Portrait by Maggie Beatrice.

We asked Chloe Brookman, a co-founder with her sister Olivia of beautiful kids brand Olli Ella to answer some common questions about decorating your baby’s first room. Shop Olli Ella’s gorgeous range today.

I’m confused by all the products on the market. What do you think are essentials for my nursery?

My picks from our collection would be the Natural Belly Basket (best toy storage ever!), the Cot Bed Set (all the essentials you need to dress your little one’s cot, and organic too) and a piece or two of wall art (I love them framed or taped to the wall with washi tape).

My nursery is very small.  What should I be thinking about with the floor plan?

Having constraints such as limited space can often lead to the loveliest nurseries because you are forced to really think about the room and consider every corner. With smaller spaces you will want to maximise storage, For example using a chest of drawers as a change table is a great way to save space. Have a fabulous rug – this in my book is a must! It’s amazing how a great rug can completely transform a nursery. Also I love the look of a woven basket under a cot; it’s a great way to store toys and essentials, keeping the rest of the floor uncluttered.

I’d like to avoid the obvious pink or blue in my nursery. What other colours can you recommend?

You can’t go wrong with neutrals and greys – I love layering these with hints of yellow and mint. Another great way to bring more colour into your child’s nursery is with vintage toys; I love weathered reds, blues and yellows on old wooden toys.

How much storage will I need? Do you recommend open or closed storage pieces?

I am a basket addict and always choose open storage over closed. I love seeing various baskets such as our Natural Belly Basket, Teepee Baskets and a vintage bolga basket layered in a room – there’s something very comforting about a handwoven basket to house toys, books and nursery essentials. Of course, it’s an added plus that baskets have a long shelf life and look great in any room in the house.

How can I make sure my nursery still works decoratively when my child is older?

When designing linens, baskets, rugs and furnishings, we always focus on creating products that can grow with your child. If you want a room to grow with your little one, I recommend choosing colour palettes that aren’t distinctly “baby”, avoid cutesy patterns and prints, and most importantly, keep the space as a work-in-progress. Layering, adding and and removing bits as your little one grows and changes is a great way in ensure that the nursery doesn’t get “stuck” and subsequently, outgrown. Remember – have fun – this is a place of play and of dreams, for both of you.

Shop today’s Olli Ella sale event.

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Writer Verity Magdalino kicks off her shoes to explore the easy comfort of beautiful beach style. If you love this look, shop our Beach House Beauty sale event.

You love the scent of fresh sea air, the feel of sand between your toes and harbour an obsession for old fibro beach shacks. You may very well be an arbiter of relaxed coastal chic.

How to know if bright and breezy beach style is your thing:

You love a hammock

Or if you’re honest, any swinging chair that gives you the opportunity for a mid-afternoon siesta. You’re also partial to a floor cushion or two. It may be the hippie in you but there’s something innately appealing about living life horizontally.

Image via Pinterest.

You would sell your mother for a water view

Well, that may be going a little far but you’d definitely consider forgoing many of the conveniences of urban living for waking up with the ocean at your feet every morning.

You don’t mind sand in the house

Essentially you’re quite low maintenance. Windswept hair, crumpled bed linen, the minimum amount of weather-beaten furniture… your interior style is as laid back as you are and you love a sweep-clean floor; timber, stone, even polished concrete, as long as it can handle wet towels and sandy feet it’s ok by you.

Image by Prue Ruscoe for Homelife, via Pinterest.

You have an aversion to glass

Unless it’s in your windows, your skylights or your bi-fold doors, sleek surfaces and sharp corners are a serious no-no in your world of sunshine and comfort. For you, the perfect interior is all about exposed timber beams, chunky whitewashed wood furniture, natural fibres and travertine stone floors. And you don’t mind a little recycling. Spending a crafter-noon fashioning a light shade from a lobster pot is your idea of time well spent.

Image by Dominique Vorillon for Elle Décor via Pinterest.

You think an outdoor room is one of life’s essentials

Having your own deck or covered outdoor space (preferably with built-in barbeque) for your daily sun salutations and evening cocktail with the neighbours is as essential as beach holidays in your book, and simply not negotiable.

Image via House to Home.

