Editorial Interior

Leveson Street Residence

26 February 2017

living steel frame living

wall panelling

living timber





A new building with plenty of natural light, the original front facade is the only hint that this was once a warehouse in the city of Melbourne. Built on a 200m2 block Ha Architecture (a design firm based in Melbourne), have made the most of what limited space they had to create a home feels anything but small inside. With the bedrooms being situated on the ground floor and living areas on the top floor the property boasts views over North Melbourne that provides a sense of open space that is not closed or blocked off from the rest of the world.

With a simple restrained palette of timber, concrete and black steel frames throughout the home it all helped add to the sense of space and the feeling of comfort.

The Details-

  • Leveson Street Residence Melbourne Victoria, 2015.
  • Design by HA Architecture.
  • Builder Pulitano Group.
  • Photographer Tom Blachford.

Visit Ha Architecture to view more of their projects.

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Editorial Interior

Wayville Residence

20 February 2017



floating shelf

timber room decor


bathroom design entertaining Kitchen design

A design firm based in Adelaide Australia, Williams Burton Leopardi “believe small details can make life memorable and inspiring, our work builds connection through celebrating life’s daily rituals, creating environments that are distinctive to people and place, made intelligently and from the heart.” Cue the Wayville Residence based in South Australia whose design aesthetics reflects this vision.

A home that not only features great design, but one that effortlessly integrates both owners personalities without one dominating the other. Luxury finishes are on display in the kitchen with the brass tap ware and marble bench top that help create a refined, classic space, while timber finishes and playful tilework allow the owners a smooth and relaxed interior that isn’t overly luxe or too relaxed and masculine.

The Details-

  • Wayville Residence South Australia, 2013.
  • Design by Williams Burton Leopardi.

Visit Williams Burton Leopardi to view more of their projects.

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Editorial Travel

Coppersmith Hotel

18 August 2016

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Located a stones throw from Albert Park and South Melbourne Markets on Melbourne’s Clarendon Street is the Coppersmith Hotel. A boutique hotel with only 15 rooms it is only the two exterior walls which remain from the original 1870’s building which was gutted and redesigned to make it what it is today. A modern hotel, with an industrial vibe which features exposed steel beams, hints of copper throughout as well as exposed brick and sheer curtains. Timber panelling and leather cupboard handles are a welcome sight to the bedrooms which are home to a neutral colour palette that helps create a relaxed, light atmosphere.

Spanning four levels, including a restaurant/pub and rooftop bar the Coppersmith is well thought out with ironing boards stored under the bed, bathrooms that allow you room to move and even wooden hooks to hang clothes on as you enter (sounds simple I know, but really how many hotels actually do this?!) it is a comfortable stay and easy access to Melbourne’s CBD without being in the heart of it.

I woke up most mornings with a walk through Albert Park and finished my days at the gastronomic bar admiring the design aesthetic and people watching. With the design by Hassell Studio it is not surprising it has remained a South Melbourne icon.

The Details-

  • The Coppersmith has 15 rooms, 14 of which are Queen bedrooms and 1 King bedroom.
  • The restaurant/bar is available to hire for functions and events.
  • Each room features recordable Foxtel, Nespresso Machines, Flat screen TV’s and even hair straighteners on request (the list really does go on…)
  • A 20 minute walk to Crown Casino, a tram stop out the front of the hotel and Albert Park a 5 minute walk away this inner city suburb is close to it all without the hustle and bustle.
  • Visit The Coppersmith Hotel for more info.

Images photographed by Chadwoo Images for Stories by Stella.

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Renovating: Tips To Follow

14 July 2016

Renovating Tips Renovating Tips Renovating Tips Renovating Tips

With a passion for interiors and renovating Bonnie, Erin and Lana are the talented trio behind Three Birds Renovations. Having swapped their corporate careers for one they find more fulfilling their renovations are functional just as they are appealing to the eye. Here they share some tips on renovating for those who dare take the plunge…

Look for a house with “good bones” which means it’s structurally sound but with loads of potential. High ceilings is always a nice find and don’t be scared off by termite damage. Often the termite damage is old and the termites are no longer active and you may have been planning to remove those damaged parts any way as part of your reno.

