desk for easy access.

For computer work, ensure that your monitor and desk are positioned correctly to avoid eye strain due to natural light reflecting off the screen or directly into your eyes. It's also important to be able to give your eyes a break every so often, ideally by going for a quick walk, but at least by looking out of the window or hanging a colourful picture or family photos in your line of vision. Place a small lamp on the desk for intricate tasks or to use when the natural light is low.

Create a clutter-free environment by using storage options such as timber filing cabinets, display cabinets and bookshelves. Be aware of angles and sharp edges on furniture—especially in small rooms—so you can move freely around the space as you work.

Inspire yourself

Depending on the nature of your work, you may wish to add items that motivate you and get your creative juices flowing. Indoor plants instantly boost mood, productivity, and creativity. Put a photo frame, a piece of art or a few cherished knickknacks on your desk, or create a vision board to hang on the wall to remind you of your goals.

The most important thing to remember when you're styling your home office is that it doesn't have to be boring! Investing in timeless timber furniture, surrounding yourself with your favourite colours and keeping the practical aspects organised will ensure that you have an inspiring workspace in the new year.

How to organise your home office for your next chapter of life

Vacationing in the Hamptons is the ultimate in luxury, mostly due to the myriad of flawlessly decorated homes that evoke lavish comfort in relaxed, beachy surroundings. As a locale, the exclusive holiday destination in New York’s Long Island is synonymous with laid-back coastal luxury.

With inspired interior design trends, you can effortlessly bring timeless Hamptons style decor to your home, letting your space exude beachside chic all year round. From paint colours to essential accessories, use these five simple steps to create a Hamptons-inspired look for your home that will have you feeling like you’re permanently on vacation.


1. Start with a Base

Start designing your Hamptons style home with a great base that sets the tone for the whole room. Unsurprisingly, this timeless style veers toward white, which makes a perfect and easy-to-pair base as it goes with everything. Paint your walls a crisp shade of white, unless you have whitewashed flooring; in this case, opt for a light blue paint or cool grey on your walls. There are endless shades of white, so choose one with cooler undertones to fully reflect the classic Hamptons style. This will be the dominant tone in your home, complemented by accent colours to brighten up and fill out your Hamptons style house.



2. Choose Your Furnishings

After choosing your base, it’s time to find furnishings to bring your space together. What is Hamptons style without gorgeous furniture for you to sink into? Look for high quality, beautiful pieces that will truly reflect classic Hamptons style decorating and will comfortably last you for years to come. Unique, white-painted or natural timber pieces that are both sturdy and look like they have a history are the perfect choices for your home. For timeless furniture pieces, soft furnishings and inspiration, browse 1825 Interiors’ Hamptons Style Furniture.


3. Add Accents

Accent colours are ultimately where the Hamptons decorating style shines through. Colour your space with a spectrum of blues, from ocean blue to sky blue, bright yellows, earthy linen hues, and even a tiny touch of coral. Play with lace, florals, ceramics and glass to give a variety of textures to your colour palette. Paint a large, central wall for a statement, or purchase your soft furnishings in a range of pastels to complement your space for an interchangeable arrangement.



4. Play with Accessories

Let accessories bring the room together and tie in all your style elements in your Hamptons style living room. Cushions are a must, as are decorative vignettes on various surfaces. Your room should not look bare -- remember that an authentic beach house collects artefacts over the years that give it a lived-in appearance. Every element should complement each other. Nautical accessories are great, but intersperse them with pieces in comforting linen, straw, and wicker. To avoid a distinctly sailor vibe to your room, decorate solely with light colours and space out your decorative, nautical pieces.



5. Create Layers

Steer clear of a sparse, minimalistic look when decorating in a Hamptons style.

Create visual layers that draw the eye—side tables create visually appealing layers, as do deep couches and armchairs. For a comfortable feel, rugs and throws can add a level of warmth to the room while still belonging to the same colour palette. Play with the height of any furniture to create dimension. Your Hamptons style interior decorating ideas should look like they have all come together naturally, instead of being carefully placed. Keep everything at eye level or under to maintain an elegant style. Avoid over-cluttering your space. Beach houses should contain an overwhelming feeling of space, something that is hard to maintain with too much furniture. A lack of furniture can be counteracted with rugs and blankets. Decorate with candles and trinkets for a lived-in atmosphere.


Now that you know how to perfectly decorate in this style, it's time to put all these tips to good use creating your dream Hamptons-inspired home!

Hamptons-Style Decorating Tips and Ideas for Your Home

Although you may not realise it, colour can influence what we buy, as well as our moods, creativity levels, productivity, and psychology! It can also affect our confidence and appetite (ever wondered why fast food restaurants always use the colour red?).

