Author: Aisha

7 Home Office Organisational Tips

Post COVID we live and work differently. For some it is a welcomed reality, for others it is a nightmare as we merge our two worlds.

 

The WFH (work from home) way of life is much more the norm and perceptions that you are less productive at home have shifted. However… there are ways to help set you up for success in your home work space, no matter what the size.

 

We can help make you ‘work zone’ into a productive, organised zen. How does that sound?

 

So now, with a new year approaching, it’s time to clear the clutter and curate a work space that you have dreamed of and been pinning from Pinterest.

 

Also, if your desk is already clutter-free, we are sure there is still the existence of that stack of papers without a home, that cupboard with a missmatch of office nicknacks that you just don’t know what to do with.

 

A welcoming and organised desk will not only improve the look of your home but will also inspire you to work more diligently and quickly, clear desk = productive mind.

 

We’ve compiled 7 easy organisation tips to help keep on top of your to-do list and set you up for success for 2023.

 

Happy reading and we bet you won’t be able to wait to sort your space!

1. 10 minutes a day

Give yourself either 10 minutes at the end of your day or the start (whatever will get you motivated) to declutter, clear your space and computer. 

 

Disable all notifications, move your phone to a separate location (or simply turn it over) and close all unwanted web browsers. Plan for the day ahead and start your day with one key task before looking or doing anything else. With a clear desk, cleared computer and one task achieved, how can you not feel motivated 🙂

 

Have a place for all your paper trail, good old trays still work if you are not all digitised yet. The best way to control your space is to control what enters your house and workstation and deal with it straight away before it becomes clutter.

 

Key tip – always have a home for your office items. It helps organise and declutter and saves time as you are never wondering where things are.

Pic: Pinterest

2. Let's get organised 

Next, the best way to set you up for success is to get the tools. You can go to Ikea, Officeworks, Kmart, Target, Myer, Temple & Webster and if you want to go down a rabbit hole, check out Etsy, so many fabulous storage ideas.

 

Add to the list; storage for paperwork, open cabinets for books and work memorabilia, compartmentalised drawers for storing some basic stationery, pen holders, cord holders, storage baskets and boxes.

Sorting the workspace with these basic items is a start to getting your workspace looking good and organised. 

 

Key tip – make a list of items you want to store (and then a list of the items to store them in) and get Googling. Choose a retailer, write your list of items then go in and conquer. Always have a list cause if you don’t you will get distracted and it will be hours lost.

 

Source: Tumblr 

3. Ways to store ​

Some storage suggestions…

 

a. Open/closed shelving 

* Temple & Webster – Mesh 2 door storage

 

b. Storage cabinet and files do not need to be boring check out;

* Mustard Made

* Hay – lots of fabulous desk storage

* Design Stuff – for storage caddies and more

 

c. File organisers

* Ikea – lots of file organisers and storage solutions

 

d. Plastic bins 

* Hay shade bins are fab 

 

e. Storage baskets or boxes

* Storage Box for Plugs/Cables/Wires

 

f. Draw sorters

* Kmart – lots of home office suggestions

 

g. Colour coding filing system / label makers

4. Working the wellness

Now you have an organised and decluttered desk here are some easy steps to get you into your flow.

 

1. Are you in a space that stimulates your creativity or productivity? For me it’s absolute silence but for others it could be classical music (baroque is meant to help you with your focus) or easy listening tunes.

 

2. Are you surrounded with oxygen giving, air cleaning, green loving plants? Fill your space with greenery as it not only looks beautiful but serves a wellness function too.

 

3. Light, are you near a good light source? Is your screen facing it so you don’t have glare? Open those blinds and windows and take in the natural light and air and connect with nature.

 

4. It’s commonly known that smell is the most rapid-acting of all the senses, accessing brain receptors before the other senses kick in. So make sure your work environment is stimulating your mind.

 

Based on what researchers found, here are some scientifically proven scents that can be infused into a workspace to help improve productivity:
* Lavender.
* Lemon.
* Sandalwood.
* Jasmine.
* Peppermint.
* Rosemary.

 

Key tip – if it fosters productivity improvement and burnout reduction then why not!!! Cater to your senses and see the joy blossom.

Source : Instagram 

5. Creating happy homes for your things

When everything has a home there are a few different benefits, firstly, you know where to find it and can save your precious time during the day, secondly, when items have a home they are less likely to get damaged and it is important to treat our ‘things’ with respect and care to ensure they will serve their purpose for as long as possible.

 

Have a destination for the items you use everyday. Also have a draw, cupboard or shelf for the items that don’t have a home, at least then you know where to always start your search.

 

Labelling and organising according to your personal logic is always best. Your workstation will run much more efficiently if it caters to your lifestyle and ways of working.

Source: A beautiful mess

6 Workspace lighting 

It’s time to get the task light you used in high school back, however it can be much more stylish 🙂

 

We cannot emphasise enough the importance of including good, effective lighting to amplify the workspace and help you concentrate on your activity, let alone keeping your eyes less strained.

 

Here are some of the ones we like/love from some different price points:

* Beacon Lighting – minimal, stylish and cost effective – $40

* Temple and Webster – cost effective and super functional – RRP $45

* Matt Blatt – simple and minimal – $134

* Temple and Webster – a little more contemporary – $119

* Design Italy – if you want to go a little more unusual – $350

And now for my very, personal favourites:

* Muuto Tip Table Lamp – as pictured here – $400

* Anglepoise – Type 75 Paul Smith Edition Four – if you want to brighten up your space – $575

* &Tradition – Flowerpot VP3 table lamp – Just puts a smile on my face every time – $675

* &Tradition – Tripod table lamp is a favourite – $800

* Louis Poulsen – AJ Table Light – the colour choices are fabulous – $2150

 

Ah… I could go on forever with my faves.

Source: Mutto 

7  Control your schedule and to-do lists.

How do you remember to go to your meetings, assignments, and other commitments? Are you old-school analogue paper and pen, or have you switched to a digital calendar, but are still using sticky notes to keep track of deadlines and crucial dates?

 

Choose a strategy that you can stick with. All of your significant reminders can be stored on your mobile or other personal device if you choose to go paperless. This covers all of your due dates, appointments, meetings and to-do lists.

 

Throw away all of your previous to-do lists on paper. So that you always know where you need to go, sync your phone’s calendar with the one on your computer.

