Katrina Chambers | Interior Design Blogger Australia
Katrina Chambers is a familiar face within the blogging scene and was a contestant on The Block in 2011. She is an eager blogger about all things design, lifestyle, DIY and interior styling, her posts clearly resonate with her largely female audience with Katrina taking out the Kidspot Top Blogger of The Year Award in 2012.
Smells are all around us, from fancy candles, to car diffusers, scented sticks in our bathrooms… the list goes on. We spray scents all over our bodies, light candles to set a certain mood, and to mask natural odours in the home. But they could be making us sick.
This is why I’ve decided to ditch my expensive perfumes. It was hard to part with them, because I do have some lovely ones! And expensive too. But they had to go.
Perfumes contain neurotoxins, which have a causal link to central nervous system disorders, headaches, confusion, dizziness, short-term memory loss, anxiety, depression, disorientation, and mood swings.
Of the five senses, only our sense of smell is linked directly to the limbic lobe of the brain, our emotional control centre. Fear, anxiety, depression, anger, and joy all emanate from this region of the brain.*
We spray perfume on our necks (directly sitting on our thyroid) and slowly all day long this is soaking in to our skin and creeping up our noses.
The older I get the more aware I am of the changes in my hormones. I was suffering quite a few hot flushes and asked the doctor to check my hormone levels (you know, menopause!), but she said all is ok in that department. So, I decided to seek out some other reasons for this. After a bit of reading and chatted to some friends I decided to eliminate my perfumes and switch to essential oils. Essential oils don’t disrupt the body’s natural balance AND you can use them to create certain feelings. You can force your senses to react however you need them to.
Some of the positive mood change benefits that you can expect to find an essential oil include:
Perfumes with aromatherapy qualities (and no chemicals) can boost your moods and pull you out of a funk. They can invigorate you mid-afternoon, or they can calm you down if your morning has been stressful! That’s why I carry a few different potions with me these days.
Aromatherapy is the art and science of smell whereby a scent stimulates the smell receptors in the nose. These receptors then send messages to the emotional seat of the brain which rules feelings, memory and creativity. Smell has a hold over cognition and emotion. The simple inhalation of an aroma can cause many changes in the body and more specifically in mood.
Have you been to Reed Gift Fairs? Oh, you must! It’s the top place to find amazing brands for your homewares and gift shop. Plus there’s some great prizes you can win too.
Reed Gift Fairs is back in Melbourne next month (August 4-8) across not one but two huge venues, the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre (MCEC) and the Exhibition Pavilion, Melbourne Showgrounds (Showgrounds).
You never know where you’ll stumble across your next bestseller so make sure you don’t miss anything. Soak up the latest offerings in Gift, Fashion and Jewellery. Then delve into Home and Interiors as well as visiting their carefully curated areas showcasing the very best in design and innovation-led brands.
Expect to find 1000’s of products from your favourite premium brands at the MCEC, spanning Halls 1-8 and balance your sourcing with new products from emerging and never before seen big brands at the Showgrounds.
Head to the Melbourne Showgrounds first
→ With a regular complimentary shuttle between the two venues, you should start your day at the Exhibition Pavilion at the Melbourne Showgrounds. You’ll get free parking so leave your car there all day.
→ Then grab the opportunity to be one of the first to source from the more than 150 amazing brands showcasing their latest products including these guys below…
You must then check out the free one-on-one business consultation and mentoring service
→ Whether you’re planning, starting or growing your business, take advantage of an exclusive one-on-one FREE business consultation and or a full mentoring service from Small Business Victoria. Be it reviewing your website, unlocking value in your logistics costs, to getting the best results out of your marketing campaign, no question is too small or too crazy…. they are here to help you! Bookings are essential and only available at Melbourne Showgrounds.
→ Get the full retail experience. With ample seating locations, you can rest at the curated home living space featuring the latest products on show in homewares to fashion, kids to kitchen, and everything in between. It looks so cool!
