January 19, 2017

Looking Ahead: 17 Design Essentials For 2017

A new season of design has arrived and it looks like 2017 is all about a joyful celebration of home as personal sanctuary. Our safe place. A reprieve away from all the madness in the world.

Take a look at what’s on our radar - not just the trends - but exactly what you should buy.  The timeless items every home needs and the innovative products we're excited about, from rough-hewn wood tables to terracotta floor tiles, benchtop task lights in the kitchen, outdoor pizza ovens, ceramic wine goblets, and natural light fixtures, these are the things that we think will define the year ahead - and the purchases you won't regret!

1. A Rustic Wood Table Rough-hewn wood tables bring the outdoors in and lend a bit of organic beauty to any space.
2. Faux Fur Furniture From throw pillows to ottomans and chairs, faux fur feels super luxe without the cost and cruelty associated with animal fur. And provides a punch of fur in a minimal room.
3. New Bedding With a slew of new companies challenging the bedding industry in the best ways, there’s no shortage of options at great prices. Take a look at US companies like Boll & Branch.
4. Art Thanks to the internet, it’s never been easier to buy original affordable art on line. Start with sites like Minted, Saatchi Art, or Art.com
5. Outdoor Woodburning Pizza Ovens It’s hard to put a price on convenience. Despite not everyone having the room or patience for a brick oven in the garden, or the fact that you probably have to eat a lot of pizza to show true return on investment, the point is, pizza ovens seem great fun and celebrate the 2017 idea of home as playground. We love the one featured in the beach property which is available to rent via Contemporary Hotels, pictured, www.contemporaryhotels.com.au

6. Handwoven Baskets One of the best solutions for chic storage, serving and decorating.
7. Natural Light Fixtures While brass fixtures have reigned supreme, lately we’ve noticed natural materials like jute and rattan pendants popping up in the best interiors.
8. Matt Black Appliances The matte black trend has been motoring for a while now when LG brought the dramatic look to the kitchen with its Black Stainless line of appliances. A refrigerator, oven or dishwasher in the stylish finish adds a smart touch of style to the kitchen.
8. Handmade Ceramics Why buy boring, basic white dinnerware when there are so many talents making beautiful, unique sets? And we've also noticed ceramic wine goblets are trending as an altenative to glass-stemmed versions. Medieval and modern at the same time, we love the idea of a more casual (and durable) wine vessel at our table. Take your cue from retailers like Bon Ceramics, or ABC Home.
9. Forest Green Furniture The classic hue is interesting enough to stand on its own, but mixes well with white, black grey and stone, and works with most styles.
10. Terracotta is everywhere. We especially like terracotta tiles. For a reference point take a look at the trad Portuguese terracotta tiles used at Casa No Tempo.
12. Japanese Utilitarian Design From loo brushes to garbage bins, dustpan sets and bathroom scales, Japanese utility goods are the new stealth luxury goods on our wish list.
13. Benchtop Task Lamps In The Kitchens The task lamp, typically reserved for the study or bedside, adds a note of intimacy to the kitchen benchtop.
14. Luxury Laundry Detergent On par with your favorite eau de parfum; we like the latest washes from L’eaundry, a German fragrance company.
15. Indoor Statuary Antique Stone statues are being integrated into modern spaces, case in point: a Grecian statue in Scottish artist Alison Watt’s Georgian townhouse renovated by architect Helen Lucas
16. Pale Bricks If the latest space designed for “contemplation” in the Life House by John Pawson for Alain de Botton’s Living Architecture collection of rental houses is anything to go by – which features pale gray handmade Danish brick walls – pale bricks is the way forward.
17. Deconstructed Bathroom Fixtures The next wave in bath design? Bathrooms cobbled together from disparate salvaged sinks, tubs and other elements.

Oh and we can't help mentioning luxe ping-pong tables as decor: the next-wave luxe item  can also do duty as a dining table. 