 

Another option is to remain with a more traditional structure, such as a memo board. The best way to keep track of all your significant monthly events is to use a magnetic, write-on, or calendar-style board. Maintain it up to date and hang it directly over your workstation.

 

For your to-do lists, I really find it helpful to block out time in the calendar. I have weekly project update sessions, weekly catch-ups with my team, no meeting days and design days. If I have consistency (well try to) in my weeks that helps me organise my life a little 😉

 

Key tip – whatever you do, just make sure it is all in the one place, this way you will never miss out on a date or ‘action’ item.

Source: Crate & Barrel 

These little organisational suggestions can assist you in creating a plan to structure your everyday work/life space in a much more balanced and joyful way. Start small and try and make consistent, little changes, everyday that help you de-stress and more productive.

 

We love decluttering, organising and sorting. Just love it. If you enjoyed reading our blog, stay tuned on our socials to catch a glimpse of some behind-the-scenes de-cluttering in the home workplace. If it’s all too much and you want some help kick-starting your work space, we’re just a call away!

Book in a call here and we can get you started.

Big love

Aisha xox

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Moving Smoothly Team

Moving Smoothly – Insiders Tip

Moving Smoothly Team

We all know how stressful moving house can be. I have moved house 6 times (including interstate) in the last 6 years. You always have a lot more than you imagine and finding the right people to move with or help make the process easier, stress-free, is no easy feat. 

 

The last 3 (home and studio) moves I have endured were made so much easier with the team at Moving Smoothly. And, as my purpose in life is to bring more joy, make life simpler and help people find or settle into their ideal home space, have to introduce you to the Moving Smoothly difference.

As we all know moving house can be an overwhelming experience – so much to do and organise and often with very little time.

 

Operating for more than ten years, the Moving Smoothly team has packed, moved, de-cluttered and unpacked 1000’s of homes all across Sydney and know exactly what is required when moving house. I can definitely vouch for the speed and efficiency!

 

The owner, Alison has carefully selected her incredible lovely team to ensure they all have practical, caring compassionate natures and will take pride in helping you when you need it most. Trained to pack and unpack to professional standards, you can feel confident knowing that our staff can be trusted with your most valuable possessions – treating them as if they were their own.

 

They understand that no two homes (or owners) are the same, that’s why they visit you at the outset (in person or virtually) to assess your requirements and provide you with a personalised, obligation-free quote.

 

From packing and unpacking, organising removalists to de-cluttering, cleaning and even setting up your utilities, Moving Smoothly can take care of your entire move, leaving you free to get on with your busy life.

 

Knowing that their team can be trusted with your most priceless items, gives someone like me peace of mind, especially with all my moments, art and objects that I have carefully curated over the years.

 

Moving Smoothly can handle every aspect of your relocation, freeing you up to get on with your busy life. 

Moving Smoothly offer a plethora of services including, calmly, efficiently and quickly;

 

  • Decluttering 
  • Packing / Unpacking 
  • Home organizing 
  • Removals
  • Rubbish removal 
  • Really anything you need!

 

I would highly recommend the team and I have even partnered with the team on a few big jobs as you can always do with a set of extra professional and friendly hands.


You know where to look at to satisfy your interior needs with efficient moving. Reach out to us to plan house interiors and we’ll guide you in the best way possible. 

– Aisha xoxo

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Feng Shui : What it means and it’s adaptation in everyday spaces.

An interior designer's guide to implementing this ancient Chinese philosophy.
Source : Elle Decor

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that seeks to achieve balance and harmony between elements. Incorporating Feng Shui goes further than just Western design methodologies of comfort and aesthetics; it also addresses physical and mental health, lifestyle and healthy relationships, all of which are influenced by positive energy flow.

 

As our world at Hills & West revolves around the philosophy of positive energy, we wanted to give you a little background into Feng Shui and how we try to incorporate it into our designs. Enjoy !!

What is Feng Shui ?

Feng Shui has been practiced for at least 6,000 years and is still popular today as it focuses on something that we all care about: improving the positive energy in our lives.

 

The phrase is made up of the two terms “Feng” (which means wind) and “Shui” (which means water). The basic concept of Feng Shui is that everything around us, including our material possessions, contains energy known as ‘Chi’. If the chi can flow and the environment is in harmony, the good energy in our homes and lives will increase, attracting every type of good fortune that we all seek: health, wealth, love, and more.

 

So, if this chi is obstructed, it may prevent opportunity, good health and financial security from entering our lives, impacting our well-being and quality of life by this negative energy. We can all recall having experienced or have lived in a situation when the atmosphere was poisonous to our health. While not solely attributable to factors like the design or architecture of the house, everything is interconnected and affects the energy in the environment and within ourselves.

The structure of direction

To implement Feng Shui in your everyday spaces, you must first understand the dominant position. The area of a room that is furthest from the door and not directly across from it is considered to be the dominant position in Feng Shui. It places you across from the door and ideally, you should be able to see the door. You should spend most of your time in the dominant position when in a room.

 

By certain fundamental Feng Shui principles, you should identify the dominant position in the room and, if at all feasible, align your bed, desk, or stove diagonally with it. 

Source : Feng Shui By Bridget

What components make up Feng Shui ?

Feng Shui is based on basic elements; fire, earth, metal, wood, water; wood being the most significant. 

 

Water: Represents sageness and tranquility. This element attracts luck and pleasure. Things like placing a fish tank close to your work location and away from the window are all ways to enhance your Feng Shui.

 

Wood: Represents growth and vitality. Placing wood items in your space encourages personal growth. Plants and wooden furniture are easy ways to add this element.

 

Metal: Resonates wisdom and reason. It promotes intelligence and mental clarity. Use sculptures or metal frames to include this aspect in your space.

 

Earth: It aids in stabilising and grounding. Using rocks, crystals and landscape photography, bring the earth aspect indoors. 

 

Fire: A symbol of passion and vigor. It stands for transformation, growth and turbulence. Use red furnishings and candles to add fire to your space.

Source : The spruce

What is Feng Shui Bagua map ?

The Feng Shui energy map is called a Bagua and is placed on your home’s floor layout. “Eight regions” is the literal translation of the Chinese word “Bagua.”

 

Each of the eight categories has a connection to a certain aspect of life, such as family, wealth or job. And each of these regions has matching earthly elements, shapes, colors, seasons and numbers. You, a representation of your entire wellness, are located in the Bagua’s ninth section, at its core.

