Monday 29 June 2015

Add the Unexpected

I eat, drink and breathe interior design! It's my job, but it's also my passion, and in my down time, if I'm not spending it with family and friends, you'll usually find me with my nose in an interior book or magazine, or checking out my favourite interior websites.

For me, there is nothing that inspires me more than a home that has shied away from "the norm" and created their own look and style. Absolutely you should take inspiration from others, but don't just copy someone else's look... take pieces you love and put your own spin on them. Think creatively and add the unexpected - things that will make you, and your visitors, smile.

A royal blue painted ceiling is unexpected,
and doesn't it make a beautiful backdrop to those stunning lights?!

Don't limit yourself, think outside the box - get your stainless steel towel rack
(or handles, or toilet roll holder...) powder coated in your favourite colour.

Invite friends over to help you paint an old canvas then use it as a wall hanging or alternative headboard.
You will've created art and memories! Balls of bright coloured wool can be as beautiful as a vase of flowers.

Use a beautiful birdcage to house a plant instead of birds.
The rug helps to anchor the cage and creates a statement, sculptural piece.

Take everyday items and place them in an unconventional way or place to create a whimsical look.

Displaying the things you love in your home says a lot about who you are and creates a home with personality. Why not have your favourite cameras (or shoes, or vintage toys...) on your console table?!

Bathrooms are often thought of as functional rooms, so you may not expect to see a down-lit shelf in a bathroom, with it's sole purpose to display a lovely vase. But if you have the room, why not!

Often the simplest and most effective way to express who you are is a simple grouping
of pieces that have meaning to you. Don't think that by displaying knick knacks you are just
creating clutter. These are the things that make the house your home.

It's your home, stamp your mark on it, be brave and bold with your choices. That element of surprise you create shows you're not afraid to step outside the box. Start small and play with different displays of your favourite things. As your confidence in your style grows you may want to make bigger statements. I'm not suggesting you turn your home into a totally eccentric space, but I am urging you to be original.

Thursday 25 June 2015

My Valuer Office Design

One of our recent and most favourite Bibby + Brady projects was the new office design of My Valuer. The valuation business, owned by husband and wife, Andrew and Jody White, has grown from strength to strength, and with two added valuers they quickly outgrew their old premises. The new office was huge in comparison, but it needed a lot of work!

The first thing to address was the floor plan. A couple of interior walls needed to come down to open up the staff breakout area at the back of the building. The smaller rooms were allocated to a kitchen, bathroom, boardroom, storage, and one large room was to be rented out as an office. The rest of the office space was to remain open plan.

We had to keep in mind that in the next few years more valuers are likely to join the team, and electrics needed to be put in place early on for future desks.

We broke the space up into four main areas - the entrance/waiting area; the main office workspace; the staff breakout area/informal meeting space; and the board room. The most important thing with large open plan spaces is to create zones. We used paint colour on the wall to help differentiate all the areas, working with the My Valuer logo colours of black, blue and white.

Smoky blue walls and a large Armadillo rug mark the waiting area, while the main office walls are a fresh white.

We chose to bring the outdoor wood cladding inside onto the boardroom exterior wall. The doors are colour coded with all the My Valuer doors being painted in a vibrant blue, and behind the green door is the office which is rented out.

A dark charcoal wall inside the boardroom highlights the work of a local photographer. The boardroom table is surrounded by chairs in the company colours. There's room for more desks on the far side of the office, and one wall is waiting for the perfect piece of art.

At first Andrew and Jody weren't sure about painting the entire back of the office in dark charcoal, but they were so fantastic and put their trust in Dael and I. We love the result, it helps to zone the breakout area where the staff come together to discuss work and to relax. Andrew designed the leaner table himself. The sofas also provide a spot for informal client meetings.

We, at Bibby + Brady, love working on commercial interior projects. Your surroundings can have a profound impact in you, sometimes more than you realise. When people love the space in which they work, they'll want to be there, and they'll be inspired in their work. If you'd like our help with your work place, we'd love to hear from you.

Monday 22 June 2015

Halcyon House

As a big fan of Australian interior designer Anna Spiro's work, I watched with interest, and huge respect, the development of one of her most recent projects, Halcyon House. Situated in one of Australia's most idyllic beachfront towns, Cabarita Beach in Northern New South Wales, the luxury boutique hotel is a breath of fresh air.

Anna's love of pattern, beautiful fabrics, picture walls and gorgeous vignettes has translated into stunning accommodation with an inviting, homely feel.

Each room features different fabric on the walls (yes, not wallpaper!) and headboards, and although there are common threads that unite the rooms, each has it's own personality.

"I love to stay in a place that wraps me up and is beautifully decorated. When you go home you dream about visiting that place again. I wanted each room to be different so that guests can find their favourite room and then choose to stay in that room each time they visit." Anna Spiro

I have been quite underwhelmed by the accommodation that I've stayed in over the last few years, and I always look forward to getting home. But to stay at Halcyon House would be an absolute joy. It's so refreshing to find a hotel that is so stylish and unique, I love absolutely everything!

photos via Halcyon House, their instagram, and Anna Spiro's instagram

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Rue Magazine Update

Have you had a chance to check out the latest Rue magazine? I was really inspired by their latest issue. There's a great article on the Venice Beach offices of B-REEL. Kate Driver of West Haddon Hall designed an amazing space and I loved how they included three different lounging areas, each one with a different vibe. They're great for staff to take a break from their desk, or to hold informal meetings with clients.

Interior designer, Soledad Alzaga, worked on what I would call a "dream job" recently. A client needed an apartment turned around within a month, and because he's worked with Soledad before and trusted her, he stepped back and gave her full control of the design - amazing! The result is a very cool and stylish bachelor pad which the client loves.

The home of interior designer, Cristin Priest, is much more feminine, and equally as gorgeous. Kelly green cushions and flamingo wallpaper will get me every time!

Finally, a house in Toronto was transformed into a modern, eclectic and welcoming home with the help of Stacey Cohen. It's a "must see" so make sure you check it out in it's entirety, as well as all the other fantastic content.

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