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.
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
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
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).
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
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
Glamorous New Accessories
From baskets to bowls, even toothbrush holders – we’re always on the look out for pieces that can give an old room a fresh look and 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.
The right doorknobs
They 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
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. Ikea www.ikea.com.au and Bed Bath N’Table, www.bedbathntable.com.au
It can set the entire tone of your bathroom. We used trad 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
Quality 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 prettiest we’ve seen in recent memory. Few looks can match the elegant and well-proportioned designs. www.wedgwood.com.au