Page 1


Who are the Designer Chicks














Jennifer French


Nadia Pomare


Maria Bellissimo-Magrin


Belinda Grundy


Jenny Williams




Judith Briggs


Robyn Hawke


Lucia van Gerwen


Bettina Deda


Veronica Tasnadi


Sharon Newman




Veronica Strachan


Nathalie Scipioni


Kerrie Freeman


Sally Gardner


Tiz Damianakis





editor’s letter

elcome to the inaugural DC eMagazine!! This publication

is the culmination of an idea that was germinated in early 2012:

an idea that addressed a significant need for a one-stop-shop for all aspects of Design: Interiors, Window Coverings, Graphics, Events, Landscaping, Architecture, Photography, Visual Merchandising, Property Styling, Custom Artwork, SEO, Web Design and PR, Bespoke lampshades, cushions and occasional furniture. This is the first group of its kind in Australia. Who are The Designer Chicks? We are all qualified, professional and extremely talented women in our chosen genres, all committed to working together to achieve beautiful and practical Design for our client’s homes or businesses. I have hand picked these Designers myself, carefully selecting those with the same goals, ethos and customer service that I have become known for in my own business. The Designer Chicks are not only fully committed to creating inspiration in Design, but we all work together as a team or individually as the brief requires. As you peruse the pages of The Designer Chicks eMagazine, you will become familiar with our style and quality, and the practicality that we offer from an all-female perspective. We hope you enjoy our publication!

Lucia van Gerwen Creative Director of DC

When Lucia suggested this idea to me I jumped in “boots and all”. Where else was there a place to share ideas, provide a full service for all things design and give back to the community? We are a team that supports both the creative and management side of a design business, with the end result being a win-win for both client and designer. I look forward to our “journey” into creating superior service and product for our clients.

Robyn Hawke Assistant Creative Director of DC







highlights Hazel Theocharaus ~ Expert VA Radio Small Business Program / 2RRR 88.5FM Designer Chicks Month: October - November 2012

10th October 2012 Nadia ~ Landscape Designer Lucia ~ Window Coverings Hazel ~ Radio Announcer Jennifer F ~ Interior Designer Veronica T ~ Graphic Designer 17th October 2012 Hazel ~ Radio Announcer Veronica S ~ Window Coverings / Commercial Lucia ~ Window Coverings Sally & Kerrie ~ Bespoke Lamps & Cushions 24th October 2012 Judith ~ Colour Designer Sharon ~ Photographer Hazel ~ Radio Announcer Bettina ~ Interior Stylist & Artist Lucia ~ Window Coverings 31st October 2012 Robyn ~ Interior Designer Hazel ~ Radio Announcer Belinda ~ Property Stylist Lucia ~ Window Coverings 7th November 2012 Nathalie ~ Architect & Commercial Designer Lucia ~ Window Coverings Hazel ~ Radio Announcer Maria ~ Website Designer and PR Jenny W ~ Interior Designer



editor’s letter Lucia van Gerwen Robyn Hawke contributors Lucia van Gerwen Robyn Hawke Belinda Grundy Bettina Deda Jennifer French Jenny Williams Judith Briggs Maria Bellissimo-Magrin Nadia Pomare Sally Gardner / Kerrie Freeman Sharon Newman Tiz Damianakis Veronica Strachan Veronica Tasnadi photography Sharon Newman stock library images Shutterstock istockphoto veer magazine designer artwork / production project manage / online Veronica Tasnadi copywriting Lucia van Gerwen Elise Harper

2013 Copyright All rights reserved. Reporduction in whole or part without prior permission is strictly forbidden. Every care has been taken when compliling The Designer Chicks Magazine to ensure that all the content is correct at the time of production.The Designer Chicks assumes no responsibility for any effects from errors or ormissions.





ontents editor’s letter 5 Lucia van Gerwen ~ More Than Curtains Robyn Hawke ~ Inspired Spaces

event highlights

6 On Air - Small Business Program / 2RRR 85.5FM


10 Lucia van Gerwen ~ More Than Curtains Robyn Hawke ~ Inspired Spaces Belinda Grundy ~ BG Property Styling Bettina Deda ~ BD Colour Design Jennifer French ~ Inside Out Colour & Design Jenny Williams ~ Creative Style Interior Design Judith Briggs ~ Colour Consultants Australia P/L Maria Bellissimo-Magrin ~ Belgrin Nadia Pomare ~ Stylish Gardens Sally Gardner & Kerrie Freeman ~ Feature Pieces Sharon Newman ~ SN Photography Tiz Damianakis ~ Ajunjo P/L Veronica Strachan ~ Curtain Connections & Home Décor Veronica Tasnadi ~ Veronica Graphic Design

feature articles

12 Plantation Shutters 14 Pillows, Productivity and Profit 18 7 Secrets to Property Selling Power 20 A Shop Owner’s “Silent Sales Person” 22 It’s the Little Things 24 Kitchen Kapers 28 Out of the Blue 30 Maintain your Social Media Influence 32 Summer in the Garden 36 Decorating your Home ~ Modern Glam 38 Why Pro Photography to Sell Your Home? 40 Doing well out of Doing Good 42 Protecting your Home from the Elements 44 What is a Graphic Design?



Lucia van Gerwen More Than Curtains The Designer Chicks ~ Creative Director M 0412 225 437

Robyn Hawke Inspired Spaces The Designer Chicks ~ Assist Creative Director M 0401 068 670

Belinda Grundy BG Property Styling M 0433 400 139

Lucia van Gerwen is an Interior Decorator specialising in all types of Window Coverings. Lucia offers a mobile service: her van is fully stocked with thousands of samples for blinds, shutters and curtains. Quality is her number one priority as well as exemplary service. Lucia is present from the initial measure through to installation, and she personally handles all ordering and worksheets.

Inspired Spaces was created by Robyn Hawke in 2005 and is situated in Sydney’s Hills District The business tailors Interior Design solutions for both residential and commercial clients. Robyn designs for the home, office, café/restaurant and other small business spaces, specialising in CAD, plans, elevations and schedules.

At BG Property Styling, located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Belinda Grundy assists real estate agents and home owners spruce up their property presentation for a sale campaign. Belinda will advise the client of what furnishings and accessories are required to best display a home for maximum profit. She works with existing furnishings, adds to the décor if necessary, organise trades for work that might need to be carried out, or fully furnish a property with rental furniture.

Lucia was recently awarded the Western Sydney Award for Business Excellence as a Sole Trader 2012. She is also the founder of The Designer Chicks. More Than Curtains been operating from Sydney’s Hills District since 1995.

Robyn’s many years of teaching Design have given her the expertise required to tackle the more challenging Design jobs.

Recently, Belinda opened a new arm called Senior Movers. This is a specialty relocation assistance business helping seniors with downsizing from the family home to a smaller residential property or Aged Care Facility.

