Styling Tips

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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5 ways to consciously shape your house into a home

1. Minimalism is Always on Trend

Sprinkling your home with a few beautiful, key pieces that are in harmony together guarantees that you would be inhabiting a calming space. These key pieces are to be the cornerstone of your home. By building your base with a neutral colour palate and then personalise through furnishing with colour accents. Have a mix of keeping things cozy and textured for the cooler months and light and bright as things warm up. The colours white, blue, grey and green are always safe as are a mix of organic and industrial materials. This will minimise your footprint and maximise your pleasure.

About 8 years ago I was in a master class with Danish chef, Rene Redzepi, who said when he crafted his dishes he would always try to source the ingredients from the same place. This would make the dish have a synergy and flavour that was powerful and totally unique.

Whatever we do, it is always a focus on being purposeful yet playful to bring joy.

2. Functional Beauty

Scandinavian design is a huge inspiration for me. Since the early 20th century, Scandinavians have been driven by an aesthetic marked with minimalism and functionality. You can’t go wrong with white on wood.

When you are next acquiring something for your home think whether the piece is functional, timeless and if that piece will round out and bring ioy to the way you use the space it will reside in.

3. De-cluttering is Cathartic

Is it time to assess the things in your life?

Possessions, although many are wonderful, can have the tendency to tie us down mentally and physically. De-cluttering can make you feel refreshed, opening your mind and outlook.
For someone who has had to move 6 times in the last 2 years, decluttering has become part of my everyday. Now, when I look around me, all pieces have a story, are timeless and bring me ioy. I have had to cull and be ruthless, but I am grateful because I love everything I have and don’t own anything without meaning. A great place to start is the wardrobe.

A space in itself needs to be thoughtful and considered. It can be beautiful without ornamentation or decoration. Maybe there is someone out there who needs it more, gifting in place of throwing away will give you a whole other sense of joy.

We are about to embark on our next move but have locked in 2 years so we are super excited to share our new space with you soon.

4. Buy Local

According to Smart Company, nine out of ten Aussie consumers prefer to buy locally made goods. Not only are we then supporting local producers, we can have a direct connection with the makers and know that the products are ethically sourced and made.

Buying something local, handmade, that is not often instant purchase gratification, can  have much greater long-term benefits.

My tip is to be curious and knowledgeable — always know where your fashion, interiors and food come from. It makes everything so much more enjoyable and delicious.

5. It’s all about balance

In the pleasant quest of trying to craft a balanced life, finding the right amount of conscious buying, slow design, and realism in what you can afford, is not about what you are not doing, ifs the baby steps towards what you can try to change.

In your pursuit of happiness, functional minimalism, a decluttered space and knowing what you eat and wear is ethical, all helps to minimise distraction and allow you to focus on your purpose — whatever it may be.

A beautifully designed space that inspires me to be c reative, sparks joy and enables me to think of whars ahead rather than distract, isdefinitely essential in the way I live in my home.

AISHA HILLARY MORGAN

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

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Spring Into Spring With Our Art Edit

Spring is finally here. It is a time of rebirth and renewal in the outdoors and so it is a glorious time to do the same indoors. It’s an opportunity to put away some of your dark colours and throws that kept you feeling cozy in the winter months and add some fresher, brighter colours and objects to your home. Here are some of our tips, especially around some fabulous contemporary pieces of art, to get you into the spring spirit and lighten up your interior.
Let's start with some basics…

When it comes to colours, replace browns, blacks and deep jewel tones with pastels and even bright primary colours where possible. Florals are always strong seasonal trends that will brighten any mood.

Windows are suns gateway into our homes and responsible for filtering in natural light, focusing on your windows can brighten any room, bring the outdoors in and transform any space for spring. Washing your windows can instantly lighten and cleanse. Also adding more botanicals to your window spaces really brings the fresh outside, in.

Tips like a fresh coat of paint or repainting faded trims in a coat of bright white can help lighten up any room. Also we are totally obsessed with wallpaper at the moment. Wallpaper a feature wall, a trim or ceiling, you can have so much fun with wallpaper and totally transform a room let alone your home. You have to check our of paint or repainting faded trims in a coat of bright white can help lighten up any room. Also we are totally obsessed with wallpaper at the moment. Wallpaper a feature wall, a trim or ceiling, you can have so much fun with wallpaper and totally transform a room let alone your home. You have to check our Kerrie Brown’s latest collections, with so many gorgeous designs to choose from you definitely will feel inspired.

 

The quickest and most impactful update is your art!
Spring is the perfect time to rotate the artwork to emphasise themes of light, growth and brightness. Images that uplift, spark joy and start a conversation. Of course, you can buy high-end artworks however art doesn’t have to be a huge investment, you just need to know where to look.

So, I have consulted our friends at .M Contemporary gallery in Woollahra on some spring suggestions for your home.

Nemo Janten – This pop art piece is perfect for contemporary homes and large open spaces.

