The Pool Deck

12.11.18

Instead of a major and expensive renovation around our 1980’s pebble crete pool this year, we decided to recently give the the very old surrounding deck a mini-facelift, getting it ready for Summer and most importantly, providing the kids some shade from our scorching Australian sun.

The pool is positioned in a really sunny area of our backyard, so blocking out that sun was definitely the number one priority. When the new cantilever umbrella  I chose arrived from my local Bunnings and I carried it down to the pool,  I was worried it looked too large for the compact space. However, the size has ended up being an absolute blessing – it’s basically created a covered room poolside, not only providing comfortable shade, but also looking the part with it’s contemporary square design and charcoal colour. We’ve also added some lovely but budget friendly outdoor furniture, the natural oil timber sun lounges and coffee table look great against the painted timber deck. The sun lounges got that true ‘holiday-by-the-pool’ vibe with the cute outdoor striped cushions, also from Bunnings. As you may have noticed, greenery really pops against charcoal grey/black (which is why you see so many boundary fences painted dark). We got rid of the mission brown colour the deck was originally painted in a while ago and freshened it up with Taubmans ‘Casino’, which is the same colour as our house.

As you can probably tell, Sunday is very happy with the new set up, and I’m extra happy that we are now comfortable pool side and the kids are protected  under the huge umbrella!

Briar x

PS. If you’re interested, below is the ‘Before’ shot – as you can see it’s looking a lot more inviting for Summer now!

Gumtree selling haul

15.05.18

Gumtree is Australia’s biggest classified community and I’m a big fan! Thinking back, I’ve actually been a Gumtree user for a really long time. As a student, I remember my first purchase – a retro teak and tiled coffee table and a timber bookshelf. I actually still have the bookshelf, I gave it a coat of paint a few years ago and it’s now used in Rafferty’s room. Later in life as a Props Buyer in the film industry I’ve always used it to find some really unique pieces that would take me forever to scour in all the bricks and mortar shops out there. It really has been a lifesaver at times when I’m working on a shoot deadline.

I’ve also had success in selling my own home decor items on Gumtree over the years. Getting rid of unwanted ‘stuff’ around the home is a really good way to make some extra cash. Not to mention the great feeling you get when you’ve de-cluttered your space. If you’re like me, cleaning up and letting go of possessions you no longer use or need can feel really therapeutic. Bringing my kids in to the mix has brought a whole new layer of ‘things’ we have in the house – so I actually feel like I’m needing to cull things every couple of months these days.

From an environmental perspective, recycling your second-hand goods extends the life of things, avoiding the need for more resources to go into the manufacture of a new product, which is going to help reducing landfill. I also love that used products don’t have packaging. When you buy almost any new product (especially kids toys), it comes with some kind of packaging – plastic casing, cardboard box, styrofoam, etc. The packaging materials, along with the actual product, use energy and resources to create. It can be really difficult to find a way to recycle all that packaging, or even more annoying, to have to throw it away. When you buy used items from Gumtree, you don’t have any packaging to deal with. So, it really is a win-win for so many reasons!

Gumtree recently asked me to have a think about some things I could sell around my home, and I came up with this small selection:


If you’re interested in any of the items, you can view all my ad listings here (there are some bargains to be had):

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-seller/BRIAR/1000979294

My selling haul has a definite kitchen/homewares theme, as these are the cupboards at home that always seem to need culling!

Pictured above (starting top left) is a hand made ceramic salad bowl with a textured glaze that I bought from a ceramicist on the South Coast, a never-been-used Mortar and Pestle, a gorgeous white Feather Garland that used to hang above Sunday’s bed (which would also make a gorgeous party decoration). I’m also selling a set of ceramic Tapas Bowls (that have never been used), and a Marble trivet in a cross shape that I bought from Country Road last year. One of my favourite books is also up for grabs – “The Selby Is in Your Place” was conceived when Todd Selby began taking portraits of dynamic and creative people – authors, musicians, artists, designers and other cultural tastemakers – in their home environments and posting them on his blog, it’s a great read! I’m also selling the white ceramic serving plate which has a lovely eggshell finish, and the hand made ceramic glazed serving spoon. The pair of sweet pink coffee mugs are also for sale, and I’m letting go of the set of ceramic coasters from the cult brand Jonathan Adler. Last but not least, the sweet speckle blue ceramic plate is also available. I think the collection looks really lovely sitting together – there is a definite theme going on!

Before posting my free ads, I did some research on what makes a successful ad and I came across these helpful tips:

1. Be descriptive:

Include details in your listing, such as:
How frequently it has been used and if  there is any damage
What condition the item is in currently
Dimensions of the item (a really important factor)
Colour of the item
Where and when the item was purchased

2. Make your ad visual:

When selling your items, it’s really important to include images in your listings. Try to upload well-lit photos with a good resolution and include a couple that show off the item’s best angle.

3. Manage your listing:
Ensure you keep on top of your incoming ad responses. I created and managed my ads from my laptop, but you could download the Gumtree app on your phone so you can manage your ad on the go if you’d like.

