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Everybody loves a throw blanket at some point, even the manliest of men (though they’d never admit it). If you’re looking to find out more about throws, read this quick blog about some of the different options available to you. To make it even easier, we’ve broken up the considerations into two main categories: materials and sizes.

 

Materials

Here are some of the most common materials used to make throw rugs and their properties:

Cotton: cool, breathable, and cheap, cotton is warming without being too cosy. Perfect for trans-seasonal times or if you’re that person who’s cold all the time, even during summer. Just don’t get it wet!

Flannel: a fabric rather than a fibre, flannel is characterised by its thickness and softness. It is usually made of cotton, but was originally made out of wool and can now be found in synthetic forms.

Wool: the stuff which made Australia rich. Today’s wool blankets are perfect for winter, being warm and, with contemporary manufacturing techniques, far less scratchy than the woollen garments of yesteryear. Also commonly found as sherpas and fleeces and blended with other fibres.

There are plenty of other fabrics. The high-level designer brands will often make throw blankets out of materials like fur, mink (the real stuff), and cashmere. These are gorgeous throws, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for them!

 

Sizes

If you plan to be sharing your throw blanket or spreading it over your whole body, then size matters. Length is the most important measurement, generally ranging from 150cm to well over 200cm. Width is generally smaller by around 30cm. Note also that bigger blankets will take more room to store, so ensure you’ve got something like a blanket box to keep your blanket tucked away when not in use.

Happy shopping!

A Quick Guide to Throw Blankets

Bedside tables aren’t the first places people are going to look to judge your interior style. Still, sometimes you look at your bedroom and feel like it’s a real drag. If you’re looking for a refresh, read on for some of our expert tips for styling bedside tables. Your bedroom will look better in no time!

 

Tip #1: Try necessities first

Sometimes simple style is best. Bedside tables can become spaces of clutter, but really, you don’t need more than what you use in bed. Try a simple lamp, the book you’re reading, and glasses if you need them. Find storage solutions for everything else.

 

Tip #2: Add life (literally!)

Why not try some fresh flowers or other greenery? This looks especially good in bedrooms which look out onto gardens, backyards, or other natural scenery. Plus, it’ll make you happier and healthier!

 

Tip #3: Don’t forget about scent

Let’s admit it: bedrooms can be smelly places, especially in the mornings. And sometimes it’s just too hot or too cold to leave the windows open for fresh air.

The solution? Home fragrance. Candles are powerful and effective, but make sure you pick a light scent as bedrooms are only small and you don’t want the scent to be overwhelming. If you want lighter options, try scented décor or, for an instant but very brief refresh, a room spray.

 

Tip #4: Find room for treasured memories

Whether they’re travel photos or your kids’ first drawings, some memories are too precious to be stuffed in a drawer. Bedside tables are a great spot to display these: open enough for them to be seen, but in a spot private enough to keep them feeling special.

 

Tip #5: Tone down your lighting

Bedrooms are intimate spaces, so if you have a lamp (as most people do on their bedsides) then you don’t want it to be too overpowering. Think about the coolness or warmth of the globes you choose, and how bright or dim they are. The dimmer and warmer, the better—too bright and too blue and your circadian rhythm will be disrupted, making it hard for you to get to sleep.

Also important is your lampshade. The lampshade controls where light spills in your room, so think about where you want the light to come from. Top and bottom? This’ll will create the brightest setting and is a good alternative to overhead lighting most of the time. Bottom only? This directs most of your light downwards, which is great for reading without polluting the rest of the space. You can even choose to have a total cover, forcing the light to emanate through the material of the lampshade itself. This is perfect for ambience and means you can even control the colour of the light.

Have fun decorating!

Expert tips for styling bedside tables

Looking for some side table inspiration to give your living room a face lift? Look no further! Here are five tried and true ideas for a stylish, contemporary, yet practical accent to your home:

1. A nest of tables

Nests are super useful. Stack your accent tables when you’re by yourself and pull them out when you have guests. It’s that easy!

 

2. Meaningful décor

Your side tables will become instantly more homey when you decorate them with family photos, cute pieces you picked up from travels abroad, your favourite books, or whatever else is meaningful to you.

 

3. Yummy snacks

What can I say? I’m a sucker for morning and afternoon teas!

 

4. Storage space

Take your side table to the next level with some clever storage space. People are increasingly opting for trunks and boxes instead of traditional side tables for their living rooms. This means they can store throw blankets, cushions, and whatever else they need within easy reach in the living area.

 

5. Flowers

We’re a sucker for green homes. On the décor side of things, flowers are great. They literally add life to your room!

Real plants clean your air (yep, indoor air pollution is a thing) and make you happier. But if you’re not a green thumb, go for something artificial. Get the look without the maintenance!

