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  • Jocelyn Ridgway

Using mirrors in interiors is not new, we all know that. But do you ever wonder where you should put one, what sort of mirror and how to hang it? There are lots of types and sizes of mirrors but there is an art to getting it right. Here are a few tips:


Ditch that TV over the mantel!


There are some great spots to put a mirror. There seems to be a fashion to put a television above a fireplace mantel. Personally, I'm not a fan. A fireplace mantel is a great place to add a really beautiful mirror (in place of an artwork for example) and some special ceramics or pieces that you have collected. It creates a focal point for that room instead of the big black box. It doesn't matter whether it is a modern home or traditional, just choose something that is in scale to the size of fireplace and wall. If in doubt go bigger rather than smaller. They can be hung or even sit on the mantel.



The entry into your home is your first impression!


I find that this is a area that is often neglected by clients. but it is the first thing visitors see and if you come in via your front door, it's the first thing that greets you as well. A mirror in this space whether a small hallway or large entry bounces light back into a space and is somewhere for a last minute lippy check. In a small hallway where it is not possible to stand back and see an artwork a mirror works a treat.



The dining room reflected!


In small dining rooms or large, mirrors can work really well. In small spaces they can help with the problem of those sitting opposite a wall or in a tight corner. They are seeing the reflected room behind them and also bounces light back to them. In large spaces where you might need a large artwork but can't afford it, often a large mirror might be a more affordable option, but works better because of the scale to the room. Go big!


A mirror above a sideboard or console in a dining room also gives you the opportunity to add some lamps either side of it to reflect that light back into the room. It creates a lovely symmetry and simple but stylish look to a dining room. It suits all sorts of interiors, see below:



Art for the bathroom or powder room!


Having helped clients with the details of new builds, I have noticed that mirrors for building companies are an afterthought. I prefer to think of them as art for the bathroom. So long as you have good ventilation and buy the right mirror there is no reason why you can't add a decorative mirror instead of the standard cut mirror with no frame. It can take an ordinary space and turn it into a wonderful surprise space in your home.


Don't be afraid to mix old and new. A vintage gilded mirror can look amazing in a modern bathroom. Or a modern round mirror in a more traditional home can work too. Think outside the square as you would with artwork or furniture.



I hope these ideas give you some fresh inspiration to adding mirrors into your home. Remember the same rule applies as artwork...don't hang it too high and get the scale right. Small mirrors on big walls will get lost unless they are grouped with other artworks and have a beautiful frame. They can then become part of a great gallery wall.


As usual, this is the part where I mention my access to lots of beautiful mirror suppliers. Give me a call if you need help finding something lovely for your space.


Joc xx

Principal designer


  • Jocelyn Ridgway

Working from home is not for everyone. I am useless at it! After I sold my store Green Grass Home & Body Bulimba two and a half years ago, I traveled for a bit and then thought that I would re-start Little Bowerbird Interiors working from home. Ummm, no. I had to move into a outside office to get anything done, plus I was missing the face to face interaction with others.

I know that I'm not the only one who has had to work from home and really struggled. I spoke with two friends this week, one has been staying in her PJ's for most of the day and the other togs and a robe because she has a pool! Both felt like they were really unproductive. I'm better at it now, so here is what I have learned about working from home and how to get though it...

1. The most important one is this: set your alarm for the same time as usual and do your usual morning routine. If you aren't doing some form of exercise in the morning then start earlier and finish earlier so you can fit in at end of the day. I think it's critical to at least fit in a walk. You have to get out of the house and see the world. Have breakfast and get dressed!

2. Make a designated work space if you can. This might mean setting up a small desk in the corner of your living room or spare room. There are lots of `home desks' available that are more narrow than a regular commercial type desk so they will fit better in a smaller spot. Also, make sure have a comfortable desk chair not a dining chair. Your back will thank you for it. Set it up with what you need but don't forget to add some personal touches so you love sitting there. I'm a bit of a neat freak, I can't work with mess around me so off to Officeworks for some desk accessories.