[Artists impression. Final products and seating layout may change]
Do not miss out on entering in to these 2 incredible draws
As soon as you arrive make sure you get yourself in to these draws. Big prizes and this could make your shopping trip a real winner!
Enter the Showgrounds between 9-10am to go in the draw to be reimbursed your first $1000 order in cash
Reed Gift Fairs is always at the forefront of improving the visitor experience and this year is no different with the launch of the Emperia App. Forget about business cards that always get lost. Grab it before you go making sure you get a list of every exhibitor you’ve seen and connect with them after the show. Such a time saver!
Reed Gift Fairs is always full of surprises and this will be a ride you won’t want to miss! REGISTER TODAY so you don’t miss your chance to find the next biggest seller for your homewares/gift shop.
Buying a house is stressful on its own. Add in a pile of paperwork, lingo you’ve never heard of and confusing decisions to make. It can be daunting and overwhelming beyond belief. If you haven’t done this before or haven’t got anyone to show you the way, then your own research will be very important.
When it comes to home loans not all products are equal. There are so many varying factors to take in to account. What’s right for one person won’t always be right for YOU!
It’s important to ask a few questions before you sign on the dotted line…
1. Do you offer any discounts?
If you’re a first home buyer, then you will be entitled to some discounts. If you’re new to a specific bank/lender then you may also be entitled to some form of discount or cashback incentive.
2. Will there be any mortgage insurance payable?
This will depend on your deposit. Lenders mortgage insurance protects your lender in the unfortunate event of you defaulting on your home loan. When lenders agree to lend a customer money, there is a small risk that they won’t get the money back if the customer is not able to meet the repayments. You’ll need to work out what this amount could be as sometimes it’s large and can affect your borrowing capacity.
3. What will the fees be?
After you’ve been approved there will be fees. An application fee, legal costs and yearly fees. It’s wise to factor all of this in before you’re approved. Be aware of any termination/payout fees. Plus, a transfer fee – for example what if you want to change lenders down the track?
4. Fixed vs variable rate costs?
If you lock in your fixed interest rate what will the fees be if you want to switch to variable? Consider both options carefully.
5. Interest only loans?
If you’re building a new home, you may be able to secure an interest only loan on the draw down amount. Check all fees and costs associated with this because you don’t want to start building your new home and get caught out paying more than you thought.
6. What is your mortgage repayment schedule like?
Double check that you can make repayments monthly, fortnightly, weekly – or whenever it suits you. This is important because you may need to schedule it with your own income payments.
7. Can you redraw?
If you pay extra in to your home loan can you redraw any of this amount back over the period of your loan? Will there be any costs involved in this process and is there a minimum amount to redraw?
8. Are there any packages they can offer?
Ask about additional savings accounts, offset accounts or credit cards. Check fees associated and any penalties if you decide to close these accounts. If they are part of a package be aware they usually all need to stay open (and most likely have fees associated with them).
Hello! Thanks for stopping by today. Sadly I don’t have any awesome design photos to show you today… Just a few red-hot-mess ones from the final (thank the lord) backyard reveals on House Rules. To be fair, there were a couple of OK design elements here, but mostly I can’t even look at them. I know, I am being sooooo mean. I really did try through the show to be nicer, but it’s an actual “design tv show with judging” so really they are asking for us to critique EVERYTHING. Yes I know, I know, they get a renovated house for free and it’s better than what they had, but sttiillllllll…. it’s so hard to stomach all the wasted money and non-design! Anyway, let’s check out the final photos of the backyards and you can make up your own mind…
Kim and Michelle’s Exterior
I was a little shocked? What is this space?? Where do I start. It’s actually awful and so tacky. There are so many THINGS everywhere. Flags, chairs, inside artwork (outside), lanterns, rugs…. AND A BATH?? WTF. Sorry, but that’s just wrong. I mean, WHO IS HAVING A BATH OUTSIDE? And do they even sell floating plastic lilies anymore? I am a very practical person and I like things for their intended purpose. SO, I hate plates on the walls, cushions stacked on the ground, indoor furniture outside, chairs in bathrooms (I could go on)…. #intendedpurpose I just like to see things used as they are meant to. There is no WOW factor here with the bath outside. It’s just odd. Every single thing here will get wrecked and damaged. There is a thing called “the weather” and there is no way I’d be interested in putting lanterns/cushions/rugs/artwork in and out every day. And so much bamboo screening. Cheap option I get it. I did it once in a house in 2005 and it lasted 3 months and it was a wreck. Anyway, good luck with it all….
