Renovating with Scyon


When visitors are checking out our new house they will often comment on the set up in the photo above. We basically pushed out the entire house by knocking down the old back wall which was heavy on the eye with tiny windows and old red bricks. The job was quite a minor one in the grand scheme of things, but it made a huge impact to our little home, and the way we live. What you see above is basically used as our main dining room, especially when the weather is warm. The new deck is undercover making it handy to barbecue even when it’s raining. I remember my builder asking me what material I’d like to build the new back wall with, as replacing old bricks with new bricks really didn’t excite me. He told me to check out the Scyon ™ range of cladding as it’s a product he loves to work with, not only is it resistant to damage from termites, rot and fire, but it can also be gun nailed and is easy to cut – like timber. I was immediately drawn to the Scyon Linea™ range. The fibre-cement wall cladding with it’s deep shadow lines is perfect to create a classic/coastal look in the 180mm width, so as soon as I saw it, it basically became the exact look I was after.

The cladding comes primed, so painting is a breeze. I remember the day our painters arrived I switched at the last minute from wanting it all black to going with an all white direction. I’m really happy with this decision in the end, it especially stands out at the front of the house. We replaced the very dated porch surround and it improved the facade immeasurably, really popping out from the newly painted black bricks.

The wide custom made louvre windows frames that were installed in two aspects at the back of the house only added to the updated coastal feel of the place, and opening them to get a breeze in to the house on a hot day has proved to be really nice.

On a more technical level, why choose Scyon Linea weatherboards? The dwelling will maintain its integrity and general appearance significantly longer than timber. Some timber is susceptible to cracking over time, which in turn can lead to shrinking or warping. Linea will resist shrinking and hold paint longer than wood, and can also be painted dark as well as light colours (it’s recommended timber should never be painted dark).

We also chose to use the Axon™ smooth cladding for the deck ceiling, a look we adapted from walls that we had cladded inside the house.

I must tell you another big reason I chose to work with this range of cladding, which took on a contrast away from the standard bricks…It’s because I have plans/dreams for a second renovation. It is years away, but our plan is to add a storey on to our little house…adding two bedrooms and a third bathroom upstairs for the teenagers, and reconfiguring the bathroom and babies room downstairs to create a parents retreat. I have a vision that this second storey will all be created with the Scyon Linea cladding. A modern box shape with big louvre windows – which will contrast against the original 60’s brick house…I hope you can see where I’m going with this? I’m positive it will be beautiful!

Need more inspiration or info? Visit to discover new looks for your home and learn more about cladding options.

Briar x



I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking wouldn’t it be great if you could bottle whatever your skin was doing before children and all those endless nights of not enough sleep. This hindsight and the somewhat surprising realisation that I’m coming up to my 20th year since leaving school (how fast time goes, I seriously think I’m still 25) has got me realising I have to stop being so lazy with my skin care regime and up the ante on moisturising and more importantly, sunscreen. The timing of this epiphany was perfect, as I was recently invited to visit the Dermalogica Headquarters in Sydney. I’ve been a long time fan of the cult brand, but I’m guilty of not really knowing what regime to follow (as their range is so big). After being treated to a fabulous facial, where my face was formally assessed, I sat down with a lovely specialist who pulled together a really simple but effective skincare regime for me. Pictured above are some of my favourites from the day that I wanted to share with you.

The combination of using the Conditioning Body Wash and the Body Hydrating Cream is a luxury I’m not used to (hands up who buys supermarket shower gels?). I can really tell the difference with this duo of products, my skin has lost it’s nasty dry Winter feeling and is getting well and truly ready for the warmer Spring weather we can expect in Sydney soon.

I’ve been heading to the gym at night a bit lately (can you tell I’m really trying to stop this ageing clock?), and I’ll always hop in to the shower as soon as I get back. The simple routine of cleansing and moisturising with the Essential Cleansing Solution and the Pure Night moisturiser has become a peaceful little night routine that gets my face feeling calm and ready for a good nights sleep. Every few nights, I use the Age Smart Superfoliant also – a charcoal exfoliant that is applied after cleansing my face to get that deeper clean/resurfacing feeling. I can’t recommend this gentle yet step enough!

