what to do IN THE GARDEN this month; Super-hardy, attractive and easy to grow. You can’t go far wrong with succulents. Here’s the lowdown

what to do IN THE GARDEN this month; Super-hardy, attractive and easy to grow. You can’t go far wrong with succulents. Here’s the lowdown

SUMMER may have seen the death of many of your pot plants around your house or your office, so now is a good time to think about replacing them with something hardier like succulents.

Succulents are renowned for their tolerance to heat and drought – thanks to water-storing leaves and stems – and, in many cases, their ability to cope with wind, cold and seaspray.

Although difficult to kill, most succulents do need a well-lit position to thrive, and many will cope with full sun. They also need good drainage – if the soil is too wet, root problems can develop. Autumn is a good time to plant succulents – avoid winter as it’s usually too cold and wet.

FLOWER power

All cacti are classified as succulents, but only succulents with thorns are classified as cacti. The zygocactus (Schlumbergera), also known as Christmas cactus, is a popular flowering type, and falls into the group known as epiphytic succulents.

Schlumbergera is really easy to live and suitable to put it on your table or decorate around recliners

Schlumbergera is really easy to live and suitable to put it on your table or decorate around recliners

In this group there are also some rarer species, such as the orchid cactus (Epiphyllum), and the exquisitely beautiful night flowering cactus, which opens its white, scented flowers as the sun sets. These types thrive well on a shaded verandah or balcony.

FEATURE foliage

Rhipsalis on living room

Rhipsalis on living room

Of the foliage types, some of the most interesting include the Rhipsalis, which is suited to some shade protection; the thicker Donkey’s Tail or Burro’s Tail (Sedum morganianum and Sedum ‘Burrito’); and Crassula ‘Baby’s Necklace’, which all cope with sun or shade. The commonly called String of Pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) is a succulent that has masses of leaves resembling little beads strung along wonderful cascading stems.

Rhipsalis is a genus of epiphytic cacti. They are typically known as mistletoe cacti. The scientific name derives from the Ancient Greek term for wickerwork, referring to the plants' habitus

Rhipsalis is a genus of epiphytic cacti. They are typically known as mistletoe cacti. The scientific name derives from the Ancient Greek term for wickerwork, referring to the plants’ habitus

BASKET beauties

Many of the smaller growing succulents with rosette forms can look superb in a basket. Graptoveria, Sedeveria and Echeveria have flowers that look like leaves, and many have delicate colours of pink, terracotta and blue. Sedum sieboldii is another ideal candidate for a basket – the stems grow to 30cm, and come summertime it’s covered with soft pink blooms. Don’t make the mistake of throwing it out when it drops all its leaves – it’s deciduous, not dead.

Graptoveria can be planted around your house or you can put a pot on the bedroom

Graptoveria can be planted around your house or you can put a pot on the bedroom

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Keep Those Useful Tips Nearby If You Are Planning On Home Improvement Tasks

Keep Those Useful Tips Nearby If You Are Planning On Home Improvement Tasks

For those who have no idea of feng shui – the energy of a room could be affected by rearrangement the furniture. A lot of people who are exposed to the practice of feng shui think that a desk must be put facing a door so that anyone sitting there does not share their energy away to people who just enter that door. Read this reviews for some useful tips on some home improvement tasks with feng shui.

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Great rooms with great furniture and why they work; Why those fab lights? Dark floors? Luxe wallpaper? These 8 top interior designers let us in on the reasons for their super-stylish decorating choices

Great rooms with great furniture and why they work; Why those fab lights? Dark floors? Luxe wallpaper? These 8 top interior designers let us in on the reasons for their super-stylish decorating choices

Living room decoration with Justine Hugh-Jones

Justine Hugh-Jones, Justine Hugh- Jones Design

A favourite space from interior designer Justine Hugh-Jones’s portfolio is this living room. As it’s in a holiday home, Justine created a space that invited “complete relaxation”.

living room interior design is Jones' favorite with set of table, chair or recliners in the same style with the house

living room interior design is Jones’ favorite with set of table, chair or recliners in the same style with the house

“It had to be a spacious seating area that encouraged conversation, but also could be used to watch TV,” she explains. “I wanted a casual, attractive look, but one that also was elegant – and didn’t need lots of arranging to look tidy!”

