Blogs 2016


Entertaining Ideas

Summer 2016




2 avocados
1 handful spinach or kale
1/4 onion
Juice of 1 lime
5 cherry tomatoes finely chopped
1 yellow pepper diced finely
1 handful of coriander leaves
Pinch of cumin
Pinch sea salt

Shrimp Saganaki in Ramekin
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chopped onion
1 pinch of grated garlic
1 shot of white wine
100ml tomato sauce
1 tsp basil pesto
2 shots of fish stock
1 pinch of chopped parsley
2 tbsp crumble feta
ground pepper

Saute shrimp with onion & garlic. Deglaze with wine, add the tomato sauce, stock, pesto & salt. Let the sauce thicken. Finally add the feta and parsley. Serve in ramekin.




  • Nina Beale

House Style - Before & After

The key for any move into a rental property, is to look at what can be done with the interior space to make the biggest impact within a budget.

In this project, the mandate was to create a tropical lifestyle - transition day-to-day living from indoors to outdoors. We decided to invest a significant portion of the budget on paint, bamboo blinds, carpentry and the garden. 


We gained approval to paint out the green tiles/light taupe walls which immediately brightened the outdoor loggia.



We added natural bamboo blinds so they would compliment the furniture, indoor/outdoor rugs, oversized custom made mirrors and potted palms to lighten the area and provide a tropical feel.



A large investment was made in flowering hedges to cover both boundary fences whilst also creating a garden walled with privacy.



All houses have their quirks - The major liability for this property was the front driveway interrupting the flow of the garden. Turf was not feasible to lay over the driveway so we added rustic pots to line the driveway defining the entrance and filled them with tall flowering yellow & white frangipani trees.



The staircase had railway tiles in rustic off white with white iron and wood trim railings. The aim was to compliment the tones rather than disguise them by adding an antique server with glass lamps and silver tray, keeping it neutral.



On the staircase landing, we added a bold, oversized vintage poster to lift the wall space.



The client's mandate was to incorporate an area within the home for an office. We decided to transform a small unusable area of the living room, into a comfortable and light - filled area. The key pieces were a custom made mirror, desk and a new pair of lamps.



We added a pop of colour through botanical prints and artwork.



I hope you gain some insightful tips on how to easily transform a space.

Complimentary styling is available - No project or room is too big or too small.

"It is not about imposing our look, but helping our clients to create a beautiful home."

  • Nina Beale

6 Ideas On How to Hide The TV

 In my experience, the television is an incredibly emotive topic and one that divides most households in to 2 camps - Hide vs Display.

The Hidden camp - usually see it as an unattractive but necessary requirement for the living room and if its large, which most are these days, possibly reflects a sedentary lifestyle.

The Display camp are usually proud of the size of their screen and testosterone driven.

Whichever camp your household is in, rooms are to be lived in - they are not showcases. The issue in many homes is that televisions are not blended in to the living room but tend to dominate the room as they are made in to a feature.

   Display The TV   

Space can be a premium in many living rooms and large cumbersome TV cabinets should be avoided. My recommendation is to put the TV on the wall and place artwork around it.

Blend It With Artwork
If you have a TV stand then place the TV off centre to enable you to put a lamp, flowers and other decorative accessories next to it.
Another way of blending the TV in to the room is to treat it like a fireplace. Place a pair of arm chairs or ottomans in front of the television with a side table in between. The side table can hold the DVD, Cable TV, Apple TV boxes etc. These can be blended in to the side table by placing coffee table books or stacks of magazines underneath.

Remote controls should be placed in lidded boxes or canisters.
Make It Mobile
Be Creative With Floating Shelves

   Hide The TV  

Sliding Or Fold Out Panels
Another idea is to hide the TV by displaying a rug on the wall which is operated by an electronic remote.
Invest In Built-In With A Pop Up Mechanism
  • Nina Beale

At Home with Owners of Luxe Fashion House



Natalie Knoll & Macalya Chapman launched their business in 2013 in Australia & NZ. Natalie the talented photographer, Macalya the business leader behind NZ based fashion brands.


Macalya Chapman & Natalie Knoll

They joined forces together with the aim to provide fashion accessories to simplify a woman's life - oversized luxurious scarves with photos from iconic destinations around the world - the scarves are versatile, high quality and provide a creative impact. And let me tell you they do!
Natalie is based in Australia, Macayla in Auckland.

The Essence Of Home


"...was to make it feel like being on a relaxed holiday - natural light was key to create this atmosphere so we invested in skylights and glass internal walls in the stair well. We also had a magnificent mirror custom made for above the pool. Lighting was a large investment both indoors and outdoors, creating a beautiful ambience in the evenings."

"A home must suit your lifestyle - we like to entertain in the open and play family sport. Therefore the key area of our home was the large outdoor space. We made the decision to invest in landscaping the area using a combination of timber & concrete to create a visual impact."

Colour Or Neutral?

The emphasis on neutral tones creates a synergy across Natalie & Macayla's interior style. Each use a pop of colour through the introduction of accessories, scatter cushions, natural wood, indoor plants & foliage.

Favourite Tips To Transform A Room?

"Make a statement in your entrance with one of our scarves - I framed a massive zebra from our African theme and makes a great talking point! In the main I love displaying items from your travels - it's a great way to reflect your personality in your home."


"Lighting - I am obsessed with it and love to change my lighting often like some change their scatter cushions."

Tips For Organising Your Workspace

"White cups for pens, white acrylic boxes, white folders! I chose white but I recommend one colour scheme and stick to it to create order and less clutter."


