Blog Archives

Posts from April 2013

6 ‘go to’ blogs for healthy, tasty meal ideas…

April 25th, 2013

With the change in seasons I am thinking about food and spicing up my staple recipe repertoire, with a goal to eat more plant based foods and a focus on 'whole foods' - steering clear from processed foods and preservatives/additives.

I have come across some great ideas and recipes that have me feeling inspired to get creative in the kitchen.

I thought I would let you know about my 'go-to' food/recipe blogs by sharing 6 recipes I'm excited to try in the next few weeks…

1. Mango Cashew Sunshine Bites - MY NEW ROOTS

2. Sweet Potato Cakes - SPROUTED KITCHEN

3. Nacho Beans - THE HEALTHY CHEF

4. Red Lentil Coconut Soup - SCALING BACK

5. Thai Chicken Laksa, midly spiced noodle squash broth - JAMIE OLIVER

6. Quinoa & lentil salad with asparagus mint and haloumi - WHAT KATIE ATE

You can follow my Pinterest 'food envy' board for more great meal ideas (in Pinterest you can click on the image and it will take you to the original source and recipe). I will also be sharing my food successes (and failures!) over on Instagram.

Natalie x

When White isnt Right - Tips for the Right White - Part 3

April 18th, 2013

This week is the last in our 3 part guide from Bree Leech on choosing the right white for your space, be sure to follow Bree's Blog & Facebook for more great design and colour inspiration!

Words Bree Leech


Before you rush out and buy litres of paint in what you think is the right colour, its important to check it in a larger format, in your space under different lighting conditions.

Sample pots are fabulous as they allow you to purchase small amounts of colours you are considering, I recommend painting on a large piece of cardboard rather than your wall, this way you can move the board around the space and check it in different spots.

Colour can change depending on the lighting - for example, a colour you thought was perfect in daylight may actually appear too warm at night under more ambient lighting conditions. Place your colour samples within the space and take the time to view them at different times of the day.

Don’t make the mistake of a quick decision – allow yourself time to ensure these are the colours that will create the mood you want and a space you will love.

Above Image: Australia's favourite white – Dulux Antique White U.S.A.


Works well against neutrals that have a hint of green in their undertone, it’s a gorgeous fresh white that works with many other finishes. Image: Dulux Whisper White used alongside soft neutrals sch as Dulux Beige Royal Quarter, stylist Heather Nette King for Dulux.                                                                   

A soft white with just a hint of warmth – great when you’d like an overall white look that’s modern but not clinical

On the cool side, with a hint of black which takes the edge off the starkness making it a user friendly white in larger areas. Also a great trim colour, works well with bright colours as accents.

This is a colour from Dulux’s 'Colours of New Zealand' range – New Zealander’s are drawn to a range of colours that are slightly ‘greyed off’ on account of their extra bright sunlight, this colour works equally well over here and looks great against many other undertones.

A warmer white that suits older, more traditional homes to achieve a fresh look without being too modern. The touch of yellow makes it softer and it works well with other traditional hues.

I love China white for its green undertone, a neutral white that looks great against a purer white such as 'Dulux White on White'. It also works really well with timber tones and black and white accents.

Whites can be quite complex but by narrowing down the type of white you are looking for and comparing the colour to check that the undertones work, you’ll be on the right track to select the right white. Most importantly - have fun and enjoy the process!

x Bree

Bree Leech is an interior designer, trend forecaster, editorial prop stylist, director at her company Texture and also lends her skills to Dulux as their colour expert. You can follow her blog i spy with my design eye… for more on design, colour and trends or find her on facebook, pinterest and instagram

When White isnt Right - Tips for the Right White - Part 2

April 12th, 2013

It was great to receive such positive feedback from the Bowerhouse tribe on last week's newsletter (if you missed the post you can check it out over on our blog) I'm glad so many found the advice useful and I hope you will enjoy this next instalment from Bree just as much!

Words Bree Leech


Above: A range of whites from Dulux showing the subtle differences in the undertones - Image Bree Leech

Now you know the style you’d like to convey, its time to learn about the various types of whites. All whites have an undertone of colour to them, this undertone becomes very important once you start to add other finishes to your room such as floor coverings, window furnishings and other decor.

Some whites have warm undertones such as yellow, red, pink, peach, others will have cooler undertones like blue, grey and cool green.

