Home Design

Bright | Fresh | Affordable – A simple expat living space redecorate

Bec and her family have moved to China, where her husband works as a school principal. They were provided with an apartment as accommodation, but with limited choice on furniture and decor. The beige, beige and more beige was doing Bec’s head in (understandably) so she asked me for some help. (more…)

A real life castle in Brisbane. Wowsers.

Castle Rumble.

A mystical abode is hidden within the trees and surrounding homes of … Beenleigh, near Brisbane. It is for sale, and a friend and I couldn’t resist the adventure of visiting on an open house day. As did a bunch of other intrigued punters.

Mr Rumble started out living in a caravan on this block of land, (which is a huge 4 hectares btw) and built an entire castle himself. And then filled it with things that he made, himself.

What amazed me so much was the dedication and time that had so obviously been poured into every element of this place. A man built by hand, his own dream home. This, is impressive. He didn’t conform to conventions, he didn’t use any interior design rules, he probably didn’t even get council approval for most of it, but what he did was whatever he wanted. I admire this. He was on site on the day, and I don’t know what he was thinking or feeling, but he was hidden away. And it must have been strange for him to see all these people coming and being so nosy, and it must be somewhat difficult to be letting this lifetime of work go.

I’ll let the pictures show you what is truly an incredible property. Also, this video by the real estate agent is pretty cool.

It’s here! New Henry has a little shop.

www.newhenrydesign.com

Well friends, it’s finally here. I have officially launched my styling and design business, New Henry Design. It’s been a while in the making, and somehow, all of the things I love and love to do, now make sense!

So far, I’ve got a few prints in the shop, (more to come!) and have artwork on exhibition and for sale, at a favourite little bar called The Scratch, in Brisbane. I am also working alongside an excellent property styling company called Signature Property Styling. This is the early stages of what I know will be an exciting adventure in the world of interiors and styling. I have many ideas, plans, and dreams that I am determined to get into, I feel like this is just the beginning, and would love you to join me on the journey.

Please like my FB page, and follow on instagram (new_henry_design), check out the website, and share it if you feel like it.

Bed Hunting – 7 Great Places to Rest Your Head

I would LOVE a new bed. I’ve had a wrought iron 4 poster bed with lovely flowing mosquito nets for way too long. I’m bored with it. Plus we are downsizing, so a new room is likely to be quite small. A four poster bed of any calibre overfills a room with regular ceiling height, and is a little bit dangerous when you’ve got a ceiling fan in there! I am also bored (but more annoyed) at having loads of stuff under our bed. There are blankets, tools, boxes of stationery all hanging out, and it is unsightly and downright gross. I’m done with that friends! So I’ve put together a collection of my favourite bed finds so far, with big dreams of obtaining something from this list sometime very soon, and decluttering for our new space.  (more…)

Apartment Design Part 2 – Floor Plan

I introduced the brief and concept for my Deluxe Flux project over the semester in this post. Here is some more of the work I’ve done. We had 77sqm internal, and 11sqm balcony to work with. There were obviously some restrictions with positioning of services, block work, and windows. My main goal was to try and create as much storage and function as possible, and I feel good about what I’ve achieved in that regard. I don’t think I’m 100% satisfied, but you know, it’s my first go at designing an apartment, and I did end up with a Distinction for the subject, so it can’t be too bad! It got to a point where I had to just had to stop rearranging and tweaking, and be content with what I’d done. Not having real people to deal with, or budget constraints made it too easy to just keep working on it.

I loved this space planning and design. I was so meticulous about measuring everything, and checking it against anthropometric data and ergonomics. I really wanted to make sure I’d thought through as much as possible, from a construction and building point of view, and also standing in the shoes of my client.

Having a new baby, they will have a lot of new things that they need to keep somewhere, hence storage, and they will spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so it needs to be well integrated with living and play space. There are some details that aren’t specifically mentioned on this plan, like the custom seating in the kitchen nook features storage compartments, and some of the custom cabinetry like the shelving in the living room and bathroom. The nursery would also feature frosted glass louvre at the top of the walls to meet Building Code for ventilation and light. But to be honest I didn’t fully resolve this, because I’ve got cupboard space there. I have considered the construction implications of the position of the laundry, and have made a deliberate decision not to include an ensuite. The configuration of the toilet and bathroom next to the master bedroom was the next best thing, and created more space for a study nook and storage.

