June 19, 2018

Continuing our series on the high's and low's of interior design costings by room, enjoy our feature on the 'Dining Room'. Ranging from those designing cleverly on a shoestring to those having the budget to indulge fine craftsmanship and custom pieces. Of course, there is everything in between, but these are a guideline for costs at each end of the budget range. B : ) www.firstavenuedesign.com


February 19, 2018

I have never yet sat down with a client who didn't squirm somewhat when I put the total cost for a schedule of furniture and furnishings in front of them, for an entire home.

It doesn't matter if they have a $10,000 budget or a $1M budget, there is usually a moment of silence. 

Because, rarely do we ever buy every single furnishing item for an entire home in one go.

Over a long career dedicated to building, rebuilding, renovating, remodelling, and designing, I've yet to hear "Oh, that's great, just what we were expecting and had budgeted for."

Have never heard it, suspect I never will.

There are several reasons for this. The first is that generally people don't even know what furnishings cost, so they can't know. The second is, they certainly haven't ever compiled a complete list, so they won't know.

We thought it would be useful for all people embarking on the process of design work to have a realistic idea of at least the 'high's and low's' of costs 'by room' for th...

January 31, 2018

As our cities move upwards and urban living becomes smaller and more compact, we look for additional ways to give the 5TH room even more personality, and use design elements that are more connected to the overall design of the interior of our homes.

The small courtyard or balcony garden that forms part of many traditional and new build dwellings can often be just a few square metres, and they come with a mix of challenges such as a need for privacy, unsightly exposed services pipes, and hard featureless walls, making it a difficult to unify with the interior space.

Today, architects, designers, and landscape architects are looking to those hard surface walls and fences as a place to add detail, drama, and design features. Walls are now being treated to their own artistic finishes, with modern influences.

Wall murals in particular are being used as an opportunity to create a focal point in the garden or courtyard space that reflects back the interior space, further...

January 25, 2018

I often describe my job as pulling buildings apart and then putting them back together again. Revisiting a favourite past project on the northern beaches of NSW . We started with 103 square metres of cute. We excavated, looked for charm where we could find it, added hydraulic works around the billion year old boulders in the cellar, dug deep to give an under croft head height, and added 190 square metres of outdoor living space in the form of two terraced decks, one above the other. One shaded space, one sunny space with shelter. We wrestled a 3 bedroom, two bathroom, highly functional gem out of her, and she was a joy to work on.


January 22, 2018

You’re lucky enough to have a ‘getaway.’ A holiday house. A place to escape to. Great!

You turn the key each time you return and horror of horrors - you spend the first few days cleaning, disinfecting, clearing the pantry, and getting the stale smell out of the house.

These are the interior design choices you NEED to make to have an incredibly beautiful and welcoming holiday space, that’s been designed for practicality, easy living, and low maintenance.

Designed to survive for the long periods it’s locked up, and the times when it’s bursting with family and takes a bit of a beating. 

Listed are our top tips for restful and rewarding holiday spaces that keep work and worry to a minimum. 


The style should be relaxed, the colours restful, and the furnishings low care, BUT, this house should be another great design style that you love, but not the same as home. It should feel different every time you walk through the door, and remind you, you're...

January 6, 2018

Maison-Objet has long been a design mecca for interior designers, artisan suppliers and design followers and predicators around the world. The annual exhibit being in Paris certainly doesn't hurt!

One of our favourite events in the interior design calendar is Maison Objet when suppliers from all over the globe introduce incredible new products and ranges.

We have put together some highlights from this years exhibitors and we are so excited to see there are more than half a dozen Australian companies in Paris this year.

Of special note to us are the amazing prints by Sydney based Kerrie Brown and the bespoke hand dyed leathers from Shibori Australia.
Hope you enjoy looking through our fav’s - and a big congratulations to the artisan suppliers who represent us on the world stage.