Sustainable House Day 2014

Open the door to sustainable living by touring some of Australia’s most environmentally progressive homes on show at Sustainable House Day. This Sunday, 14th September, you have the opportunity to tour an amazing array of everyday Australian homes all built and created around the ideal of reducing their footprint on the earth.

By partaking in Sustainable House Day you can tap into local knowledge to learn how to successfully integrate renewable energy, recycling, and other sustainable practices into your home and lifestyle. This unique event is a valuable resource for anyone looking for inspiration, ideas and the key to sustainable living.

Homeowners, sponsors and local sustainable groups look forward to sharing their knowledge with you, plus I'll be volunteering at the Harrisdale home in WA for the day. There are homes and gardens open to the public throughout Australia. You can find more information about each house and its features on the webpage. This is a national event, but since I'm volunteering here in Perth, I've just highlighted a few WA ones below.

Carla & Bens House, part of #Sustainable #House Day 2014.
{Carla and Ben’s House, 128A Roseberry St, Bedford WA}


Win Tickets to Decor + Design Melbourne's International Seminar Series

Melbourne, here I come!

Aside from catching up with all my wonderful Melburnians, I'm itching to get back to Melbourne for the
Decor + Design and Furnitex conferences this July. Although rebranded from the previously called Decoration + Design, if past events are anything to go by, attendance is a must - so much designer eye candy! (I've posted about past events here). Furnitex and Vivid are always a highlight, and the international and local speakers they organise are truly inspiring. We are super lucky enough to have double passes to each D+D International Seminar Series speaker to give away - more information on the giveaway at the end of the post!

This year there is a great lineup of local and international speakers, springing from all fields of interior design and architecture, from trend-forecasters to designers.

Kari Whitman, Interior Designer to the stars. Speaker at Decor + Design Melbourne 2014.
{Kari Whitman, Interior Designer to the stars}


Re-use Revolution breeds new App

I have put together a few of my faves from the recently launched Couchelo app below to showcase just a few of the large range of items available.

To celebrate the launch of the app, Will and the team are offering a $250 giveaway to 5 lucky people. More information on the giveaway at the end of the post!

Vintage finds on the Couchelo App. The RSD Blog.

So get in there all my lucky, wonderful Melbourne and Sydney readers and snatch them up quick - or if you are feeling generous, feel free to send some of them my way Winking.


Oh the Places You'll Go! Giveaway

I love when a local creative finds the courage to get out there and start something new and exciting. I know coming up with ideas is the comparatively easy part, but getting the idea out of your mind and into the real (or online) world is definitely harder. What's the saying? 1% Inspiration, 99% Perspiration. Indeed!

I recently had a chat to designer Adina Levy of The Cumulus Factory about her new range. The Cumulus Factory designs and creates cushions, tote bags and textiles in Sydney, Australia. She has teamed up with Brisbane Photographer Kristina Childs to create a collection of photographic cushions, 'Oh The Places You'll Go'. It struck a chord with me. Firstly, I love almost all creative homewares, I love textiles, I love photography and I love, love, love cushions (Just ask my husband!) Secondly, I had just had my own tropical adventures so the subject matter took me straight back to the crystal waters of Kota Kinabalu. Sigh!

So while I sift and sort through all my photos from the trip away so I can bring you highlights of each location, enjoy the beauty of the 'Oh The Places You'll Go' range and a quick Q&A with Adina.
(P.S. Who doesn't love all this social media for putting you in contact with people you would just never have met in your own little bubble of the world?!)

Also, as a bonus, Adina is graciously giving one lucky reader their choice of the 'Oh The Places You'll Go' photographic images as an A4 print. Check out the end of this post for competition details. For everyone else, head on over to their Kickstarter page to grab yourself a cushion (or four) before the deadline closes. The cushion covers are available for pre-order until 4th December 2013, with delivery in time for Christmas for Australian orders. I still can't decide between the 'Juliet' and the 'On the water' designs - with only a few days left!

'Oh, the Places You'll Go' #cushion series by The #Cumulus Factory. Photo by Kristina Childs. See more on the RSD Blog.


Emerging Designers

Just a quick note to check out the beautiful pieces by up-and-coming Australian Designers on sale at Temple & Webster’s Emerging Designer’s page. Only 6 days left! While there, why not vote for your favourite, for a chance to win a T&W voucher and InsideOut Magazine subscription. If you can choose, that is. With talent like this, its a very difficult decision!

Temple & Webster's Emerging Designer Award. via the RSD Blog

P.S. Don’t forget, its a members only website, so sign up and expect to get blown away by beautiful designs and sales straight to your inbox.

xo Romona

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Things I Love

Today is the start of Interiors Addict’s Instagram comp to win a copy of stylist Megan Morton’s new book Things I Love. Running for seven days, simply snap the categories for each day, hashtag #thingsilove and link to both @jenbishop_interiorsaddict and @megan_morton to be in the running. Any excuse to get snap-happy I say!