Living room furniture

The long, deep, pale linen sofa or best recliners chair was chosen, along with cushions, for maximum comfort. And a large rustic timbertopped coffee table was selected to introduce another texture and “ambience” to the space. “I chose the coffee table for its lightness in design, with the thin metal and open box frame,” Justine says. “Also, with its weathered pale timber, the style suits a relaxed beach house.” While a white paint palette keeps the room looking fresh – and contrasts beautifully with the natural linen – cushions, rug and throw in a French ink blue add warmth to the neutral tones. The rug also softens the white floorboards. A few subtle, interesting patterns were also introduced to the scheme in the striped Missoni throw and the Chinoiserie-style patterned cushions.

Glass jars and a pewter-coloured stool bring reflective surfaces to the space, bouncing light around the room, and adding a different type of texture, too. The stool doubles up as a side table or extra seating. Immensely comfortable, effortlessly good-looking.

How about the living room design with Abigail Ahern

Abigail Ahern, Atelier Abigail Ahern

different styles to decorate your home living room

different styles to decorate your home living room

“Make this living room as inviting and snug as possible” was the brief to hot UK designer Abigail Ahern. “So against a super-inky backdrop – where walls and floors are painted in the same hue – we added high-voltage pops of colour,” Abigail explains. Colour is fundamental when decorating with a dark base note, she adds. “It evokes emotion, and adds drama and excitement to a space.” Abigail sourced a classic B&B Italia sofa then purposely “threw it off balance” by adding the vivid pink coffee table and yellow artwork and pendant light. She mixed vintage finds with modern classics, with texture key – wool cushions contrast beautifully with the glossy coffee table and shiny floors. “I wanted nothing to match but for it all to make sense,” she says. Abigail likes to combine a traditional approach with a generous injection of personality in her interiors – hence the quirky lights, bright accessories and the bohemian hand-painted bookcase wallpaper. Sassy and unexpected.

Home design with Sara Silm

Sara Silm, HOME Design, Editorial & Styling

Makingbeautiful.com.au Sara Silm can’t remember a time when she wasn’t designing something. “I think designing is a state of mind; it’s not something that you can switch on or off,” she says.

“Designers seem to file design cues and inspiration every minute of the day – even the most mundane things are inspirational,” Sara says. “The other day I was pegging out the washing and found the perfect colour scheme for a kitchen I’m working on – an inky-navy-blue and white striped shirt and a tangerine peg – a magic solution for an upholstered banquette seating and cushions!”

bathroom is the most favorite space in the a house for Sara to decorate

bathroom is the most favorite space in the a house for Sara to decorate

Bathroom decoration

Favourite rooms Sara has designed include this bathroom (pictured). “To me, it feels like a nest,” she explains. “The bath is like an egg – to lie in and contemplate life and all its mysteries.”

To further enhance this cocooning effect, Sara uses dark grey tiles and a charcoal textured rug to envelop the white bath. The plant and artworks bring a serene ambience to the space.

Furniture and interior design with Waller

Andrew Waller, Andrew Waller Design

While a space should be appropriate to the time it is being built, it shouldn’t be slave to current fashions, says Andrew Waller, a furniture and interior architect, who favours a structured but “not designed” look, which is apparent in this kitchen that he recently designed for a client’s warehouse conversion.

kichen interitor is a job of the furniture and interior architecture, Andrew

kichen interitor is a job of the furniture and interior architecture, Andrew

Cool kitchen decor

While the vintage metal pendant light and reclaimed stainless-steel commercial benchtops give the kitchen its cool, clean and industrial air, the deer antler “artwork” above the doorway, quirky imitation bronze retro lamp and rustic timber stools inject a generous dose of personality.

The predominantly grey palette extends to the translucent glass windows, selected for privacy, and the painted concrete floor. White trims on the recycled windows and doors provide a smart contrast.

“My designs are a result of the balance between function, budget, aesthetic and the client,” Andrew says.

Elegant style home design with Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen, Kelly Hoppen Interiors

“Timeless elegance” is the best way to describe the style of top UK designer Kelly Hoppen, which is no more evident than in her own harmonious living room (pictured above), with its clean lines, neutral tones and sumptuous textures.

