We share 8 easy ideas for updating your bathroom –  whatever the budget – with help from Maria Schindlecker. The bathroom above is by Sydney interior designer Justine Hugh-Jones.

Do you dream of having a day spa permanently attached to your home for relaxation and serenity at the end of a long day? Or do you long to add colour and texture to a plain-Jane functional space? Whatever your style, and however bad things seem, we’re here to help with small style ideas that will have a big impact.

Image via Domaine Home.

Vanity fair

Replacing the handles of your vanity unit makes a big impact for a relatively small cost. If the unit is made of timber, a new coat of paint will dramatically change its look. You could consider decorating inset door panels with wallpaper, or line the drawers for a fresh feel.

Image by Roger Davies via Desire to Inspire

Reflected glory

If you have a plain mirror, switch it to one with a decorative frame to add character. Increasing the size of the mirror can also allow more light to bounce around and make the room feel larger.

Image via Lonny.

Wonder walls

Even bathroom walls deserve attention. Framed art, photographs or wall decals can make the space feel less clinical, but make sure you don’t hang them too close to a steamy shower. Go crazy in a powder room, where steam isn’t an issue – we love wallpaper in a small space, too.

 

Image by Nikole Ramsay for Inside Out.

Linen love

Make sure your towels are up to scratch, and consider updating to a new set. Don’t forget your bath mats and hand towels, which are often the first to wear out.  If a day spa is your dream, sticky to the fluffy white variety. Otherwise, try Aura’s vibrant colour and graphic designs or make the switch to lightweight Turkish (hammam) towels in sorbet stripes for Summer. Changing the colour and design of your towels can change the mood completely.

Image via Pinterest

Waxing lyrical

A beautiful scented candle is an indulgent treat for the bathroom, especially when it comes in a pretty container or glass jar. A stylish accessory with mood-lifting qualities is a win-win in our book.

Michael C Hall’s bathroom, via Lonny.

Form over function

Make sure any of the accessories you display in your bathroom are beautiful as well as functional. If not, transfer products to glass, ceramic or wooden vessels or bowls, or natural baskets to add a natural element and a hand-made feel.

Image via Pinterest

Blooming beautiful 

Beautiful flowers are a stylist’s greatest trick. Fresh cut flowers or foliage, a single bloom or branch, or an elegant potted orchid or fern. Nature is never wrong.

Image by Steven Carlisch for D Magazine

Vintage vibe

If you have the space, incorporate a freestanding piece of furniture to make your space unique. A rustic ladder, a small table or timber stool, or a weather cabinet will all add a sense of patina.

All images from our Bathrooms Pinterest board – follow us there to see over 100 beautiful bathrooms.

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Today’s Nordic Nursery sale event is filled with stylish furniture, flooring, art and accessories for a simple, Scandi style nursery. On the basis that celebrities often have the resources and access to designers the rest of us are lacking, we went looking for some nursery inspiration…

To be honest, we found a few celebrity nurseries we didn’t love – although we’d be interested to hear if you disagree. Let’s get those out of the way first.

Kourtney Kardashian (left) went for high intensity pink, covering the walls, ceiling and floor. Too much? And does anyone else find the moon in Christina Aguilera’s nursery (right) slightly terrifying? Reportedly it was her husband’s idea.

Mariah Carey reportedly spent $1 million on a nursery for her twins. It’s a little frou-frou for us.

Mel B’s LA nursery went down the same road of frills, flounces and a bit of bling. And yet it still feels a little lifeless.

But after our initial discouragement, things started to look up.

Here’s Jessica Alba’s nursery, featured on Domaine. Her own baby brand The Honest Company focuses on safe and healthy products and her nursery is sweet without being over the top.

Grey’s Anatomy actress Ellen Pompeo’s nursery as it appeared in Architectural Digest. The neutral base of white walls, timber floors and a soft cream rug is in contrast to the boldly accented furniture and the juju hats and paper lamp shades. See the rest of her LA home here.

US blogger Emily Henderson’s nursery was recently revealed in Domino Magazine. If you ignore the toys on the floor, it’s actually fairly simple, with the French Minakani Lab wallpaper as the hero. If you love the tent feature above the cot, you’ll be pleased to hear it’s from Ikea, with customised fabric bunting.

Image by Armelle Habib.

Melbourne personality and blogger Rebecca Judd‘s nursery for her daughter Billy features a gold-flecked cowhide and a glitter heart wall vase by Love Star.

