RESTAURANTS: Capital Kitchen in Australia

Now that I am falling back into the hang of things and the summer school semester is in full swing I will have to say goodbye to the slow pace of my short lived vacation.  Not to say the vacation wasn’t fully enjoyed, I did get a few opportunities to pamper myself. Saving the best for last I spent an entire day at the Nordic Spa sun bathing, fortunately it was the nicest day we’ve had yet. Considering that I spend the majority of my time in front of a computer or hunched over a desk, I felt a massage was needed and well deserved. So I through one of those into the mix.  There was also plenty of Family time which was extra special with the new addition to the household, a canoe! I got to enjoy some sunny days out on the water reading while my brother and dad paddled me around! I was living the life.  But aside from all that I have missed my daily dose of design so with a new semester comes a new project and lots of research.  With that in mind I hope you all enjoy the new finds!

To start the ball rolling we have this Cafe/Restaurant style design located on the outskirts of Melbourne, Capital Kitchens design combines rustic and industrial elements with a few modern touches throughout to produce a functional, warm and inviting atmosphere. Designed by Australia-based Mim Design (“We were going for a modern country farmhouse feel,” the designers say), the interiors feature rustic timber floors, exposed brick walls, and sleek modern Carrara counters. For more information, go to Capital Kitchen.

Above: The cafe includes an open concept dining area. The main dining chairs add the industrial element finished in white to compliment the farmhouse look. Marais a chair designed by Xavier Pauchard for Tolix available at design within reach

Above: A mix of modern housewares is on offer. I find this style of boutique cafe is becoming very popular and for good reason. It’s fun to browse kitchenware amongst the aromas of coffee beans and  food.

Above: This has to be my favourite shot. The combination of light and darker woods separated by a sleek Carrara marble counter, is stunning. The white Caravaggio Pendants (available from Y Lighting) provide a simple clean and modern ceiling ornamentation.

Above: A modern farmhouse sink adds a domestic feel and is complimented by the upholstered armchairs providing additional comfortable seating.

Above: Long tables on wheels provide a multifunctional space, offering a multitude of space and seating arrangements.  The movable tables are complimented with Tolix stools. Marais Counter Stool designed by Xavier Pauchard for Tolix available at design within reach. The beam ceiling design plays on a modern coffered ceiling style and adds that extra element of design to the cafes structure.

Above L: The shop signage is painted directly on the exterior brick. Above R: Corner seating with folding windows.  What impresses me the most is the combination of materials that work so well together. The aged brick, marble, light and dark woods with painted as well as unfinished steel together achieve achieve a warm and aesthetically beautiful environment. This design encourages me to not be afraid of trying different finish combinations.

Via Remodelista

INSPIRATION: Home Makeover- Entrance Way

A friend of mine has just purchased his very first place and has asked for some assistance in the design department. I am thrilled to help out,  so for the following few weeks I will feature some posts of inspiration for his new home makeover.

Simply for order purposes lets start with the entrance. In his case the entrance is a small vestibule preceding to a short stair case which is open to the adjacent living room.  I have been infatuated with sisal, grass and jute runners down entrance stairs for a while and have yet to feature them.  Fortunately I think this look would fit very well in this particular case. It is important to have anti slip finish on stairs and this type of runner would serve that function.

Since my friend has already said he will change the banister I suggest a more Eco friendly method as an alternative to chucking the old one.  In a previous post I featured Rust Oleum ( 4 Step Cabinet Makeover) which could be used to stain this banister a beautiful black finish.  He also said that he will be removing the carpet so I recommend finishing the new stair treads in the same black finish. This look would provide a clean and styled contrast to white stair risers as well as walls. With the stair treads and banister now finished in black and remaining area in white this would work as the perfect canvas for a beige sisal, grass or jute runner.   You can see the step by step to ripping off carpet and creating a new stair case by clicking on the following link Southern Hospitality. Also you can view my friends before entrance photo as well as some examples of this style below.

