Just quickly: Birthday thanks, and the colour yellow


Thanks for your kind birthday wishes last week - it was awesome. Have I not been back on here since then? Hmm.

Birthday Cake - Amy MacLeod

Not that it's very interesting (or relevant for a design blog? Hmm again..) but it was a simple and sweet deal. The huzz surprised me with cake when I came home from work on my rainy (as always) birthday. Coloured pebbles in chocolate butter cream is about the peak of birthday amazingness round here :) 

Birthday Cake - Amy MacLeod

There were also a few wee goodies to set me up for winter like the new leathers and the scarf - P.S have I shown you our new duvet cover yet? Dwell Studio Vintage Peacock in Citrine - I looove it but I'm definitely not showing you the whole thing until I have figured out a solution to our bedroom (because currently the sage-grey walls and orange-pine bed aren't working with my mustard obsession).

Mustard yellow - by Amy MacLeod

I seem to have mustard everywhere. I'm a little bit scared that my future grandchildren will remember me for it, the way I used to HATE mustard as a child because it was all left-over-from-the-70s and way out of date. Now I love it and I want to wear it all the time.

Anyway, the rest of the celebs were pretty low-key - I was craving something where I didn't have to dress up (never thought I'd say that) and could wear my jeans and sip a beer, so that's what we did. 'Twas perfect.

In other news, a talented friend is helping me with design stuff for the new Interior Design bizz, so that is churning away whilst I spend my days plotting and barinstorming and being horribly, freakishly domestic. Like, I froze all my husband's lunches for the next 2 weeks. Don't know where the ability even came from - I don't even really believe in it. Should I be worried?

Twenty Seven

Today is my 27th birthday. Whilst I feel a bit weird being all "Shout out to myself!" I wanted to use the opportunity to quickly pop in and share what I have been looking at over the computer screen these days. 

This wall kinda sums up everything going on in our lives at the moment, actually.

Office wall - Amy MacLeod
1. I want to paint more.
2. Trust in the Lord with all your heart (Prov 3:5-6)
3. "Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it! Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it" (Goethe)
4. Travel dates. oooh.
5. See that bird in the frame to the right? It's a hint of (business) things to come :)

 Other than sitting here prepping for an architecture meeting this arvo, I'm planning to listen to my favourite music and have a relaxing meal out with the man later tonight. And design my dream house. And work on the new business. Basically all my favourite things. ;)

What's your ideal birthday scenario? Humour me, I want to hear!!


JUMP - starting an Interior Design business and positive thinking

A wise friend once told me (last Monday to be exact;) that sometimes you just have to jump.

We are big in our household (consisting of me and the man) on Positivity. Things like voicing your appreciation, encouraging one another, and sticking to your passions with dogged determination because you know that you can make big things happen.

I struggle with it, to be honest, because that's not my natural state of mind.

I struggle with confidence and with the notion that I can stick to something. Who me? Competing against other businesses, designers, and all-round-perfect-people?
Me, on a platform with creative GENIUSES who are experienced and just know everything?
Me against modelesque, connected, social goddesses who everyone loves?

I don't know about you but I struggle with that. Sometimes I almost feel like I don't have the right.
I'm not in those circles. I don't have the degree.

I've loved houses since that first Sylvanian family (the brown bears) got their kitchen redesigned and had their house foundation floorplans mapped out with books when I was 6. I collected Australian Home Beautiful magazine through my tweenage years when my friends had Girlfriend and Dolly. I get adrenalin from displays of colours and textures. Ginger jars, floorplans, and cushions get me pumped, yo.

Guess I can't do anything else?

Last week I officially registered and incorporated a design company. Something a beautiful friend and I have been conspiring over for a wee while. It's still in the works, but I needed that kick up the bum to JUMP and just make it official.

JUMP! Starting an Interior Design Business & Positive Thinking

We are incorporated, baby.
(details coming later)

So to sum up...

I would encourage you to push your insecurities aside and lay claim of that thing you are crazy about. Forget about where society has said you must fit.

Sometimes you just have to jump.


How to create an interior that will last (and make your house sell-able)

I am no stranger to houses and the housing market {no joke, growing up I lived in a new house every 1.5 years on average}, and still today there are far too many times when my husband and I go to see a perfectly good house and then leave asking 'WHY?'. 

Your home can be reduced to a de-valued, un-sell-able mess because of some truly awful decisions. Take note and don't be one of them.

The following tips are my personal opinion, but they are what I believe in.

1. Think ahead.

Yeah, it's simple, but are you going to be living here for the next 50 years? No?? 
Then put down that emerald green banana leaf wallpaper, now. Because that's like, so 2013.

2. Neutral carpet, neutral walls, neutral curtains.

These are the things that the next owner is going to be inheriting. And maybe your red+green+yellow groovy triangle curtains won't go with their shabby chic decor. Don't get me wrong - a patterned curtain can be the star of a room - but if you're really thinking sellability I would keep it neutral or at least classic.

