Browsing Tag

styling

Lifestyle

Styling Sophia’s bedroom

12th April, 2017

Having two daughters I wanted to ensure that both had spaces in the house that are their own and perfectly suited to them. Now that Sophia is a toddler I had to update her nursery into more of a “big girl” bedroom and create a place for her in our home that she can call her own. Here are some of my top tips…

Add colour

Sophia’s bedroom has a neutral colour palette in whites and grey and has pops of pastel colour throughout. Having soft accents throughout her room really brightens up the space but still maintains the calming palette of whites and neutrals in her room. A serene room to retreat to is a must for a lively and active toddler.

Keep it practical

Now that Sophia’s a little older her room is largely about being a practical area for her to play in. She loves being able to grab a toy or book when she wants so it’s important that they’re easily accessible. We’ve tried to keep most of the big toys and furniture in her room such as her tee pee and table and chairs neutral in colour so even when they’re all out on display they still work well with the rest of the space.

Be selective

From her rocking horse to the horse bunting that an artist friend of mine made for her room and pictures of the two of us from shoots we’ve done, there are lots of special details throughout Sophia’s room. However whilst it’s great to have lots of mementos in her room I’ve also made sure to only display her really special things to avoid the room looking too busy.

Incorporate plenty of storage

There’s a dedicated bookshelf in Sophia’s room so she can easily grab her books and also put them away and a roomy cupboard and set of drawers to ensure that there’s plenty of space to accomodate her clothes and toys. I find it’s better to have plenty of storage rather than not enough as it makes it a little easier to keep her room tidy.

Mix prints and patterns

I’ve incorporated various prints throughout Sophia’s room from her polka dot bedspread to the patterned cushions on her bed and in her teepee, it’s great way break up the mostly white space.

Photography: Sophia Athas



Fashion

What I’ve learnt from working with stylists

27th March, 2017

I’ve worked with a few different stylists on shoots over the years and it’s always an experience in which I walk away having picked up a tip or two to adopt into my own wardrobe and how I style my looks. There’s just something about watching a professional at work that has taught me about everything from the best shapes that suit me to the one non-negotiable of a great outfit. Here, I’m sharing a few of the best lessons I’ve learnt…

Tailoring is everything

The one thing all stylists insist upon is having everything tailored to fit. It really does make a difference to your overall look. For example on magazine shoots, to ensure a garment fits, stylists will often use bulldog clips to nip it in and ensure it falls perfectly on the body. I’ve since adopted this into my own wardrobe by ensuring I get everything tailored whether it be to take something in or up.

Mix it up

Stylists never use a look that’s head to toe one brand. Also often they will mix high end designer pieces pieces with cheaper items to create a look that’s more unique and less like it just walked off the pages of a look book. I always mix brands and love discovering lesser known brands as I’m able to create an overall look that’s all my own.

Learn what colours and shapes suit you

Stylists will often do fittings prior to big shoots to do a test run of the different outfits they’ve put together. Having done these a few times I’ve paid attention to the types of colours and shapes that they will pull for me to wear. I’ve found that they will choose structured shapes and cuts for me as looser styles sometimes overwhelm my frame. This has encouraged me to experiment to really pinpoint what suits me and it has been great as I can now look at something and know whether the cut and style will work for me or not.

Accessories can change any look

One of the fun things about being on set for me is seeing all the amazing accessories laid out by the stylist for the shoot. There are often numerous options for shoes, belts, jewellery and bags as they’re the finishing touches that can really finish off a look. Seeing an outfit evolve on a shoot with the addition of an accessory has taught me that it’s the best and easiest way to take an outfit to another level.

Don’t be afraid to push boundaries

I’ve often come away with an outfit combination I would never have thought to put together or a different way of wearing a particular garment from observing stylists at work. They’re really not afraid to flip fashion on its head and create looks that are interesting and totally unexpected.

What are some of the fashion rules you live by?

 

Date with Kate, Lifestyle

Date with Kate: Neale Whitaker

13th November, 2016
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The Block Judge, Neale Whitaker and I catch up at the Lexus Design Pavilion

 

Neale Whitaker is a judge on television’s The Block – which airs its season finale on November 13 – and editor of Vogue Living. Whitaker, 54, talks to me about the most frustrating part of being a Block judge, what makes him cringe, and his top tip to quickly rejuvenate any home.

Who do you think will win tonight’s finale? 

Ah, that’s a tough one. The judges don’t have the best form in picking the winner! Auction day is unpredictable and there are so many variables  – the auction order, the reserve prices and basically the depth of the potential buyers’ pockets. All of the apartments offer the luxury of space and an opportunity to live in a heritage building that’s been restored with integrity.