Above: The Before Entrance Way

Above via Decorpad

Above via Posners

You can see the step by step to ripping off carpet and creating a new stair case by clicking on the following link Southern Hospitality

The next step to creating a designed entranceway is revitalizing the window treatments. Since this is a starter home and he is a young bachelor I don’t want to empty his back pocket. Window treatments don’t have to cost you a fortune especially when the windows don’t require custom specifications. Luckily for him I have just the thing in mind. Since the space is small I want to tie in the pieces in a sophisticated minimalist fashion so not to make the area appear cluttered. I believe dark stained wood blinds will do the job. Below are two images with similar styles and you can find this type of product at such locations as BouClair.

via DesignWagen

And lastly to finish off the space it comes down to a personal choice. If you prefer reserving space in the closet for jackets then you can get rid of the coat rack. However I do understand the convenience of having a coat rack so in such a case I would simply install individual hooks like those shown below. A trick I often use is the “rule of odd numbers.” See odd numbers provide a center point which our eyes are attracted to and in turn makes a display look balanced. If he is open to the first suggestion of reserving space in the closet I recommend using the open wall space for a small collage of black and white photographs.

Below the Vippa Hook from Ikea

Stay posted for more inspirational ideas!

Inspiration: Design worthy Laundry/Mud Rooms

People tend to forget about the laundry/mud room when it comes to design but why neglect a space that you have to frequent so often. In addition you should feel very fortunate to have such a room because for some of us ex. Me that was not included in the apartment package.  So in honour of having a laundry room, give it a little love.  My best girl’s husband actually inspired this post, since he is the neat freak and organization fiend but I am positive she will be the one styling the space so I thought I would give her and all of you some inspiration.

Lets start with my favourite. The combination of wall paper, pendant lantern light, cross wire cabinet finish, antiques and glass jars give this space a whimsical elegance. After looking at many laundry room designs I have found a common feature to be light colours which provide that same feeling fresh laundry gives you and there’s nothing like fresh laundry smell!  I can’t wait to have a laundry room because unfortunately for me that feeling happens once a month if I’m lucky… and yes I have a ton of underwear so you can get rid of that gross look!

The Glass Vases are a great way to store detergent for easy access and aesthetics.  You can definitely find such vases at Pier 1 Imports or Homesense among many other places.

I know we may not all have the luxury of space but I adore this laundry room for its vast counter space which equals optimal folding results!  So if you do have room for an island that would be a definite perk.  On another note, wicker baskets are a stylish organizational element that look great on open concept shelving. You can also find inexpensive wicker baskets at HomeSense and Ikea would be a great place to find open concept shelving.

Above Via Corea Sotropa Interior Design

In this particular case an office space has been amalgamated into a laundry room. Although the space is simple stark white, the green grass carpet provides contrast and makes the room feel laundry fresh!

Above Via Home-Designing

The pastel Yellow and Industrial pendant lights give this laundry room the desired style. You can find these types of lights at pretty much any light store but check out the following links for some other industrial options

Barn Light Eclectic



Above Via Best House Design

A Laundry room a le Francais.. tres cute!  This space has all the necessities and has been executed with such grace.  The pastel green works as a fresh canvas and compliments all the additional pieces.  I especially love the look of the steel buckets, something you could find at a garage sale that adds that extra touch.

Above Via Material Girls french

Above Via Remodelaholic

DIY: Rustic Bed Frame made with Used Pallet

I haven’t done too many posts geared towards the boys but when I across this lovely idea the male gender immediately sprung to mind. Not to say that it wouldn’t be a great idea for both men and women but it has been my experience to find many guys my age with mattresses on the floor. I don’t know if it’s pure laziness or just simply not a priority in the expenditure category.. k actually I do know.. it is precisely both of those reasons leaning towards the laziness factor! I understand the budget since I am also a poor student but I have always wanted to deck out a bachelor pad.  Although the flavour of this idea is minimal cost, minimal effort it equals maximum style appeal, complimenting pretty much any design character. For example it has rustic industrial appeal with a touch of modern from the low rise bed but it can also compliment the very traditional aesthetics as well.

Via Apartment Therapy

Rollers are a good addition for dual functionality spaces allowing you easily move the pieces.

The possibilities are limitless with these reused pallets, so don’t feel like you have to spend hundreds let alone thousands on outdoor furnishings. Make your own and spruce it up with some vibrant cushions and pillows

Via DesignSquish

Via Unconsumption

Via Renest

Via Pinterest

DIY:Mis-Matched Chair Design

As I have voiced on numerous occasions my adoration for eclectic designs and understanding of the need to stretch that dollar. That being said I bring to you the mis-matched chair design that I fancy and have been seeing a lot lately. Fortunately it also ties in my excitement for warmer weather and flea market/garage sale finds!

Via From The Right Bank

Via House & Home

I love the modern take on christmas decor seen above. For the last 5 years I have been living in tiny apartments with no room for a real christmas tree so I might have to steal this look for next years decor!


