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11 of the best cushions that make a major style statement

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Plump up the volume in your living room or den and make a flash new style statement with 11 of the best bold cushions.
'When it comes to styling your living room there's no greater way to make a strong first impression than with a bold cushion or two for dramatic effect. We've pulled together 11 of the best cushions that will instantly elevate your home's style. How many cushions is too many cushions is a question that plagues many an interior stylist. For the maximalist , there's no such thing as too many, and for the minimalist , well, do they even like cushions? Instead of re-arranging your living room or purchasing a new sofa as each seasons' trends come and go, mixing up your cushions and how you arrange them is a quick and easy way to make the space feel brand new — without breaking the bank. Incorporating a bold pattern can break up the monotony of a living room with a neutral palette just as easily the right statement cushion will accentuate your home's decor . So, whether you're after tassels or texture, patterned or not, here are 11 of the best bold cushions for your living room. Christina Rae 11 of the best cushions that make a major style statement Malachite linen cushion, $60, Greg Natale . Antica Musk linen cushion, $147, Walter G . Fig Blue linen/cotton cushion cover, $95, Utopia Goods . Resymatto cotton cushion cover, $49.50, Marimekko . Firewheel Trellis Ocean cushion cover, $95, Utopia Goods . Sabra cushion - terracotta, $145, Barefoot Gypsy . Maxine leather cushion - tan, $210, Klovah . Dawn ranger cushion cover - tan/oats, $109, Pony Rider . Lightning bolt silk cushion cover, $49, West Elm . Amargosa applique cushion, $159, Sage x Clare . Andover cushion, $79.95, Sheridan .'

A Nordic style cabin made entirely of timber

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Inspired by Nordic design and its surrounding environment, this small timber cabin in the woods provides the space and privacy for a young family to slow down and enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
'It was a gutsy move inspired by a childhood dream. Two years ago and following the birth of their two daughters, furniture designer Alexandre Reignier and his partner Aude traded in their busy city-based existence for a slower-paced lifestyle in the Provençal countryside. Their vision was for a small, made-to-measure timber hut in the woods fit for a young family, and while searching Instagram for inspiration, Alex came across the work of Thomas Walter from French architecture firm Atelier Ordinaire . \'Thomas shares our passion for raw materials, wood and simple, neat, minimalistic lines,\' Alexandre says. \'I immediately knew he would help me craft my own home.\' Simplicity, sustainability and a connection to the outdoors were top of Alexandre and Aude's wish list when designing their home, plus it had to be made of wood, just like a real hut. \'To me, wood is the best material – raw and warm at once,\' Alex explains. Thomas had the idea of using ready-made panels to speed up the construction process, which meant the home was complete within three months. Covering a tidy 80 square metres, the finished product features an open-plan kitchen and living area on the ground floor, with two bedrooms, a playroom and study above. There's even a tiny guest room over the playroom, which is accessed by a ladder. Floors and walls are lined with unfinished pine boards, with windows large and small giving a glimpse of the woodland beyond. In delicate contrast, the pared back interiors are a combination of Nordic and Eastern styles. \'I like both for their elegant and pure lines,\' Alexandre admits. He built much of the home's furniture, including the kitchen counter, bedside tables, stools and older daughter Daphne's bed, with the occasional vintage or designer piece added for impact. \'I let my surroundings inspire me,\' Alex says simply. how to work with timber finishes Balance out hard wooden surfaces with soft, textural elements. Use linen sheets, cushions and curtains, woven rugs and velvet-upholstered sofas. Keep the rest of your colour scheme tonal to allow the natural grain of the timber to stand out. Try white and cream, or earthy hues like clay, sage and mustard. Add some indoor plants or dried flowers and foliage for a simple touch of freshness and to highlight the organic qualities of your timber. Take care when cleaning untreated timber floors . Sweep or vacuum regularly, wring out excess water when mopping and clean spills immediately.'

How to get rid of pesky pantry moths

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Are pantry moths plaguing your home or office? If you're dry goods have been attacked by pesky pantry moths, here's how to get rid of them and prevent another infestation.
'Up there with flies and mosquitoes, pantry moths (or Indian meal moths) have to be some of the peskiest insects of all time. Unfortunately, they are also the most common. These pathetic little creatures are like Newman from Seinfeld, except not remotely funny. Always needling their way in uninvited, always surprising you with their disgusting presence, always feasting on your delicious snacks when you've specifically told them that you're saving those Pringles for a night when your husband is out and you can binge-watch Nexflix and pour them into your mouth unbridled. Because pantry moths grow from minute, maggot-looking larvae, it can be hard to tell if you have a pantry-moth problem – until they are flying around in front of your face! By then, their evil spawn has probably wriggled its way into all your dry goods and pantry staples (female can lay up to 400 eggs in two weeks). The worst thing about pantry moths is that once you have an infestation, it can be extremely hard to get rid of them and even if you do, they can make their way back into your home without you even knowing; smuggled inside your unsuspecting supermarket haul. If you've been plagued with pesky pantry moths, here's how to get rid of them and prevent another infestation. How to get rid of pantry moths 1. Take everything out of your pantry That means everything . Wipe down every shelf, wall and door with white vinegar , then warm water, and then eucalyptus or peppermint oil (which help to repel them). 2. Inspect everything you've taken out If it's got moths (or tiny wriggling white worms, which are basically pre-moths), it goes in the bin and once everything is in the bin, tie that sucker up, put it in another bag, tie that sucker up and put it in your outdoor bin. 3. Freeze the food you're keeping Anything that's moth-free can stay, but before you put it back in the pantry, put it in the freezer overnight to kill any moth eggs that may be present. This is a good rule for any dry good you bring home, actually — a quick trip to the freezer will kill eggs on arrival. 4. Use storage containers From now on, store your pantry staples in clean, airtight containers. No more semi-closed bags of flour. No more half-heartedly tied pasta bags. If you're using containers that have previously lived in your moth-infested pantry, clean them thoroughly first. A run in the dishwasher should kill any eggs. Watch! How to organise your pantry.. Watch video HOW TO PREVENT PANTRY MOTHS Now you have rid your pantry of moths and it's looking spick-and-span, you want to do everything in your power to stop them coming back. Here are some of the best preventative measures you can take. STORAGE CANNISTERS Keeping all your dry goods stored in airtight containers is the best way to prevent pantry moths from infesting your food. Clear plastic or glass canisters are best, as you can clearly see if anything has made its way in. Clean containers regularly. BAY LEAVES In a small bowl, lay out a few bay leaves and pop it in a corner of your pantry (moths hate bay leaves). PANTRY MOTH TRAPS You can buy sticky pheromone traps in the insect aisle of your supermarket. If you get reinfested, or you miss any, they will be drawn to the pheromones in the moth trap where they will stick and die.'

