Life & Style Blog - Homewares

How to make the most of your home wares

27 February 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2014 Homewares

Image source:

After a weekend spent moving house, I’ve been in heavy re-decoration mode: seizing the ability to breathe new life into an existing space and shuffling all my home wares about, finding holes that need to be filled. I’m big on home wares – they’re an oft inexpensive, very easy and always effective way to revitalise your house and add a sense of personality to the space. They are to the house what accessories are to an outfit, and unsurprisingly, I can’t get enough of them.

Colour blocking

2014 Homewares 1

Image sources: Salt and Pepper Oink money box, $9.95, from Myer; Trinket dish – fox head, $25, from Pigeonhole; Chevron camomile throw, $69.95, from Laura Ashley; Salt and Pepper Fiesta plate, $9.95, from Myer; Cube vase, $12.95, from Pigeonhole; Ladelle Mila Jacquard tea towels, $8.95, from Myer.

A failsafe tip for effective home styling? Colour blocking. Grouping objects like vases, books and crockery of the same colour together in a book case, or picking a vivid accent colour for your room and incorporating it through furniture and homewares is an always-stylish way to revitalise your living space – and to display pieces that might have been hiding away in cupboards.

Prints and patterns

2014 Homewares 2

Image sources: Orla Kiley House lamp, $499.95, from Myer; Red Southsea Stripe mug, $19.95, from Laura Ashley; Peony Garden cushion, $49.95, from Laura Ashley; Pattern blanket, $79, from Pigeonhole; Sorrento floor rug, $34.97, from Laura Ashley.

Be it feminine and sweet, wild bohemian or graphic and bold, be not afraid of prints in the home. Printed home wares are an especially easy way to add serious life to a room without committing to a major piece of furniture – just make sure that you pick one loose theme and stick to it, or things can get a little crazy.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Homewares, Trends

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Electric dreams

13 February 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2014 Electric Dreams

Image source:

Being the savvy, hyper educated humans of the 22nd century that we undoubtedly are (yesterday I tripped on a piece of paper by getting my bare toes caught in it!), I know there’s no need to extol the virtues of electric appliances in our lives. Computers, washing machines, mobile phones that we can use to answer email and awkwardly transfer funds on the spot? We’d be lost and significantly dirtier without them. But you already know how great those are: I’m here to reveal the unsung heroes of the electric appliance world – the little gadgets that are just waiting patiently on shelves to make your life better if you would only notice them. And once you make first contact, believe me: you won’t be able to live without them.

2014 Electric Dreams 1

Image sources: Breville Ikon 2 Sandwich press, $69.95, from Myer; High speed HDMI cable 5m, $55, from Dick Smith; Logitech Pure-Fi Express plus, $59, from Dick Smith.

  1. You think your jaffle has got it all worked out with its scalding hot pockets of liquid cheese? No, my friend. The flat press is where it’s at. Not only can you use it to toast sandwiches to your heart’s content, this Breville number has adjustable height, so you can grill open faced sandwiches, make cheesies, re-heat pizza without it going soggy or dry, toast your banana bread (or anything else that’s too wide to fit in your toaster, like croissants) and if you’re me, use it as a hot plate to cook buttermilk pancakes because the clean up is so much easier.
  2. I’m going to be honest: I didn’t know the HDMI to HDMI cable existed until my housemate brought it into my life, and now it’s definitely something I can’t live without. Simply put: the HDMI cable is something nifty you can use to connect most modern TVs to your laptop/computer. Check all the plugs – sometimes converters are required (Dick Smith has all the converters you need, we have one that plugs into our macs). Now that I can plug my laptop into the TV – I can use it to watch all of the legally downloaded content my heart desires, forever. No transferring to an external hard drive. I can watch stuff on YouTube or use it to pump out music if I want – it just creates a mirror of what is on your computer to the TV. And I especially love the 5m cable length – essential for having your laptop on your lap, so you can use it like a gigantic remote.
  3. If you don’t have an iPod speaker yet, what are you doing with your life? You’ve got all that music trapped in your little rectangle and no way to share. The Logitech dock makes it so easy – it’s just plug and play, but what’s even better is that this one is battery operated, so you can take it to the park, or on a boat, or anywhere else where mains power is just a little too far away and still fill your life with music. You’ll be the hero of the party – trust me

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Category: Featured
Tags: Homewares, Trends

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Top 10 tips for great picnics

11 October 2013, by Rachael Ciccarelli


Image source: Shutterstock.

Get excited, Perthies: we're finally swinging into picnic weather! Bring a plate and bask in the gentle* sunlight and catch some vitamin D without going Full Monty in a bikini and blinding the other folks on the beach with your winter pallor. It's a special time of year.