 

There are various Feng Shui schools of thought. When analysing your home, they all use Baguas in different ways. Western and BTB (Black Sect) schools typically lay the Bagua so that the knowledge, career and helpful areas align with the home’s front door. The Bagua may be oriented by the Flying Stars or other classical schools based on the energy of the year or the compass.

 

How to read and use western Bagua map ?

The Bagua map can be applied in the simplest way possible if you’re new to feng shui by superimposing it on your floor plan.

 

The doorway should be oriented south and should intersect one of the bottom three squares. Though it might be normal for people to Feng Shui an entire house or apartment, the Bagua map can be used on any size or shape of space. It’s crucial to decorate with the right things and stay away from things that prevent energy flow, all to encourage the right flow in each quadrant.

 

It’s all about maximising flow, energy and harnessing the power of the elements to bring the most positive energy to your everyday.

Source : Right -Invaluable.com | Left - WeMystic

What are some Feng Shui decorating ideas in general ?

Here are some simple Feng Shui ideas to get you started;

 

1. Welcome Home – make a wonderful first impression, a welcoming front door attracts positive energy into your home. 

 

2. This is one we LOVE… clear that clutter.

Too much clutter prevents energy from flowing and clutters your mind. A clean environment allows you to breathe, clear your mind and make space for the chaos of life.

 

3. Crystals – rose quartz is good for love, tourmaline is good for protection and citrine is good for healing and wealth. 

 

4. Ensure that air and light can enter, as air is essential to the meaning of Feng Shui, it must be allowed to flow freely. Natural light and air will bring in positive energy and rejuvenation.

 

5. Position the bed and desk near the doorways. Facing the entrance increases power while decreasing vulnerability.

 

6. Natural elements – place houseplants throughout your home or office. Plants boost energy, improve health and naturally purify the air.

Source : Illustrations by Theresa Choi | Deleon realty

By understanding the origins of different philosophical practices and their impact on our homes and the environments in which we inhabit, we can start to interweave their benefits into our lives.

 

When we feel happy, energised, safe and nurtured in a space, it then becomes a home we love returning back to.

We love learning more and more about Feng Shui and hope you have too. But wait… there is always more… next we will delve into individual spaces and how to best implement Feng Shui into these spaces.

Have a look around your home, what Feng Shui design principles have you used?

 

Feel free to share below. We’re always here to help you get your Feng Shui on, so book in a chat if you would like some more zen and flow in your life.

 

Big Love,

Aisha xox

Source : Parachute blog
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STYLING TO SELL – THE H&W WAY

You only have a few minutes to impress.

You want buyers to fall in love, instantly.

You want to evoke that feeling of ‘this is the one’.

You don’t want price to even be part of the conversation.

In today’s cluttered, chaotic, unpredictable and competitive world, your home and property assets need to work harder than ever.

A prospective home needs to speak to the soul, be aspirational and demonstrate a congruence with the lifestyle a potential buyer wants to lead.

We are here to help you create that ‘wow’ moment and help buyers envisage a better more happier life in your home.

We want to make your home memorable amongst the competition and get you the return on investment you have worked so hard for.

Here are some of out tips to help you get sale-ready and create the most desirable home on the listings list.

7 Easy Tweaks To Make Your Home Stand Out

1. Who’s your ideal buyer?

First things first, find out who’s your ideal buyer so you can make sure you are ticking their wish-list boxes. You want to ‘WOW’ so you need to know the non-negotiables and prep your home for the best sales result.

Real estate professionals know who is searching in your area, your street, love your style home and configuration. Every buyer is different however it is not hard to tweak and refresh your home to appeal to that buyer and get you the sale price you have worked so hard for. Decluttering, refreshing and tszujing your home into something that appeals to your ideal buyers can add a few more 00s to your selling price, so adding the effort in really does pay off.

Try to avoid polarising prospective buyers by removing personalised items, injecting more neutral tones, clean lines and subtle accents, helping portray a bit of a blank canvas, that helps prospects visualise how they can make this house into their home.

Your home should be inviting, aspirational and demonstrate how a buyer can live a happier, more stress-free life in it. You don’t want buyers to walk into a room and be fixated on one particular piece of furniture or thing.

2. Stand out

Photographs are the first step in motivating prospects to add your open house to their viewing list.

Stand-out photography makes all the difference and this is an area you really need to invest. Always show unique features of the home, how you use the spaces and what makes your home special.

We know this is obvious but there are so many homes without styled images and it only adds to disappointment when no one shows up.

3. Keep up appearances

Having the most appealing house in the street is always a big tick.

The first thing the buyer sees is curb appeal and how it compares to the other houses. Greenery, flowers, a fresh lick of paint on high traffic areas, new accessories like bench seating, planter arrangements, doorknobs, a welcoming doormat and a house name can really ramp up the home’s appeal.

Make sure your backyard doesn’t disappoint, have an outdoor area that epitomises the Australian dream, of BBQ, sun and fun.

Create a cosy corner and show potential buyers what life could be like if this was their home.

Turramurra | 2021

4. The soft touch

When preparing for open houses, consider the lifestyle and colours of each room before deciding how to decorate it. Decorate according to how the room could be used and the emotions you would like to evoke in the space helps buyers get invested.

Tips like, in your bedrooms, add lots of cushions, throws, dressing areas and seating, you want it to be cosy and inviting, yet show that you can have organisation.

In the kitchen, you want to keep it clean and crisp, demonstrating how functional the space is adding food prep zones, coffee nooks, breakfast benches, bar area and show that this space could be the heart to this cooking families home.

If you have multi-functional spaces, show that they can be used for different activities like an office or yoga pace.

Get creative but remember not to clutter, let the home shine and use the soft furnishings to layer up and add more depth to the space.

Adding the soft touches will make your house into a home for your ideal buyers.

5. Bring the indoors out / In

Everyone know that people love homes that come with plenty of outdoor entertaining space, however many forget to make use of it during open houses.

Demonstrate how the outdoor spaces can be used. Offer refreshments, nibbles and potential reading material on your area.

Bringing the outdoors in, is also very important as greenery if food for the soul. Touch up your  greenery game and invest in good planters and foliage. It makes so much of a difference.

