Category Archives: Lifestyle

Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Interior Decorating Trends?

Question 1: In which 20th century decade were rattan and cane furniture most popular? a) 1990’s b) 1920’s c) 1970’s d) 1930’s


Question 2: What colour timber is most popular in the Scandinavian design trend? a) Oak and pine b) Merbau c) Spotted gum d) Teak


Question 3: Frank Lloyd Wright was a renowned architect popular during which era? a) Art Deco b) Mid-century Modern c) Post-War d) Rococo


Question 4: I am opulent, glamorous and bold in my style. I use a lot of geometric shapes and love metallics such as gold and silver. Which interior design style am I? a) Hamptons b) Art Deco c) Mid-Century Modern d) Bauhaus


Question 5: What are the most popular accent colours in the Hamptons design style? a) Red and orange b) Pink and purple c) Yellow and Brown d) Blue and Green


Question 6: Who is a popular furniture designer that has replicas made of their work to this day? a) Charles and Ray Eames b) Phillipe Starck c) Hans Wegner d) All of the above


Answers: Question 1: C – 1970’s


Question 2: A – Oak and pine


Question 3: B – Mid-century modern


Question 4: B – Art deco


Question 5: D – Blue and green


Question 6: D – All of the above

Quiz: How well do you know the history of Australian homes?

Here at Aspley Homemaker City we love Australian Homes and more specifically Queenslander Homes. And we know you do too! So, we thought we would create a fun quiz to kick off the new year and test your knowledge on Australian Homes!

1. Which was the first known style of Australian home? A) Queenslander B) Colonial C) Workers Cottage D) Victorian


2. What is a key feature of a Federation style home? A) Pressed metal ceilings B) Return verandas C) Timber fretwork D) All of the above


3. What defines a Queenslander style home? A) Made of timber originally painted green, cream and maroon B) Traditional fretwork to 30% of the façade C) A high set house made of timber with a veranda D) A two-story dwelling with a veranda that wraps around the entire house


4. What year was the current oldest standing home in Australia built? A) 1770 B) 1793 C) 1826 D) 1842


5. Why are Queenslander homes built so high? A) To withstand flooding B) To create more airflow and reduce heat C) To avoid pet infestations D) All of the above


6. Which home style was most popular around 1900? A) Federation B) Victorian C) Colonial D) Gothic


7. Where did the Tudor style house originate? A) Germany B) United States of America C) England D) Scotland


8. Newstead House, Brisbane’s oldest surviving home was built in? A) 1846 B) 1798 C) 1807 D) 1839


Answers: Question 1: B – Colonial


Question 2: D – All of the above


Question 3: C – A high set house made of timber with a veranda


Question 4: B – 1793


Question 5: D – All of the above


Question 6: A – Federation


Question 7: C – England


Question 8: A – 1846


Practical Tips to Style Your Home Inside and Out

The first question so many of us face when it comes to styling our homes is: where to start?

Some of us think we need to get builders or professionals in to do a renovation. Or we need an interior decorator to give us all the inside tips. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Styling your home might mean changing the décor and furniture and adding some personal touches that weren’t there before. If you aren’t happy with the way your home looks, it may be down to that different rooms are styled in different ways which brings everything out of balance. Styling not only creates a more harmonious look, but it can bring out your personality – which is part of how we’d like our homes to look.

Adding style and beauty to your home should not cost the earth. You can start small and work your way up – and it doesn’t have to cost five figures or more.

Our guide is practical, and you can start with what you have on hand – or what’s in store at Aspley Homemaker Centre.

Easy Styling Tips

Display things in threes

Three is the magic number – when decorating with accessories, be careful not to overload the space. Group accessories with similar themes and varying heights to create beautiful displays and choose quality over quantity! A trio of items on a table or in a corner brings balance to a room. The items don’t need to be uniform either; try different heights or widths, textures and materials, and eclectic objects.

Layering on rugs and sheets

This is often used by professional home stylists to create depth and a more “lived in” atmosphere. You may even notice it when you’re at a swanky hotel next. Layering a colourful or snazzy rug on top of a neutral or earth-toned carpet enhances the look of a bedroom, living room, or dining area.

Flowers light up your home

Flowers instantly bring a fresh feeling to your home. Adding vases of fresh flowers in corners or on benchtops – out of the way of your usual food prep or vanities of course – can bring warmth and vibrance to your home in virtually every room. It’s an effortless look and can put visitors more at ease. For a more cost-effective option, you can use fresh or dried flowers to get the same effect.