January 19, 2016

The Bunnings outdoor chair that will make your jaw drop

A bargain-hunter’s paradise, Bunnings has smart, casual weather-proof resin armchairs with cream canvas seating that could easily pass muster as the expensive Euro outdoor stuff.

Seek out Mimosa Valencia, a strong and durable design - the kind of instant style updater that will revamp your great outdoors, however small.
One of the best value outdoor armchairs on the Australian market.

Scroll the gallery to see a design project where we used the Bunnings Mimosa chair at a lush outdoor bush setting for a young Sydney family's Kangaroo Valley country retreat in NSW.
Mimosa Valencia resin wicker tub chair, $189
BUNNINGS, www.bunnings.com.au
January 19, 2017

Here's Why Napkins Might Be Going Extinct

When you set the table for dinner, do you plop down a roll of paper towels instead of bothering with your napkin holder? It's not just you.

The Washington Post recently reported that new market research finds napkins are on the downswing, and (naturally) millennials are to blame. 
A survey by the marketing intelligence company Mintel found that only 56 percent of people said they had purchased paper napkins in the last six months, but 86 percent had bought kitchen paper towels.
People just feel like you can replace paper napkins with kitchen paper towels if you're on a budget, or cloth napkins if you're worried about the environment.
The market has been dwindling because of this, and napkin companies are blaming the younger generation.
Dan Nirenberg, marketing director for napkin maker Georgia-Pacific, told the Post that millennials want to keep things simple and also go out to eat a lot rather than cook at home. 
"Millennials eat more on the go, they eat more meals away from home and less around a table." he said. "We are trying to figure out how to develop napkin holders that appeal to a younger generation. If you put them in a holder, you are more likely to grab them." Good luck with that one.
December 19, 2016

First Look: MCM HOME Moves To Paddington

Confirmed: One of Australia's fave furniture brands, MCM House will move to a bigger, snazzier showroom at Paddington the first week of February.

Make a diary note now, the Surry Hills store will be having a monster moving sale and offering up to 80 per cent off more than 400 floorstock items - from sofas to tables, chairs, lamps, bedheads, the lot. 

MCM's sofa, Joe has become a Sydney classic. It comes with a linen removeable slip-cover in colours that will outlast fashion, (charcoal, espresso, ivory, white, etc) so you can change your look with the seasons (or your moods). And the simple, subtle sofa feature serious eco details, like a timber-frame that uses water-based glues, and cushions made from natural latex with goose down and wool.
The brand has also introduced 1940s style leather club chairs, campaign-style directors chairs, French-style chest of drawers with paint finish, harking back to its earlier days when it paired the unexpected and mixed up genres, old and new, to give rooms energy.

What are you waiting for?
MCM HOUSE from February, 2017: 16-18 Oxford Street, Paddington, (02) 9698 4511, www.mcmhouse.com

January 12, 2017

Have You Shopped These 10 Sales Yet? Don't Miss Out

With so much to choose from, it can be difficult to find the real gems at the January sales. Yep, every store has its strengths and knowing what these are is the key to smart sale shopping.

Here’s our definitive guide to where to go for what – to find the very best pieces to buy on sale this month. From affordable treats to investment buys and everything inbetween. We’re talking stylish sofas used by some of the most successful designers in the world to one-off collectables that would look at home in Architectural Digest. 
1. Orient House Hotfoot to the Eastern Eden for 20 to 30 per cent off hundreds of global treasures and statement-making pieces handpicked in Africa, China, Thailand, India and Bali that can give an old room a fresh look and are in tune with our current craving for authenticity and character. Our picks? Malawi chairs, beautiful old marble bowls, huge white temple jars, vintage baskets, mounted Buddhas, trunks, urns, clay pots, Chinese drum stools, blue and white porcelain, carvings, and celadon. Until January 29. www.orienthouse.com.au 