Your favourite colour is turquoise

While soft shell white or sandy beige are your go-to tones for everything from floors to bed linen, the ocean is your main source of inspiration when it comes to adding a hint of colour. Turquoise and seafoam are firm favourites but you love the sea in all its moods so a bit of storm grey or barely-there blue doesn’t go astray either.

You’re a natural born beachcomber

You love nothing better than to create vignettes using the flotsam and jetsam from your early morning strolls by the water. Shells, branches, stones, feathers, old fishing rods, fishing nets, driftwood and vintage boat oars… the ocean’s trash is your treasure but you know not to overdo it. True coastal chic is about a hint of the sea, not a sledgehammer.

Image via Pinterest.

You’re into organic

And we don’t mean just your food. Sea grass, straw and jute rugs; cane, rattan and bamboo furniture; raw bleached wood accessories; you love anything in its natural state that brings warmth and texture to your all-white surrounds. If a tree were to grow up through your front wooden deck you’d cut a hole and leave it there.

Image via Remodelista.

When you think holiday you think Bali… or Byron

For you it’s not about whether to take a beach holiday, it’s finding a beach you haven’t experienced yet. You know your Seminyak from your Wategos and you are only truly content with the sound of the sea lulling you to sleep. In your world it’s as close to heaven as you’re likely to get.

For more inspiration, shop our Beach House Beauty sale event or visit our Coastal Style Pinterest board.

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It was a week of big reveals, from kitchen & bathroom details to a great big ice cream secret. Here are our favourites…

We’ve been following LA blogger and stylist Emily Henderson’s home renovation via her blog Style by Emily Henderson. The much-awaited reveal, via Domino Magazine, left us wanting more. Is that gold grout on her kitchen splashback?! Image by Brittany Ambridge.

Another reveal, on The Block last night – this time, the couples’ ensuites. Darren & Dee’s marble hex tiles covered off a couple of trends in one go, but the bench space looked a bit limited. What did you think? See all the pics at The Block website.

Whaaaaa? It turns out you can make your own ice magic with just two ingredients! Thanks Frankie Magazine for pointing us to the recipe, via Gimmesomeoven.

One of our favourite mags, Australian House & Garden, unveiled an interactive digital edition for iPad, available via the App Store. You can even subscribe on your iPad, with 12 issues costing $39.99. The October issue’s outdoor focus includes this rancho relaxo Brisbane verandah by Highgate House.

And finally, The Australian Ballet announced its 2015 season (find out more and book a season package here), including a new production of The Sleeping Beauty in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. Image by Georges Antoni.

Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for news and daily inspiration. 

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Thanks to eatlove.com.au, we’re sharing a flavoursome lunch (or brunch) by chef Pete Evans from his book My Grill.

One of the best rolls in the world is this one. You must try one to believe it. It is based on the chicken rolls you get in places like Sydney’s Cabramatta which has a high concentration of Vietnamese residents, restaurants and bakeries.

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 garlic clove
1 small red chilli
1 large carrot
1 white onion
4 boneless chicken breasts (skin on)
4 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon five-spice
2 baguettes
1 handful coriander (cilantro)
4 tablespoons roasted and chopped cashews or peanuts
1 long red chilli

Preparation

Combine the vinegar, sugar, ½ teaspoon of salt, garlic and chilli and mix well. Add the grated carrot and sliced onion, mix well and set aside.

Preheat the barbecue hotplate to medium–high. Place the chicken, skin side down, on the barbecue hotplate and cook for 8 minutes or until the skin is golden. Turn over and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to cool, then shred the meat.

Combine the mayonnaise with the lime juice and five-spice and mix well.

Lightly toast the rolls on the barbecue. Spread the mayonnaise mixture onto one side of the bread. Top with shredded chicken and then with carrot and onion salad. Garnish the roll with chopped coriander, nuts, and chilli.

See more at eatlove.com.au where you can follow your favourite chefs, share their recipes and buy their books.

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Fun & fab, or traditional with a twist? Editor Victoria Baker explains what your table setting says about you, and why you should care.

Yes, your table setting matters. Don’t let anyone tell you the food is what’s really important.  In this case, style and substance are inextricably linked.

In the same way that fast food tastes better by candlelight, a great meal is diminished when your host throws a packet of paper table napkins on the table.