“The design will stand the test of time,” Kelly explains. “It will not date and will always look chic. My style is simple yet opulent, combining the styles of the Eastern and Western worlds,” she adds. Kelly believes that your home needs to say “how happy and comfortable you are in the most chic way possible!”. And Kelly’s home is talking. While the dramatic juxtaposition of white curtains with a black mirror gives a unique and sexy feel to the space, vintage lights and furniture imbue a sense of history and depth. Luscious fabrics in furniture and soft furnishings – such as linen and velvet – add further feelings of comfort and warmth, while round bronze stools lend an “organic” touch to the sophisticated space.

The hero piece, though, is the sumptuous, high-gloss, vintage triangular coffee table, complete with vases of glorious full-blown white blooms. Perfection incarnate!

Clean and minimal bathroom design with Hoy

Brian Hoy, Brian Hoy Design

Interior designer Brian Hoy has designed a clean and minimal bathroom, layered with different finishes that stop it appearing “fl at”. The bathroom was extended onto a small balcony, which had a lower, angled ceiling. “I lowered the ceiling to conceal the angle over the wet zone, which, in turn, defines this area well,” Brian says. The black recess in the lower ceiling conceals the exhaust fan and lighting.

To add dimension to the space, Brian hung the vanity sink on a large mirror, which makes it appear to be floating. A Boffi pendant light is both functional and decorative, and adds a focal point. And a Boffi glass shelf wall unit is handy for small items.

The client collects art, so there is a gallery feel throughout the house, which is extended to the bathroom with the glossy, warm-grey plinth and coral display. And a piece of furniture, such as the Brian-designed Caspian stool, always features in his bathrooms. “It helps soften the hard finish and lines,” Brian explains. Minimum style, maximum chic.

Interior design TV show

Stacey Kouros, Stacey Kouros Design

A contestant on Channel Nine’s interior design TV show homeMade, Stacey Kouros has created a comfortable, open and retro-glam kitchen for a fun, young family.

“The clients have a love for retro, particularly the 1970s, so the choice of finishes and colours reflects a modern and newly built home with hints of retro glam,” she explains.

The main feature finish in the kitchen is the stunning Santos Palisander timber-veneer wall and cupboard doors, which give the space a fabulous retro vibe. This provides a warm contrast to the dramatic, gloss-black overhead cupboards. The simple, functional, white CaesarStone benchtop offsets the magnificent island bench, which is wrapped in Calcutta marble “for a hint of glam”. But hanging above the kitchen island is the piece de resistance in this interior – a 1970s Murano glass chandelier. “This pendant light is a dramatic feature, further dramatised by its reflection in the black-gloss overhead cupboards,” Stacey says. Polished chrome rods form a decorative screen between the kitchen and the stairs – and also serve as a balustrade. Fab and fun!

Design and Colour scheme for bedroom with Weston

Scott Weston, Scott Weston Architecture Design

A client’s Art Deco jewellery collection inspired the design and colour scheme of this bedroom, which gives a subtle but contemporary nod to this design era, says architect and designer Scott Weston. The deep raspberry was based on semiprecious stones in the collection. Scott has “cocooned” the room in this colour, which features on walls and joinery.

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What To Do In The Garden This Month; Beautiful, functional and easy to grow, a lush green wall will allow your garden, courtyard or balcony to take on another dimension

What To Do In The Garden This Month; Beautiful, functional and easy to grow, a lush green wall will allow your garden, courtyard or balcony to take on another dimension

WANT MORE GREENERY in your garden? Whether you have a large backyard that’s a bit lacklustre or a postage-stampsized plot in need of a compact solution, a “vertical garden” or “green wall” could be the answer. This used to mean a few climbers over the fence or a wall, but now covering the side of a house or the length of a garden wall with pockets of greenery is all the rage. Fancy creating one at your place? Here are your options

Potted

Dutch-born artist Joost Bakker provides inspiration for a striking wall garden in his pottedstrawberry- covered installation (Greenhousebyjoost.com) that was recently at Sydney’s Circular Quay. To copy this look, simply organise pot plants on outdoor shelves in a grid pattern. Flip back to page 42 for inspiration.

potted

potted

Hanging

The Yates Vertical Garden Bag ($5.95) is a great option for a tiny space. It’s easy to use and can hold flowers such as petunias and pansies or edible plants such as baby spinach and strawberries.

hanging vertical garden

hanging vertical garden

Espalier

The espalier technique is a method of growing plants “flat packed” against a wall, usually on a trellis. Merrywood Nursery in Vic (Merrywoodplants. com.au) sells over 30 varieties of espaliered plants on frames, starting from $250.

espalier technique to decorate your house

espalier technique to decorate your house

Pocketed

Another idea that works well in small areas is to use a hanging shoe organiser with pockets. Get one that’s made from plastic mesh rather than fabric (try Howards Storage World) and hang it on your fence or wall.