The design above incorporates the same style of chair but changes it up with colour and the inclusion of a double seater bench.  Beyond the chairs I love the industrial pendant above the table. It is now my mission to source this light, so if any of you know the designer..please chime in.

Above is Sarah Jessica Parker’s take on mis-matched Chairs!

Via The Decorologist

Don’t just consider it for residential because it can also adds innovative character to commercial design like in the restaurant above. Via Mezzo Amersterdam

And now here is a great example of how to DIY your own set via Houzz.  Keep an open mind because the fabrics and finishes are truly limitless, providing the opportunity to custom your own set.

by decordemon

by decordemon

by decordemon

Aside from chairs and a table, you’ll need an orbital sander, a sanding block, spray primer, high-gloss spray paint and a spray handle.

by decordemon

For a cool $5, I scored this Victorian lady from an upholsterer’s fire sale. While I kind of liked the dark stain of its frame, it was screaming for a bold, high-energy update.

by decordemon

To start turning the old lady into a hot, modern momma, I used the sanding block to rough up her frame. While the orbital sander is super efficient, makes cool noises and really gets rid of existing finishes, it’s not ideal for thin, round surfaces. By sticking with the sanding block, I was able to wrap around the rounded legs as well as the back and also get the old finish out from the nooks and crannies. Overall, this chair took about 20 minutes to strip. She’s also a great example of a seat which is super easy to reupholster. Simply stretch batting and fabric across the top, then staple underneath. To take it one step further: Cut a piece of black fabric to size, then staple that to the bottom, covering up the staples and cut edges underneath.

by decordemon

For under $30, I scored this mid-century cane back chair. At first, I got a bit attached to the beautiful woven detail of the back and wanted to preserve it. About 45 seconds later, I realized that would take entirely too much time so I hit the cane detail and the square legs and frame with the orbital sander and had the old, gloppy, black finish off in about 15 minutes.

by decordemon

There are good and bad things about spray painting cane detail. The bad: It seems to lose its impact when not sporting its natural tone. Good: Once sprayed the same color as the rest of the chair, it becomes more streamlined, allowing the overall lines of the chair take center stage. To ensure comfy seating, I decided to drop off the old cushion with my upholsterer and have him beef it up with thicker foam and a professionally sewn cover with welt cord. In the long run, this chair set me back about $62 — the price of a good dinner for two.

by decordemon

My encounter with this $18 country chair was love at first sight. It’s gold and green finish, notsomuch. This little doozie took more time than the others to update. How so? Skip to the next photo.

by decordemon

Because the chair sports round surfaces and wavy lines, hitting it with the orbital sander wasn’t an option—unless you enjoy playing with power tools for seven hours without actually having tooled anything successfully. The sanding block worked wonders in navigating the un-straightness of the chair. Also, notice how the existing version had no cushion? Well, I certainly don’t want people getting backbone bruises in my eating space; therefore, I dropped the country girl off with my upholsterer who outfitted her with a taut, fully upholstered seat.

by decordemon

Pattern can be intimidating when it comes to chairs since it seems to lock you into some sort of style commitment. Well, let me tell you something: It’s a great way to tie together disparate pieces never meant to go together. To pay homage to the mid-century bones of the space, I opted for a mod, overlapping squares pattern. While the chairs are a glossy, fire engine red right now — thanks to a steady flow of paint via the spray handle — I may opt to change them to something else in the future. By sticking with a neutral brown/white combo on the upholstery, it allows me the ability to change up the chair color down the road.

Tip: If you opt for a solid fabric on your cushions, choose something with good texture; the visual tension between the paint finish and the fabric will make it more interesting and keep it from falling flat

by decordemon

What kind of table did I choose? That’s confidential. I found a cool base with no top, then totally cheaped out and don’t want you to see it. To keep my focus on unifying the chairs and coordinating them with the table, I cut a piece of plywood to size, then had a pleated table skirt sewn using indoor/outdoor Sunbrella fabric in the same brown found in the cushion. For a touch of red, I had my seamstress add a two-inch band of velvet trim to the top. With such a tailored table skirt, who cares what’s underneath, right?

The ensemble — chairs, supplies, upholstery costs and table — set me back about $300. Guess how much the showroom dining chairs I originally had my heart set on cost? $385 each. In the style of Charlie Sheen, I cannot help but sum up this project in one word: WINNING!

Thank you DecorDemon for the entertaining and educational step by step tutorial!