Posts in Interiors
Budget-Friendly Home That Looks Like A Million Bucks

I love it when I come across a small-budget renovation because a lot of people think to have a million dollar "look" the renovations need to cost that much and it's just not true. I once was involved renovations on a regular basis, mostly city apartments but some homes and commercial spaces too, and I can assure you that the budget you set rarely is met - it's always exceeded and by thousands, sometimes tens of thousands. Have you found that to be the case too?


Mostly, it's the labor that drives up costs. Don't you think? You try to save on labor by hiring less expensive contractors only to find that they need 3x the hand holding and double the time to complete the project as the more expensive professionals you'd turned down. Contractors can be so shady and if you've ever renovated a house outside of your own country, it gets even more complicated.

When I worked on renovating the apartment we currently have in the city (when I was 7 months pregnant!), our paint/wallpaper budget was 5k and it ended up being 10k in the end due to miscommunication, misunderstandings and just one thing after another that you'd never had even thought to factor in if you were still in your home country doing the same work.


This small-budget (well not SMALL but I guess based on how it turned out and where it's located - it's small) renovation of a 1930's California-style bungalow in Sydney’s Lower North Shore is minimalist and gorgeous. (The total cost of the build was $410k.) The challenge was to reconfigure the home with living spaces that connected to the garden which would include a rear addition connected to the original space, all on a very tight budget. I love the angles, the natural light, the openness. Isn't it a terrific space?

The family of four had a wish list for this reno:

  1. Lots of natural light
  2. Space for kids
  3. Transform the kitchen into a gathering space

Clearly, their wishes we both met and exceeded by the firm they'd hired, .


Click on any image below to enlarge or pin

If you want to read all about it, you can over at where they've interviewed the homeowners for the nitty gritty renovation low down.

(Photography: )




She She Hand-Painted Wallpaper Is a Must See

Good morning dear friends. Are you well? The weather has been gorgeous lately so I've been outdoors as much as possible with my little boy. Our 3 months of northern European gloom arrives at the end of November and settles until end of February - gray, gray, gray, so I'm drinking in the sun as much as I can!


I don't know if you , but last week I had a bike accident - some pedestrians walked in front of me while I was biking, I rang my bell, they acknowledged me but didn't move so I tried to slow down on the wet pavement and when I applied my brakes, my bike lost control and my front tire got stuck in the trolley tracks and I landed with a boom!  It hurt like HELL. 


I used to get into a ton of accidents as a child, mostly on my skates or just running about, and I remember what my parents taught me when you fall in the street - get up immediately and get off the street, even if you have to drag yourself off, because breaking a bone is okay but getting run over by a vehicle is not. Things your parents say can stick for life! When I fell last week, I hopped up, dusted off, and moved on. My friend was a little shocked that I was okay... And I thought I was until I got nearer to my home. I felt dizzy and my shoulder began to kill me.

Fast forward to the next morning, I was stiff and in loads of shoulder pain. By midday though, after a shower and rela in bed, it cleared and I was back to normal within 24 hours. I'm so glad I didn't get massively injured because it would have really set me back. I got back into biking this past May after not doing it regularly since I was 14, and I've fallen in love with my bike and I go everywhere with it now. I feel like a genuine northern European now with my bike- ha ha! I'm lucky I didn't get hurt and hope this is my "one accident" everyone says you have to get into to smarten up and then you don't have another for a long time... Anyway, how are you? Everything going well?

Enough about biking accidents and weather. Let's explore something I found to be mega inspiring. It is a an American bespoke wallpaper company called . I found it by reading an article I stumbled across last week and saw the writer had her own wallpaper company. Intrigued, I clicked around and landed on She She.


The story of is quite cute. Two Americans, Interior Architect/Designer and Illustrator were in the thick of crappy breakups and decided that the only way to move on was to get a little silly and have fun together as friends. I guess you can say art therapy was their way out of the deep hole. They created a toile on the wall of Jennifer's apartment to tell the story of their experience. Then, they painted the same toile on each other, naked, and took photos in front of the wall.


Crazy, nutty, and unexpected - neither do anything like this on a regular basis, the experiment of painting opened their eyes to something truly magical. A shiny new business. This was how She She got its start and today, their designs are still driven by telling a good (and sometimes not so good) story. They hand paint custom designs for residential and commercial clients across America. What is their dream? Ultimately, to design a boutique hotel with their patterns from top to bottom. Wouldn't that be amazing?


Imagine the courage to just strip off your clothes with your friend and paint the walls together? Then, to turn it into a business that others end up loving, what an inspiration! Who says you have to follow the normal path to find your next business calling, right? Maybe a lot of us would do a lot more good (and interesting) things in this world if we let go more often and just get wild and unconventional sometimes. I found this quote on Pinterest recently that said something like the best memories come from bad decisions. Getting naked with buckets of paint may sound like a bad decision but.... (wink).


As you explore the images in this post, I'm sure you will also fall in love with their unique aesthetic. What do you think? Do you like it too?

(Photography: and She She)


Renovated French Chateau For Green + Plant Lovers

I've been wanting to share this home tour from France with you all week! Yesterday, I shared a small family apartment in Paris but today, we are traveling back to France to see a renovated chateau in gorgeous greens that you are going to absolutely fall in love with. I found Interior Stylist and Event Planner Isabelle Dubois-Dumée, on Instagram who has a shop I follow called - and now you get to see her fabulous which is about 2 hrs and 30 minutes outside of Paris in Dirac, France. Do you know her and online store, too? Oh, it's so dreamy - you'll love it.



I was so happy to see that Isabelle and her partner run a food truck service too. You can see more of it . I need to take a drive over to France to check this out next time they have an event. It looks dreamy and so inviting. Isabelle's life looks so enchanting, what I think we all aspire to live like - in beautiful surroundings doing what we love. Isn't that the best life to live?

