Considering the Brief

No matter if the interior design project is big or small, a professional designer won’t start work without a well-defined brief. A design brief states the goals, requirements, and limitations of the project with the purpose of keeping you on track.

Even if you’re not an interior designer by trade, a brief is an extremely useful tool for establishing your project aims and ensuring your design project’s success. To define a brief of your own, Lauren Pearse from Rylo Interiors suggests beginning by asking yourself several questions:

  • What style or look are you going for?
  • Do you have children or pets?
  • Is the room you’re working on near a pool?
  • Do you have to consider ceiling height?

All these factors will affect your design choices for your home.

Your budget will also impact all your design decisions. From benchtops to flooring, lighting to those little added extras, your budget will determine just how indulgent you can be. Being realistic about what you can afford at the start of your project keeps you from overspending later on so you can achieve your goals without draining your bank account.

House blueprints

Another important consideration for your brief is the purpose of the room you’re designing. Are you designing an entire home or just a granny flat? The intended use of your space will govern your design decisions. If you’re only styling a granny flat, for example, you might need to be more conscious of the limited space by finding solutions to use it effectively. If you’re styling a lounge space, will it be more formal for receiving guests or casual for everyday use? You should factor this into your furniture selections.

Design material samples

A great way of establishing your design brief is by using images. Images are fantastic for illustrating the exact look you want for your space. Scour through magazines or interior design blogs for ideas. Compile all your favourite looks on a Pinterest board for a convenient reference point to check back on as your project progresses. You can visit Andersens on Pinterest to get started on pinning design ideas for your project.

Once you’ve got your brief right, your design selections will come together naturally.

Looking for more advice on designing your interiors? Step into an Andersens showroom and speak to one of our friendly consultants for help.

Choosing a Ceramic Bathroom Tile

If you’re renovating your bathroom, there’s a good chance that ceramic tiles will feature heavily in your design. Waterproof and durable, tiles are an effective way of protecting your walls and floors from being damaged by moisture. With the wide variety of tiles available and the myriad patterns you can lay them in, deciding on a style for your bathroom can be overwhelming. Narrow down your selection to find a style that fits your needs.

Finish

Ceramic tiles come in multiple finishes which can dramatically affect the feel of your bathroom.

Gloss tiles have a shiny surface and can look very glamorous. Gloss tiles become slippery in wet environments, so it’s best to reserve them for walls, splashbacks, and low foot traffic areas. Choosing accent or border tiles in high gloss will further help to draw the eye. If your bathroom is on the small side, glossy tiles can help to create the illusion of space by reflecting light. If your bathroom gets a lot of direct sunlight, however, go for a lower-gloss tile to avoid causing uncomfortable glare.

Matt surfaces are very on trend right now, appearing on everything from walls to dinnerware. For bathrooms, matt ceramic tiles are suitable for flooring as they provide more traction. If you’re aiming for a natural or understated look, matt tiles are ideal.

Size

When choosing the size of your tile, aim to keep the size in proportion to the  size of your bathroom. Lately, large format tiles have been popular thanks to the wealth of new styles now available. Although mosaic tile is a perennial favourite for smaller bathrooms, larger tiles can make the space feel bigger when used correctly. One thing to remember is that smaller tiles will create more grout lines, making the grout more noticeable. Match the colour of your grout to your tile to prevent it from being as visually dominant.

Colour & Pattern

When deciding on the colour or pattern of your tile, it’s all about mood. Light-coloured tiles will lend an airy tranquility to your bathroom and are a good choice for smaller bath spaces. Dark tiles can create broody and warm effects. Patterned tiles have great impact and can range in style from detailed Moroccan motifs to more contemporary geometric designs. Wall to floor patterned tiles can be very impressive, but can also be too busy to comfortably look at. For a more subtle look, try using patterned tiles on just one surface or as a feature strip.


For all your ceramic tile needs, step into your nearest Andersens showroom to shop our great range. One of our friendly team members can help you find a style for your taste.

Decluttering for a Simpler Life

“Just in case” is a mindset that leads many of us to hang onto items on the off-chance they’ll be needed one day. However, often by the time those items might actually be useful, we’ve forgotten about them completely or they’ve become outdated and need replacing. This is how we accumulate clutter, and it’s why we should be realistic about our possessions and the way we use them.

Decluttering is a great step to take before embarking on a thorough home cleaning. Not only will it free up more space, it reduces the amount of housework you’ll have to do in the long run, and it provides you with an opportunity to assess your spending habits.

Abide by the following decluttering mantras to get rid of old junk for a simpler, more organised home.

Just start

To make your task of decluttering more manageable, don’t pull everything all out at once. Start with one room or zone of your home. Completing areas one by one will ensure you don’t get overwhelmed and give up before stumbling over the mess for weeks. Of course, if you have the energy for an all-out clean-out, go ahead – you might just need a heavy nap once you’re done.

The Year Rule

Do you remember the last time you used it? The Year Rule is a good one to follow when it comes to what to keep or chuck. If you haven’t used it in that time, you’re not likely to use it again.

