Creative Buzz

Just another site

Category Archives: interior decoration

What about saying I love you with an exciting unusual surprise this Valentine’s Day?

In Melbourne you could take your loved one to the Melbourne Ice Lounge surely one of the coolest of Valentine Day treats.

In Sydney what about going back in time for a BBQ lunch on a Tall Ship Harbour Cruise

Or what about a hot air balloon flight with a champagne breakfast. For example Hot Air Ballooning in the Hunter Valley wine region offers champagne in flight and a gourmet breakfast after.

Instead of flowers say it with berries. In Aus in the state of Victoria Fancy Berries offers a wonderful range of delectable delicious alternatives check them out at  In the USA Shari’s Berries also offer a range of berries and other special treats. I have featured some of their goodies on the image above.

What about a lasting surprise an interior decorating makeover?

You could do a romantic bedroom makeover for a Valentine’s Day treat. Use a sophisticated grey, elegant black and passionate red color scheme. Add some funky feathered lamp shades and trendy classical styled furniture. Also add fluffy bed throws and satin and/or silk fabrics for cushions, curtains and bedding to create a sensuous luxury.

Concept Board created by Rosena on

To get this look

  • Graham Brown Wallpaper
  • Province Lighting of South Africa Chandelier
  • Fabrics from and Osborne & Little
  • Andre Stead Sculpture
  • Wunders armchair
  • Fundi Design lamps and cushions
  • Dare Gallery Lamour bed
  • Black bamboo floor from Bamboo and Timber

If click on the concept board you can find out more details about the suppliers. You can have some fun and create a concept board of your own on just follow the links on the right.

Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day


New Zealand company Resene’s forecasts for 2012

Continuing my January theme of searching for trends in this blog I look at the New Zealand paint company Resene. Resene forecasts for interior design a cheerful optimistic colour range of yellows, oranges and reds for 2012. But they suggest tranquil blues and greens with a vibrant mix of purples; mustards and earthy tones will also be fashionable this season.

Concept board created by Rosena on

In 2012 bold patterned, textured, metallic and paintable wallpapers will be right on trend according to Resene. Feature walls will continue to be popular; making a statement in a room still in vogue. Textures with flock papers in large floral and damask designs will also prove popular.

Concept board created by Rosena on

Resene is a New Zealand paint company and is well known for leading the development of environmentally sustainable surface coatings in that country. They produced their first waterborne paints in 1951 and the removal of lead from decorative paints in the late 1960s. Their first ‘green’ paint range was launched in 1996.

Concept board created by Rosena on

When Australian College QED launched their Interior Design and Decorating course in 2006 Resene very kindly provided the college with a professional colour box for each students. So I have been aware of this great company since then. I have created a few concept boards for this blog featuring Resene paints, wallpapers and curtains.

Celebrating SampleBoard supplier Wunders Fine Furnishings


I thought I would spend a few blogs featuring the brilliant range of interior design products on the SampleBoard site. I just love the yummy items we have available. I am so thankful for the suppliers wonderful range. So here goes not too many words but I have created a few sampleboards today. As I went back to my many older sample boards I was amazed at how many times I selected from the range of Wunders Fine Furnishings

Sample Board created by Rosena on

Wunders is recognized as a producer of the finest quality upholstered furniture in South Africa. It is easy to see why. The styles vary from classic modern, traditional and funky pieces. The best way to celebrate this great company’s deigns is to show a number of interior design concept boards featuring their many designs.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

As you can see you can create traditional, a quirky take on the traditional, modern and contemporary interior design schemes from Wunders wonderful range of interior design products.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

If you click on the images you will be directed to the sample board home where you will find suppliers information for each item selected for each board. I some more examples of my older boards featuring Wunders fine furnishings.

The first sample board features Wunder’s Bellagio chair, the second board features Wunder’s Wing Armchair and the third sample board features a Wunder’s Armchair and Ottoman.

