Sunday Collector Renovation: Master Bedroom


We were really cautious not to over-capitalise during our renovation, so the four existing bedrooms stayed in exactly the same spots, we just made the rooms look brand new with a complete overhaul of all the finishes. The master bedroom was given the biggest facelift with new V-joint panelling along the main wall, plush new carpet – Stonefields in Greystone from Feltex, a larger built in wardrobe across the length of the opposite wall and last but not least, timber plantation shutters in crisp white, which really finished off the look – thanks to Signature Shutters and Blinds.

Looking back, I realise I based the room design around a new bedhead I had in mind that I was designing with Bednest at the same time. I’m pleased to say the bedhead is now available to purchase and I was given the privilege of naming it. The ‘Saratoga’ bedhead is pictured above – named Saratoga as that is the sleepy seaside village on the NSW Central Coast I spent almost every school holiday growing up. My grandma had a big comfortable house on the Brisbane Waters and my siblings, cousins and I would spend endless days fishing off the jetty, swimming in the pool and jumping on the trampoline. Life was simple, and sleep was sound.

The two distinct lines of piping on the classic look of the Saratoga bedhead provide an uncomplicated modern look that’s balanced by it’s subtle soft corners. I had this particular  bedhead made in the loveliest felt – Warwick Augustus Porcelain with the piping in a deep navy blue – Augustus Midnight, but it would be as equally lovely in linen.

Speaking of linen…New sheets and a quilt cover from Cultiver were pretty much made for this room if you ask me – a fresh mix of Ice Blue, Navy and the stunning quilted bedcover in Chambray with matching European pillows complement the space (and yes, I like a lot of pillows).

Also pictured above are the Spindle bedside tables from Pottery Barn Kids (which work fine for big people too) and the pair of Mid Century  Task Lamps are from West Elm. The embroidery pictured below was something I picked up from an Op shop years ago and had re-framed to show the raw edges.

I’ve also framed and hung one of my favourite family photos from the shoot we had with Tealily when Raff was a new baby (which seriously feels like a month ago, I can’t believe he’s just turned one)!

Briar x

All images above photographed by Jacqui Turk

Sunday Collector Renovation: The Kitchen


The kitchen is most definitely the heart of our new home, and I’m so excited to finally show you photos of the renovated space, styled by me, and taken by Jacqui Turk. It’s a big space in comparison to our fairly modest home, but the generous proportions work for my little food and entertaining loving family.

I thought I’d take this opportunity to list full details of where I sourced everything from, which has come together as a compilation of my favourite suppliers:

I’m a big believer in copious amounts of storage, I love to hide things away and avoid clutter, and this kitchen certainly has storage covered in spades. I went to town with luxury items such as a double pull out bin, an appliance cupboard, strip lighting under wall cupboards, generous double door pantry, matching kickboards and many soft close deep drawers for everything from pots to plates. I chose the door profile ‘Sierra’ in the muted Stone Grey from Freedom Kitchens and I am so very happy with the outcome. I love the simple door profile with it’s traditional ‘Shaker’ vibe and I think the pairing with the pale oak floorboards from Woodcut is a beautiful one. Check out the 2017 range of kitchens that are possible with Freedom Kitchens here, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised…I can certainly vouch for the quality of the cabinets, the finish and overall  look and feel is beautiful in real life.

A definite feature in the kitchen is the large scale of the benches. I fell in love with Caesarstone Noble Grey as soon as I saw the big slab in real life last year and it’s proved to be the perfect balance of soft grey with a subtle marble vein to match the cabinets. As cliche as it sounds, it has definitely added the ‘wow’ factor to the space, and in a sleek 20mm thickness I think it’s just lovely. I’ve long been a fan of the Caesarstone range, which is getting better all the time. I’m always speccing it in my clients kitchens, and this is the second time I’ve personally renovated with it. Caesarstone is a durable but beautiful surface which avoids the hassle of a more sensitive/porous natural stone. A birds eye view of the bench is pictured above with the Voda Sink Mixer from Sussex Taps and double granite sink in Polaris (white) from Schock.

Splashback Tiles
With such a statement bench top planned, I wanted the splash back to complement and not compete. I chose a standard 15cm x 15cm white gloss tile that was made more dynamic with a mid grey grout (‘Magellan’) and layed offset. Tiles were sourced from my favourite tile shop, Tiles By Kate (I can’t wait to show you photos of the completed bathrooms, where I really made the most of the great range at this shop!

Door Hardware
Sourced from the USA, I selected brushed brass door and drawer pulls from Lew’s Hardware.

I can honestly say cooking has never been more enjoyable in the Stanley house since we’ve been working with Smeg. I can’t begin to tell you how much I love our new stove and cooktop. Truth be told, I based the entire kitchen design around the gorgeous appliance. The white enamel freestanding cooker with electric oven and gas cooktop has got be hooked on cooking! Pictured above is the favourite view of my kitchen – looking straight down at this fancy specimen from Smeg.

I also love the fully integrated dishwasher, which is from the Smeg Diamond Series. It has fancy features such as a push to open door, LED display and internal lighting.

You’ll see more detailed shots of our very special fridge soon (I recently styled a shoot specifically for Smeg that I’ll share on here), but as you can see above we have water and ice available on tap. This little luxury has long been a wish of mine, and I can’t tell you how handy I’m finding it! Picture above is the side by side refrigerator/freezer with the classic aesthetic that matches the lovely handle bar on our oven. Picture above is also a new set of counter stools from Family Love Tree.

The range of 50’s Retro Style small appliances from Smeg in cream sit beautifully in our new kitchen. Curvy and compact, I’ve never owned such a beautiful toaster and kettle. The four slice capacity of the toaster makes breakfast prep in the morning much faster!
I’m a big fan of the extra storage we gained on the reverse side of the bench. To the left we have space for four counter stools, on the right we have cupboards for all our cook books and liquor.

I’ve accessorised with terracotta and timber, which I think sits beautifully with the grey and gold.

The tall pantry with two deep drawers at the base, plus an appliance cupboard to the right is proving to be a perfect set up for cooking.

Me, just admiring my new kitchen ; )

Hope you like it as much as I do!

Briar x

PS. My dress is from Table Tonic, and the pink front door you see in the first photo is painted in gloss ‘Tahitian Sunset’ from Taubmans.

Sunday Collector Renovation: Sunday’s Room


Sunday/Sunny/Sunny-Sue/Baby-Boo/Bubba. She’s sweet, she’s feisty, she’s passionate, and she loves her new room. We recently added some pieces from the whimsical new collection from Margherita Missoni and Pottery Barn Kids. A magical mix of gorgeous colours, the pom pom quilted bedding is really lovely quality, and the Designer Doll ‘Clara’ is Sunday’s new favourite. Floor play with baby Rafferty has been made that much sweeter with the beautiful floral rug and the luxe Daisy Pouf. As you can see these pieces have complimented the new room beautifully. Sunday’s one request was for a pink room (!!) when we moved – we settled on Taubmans Pink Sangria with the crisp Cotton Sheets white on the top half of the walls.

As you can see, she’s pretty happy with the new set up (and I really struggled to pick my favourite photo, so I’ve gone all ‘stage mum’ and shared them all). Plantation shutters were installed by Signature Shutters and Blinds and Sunday’s wearing a leotard and tutu from Cotton On.

It’s definitely a little girls room! Also pictured from Pottery Barn kids is the Kendall Dresser, the sweet Farmington Dollshouse she got from Santa a year ago and the adorable Sherpa Anywhere Doll Chair (which matches her living room chair).  The cool denim jacket was a gift from my sister, Hannah made it up herself with all the cute badges.

I love the colours in the new Margherita Missoni collection – it really pops on the ‘Greystone’ grey wool Stonefields carpet I chose from Feltex. I can honestly say that Sunday loves spending time in her new little room, it’s an eclectic mix with pops of her favourite things – flowers and the colour pink.

Briar x

Photos by Jacqui Turk.

The March Charge


I’d always thought my gene pool happened to be one of those ‘lucky ones’ that seemed to avoid cancer. Not anymore – aggressive brain cancer crept up on my Dad out of nowhere, and the family have racked their brains on what caused the tumour but the truth is we will never truly know. These days, cancer makes me sad, it makes me angry, and it makes me really scared.

Approximately 46, 880 people died from cancer in Australia in 2016, so chances are everyone who reads this blog post has been affected by cancer in some way.

With a recent birthday that has brought me one step closer to my 40’s and a young family to raise, ensuring I live a healthy long life is at the front of my mind more than ever. Improving my exercise habits is also something I’m focusing on for 2017, as I know how much better it makes me feel – I really am a better person (and mother) after breaking a bit of a sweat at the gym.

I’m taking it one step further and trying to do my bit for charity at the same time – I’ve decided to sign up to ‘The March Charge’, which is a fun personal fitness challenge that raises money for the Cancer Council. I figure every little dollar helps, and the initiative is a really nice idea. Just by walking or running for Cancer Council this March, counting every kilometer as you go and by raising funds – you can help with cancer research, prevention, advocacy and support services.

If you’re keen to take on the challenge, simply follow the easy prompts and register here, where you can set your goal, then promote and get those donations from your nearest and dearest online.

Alternatively, if you are feeling more inclined to donate a tax deductible contribution, here is the link to my personal fundraising page:


Remember, any funds raised are going to make a powerful difference.

Just think:

  • $53 can help fund a call to a cancer nurse on our free, confidential telephone service
    (13 11 20) to offer support on all aspects of cancer.
  • $106 allows us to support childcare centres and primary schools taking part in the National SunSmart Schools Program.
  • $512 helps fund telephone and web-based support groups facilitated by trained peer volunteers and health professionals.

Please join me in either walking/running/donating and let’s show cancer who’s the boss!

Briar x

Sunday Collector Renovation: Landscaping


Thanks to a very efficient builder and his team, our renovations went completely and utterly smoothly. Being our first home I know how lucky I am to be able to say that, as I hear horror stories all the time. Demolition was completed in a few short days, which was hugely rewarding, as we could immediately see the extra space we were creating in our living and dining area. The new kitchen had it’s final measure up a week later, which meant all the cabinetry when in to manufacturing straight away. Being the first home for our young family, we were really careful not to over-capitalise, so instead of changing the house around too much when it came to the layout, we simply gave the bathrooms and laundry major facelifts. Existing bedrooms stayed put – but with new lighting, flooring, skirting boards and window treatments. The magic of a professional paint job never ceases to amaze me either! As I’ve mentioned, we moved in after Christmas, and the feeling of accomplishment now we are living here is hard to describe, I would never have imagined we’d be in this position 5 years ago, it really does feel like a brand new little home for my family.

One thing I hadn’t anticipated is that by knocking out the back wall of the house made our garden a major feature, you can see it in full from the front door. Patchy and yellowing grass, a spindly (kind of dead) Banskia, a green hills hoist on it’s last legs and some tired looking Camellia’s were definitely not in my final vision for the place. Luckily for me, my Aunt is Michele Shennen, who besides from being one of the greatest people I know, also happens to be a very talented and accomplished Landscaper Designer, and wow – does she have some amazing ideas for our home. Michele is known for designing contemporary yet practical and family friendly outdoor spaces, with your chosen budget in mind. It’s been a fun process working with her to bring the vision to life.

Out the back, we’ve gained a huge deck (made out of gorgeous wide blackbutt timber that will age grey), more grass for the kids, a big working vegetable garden (which is a dream of Mark’s) and last but not least – we will be modernising the surrounds to the 1980’s pool area (this will really transform the space, but I’m seeing this as Stage 2 in the landscaping plan). The front garden is going to be a dedicated cactus and succulent area, a direct nod to my love of mid-century design. Michele has workshopped these ideas, and with that comes obvious extra construction costs.

When renovating a property, it’s important not to leave the landscaping budget at the bottom of your priorities because you really can reap the rewards when selling a house that has good outdoor spaces, particularly if you are targeting the first home owner market who may have young kids…you know, those apartment dwellers who are desperate for that backyard dream (putting my hand up right now). I’ve written about People’s Choice Credit Union before, read here – and they’ve recently been named CANSTAR’s 2016 First Home Buyer Customer Owned Institution of the Year SA. You may be interested to know that to celebrate the win, People’s Choice has a highly competitive three-year Fixed Home Loan Package rate specifically for first home buyers. Winning!

With a comfortable little budget in mind, below are some reference shots I’ve pulled from Pinterest over the past year, which explains my vision – with the deck already up, I’m really starting to envision those backyard parties, with a Basil Bangs Chaplin stripe umbrella on the deck, if I’m going to get fussy.

We will eventually cover the dated pebblecrete that surrounds the pool with some wide timber to match our back decking. Painting the inside of the pool is also on my list of things to do, but not a huge priority at this stage.

This house in Portland that featured in Dwell magazine has all it’s priorities right if you ask me. I love the lush grass, and the flow of decking with options for a comfortable seat.

As a contrast to the family friendly backyard, I want a low maintenance cactus garden at the front. This area gets hit with hot westerly sun, and I love that it will complement the 60’s lines at the front of the home.

Top of my list of ‘wants’ for the house was a breeze brick wall in white, similar to above. We’ve managed to incorporate one along one side of the deck, giving us privacy from our neighbours, and something pretty for me to look at.

I’ll be sure to keep you updated on our landscaping progress, providing you with tips along the way!
Briar x

This post was written in collaboration with People’s Choice Credit Union.

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