There are lots of places to save money when renovating:

  • Wardrobe doors – these don’t have to be custom made. You can pick these up from Ikea for $50 each – you just to need to ensure they fit the space, or build the space to fit the doors.
  • Kitchen handles – grab them from Ikea or Bunnings.
  • Paint the concrete – use a paving paint (like White Knight Ultra Pave) to bring old, tired concrete back to life. Great for porches and driveways.
  • Window coverings – we love the sheer curtains from Ikea for $12 for a pair.
  • Paint your fence – most backyard fences are either timber or colorbond, or a combination of both. To freshen things up and make them look new again, paint the fences all the same colour.
  • Laminate flooring – it’s amazing the amount of gorgeous laminate flooring options that are available these days. Some of the colour choices are nicer than real timber. We love white wash laminate flooring that we pick up from Bunnings.

Steal space from other parts of the house to make sure the kitchen is big enough. As the saying goes “kitchens and bathrooms sell houses” so you want to get this right. If you’re on a tight budget you can look to buying a flat-pack kitchen (like Kaboodle from Bunnings) and then investing in an engineered stone benchtop (like Caesarstone). We often get our cupboard handles from Ikea or Bunnings and you’d never know they were cheap as chips. Don’t be afraid to brick up or board up an old window that is in the kitchen space. Not all windows are good and sometimes you’ll benefit more by covering it over and creating more cupboard space or a larger splashback than if you kept the window. Of course though, you want to have some windows in the kitchen to bring in loads of natural light. We love putting in a gas-strut window which opens out to a servery on the outside.

We often use an online search engine like yellowpages.com.au to find our tradies. Once we have a few to compare, other than price, we consider these things:

  • Communication – which tradie did you have the best conversation with? Who do you feel understands your expectations best? Good communication with your tradie is a must.
  • Quality – ask what job they recently finished and if you could see photos of that work. You can also ask to call the client of that last job to get a reference.
  • Credentials – it’s best to work with licenced and insured tradies. It means they have the right skills for the job and you are protected if they injure themselves while doing the work.
  • Professionalism – when you ask for a written quote, they should be able to provide this for you. If they can’t, then they’re probably not the best choice. Another easy test of their professionalism is taking note if they turned up on time to quote.
  • Payment – check that your tradie is happy for payment to be made at the end of the job. If they want it all paid upfront, choose someone else. Having said that, some tradies, like Landscapers, have to outlay significant money buying materials for your job so it is reasonable for you to make a part-payment during those types of tasks.
  • Timing – One of the biggest problems with tradies is around timing – turning up late, delaying jobs, dragging out jobs, not finishing jobs on time and the list goes on. Spend time talking with your tradie about the strict timeline you have for this job and how they are going to manage it to ensure it’s done on time. This simple conversation might uncover a complete disconnect in expectations.

Plan, plan, plan and communicate well with your tradies. You should spend weeks/months planning your renovation so that you have a weekly timeline you’ve agreed with your builder and other trades. Hold them accountable to turning up on the agreed dates and getting the job done on the agreed timings. Call your tradies a few days before they are due on site to ensure they are coming. Pay them on time and buy them a coffee or beer when you can!

For items that can’t easily be changed, like flooring and stone benchtops, best to go for a timeless design choice and save the trend items for things that can be easily updated e.g – paint, furniture and even tapware can be swapped over easier than you’d think.

Visit Three Little Birds Renovations for more.

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Renovating Renovating Renovating

Editorial Travel

The Lodging Guesthouse

9 July 2016

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Located on Fremantle’s High Street this late 1800’s Terrace House is home to The Lodging. As you walk through the iron gates and step inside the contemporary interior you are struck not only by the tall ceilings, but the contrast of old and new – all of which has been successfully intertwined with one another all the while remaining effortlessly cool. With whispers of pink, four poster beds, and bathrooms that have matte black fixtures and floor to ceiling subway tiles,  The Lodging is the ideal space for anyone seeking a little escapism.