If any of you are Trinny and Susannah fans then you’ll know that colour plays an important role in the way we appear to others.  The same can be said about the colours we choose for our homes.

Green

Symbolises health, growth (plants, our lawns after a summer thunderstorm) and success.  It is the colour of balance and harmony.  People waiting to appear on TV sit in ‘green rooms’ to help them relax.  Hospitals also use green to calm their patients.  As green is widely considered to be rather masculine and conservative, it also a good choice for a home office.  We’ve used green here to freshen up our Noosa collection, and then balanced it with a few earthy brown tones. 

Yellow

Think happiness, inspiration and optimism.  Yellow is also known for its ability to sharpen memory and concentration skills.  However, you may be interested to know that babies cry more if they sleep in yellow bedrooms.  A small amount of yellow will cheer up a room but it can be overpowering so don’t overuse it! 

Orange

Like yellow, a little bit goes a long way.  Orange is known to increase creativity, enthusiasm, energy, vitality and warmth.  Although burnt oranges and other muted earth tones are very on-trend at the moment, orange is a colour that can date rather quickly - the 70s come to mind - so limit its use to accessories that can be changed such as cushions, photo frames and table runners. 

Blue

Blue makes the body produce calming chemicals which help us to relax.  It is perfect for use in bedrooms.  Dress your kids in blue PJs!  In the photos below, we've demonstrated how you can use different shades of blue to create different looks -- be it dreamy, beachy, or sophisticated.  When you view the images, notice how each one makes you feel.

Red

Being such a strong colour, red is most often used as an accent in interior decoration.    Red symbolises love, warmth and passion, but also anger, danger and aggression.  Believe it or not, this powerful colour can actually raise your blood pressure.  It’s an active colour so we definitely wouldn’t use it on the kids’ bedroom walls!  Red is also an appetite stimulant so you’d better not sit on your red sofa with a large bag of chips!

Purple

Stands for magic, power, healing, luxury and wealth.  Purple works best as an accent colour, just like the flowers below.

Brown

Most men rate brown among their favourite colours.  It’s natural, solid, earthy, comfortable and reliable.  However, too much brown can make a room feel dull and boring so don’t go overboard.

White

Stands for simplicity, purity, innocence and light.  Being neutral, it goes with everything but it does get dirty.  White is a great choice for a fresh beginning which is why many women choose to redecorate their homes in white after a divorce.

Beige & Ivory

Beige and ivory are timeless background colours.  They represent calm and simplicity, and don't seem to date the way some other neutrals do. 

Black, Grey & Charcoal

Black is the colour of authority, power, evil and, in Western cultures, also death.  Black is used in interior design to add an element of sophistication, although some believe dark charcoal is a better alternative.  Grey is considered a good background colour as it doesn’t compete with other colours.  Grey is neutral, restful and cooling and will reduce the intensity of other colours.  It is practical and conservative but keep in mind that too much grey can be a little unimaginative and depressing. When styling your home, be sure to team black, grey and charcoal tones with white or a bold accent colour for that ‘wow’ factor.

Pink

Think pink for tranquillity, romance, friendship, love, contentment…and all things Barbie!

A lick of paint and some new homewares are the easiest and cheapest ways to give a room a new lease of life.  As a general rule, rooms that face north or west should be painted and decorated with cool colours as they take the full brunt of the summer sun, and rooms that face east or south are better suited to warm colours. 

If you’re not sure where to start, use neutrals - such as greys and beiges - on large areas like walls, floors or lounge suites.  Then you can introduce accent colours in small doses.  For example, if you love this season’s colours but think you may tire of them down the track, limit your purchases to homewares such as cushions, prints and photo frames.  That way, when you feel like a change, you can do so without blowing the budget.

Colour Psychology in Interior Design

Updating your family home with a fresh, new design concept is incredibly exciting but can be a little intimidating at the same time!

As one of the most popular decorating styles, achieving a shabby chic look in your home can be done easily and affordably, often incorporating bits and pieces already lying around the house.

1. A Worn, Whitewashed Table

Whitewashed furniture pieces made from reclaimed (or carefully distressed) timber are definitely your best bet as the building blocks for a laid back, authentic, shabby chic style. Snapping up a great dining table is a perfect place to start. You’ll likely find that, once you’ve got the feature piece of the room sorted, choosing the right chairs and accessories comes much more easily. The dining table below from our soft, romantic Shabby Chic collection is a great example. Made from a reclaimed pine mix, the furniture pieces in this collection have a white painted finish that has been carefully rubbed back to reveal a brown base, recreating the signature time-worn look that is at the heart of shabby chic interior decorating styles.