How to soundproof your home

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Find out how to stop noise from entering your house while minimising the sounds within using these soundproofing techniques.
'No matter where you live, life can be noisy. If it's not planes, trains or cars assaulting your ears, it could be the neighbours, a barking dog or the demanding blips of technology. Soundwaves are able to enter the home through windows , doors, floors, walls and ceilings, so your goal is to block them out. Inside the house, the challenge is to dampen or absorb noise. Contemporary building design can sometimes work against us in this regard. Open-plan layouts and hard flooring look fantastic, but they don't absorb noise well. There are, however, many approaches you can take if a quieter life appeals. Start smart There's good news for anyone who is building or renovating: you have the opportunity to soundproof your home . If you're living in a multi-dwelling situation or you're located near a train line, airport or busy road, you will need to explore noise-blocking building materials. For standalone homes on most residential streets, the use of double-brick will block external noise effectively. For all other finishes, added insulation should do the job. \'Inside the house, acoustics are an easily overlooked but critical dimension to designing comfortable living spaces,\' says Chris Stanley, architect with Splinter Society Architecture . \'Timber absorbs very different frequencies of sound to soft furnishings, and masonry is prone to directly reflecting sound,\' says Chris. A few simple design strategies will keep noise under control, says Sydney architect Danny Broe . \'Zone your home to keep living spaces as far away from the bedrooms as possible,\' he says. Hidden powers Insulation is one of the most powerful tools with which to soundproof your home. However, your window of opportunity is generally limited to when you build or renovate. \'Ordinary thermal insulation in your external walls will certainly help,\' says Leisa Caines, retail segment manager for Bradford Insulation , \'but if you're concerned about noise, you need a higher density specialised insulation that will stop sound from travelling through your internal walls.\' Bradford Insulation makes an insulation product called SoundScreen, which is designed to fit between wall studs. To upgrade your insulation to SoundScreen could cost less than $1000, says Leisa. \'You don't need it around every room, but it is very effective around bedrooms and bathrooms and between storeys.\' Should noise issues be causing you major problems you could always pull down a wall, and add specialised insulation and better plasterboard. \'It's not ideal, but it's cheaper than moving house,\' says Leisa. Floor up Your flooring can have a profound impact on noise levels in your home, says Kendall Waller, national technical manager of Quick-Step . This happens in two ways: the first is 'walk' noise and the second is the floor's acoustic properties; that is, how much sound it absorbs. \'Floating timber, bamboo and laminate flooring can create substantial walk sound if not installed properly,\' says Kendall. \'It's vital to prepare the subfloor so you reduce that 'hollow' sound you can get. Underlay will also dramatically reduce footfall noise.\' Not all hard floors are created equal. Brick and concrete floors will be quieter than timber, says Danny Broe. \'They're more expensive, but more effective when it comes to sound absorption.\' Cork is another good flooring option, and a great insulator to boot, says Kendall. \'Its softer surface acoustically dampens your rooms and today's offerings look as good as timber.\' For outstanding sound absorption, you can't go past carpet, especially when it's teamed with a good-quality underlay. \'The thicker the carpet the better the sound insulation,\' says Desiree Keown, marketing manager at Cavalier Bremworth . Appliance of silence Whitegoods can be a big contributor to household noise. \'You don't want to come home after a day at work and have to listen to your washing machine or dishwasher while you unwind,\' says Aleks Efeian, brand manager for Bosch . The proximity of many appliances to living zones has driven manufacturers such as Bosch to invest heavily in improving operating sound levels. If your fridge sounds noisy, check it's not vibrating against cabinetry. One quick fix for older models is to place a small square of carpet under your fridge, says Colin Jones, appliances expert at Winning Appliances . \'Dual compressors in new models now cool both the freezer and fridge sections independently and this reduces the noise and wear-and-tear on your fridge,\' he says.'

