5 tiling mistakes that can derail your reno...

Amber tiles

Nowadays it’s easy to transform even the blandest of areas into a real show stopper given the amazing array of tiles to choose from. However, tiling mistakes can be a costly, and sometimes hard to fix, mistake if you choose the wrong tiles or have trouble when it comes to installation. 

Expert renovators Michael and Carlene Duffy certainly have learnt a lesson or two when it comes to tiles, having made their mark on the record-rating season of Channel Nine’s, The Block and the inaugural season of Reno Rumble.

The pair, who now run their own home renovation and design consultancy Cedar & Suede, are currently working with Amber Tiles sharing their savvy DIY and tiling design tips for their Love My Amber campaign.

We just love the look and feel of tiles however we’ve had our fair share of tiling mis-steps!” Carlene admits. “For instance, I now realise you don’t need to tile an entire bathroom floor to ceiling. Often playing around with the areas and creating contrast with painted walls and other features can lead to a more interesting design effect.”

“As there are so many choices out there, I’d recommend going onto a large site like Amber during the planning stage and playing around with their tile visualiser function before you commit to anything. It can give you great ideas about different tiles and how can work in certain spaces.”

Avoid getting out the hammer and chisel and make sure you get it right the first time advises carlene by avoiding these 5 mistakes:

Amber Tiles
Amber Tiles

1 - Not keeping tile choices in line with overall decor

It goes without saying that if your house is predominantly a beach-inspired vision in white and blue, then a funky, bohemian vibe in your bathroom may look out of keeping. Tiles should always be chosen in relation to an overall decor scheme. Also make sure other elements of the bathroom itself such as fixtures and fittings work well with the tiles. Take in to consideration colours of bench-tops, cupboards and painted surfaces and choose one hero feature such as a tiled feature wall.  

2 - Forgetting to buy enough tiles

Running out of tiles and then scrambling around trying to find more can be an absolute nightmare! It can also drag out labour costs, so make sure you calculate accurately before you start. If you’re not entirely sure, it’s a good idea to buy more tiles than you think you need. If not, the tile colours can vary from batch to batch or even become discontinued if you have to hunt more down. A good rule of thumb is to buy around 15 per cent more than you think you’ll use. This ensures against breakages, miscalculations, and difficulties in cutting to size. You can also keep spare tiles in reserve in case any tiles become cracked in the future.

3 - Getting a little too eclectic

Whilst using the same types of tiles in every room can be a little boring, too many varieties in the one space can cause visual chaos! I’d advise to limit yourself to no more than three variations per room. For bathroom walls, larger tiles are a good choice as they use less grout, making them easier to clean. Smaller tiles such as hexagon, mosaic and subway tiles also work well for feature walls and niches. 

Amber tiles

4 - Underestimating tile sizes

Make life easy and choose a tile size and layout pattern that suits the dimensions of the various areas. Large tiles are currently on trend, but just remember that sometimes if it’s way too large it can make it difficult for the tiler to achieve adequate fall in the shower. Elsewhere in the home, choosing tiles that aren’t a good fit for the area can also result in odd sized cut tiles and slivers around edges and corners which can look messy. On the other hand in hard working areas such as the bathroom, you don’t want too small a tile, otherwise all the grout cleaning may drive you mad.

5 - Neglecting maintenance considerations

Whilst many varieties of tiles are easy to clean, some natural stone options such as marble and bluestone require sealing and should be treated with care, which is an important consideration before purchasing. Tiling alongside other durable materials including glass, glass block, terrazzo, concrete, stainless steel, and tough hardwoods will also cut down on the amount of room maintenance in later years. 

Michael & Carlene of Cedar & Suede

Michael & Carlene of Cedar & Suede

Source: www.dotandpop.com.au/renovation

Top tips to achieve the perfect lighting for your family home...