Ask “why?”

Question why you’ve kept it. If you’re saving it for the rainy day that still hasn’t come, you can part ways with it. Was it a gift that’s really not your taste? No one is benefitting from it if you’re not using it so let it go to someone who’ll love it more. If it’s something you bought on impulse that you no longer like, remember to be more considerate when shopping in future.

Fixer upper

We’ve all got broken things lying around that we just haven’t had time to repair yet, whether it’s a kitchen utensil or a shirt with split seam. Weigh up the cost and time involved in fixing the item. If it’s not easily repairable or it’s outside your skillset, consider getting a pro to do it, or repurpose or recycle it.

Go digital

Scan old paperwork like bills or receipts and switch to digital bills and statements from your current providers. This will minimise the amount of paper clutter lying around. Going paperless is not just the way of the future, it’s the way to a tidy home!

Ta-ta, old tech

Technology is one thing that rarely comes back into fashion or usefulness. ‘Brick phones’ are called that for a reason – they’re not good for much else. Mobile phones are very recyclable but should not be thrown out with the rest of your general waste. Take old and broken phones and accessories to your nearest mobile disposal drop-off point. You can also find disposal services for other tech such as cameras and computers here.

Ditch duplicates

Unless it’s something that’s meant to come in pairs, get rid of things you have multiples of.

Check the date

Scour your pantry and freezer for any food past its prime. Old cosmetic products are veritable petri dishes, so check the back of packaging for the symbol showing how long they can be used after opening. Toss out expired medicine and first aid kits as they will have lost effectiveness.

Say goodbye, ethically

If the item is broken and beyond repair, then it’s in the bin it goes. However, think of ways to salvage the item or give it a second life first. Extending the life of the product helps to minimise environmental waste.

Sell it: Whether it’s through an old-fashioned garage sale or online through sites like eBay, Gumtree, or even Facebook, there are many avenues nowadays for selling your old gear to more appreciative owners.

Donate it: If the item is still in decent condition, donate it to a charity such as Lifeline or Vinnies.

Pass it on: Ask around with friends and family for anyone who could make use of your unwanted goods.

Upcycle: Get creative and make new from old. Pinterest is full of ideas and DIY projects that help you breathe new life into old items.

Recycle: If all else fails, and your item is recyclable, dispose of it appropriately so the materials can be reused.

Saying Goodbye to Old Carpet

Transforming your house with new floor coverings is always exciting to see. Less exciting is the work required to get your floors from ‘Before’ to ‘After’. Removing old flooring can be a hard slog, but with the right tools, you can eliminate some of the frustration. We take a look at the basics of removing one of the most popular flooring options, carpet.

First and foremost, remember that carpet installed in or before the 1970s can contain asbestos in the underlay. (Old vinyl, linoleum, and tiles can also have backing or glue that contains asbestos.) Asbestos poses serious health risks to humans when fibres of a certain size become airborne and are inhaled. If you’re suspicious of your old carpet, you can contact a professional to have a sample tested at an asbestos-testing laboratory. If your old carpet is contaminated, contracting licensed asbestos removers to remove it is the safest option.

If you’re sure that your old carpet is asbestos-free, you can proceed to line your toolbox with these essentials to get started on your flooring reno.

Utility/Stanley knife: To remove carpet molding, you’ll need this to jiggle beneath the trim. You can also use the knife to cut up the carpet and underlay into more manageable strips to reduce the risk of injury during removal.

Pry bar: Use with the utility knife to remove any old damaged smoothedge carpet grippers that may need replacing.

Needle nose pliers: If the carpet is attached to the subfloor with staples, use this to remove them. Pliers are also handy for pulling up carpet from the corners.

Floor scraper: If the underlay is glued onto concrete, use this to scrape off any remaining chunks of underlay.

Mineral spirits: If the underlay is glued onto wood flooring, use this to soften the adhesive.

Hammer & chisel: Use together to remove tack strips and staples.

Protective gear: Safety glasses, dust masks, work gloves, and knee pads will protect you from pins and tacks and debris.

Vacuum cleaner or broom: Reno work is dirty work. Vacuum up the mess as you go along and after you’re done for a clean subfloor to work on. Vacuuming the old carpet prior to removal prevents excess dust and dirt from spreading as you work.

With these tools, you can now begin to tear away that nasty old carpet make way for new floor coverings!

Still sounding like too much hard work? If you purchase your new floor coverings from Andersens, we’ll be happy to discuss removal options with you. Contact us to see how we can help you.

Sources:
www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/asbestos-toc~asbestos-when-and-where
www.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/asbestos-toc~asbestos-health~asbestos-householders-expo
www.safeenvironments.com.au/asbestos-carpet-underlay/
www.wikihow.com/Take-Out-Carpet
www.hgtv.com/design/decorating/design-101/how-to-remove-wall-to-wall-carpet
www.homeflooringpros.com/blog-guides/carpet-removal/