 Image by Julie Adams

Australian blog The Grace Tales is a good source of nursery inspiration, focusing as it does on stylish Australian mothers. It was there we found Hannah Logan’s nursery in Apple Tree Flat NSW, decorated by her sister Briar Stanley (of Sunday Collector). The beautiful wallpaper is by our friends at Sparkk Studio in Sydney.

Inspired? Shop our Nordic Nursery sale event

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We revisit Baz and Peter Walsh’s declutter and decorate transformation from The Living Room last night. If you missed it, catch it at noon today or via tenplay. If you love what you see, shop the look in our special The Living Room Collection.

When we first meet Mark and Kathryn, their home looks picture perfect and well-kept, apart from the master bedroom which is full of boxes and bags, mostly full of clothes. Overwhelmed by emotional life events, Kathryn has found herself unable to let go of clothes from every period of her life, as well as all her son’s baby clothes. She admits to Peter that her walk in wardrobe is full of pre-baby clothes which no longer fit her, while the clothes she currently wears are spread around her bedroom.

Once all the clutter is removed from the room (it turns out to be 10 metres of hanging clothes and 85 boxes) Kathryn has the difficult task of getting rid of most of it. The usual gentle push from Peter is required to help her realise that she’s investing too much emotion into her belongings, including those which belonged to her mother.

Baz knocks up some shoe storage for Kathryn for her cut-down collection and also makes a start decorating the spacious but completely neutral bedroom.

He adds wallpaper for colour and pattern, and accents of grey and lilac for a serene feel. Mirrored furniture and silver lamps add a touch of glamour and treasures belonging to Kathryn’s mother are framed on the wall.

Rustic timber frames and a driftwood wall hanging add warmth, while an abstract canvas adds life to the room.

They requested a calm, tranquil, inviting oasis and Baz delivered, adding generous, comfortable furniture. Live and love in the now, says Baz. A life lesson for us all.

Shop the look in our special The Living Room Collection.

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Ross Dobson is a bit of a barbecue guru (we’ve heard him called The Tong Master), with 5 books under his belt including the upcoming King of the Grill (published by Murdoch Books). With barbecue weather pretty much here, we thought it a good moment to share this chicken recipe with a spicy hit, thanks to eatlove.com.au.

There seemed a time when we all obsessed about skinless chicken breasts. And what an odd obsession, don’t you think? Leaving the skin on makes all the difference when it comes to flavour.

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 chicken breasts, with wings attached and skin on
lime halves and fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves, to serve

Jalapeño butter:

2 tbsp of sliced Jalapeño in brine, drained
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 large handful coriander (cilantro) leaves
2 anchovy fillets, drained
125g of unsalted butter (at room temperature)

Preparation

To make the Jalapeño butter, put all the ingredients in a food processor and whiz until well combined. Transfer to a bowl.

Rub as much of the butter mixture as you can under the skin of the chicken breasts, being careful not to break the skin. Rub any remaining butter over the skin and sprinkle with a little sea salt. You can secure the skin with toothpicks. This will help prevent the skin from retracting when cooked.

Preheat the barbecue hotplate to high and close the lid to create a hot-oven effect. Sit the chicken on a rack and sit the rack over a deep baking tray. Half fill the baking tray with water and sit it on the barbecue. Close the lid and cook for 35 – 40 minutes, until the skin is golden. Remove from the barbecue and allow to rest for 10 – 15 minutes.

Serve with the lime halves and coriander.

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

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Karen McCartney introduces the cleverly folded paper origami pendant lights by Dutch design duo Studio Snowpuppe, brought to Australia by Paper Empire and our newest Objects of Desire.

Sometimes an exciting new product comes along that is decoratively spot on – it has the look, the design cred, the colours are on trend and the form is modern while calling on the beauty of an ancient craft.

Made by hand in The Hague in Holland by designers Nellianna van den Baard and Kenneth Venebos, these origami lamp shades are crafted using a special FSC-certified paper called ‘Butterfly’, famed for its long-lasting properties.

The seductive thing about the shades is the subtle use of colour and the gradient effect that gives the sense that the bottom of the lampshade has been ‘dipped’ in a tone of soft grey or mint, or sharper shades of yellow, or fluoro pink. For the extra large shades, fashionable coral comes into the mix.

