Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Our guest bedroom (work in progress) Part 4!

Thanks for checking back again. Also, thank you for your kind and lovely comments regarding my guest bedroom last week!

If this is your first time here and would like to catch up on previous installments, please click on the following links below.

Part 1

Part 2

This week I had planned to show you my niche wall progress but we had a few setbacks. I was planning to install a thin shoe moulding around my niche wall but unfortunately received the bad news from my husband. He told me that there is no way to drill through the niche wall because its surrounding was made of metal. I had no idea and was quite disappointed, to be honest.

I was planning to move on and install these wall mount candle holders on either side of the wall niche on Sunday after I "get my taper candles" on Saturday from Home Depot. 

It seemed that Home Depot doesn't carry any candles in their brick and mortal stores. The candles are only available online. I must have overlooked the details on their website. Another disappointment. 

Of course I can take the measurements of the candles and install the candle holders on the walls in advance but I really wanted to have the candles in place before the installation so I can really visualize the ideal placement. I am planning to do it right and not rush to finish the room.

The night after we got home from Home Depot, I ordered my taper candles online right away after I found a website that sells individual taper candles (most websites sell them by the dozen). It's cheaper so it's all good. Hopefully, they will arrive sometime this week so I can show you the finished wall niche area.

On a happier note, I want to share with you a few updates. My pretty yellow ikat pillow covers have arrived! They were provided by my fabulous sponsor, Fabricadabra. A big thanks to Donna for her generosity! Let's check them out!

Please try to overlook the missing bedding, they aren't here yet. :(

What do you think of my new pillow covers? Aren't they beautiful? I like how the ikat pattern mimics the leopard prints on the pink Dana Gibson pillow. My new ikat pillow covers were handwoven, made with natural dyes and have the same ikat pattern at the back. The quality is quite good.

The size of my pillow covers are 18"x 18". I do not have 18"x 18" pillow inserts at home so I went online to look. Then I suddenly came up with an idea. 

I can always use the 20"x 20" pillow inserts from my other pillows! That way I can save some cash and my pillows would look fuller. Fuller= better when it comes to pillows, don't you think? Win-win!

Since the small closet in my guest bedroom is stuffed to the max (with the old disassembled bed frames and all of our luggage), there isn't a lot of hanging space for our guests so I wanted to get some wall hooks for the room. We used to have a row of wall hooks behind the door but my son made some holes in the wall when he unknowingly slammed the door (with the wall hooks) a few times. The regular door stopper doesn't seem to help in our situation.

To make a long story short, we need some wall hooks. Nice, brassy wall hooks. I have considered using whimsical animal wall hooks but I don't want the room to look too cutesy. I have also considered regular brass hooks and those with crystals attached but I was not sold.

When I accidentally stumbled upon these online, I was smitten!

Aren't they perfect for my guest bedroom? They are gorgeous, brass, whimsical enough without being too cutesy and most importantly, they are solid! A little splurge on my part but they are well worth it for their good looks and great quality!

Remember my bare closet doors? I have considered painting them (and the entrance door) green (a similar color as my nightstands) but I was too lazy taking another painting job. Plus, I really don't want to make the room too dark because this room doesn't receive a lot of natural light. 

However, I wanted to do something about the plain doors. Perhaps I can change the knobs! I have entertained the idea of using pretty, colorful knobs and those pretty crystal knobs but couldn't pull the trigger.

Then, I went to Etsy and found these fantastic drop round knobs. They are not particularly huge or dramatic but I like that they mimic the look of my wall candle holders.

 After and before.

The small change makes the door looks so much better!

 Close up!

They just arrived yesterday. I had no problem removing the old door knob on the left but had a problem with the right one. I waited for my husband to come home from work to remove the old, stubborn door knob. 

After taking the old door knob out, we found out that the pre-drilled hole was slightly too big for the new knob to fit snugly. Luckily, there's nothing the gorilla super glue can't fix so I just glued it in. (The new knob on the right door fits into the pre-drilled hole perfectly, though.)

See how good they look? Design is in the details, right?

I hope you have enjoyed seeing the updates in my guest bedroom. Stay tuned for another update next week! I have a nice surprise to show you!

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Book review- Decorating The Way I See It!