2. Antique Mirrors and Frames

Ornate photo frames and mirrors are a fantastic way to ensure you keep the ‘chic’ in shabby chic! If you don’t yet have a few of these at home, they’re relatively easy to find antique stores, markets, or even garage sales. If you find a design you like but hate the colour, a quick coat of white or soft pastel chalk paint can update tired frames in minutes.

3. Vintage Vignettes

Homewares that tick all the boxes for creating an authentic shabby-chic look can be found in abundance at a variety of price points in stores all over the world right now. A few quirky items grouped together in arrangements called ‘vignettes’ can introduce a sense of effortless elegance into a space, even if you secretly agonised over the precise positioning of each individual item (don’t worry, I won’t tell).

4. Get Comfy

Comfort should always take priority when buying for your home, though in this case it even forms part of the design concept. No wonder shabby chic is such a favourite! Begin with a generous assortment of scatter cushions on sofas and beds, then add in a couple of stylish rugs, and a fluffy throw blanket or two (in the right seasons of course) to keep your living spaces feeling fashionably casual and relaxed.

5. A Few Florals

Laid-back and elegant, the shabby chic look lends itself well to feminine touches. Floral fabrics, prints, and fresh or artificial flowers breathe life into this decorating style.

Without any formal rules to follow, creating a shabby chic look in your home is as easy as it is enjoyable. What makes it one of my personal favourites is the fact that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (or your sanity) to achieve.

5 Affordable Shabby Chic Decorating Ideas

One of our favourite ways to enjoy chic, summer vibes all year round is with Hamptons-style decorating. Not only is this look timeless and effortlessly elegant, it’s also surprisingly budget-friendly to recreate in your family home.

What is Hamptons-style?

Originally, the inspiration for what is now known as Hamptons-style interior decorating came from an area of Long Island in New York—specifically, a group of little townships called The Hamptons. The homes and establishments in this area were coveted for their soft, neutral colour palette, timber floors, relaxed linen sofas, and blue and white-striped accessories. All in all, the style has come to represent the epitome of chic coastal living.

The Hamptons-style colour palette

To begin with, take a leaf out of the books of 21st Century minimalists and tone the colour scheme right down. After all, have you ever seen a fuchsia dining table in a Hamptons home? No, us neither. Instead, create a clean slate with white walls and even floorboards. A Hamptons-style colour palette consists of natural, sandy, linen tones for carpets, rugs and upholstery. 

Then, finally, layer in your accent colour group of choice. Blues reminiscent of wide-open skies and ocean vistas are always a safe bet—though a few hints of cool green never go astray.

Your next task is to clear the clutter—and be brutal about it! Open spaces are a fundamental component of Hamptons styling and, no, you don’t need to be quadrillionaire with a 15-bedroom home to achieve this feeling of space. Clever storage will be a tremendous help, here, but try your best to do a proper clear out first. 

Hamptons-style accessories

Now, the fun part: you’re ready to decorate! Providing you keep your furnishings coastal, sophisticated and welcoming, you can bring your personal style into play when choosing furniture and accessories as you create your Hamptons-inspired home. Don’t shy away from spacious lounges, scatter cushions, textured throws and rugs in the decorating process.  

Hamptons style decorating celebrates summertime, coastal getaways and everything that goes along with that time of year. It’s no wonder it’s a favourite among interior design enthusiasts all over the world. 

How to create a Hamptons-style home

If you haven’t noticed, the world looks absolutely, undeniably, totally and completely different to what it did 18 months ago.

And while Australia (touch wood) hasn’t been impacted by global events in the same way that many other countries in our world have, there have still been some pretty dramatic changes to the way we work, play, and connect with others.

The truth is people’s priorities have changed.  Most of us are finding ourselves wanting and valuing different (simpler) things to what we did less than two years ago. 

We want to feel safe.

We want to stay healthy.

We want to do what we can to protect the overall well-being of the people we love.

And the reality of this recent societal shift of priorities is that it’s impacted the big things in life as much as the small things – like what constitutes a meaningful gift for Mother’s Day.

Here we’ve compiled a list of thoughtful gift ideas for Australian mothers (and grandmothers) that acknowledge the changes and challenges that have come along with this new era.

1. Keep Palm and Carry On

If the state of the world has your mum feeling nostalgic for family holidays in the tropics, why not bring the tropics to her?  Our Vienna Rattan Chair (and matching side table) is a great example -- it's the perfect pick for when you want to sit on your verandah, cold beverage in hand, and pretend you're in Bali. 