Jess and Jared’s exterior
Initially this looks pretty cool doesn’t it? I like the pizza idea and the neon light and the moody colours. The graffiti is awesome too. I like that! But again I have some issues. I cannot even stand the pallet outdoor table. You won’t be able to sit at that comfortably. Your shins will be very unhappy. Don’t forget to lock the castors in place either or you’ll be chasing your pizza around. There is so much use of the decking. I get that it’s more efficient and quicker than pouring concrete, but the maintenance will be horrendous. Again, there’s so many inside pieces of furniture sitting outside (like dining chairs!). Where is the shade?? The raised decking/dining space would never get used at my house unless we all wore hats and sunscreen and the temperature was 21 degrees and there was no rain or wind. Not practical. I do like the fire pit though. I could have one of those at my house. It works well in this space. I also love festoon lighting, so this space overall wasn’t too bad.
This week really has done me in. That’ll do me. Let it end now pretty please. But hopefully when they go back and fix a few rooms up we’ll see some more practical things.
What did you think??
You can see the previous renos here and meet the contestants here.
This is a HUGE photo dump today! I realise it’s been weeks and weeks since I did an ‘Around here lately’ post! So today I am loading up all the photos. I do love to keep a record of what’s been happening. I take so many photos everyday and can’t just leave them sitting in my phone forever!
I’ve felt a little overwhelmed these past few weeks. Not in a bad way. I just seem to have a lot of tasks to do every day! My eldest kid has been working/building, so that’s been an added drop off/pick up (and very early mornings!). Also, we’re in a current New Moon phase so I actually feel a little jittery. Add to that the awful freezing weather and school holidays, life can feel a little intense! I also keep waking up sooooo early. Like 4.30am and cannot sleep. Once my brain switches on, that’s it for the sleep! I love getting up early though because I do get a lot of stuff done. BUT it makes me want to be in bed at 7pm!
Anyway, here’s the photos from what’s been happening around here lately…
Some winter morning sun. My favourite part of the house.
Tried to get a nice photo with this kid, but no way Mum!
Non glamorous but real life! I can now change this baby in about 30 seconds. I’ve been lucky… no messes, no spills, no dramas. It’s changed my life! No one in my family cares about it anymore. At night I sit on the couch with my peeps and I just let it hang out. Feels weird to be buying nappy bags and baby wipes again though And did you know I’ve put on 10kgs since my surgery?! I’m not even worried about that. If you saw me when I first got home (early March) I was 58kgs. I’m not short either so I looked like death. It wasn’t healthy! I actually didn’t know I’d put on that much (I knew I was loving my food again!) until my Doc emailed me during the week and asked me to check my weight for my Humira script. 10kgs But I’m happy and feel great.
Spent a lovely evening with my husband out and about in Wagga. Suddenly we’ve hit a sweet spot where we can leave the kids at home for a few hours at night. We laugh and stare at each other when we’re out – is this even real? Ha! We even went to watch Dave Hughes comedy show.
The markets in Wagga – River and Wren – are the best thing going. I never miss them.
