bronnie masefau Bronnie is a working mum, the wife of a preacher, business owner and best selling author. Her design portfolio includes projects both locally, throughout Australia, as well as internationally. Bronnie identifies as more of a homemaker rather than an interior designer.   Read more...
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CREATING UNIQUE in a consumer focused world.

Posted on 07/14/14 homelife , No Comments

It takes courage to step out and be you in a mass production – must have now – economy. Custom made items can take anything from 2 – 18 weeks to be manufactured and who has the time for this, right?

So, I thought I would have this debate for you. Yep it has to be done, because ‘unique’ is in reach for each of us, however it does take thought, patience and creativity – but I know this is a path worth venturing down and hanging out for.

Custom made need not mean it will cost more. Many times when I discuss having something custom made (CM) with my clients their first response is “do we have the budget for this?” The answer is yes. When we CM an item we have the exciting task of creating an object by selecting the materials used, colours chosen and the budget.

When we CM an item (make or do something to fit the needs or requirements of a particular person) it doesn’t have to be from scratch. Sometimes to make something unique you can take something off the shelf and add additional items to transform it into an object of desire for YOU. For example take a pair of prefab (ready-to-go) pine bookcases. Position them either side of the fireplace, or window. Then to allow them to look and feel unique to you and your needs you can attach them to the wall and further attach a continuous cornice from the side right the way around the top of them from wall to wall. In addition you could paint them in a colour that makes your room zing! – This is a smart and inexpensive way of taking something off the shelf and creating something practical and special for you and your family.

Gallery walls are bespoke creations. A gathering of personalised pictures and/or objects – collected over time, or from many sources. What I love most about this new, old way of displaying things we collect is it is a unique personal touch we can each capture and outwork…despite our budgets. It is a perfect way to CM your home. You could source from galleries, antique stores, grandma’s cupboards or holidays abroad.

Another fabulous way to add that personal touch to your home is by having your furniture upholstered in a fabric you love. Or again, if you have an existing piece of shop-bought seating and desire to give it a uniquely YOU touch you can add a trim along the bottom or have the seat cushion upholstered in a selected piece of fabric – purchased  from a fabric house or perhaps a scarf or blanket brought back from a trip abroad!

Look through books, flick through the pages of the latest Vogue Living or invest a little time online and look for that little bit of unique that will inspire you within your own home.

CM

ADDING THE ‘COSY’ FACTOR…

Posted on 06/30/14 homelife , No Comments

It is a chilly winters’ morning here in Melbourne. The fire is glowing in the background as I sit at my computer wrapped in a blanket…oh how I love this time of year!

It is in these cooler months our collection of blankets and throws come into their own. They add the cosy factor to any space – transforming a chilly night into a toasty, loving setting.

It is school holidays here in Melbourne as in most places throughout Australia. Our children are ready for a little down time and fun. Poppie flew in from Brisbane last night to share 10 days with us while my dear mum continues to work as we prepare for a big July here at the ‘bronniemasefau’ design studio.

As the kids planned for Poppie’s arrival there was excitement in the air, each announcing what they were going to do with poppy. One saying “let’s take poppy to the movies”, another “or maybe fishing on the pier” each appreciating the value we place on being wonderful caring hosts.

Cosy decorating is key in these cooler months. Casually positioning throws on the ends on your sofa arms and on your single chairs creates a warm, loved-in cosy layer of comfort welcoming to all. When you set your guest rooms, further add layers of blankets and cushions so your guests sleep through till the sun awakes them in the morn.

Enjoy adding that cosy layer to your home this week! HAPPY MONDAY!!

blankets and throws

Technical tip: – A throw is a smaller blanket. They are normally about 130 x 200 (however can vary in size). The purpose of a throw blanket is to add warmth and cosiness. You would use a throw by draping it over a sofa or chair, or perhaps position it on the end of a bed; scenic throws have also been used as wall hangings. A blanket on the other hand is intended for use on a bed. It is used in addition to a comforter (Quilt) to add a soft texture and warmth. Generally blanket sizes are matched to that of sheets. Single, Double, Queen and king.

THE HUMBLE BEDROOM…

Posted on 06/23/14 homelife , No Comments

The humble bedroom has a big duty to play in our lives. It’s where we go to rest and restore our mind body and soul in a very personal way. The living room also assists in these duties, but we all know that a night without a peaceful sleep can make for a rather challenging day ahead!

I fondly remember my teen bedroom. I was constantly tweaking it, moving my trinkets and furniture around my small space. I remember having a much-loved hatbox and suitcase collection that I would style on top of my vintage wardrobe. Looking back now I can clearly see that within the comfort of my bedroom space the beginnings of who I am today began to take shape.