A modular prefab home with sophisticated beach style

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Turning the cookie-cutter modular house myth on its head, this prefabricated home proves that thinking outside the box pays off.
'Who lives here : Pippa and Bruce Lee; and their children, Jensen, 6; and Sienna, 4; plus family dog, Jett. Style of home : A customised prefab home that incorporates the curves found in a neighbouring building. It has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, two studies, plus a pool out the back. Timeline : It took about eight months for the home to be built, delivered and ready to move in. Budget : The cost of the build , including the Prebuilt house, onsite build, pool, landscaping and interior design, was $1.85 million. Giving up their dream block of land in Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Bruce and Pippa Lee. They discovered after buying that council restrictions in the area wouldn't allow them to create the home they envisioned. The couple had spotted a Prebuilt home years ago on Grand Designs Australia . \'We fell in love with the project and the possibilities it opened up for us,\' says Bruce. \'We looked up the Prebuilt website and loved it – and it was cheaper than other options!\' Clare Patience A modular prefab home with sophisticated beach style After heading back to the drawing board, the couple found an even bigger block of land in idyllic Rose Bay, minus the restrictions that had stopped their plans. This time, it came complete with a northern aspect , beautiful umbrella trees and Norfolk pines out the back. \'We got excited again,\' says Pippa, and together with the Prebuilt team and their partner architects, Pleysier Perkins , she and Bruce began the process of building a brand new home. Exterior The curved exterior is a striking feature, clad in cedar stained with Cutek 'Colourtone' oil in Black Ash. The couple already had two previous renovations under their belts, and were well aware of the planning and commitment that goes along with a new build. However, they had never experienced a prefabricated design before. Backyard Out the back, horizontal Scyon 'Stria' cladding in Dune contrasts with vertical Weathertex weatherboards in Haymes Black Pitch paint. \'We realised we had to be organised at the outset,\' says Bruce. \'We had to be really clear on what we wanted early in the process, because after that there's not much room to add to the design once you've settled on the concept.\' The couple sat down and thought about what they really wanted from the home. They realised their priorities lay around having a home that was sympathetic to the surrounds, quiet but connected, and had ample room for outdoor living. Portrait Bruce and Pippa with their children Sienna and Jensen and dog Jett. \'Light is also important to me,\' says Pippa. \'I wanted this home to really make the most of the way the sunlight moved across the property and we really needed to be able to comfortably accommodate all the changing needs of a growing family.\' Hallway 'Aged Smoked & Limed' wide timber floorboards from Royal Oak Floors set the tone for the beach-inspired colour palette throughout the home. A dark Victorian ash divider echoes the deeper colours found on the exterior and front door. The home's external design took its cues from the surrounding architecture. \'The curve at the front of the home was created to tie into the balconies of the Art Deco apartments next door,\' says Bruce. \'The external colour was taken from the big tree at the front.\' Kitchen A view of the greenery outside is provided by a clever window splashback. Potted plants echo the natural elements, while a combination of stone, timber and glass provides a rich texture palette. Built-in Smeg appliances and a sleek island bench keep the look streamlined. \'When we met Melissa Bonney and Larissa Raywood from The Designory , we knew we'd found the interior designers for us,\' says Pippa. \'They understood our taste and started working with a concept of ' sophisticated beach style ', which we loved.\' Dining area Black Philippe Starck dining chairs and a bold Ay Illuminate pendant light from Spence & Lyda give this space a distinctively dramatic feel in a home where soft neutrals are the norm. The triptych artwork by Adam Long adds interest while sunlight floods in from the backyard, providing a strong indoor/outdoor connection. Larissa began by linking the contrasts that were present on the exterior through to the interior scheme. \'The contrasting timbers of the facade are found in the interior timber screen, window frames, chairs, carpet, feature pendant lights and the overall master bedroom palette,\' she says. \'It's the common thread that can be found throughout the home.\' Living area A curated display and wall-hung television creates a pared-back, elegant look, while New Age Veneers 'Navurban' cabinetry in Fremantle offers a beachy vibe. The built-in 'New Botticino' ledge from Marble & Ceramic Corp is perfect for extra seating. Natural light picks up the honey tones in the stone and timber elements. Bi-weekly meetings were held to ensure the team could pull the material palette together, \'which then followed into the decorating and furnishings meetings,\' says Larissa. Having both Pippa and Bruce present at the meetings was key. \'It helped us move the design process along to meet set deadlines,\' says Larissa. Deck The outdoor deck opens directly into the dining room area. The final look was put together in a 3D model by Pleysier Perkins . This model also allowed the family to see how the sunlight moved through the home throughout the day and over the course of the year. \'Light makes a huge difference to interiors, and scrolling the bar across our computer-generated house allowed me to see what worked with the natural light,\' says Pippa. \'It was incredible.\' Master bedroom A pair of brass 'Pinch' pendant lights from Auhaus and pink cushions from The Design Hunter create a luxe hotel feel in the master bedroom. Patterned Shibori 'Stalactite' wallpaper from Milton & King Wallpapers adds pattern to the grey-and-black palette. Simple GlobeWest bedside tables keep the look light. Not many new homeowners can boast that their house arrived via police escort, but the Lees certainly can. \'We had to shut down the street from 6am when the truck from Melbourne arrived with our house on it, plus a 100-tonne crane,\' says Bruce. \'And basically that was what we had to plan the entire project around – we live on a street that is a thoroughfare for school drops-offs, so we had to make sure our home arrived during the holidays.\' Working back from this date, the home, delivery and fit-out all had to be carefully planned to meet the deadline. \'They did it with no worries,\' says Bruce. Window seat A window seat is an easy way to set aside a specific spot for relaxation. Here, the build-in bench seat doubles as storage, dressed in a muted grey palette and overlooking a vibrant green space while making the most of the magical afternoon sunlight. The transformation from empty block to new home stirred up a lot of interest in the street. \'We had people with cameras stopping and taking pictures as the first module was craned into position,\' says Bruce. Bathrooms Upstairs, the master ensuite is lined with textural 'Stoneclay' tiles from Signorino Tile Gallery on the walls and floor, as well as a feature wall of custom fan carrara marble tiles by Marble & Ceramic Corp . The couple admit to feeling nervous as the home connected into place, but they needn't have worried. \'My heart was in my mouth as the first two modules were slowly craned into position,\' says Bruce. \'But it all fit together perfectly like Lego,\' says Pippa. Laundry This functional space is treated to a luxe effect with organic textures in the form of baskets and a woven rug, plus pale grey floor tiles and ample bench space. Clever built-in open shelving above the bench makes storage a breeze, while subway tiles are a contemporary addition. After the surge of activity, it was six weeks until the family could move in, ensuring the bathroom, kitchen and laundry were completed, and that the internal furnishings were in and looking like the home had been there all along. Backyard \'The living, dining area and kitchen look out into the backyard with our pool,\' says Bruce. \'It's such a nice connected feeling and draws the eye outwards.\' For more info on the companies involved in this project, visit The Designory , Prebuilt and Pleysier Perkins . Styling by Larissa Raywood with assistance by Alexandra Donnolly .'