Five must-haves for your side table

There’s nothing quite like the sparkle of glassware to give your home a lift.

Today’s glassware is not only attractive, it is also relatively inexpensive, so there’s no reason to keep it locked away in a cupboard. Although we all know that glass needs to be cleaned regularly in warm, soapy water to maintain its sparkle, I have put together some extra hints to help you keep your glassware in tip-top condition. Let the spring cleaning begin!

  1. Pollutants in the air tend to deposit a greasy film over glass so rotate your glassware regularly.
  2. Add some white vinegar to the rinse water to help reduce haziness.
  3. Store wine glasses with the bowl facing upwards as the rim is the weakest part of the product.
  4. Flower stems will chemically alter water, so to prevent permanent damage to glass vases replace the water daily.
  5. Glass is sensitive to changes in temperature so to avoid breakages don't immerse cold glasses in hot water.
  6. Metal draws heat away from glass. A handy trick to avoid cracking is to place a metal spoon in the glass before adding hot liquid.
  7. To separate two glasses which have become stuck together, simply fill the top glass with cool water and submerge the bottom glass in warm water. The cool water will make the top glass contract and the warm water will expand the bottom glass. You should be able to separate the two glasses after a few minutes.

Glassware makes a great gift for both men and women, especially when it’s personalised. So go ahead and pair a couple of wine glasses with a bottle of champagne, add a bunch of fresh flowers to a vase, and pop some homemade biscuits into a cookie jar!

Caring for Glassware

When styled the right way, bookcases and display units can be a high-impact way to show off your favourite knick-knacks, collectibles, and framed memoriesin addition to the household book collection!

But arranging all those items on the shelves can be a little overhwelming to say the least.

To help you conquer the task ahead, here are five of my best tips for styling the shelves in every room of your home.

Mix Things Up

First, add some items that aren’t books to break things up. Choose anything you like, keeping in mind that whatever you do choose will be on display. Decorative boxes, quirky bookends, photo frames and ceramic jars all work in most spaces around the home. However, you might consider some room-specific accessories for your shelves, too. Cast-iron teapots, pretty fruit bowls and glass decanters, for example, are great for breaking up piles of cookbooks in kitchen and dining areas.

Play with Shelf Height & Shape

A super easy way to create stylish and interesting visuals is to play around with shelf height and shape when choosing bookcases and display units. Use the largest shelves to show of your biggest feature pieces, and save smaller items for smaller spaces. You might also experiment with the width of your shelves, opting for a row of square-shaped spaces (or perhaps drawers) to create even more interesting visuals.

Have It Both Ways

Stack books horizontally as well as vertically to make the most of your space and avoid monotonous, repeating patterns. You may find that the thinnest books in your collection, along with any magazines, are easier to deal with when neatly stacked in piles. This will help you avoid instances of vertically oriented arrangements spontaneously toppling over the minute someone closes a door or breathes too hard.

Think Inside the Box

For my fellow perfectionists out there: the easiest way to ensure items look balanced as you distribute them between shelves is to group them as squarish blocks. Think inside the box for this one. Visually breaking items up into squares is not only visually appealing, but a rule that anyone with or without a degree in design can follow!

A Few Empty Spaces

Ahh. It’s surprising how much visual relief can be created by leaving space in your bookcases and display units. You might even choose to leave some shelves totally empty; just experiment to see what works best for you. By embracing these negative spaces, you’ll find the whole room feels instantly cleaner, tidier, and more relaxing to be in.

Now go re-arrange your bookshelf!

Do It Yourshelf: How to Style Bookcases and Display Units

Do you ever look at a friend’s home or a photo on Instagram and think, “Hell’s bells! I wish I could design my interiors as timelessly that!”? Don’t abandon hope! Creating a home with everlasting style is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Classic basics

Furniture is like clothing: most of your wardrobe will be filled with basics that can be easily mixed and matched and won’t go out of fashion. Just like you might go for a grey marle t-shirt, for example, you might go for a sofa upholstered with durable grey, beige, or similarly neutral fabric.

Don’t get me wrong, fuchsia velvet sofas are excellent statement pieces and will look stunning in the right space. But do you think fuchsia velvet sofas are still going to be stylish in 20 years, or even three years? Buy intelligently, not impulsively!

2. Fun accessories

Just like your wardrobe, you’ll want to have a few fun pieces in your home to add personality and to keep your place looking on-trend. What are fun pieces? They’re usually homewares, such as cushions, wall art, throw blankets, ceramics, and so on.

Even pieces as inexpensive as seat cushions can keep your room looking fresh.

Pro-tip: when you’re decorating a room with furniture and homewares, don’t forget about the room itself! A pot of paint can radically change the character of your room, and it’s so easy to repaint a feature wall in future when you feel like something different.