6. If you have renovated, share the journey

If you have completed renovation over the last few years, share the drawings and journey with potential buyers. They can then see the time, money, quality of materials and details that have been invested in the home. This helps reassure buyers of the quality of the home and gives them a sense of confidence that there will be less surprises.

7. Tell a story

Everyone loves a story, it brings us back to our childhood as we were transported to far away lands with heroes and unicorns. When you are selling your home, you want to sell the lifestyle-dream.

If your home has a history this is priceless and should be clearly demonstrated in old historic pictures or pieces that share a part of the history.

I used to live in one of the original mounted police’s captains cottage in Surry Hills and when people visited I used to also point out the original features, the original wooden wedges to keep the bricks aligned, the old fireplaces and where the horses used to be kept. Now, this was a wonderful story and not all properties have this historic narrative, however find a story that has bought you joy.

Point out that your home was a joyful place to raise kids, that your dining room as been a host to many soirees and that your media room (or makeshift rumpus space) keep the kids entertained for hours so you can have some zen time in your mediation corner.

Do you get my gist? Add some colour, make your potential buys visit memorable and your will always be the one they can’t stop thinking about.

 

If you don’t know where to start let us help you refresh and transform your space so you can get sale-ready quickly.

 

We have a few Styling to Live Packages that can help get your started.

1. Declutter and Refresh – declutter, rearrange and maximise your home’s layout, creating more flow and appeal.

Quick and easy with minimal disruption to your day.

2. Style and Stage – Style and curate key pieces of furniture that make your home memorable and a ‘must have’. Transform your home into the one buy’s can’t stop thinking about.

3. Concierge – Let us take over everything for you, from the management of the staging, tradespeople, greenery, cleaners, painters, gardeners, we make the whole sales process easy and stressful–free.

 

Our packages start from as low as $700 and will help you get the sale price you have been dreaming of.

 

As always, if you need anything at all, the Hills & West team are here to help.

 

Enjoy an online consultation and virtual walk-through with our interior stylists and decorators who can help you get started.

 

Book in a time now to chat through your options.

You can also email us for more information hello@hillsandwest.com

Let’s get creative together. xox

 

Thanks James… will try and make all consistent, you are right, I am on the hunt for another VA as the last one was sloppy.

Also, yes, I like the signoff for each blog.
What you think about this for me?
………………………..
Hey, I’m Aisha, Hills & West, founder & creative curator!
* We’re on a mission to help you live more purposefully, stylishly and joyfully… one space at a time.
* Need interior inspiration? You can find more tips and insights for the interior lover here.
* Enjoy a half hour online chat with our interior stylists and decorators.
Promise, you will leave with at least 3 simple steps to get you started.
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A Little Insight Into Window Treatments

Today we’re here to talk about window treatments, specifically curtains, and all the different, wonderful things to consider.

We’re here to break it down and help you on your curtain journey. Don’t worry, we will do another guide to cover the differences between drapes, shades and blinds too soon. Who would have thought there was so much to know about window treatments?!?

 

We love when there is a window refresh as part of our project briefs as window dressings have such a big impact on a space when it comes to light, mood, flow and personality. We want the curtains to enhance your space, make it feel welcoming, safe and facilitate your lifestyle.

 

Here are 5 tips to help you select the right curtain for your space

1. Purchasing Curtains – Single or Doubles

Have you ever wondered why some curtain panels are sold individually? Single curtain panels are designed to cover an entire window and be pulled to one side when opened. You can also purchase curtains in twos, enabling you to place a curtain on both sides of your window. Obvious, but always a consideration.

 

Hills & West tip: As a general rule of thumb, curtains that are attractively full and drape gracefully around the window require two to two-and-a-half times as much fabric as the width of the window itself. We are a lover of more is more so if you can invest in more fabric then it is always worth it.

2. Pinch Pleat Curtains

If you’re going for a traditional style, pleated curtains are your best bet. These curtains are typically made with thicker, heavier fabrics.

Pinch pleat (or tailored pleat) curtains are the most popular kind of pleated curtains. The pleats are stitched and pinched at the top, allowing the folds of the fabric to flow below and create an elegant, formal look.

Pinch pleat curtains range from two-finger pleats to five-finger pleats. More pleats give the curtains a fuller appearance. Three-finger pleats (pictured below) are the most common type of pinched pleated curtains.

 

Hills & West tip: Use pinch pleat curtains in master bedrooms, sitting rooms or more formal entertaining rooms to give the space that more formal and luxe feeling.

3. Box Pleat Curtains

On box pleat curtains, the folds run deep and uninterrupted across the entire length of fabric, providing full coverage with a tailored appearance.

 

Hills & West tip: Box pleats can be a good cost-saving solution as you can have less fullness, less fabric, and it still looks elegant. 

4. Goblet Pleat Curtains

 

Goblet pleat curtains get their name from their as they look like a goblet or wine glass. Goblet curtains are best as framing curtains to decorate a window or in less usage areas. 

 

Hills & West tip: Goblet pleat curtains are ideal for large, formal rooms with high ceilings.

5. Pencil Pleat Curtains

Pencil pleat curtains have thinner, single pleats that make working with various curtain hooks or rods easier. Pencil pleat curtains are the classic curtain header style. 

 

Hills & West tip: Choose pencil pleat curtains for a uniform, gathered finish that can be easily adjusted to look fuller or show more of the print, depending upon your preference.

There is so much to digest with curtains… so, make sure to tune in to our part 2 of tips on how to select the right curtains.

 

Hope this helps you on your curtain journey. If you need any help or have any questions, the Hills & West team is here.

 

Book in a chat here.

Email us for more information hello@hillsandwest.com.

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10 Luxury Decorating Tips On A Budget

Everyone wants a fabulous home that they love coming home to.  

 

Often we don’t have the cashflow to make our interior dreams a reality.

 

Never fear, here we have some creative solutions to help you get that WOW factor and transform your home into a sanctuary that you adore.

 

Here are 10 of our top tricks to help you get styling…

Give your walls some love

Go statement

Art can transform your home

Hardware can make a HUGE difference

Moody magnificence  

Accessorise your home 

Window treatment is a smart choice

Decorative doors

Use minimal patterns

Declutter 

 

With a little bit of vision and resourcefulness, you can really stretch that tight decorating budget.

1. Give Your Walls Some Love

Paint colour, wallpaper and using unique wall treatments will transform a room.