Dust regularly

Nothing kills style than a fine layer of dust. This tip is free – just grab a duster or vacuum cleaner and make sure your nooks and crannies are free of dust and lint. Don’t just leave it to your regular cleaning regimen – make sure you do a light dusting every few days or so, just in case guests decide to breeze in unannounced.

Styling Your Bedroom

Cushions and soft furnishings

Adding cushions and soft furnishings to your bedroom – such as ottomans, poufs, or small armchairs – are excellent pieces for bringing texture to your bedroom and a unified finished look.

Stand-alone racks

Keeping clothes in wardrobes or chests of drawers are outdated – high-street boutiques now use “open racks” that are considered decorative furniture. Add a standalone rack to give your bedroom a burst of colour and have your most-worn clothes right within reach.

Not just for sleeping in

Though the English word for “the room we sleep in” is “bedroom” (the German word is “Schlafzimmer”, literally, “sleeping room”) we often make it pull double duties as a relaxation haven or even an office. Zoning your bedroom with a reading nook replete with comfy chair next to a window, or a standing office space on top of a chest of drawers helps you concentrate on the only thing you should be doing in bed – sleeping. It’s also compartmentalised and helps reduce clutter.

Fairy lights and eclectic lamps

There are so many options when it comes to lighting a room these days, having one light in the ceiling seems so last century. Fairy lights, LED strips, and metallic lamps that you can hang over the bedhead are not only bold statements but popular ones too. Internet connected lamps and LEDs can set lighting according to your mood and help wake you up by gradually raising the illumination. RGB (multi-colour) lights can even add ambiance for music, reading, or relaxing.

Adding Style To The Living Room

Use your coffee table as a centrepiece

Having a bold coffee table as something that ties the room together is a great idea to style your living area. Have candles, books, flowers, photos – anything that shows off your personality. Place décor on a flat plate or bowl to create texture and as an easy way to clear the table when you’re entertaining. Have the coffee table atop your rugs and carpets for even more of a pop.

Seating is styling

Even if you live alone, having more seats than necessary in your living room is a fantastic element of style. Using colourful or patterned cushions of all shapes and sizes are an effortless way to create a homely space – and useful for those long nights of binge-watching Netflix.

Use lamps, not the main lights

Floor lamps and table lamps can express your style even further and create subtle lighting instead of using your main lights for everything. The more lamps you have, the more options open up for lighting of your choosing. With new Wi-Fi connected LED lights, you can dim or brighten the room to your liking – or even create swirling colours that suit your mood.

Art, prints, and colour

Hanging artwork or prints of your favourite photos can really enhance the look of your living room and can complement the textured look. Bare looking walls look boring – use the space to bring out your personality and make it yours.

Adding depth with hanging shelves

Along with art and prints, you can add depth with hanging shelves affixed to the wall that are both decorative and practical. Add pot plants, trinkets, or framed photos on there for a stylish look, or use it to house books, music, or movies (or memorabilia from those three, if you’re physical media free.)

Remember scale

Keep everything proportionate in terms of scale. For example, use a low coffee table, half-height couches or seats, and a tall floor lamp. If you’re going for plants, make sure they’re medium-sized and don’t crowd anything out. Consider adding a decorative lampshade or pendant light to bring things together – even if you aren’t using the lights for illumination.

Bathroom and Kitchen Ideas

Uniform soap bottles and dishes

If you use liquid soap or hand sanitiser, ditch the store bottle, and store it in one of your own. Purchasing a special purpose soap bottle or dispenser is a small touch, but it can feed into your larger colour scheme and style. A sleek monochrome bottle might suit a modern design; something with patterns or rustic touches lend itself to a more organic design. Use these bottles for shampoo, washing up liquid, and anything that you use to clean with. It also saves on plastic waste since you only need to buy refills.

Candles and artwork

You can add a bit of luxury to your bathroom by adding some simple artwork in a frame or a few candles around the bath. All give your bathroom a high class feel – even if you aren’t big on taking long baths.