2. Fanuli Hit leading Australian retailer for 10 to 50 per cent off furniture by Italian A-listers renowned for exquisite quality like Flexform, Kristalia and Riva 1920 plus great Australian sofas that always strike the right note. Seating highlights? Flexform’s Groundpiece used in some of the world’s most inspired interiors.  Expect timeless pieces in the latest looks and luxury materials that won’t date. Until January 31. www.fanuli.com.au
3. Peter's of Kensington Beautiful basics and cookware classics that you will enjoy forever at up to 80% less than the usual retail price: Esteele 3.4 litre Australis casserole pot with lid, $81 (was $229), Scanpan 26cm classic frypan, $69 (was $215), Furi Pro wood knife block 9-piece set, $269 (was $599), 70% off Stanley Rogers 56-piece Chicago cutlery set, $89 (was $299), Royal Doulton Pacific 16-piece dinner set, $138 (was $249), Chasseur white casserole 30cm dish, $216 (was $539),  Lagouile two-piece black cheese knife set, $19 ($34),  Riedel Black Tie Bliss decanter, $188 ($270), Wedgwood Archive Butterfly Posy mugs, $40 (were $90) and heaps more. 57 Anzac Parade, Kensington, 9662 1099, www.petersofkensington.com.au 
4. Ikea Up to 60 per cent off some of the most affordable modern classics around, with all the essential stuff for home, family, and outdoors. Go for Stocksund, $360 (usually $439), Gurli throw, $9.99, ($19.99), Sinnerlig table lamp in frosted glass, $39 (was $39.99), Regissor glass door cabinet with four drawers, $299 (399), Galan cabinet with sliding doors in black-brown, $499 (was $649), Byholma brown baskets, $14.99 ($24.99), Galant white file cabinets, $229 ($were $349). 1 Oulton Avenue, Rhodes, 8002 0400. Until  Sunday. www.ikea.com.au
5. Garden Life Sydney’s chic plant nursery kicks off its big January sale tomorrow, with up to to 70% off its covetable range of pots, planters, urns, troughs, plants and homewares used in some of the city’s best courtyards, terraces, balconies and gardens. Go for unbeatable deals on Tamagroute Marrakech green glazed ceramics, now less 50 to 70%,  with dreamy 60cm platters, now $195, (were $550), Armadillo outdoor rugs, now $485 (were $970), hand-thrown Moroccan terracotta pots from Morocco, $112.50 (were $225) and lots more. 158 Prince Highway, St Peters,  (02) 9517 3633. Until January 29. www.gardenlife.com.au 

6. Ruby Star Trader On your marks for its mega sale which kicks off this Saturday in celebration of the retailer’s 21st birthday. Expect bargains galore: white bone inlay 4-poster bed was $6500, now $2400 (was $6500); carved timber photo frames now $40, (were $150), red Indian tikka boxes, now $20-$25, (were $85-$95) George linen six-drawer chest $2000, (was $4880), six-drawer scalloped chest, now $1500 (was $3500). www.rubystar.com

