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If you’re interested in furnishing your outdoor living space for all-year-round entertaining and relaxing, 1825 interiors has got you covered.

For good reason, alfresco living has been the go for people living in this beautiful country since the dawn of time. But the thing about alfresco living spaces is that you can’t go berserk like with your indoor living spaces. They’re confined by practicalities, like the weather.

So, before you think about your options, consider: how exposed is your outdoor living space going to be? Generally, that question will garner one of two responses.

The first is a loving embrace of nature—an alfresco living space that’s fully exposed, and so needs to be fully weatherproof. For these spaces, consider materials like Viro fibres—environmentally friendly, all-weather synthetic wickers that love the great outdoors—and upholstery made of durable polyester. For your flat surfaces, poly-cement is the perfect solution: light and durable, and with a tendency to patina over time, it will be ever more a natural part of your alfresco setting as it ages. Alternatively, you can order some pieces from our custom-made Wood Design collection with an outdoor finish, which is the perfect solution for those wanting an alfresco living solution that is tailor made for them.

Outdoor hardwood dining table

If your alfresco space exists undercover—that is, not exposed to the elements (except perhaps wind)—you have many, many options. Cane furniture is perfect for this. Indeed, most of our furniture can serve in an alfresco living capacity if fully undercover. Just speak to one of our friendly staff to see which option is right for you.

Finally, remember that alfresco living furniture requires more care and maintenance than its indoor counterpart. Take care of it, and your alfresco living space will take care of you for many years to come.

What to Consider Before Buying Alfresco Furniture

Updating your home’s look with new accessories and a fresh colour scheme can be overwhelming—even downright scary! Fortunately we have everything you need to turn it all around. Here are the three biggest mistakes we see people make when accessorising their homes (and how to fix them!):

1. Dead (or dying) plants

If you struggle to keep even the hardiest indoor plants alive, perhaps it’s time to consider alternatives. Besides, the shrivelled, brown, tangled mess that was once a beautiful, sculptural fiddle leaf fig is certainly not going to get your family home on to an episode of Grand Designs Australia any time soon! Instead, add a flourish of greenery to the rooms of your home with high-quality artificial plants and flowers. Not only is it completely impossible for you to neglect them into an early grave, they’ll bring colour and life to every space they occupy all year long—without an ounce of effort required on your part!

Courtesy of The Quotable Coach

2. Family photo overload

What’s wrong with family photos? Absolutely nothing. The thing is, the human brain is designed to notice faces. So there's a chance that in a room filled with photos of happy, smiling kids and relatives, your guests and you are a likely to feel a little overstimulated without quite knowing why. It’ll be hard for anyone to fully relax.

So, why not mix it up a little? Choose your top favourite photos to display and keep the rest safely tucked away in a photo album. You could also try upgrading some of your kids’ best drawings (or finger-paintings) from the fridge to a photo frame. Not only is this a unique way to create points of interest throughout your home, but you’ll also get to watch your children beam with pride when they see you’ve put their latest artwork on display for all to see.

3. Clutter, clutter, clutter

Clutter is the number one worst enemy of amateur and professional home decorators alike. Plus, there’s a lot of scientific evidence linking clutter in our physical environments to a cluttered mental state. In some cases, this shows up as depression or anxiety.

Courtesy of Junk 4 Good.

We recommend you take a leaf out of the books of modern-day minimalists and only keep the knick-knacks and decorative pieces that you genuinely love and which truly make you happy. Be brutal! Then, you will finally have the space to arrange all your favourite items in stylish, artistic ways that express your personality and celebrate your interests.

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Accessorising Your Home

Looking for ways to transform your house into a home? Candles are just what you need! Whether it’s for their ambient light or pleasant fragrances, candles are perfect for creating a cosy vibe and reflecting the personalities of the people in your family. Here are four ideas to help your transform your home with candles:

 

1. Use them

So many people have candles on display but never use them. I get it. Sometimes it’s nice to have a really pretty candle that looks fresh out on display. But candles are there to be used! It’s in the burning that the cosiness is created, after all. Don’t make my mistake and have a nice pillar candle on display for so long that it starts gathering sticky dust…

If you struggle to remember to use candles, try putting your candle stuff in a drawer nearby. If you have your lighter/matches, wick trimmer, and snuffer all in the one spot near your most prominent candle display, this should help you remember.

 

2. Maintain them

Follow the instructions! We go into detail in our candle burning tips blog, but essentially you need to burn it for 1–4 hours, trim the black ‘mushroom’ of the wick after use down to 5–6mm (much easier with a candle wick trimmer), and use a snuffer to extinguish the flame. More obviously, don’t leave them unattended, exposed to drafts, or near flammable surfaces. It’s not hard, really, though a lot of people seem to pretend it is out of laziness!