Briar x

PS. Bathroom floor tiles pictured above are from Tiles By Kate, and bath mat is from The Society Inc.

Table Decorating


I had the fun job of shopping from the huge ranges of tableware at West Elm, Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma recently, picking my favourite pieces and setting up 5 very different table designs, which were all photographed by the lovely Jacqui Turk.

The first part of the brief was to work with the white range of ‘Cambria’ dinnerware from Pottery Barn, and style it to create three unique tables – basically to prove that the every day entertainer can achieve the same look at home with the one cupboard of plates.

I styled the table pictured above with a Baby or Bridal Shower in mind, or a morning tea for my Grandma’s Birthday. Pretty florals and hints of pink and gold with delicious glasses of Rosé. A roll of wrapping paper proved to be the perfect and inexpensive table runner to sit on top of the fresh linen tablecloth…and when in doubt, always use gold cutlery!

 I had Mark’s Birthday in mind when I pulled the above table together. A more moody look was created with a mix of navy linens, stripes, some good red wine and pops of yellow – all served with something like a hearty Minestrone soup for the cooler months.

The third table I set up with the same white Cambria dinnerware had more of an eclectic vibe with a table runner created from budget friendly brown kraft paper, printed linen napkins and slices or dried orange, with gorgeous hammered cutlery. I imagine this look being perfect for a late Sunday lunch with family in the Winter sun.

The range of dinnerware at West Elm brought together a completely different looking table. The fun and quirky Dapper Animal plates are artworks in a ceramic form that make a big statement . The somewhat mad table was brought together by a small amount of faux palm greenery, brushed gold cutlery and a contemporary grey linen table cloth. I imagined a fun afternoon tea with some good friends – great tunes in the background served alongside some delicious sweets and treats.

I loved pulling the above table together. A more sophisticated look with the stunning range from Williams Sonoma. The range was created in collaboration with Aerin, a lifestyle brand founded by businesswoman and American heiress Aerin Lauder that specialises in refined pieces for the home. So very Hamptons if you ask me! I have such a big crush on that large fish platter.

I hope the above tables have given you some ideas for your own tables when entertaining at home – especially with Summer and the silly season only a few months away (can you believe it?!).

Briar x

Waiting for toast


The prettiest time of day at our place is when the morning light streams in through the back doors, which always coincides with breakfast time. Rafferty’s golden curls are hit with this gorgeous light and my heart often swells, and then reality hits and I remember I need coffee. Coffee consumed, the morning can properly commence and I make breakfast for the kids.

The long wait for his vegemite on toast. Crusts off, cut in to bite size squares. Often followed by a banana…but don’t cut that up, just peel the skin. It won’t be touched if the banana is in pieces. Yes, for a little person that can’t talk, he sure let’s you know what he wants!

Our happy little guy has been lucky enough to test out a ‘Poppy’ high chair from Phil + Ted’s the past couple of weeks. As Raff can’t talk too much yet, I’m going to give you a little review of my own. The chair only weighs 4kg, making it easy to move around the house when eating, which we do often – going from the kitchen, to the dining area to the outdoor deck. Both Mark and I are honestly really impressed with the chair, Raff is a big boy for his age, the proportions are good and the material of the seat is soft and spongy for maximum comfort. I’m also impressed with how easy the dishwasher safe tray is to remove from the seat for really fast cleaning, and the extra large size of the tray has been ergonomically designed to fit Raff and his big meals until he is around 3 years old. By the time he has outgrown it, the legs of the chair can be made shorter and the chair transforms in to a small kids chair – talk about handy!

I also like the simple design, the slim lines make it an easy edition to our interiors when not in use. In a nutshell, this is a safe and sturdy high chair that Raff is genuinely happy to sit in for his mealtimes. The good news is I have another Poppy high chair to give away, in the colour of your choice. Check out my instagram account @sunday_collector to enter. Not on Instagram? Feel free to leave a comment below to go in to the draw. The random giveaway is open to Australian residents only.