"My office space is small so I rely on beautiful balinese baskets that I purchased on my travels - They act as an interim filing system whilst keeping things hidden."

What Not Do In The Home?

  • CLUTTER. Everything has a place!
  • Littered Photo frames around the home - Instead put the photos in frames and hang as a gallery on the wall.
  • Art should be eye level - natural instinct for people to hang too high
  • Don¡¯t keep scatter cushions for too long - They start to look tired after a few years and they are an economical way to "freshen up" the home.
TV On The Wall Or Hide In A Cabinet?

"We invested in a cabinet where the TV pops up when in use and neatly housed when not in use - the unit looks like an elegant white room divide - so I believe always explore an option to hide the televesion!"


"I am not a fan of large Televsions as it makes me feel like I am in a sports bar - keep the size minimal and recessed into the wall"

Inspiration Outside Social Media?



Favourite Holiday or Restaurants?


Katikies Hotel, Santorini

  • Nina Beale

Dining Table


Dining Tables can easily turn in to a "conference room" type atmosphere when they are not decorated for a special occasion or for meal times. I am often asked about ideas to make the dining table look beautiful whilst also being practical. Dining tables tend to serve multi-purposes especially if space is limited - they are often used as work spaces, games tables, present wrapping stations and over bearing, formal displays become cumbersome.

Living in the tropics, has its challenges, particularly with the short lifespan of many varieties of fresh cut flowers. I have gathered some simple, elegant and easy ideas to create a striking dining table.


Pendant lights make a big statement and anchor the table within the room. It serves as an illuminator and centerpiece for the dining room/area. If you are a minimalist, the pendant will be enough, however if your one to still have something on the table then low planters or shallow bowls would be recommended.

My experience is that most landlords are open to the addition of a pendant light - the implementation and reversal is the same as a ceiling fan.


Flameless candles on timers are also a great way to add some instant illumination to the dining table - Pillar candles or tea lights.

Nautical Decor

Add some texture with natural elements such as groupings of shells, a statement piece of coral or some real life to the table - The sea is a natural extension of living in the tropics and a great way to bring the outside, indoors and a good talking point as it has a story behind each piece or animal!

Fruit or Vegetables - Faux or Real

The colour provides a great contrast to your dining table - orange/white, yellow/brown, lime/silver and so on. They can be displayed in wooden bowls, ceramic bowls, silver bowls or glass. Raid the cupboard and find those vintage items passed down to you from your grandparents, christening bowls or items you have bought in your travels. They can be updated with ease for seasonal celebrations such as Easter, Halloween and Christmas.

Affordable Plants & Blooms

Cycas palms, orchids, moss balls, succulents, lilies, palm fonds, pineapple plants all make for interesting tropical centre pieces that also survive well in this climate.


Use of Group dynamics work well - 3, 5, 7.

  • Nina Beale

Inside the home of chic Fragrance house - Atelier Lumira


I first met the owner of Atelier Lumira Fragrance House, Almira Armstrong, in Singapore, in 2014. I was immediately captivated by her style & outgoing personality. The story behind her candle range adds to the glamour and experience when you burn the candle and we couldn't wait to get her candles in store shortly after our meeting.

I have just brought in to the store, The NEW ALL white Collezione Bianco range. It contains only 3 scents. Each one is recommended to be lit at different times of the day.





Post University, I pursued a career in marketing which provided me the valuable opportunity to reside and work offshore in LA & New York.

This fuelled my passion for travel, however my love of fragrance started as a young girl. One of my earliest memories was playing with my Mother's perfume bottles at every opportunity and in my teens I taught myself to make candles in our kitchen. I used to give them as gifts to family & friends on special occasions.

Returning to Australia in 2013 with a young family, prompted me to re - think my path ahead and shortly after was the inception of Atelier Lumira. To me, it represented the culmination of all my passions - my love of scent, design & travel. Personally, it doesn't get much better than that!

Each fragrance is a tribute to my early travels, capturing my vivid personal moments and hopefully inspire a sensory escapism.

My wish is to take the owner of each fragrance on a journey they may have had OR may not have experienced before - it is to provide an escapism we all so need in our busy lives and enjoy the memories of our travels.


What advice do you offer anyone starting up their own business?

"Just start now and don't be afraid to take some risk...plan ahead taking in to account hurdles you may cross in 6-12 months time and not just solving the challenges you face today."


Work - Life Balance?

I think so! My tip is to keep moving - We love entertaining at home and we have a date night once a month.


Key ingredients for the Home?

We recently moved house - Our priority was to transform the house in to a sanctuary in which the whole family could retreat to after long days at work & school and also an environment for the children to enjoy. I didn't want to compromise on comfort.

We invested in a lot of paint - primarily white, mirrors to create the illusion of space. Outdoors we invested in planters, textiles and greenery to freshen up the area.


Flowers and of course candles(!!) transform the atmosphere but I reflect my passions through books, stacks of magazine & art work.


I also like to indulge in a touch of gold to add some glamour in to the mix.

My final advice is to focus on the flooring in your space - it is the key design element in any home and also helps to create the flow & continuity between indoors & outdoors. My preference is for wood floors as you can stain them to match your color scheme but I recommend layering with rugs to provide some texture.

Online resources to provide inspiration?


Favourite Restaurant?

I was recently in L.A and loved Gjelina - a Venice staple. It focuses on farm-to-table sharing plates and was definitely worth the wait!

  • Nina Beale