All change- Redesign and Redecorate

In life things do not always stay the same for long.  Nothing is permanent – the seasons, our lives, our families and so too our homes will all change.  When we create rooms, we make them for the moment we are in.  Then we have to re-configure a room as we do not seem to use it any more or it’s use changes.  Reinventing, and moving things around to suit is important.  You need to remain flexible and open to new ideas and ways of using what you have got to make it all work for you again, while keeping the space welcoming and warm.  The other bonus is that it keeps things fresh, edgy and up-to-date.  It also a cocooning thing to do as the weather changes for winter in New Zealand.  (The opposite effect for spring and summer.  It is called a “spring clean” for a reason!)

A contrast in style,scale & height with furniture. Via

A contrast in style,scale & height with furniture. Via

This all may sound like Buddhist Friday talk, but a lot of an Interior Designer’s work is simply this.  Changing things around as things change in people’s lives. And it is not all about going out and buying everything shiny and new. Not many of us can afford to do that, and frankly a lot of these rooms will be characterless with no soul. So, have a look around your space, make a plan with possibilities, and then move things around.  Try a couple of chairs in a different room. Do they give a contrast in scale in height that was missing before? Move the sofas into another room.  Do they look better there?

These chairs add a contrast in scale and height in the room. Also add smooth with rough table.  Via Greige Design.

These chairs add a contrast in scale and height in the room. Also add smooth with rough table. Via Greige Design.

Ring the changes with a detail on a curtain panel, reinvent your side tables, put an extra desk in an unexpected place as a makeshift study.  Make the hallway an interesting space with wallpaper and hang those family photos that are in a box in a cupboard somewhere.  Maybe you could do something exciting with a dinner set that is lurking around at the back of the garage in a box.

Get those dinner plates on the wall.  Hang 'em any way.  Via

Get those dinner plates on the wall. Hang ’em any way. Via

Empty those boxes and hang 'em up to make the hallway an interesting space.

Empty those boxes and hang ’em up to make the hallway an interesting space.

Use an old chest as a coffee table, recover a couple of chairs, use some fabric that pulls it all together with colour, pattern and style in cushions.  Have a look at those table arrangements – tablecapes – re-arrange and re- do them. Re-fresh, re-new, re-jig, re colour.

And some people call it redecorating and redesigning.

Winter Tablescape Idea via

Winter Tablescape Idea via

Textural contrast on a table top. Add candles and shiny glass to terracotta pots.  Via Molitli Interiers.

Textural contrast on a table top. Add candles and shiny glass to terracotta pots. Via Molitli Interiers.

If you would like help with redecorating or re-jigging your interiors due to changes in your life, do not hesitate to contact us.


Hallway to Heaven

When walking up your hallway does it take you to heaven?  Are you going ‘Wow, this is interesting’ or do you just pass on through and not stop because it is somewhat lacking? Well then! Stamp your mark here in the hallway, and give it some of your personality.  Start by getting rid of the detritus that everyone dumps there when they come in the door.  You know that is always the starting point of any project don’t you? Add a basket for those track shoes, and an umbrella stand. Wall hooks?



Then begin adding those layers we have talked about before- hang the art or a rogues gallery, add a  runner, or rug, paint it an awesome colour, add mirrors, and maybe even a feature wall with wallpaper. The more carefully chosen layers you add the more captivating a space will become.

(See previous blogs: )


In your hallway,  push the boundaries colour wise and take it from being the dullest to grandest room in the house.  Make sure though that it links back to a colour that you have used elsewhere so you keep the flow and continuity going through the house.  If you have a long, long, long hallway a good colour trick is to paint the end wall in a dark/bright colour as it will seemingly shorten the length of the hallway.  (This is because dark/bright colours will come towards you.)  Using colour is particularly effective if the place is dark with no natural light.  On a job we are working on my client added dark wallpaper up the stairwell in her house and it looks awesome.   It has taken the space to a whole new level, picks up the lead light windows too and at night the gold just shimmers.  (I give her all credit for this as she had bought it before I came on board!)  We are looking forward to the vintage chandelier going in on Thursday, which is my next point:-  Add an out of the ordinary light fitting too.