7. Pottery Barn Deals and discounts galore at the chain including its fab Belgian flax linen diamond quilt cover in Flagstone or Flax, $20.95-$331.80 (was $84-$474). Plus everything from cotton deep pocket curtains $26.95 ($68) antique mercury vases, $10.95-$25.95 (were $19 -$44), to classic English-style sofas, club armchairs, cushions, throws, rugs, lampshades and lots more. www.potterybarn.com.au 
8. Bed Bath N’Table One of our favourite sale haunts for bedding has up to 50 per cent off. Go for Hollowlight European pillows, $20.95 ($29.95) as well as Orson Bale towel sets in white, silver or ice blue, $39.95 (were $79.95), Boston white bath towels in white, pebble, granite, dusty blue or ink, $15.95 (were $26.95), and Whythe towels in Armani-style colours of Pebble, white or charcoal, $15.95, (were $26.95). Plus Morgan & Finch Superior White cotton queen sheet sets in white, putty, silver or duck egg, $84.95 (were $169.95), (you can never have enough). Stores statewide. 9960 3366, www.bedbathntable.com.au
9. West Elm The best casual looks: up to 40% off its best selling Belgian flax linen quilt covers and pillowcases, from $34.30 (were $49), 50% off rugs, Kasbah wool rugs, $559 (were $1359), jute boucle rugs,  from $239 ($299), plus fab factory task lighting,  sofas, chairs, tables, outdoor furniture, cushions and much more. www.westelm.com.au
10. Country Road Home Quick, its 25 per cent further off sale has bargains off its trend-resistent staples – reliably fresh quilts, trays, throws, vases and towels that work, whatever your look. Go for the Katio pinstripe queen quilt cover, $89.95 (was $229), Prudence standard pillowcase, $13.94 (was $34.95), Mackenzie single blankets, $74,95 (were $169), Clarry tall vessels, $29.95 (were $59.95), Xenia throws, $74.95 (were $199), Ariel bowls, $29.96 (were $59.95), Valo table lamps, $74.96 (were $179), Hara large tray $74.96 ($179), Iver small vessels, $37.46 (were $69.95) and much more. www.countryroad.com.au
1. Focus on what you need.
2. Don't blow your budget on splurge items when you still lack the basics.
3. Making a list will stop you buying impulsively.
4. Hit the sales for trend-resistant, household essentials that will last and serve you well
5. Now is the time to splurge on big-ticket items such as that new bed or sofa that will enhance your life.
6. Hit the sales for trend-resistant, household essentials that will last and serve you well. Think pots, pans, china, cutlery, glassware, quilts, pillows, sheets, blankets, towels, luggage.
7. Stock up on scented candles, soaps and bubbles that will lift your spirits and make you feel alive.
8. Buy only quality. Think simple, elegant and practical. Never compromise.
9. Don't buy anything that you don't absolutely love, just for the label.
10. Buy things that will work into your exisiting scheme in your colour palette.
January 12, 2017

Must-Have: wall lights like you've never seen them

This coolly, conceptual disc wall light is the perfect start to your 2017 interior.

The bronze design designed by Studio Henry Wilson illuminates walls with a gentle glow that reflects upwards (very current) rather than downwards (passé).  It simulates the glow of candelight. The effect is magic. Stunning in modern interiors. Or for updating traditional rooms.
The sconce can add another dimension to a space, change everything, and make a difference to the furniture, the walls and the people in the room.
It will add another lighting dimension to your scheme. Remember, you don’t always need to see the light source. 
Take a look at Henry Wilson’s website to get a sense of his lighting range.  STUDIO HENRY WILSON, www.henrywilson.com.au
January 12, 2017

10 Home Resolutions You Should Make This Year

New year, new start and your chance to achieve the promise of clarity, (your best self) and attain the balance you crave. 