“Wall finishes can vary from historical, modern, sophisticated, to industrial. In fact, you can make your home luxurious just by playing with walls; furniture is incidental. Use mouldings, cornices or ceiling rosettes. European homes are so beautifully layered and textured that they are complete even without any furniture,”Bindu Vadera says.

One of the most discussed decisions when decorating a room is selecting the right paint colour. There are certain colours that add some glamour with minimal investment.

You can go more neutral (and add the personality through art and furniture) or go bold with colour or wallpaper. These decisions depend on your colour personality and whether a minimalist or maximalist home brings you joy. You can do both elegantly and cost effectively.

Another wonderful thing is that you can repaint and change wallpaper reasonably cost-effectively yourself. Be daring, go wild and give it a (pretty risk-free) go.

2. It’s All About Those Statement Pieces

Consider pieces that will instantly make an impression. Maybe a full floor-to-ceiling mirror, a stunning piece of furniture or a fabulous rug to create a statement. Don’t be afraid to go bold. I have a floor to ceiling nude in my lounge and love how visitors react and love how it is such a talking point 🙂

 

You can find amazing vintage pieces in antique stores and online in marketplaces. Keep an eye out. I bought a Parker chair frame (below image on the right) in an antique store that I upholstered with beautiful Warwick fabrics and also bought a Eeero Aarnio Ball chair (top right) that I am obsessed with… all at very reasonable prices.

 

Do keep in mind that it’s important to maintain a balance between function and form. We are all about making your home practical and comfortable. 

 

Also, invest in high-quality fabrics and scotchgard regularly. It is much better to save up for high-quality fabrics and pieces that buy for the sake of buying. This will help your pieces last the test of everyday life.

 

Art | Natasha Wright – Under the Cracked Sun, 2020 | M. Contemporary 

 

3. The Emotional Effect of Art

 

The right art can transform your home. European palaces, Indian forts and havelis (old, Indian palatial homes) are all filled with various eye-catching portraits, sculptures and paintings that always have us looking in awe. Not that I am staying you need to fill the home with old portraits, just remember the effect an amazing piece of art can have on the soul.

 

Aside from art on your walls, consider sculptures, photography, mirrors, plinths with vases and other vintage decors. Art does not have to break the bank,  just as long as it speaks to your heart. 

 

 

Art | Cameron Haas – Untitled 53, 2021| M. Contemporary

 4. Make You Hardware Work For You.

Choosing poor quality or the wrong style of hardware can make your home (especially high usage areas such as kitchens and bathrooms) look far from luxe.

Go for the less is more approach when it comes to door knobs, pulls, tapware etc. If you are purchasing from a regular hardware store, go minimal, sleek and elegant.

 

If you are looking for something unique, take a look at smaller interior stores, flea markets and of course antique warehouses (antique stores are a go to for everything really if you are on a budget). Online is always a treasure trove but make sure you always buy a sample to check the quality before you buy all your hardware in one go.

 

Take the time to find the right minimal, statement and luxury-looking hardware at a much more affordable prices, giving your home the elegant and unique look you desire.

5. Lighting Is Everything

There are a lot of ways that lighting can influence the look and feel of a room. Make sure you have the right lighting for the right usage and purpose of the room.

 

Bright, white lighting is a quick way to make your guests feel on high alert and can make any potentially far from polished design decisions stand out even more like a sore thumb. Dimmed, minimal lighting, with a candle here and there can really get you in the mood quickly.

 

You’ll be surprised how much the mood of a room can change if you put some thought into your lighting by switching up fixtures (add some dimmers) and bulb wattage and styles. Also, don’t be afraid to mix antique pieces with contemporary pieces. Once again, you have to make sure it makes you feel good.

6. We Love Accessories

Accessories are a wonderful way to bring that elegant, bougie touch to your space. Often accessorising gets ditched in the refresh when budgets are over-extend as not an important step in the process but the exact opposite is true. 

There are many affordable ways to accessorise your home while staying within your budget, especially if you bring in layering and adding different textures, candles, cushions, beautiful books, handcrafted ceramics, dried unique floral arrangements.. just sooo many ways to add interest and beauty. We love bringing in some gold or brushed gold touches to create a feeling of opulence… however it has to be added minimally and tastefully. Accessorise with gold picture frames, mirrors, side table and object, all can add that bit of bling. Everyone knows I love an elegant touch of bling in my everyday life.

When accessorising remember the classic decor rule that helps cohesively bring your space together… 60% of the room should be a dominant colour, 30% should be the secondary colour or texture and the last 10% should be an accent (this is where we love to bring in gold).

We just love the layering of throws, cushions and the beautiful ceramics on the table. Also we adore the Vitra-Noguchi coffee table (check out Living Edge) it is a statement iconic table that is timeless.

 

Showcasing Lifestyle | Nulla Nulla | 2019

7. Window Treatment

 

One trick to making a room look glorious is to splurge on window coverings. It’s rather simple—a home without window treatments will most likely look unfinished. Fortunately, window treatments can be one of the most budget-friendly ways to add some elegance to your home, as well as much-needed privacy.

 

When selecting window treatments it is wise to look at the usage of the space and make your choices accordingly. If it is for a bedroom and you like to create a cosy dark space for sleeping look at blockout materials, if it is a dark space select coverings that allow the optimal light though. Like always, we recommend saving up for quality rather than just purchasing a quick-fix solution.

 

BTW this does not mean that you can’t buy off-the-rack curtains. A lot of stores offer solutions that have a luxury impact… even though the price is right. When it comes to window treatments, stick with materials such as natural linens and cottons (or a blend with polyester or man-made fabrics).

8. Get Creative with Doors 

 

Here we are bringing tips 1, 2 and 3 together, creative walls, creating statement pieces and the love of art. Why do doors need to be boring? Create a statement door, add some panelling, give it a unique paint treatment or create some feature room dividers to give yourself some extra wall hanging space and additional cosy conversation corners. All you need is some paint, pre-made panelling and some unique door knobs (or none at all if you want it to be hidden like the doors on the right). You can turn boring closet doors into a piece of art. This is one of my favourite home decor ideas!

Here you can see a kitchen we did in the UK where we added panelling to a kitchen to conceal the pantry and powder room.

9. Less is more

 

We all know less is more but do we know how that translates into the home? A few beautiful key pieces say a lot more that a home dressed with many not as loved, interim solution pieces.

 

Buy pieces that add to your lifestyle.