Recently, I was sent an advanced copy of Markham Roberts book, Decorating The Way I See It, authored by the designer himself and photographed by Nelson Hancock. A special thanks to Meghan from The Vendome Press for sending me this beautiful book!

The eclectic room on the cover is truly interesting and inviting, it piqued my interest right away!

Be prepared to fall in love with the 350 stunning photographs (of about 40 design projects) inside this breathtaking book! Here is a sneak peek.

Photo credits: Nelson Hancock

The designer: Markham Roberts

I can't help but fall in love with this gorgeous book! His brilliant use of colors, patterns and his flair for mixing furnishings in different styles and periods is absolutely refreshing and visually exciting! 

In Decorating The Way I See It, readers were shown the design process of the master designer through a step-by-step guide from basic interior elements, floor plan and furniture layout, color palette, furniture selection and incorporation of objects and art to architecture, landscaping and gardens. He also included his own country house, a nineteenth-century gentleman's farm in the Hudson Valley as an example to illustrate how he puts all the design elements together.

Diverse, layered, effortlessly chic, sophisticated and inspiring, what's not to love about his design approach? I am so thrilled to add this fabulous book to my collection and I know you will, too. A design book I look forward to revisit again and again in the future. I highly recommended this design book to all interior design fans!

*I received this book to review for free but the views and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

You can get this lovely 260-pages of eye candy here

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Renting Guide by Gumtree!

Renting can be really confusing and that is why Gumtree have designed this nifty little eBook for you to download right here. It is really handy and has lots of great tips on what you need to know. Have a look if you are worried about renting a house or flat as all the queries and questions you could possibly have are answered. I wish have had it when I first started renting properties.

For more information visit The Gumtree Blog.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Our guest bedroom (work in progress) Part 3!

Welcome back, my lovelies! I wanted to say thank you for checking back and for all your wonderful comments regarding my guest bedroom last week. You guys are super awesome! 

If this is your first time here, don't forget to check out previous installments by clicking on the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Last week, I showed you some paint chips. Remember these? But I didn't tell you which part of the room will receive the fun paint treatment.

Guess what? It's the wall niche! The color I picked was 560D-7 (Planetarium) from Behr. I thought I would be spending two hours (tops) for taping, painting, paint retouching, etc but it took me almost half a day over the weekend to get everything done.

I think I must have painted between five to six coats to get the coverage I wanted. I did have a few breaks in between while waiting for the first few coats of paint to dry. While I was working on the wall niche, I also installed a new accessory in there (okay, hubby helped me installed it). Here is the results!


 After (still work in progress)

What do you think of the new contrasting wall color? You like? 

This is slightly off topic but it's too adorable not to share. While I was painting the wall niche, my 8-year-old son took a peek inside the room and made a cute comment. He said, "Mommy, you are using the wrong color. Blue is for boys. Pink is for girls, you should use pink. (I told him it would be mommy's room in the future, that's how he got that idea in the first place.) He would brighten up my days with adorable comments like this everyday. :)

Anyway, let's come back to our topic. I am sure you have noticed some bleeding around the wall niche. No worries, I am not going to leave it like that for long. I was about to retouch the unsightly spots using my gray paint but a new idea suddenly came to me. Initially, I didn't plan to do anything about the alcove (besides hanging a faux taxidermy animal) but after painting the area, I felt it looked a little bare and unfinished. It was certainly not the look I was going after!

I was thinking about using a thin shoe moulding to hide the bleeding but most importantly to add a finished look to my wall niche. 

I do not want to use a wider moulding because my faux gold deer head is not particularly big. Anything larger will overwhelm my faux dear head, don't you think? I just want to have a thin moulding (something subtle) around the wall niche to accentuate it and let the faux taxidermy be the star!

Speaking of my faux deer head, isn't she fabulous? I love its sparkles and graceful lines!

Initially, I had plans to use my gold moose head that I bought earlier this year (discontinued). Unfortunately, I accidentally broke it while trying to put it back inside its original box after "trying" it on the wall niche. Needless to say, I was pretty sad.

To ease my sadness, I immediately searched for a replacement online (Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, One Kings Lane, West Elm, etc) but decided to get the gold deer head from Z Gallerie instead.