You can resolve to improve all kinds of things but you’d be surprised what a little housekeeping can do for the soul.
Start by identifying all the projects you’ve been putting off for a rainy day and mastering them one at a time until they’ve all been checked off your list.
Need to organize your closet? Carpe deim, my friend.
Been meaning to refresh your living room. Today is as good a day as any.
It’s always easier not to do things than to do them. Here we’ve rounded up 10 projects to tackle in 2017. You’ll be impressed by how much lighter you feel, once your house becomes as uncluttered as your mind.
1. REINVENT YOUR CLOSET Getting your wardrobe—and where you keep it—in order can not only help you maximize your space but also streamline your morning routine, making your day more efficient before it even begins.  
2. GET TO WORK Whether you work from home or bring your work home with you, a designated space that inspires creativity and productivity gets the job done.
3. DECLUTTER THE KITCHEN Hang some of your kitchen tools from hooks. This will free up space in your drawers. Get rid of pretty much everything under the sink and start from scratch. Bleach and reline it. Now go shopping for new stuff, including some nifty baskets to keep it all in. It will automatically feel fresh and new. Store items where they are used, based on frequency of use. Store knives near chopping boards. Group similar items together.  Go through your pantry and throw out food that’s past its use-by date. You’ll probably find half of what you’ve been storing has vanished. Decant packets into containers. Your kitchen should make your heart sing and your mouth water.
 4. ENGAGE IN SOME COLOUR THERAPY If a full makeover isn't in the budget, go bold by adding accessories in beautiful hues or textiles in unexpected patterns.
5. DEVELOP HEALTHY EATING HABITS Ordering takeaway for dinner every day is easy when your kitchen leaves much to be desired. Make it your mission to save up with the goal of revamping your cooking space into the kitchen you've always dreamed about.  
6. HEAD OUTSIDE Learn to appreciate natural beauty by sprucing up an outdoor living or entertaining space with new furniture, accessories, or plants.
7. CLEAN HOUSE Get a head start on spring cleaning. From silver and copper pieces to antique rugs, give your treasured heirlooms new life with a thorough scrubbing. Flip mattresses; air duvets. Place a hook for your keys by your front door and always hang your keys there when you get home.
Hire a handyman to take down light fittings and clean them (no amateur over 40 should be up a ladder), patch damaged paintwork, clean gutters. And hang pictures. Tie black ribbons around sheet sets to ensure that they stay together in the linen closet.If you don’t have a hall cupboard for storing jackets, get a coat rack or install hooks and pegs on your wall to hang coats. Invest in a cord organiser to keep all electronic cords tidy. 
8. CHUCK OUT Cheap toys have done more to ruin good houses than the worst interior designers. Brightly coloured plastic might stimulate young children, but its charm quickly palls. Once your children can read, start culling. Wait until they’re out for the day. Stack, sort and fold dry washing and put it away immediately. Everyone’s house is full of gifts that missed their mark: the crystal figurine, the scarf that goes with nothing, the lamp you hate, the book you’ll never read, and the perfume that makes you sneeze. Go around the house with a heavy-duty garbage bag and collect the lot. You will not believe the difference it will make.
9. MAKE YOUR BATHROOM CABINETS THINGS OF BEAUTY Take a look at the shaving cabinet and throw out all medications past their use-by date – don’t forget the bottle of calamine that has become a family heirloom. Marshall all your Band-aids, insect bit and anti-fungal creams together so you know where to find them in an emergency. Put medical stuff on one shelf. Put pampering stuff on another shelf. Store lip glosses, makeup brushes, and makeup items that come in long skinny tubes (mascara, concealer, etc.) upright in tall ceramic beakers.
10. CHOP! CHOP! Find time to finish all the things you promised you would when you moved in, but never got around to. Tear up the carpet that has made you miserable for 10 years. Rip down those curtains. Bash down that arch. Paint over that mission-brown woodwork. It will take less time and money than you thought and your life will improve dramatically. 
January 12, 2017

A Month-By-Month Guide to Revamping Your Style in 2017

Here’s your month-by-month guide to revamping your style. Simple yet effective.

JANUARY – CLEAN OUT YOUR WARDROBE In order to make room for the new you, take January to clean out and reorganize your wardrobe. Be sure to keep it spotless throughout the year.
FEBRUARY – TACKLE THE BASICS Make February the month to make sure you have the basics covered. Whether that means tailoring old trousers so you always look up to date or refreshing your collection of tea towels, towels and sheets, you’ll need a strong foundation of staples to carry you through the year.
MARCH – PLAN AHEAD Once you have the basics right it’s time to start planning and invest where it matters. Rather than renovating your house all at once, plan to buy two quality pieces you love every year. Good things hold their value and in ten years time you will have a fabulous collection of twenty things.
APRIL – INVEST WHERE IT MATTERS Invest in the pieces that anchor a room. It wouldn’t be a bedroom without a bed. A living room without a sofa. A dining room without a dining table.