I made decisions based on my original concept, and goals. But I do realise after the process, that sometimes you just end up in a certain place because you went to another place first. And it might not have ended up the best solution. It’s a complex process.

Please find here the original shell of the floor plan, and just one drawing from my folio of drawings.

Hamilton Harbour Shell

My DELUXE FLUX APARTMENT DESIGN drawn in AutoCAD.

If you are interested in what Hamilton Harbour really did with the space, you can find the floor plan for this particular unit here. I can honestly say that I did not lay eyes on this floor plan until this very moment that I write this post.

Apartment Design Part 1 – Design Brief & Concept

It has been a while since I posted. It’s been a few crazy months! My project for this semester has been a full design and decoration of an apartment, and I want to share piece by piece what I’ve come up with. (more…)

Eclectic Living Spaces

I am working on a project right now that needs to be eclectically decorated, which is why I’ve been investigating this design style recently. The key to eclectic is having a strong common denominator. So, you can gather a range of items, but they must have something in common. For example, a particular colour could be the dominating design feature, texture can make the design feature by having a variety of it, or a particular type of line or shape throughout the room.  The most common connecting factor I find in photos of eclectic design is colour. It’s an easy one to choose, because people often inadvertently gravitate to particular colours, and find themselves with a whole lot of things that mesh well into a scheme by colour.  I’ve been searching one of my favourite sources of inspiration… http://www.houzz.com. Here are a few photos I found, that mainly have colour as their design element.

I’m such a sucker for the eclectic-frames-on-the-wall look. I just love it. It’s such a good way to collate a range of interesting photos and art and other items, and looks really attractive in the right room. The high ceilings in this room are good because too many things on a shorter wall can look too cluttered.

The cool colours and raw concrete of this room would be the perfect work or sitting space in our hot Brisbane climate. I love the simple mixture of frames, and a plant on the table is such an easy way to spruce up the room. It provides necessary oxygen too!

This modern styled room is eclectic, but not cluttered. The limited colour palette allows varying patterns and shapes to bring life and vibrancy to the room.

How much fun is this room! It’s vibrant, comfortable, light and refreshing. I love that it looks loved and easy to live in.

Connected by black and white and grey, with splashes of colour, this small loft space has been divided into zones by texture and varying styles. It may feel somewhat cluttered and busy to some, but it certainly feels well lived in and interesting.

Shanty Town Interiors – Hong Kong

If you’ve googled ‘interiors’ lately, you’d know that the images that fill the page are spacious rooms made up of a palette of neutrals and browns, fairly minimal in design, with fancy furniture and clean surfaces. Then google ‘slum interiors’ and see how vastly different it is. Cluttered and dirty, crowded and small, colourful and well lived in, it presents a very different picture.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy perusing through Houzz as much as anyone, but I am also really intrigued and moved by the way that most of the world actually live, and the reasons why. Generally speaking, here in Australia, we are a fairly privileged society, where there is an economy and legislation that supports the provision of safe and habitable housing for all, although there are a number of people still without that, even here.

Hong Kong has a bit of a different story. There is a large influx of refugees into Hong Kong, mainly from Bangladesh. Many are victims of torture and kidnapping. When they escape their country, they can receive minimal support from the government if they register themselves as a refugee. They are allowed $1200 a month for rent, which although to some may seem generous, it goes directly to landlords. When you see the images of the homes they rent, you will realise this is not generous. (I could be wrong, but it looks to me like landlords are welcoming the government funding, and squashing as many people as they can into unmaintained buildings.) Refugees also get given a bag of food every 10 days, but they are not allowed to work. This has forced people with next to nothing into communities to try and survive together.

The Hong Kong government is not under any obligation to process refugee claims for visa, so people can be living for years, with no money, or ability to work, living in places that are not maintained to a habitable standard. Next time you think your house is too small, remember some of these images. There is no deliberate design here, although I am certain there are some tricks to using space well. They are intriguing and sad and beautiful all at once. Photo reference links are at the bottom of the post.

Rooftop Shanty Towns – dornob.com

Hong Kong’s Refugee Shame – timeout.co.uk

Exhibit on Hong Kong Micro Apartments Exposes Human Rights Issues – inhabitat.com

Aerial views of Hong Kong micro apartments – inhabitat.com