I'm all for a good picnic. It's a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by nature's bounty as you stuff your face; even better if there are kids/dogs in the mix - a day of running around like mad in a park will ensure a sound sleep that night. But the key to a great picnic and a good anything, for that matter. Being prepared. Lucky for you, I've gone all Boy Scout and have got my favourite tips for you:


Image sources: 1. Wild & Wolf V&A Daisy 500ml flask, $39.95, from Myer; 2. Vue thin stem clear wine glass, $7.95, from Myer; 3. Near Field Interactive (NFI) Speaker, $24.98, from Dick Smith.

  1. If you bring no other implements, bring a sharp knife and a board to cut on. Whether it's making a cheese board or dicing up charred sausage for your pooch, you will need these.
  2. Blankets (non itchy) are all very well and good, but as the champagne bottle draws to an end, what are you going to prop yourself up on? Give your lower back a rest and bring plenty of pillows.
  3. *UV rays are not that gentle. If you care about your face place, always wear sunscreen. Bring a bottle for re-application.
  4. Chopped, frozen fruit like grapes, orange, banana and mango are a great treat for kids and will help to keep your cold stuff colder. Spear them on a shish kebab stick for ease and wrap them in alfoil to keep then frozen for longer.
  5. If you're going to bring a salad, try and keep the wet bits (like tomato) separate. Don't dress it until you get there. Do not even think about cheese squares, by the time you get to lunch they will melt. Eugh.
  6. Bring a hand fan and receive the undying gratitude of the person in your party who can't stand the heat (there's always one).
  7. Portable speakers and an iPhone will definitely liven up proceedings - the NFI speaker works wirelessly: just put your iPod or anything with an external speaker on top and it'll amplify! NFI speaker, $24.98, Dick Smith.
  8. Are we not humans? Do we not walk upright and on two feet? If you're going to bring bubbles or wine, make sure you've got appropriate vessels. I've heard "oh, I should have brought plastic wine/champagne glasses" one time too many. Everyone likes drinking out of the right shaped glass: it's science. The glasses from Vue at Myer are $7.95 each and can be used time and again.
  9. A thermos of hot water and a box of tea bags are probably going to save the day for at least one person. Team with the outdoor theme: the adorable Wild & Wolf V&A daisy flask is $39.95 at Myer.
  10. Bring insect repellant. If your sweet, delicious blood is anything like mine, those suckers will attack the minute you walk into the park.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Homewares, Myer

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Feeling at home

24 April 2013, by Rachael Ciccarelli

Red living room

Image source: Diana Vreeland’s iconic red living room from

OK. Considering my never-ending quest for the aesthetically appealing, I know you’re not exactly going to be blown away by the revelation that I like living spaces as pretty as I like my outfits. BUT I DO, SO DEAL WITH IT. And don’t you think it’s fair enough? I don’t know about you guys, but I feel totally uncomfortable when I’m surrounded by disorganised clutter – things that don’t sit well together, hideous colour combinations. My magazines are stacked by date and my books are colour blocked. I get itchy when I see laminated posters outside of a teenager’s bedroom. You can only imagine how happy I was to learn that our insane landlady had painted our entire house in blue and yellow by hand (including cabinetry). My roommate likened me to an arctic fox when I declined several apartments on the basis that they had bad light in the living spaces. You get it: I feel calm when things look nice. I am the personification of that emoji with the streaming face of tears and open weeping jaw when my house is ugly. Living spaces affect your day to day life. They change the way you function. It’s just how things are.

As part of my aesthetic-dependency, I often find myself in a never-ending trawl through inspiring homes throughout the world. Hours have been lost, eyes glazed, dreaming about impossibly white light-filled spaces with just the right amount of eclectic bits of décor grouped in varying sizes (and in odd numbers). Sometimes the daydreams are about rich, wallpaper flocked rooms in warm colours and often the daydreams are about walls full of books and fat couches from the eat-you-half-alive family – but within the daydream, I always try to take little tips from each to employ now or at a later date, funds pending. Let’s take a walk through some dream rooms, shall we?

Elle Décor

Image source: Dining space from Elle Décor.

While that awesome raked ceiling and what looks like a reclaimed industrial light fitting are doing most of the work here, I love the indoor ferns in dark pots on the dining room table. I’m also partial to that little old soapbox propped up on the sideboard with a statue in it – a great way to frame anything 3D.

Living room

Image source: Living room from

Once I can convince my chippy-brother to build me a house for free (and that house is somewhere with a cold climate totally unlike ours so I won’t be burned to hell while I watch TV), this is definitely what my house is going to look like. But anyway, how great are those sneakers on a cake plate? I love bringing more sculptural bits of wardrobe out into my living spaces. I think that masking tape rug is hilarious and clever, I thoroughly enjoy the three-tiered glass bedside table used as a coffee table, and I think the daybed with the coffee table using stacked magazines as legs to prop it up is great.

Laura Ashley

Image sources: Hastings day bed, $1746; Milton sideboard, $1995; Glass frill edge cake stand, $119.00; all from Laura Ashley.

And in a very similar vein, we have pieces from Laura Ashley to get the look from these two rooms – homewares shops are always the best place to begin whenever your house needs a little lift.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Homewares, Trends

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