Design Tips

Lighting for your home

There are many components to a successful interior, lighting being one of them. Artificial light is needed when natural light is limited. The correct lighting can elevate an interior and also develop a mood or ambiance depending on the setting.

Before we get started, we must know the different types of lighting when it comes to interior design.

Ambient Lighting

Ambient lighting is the overall lighting of a space. Ambient lighting is usually located on the ceiling but can also be in the form of wall-mounted fixtures.

Task Lighting

Task lighting is a light source that is directed at a specific area. This type of lighting aids users in tasks that they are performing, for example reading a book or preparing a meal.  

Accent Lighting

Accent lighting is intended to highlight a specific focal point such as art, sculptures, textures and furniture. This type of lighting adds drama and emphasises decorative or architectural elements of a room.

Each room in a home requires various types of lighting to make it well-designed and functional. The kitchen needs a mix of task and ambient lighting for the room to work. Taking into consideration the use of the space such as preparing food, cleaning, reading and entertaining. When choosing bulbs for your kitchen ensure that they are high-lumen so visibility is easy. Cool light bulbs are often recommended.

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Bedrooms need to feel cosy, calm and tranquil so it is important that you don’t over-light this space. Choose warm light bulbs that are low-lumen so you don’t over stimulate your eyes when trying to relax. Task lighting is important for reading so ensure bedsides are lit appropriately to prevent straining.

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Image found here

Living and dining areas are multi-purposed so a combination of lighting should be used. Task and accent lighting should be added to create a gentle and layered wash of light across the room. Warm, low-lumen bulbs are recommended for living / dining areas to create a relaxed environment.

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Image found here
Images found here

Investing in dimmable lights will give more freedom and flexibility in how you want your rooms to be lit. Dimmable lights can add a sense of luxury whilst creating the perfect lit room for any occasion.

Additionally, Smart lighting is growing traction within interior design, controlling light form your smart phone or a voice control system will allow users to choose from different colours, features and options to take your home lighting to the next level.

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Should I hire an Interior Designer?

It’s a question that occasionally comes to mind when overwhelmed by the task of moving into a new home or wanting to refresh your very own living room. It can be daunting to give control to a stranger and invite them into your personal space to tweak and change the walls you reside in. Don’t stress, it’s not as daunting as you may think. 

Interior Designers come with a bundle of perks, tips and tricks which will make your life a whole a lot easier and relieve the stress which may come with such design projects. Interior designers are there to help guide, encourage, teach and assist you to ultimately bringing your vision to life.

Here are 5 perks of hiring an interior designer:

Professional Expertise

With years of knowledge and learning fundamental skills to put together beautiful spaces, designers live and breathe interiors. Discovering new global and local trends, constantly visiting showrooms and finding the latest new products for your home. Interior Designers are equipped with the knowledge to bring your imagination and ideas to life.

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Trade Secrets

A major bonus of hiring an Interior Designer is their contact list and insider network of trades people. Trying to find a reliable contractor or subcontractor for your kitchen renovation? Interior Designers will have a list of trustworthy trades at their fingertips for you to use to save time and ensure quality is at a professional level. Same applies to furniture suppliers, you’ll be the first to get your hands on that sofa you’ve been eyeing off for your living room.

Time Saving

Many of us are time poor, with the support of an Interior Designer the grunt of the project is taken care of. Designers will know how to effectively manage tasks and order them to minimise obstacles that may arise in the design process. Site delays can be avoided by detailed plans prior to the commencement of the project.

Tedious tasks can take time that you could be prioritising elsewhere. Measuring out rooms, researching and sourcing furniture, floor plans, keeping track of deliveries and coordinating installations are all taken care with the help of your Interior Designer.

Styled by Ferrari Interiors
Fresh Perspective

Knowing exactly what you want to do in a space is great, but it can also lead you to dead ends and rabbit holes. Interior Designers can provide creative solutions that you may have never thought of, with a fresh set of eyes and a different perspective, designers can identify the complete potential for a space. Designers will be able to pinpoint the difficult areas of your project and suggest ideas that can maximise your overall vison.


Interior Designers know how to successfully manage a budget, ensuring all aspects of the project are thought through. Unexpected costs may arise that you didn’t know were possible. Chances are an Interior Designer knows exactly what needs to be done to ensure your design project is successful and within budget. Designers will have all the necessary skills and details to map out tasks accordingly and record all your budgeting needs.