15 natural home remedies for cleaning

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From chemical-free toilet cleaners to natural oven cleaning solutions, these DIY natural cleaning solutions will get the job done.
'Natural cleaning solutions can save time, money, and reduce chemical exposure, so to help you keep your home cleaner and healthier for longer, here are 15 natural home remedies for cleaning. If you don't have time to make everything yourself, you can purchase natural cleaning products but generally speaking, it's cheaper to make natural cleaning products yourself at home. Stock your cupboard with white vinegar, salt, baking soda, Borax, lemons and let's get to it! Cleaning your home from top to bottom is easier than you think with our ultimate cleaning guide.\' data-portal-copyright=\'Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd\' data-has-syndication-rights=\'1\'/> BAKING SODA FOR OVEN CLEANING A paste of baking soda and water cleans ovens without the chemicals or the hassle of the self cleaning cycle. Just make a paste on the bottom of the oven, leave for a few hours and wipe off for a shiny, chemical free oven. MAGIC ERASERS Magic Erasers are genius little sponges that remove marks like ink and crayon from walls, tiles, you name it. They're made of a microfibre that lifts and traps dirt without chemicals or detergent. Chux make a version that's sold in Coles, but if you buy them in bulk from places like Ebay and Amazon you'll save money. Note : \'Magic Eraser\' is the brand name. Their generic name is \'melamine foam/sponge\'. These essential oils are essential components in your natural cleaning kit.\' data-portal-copyright=\'Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd\' data-has-syndication-rights=\'1\'/> SWITCH TO MICROFIBRE Microfibre is a man-made fibre smaller than a strand of silk (ie. VERY small!). Microfibre cleaning cloths are so effective at removing dirt that you don't need to use detergents and other chemicals to get things spotless. I've saved a lot of money since I switched to microfibre, and I was using inexpensive homemade cleaners before switching. I have a basic set of antibacterial microfibre cloths and a microfibre mop set that I absolutely love and use daily. I can clean my entire house (except toilets) with just water now. To keep things simple, I have one colour-coded microfibre cloth per room. No chemicals and it saves money. MAKE SCOURING POWDER For soap scum on bathtubs and showers , make your own scouring powder with 2 parts baking soda, 1 part salt, and 1 part Borax. It will cut through even the toughest scum. Here are 7 of our favourite natural cleaning recipes.\' data-portal-copyright=\'Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd\' data-has-syndication-rights=\'1\'/> CITRUS INFUSED VINEGAR Fill a jar with citrus peels and pour undiluted white vinegar over them. Leave for a few days (up to two weeks) and strain out the vinegar to use as a natural cleaner. It works as a window cleaner (dilute with water), for mopping floors, or for disinfecting surfaces. START A CLEANING CHECKLIST Use a cleaning checklist for each room so that you can clean efficiently, or assign the jobs to children and know that they will be thorough. Here are 10 things you should be cleaning with eucalyptus oil.\' data-portal-copyright=\'Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd\' data-has-syndication-rights=\'1\'/> TREAT STAINS NATURALLY Laundry soaps and stain treaters can be some of the worst offenders for toxic chemicals. There are natural options that work really well, but it helps to know a little chemistry, as different natural options will work better on different types of stains . CLEAN THE DISHWASHER To clean your dishwasher effortlessly, fill a dishwasher safe bowl or jar with 2 cups of vinegar and set on the top rack of the dishwasher. Run through on a hot cycle with no other dishes in the dishwasher to clean and remove the musty odour. Planning on a deep spring clean? Here's how to clean your bedroom from head to toe.\' data-portal-copyright=\'Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd\' data-has-syndication-rights=\'1\'/> CLEAN THE INSINKERATOR I use my garbage disposal a lot and sometimes it gets that not-so-lovely odour. To combat this, there are a couple of options: Cut a lemon in half, shove in garbage disposal and grind (with water running) for 10 seconds. Freeze lemon and orange peels in ice cube trays with vinegar or water and throw these in and grind for 10 seconds. Pour 1/2 cup of baking soda in and then 1 cup of distilled white vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes before running the water and and the disposal. NATURAL AIR FRESHENER In a medium saucepan, simmer a quart of water with natural ingredients to freshen and clean the air. Just make sure not to let the water evaporate off completely. My favourite combinations are: 1 sliced lemon, 2 tablespoons rosemary and a dash of vanilla. 1 sliced lime and 1 piece chopped ginger root. 1 sliced orange, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a dash of nutmeg and cloves (smells like pumpkin pie). 1 sliced lime and 2 tablespoons thyme. >> Have your ties got a grout problem? Here's how to remove grout with minimal effort.\' data-portal-copyright=\'Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd\' data-has-syndication-rights=\'1\'/> HOW TO CLEAN YOUR SHOWER HEAD Clean a shower head by filling a plastic bag with white vinegar and then tie the bag around the shower head so that the shower head is immersed in the vinegar. Leave on for up to 12 hours and remove carefully. Pour it down the drain and your shower head should be clean and free of hard water residue. CAR UPHOLSTERY Clean stains in car upholstery with Dawn detergent, baking soda, and soda water. Give your kitchen a thorough clean with these top tips.\' data-portal-copyright=\'Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd\' data-has-syndication-rights=\'1\'/> CLEAN TOILET WITHOUT CHEMICALS Dump a cup of baking soda into the toilet and let it soak for at least an hour. Pour in a cup of white vinegar, leave for five minutes and flush. Unless the toilet is really dirty, this will clean it without scrubbing. STOVE VENT FAN Struggling to clean the sticky cooking residue that builds up in your rangehood. Clean the stove vent fan with boiling water and baking soda. Spring clean your floors with these top tips.\' data-portal-copyright=\'Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd\' data-has-syndication-rights=\'1\'/> DIY GLASS SPRAY BOTTLE I am not a fan of plastic spray bottles, especially when they contain substances that can break down the plastic. A friend gave me a glass spray bottle as a gift and I've since made several more using old bottles with the tops from a plastic bottle. These also tend to look a lot better! This is an edited version of an article from Wellness Mama .'