Re-Design is a growing trend in interior decorating

Following on from my last blog I thought it a good idea to look at the growing interior decorating trend for Re- Design. This could be an excellent way of obtaining interior design projects in these hard economic times.

Many interior decorators are offering Re-Design services. With catch phrases like “Would you like to create a unique new look using your existing furnishings?” Re-designers are promoting re- design as a cost effective new alternative in interior decorating. They recommend using existing items suggesting the process can be completed in a short time the only cost the decorator’s/designer’s ‘Creative Labour’

Sample Board created by Rosena on

Re- design is not about replacement but re-placement of a client’s items to create a better functioning environment. Thinking about redecorating can be a costly headache for many people. With re-design they can use what they all ready have and maybe just buy a few items.

I have created the interior design mood board above featuring a Zebra floor rug from Zuomod, Zebra ottoman from Wunders and Zebra futon and lamp shade covers from a company called Surefit. Instead of replacing a sofa, futon or lamps shade using covers could be a cost effective alternative.

The impact of the economic crises on interior design

This is an interesting topic I have been wondering what the real impact on design is. I read an article in the New York Times (April 3 2011) called Design well within reach. The article discussed how the disaster of the Great Depression in the 1920s impacted on interior design at the time. There was a move toward modernism; design became functional for example Alvar Aalto chairs.

Interior design trend called undecorate

During this current recession the article explains a trend has developed in interior design toward eclectic do it yourself design. A term called ‘undecorate’ has been used by Christiane Lemieux to describe the movement. A phrase ‘democratization of design’ has been in use for some time and has now maybe come to be an eventuality. People have become very resourceful at finding discounted items via the internet.

People finding discounted interior decorating items via internet

It appears as if the amateurs are leading the way and designers have been left behind. I know in Australia the level of design literate amateurs has increased amazingly over the last few years. You only have to look at the design shows on TV (some very good ones) to be aware of this. However design rules are being broken; principles like harmony and balance have become passé. Fabrics are mismatched and wallpaper placed on ceilings and over moldings. An attitude of anything goes is current.

Interior design rules are broken

Maxwell Gillingham from the Apartment Therapy blog is quoted as saying ”There’s no longer any good or bad… that new openness is the story. We’re all swirling around together.” There has been a move toward individual expression instead of professional polish.

Sample Board ‘Inspired by Modernism’ created by Rosena on

No good or bad interior design

The article discusses a photographer called Todd Selby. He has created a website where he shows a range of rooms from the homes of creative people like musicians and writers. The rooms indicate the undecorate trend has been followed. Images show wallpaper peeling, lots of clutter and items such as thrift shop paintings. That is not to say you can’t find some great second hand items.

Individual expression in interior design is all important

The question is where does that leave us? I have always thought good design should not be available to only those who can afford it and for this reason I have held workshops and taught TAFE Interior Decorating classes for those interested in DIY decorating. But I must confess I do find it difficult to look at messy rooms with no harmony, balance or correct proportion. I suppose the same thing is happening with cooking to some extent Chef’s must look at amateur cooking shows and shudder as I do. That is not to say some beautiful dishes and rooms are not offered up by the non professionals. What do you think? Where do you think the interior design profession is or is heading in these hard economic times?

Some tips from a Master of Interior Design

As I drifted off to sleep a few nights ago I was thinking about design not unusual for me but in particular about New York Style.  Would you believe it the next morning I read in House Beautiful (September 2011) the start of a new column called Master Class. In the first Master Class column the colorist and designer Alessandra Branca was interviewed.

Alessandra Branca Interior via Consider Yourself at Home blogspot

Alessandra makes a number of recommendations. She suggests investing in a few classic pieces that will stand the passage of time. An example of this is the Louis chair she has in her apartment (see image below). Branca states a sofa with clean lines and in a neutral fabric can be (like clothing) dressed up or down. She dislikes sofas with huge arms as they take up too much space.