Fill the pockets with lightweight potting mix, then add either potted colour or “rockery” plants like succulents, depending on the look you’re after. Alternatively, invest in a modular living wall system (see right and above) from Woolly Pocket (Woollypocket.com). Made from recycled plastic water bottles, these planter pockets come in three sizes and four colours.

Our Cool Garden

WHAT CLINCHED THE DEAL for David Netto to buy this suburban home was the reaction of his eldest daughter, Kate. It was December 2003 and she was about two years old at the time. “Kate was so delighted by that garden, particularly the water features, that it tipped me to buy the house within minutes of first walking in,” says the designer and writer. “Otherwise I probably would have dithered and lost it.”

And lost it, he would have. The home is a 1960s property designed by Modernist architect Richard Neutra. The previous owner had restored the house and garden to “pristine condition”, in keeping with the architect’s original vision. “But I did decide to decorate the inside in a specifically un-Neutra way,” David says. “I wanted it to resemble Modernist houses of the 1930s, before all the rules set in – something rich and more eclectic than what we now know as mid-century design.”

“I LIKE THAT THE GARDEN IS PLANNED AS AN EXTENSION OF THE ROOMS INSIDE THE HOUSE”

But David did not dare to change the garden, which was also part of the original design. “You can’t, actually,” he adds. “It’s sort of an inevitable design, at one with the architecture of the house.”

garden as extension of a room with chairs, recliners, tables

garden as extension of a room with chairs, recliners, tables

And that’s the beauty of this garden. “I like that it’s really planned as an extension of the rooms inside,” David says. The design masks the small square meterage of the interior – which is only 140 sq m – with the use of terraces and material choices, creating the illusion that the outside and inside are one,” he adds. “This sort of house convinces you that you are living out of doors when you’re inside.”

The garden is put to good use by the family, which has extended to include another daughter, Madelyn. “It looks great year round,” David says. “I love it when all the Agapanthus ‘Peter Pan’ bloom in the back courtyard. We are conscious of using mostly plants that can tolerate heat, sun and don’t require lots of water.”

The front garden is often admired by guests when they arrive for dinner. The path at night is lit with candles, which adds a glow to the surrounding plants and trees. And while David doesn’t consider himself a gardener, he’s a keen admirer of them, especially this one.

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What To Do In The Garden This Month

What To Do In The Garden This Month

Get your garden tools at the ready and grow your own medicine. Here’s your homegrown health cabinet

Your great home garden

Your great home garden

VISITING A HERBALIST has become more mainstream, with many of us happy to pop a garlic tablet in winter to keep colds at bay. A type of medicine that was once considered quackery is now thought of as quite conventional, as it was in the past. Doctors of old were often botanists with an expert knowledge of herbs and their healing – or poisonous – properties. Many modern medicines have their origins in these herbal treatments, too. The great news is, whether you have a small pot or a large plot, you can grow your own.

look after your garden

look after your garden

EAT IT CITRUS

Lemons, oranges, mandarins and grapefruit are all loaded with vitamin C – and ripen over winter, just when you need a good dose. You can buy citrus that is grafted onto a dwarfing rootstock, called flying dragon. This keeps them two-thirds the size of the standard types. There are also citrus varieties called Pipsqueak, which grow to about 1.5m, but can be clipped smaller if you’re going to keep them in a container. Also, a portion of the sales of Pipsqueaks goes to Cystic Fibrosis Australia. For more info visit Pipsqueak.net.au GROW YOUR OWN 1 Find a sunny spot in the garden that gets at least six hours of sunshine a day. 2 Plant out – or leave in a pot (see “Notes”) – in autumn or winter. If you’re planting your citrus out simply dig a hole twice as wide as the pot and a little bit deeper. The rootball should be slightly elevated above ground level. 3 Backfill the hole with soil so the roots are covered. Raising the tree like this into a mound helps with drainage. But make sure you don’t bury any of the trunk because this can cause collar rot. 4 Spread mulch around the plant. NOTES If you’re planting citrus in a pot, make sure the pot is at least 40cm high and 40cm in diameter, or larger if you like. Use premium, Australian-standard potting mix (look for the bags with the red ticks), which has good drainage.