It’s not about etiquette or formality – although bringing out the crystal will certainly lift the tone – it’s about making your guests feel special.

When you set the table, you set the mood. Build up a collection of different looks over time so that Auntie Marg’s 80th lunch looks different to margaritas and Mexican with the neighbours.

We’ve done the hard work, putting together 3 different table looks for our Set the Table sale event. Not sure which one suits you? Diagnose your table type with our handy guide.

NEUTRAL LUXE

You’re celebrating:  Your neighbours’ successful property sale

You’re serving: Slow cooked lamb, kale salad for your paleo guests and an artisanal cheese plate

You’re drinking: Chilled rosé and Italian sparkling water

You’re listening to: U2’s Songs of Innocence, downloaded for free on your iPhone

You’re talking about: Activated almonds

Styling tip: Leave your linens unironed for a more relaxed feel

FUN & FAB

You’re celebrating: An upcoming trip to Mexico/Greece/any place you can hang with the locals and soak up the culture, while also enjoying cheap cocktails and lots of sunshine

You’re serving: Pulled pork sliders and a gelato cake from Messina

You’re drinking: Blueberry spritzers and Capi sparkling soft drinks

You’re listening to:  Kanye (even after the wheelchair gaffe)

You’re talking about: the new small bar that your friend’s friend’s boyfriend’s friend just opened  

Styling tip: Use single blooms in small bottles and glasses for a colour pop without a big investment

TRAD WITH A TWIST

You’re celebrating: A significant birthday

You’re serving: Maggie Beer’s roast chicken, the potato bake you’ve been refining for years and an avocado-filled green salad

You’re drinking: Pimms and Champagne

You’re listening to:  Your favourite Italian tenor, plus Frank Sinatra and the Beach Boys

You’re talking about:  An interview you heard on Radio National this week

Styling tip: Steer away from traditional silver with on-trend copper cutlery

Love one of these looks? Shop our Set the Table sale event.

 

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Jessica Bellef tried on a new shade for our Precious Metals sale event, with Murobond’s Threadbare, from Sibella Court’s Objet Trouvé paletteFind out why they loved it, and where else it would work…

The vision

The challenge for Head of Styling Jessica Bellef was to show off a range of golden metallic accents. She chose to feature a faceted lamp, delicate tray and sculptural clock, and created a pretty sideboard scene. “I imagine this setting pulled straight from a home with a white picket fence and vases of flowers in every room. The sideboard is a simple design, which allows my accents to take the focus. That lamp can’t help but shine!” 

The colour

To the fan-deck! After some thought, Jess chose Murobond’s Threadbare. “The prettiness of a clean mint paint colour would have worked in this scene, but I wanted something with extra depth. Threadbare has a velvety-ness to it which works well with the warmth of the gold accents,” she says.

Our in-house colour expert Cathy Leighton puts Threadbare in context. “A soft mid-tone green, the sophistication and serenity of Threadbare come from the muted grey undertone. It’s a colour with quiet strength that is easy to live with.”

How to use it

Threadbare adds a fresh feel and light tone appropriate to the new season, but it’s no one hit wonder.

“Threadbare is soft and calming, but what I love most about this colour is its versatility,” says Jess. “Imagine a space styled in a masculine way with aged leather and dark accents – Threadbare would be right at home there too.”

Cathy Leighton has different dreams for the colour. “I am imagining a tranquil, classic kitchen with Carrara marble benchtops and shaker-style cabinets painted in Threadbare,” she says, “or on the walls of a glamorous living room with a tufted velvet sofa in a rich navy with gold accents. You could even create a beach vibe in a Threadbare room with cane and wicker furniture in white and natural, pulled together with a sisal rugs. The possibilities are endless.”

Love this look? Shop for gold and copper accents today. 

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Karen McCartney pored over Pinterest to find her favourite florals, from a tiled bathroom to a decorative chair. If you love this trend, jump on board with a fresh Spring look via our floral-inspired sale event.

The trend in floral wallpaper is all about scale – big scale. Dark floral wallpaper by Ellie Cashman has enormous visual energy combined with an old fashioned beauty. A simple white floor and neutral accessories know not to compete. (Right) There is something incredibly appealing about this simple modernist chair that looks as though it has been decoupaged. Somehow the fact that it has an unexpected black base adds to its enormous charm. Pair that with its positioning in a white room for extra impact. Image – La Maison Pujol.

