Monday, August 25, 2014

interior design trends / ethnic prints

The beautiful colours and intricate patterns will inject style and personality into any room.
Use as much or as little as you want, complement the look with rustic hardwood and/or a stone wall or balance it out with white walls and neutrals - explore all possibilities and settle for what you love.
Right now I'm embracing this trend and using ethnic prints in a lot of my styling. There are a few different ways to showcase the look, one of my favourite is to layer kilims on the floor for extra warmth under foot and add a kilim cushion or two on the lounge to finish off the look. 
At home you can start by playing around with patterns and colours, see what suits the space (get a clue from a favourite object or artwork) and once you've selected your colour scheme and your art is hung add your accessories - this is a great way to personalise the space - keep editing as you wish until you have achieved the result you are after.
Tip - this look is inviting and it suits a lot of decors so don't be afraid to try different styles, just select a print that you love and make it shine by pairing it with a dark neutral or navy on white or cream background (walls); choose a timber side table, add metal via a vase or candle holder or a metal floor lamp and you'll have a beautifully balanced space. 
If ever in doubt simply contact your local decorator - after all help is only a phone call away!

all images via pinterest

Happy Monday!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Pool and outdoor entertaining area / a caldesign project

 A first look at one of our latest projects - just completed.
The new design includes: pool, spa + cabana and casual gathering area with fire pit.
Stone walling, capping, travertine tiles, pebbles and fire-pit were sourced from Eco outdoor
Designed and installed by Caldesign

 pictures taken with my iphone
all enquiries please email us at:


Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday inspiration / nautical

Inspired by summer today...
If you are after a nautical theme for your home there are a few key elements that you will need to look out for. My top 10 are:


 shells, sisal, woven wicker pendant

 surfboards as art, wicker baskets as storage

 all white scheme with different shades of blue

 white panelling

high ceilings with exposed battens
images via pinterest
These components will help turn any house into a summer heaven!

Have a great weekend.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Materials part I / surfaces

Surfaces are a hot topic when it comes to building and renovating, there are a great number of products available on the market today and it can be a daunting task having to commit to just one of them. So where do we start? Firstly establish your budget - it's crucial and it will save you a lot of time and grief later on - it will also narrow down the choices which is great.  Secondly think about the location - is it an indoor or outdoor area? Thirdly it's important to know what the surface will be used for (chopping, bread making, entertaining...). The most popular surfaces of course are: stone, laminate and timber (revisit my previous post about timber here). Laminate has been a favourite for many years, it ticks a lot of boxes, it's cost effective, durable and it comes in a variety of different colours and finishes - it's also suitable for outdoor use (there's a fantastic outdoor laminate range available on the market). Stone is always popular too, choosing the right stone for the job though can be tricky. There's marble and composite stone. As you know marble is porous and needs to be sealed, it's heat resistant but you'll have to be careful not to spill red wine on it! It's not cheap - it will cost anything between $200 and $500 a sq. metre not installed - but it would definitely make a great feature in any kitchen or bathroom. Composite stone like quartz, corian and caesar stone are a great choice for kitchens, bathrooms and laundries, they are though and look great - the cost is roughly $500 a sq. metre installed. Timber is our third surface and it's definitely re-gaining popularity. There are a lot of different types of timber and different grades - which refer to the strength of the timber itself with ironbark coming in at number 1/group 1. For a more natural look opt for a matt finish or low sheen, if you are after a more sophisticated/formal look choose high gloss (more suitable for dining tables). I'd also like to mention stainless steel and concrete. Stainless steel is better suited for commercial application, it is a very popular choice in professional kitchens, it's great for counters, sinks and shelving, it's durable, strong and easy to clean. Concrete is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, it can be a stunning addition to any kitchen or outdoor entertaining area, it needs a lot of care though - expect wear and tear and marks!
Just a small tip: Whichever surface you may decide to go for ask for a sample and test it before you bring home the whole slab, that way there will be no surprises!