Not much has changed. It is within our bedroom space I bring in the most personal trinkets. I try out new items to see whether they will blend within our layered home. I confess to being influenced by movies like ‘The family stone’, ‘You’ve got mail’ and ‘Out of Africa’ adding personality and delight to our bedroom always.

I believe it is important we keep a tight rein on the build up of mess within this space. There is definitely a close link between health and wellbeing and sleep and cleanliness. When our bedroom is in order I sleep better.

So as we step into a new week I put out a challenge to each of us to take stock of our bedroom spaces. Find design inspiration in some books, magazines, design shows, movies, museums or a brisk walk through the park or on the beach and come back and inject a little flavour into your personal bedroom space today…I know you’ll sleep better for it!

Bedrooms with dramaP.S. I’d love to see your before and afters pic’s! – send them via instagram to #bronniemasefaubedroomchallenge

CREATIVE SPACES INSPIRE PRODUCTIVITY.

Posted on 06/19/14 homelife , No Comments

If you have the mid-week blues NOW is the perfect time to address your creative space. I know, you are feeling a little overwhelmed and are thinking that you don’t have time to stop…BUT I assure you if you just step back for an hour and do a little decor tweaking your productivity will increase and you will be back on schedule in no time!…Go on give it a try.

Let me break it down for you: – Firstly, look at your overall layout. Are you comfortable? Are you making the most of your natural light (Windows)? Can you easily reach all you need to work efficiently? (E.g. uncluttered work surface, easily accessible storage…and most importantly do you have room for your coffee mug??) Secondly, how is your lighting? Perhaps grab your bedside lamp or the floor lamp, sitting unused in your living room and use it to not only increase your desk lighting but also add a little chic to your work area.

How about the view from where you sit…is it a feast for your eyes? Or a disastrous distraction? Add flair to a space by gathering and displaying all the good stuff. If you have a pile of novels, remove the dust jackets and display them with the spine the opposite way so you only see the white pages. This will make your not-so-fabulous book collection look like a work of art! Or what about that fireplace that doesn’t work – why not use this as your bookshelf! (See picture below)

I find the best way to inject a little spring back into my step is to create little vignettes that inspire. A grouping of chairs layered with throws and cushions, teamed with a great lamp never fails to get me talking shop again, or why not invest time into hanging a cluster of artwork that packs a visual punch. If you are keen to assemble a gallery wall but don’t feel you have enough items of interest remember to check in the kitchen!…Add a woven tray or plate to the mix for an eclectic touch.

Visual delight = inspiration = productivity = purpose fulfilled!

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creative spaces 1

RENT-THE-HOUSE…but, make it your home!

Posted on 06/03/14 homelife , 2 Comments

Reading back through some notes today I stumbled upon a beautiful message I had received from a delightful lady that had attended one of my lectures and left feeling burden-less about their current rent-a-home scenario.

We love renting. This I admit has not always been my opinion. When we first went from our-own-home into a rental property it was a novelty, however the next rental was my new reality. I found it to be a burdensome thought that me, an ‘Interior Designer’ was a renter! However overtime my opinion changed…drastically.

One morning, at our Saturday family breakfast feast I had a revelation that would change the way I saw our current rental circumstance and give me back my inspiration and passion for creating our family home. I realised, as we laughed around the table and shared stories from the week that was that we had three beautiful, funny, well-balanced children and that whilst we mightn’t own our house ( or any of the previous three )…we’d always owned the HOME!

That day my heart did a little dance (…well, skipped a beat!) and the weight of this world lifted. I felt so overwhelmed and empowered by this revelation that I continued on to write a book about it called ‘Australian Vintage Living-making anywhere home’. I desired for women everywhere who were perhaps in the same, or similar position to know that our circumstances are fleeting, but wherever you live, on whatever budget you have, you can create a home that will be embraced by all.

Well, another three rentals on and we are just as happy. Loving life and enjoying the seasons with our fabulous children. Creating memories through little experiences with our babies (well, teenagers) is the most important thing for us as parents. One day we hope to be back in our own house…making it a home, however until such a time we are living up a storm and using every new space as an opportunity to better understand what styles bring us joy and look like home to us.

Embrace the now – for tomorrow holds its own adventures.

rental

I HAVE A DESIGN CRUSH!…

Posted on 05/12/14 homelife , No Comments

I have a décor crush on patterned tiles. There, I’ve said it. It’s out and we can now move on. Hehe – I love the personality that a great patterned tile brings to a room. A bench to ceiling splash back can transform a basic white kitchen palette into the ‘Wow’ factor of the room. An eclectic tile combination on an entry, bathroom, or Kitchen floor will become the talking point of the entire home and teamed with simple block-coloured furniture will have all guests swooning.

Now with the added comfort of underfloor heating the humble tile, seen in ancient sites throughout the world, can still today be seen in homes all over the world. With their varying sizes, designs and finishes we designers have the pleasure of creating new works of art that will hopefully be loved by home owners for centuries to come.