Things I Love Megan Morton

Interiors Addict instagram photo challenge with Megan Morton

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Rug update

Just a quick update to show off my new rug, won in Carpet Court’s Love the Look competition. While I am still holding onto hope that I might win the big prize, I seek solace in my new grey and black Noodle-pile Artizen rug. It manages to be soft and comfortable, sleek and stylish, and family-friendly all at once. Great choice and great rug. Thanks guys.

Artizen Rug, Home Republic Cushions, My Lounge | More on the RSD Blog
{Black and Grey Noodle-pile Artizen Rug from Carpet Court, in its new home}

Inspired by the new floor dressing (and big red sale signs), I had to nab a few new cushions to brighten the space and add a pop of colour. Glad I found these two (pictured above) at Adairs, combining the latest trends of geometry and neon, with an architectural twist, in Home Republic’s Sketchbook collection. Love it. Bye for now.

xo Romona

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Rug luck

I always thought I was lucky in rugs, but this last month solidified it. To explain, I’ll have to go back through a little bit of my floor covering history…

While work at Woodhead in Perth was very rewarding in most ways, it also paid off with an employee of the month prize, giving me my first official free rug. A delicious turquoise shag rug. This rug is quite famous among family and friends. It has travelled the world. Tufts and strands and small samples of it were found in Paris hotels, Russian bars, our previous apartment’s lobby in Docklands, all around Perth and Melbourne and Sydney and Brisbane. Hitching a ride on shoes and suitcases and anything it can get on. Somehow, with all the fluff that we found around the place and in the vacuum cleaner, it still managed to survive and look quite fresh. Now ten years later, he has since moved on to another good home courtesy of Gumtree and is hopefully still managing to get in some travel.

Turquoise Rug and upcycled coffee table on the RSD Blog. See more at
{First of the freebies: Turquoise Shag rug and Upcycled Coffee Table}

The next rug in the saga I am still desperately in love with. A competition entry (of which I am sure by now you have realised I am quite fond of) lead to me winning this beautiful rug from Designer Rugs’ Saffron Collection. I went to the showroom in St Kilda to pick her out. The smoky greys and stand-out teal of the Bowral (in cement) spoke to me. Loved the Asian and botanical influence in the pattern, without being too in-your-face florally. Although I am sure, if the budget of the prize had allowed, I would have gone for one of their stunning Akira Isogawa collaborations, but the quality and look of this rug is exceptional.

Saffron Bowral Rug in cement and teal on the RSD Blog. See more at
{Designer Rugs Bowral in Cement - close up of my baby}

Now to my recent win (yes I am a lucky b.arch when I see it summarised like this). Carpet Court’s love the look competition let me pick from their Artizen collection. It looks hardy and family friendly, without sacrificing style. With a two year old and a bub just starting solids, cleanability is a big plus. The below image is from their page, but I’ll post one in situ once I get it.

Carpet Court Artizen Rug Collection on the RSD Blog. See more at
{Image courtesy of Carpet Court}

In revision, it reads like a brag board, all “look at me, how lucky am I”. But the point I was eventually going to make was that everyone can create style and beauty in their home without spending a lot of money. Sure, not everyone wins their furniture or accessories, but with bountiful resources out there like eBay, Gumtree and even curb-side pickups, there is no excuse not to be creative and have fun with your interiors. The gazillion tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube for DIY of Ikea and other similarly cheap starting blocks, means that anyone can now have a designer home.

The coffee table in the first photo with our since-passed turquoise rug was made from a found and refurbished hall table cut down to size, then re-topped with sanded, buffed, polished and varnished jarrah fence pickets. My eldest has a cool industrial hanger for his jackets (yes plural, at least ten that fit - he is a Melbourne boy!) from another curb-side pickup find, relieved of its rust and sprayed fire engine red. Our outdoor table is someone’s old dining table sanded and oiled, with legs painted a bright Santorini blue. Actually, looking at the photo again, I think its time to stain the top of that outdoor table - or stop ignoring the tired old decking and give them a good oil too.

Upcycled Coat Rack - refurbished Road Side treasure on the RSD Blog. More at
{Upcycled Coat Rack - Refurbished Road Side treasure}

Upcycled Outdoor table - refurbished Road Side treasure on the RSD Blog. More at
{Upcycled Outdoor table - Refurbished Road Side treasure}

With a bunch of cool finds, a little inspiration and a bit more perspiration you can create almost anything. Also, when you’ve paid nothing (or next to nothing) for it, you’ll be less precious about mixing it up and changing things around every so often.

And if all else fails, enter a few competitions and see how you go. You can’t complain if you don’t give it a go.

xo Romona

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I'll be back

Hi all

It’s been a little bit, and will still be a bit more, before another post, sorry. I’m transitioning between my current non-supportive program (won’t go into details — its reeeeeaally frustrating!) and a new program (not decided on as yet).

