It's easy.

October 26, 2021

Everything you need to know about Melissa’s book, available worldwide, this week. You will learn four easy concepts of interior design you can apply to any home.

You want a home where it’s easy to live well, because at the end of the day, living well is what it’s all about. Photo: Blake Heywood

We have developed an easy formula that will help you take control of your life with our new book, that will transform your home, life and confidence.

Photo: Blake Heywood

Using 30 year’s research, we teach you how to make living the dream a reality.

The most important thing is that your home is easy to live in. It needs to be uncomplicated and undemanding – the vibe most seek from a holiday.Photo: Blake Heywood

It all starts with a sense of place, screening out the world beyond, to create an intimate space, where there’s no sense of neighbours.

Houses where there always seems to be a fresh breeze, will always make you happy, and as though you can endure anything.

Photo: Blake Heywood

It is a beautifully simple but profound book, that will change your attitude to decorating, and explain the true purpose of home.

In ‘Living Well By Design’, you’ll discover it’s easy to live well, feel happier, and more alive, with simple solutions for the one problem we all face – finding a style that suits you.

Photo: Blake Heywood

How and where we live is fundamental to our well-being. Great decorating is not about spending a fortune, it’s about knowing where to scrimp and where to spend, getting the mix right, and understanding style should never hijack comfort.

You want a home where it’s easy to live well, because at the end of the day, living well is what it’s all about.

Photo: Blake Heywood

If you don’t have flowers, don’t worry – we have the answer. If you don’t want to rip down wall – we have the solution. See how we turned a house into a home, without spending a fortune. And how the most important thing is that your home is easy to live in. It needs to be uncomplicated and undemanding – the vibe most seek from a holiday.

Table linen from Set The Table,; Photo: Blake Heywood

Houses are about celebrating the art of living and knowing that the chicest thing of all is to be true to yourself. Home should be somewhere that speaks to you, that makes you feel safe, secure, and relaxed.

Table linen from Set The Table,; Photo: Blake Heywood

If you struggle with light and space, or composition and balance. If you like texture and pattern, but your rooms lack focus. If you know what you want but don’t know where to start. You NEED this book.

The secret to changing your life isn’t knowing what to do–it’s knowing how to make yourself do it. Read it. Absorb the pages. There are four simple chapters – a sense of place, light and space, composition and balance and texture and pattern. It’s easy.

Your outdoor space should reflect your sense of style. If you want to be transported to the South of France when you step outside, aim for a gravel- or tile-paved patio, wooden garden furniture, and masses of terra-cotta pots.

Sense of Place

Place is where it all begins. When you are designing your house and garden the aim is to create your own sanctuary, within your property’s boundaries. A place that feels timeless and sits happily in its location. There’s something about connecting with the natural world that makes the daily minutiae dissolve. The type of home doesn’t necessarily matter – whether you’re in an urban apartment or sprawling rural estate.

The renovated garden at Le Mas des Poiriers, an eighteenth-century farmhouse in Provence, beautifully resonates with and complements, the architecture. Landscape architect Dominique Lafourcade echoed the house’s symmetry in the plantings, from the boxwood domes of varying sizes in terra-cotta pots flanking the front door to the allée of columnar cypress trees that forms the approach to the house, from ‘Living Well By Design’, Vendome Press.

Your home should feel settled within itself, and you in it.

To achieve a soft, romantic feeling around the swimming pool at Casa Olivetta, Dinnigan surrounded it with masses of flowering grasses.

You just need to open your eyes to the boundless possibilities of your house and its environment and dedicate your energy to realising its full potential.

Houses are about celebrating the art of living and knowing that the chicest thing of all is to be true to yourself. Whenever possible, open the doors and let the daylight in to blur the boundary between indoor and outdoor spaces. Fill the receptacles you have—vintage baskets, crockery, decanters, and even ice buckets—with seasonal flowers, greenery, and fruit to decorate tables. Homes are as much about “feel” as “looks.” Turn your collections of china or glassware into décor. Raid your cupboards and layer your table with lovely plates, vases, stands, and trays. The effect will be so entrancing that guests won’t want to leave. Photo: Abbie Melle

Light and Space

Light and space create the atmosphere of your home. Flood a room with natural light and your spirits will soar straightaway. Sunlight helps almost any room look its best, but it’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

One of the easiest, but most dramatic, ways to upgrade an interior is to improve the quality of light that surrounds you.