Briar x

Kitchen Trends


I worked on a two day shoot a few months ago styling photographs for Smeg in my home with Jacqui Turk, it was a great shoot where I got to have some fun with casual food styling and I especially loved the challenge of styling our fridge and freezer to a showroom/catalogue standard. I wanted to share the shots on here, as I’m so pleased with how they turned out.

All this focus on the kitchen got me thinking about trends and how my particular kitchen will fare in around 5 years time.

In the planning stages of a kitchen renovation it’s important to leave some time to do your research, pin images on Pinterest and tear out magazine photos of spaces you love. Chances are, you’ll soon realise the kitchen style you are drawn to. I think it’s important not to take interior trends too seriously, if it’s something you love and can’t stop thinking about – then it’s pretty safe to say it’s right for you and your home. I do think it’s good to take your time and don’t make too many big impulse decisions, and try to imagine yourself in the space in 5 years time. Will you still be happy with your choices?

It’s safe to say I’m going to love our  White Dual Fuel Freestanding Oven/Stove for many years to come, I can’t tell yohow lovely it is to use. As I’ve mentioned previously, I based my recent kitchen renovation around it and I just knew we needed the beauty in the space and so a natural direction from the traditional lines of the cooker was to add shaker cabinetry. Touches of gold came after that in the form of cabinet handles and a mixer tap. I realize gold is a current trend that’s popping up everywhere in interiors – but it’s a trend I love, and I figure door hardware and a sink tap can always be updated in 5 years time if I get over the look.

I’ve pulled together some further trends that are popping up in kitchen designs:

Integrated storage and workstations
It’s becoming increasingly popular to integrate appliances and workstations into the design of a kitchen to create a sense of flow and order. It’s important to ensure that an appliance such as a microwave doesn’t dominate the aesthetic of your kitchen and this focus stops your kitchen looking cluttered and busy. For example, I hid our Smeg microwave under the breakfast bench, concealed from the hero viewing angles. It’s no secret that an abundance of storage in a kitchen is a must, so having a pantry that is tucked behind joinery is a great way to provide generous storage while being discreet.

Pared-back colour palette
Investing in a kitchen renovation is a big expense, so having a pared-back colour palette would allow your kitchen to always sit comfortably within the interior style of your home. Open shelving is always handy if you have decided to go with a safe colour palette – which mean objects and homewares with punches of colour can still be included in your kitchen and reflect your own personal style – but can always be re-arranged for a refresh if you are sick of the look.

Colour trends
Trend forecasters are saying dark shades of green will become the new must-have dark interior colour as we say goodbye to navy and midnight blues (although I’m not quite ready for that, I think a navy blue kitchen is divine). Dark green as a paint colour creates a wintery Scandi look that works beautifully with brass, marble and terracotta – it adds depth and brings in colours from the outdoors. The lighter hue on it’s way to stardom is the lightest peachy nude, which would look amazing for door cabinetry with gold door hardware, if you’re game!

Mix it up
Changing up hardware finishes is a trend that isn’t going anywhere soon: Instead of going for a monochromatic stainless steel look, renovators are choosing integrated appliances and accessories with various finishes, such as gold, timber, white enamel and pewter. The final result is an eclectic, one-of-a-kind space. Another popular trend I’m seeing is ‘tuxedo cabinets’ eg.You could consider navy blue cabinets at the bottom with soft grey wall cabinets for a soft contrast.

Our integrated dishwasher blends right in:

Social Butterfly
If you live anything like my family does, the kitchen is no longer simply where your meals are prepared, it is the place where the family gets together at the end of the day to eat, talk, watch television, or just hang out with the laptop. Design trends have started to reflect this way of living with open-plan kitchens blending into the main living and dining areas. After a big wall was knocked out, I know our kitchen has become the entertainment centre of our house. I’m just careful it doesn’t equal lots of clutter and mess. The oversize pantry with drawers and small appliance cupboard means a lot can be hidden behind closed doors. One exception to this rule is the 50’s retro style small appliances I have from the Smeg range. The toaster and kettle in cream are too gorgeous to hide away, and we also got to have a play with the range in soft blue.

Briar x


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