Bettina Deda BD Colour Design M 0424 615 503

Jennifer French Inside Out Colour and Design M 0401 440 088

Jenny Williams Creative Style Interior Design M 0416 190 792

Judith Briggs Colour Consultants Australia P/L M 0403 800 888

Bettina Deda is a Stylist, and offers Interior Styling services, Visual Merchandising for small businesses, as well as colour solutions for residential or commercial applications.

Jennifer French is the Director and Principal Designer of Inside Out Colour and Design, a boutique Interior Decorating, colour consulting and sourcing business based on Sydney’s North Shore.

An accomplished and exhibited artist, Bettina can offer clients and Designers commissioned work to match their décor.

Jennifer provides a collaborative approach, developing and interpreting the client’s ideas. This results in unique interiors, which reflect the personality and lifestyle of the client. Jennifer will work closely with the client to select interior and exterior colour schemes, soft furnishings and furniture items, flooring, wallpaper, and other decor surfaces.

Jenny Williams is a qualified Interior Designer and Colour Consultant with many years experience in creating personalised design and colour schemes for all residential interiors and exteriors across most of the Sydney metropolitan area.

Judith Briggs is the Principal Colour Designer and owner of Colour Consultants Aust Pty Ltd, a successful design business which has been operating from Sydney’s Lower North Shore since 2001. During this time, Judith has provided architectural colour advice for many residential and commercial properties, including high rise buildings, corporate offices and showrooms, heritage buildings, cafes and restaurants.

During tenure in a prestigious custom furniture showroom, Bettina also gained valuable experience in Product Styling for retail outlets. Bettina’s studio is located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.


As a qualified Interior Designer, Robyn can assist with colour selection, all surfaces and soft furnishings. She is able to design a bathroom or kitchen renovation and supervise all the trades to completion.

As well as offering a full range of interior design services, Jenny is a specialist in: New builds, Additions and Renovations Empty Nesters and Downsizers • Kitchens and Bathrooms • •

Jenny can recommend quality manufacturers, suppliers and tradespeople and can also project manage some or all of your home’s transformation. Jenny provides her clients with outstanding service and achieves fantastic results.

Judith is also able to source a variety of products for the home to include flooring, soft furnishings and Wallpaper. In addition, Judith is a graphic colour specialist for both online and offline applications and has designed several carpet ranges.



Maria Bellissimo-Magrin Belgrin M 0410 033 124

Nadia Pomare Stylish Gardens M 0417 279 790

Nathalie Scipioni NS-Studio M 0422 211 107

Sally Gardner & Kerrie Freeman Feature Pieces M 0411 441 969

CEO of Belgrin, a Sydney based communications agency specialising in Design and PR, Maria Bellissimo-Magrin is a woman of genuine accomplishment. Her 12 years in Design, combined with a keenly developed business sense, have served to position Belgrin as an industry leader in online Communications. Sharp design and a smart communication strategy, she insists, are key components in the development of any brand.

Nadia Pomare is a Landscape Designer, and her business, Stylish Gardens is located in Sydney’s Inner West. She caters for residential and commercial properties, new or old homes, renovations, makeovers and Council plans.

Nathalie Scipioni is the owner of NS-Studio, a building and Interior Design firm located in Sydney’s Inner West. Nathalie works in every field of Architecture: commercial, residential, hospitality and Heritage.

Nadia’s motto is “creativity, practicality, balance and beauty for every garden”.

Her European background, training and experience, have made Nathalie a much sought after Heritage Building Designer in the older suburbs of Sydney.

Sally Gardner and her Mum, Kerrie Freeman, founded Feature Pieces in response to an observation that rooms require a unifying element to tie in themes and colours. Located on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Feature Pieces provides many of these elements, including bespoke lampshades, cushions, chairs, bedheads, wall hangings and pouffes.

Maria has a sharp eye for detail and an absolute insistence on getting it right for her clients every time, making her a highly regarded Designer Chick member and widely referred.

Services include: concept design plans, planting plans, landscape plans, horticultural consultancy, construction and maintenance, preparing a house for sale, and sourcing of products.

Nathalie likes to take a project from the sketch design, through the Council process, Interior Design, construction site administration, to handing the keys to the client.

Feature Pieces combines Sally’s skills as an Interior Designer with mum Kerrie contributing her business skills and years of hands-on experience in soft furnishings.

Sharon Newman SN Photography M 0424 166 430

Tiz Damianakis AJUNJO P/L M 0411 326 653

Veronica Strachan Curtain Connections & Home Décor M 0411 419 128

Veronica Tasnadi Veronica Graphic Design M 0414 954 437

Sharon Newman has been the owner, manager and pro-photographer of Photography with Sharon Newman for 5 years. She has a broad spectrum of clients including real estate agencies, private clients, builders and manufacturers.

As an Event Strategist at AJUNJO, which means “to bring together”, Tiz Damianakis assists organisations to use events as a tool in their marketing plans, creating campaigns with pre and post promotional activity to maximise the benefits. Recognising an increasing desire for organisations to get involved in Business Social Responsibility through events, Tiz develops relationships between companies and community groups, showing that “you can do well by doing good”.

Veronica Strachan started Curtain Connections and Home Decor in 2000 from her studio in Horsley Park. Her business offers a complete range of quality curtains, blinds, pelmets and shutters, all measured, custom made and installed to suit the client’s needs.

Veronica Tasnadi manages an impressive range of Graphic Design projects for clients ranging from non-profits to corporate accounts.

Her work is renowned for its quality, promptness and reliability. Sharon also works with aspiring models, babies and family portraiture. She is a member of the prestigious AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) of which there is a stringent process to gain membership. Sharon’s new studio is located in the Blue Mountains.

Over the last 10 years Tiz’s experience has extended to the management and marketing of events ranging from promotional presentations, conferences, gala dinners, media launches, networking events, workshops and awards presentations.

Veronica guides not only clients, but architects and builders, by sourcing the best quality fabrics, and all types of tracking including motorisation. Her business provides custom made window coverings to Residential and Commercial clients. She can also provide Antique reproduction furniture.


Whether it’s environmental graphics, posters, brochures, calendars or packaging, Veronica has a passion for creating design that delivers a clear message with an extra creative push to make the work stand out. Veronica’s passion for great design is only rivalled by her commitment to quality design and open collaboration with clients. Veronica’s studio is located in Sydney’s Hills District.


“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just that little “extra”

plantation shutters Lucia van Gerwen of More Than Curtains talks frankly on the benefits of Australia’s most popular window treatment. lantation shutters have remained a popular window treatment in Australia for a number of years. Lucia van Gerwen of More Than Curtains has seen a great number of developments in shutter products throughout her 23 years in the Window Covering Industry. Shutters are a pricey item, yet their popularity suggests that other factors far outweigh the costs. First and foremost, good quality plantation shutters provide excellent protection against heat and cold. Temperatures in Australia can be extreme and you need to ensure that you are doing what you can to not only reduce greenhouse emissions but lower your energy costs. Most Australian households have experienced up to 50% increase in their power bills in the past 3 years, yet do not realise that 40% of this money is literally going out the window!