Adding green

Indoor plants like Fiddle Leaf Figs or succulents are understated greenery that can add life to any room but look great in bathrooms or kitchens without being too showy or hard to maintain. Fiddle Leaf Figs are ideal as they’re slow-growing and can be trained to grow in braids and standards. Make sure it’s in the corner or out of the way and gets some light from time to time. Succulents can be kept in candleholders or old glass water bottles under a wall niche or next to your soaps and hand creams on a vanity shelf.

Add textures

Much like in the living room, you can add textures with fluffy bathmats, high thread count towels, and plant pots with ribbed or stone finishes. It can really stand out in rooms that are usually flat and lifeless by nature.

Outdoor and Balcony

Whether you have a backyard or a balcony, you can follow some easy tips to make entertaining look and feel like an extension of your home.

Extend the indoors to outside

Just like the colours and textures of your home, you should extend the indoors outside. If you are using neutral tones in your lounge, use them outside. Remember this when buying accessories and seating for your entertainment focal point. Just remember to remember the scale of your space and style accordingly. Eating up all the space with a massive table on a smaller balcony can make you and your guests feel cramped, for example.

Outdoor furniture

Eating al fresco is becoming popular for people with decks and balconies and you should consider having a complete dining suite to match. Outdoor-centered tables and chairs are great for entertaining, serving as a place for all your snacks and drinks during stand-up parties, and even the main event for an outdoor dinner party. If you’re more into relaxing than entertaining, a comfortable lounge chair or two might be the perfect fit.

Create a sense of ambiance

Drinks and nibbles long into the evening are a staple in Australia and setting a mood with fairy lights or string lights help bring a subtle yet cosy mood to any outdoor event. You can also use lanterns on tables or around your deck or entertainment area. Using citronella can also help with keeping the mozzies away.

Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise

If you want to have your outdoor entertainment area good for all seasons, consider adding accessories such as standing heaters or fire pits. Bringing the greenery to your seating or deck is also a popular option, with free standing potted plants blurring the line between outside and inside even more.

Decorative screening

If your balcony or your backyard backs onto a garage or other kind of wall, you can add some personality and colour with decorative screening. Bamboo, wooden slats, steel – there’s something to match your tastes and make exposed brick or render become more alive. Try adding a mirror to your balcony or courtyard which can instantly lend your area the illusion of space.


To get started on your home styling projects, find all the stores that have everything you need at Aspley Homemaker City – we promise not to disappoint!

How to create feng shui at home

Chinese New Year is the perfect time to revamp your home and bring some fresh energy to your space.

The ancient Chinese art of feng shui is a great way to put together a beautiful home by bringing in a positive flow of energy. Here’s how to bring some happiness to your home using a few basic feng shui techniques.

1. Bring positive energy into the home

In feng shui, energy enters your home via the front door, so it’s important to keep that area clear of clutter, yet warm and inviting.

Get rid of any mess in that area and instead, show it some love by perhaps placing a stylish console table to the side or laying a beautiful doormat or runner on the floor. It can even be as simple as regularly maintaining your front door by giving it a new coat of paint or cleaning it with a lint-free cloth or sponge to remove dirt and dust.

2. Declutter your living room

In feng shui, your living room should be clean, light, airy and free of clutter to attract positive energy.

Different shaped mirrors and various kinds of lights are a great way to bring light and positive energy into the room if you don’t have many windows.

While feng shui may dictate how to configure your home, one of its basic rules is the importance of creating a beautiful, balanced home by using common design principles. For example, choosing the best sized couch or rug for your living room.

3. Bring the outdoors in

Plants are a wonderful way of creating a feng shui-friendly home by activating positive energy in your space. The best time to introduce new plants into your home is at the start of the month or year when it symbolises a healthy beginning for you, your family and loved ones.

When it comes to choosing plants, look for those with curved or round leaves, instead of spikes or thorns. For example, peace lilies, philodendrons, bamboo and ferns.

The best spots to place plants in your home are in the east, south and southeast areas.

Don’t forget to take care of your plants – dying plants bring bad energy into the home, so water them as needed, put them in a sunny spot in your home and place them in beautiful pots.

4. Water = wealth

In feng shui, it’s believed that a water feature or fountain can attract abundance and wealth, from great work opportunities to financial success.

Ideally, the water will be constantly flowing and placed near your doorway (but not blocking it) to attract extra cash or career opportunities.

The best place to put your water feature is in either the east, southeast or north corners of your home. Avoid placing it in the bedroom or underneath the stairs.