Not only do they make an impact individually but as all the shades are complementary, any combination works. My pick – mix an extra large grey with a large graduated mint. The precision folds of the speciality paper give the effect of a soft geometry, and light bounces off the interior surface to create a soft glow.

Each lamp shade comes with its own E27 porcelain socket and generous 3 metres of fabric cord in grey. The rest is up to your decorative imagination.

Shop for Snowpuppe pendant lights in a range of colours and sizes today.

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Sophie Thé is a French-born interior/props stylist and, it turns out, an intrepid sailor. She recently embarked on a grand adventure, sailing around the southern corner of Australia. Here she shares her thoughts about the journey and some of the images she captured along the way.

This was the adventure of a lifetime. Travelling during Winter from Adelaide to Sydney, we crossed through some of the most, if not the most treacherous waters on the planet. The beautiful sailing yacht ‘Peace and Plenty’ carried us safely to remote and wonderful locations across the south coast, the Bass Strait and the east coast of Australia as we battled through high seas and new emotions, coming out the other end as different souls.

Nothing can compare with the grace of a boat underway, her magnificent sails, the sound of the waves and ultimately, the places she takes you. Freedom, independence and new experiences mixed together with fear and anxiety made for the trip of a lifetime. On this trip I travelled with Niki Baillie-Jackson and our sea cat ‘Captain’. These are a few of the many photos we took along the way.

Our new home, the 40 foot cutter Peace and Plenty.

Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island.

At anchor on Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia. 

Sailing from Kangaroo Island to Robe.

We made it to Portland – hello Victoria! Between Portland and Port Fairy we hit 4 metres of swell, 1.5 metres of sea and the boat handled it like magic. 

Griffiths Island Light House, Port Fairy, Victoria.

Rounding Cape Otway headed towards Apollo Bay.

The calm of Apollo Bay.

Jumping for joy at Refuge Cove, in the Wilsons Promontory National Park.

A bird’s eye view of the Peace and Plenty, taken near Merimbula NSW.

I don’t usually post selfies but I’m so happy and proud of our achievement! 185 hours travelling at sea, by calm, by storm, by night. Peace and Plenty has been more than we could dream of. 1300 nautical miles later we made it from Adelaide to Sydney in one piece through the Australian winter.

Follow Sophie on Instagram @sophiethestylist, visit her website or follow Peacy and Plenty tumblr.

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Take a Seat for Legacy is back! For the second year, we are proud to be working with notable Australians from interiors, fashion, music and radio to support the work of Legacy Australia. 

Last year we raised over $10,000 for Legacy Australia with our Take a Seat for Legacy project. This year, we put the call out again and we’ve been overwhelmed with the number of personalities who have generously donated their time and creativity to personalise a plain timber chair for a special online sale starting 22 October.

We’ve also created today’s special Dining Chair Collection sale event, with around 100 different dining chairs in your favourite styles from industrial to French Provincial. We’ve committed to donating $10 to Legacy Australia for each chair purchased from this collection, so even if you can’t take part in our special online sale of personalised chairs later this month, you can support Legacy with every order of a new chair for your own home.

40 bespoke chairs, 40 Australian personalities

We gave all the participants a classic bentwood chair in raw timber, along with free rein to express their creativity, either on their own with the help of our creative team.

Sydney stylists Sibella Court, Mr Jason Grant and dynamic duo Lucy Tweed and Jane Frosh of Cool Edies were quick off the mark, and all featured in the November issue of Australian House & Garden.

Remarkable creative synergy meant that all three chairs, while created separately, feature a wrapped element. Sibella, pictured outside her Sydney store The Society, Inc, used leather and a gypsy bell from Transylvania ‘to ward off any pesky spirits,’ as well as evil eye motifs to fit in with the theme of protection, central to Legacy’s work.

Lucy (who has subsequently given birth to baby Beau – congratulations!) and Jane created a chair with real softness, both literally and figuratively, including a dream catcher they made from beachcombing finds.

Mr Jason Grant referenced his favourite Bondi ocean tones, using Murobond paint in Foam, tan leather and rope.

T&W’s Head of Styling Jessica Bellef worked with Seven’s Chris Bath (above) and Magdalena Roze (below) to realise their ideas at a creative workshop in Sydney.

Still more participants have worked on their chairs at home, and shared the results on Instagram. Follow us @templeandwebster and explore the hashtag #takeaseatforlegacy to see their amazing work – we’ll also be uploading them to our Take a Seat for Legacy Pinterest board and Facebook album.