Home desks are generally only about 500 Deep so fit well into smaller spaces:

3. Make sure you have good light. Office light is generally broadly lighting your desk but at home make sure you have great natural light or a good lamp. Eye strain will zap your energy. I prefer a warm bulb in all my lighting rather than cool, I find it easier on the eyes and makes you look better!

4. Make sure you take breaks but don't turn the TV on at lunch! I don't know about you but I can get sucked into daytime TV rubbish and next thing I know 2 hours has gone by! Have a healthy lunch on your balcony if you can and not at your desk.


5. Lastly, spend the last 15 mins of your working day writing in your diary a list of things for tomorrow or rest of week. Pack away your laptop and tidy your desk, especially if it's in your living space or bedroom. This way you are less likely to work after hours. Really, unless you need to, let it go at the end of the day and give your mind a break. Working from home is about setting boundaries, especially now that everyone knows we are at home. Don't check your emails, leave them for tomorrow and enjoy your life!


I hope this gives you a few tips on working from home, remember friends...boundaries! Saying no to something outside of your normal work hours is totally ok. It takes a while to get into a new routine and I am no expert but I try and break up my work into different chunks so I'm not working on one thing all day. I find this helps keeping my focus. Good luck everyone!

And of course, don't hesitate to get in touch if you need any assistance with a home office!

Joce

Principal Designer

PS. I am going to post my pumpkin and coconut soup on our newsletter, so many people ask me for it and now that we have more time...I thought why not! Sign up for our newsletter if you haven't already. x


Every Christmas holiday break I make sure to spend some time reflecting on the past year and envisaging some new goals for the coming one. It's not something I have to force, as a creative person the ideas are always bubbling away, but some time out of the office gives me the head space to formulate some ideas. One of the things I reflected upon was how many people I talk to who tell me they have no creative side!


First of all let's look at what your definition of creative is. The dictionary defines it as 'relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something'. As you can see it does not mean you must be a master painter, ceramicist, or sketcher. You might be fantastic at floral arranging, baking, inventing or starting a new business. Let's not assume that creativity is the sole domain of the artist! Creativity does not mean that you have to be 'on trend' or know what is in fashion, simply following your heart and opening your mind to allow yourself to daydream is a good start. Stop telling yourself that you can't is another....that's just a story you are making up. Embrace vulnerability and perfection, perfection is the killer of creativity. It's ok to be 'good enough'.

So why is daydreaming and creativity important and why am I so passionate about it?


It's important to have a creative side to let your imagination loose. Without daydreaming and using your imagination we stop our dreams or goals, we stifle our purpose and authentic selves. I can't tell you how many people I know who have denied themselves creative thoughts telling themselves that it's a waste of time or frivolous. Creatives and dreamers are the ones who move us forward in the human race, they dream it and make it a reality. When you allow yourself to be creative you have a surge of energy, confidence and will feel engaged in your life instead of sleepwalking through it!


The hard part of living a creative life.


Uncertainty. It takes a brave person to live a creative life. You are putting your ideas, imagination and often blood, sweat and tears out on show for the world to see. Holy crap that is scary! You have to learn to accept criticism, indifference and uncertainty about the outcomes. But I wouldn't live any other way. Enjoy the process and be proud that you are doing something for you. Let me tell you there is a lot of deep breaths and tears but there are also amazing feelings of happiness as well. When my clients are happy with my work, there is no better feeling! 'Choosing courage over comfort' is the key. (Thanks Brene Brown for the quote!


Thought I'll leave you with:

If you are feeling restless, bored, dull and disconnected, ask yourself if you have given up on any of your desires and dreams. What did you do as a child that you have given away as an adult? What is blocking you from starting that side hustle, buying an easel, sewing your own clothes? Just start, then fail and then start again. Creativity is simply a practice, believe me, when you start you will find your passion. It might be different from what you thought it would be but if you remain open it will come to you.


Joce x

Principal Designer

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Little Bowerbird Interiors, Brisbane, Australia | EST. 2009