Alessandra Branca’s use of Louis chair via Home Beautiful

When designing she thinks it is most important to have a plan, think everything through; it takes time to decorate successfully. Alessandra states it is important to see the overall picture and consider each detail.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

Tips from a Master of Design on Design

  • Have a plan
  • Take time
  • Think everything through
  • Consider each detail
  • See the overall picture
  • Invest in classic pieces
  • Select sofas in neutral fabrics with clean lines and small arms
  • Oh and remember the corners of rooms

Branca describes her New York apartment as a mix of English country comfort, old world Italian elegance, and French sensuality with a relaxed American sensibility and a punch of red. The corners of her apartment are decorated with a botanical grid painted by her artist mother. Alessandra believes corners are under considered in room design.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

I have created some mood boards inspired by Alessandra’s electric mix of styles and use of red. It is great to have the opportunity to have a glimpse into the mind of a master designer like Alessandra.

Why not follow the Hollywood Interior Design trend for Chinese Blue and White

One of Tina Charles’ tweets this week was ‘Hot in Hollywood – Interior designers just love Chinese Blue and White accents’.  The link from the tweet leads to a wonderful array of Chinese blue and white porcelain. This tweet got me thinking.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

The Chinese started to create porcelain during the Tang dynasty 618 AD – 906 AD. During the 14th Century in the Ming dynasty China was the most important centre for porcelain in the world. The blue used in the blue and white porcelain came to China from Persia in 1290 AD. It wasn’t until the 17th century many Europeans became aware of these beautiful objects.

England and other nations bought and then copied the blue and white style of porcelain and Chinoserie was very much in vogue. It has been in and out of fashion ever since. I thought I would join the Chinese Blue and White party and have created some sample boards to illustrate how these items in this instance lamp bases can be used.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

The wonderful Thibaut Design fabrics and wallpapers work well with an 1860 Chinese lamp. The lamps used in the boards are available from the Antique and Vintage Lamp Shop. The other boards indicate how the antique lamps can be used in contemporary schemes. In the orange scheme the lamp becomes a discordant object adding interest to the scheme.

I found this brilliant site which can give you a guide to Chinese Pottery and Porcelain Marks . You may also be interested in this article it goes into a lot of detail.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

The more I use the sample board digital editor the more I am impressed with what can be done on the site. It is a great way to hone your color and design skills. It is also a great place to be inspired by other designers. The wonderful thing is it is fun and can become addictive. So why don’t you join us and help power the world’s creativity.

SampleBoard and Adicolor in Australia have joined forces to power the world’s creativity and see how Adicolor can enhance any interior space no matter what the style

Adicolor’s brilliant paint finishes are designed and manufactured in Italy. The company offers one of the world’s largest ranges of decorative paint finishes. With over 1000 colors and some finishes requiring only a one coat application the paint can be used to enhance a range of interior and exterior spaces;  traditional, modern and contemporary.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

Adicolor beautiful finishes in over 1000 colors

The mood boards in this blog illustrate how the decorative paints can be used. Adicolor also offers training to professional painters, students and private classes. The company uses only the highest quality materials and 2000 year traditions.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

Passing down 2000 year traditions

Another reason for selecting Adicolors paints are their eco friendly credentials. For example the paint products are all; Low VOC, Non toxic, environmentally friendly, Water soluble, virtually odorless and all products are individual labeled with VOC content on packaging. So not only are the decorative paints beautiful they are safe to use and not harmful to the environment.

Sample Board created by Rosena on

Eco Friendly credentials

SampleBoard and Adicolor in Australia have joined forces to power the world’s creativity. You can join in the fun and submit a sample board or two and win a prize. Just go to the competition page on the SampleBoard site or follow this link and have some creative fun playing around designing  beautiful boards.