Also, candles look far better when you maintain them properly. Neat wicks, soot-free candle holders, and a flat wax surface rather than obvious rings where you’ve extinguished the flame too soon.

 

3. Group them

Candles especially nice paired with other décor, including other candles. If your candle comes in a box, you could display the box (especially if it’s pretty). Three is the magic number here, though with the right décor you can have any number of things, including an even number!

 

4. Find a holder for them

If you want to make more of a decorating statement with a candle, try housing it in a holder. This will also obscure the pillar if you don’t like the look of naked candles.

 

Bonus tip: think about colour

If your candle wax is coloured, you may be more limited. You might even be limited by the colour on the label on the jar or holder, if there is one. Our candles are generally white, as neutrality avoids this issue, but if your candles or candle jars are strongly coloured then have a think about whether or how they fit in with the rest of your décor.

(P.S. your candle being a different colour to the rest of your décor does not necessarily mean it does not go! I’ve had a candle poured into a reclaimed green wine bottle before, and it actually worked really well even though the rest of my home featuring mainly reds, dark timbers, and warm whites.)

Candle decoration ideas for every home

Everybody loves a throw blanket at some point, even the manliest of men (though they’d never admit it). If you’re looking to find out more about throws, read this quick blog about some of the different options available to you. To make it even easier, we’ve broken up the considerations into two main categories: materials and sizes.

 

Materials

Here are some of the most common materials used to make throw rugs and their properties:

Cotton: cool, breathable, and cheap, cotton is warming without being too cosy. Perfect for trans-seasonal times or if you’re that person who’s cold all the time, even during summer. Just don’t get it wet!

Flannel: a fabric rather than a fibre, flannel is characterised by its thickness and softness. It is usually made of cotton, but was originally made out of wool and can now be found in synthetic forms.

Wool: the stuff which made Australia rich. Today’s wool blankets are perfect for winter, being warm and, with contemporary manufacturing techniques, far less scratchy than the woollen garments of yesteryear. Also commonly found as sherpas and fleeces and blended with other fibres.

There are plenty of other fabrics. The high-level designer brands will often make throw blankets out of materials like fur, mink (the real stuff), and cashmere. These are gorgeous throws, but be prepared to pay a pretty penny for them!

 

Sizes

If you plan to be sharing your throw blanket or spreading it over your whole body, then size matters. Length is the most important measurement, generally ranging from 150cm to well over 200cm. Width is generally smaller by around 30cm. Note also that bigger blankets will take more room to store, so ensure you’ve got something like a blanket box to keep your blanket tucked away when not in use.

Happy shopping!

A Quick Guide to Throw Blankets

As handy as it might be to have the latest supermarket catalogues strewn across your coffee table, it’s not particularly attractive—especially when you have guests over.

Here’s where the coffee table book comes in. The main difference between a coffee table book and an ordinary book is that coffee table books are oversized and usually feature more colour and imagery. It’s not uncommon to find a coffee table book in all sorts of places in the home—for example, on side tables, entry tables, desks, and even dining tables.

Like homewares, coffee table books are perfect things for you to splurge on, as they beautifully showcase different aspects of your life and personality. But being organised thematically, coffee table books have a greater capacity than many homewares to keep people engaged. This makes them especially handy when you need to keep your guests occupied, e.g. while you’re cooking.

There are so many coffee table books being published today that there really is one for everyone. This includes people who don't like reading books. So, if you’re looking for some ideas for a new coffee table book, here are five to get you started:

1. An arty book

If you’ve ever been to an art gallery, you’ve probably come across those huge hardcover books artists publish of their latest exhibitions (or of art history, or something similarly arty). While they do cost a pretty penny, arty books are perfect for the coffee table—though, it’s worth waiting until you see an exhibition you absolutely love before you buy one. (And who knows: if you buy a limited-edition book, it may increase in value down the track!)

Eat the Problem.

But you don’t have to go an art gallery to buy an arty book. If you follow a popular artist on Instagram or YouTube, these days it’s likely that they’ll have a webstore for you to purchase a compendium of their works (this is especially so for photographers). Otherwise, ordinary brick-and-mortar bookstores and their online warehouses sell gorgeous hardbacks on all sorts of artistic topics, like music, film, fashion, and so on.

2. A hobby book

If you’ve got a hobby, there’s a coffee table book for it. While plenty of us have our niches and we can find books catering to those niches, keeping your hobby at a general level means you can buy any number of coffee table books looking at the hobby from different perspectives (e.g. an atlas of interior design, an encyclopædia of mid-century modern furniture, and so on).