What has been your favourite room from this season and why?

Kim and Chris [Elliot] delivered the ultimate master bedroom with the proportions of a luxury hotel suite. I loved Julia [Treuel] and Sasha [Wright-Neville’s] kitchen, and Will and Karlie’s master bedroom with the wooden panelling was pretty special.

What have you learnt from being a judge?

From the contestants I’ve learned the importance of budget, careful planning and understanding your potential market. From my fellow judges, I’ve learned to see things through an interior designer’s eye – it’s far more detailed than a magazine editor’s eye.

What is the most frustrating element of being a judge on The Block?

When the contestants don’t take our advice and believe they’re being victimised. They’re not! We always try to be constructive and our advice is based on experience and knowledge. We want them to win, not lose.

Why do you think renovating shows have become so popular? 

We’re a nation obsessed with real estate, so the renovation frenzy feels like a logical progression. Renovating is achievable – it’s something we can do to improve our lives and increase the value of our property. There’s definitely a competitive edge there, too, regardless of whether you’re on The Block!

After so many seasons, do room reveals still excite you?

Yes they do! I guess the day they don’t will be the day to hang up my judge’s hat. There is always that sense of the unexpected and of anticipation based on what was delivered the previous week and the advice we offered.

When there is backlash on social media against you, how do you deal with this? 

You have to take it on the chin. That’s all you can do. Or maybe not look. What did Taylor Swift say? “Haters gonna hate.”

How would you describe your own interior style preferences?

It’s a terribly overused word, but eclectic. [My partner] David [Novak-Piper] and I like such a mix of styles and periods but we get a lot of pleasure out of making them all work together to create a home.

What trends make you cringe?

Trends generally make me cringe. That might sound like a strange thing for a magazine editor to say but I believe a home is a really personal thing. I would never buy – or encourage someone to buy – anything simply because it’s on trend.

What is your best advice for first-time renovators?

Plan, budget, plan, budget and then plan again. Just be really sure about what you want to achieve from the renovations. Is it for you or for resale? Be prepared for the renovations to take longer than anticipated and budget for 25 to 30 per cent more than you think you will need.

What are the most popular interior trends at the moment?

Don’t talk to me about trends [laughs]! But, realistically, we’re seeing a lot more colour at the moment and a real emphasis on anything hand-made and hand-crafted. I think we’re also seeing more confidence to mix things up. We’re starting to realise that it’s OK to be individual.

What is a quick fix to rejuvenate your home? 

A new rug is always the best fix for me. When you walk into a room, what’s on the floor is the first thing you register. And think about changing your art and adding a wall mirror. It can double the size of a room. New bed linen is [also] an amazing pick-me-up.

What is a day in the life of you?

Juggling! My main priority is editing Vogue Living, so most days will find me in the office with the editorial team, but I somehow manage to squeeze in quite a few other activities like emceeing and public speaking. Most evenings will find me at industry events, and when we’re filming The Block, I’m in Melbourne every Sunday. Life’s busy.

What led you down this career path? 

Life! I started in the fashion industry, moved into publishing, moved from the UK to Australia [in 1999] and then moved from food magazines to interior design magazines. That’s when I knew I’d found the place where I wanted to be. And then I stumbled into TV! I’ve been very lucky and I’m very grateful for the opportunities that have come my way.

You were an editor of Belle Magazine and now editor at Vogue Living. How has your role evolved? 

A magazine editor’s role is always evolving. Learning to harness the power of digital and social media is challenging and exciting. That’s not something I really had to worry about in my previous role.

What has been your greatest career achievement so far? 

I’m proud of many of the things I’ve achieved in my career. Perhaps I’m proudest of my longevity and managing to stay relevant. I hope I can keep doing that.

D’Marge named you as one of the most stylish men in Australia. What is your style secret?

I’m sorry to say I don’t really have one! I think my personal style is very understated, quite classic, and intuitive. At 54, I feel I know what suits me and I tend to stick with it.

What is your favourite room in your Surry Hills home?

The kitchen – it’s totally where we live our life! And it will be again in the new apartment we’re just about to move to in Alexandria.

Where is your favourite travel destination when you want to escape from Sydney? 

That’s easy. The south coast of NSW. It’s where I recharge and where I feel the most relaxed. I call it my “happy place”.

What are your plans for the holiday season? 

Our favourite thing is a road trip. We love to put our dogs in the car [weimaraners Otis and Ollie] and head off. This year we’re heading to country Victoria for Christmas, then back home via Melbourne and the NSW South Coast.

What is next for you? 