5 ways to organise your bathroom vanity

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Keep your bathroom vanity organised and under control with these 5 simple decluttering tips from Peter Walsh.
'When it comes to organising your bathroom vanity it can be easy to become quickly overwhelmed by all the products and objects that tend to gravitate there. To help you keep it under control, expert organiser Peter Walsh shares five ways to organise your bathroom vanity. Is your bathroom vanity overloaded with a variety of beauty products, lotions, mascaras, lippy and other magic potions? If you're like most people, many of these came into your home making big promises then generally, after a few weeks of applying a tube of the latest and greatest, your hopes of becoming the next Angelina Jolie start to fade. Frankly, we've all been there. It may be painful to come to that realisation about some of these products, but it's better to just face reality, turf the non-performers and move on. Sort your items into three groups Take everything out and sort it into three piles: a) Stuff you use just about every day; b) Stuff you use occasionally but yeah, maybe not so much any more; and c) Stuff that makes you think 'did I ever seriously think I'd use that avocado-mango-papaya scrub?' Pile #1: things you use every day The first pile – of things you use every day – are the only items allowed to live on the vanity. Even so, you want to balance out the convenience of having those items easily accessible, with the calm you feel when your bathroom is neat and tidy. The secret is to make it decorative. Add a tray or a container to put them into. After all, even if you do use that deodorant every day, do you really need to show it off? A bin will make regularly used items easy to find, stop you buying things you already own, and (perhaps best of all) set a limit for the number of 'regularly used' items that you should have in your bathroom. Pile #2: things used occasionally This is the stuff you're not using all the time, but aren't yet ready to part with. Attention: if any of it is past its expiry date, toss it! This is not up for debate – these products are going on your face and other places on your body. Why risk it? Remember a simple rule here: the closer to your eyes, the shorter the shelf life. So, mascaras last three to six months; nail polish a year and perfumes for about three years. Next, gather like items together. The goal is to reduce each group down to a very limited amount, so that it will fit neatly back into the drawers and cupboards in the vanity. It's time to be ruthless. How many types of eye cream do you really need? Toss items until you've reached a number that will fit easily in a single space – for example, one drawer. If you're really having trouble letting go, my rule of thumb is you only get three chances to keep items that made you say, \'Oh, I forgot I had that…\' or \'Oh, I love that colour I need to try that again…\' Order your items from front-to-back Anything close to its expiry date should be put near the front. The same goes for anything you've promised yourself you'll try again soon. With the rest of the items, group them together by type and store each cluster neatly in its own designated area. That way, you won't waste time hunting for the one you want. You'll also easily see how much stock you have and what needs to be replaced. The best bit is you'll save money by not overbuying. For storage purposes, I'm a big fan of clear plastic bins (so easy to clean and help with occasional spills) and using a lazy Susan under a sink to see what you have in the back. Also, don't forget about the hanging space that's on the inside door of the cabinet under the vanity . That's the perfect spot for a hair dryer. Dispose responsibly Cosmetics can be tossed but expired medications should be taken back to the chemist for responsible disposal. Once your essentials have been put back in their proper place and your bathroom has been conquered, go out and buy some flowers. Every bathroom instantly looks (and smells) better with a few flowers in a small vase. See more from Peter at Peter Walsh Design to learn more about his books, videos and TV appearances.'

Storing pantry staples

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Matching different foods with the appropriate receptacle, such as glass, plastic, ceramic or metal, is the key to creating optimum conditions.Clear plastic containers are an excellent storage basic as they're cheap, reliable and practical. Yet for
'Matching different foods with the appropriate receptacle, such as glass, plastic, ceramic or metal, is the key to creating optimum conditions. Clear plastic containers are an excellent storage basic as they're cheap, reliable and practical. Yet for those concerned about the chemicals used in the production of plastic, there are a myriad of alternatives. WHICH MATERIAL IS BEST? GLASS Breakage is the main disadvantage of using glass storage containers. Price can also be a minor concern. Glass jars are often bulky and rarely modular, leading to space issues for some. There are, however, plenty of good reasons to consider using glass. Besides the practical advantage of being able to clearly see what is stored in the container, and how much is left, glass is an excellent alternative for those who prefer to avoid plastics due to concerns over chemical leakage. Most of the major homeware and kitchenware chains, and stand-alone stores, carry a good range of glass storage jars. IKEA is a good source for well-priced sets. It's also worth checking your local hardware store for large, airtight preserving jars. PLASTIC Far and away the most popular food storage material, plastic storage containers can be found in most kitchens. The major benefits of plastic containers are price and ease of both accessibility and storage. Modular containers can be stacked to make the best use of any space. Most plastic containers are also dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe. There are some concerns around chemical leaching and plastic containers, but the official word at this stage is that provided proper handling guidelines are followed, there is no cause for concern. The major safety point is to check that a container is certified for microwave use prior to heating. METAL Enamel and stainless steel are popular storage materials for their robust nature as well as their aesthetic appeal. As with ceramic, metal containers can be lightproof as well as airtight. This is a particular bonus for storing fragrant ingredients such as coffee and spices that can be light reactive. Stainless steel also has the benefit of being entirely non-porous, making it an excellent choice for storing items that could stain or permeate plastic with their smell. Top tips Moisture control is an important issue in humid areas. Using a completely airtight container will help keep moisture at bay, especially if you include a commercial desiccant or a few grains of rice. Treating the humidity levels of the storage area itself is the best preventative step. An open container of bicarbonate of soda or a commercial desiccant can help keep damp levels down. An infestation of pantry moths is a seriously irritating problem. It's important to clean the inside of the pantry and all its contents thoroughly to remove any trace of them. Check seals, lids and the tops of canned goods in particular. Once everything has been cleaned, place a couple of bay leaves in the corner of each shelf as a deterrent. One way to prevent infestation occurring is to place all newly bought packages of dry goods such as flour in the freezer for fifteen to twenty minutes to kill any weevils before decanting into airtight containers. A well-stocked pantry is an appealing environment to cockroaches. To keep inquisitive bugs at bay, try placing a saucer of Epsom salts and cloves in the corner of the bottom shelf and wiping the perimeter of each shelf with a cotton ball dipped in oil of cloves. To help you remember precisely what you've stored in each container, get into the habit of snipping the relevant section of the original food packaging and popping it into the jar. Try to either include the best before date on the clipping, or write the date of storage on yourself. Never add new supplies to the old. Finish whatever is in the jar before you open and decant a new package. Shopping guide NOMAD Canister in Blue, $30, at Salt & Pepper Stoneware large storage canister, $80, at Le Creuset Pyromax Rectangular Container 1L, $15, at Maxwell & Williams 6-Piece Food Storage Container Set, $13, at Kmart'

