Thursday, October 31, 2013

Interview: Vivian Panagos from Ish & Chi

More recently I am spending my days jumping between looking after my 11 week old little girl and scanning the internet for inspiration, trends and of course reading my favourite blogs. I came across a fantastic one recently called 'Ish & Chi'.  Vivian Panagos started this page a few years ago because she was renovating her home and wanted to share it with the world.  And did she share!! Her home belongs in the glossy magazine pages and the success of her blog is inspiring.
I had the pleasure of chatting with Vivian recently over a few emails and got to ask her a few questions about everything Ish & Chi. I find her to be so inspiring that I thought I would interesting to get inside the mind of a creative!
What made you decide to become a blogger?
I was renovating my home and decorating my son's nursery and wanted a way to document the process and to keep me committed to the project. So I started ish and chi and it grew from there.

Influences and motivations that help you with your blog?
I study interior design and decoration and will be graduating next month! The last four years of study, combined with travel to places seeing beautiful architecture and interiors has definitely kept me motivated and inspired.

Your blog features some fantastic interviews and tours with industry professionals, which one is your favourite and most inspiring?
It is too hard to choose one! I have enjoyed getting an insight into Camilla Frank's journey into fashion and homewares, learning about the creative process of wallpaper designer Adam Jones, interviewing the always inspiring Megan Morton and other industry professionals.

Your blog started with renovating your home, which room is your favourite and where do you spend the most time?
In bed! I value sleep when I can get it so I have been drifting off early these days. Otherwise I enjoy curling up on our new sofa with my son and partner watching movies together.

Most recent purchase for your home?
A deep blue velvet chestfield sofa. It is extra deep and the most comfortable sofa I have ever owned.

How do you connect with the professionals that you interview and the owners of the homes that you photograph?
I sometimes reach out to professionals directly or we have met through various events and connections. Some of the homes I have featured I toured while visiting Palm Springs during Modernism Week and it was a good opportunity to photograph homes that are not usually open to the public. 

And lastly do you have any advice to help other people succeed in the blogging industry?
Make connections and get to know other bloggers as well as professionals in the industry you are interested in. I think there is value in helping each other to grow in a still relatively new field.

Head over to Ish & Chi and check out some of the amazing interior tours and interviews, Vivian has been lucky enough to travel the world and feature interiors from around the globe. There really are some amazing homes.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Huron Collection from West Elm

The fantastic West Elm store opened in Melbourne recently in Chapel Street, South Yarra. It is such a great brand and well known all over the USA with a few stores also in Canada and the UK. I was so excited when I heard the store was opening in Melbourne that I had to jump on their website, find out where it is and go have a look.

While I was on their website however I came across a fantastic collection that I absolutely love. The collection is the amazing Huron Collection which covers all the outdoor furniture you could possibly need, from lounges, to coffee tables, ottomans to pendant lights.
Huron Sofa
Huron Chair
Huron Coffee Table
Huron Ottoman
Huron Side Table
Tillary Outdoor Modular Seating
The furniture is incredibly elegant and the sofa looks very comfy. The colours are basic, which is fantastic, it means that you will not be distracted from the beautiful outdoors and you can style it with pretty much any colour you choose. I wrote a post about the grey and yellow trend recently, this furniture fits right in with that as you can see in the photo above. Grey and Yellow is everywhere!

If you are anywhere near South Yarra make sure you head over to their store and check out this amazing collection, otherwise check out their website at

Monday, October 21, 2013

Styling an older home

I was recently approached by a client who owned an older style home, all the rooms were painted the same colour, some rooms had brick walls and others had wood paneling. There was lead lighting everywhere and blue vertical blinds to match the blue kitchen.  The client provided me with a brief to style the home for sale and make it look like it was brand new.

I come across this kind of brief all the time and trust me, it is very hard to make an old home look like it was built yesterday. Helping a client to understand this can be difficult. Each home owner wants their house to look fantastic when it goes on the market, and so they should, presentation is everything, but it is important to remember that people who enter your home as potential buyers are looking at your home for a reason, whether it be the size, the style or simply the era of the house. It is then important in my industry to respect the era and style of the home and style it accordingly.  Here are some photos of a recent older property styled by Styled to Profit.
This room is a lounge area that leads onto the balcony and has a view of the kitchen. It is clearly an entertaining area but it is not the only one.  As you can see there is a lot of wood to work with. As fun as it is to play with modern metal and glass furniture it is not suitable for this room.  In the photo below you can see that I kept up the wood theme with the coffee table and sofa legs.  I chose light coloured sofas to brighten up the room and kept with the natural colours for the accessories. I always need to include a pop of colour which I did so with the orange cushions and select pieces of decor.
Dining area...pretty simple. Just needed a dining table and chairs with some decor. They are not very clear in this photo but the lead light windows include quite a lot of detail which matched the lead light pendant that hung above the table. Because of these details I kept the styling very simple, if I had have added too much the room would have looked cluttered and overdone. Keep it simple!
The room below is the family room. It is a long rectangular room with really awkward positioned windows, doorways and bar area. The vacant photos below are not the best but in the photo immediately below, you can see a doorway on the right side of the photo. There is another doorway on the opposite wall slight further along as you can see in the next photo. 
You can also see the bar area and a wall of mirrors, these features make both of these long walls difficult to work with as there is limited room for furniture. The brick wall also makes the room slightly darker so it was important for me to lighten it up with furniture. 
Unfortunately the photograph below is slightly blurry but as you can see I selected light furniture to brighten the room up a little bit together with a light rug and ottoman. 
Due to the size of the room it is very important to show that there is room for a lot of people to entertain and sit down. The inclusion of this single seat below together with another single seat on the opposite wall slightly over the window assists by showing this.
As there are two doorways in this room it is important to leave space for potential buyers to be able to walk through the room easily with no furniture obstructing the walking space. This meant that the television had to be placed slightly further away on the only other usable wall space. Not a huge issue as a television does not have to be the only focal point in a room. The furniture filled the room nicely showing the large size but also the ability to place a lot of furniture in there for entertaining all friends and family.
The home has 3 bedrooms, see below for some before and after shots of the bedrooms.
There is also a fantastic balcony area with an amazing view. I styled this area very simply so that potential buyers could walk out of the balcony with their family, have lots of room and see the beautiful view. A simply outdoor setting is all that is needed in this area.
As you can see even with difficult shaped rooms, furniture placement is everything. It is always important to show the space of the room together with the various functions that can be achieved. A light filled room will always look bigger than one with limited windows or dark walls, so to help make a room look bigger in this instance, lighter furniture is all you need. Add a few lamps here and there, make sure you turn them on and voila.....light and space achieved.