 

3. Self-awareness

Although guides about furniture styles may help us understand what sorts of home décor we like, ultimately it’s up to us to know ourselves and our tastes. For example, while I might love Nordic design, my partner is more into the rustic and industrial looks, sometimes with some country influence. Regardless of your tastes, the key is to be strong enough to be true to our tastes, however much other people may want to tell you how to furnish your home. Especially if those people come from another generation…

But more seriously, sometimes that person trying to tell you what to do will be your significant other. If you’re in a relationship which requires you to compromise on décor decisions, firstly, poor you! But secondly, take the time to find a piece that’s right for both of you. The Oslo collection really suits my partner and I, for example, as it infuses the raw, rustic textures she likes so much into the Nordic character I like so much. And better yet, it’s made with reclaimed timber, which accords with the values of us both.

So in summary, what’s the key to everlasting style? It’s simple: buy less, buy better, and be true to your personal sense of style.

How to create everlasting style

We often talk about changing the cushions on your sofas to give your living room an instant facelift. But what can you do in the dining room? It’s rarely convenient to change all your chairs, after all, and not everyone has room for a buffet with pretty décor on it. But a lot of people have placemats and table runners. These are cheap, practical, and stylish, and can fulfil much the same facelift function as cushions in your living room.

So how do you pick placemats and table runners for your dining table? Read on to find out!

1. Think about the number of people at your dining table day to day

Are you single? In a couple? Or do you have a family to feed? This will determine how many placemats you really must buy.

 

2. Think about the length of your table (but don’t worry too much!)

You need to look at the length of your dining table and make sure you’ve got enough material for it to fit nicely in the middle of the table.

Some people suggest your table runner needs to be a certain proportional length (one-third to two-thirds the length of the table, for example), but this really doesn’t need be something you worry about. Table runners are made long enough so that they’re almost always folded on the table, so unless you’ve got fancy features on your runner like tassels then you can adjust the length to however you please.

 

3. Have spares

If you have four in your family, get six. You’ll need spares for washing. If you ever have dinner parties with 8, 10, 12, or even 20 or more people, you better stock up!

 

4. Consider a tablecloth too

Don’t forget the humble tablecloth! They can add a very useful layer of practicality in young family homes (think vinyl or some other easily maintainable material), or, if they’re a bit fancier, they can add literally another layer of style to your dining room.

 

Happy decorating! Check out our range of placemats and table runners for some more inspo.

How to buy placemats and table runners for your dining table

Looking to give your walls a makeover? Wall art and clocks offer an easy and affordable way for anyone to give their home an instant update. But before you go and turn your home into an art gallery, remember these three easy tips.

Firstly, know how to hang.

People have been hanging clocks and artworks for a very long time, so we’ve had a while to figure out where is the best position for almost any artwork on almost any wall. And what is that position? It turns to be 150 centimetres from the floor to the centre of the artwork. Alternatively, if your clock or wall art is going to be above a piece of furniture, have a 30-centimetre gap between the furniture and your decorative piece.

Secondly, know your colour scheme.

Wall art and clocks are super versatile, but not so versatile that you can pick any piece and expect it to look amazing with the rest of your interior decorations!

Hand-painted oil on canvas comes in just about any colour, and often features many colours, so use your existing range as a guide for your colour choice. Also consider whether your scheme is warm or cool, and whether the purpose of the art is to stand out or just fill some empty space in one of your rooms.

While statement clocks are usually less colourful, you need to look out for the detailing of the hardware. If you’ve got an industrial-style home, go for black clock hands; if you’re more of a Hamptons-style person, go for white. Consider also the shape of the clock: would an oval work better in your space, or a circle?

Thirdly, develop your style.

Clocks and wall art shouldn’t just go with your home, they should develop it. They offer an interesting and convenient way to develop your colour scheme, your furniture style, or make a statement in any room.

Happy decorating!

Three Easy Tips for Decorating Your Walls Artfully

Need some ideas for a storage bench in your home? Check out our decorating tips for three storage ottomans below!

Angelique storage ottoman

Hand tufted and richly upholstered in a neutral linen/cotton fabric, the French provincial style Angelique storage ottoman is an opulent decorative piece in any bedroom. But with its classic styling, the Angelique will look great anywhere in the home.

See it here.

 

Burlesque storage bench

Styled similarly to our Angelique but with more classic-style feet, our Burlesque bench looks great as an accent piece. Position it in the entryway for a convenient place to put on your shoes or pop it by the window to catch some rays when you’re reading your favourite book or magazine.

See it here.

 

Marbella storage bench

Storage benches work well in the bedroom not only as blanket boxes, but toy boxes. This is perfect if you’ve got young kids who come to your room for playtime.

See it here.

Grab your next storage bench in-store or online today!

