to do.

EXPLORE all the trends – from styling to sell, the importance of art, the latest design trends, the iconic feature wall and many other ideas including what’s the latest out there…. This section will help you dress your home, throw new ideas at you and inspire you to experiment with “tried and tested” guidelines that I’m sure will arm you with the best advice to sell your property and enjoy life.


The evolution of the feature floor

29.08.14

Featured Floors

PLUSH carpets, polished concrete, timber floors; where we tread says a lot about who and how we live in our homes. Not only do floors need to be functional – they are the most used surface in our homes – but they also need to be beautiful. Whatever floor covering you use, the most important thing to remember is that most are a permanent fixture! So choose wisely. As with every feature in your home, your flooring choices need to be aesthetically pleasing and tie in with the rest of your interior design choices.

Timber floors

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Timber floors are probably the most popular choice of covering. They can be polished, stained, painted, lime washed – the choices are many. An added bonus with timber floors is the hygiene factor. Unlike porous surfaces, timber floors are easy to clean and easy to maintain. Floorboards are a favourite with families with young children.

DO ensure the floorboards have been sealed.
DON’T pull original boards out when renovating – often all they need is a buff and polish to restore them to their natural beauty.
REMEMBER you can always cover them with rugs in winter or to create a cosy room feel.

Polished Concrete

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If you want to create that WOW factor, polished concrete floors certainly achieve that! But, concrete floors do not suit all types of houses – they look great in warehouse style home, not so much in terraces. Concrete floors also suit families.

DO use colour. They can be oxidised, polished, speckled. Use your imagination!
DON’T forget underfloor heating!
REMEMBER concrete floors are very expensive so have a long think before deciding on this surface.

Carpet and rugs

Featured Floors

Nearly every home has some kind of plush floor covering; whether it’s wall-to-wall carpeting, room rugs or hall runners. They are a softening feature in a room and the designs, colour and texture options are virtually endless. You can create so many different looks and also quickly change the look of a room by either swapping a rug or taking it away in warmer weather. Hall runners can be very effective and make a bold statement. Sisals are a good choice.

DO get creative. Experiment with textures such as sea grass, use borders, try a Moroccan rug! Have fun and get as personal as you like. Linen edges add a touch of class or why not have a go at creating your own design.
DON’T forget to regularly vacuum and shampoo rugs and carpets. Not a popular choice for asthmatics and those with allergies.
REMEMBER carpets don’t need to be expensive. Keep the flooring in theme with your home.

The evolution of the feature wall

21.08.14

THERE’s more to slapping a coat of paint onto a wall that makes it into a feature.
Like many interior design trends, the feature wall has evolved and embraced colour fashions, textures, patterns and materials.

I have seen the feature wall transition from just selecting a different colour to stand out from the rest of the interior palette, to the integral puzzle piece completing the internal styling of a home. It appears feature walls have come full circle.

A splash of COLOUR

In the 1990s, it was very popular to have one wall in a room painted in a bright, bold colour. Fuchsia, fire-engine red and bright yellow were used, with much aplomb. However as trends change these bright colours have been toned down to a more elegant, understated look that is easier and more pleasant to look at.

Feature Wall

DO use a darker shade or even a few extra coats of the same colour used on the other walls. Think neutral, soft shades.
DON’T use bright red, no matter how much you love the colour. Invariably it’ll look like blood!
REMEMBER have fun with a feature wall. Experiment but keep in mind it must fit into the style, colours, furniture etc. of your home. The beauty is that if you don’t like what you’ve created, a lick of paint can change the look quickly and inexpensively.

Paper and other coverings

Wallpaper has made a comeback – and in a big way! These days you can get virtually any pattern, texture or colour you like, and you can even create you own design! Don’t be afraid of stripes, dots and unusual shapes.

Feature wall

DO use wallpaper in unconventional places such as a powder room. A little can go a long way in making a statement.
DON’T rush the job. Wallpaper is expensive and tricky to use. Be very careful in planning and hire a professional. Wallpapering is not a DIY job.
REMEMBER it’s on for the long haul. Carefully assess the room, space and interior design before embarking on the wallpaper revamp.

Walls as art

An exciting trend emerging is the use of other materials on walls such as copper panels. Using textured, high gloss, metallic materials create a luxurious and eye-catching feature wall. Every home needs some art on the walls; why not transform a wall, or walls into a piece of art? Other materials making a statement include limewashed internal brick, murals and other three dimensional panels.

Feature wall

DO make a bold statement. Big and bright is key. Not for the fainthearted. Have fun!
DON’T get carried away. One wall or even part of a wall is enough to really stand out.
REMEMBER to ensure the textures and materials enhance your home, reflect light and fit in to the theme of your home. It’s all about balance!

styling to sell

30.07.14

Indoor & outdoor living

SPRING  – a time for rebirth, the end of winter gloom, and for many the opportune time to buy or sell a property. But why is there a surge in the real estate market during this season?