With plantation shutters expertly fitted, heat and cold transfer is significantly reduced into the room, thus reducing costs and increasing the efficiency of air conditioning or other heating and cooling devices. They are also effective against UV damage and good quality shutters should not warp or split due to the sun. Plantation shutters can be made of a number of materials, from PVC and assorted timbers, through to aluminium. Some materials perform better in certain areas, particularly aluminium, which is ideal for exterior use and wet areas such as bathrooms. It is impervious to moisture, anti corroding, and lightweight yet strong. Various timbers are also used in the production of shutters, the most common being basswood. Always be careful when being quoted on basswood

shutters that the panels are solid timber and not just a veneer with MDF inside… this type of material swells when exposed to moisture: instant disaster! Hardwoods such as Poplar (also known as Cottonwood) are strong, durable and more tolerant to moisture (although not as good as aluminium in wet areas). Cedar has been around for many years, although availability is diminishing and its cost is skyrocketing. Plantation shutters can look great on almost any shaped window. If you have an usual window that is round, arched or angled, plantation shutters are the answer! A reputable shutter supplier should be able to offer colour service on their shutters, whereby you can select virtually any Dulux colour for your shutters. This is a terrific service if you want your shutters to exactly match your decor.



So, why do shutters vary so dramatically in price? Well, you do get what you pay for, so look for the following: 1/ Mortise and tenon or dovetail joins. This type of join is the strongest for right angles and ensures your panels will not split at the corners 2/ Anti corroding hinges, particularly if you live near the beach 3/ Hard wearing material. Obviously the better the material, the more expensive the panels 4/ Warranty on paint finish 5/ Big warranty (in writing) on structure. Make sure you get a written warranty and please read the fine print. After all, you will be spending a lot of money on something that you want to have looking pristine for many years.

6/ After sales service. Lucia cannot stress enough the importance of this point. Try to get a referral to a supplier that has a great reputation in the marketplace. You want someone who has been in the industry for a number of years and doesn’t have a high staff turnover. Your supplier must fully back the products they are selling and respond to any grievances promptly. Once you have your new shutters, enjoy! They always look awesome and your friends will be filled with admiration!

Lucia van Gerwen





pillows, productivity and profit Robyn Hawke of Inspired Spaces, discusses the value in hiring an Interior Designer to increase your workplace productivity. “Never judge a book by its cover” argue that the “cover”, or in this case the office or work space, is what attracts you to open the door and walk in. Understanding how people make judgements and decisions is the key to how to present a space to your market and staff. Many business owners do not realise the importance of effective office design in portraying the company’s values and ethos. It cements your brand image, it makes staff proud to be a member, it reduces down time and as a result, work efficiencies increase. Despite this, many negatives still prevail when it is suggested that an Interior Designer and the humble pillow can improve productivity and profit. However, it is the business owner, CEO, decision maker whose profits will suffer if they ignore this fact. As the world renowned


Frank Lloyd Wright said, “The space within becomes the reality”. The space is the brand, the community and the organisation which affects the company on an emotional level as well as impacting its clients and customers. Increasing economic challenges and an ever changing society means that business should look at the designed environment as an economic strategy to increase workplace productivity rather than an expense. Shuman & Scott of Weber+Thompson state, “there is a direct relationship between the success of a business and the design of the work place environment”. A well designed workspace can retain quality staff; improve staff morale and bottom line financial gain. The problem with convincing business owners that a purpose designed environment is a tool for successful business practice is the lack of quantitative

research to back the claims, especially if it is being translated in a balance sheet. It is impossible to place a profit figure on staff morale or low staff turnover. reported that a study conducted by the British Council of Offices found that “an employee’s workplace is responsible for as much as 24% of his/her job satisfaction level”. Also “a well thought out office design can decrease absenteeism by 15% and increase productivity by between 5-20%” Issues such as noise transfer, thermal comfort, lighting and ventilation are important factors in creating effective work spaces.

How Pillows and Effective Interior Design influence the office/business



THE BRIEF for Aircalin’s Sydney office re design was to create a modern island feel that represented the silver service air line. The client wanted very clean lines and a spacious feel. The office before makeover did not represent the quality of the air line. It portrayed a sense of budget price rather than top quality. The space was inefficient as less than appealing. There was no sense of arrival or presence and as a visitor you felt as though you were invading the space rather than being welcomed.

“Form follows beauty.” ~ Oscar Niemeyer When designing for an office or commercial premise it is important the Designer understands the culture of the company and the work structure and type of work. The company’s mission statement is paramount and the target market vital if the correct design is to be produced; something an experienced and effective Designer will take into account. The Designer must ask questions about spatial organisation, circulation, information transfer, interface and staff interaction, as these connections are vital to understanding the nature of the business and good effective design, not just pretty design. Interior Design affects office productivity by influencing access to people and resources, comfort, privacy and flexibility. In today’s changing society a new office design needs to be flexible so it can be easily adapted for changes to the

business as systems revolutionize, technology improves and staff requirements are evolving. It is difficult to change an office culture if you do not change the actual physical premises. Open plan offices are still prolific and are great for businesses that need to share information and problem solve. The open plan allows for staff interaction, sharing of ideas and brainstorming, increasing productivity of knowledge. In recent years larger businesses in Australia have introduced “hot desking” or “activity based workplaces”, where staff utilise a space that is vacant or work in quiet areas, lounges, cafe seating etc. “Hot desking” is not suitable for all organisations but a great utilisation of space if the staff are not in the office often for eg sales team or those who work off line. Not only do these designs save on actual square metres, but encourage a community/team feel WWW.THEDESIGNERCHICKS.COM.AU

and allow for easy staff mentoring. Larger corporations that expect an enormous commitment from their staff both in productivity and time have embraced the concept of a designed workplace and include coffee shops, dining rooms, gyms, swimming pools, hairdressers, travel agency, onsite child car, just to name a few.. We define ourselves by our image and environment. Not only does our personal appearance reflect who we are but so does our work environment. It is an extension of our personality and there is no better way of amplifying corporate integrity and image than through visual impact and of course a few pillows!