Armed with my laptop, camera and a tape measure I was ready to create my ads. Below are three examples of photos I used in my ads. I made sure I was surrounded my natural light and got clear/good quality shots so my buyers knew exactly what they are looking at.

Buying and selling on Gumtree truly is easy. I’ve actually got my eye on some indoor plants I’d like to purchase from a local seller. Maybe I’ll use the spare cash I make from selling the items above and treat the house to some new greenery! Give Gumtree a go if you haven’t already, I promise you you’ll enjoy it!

Briar x

Choo Choo!

02.05.18

Rafferty’s passion for planes, trains and automobiles is at an all time high, and I can’t see it waning anytime soon. So I guess it was only a matter of time that he’d discover the staple toy in children’s playrooms around the world, Thomas & Friends (link).

He was lucky enough to be gifted with a recently launched train set that has been made from sustainably-sourced, premium beechwood. The easy to build track system has seriously had him entertained for hours. It’s been wonderful to watch his little brain ticking over and discovering what goes where when it comes to the cute little trains, track parts and accessories. One of my favourite things about the train set is that when it’s aesthetic appeal –  it sits comfortably in my living room. No garish and clunky plastic  – the tasteful wooden design really is an added bonus.

Here he is in action:
Check out the wonderful new range here.
Briar x

The magic of Dyson

18.03.18

We’ve been testing out the sleek new @dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link™ at home recently. The air purifier fan heater is pretty fancy as I can track our air quality on the Dyson Link App, which I’ve found fascinating – especially with two kids in the house who are prone to a persistent asthma cough. I just love the thought of all that clean air going in to those little lungs.


I’ve positioned it close to our kitchen because what I’ve found really fascinating is that when we start to cook or even light a candle, the Pure Hot + Cold Link really ramps up in power (when you get closer to it you can hear and feel a light hum of it getting to work). It’s doing it’s thing purifying what we breathe in after it’s picked up the fumes and smoke from the kitchen in the air. 

Then it really starts to get clever  – I can pick up my phone and check air quality on the App (nothing like watching your air quality go from ‘Poor’ (after cooking) to ‘Good’ in a few minutes. The screenshots below show you the imagery I can track: 


I’ll be moving it in to the kids rooms in Winter too, which will become a perfect heater for those chilly nights. But as I sit here writing this blog post, it’s on a cool fan setting because Summer has decided to make an encore appearance in Sydney this weekend – and I’m pretty pleased about that!

Briar x

Supa Centa Moore Park

06.03.18

I’ve been having a great time recently working with a shopping destination that has been a retail lifesaver to me many times over the years.  Supa Centa Moore Park was always my go to for last minute purchases required on film sets back in the day of my time working at Fox Studios (I really mean last minute…As in cameras are rolling, be quick –  this bedroom set needs a different table lamp)! So, off I’d often race and Supa Centa Moore Park would always have a solution for me.

Now that I’m a Mum with my own residential decorating business, the centre has become an ideal ‘one stop shop’ for everything home related. It’s really big – with 45 leading homemaker stores with all you need – from a rug for the nursery, to a BBQ for an outdoor entertaining area. I especially find it a handy place to source when I’m working on kids rooms as the range on offer is just so huge, and when I was a new Mum myself, it was the perfect destination for all those important supplies to get a room ready for a new baby. I was delighted when Supa Centa Moore Park approached me with the visual merchandising brief to decorate their display room (a cool perspex cube), twice. To promote their Kid’s Campaign, the first brief was to create a ‘Junior’ inspired room, and the second was to create a ‘Baby’ inspired room. It was so much fun walking around the centre with the brief in mind, basically picking my favourite (yet practical) items to bring to the room designs.

JUNIOR ROOM

When it came to bringing the Junior Room together, I pretended I had been briefed by a client in the real world to give the space an authentic personality, and that client was my five year old daughter Sunday. Sunday loves to live with colour and I created an eclectic little space with her in mind, starting with a cute bed and really lovely bed linen.  The room was large enough to fit a little play table in it, along with a great armchair that would grow with a five year old well in to the teenage years, a real design classic.

Below are some shots of the room (take by Rodger Wang), I had lots of fun pulling this space together.

The perspex cube is located up the escalators just near Bo Concept and Boori.

