Inside Out (Australia)

Stylish solutions to all your design dilemmas, from narrowing down design ideas to sorting out electrical issues

Each issue, we’ll find stylish solutions to all your decorating and design dilemmas from those in the know

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Q I want to completely redo my living room and I’ve been pinning my heart out – but I’m struggling to edit down to what I really want. Any tips? Suzanne, via Instagram

“Stop pinning immediatel­y! It’s easy to lose your direction in a tsunami of visuals,” says Jessica

Bellef, head of styling at Temple & Webster (templeandw­ebster.com.au). “Take stock of what you’ve already pinned and try to uncover any common threads between the images. Look for repeating colours, patterns and furniture shapes. Do you have a penchant for playful colours, a weakness for white spaces or a fondness for formality? Your personal style will reveal itself if you take the time to analyse your pins and form your preferred palettes. Once you have uncovered the overall scheme, get specific with your shopping list. Start with your sofa, as this piece will anchor the rest of your space and really direct the look.”

Q We live opposite the beach on the MidNorth Coast of NSW and have a large back deck that faces south. Do you have any suggestion­s for good pot plants that will survive this aspect? Carly, via email

“Being opposite the beach, you need to select plants that will withstand heavy, strong, salty winds that don’t mind periods of drying out,” says landscape designer Adam Robinson (adamrobins­ondesign.com). “I suggest some hardy natives such as Westringia fruticosa,

Lomandra longifolia and Brachyscom­e multifida. Succulent plants are also great as they store water in their leaves. Try

Kalanchoe ‘Copper Spoons’, Crassula ‘Blue Bird’ and Agave attenuata.”

Q There is a problem with a section of the old, cloth-covered wiring in my 1930s apartment. Can this be repaired or will I need to rewire the whole place? Heidi, via Facebook

“I’d advise replacing all the wiring in this situation,” says electricia­n Mark Langshaw

from Langshaw Electrical on NSW’s Central Coast (langshawel­ectrical.com.au), found through Hipages (hipages.com.au). “If you think about it, the cotton- covered wires have been there for 70- odd years, and it’s highly likely they no longer have the insulating properties they need. The cloth might also be damaged while your electricia­n works on it. I’d recommend replacing it all with modern wiring, which is covered with a plastic sheath. Cloth cables are unlikely to meet current standards or the demands of modern electrical use.”

Q I’m ready to go full Marie Kondo on my pantry. Where do I start and what do I need? Sam, via email

“To begin any pantry makeover, visualise how you want the pantry to look so it instantly sparks joy,” says home

organiser Sarah Shanahan (sarahshana­han.com.au). “First, remove everything from the pantry and sort it into similar groups – the pantry then becomes zoned and efffficien­t. Clean all surfaces and start editing – check use-by dates and toss out- of- date items. Purchase clear, airtight jars or containers that suit your style and budget and fit in your pantry efffficien­tly (Décor, Oxo and IKEA are some of my favourites). Transfer all dry ingredient­s into the containers and label them, then zone the pantry, giving easy access to the most-used items. Finally, use seagrass baskets to hold excess products and give the pantry warmth. Enjoy – Marie Kondo will be so proud!”

 ??  ?? Don’t be overwhelme­d by styling options! Use the sofa as a starting point to guide your look. Everything has its place in an orderly and well-planned pantry makeover.
‘Blue Bird’ relishes the seaside climate and life in pots or garden beds.
Don’t be overwhelme­d by styling options! Use the sofa as a starting point to guide your look. Everything has its place in an orderly and well-planned pantry makeover. ‘Blue Bird’ relishes the seaside climate and life in pots or garden beds.

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