With the ability to work within a range of budgets you are not required to have endless amounts of cash to secure an Interior Designer. Small changes in a home can have major impact, whether it’s a fresh coat of paint, new art or additional décor items to update your home, Interior Designers do not require tens of thousands of dollars.

Styled by Ferrari Interiors

Interior Designers are ultimately there to help assist and support your vision and end goal. Providing their expert knowledge, skills and contacts to help you save time, stress and frustration. The benefits of a professional Designer can completely transform your home and the way you think about design.

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2020 Christmas Decorating Trends

2020 has been a challenging year for all, but with travel restrictions set to ease just in time for Christmas we can look forward to being reunited with family and friends around the Christmas table.

To take the pressure out of planning and decorating we have scoured the best festive trends and bring you our top three for 2020, to ensure you have a beautiful celebration, plus put together a handy decorating checklist to get you started.


After spending more time indoors this year it’s no wonder decorating has turned to bringing the outdoors in. Bring in soft greens and the beautiful scent of pine with a real Christmas tree and hand made wreath to soften your space or use branches and dried flowers to create your own tree and baubles.


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Image from here


The most important part of Christmas is spending time with your loved ones. Create a cosy and inviting setting with jewelled tones and pops of decadent gold combined with moody decorations to draw everyone closer together.


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Traditions bring us together. Create a Christmas with memories of childhood and heritage with traditional decorations and old world materials like glass ornaments and flickering candles.


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Image from here

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Create a staycation at home

The holiday season is upon us and this is normally the time that we are starting to plan or pack for our holiday adventures.  With international boarders closed and some state boarders still closed or quite restricted, it is time to ditch your travel plans and create a staycation at home.  Let’s take a peak at some beautiful inspiration for ways to transform your home into a holiday oasis.

Homes to love


Create an outdoor living space with lots of seating to ensure you can entertain close friends and family all summer long.  A styled outdoor area can make your house feel much bigger than it is.  Image from here.


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Turn your bathroom into a spa.  If there is one space in your house to invest in, the bathroom is it.  Textured tiles and cool tones can make your bathroom feel like an expensive spa.  Adding small touches, like a hanging plant, and a spot to group a candle, soap, and vase will automatically create a spa like feel.  Image from here.




Invest in some lounges.  Lounges create a resort vibe without a big price tag.  You can place a lounge just about anywhere, a porch, next to a pool or garden patio.  A striped umbrella is the perfect accessory to make you forget you are at home, and give immediate holiday vibes.  Image from here.


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Bring happy hour home.  An elegant bar cart, a tray for bottles, decanters, and a set of fancy glasses is all you need to create happy hour at home.  You may not be able to relax at your favourite beachside bar, but you can bring the bar home to you.  Image from here.


Vogue Living


A small outdoor space can deliver a big impact with an abundance of flowers and a good outdoor rug.  Flowering vines are great outdoors to add colour, and a rug can warm up the space.  This would be a beautiful space to have a staycation at home.  Image from here.


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Dining alfresco is easy when you have a fabulous outdoor setting.  Create a comfortable and inviting space with bold lighting, and quality furniture.  Being outside amongst nature and in the fresh air will instantly brighten your mood.  Image from here.


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How interior design has changed since COVID-19

Since March, COVID-19 has changed the way we think and live.  It has definitely impacted how people work and spend, but it has also impacted our home interiors.  People have been spending lots of time at home, and it is clear that our homes need to be multi-use spaces.  We will take a look at how interior design has changed since COVID-19.

East Malvern project


It is likely that during the pandemic, you or someone you know has at some point had to work from home.  Creating a space in your home for work, no matter how small, is important.  Flexible work arrangements could be around to stay, so having a designated work space can make your work/life balance a little clearer.  It will also stop your work from spilling onto the kitchen table.  Image from here.

Homes to Love 1


Cozy nooks and secret gardens are great escapes, and we all know we need a little escape from the daily grind in 2020.  Create a good indoor – outdoor flow with large open windows and bi-fold doors that flow to a patio full of greenery.  Image from here.

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The return of the mudroom.  Mudrooms are quite common in a lot of North American houses.  After the thick of this pandemic, it wouldn’t be a surprise for mudrooms to pop up in Australian homes as well.  It is a good way to dump all those items that may have come into contact with outside germs like your facemask and shoes.  This area of the house can be sleek and sophisticated when designed well.  Image from here.