It is impossible to look at this staircase without putting a smile on your face – there is such joy in every decorated step. The narrowness of the lightly painted white walls makes the ascent all the more intriguing. What could possibly be waiting at the top? (Right) Very Bloomsbury indeed. Dusty tones of faded beauty in washed out apricots, blue and soft celadon green. The brave can opt for some wall art to complete the look.

OK I admit there is a lot going on here but what is so surprising is that the skill of the combinations makes it really work. Scale, pattern, colour and the collision of the printed world and real world flowers creates an exciting dynamic. Not for the faint hearted. (Right) This flower mosaic designed by Bisazza tiles creates the ultimate in modern day luxury meets old-fashioned blooms. The prettiness of the pink roses in grand scale makes for a wall treatment that is both impactful and soft.

Wallpapers really are bringing sunshine into the home. Here the juxtaposition of the small repeating pattern, the white painted floor and the Ercol seat evokes a fresh take on country styling. Wisteria blossom wallpaper by Sanderson. (Right) A great play on fake flowers where silk and plastic flowers were used to create ‘wall paper’ in a Swedish cafe. Welcome spring with a panel of paper in any room or banish the winter blues with a cheerful injection of trompe l’oeil. Image via Apartment Therapy.

Sometimes impact is subtle – the well-placed but surprising addition to a room speaks volumes . Here in the elegance of architectural arches a high-backed chair is covered in a beautiful floral motif. Placement within the room is everything as its charm is diminished if placed against a wall! (Right) Tap into your inner gypsy with layers of pretty pastel quilts. It is a carefree styling exercise in mix and match with garlands of fake flowers woven around the iron bedhead and a light printed fabric pinned up to create a canopy. I suspect there is a floral scented candle in there too for the full sensory experience.

Visit our Pinterest board for more floral inspiration, or browse our blooming brilliant sale event today.

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Thank you to everyone who has already entered our Pinterest competition to meet Kevin McCloud at Grand Designs Live in Sydney. We’re detecting a focus on timber, texture and beautiful natural settings. Here’s a few of our favourite pins so far.

Scrubby Bay villa at Annandale in New Zealand.

A house in Lo Curro, Santiago, Chile by Schmidt Arquitectos Asociados.

The Wabi House in southern California by Sebastian Mariscal Studio. Image via Dwell Magazine.

Bar Tomate in Mexico, by Sandra Tarruellla.

Villa Waterline in Capetown, South Africa.

The Sorrento beach house of interior designer Shareen Joel of Share Design. Image by Brooke Holm.

Inspired? Enter now for your chance to win a one-on-one expert advice session with Kevin McCloud. All the details are here.

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This Spanish cheesecake conquered even the savoury palate of Frank Camorra of MoVida. It comes from his book with Richard Cornish, MoVida Rustica, thanks to Eatlove

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. It took a friend of mine I happened to bump into in San Sebastián one night to put me on to the local cheesecake. So good! When I finished testing this version I ended up eating nearly half of it!

Ingredients (Serves 8)

butter (for greasing)
plain (all-purpose) flour (for dusting)
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) cream
155 g (5½ oz/heaped ⅔ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
300 g (10½ oz/1¼ cups) soft cream cheese
5 eggs
180 g (6 oz) goats curd
125 g (4½ oz/½ cup) thick plain yoghurt
zest of 2 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
40 ml (1¼ fl oz) brandy
2 tablespoons icing (confectioners) sugar

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF/Gas 4).

Lightly grease a 25 cm (10 inch) springform tin with butter, then dust with flour, shaking out the excess.

Place all the ingredients except the icing sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set.

Carefully remove the cheesecake from the oven, sprinkle the icing sugar over the top and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and, using a kitchen blowtorch, brown the top until it is very dark. Alternatively, brown the cheesecake under a very hot grill (broiler).

Allow to cool before serving.

See more at eatlove.com.au where you can follow your favourite chefs, share their recipes and order their books.