 

If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

10. Declutter – clean, clear and organised

 

Surprisingly, one of the most affordable ways to make your home look elegant on a budget is actually free. All you need to do is clean and declutter your home. Dusting and vacuuming can actually make your home feel more hotel-like and also allows you to take care of stains and spots on table tops and rugs quickly, keeping them from being damaged and extending their shelf-life.

 

The same is true for your furniture. Another tip is cleaning windows also allows more natural light to fill the room making it even brighter and welcoming. Lastly, regular cleaning allows you to avoid clutter in your home. Not only do you feel better about your home without the clutter, but it allows the other elements you have invested in like pillows, decorations, lighting and furniture pieces to really stand out.

 

Effortless living is what it is all about.

Well, we hope this has inspired you to get a little creative with your space.

 

As always, if you need anything, we are here to help. Book in a virtual call, no obligation, just a chat with myself (Aisha) or Jana, and let us help make your home dreams come true.

 

That’s what brings us joy – enriching the way you live, work, play & connect to what’s important to you.

 

Email us for more information hello@hillsandwest.com

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Turramurra | 2021

How To Get Your Home Airbnb Ready!

It’s winter, you can add some warm throws to make it comfortable. Have some interesting coffee table books and coasters if you would like your guests to feel at ease.
Greenery and soft furnishings make a place feel like home.
Art and objects always adds interest to a space.
Coffee & team making facilities are a must
If you are encouraging families then having a kids area is always a positive
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Smart Storage

8 Easy Steps To Clutter-Free Heaven – Your Go-To Declutter Checklist

Let’s start with some questions…

 

Do you have spaces in your home that overwhelm you?

Is your garage a dumping ground for, well, everything?

Does your laundry give you even more angst than the piling dirty washing?

Does your wardrobe make you cringe every time you open it?

Have you downsized or moved, to find that years later you still have boxes that have never been unpacked?

Lastly, have you ever noticed how difficult it is to be truly present in a messy, disorganized room?

 

Are you nodding and saying yes yes yes… well this list goes on and on and on for so many of us. Life has so many priorities and it is hard to focus on our own spaces.

We believe that the first step in crafting the life you want to live is to get rid of the things that hold you back! 

What if I told you that there were 8 easy steps to get you towards organised bliss? 

Steps that will help you, save time, create space, keep the kid’s rooms organised (well as much as you can – kids will be kids), keep the partner happy, puppy entertained, but most of all, you stress-free and with bouts of inner joy… what would you say?

 

Don’t wait any longer to tackle your clutter, use our tried and tested eight decluttering tips;

1. A date in the diary

2. Start with a simple category

3. Get it out and spread it all about

4. Assess and edit

5. Be smart with storage

6. Treat yourself (now we all like that one)

7. If you don’t know, don’t throw

8. Donate 

 

Yes, it is that easy.

Now you can see it is not half as scary as you thought (no folding undies here), so let’s get started with the ‘How To’;

 

1. Commit yourself – put a date in the diary

All you need to start is to allocate some time in the diary. See you are already one step towards a well-organised, productive home. 

Put a half hour to an hour, totally undisrupted, once a week, whatever fits in your life, and make it a date with yourself. Grab a cuppa, wine, play some of your favourite tunes and just start. 

When you get yourself mentally prepared with the right mindset and allocated time, you are 90% there.

Start your declutter - Put a date in the diary
Declutter Challenge | EverydaySavvy.com

2. Tidy by category, not necessarily location

 

I know this is controversial but hear me out. Often as time goes on certain things spread over the home in the attempt to quickly put it away. Paperwork in the third drawer, medicine in the bathroom/kitchen, tools in the laundry with the cleaning products, the spare room a catch-all for the antiques so you can hardly move, anything/everything that hasn’t a home finds its way to the garage or under the stairs… the list goes on etc.

 

When we talk about categories, we are talking about clothing, bookkeeping, photos, medicine, specific room furniture, toys, outdoor accessories… you get our gist.

 

It is all about selecting the category that annoys you the most (for me it is often the kitchen as I don’t know why this always ends up being the catch-all for everything) and make a plan. 

 

For example, this weekend (Sunday mornings are my sort and get prepped for the week day) I am going to tackle my beauty products as my face moisturiser ran out and I think I have a space in my toiletry drawer in the bathroom or one in my other ‘extras’ drawer upstairs and somehow it is overflowing again. It needs a good sort.

 

If you are confused about where to start, here are 30 categories/places to tackle in 30 days. You don’t have to do them in 30 days, they are just ideas to get you started.

3. Get everything out and spread it all about

 

Go around the home, all the random spaces you might have that categories’ items stored and put it all on your bed (or the floor if we are tackling kitchen wear etc). Once it is all out you have committed to sorting what is there, and you can also see everything you have. You might even find some things you forgot you had.

 

This is why we don’t do location, imagine getting everything out of your garage, you would still be there tomorrow. Pick a category or section and start once small goal at a time.

Another fun and easy step!

4. Be smart with storage

 

Having a mix of box sizes, bins, baskets, draw dividers, labels, sticky notes, hooks, catchall trays and vessels, all make sorting easier. 

 

Consider what kind of storage you need and make sure it works for your house and family. Hooks might be the solution for your everyday coats, bags, hats and dog leashes. Things don’t always have to be hidden away. 

 

Also, make the most of underutilised storage spaces such as underbed (Ikea have cheap really good underbed container solutions – actually lots of storage options) for your seasonal clothing that you don’t wear in the warmer or colder months or season duvets.

 

Have a look at what you need to store where. You may have to adjust your shelves for those tall books or vases and if you need a place to store your family shoes (if you are a no shoe household), then a nice shoe cupboard in the hallway might be the solution.

 

This then leads me into step 5!

Smart Storage

5. Treat yourself to stylish storage

Having nice storage encourages you to keep things well-organised and well… nice.

New storage items and organisers like the same hangers, stylish boxes, baskets, etc all help you enjoy the new and tidy aesthetic.

Storage doesn’t have to mean ugly plastic bins. There are plenty of stylish options (think rattan or leather baskets) that can double as décor and match your style.

Like I mentioned above, hooks or ladders are a great solution to contain your clutter. For example in the bathroom, hooks are great for hanging towels, robes, smaller items such as watches or jewellery for when you are showering or washing your face.