If anything catches your eye in the room, below is a list of items I used in the set up:  On Floor:Braid Jasper Rug $699.00, Coppola Home Armchair:Adelaide Armchair $2599.00, Bo Concept, Sheepskin white $319.00, Bo Concept, Home Republic Pom Pom Round Cushion Pink $49.99, Adairs, Cat toy $39.99, Adairs Bedside table:Jersey Side Table $359.00, Bo Concept, Spencer Lamp $99.00, Adairs, Daisy Sunnies $10.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Pencil Pouch with gold dots $59.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Sunnylife Rainbow Tumbler $20.00, Freedom, House Animal Doorstop $14.99, Adairs Drawer Unit and surrounds:Perla 3 Drawer Chest, $769.95, Boori, The Daisy Collection Dolls House $199.00, Adairs, Green Fern $39.99, Adairs, Pink Bear Sweater $14.99, Toys R Us, Bru Jelly Sandals $14.99, Toys R Us, Brandon Kids Chair White $69.00, Freedom, Mai Basket $20.00, Freedom, Gina Basket Pink Spot $69.99, Adairs, Pretty Ballerina toy $38.99, Adairs BedMetal Single Bed $299.00, Snooze, Rebecca Judd Loves Constellation Bedlinen (Double) $119.00, Adairs, Starry Night Sheet Set $76.99, Adairs, Issa Throw $99.00, Freedom, Silver Moon cushion $9.99, Adairs, Knitted Mermaid $89.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Mini Backpack (at foot of bed) $32.00, Mr and Mrs Jones, Gold glitter letters (above bed) $29.95, Mr and Mrs Jones BookshelfMadden Bookshelf $249.99, Adairs, Accessories on Bookshelf: Felt Ball Trivet $24.99, Adairs, Velvet Notebook $2499, Adairs, Potter Timber Rabbit $29.99, Adairs, Yuma Planter $24.99, Adairs, Ella Jewellry Box $19.00, Adairs, Lily Cat Vase $24.99, Adairs, ALL BOOKS starting at $4.98, Toys R Us, Childrens Umbrella $24.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Beach Sounds Radio $69.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Notebook Pienapple/Watermelon $19.95, Mr and Mrs Jones Table and chairs:Thetis Square table $199.00, Boori Thetis chairs x 2 $149.00, Boori, Thetis stool x 2 $89.00, Boori, Playdoh Confetti $2.96 each, Toys R Us, Melissa and Doug Food Groups wooden toys $39.99, Stackable Markers $10.95, Mr and Mrs Jones

BABY ROOM

When an expectant Mum or Dad approach me to help design their baby nursery, I always give the advise that we should aim to create a fairy neutral space, as once the child grows and starts to show his/her interests, the room will naturally gain it’s own personality and layers. With that in mind when I received the brief, I again came up with a fictional client in my head. With the experience of being a first time Mum under my belt I now know that elements like a stacked and organised change table, a good armchair and toy storage is really important.

Below are photos of the fairly neutral room (with a baby boy in mind), and as you can see Supa Centa Moore Park sure has you covered for everything baby related (I even selected the wipes stocked on the change table shelf).



Below is a list of items I was inspired to use in the Baby Room:

Cot:Boori Mosman Expandable Cot white $689.96, Babies R Us, European Cotton Waffle Towel $49.99 Adairs, Velvet Star Cushion $29.99, Adairs, Little Moon sheet Range $59.99, Adairs Rug:Flatweave Rug Cream $699.00 Coppola Home, Change Table:Troll Sun Change Table White $299.00, Baby Bunting, Troll Sun Change Mat $49.00, Baby Bunting, Living Tex Change Mat cover $49.95, Baby Bunting, Thankyou Nappies $33.00, Baby Bunting, Thankyou Baby Wipes $6.95, Baby Bunting, PS Soft Eyelash Caddy x 2 $19.95, Baby Bunting, Big Softies Terry Towelling Pack $34.95, Baby Bunting, Living Tex Cot Waffle Blanket Grey and white $49.95, Baby Bunting, Hand and Body Lotion $4.99, Adairs, Havana Home Fragrance $7.49, Adairs, Home Republic Hand Towel Textured Snow $19.99 each Chair:Norse Rocking Chair $899.99, Adairs, Malmo Linen Throw $119.99, Adairs, Kennedy Knit cushion $39.99, Adairs, Knitted Dog $89.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Ryco Capri Nappy Bag $54.95, Babies R Us, Wirestool white $399.00, Bo Concept On Floor:York Felt Baskets Set 3 $41.99, Adairs, Wooden Pull Toy Elephant $32.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Potted Fiddle Leaf Fig $59.99, Adairs, Arya Pot grey $19.99, Adairs, Bro Grey Ugboots $14.99, Babies R Us, Imaginarium Abacus $19.95, Babies R Us, Shogun Stool Grey $359.00, Bo Concept, Eco Sippy Cup Wonderland $11.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Bashful Cream Bunny Large $64.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, White Toy Box $50.00, Boori, Amelie Knot Cushion $59.99, Adairs On Wall:Leutex Character Elephant $34.95 Babies R Us Bookshelf:Madden Bookshelf $249.99, Adairs, Books from $9.00, all from Baby Bunting, Lunch Bag Lion $11.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Schleich Amal figurines from $12.99, Toys R Us, Japper Ball Blue $21.95, Mr and Mrs Jones, Collage Canvas, $59.99, Adairs, My City Character Cushion Cloud $24.95, Baby Bunting, Tolo Baby Bunny Carousel $29.90, Baby Bunting, Ella Jewellery Box $9.99, Adairs, Lenny Potted Fern $19.99, Adairs.

An extra element (that was a little nerve racking if I’m to be honest) was that there was a film crew following my moves. I think I work best under pressure though, and I’m really happy with how the little videos turned out. Watch them here, shot by Rodger Wang:

Believe me when I say you will find what you need for the home at Supa Centa Moore Park, my little shopping and styling expedition has got me wanting to totally re-do my kids rooms at home now, I just saw so many good things!

Briar x

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