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Bondi stylist Mr Jason Grant is back with a new book, Holiday at Home, showing off his sunny style and inspiring easy, colourful decorating. We talked to him about road tripping, colour and holding on to the holiday feeling. Leave a comment about your favourite holiday décor for your chance to win a copy – full details are at the bottom of the post. Plus, he has picked his favourite products from across T&W this week. Shop his curated collection now!

How did the concept of the book come about?

Organically. I’m very lucky to work with a publisher who allows me such creative freedom. This book incorporates a number of things that I think were the stronger parts of my first book. Holiday at Home feels like a natural progression, and true to me.

You live in Bondi – did you find a lot of what you love was on your doorstep?

Inspiration is everywhere – both at my doorstep or a million miles away. I love living in Bondi which sounds like a cliché but being so close to nature and the outdoors certainly helps to live every day like you’re on holiday – even if just for a moment.

How did you work with the photographer – Lauren Bamford – as the style of photography is so key to the book’s visual success?

I’m lucky to work with an awesome photographer and friend that speaks my language. She sees what I see and we share the same creative vision. This was a dream project for us both. Shooting this book was relaxed – we had a plan, but we were open to what we would discover. We had a working list of what we needed to shoot for the book’s chapters and, of course, stumbled across things we had to include. I like to think the way we shot the book reflects the feeling of the book where I get to showcase my personal style.

Is there a desire for a return to simple pleasures?

Yes I think the simple things in life are the best – flowers from the garden, a cup of tea and toast, a swim at the beach, shopping in your favourite store or just going for a walk.

Colour and a relaxed attitude play a major role in your aesthetic. Do you feel your style is quintessentially Australian?

I’d like to think my style is very Australian – living in Bondi and loving the beach and nature its hard not to reflect that. When setting to create my books with Hardie Grant, I stayed true to myself and made sure what I presented was very authentic. My style is relaxed and laid back and not over-styled, and I think both my decorating style and outlook on life are unmistakably sunny – for sure.

How did you decide where to take your road trips?

Bondi to Byron was an obvious choice as I had never been and always wanted to go. We literally jumped in the car and snapped our way to The Atlantic at Byron Bay via Newcastle and heaps of cute towns in-between, which is what you see a lot of in the book. Inspiration is everywhere you just need to be open to it.

You want to encourage people to keep that holiday feeling. Is it as much a mental attitude as the things that you surround yourself with? Or does one trigger the other?

It’s definitely a state of mind, and surrounding yourself with things that make you happy can only make for a happy home. Some of my favourite things are souvenirs from holidays. Although Bondi and Palm Springs are two of my favourite places, next I want to head to Montauk just outside of New York.

Colour plays a huge role – how do you want people who read the book and to respond to the visuals?

I love the power of colour, whether it’s a bright pop of colour or a soft pastel or earthy tone. Using colour in large or small ways is definitely something I encourage everyone to do. I recently purchased a pair of bright yellow dining chairs. I smile just looking at them.

How does doing a book like this shift your attitude to your own home?

I think it’s important to consider what you have, what you need and what you really love. I really only want to live with things I love, if they happen to be beautiful, practical or both. I think it’s important to find your own style, as I have, and a big part of the book is to encourage people to do just that.

Quick fire questions

My favourite find/buy on my road trips was: fresh prawns in Newcastle
The best colour combination in the world is: soft shades of blue, white with timber and just a pop of yellow
Genius upcycling idea: Electrical spool coffee table – I found this on the side of the road and all it needed was a quick lick of paint
Decorating mantra: Find your own style and decorate with what you love
Dog or cat: Dog!! It’s very hard not to post/take too many pictures of our Boston Terrier Sophia – she is very cute!

Images extracted from Holiday at Home by Mr Jason Grant published by Hardie Grant Books, RRP $45.00 available in stores nationally. 

We have one copy of Holiday at Home by Mr Jason Grant to give away. For your chance to win, leave a comment here on the blog before 5pm (AEST) Friday 19 September 2014 telling us about your favourite holiday deécor style, location or decorating tip. You must be a member of Temple & Webster to enter, and you may only enter once. We’ll pick our favourite comment and contact the winner via Facebook or email by Friday 26 September 2014. If we are unable to contact the winner(s) within 30 days we’ll pick an alternative winner. Good luck!

 

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