Next you can add a skinny console, or cabinet.  Place flowers, or maybe even a lamp there, candles, add some art work &/or mirror like in the picture below and you’ll have done a great job!


via 47ParkAvenueblogspot

Have a look at the inspiring ideas and home office spaces on our Pinterest board.  If you would like help creating a hallway to heaven for yourself click here to contact us .

For more ideas and inspiration have a look at these Related Articles:

The Do’s and Don’ts of a Guest Bedroom

Please, please do not make your guest room the junk room.  The last thing your guest wants to find are your old clothes in the wardrobe or extra table linen in the dresser drawers!  Keep under the beds, clean, clutter and dust free.  Make sure the towels & sheets are clean with no stains.  None of your family photographs or other memorabilia either and no sign of the guest who was there before.  They also won’t like broken alarm clocks, lights and fans!


You know the saying “Guests, like fish, tend to go off after three days”….so when it comes to guest bedrooms it is best to find the happy medium.  You don’t want them to stay tooooo long, but  while they are there you would like them to feel welcome and comfortable.  You also want them to feel like they are getting a bit of hotel luxury too. So, a clean, neutral space with a good comfortable mattress, good pillows and empty closets (with hangers) and drawers.  Clean stain free fresh linens on the bed and fluffy towels.  Spare blankets, and hangers or pegs for their clothes.  A table or surface that is clutter free, and good bedside lamps for reading are a must.  Books, magazines. local maps and places of interest are good to allow you a few hours to yourself when they go out!  A small chair for sitting in or laying clothes on could be handy and a luggage rack/place to put a suitcase if space permits too.



Toiletries like the courtesy soaps, shampoos and lotions you get in hotels are a great way to make some one feel welcome.  A spare key and garage door opener is also good if you don’t want to be disturbed at night. You can add lavender bags on the pillows and in the cupboard. Or a scented candle is great  in cupboards as the smell is beautiful when you open the door/drawer and it can be used if they want added romance or there is a power cut!  Cut flowers, fruit,  a carafe of water and glass are all welcoming.  Anti-Mosquito plug ins, sunscreen and a fan are a good idea in summer too.  This guest basket idea is also a great to contain all of these things.  Check out

Abigal Ahern, decorator extraordinaire, is also full of how to add a bit of interest inexpensively to your guest room.  Take a look at:

Well that has given you another room to get sorted, so give yourself a deadline by inviting some one to stay. Lets hope in return for your well thought out bedroom your guest offers to cook lunch or organise drinks and nibbles before dinner.  Then they definitely will be invited back.


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Bring a Spring Display Inside

“It is Spring again. The Earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

(Though I must admit I’m a little cynical and think we are going to pay for this glorious weather later on.)ImageAnyway it got me thinking about how lovely and nurturing it is to add seasonal displays  to your space. It is easy to bring the outside in and with it all the joys of whatever season we are in. Here at the Hutton House we have had a bowl of hyacinths in bloom on the table outside- they spell glorious so we bought them inside and they have been sitting in our hallway for the last week covering all the doggy smells! They also add a lot of texture which is needed as the wallpaper (from Osborne and Little) is very glossy and shiny. This paper was chosen because the hall lacks a lot of natural light, so the lustre really helps to bounce the light around and brighten things up.

ImageImageAlso in bloom is the magnolia so we gave the tree a bit of a prune and and put some in a vase on the hall table. (Not so good at covering the doggy smells hence the candle.)


Another great flower either cut or in pots are daffodils.  They just say “sunshine!”-shown here next to one of our Library Tables and a Hudson Sofa. Well off you go then out in the sunshine for a walk in the garden and see what you come up with to bring indoors. After all it could be raining tomorrow!

PS Did I mention anything about spring cleaning????