We’re almost half way through 120 hours of driving with my L-plater. My husband always seems to get out of it too But I’ve really enjoyed doing it actually. Just him and I. I will miss it when it’s over! We chat lots (because you know boys, it’s hard to get much out of them at the best of times!). He tells me about his day, his mates, and the stuff he wants to do when he gets older. We talk about his sport, jobs, money, loans and how they work. I explain how interest works, what superannuation is and what’s it’s reaaaallllyyyy like being a grown up! I tell him stories about how his Dad and I met and remind him of things he did when he was little He plays me songs he loves and I enjoy every minute of it. If he asks me can we go for a drive I never say no, because before I know it I won’t have that time with him and he’ll be out on his own picking up his girlfriend and mates and I’ll be long forgotten. The years are going so quickly! Slow down please.
Chambo made me a shelf for all my doTERRA oils. He’s a good egg and very handy.
Yep, you know it’s winter when the puzzles come out.
I don’t know how we let him have this life. But somehow he got it. So relaxed there mate?
Wagga Beach looking dapper. I’m doing all the socials for a big event coming up for small regional businesses. Check it out here. If you haven’t been to Wagga and you’re an entrepreneur then you will get a lot out of this conference. I actually can’t wait. The gala dinner will be held here, under a marquee, that’s why I was there taking a snap of the car park.
It’s a selfie kind of day. The view was too good. I was out at Borambola Wines for a styling consult because they are doing some renos. How stunning is this place? They do a lot of weddings.
Sometimes I go to Bunnings to get coffee and wander by myself. I have no life. Ha!
Bring back the BBQ weather.
This little kid…. We have a joke – his best moments in life are when he’s immersed in some game/technology, eating popcorn (or he really loves chopped up watermelon squares) with a blanket – That’s his ideal day!
My favourite bowl of crystals. You can never have too many! Getting all the love and good vibes in to my house.
Monday morning winter fresh in Wagga.
I did a workshop for interior/exterior styling. It was hosted by our local council and it was aimed at cafes/accommodation/tourist businesses around town. I will do more of these. I loved it. In a few weeks I’m doing one called Mindfulness In The Home. If you’re in Wagga keep a look out because that will be held at the RCC.
Did a consult in here. This is coming up a treat!
I’m getting old or something!! Two of my nieces just had babies. So technically this makes me their great Aunty. To be fair I’m their Aunty through marriage but they still call me “Aunty Treens” I had a delicious morning smooching these little faces. Their Mummas are right in the thick of it, you know, feeding, changing, rocking… So sweet. I was clucky for 5 mins but then I snapped back to reality.
Got some new pendant lights. The final look is over on my Instagram.
Today I went looking for a 2 storey floor plan to share with you. These can be tricky to find (good plans anyway), because you need to be able to visualise these. Sometimes it’s hard to get your head around where everything will sit and where the stairs will be and how they look. There are heaps of facade options with this plan too. But below you can see that the top level is set back on the home, which I really like.
I liked this plan because everything seems more in order. That is, you can distinctly see where the kids’ bedrooms will be and how that 2nd storey will flow. It’s easy to see you’d walk straight up the stairs and in to the study/rumpus area for the kids. The bedrooms are all the same size and the bathroom is practical.
What do you think about the ensuite layout? It’s skinny and the toilet has no window. I can see why it doesn’t sit against the window though – because that’s all you’d see from the bedroom. Yuck. I’d also flip the powder room for the window.
Looking to create a lush indoor jungle without the hassle of looking after lots of plants? Sometimes one large plant can bring the wow factor you’re looking for without all the extra watering, dusting and general plant care. Pop it in a basket or pot and suddenly you’ve got WOW factor right there in your home. For instant impact, buy a large fully grown plant. Smaller plants are more budget friendly but will take longer to grow.
Rubber Plants will add drama and show stopping attention to any room. These plants don’t demand a lot of attention and when given the space they need to grow and will fill a corner beautifully.
