Tiling with Weetbix

Ok, ok, I didn't really tile with Weetbix but that's what we started calling the Träullit Dekor acoustic hexagon tiles. These tiles are made of recyclable material - wood wool, cement and water. They're quite nifty in that they are moisture regulating, heat absorbing, sound absorbing and fireproof. Their organic look and feel led to them being likened to the breakfast cereal - really don't recommend eating them.

Traullit acoustic tiles
Tile installation set-up
Tiling in progress

I measured and drew everything in triplicate to make sure that the right number of tiles fit the space and visually worked with other fittings (powerpoints, lights, door openings, etc). No way I wanted to have an 'oh no!' moment after waiting four months for delivery.

Colours were selected to align with the company's branding colours and laid light to dark. Darker colours at the bottom grounded the feature wall. The navy and light blue work well with the few orange accent tiles as they are complementary colours.

There are other acoustic solutions out there - fabric panels of all sorts, including printed with images or in designer shapes, modular panels in three-dimensional forms and acoustic wood panelling. Love the shape and colours of these Träullit hexagon tiles though and this unique product suited the personality of the brand. 

For funsies, I got Boomworks to make a video of the installation process (inspired by the original). Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Breaking the rules with Abigail Ahern

Reading Abigail's blog is one thing, it's quite another to have Abigail right in front of you 'yabbering' about 'oddball' colours and how not to make a room look 'bonkers'. Loved it. Abigail's masterclass at Megan Morton's The School covered a range of topics based on her eclectic vibe:

  • creating your dream home
  • breaking the rules
  • finishing touches
  • decoding colour
  • designing on a shoestring.

Abigail was relaxed, informative and incredibly generous with her design philosophy and sharing it with the group. Quick quiz at the beginning said that I'm a 'classic eclectic'. Fifteen pages of notes later, you can't help but want to go to the dark side and start painting your own house in charcoal, olive and inky blue. Not just the walls - skirting, floors AND the ceilings.

Abigail talks about breaking the rules, which raised many an eyebrow of those that have studied design. Consider the aspect of the room before choosing a colour and painting it? No, doesn't matter. Leave clear walking paths through your rooms? No, better to allow people to pick their own trails as they do in nature (or Anthropologie stores). Have a single focal point in your room? No, three focal points is better.

It's not to say Abigail doesn't have rules of her own but its is more about understanding the traditional design principles and then bending these to create a look that tantalises and mesmerises the eye, tricks it, through fearless choices in colours, layers, textures and playing with scale. Daring to be different to create a space that better resonates with you and allows you to design with what you love. It's a great philosophy, the challenge is now how to incorporate those ideas into my own design style, separate to Abigail's own distinctive, signature style. Rock 'n' roll!

Abigail and Makisa

Style crush, Emily Henderson

I have a favourite design show on Foxtel, one that I would give up a Saturday night out to stay at home on the couch and watch. It's Emily Henderson's show called 'Secrets From A Stylist'. Emily was the winner of Design Star Season 5 and I love her. I want to be her! (Not in the creepy, 'Single White Female' way. Obviously). Emily has an amazing eye for style and colour, an effortless way of talking to her clients and an uncanny ability to seek out the BEST mid-century modern flea market gems.

Emily Henderson

On the show, Emily starts with a 'style diagnostic', seeking out the main styles and personalities of her clients so that their spaces can be more representative of who they are. This is often teased out using visual questions; picking a favourite out of a series of objects, ordering from most to least liked and normally accomplished with couples picking diametrically opposite things. Funny, unless you're the decorator. No problem for Emily though, using her stylist magic to cleverly layer styles and textures to reach the final design. By the end of it, I normally want to live there too, even if the style was a mix of country club something or crossed with bohemian. 

I really like that idea - getting an innate understanding of who your clients really are, their likes/dislikes. There's no better feeling than the one you get when you are home, so it makes sense to make your house an extension of you. Check out Emily's blog; it's rad, it's like she's speaking directly to you and is mostly original content. One of her posts is a round up of animal lamps. Did I mention that I love her?

Do you have a favourite style blogger? I'd love to know who you follow, share the links in your comment!

Guest room painted green
All photos from Emily Henderson's website.

All photos from Emily Henderson's website.

Benja Harney welcomes spring at QVB

Benja is one amazingly creative and rad guy. I had the lucky opportunity to take a papercrafting class with him earlier this year and immediately spotted the trademarks of his work in QVB. His latest work is an enormous paper installation in the dome of the Queen Victoria Building to celebrate the arrival of spring. Make sure you take a moment to look up next time you're in the building and his blog has some beautiful shots of the installation.

Benja Harney's QVB installation
Hallway view of Benja's installation