Robyn Hawke


Simonetta.W.Medici ~ Cameo by Botticelli




“ Thanks to the Medici family and a few others like it, sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, financiers, painters, and architects converged upon the city of Florence. There they found each other, learned from one another, and broke down barriers between disciplines and cultures. Together they forged a new world based on new ideas – what became known as the Renaissance. As a result, the city became the epicentre of the creative explosion, one of the most innovative eras in history.” Frans Johansson, The Medici Effect





7 secrets to property selling power Belinda Grundy, owner of BG Property Styling, is our resident expert on Home Staging and getting the biggest dollar value when selling your property. Check out Belinda’s hot tips for vendors to assist in maximising your sale. SECRET 1/ Say goodbye and think like a buyer

SECRET 3 / It’s sold! Now act like it

We know how hard it can be to disconnect from something you love. No matter what the reason for the sale, you may have an emotional connection to the property. Now is the time to help prospective buyers connect with your property to ensure a great sale. So think about what the buyer wants.

You don’t put money into changing things because you like them, you are now a tenant. You need to behave as if you have sold already; make the decision and move out in your mind. You do not need to buy anything else unless it is right for your market and your staging.

SECRET 2 / Know your market

SECRET 4/ Curb Appeal: Take care of it

Quiz your Real estate agent as to whom is buying in your area: are they singles, couples, DINKS, TINKS, Downsizers, Retirees, teenage families, toddler families, professionals, commuters?

Your curb will be a decision point in getting traffic to your open house, so make sure your curb attracts buyers. Get the look, the lighting and the landscaping working for you 24/7.

From this sort of information a property stylist can work their magic and so can you! Staging can set the mood for any market; you just have to know what the market is looking for and disconnect yourself and go with it!


SECRET 5/ WOW rooms Wow rooms are a must when staging. They implant an emotional element into the prospective buyer’s mind. It allows

them to see themselves in that particular room much more easily because of the staging. Decide what the rooms are and ensure that they are one of the first areas buyers are led to. The Wow rooms need to feature prominently in your advertising too. SECRET 6 / Be market ready 7 days Keeping the notion that your property must be in showroom condition 7 days a week will keep you well prepared for anything that comes your way. If you are residing in your property during the sales campaign, it is imperative that you clean up every night. Create a list and check off the things that need to be done. Laminate it so it can be wiped clear after every inspection. You should also have a column for delegating tasks to other household members.







SECRET 7/ Know your competition Get to know how well you stack up against your competition and learn a bit about your buyers and what else they can get for their money. Take off the rose coloured glasses! Think critically and give yourself some honest feedback. Are you value for money? Can they do better? Are you too dated?


Your home is a large investment. Like any investment you need to work hard, and doing all these things is a really good start to getting more bang for your buck!

Belinda Grundy



“I am going to make everything around me beautiful - that will be my life.” ~ Elsie de Wolfe

a shop owner’s “silent sales person” Bettina Deda, Visual Merchandiser and owner of BD Colour Design, shares her top 8 tips to make your retail store a destination. 1/ Have a Plan Before you start moving anything around, take the time to make a VM (Visual Merchandising) master plan. Planning minimises the necessity of overtime and helps you manage your time and resources. 2 / Think Like a Designer Have you ever wondered why it looks so good when merchandisers set up a window display? It all comes down to understanding the elements and principles of Design. Elements are line, direction, shape, size, colour, tone and texture. Translated to your retail environment these are windows, floors, walls, fitting rooms, fixtures, posters, signs, etc. Principles are repetition, unity, contrast, rhythm, balance and harmony; in other words visual organisation.


3 / Tell a Compelling story in your window Humans process information much easier when it is in the form of a story, so what story does your window tell? You can choose stories or product themes based on seasons, trends, new stock, etc. Once the story has been chosen, think about Colour. This is the most powerful tool in non verbal communication. By selecting the right colours you can literally stop people in their tracks as they approach your window. Step three is the merchandising technique. You can set up a real life scene such as a decorated table for Christmas. Maybe you would like to focus on one product in your display: Hero merchandising.

4 / Make your Hot Zone sexy! The hot zone is located just inside your front door and is the first point of contact for your customer. Your best product should be showcased here as this area is great for promotional merchandising. Rotate products in your hot zone on a fortnightly basis and don’t overload… less is more!

5/ De clutter your counter Enough said

6/ Keep your store clean and tidy Repair damaged items. Keep lighting glare free but focussed on products.



7/ Add icing to your cake Props can be a great finishing touch for your window display. You will need to invest some time to source them and of course they cost money. However props will add value to the existing merchandise and enhance your story.

8/ Explore the World Keep your eyes open and go shopping regularly to see what your competitors are doing.

Bettina Deda



it’s the little things Jennifer French, Interior Designer, shows you how to select all the small, but not insignificant items for your renovation. enovating any space can be a daunting task. There are so many decisions to be made and so many choices for every single item. Many people tend to focus on the bigger items and the ones that create a WOW without giving too much concern to the little things. Yet it is those little things that are often used the most and therefore, if they are not right, will cause you the most angst in the long run. Consider a door handle. We use these numerous times a day - handles on doors, windows, wardrobes, cupboards and drawers. They need to be sturdy as they will get a lot of use, but they also need to suit the overall style you wish to emulate in your home. Like all things there are no end of choices in shapes, materials and colour. Remember to keep focused on your style and you will find the right handles. If you


are renovating a period style home, then choose something that will suit the house. Perhaps you are going for an ethnic theme; then handles in bone or shell might be more appropriate. Your local hardware store will have a range but there are also specialist handle suppliers both online and in your capital city. And whilst you’re considering handles, you may also think about the tapware for your home. They are another small component that needs to be considered as again, you will be using them numerous times a day. There’s a range of designs to suit all tastes and budgets, from three piece tap sets to floor-mounted bath fillers and sculptural showerheads. To narrow your search for the ideal pieces, decide on the mood of the room and who will be using it.

When choosing tapware, especially for a sink or basin, you need to consider the reach and height of the spout to make sure the water actually lands where it should and not trickle down the sides of the basin. Depending on who will use the taps will help in deciding whether you should opt for a standard tap or something a little more dramatic. There has been much development in tapware in recent years, and there are multitudes of styles to choose from. Also, please consider the water efficiency of the appliance; after all, we do live in a drought region. Showerheads on a sliding rail will give the option of adjusting the height of the shower and allow you to move the showerhead easily for bathing small children, cleaning or washing the dog. There is also a variety of spray patterns and some showerheads have three or more on the one rose.



“A design isn’t finished until somebody is using it.” ~ Brenda Laurel A small compact showerhead will give you a targeted burst while a larger “rain” showerhead will provide drops of water over a large area. Once you’ve decided on a range of taps and handles from their looks and price point, it’s imperative that you try them. Some handles look fabulous in photos but feel uncomfortable to use. Remember you are going to be using them everyday so you want something that feels good, looks good and works properly. Like all renovations, make your decisions as early as possible and purchase all the fittings in advance so they are ready when the tradesmen arrive. There’s less chance for snap decisions or long waits that way.



kitchen kapers Jenny Williams, Interior Designer, reveals insights on current kitchen trends. hether you love or loathe cooking, you still need to eat so a kitchen of some sort is a necessity. What was an isolated and often smallish room is now frequently the hub of a large open space where friends and family congregate to eat and socialize. What makes a great kitchen comes down to how you prepare, cook and eat your meals, together with the physical space that’s available and your personal design aesthetic.

dangerous utensils and containers – sharp knives and hot pots! The much talked about work triangle is still relevant. This is the relationship between the sink, the cooktop and the fridge. Also the distance between cabinets should be no more than 3 to 4 steps.