Mood Board created by Rosena on

Recipes for Interior Decorating Success Part 3: How to create a funky room, a sophisticated room with a with touch of traditional style and a warm elegant room

As mentioned in the Part 1 of Recipes for Interior Decorating Success a recipe is a formula. In this blog I will give the formula on how you can create a lively funky room, a sophisticated traditional room and a warm elegant room. The same basic ingredients for an all white room will again be the basis for the interior decorating recipes.

How to change a basic white room into a young lively funky room

Basic ingredients for an all white room

Timber floor boards – painted white

Skirting board, architraves – painted white

Ceiling & Walls – painted white

Sofa – white fabric

Cushions – white fabric

Sample Board created by Rosena on

As illustrated in the image above to these basic ingredients black and white art work and a red chair has been added. You can change the feel of a room not only with colors but also by selecting different styles of decorating items. In this example the room is given a lively funky look by the addition of red, blue chairs and light fitting, two fluffy black lamps and a cow hide floor rug. This immediately gives the space a fresh young fun look.

To create this young lively funky look:

Cushions – Red glossy and silver in a damask style from Fundi Designs

Table lamps – black shades with feather trim on stainless steel bases from Fundi Designs

Armchairs – blue upholstery on stainless steel base by Sean Williams

Side tables – black in a fun egg timer design from Zumod of South Africa

Floor rug – black and white cow hide from Zumod

Light fitting – red and blue chandelier design from Custom Lighting of Australia

Sample Board created by Rosena on

To create a warm elegant comfortable room

You can also create an elegant understated room by adding items of elegance in muted dusky colors. To achieve this look you need to add the following ingredients.

How to change a basic white room into a warm elegant room

Light fitting – woven pendant from Fundi Designs

Armchair (s) – White to match sofa from Wunders of South Africa

Sheer fabric – White stripe from Osborne and Little

Curtain fabric – Dusky pink linen from Osborne and Little

Coffee Table – Replica of an Eric Pfeiffer table from Zuomod

Floor Lamp – spiral timber base with lamps shade in colors to harmonize with coffee table

Floor Rug – Silk Road Weaves in ducky pink and brown from Integral Color

Sculpture – white with black base from Andre Stead Sculpture

Wallpaper – dusky pink in contemporary design from Thibaut Design

Cushion fabric— dusky pink silk from Osborn and Little

Sample Board created by Rosena on

To create sophisticated room with touch of traditional style

The basic white room can be transformed into a sophisticated formal room. You can add items of designs based on traditional styles. Adding traditional styled lamps with silk and velvet fabrics for cushions gives the room a sense of luxury a very different look from the young funky room.

How to change a basic white room into a sophisticated room with touch of traditional style 

Wallpaper – Metallic stripe reminiscent of traditional wallpapers from Osborne and Little

Lamps – in traditional style from Antique and Vintage Lamp Co of Australia

Light Fitting – Orchid Pendant adds to the glamour of the room

Side Tables – in metallic gold in traditional style from Weylandts of South Africa

Armchair – Original style based on classic styles from Weylandts of South Africa

Curtains – soft green silk from Osborne and Little

Cushions – made up from fabrics of green silk and velvet flock from Osborne and Little

Floor Rug – Gonsenhausers green and dark beige in traditional style from Carpet and Décor Rugs

This is the last blog in this series of Interior Decorating Recipes. Starting with a basic plain white room you create a background from which a series of different looks can be achieved.

The sample board website provides you with a platform where you can easily play around with your ideas. As I have done in these series of blogs. It also provides you with a detailed summary of every item you select for your boards. If you haven’t done so already I invite you to have a go by following the link all you need to do is click on the Create Your Own Digital Mood Board on the right (under Creative Buzz Links). Have fun!!!



Recipes for Interior Decorating Success: Part 1: How to Create a Black and White Room

A recipe according to the dictionary is any formula especially one for preparing a dish in cookery. There is such a glut of food and interior design shows at the moment on Australia TV. I am having a great time with all the design shows and my husband is addicted to Master Chef. This has been to my advantage as he has now become serious about cooking and often cooks. I have often thought of creating interior decorating recipes. The idea came to me again last night so I thought just give it a try it so here goes this is my first series of interior decorating recipes.