Here are some examples of stunning countertops.

all images via pinterest


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How to / arrange furniture in your living room

When arranging furniture in the living room there are a few elements that need to be taken into consideration the main one being the shape of the room followed by: focal point, purpose and orientation.
Once we have the above elements sorted the rest will fall into place fairly naturally.
If your room doesn't have an architectural focal point like a fireplace or a view, you can easily create your own with furniture, artwork, a feature wall or a flower arrangement - anything at all that has an interesting colour, shape or texture. The focal point should be the first thing you see when you enter the room and the furniture should be arranged around it. Start by placing the biggest piece directly across from it and the other furnishings around your main piece. Use contrasting colours, add interest to the room via accessories and personal touches like photographs and art, add a touch of metallic (with vases or a lamp base) to complete the look. Move things around to suit your needs if necessary, if the room is a multipurpose room, buy multipurpose furniture and leave corners free of clutter. Colour and accessories can be changed each season is desired and art can be on rotation to ensure that the scheme is well coordinated. If the view is your focal point arrange some furniture towards the widows to take full advantage of it, open up and let the outdoors in as much as possible, create a good flow between inside and out, entertain outdoors in spring, summer and autumn and install good lighting to enhance it and enjoy it all year around.

view via pinterest

artwork via pinterest

artwork via paddo to palmy

fireplace via pinterest

tv via paddo to palmy

fireplace and artwork via pinterest


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Caldesign loves (August edit)

Some gorgeous products from two of our favourite suppliers (Paddo to Palmy and Urban Couture)
 + a dreamy outdoor entertaining area complete with an outdoor stone firepit, firewood and benches...heaven!

paddo to palmy moroccan pom pom blanket
Kubus black metal bowl by Lassen
Kubus 4 candleholder in copper
Sne felt basket with leather handles - perfect for extra blankets and cushions
A stone firepit is a great addition to any garden, especially in winter - enjoy it with family and friends 

 all images via pinterest


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First impressions count

 You can create a beautiful front garden and welcoming front door just by following a few simple steps. Start by checking all fences, side gates and front gate/s, make sure they are in good nick, wash them regularly and give them a fresh lick of paint every couple of years. Same with the front door and all windows. Remove clutter regularly and trim all edges, trees and shrubs once a month. Inspect the roof yearly and gutters quarterly making sure that everything is in order - especially before a heat wave or after a storm - get rid of all leaves and branches and make sure that the downpipes are functioning. 
Keeping on top of jobs and create some sort of routine is key, wether it happens on the weekend or once a month, just approach the task with a positive attitude, get the kids involved whenever possible and make sure that it doesn't turn into an irritating exercise. If you are ever unsure don't be afraid to engage the services of a professional - always get up to three quotes if possible and never allow anyone else to make the decision for you, you have to be comfortable with it in the end.
Personal style is not an issue but try and work out a plan for the garden as well as the house as soon as possible and engage the services of a designer/architect if necessary - it will save you money and time in the long run. Some homeowners tend to by-pass designers/landscape architects/architects to save money but in our experience it doesn't always work to their advantage, infact they are often forced to engage the services of such designers towards the end of the planning/building process or afterwards which means it will end up costing them a lot more than planned and that is definitely not good for anyone. 

images via pinterest

For all your garden design enquiries shoot us an email at:

Have a wonderful day!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Bring timber back

For timeless character and durability it's hard to get past timber when choosing materials for kitchen counter tops, island benches, tables, stools or cabinets. Wether you are after a rustic, industrial, country or modern look, timber has it all covered. We have seen the popularity of timber rise again last year amongst homeowners and renovators who had been previously enticed by the freshness of other materials such as polyurethane and stone and have only just recently rediscovered the warmth and beauty of timber. It certainly still remains a favoured choice with architects and designers for its longevity and resilience is outstanding. Timber gains character with age and doesn't get damaged if treated and sealed properly, while metal (stainless steel) scratches and stone chips - for me it's definitely a winner. 
Here are some great examples of clever use of timber in the kitchen.

All images via pinterest