It is all about smoke and mirrors and there are so many tricks to help you achieve what you want in your home, as long as you understand that respect is needed for both the style and era of the house.

If you need some help with furniture placement, please feel free to comment below, post of our Facebook page or even send through an email...always happy to help!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: Decorate by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick

I was super excited the day that this amazing book landed on my doorstep. Not only does it look fabulous but it has so many pages! Decorate by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick is so packed full of tips, quotes and photos from homes in the USA and Europe.  It must have taken a while in the making with all of the research that went into this book and the amazing photographs that are so inspiring.

While there is a lot of text formatted all over the book and quotes placed in front of pictures that can sometimes be hard to read, the photographs are just amazing. They will inspire you to do so many different things in your home and many homes to come. The colours and never ending themes in this book are so fantastic that I cannot pick my favourite.

This book is great for people decorating their home from scratch, if that is you make sure you grab it, it is a fantastic reference.

The book is broken down into four sections:

1. Space Matters - this section focuses mainly on planning around the items that you already own and redesigning your home to include what you need.  Holly uses floor plans throughout her book which are such a great tool to help you transfer her words into visual guides.  The floor plans help illustrate furniture placement in some of the most complicated rooms.

2. Setting your Style - this section is set out in such a way to assist each reader define their own style. It talks about where to find inspiration. It is such a great section for me when I am looking for inspiration. It also goes into various design styles which are illustrated amazingly in her photographs.

3. Room by Room - this section is for those visual learners as it is very practical and goes through each room to help with future planning.  From kitchen design to furniture placement I love the very detailed part if this section that talks about creating functional work spaces.

4. Attention to Detail - this section is my favourite because it goes into details about the pretty stuff...the homewares and decor. So important and so much fun to play with!

This book will be one I know I will refer to for years to come as it doesn't follow current trends but encourages an individual approach to decorating your home that is unique to the home owner.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Keeki Gallery

I have recently locked in a styling gig for a home that is a little bit older and really needs some modern decorator items to liven it up, nothing too crazy but a few pieces that are sure to brighten up the rooms. I have selected my colour scheme for each room but need to add a few d├ęcor pieces to my collection. When I get in this position there is only one place I think of, my favourite home wares store....Keeki Gallery.
Here at Styled to Profit we are so very proud to announce our new relationship with Keeki Gallery in Melbourne. As it is my favourite store which I frequently visit I decided that I would feature some of their amazing products on my blog and help some of you that might be looking for that fantastic piece of furniture or home wares to help liven up your homes. With the support of Keeki Gallery I will I be featuring regular posts about their latest products and styling ideas. They have some amazing relationships with other industry professionals which I am really looking forward to featuring on my blog. 
One thing Keeki always feature are bright all know how much I love bright colours! So have a look at some of their amazing bedding in store right now to add some bright colour to your rooms.
One of my favourite trends at the moment...the grey and yellow movement. To see more options click on the link to check out my previous blog post...Grey and Yellow, grey and yellow, grey and yellow.
Want to add colour to your little girls room. This Manchester below offers so many bright colours, and you're not just stuck with one of them. Styling a room around this bedding would be so much fun, with so many different colours to work with you really can't go wrong. 
What about your boys is always a boys favourite colour but just blue is boring so mix it up a little bit. The Manchester below adds a few pops of colour that you can work with in top of the navy. Navy is very much on trend right now as well, so make sure you grab this bedding on your next visit.
This is my favourite at the moment. A beautiful bedroom set up with beautiful Manchester. I adore the bedhead and the way the stylists at Keeki have set up the bed itself. The colours are so lively and the hint of green works amazingly with the Manchester. I'll be picking this up next time I'm in store.
Keeki have so many great items, you can pick up everything you see in these photos for great prices. If you like what you see make sure you head over to one of their locations to check it out. They are currently updating their website but to find out details of their locations click this link to go to the Keeki website.

Make sure you also like them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram and Pinterest to keep up to date on the latest products in store.