eating citrus fruit

eating citrus fruit

CHEW IT GINGER

Ginger is a tropical plant, the root of which is often used in herbal remedies for nausea. Whether you use it in tea, or simply peeled fresh and chewed – a small piece at a time – it can be safely taken for morning or motion sickness, as well as an upset tummy. GROW YOUR OWN 1 Buy You can plant a piece of ginger that you’ve bought from the supermarket, or buy a root from a mail order company that specialises in edible plants such as Green Harvest. 2 Plant roots out now in a sunny, frost-free position, cleared of weeds and dug over with cow, sheep or poultry manure. 3 Place ginger about 15cm in the ground and backfill with soil. NOTES The ginger will start to shoot in spring, and you can harvest the fresh roots the following winter. Simply dig them up and store them in the fridge. So easy!

BREW IT SAGE

There is an old proverb along the lines of: “Why should a man die while sage grows in his garden?” Fresh-cut sage sprigs infused in boiling water make a simple healing tea – great for coughs and colds. Add a little cider vinegar to the brew, and the liquid can be gargled for sore throats, tonsillitis and laryngitis, or relieve mouth ulcers and gum infections. It’s recommended not to drink sage tea for more than a week at a time, as there could be side effects. Consult a doctor before drinking sage.

GROW YOUR OWN 1 Pots of sage can be planted out all year round. Find a sunny, well-drained position and wait two to three months before picking too many leaves as it needs a chance to grow. 2 You can propagate new plants in winter – just cover the lower part of shoots with soil or mulch around it with straw to encourage it to send our fresh roots. NOTES Sage is a perennial herb that lasts about three years. It stops growing fresh leaves in winter

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What To Do In The Garden This Month; Juicy mangoes. Creamy avocados. Sweet peaches. Summer heralds a banquet of luscious fruits, many of them easy to grow

What To Do In The Garden This Month; Juicy mangoes. Creamy avocados. Sweet peaches. Summer heralds a banquet of luscious fruits, many of them easy to grow

SUMMER IS ONE of the best times for fruit, with display tables in fruit and veg shops often groaning under the weight of trays of stonefruits (mangoes, peaches, nectarines, anyone?) and mountains of passionfruit, pawpaws and tamarillos, to name a few.

Have you ever wished you could grow your own? Well, you most likely can. Growing tropical fruit at home is simple, when you know what varieties to choose

AVOCADO

Although a tropical fruit, avocados are eaten as a salad vegetable. The tree can grow pretty much anywhere – even in containers although it will need protection from frost and require good drainage. Generally, avocado trees grow to about 8m and take years to bear fruit. However, the dwarf variety Wurtz grows to 2.5m and fruits much sooner.

Harvest Avocado from your own home garden

Harvest Avocado from your own home garden

Mango

Mangoes do especially well in the tropical north of Australia and on the subtropical east coast. Although the average mango tree may fill the backyard, there are dwarf varieties now available that only grow up to 4m. Early Gold is one of the fastest to bear its reddish-gold fruits, followed by Irwin then Palmer, which has late developing, more elongated fruit, which is less fibrous.

Mango is rich of vitamin

Mango is rich of vitamin. How great if you sit on a reclining chair to eat sweet mangos harvested from your home garden?

PASSIONFRUIT

This divine fruit, borne on a vine, can grow almost anywhere. It is one of the simplest fruits to grow, providing there is a fence, trellis or balcony rail that the vine can be trained along. Passionfruit vines need full sun to thrive, so a northerly aspect is usually best. A variety of passionfruits are available, from the large Panama Red and Panama Gold to the more traditional small black passionfruit and elongated yellow banana passionfruit, which can become a weedy menace (planting is prohibited by some councils). Grafted passionfruit are normally your safest bet, as these are more resilient to disease.