A dated 1920s Californian Bungalow, located in Glen Iris, Victoria, has been transformed into a Nordic inspired, blush-toned wonderland, in five short months. The norsuHOME, built by Nat from norsu Interiors and her husband Dan, is a family home that exudes visual design and practicality, whilst meeting the needs of a young family.

Photographer Stu Morley | Stylist Beck Simons

Photographer Stu Morley | Stylist Beck Simons

Photographer Lisa Cohen

Photographer Lisa Cohen


When it comes to lighting plans and design, Nat from norsu worked closely with Gerard Lighting to find the perfect balance between architectural design and practical application for family living. “Lighting shouldn’t be seen as just a mere necessity; instead it’s an important design process in achieving the overall mood and feeling of a home,” says Nat.

“Gerard Lighting’s extensive range and their expert advice enabled us to create a carefully thought out lighting plan that met all of our objectives,” continues Nat.


Photographer Stu Morley

Photographer Stu Morley

Photographer Stu Morley

Photographer Stu Morley


Starting with interior lighting, it’s important to create a signature statement about your individual style with a carefully curated range of feature lighting. The home features Pierlite Litelux Opticolour LED Downlights, which have the ability to change colour temperature when dimmed and Pierlite Astara Real Ambient Sunset Dim LED Downlights, allowing the user to “colour shift” the light output for a balance between visual comfort and ambience.

Today’s modern technology now allows for smart home connectivity – making life easier with lighting control solutions. Being able to operate lighting by remote control helps to create a home that is more energy efficient, secure and satisfying. Offering state-of the-art simplicity, Gerard Lighting suggested the Diginet Sitara Lighting Control system for the norsuHOME. The homeowners can personalise the way they control their lighting via their smartphone or tablet, whether it be setting different lighting levels in a range of rooms, choosing lighting moods or having lights turn on to simulate occupancy whilst they’re away.


Photographer Lisa Cohen

Photographer Lisa Cohen

Photographer Lisa Cohen | Stylist Beck Simons

Photographer Lisa Cohen | Stylist Beck Simons


“We have two young children and having the ability and luxury to turn lights on and off remotely were extremely appealing to us. Our children are still at the age where they are at times frightened by the dark, so the Diginet Sitara wireless feature allows us to control the dimming of their lights from the comfort of our sofa,” says Nat.

“We can also utilise the timer feature to ensure we’re being sustainably conscious once they’re asleep. Being able to turn on the lights at night wirelessly before entering the home ensures we always feel safe. Additionally, we love the colour coding of the switches knowing we can quickly identify the right light the first time and it also helps the little ones,” 

"Gerard Lighting also made invaluable recommendations such as the Diginet Smart Scan Sensor MKII to control LED strip lighting in the bathroom and laundry, ensuring a safe passage for the children during the night,” says Nat.


Source: When it comes to lighting plans and ...

3 steps to coat your deck - long weekend DIY!


The Easter Long Weekend is here, therefore it's the prime-time for home improvements and outdoor entertaining. So why not tackle those odd jobs and DIY tasks around the home that you have been putting off!

Just in time for the 4 day weekend Cabot’s have released a decking product called the 'Finish in 1 Day system' - turning what is usually a six-week gruelling and time consuming process into a one-day job, yes ONE DAY! This fantastic new product means long-term updates are now much faster, giving you more time for outdoor lounging and entertaining on your fresh deck!

There is a 'Step by Step guide' below as well as a super helpful 'how to' video!


Step 1

Take your Cabot’s New Timber Prep and apply it evenly to the boards with your Cabot’s Deck Prep Scrubbing Brush.

New Timber Prep imitates the exact effects of weathering, by drawing out the timber’s tannins and oils. 

After 15 minutes, rinse away the residue with a hose, leaving the surface ready for coating.


Step 2

Immediately clean the timber with Cabot’s Deck Clean.

Cabot’s Deck Clean should be mixed with water (1:4 parts) and applied to the timber’s surface using a bristle brush, like Cabot’s Deck Prep Scrubbing Brush.