Here are just some of the websites we love to style up our storage:

–       Design Stuff – not only is there storage selection stunning, you should check out their other items.

–       The Décor House – Here are ideas for the bedroom but they have so much more.

–       Temple and Webster – have a whole section broken down into spaces .

6. Assess and edit (Kondo’s spark joy moments)

 

Our advice is to do this in stages:

–       First go through everything and discard anything that is a 100% sure thing to go. These are items that cannot be donated or given away. If it is broken, you have not worn it in 10 years, you need to change that wire or find that random battery… it is a go.

–       Then go through what is left a second time and ask yourself have you used it recently, does it add to your life and if you would truly miss this item if it was gone.

–       Once you have edited, you can relocate the extra items, occasional-use products, into labelled containers or the correct location.

 

Remember, you don’t have to do this all in one seating. If you know it will take longer, spread it all about in a way you can live with it for a week or until your next declutter date.  

Declutter - Keep what sparks joy

7. If you don’t know, don’t throw

 

While you are sorting, make a box with things you can’t make a decision on, write a date on this box and put it somewhere out of sight (garage or under the stairs).

 

Then if you haven’t used or looked into it for 6-12 months, get rid of it.

 

8. Repurpose, gift and donate

We love a good recycle, reuse or gift story. Try to donate as much as you can as the items you no longer use might spark joy into someone else’s life. 

Donate or consign the rest and make sure to keep a box accessible for storing donations as they come up. When the bag is full, drop off the donations so you can maintain a streamlined wardrobe and house.

Here are some great options for you:

–       You can drop off at Vinnes or the Salvation Army.

–       The Generous and Grateful are an amazing service (they are paused at the moment as moving warehouses but check it out). 

–       There are also rubbish removal services that recycle so check them out too.

“Decluttering doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process—and often, one that requires equal parts motivation and inspiration.”

While a one-time clean-out is an awesome start, consider editing your spaces at least once a quarter to keep on top of the clutter. 

 

We all thrive better when we have the space to live and think. We set goals and lists with all other aspects of our lives, work, next trip, back to school preparation, why do we not give ourselves the space when it comes to our declutter goals?

 

Start today and put that date in the diary. 

 

Our mission is to inspire you to take that first step and clear the physical and resulting mental clutter. 

 

I will leave you on this one as it always makes me giggle as I look around my office at all the books I will re-read….

 

“Remember: you are not what you own. Storing all those books doesn’t make you any smarter; it just makes your life more cluttered.” Francine Jay.

 

If the whole process just overwhelms you… we are here to help.

 

If you just don’t have the time, and hell we know how chaotic life can be, we offer a ‘Home Declutter & Life Reclaimer Package’ where we roll up our sleeves and tackle those tricky spaces for you (or with you).

 

We effortlessly transform your home into a space that reflects and inspires the way you want to live. We like to think of ourselves as ‘lifestyle crafters,’ helping you fuel your best life starting in your home.

 

Book in our free half hour ‘How we can help’ sessions to chat through your decluttering needs. We work in pairs for maximum impact and sort in 2 hour blocks at $450. Does that sound like heaven to you?

 

No strings attached, only helpful tips to help with the styling overwhelm.

 

AISHA HILLARY- MORGAN – Creative Director & Head Stylist


Aisha creates balanced, harmonious spaces that are bound together by a carefully considered design narrative, enriching the way you live.

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Styling & Decluttering Ideas for Back to School

We are well into 2022 and the back to school (let alone getting back into the work routine) can be daunting, a bit chaotic, especially since so many of us have been home schooling for so long. We are all about lightening your load, simplifying the everyday and setting the home up for successful mornings, productive afternoons and calm, super chilled (tantrum free) evenings.

 

 

We have curated a few simple styling, decorating and decluttering tips to get you prepped and embracing the fun (and chaos) of juggling back to school and back to work.

 

I love this quote “it’s not enough to just hope for a happy and healthy life, it’s a combination of mindset, routines and habits working together that will get you there.” We would take it one step further, mindset, routines, habits and the right home environment to get you there…

 


Set your family up for success

Set up the night before and simplify your morning.

 

Everyone’s morning routine is unique… and that is unique with a whole lot of unplanned additions. Here are a few small hacks you can set up that make the morning a little more streamlined.

 

1. Visual Checklists and Organisers – when it comes to back to school the checklist and organiser has never been so important. We are all visual creatures, so having a visual checklist of what needs to be done, what is planned for the week and any variances in schedule really helps the routine. Also, everything having a place helps minimise thinking and creates habits that creates space for learning and quiet time.

There are a lot of stylish ones out there you can even make it a focal piece of your workspace.

 

2. Pack your bags (and your #OOTD – outfit of the day) the night before.

This is a good one for the kids and the adults of the household. I am a massive fan of this one.

 

3. Have your gym bag ready by the door. For the kids or the adults too.

 

4. Drinking water not only is a must for health it is a big booster for concentration. Set out water bottles (recyclable if possible) to remind you to take them, or fill them the night before and put them in the fridge.

 

5. Has everything got a place in your home? Where do you store your school bags, your gym bag, lunch boxes, sun creams, hats, keys etc.

 

6. Maximise your sleep – last but definitely not least, you have to have your sleep situation maximised as nothing beats a good night rest. 

 

We love to delve into your morning routine and see if there are any small changes we can help you make to simplify. It’s all about optimizing space and finding storage solutions that fit into your daily needs.

 

Ask yourself, what are our bottlenecks and pain points in the morning, and what can you create to make your life a little more streamlined?

Re-work and Re-love your Space

No one likes a cramped, cluttered, poorly lit or messy work space. It’s a huge distraction and there are many things we can do to help us keep focused and that promotes good and productive work habits in the home.

Whether it’s random junk that simply doesn’t have a place to go or it’s a collection of toys that your kids like to have on display, it all needs to be removed from the workspace and have a nice home that it can be easily located again.

Creating a work zone helps study time be study time and here are some elements to consider:

  • Proper Lighting – One of the most common mistakes people of all ages make these days is when they assume that the light given off by a computer monitor is enough light to work safely.  Back to school styling ideas should always include some plan for proper lighting.  
  • A Comfortable Chair – Having an uncomfortable chair is sooo distracting. This is a must for productivity, posture and also your eyes in the long-term.
  • Colour to stimulate focus – yellow is an energising colour and green is comforting, check your space and see if you have the right mix of colours that will keep you stimulated and focused. What are the colours you love and get you into the productive working zone?
  • Bring in the green – greenery is not only beautiful, but they also help reduce toxins in the air, boost your mood and improve productivity. If you don’t want the commitment of a houseplant, try adding a bouquet of flowers from the garden or succulents to your counter for an instant mood boost. Greenery makes an excellent addition to any room. Incorporating plants into your bedroom also helps for better night’s sleep!