What style is right? Your new kitchen should reflect your individuality, complement your household’s lifestyle and suit your existing home, from the design and décor of the adjoining spaces to your home’s architecture. We are spoilt for choice - classic, contemporary, retro or a particular design style such as Hamptons beach house, are available options. Layout? Layout will determine how well your kitchen functions, whether you have enough preparation space, sufficient storage as well as plenty of room to safely manoeuvre around with potentially




What materials are best? You can choose from a vast array of materials and finishes to suit your taste, lifestyle and, of course your budget. Currently popular are 2 pac polyurethane on doors, glass splashbacks, manmade stone benchtops, and stainless steel appliances. However, there are plenty of other options and you can be as creative as you like. Use different finishes on top and bottom cabinets or on an island.

You can mix up the benchtop materials and colours as well. Glass splashbacks are no longer only done in block colours; Have a look at the patterned designs or a scene on glass. These can be classic or funky. So many colours! It’s important that you get your kitchen colours right not just for the obvious aesthetic reasons but also from a cost point of view. Some colours, such as any green that reminds you of mouldy food (this covers quite a few shades of green) can put you off cooking and eating! A great colour is orange as it stimulates the appetite and encourages conversation. From a cost perspective, white, off white and other neutrals such as grey are very popular because they don’t date quickly. You can always add pops of colour if you want to give your kitchen some ‘zing’. For ease of cleaning you may choose a satin or gloss finish on your doors and drawers.


Appliances, gadgets and hardware Stainless steel is still popular for major appliances but make sure it’s a satin or brushed finish so every finger mark isn’t glaringly obvious. Another option is to integrate the fridge, microwave and dishwasher into the cabinets for a streamlined look. This works particularly well in small spaces where a clean look can make the space look bigger. There’s now a lot of interest in induction cooktops because only the area directly in contact with the metal pan heats up, making it safe to touch. Self -cleaning ovens are almost considered a must given our busy lives, and steam ovens are gaining ground because of healthy lifestyle concerns. Many small appliances like toasters, kettles, etc are available in a range of pop colours such as red, purple, aqua. This is a great way to add colour without a big financial outlay. Some hardware worth considering is soft closers on doors and drawers no more loud ‘bangs’ or jammed fingers


as they close! Also for drawers, try full extension runners with a heavy weight rating. Generally drawers are much more practical than doors because of ease of accessibility but if you’re storing heavy items like crockery, pots and pans, etc in drawers they’ll need to be heavy duty. While all these choices may seem endless, Jenny says: Feel the fear and do it anyway! Other considerations… Lighting should play a major role in any kitchen design. The double strip fluorescent light in the middle of the ceiling no longer cuts it. Well-positioned task lighting is essential for safety reasons so using LED down lights over the sink, and preparation areas work well as does under cabinet LED lighting. Currently LED is the best lighting for its extremely low heat emissions and longevity. Gorgeous pendants over the island or return can work beautifully to create the right look. LED strip lighting along the kickboard can create mood when other WWW.THEDESIGNERCHICKS.COM.AU

lighting is turned off after the cooking’s done and you’re lingering over a glass of wine. Even range hoods can be sexy and add to the lighting options in your kitchen at the same time. Another current design element for contemporary kitchens is shadow line pulls rather than knobs or handles. Other trends if space and budget allow include incorporating a butler’s pantry, slide over island benchtop or island/dining combination as distinct from island/breakfast bar. Practical and functional, yet beautiful and sociable, today’s kitchen is many things. However if achieving all this seems too complex, you can always call on the services of an Interior Designer experienced in great kitchen design!

Jennifer G. Williams






An interior is the natural projection of the soul Coco Chanel



out of the blue Our expert Colour Designer, Judith Briggs of Colour Consultants Australia, gives us an insight into the Psychology of Colour…


t’s been scientifically proven that colour affects human behavior and feelings, as well as altering our physical state. When it comes to the emotional effects of particular colours, these come about from our past experience, our cultural associations and as a consequence of our physical responses to the particular colour. For example, blue slows our respiratory rate and lowers our blood pressure, so we feel cooler and more relaxed.

It’s no accident that police wear blue uniforms. No wonder we associate blue with security and strength. In many religions, blue has significant religious associations and is believed to keep bad spirits away. Blue reassures us, it’s dependable, honest and wise.

Most of us can say for certain that we have a favourite colour or two that we really like and another that we strongly dislike, even though we may not be aware of where those feelings come from.

Where east meets west, blue is associated with our intellect and our throat chakra ie with qualities of thought, communication, inspiration, integrity, wisdom and truth. It is logical, calm and reflective.

Blue is undoubtedly the most popular of all colours. It reassures us. The sight of a wide blue sky is always uplifting and sparkling clear water fills us with peace and calm. After all, we rely on these two aspects of nature for our wellbeing.

But no doubt you have also heard about “the blues” and blue’s link to depression? How can this be if blue is good for us? As with all things, blue has a positive and negative side. The downside of blue is that it can be perceived as cold, aloof, lacking

in emotion and unfriendly. Using a dark or intense blue in large areas can lead to melancholy and laziness. When we decorate our homes or offices, it’s all about the quantity of colour we use in our surroundings, as well as the particular tone of blue. So, let’s look

“Soothing as a dip in the ocean, friendly as a bright sunny sky, it’s no surprise people love blue.” at some of the various blues and how we can use them effectively. Here we have a plethora of options, as blue has many forms. We have the palest of ice blue, baby blue, sky blue, periwinkle blue, turquoise, aqua, teal, royal blue, electric blue, peacock blue, navy, midnight blue and many others in between. Don’t use an ice blue in a south facing room or an air-conditioned office, as this will make the room feel much colder than



it would normally be. However, if you have a room that gets lots of sun and tends to be a bit hot, this colour would work well. A sky blue or electric blue on all four walls in a room will cause the blue to intensify in colour and would be overwhelming and create negative feelings. A powder blue, a more subtle blue toned down by grey, will be must less intense and would look fresh paired with crisp whites and timber tones.

• Dark and intense blues should be used in moderation

like yellow, red or orange for a more energetic and exciting contrast.

• Warm up cold blues by combining with timber, warm neutrals or energetic accents of red, orange or yellow

Because of blue’s intellectual associations, its lighter and medium shades are good choices for an office, study or living room. Aqua creates a favourable environment for negotiations and turquoise helps to stimulate the imagination and assist clarity of thought and forward thinking.

