Monochromatic madness

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Monochrome Colour Palette

Now, when we say monochrome, the first thing that comes to our mind is the black and white combination, because it’s the most common one, and it’s considered stylish and high-end. But, if you don’t like these two, don’t despair! It’s your bathroom, and you can go with whatever colors suit you best. Think about the retro red and white, the marine navy and white, an ombre transition within one color range, or any other combination that works best for you.

Tile it up!

What a monochromatic space needs is some fun so it doesn’t look dull or too simple. This can be changed with the use of tiles, and if it’s a small bathroom, here’s the best designer trick out there: small tiles! The market nowadays offers literally every design and size you can think of, so just listen to your imagination here. Some of the classic and evergreen ideas include checkerboard and other geometric designs, which are a bit bold, so you can try and soften this look with, say, a floral motif.

Another interesting idea for a monochromatic bathroom is marble, the ever-so-popular marble. If you think it’s too much on the pricey side, the good news is that there are faux marble tiles (and many other items), which are much cheaper. For a dramatic effect, you can try the contrast of dark floors and white tiles, or making an accent wall against the uniform rest of the room, or the accent shower curtain which is a cheap and simple redecorating idea.

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Image source: (left to right),,

Matte Finish
More and more interior designs today opt for a matte finish, since it’s simple yet elegant. Matte tiles will reflect light and create a soothing, relaxing ambient and you can have your own personal spa oasis. Besides, matte emphasises the shape of furniture, and makes a great choice for making your decoration items stand out in your monochromatic bathroom.

Show your true colors
The choice of monochromatic look for your bathroom doesn’t mean that you can’t add a splash of colour every now and then. You can achieve a striking effect if you pop in some details in a completely different and contrasting colour, which will bring the style to a whole new level. Add some life to the area with a couple of indoor plants but don’t stop here! Include more colourful details, such as towels, a bathmat or a rustic woven basket.

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Play with patterns

One of the best things about the monochromatic style is that it leaves plenty of room for experimenting. So, if you like patterns, feel free to go with it! You can do this with patterned tiles, but a simpler and more affordable option is including details such as shower curtains, accent towels, bathmats, soap dispensers, flower pots, or any other decoration you might like. These details are also good since you can continually change them, and the overall design more easily than, say, a wall.


The beauty of the monochromatic style lies in its simplicity and elegance, and with just a few simple tips and tricks, you can have a bathroom that’s both fun and glamorous.

Author’s Bio: Lana Hawkins is an architecture student and the editor-in-chief on Smooth Decorator.  She enjoys writing about interior decoration and landscaping. Lana is interested in sustainability and green building, and that’s where she gets most of her inspiration.


Give a gift that keeps on giving

So indoor plants really blew up over 2015. And so they should, I know my happy place would be living in a green house full of exotic plants. Just don’t ask me to look after them….

So when shopping for that person you don’t know well, the in-laws, the person who has everything and the trendy friend who you are terrified of buying a present for…. this post is for you. Buy them a plant. It will last a long time, (fingers crossed) it’s a neutral present- so no offending there and you can tell your hipster friend that it will purify the air (totally true by the way).

So here are my favourite picks to gift!!

1. Fiddle Leaf Fig Tree

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Yes I know they’ve been around for a while now, well forever really, but they are so beautiful inside. You can now buy the bambino size (so cute!) from florists and nurseries, which means it’s much more affordable than a matured size. Wanna know how to care for it? Click back to an earlier post here.

2. Rubber Plant

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Love this one. The colouring can come in a dark green with hints of maroon for a moody interior or alternatively in a bright emerald green. It needs plenty of light but not direct sunlight as it’ll get to hot. In the growing season (spring-summer) it will need to be watered every week, keeping sure the soil is always moist. During the dormant months it only needs to be watered monthly.

3.Umbrella Tree (Schefflera)

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I just love the leaves on this tree. They open out like little stars or rays of sunlight. It’ll definitely make an impact in any room. To care for these ones place in indirect sunlight. They love humidity and being moist- they are a tropical plant after all, so all set for the Sydney summer! Again water frequently during summer and less so during winter.