After 20 minutes, it should be rinsed off with a high-pressure hose.


Step 3

Once the deck is dry, it is ready for coating.

Stir the Cabot’s Aquadeck to ensure that the colour is well mixed and even.Start by carefully cutting in around the edges of the deck with a paintbrush. Apply oil to three or four boards at a time using the Cabot’s Deck Coat Applicator.

Always work along the whole length of a board to a natural break to prevent patchy results.

Allow 1 hour to dry for the first coat and then reapply.

Source: The Easter Long Weekend is here, ...

Thinking of updating your space with Wallpaper? Check out these Wallpaper Tips from Luxe Walls...

Light Grey Wood Panels.jpg

Top Tips for incorporating colour into your space with Wallpaper!


Choosing wallpaper can be a little overwhelming with so many available options, but if you stick to these top tips from Luxe Walls you are guaranteed to create wall coverings that you love looking at.

Before you can decide on the perfect wallpaper, you need to consider the style of the room. Is the wallpaper going in a traditional or contemporary space? What is the purpose of the room - a casual or formal living area or a quiet place for rest and relaxation. Are you wanting to create impact with a feature wall, or wallpaper all walls in a room with an overall pattern. The look you want to achieve will be different depending on your answers to the above questions and so too will your wallpaper choices.

Floral Bouquet Wallpaper (1).jpg

Formal spaces lend themselves to stripes, traditional florals and damask patterns, where bolder patterns such as geometrics look fabulous in rooms with a contemporary feel. Bedrooms are the perfect place for your personality to shine through, but remember they are the place of rest so stick to calming colours and patterns.

With seasonal change upon us, new colour trends are appearing to excite and inspire. Gone are the bright colours of summer -  instead we are being tempted with earthy shades, sage greens, warm neutrals and shades of red and orange. These brighter colours are being mixed with warm neutrals to create shades of terracottas, a new favourite of the season. Grey greens are another key player for Autumn 2018. To create coziness, combine terracottas, rusts and warm neutrals to your grey greens for an autumnal feel.

Moody Floral Wallpaper.jpg

At Luxe Walls, we see many trends come and go, and a couple that are shining at the moment are florals and wood panelling. Florals can change the vibe of the room depending on the colour and size of the blooms and we can modify your pattern size depending on the look you want to achieve. A small delicate pattern works well for wallpapering a complete room and gives a subtle visual to your walls, especially in soft greys . Alternatively, an enlarged floral pattern creates impact and works better as a feature wall.

Pink Wood Panel Wallpaper.jpg

Wood panelling is another on trend wallpaper at the moment, with many requests being received for our Wood Panel wallpaper in a variety of colours. At Luxe Walls, we can customise your artwork choice. We can match any pantone colour, change the size of a pattern and even alter the width of wood panels.

Wallpaper is a versatile wall covering option and the perfect way to personalise and create interest to the walls in your home. Whether you are choosing to follow seasonal trends, or following  your own creativity, with over 100 million images, Luxe Walls has you covered.

Oriental Floral Wallpaper.jpg
Source: Choosing wallpaper can be a little ...

Tips to make your office a space you love...


Our office is a space that many of us know to well, whether it’s at home or at work we spend much more time there than many of us would like. From late nights staring blankly at the computer screen, to early mornings squeezing in last minute tasks – it can almost feel like we live there.

Although limiting the time we spend there is not always possible, we can definitely make it a more comfortable space that can be enjoyed (almost as much as a day off). 

We’ve put together a few simple tips to create not only a stylish office space, but an inspiring and functional one that you actually enjoy – and we've used a few key pieces that will be on display at The Retail Quarter - Reed Gift Fairs modern and exhilarating re-launch of their September fair - check it out here.

Image from Pinterest - source unknown,

Image from Pinterest - source unknown,

De-clutter - Get rid of the clutter. Although there may be a thousand of things going on in your head, it doesn’t mean this should be reflected on your desk. Don’t make your office space a dumping ground for mountains of coffee cups and piles of paper work – keep your office clutter free and organised.