Just a small shout out this week: a big thanks to
Carpet Court and their Love the Look competition. It is actually worth entering these things because, yes, you can win - I did! A gorgeous new rug soon to be delivered. Jealous? I am still holding onto the hope that I might win the grand prize of a $10,000 room makeover with fab Interiors Darren Palmer or Stacey Kouros. One can dream. 

Just wanted to make sure that you, yes you, the three people reading this, still know that I appreciate you popping by and will endeavour to bring you much improved delights very soon. Until then, enjoy my Tweets, pins and FB posts.

Hope to speak to you from here very very VERY soon.

xo Romona.

 Frustration Sketch on the RSD Blog. See more at

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Unearthing Treasures

Finding your personal style is a difficult endeavour. 

Inspired by
Carpet Court’s new Love the Look competition (How hard is it to choose between team Darren and team Stacey!), I went rummaging through my boxes of trinkets and collected items from my travels and explorations. You know the ones - the pieces you’ll put up in your one-day house (the one with room to spare - a library, a sitting room, a chic powder room off the entry foyer, maybe even a gift-wrapping room à la Martha Stewart). The piece that caught my eye was right there on my bedroom wall. The exquisite hand-painted Indian wedding ceremony on a government stamped paper that I found in a market in Jaipur, India. 

Indian Artwork on the RSD Blog. See more at
{Indian Government Stamp and painted Wedding Ceremony Artwork, from a market in Jaipur, India}

Another work from the same market is the black and white elephant heads (below right). Until I photographed them for this competition, I had forgotten how much I liked looking at all the scribbly detail in them.

Indian Artwork on the RSD Blog. See more at
{Indian Government Stamp and painted Elephant head Artwork, from a market in Jaipur, India}

They are totally out of place in my current bedroom. As it stands, it’s a mismatched explosion of objects - and not in a good way (thus the desire to refurb it, stat!) I love mixing vintage with contemporary, but the pieces have to be right and I feel it has to be done with a cautious hand and keen eye.

I had been meaning to reinvent my bedroom into a palace worthy of old Hollywood. Glamourous crystal and blinding chrome. Tufted velvet and mirrored lucite-legged vanities. All look but don’t touch. Now though, I am having to remind myself that yes, although I love the look of these in magazines, could I live there? Especially with two young boys (one who likes to crawl into bed with us after pushing most things off the dresser with his cars, and another that I’m sure will do the same as soon as he is able to get out of the cot).

I’ve decided to go back to basics. Firstly, I have to decide what, if anything, I want to keep from my current room or if there is anything that I already own that I want to introduce into the new room (such as an art work or armchair). I think I will be keeping more than I’d like to (budgetary reasons), but upcycling is under-rated, so I’ll see how I can change the items that I can’t afford to replace, to fit the new style. If you follow me on
Pinterest, you may have noticed that my DIY folder is getting more of a work out lately than usual. With two kids, and without the disposable income that we had before them, I can hardly do the complete Jonathan Adler meets Kelly Wearstler that I’d like to.

Secondly, research images that attract and excite me, and define what it is about that image that gets me going. Is it the whole package, a particular furniture item, the colours - warm or cool, the scale, the layout, the fact that its tidy, what? Then see how it can be applied or worked into the canvas that is my room. Again, Pinterest and
Houzz are wonderful resources for finding inspiration and products. Of course, its always fun flicking through drool-worthy magazines like Belle, Real Living, Sanctuary and Home Beautiful when you can find the time. I embrace my iDevices, but I am not quite ready to part with my monthly deliveries of hard copies just yet, thank you.

Luckily time is on my side. With a bathroom renovation due in October, it may be a few more months before I have the spare coin to put towards the fabrics or wall paper that will make it really worth doing. There’s nothing wrong with taking time to make sure that you really do love that particular pattern you chose, and not just because its on-trend or was used in that house by that guy in that magazine, you know the one! For now, I am just trying to remind myself to keep the basics somewhat neutral, so I can really go nuts on the replaceable items like headboard fabric or bedding or window dressing.

OK, so I think I have successfully gone completely off topic. Maybe one day I’ll be able to do it with the charm and imperceptible manner of Ross Noble or Billy Connolly. Until then, I will just say that I will revisit the idea of finding hidden treasures in your home when inspiration strikes. I’m hoping to also bring you a little introduction to our planned bathroom reno coming up - I look forward to some peer feedback if you feel like it. Ciao for now.

xo Romona

P.S. (again) Sorry that comments aren’t allowed at the moment. I really want to hear any feedback you have but iWeb is disagreeing with me and I need to find a new program. Excuses, excuses!
Please feel free to email/tweet/FB post me - would love to hear from you!
UPDATE: Hopefully comments should work now….
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