Above Left: Dulux Warakei Quarter – a cooler slightly greyed off-white - Image Mike Baker & Bree Leech for Dulux
Above Right: Dulux Cottontail – a creamy yellow white - Image Dulux

Whites are often difficult to select, because the undertone is not always apparent until that white is compared with another colour. What looked like a neutral white hue can suddenly appear greenish or pinkish when compared to another colour that has a clashing undertone.

So the all important step when selecting your white is – compare colour!

Your selected paint colour will not exist in isolation – the other colours that surround it will affect the way it appears.

Always compare your colour selections with the other colours within the same space - compare it with finishes such as carpet, tiles, upholstery, cabinetry and other soft furnishings. You’ll soon see the undertone become apparent and you’ll be able to find a white that has the right undertone to work with the other elements in your space.

Above: a soft warm white is used in this space to work well with the warm neutral flooring - Image styled by Bree Leech for Godfrey Hirst Carpets Wall 2 Wall magazine

Generally for a harmonious scheme select colours with similar undertones, however you can also select colours with undertones that help bring out features in other aspects of the room – for instance a greenish undertone can bring out red tones in certain timbers. If you are struggling with undertones, try comparing a number of whites against a pure white, you should start to see the subtle differences in each of them.

Stay tuned for next week's final instalment in the series where I will also reveal my favourite whites!

Bree Leech is an interior designer, trend forecaster, editorial prop stylist and director at her company Texture she also lends her skills to Dulux as their colour expert. You can follow her blog i spy with my design eye for more on design, colour and trends or find her on facebook, pinterest and instagram


When White isnt Right - Tips for the Right White - Part 1

April 5th, 2013 tagged as Muted Naturals

I am so excited about this week's newsletter! My man (Ben) and I are at the halfway point of our first house build and something I am slightly daunted by is making the paint choices....

At our place we want the walls to be a canvas for our artwork and a backdrop for furniture and objects so most of the walls will be white, but these days there are so many whites to choose from, it can be pretty tough to pick the right one!

I am so grateful that help is here in the form of the lovely and talented interior designer Bree Leech (among her projects she is colour expert for none other than Dulux!) over the next 3 weeks she will share some secrets to help guide us along the bewildering path to gorgeous white walls to suit our spaces!

Natalie x

Words Bree Leech

While Australians are embracing colour with more enthusiasm than ever, white still remains the most popular interior colour for our walls. Some head towards ‘safe’ neutral schemes because we lack confidence to use colour and many love the idea of a fresh white space that we can layer with colour through accessories, which can changing seasonally or as our mood prescribes.

People often look towards white as an easier choice, then discover quite quickly that it isn’t as easy as it may initially seem – they come to realise white is never just white, and standing in front of the multitude of choices at the local paint shop can be enough to put doubt in the minds of even the most self assured decorator.

But I can assure you with a few key things in mind you can select a white that works for your home and your style without the need to toss out your paint brushes in frustration!

Image Credit: 1, 2 via Bree's pinterest board

Tip 1: Narrow your focus

With a huge range of whites to choose from, you need to be prepared before you head to the paint aisle. Whilst you may have decided on a white hue, often you don’t have a clear picture of what the end result should be.

You may select a white based on an initial impression or guidance from paint store staff on the most popular shades, only to find as you develop your interior style, the white you selected is too cold and stark or too creamy and warm for the look you were trying to achieve.

Even when selecting finishes for a simple white scheme, you’ll benefit from creating a moodboard, they are fun to create and a fantastic way to guide you towards the ‘white’ style to suit you. A mood board is basically a collection of images, samples, swatches and objects that serve as a visual tool to inspire and communicate a look, feel or idea.

As you begin to collate images or samples of things that inspire you, you’ll start to define what look you are aiming for as your end result. For example, if your moodboard reflects a modern, minimal style with slick finishes and metallic trims, a cooler white is more likely to work for you; whilst if your moodboard appears more traditional, with a sunny disposition then you’ll need a warmer softer white.

I hope you are inspired to go moodboarding and you will be ready for next weeks 'lesson in comparing whites'....

Image Credits: moodboard 1, moodboard 2 via Bree's pinterest board

Bree Leech is an interior designer, trend forecaster, editorial prop stylist and director at her company Texture, she also lends her skills to Dulux as their colour expert.

For more on design, colour and trends you can follow her blog i spy with my design eye, or on facebook, pinterest and instagram.