Storage is key – You’ve probably heard it time and time again, but we can promise that if you get some really great storage for your office space – you will significantly improve your productivity.  Organising your tasks into separate folders not only gives everything a home, but also reduces the risk of losing things. For the variety of pens sprawled across your desk, coffee cups make excellent (and stylish) penholders and there are thousands of designs you can choose.

Find the perfect lighting  - For those lucky enough to have large windows in their home office – why not maximise your use of natural light by keeping the curtains open and letting in the natural light. If you need a bit of privacy, sheer curtains in a lighter colour are the perfect answer. However if the lighting is dull – don’t fret, as the right desk lamp, just like this one from One World Collection, not only provides the lighting you need, but also adds an element of stylish to your home office.

Bring the outdoors, indoors

Although most of us would rather be outside enjoying the beautiful spring weather than working – why not compromise and bring the outdoors, indoors. Fresh flowers are a great way to brighten up your space, making it fresh and inviting. If you’re a hay fever suffer, why not go for terrarium or hanging pots such as these fabulous ones by Urban Products and All Seasons Homeware to add some lush greenery.

The finishing touch – accessories - Candles are the perfect addition to any space, and when it’s the room you’re spending most of your time in of course you want it to smell amazing. With so many options to choose from, why not select a scent that’s going to make feel like your working on the beaches of Tahiti. Endless Candles has created a scent to help you do just that.

Candle -  Endless Candles

All of these products will be on display at The Retail Quarter – Reed Gift Fairs modern and exhilarating re-launch of their September fair. For more information about how you can get involved, visit http://www.reedgiftfairs.com.au/sydney-september/


Teeny tiny space for your laundry? Read my top 6 tips now!


Unfortunately not all of us have the luxury of a spacious laundry.. or even a whole room for a laundry for that matter.. hands up if your laundry is in a cupboard? Me!

So it's time to break down how you can still have a very functional, easy to use, beautifully designed laundry that you will enjoy using.. well maybe for a few weeks until the reality of washing clothes hits you right back in the face again! 

Designed by  By Bruno

Designed by By Bruno

1 - Shelves, drawers or cupboards - fit in as many as you can, storage is so important. And go as high as you can... build those cupboards right up to the ceiling.

2 - Add in a bench top - even if you only have space for a washing machine and dryer side by side in your space, throw a bench top across the top and bam, you have a surface to sort, organise and fold on.

3 - Use hanging rods and hooks where possible - just look at the inspo pic above to see just how beautiful a hanging rod can look!

4 - You don't NEED a sink - if your space doesn't allow for it, don't worry. Modern washing machines have hand wash and delicate cycles that will be much better than your actual hand washing anyway.

5 - Choose a door that works for the space and makes for easy accessibility - think about sliding, centre opening, bi-folds, concertina or doors that slide back into the cavity.

6 - And remember your laundry doesn't have to be it's own room - you can put it in the bathroom, the ensuite, in the hallway, in a cupboard, hide it in the kitchen or even the garage. 

From -  Homes to love
From -  HomeBunch
From -  CaesarStone
From - Pinterest

From - Pinterest


My top 5 indoor plants that are hard to kill...

Devils Ivy

Devils Ivy

Indoor plants are not only great for decorating your home, they also help clean the environment around them... but I'm sure we've all killed a few, or in my case many of these little guys therefore they can be a little daunting! 

Here are my top 5 indoor plants that I promise you will be able to keep alive.. just make sure you follow the instructions for watering, as too little or too much water is the main reason our little green friends don't survive!

Monstera Plant

Monstera Plant

Zanzibar Gem

Zanzibar Gem

Mother in Laws tongue

Mother in Laws tongue

Rubber Plant

Rubber Plant


How to create the perfect print wall...


We love a good 'HOW TO' video and Hunting for George have created one of their best yet - "How to create your perfect print wall!"

