Style Crush – Florence Broadhurst

Inspiration, Style Crush, Textiles, Wallpaper

This style crush is all about Australian designer Florence Broadhurst.

Florence Maud Broadhurst (28 July 1899 – 15 October 1977) was an Australian designer and businesswoman whose 1977 murder remains a mystery.   Born 1899, in Mt Perry, QLD a remote country town where she lived on a rural cattle station.  She rose to great notoriety mainly resulting from her compulsive ability

What you need to know about rugs

Advice, Textiles

 There are so many types and styles of rugs on the market to choose from dhurries, kilims, sisal, jute, hemp, tufted, wool rugs, synthetics, shag, dyed rugs, persian, ikat, tribal and the list goes on.  Today I thought I would give some tips on how to choose the right rug for your needs.

Which fibre is best?

In my opinion wool is the best quality fibre used for rugs, wool is strong, is vibrant when it’s dyed stunning beautiful colours, it’s naturally fire resistant it self extinguishes itself, spill resistant the liquid will suspend before it soaks into the fibres, wool ages well and just feels beautiful under foot.  It’s worth the investment.

Synthetic fibres of olefin (polypropylene) are petroleum or plastic based products and don’t have the same natural feel or strength that wool does.  Synthetic rugs (also polyester or acrylic) are used to create fake wool look rugs, so be sure to check the composition of the rug when you are purchasing, although often price is the give away being sometimes 10x cheaper than a wool rug.  Synthetic rugs may be cheap to purchase but they can end up costing a lot in cleaning.  Wool fibres have lots of nooks where it hides dust and grit due to the pile density so they look good even when dirty however synthetic fibres (plastic) soil sticks to the outside of the fibres meaning they will require professional cleaning within months unlike wool rugs requiring professional cleaning after 2-3 years.  Synthetics don’t wear well (nylon would be a better wearing synthetic, often used in carpeting for this reason) and their colours don’t remain the same as when new.

Which style is best?

It depends on your home.  Generally I think pattern rugs add personality to a space.  Rugs can be used to cover a lot of surface in a room, so when a plain coloured rug is used it can drain the life out of a space where as a print or texture adds to the space.  Also prints hide a multitude of stains.  Choose a print you love in colours you love however be sure that it ties in with the existing scheme of your room.  If you are going for an investment beautiful quality wool rug choose something that is classic in it’s design as this will last longer than a current fashion piece.

Final tips:

Be mindful of the backing used for your rug, some backings are made of jute which can yellow so if you are choosing a lovely white rug with a jute backing and the backing happens to get wet it could seep through and stain your white rug yellow, which means when it comes to professional washing this causes a problem.  Check what the warp and weft fibres are if they are jute (often used in synthetic rugs) and you happen to have pets that aren’t trained these stains will remain in the rug fibres and it will smell – jute holds odour like no other fibre.  Jute will also become brittle or rot with age so you aren’t particularly wanting this as a backing for your rug.  A quality wool rug won’t necessarily have a backing but you will see it’s woven design.

Finally keep in mind where your rug will be used and how long you are hoping to have it for, these factors will help determine your fibre choice.

Happy rug shopping!

Extra resources:

Less is more, or is it?

Inspiration, Interior trends, Styling, Textiles, Wallpaper

Over the past month I have found myself saying to clients “It’s okay, you don’t need to fill every corner of the room – sometimes less is more”.  It’s like the fashion stylist advice I’ve read or heard about when you are getting ready and have your winning ‘outfit’ on, take one accessory off.  Sometimes I think it’s the same with interiors.  Have you ever walked into a room and there is so much stuff in the room that the beauty of the space is drowned out?  I’m a tad passionate about this subject, can you tell?

Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying go all out minimalist and banish that layered lounge room with it’s warm friendly welcome, I’m just saying let’s reassess and don’t be afraid to move a few items out of the room so that it can breath again.  Especially if there is a hero feature piece in the room, give it space to sing!

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A key element to knowing if your room is too cluttered is to look at the interior style you are trying to achieve.  Modern, Contemporary, Classic, Industrial, Retro styles definitely lend themselves to the less is more approach.  Traditional, Country Cottage,  Rustic, Vintage etc… are more content with clutter.  When I say clutter I don’t mean mess, I mean having a decorative item in every corner, nook and cranny of your room.  They may be gorgeous pieces but this brings me to my next point.

