There are more renovation and home styling shows on TV nowadays than you can poke a fashionable stick at. Which means there’s more pressure on us to produce “wow”-worthy interiors. But how do you do that when the kids are still spilling sticky, squashy things on your lounge? And disrupting your perfectly styled coffee table vignette with lego and dirty feet? Here’s how…

She says…
The Block reality TV superstar-turned-stylist and Gold Coast local, Carlene Duffy, shares three tips for how to make your house a home:

  1. A gallery wall, featuring loads of frames and/or other wall art, “fills up the walls to achieve that layered look and makes your home feel warm and inviting”.
  2. Your forgotten knick-knacks can be repurposed as one-of-a-kind decor. “Celebrate those one-off items that no one else has,” she says. “Hit the second-hand or antique stores to find truly unique treasures.”
  3. Carlene encourages all home decorators to be bold and experiment. “Try new colours, move things around and play with space and the furniture items you’ve already got. You never know how it will look until you play.”

Shop handmade, shop local
“I believe there is a shift towards more people caring about where their products come from, who designed them and how long they will last,” says Grason Kira, designer and furniture manufacturer extraordinaire at Kira & Kira. “Tired of products that don’t stand the test of time and fall out of trend, it’s inspiring to see more people investing in good design produced right here in Australia.”

Kira & Kira ‘Iconic’ sideboard, $3450

Au naturale
You can’t go wrong with the natural appeal of leather and cane (and open-weave cane/rattan/wicker is definitely making a comeback). Add a statement chair or pendant light to your mix for on-trend au naturale chic.

Hot or not?
Guess what, our parents’ generation is back with a vengeance! Do you know what’s ‘hot’ again? Bar carts! We’re torn between the idea of putting your alcohol on display in a family home and/or it is the perfect idea after a hard day of juggling the work-life balance!

The easiest and most inexpensive way to update your interior is via throw rugs and cushions. Change them with the seasons. With the weather cooling down, look for chunky wool textures to add another element of interest to your styling. And, parent tip: A strategically placed throw is perfect for hiding those stubborn lounge stains that kids are born to delight us with!

Insta inspo
Let your fingers do the walking. Check out these Instagram pages for more Insta-wow:


GOLD COAST                                       BRISBANE                                       BYRON BAY
@theborrowednursery                           @arcandfamilypots                            @pebblesandrox
@villagestores                                       @lovestarloves                                  @nikau.store
@miss_fancyplants                               @flowerhaul                                       @libertytradingco
@theplantedco                                      @gunnandjackson                             @newrybarmerchants
@avalongiftstore                                   @finderskeepersgifts                         @popandscott
@affordabledecorators                         @wfcaust
@stixandflora                                        @happinessplace



haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.