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It is predicted that at home entertaining will become more popular following the COVID-19 pandemic.  Though restaurants and venues will slowly come back to life, family will stay the focus and entertaining at home will continue to be the norm.  Having a space to do so will become more important in the home.  Image from here.


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Bringing nature in will create a calm space with a spa like feel.  You can incorporate plants, flowers, and even clippings from trees (eucalyptus is great for aesthetic and scent).  Another great way to incorporate greenery is by planting vines and plants outside of big windows.  Image from here.


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Minimalism has been around for decades, but it will has made a resurgence since the start of COVID-19.  With people spending more time at home a cluttered home can feel smaller.  People are realising they can live with less, and clean lines and less stuff will lift the weight when things start to feel too crowded.  Image from here.


Time will tell how this pandemic has changed not only interior design, but home design as well.  If you are looking for a change, contact me here to discuss how I can help and read our previous blog on how previous epidemics have impacted home design.

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Five Ways to freshen your house for spring

This winter in Australia has been long and lonely for many with different forms of lockdown since March.  We have all spent a little extra time at home, forcing us to look at our homes in a little more detail than usual.  The weather is warming up and our homes are likely in need of a little refresh.  I have come up with five ways to freshen your house for spring.

Spring 1_vogueBrighten It Up.  Clean bright tones will instantly freshen your home.  You can brighten things up with a fresh coat of white paint on your walls or even painting furniture.  If you want a smaller, less permanent change, try some crisp white cushions for your couch for an instant refresh or swap around the accessories for a brighter look. Image from here.

Spring 2_style

Bring the Outside In.  We already spend more time indoors through the colder months, but with the COVID lockdowns, we have spent more time inside than ever before.  Your home will instantly feel fresh and clean with some plants and natural materials.  Incorporate wooden tables, woven baskets, and green plants into your space. Image from here.

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Swap Your Heavy Rugs and Throws.  Changing your rug can instantly change your room.  Jute rugs are a great staple and bring an element of easy going elegance to your space.  The neutral colour opens up an otherwise small space.  Image from here.

Spring 5_style

Lighten Your Linens.  Put away your heavy winter woolies and invest in a nice textured white or neutral tone quilt to throw over your bed.  Crisp white linens will instantly freshen your bedroom and can go with any colour theme already in use.  Image from here.

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Plants and Flowers.  Spring is the perfect time to fill your space with fresh blooms.  Flowers are a great way to add pops of colour and fresh scents that are sure to brighten and refresh any space.  A vase of flowers allows you to add different colours to each room without the commitment of paint or investment of new furniture.  Image from here.

If you are looking to sell your home this spring, check out my previous post on five simple tips to get your property sale ready for spring.   Details on my refresh service, and other services available can be found here.

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6 Popular Interior Design Styles to help define your personal style

Whilst we are all spending more time at home, it’s a great opportunity to find some design inspiration to plan some changes in your home.  Here, we are covering 6 popular interior design styles to help define your personal style.  Always remember that it’s important to surround yourself with things you love and you don’t need to stick to one particular design style in your home.  For example, you may really enjoy both contemporary and mid-century modern, and remember to incorporate some of those precious treasures you may have inherited or picked up on your travels.  We can help you create your own unique interior.

Please contact me to set up a virtual appointment to discuss any small changes you are considering or larger projects including renovations and new builds.

1. Scandinavian

This style is a clean, minimalist-leaning design choice with a mix of simple lines and natural colours and fibres.  If you love mixing nature into your design and minimal clutter, this is a great design choice for you.


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2. Mid-century Modern

This design style pairs well with almost every other style.  It uses lots of warm wood tones, retro furniture and accessories.  This style originated in the 50s and 60s.  Mid-century modern furniture has a retro feel to it, but also clean lines that can be incorporated seamlessly into most homes.

Mid Century Modern

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3. Contemporary

Think natural light, clean lines, and minimalist living.  This design style incorporates lots of reflective surfaces to create a chic, elegant look.  It can be a difficult design style to perfect, but choosing a feature element, like the light fixture in our Flinders Street apartment project is a good place to start.


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4. Maximalism

If you love mixing patterns, textures, and colours, this is the design style for you.  Wallpaper is a good starting point for maximalism design, just like the wallpaper here in our Abbotsford project.  The bolder the better.  If you are worried about taking the plunge with this design element, it is a good idea to contact an interior designer and start with a smaller room in your home.


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5. Hamptons/Coastal

The name Hamptons comes from the popular holiday location outside of NYC.  This style incorporates nautical design elements and often features blue to mimic the colours of the ocean.  Wicker furniture pairs well with this design style.