How to cosy up your home décor

Home and Decoration homes TO LOVE

Winter is here which means it's time to snuggle up. Creating a cosy environment calls for chunky knits, cosy decor, flickering candles. Here are our top interior styling tips to help you layer up your home for the cooler months.
'Do the colder months have you craving toasty interiors? Bring on the movie nights and reading by the fire, we say! But first, we need to transform our homes into warm and welcoming winter retreats. Creating a cosy environment is a multi-sensory experience. Chunky knits, shaggy finishes, flickering candles and voluminous silhouettes add visual warmth. With these easy textile changes and home decor ideas, your home will feel warmer than ever. A touch of nature Bringing touches of the outdoors in will add instant warmth to your home. This is especially beneficial in the winter months, as you can't spend as much time outside as you'd like! Introduce indoor plants to bring your interior to life and purify the air. Winter bedlinen Loathe the cold? The right bedlinen might change your mind! Opt for cotton or velvet flannel sheets, or natural fabrics such as bamboo and linen, which help regulate body temperature. And if you're after something a bit more luxurious, silk is known to retain heat. Pile on the plush In the bedroom, swap light quilts for feather or polyester-filled doonas for warmth and weight. Add a throw to your bed, and over an armchair in living areas. Textural fabrics look and feel cosy, so layer cushions and blankets made from velvet , felt, fleece and wool. Layer upon layer Layers are the easiest way to create a cosy atmosphere. To layer textures successfully, start with the lowest pile and build on that. For example, a leather sofa with velvet cushions and a sheepskin throw works well because they are all different piles. Dress up your windows Heavy, lined curtains made from thick fabric are a cost-effective and practical winter decorating hack. They keep the cold out, the heat in and create physical texture that visually warms up an interior. Already have sheers? Heavier curtains or blinds can be layered on top. Choose jewel tones Winter is the perfect time to introduce deeper jewel tones into your home – they evoke a sophisticated mood but can feel too rich when it's warm. Try shades of emerald, ruby and dark sapphire in the form of cushions, table linen or a custom-made sofa cover. Rug up Creating head-to-toe comfort is key, so start from the floor up and invest in a cosy rug or two. Wool is a popular choice because it's insulating and durable enough for high-traffic areas. Place rugs where you need extra softness underfoot – beneath the dining table and next to your bed. Set the mood Décor isn't just about the things you see – it's also about the things you smell and hear. So to complete the cosy experience, involve all the senses. Light scented candles , dim the lights, put on some mellow tunes and crack open that bottle of wine! COSY WINTER BUYS Caramelised Walnut & Amber Madison Jar candle, $42.95, Ecoya 'Renworth' faux fur throw, $349.95, Sheridan 'Frida' cushion in Ocre, $150, Klovah 'Flokati' wool round rug, $329, Zanui Oriel Lighting 'Erica' Scandinavian Glass Lamp, $139, Temple & Webster 'Zulu' rug, from $1560, Armadillo & Co.'

10 expert tips for buying antiques

Home and Decoration homes TO LOVE

When it comes to buying antiques, the thrill of the hunt can quickly become overwhelming so we asked the team at Antiques Roadshow for their top tips.
'We've all dreamed of scouring countless local vintage stores only to come across a hidden gem: an antique piece that's ripe for restoring, that will fit perfectly in at home. So how do you know if you've found The One? We've pulled together the 10 essential tips for buying antiques. If you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, digging through the inventories of op-shops can be an extremely rewarding pastime, as you never know what treasures you may stumble upon. When it comes to furniture pieces in particular, you may find original classic designs that can be freshened up with a light sand and timber stain , or perhaps a rattan piece that can be easily restored with a bit of elbow grease. The trick is to carefully examine the quality and condition of your piece, and consider whether or not the amount of time required to bring it back to its state of former glory is feasible, or worthwhile. To help you with your antique hunt, we asked the experts from Antiques Roadshow Hilary Kay and Paul Atterbury for their top tips for buying antiques. Buy what you are passionate about Don't buy in the hope of making money; allow yourself to be excited by your collecting and don't worry about investment potential. Learn about your subject Read books, visit collections and dealers, attend auctions and speak to experts there. Question yourself Do you love it? Is it a good example of its type? How rare is this particular one? Is it by a notable maker/designer? Is it in good, original condition? Buy the best with what you've got Make sure you know the difference between good and poor quality before you buy. Be selective Collecting should be about quality, not quantity. Remember to keep your collection fluid, not set in concrete. If better examples are found, sell off the poorer ones. Avoid fashion Form your own opinions about what to collect. Don't follow the pack; consider buying what others aren't buying. Be adventurous Mix and match what you buy and avoid being limited by sticking to just one style. Good quality objects from different eras can look really good together. Allow mistakes to happen Don't beat yourself up about the occasional 'duff' purchase. Don't buy to deal .. unless you want to be an antiques dealer. Nothing is forever Your circumstances or your taste will change over the years, and every collector should embrace the idea of selling up and moving on to other subjects.'

14 of the best outdoor heater ideas for your backyard

Home and Decoration homes TO LOVE

Up the temperature in your backyard with a toasty fire pit, wood-burning fireplace or wunderbar heater with our top 14 outdoor heater picks.
'Australians just love an outdoor entertaining area – with or without a barbecue – and when an outdoor heating system is added to it, the attraction of the space can be extended by months on either side of summer. This means you could be enjoying a a coffee outside on a brisk spring morning, or a glass of wine on a crisp autumn night. Definitely worthwhile goals! There are so many different kinds of heating solutions on the market – from open-fire pits and built-in wood-fired stoves to bar heaters and just about everything in between. Here is our guide to the latest models, so you can choose the type that best suits your needs. Fire pits Just the ticket for small urban settings such as courtyards , the fire pit has also become a key design element in contemporary gardens . Daryl Crowley from Jetmaster Fireplaces Australia says that fire pits are the fastest-growing segment of the outdoor-heating market, and the range of products is increasingall the time. \'Our range has really expanded recently, because the popularity of outdoor heating – especially fire pits – is greater than ever before,\' he says. Fire pits tend to be cheaper than a complete built-in fireplace and are often wood-fired, however a number of gas products are now available. Proceed with caution when building your own fire pit unit because there are a few fire-safety elements you need to be aware of (see box). Some of the gas versions mimic wood fire, but because they come with instantaneous ignition, you get the look of flames without the mess associated, or the hassle of lighting a wood fire – an ideal solution if you have restrictions regarding outdoor wood-burning fireplaces. Jetmaster now makes custom units that can be installed in any type of structure, so you can design your own fire pit with an architect or builder to suit your home's aesthetic and then add the gas or wood-fire burning kit. top picks bar radiant heaters These are easy to use and incredibly effective, especially when you have a relatively enclosed space such as a porch or small outdoor kitchen area. Radiant-style heaters transfer heat directly to objects through infra-red waves, instead of heating up the surrounding air. This makes them a good choice for windy and exposed locations near the ocean or on an escarpment. As they provide instant, efficient heat at the touch of a button and at a safe distance, bar radiant heaters are perfect if you have young children. While not as decorative or evocative as wood fires, they're non-intrusive and can be installed in most exterior ceilings. Usually, there are ceiling, wall- and umbrella-mounted options for flexibility in installation. Bar radiant heaters are, of course, electric, so they meet all local fire regulations, but they will need to be installed by a licensed electrician. top picks freestanding electrical and gas heaters Sometimes called patio heaters, this outdoor heating option is ideal if you entertain regularly or need a portable solution – which makes them the heater of choice for renters. They're affordable to buy, relatively cheap to run and can be moved around fairly easily. You could even purchase two or three to create different warm zones in your outside space. Freestanding heaters deliver instant heat and the temperature is adjustable, so you can use them to take the chill off the air or to warm up a large area. They also work well with outdoor dining settings as they can be placed in fairly close proximity to tables. While they're a popular choice for apartment balconies and back porches, you may need prior approval from your body corporate. top picks outdoor fireplaces Who doesn't love the glamour of open fires? These permanent fixtures range from traditional wood-burning units to ultra-modern gas fireplaces , and can be a design-worthy addition to any outdoor entertaining area . Contemporary open fireplaces are often style statements that bring visual focus to their landscaped settings. Consider making yours a feature with a cultured-stone chimney or fireplace surround for added interest. And if you want to cook food in the fireplace, there are products available to make it double as a barbecue – outdoor dining sorted. Jetmaster's Daryl Crowley says that most customers of wood-burning products are drawn in by the romantic appeal of a traditional fireplace. As well as being a great garden feature, an outdoor fireplace has a super practical side. \'It's not just another little appliance,\' says Daryl. \'This is a big, beautiful heater that really works and will give you all the heat you need in your outdoor space You can transform any outside area you put one into. People really like them because of that.\' top picks'