MAY – AMP UP YOUR ACCESSORIES Swap one lot of old accessories for a new lot. Introduce a splash of dramatic contrast with accessories in a colour you love. Bright colours work best in small touches, and neutral backgrounds allow them to shine. Strong colours such as petrol blue, green or yellow are more memorable when they are used with restraint.
JUNE - YOUR MOST STYLISH WINTER YET Once winter comes around, look for news ways to stay stylish in the colder months. Think statement-making and interesting accessories. Candlesticks, woolly throws, beautiful books, and squashy pillows that you want to curl up in.
JULY – BUNDLE UP It’s time to master cold weather decorating and layering with a beautiful bed. Pile on the feather pillows, invest in a new duvet filled with the fluffiest down, buy a couple of big European pillows that will always make you feel better, and don’t forget a mohair rug in the prettiest new-season shade.  
AUGUST – MAKE A STATEMENT WITH LIGHTING We can’t get enough of lights which are enjoying decidedly fashionable status and are an easy quick update to transform any room. Investigate high/low options to suit every budget in brass, glass, copper, glass, silk, linen, the lot. 
SEPTEMBER - DON’T COMPROMISE If you can’t afford original paintings, hang a beautiful fabric, or display a bunch of berries, or hang a huge paper lantern. Think like a magazine stylist and make sure everything you put on show speaks to you and sends a positive message: ‘I have taste and I am not afraid to show it.’
OCTOBER - DON’T TRY TOO HARD Simplicity and informality are stylish. Learn to see the beauty in the banal. Look through your cupboards and drawers to find things that catch the eye. It’s only convention that makes us think spinach or kale belong in the crisper. Put a bunch in a vase. Don’t be afraid to display fabric remnants, vases, battered hats, even coats. They can make your home look like a Ralph Lauren ad. It can be better than art, less try-hard, more natural.
NOVEMBER  - MAKE A (SMALL) SPLASH Strategic use of an accent colour is the best and easiest way to update a room and give it impact. Plus it makes economic sense – when fashions change, replace a few key components and create the impression you have done a complete redecoration.
DECEMBER – PERFECT YOUR ENTERTAINING GAME A dinner party should be fun, not hard work. Make sure your party effervesces with the first pop of a cork, by creating a great atmosphere. Everything – the food, the wine, the setting – is secondary. A dinner party is a pact to have a good time together – that means all of you, including the host and hostess. You do not have to be a great cook to be a great entertainer.
December 15, 2016

Steal This Look: The Australian Summer Beachhouse

Summer has arrived and it’s time to kick back. You’re in luck – the latest research tells us beach style ranks as the most popular décor style in 2016 - beating mid-century, modern, vintage and industrial.

Also popular: all things nature (botanical, jungle motifs, and seascape, especially). Be inspired by four Australian beach houses – some of which you can stay in - that achieve that longed-for look of rustic glamour. They set a great example wherever you live. 

WHERE WORLDS COLLIDE First up is Rockridge, a Palm Beach 1940s classic that you can stay in which is listed with Contemporary Hotels (Australia's premier holiday rental specialist). It features a striking charcoal exterior, and an all-white interior filled with pieces collected on the creative owner’s travels, making it a welcoming retreat for its globetrotting visitors.
Steal This Look: Fill your home with souvenirs of your travels to create a house that tells a story. www.contemporaryhotels.com.au 
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY Vintage furniture and natural, rough-hewn materials abound in Noojee Patonga, a rustic modern five-bedroom abode. A colour scheme of white, and earthy tones make the interior feel light and spacious. Old bottles are used as lamps, battered hats, oars and fishing rods are used to decorate walls, ladders are used as art. It makes the place look like a Ralph Lauren ad.
Steal This Look: Use brilliant white walls for a sense of flow and the same tones and textures for furniture and vintage collectables to give the impression of beautiful coherence. www.contemporaryhotels.com

VANTAGE POINT Perched above the ocean, Avalon Lighthouse is designed to bring its visitors closer to nature. Featuring generous door openings and decking and serene wood-and-white interiors with statement rattan pendant lighting, it is designed to soak up the peace of its location.
Steal This Look: Use that foolproof coastal combo of a white backdrop with wood to create a rustic, laid-back environment. www.contemporaryhotels.com.au
OLD SOUL A weathered old seaside Sydney bungalow was recreated by design powerhouse Hare & Klein with a layered, cultured look and a palette of soft blues, greys, white and wood to create a calming yet contemporary atmosphere.
Steal This Look: The clean lines are offset by a palette of pale blues, white, wood and rattan. www.hareklein.com.au
December 15, 2016

The 10 Most Popular Items Purchased by Melissa This Year

If there's one thing we know, it's shopping.