Passion fruit is easy to grow in your garden's corners

Passion fruit is easy to grow in your home garden’s corners

Tamarillo

Tamarillos thrive across southern Australia to the subtropics. Also known as tree tomatoes, they are less commonly grown than other fruits, but are so delicious, they should be planted more! The fruit looks similar to a passionfruit, only more egg-shaped and with red skin. The flesh is juicy and sweet, with a touch of sharpness.

Pawpaw

Pawpaws are easy to grow, particularly in tropical and warmtemperate climates. They are classified into three sex types: male, female and hermaphrodite (aka bisexual). The last are self-pollinating so you will harvest the most fruit per plant. Pawpaws like a sunny position while keeping their roots cool – next to the house is often a perfect spot. They usually bear fruit twice a year. For a refreshing coleslaw, pluck them from the tree while they’re green and grate them, then mix with grated carrot and a squeeze of lime juice. Or pick them when they’re ripe for a quick and easy dessert.

GUAVA

These are found from Tasmania to the tropics. There are two different types of guava plants the strawberry, cherry or apple guavas (Psidium) and the pineapple guava (Feijoa). Both plants are hardy, have delicious fruits and cope with almost any soil type. Also, the pineapple guava not only produces delicious fruit, it looks beautiful, boasting striking red flowers, glorious silvery leaves and attractive mottled bark.

Stonefruit

Traditional stonefruits grow in cooler areas, but there are subtropical varieties available for those of us who live in warmer climes. Look for peach varieties such as Floraprince and Floragold and the nectarine Sundowner.

Not only beautiful it is also very sweet

Not only beautiful it is also very sweet

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A dream to build their own house came true when Glenn & Mel Paterson found the perfect plot of land. The result is a contemporary & colourful family home

A dream to build their own house came true when Glenn & Mel Paterson found the perfect plot of land. The result is a contemporary & colourful family home

Family Favourite

GROWING UP as the son of a builder, and having a brother in the trade, it’s no surprise Glenn Paterson has always had an interest in architecture. He started his career as a quantity surveyor and, after many years apartment-living in Japan with his wife Mel – and then tackling a renovation together in Auckland – the desire to design and build a home from scratch was strong. So the couple bought a large subdividable section in Onehunga, a suburb 8km south of Auckland city centre, with a 1920s weather-board bungalow sitting on the plot.

House design for a family

House design for a family

While the couple lived in and renovated the old bungalow with a view to sell, they came up with a design concept to build a modern four-bedroom house on the back section of the land to become their family home. “The benefit of living in the bungalow with a big garden during this time was that we developed a good feeling for what suited the land, and the best position for sun and natural light,” Glenn says.

Glenn and Mel both took on different roles throughout the build. Glenn’s area was the structural design, and he helped out his brother Rickie with the actual build where he could. Mel was in charge of the interior. While the couple worked together on the overall design, they had items they individually deemed as non-negotiable. “For me it was storage,” Mel says. “Having lived with minimal storage I realised how important it is when you have three young children.” It added a large chunk to the couple’s budget but Mel insists it was worth it.

For Glenn it was all about creating a feeling of space. “I made sure the hallways and stairwell were wide and evoked a feeling of openness,” he says. “I also designed the four bedrooms so they were large. I love the way the kids have their own special space and can shut themselves away with their friends for hours.”

Large rooms with appropriate furniture make you feel comfortable

Large rooms with appropriate furniture make you feel comfortable

With blonde timber flooring, sleek white cabinetry and white walls, the kitchen is Mel’s favourite room, even though she readily admits Glenn is the head chef in the family. “It’s a large space and there’s plenty of room to move, even with large family gatherings,” she says. “And if you’re working in the kitchen you still feel part of the action.”

White walls throughout the home provide a gallery-like backdrop to a decorating style Mel describes as ever-evolving. Bursts of her favourite bold colours, including green, yellow and orange, and her ever-growing collection of art stamp the new build with personality. “My mother grew up loving art and our family is quite artistic so I guess that is where my passion comes from,” Mel says.

Having now completed their dream to build, the only thing Mel would do differently would be to have a laundry room. “We have a fantastic laundry in the garage, reclining chairs and tables in the backyard, but having a dedicated room would be great,” she says. “Something I do have planned very soon is a wall of bold and colourful wallpaper for the dining room.” Looks like the Paterson family have a bright future in their new home!

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