In the airy, open kitchen of designer Monique Gibson’s historic Italianate townhouse in Manhattan’s East Village, steel-framed windows and doors maximise light and space and blur the boundary between exterior and interior.

Direct natural light pouring through windows can be almost blinding and also fades artwork and textiles.

The quality of space plays a key role in our enjoyment of life, so it’s important to make the most of the space you have. There are many well-designed small rooms that feel spacious yet intimate and efficient. Most people do not in fact need more space; rather, they need fewer things, combined with a rethink of the space they have.

Natural light brightens the kitchen of interior designer Bunny Williams’s recently decorated two-bedroom apartment on an upper floor of a 1920s Gothic Revival building in New York. The cabinetry is painted a dark custom colour by Donald Kaufman Color, and the multicolour terrazzo floor by Durite has a fresh, modern look.


Balance and composition are critical in creating a space where you can feel safe and comfortable. Give every room a focal point, something that creates visual interest or sparks conversation. Spend some time in your empty apartment or house before you furnish it. When you arrange your layout, remember: even if you combine styles and periods with a wide variety of items, the curated look shouldn’t lack focus.

Interior designer Thomas Hamel knows that one of the first things people notice when they walk into a room is the window treatment. An expanse of gorgeous fabric in a pale tone makes a room seem larger and, when hung from ceiling to floor, even higher. Hamel often advises hanging curtains wider than the windows and being extravagant with the quantity of fabric (if you skimp on the amount, the result will always look, well, skimpy). Another Hamel tip is to go for muted background shades in carpets and walls and reserve stronger colours for chairs and accessories.

Let utility inform your decorating.

When faced with an empty room, it can be daunting to make decisions about which furniture, objects, and colours to choose, but utility can be a great decorator.

A beautiful English antique screen in Michael Love’s sitting room serves as a partition between the seating area and a study without blocking light. Photo: Abbie Melle

Pattern and Texture

It’s all in the Details. Pattern and texture are the finishing touches, and they can have the greatest impact. Decorating is like dressing,. You can carry anything off if you have confidence. A mix of finishes, colours infuses interiors with richness and depth. Choose a colour palette you like, and vary the tones within in.

It’s a simple tool, backed by 30 years research, and we’ve changed the lives of millions of readers in our newspaper and magazine columns over three decades.

It’s all in the Details. Pattern and texture are the finishing touches, and they can have the greatest impact. Designer Thomas Hamel uses texture to build a room’s character, reserving pattern for smaller accessories, which are potent but portable. In this room, the textured materials include linen, wood, crystal, gilt, silk, glass, silver, sisal, and matte paint, all of which feel good to the touch and won’t date.

This book will work for you, too. Using proven ways of decorating, we will explain the power of good design. It’s something anyone can achieve.

For his renovation of the kitchen in the mid-nineteenth-century Captain Osborne Edwards House in Sag Harbor, designer Steven Gambrel paired marble countertops and cool blue-grey walls with warm wood floors and cabinetry. The effect is both soothing and inviting.

You’ll be inspired by the world’s big names in design, photography, fashion, and entertainment who have used decorating to achieve their dreams. You are just a click away from a totally different life.

Read the book and you’ll learn the secret to creating yours.

Photo: Blake Heywood

Living Well By Design By Melissa Penfold, Published by Vendome Press, Principle Photographer Abbie Melle.

Melissa Penfold with Sydney influencer, Genevieve Maslin, October, 2021. Photo: Blake Heywood



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Photo: Blake Heywood

Photo: Blake Heywood

Living By Well Design is available to pre-order at and and all reputable book stores.

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