The Big Book of the Hamptons.

3. A travel book

Whether your love is for Australia or for Austria, you can find a coffee table book to feed your wanderlust.

Wild Land.

 

4. A knowledge book

If your guests are the sort who will turn small talk about the weather into a conversation about the scientific uncertainties of meteorology, chances are they’ll appreciate a knowledge-oriented coffee table book. Think histories (especially local histories published by your library), atlases, science compendiums, and so on. If you’ve got school-aged kids, knowledge-oriented coffee table books may also help them learn.

Jacaranda Atlas.

 

5. A literary book

People still read novels, right? Fortunately, there are plenty of books these days published in a format which look lovely on a coffee table while still being convenient to read. Perfect for fancy editions of your favourite classics!

The Lord of the Rings.

 

6. BONUS: Your personal photo album

It’s your coffee table, after all!

Seldex portrait book.

 

So now you’ve got some ideas for your coffee table book, all you need is the right coffee table!

5 Coffee Table Book Ideas for Everyone

I’ve lived with either a small dining room or no separate dining room for my entire life. A lot of people in my position complain about this situation. They’re always wishing they could have a big dining room to host every man in the street and his dog.

If you’re in this situation then unfortunately, unless you’ve been saving or you get lucky, you’re going to be stuck with a small dining room for a while. But it doesn’t have to be a burden. You just need to know how to make the most of it. In this blog, we teach you how!

 

1. Start with a mirror.

This is the first thing you should start with. You’d be in good company: mirrors are among the first things a designer goes to whenever they have to work with a small space.

Mirrors are great for two reasons. Firstly, they help brighten a space, especially when positioned opposite a window. And secondly, it will make any room feel larger.

So, try to hang as big a mirror as you can for your space. Something is better than nothing, even if mirror is barely half a metre long.

 

2. Go for a small table.

Perhaps it goes without saying that you should go for as small a dining table as you can. It might a bit cosier than you’d like, but you can fit a surprising number of people around something small. Even something as small as a bistro table.

 

3. If you’ve got a not-too-small space, try an extension table.

This is handy if you expect to have guests over frequently. This will comfortably fit two extra guests, or more if you’re willing to squeeze.

 

4. Sub the chairs for benches

As we explain in our blog, dining benches are great for a number of reasons. One of them is that they’re a great storage solution. Just tuck them under your table when you’re done.

 

5. Minimise décor but keep the plants

When thinking about décor, think small and practical. It is really easy to clutter a small dining space.

Something you shouldn’t avoid, however, is the greenery. As we say in many of our blogs, indoor plants are scientifically proven to make people happier and healthier. A medium-sized plant can clean the air by 25 percent! Plus, having greenery in a dining room helps it look more luscious and is great for the vibe.

 

6. Maximise natural light

Open up your space not just with a mirror, but quite literally as well. Keep your blinds and curtains pulled back. If you can, keep your windows and doors open. There really is no better way to make the room feel bigger!

 

BONUS: If all else fails, move your “dining room” elsewhere.

Maybe that room you’re using would be better for living, study, a guest room. Try moving your dining furniture to another room. See how it works.

Happy furnishing!

6 Ideas To Make The Most of Your Small Dining Room

Bedside tables aren’t the first places people are going to look to judge your interior style. Still, sometimes you look at your bedroom and feel like it’s a real drag. If you’re looking for a refresh, read on for some of our expert tips for styling bedside tables. Your bedroom will look better in no time!

 

Tip #1: Try necessities first

Sometimes simple style is best. Bedside tables can become spaces of clutter, but really, you don’t need more than what you use in bed. Try a simple lamp, the book you’re reading, and glasses if you need them. Find storage solutions for everything else.

 

Tip #2: Add life (literally!)

Why not try some fresh flowers or other greenery? This looks especially good in bedrooms which look out onto gardens, backyards, or other natural scenery. Plus, it’ll make you happier and healthier!

 

Tip #3: Don’t forget about scent

Let’s admit it: bedrooms can be smelly places, especially in the mornings. And sometimes it’s just too hot or too cold to leave the windows open for fresh air.

The solution? Home fragrance. Candles are powerful and effective, but make sure you pick a light scent as bedrooms are only small and you don’t want the scent to be overwhelming. If you want lighter options, try scented décor or, for an instant but very brief refresh, a room spray.

 

Tip #4: Find room for treasured memories

Whether they’re travel photos or your kids’ first drawings, some memories are too precious to be stuffed in a drawer. Bedside tables are a great spot to display these: open enough for them to be seen, but in a spot private enough to keep them feeling special.