There are a number of reasons many decide to sell their homes in Spring. The weather is warmer, more people are willing to venture out and gardens are blooming. It’s a great time to show off your home’s outdoor features such as swimming pools and landscaping.

However, many sellers do not anticipate they will encounter the inundation of like-minded people who also want a piece of the action.

There are a few tips to ensure your property stands out; to guarantee success, you need to style your home to its best advantage.

Keep it simple

Sydney-siders love their outdoor living areas. Entertaining is a big part of the Australian way of life. But high maintenance properties are definitely out. People do not want to spend their weekends maintaining their homes, they want to enjoy them. Start by washing down your property, clearing out the gutters, remove any superfluous outdoor furniture and anything else that will take time to look after. Create a clean space where people can envisage long, lazy barbecues, family celebrations and parties.

Declutter

You’ve kept that worn chair dear old granny left for you, boxes of ‘art’ your children created on preschool and the Buddha statue you brought back from your trip to Bali. My advice, get rid of it. Most of us find it hard to let go of items that have sentimental value, but for the buyer, these pieces are clutter. Not only do they clog up your living areas, but can put buyers off. Why not start packing your house early? It needs to be done and I tell my clients they can kill two birds with one stone. If clients feel they cannot possibly part with treasured pieces, my advice is to hire storage and create space in your home. Don’t forget to tidy bookshelves and store unused items in your roof.

Styling – Art, colours and more

Furniture not only sets the tone of a home, but also gives proportion to a room. Be mindful of oversized furniture or garish pieces that can be polarising. The same goes for art – tasteful, inoffensive and classic. If the property is empty, I hire furniture to allow potential buyers to visualise living in the house as their home.

Colour trends are important to follow; neutral, unobtrusive tones appeal to the majority of people. Colours not only extend to the walls, but to the carpets, furnishing, tiles and fixtures. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can’t do to lift a room!

Keep ahead of the trends

I’m continually searching out the latest trends, consulting with interior designers, looking at magazines and visiting homemaker stores. Tile and lighting shops are great place to see many different styles and the latest stock on display. As I have renovated properties numerous times, I know what works and enjoy the whole process of consulting and seeing the finished product.

A final tip

Ensure your house is free of any damp or mould lurking on walls, ceilings and in the garden. The ravage of a cold, wet winter can have devastating effects on a property.

Dressing up your home

25.03.14

Darryl Gordon - Lounge Room

THEY say you’re never fully dressed without a smile, so too a house is never quite complete without some form of art. Getting it right however, can be a little tricky and it takes a trained eye and many years experience to know what works.

When I first started out in real estate, I thought it was a great idea to visit art galleries and attend launches by local artists. It was a fabulous way to meet people – but along the way something unexpected happened. I started buying artworks and forming relationships with these wonderful artists. Before I knew, I had a vast art collection – even before owning my first property! Not only had I now accumulated some great pieces, but had expanded my knowledge on art. I’d always been passionately, but now I was armed with knowledge and a great eye for great pieces.

Every house should have some kind of art work; whether it is a canvas, photographs, sculptures, oil paintings or even outdoor art. A home is naked without this adornment. When I first inspect a property, I immediately take note of the art, or lack thereof. Be careful though, there most definitely are a few rules.

Blank walls are a no-no

Art is a necessity. No ifs or buts. If on inspection of a property I find empty walls, one of my first steps is to hire art and ensure the piece are suitable. Which leads me to the next point…

Is it suitable?

The most important rule is this: is the artwork polarising? Art is supposed to complement a room, add a certain je ne sais quoi and never offend. On more than one occasion I’ve removed artworks that really are only meant for ‘your eyes only’. Just remember, what you might think is appropriate, others might find distasteful. You don’t want to turn off potential buyers.  Size, colours, and textures should all be taken into account. Art should never stick out, but blend in to be a part of the room. Lighting, amount of space available and type of room (bedroom, living areas, hallways) all need to be taken into account. Other types of artworks that can be polarising include nudes, oversized pieces and even religious art in some cases.

Family photographs, yes or no?

Personal photographs can be both positive and negative and it largely depends on the owner preference to leave them out or put them away. Remember, many people – strangers – will be coming through your house. Do you really want your treasured family snaps on display? If you’re very private, then probably not. However, family photos can create a lovely, warm atmosphere and can also give perspective as to how a family lives in the available space.

What always works?

Without fail, black and white photos always work. They just do. They are timeless, elegant and romantic – and work in any room, any home. So, if you have a limited budget and are after value for money, black and white photos are winners. A simply framed photo of a 1930s Hollywood starlet or nature scene are infallible. Mirrors are also great additions to most rooms.

A final tip

Throw away those statues of Buddha – they belong in Bali!

Here is a list of some of my favourite artists:

Harrie Fasher 

Peter Hickey 

Peter Boggs

Guy Maestri 

David Larwill 

Simon Cooper 

Peter Kingston 

Pam Tippett 

John Olsen 

Camie Lyons