Bring a touch of the tropics indoors with a large Bird-of-paradise plant. Flamboyant and exotic, this plant will command attention from all that see it. Positioned in a well-lit area, the bird-of-paradise tree will grow quite large indoors.
Probably not the first plant that springs to mind when considering a new variety for indoors, but the Olive Tree will add touch of Tuscan sophistication to your space. Unfortunately, they won’t last forever indoors though (8-9 years), and will eventually have to be moved outside.
An impressive plant known for its dramatic foliage. Elephant Ears have huge leaves that can measure 60cm long and can range in colour from lime green to almost black.
Perhaps the trendiest plant of 2018, the Monstera is a large plant that knows no boundaries when given space to grow! Be prepared to tame this beauty with some trellis. A hardy plant that requires bright indirect light.
I don’t mind a bit of op shopping and trawling through local second-hand stores. It is true what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And with a bit of creativity and a lick of paint, anything can look new again. But there are a few items that if you see in a second-hand store, you really should not leave without.
Cocktail glasses from long ago
Remember those beautiful, textured and glamorous cocktail glasses your grandma used to have? Maybe it was a whisky glass or champagne flute? With the return of the bar cart, everyone is in search of exquisite glassware to display. And your local op shop is where you’re going to find them! The best bit is that they will be a lot more durable than what you can buy today.
Look past the dated fabric and look for a solid frame with little to no wear. Fabric can be replaced so keep an eye for a piece that really stands out.
Cane bedheads… cane anything really!
Cane is making a huge comeback from plant stands, bedheads, bed side tables, shelving – the list goes on. If you are lucky to spot a piece of cane furniture, ensure it is in great condition (or can be easily repaired) and snap it up. Even if cane is not your thing, try your luck selling it on your local buy swap and sell page. I can almost guarantee a profit!
If you don’t mind spending a weekend sanding, painting and varnishing, second-hand wooden furniture can be a great find. You want to look for unique pieces; something a little bit different. With a lick of paint, new handles and drawer knobs, you will end up with a stunning and unique piece of furniture for a fraction of the price of something new.
Ignore the painting and take a look at the frame. You can easily pop the canvas out and replace it with something you love. Again, a good sanding and maybe some paint, and you can easily afford some new artwork for your walls.
We’re back with part 2 of the backyard reveals on House Rules. Thank god it’s nearly over. I get so crazy overwhelmed and my head spins when I see most of the reveals. But I am totally in love with Toad and Mandy’s exterior. It’s my kind of happy. Who wouldn’t want a big shed, a barn door, a pizza oven and an amazing view! My kids beg me weekly can we move to a ‘farm’, but I couldn’t handle the travel in and out of town all the time, so my poor boys never get their dream farm…
Let’s look over the reveals…
Chiara and David’s exterior
This water park thing they’ve got going on would be fun for the kids, but it’s not pretty is it? All that slimy rubber surface makes me twitch. Laying by the pool would be relaxing, but again we’d be moving the indoor artwork, cushions and chairs in and out all the time. Not at all weather friendly. I would have loved to see a fantastic outdoor kitchen with all that space they had to work with.
Toad and Mandy’s exterior
I think overall Toad and Mandy would have to be rapt with their final house. Some of the inside stuff is a bit hair scary, but it’s better than what they started with. How can I get that shed/pub on the side of my house?? My boys would be in heaven.
This is my dream! In Byron Bay no less. How cute is this little Bungalow?? All white, splashes of colours, lots of character. When I can I please win the lotto?? I’m in LOOOOVVVEEEE.
Set amidst lush, private gardens, with the addition of an approved, self- contained studio, including rear lane access. Some standout features of this stunning home include high ceilings, large bedrooms, oak flooring throughout, brand new bathrooms and kitchen. – Agent.
Check it out!
Everything is adorable – floor tiles, barn doors, wall paneling. Heavenly.
The home is being sold my friend Serg at Byron Bay Property Sale. All images are owned by the agency.