Whatever comes next! I’m enjoying the opportunities that are coming my way but I would love to do more TV. It’s such a powerful way of communicating. Watch this space – that’s all I’m saying!

The Block season finale airs on Sunday, November 13, at 7pm on Channel 9.  

BITE SIZE

WE WENT TO The Lexus Design Pavilion, Flemington.
WE ATE Raw striped trumpeter with salted turnip, mustard & horseradish
WE DRANK Matua Valley Lands & Legends Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, NZ
NEALE WORE  MJ Bale jacket, shirt and white jeans; P. Johnson Tailors tie and RM Williams boots. 
Fashion

The one thing you can’t afford to forget about your outfit

19th September, 2016

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If your guess was shoes or a bag then you’re incorrect on both fronts. Don’t get me wrong, those are crucial too but I’m actually talking about what’s underneath your outfit. Often when it comes to underwear we throw on the first thing that’s within reach and don’t give it a second thought however did you know that the right undergarments can be the building blocks of a great ensemble? A stray bra strap here or a VPL situation there can often ruin the overall effect of an outfit so it’s key to get it right. Here’s what to do in virtually every fashion scenario.

If you’re wearing a t-shirt…

This is a prime job for the t-shirt bra (funny that). A bra that’s got light padding and no extra embellishments will give you a smooth silhouette when wearing a tee. T-shirt bras will get plenty of use so they’re great to get in black and nude at a minimum.

If you’re wearing a blouse…

If you’re wearing a silk blouse that’s quite fitting you’ll want to avoid anything in lace as it will just create a lumpy effect (not pretty!). A simple bra that slightly padded – something similar to the t-shirt bra will give you a smooth line. However if you’re wearing something loose you could get way with wearing a lace bra. Alternatively sometimes you may want to make your bra a focal point (as I have done above) in which case you should opt for something that’s a little more on the sexy/elegant side as opposed to a thick-strapped utilitarian bra as it will be on show.

If you’re wearing something tight…

A fitting skirt, dress or pants is prime for VPL issues and in most cases a g-string will usually help avoid this. If you’re not a fan of g-strings try seamless briefs which don’t have a seam and will often achieve the same effect.

If you’re wearing something sheer…

You can either cover up by wearing a cami or you can choose to make your underwear a feature. I’ve worn a lacy bralette under a sheer blouse before (see below) and found it worked with the overall look. However if you’re off to work or somewhere where you need to err on the side of conservative opt for a camisole.

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If you’re wearing white…

Whatever you do do not wear white! It may seem as if wearing white underwear under a white garment would make it invisible but it’s actually the opposite and tends to highlight your underwear instead. Your best friend in this situation is nude underwear. A nude bra or a nude pair of underpants will actually “disappear” when worn under white; try it, it’s like magic.

If you’re wearing a singlet… 

Some may opt for invisible bra straps thinking it won’t be obvious but when you think about it, who actually has clear skin? Plastic straps on skin won’t go unnoticed so it’s better to opt for a strapless style instead. Strapless bras have come a long way and now often have silicon or rubber on the inside to help them stay in place. Also, be sure to be professionally fitted for a strapless bra. The perfect snug fit will ensure you don’t spend your entire day trying to pull it up. If you’re really worried, try a bra with a wider band or a longline style which has a band that goes to the waist to give you maximum support.

If you’re wearing a racerback style…

A convertible bra is great in this instance as you can adjust the straps to wear it in a cross-back style which will work perfectly under a racerback style top or dress. However standard bras now sometimes come with a small metal clips on the straps which can allow you to convert it to suit a racerback style. Simply clip together and the straps will be pulled in to the middle of your back and thus hidden from view.

 

Fashion

The formula for a great outfit

13th September, 2016

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No matter your style often a great outfit has a few things in common – and it doesn’t involve designer garments or spending a lot of money. It’s all about the basic principles of pulling together a cohesive outfit and it’s easy to adopt it into your own styling process – just take note of the following…

Know your shape

The first step to a great outfit is knowing your shape and knowing what works for your shape. Once you’ve got that down pat and know what’s flattering on your body type then it makes things easier because then you’ll know instantly what suits you and what doesn’t. No matter what you do if you have the foundation right an outfit will always be flattering.

Ensure you have balance

You need to always strike the right balance with your outfit. If you are wearing something loose on top for example you may need to counterbalance the volume with something a bit more fitted at the bottom. The same principle also goes for choosing just one area of your body to focus on, so if you’re going to flash some leg with a mini skirt it might be better to go a bit more conservative with your top.