The rules for the design of laying tiles used to be simple, larger tiles for bigger bathrooms and smaller tiles, in proportion with smaller areas, however like most fields within the design industry we have challenged this theory over the years and now you will see Large tiles teamed with mosaic tiles in both big and small bathrooms as well as a variety of designs within one space.

There are many advantages to using glazed of fired ceramic tiles. They are hardwearing, waterproof, easy to wipe clean and dry and they come in a HUGE range of colours, patterns and sizes.

The humble tile is making its comeback!

Enjoy your week!

tilestiles 6tiles 4

tiles 5tiles2

NOTE: We are only 2 and a bit weeks away from our next workshop! Topic: Finishing Touches…If you would like to gain greater knowledge on how to spruce up your existing home or investment property for re-sale you’ll love this workshop. I will not only be talking about the ‘how to’ but showing you! Head to workshops to book your ticket today!

TRENDS…TO FOLLOW OR NOT TO FOLLOW…

Posted on 05/09/14 homelife , No Comments

From where do trends immerge? Should we embrace them? How is it that you can search and search for something e.g. new car, new bag – and once you have decided on which one to buy you see them/it EVERYWHERE!

As I have said, on more than one occasion trends are NOT pillars, they are springboards of inspiration. A trend in fashion is a projection as to what is new and hip and happening…and transit. Trends are not timeless, they have an expiry date.

On the flip side trends – if we understand our personal flavour and learn how to sift out what works within our personal palette and style – can offer a fresh injection of inspiration.

Trends are set by trend forecasting agencies, leading industry designers, suppliers, marketing/PR agencies…and well-connected networking individuals.

Some trends that have been immerging on the home front are gallery picture walls, Danish furniture – simplicity and elegance in one, faux fur accessories, mixing up of metals – iron, brass, copper, a return to open bookcases, exposed concrete walls – polished floors, masculine décor and of course Art Deco Décor. These are all fabulous showings of beautiful stylish design and when used in conjunction with an owner’s personality can leave a lasting design décor impression.

The message of a new trend is broadcasted through many mediums. Some of which are Fashion/home magazines, movies and retail accessibility. Let’s take the ‘Art Deco’ movement for instance – after the ‘Great Gatsby’ movie our love for the 1920’s was rekindled. From here the message was reinforced through magazines and finally through the availability of both Art Deco styled fashion and home products through retail stores.

So lets work back the other way. The producers sit down with the it crowd, discuss the movie, get the set designers involved, who then chat to people within their elite network at a cocktail party, who make mention of it to the fabric house and before long all involved are on the same bus and the 1920’s is showing up in the 21st century. Trends are not pillars.

Where am I going with all this? Good question! My point is simple, be you. Embrace your personality and become your style. When you are reliant on the lasted trend to determine your next move you are living your life on a treadmill heading in one direction. However when you invest time into discovering your personal style (…good name for a workshop!) you can come alongside the latest trends only investing in those that add to your style and in doing so create a lasting impression.

Happy weekend!

trend 3TRend 1trend 5Trend 2

THE BEGINNING OF FOREVER…

Posted on 04/30/14 homelife , No Comments

20 years ago today we said ‘I Do’. Not long before we got married we purchased a house to renovate so we could move in on our wedding day.

To look back and see this beautiful home ignites so many wonderful memories. Family gathered on the side and back porch as we announced ‘we’re pregnant’ and BBQ’s that went into the wee hours of the morn.

Our first home was a springboard to my design aspirations. We invested so much time into the tweaking of this abode, pouring in our heart and soul. We celebrated life with our first born here, Isaiah and I was pregnant with our second, Nate when we sold to venture into bigger territory.

HOME is such a powerful word. It holds the memories of our yesterdays, the expectations of our today’s and the hope for our tomorrows.

Hope you enjoy the pic’s…

OUR FIRST HOME PURCHASED IN 1993

BanyoOUR CURRENT ABODE…

Home Now

 

SETTING THE ATMOSPHERE.

Posted on 04/14/14 homelife , No Comments

So the table is set, the roast is cooking beautifully in the oven and the cushions that line the sofa have been prepped and ready to receive guests. So why does it still feel a little bare? Adding flowers always injects a fresh vibe. If it’s an evening event a couple of candles will give a beautiful glow…but wait there’s more! Music. A subtle background vibe of light jazz or a classical tune shifts the atmosphere and welcomes guests with open arms.

Nowadays a CD player seems like a thing of the past, however Foxtel offers a fabulous range, synced with the TV and fed through the built in speakers. Queuing the music need not be a tedious task.

Entertaining from the comfort of your home with a flavourful jazzy backdrop is only a button away!

Make this week your best yet!!