Small homes that boast smart design

Home and Decoration homes TO LOVE

Inspiration abounds in these terrific apartments and terraces where clever spatial planning is matched with lashings of style and character.
'Rising to the challenges of a smaller footprint, 9 Australian designers hatched clever schemes that have made for ultra-chic city abodes with an eye to the future. Inspiration abounds in these terrific apartments and terraces where clever spatial planning is matched with lashings of style and character. High Tide - Studio Quarters The dynamic duo behind Studio Quarters - Theresa Chan and Janice Chenchow - refreshed this North Bondi apartment while embracing its art deco character and beachside location. Curves Ahead - Brooke Aitken Design An apartment in Sydney's iconic Wylde Street building was respectfully transformed under the watchful eye of Brooke Aitken. The apartment strikes a perfect balance of refinement and relaxation. Crystal palace - Heidi Onisforou Taking inspiration from André Fu, Christian Liaigre, Gio Ponti, Peter Zumthor and Kengo Kuma, Heidi Onisforou ensured every inch of her glamorous Potts Point apartment in Sydney was wrapped in luxury. Green with envy - Nina Maya Interiors Nina Maya of Nina Maya Interiors took on the interior architecture and design in the building of her own split-level contemporary home in Sydney. Starting with a largely neutral grey palette for the interiors, she layered this with striking green marble to create a strong focal point and added a slatted timber ceiling for warmth. Ship Shape - lynne bradley interiors Lynne Bradley Interiors revived a heritage home in Kirribilli, Sydney for a family for a family of six. The rejuvenated spatial flow and rich tonal allure revive the home with a stately yet contemporary structure. Bigger picture - Alicia Holgar Alicia Holgar deployed shapely curves within this Brisbane apartment, channelling the lines of the Harry Seidler-designed building for its cocooning, art-filled core. Through pushing boundaries and utilising the element of surprise, the calm palette is enriched by a sculptural sophistication. Sheltering Sky - Strutt Sudios Sophie Bowers of Strutt Studios collaborated with stylist Jono Fleming on his parents' home renovation . A balanced mix of era-specific influences and eclectic details. Bold patterns and textures on walls and floor finishes bring character to the sophisticated architectural elements. Sharp edges - Smart Design Studio To renovate this apartment in Horizon, an iconic Harry Seidler building on the fringe of Sydney's CBD, the owners engaged William Smart of Smart Design Studio. The result is a luxurious and glamorous space that feels incredibly peaceful and calm. Light Thinking - Brcar Morony Natalie Brcar of Brcar Morony Architecture had to work around an inflexible floor plan when reconfiguring this apartment in Sydney's Rushcutters Bay. The brief was to transform a tired and dark ground floor apartment into an open, free-flowing and interconnected series of spaces that would extend through to their external private courtyard.'