 

Tip #5: Tone down your lighting

Bedrooms are intimate spaces, so if you have a lamp (as most people do on their bedsides) then you don’t want it to be too overpowering. Think about the coolness or warmth of the globes you choose, and how bright or dim they are. The dimmer and warmer, the better—too bright and too blue and your circadian rhythm will be disrupted, making it hard for you to get to sleep.

Also important is your lampshade. The lampshade controls where light spills in your room, so think about where you want the light to come from. Top and bottom? This’ll will create the brightest setting and is a good alternative to overhead lighting most of the time. Bottom only? This directs most of your light downwards, which is great for reading without polluting the rest of the space. You can even choose to have a total cover, forcing the light to emanate through the material of the lampshade itself. This is perfect for ambience and means you can even control the colour of the light.

Have fun decorating!

Styling Ideas For Bedside Tables

Looking for some side table inspiration to give your living room a face lift? Look no further! Here are five tried and true ideas for a stylish, contemporary, yet practical accent to your home:

1. A nest of tables

Nests are super useful. Stack your accent tables when you’re by yourself and pull them out when you have guests. It’s that easy!

 

2. Meaningful décor

Your side tables will become instantly more homey when you decorate them with family photos, cute pieces you picked up from travels abroad, your favourite books, or whatever else is meaningful to you.

 

3. Yummy snacks

What can I say? I’m a sucker for morning and afternoon teas!

 

4. Storage space

Take your side table to the next level with some clever storage space. People are increasingly opting for trunks and boxes instead of traditional side tables for their living rooms. This means they can store throw blankets, cushions, and whatever else they need within easy reach in the living area.

 

5. Flowers

We’re a sucker for green homes. On the décor side of things, flowers are great. They literally add life to your room!

Real plants clean your air (yep, indoor air pollution is a thing) and make you happier. But if you’re not a green thumb, go for something artificial. Get the look without the maintenance!

Five Side Table Decor Ideas For Living Room

There’s nothing quite like the sparkle of glassware to give your home a lift.

Today’s glassware is not only attractive, it is also relatively inexpensive, so there’s no reason to keep it locked away in a cupboard. Although we all know that glass needs to be cleaned regularly in warm, soapy water to maintain its sparkle, I have put together some extra hints to help you keep your glassware in tip-top condition. Let the spring cleaning begin!

  1. Pollutants in the air tend to deposit a greasy film over glass so rotate your glassware regularly.
  2. Add some white vinegar to the rinse water to help reduce haziness.
  3. Store wine glasses with the bowl facing upwards as the rim is the weakest part of the product.
  4. Flower stems will chemically alter water, so to prevent permanent damage to glass vases replace the water daily.
  5. Glass is sensitive to changes in temperature so to avoid breakages don't immerse cold glasses in hot water.
  6. Metal draws heat away from glass. A handy trick to avoid cracking is to place a metal spoon in the glass before adding hot liquid.
  7. To separate two glasses which have become stuck together, simply fill the top glass with cool water and submerge the bottom glass in warm water. The cool water will make the top glass contract and the warm water will expand the bottom glass. You should be able to separate the two glasses after a few minutes.

Glassware makes a great gift for both men and women, especially when it’s personalised. So go ahead and pair a couple of wine glasses with a bottle of champagne, add a bunch of fresh flowers to a vase, and pop some homemade biscuits into a cookie jar!

Caring for Glassware

When styled the right way, bookcases and display units can be a high-impact way to show off your favourite knick-knacks, collectibles, and framed memoriesin addition to the household book collection!

But arranging all those items on the shelves can be a little overhwelming to say the least.

To help you conquer the task ahead, here are five of my best tips for styling the shelves in every room of your home.

Mix Things Up

First, add some items that aren’t books to break things up. Choose anything you like, keeping in mind that whatever you do choose will be on display. Decorative boxes, quirky bookends, photo frames and ceramic jars all work in most spaces around the home. However, you might consider some room-specific accessories for your shelves, too. Cast-iron teapots, pretty fruit bowls and glass decanters, for example, are great for breaking up piles of cookbooks in kitchen and dining areas.

Play with Shelf Height & Shape

A super easy way to create stylish and interesting visuals is to play around with shelf height and shape when choosing bookcases and display units. Use the largest shelves to show of your biggest feature pieces, and save smaller items for smaller spaces. You might also experiment with the width of your shelves, opting for a row of square-shaped spaces (or perhaps drawers) to create even more interesting visuals.

