July 09, 2014

Getting Ready for Sale - my top 10 tips!

Getting ready for Sale - you need to follow my 10 golden rules!
  1. Plan. 1 month rule- Before you engage a Real Estate Agent always start the plan for what you need to do to your property for pre-sale. Don't book photography in until you know when you will be ready for photos. We are all very busy so with weekends probably your only "get things done time" give yourself at least a month to get ready for sale. 
  2. Remove all decorative window dressings. Let your windows sing. Dressed windows are outdated and are a 'personal taste' item. Privacy blinds should be simple roll downs, venetians or roman blinds. 
  3. Repaint. It is not as expensive as you think. An average 3 bedroom property will cost between $3000-$6000. Make your property a blank canvas.  Buyers see too much work and expense if they need to repaint and it could greatly effect your sale price. Beiges, Creams and Whites bring any style of property into the current year. 
  4. Recarpet. Once again not as expensive as you think. Bunnings is one of your cheapest options. Stay away from any coffee coloured carpet. Rule of thumb...if you can drink it don't put it on the floor. Browns suck the life out of your property and change the tones of any furniture you might have. Once again stick with Beiges, Creams, or Greys. 
  5. Improve your street appeal. Re-mulch, plant, water the garden. Inexpensive. Effective and makes the WORLD of difference to your buyer. We also suggest buying a new letter box. Letter boxes speak a thousand words about what your about to enter into. look here for my suggestions on Letter boxes
  6. Create zones. Rearrange your furniture. Make sure zones are defined and each space is "Real Estate" writable. For example your room with the treadmill in it, store the treadmill (lets be honest with ourselves really) and make it a bedroom. Every outdoor space needs a purpose, and if you have more then 3 bedrooms you need to appeal to a family. 
  7. It's not personal it's business. Put away your personal items such as photos of Billy's first birthday or Great Grandma's Urn. 
  8. Store It. Start mentally moving out. Get a Storage Unit.  They can be booked and moved into on the day of move, open 24 hours, very reasonable priced, have a complimentary trailer for your first move and have no minimum storage time. Remove all bulky items such as that extra chest of drawers, extra armchairs or oversized couches, kids toys that aren't being used, or random hard rubbish items that you collected and thought you were going to sand and paint. For those large items that are too heavy to move, book a removalist to help you. This being said, don't pay to store something you do not want to keep. EBay or Gumtree unwanted items. Make a bit of extra cash on the side. Why not!
  9. White Linen. Trust us. 
  10. Lamps, warm overhead lights and light fixtures. Overhead cold/fluro lights are reserved for public toilets and hospitals. Lighting in your property needs to be balanced with soft warm bulbs and lamps. Even if you personally love bright lights, remember that you are not re-buying your property. Your room can be instantly updated with replacing your overhead light fixture. In expensive and very effective. Beacon lighting, Bunnings, Masters all sell inexpensive light fixtures. Surely you have a friend who's a sparky!
Lastly, get gOLd ChALk in to ensure you are photo ready, you get one opportunity to showcase your home for sale - make sure it stands out for all the right reasons!


June 25, 2014

secrets of a Stylist revealed!

almost two years ago now, I attended a workshop by the very famous Abigail Ahern, she travelled out to Australia from the UK and revealed all of her trade secrets - the workshop was fabulous, I was and still am a big fan of hers - she is a little off centre and really knows her stuff, in fact she is famous for breaking all the rules in the decorating world. Here are some of her secrets revealed - dare you to try some of them , if not, all!!!