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6. Art Deco

Jewel tones and brass finishings shine in Art Deco homes.  This design style has made a resurgence, especially following the remaking of The Great Gatsby in 2013.  You don’t have to go as bold as jewel toned walls to create an elegant Art Deco home.  This hotel in Porto, that I stayed in last year is a beautifully restored art deco hotel.

Maison Albar

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Be Inspired: French provincial

Warm and cosy, the French Provincial decorating style is a reflection of the homes in Provence in the South of France in the 17th and 18th century.

Think colours inspired by the landscape, sprawling farmhouse tables, stone floors and rough plastered walls. It remains one of the most popular interior design aesthetics in the world and can be integrated into any home. In this article, we share some helpful tips to show you how to bring a splash of French provincial into your home.

From our projects with our clients, it’s clear that the French provincial design style remains popular because it combines elegance with functionality. Those who lived in rural France during this period couldn’t afford ornate pieces of furniture found in many city dwellings, so for this reason French provincial furniture is sturdy and often beautifully simple. Signature pieces include armoires, buffets and of course farmhouse tables where the family can gather.

Today,  the popular and aspirational ‘Hampton’ style of homes draw much influence from the traditional French provincial designs. Adding hints of metallic, statement pendent lights and whites rather than creams can modernise the look.

10 ways to get the French Provincial look

  1. Feature an elegantly carved armoire in your home (a tall cupboard with shelving). You’d always find an armoire in a French house during this period because they did not have closets. Why? Well closets were considered a room and people were taxed according to the number of rooms they had.
  2. Mirrors are a wonderful French provincial accessory and a great way of reflecting light around the room. Choose a carved wood mirror or something gold.
  3. Shutters are a popular feature of these homes and were normally painted in cheery bright colours. White, however is a classic, timeless choice.
  4. Opt for natural raw materials. Natural stone floors look stunning in a French provincial home, as do distressed ceiling beams, rough plastered walls and lots of wooden details.
  5. The colour palette of a French provincial home is inspired by the landscape. Lean towards warm gold, earthly grass greens, brilliant cobalt blues, and russet reds. Base colours should be creams and whites.
  6. Another common characteristic of a French rural home is a fireplace which the family can gather around during the chilly months. Baskets full of wood add to this homely aesthetic.
  7. Women in France in the 17th and 18th century spent much of their time embroidering so include some of this lovely needlework in your home, whether it be an embroidered pillow, drapery or bed linen. Don’t forget plenty of upholstered furniture – we can recommend our expert upholsterer for this.
  8. When choosing textiles look out for traditional prints that take their cue from nature, such as vines, sunflowers, olives and roosters arranged in geometric patterns. A particularly famed French fabric is Toile de Jouy, a cotton or linen material with a white and beige colour scheme.
  9. A great deal of the charm of the French provincial style is how inviting and personal it looks.  Accessorise your home with rustic baskets, old copper pots, colourful ceramics, wrought iron and fresh flowers.
  10. For a modern look, mix French provincial pieces with modern furniture. You can always give antique furniture a contemporary twist by adding crystal knobs or having a sheet of glass or mirror fitted to the top.

Take a look at our favourite spaces below for inspiration

If you’re feeling inspired and would like to learn more about the French Provincial Design style and how it would work in your home please call Bernadette on 0417 088 602 to book a consultation.

10 ways to get the french provincial look

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We collect all our favourite interior design images, including those used in this post, on our Pinterest page.

Take a look here.

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How to style your bedroom to feel like a luxury hotel

Worldwide, we have been spending a lot of time at home lately.  Your bedroom should feel luxurious and like a place to escape.  When choosing items for your bedroom it is important to consider room scale.  “Hotel style is the feeling of luxury when you walk into a room.  It doesn’t have to be done overnight, you can add elements gradually.  The most important thing is that there’s something in the room that attracts your eye.”  We will walk through how to style your bedroom to feel like a luxury hotel.

When it comes to creating a home sanctuary that you can escape to, it makes sense to borrow from the relaxed-yet-refined style of your favourite hotel retreats.  At Ferrari Interiors we know a thing or two about recreating this look at home:  It’s about introducing different elements to feast the eye on.  Clients come to me with a home filled with brand new, top-end products; yet it doesn’t feel warm and they can’t work out why.  By simply layering colours, textures and accessories you can create a room that looks expensive and inviting, and the best bit? It doesn’t have to cost the earth.