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Ok these are my favourites and they are so easy to grow, trust me (TRUST ME). They need little watering, just a spritz every week or so and just let them go. I let mine go and they have made succulent babies…. yep they are as cute as they sound! And you can plant them into fun things, think tea cups, bowls, jars etc.

5. Maiden Hair Fern

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This is a hardy fern with the foliage looking lace like. They instantly add a soft beauty to any room. Now this plant is not for the beginners. It likes for its soil to be moist and the air to be humid so keep away from air conditioners. They especially look cute in recycled paper plant bags. Kmart have a few in stock in metallics for a very reasonable price. Otherwise go with a Uashmama and make all your receded bag dreams come true!

6.Cardboard Palm Tree

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This one can grow comfortably outdoors on in. It’s definitely eye catching, bright and sculptural. It’s origin is from eastern Mexico, how fun! This is one indoor plant that can handle full sun, but doesn’t need to be in direct sunlight to survive. Give it a good watering and allow the top 5cm of soil to dry out before watering again. Cut this back in the winter months.

7.Heart Leaf Philodendron

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You can have it hanging in a basket or in a pot cascading over a shelf. They are hardy and can tolerate low light, but prefer moderate to bright, but never direct sun.  Keep the soil damp, but in winter allow to dry out between watering. Every six months I like to chuck mine in the shower and hose her off (cause no one likes dusty leaves if you get what I mean). I love her.

8. Orchid

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Ok, I saved my favourite for last. I LOVE orchids. Especially in this purple. I die. They also add elegance to any room, whether it’s styled classically or modern. Now these flowers do burn in the sun so keep them in a indirect light filled space. Water once a week in winter and twice a week in summer. Again, I die.

All of these plants should be available from your local nursery or Bunnings. Now if you want the gift receiver to pick their own plant may I suggest you buy a beautiful pot and/or stand… Try Design Twins. They have such beautifully painted pots and stands and lots of other pretty things.

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If your budget is a bit tighter pop on over to Kmart. It is doing seriously well in the garden accessories department. Ranging from geometric pots, to concrete pots with copper triangles, to macrame hangers, to plant stands. They have chosen fun colours and finishes and everything in under $15. Check out the pictures below from an Instagram account called The Kmart Forecast (absolutely brill) to get some inspiration on how to style these elites in your own home… I mean pointers for your gift receiver…

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Happy styling xx

H&M homewares in old Sydney town

Yayayayayaya! H&M homewares have finally hit Sydney! I fell in love with them in Melbourne a couple of years ago, such a cool and cheap range and now we don’t have to buy a ticket to Melbourne to shop it!

The new range is cheap and cheery. Full of gold, copper, marble and velvet. It’s very now, and you can pick most things up for $20. And they cover a whole range of rooms, from cheap bedding, towels, kitchen accessories and decorator items. I’ve picked out some of my favorites below, but nothing is as good as a visit in person, so pop on down to Pitt Street Mall and get ready to spend! But not much… this stuff is insanely cheap!

hm1Velvet cushion cover, $9.95.

hm2Large wire basket, $29.95.

hm3Glass dome with plate, $39.95.

hm4Small wooden bowl, $14.95.

hm5Cotton cushion cover, $7.95.

hm6Ceramic plant pot, $19.95.

hm72 pack of knobs, $7.95.

hm8Gold wire basket, $19.95.

hm9Cotton chambray duvet set, $69.95.

hm10Storage basket, $19.95.

hm11Bath towel, $19.95.

hm12Glass soap dispenser, $14.95.

Click here to see the full range.

Happy styling xx

Tile Layout 101

Feature tiling is my new obsession this week. I love that it adds a graphic dimension to a room whether it’s subtle or loud. And re-tiling a small area is something you can do yourself, think kitchen splashback… or it’s a quick way to update an area for big impact with the professionals in. Below are some inspirations for your next tiling adventure, or even just for your general knowledge.

