This week Neale performed magic once again, turning a tiny 70s rabbit warren house into a contemporary yet warm family home.
Donvale couple Anita and Cameron couldn’t decide on the right formula to solve their house issues. Luckily, Neale came in with a creative and daring design that got rid of the ‘bad case of rooms’ and created more livable and usable ‘zones’. Here's how he did it.
1. Family kitchen island
I said Neale worked magic this week – and he did – but one thing he couldn’t do on the budget was extend the kitchen level to make space for a dining area as well as an open plan kitchen and living.
His solution to this was to make a family-sized kitchen island with plenty of seating. This is somewhere the family can sit for breakfast or informal meals, or where the children can do homework and other activities.
This is a fab idea to steal for your next kitchen or renovation if you have a disjointed floor plan or want to create a formal and informal dining space with limited area.
2. Glass dining table
Another thing Neale showed us this week is how important it is to make the right furniture choices, especially in a small home. It is essential to select pieces that are functional (preferably multifunctional) and won’t close in the space.
He chose a glass dining table in their new living and dining room to create the illusion of a larger space and avoid making the room feel crowded. Here are some of my favourite glass dining tables at all price points.
Bleeker round glass dining table from Zanui RRP: $299.95
New York dining table from BoConcept, RRP:$1,149.00
Sean Dix Forte small dining table from Matt Blatt, RRP: $750.00
3. Artwork as far as the eye can see
I believe artwork, rugs and indoor plants make a house a home, but Neale took this to a whole new level this week when every wall in the home was covered in art!
He mixed photography art prints with abstract works but made it work by always finding a common element in the pieces. For example in the dining space above, orange colour tones are reflected in the two art pieces.
Solitude I & III by One Fine Print from $1350.00
Daydream artwork by Urban Road from $135.00
4. Embrace flowers
The other obvious stand out with the styling this week were all the flowers. Fresh cut flowers are a little luxury that is said to help improve our mood, fill our home with beautiful fragrance, and simply add colour and interest to any room.
If you go to your local florist this week you may still be lucky enough to find peonies, which are in season for a limited time. I have a few in my dining space below and love watching the flowers change shape and colour as they open up.
Of course, if you find it difficult to justify the cost of fresh flowers you could always go down the faux path as artificial flowers create the same visual effect. Stores like Adairs, Freedom and Early Settler all have a great range of artificial flowers.
5. Sofa fit for the space
Something Neale has been doing week on week is finding sofas that appear to be made for the home. This week was no exception and Anita even said she thought their new King Living sofa looked as though it was designed just for their living room.
There are a few tips to finding the right sofa for your home and it boils down to functionality, size and style. With function, decide what’s most important to you – do you need a chase to really relax? Or are you drawn to gadgets like in-built side tables that automatically charge your phone?
With size, measure your space and if you can, draw a floor plan to scale so you can envisage the sofa in your home before you buy. Ideally the sofa should sit at least 10-20cm off the walls and allow sufficient walking space around.
And finally, style is self explanatory – are you after a contemporary, coastal or man cave aesthetic? Define your style and the feel you want to achieve in your living space before you go shopping as it’s easy to get overwhelmed. The sofa is the largest furniture piece in a living space so it will set a strong tone and you cannot afford to get it wrong.
Of course, price is also a major factor and thankfully there are more options on the market now than ever before. Do your research before you buy to make sure you’re getting maximum value for money.
In our latest renovation at Bonnie’s house, we selected a tufted Scandinavian style sofa in charcoal from Lounge Lovers as it met our brief and budget.