And curating the best products out there—whether it's showing you where to find the best towels on the market or highlighting a fab Ikea-inspired trend.
After all shopping (and decorating) can be stress-free and easy if you know where to go. It’s all about making your house stand out from the crowd.
Don’t just make do with what you’ve got, or shop only in the most obvious big-name stores or never go off the beaten track. That’s the reason so many houses have banal, paint-by-numbers interiors.
Great decorating is about sourcing the best products and ideas out there, knowing when to scrimp and when to spend, training your eye to spot something good (sometimes in the unlikeliest of places), and getting the mix right.
Here’s the best 10 things we bought this year (and where); all instant style updates, whatever your look, that will inspire you to be a great shopper.
1. Vintage baskets Orient House has one of the biggest (and best) collections of baskets in all shapes, styles and sizes handpicked from farflung places like China, India, Africa, Indonesia, Thailand and Bali.  www.orienthouse.com.au
2. Beautiful bedding Ikea’s bedding department is brimming with designer duvet knock-offs and Armani lookalikes – our bedrooms are full of Ikea pickings and you’d never know. You won’t be disappointed. www.ikea.com.au
3. Something old Brown furniture is the surprise hit of the year. Dirty Janes Bowral is among the best vintage hunting ground in the country for Georgian desks, bookcases, commodes, old tables, French salon chairs, bergere armchairs and much more  – like a Parisian flea market (but better). www.dirtyjanesbowral.com 
4. Euro Pillows They’re one of the quickest ways to change the look of your bedrooms. If you are buying for multiple bedrooms you can’t go past chains like Bed Bath N’Table. www.bedbathntable.com.au
5. Champagne Bucket Our #1 entertaining essential. Nothing sets the scene more than a beautiful, big champagne bowl filled with ice and good champagne - it will make people feel welcome the minute they walk in and create a sense of excitement. www.suzieandersonhome.com.au
 e’re always on the look out for pieces that can give an old

6. Glamorous New Accessories  From baskets to bowls, cushions, even toothbrush holders – we’re always on the look out for pieces that can give an old room a fresh look and will cost you far less than a complete overhaul. All right, this counts as more than one item, but a snazzy tissue holder or soap dispenser can make a $100 washbasin unit look like a million dollars. And a beautiful basket filled with foliage can overcome any space.
7. The right doorknobs can bring new life to dreary cabinets. And you can really do it yourself. Head to Mother of Pearl & Sons for the biggest and best selection.  www.motherofpearl.com.au   
8. Towels We went through our linen closet and tossed out any towels that were worn, stained or tragic. Then we bought great fresh, fluffy towels in bulk, when they were on sale. White ones for the main bathrooms; Belgian waffle towels for guests.  For basics raid chains like Ikea, www.ikea.com.au and for specialty towels, try www.restorationhardware.com
9. Tapware It can set the entire tone of your bathroom. We used trad-style faucets from Bunnings that could easily pass as three-figure English-made designs to spruce up everything from washbasin units to shower cubicles and kitchen sinks at our city pad. www.bunnings.com.au
10. Quality China Decent white plates with looks that will last are consistently our favourite choice. This year we updated our base set with some chic teacups and saucers called Arris which are among the best we’ve seen in recent memory.  Few looks can match the elegant and well-proportioned designs. www.wedgwood.com.au

Honourable mention goes to one of our fave easy updates...box balls. We continue to use the evergreen in our city and country homes to add structure, as instant focal ipoints and soften any space. Our fave supplier is Parterre, www.parterre.com.au



Every season, we do the work for you, to find the season's must-have buys in our pick of the latest looks to prove that you really can have style for less. Introducing Melissa Penfold essential basics - wicker wingbacks, linen sheets, soy candles and much more....to help you transition your home instantly for summer. Happy shopping!
Melissa Penfold