(Photos: Isabelle Dubois-Dumée and )


Fantastic Family Apartment In Paris

Hi friends, how are you today? I can't take my eyes off of this fabulous little Parisian apartment. It's so quirky, creative and perfectly edited - not over-decorated and not too minimal. You must check it out!

The owner is Architect and Designer who has worked on projects for , , a private mansion for and the restaurant. He has also worked on his own furniture design and interior architecture projects throughout the years. When you see his family home, which he shares with his wife and 3 children, you can instantly spot something special. It's truly a one-of-a-kind tree loft, a thoughtful nest, that will leave you inspired and with a smile.

I love the kitchen contained inside of a metal greenhouse. I had this same idea for my imm cattledogs booth last January but the fair couldn't budget the project. I had thought to put the dining room inside of a white wooden frame with sheer white linen panels on the top (instead of glass) and a concrete floor with a white painted-on rug that I would have done myself. One day, I hope to execute my vision at a show or fair. Would be fabulous, don't you think?


I really like this space with it's palette of black, white, gray and various tones of yellow. It really feels like home. I also like the idea of wall lighting near the bed vs. traditional table lamps - especially since I'm looking for new bedside lighting but can't seem to find the right lamps... Perhaps a wall light is the direction I should be going.

In this space, I also like the tree in the loft area - I assume it's real but one can never tell with so many great faux options out there. In any regards, it's still fantastic and fun. The lighting above the dining room table is also fantastic - do you recognize it? I've never seen it before and am curious as to who designed it.

Another fantastic decor idea from this home that I took away is how nothing in the loft area is installed on the wall - all of the art is learning on a ledge. This is something I may need to apply to my home because I truly get bored with the same art and, depending on the season, enjoy swapping pictures and paintings in and out. I have so many pieces but not enough walls, so I always have at least 20 pieces leaning against the wall in my storage area. I have art installed directly onto the wall (gallery wall style) but this is limiting to me personally because you really can't just swap pieces in and out as the size has to be right for your replacement piece and since it needs to fit everything around it. This holds me back at times from being creative with my arrangements - I hate to butcher my walls with more nails and holes. My walls are 115+ years old, the materials inside of the wall are not modern enough to support lots of holes and putty. Perhaps I need to finally hang the picture ledges I have and try something more in line with we see in this lovely home tour.

Hope you are having a good week and that visiting cattledogs today inspired you in some way. See you again tomorrow and if you liked this post, please share it or pin to Pinterest.



Happy Colorful Loft With Vintage Flair

Hello friends and happy Monday to you! I came across this whimsical paradise recently and had to share it with you because it really struck me as being so personal and original. And the colors! Don't get me started! I love this loft, it's openness, bright sunny spaces, fantastic vibe. In fact, I think it's a great way to begin a new week, so let's look at this colorful loft with vintage flair together, shall we?



This artistic loft is a 1100 square meter space, a former repair garage, transformed into a home and work space for Petra Janssen and Edwin Vollebergh, founders of Dutch graphic design company . They live with their teenage sons in this home nearby to Amsterdam.

What a creative duo! And have you seen some of their work with ixxi? to check out their deliciously colorful patterns for the wall - you will love them!

Oh, and look at this beautiful restaurant (click for photos) Studio Boot designed in the Netherlands, it's pink and fantastic.

They've also recently collaborated on a very meaningful project with other Dutch designers and they've called it . About Social Label, "Social label is a new concept for work and daily activities for people with a ‘distance to the labour market’. Art and care are combined in this initiative in order to create new product lines. In each of the lines the social welfare workers will have an exclusive bond with a renowned designer. The designer enlarges his or her portfolio with a very special cooperation, moving a value based approach centre stage addressing human dignity, slow design, attention and time. These products will be produced, presented and sold by workers in different social workforce centers. See also the products in the ."

I hope you've enjoyed seeing this inspiring space today.

Photos Via: , ixxi and Social Label

Decorate With Greens + Blues From Neptune

Hola amigos! ¿Que pasa?! I'm back from Barcelona and all I can think about is green and blue! If you wonder why, please visit my and check out my manyyyyyy Barcelona photos - you will spot a definite color palette shining through of mostly green, blue and then some pinks and terra cottas... That's why when I discovered this beautiful English home brand today called , I had to share them on cattledogs. Why?


I spotted lots of green on their site and it made me feel cozy and happy right away. Especially emerald green. I'm really smitten with it lately. And their press release today shared lots of yummy deep blues for Fall/Winter 2017. I feel like velvet is here to stay but also these dark rich tones, don't you? Blue and green (dark tones) are all I think about lately. You have to be really daring to decorate with dark tones, but I really think it's worth it whether you accent your space with them or you go all out and paint your walls deep, dark tones.

In regards to Neptune, they have been in business already for over two decades and I haven't the clue who they are, so I was happy to learn of them. I am sure my many English friends know all about them. Perhaps they are a big brand in the UK, who knows. But I really like some of their interiors products and kitchens, they look and feel so quintessentially British in my American/European eyes.

Neptune specializes in beautiful, well made furniture, kitchens and decor objects and browsing their website earlier today, I couldn't help but wonder why I'd not heard of them sooner... And if I've not heard of them, perhaps many of you hadn't either so do take a moment to click over and check out their . You won't be disappointed.


They have lots of shops all over England, one is shown above. Some also have flower shops inside. There are several pieces I would pick out and mix in with my own style at home. They also sell tile, plates, lamps, baskets and so much more. Imagine having a little summer cottage decorated in this English country style? So pretty, right?

(Photography: Neptune)