Nemo Janten

 

Bringing a splash of pop back into our lives, this Dutch artist, a dutchie like me, is also know for his installations and hyperrealistic paintings. This work has been displayed in major cities all over the world, Amsterdam, London, Paris, Singapore etc. His work aims to reflect societies media and film culture, he’s claims to not be interested in fragmentation of objects, instead in disclosing the unity underlying “reality”.

The large images are actually made up of 100 different smaller images, stories incapsulated in glass spheres, where the work simply keeps repeating to the viewers

Simone Rosenbauer

 

Simone’s pieces are spring personified. Rosenbauer takes the happy simplicity of anise block to capture moments loved and lost, to dwell on ephemeral experiences and to chart the strength – and frailty – of changing identities. Leaving the natural sun to shape a mix of perennially loved paddle pops, ice becomes liquid, pooling around the melting whole. Bitter or sweet, all memories eventually melt into the flow of life.

A fun piece to add personality and colour to your home, this piece looks striking in a minimal contemporary home or Scandinavian home or any home that is playful. We might have added one to our studio. Watch this space 😉

Jarek Wojcik

 

From salacious apples tumbling through space to curious crocodiles housed within chequered foyers, Jarek Wojcik invites you to enter a world of exquisite beauty. From within these hyper-real worlds Wojcik combines the still life tradition with modern artefacts to offer a self-reflexive critique of the history, perception and status of traditional painting methods in contemporary art.

His pieces take you on a journey within and add another dimension to any room. Allow yourself to get immersed.

Agneta Ekholm

 

All each mesmerising and calming, Agneta’s work is considered abstract and incredibly soft as the artist is interested in the movement of forms representing them in a fluid like form. The paintings result from the exploration and discovery inherent in a technique honed over the last 20 years. Working with fast-drying acrylic and water, Agneta uses a sponge to apply layer upon layer of shapes and gestures with solid pigment and transparent washes, while continually washing and rubbing sections away until the final complex image is built.

This work evokes it’s viewers to feel calm, relaxing and at ease in a large space. If you have a minimal, modern contemporary home with neutral toned colours then an Agneta will really become a stunning anchor piece for any room.

Maria Benvenuto

 

Maria describes her art as being very reflective of landscapes. She is originally from Chile and recently moved to Sydney’s northern beaches amongst the scrubby bushland and oceanic horizons. Benvenuto now finds herself constantly looking out at the landscape through her studio window in Manly over layers and layers of Australian foliage.

She’s uses layering of paint to represent an abstract bushland and shadows, conjuring the behaviour of light within the landscape, reflecting, shimmering, bouncing and settling on surfaces, from a panoramic sunset to a tiny dewdrop.

Her art can be wildly interpreted but beautifully displayed amongst any interior style from mid-century modern, to minimal modern contemporary or Scandinavian styled home.

Sally McKay

 

Sally McKay is a Melbourne artist who has always been involved in photography since a young age. She worked as a portrait photographer in Sydney for ten years before launching her career as a Photographic Artist. Her inspiration comes from her fascination with individual colour preference. She largely creates works from artefacts found in her immediate environment.

 

Gorgeous piece that evokes conversation with so much detail, in so many colours. A wonderful way to brighten any room, especially amongst Boho decor or Art deco interior design styling.

Arash Chehelnabi

 

Arash is an Iranian-born Australian artist inspirited by his Australian upbringing caught in his identity. Exploring the themes of identity, history, politics and relationships of power within his society.

 

His pieces are a blend of fragmented narratives, erasure, decontextualisation, stylistic dissonance, humour and absurdism. Bring a unique Australian narrative and sense of vibrance to your home.

Michael Taylor

Michael is a South African artist who was born in 1979 and grew up in Johannesburg. His research focuses on image interpretation and semiotic studies for visual art. His pieces are abstract landscapes of people in time. The paintings evoke emotion, sense of movement, rising temperature, movement through the characters and speaks differently to the individual.

Anya Pesce

 

Last but definitely not least, if you are looking to inject colour and dimension into a room then Anya’s abstract three dimensional plastic sculptures are for you. Focussing on the elements of colour, form and material to create her work, which addresses the notion of perception in contemporary painting practice. She uses materials such as plastic, infused with colour and manipulated to create gesture, allows Anya to make work with maximum visual and tactile impact.

 

If your home has a mid-century modern, art-deco or minimal aesthetic, you will love Anya.

We hope these stunning pieces of art have inspired you. We love helping clients select that feature piece that brings their spaces to life. If you are in Sydney and would like to see these pieces in person, then you can visit .M Contemporary’s stockroom in Darlinghurst and either Louise or Michelle can help you pick the perfect section of works for your home or office. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday and I am always happy to help.

We’re all about creating a calm sanctuary that you love coming home to, so gift yourself this spring to a mini refresh and some art. You can see our accessible package here starting from $350. 


Spring is a perfect time to take stock, declutter and refresh your home. 


Take that first step and reach out to us here.

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