Besides adding a thin shoe moulding around the wall niche, I have more plans for that wall. Stay tuned for another update next week!

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Guest post- Transform your living room!

Living rooms can be great. They are brilliant to entertain in and they are the best places in the house to sit as a family and talk or share a love of a certain TV program. You probably spend the majority of the time in the living room and so you should make it as special as possible. Two words come to mind when I think about how a living room should be decorated: comfort and style. This is it. Comfort and style.

Let me give you some inspiration with this article.

The Overall Style

We are living in a golden age of design because we have the whole wealth of style from history from which to draw inspiration from. There is Tudor style, New York loft, renaissance France, whichever style that suits your taste. You have to decide your overarching style of the room, or even house before you set about designing it.

Bear in mind whether or not you have an open plan room or an enclosed one as it will effect what styles will work and which would not.

Accent Colors

One of the best things about being human is our ability to perceive many colors. We should use this to our advantage, especially when decorating. Pick a color and stick with it. Having one major color in a room can transform it significantly but only if you use different variations of that color.

If having one accent color in a room sounds boring to you, then you can go for two accent colors. Two contrasting colors can be really interesting. If you do various shades of the same two colors, you can create a really interesting effect throughout any room.

Focal Point

Every room in the house needs a focal point, whether it is a giant aga in the kitchen, an ornate wall mirror in the dining room or a fire place in the lounge room. A room with a fireplace is instantly transformed, and nowadays, you can get really exciting and interesting fire places which specialize in bioethanol fires. Any fireplace will transform the room so look for what suits your chosen style.

Layered vs Simplicity

Another decision you will have to make is whether or not to go for a simplistic, modern look, or a more layered look. Both are tricky to pull off well, although the layered look is harder. Only attempt the layered look if you are very confident in your abilities.

The Mood

Getting the mood right can be a difficult thing to achieve. The colors and the type of furniture you fill your room with will really help with this. Think about whether or not you would like a light and cheery room with white and light blue accents or a dark and brooding room with black, dark red and rich purples. It is up to you and the room you would like to create.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Guest post- How to make the most out of a small bathroom!

Not all of us are fortunate to have a large and spacious bathroom. Smaller units can feel cramped and stifling and as we are literally unable to avoid these rooms, it is important to realize that even the tiniest of spaces can be imbued with a style and a class of its own. In fact, there are a handful of novel ideas which can be employed to create a stunning, clean and open environment.

This latest guest post takes a look at unique factors and techniques to consider when designing your small bathroom. They do not need to be complicated or expensive, and this list gives you some great starting points for your next renovation project.


The latest popular trends in bathroom design should be kept in mind. Thankfully, 2014 has displayed a return to the minimalist look. Clean motifs that are free from visible hardware and dressed in warm tones such as bronze have taken centre stage. This is perfect for smaller bathrooms; too many items can further reduce the perceived amount of space. Hidden handles, single taps and showers with no walls, such as wet rooms, are some examples of this approach that work exceptionally well.


Another option to consider in a small bathroom is breaking up the space when possible. Many designers note that homeowners are now creating different zones. Dry areas and wet rooms such as those manufactured by Bathroom Deal can come in quite handy. By compartmentalising space in this manner, a greater sense of variety can be achieved. Also, this will enable you to add a touch of your own personality to the area. Gone are the days of plain tile walls and single color schemes!


It should come as no surprise that modern technology has found its way into the bathroom. Still, these innovations will boast much more than being a gimmick or the ability to conserve and regulate water. Instead, devices such as advanced electronics, audio devices, heated floors and even water-proofed flat-screen televisions will help to create new and interactive experiences within this environment, and make the most of your available space.


Small and large bathrooms alike can use an enormous amount of water – particularly if you are a lover of baths! So, it is vital that you find ways to reduce your overall consumption. Many taps now come equipped with flow regulators and low-flow showers have become commonplace. While this may represent the more ‘functional’ side of bathroom designs, we should never forget that water bills can be drastically reduced with the installation of any of these devices – and they do not need to take up any more space than typical fittings. 