Pick a focal point

Find one aspect of your outfit to have as a focal point. It could be a great pair of statement heels or a showstopper jacket but ultimately there should be one part of your outfit that should stand out while the rest of your look complements it. Ultimately this will have more impact than trying to squeeze a lot of different elements into your outfit that might end up completing with each other. Simplicity is key!

Put some thought into your accessories

Don’t forget about the accessories you’re going to wear. Things like your shoes and bag shouldn’t be an afterthought but should work with the rest of your outfit. There were times I’d grab the same bag I was wearing the day before and find later on that it clashed with I was wearing so I’ll try and pick out my bag and shoes ahead of time to avoid having to rush in the morning. It all ultimately adds to a bit more extra polish.

Attention to detail

Ensuring that you don’t ignore little things like making sure your shoes are clean and your clothes are pressed and ironed. As a mum of two I always make sure I do a final outfit check before I walk out the door as walking out of the house and having food on my blazer is not a good look!

 

Fashion

Good wardrobe habits to get into

25th July, 2016

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Every woman wants to look polished and put together however let’s be honest, this takes work. I know we’re all busy so sometimes trying to style the ideal outfit first thing in the morning can be the last thing you want to think about. There’s no magic formula to pulling together a good outfit but there are some habits you can adopt to make it a whole lot easier to look great each time you walk out the door.

Keep your wardrobe tidy

Having to dig through a disorganised mess to locate just the right t-shirt or the skirt you want to wear makes for a stressful time. So, start tidying up. It sounds simple but making sure to fold and hang clothes in an orderly manner so you know where absolutely everything is will make it much, much easier to pull an outfit together.

Choose a focal point

Centre your outfit around one particular piece. Whether it’s a pair of showstopper shoes or a statement jacket or a particularly gorgeous necklace, each outfit should have a point of difference that makes it stand out.

Do a final mirror check

It may sound obvious but before you walk out the door quickly check that everything works. That means making sure that your shoes, bag, accessories and outfit are all playing nicely together. For example sometimes you may think a certain pair of earrings will look great with an outfit but taking one last look when you’re dressed may make you think otherwise.

Repair or get rid of damaged clothing

As soon as something needs repairing do it straight away. Procrastinating may mean that you might find yourself in a rush with a particular blouse in mind only to find it’s missing a button which means double the stress! If something can’t be repaired bin it straight away. It’s important that your clothes are in great shape if you want to look polished.

Follow laundry instructions

Yes it can be tempting to ignore the tags on your clothes but following laundry instructions are going to ensure your clothes look great but also for longer.

Hang up your clothes at the end of the day

Getting home after a long day it can be easy to just dump your clothes on the nearest chair and forget about it till later in the week. However this will only lead to a rumpled mess that will require more effort to fix later on. Hang up garments such as jackets and blouses straight away to ensure they’re ready for use the next time you want to wear them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion, Shop

Fall in love with… the bomber jacket

13th July, 2016

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If there’s one piece guaranteed to update your winter wardrobe it’s the bomber jacket, which has proven itself as one of the key essentials of the season. The sleek, sports-inspired piece is one of my top choices for a casual weekend ensemble and when teamed with a pair of jeans and a classic white tee it instantly takes your downtime wardrobe into chic territory.

There are plenty of bomber options out there at the moment whether you want one in a classic military green, with some serious embellishment or pretty embroidery.

Some of the options that have caught my eye are…

A sweet powder pink bomber by Maje which would look great with an all neutral outfit.

Needle & Thread’s bomber with colourful floral embroidery, beads and sequins are ideal paired with flowy dresses or wide-leg pants. Also loving this Jonathan Saunders option.

DKNY’s black jacket which features cape-effect sleeves is perfect for draping over your shoulders.

Is your wardrobe looking tired from too much black? Balenciaga refreshes the classic bomber with a dark forest-green blend of wool.

Steal my bomber jacket look

Shop my favourite bomber jackets

Budget-friendly options 

Photography: Josephine Wilcox 

Beauty

The hair products I can’t live without

24th November, 2014

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I have a really low maintenance approach to my hair. Most of the time I either just blow dry it or tie it back in a bun. However there are still three staples in my hair product wardrobe that I can’t live without.

Moroccanoil

Sometimes if my hair is a bit dry I put a bit of Moroccanoil through it. I think it’s really good for hydrating and repairing hair.

Bumble and Bumble Holding Spray

I find this has got really good hold but it’s really light so it doesn’t make your hair look crusty!

Schwarzkopf Extra Care Styling Instant Volume Powder

I think this is great for when I want a bit of volume in my hair or if I’m putting my hair back in a bun I find that it holds it all into place.

What are your favourite hair products?

 

Photography: Bumble and Bumble