Fresh aqua, in combination with white and pinks or lilac, will create a wonderfully relaxing bedroom or living room. Aqua is a very friendly colour. If using blue in the kitchen, choose a darker grey blue or dark teal as the lighter, more intense blues can create a sterile and unappetizing atmosphere.

In bathrooms, blue reminds us of nature and its properties of cleanliness and purity reassure us. Blues are also great bedroom colours due to their calming and relaxing effect. Dark blues have healing qualities, so are conducive to regeneration and restoration, the reason we sleep!

TIPS ON USING BLUE • Light blues will make a small space seem bigger • Using blue in dark rooms will make it look greyer and colder

Blue is an excellent choice for a seafood restaurant. When combined with white, it evokes our association with the ocean and mental images of fresh seafood and cleanliness.

When creating colour schemes with blue, combine blue with white to offset its intensity and think about combining a range of different blues for an interesting monochromatic colour palette, like turquoise, teal and navy. Blue looks great when combined with an accent colour WWW.THEDESIGNERCHICKS.COM.AU

This is just the first in Judith’s Psychology of Colour Series…more in future editions.

Judith Briggs


“Why it’s worth being part of the online revolution.”

maintain your social media influence Our talented Web Designer, Maria Bellissimo-Magrin of Belgrin, takes us on a journey through the plethora of Social Media practices. t’s no secret that social media can be a great power tool for your company. With the ability to build a brand name and get amongst the competition, social media is the affordable form of promotion when compared to its traditional counterpart of newspapers, television and magazines. In fact, in recent years, these more “traditional” forms have suffered a huge circulation decline in favour of Social Media sites. (One of the reasons The Designer Chicks magazine is in this online format!) More people have a need to be connected and share information with others instantaneously. People respond to online action much easier because it’s so easy to do so; even for children! Social media is the catalyst to allow this engagement to occur. 62% of adults worldwide use social media, creating a great opportunity for businesses to interact with the public


and access a large population of users, potentially leading to a boost in business. Currently, Facebook has the largest amount of users followed by Twitter and Pinterest. (LinkedIn is the 5th most popular.) With these figures continuously growing every day, social media is welcomed to the next generation of word of mouth marketing. With 43 % of marketers claiming a boost in sales after implementing new social media campaigns, online power and influence is at an all time high. In short, it’s targeted; to the point and very low cost or even free! Imagine, selling your brand not only locally within your geographic area, but nationwide and even worldwide. Together with a website, the entire world can become your audience and therefore familiarise themselves with your brand.

Here are three main pointers to help you build a successful social media account:

1/ Get emotive Triggering users’ emotions is key in gaining loyal followers who action what you post. Social media posts that contain engaging information create an emotive response from their followers. Real time posts help to humanise the business and followers will know they are communicating with a person and not a computer (Better than the telephone these days!!) It’s great to mix prepared and real time posts to create a human element. If a brand expresses their thoughts and feelings and accepts praise or criticism, followers will be more inclined to express their own concerns in public ways. Note, that I mentioned “accept criticism”? In a public forum, businesses and brands need to be aware that with freedom of communication


also comes the possibility of negative feedback. Provided this is constructive, it can be valuable as a branding tool to make improvements.


With too much choice available online, people are only paying attention to the few things they love. This specific attention span can be grasped with social media. Targeting smaller, passionate audiences can convert online activity at a higher percentage. Being known in a niche market will help build a sphere of influence.

3 / Listen more than you post Understanding and listening to your audience is critical to social media success and becoming an effective communicator. Listening helps target your followers’ interests. Empathising with your audience makes it easier for the message to be understood. Mutual power grounds between you and your followers create an approachable environment. Creating two-way discussions bonds the brand with their followers and the lifetime value of customers is increased. In other words, interact directly with the responses of your followers.

Using buzzwords and phrases that resonate with followers will create a more effective way to get a point across. In many cases your avid followers do the hard work for you and spread the word to their followers; in effect, they become your sales team.

Social media can act as a customer service platform where questions can be answered in real time and in a personal format. Followers can see a business is available, but it also gets members of the community to provide answers and support.

2 / Be specific


So whether it’s Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest (LinkedIn), social media needs to embrace followers with relevancy and timeliness. These three steps are a great way to attract and maintain users to your social media accounts. As a conclusion, we invite all our readers to join us on our Facebook page: TheDesignerChicks

Maria Bellissimo-Magrin


“Our biggest reward is to see the smile on your face when we turn your dream garden into reality.” ~ Nadia Pomare

summer in the garden Our resident Landscape Designer, Nadia Pomare of Stylish Gardens, is here to give you the lowdown on summer maintenance for your garden.



Does your lawn need to be aerated, de-

our plants have been growing strong through Spring and early Summer. The new growth is healthy, buds are blooming. Temperatures are consistently high right now. Take care all that good growth doesn’t go to waste. I have jotted some points below to get you started on protecting your plants in the harshest months of summer.

weeded, watered or fertilised? But DON’T


the plant’s mature size, shape, form,

Take a step back and have a good look at your garden. Assess the condition of the plants and lawn. Are there dead flowers or spent leaves that need removing?

texture and colour. Plants in NSW are

If a plant hasn’t been doing well, ask yourself ‘why’?. Does it simply need trimming or a seaweed boost? Or is not suited to its position - too much or too little sun? Is your lawn looking healthy?

and hard surfaces. When buying plants,

heavily trim plants or lawn in summer. 2/ PLANT SELECTION Don’t be afraid to replace a plant if it still

Make sure to read the plant labels before you buy. More importantly, draw up a planting plan before you go to the nursery or you will be tempted to buy ‘the pretty one’ or the plant on sale!

struggles after much nurturing. Chances


are it is in the wrong place.

Fertilise your entire garden, as all plants need nutrients to stay healthy and strong. They have just gone through the main growing season of the year so the soil may be depleted if you haven’t used a slow release fertiliser. There are many different types on the market. Make sure you buy the right fertiliser for the appropriate plant and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. But DON’T over fertilise. Keep a garden diary, or write the date on the packet with a permanent marker.

What separates a good garden from a great garden is proper plant selection. When choosing a plant take into account

exposed to some very harsh elements in the summer such as wind, sun, drought and radiated heat from buildings these elements must also be taken into account. Luckily, there are many beautiful species of tough and drought tolerant plants which thrive in these conditions.





De-weed the garden beds. If your garden was properly mulched in Spring there should only be a few weeds (if any) which can be removed by hand. Ensure all garden beds are properly mulched to a thickness of approximately 7cm of a mulch of your choice. Eucalyptus mulch and Cypress woodchip are commonly used. This will not only suppress weeds but also keep the roots cool and reduce the rate of water evaporation.