Break rules
I break rules all the time. Not to be gimmicky or newsworthy but simply because rules restrict us way too much. Break them I say who wants a home that reflects some boring old road map with oodles of regulations.  Stuff like coffee tables should be so high (no they shouldn’t) or pendants should be suspended such and such a height from the ceiling,  ugg! Don’t listen to that stuff. I’ve hung a chandelier so low that I wack my head on it every time I get out of the bath! I’ve used African drums and little stools as coffee tables that are supposedly too high or too low. That is what creates the magic, the intrigue  and the drama, so go ahead and break some rules!
Add pops of colour
Colour is clever it enlivens, brightens and delights so if clients are worried about applying to walls (always) I’ll apply it to accessories. Think vases, art, pillows, throws the small stuff basically. And when I say pops I mean pops of bright intoxicating hues for full on impact.
Do something unexpected
Wallpaper the closet or loo, hang a chandelier lower than expected, use a stone bust as a hat stand, put something way too big on something too  small that sort of thing. You’ll find it’s a bit like sprinkling fairy dust over things suddenly your rooms start to look magical!
Have fun.
I adore this quote by the American designer Ross Cassidy “I don’t think people have enough fun with decorating. It doesn’t always have to be so serious. Design isn’t like marriage, you don’t have to commit for life.” Here, here to that!!
Make it comfortable
No matter if you live in a palace or a houseboat the most important thing is making a home comfortable because if you can’t be comfortable at home where can you?. Squishy loungey chairs, laid back sofas, real comfortable things that strike a visual note in every room, giving it this sense of the most fabulous laid back lair.
Accessorize, accessorize, accessories
Don’t neglect the accessories they are the finishing touches that they tell a story all about you, from that old jug picked up in a souk in Morocco, to a painting found in a flea.  I overdose on them, filling my home and the homes of my clients with things that makes us all happy.
and here is a little secret of mine, every Wednesday, I wait with baited breath to see what home "The Design Files" will share with us - I love peaking into other peoples homes, don't you?. Studying the details and replicating them with my own little twist!! The following pics are some of my favourites featured recently. To get your weekly dose, bookmark The Design Files - well worth it. I do hope to share some homes of my own with you all soon, so stay tuned!


June 10, 2014

my take on a gallery style picture wall!

This is my perfect answer to a gallery wall - I think the Gallery Walls you see in magazines and the like look fantastic, but in reality I am yet to see one so fabulous! Instead of the gallery wall I prefer to us the picture ledge, available here and here. It is so much more stylish, easier to change and not so busy/in your face!!!! Not every ones cup of tea, but it certainly is my choice when showing off lots of pictures and photos. What do you think? Are you willing to give it a try?? I have!!


ledges available at West Elm in Melbourne or on-line, Ikea also do a great version too.

and then whilst you are at it - grab yourself a print from 
the most devine artwork going around 
perfect in an IKEA or Country Road Frame

 all pictures via pinterest and Studio Cockatoo

June 09, 2014

Imagine...., being able to style a house using all the things you love and know work!


How fabulous do these pictures look, I can't stop looking at them, this is a house styled for sale by Lucy Fenton using Fenton & Fenton product only, imagine having that resource to do your job! Oooohhh, I just love this look and feel - this would be my ideal job! Blank canvas - white walls and then adding colour and texture with furniture accessories, artwork and rugs! The colour pops, the artwork and Rugs are used to dictate the colour scheme. Wood is added to soften the space and there is layer upon layer - look at the wooden stool in the bathroom - perfection! to take a closer look of this home and also to see more from this fabulous on line magazine - head to Adore Home - well worth a read. And if you live in Melbourne, pencil in a date with yourself to visit this gorgeous store. Although their on-line presence is quite resourceful and inspiring too!

So true, a RUG can transform a space - finding the right one is the hard part!

all pictures taken from the latest issue of Adore Home - Great read!

May 01, 2014

Adore Book GIVEAWAY!!

 It's officially out - finally the book has arrived, I have been waiting to get my paws on a copy of this book ever since the creator Loni Parker floated the idea of creating a book after the huge success of her on line magazine Adore Home.  I have had the pleasure of working on the magazine for Loni and was even featured in it a little while back. To celebrate the launch Gold Chalk is giving away a brand new copy of the book(valued at $55.00) along with a pass for two to the launch of the book in Melbourne on May 15th! This will be an event not to be missed in the interiors world!!! and it is being held at the new West Elm store in South Yarra. To win, simply "Like" the Gold Chalk Facebook page, share the page with your friends, and leave a comment on the post. The lucky winner will be drawn on May 11th.  Good Luck!!!
 Some of my favourite pages so far in the book


April 10, 2014

inside Amanda's Home

Now, I'm no photographer, but I do know a good house when I see one - this is a girlfriend of mine (Amanda) who kindly let me photograph her stunning home for my blog. I have been lucky enough to help her pull her home together and inject some of her beautiful personality  She loves Bally!!! She is now confident to use colour, mixes old with new, oriental and modern and like every girl I know - she loves a cushion!!!! Her house is not complete, lets face it - when do we ever finish all those "love to do" jobs on our list, but as you will see, she is well on her way! A big thank you to the Jones' for being so lovely and letting us take a peek into their home. xx



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