 

Styling and decluttering ideas can vary hugely depending on the number of kids you have, number of rooms, routines and the WFH situation.

However, there are always some constants and making some of the above tweaks will make a world of difference. 

Here are some product we love that can easily help style your family set up:

Weekly planners
– Personalise with this Etsy monthly organiser
Kikki-K 
Office Works 
Miss Jacob’s Little Learners 
Anthropologie 

 

Stylish school chairs, desks & lighting:
Life Interiors 
Norsu 
Ikea 
Koala Living 
Royal Design 

Lockers for storage and organising: 
Mustard Made Lockers
Montana Furniture 
– Ikea Organisers 
RJ Living 

 

We help tailoring a study space for our smaller clients and help to make the daily school run smoother for the entire family.

This is what one busy mum shared with us...

“Being a single mum, my 13yo and 9yo had ended up with an array of different pieces of furniture and toys, games, clothes plus bits and pieces from different ages and stages in their bedrooms. Aisha and Jana suggested a functional session that they would host directly with the girls for a few hours in the school holidays and it’s been a gamechanger.  They cleared the clutter and the girls are more comfortable in and proud of their personal spaces.  I’d highly recommend this process to any parent (or anyone really) challenged by clutter and disorganisation in the home!”

Mum from Coogee

If you would love some help to get your family #BacktoSchoolReady then reach out for a chat.

 

Within a 2 hour declutter session we can have your space transformed into a productive retreat that will help you manage what else 2022 throws your way.

 

We are ready, let us help you!

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Our 5 Key Ingredients to a Healthier & Happier Home

Often in life things feel complicated, overwhelming and cluttered. There is just way too much noise. Life has too much choice, too many things we ‘should’ be doing and just too many ‘tabs’ open. Who hears me?

At Hills & West Interiors we love a simple, purposeful yet playful outlook on life, and to our spaces, and for us, that comes with a few easy guides to steer us, in the right direction (we all know life is full of distractions).

 

 

Here are our 5 key ingredients to curate a happier home and everyday life.

 

1. A Mess Makeover 

Decluttering, simplifying and improving everyday life.

Disorganised stimuli takes your focus away from what is important.

 

Following are just some of the things we consider:

Making choices easier – how do you live and where are your pressure points?

Easy decluttering steps to improve productivity

– The ‘have you used it in the last year?’ test

Clutter free surfaces providing space to breathe

– Giving key items, especially items used every day, a place to live

Easy access – the value of open storage

Reclaim your mornings and weekend – what are the simple things that can make the morning routine stress-free?

2. It’s All About You 

Tailoring your space to your personality and lifestyle are all about creating havens that spark purpose, happiness and connection for you.

 

Bring more of;

– what brings you joy?

– what is the style direction that caters to your taste however also lifestyle?

– your personality into your space – memories, personal pieces from travels, words with meaning etc.

– art that speaks to you and crates a talking pieces in your home

– fun – what does that mean to you?

 

Remember that feeling when you have a fabulous outfit on and you walk with your head held high. What are the secret ingredients, colours, fabrics, combinations and curate that in your home. Your home is your safe space and must cater to your loves, needs and lifestyle… not anyone else’s expectations.

 

We love simple, purposeful & a little bit of playful.

 

A few small changes can have a huge impact on your everyday.

 

 

3. Functional Bliss

This is where the purposeful and functional come into play.

Focusing on functionality to facilitate easy living and architecting your spaces to cater to the lifestyle you want to lead.

 

This can all be curated by setting up;

– Clever space hacks

– Balance harmony, utility and intentional placement

– Optimising space – maximising space for how you live and use your spaces

– Reviewing how functional is your home;

      • Zones – rugs and placement
      • Comfort levels
      • Tricky nooks
      • Places for quiet, productivity, conversation corners, connection and fun
      • Flow and movement
      • Pet spaces
      • Exercise/wellness spaces

 

We feel when it comes to your home, you get what you give. The more you consider and curate your space the more it will give back.

 

4. Mood Maker

Carefully curating colour, lighting, some furnishings and accessories creating ambiance and the right mood for the right space.

 

There is so much power in colour, fragrance, window dressings and lighting, here are just some of the things we consider;

– Colour palette rules 60/30/10 (60% of the room should be a dominant colour, 30% should be the secondary colour or texture and the last 10% should be an accent)

– Your personal mood boosting colours

– Right colours for the right rooms – what is the function of the room?

– Let the light in (or create it)

– Mirror magic for light, space and function

– Accessories – sometimes less is more, however adding decorations can make all the difference

– Selecting window dressings to both service a function, such as privacy, sound proofing, sun protection; and mood, such as distinguishing the bedroom from the living space.

– Seasonal refreshes to settle you in for the winter or jump start the spring season

– Creating joyful moments

 

Building a personal space that feels like home and is that enclave of peace and reprieve is what we strive for.

 

5. Grounding 

If we can’t feel grounded and connected in our home, where can we?

Bringing in elements that ground you can make a world of difference, this includes;

– Grounding natural elements – greenery

– What is your fragrance? How can we instill a sense of safety, comfort and mood

– Textures it up – looking at the mix of woods, stone, floor coverings and finishings give you a sense of comfort and softness

– Home wellness – have you optimised your home wellness through ventilation, light, placement and memories

 

We work with you to create spaces that inspire you and allow you to live the life you want to live. No matter how simple or complex your interior styling requirements are, we execute every detail and make the most out of your available budget.

 

We are on a Mission to empower people to create spaces that enrich the way they live, work and play, ultimately enjoying a happier, more connected and stress-free way of living. It is that simple. We would love to create with you.

 

An easy way to start is to book in a mini mess makeover session. In 2 hours watch us makeover a key space in your home that will set you up for blissful success in 2022.

 

Do you want live differently in 2022?

 

Take that first step here. 

AISHA HILLARY MORGAN

 

Aisha creates balanced, harmonius spaces that are bound together by a carefully considered design narrative

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