Have an overall look at how your garden looks. What works and what doesn’t? Is it practical and functional? Does it flow well from one space to another? Is it well balanced in all aspects and aesthetically pleasing? Have a think about what changes can be made, but don’t make any rushed decisions. Take your time, or ask us to come and have look for you.

5/ WATER Make sure your plants will receive the amount of water they need. Plants that have been in the ground for less than 2 years need extra care and water till they become established. If you have an irrigation system in place, make sure that it is working properly. If your soil repels water, treat it.

I hope this has inspired you to go into the garden and look around. Please join in future editions for more landscape design tips and valuable Garden Information.

Nadia Pomare

7/ ENJOY Enjoy the outdoors! Grab a coffee, sit and relax. Or kick a ball. It’s time to love the space you’ve created and nurtured.






Designers can effect a lot of change by producing things that are elegant, beautiful and efficient, whether they’re interiors or buildings or products Cindy Coleman



decorating your home ~ modern glam Sally Gardner, Interior Designer and Owner of Feature Pieces, shows us how to achieve a bit of glamour in our homes. hat images does the word “glamorous” conjure up? Elizabeth Taylor? Marilyn Monroe? Audrey Hepburn? Interiors that are beautiful, sophisticated, opulent and inviting? So when styling a home modern glam it is all about creating mood and drama. Our mind wanders to precious metals, silk sheets, glistening fabrics and cozy throws. To set the backdrop for this drama, you need to use deep colours in your background - imagine navy walls, chocolate timber flooring, charcoal lounges and black gloss cabinetry. Then juxtapose this by layering pops of bright colour and gloss in foreground furnishings like cushions, vases, throws and artwork. When selecting your materials keep it simple and repeat the same textures. Chrome, glass, polished surfaces, leather, satin and silks will all create the right look and feel for your space. A modern glam interior should feel spacious no matter how small the room is. The key to this is picking furniture


that allows for plenty of room to move through the space. Extendable tables or circular coffee tables are both great examples of furniture that creates a fluid interior. Multi-purpose furniture can also come in handy, such as storage under couches. An essential tip to achieving a glamorous home is keeping it uncluttered. Everything on display should be handpicked as part of the big picture and anything else should be stored behind cupboard doors. This may require installing some extra cabinetry, but in the long run it will grant a more cohesive finish. When deciding on your layout, clean lines are an important visual tool as they let the eye easily wander through the space. A simple way to achieve this is by matching your furniture up with the lines of the architecture, using the windows, walls and fixtures to place your furniture. Wallpaper can be a perfect addition in your modern glam home as it provides the opportunity for bold patterns and colour, which won’t go astray in this

scheme. Patterns used in wallpapers can also be repeated throughout other décor. Finally, selecting the right lighting and fabrics will make or break this scheme so keep your furniture items plain whilst allowing a decent budget to push boundaries in your selection of feature lighting, artwork, rugs or wallpaper. Think drama when selecting your lighting such as wall sconces, dining table pendants and lamps in dark corners. Décor items to look out for include mirrors, glass bowls, chrome ornaments and long pile rugs. Then visualize your room as a film set for The Devil Wears Prada. Modern Glam is a brilliant style for formal Living areas and sumptuous bedrooms, but if in doubt you can always hire an Interior Designer to assist.

Sally Gardner & Kerrie Freeman



“Glamour is like the moon: it only shines because the sun is there.” ~ Joy Bell



“See it, feel it, love it, live it.” ~ Sharon Newman

why pro photography to sell your home? Sharon Newman, our in house Photographer, presents the beginning of a series on Attracting Buyers. t is a simple fact that all of us want the best price possible for our homes when we are selling. We also want as many buyers as possible to come to our homes. The theory is that more buyers help push the price up or at least help towards getting the price we want. Professional photography will help this happen by attracting interested people to our homes. Buyers are more likely to scan the internet searching for potential properties, rather than going on foot and hoping for the best, possibly wasting time and fuel on travel to a variety of Real Estate agencies. Statistics show a buyer stands a greater chance of finding what they are after using the internet. In fact, over 90% of buyers find their dream property on the Internet.


Professional photography shows your home at its best. Keep in mind that it is no different for your home, than it is for you, when getting ready for a photo shoot. Wouldn’t you ensure you look your best? Opposite page is a contrast between an undressed empty room photographed with an inferior camera alongside a dressed room photographed by a professional photographer. Which one would you rather spend your time visiting as a potential home to buy? How do we accomplish this without too much stress? The beginning of a list is below. This will help you brainstorm your home’s needs.

TIPS AND HINTS - number 1/ Challenging but true, use the KISS principle (Keep it Simple Stupid) Empty your home of as much clutter as possible. show space / you are selling your house not your furniture and belongings. It doesn’t mean get rid of all of all your contents, just simplify. View your furniture and belongings as decoration. think to yourself / How can I create more space.? Pack away all personal items, particularly photographs and trinkets. Keep horizontal surfaces relatively free from items unless they enhance the decor in some way. Potential buyers don’t need to see a pictorial history of your family.





a professional photographer / can define the space effectively and move or eliminate objects to create thoroughfares and the illusion of more space. Potential buyers want to see a spacious layout, where they can visualise the installation of their own furnishings. New tips and suggestions will be forthcoming in each future edition of The Designer Chicks magazine, so keep your eyes on this section.

Sharon Newman



doing well out of doing good Tiz Damianakis, our wonderful Events Designer and CEO of Ajunjo, explains how “You can do well out of doing good”. Most of us have at one time or another been to an event that was sponsored by a business to promote a charity or community group. Some of us have actually been the business that has sponsored such an event. These are usually in the form of a Golf Day, Gala Ball, Trivia Night, the Races or a Christmas in July lunch. The list is endless. These events normally start with a business and a non-profit group joining together to do their best to have as many people attend the event as possible. Hours are spent focusing on the coordination of the event – liaison with the venue, entertainment, special guests, food and drinks packages and most importantly what sort of fundraising will occur for the non-profit group. Most of the marketing is primarily pre event and focuses on getting bums on seats, selling tickets to raise funds. The sponsoring business is endorsed in all of the event collateral and they are


appropriately acknowledged at the event. They may also be given the opportunity to say a few words. The event will be a success. For the non-profit group, they will have raised much-needed funds and increased the awareness of their cause. The sponsoring business will have received all of the expected acknowledgements and will feel good about showing social responsibility to the community and in some cases have used the event to connect with their clients or treat their staff.