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Know what you like.  It’s tempting to think you have to have your interior style mapped out before meeting with a designer, it’s about knowing what you like and more importantly, not being scared about what you like.  You’ve only got to have one key element for us to work with.  Anything can be a starting point; a piece of furniture, a favourite colour, a photo you’ve seen online.  It gets the ball rolling – I’ve worked a whole house around a piece of fabric!  Headboards are the focal point of a bedroom.  Whatever style of headboard you choose, it will set the stage for the rest of your decorating in the room.

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Shop your house.  The secret is to think beyond one focal point, and to have every area in the room accounted for: It’s not enough to have furniture, you need cushions, greenery, mirrors and accessories – they light up and turn on a room, and will set it apart from everybody else’s.  I work hard to design an interior look in which all elements are interchangeable between rooms.  By using the same palette, you can intermix furniture, rearrange the layout if you’re bored, or ‘shop your house’ for accessories you can swap from room to room.

Want to give your home the five-star treatment?  These tips will help you sprinkle some of that hotel magic on your space.

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1. Learn to Layer

Choose a simple monochrome palette for your home that will provide continuity and flow between rooms.  Next up, layer the room with textures and patterns to ensure the room is cosy and welcoming.  For example, mix luxe silky cushions with tactile furry throws.  And don’t forget to add black-out curtains in the bedroom.   The owner of this bedroom in Abbotsford was stuck.   She had bought all the furniture, but the space was stark and she didn’t feel good in the room.  We brought in a bold, black and gold wallpaper – it was a brave move but it brings the space to life.  I used the print as a starting point, teaming it with a mix of textures from a shimmering golden curtain and plush carpet, to a metallic mirror and crisp white sheets.  If a bold patterned wallpaper is too much for you, I suggest considering a textured wallpaper as an alternative to pattern.  Grass-weaves or printed textures give warmth and personality and can bring a scheme to life.  I like to use wallpaper in most of my projects, even if it’s only in a subtle way.

Ferrari Day 1-2

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2. Add Greenery and Fresh Flowers

Drawing inspiration from the beautiful flower arrangements I see in top hotel foyers, I recommend introducing pops of greenery where possible:  No matter how simple, fresh flowers and greenery add style and sensory fragrance to make your home feel luxe.  Choose thick, waxy leaves for longer lasting arrangements.  Orchids are elegant and timeless, and can look great in any room of the house – and if you’re on a budget, cut greenery from your own garden. In my own home, I group arrangements of cuttings in different height vases which work against any backdrop.  I experiment with a look and edit; and then keep on editing.

Ferrari Day 1-60


3. Keep your Furniture to Scale

Bedside tables and lamps should be to scale for your space.  Table height should be level with the top of the mattress not only for symmetry and style but also for functionality.  Keep in mind as well what you want to go on your bedside table.  Lighting is important in a bedroom, and a good bedside lamp will be both functional and stylish.  Match the style of your bedside lamps to the style of your headboard.  If you have a tall ornate headboard, a tall lamp will compliment it well.  If your style is more sleek and modern, stick to a sleek modern lamp.



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How to style your small living space

Our clients were looking to create a unique statement apartment that made their new two bedroom home stand out in this prestigious new development and to create a beautiful flexible interior.  We will show you how you can think outside of the box and how to style your small living space.

small space livingThe colour palette chosen for the project was soft and sophisticated using blues and taupe.  This was enhanced by the use of textured wallpapers, luxe drapery and bed linen.  High end furniture and custom upholstery was used throughout and striking accent mirrors in the living area increased the proportions of the room by reflecting light and opening the space.

Southbank aptA bookcase and an additional wardrobe were also custom made to provide extra storage options.  Furniture selections were designed to be flexible allowing it to be moved around as needed offering greater flexibility and layout options within the limited space.

designing a small spaceWhilst the building was designed with full length windows we have configured all rooms to maximise the penetration of natural daylight and allow views to the outdoors which opens the space up.

Southbank apartment

The unique aspects of the project are the use of textured wallpaper to compliment and bring out the best in the paint colours of the apartment and to compliment the luxe drapery and soft furnishings along with the use of an ethanol fire in the custom designed and Australian made entertainment unit.

small apartment

Material, function and proportion were carefully considered throughout creating inviting areas that reflect the individual style and personality of the owners while carefully considering space and functionality in a small living space.

making the most of a small space

View the project here, and contact me with enquiries on how to style your small living space.

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