Entertaining 101A

SAYING GOOD-BYE…

Posted on 04/11/14 homelife , No Comments

It is in times of need you most appreciate your loved ones and friends. We have been loved on over the passed week as we said good-bye to my Pop and sat with my auntie in hospital as the Doctor’s discuss their next step.

We have been celebrating my Pop as a family; gathering to chat about the ‘old days’ and singing his favorite hymns. We are so blessed to have this time together in unity.

Never more than today have I appreciated the role of a home. A place to gather. A place to rest and a place to restore. We have cried, laughed and sung within my auntie’s home, watching the generations gather in the kitchen to prepare an evening meal and share their experiences.

Love is the most valued emotion and the home is where it nests. Adjusting the cushions so my Nan is comfortable, trimming the flowers, propping my dad’s leg up on a foot rest or serving up another round of hot drinks, is all possible because somebody made time to prepare the home. These gestures seem simple and at times mundane, yet in times of weariness or grief they put a smile on the receivers face and a blanket of peace over their open wounds.

My son and I make our way home to Melbourne tomorrow and I am so excited to see our family. To hug my hubby and babies a little tighter and to add that mother’s touch to our home.

Enjoy your weekend and be purposeful about making your house a home…An injection of love will bring life to any room.

Bronnie

FT

 

ENTERING THE FABULOUS WORLD OF DESIGN…

Posted on 03/24/14 homelife , No Comments

Good Monday morning one and all!…It is a wonderfully gray day outside, which gives me great inspiration. Inspiration to dress with spunk and design with style.

It is workshop week! Topic?…Entering the fabulous world of Design. Make no mistake – thoughtful design changes the way you live and brings a balance to a full home. Purposeful design allows you and your family to do life well, creating beautiful spaces and storage solutions relative to the way YOU choose to live.

We will be chatting about the functionality of home design, offering creative ideas inspired from the passed and new thinking for a bigger and better way of doing home life.

There are still available spaces for the Tuesday evening session so head to the website and secure your space today. (Evening sessions are held within our home (Southbank, Melbourne) and offer a wonderful time of good conversation and yummy food!)

Have a delightful Monday and productive week!

Bronnie

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Add drama, to an otherwise plain room with oversized furniture, as seen in the first photo where they have extended the height of the bookcases…or add warmth and depth to a contemporary kitchen (…or space) by adding a whimsical element, as seen in the above photo with the installation of industrial stools and fabulous greenery. Simple learning’s could take your existing home to a new, desirable level of living…You could be already living in your dream home, it could just require a little tweaking!

THE ACCUMULATION OF STUFF.

Posted on 03/19/14 homelife , No Comments

Is stuff taking over your home? One of the most asked questions come question time at any one of my speaking events is “what should I do with all my parents stuff?” My first response is ‘Do you enjoy it?’ followed by ‘Is it stuff that works in your lifestyle?’ The general census is normally a resounding NO! – Which I confess to already knowing their answer, otherwise they wouldn’t have asked the question in the first place.

It is a reminder to me to try to not anchor our children to our ‘stuff’. I also think we have a responsibility to be accountable for all our ‘stuff’. Meaning, have regular clean outs…remember if you don’t deal with it now your children will be left the burden of dealing with it later.

The accumulation of Stuff, if not managed well, can put emotional wedges between family members and be overwhelming for loved ones as they are left to care for it, or remove it.

My first question, as mentioned is ‘Do you enjoy it?’ The reason for this is, if the item left to your care is something you genuinely love; perhaps a sideboard that sits proudly in your entry and reminds you of all your family gatherings, or a dining table that you now have the privilege of entertaining your guest around, embrace it. However if it is an item that does not fit in with your surroundings and never will, take a photo of it, and either pass it on or sell it. (Remember to have it valued if selling, so you can obtain the correct price) If we hold onto a piece of furniture, or the like, because we feel obligated to, we are then passing this decision onto the next generation to sort out. So if you don’t love it…snap it and pack it…and move it on!

My second question, ‘Is it stuff that works with your lifestyle?’ – the truth is, we each have a different reality, a different way of outworking our daily lives. If your family members are sending an heirloom to you that is not in-line with your values or lifestyle, check if your kids are interested and if not make the uncomfortable decision to pass it on to perhaps another family member that will genuinely love it. Any object not loved or enjoyed, is a burden!

Be mindful not to house stuff in external storage facilities for ‘a rainy day.’ Out of site + out of mind = out of pocket! I am ashamed to say, we have been down this path. We stored a whole houseful of stuff for two years, because it would be great for the grandkids. (One day!) The reality was, when we revisited the lovingly packet boxes and set up all the furniture items, we loved the memory of the piece more than the object. So we photographed each piece, hired a truck and sold everything, except one or two pieces, at the local markets. Now we have the finance to make more memories!

Enjoy what you have, but remember your stuff can become somebody else’s burden, so be mindful to keep it in check!

Have a fabulous day!!

stuff

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