The Details-

  • The Lodging has 4 suites and sleeps 10 adults in total.
  • There is a communal lounge, dining, kitchen and courtyard.
  • The spaces can be rented  for small events, meetings, corporate workshops etc.
  • It’s a stones throw from Cottesloe, Claremont and Perth City- all of which are easily accessible by train.

Visit The Lodging for more info.

Images photographed by Chadwoo Images for Stories by Stella.

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Brand Interview

Trine Holbaek Designs

6 July 2016




There is something overwhelmingly beautiful about watercolours. They evoke a sense of calmness and serenity, not to mention a purity when combined with Trine’s talent to paint with light, subtle brush strokes inspired by Denmark’s landscape. Whether it’s a Nordic inspired interior or one that needs to be toned down with soft hues of blue, red or green Trine’s prints are living up to the uniqueness this painting medium is known for.

Samantha: Trine Holbaek designs is your namesake business founded in Denmark. What lead you to create these dreamy prints which has now grown into a beautiful business for you?

Trine: Around two years ago, during my maternity leave with my first daughter, I started Trine Holbaek Designs. At first, the business was only supposed to be a “hobby-project” – A project where I could hold on to myself while adjusting to my new role as a mother. A place where I could dive into the world of design, which always had my interest. A place where I could communicate some of the beauty and calmness I experience in the nature.
I was 23 years old, in the middle of my teacher education and did not at all expect the interest people took in my work. So during the first year my idea and grounds for the business changed a lot. In the end of the first year I had a business, which had developed from a little “hobby-project“ into a serious and well-defined business. I want to produce beautiful artprints, made from dynamic watercolours, which gives the recepcient a feeling of being a little closer to the nature.

Samantha: You mention nature. Is this where you get inspiration for these designs?

Trine: I am drawn by the northern nature. The waters, the flora, colours and the calmness that surrounds it. Everywhere I look, I see beautiful structures and beautiful contrasts that enhance one another. Playing with structures and contrasts has become a defining principle in my artwork and it floats through everything I design. The nature truly provides me such a peace and such an inspiration.

Samantha: Can you explain the design process in making a print and materials used?

Trine: First of all it starts with an idea or a thought. I rarely have the whole series or design figured out before – I find it better to just sit down and start painting – to see what happens. In the process of painting I experiment with the colours, the amount of water and the motives themselfes. Often I find new inspiration and ideas in the actual painting process and I do not want to be locked onto a specific outcome beforehand. This process takes typically weeks.
When the painting is done, the printing company I have hired prints the original design onto a 190 g/m2 art paper. I sign every artprint by hand and wrap them individually. Off course there is a great deal of work afterwards with styling, photography, marketing and further shipments to retailers, roughly that’s the process.

Samantha: What are your plans for Trine Holbaek designs and how do you see the business growing?

Trine: My plan is to continue doing what I love. To continue painting with my heart and fascination towards the nothern nature. I dream of expanding my range with more productgroups and to continue the work of communicating my brand to the world.

My favourite place in Denmark is…. The beach of Hornbæk. I have walked numerous walks there all my life, found so much calmness by the water both alone and with my family, spend my childhood dipping toes in the water and a couple of months ago my fiance asked me to marry him there.

My biggest piece of advice for other young artists would be…. To trust that you will find the answers, get the support and that you have the ability to do this. You can’t always figure everything out beforehand and sometimes you just need to do it.

The biggest moment in my career to date…. When I realized that people truly love my artprints, that my business had developed into something more than just a hobby and that I forwardly can work with my business for a living. This moment, when I realised all this, was in the end of my business’s first year. Both one of the most fulfilling moments, but definitely also one of the scariest moments in my career.

THE DETAILS: Shop Trine Holbaek Prints in Decor.

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