At the end all are happy, relieved that all the hard work is done and the event becomes a distant memory. Outcomes have been met. But have they? If everyone seems happy, why is it that a lot of sponsoring organisations tend to walk away from these events feeling a little cynical about their investment and do not commit to involvement a second time round? While organisations genuinely want to participate in the community and be good corporate citizens it can be difficult to justify especially when times are tough and there is no perceived ROI (return on investment) to show for their financial commitment. For years events have been used as part of a company’s marketing strategy and have proven to be a very effective way to allow for an interactive or handson environment. Events have allowed organisations to engage new and past clients and have been used as a medium


to establish and enhance relationships. In essence events have been used to deliver key messages, build relationships and increase sales – when planned effectively. Unfortunately, when it comes to Business Social Responsibility events, the primary focus is more often than not the non-profit group and all of the elements mentioned above seem to work for them rather than the sponsoring business. Understandably, it would not look to good if the sponsor was seen to be “beating their own chest”, but why can’t there be an expectation that this sort of event can and should be used as a serious marketing tool? Why not design an events marketing campaign: • That is structured to create a ROI for

BOTH the business and the non-profit group. Remembering that ROI’s can be both tangible and intangible.


• That looks for the most fitting group

to be supporting. In some instances a charity or sporting group works well, however it may be more appropriate to look at an industry association that is more directly aligned with the business objectives.

• That focuses on pre AND POST

event marketing to reach out to existing customers and expand the client base. • That creates real opportunities

at the event to develop the relationship with the sponsoring business and their clients.

like and trust whom they do business with – no matter how large or small an organisation is, its human nature. Business Social Responsibility events are a perfect way to design a marketing strategy to foster these relationships and it is essential that the planning phase is taken more seriously than just providing a sum of money and getting recognition in collateral. Through my experience I am absolutely convinced that companies “can do well out of doing good” – it just needs to be looked at strategically.

• That uses social media for brand

development for the sponsoring business that can be used long after the event is over. It has been increasingly recognized that the way people like to do business is through building and developing relationships. People want to know,


Tiz Damianakis


protecting your home from the elements Quality curtains in a home create warmth, colour, and style, but there are also many benefits of curtains in regards to energy efficiency. With soaring energy costs in recent years, we all need to reduce our power bills and green house emissions. So read what our Window Covering Expert, Veronica Strachan of Curtain Connections and Home Decor has to say... efore the invention of air conditioning, our forefathers used window coverings as a way to maintain a comfortable temperature in the home throughout the year. Over the years, window fashions have somewhat distorted this practice, with many Australians preferring homes with lots of glass to allow light in. However, this type of construction also allows the temperature in. Glass is a conductor, so therefore it provides very little thermal protection, with the outside temperatures being able to pass straight through the glass surface. A lined curtain consists of two layers of fabric; the face (decorative) side and the lining. Between is trapped a pocket of air.


Even though the primary purpose of a fully lined curtain is to block light, this in turn also means that you are blocking the heat from entering the home. The home remains cooler naturally, reducing your reliance on air conditioning and other temperature devices, and ultimately lowering your electricity bills. The trick is to close all your window coverings in the morning. At about 4pm, open them and you will notice how the ambient temperature has remained quite comfortable without the need for heating or cooling devices. In winter, block out curtains serve the opposite purpose. They stop the heat from escaping through the windows so your heater doesn’t have to work as hard, again saving you money

Furthermore, if you have pelmets secured and sealed over your curtains this traps the hot or cold air (we all know hot air rises!) Recent studies have demonstrated that a saving of up to 40% can be made on energy costs by using good quality lined curtains in the home. The curtains will pay for themselves in a few short years! As well as their thermal insulation benefits, block out curtains have noise insulation benefits. Their thickness and the way that they cover the windows means they can actually stop noise from transferring into the home making your home quieter and more pleasant inside. If you live on a main road or under a flight path you can also add an interliner to your curtains called Bumpf.



“Decorate your life.� ~ Veronica Strachan

This is sewn into your curtains between the fabric and the lining, creating a sound proofing effect to help you sleep like a baby!

fabric of your choice in front to create the WOW factor in your home or commercial space.

Everyone knows that you can draw curtains at any time of the day to create darkness inside. This is of particular benefit to people that work unusual hours, such as shift workers, or people that wish to sleep throughout the day, especially babies! The ability to block light can also make it easier and more fun to watch movies with your home theatre system at any time of the day.

Having such items custom made, not only ensures that the above benefits are achieved, but your window coverings will fit perfectly and will certainly enhance your decor for many years.

Block out curtains, while being incredibly practical, are also very attractive when you have the desired

Veronica Strachan



“Design is thinking made visual.” ~ Saul Bass

what is graphic design? Veronica Tasnadi, CEO of Veronica Graphic Design, explains the ins and outs of her profession in Part 1 of a series on What is Graphic Design? raphic Design’s core explanation is using images, type and colour to create a visual communication message. Simply put – it is the art of visualising ideas. Graphic Design is a creative process - most often involving a client and a designer and usually completed in conjunction with producers of form (ie printers, sign makers, etc) - undertaken in order to convey a specific message (or messages) to a targeted audience. The term “graphic design” can also refer to a number of artistic and professional disciplines that focus on visual communication and presentation. Common uses of Graphic Design include identity (logos and branding), publications (magazines, newspapers and books), advertisements and product packaging. For example, a product package might include a logo or other


artwork, organised text and pure design elements such as shapes and colour which unify the piece. Composition is one of the most important features of graphic design, especially when using pre-existing materials or diverse elements. – Wikipedia Graphic Design is actually much more: it’s a way of being, thinking and driving focus to create and solve problems for the client. This has value; not an objective value, in fact it’s highly subjective and therefore difficult to quantify. The history of Graphic Design goes way back as early as the cave drawer’s hand prints on cave walls. American William Addison Dwiggins coined the term “Graphic Design” in the 1920s. Type designer, calligrapher and book designer, he attained prominence as an illustrator and commercial artist, using

the boldness from his advertising work, into type and books. Graphic Design has changed over the years and is in constant flux. There has been a revolution of interactive design from the mid 1990s: web design, digital design and experience design. We engage daily in design from road signs, television advertising, magazines, logos, labels and social media. Graphic Design performs a number of functions. Its purpose is to move people into action, to inform. It sorts and differentiates – it distinguishes one organisation or entity from another. It acts on our emotions and helps to shape how we feel about the world around us. Without Graphic Design it would be a world with no written word, no newspapers and magazines, no internet, no books.



Without Graphic Design’s process of structure, organisation, word and image and differentiation, we would all receive our information via the spoken word. We would enter a dark age of ignorance, prejudice and superstition. Please click on link below to view video “what is graphic design?” In future issues, Veronica Tasnadi will expand on the various elements of Graphic Design in detail.

Veronica Tasnadi






The selective eye must be an experienced eye, an eye that knows the genuine pleasures of harmonious colours and textures, of sensitive line and proportion, of the play in contrast of light and shade. The selective eye must see beyond immediate limitations, recognize possibilities that a fertile imagination suggests, and translate the difference between the genuine and the false. Michael Taylor



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