Board created by Rosena on

A recipe is a formula

My first series of interior decorating recipes are based on an all white room. In the image above the timber floor boards have been painted white. The ceiling, walls and architectural detailing (skirting boards…) have also been painted white. The only variation to the white is the art work and accessories we can use this as the starting point.

Introducing my 1st series of interior decorating recipes using an all white room

Many cooking recipes have some basic ingredients. Then a number of various on the same dish can be developed. Below are the ingredients for the basic all white room. Then added to this are the ingredients required to make it a black and white room.

Black and White is Always Right    

Basic ingredients for an all white room

Timber floor boards – painted white

Skirting board, architraves – painted white

Ceiling & Walls – painted white

Sofa – white fabric

Cushions – white fabric

To these basic ingredients – a black & white art work has been added

Sample Board created by Rosena on

To create the Black and White room; pictured above the following items have been added

Black and white floor rug from Zuomod of South Africa

Leather armchair with animal sink upholstery side feature from Wunders of South Africa

Black side and coffee tables from Zuomod of South Africa

Floor cushion fabric faux leather from Comfort Creations of South Africa

Feature black and white wallpaper from Thibaut Design

Table Lamps from Spazio of South Africa

Sculptures from Andrestead Sculpture

Scatter cushions from Fundi Designs


Margaret Lord a pioneer Australian designer stated ‘…it is through the wide and continuous observation of many things that good taste as well as knowledge develops’.  One of the most helpful things you can do to develop your design skills is to become a great observer.  When you analyze interior design; check for each element of design individually. One of the best ways to do this is to ask yourself questions, for example ‘what sort of lines have been used are they straight or curved?’  Then do this with each element and then check how each of the principles of design has been adhered to.

The method

When decorating a room it is important to use the elements of design in such a way as to adhere to the principles of design. This will ensure the decoration of the room will be successful.

In this example the black and white used throughout the room creates a sense of harmony and unity

Contrast and emphasis is achieved by the black being placed to contrast with the white for example the leather floor rug, and leather cushions on the white timber floor. Also the black and white art work on the white wall allows the art work to be emphasized.

Adhere to the principles of design

Rhythm has been created in this design by repeating the bold black and white patterns throughout the room. For example the wall art, floor cushions, wallpaper and floor rug.

The principle of Proportion/gradation/alternation has been achieved with different sizes of patterns in the art work, floor rug, lamp shades and wallpaper.

Each element in the room has been played against each other to create a sense of balance.

Discord has been achieved with the armchair. It is dark brown making it an irregular object. It works because the black and white animal print on the side of the chair relates to the other items in the room.

Use (the tools of design) the elements carefully

Black and white are referred to as non colors or neutrals however colors schemes can be made up of neutrals as has been done in this project.

Color and line

The room is dominated by straight lines and the rectangular shapes, of the furniture, doorway, rug shape and art work. The organic forms in the patterns; of the rug, wallpaper, armchair and floor cushions add interest. Curved lines in the art work and lamp shades add variation to a room dominated by straight lines.


Textural variation is achieved with the smooth hard surfaces of the floor, walls and tables contrasted with the rougher texture of the floor rug and the finer softer textures of the sofa upholstery and cushions. The shinny smooth surfaces of the sculptures and lamp bases and the shiny grey cushion add shine to contrast with the dull surfaces.


The strong bold patterns of the art work, floor rug, floor cushion fabric, and wallpaper, side of the armchair and lamp pattern shapes are played against the plain walls, floor and sofa and add drama and interest.

The element of space/area also needs to be considered this can be done on a floor plan via drawings or on site. Playing around with designs on the SampleBoard website is a great way to hone your design skills. One of my design lecturers advised us to get as much practice as we could by playing around on paper. If you can make great design on a page this will help you with your space manipulation skills.

%d bloggers like this: