Friday, April 29, 2016

Hamptons Revival

Last year we arrived at our clients home with the brief of decorating and refurbishing the interiors.

Our first impression was how stately this home was, the gardens were beautiful but the house was desperately in need of an external makeover. The home was over 18 years old and had a distinct Mediterranean-feel, there as no doubt in my mind that this home had great bones and my creative mind was already flowing with the possibilities.

Once we were greeted by our clients, we instantly started to get inspired by the internal house possibilities but I had to be honest, what was the point of a beautiful interior if the exterior would let the home down. Our clients totally agreed and felt instantly inspired and excited by the possibilities.

First we needed to tackle the rear of the home (refer the before photos of the curved iron balustrade above. I knew straight away this large property and home lacked entertaining areas to take in the beautiful views and gardens. I wanted to create two large exterior pavilions, one for outdoor dining off the kitchen area and the other an outdoor living space. At this stage we are visualising the balustrade design, the millwork to posts, the white painted timber windows, the stonework and the lanterns. One of the greatest gifts as a designer is that we are visionaries, we can see the end result even before we have voiced the concept.

Our clients were as excited as we were and we were given the green light to start the process. So what is the process? Apart from engaging a builder, building plans & approvals etc... every single material for the home needs to be selected prior to commencement. The balustrade for example was complex, the trellised patios were needed to dress up the exterior, the millwork details, the external paint colours, the french travertine, lighting etc. all needed to be considered. The builder with his quality workmanship, planning and skills brings our vision to life!

One of the most exciting parts of our job is not only to develop the concept from the beginning but to work on the project long after the builders and tradesmen leave. During the entire building process we were busy designing and manufacturing a range of outdoor furniture suitable for the outdoor environment, but more importantly we had a specific look we wanted for our clients. In Australia we don't always have access to furniture like the rest of the world so we prefer to custom-make most of our products so that we can deliver uniqueness of product, authenticity and a quality that our clients expect from us.

We added a stunning sunroom to the front of the home with all its details, added a large barn garage for our clients vintage vars and a loft for their teenage daughter. We now have the exciting task of the interiors with a new kitchen, millwork details, timber flooring, new staircase, lighting and the most beautiful interior furnishings.

The most rewarding part of our job is seeing our clients reaction of the end result! To then continue, years later working with your clients once again is a true testament to the service a designer provides, the referrals and of course that moment you actually don't want to leave their home because you feel part of it and also want to stay and enjoy the beautiful new space!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Farmhouse Living

It's been so long since our last blog post - all good intentions aside, life just gets frantically busy juggling all our new design builds, interior projects, moving showrooms and working tirelessly on a very exciting online program. Did I mention being a single mother too?! It's a constant juggling act but more on that soon.

For me it has been a long time dream to one day build a modern day barn in the country, the dream hasn't happened as fast as I'd hoped for though. With a business growing faster than we can keep up with, new ideas continually popping into my head & an eleven-year-old daughter who loves her school and gives me dagger looks at any prospect of moving! So for now its just dreams that I would love to share with you on the blog today.

So what would my barn look like? The structure would be quite simple but I would have an iron roof, large black raw iron windows, timber cladding in white of course, is there any other colour?

The barn would have the ability to be extended to add a walkway of glass or perhaps large extending barn doors, this wouldn't be just any walkway, it would be a large opening that would allow me to entertain outdoors but should the weather not permit, could easily be closed to a cosy space full of atmosphere. The joining of the barns would allow my budget to further extend at a later date. My tip when designing any home is to always think of the bigger picture from the onset.

Internally I visualise old recycled oak floors, exposed rustic beams, raked ceiling and shiplap clad walls. The kitchen would be a mix of timber and white, open shelving and a large walk-in pantry filled with vintage jars and rattan baskets.

The furnishings would be neutral and rustic so I could easily change up the colours with cushions and accessories as my mood changed with the seasons. A stone clad fireplace, books and beautiful artwork would be an important element in my home.

No farmhouse/barn would be complete without a large oak tree with a large table & iron chairs, delicious food, family, friends & laughter. A wine cellar to keep the good times rolling...and of course the herb garden to season the food & a designer chicken coop for our fresh eggs. Life doesn't get much better than this.

Images sources: via Verandah House Instagram and pinterest for all source credits.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Kitchen Shelf Inspiration

On the blog this week I thought I would talk kitchens, today my favourite topic of the moment is open shelving! Okay. I am the first to admit when thinking about this concept we think dust and lots of maintenance! or you could think of it in a different way, I see it as a place to store my everyday items that I use all the time, I'm not one to keep things preciously stored in cupboards I like to use all my crockery and that way they get washed regularly reducing the dust. I love the homely look it creates within the kitchen.

Please note my husband is like a bull in the kitchen, and he is still learning the art of placing plates down gently and putting them back in the right position, slowly he is catching on!

To create this look effectively here are some our tips!

1. Blue crockery looks great with white or green but as a general rule try to keep to the same tone of crockery, be artful in placing them but keep its relaxed and informal, mix up the shapes and sizes, keep it interesting.

2. Since open shelving allows the eye to pass all the way to the wall, its a great way to play up pattern and interest. We love using handprinted tiles all the all time classic favourite the subway, think subtle colour and be creative with the subway, consider changing up the patterns.

3. If too may open shelves seems daunting try using them only in a small area of the kitchen, I particular love using open shelves in butlers pantry's its functional and look great too!

4. Play up your creative skills and use artwork, cookbooks or perhaps a collection of vases to keep it fun and interesting.

Don't forget to follow us on our Verandah House Instagram feeds for our daily inspiration, we love hearing from you x

Image Credits: 1. Luxe Magazine 2. House Beautiful 3. Pinterest 4. House Beautiful 5. Elle Decor. 6. Windsor Smith Home 7. One Kings Lane

Monday, October 5, 2015

Inspiring Me Today

Today being a public holiday I've had fun checking out all my favourite blogs, some sadly are no longer posting, no doubt like myself caught up with the instant gratification of Instagram and FB and only sporadically posting on their blogs.

When I look back, some of my best idea's actually came about from when I actually disciplined myself to blog, I took the time to source idea's and I expressed them in my writing, I enjoy sharing my thoughts and inspiration, keeping it real, honest and personable, plus the bonus of meeting so many like minded friends on the way.

I couldn't resist today posting on the latest 2016 Spring collection from Ralph Lauren, I'm loving so much of the collection, if I could sum up my fashion style its all here, effortless, stylish and wearable, I'm especially loving the shirt dresses back with the tan belt, yes please! On my blog hunting today I fell upon Habitually Chic an old favourite that never disappoints, I though I would share some of her snaps from The RL restaurant in Paris, its time I went there!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Creative Uses Of Furniture

 When a client comes to us explaining they are on a budget, we don't automatically think cheaper or ready made furniture, we think of how we can use existing pieces into a more practical way without compromising on design. Budget doesn't always mean restricting yourself in design, in fact we believe we can make more of an impact by making each piece tell a story. The old armoire that was handed down to you that worked okay as a wardrobe in your first home but not longer serves you, how about considering building around it, removing the doors and using it as a library or a cocktail bar, how about storing crockery or linen and making a feature of it! The same apply's to a beautiful chest of draws or sideboard that no longer has a purpose, why not add a bevelled marble top and create a bar or guest bathroom vanity!

When I finally get to build my next kitchen I have decided I want the island bench to be a piece of furniture, of course there could be the issue with height, but by either using a furniture maker to build raise the leg or adding castor wheels - this will automatically gain height, add a marble or stone top for practicality and voila you have a beautiful talking piece in your kitchen that creates a warm cosy feeling to your home, try then to style it with timber chopping boards, potted herbs and flowers, the shelves beneath make the perfect place to store crockery and large platters and boards.

By using some of your own pieces or vintage shopping at local markets and antique stores, you can find that unique piece that can serve a purpose, creates a talking point & is fun to create!

Image sources: Pinterest

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Colours We Are Trending

 At Verandah House we are in the middle of a huge showroom makeover, so what perfect timing to share our favourite colours we are using in our showroom and client projects. We have listed our top favourite colours and how we love using them today.

1. Duck Egg Blue - we are loving this colour painted on cabinetry in full gloss or low sheen depending on the look we are trying to achieve. We are loving using lots of hand-block printed fabric's in soft blues and linens; they have a unique, timeless, organic feeling and add a relaxed stylish look to our sofas and furniture pieces. We are using blues in silk wallpaper especially in bedrooms and dressing rooms to add texture and glamour.

2. Grey - Grey is the perfect neutral to layer colour and interest, we especially love using it on joinery - whether it be grey stained timbers or painted finishes, this colour works back perfectly with marble, silver or brass fixtures.

3. White - When we think white we often lean towards nougat, wintery whites rather than the stark whites used so often, its a calmer, more gentle look and instantly gives you the feeling of comfort within a home. Millwork detail to walls and joinery makes white less boring and a whole lot more interesting, we are loving some of our new lighting fixtures coming to VH especially the chandelier we have posted here today.

4. Navy Blues - For as long as I can remember blue has always been our signature colour, regardless of whether we choose a denim, powder or indigo to a rich deep navy, this timeless colour has so much appeal regardless of whether a home is modern or classic. We love all walls in a room painted a deep navy, on joinery and of course in soft furnishings, never has the colour not been in fashion, its timeless, appealing and never dates.

5. Chocolate - Yes, chocolate and its good enough to eat! At VH we call it the new black, is softer, just as dramatic as black but works back with so many colours, currently in our showroom we are mixing chocolate and aqua blue, we are seeing it painted on joinery and we are loving using chocolate seagrass wallpaper with lots of white trim and millwork for a more dramatic contrast. When the fashion industry gets hold of this colour you can be guaranteed to start seeing it in our homes too!

6. Hunter Green - We are absolutely obsessed with Hunter Green, what a perfect colour for a den, library or study, work it back with plaids and warm timber tones, we are loving it back with wall art for a striking look to a room.

Image Credits: image 3&18 Ashley Wittaker, Ralph Lauren Home, Pinterest, Verandah House