We loved seeing Better Homes & Gardens’ Johanna Griggs carefully wrapping hers in wool (above left), and Donna Hay’s ethereal creation (above right) in her signature pale blue complete with angelic wings.

Online sale starts 22 October

We’ll kick off our special online sale on 22 October with a special email featuring the incredible chairs and their makers. You’ll be able to buy your favourite chair knowing that 100% of the proceeds of the sale will go directly to Legacy to support their work with the families of those killed or incapacitated while serving in Australia’s defence forces.

Magdalena Roze, interior designer Romy Alwill, designer Vince Frost and artist James Gordon in the T&W studio – look out for their chairs in an upcoming feature in Sunday Style magazine.

Exhibition at The Grounds of Alexandria 24-26 October

Like last year, you’ll be able to see the chairs up close at an exhibition at The Atrium, part of The Grounds of Alexandria from Friday 24th – Sunday 26th October. We’ve heard Kevin Bacon, The Grounds’ resident porcine hero, will be decorating a chair himself, and that’s definitely something worth seeing.

Ben Wahrlich of Anaesthetic Design with his chair, coated with a special liquid application of bronze by Axolotl and polished by hand.

We’re proud to be supporting Legacy Australia, and we’d love your support too. To get involved, follow us on Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook to keep up with what’s happening via the hashtag #takeaseatforlegacy, and let us know what you think.

Shop our Dining Chair Collection today and we’ll donate $10 for every chair purchased to Legacy Australia. 

Image credits, from top:
1: Temple & Webster
2: Australian House & Garden
3-5: Jonathan Cami for Australian House & Garden
6 -7: Josh Eriksson
8: @Johgriggs7 and @donna.hay via Instagram
9-10: Natalie Hunfalvay 

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‘AVA’ from PLYROOM from New Leaf Films on Vimeo.

Plyroom is about good design, made to last. Watch as the ‘Ava’ cot transforms to a bed and then a desk and a picture will emerge about flexibility and adaptability. Visually appealing as well as both light and strong, it is flat packed and put together without screws. Founder Elise Heslop tells us more – and you can shop the Plyroom collection today

 What is the story behind Plyroom – how did you come to start the business?

I spent 12 months living in an apartment in Italy with my family. Coming from Australia with its larger homes and generous use of space, apartment living with 2 small boys was never something that I thought possible. Interestingly though, we loved it, and it all came down to being smart with the pieces we had, thinking about multiple uses for furniture, and looking after what we had.

Luck would have it that at the same time I met some really interesting designers in nearby Milan who were passionate about flexible and sustainable design, and the idea for Plyroom grew from there.

What attracted you to plywood in particular?

We love the strength and flexibility of ply as a manufacturing process, and when it’s coupled with a high quality timber such as Birch or Beech, it creates an incredibly strong and beautiful material. Many of our customers are really surprised at how sturdy and strong our furniture is when they test it out. This balance between its visual lightness and the surprise of its strength is what I love about it.

Because of the way it is made, ply doesn’t warp, swell or shrink like other ‘manufactured’ wood products such as MDF or particle board or even solid wood. It also has a very high strength to weight ratio which mean it’s relatively light in comparison to MDF and solid timber – this comes in useful when considering multi purpose furniture as it means the completed furniture is lighter than furniture made of other materials and therefore easy to move. Perfect for disassembling when moving house or renovating.

Your products are designed and made in Italy. Do you think the Italian approach to interiors/furniture differs to ours?

I think Europeans have a knack of making spaces and furniture work more efficiently in small spaces. We are very lucky to have a lot of space, and our homes reflect this, however all that space can mean we are a bit less creative when it comes to maximising what we have, because we have so much of it.

Europeans also seem to keep pieces from one generation to the next and make them work in their space, without worrying too much about matching everything, or fitting into a certain style or trend. There is definitely a lovely balance between heritage and aesthetics which I find appealing as it adds an honesty/genuineness to interiors.

Having said that, Australian interiors can have a wonderful optimism, the way we marry beautiful finishes with use of colour is really unique. This style is  certainly complementary to our range, and having worked with our partners on several of the designs to make them right for Australia, we have a good mix of both the European and Australian design approach.

Many of your furniture pieces can be adapted over time as the child grows.  Is this an important consideration when sourcing your products?