Here's an example from our office when we moved in - greenish walls and cobalt curtains. Not entirely sinful for an average house around here, but... blerch.

After a whole lot of mental juggling to find where I could steal some cream curtains from without paying a cent (the parents' house in the end) we've ended up here:

 While it wasn't totally necessary at least I now know that when we move out of this place and go to find tenants, they'll be happy knowing this room will accommodate their own style and furnishings.
{And not feel so depressing.}

3. Keep it consistent

You have no idea the number of places out there with bizarre changes of colour or style halfway through a room. I've been eyeing a house lately that has vinyl floor on one half of the dining room, and carpet on the other, split diagonally. I would need some serious rugging to cover that seam up.
Choose something and be consistent. I don't believe you can go wrong with hardwood floors in most rooms, and carpet in bedrooms / certain living areas.

If you are going to lay tiles, for the love of all things that are attractive, do not work a pattern or pictures into them unless it is amazingly classic. Those things are permanent.

Here's an example from our living room when we moved in - we got off lightly indeed by having only one fugly dirty coloured wall in the room - but many of you were not so lucky, judging by the horrible combos I have seen out there!

It's not a biggie, but we did have to repaint this whole area including the fireplace in order to keep it consistent, and boy does it make a difference. 

Now we can actually use the walls as a backdrop to our things. Important.

Think consistency and think symmetry. If you are getting all asymmetrical on me with permanent fittings, I'm going to have to walk away. And also we can't be friends anymore.

4. About kid's bedrooms...

Keep your head on - they are children, but they don't NEED a fluro green room with hot pink ceiling. And really, you are going to be the one forking out (and getting shoulder cramp) from repainting it in 2 years time. The best children's rooms that I have seen have a neutral backdrop, with plenty of colourful accessories for decoration.
They key here is to keep things changeable.
That means you can switch everything out (rug, bedding, artwork, curtains) whenever you please - just don't go crazy on the permanent stuff.
I always hear people say 'oh, we can just easily repaint it' but I don't know how many man-hours those people have spent behind a roller and a cutting-in brush. Painting is hard. And tiring. And messy. And you have to move EVERYTHING before you can start. Save yourself a headache and just don't go there.

Here is my teenage bedroom from my parents' house. Let it be made eternally clear that we moved here when I was 18 and it was already painted this shade of purple.  {Previously I'd been living in a student flat with a rat infestation... I would have taken anything}.

Every time I was in here I felt physically cold and the purple reflections on everything was just not okay.

Bedroom before and after - purple to neutral by Amy MacLeod

So I did what any interior-obsessed person would do and painted it behind my parent's backs when they went overseas.

Bedroom before and after - purple to neutral by Amy MacLeod

Notice how the wall colour is more neutral but the room actually looks brighter and more fun than it did with the purple walls, because I could introduce colour without clashing the wall colour? Let this be the eternal proof that your kids don't need crazy coloured walls.

And because our house at the time was a veritable treasure trove of disgusting colour choices, allow me to show you a couple more of these *lovely* kid's bedrooms.

Bedroom before and after - blue to neutral by Amy MacLeod
{cookie-monster blue, constantly looked cold and dark in spite of facing the sun}
 After another secret painting session:
Bedroom before and after - blue to neutral by Amy MacLeod
{light, welcoming, sunny and fresh}
And lastly... just one more... the piece de resistance...
Tween bedroom before and after - fluro green to neutral by Amy MacLeod
WHO THE $%&*


BUT... luckily I toned this one down a LOT for my tweenage brother at the time.

Neutral tween bedroom before and after
Sure, it's boring and cheap, but at least it's not butt-ugly.

FYI, the purple and green rooms have never before been featured on this blog. They occured before Five Kinds of Happy and aren't amazing, but they make my point, right? Neutral always wins.

That's it.

Just remember the key points - keep it neutral, consistent, and don't do anything crazy like that fluro green number above.

What heinous decor crimes have you experienced??? I've seen a concrete sofa INBUILT into the floor. I'm not kidding. But I'm not going into that as it was an unspeakable evil.


Colour palette I want: Earthy Violet

I never thought I'd say it, but I seem to have become a fan of the colour purple, entirely against my wishes.

I didn't used to be a big fan of it, especially when mixed with red.... but then this cushion and these rugs come along and remind me of how awesome the combo can be (and why half my wardrobe is purple)!

We sold our big leather beast of an armchair and there is totally an empty spot. Ya'll know what that means, right. #permissiontoshop

Interior Design colour palette: earthy violet by Amy MacLeod
{rugs and lamp from Lulu & Georgia, everything else from Freedom Furniture}
This board is a mix of Freedom Furniture (NZ shop) and Lulu & Georgia (online shop) and currently I wouldn't mind just a little bit of both.

I feel like purple needs to be a very specific hue to work with these warm earthy tones - but the result is delicious. The turqoise pop to give it a lift is a must. I'd love to implement this design somewhere!

How do you feel about purple?