Have It Both Ways

Stack books horizontally as well as vertically to make the most of your space and avoid monotonous, repeating patterns. You may find that the thinnest books in your collection, along with any magazines, are easier to deal with when neatly stacked in piles. This will help you avoid instances of vertically oriented arrangements spontaneously toppling over the minute someone closes a door or breathes too hard.

Think Inside the Box

For my fellow perfectionists out there: the easiest way to ensure items look balanced as you distribute them between shelves is to group them as squarish blocks. Think inside the box for this one. Visually breaking items up into squares is not only visually appealing, but a rule that anyone with or without a degree in design can follow!

A Few Empty Spaces

Ahh. It’s surprising how much visual relief can be created by leaving space in your bookcases and display units. You might even choose to leave some shelves totally empty; just experiment to see what works best for you. By embracing these negative spaces, you’ll find the whole room feels instantly cleaner, tidier, and more relaxing to be in.

Now go re-arrange your bookshelf!

Do It Yourshelf: How to Style Bookcases and Display Units

Do you ever look at a friend’s home or a photo on Instagram and think, “Hell’s bells! I wish I could design my interiors as timelessly that!”? Don’t abandon hope! Creating a home with everlasting style is as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Classic basics

Furniture is like clothing: most of your wardrobe will be filled with basics that can be easily mixed and matched and won’t go out of fashion. Just like you might go for a grey marle t-shirt, for example, you might go for a sofa upholstered with durable grey, beige, or similarly neutral fabric.

Don’t get me wrong, fuchsia velvet sofas are excellent statement pieces and will look stunning in the right space. But do you think fuchsia velvet sofas are still going to be stylish in 20 years, or even three years? Buy intelligently, not impulsively!

2. Fun accessories

Just like your wardrobe, you’ll want to have a few fun pieces in your home to add personality and to keep your place looking on-trend. What are fun pieces? They’re usually homewares, such as cushions, wall art, throw blankets, ceramics, and so on.

Even pieces as inexpensive as seat cushions can keep your room looking fresh.

Pro-tip: when you’re decorating a room with furniture and homewares, don’t forget about the room itself! A pot of paint can radically change the character of your room, and it’s so easy to repaint a feature wall in future when you feel like something different.

 

3. Self-awareness

Although guides about furniture styles may help us understand what sorts of home décor we like, ultimately it’s up to us to know ourselves and our tastes. For example, while I might love Nordic design, my partner is more into the rustic and industrial looks, sometimes with some country influence. Regardless of your tastes, the key is to be strong enough to be true to our tastes, however much other people may want to tell you how to furnish your home. Especially if those people come from another generation…

But more seriously, sometimes that person trying to tell you what to do will be your significant other. If you’re in a relationship which requires you to compromise on décor decisions, firstly, poor you! But secondly, take the time to find a piece that’s right for both of you. The Oslo collection really suits my partner and I, for example, as it infuses the raw, rustic textures she likes so much into the Nordic character I like so much. And better yet, it’s made with reclaimed timber, which accords with the values of us both.

So in summary, what’s the key to everlasting style? It’s simple: buy less, buy better, and be true to your personal sense of style.

How to create everlasting style

We often talk about changing the cushions on your sofas to give your living room an instant facelift. But what can you do in the dining room? It’s rarely convenient to change all your chairs, after all, and not everyone has room for a buffet with pretty décor on it. But a lot of people have placemats and table runners. These are cheap, practical, and stylish, and can fulfil much the same facelift function as cushions in your living room.

So how do you pick placemats and table runners for your dining table? Read on to find out!

1. Think about the number of people at your dining table day to day

Are you single? In a couple? Or do you have a family to feed? This will determine how many placemats you really must buy.

 

2. Think about the length of your table (but don’t worry too much!)

You need to look at the length of your dining table and make sure you’ve got enough material for it to fit nicely in the middle of the table.

Some people suggest your table runner needs to be a certain proportional length (one-third to two-thirds the length of the table, for example), but this really doesn’t need be something you worry about. Table runners are made long enough so that they’re almost always folded on the table, so unless you’ve got fancy features on your runner like tassels then you can adjust the length to however you please.

 

3. Have spares

If you have four in your family, get six. You’ll need spares for washing. If you ever have dinner parties with 8, 10, 12, or even 20 or more people, you better stock up!

 

4. Consider a tablecloth too

Don’t forget the humble tablecloth! They can add a very useful layer of practicality in young family homes (think vinyl or some other easily maintainable material), or, if they’re a bit fancier, they can add literally another layer of style to your dining room.

Happy decorating! Check out our range of placemats and table runners for some more inspo.

How to buy placemats and table runners for your dining table

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