An eco-friendly modern cabin house with Nordic style

Home and Decoration homes TO LOVE

Located in a pristine pocket of pine forest, this edgy take on a traditional log cabin is feel-good living at its best.
'Who lives here : Marjo and Eetu Muste, a professional couple with design skills. Style of home A three-bedroom contemporary take on a log-cabin home in eastern Finland, designed by the owners in conjunction with developer Honka and interior designer Jonna Kivilahti . It's part of the Honka Ink collection of ecologically healthy homes. Timeline : The build started in mid-2016 and was finished for the Housing Fair in July 2017; 130,000 people visited. Budget : A similar house costs 2500-3000 Euros per sq m (that's about $668,000 for the entire 167 sq m house). Every year, the Finnish Housing Fair showcases the latest trends in the building industry and invites visitors to walk through houses designed and built in situ, ready for their new owners to move in after the fair. It's an unconventional way to purchase a home, especially when thousands of people get to visit your home before you live there – but for Marjo and Eetu Muste, being able to build a bespoke home on one of the best plots in Lake Saimaa was a no-brainer. \'We'd been dreaming of designing and building our first home together in a beautiful location, so when we heard that the Honka developers wanted to showcase their ecological log homes at the 2017 fair, it aligned with our needs perfectly,\' says Marjo. Working closely with Honka's inhouse architect, the couple began designing the house almost two years before the fair. Their drawings were of a two-storey structure clad in black-painted logs, with a dramatic pitched roof . The layout and internal finishes were specific to their needs: two bedrooms, a work space (which could be a bedroom), three bathrooms and an open-plan living area with direct access to an outside deck . \'We knew we'd be doing lots of entertaining,\' says Marjo, \'so a large living space where we could spend time together as a couple, and fit our friends in when required, was essential. We also wanted a deep connection with our surroundings, so plenty of glass was vital.\' To bring their vision to life, the couple approached Jonna Kivilahti , an interior designer with a relaxed style and love of natural textures. \'We knew we wanted to continue the simplicity of the exterior in the internal spaces, with concrete floors , matt-black cabinetry and raw-wood panelling,\' says Marjo. \'Jonna chose the perfect earthy palette to balance the rough textures and make the rooms feel cosy.\' One of these is micro concrete, which is the calming backdrop for the entire house. From the front door, the sight of the warehouse-style staircase draws you through a muted entry hall into the living space, where a nib-wall fireplace wrapped in velvety concrete creates a focal point that leads the eye out to the scenery beyond. \'The fireplace helps delineate the zones, and creates an intimate feel across the whole area,\' says Marjo. Keen for the kitchen to blend in with the living space, the Mustes went for simple matt-black cabinetry on the small island bench and units beyond. They eschewed wall cupboards and shelves above the sink for a feature wall in timber panelling, which adds natural pattern and warmth to all the dark surfaces. The wall is then cleverly mirrored at the other end of the large space, in the seating area where the cool surfaces have been cosied up with fluffier textures and shapely armchairs. A slightly different treatment was given to the various bathrooms and wet areas, including the traditional Finnish sauna on the ground floor. \'We experimented with practical material combinations, such as gloss tiles and brushed metal and raw concrete basins , to continue the industrial feel but also ensure functionality,\' says Jonna. Brushed gold fittings from Grohe's Essence collection add a touch of brightness to the restful sauna, while rose-gold fittings make an appearance upstairs in the en suite. \'We wanted to capture a boutique-hotel feel there, so went for graphic herringbone floor tiles from Laattamaailma,\' says Marjo. The tranquil feeling that defines the house owes a lot to the abundance of organic textures and house plants peppered throughout, especially in the snug main bedroom, where tactile linens are teamed with a rattan peacock chair, sheepskin and wool rugs and leathery-leaved greenery. \'And in the bedroom, the black-framed sliding windows are wonderful addition, letting the woodland scent flow through,\' says Marjo. While connecting to nature was important, so was having a minimal impact on it with the build. \'We wanted to preserve as much of the landscape as possible, and we succeeded,\' says Marjo. \'The wild blueberries still flourish in our yard, as do the moor frogs and flying squirrels. We all get to enjoy this incredible place.\' Jonna Kivilahti is on Instagram @ jonnakivilahti .'

10 light-filled spaces to inspire

Home and Decoration homes TO LOVE

Rooms that are filled with light have the ability to lifts one's mood, inspire productivity and increase motivation. A bright interior evokes a sense of serenity and is particularly effective at creating a false sense of spaciousness in smaller
'Rooms that are filled with light have the ability to lifts one's mood, inspire productivity and increase motivation. A bright interior evokes a sense of serenity and is particularly effective at creating a false sense of spaciousness in smaller homes. Awash with crisp ivory tones, find inspiration in these luminous spaces from the pages of Belle that bounce light to exude a fresh, casual elegance. Homes To Love 10 light-filled spaces to inspire Drawing on Californian inspirations, this house glows with a glamorous vibe that strikes a pose between ease and elegance. Interior design by David Hicks. From *Belle* August/September 2019. Photograph: Mark Roper Created by architect Walter Barda and interior designer Justine Hugh-Jones, this newly built [ultra-luxe beach house](https://www.homestolove.com.au/an-ultra-luxe-coastal-home-on-sydneys-northern-beaches-5955|target=\'_blank\') in Sydney's Bilgola celebrates coastal living sans beachy clichés. From *Belle* November 2017. Photograph: Prue Ruscoe | Styling: Sarah Mahoney A harmonious fusion of Japanese, contemporary and Victorian influences instils a sense of effortless calm within this home conceived by Mim Design. From *Belle* August/September 2019. Photograph: Sean Fennessy This [Spanish mission-style home](https://www.homestolove.com.au/a-spanish-mission-style-homes-hollywood-glamour-update-6677|target=\'_blank\') Sydney's eastern suburbs, has turned a fresh page thanks to a smart renovation by owner Stephanie Conley and architect Luigi Rosselli. From *Belle* May 2018. Photograph: Anson Smart Designer Mardi Doherty put a contemporary spin on this [grand old home](https://www.homestolove.com.au/a-restored-edwardian-home-by-mardi-doherty-design-5932|target=\'_blank\') which has completely reinvigorated it for a new generation. From *Belle* October 2017. Photograph: Sean Fennessy | Stylist: Heather Nette King Whispers of Palm Springs, a marine palette and an oceanic outlook make for a [breezy beach retreat](https://www.homestolove.com.au/palm-springs-style-beach-house-19258|target=\'_blank\').The light-filled living room is an extension of the outdoors. A breeze block wall filters soft light to the interiors. Design by PopovBass Architects. From *Belle* November 2018. Photograph: Fiona Susanto | Styling: Emma Elizabeth A pure white treatment breathes air into this [art deco apartment](https://www.homestolove.com.au/woollahra-apartment-by-marston-architects-5618|target=\'_blank\') in Sydney's eastern suburbs that has been re-imagined by Marston Architects. From *Belle* August/September 2017. Photograph: Katherine Lu Creating a connection with the view was one of the major objectives for interior designer Brooke Aitken in the renovation of this [luxurious harbourside home](https://www.homestolove.com.au/a-luxurious-resort-style-home-overlooking-sydneys-parsley-bay-6526|target=\'_blank\'). From *Belle* April 2018. Photograph: Prue Ruscoe After a dramatic makeover, this [beachside home's interiors](https://www.homestolove.com.au/beachside-home-in-sydney-inspired-by-its-location-20012|target=\'_blank\') appear to float into the sunny surrounds thanks to Pamela Makin of Les Interieurs. From *Belle* May 2019. Photograph: Felix Forest A fluid, contemporary home emerges and flourishes with an inner flow as the spirit of this [Victorian-era home](https://www.homestolove.com.au/contemporary-update-for-a-sydney-heritage-home-19571|target=\'_blank\') rises again from its heritage bones. Designed by Alexander & Co. From Belle December/January 2018/19. Photograph: Tom Ferguson'