Watch the below video to brush up on your hanging skills or scroll down for a step by step instructional guide... YAY, we thank you in advance Hunting for George!

Step One: Composition

Before hammers and nails start flying around, place your selection of prints on the floor to find a composition you like. If you’re a visual type-A personality (which we can totally relate to), mapping out the prints can help you visualise how they’ll fit into the space without committing to size and placement until you get it right. Take a photo to use as your guide.

Step Two: Curate

Avoid choosing prints that are all the same, mix it up and spread the love. A mix of sizes and orientations is key to creating a successful print wall. Avoid clumping similar types of prints together


Step Three: Anchor

Hang the largest print first, this will act as your anchor. We recommend hanging this at eye level for a winning print wall.

Step Four: Spacing

The rule of thumb is at least an 8cm gap between each frame. Nobody is perfect and either should your gaps be, it give your print wall character.

Step Five: Frame Selection

Choose different frame finishes to give your print wall a fun eclectic look. Two or three different kinds is ideal.

Step Six: More is more

Add more prints to fill your wall. Style with odd numbers for the perfect print wall. Now sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery.

Hunting for George have a style of print that will liven up even the blankest of walls, so sit back, enjoy the scenery and let your prints do the entertaining. No more fussing about with not-quite-the-right-size frames either (we've all been there). Hunting for George's new ready to hang frames fit their prints perfectly helping to make life just a little bit easier... Designed to fit the entire Hunting for George art print collection, their frames are Australian made and sold pre-assembled with a multi-fit system to hang both portrait or landscape. 



Renovating... 5 things I'd do differently next time


1 - Carpet - I wasn't happy with my carpet choice after a few months of living with it. 

- Choose the right carpet for your space by really thinking about how much foot traffic there will be - some carpets pile can flatten in high traffic areas.

- Choose a colour/pattern that you love but that is also practical for your home and family.

- Go to as many different shops as possible and check out their ranges.

- Take samples home for a few days so you can look at them at different times of the day and in different light.

- Ensure that you are happy with what material it is made of - wool, nylon, wool blends etc.

2 - Window Furnishings - I wish I had put in pelmets above every window in our upstairs level.

- Take the time during planning to choose your window furnishings before you start renovating or building to save the headaches when installation comes around.

- This way you will know whether you need pelmets above your windows (if you want to conceal your blinds), what type of window frames will work best for your design and how the windows opening will affect your blinds/curtains.

3 - Shower Niches - I went for a bevelled edge tile which negatively affected the look of my shower niche.

- If you are after a clean and modern looking bathroom then a shower niche (tiled built in shower shelves) is your go to. 

- Aluminium strips are not ideal as edging - always avoid this if possible. 

- Beware of bevelled edges, round shapes, small mosaics and fragile stone tiles - any of these can really throw a spanner in your works when creating a niche as they can be hard for the tiler to cut and grout as an edge, which is where to dreaded aluminium strip comes in.

4 - Lighting - Be careful when following trends - we changed our minds last minute and had to rewire which costs money, takes time and creates mess.

- Pendant lights are so hot right now and are featuring everywhere from bedrooms to bathrooms to kitchens and dining rooms.

- Choose carefully to ensure that you will still love your light in years to come. 

- Be brave - you don't have to do what everyone else is doing.

- Give your electrician a really thought out and precise plan before he starts - and if they are super nice maybe they can do some back up wiring in your walls/ceiling in case you change your mind from 1-2 lights, the positioning and things like that. 

5 - Precise Plumbing Planning - We put in our bath drain before choosing the bath - not ideal!

- If possible always choose ALL your bathroom pieces that need to be plumbed in before your plumber starts roughing it in (plumber speak for putting all the pipes etc in the correct spots).

- The worst case scenario if you don't do this is that you end up with taps/spouts/buttons that don't align with your bath/vanity/toilet - which isn't great aesthetically or for functionality.

If you need any more advice or tips please comment below.

 D + P