Running Bond or Subway


Now I know this reminds some people of a public bathroom or a common subway station, especially when the tile is white and the grout is black, which is so on trend right now. Walk into any new cafe in Bondi and you’re bound to see this look! It’s all about making the common cool, and the retro back into fashion. Now when I say retro don’t think Happy Days fifties, I’m talking gritty 1920’s butcher with natural timbers, exposed light bulbs, hanging utensils and minimal colour. Practical. I just love the simple pattern it makes, and it doesn’t only have to go straight across, you can see the unique take on the herringbone layout that uses the subway formation in my last photo. LOVE.

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Straight Lay or Stacked

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Now this one is a new love for me. If someone said to me a year ago, lets have a bathroom with stacked tiles, I would have scrunched up my nose at them… but these photos below show how beautiful and graphic it is. If you’re a person who loves to compartmentalise things into boxes within your life, then this tile is for you! It’s clean, estimated, everything lines up…and it leaves such a beautiful graphic pattern with opposite coloured grout and tiles.. or subtle with the same coloured grout and tile. And why stack horizontally when you can stack vertically!

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This has been a favourite of mine for a while. I find it so beautiful in a tilted off center way. Now this is a broken or inverted zig-zag pattern, different to the chevron pattern which is next on the list! It’s been around for a long time, originally making an appearance on Roman roads around 500BC as the interlocking system helped move the masses of people around… “All roads lead to Rome”. It’s a classic, chic and timeless style. Again choose opposite tile and grout colour and you have a graphic explosion, or you could opt for a more subtle look with white on white. Oh and this one is mad on floors, walls and splash backs…. and don’t even get me started on wooden parquet flooring! (google it)

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Do you see the subtle difference to the herringbone pattern? It’s an inverted “v” pattern, which gives more of a zig-zag look than the herringbone. I love this layout in a more subtle look, and more as a feature wall than an entire area… something about it being too obvious makes it child like, for a nursery or children’s room. But done right it’s so Parisian chic!

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Fish Scale or Scallop

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Now this is a fun one, and in my head I can’t associate this tile with not being in a wet area. There’s something whimsical about it, especially when in blues or greens… almost like a mermaids tale. Laid with the curve facing upwards it looks art deco, something you’d find somewhere in Gatsby’s house. Laid with the curve the opposite way it becomes very fishy, marine like. The blue-green bathroom below makes you feel like you’re in an ocean full of ripples. And how beautiful is the fish scale tiles cut into the wooden floor! Swoon….

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Penny Rounds

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How cute is this tile layout! There are more spaces for the grout to shine through but the penny’s make such a cute pattern! Why not be playful with colour, or be dramatic with black? I would probably stick with this tile in the bathroom as cleaning all that grout off a kitchen splash back would be a disaster!

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They are what they sound people. I love that they give a contemporary honeycomb look. Don’t be afraid to play with the sizes! This look can be finished off with the tiles cut to a straight edge or see below leaving them staggered, disappearing into the wall.

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This isn’t a tile layout as per se, but I couldn’t go past this lot. An encaustic tile is a ceramic tile with a pattern on it as a result of different clay pigments. They normally come with two different colours but can come with as many as six. This is definitely an easy way to bring pattern to a room in an unique way with big impact!

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Well that’s the end of my tile layout 101 class, yeah I didn’t cover all, but it’s a good start of my favourites.

Happy styling! xx


Concrete Jungle

This is something that has been trending for a while, but I feel like appreciating it this week. Concrete in homes. Sounds harsh, sounds soulless, but it couldn’t be sexier. I love concrete walls and polished concrete floors, something I saw a lot of when in Japan. And yes, my phone is filled with many photos of minimalist concrete buildings from Harajuku.

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Concrete definitely suits the style of industrial-chic or scandi. Use of black and white in the room are a must! Some may feel concrete is cold and uninviting but you can warm it up with natural timbers, rugs and animal skins. I think it actually softens a room with its light grey hues. Now of course to render a wall or lay a new floor is expensive… a girl can dream… why not decorate your home with concrete accessories? They add a cool modern edge to your styling. And I’ve taken the liberty below to show you some of my favourite pieces out there at the moment!

ConcreteHappy styling xx