Absolutely. Having been through the ‘giving away of the cot’ ceremony and changing our children’s bedrooms, it struck me how much ‘stuff’ we accumulate and then try to get rid of as we pass through different life stages. Ensuring that we have pieces that are adaptable, both in use and style is really important. We love that our pieces create the perfect canvas for so many of our customers’ individual styles, from Scandi-inspired minimalism, to eclectic colour and texture.

What do you think are the key considerations when designing/decorating a child’s room?

1. Kids are explorers, so don’t try too hard to make it matchy-matchy because you will end up being frustrated when it’s not looking perfect and they are pulling things out of boxes on the hunt for their fave dinosaur or tutu.

2. Give them a small opportunity to be involved, and make a big deal out of it. Choosing their favourite colour and incorporating it in soft furnishings is a great way to get them involved and give them ownership over the space without them having total creative control!

3. For the investment pieces, select pieces that will stand the test of time and won’t go out of favour as soon as their tastes change. Rugs, bedlinen, lamps, artwork, and other finishing touches are a great way to add an individual style and are easy and affordable to move around.

Explore the Plyroom collection today.

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The incredible Sprung Christmas Tree is the work of Sydney-based designer Zev Bianchi. Styled here by Jono Fleming and shot by Denise Braki, it acts as a celebration of both the festive season and clever modern design. 

Designer Zev Bianchi developed a respect for compact design while living in tight confines in New York. He founded bcompact on his return to Sydney with a focus on environmentally sound and space-saving products for urban life.

The Sprung Tree, pictured in raw timber but also available in painted green and white, is essentially a mobile. Laser cut from plywood, it arrives flat packed, complete with decorations. All that is required is a hook on the ceiling, then the entire tree springs into shape, with just a little tweaking of the decorations required to bring it to life. The double helix shape is both intriguing and allows for slight movement – the decorations, and the tree, bob and spin gently in a breeze.

This video shows what’s involved in hanging the tree. When the celebrations are over, it can be packed up in 5 minutes and stored flat for next year. And that makes for a very merry Christmas.

 Shop for a Sprung Christmas Tree or Twist Pendant Light today. 

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Some members of the T&W team must confess to a personal relationship with this panna cotta. We ate it. Which is why we are thrilled to share it, and to introduce the Spice Discovery, a new venture for Anna Wallis of The Taste Collective.

Anna wants to spice up our lives (starting with our meals) and she has teamed up with Herbie’s Spices to create a spice subscription – the Spice Discovery - which will see you receive a regular delivery of fresh, premium spice along with bespoke recipes like this one so you can use it straight away. It’s like your own, curated spice rack, without the years-old jars you’ve forgotten why you bought, and would also be a great gift. 

She is looking for 250 subscribers to get the project off the ground – find out more and sign up via her Pozible campaign. In the meantime, we can recommend this silkily seductive dessert…

THE STORY

Panna cotta is darling of chefs everywhere for good reason – it really couldn’t be any easier to make. Two aromatic friends from the Middle East and the Caribbean make quiet magic in this this update on the classic. And with subtlety the key to panna cotta’s charm, it’s the perfume of Saffron that makes it the unconventional hero in this dish.

THE LIST

125 ml milk
425ml pouring cream
60g caster sugar
a pinch of saffron (about 10 threads)
zest of one grapefruit
1.5 sheets titanium strength gelatine
flavourless oil such as grapeseed, for brushing

Serves 4

THE METHOD

Place the milk, cream, sugar, saffron and zest into a pot and bring to a very gentle simmer. Ensure the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the pot from the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly brush four 125ml moulds with the oil. Then place the gelatine leaves in a small bowl, cover them with cold water and leave them to soak for five minutes.

Return the mixture in the pot to a simmer then remove from the heat again. Take the gelatine from the water, squeezing excess water out, and add to the pot while whisking briskly to dissolve.

Strain the mixture through a sieve into a jug that’s suitable for pouring into your moulds. Then, if your sieve contains only zest and saffron, with no gelatinous lumps, add them back into the mixture for colour, flavour and texture on the top of your turned out panna cotta.

Pour your mixture into the moulds. Cover each one with cling film, allowing the film to rest on the top of the panna cotta mixture itself to prevent a thicker skin from forming. Place them in the fridge to set for at least six hours.

To serve, remove the panna cotta from the fridge and leave to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes, before turning them out onto plates to serve.

Find out more about Spice Discovery, and subscribe to start your own spice journey.

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