The art of rotation.  Freshen it up.  Just like when you go to your favourite home interior store and the window display and store displays get changed on a regular basis do the same at home.  I have a storage nook where I put my decorator accessories, cushions, rugs, art and rotate them on a regular basis (okay sometimes not as regular as I would like) it gives my home a breath of fresh air when some old newbies come out of storage and get positioned in new vignettes.

Same goes for walls, leave some of them bare.  Groupings of art are far more impacting then scatterings.

I love going to homes where the interiors reflect the personalities of the owners, homes that are filled with furniture and items that have meaning to their owners.  Isn’t this quote from William Morris inspirational?  For me implementing what I am writing is a constant challenge.  Being an Interior Designer I often stumble upon so many ‘things’ that I just ‘need’ but I think if you decorate using the things you LOVE than you are on the right track to creating a home not a house.

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

After all a home has soul, a house that is too minimalist doesn’t!

What do you think?  I would love to read your thoughts below.

Happy decorating!


How to mix pattern into your interior – clash or match?

Fabric, Fashion, Inspiration, Interior trends, Textiles

Pattern brings personality to a room. There are two ways to introduce pattern into a space, the safe calculated matching way and then the clashing quirky way.

To clash or match that is the question?

As I have mentioned in my blogs before I often look to fashion to see what will be trending in interiors. Currently pattern clashes are trending in the fashion world and beginning to seep through to interior design. The vintage interior theme is popular at the moment, this theme carries clashing prints really well. But is there a right and wrong way to clash prints? I think the key is to have a bit of fun, mix up your prints and go with what you like.  I think clashes work well as long as your colour scheme is similar then patterns can clash. For instance small or large print floral, paisley, bold abstracts, images and checks and stripes all can work together when they are in the same colour family.  I think the unexpected element of surprise of mismatch can bring individuality and personality to a space.

 To match is much easier in theory. For example one way to achieve a perfectly matched interior is to pull your theme from the supplied stories that come in soft furnishing fabric sample books as fabric houses have generally designed them to match.

 Mood boards work well to help you design your scheme, using small samples of the fabrics prints that your are considering will help steer your scheme.

Let me encourage you to clash a little, push the pattern boundaries, explore what different patterns look like together and have some fun with pattern.

All interior images from Houzz

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what a KNIT interior

Furniture, Inspiration, Interior trends, Textiles, Uncategorized

Big cosy knit blanket

Knit Stools by Claire Anne O’Brien

Crochet stool

Just for grins – someone really loves to knit

Designer knit bean bags

Upholstered knit armchair

Nordic bliss scandinavian style country romantic white crochet sofa

Knit brit chair

Wouldn’t you just love to be relaxing in a crochet hammock right about now?

Crochet curtain screen

Crochet curtain

Cable knit floor rug

Cable knit bath mat

Knitted jars

Cable knit inspired dinnerware

cable knit bedspread – personal favourite

Big cable bedspread throw

Black crochet blanket on white bedspread

Contemporary knit bedspread – from design sponge

I’m starting to see a stronger reference to the art of knitted and crocheted homewares being used in domestic interior trends, are you?

I remember the days back in my childhood when my mum taught me to knit and my grandmother taught me to crochet.  My mother (now deceased) was never idle…. if she was watching TV (a rarity) she was knitting as well…. you get the picture.  Knitting….  5 years back I may have thought was a lost art, some may even think it today but no I think it’s back.  You only have to dig deep into that recycled, vintage, home made interior bent that I was talking about to see that knitwear woman’s fashion isn’t the only thing that is making a come back.  As pictured above our interiors now have the opportunity to be graced with yester years homely memories in the form of knitted cushions, lampshades, cable throw rugs, bedspreads, place mats, upholstery, floor rugs and more.

If you want to buy some knitted homewares go here OR here

All I know is sometimes its nice to look back and reclaim some of those beautiful memories surrounding the skills learnt and passed down through the generations and implement them in a new way to create a new look for our current generation of interiors.  I know I will be teaching my kids how to knit.

Have you implemented any knitted furnishings into your current home decor?  I’d love to see pictures or hear about it…..