Going Green

Another excellent way to spice up a small bathroom is through the inclusion of (small!) plants. Not only will these add a bit of color in an otherwise dull environment, but their presence will bring a freshness into the room. Hanging small potted plants from the ceiling or placing small flower pots onto window ledges can help to brighten up a smaller area, and provide a natural feeling in a small space.


Copper is also making a comeback in recent years as a design feature. The warm lustre of this metal is ideal to break up any open space and make smaller bathrooms feel less cramped and cold. Common uses include light fixtures, taps, sinks and even bathtubs. Copper provides a unique appearance and will enable even the most diminutive of spaces to "pop" with an inviting appeal. 

Floral Prints

An alternative to live flowers is to purchase self-adhesive vinyl prints that can easily be attached to a bare wall. While minimalism is still the rage, color is nonetheless king. There are a nearly limitless variety of prints to choose from and they can match the decor of any bathroom imaginable.

Armed with these tips, it is easy to see that tiny does not have to equate to dull. With a bit of innovation and ingenuity, any bathroom can experience a breath of fresh air and effective design.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Our guest bedroom (work in progress) Part 2!

My lovelies, thanks for checking in on my guest bedroom makeover. If you missed the first installment, please click here.

To be honest, I had the roman shades installed by my hubby two weeks ago but they were too wrinkled so I didn't want to show them to the world yet. I have thought of ironing the wrinkles out but I didn't get around doing it. 

Fortunately as the weeks go by, they became less wrinkled. Here they are!



Bye-bye ugly blinds! I am so happy with how the roman shades turned out. I have been obsessing over these beautiful roman shades (with ribbon trim) for a while and decided to splurge for a change! Knowing that my bed will have a tall headboard that will be covering half of my windows, getting the wider (and more expensive) roman shades is the only way to go so they would show more. If I had opted for the smaller sized shades, I can only mount them inside the window frames. Hanging the shades as high as possible help to create the illusion of a higher ceiling.

As promised, the bed was assembled last weekend. Before we proceed to the pictures, I would like to say thank you again to the wonderful people at Arhausespecially to Kimberly for providing me this beautiful bed. Without their generosity, this makeover would not be possible!

Let's revisit my design plan again.

This room is about 40% completed so far but I am excited to show you our progress.


 After (still work in progress)


After (still work in progress)

Although this room is barely finished, you can already see a huge difference with the new pieces that we brought in. As you may have noticed already, there are no pillows and no bed sheets on the mattress yet. We have removed our old pillows and our old sheets and is waiting for our new ones . I supposed the missing pieces are okay because we are here for the bed today, yes? 

This classic beauty is everything I wish for in a perfect bed and more! The deep tufting is beautifully applied and the fabric is made of soft, sumptuous velvet. Do you realized the velvet fabric goes all the way to the back of the bed? It only mean one thing- the bed would still look fabulous no matter where you position it!

I also love the stunning silhouette and graceful curves, it looks very feminine and elegant!

Aren't the brass nail heads gorgeous? They are fabulous and perfectly aligned, love this wonderful detail! Oh, did I mention they have nail heads at the bottom of the platform as well?

Handcrafted in solid wood, the bed is quite heavy, which is a good thing. The bed came in two separate pieces, a headboard and a platform. The only assembling we had to do was putting the two pieces together using eight bolts. Easy peasy!

Another item I decided to splurge on is this Dana Gibson leopard lumbar in pink! I have been admiring it for a while and since I can't put any decorative object above my bed (artwork, mirror, etc), I figured getting a pretty, whimsical pillow would be a great solution to jazz up my bed. 

I love my stunning table lamps! The gourd lamp base and black lampshade with gold lining are from Target. It look substantial and has an expensive look but only cost a fraction of the price compared to the high end versions. If you like them too, grab them fast because the quantities are limited, both in store and online. I actually had to make a few trips to Target to get the shades and then go online to order the lamp bases. These things are flying off the shelves, let me tell you! 

Another wonderful Target find is this fabulous campaign side table I purchased earlier this year knowing I will be making over the guest bedroom down the road.
Unfortunately, the beautiful green is not available anymore. Other colors are still available though.

I am planning to get a few more items online and do some painting in the room. Can you guess which color I would pick and where I will be painting? Stay tuned for another update next week to find out!

If you need help decorating your home, please click here for further information regarding my design services.