Storage benches for every space

Ever wondered what some of the different uses for ottomans might be? In this blog, we take you through five ways many of our customers like to use theirs. Who knows? Your next big décor idea might be just around the corner…

 

1. The classic footstool.

Who hasn’t used an ottoman as a footstool? This is the classic use for an ottoman; it goes without saying.

 

2. An additional seat in your living area.

If you’ve just got one or more guests in your house than you normal, an ottoman can really come in handy! Go for one big enough to more than one person, like the Monique ottoman pictured below in the light fabric.

 

3. As another storage solution.

Storage ottomans are practical enough to go anywhere around the place—living room, bedroom, or barn!

 

4.  A comfier coffee table.

Ottomans as coffee tables are not only practical, they’re great for casual style.

 

5. As décor.

Ottomans can be beautiful in and of themselves. Use them as part of a decorative arrangement in your home to create interesting and distinctive points of interest, like our Rose Bay ottoman below.

 

Looking for more food for thought about ottomans? Check out the five interesting ottoman ideas we’ve written about here. Enjoy!

Five different uses for ottomans

Ever wondered what the go is with bench seats at a dining table? And no, it’s not just the kids trying to be ‘hip and with it’ and just rejecting the formality of traditional dining rooms (though, traditionally styled benches do exist)!

In this blog, we briefly go over why and how you should consider your dining table with bench seats. Not only is it on-trend, it is incredibly practical and can help you reduce your environmental footprint. Read on to find out more!

Three reasons why people choose to furnish with dining benches

There are lots of reasons why people might opt for dining benches instead of, or in addition to, dining chairs. Usually, though, it comes down to one or more of the following three reasons.

  1. They create a more casual look. Reminiscent of family picnics at public parks, benches are great for families looking for a more relaxed dining experience at home.
  2. They make it easy to opt for more sustainable materials. Our benches, for example, are made from carefully selected solid, reclaimed pine shipping pallets. As a material, reclaimed timber works well for every furniture style—you can it as raw or as polished as you like—but it works particularly well for industrial-style pieces like our Ultimo bench below.
  3. They help you save space. Unlike dining chairs, which necessary jut out a bit from edge of the table, dining benches can be tucked underneath the table when you’re done (yes, without losing precious bum room!). This creates more space, helping the room feel open, spacious, and relaxed.

How to furnish with benches the right way

There’s really no secret to it: if you’re furnishing with benches, the only thing you must consider is the measurements of your dining table. If your table is 1800mm wide, try to go for a bench measuring around 1500mm. If your table is 2500mm wide, you’ll want two smaller benches per edge, no more than 1200mm wide each. 1100–1150mm is perfect. And don’t be swayed by how ‘seats’ any given bench is supposed to replace—depending on the kids, it’s entirely possible to fit two whole families around an 1800 dining table!

Otherwise, what you go for is totally up to you. You can go for all benches or you could have a combination of benches and chairs around your dining table (chairs along one side, bench on the other; benches along both sides, chairs at the ends; and so on). You can also choose to have a matching set, like the Tuscan you see below, or you could go for a more eclectic style. Such decisions are less about benches and more about your decorating tastes more generally.

It’s as simple as that! Just add good posture and a new, casual, contemporary way of dining can be yours in no time.

The Secret to Using Bench Seats in Any Dining Room

If you're going to live in a place with a view like that, you'd better decorate the room well enough to match it!

The go-to look here is definitely “beachy”, but there's more to it than just painting everything white and pretending that you’ve automatically created a sophisticated Hamptons look.

If you're renovating or redecorating your home to create a beachy vibe, keep in mind the following tips:

  1. Pay attention to the background. Start with neutral-coloured base tones in the floor, ceiling, and key pieces of furniture (like the Sonoma sofa pictured above). Choose warm tones to maximise natural light and avoid feeling like you're in a laboratory.
  2. Introduce light-toned timber furniture. (Unless you're going for 'shipwreck chic', dark and heavy furniture should generally be avoided in beachy homes!) Choose pieces like our Gaines coffee table, pictured above, which have a distinctive finish (we call ours "marsh") while helping the room feel cosy and relaxed.
  3. Use homewares to go as beachy as you like! We've gone for a soft blue-and-white stripe theme in this shot, paired with our gorgeous (and incredibly realistic) blue hydrangeas.

The great thing about beachifying your home using (mainly) homewares is that it's incredibly easy to change your look without blowing the budget. After all, if you feel like change and everything's painted white, all your furniture is white, and the only accents in your design are inspired by the colours of the ocean... well, you don't have much choice but to start all over again, do you?

If you're looking to update the look of your home, come visit us in store (unless you or anyone you've been in contact with has flu-like symptoms) or check out our website to see what's on sale. Or if you want to find out more about the Hamptons style, read out other blogs here, here, and here.

More Tips for Creating a Beachy, Hamptons-style Home

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