2. It Just Makes Scents

Whether they’re into light florals or something a little spicier, most mums have a favourite fragrance and would love to be able to enjoy it every day in the form of a pillar candle, tumbler or melts.  With so many of us working from home nowadays, keeping Mum's living spaces smelling like a dream is bound to be more appreciated than ever.  

 

3. Thistle Make Her Day

Many mums appreciate the gesture of a bouquet of fresh flowers any day of the week. But for many women this can aggravate sinus problems, headaches and hay fever symptoms in the allergy-prone, or be a bit disappointing if they only last a few days. The solution? Artificial flowers have come a long way in recent years, and now it’s fairly easy to track down high quality, individual stems and stunning bouquets at very reasonable prices. They look just like the real thing, and they’ll brighten Mum (or Grandma)'s day for years into the future.

4. Her Comfort Zone

Ahh, just in time for cold and flu season. It seems like all of us are a little (or a lot) more health-conscious these days and keen to give our immune systems a helping hand wherever possible.  Stock up on soft, snuggly throws to help Mum stay cosy and warm as the night time temperatures settle into the single digits.

5. The Gift of Time

Let’s be real here. Ask any mum what she’d love most from her kids on Mother’s Day, and she’d probably say their time. So whatever you end up getting Mum (or Grandma) this Mother’s Day, make sure you’re part of the package.

Five Thoughtful Gifts for Mother's Day

The secret to making everyone happy with your furniture and décor choices can be summed up in one word: collaboration.

Collaborative interior design may sound like a headache waiting to happen, but it’s easier than you think. It won’t be conflict- or compromise-free, but it will make the road to redecorating the family home a lot smoother!

In this how-to blog, we give you three big tips to get you started.

 

1. Get everyone involved who wants to be involved

It might be easy and convenient for you to be the autocrat, but everyone will get along a whole lot better if people who want to be involved in home decoration are given the opportunity.

Even if there are people who don’t want to be involved, make sure you take their preferences. You never know what their preferences might be. They may have secretly wanted some safari-themed décor all this time!

 

2. Include the kids

Just because kids are kids doesn’t mean they can't or shouldn't have a say. In fact, if you give them the appropriate time and space, kids can come up with plenty of reasonable and considerate contributions to your interior style. Plus, it will help them mature and they may even respect you more. (Check out our blog on the subject if you’re interested!)

 

3. Find something which suits every generation living in your home

Whether you’re a single parent with child or a household with grandparents, parents, half a dozen kids and pets to boot, designing and decorating your home in a way which works for all generations is something really worth thinking about.

You can read all about it in our multi-generational home blog, but basically it involves four steps:

  • Getting to know your family, in terms of their interior design needs and preferences
  • Planning for both common rooms and exclusive areas
  • Sorting out safety requirements (depending on whether you have kids, pets, people with disabilities, or similar)
  • Being realistic about the space you have without overly restricting your creativity

Do you have a big tip that we missed? We’d love to hear your thoughts in My Family Home, our dedicated Facebook group with 10K+ members. Join us for all things home decoration!

How to Pick Furniture and Décor to Make Everyone Happy

Leaning and folding shelves are great storage solutions. Styling them, however, can be a bit daunting!

But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we share three approaches you can take to styling folding and leaning shelves. Enjoy!

 

1. Eclectic and replete

Under this approach, your focus is on packing the shelves with whatever you want and as much of it as you want. Leaning and folding shelves are first and foremost storage solutions, after all!

The good news is that this is the most liberal approach you can take. You don’t have to think too carefully about making everything you want to store cohesive or thematically organised. As you can see in the display below, we’ve stored everything from stationery and teddies to books and bottles of wine. However, you do need to take a care about how you arrange your pieces so it doesn’t look like a mess. Also note that this approach works best with folding shelves in neutral colours, such as white or a natural timber finish, as these won’t draw attention away from the display.

 

2. Neat and tidy

For the perfectionists and minimalists among us, going neat and tidy is the natural (and only) way to go!

Under this approach, the key is to choose your décor wisely. Pick a few things which go well together, be it by material, texture, or, as we’ve done below, colour. But you don’t have to get much—the “less is more” or lagom mindset is best here. Very wallet-friendly!

 

3. Smart and stylish

Undoubtedly the more practical, in-between approach compared to the other two, under this approach you place what you use within an arm’s reach and save the other shelves for décor (like photo frames, as we’ve done in our styling below). Probably the best option for those of us working from home and no doubt reflects the reality for most people.

While this approach is versatile, it also requires a fair bit of thought. You have to think carefully about both the décor—what it is and how much there is—and how everything is arranged—making sure that the things you need are accessible. But once you have a folding or leaning shelf system in place, you won’t know yourself without one!

How to Style Leaning and Folding Shelves

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