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Think Outside The Blog

Alana O Interiors Interior Design Blog for Innovative Quirky Ideas!

Expert Tips on Kitchen Renovations

Most of us would love a new kitchen, but think it is financially beyond our reach. This doesn’t have to be the case. You can achieve a beautiful kitchen on a budget by applying some smart refurbishment techniques.

I was delighted recently to contribute some advice for loan comparison site Rate City, who have recently published a great article about how to renovate your kitchen on a budget. Here are some essential tips:

Make the Most of the Space

One of the key things about kitchen design is to measure correctly and find innovative uses for the available space. Integrated storage solutions are a great way to maximise the space in a kitchen. If you’re unsure, it’s important to get help from an experienced professional.

Cheaper Options

Engineered stone benchtops are a more cost effective alternative to natural stone and are much lower maintenance, while still looking just as luxurious. Add tiled or glass splashbacks and stainless steel kkckboards to finish the look.

the lightbulb moment

Image Credit (all)

My Sparky Shop

| Unique | Creative | Green |


Following on from my last post, I am particularly fond of the work of a Perth sparky who is doing a wonderful job out of upcycling!

My Sparky Shop creates lamps and chandeliers out of mason jars, strainers and just about anything he gets his hands on!

Why waste when you can create?

His work gets the big thumbs-up from me, and I can’t wait to feature it in a future project!

Check out some of his creative masterpieces below…. They may just give you a light bulb moment or two!


Upcycling Lamp Light Bulb Perth Interior Design Vintage Retro Industrial Mason Jars Fan

My favourite. Just too clever!


Upcycling Lamp Light Bulb Perth Interior Design Vintage Retro Industrial Mason Jars Kettle

Hot tea, anyone?


Upcycling Lamp Light Bulb Perth Interior Design Vintage Retro Industrial Mason Jars

Fun and sweet, perfect for a kids room.


Upcycling Lamp Light Bulb Perth Interior Design Vintage Retro Industrial

Proof that imagination is the limit.


Upcycling Lamp Light Bulb Perth Interior Design Vintage Retro Industrial Mason Jars Strainer Colander Sieve

How much more vintage can it get?


Upcycling Lamp Light Bulb Perth Interior Design Vintage Retro Industrial Mason Jars Bathroom Ware Tootbrush Soap Dispenser

Love the colour!


Upcycling Lamp Light Bulb Perth Interior Design Vintage Retro Industrial Mason Jars Tripod Camera

Studio lighting never looked so good.


Upcycling Lamp Light Bulb Perth Interior Design Vintage Retro Industrial

Gorgeous Ikea pot meets Mr Sparky Shop. Let there be light!


UPcycling – the new old

Image Credit


| Charming | Unique | Creative |


With the Industrial, Retro and Vintage styles comes a revival of a term in interior design: upcycling.

Never heard of it? It’s well worth looking up!

For a man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

How many things do we throw out every day without thinking of what we could turn them into? As a society we tend to replace everything with new. Buy, buy, buy.

Yet the most unique, creative and charming pieces can’t be bought. They can only be transformed.

Check out these amazing ideas below for upcycling books and get started on your next project!

Book Bedside Painted Upcycling Renovation Styling Decor Image Credit

LOVE this bedside. Simple but oh-so-effective.


Books Storage Hidden Retro Upcycling Styling Image Credit

Hidden storage… so clever.


Wedding Table Decor Books Vintage Upcycling Image Credit

For the perfectly creative vintage wedding decor.


Books Bedside Lamp Upcycling Vintage Image Credit

What better bedside lamp for those cosy nights with a book?


Books Pages Decor Art Artwork Frame Cartoon Vintage Upcycling Image Credit

Yes, you’ll find this idea used in the Ikea postcards… but we must admit it’s a good one!


Book Storage Box Jewelry Vintage Upcycling Image Credit

Forget the mirrored jewelry boxes… they are so yesterday! Bring back the charm.


Subway Tiles. From NY to your home, with no scheduled stops.

Image Credit: Donald Uhrbrock/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images


Subway Tiles:

| Simple | Timeless |


When these plain and petite white ceramic tiles made an appearance as the main finish to New York City’s subway system in 1904, no one could have predicted they would take the world by storm and would continue to be a favourite 110 years later! If that’s not timeless design, I don’t know what is.

Widely popular in kitchens and bathrooms, this design icon also allows for all kinds of applications not limited to these areas… and they will be worth it in each and every one.

Their appeal is due mostly to its versatility – they can make an area look anything from quirky to industrial to elegant. And that’s not an easy feat for one material alone! But the gorgeous Subway tile rises to the challenge – and wins, every time.

We can achieve a myriad of different looks simply by experimenting with their sizes, laying pattern, grout colour, tile colour, tile texture, bevel and tile edging. With so much variation, imagination is the limit!

Having said that, there is something about the original 150×70 white gloss that demands attention and claims the #1 spot in interior design worldwide…. after all, who can resist its original charm?

Let’s have a look at some different, but equally gorgeous, applications below:

100x300 Image Credit

The 100 x 300 format helps elongate small areas compared to the original size. The vintage feel of this bathroom with the lovely round mirror, Tolix stool and wall-hung basin is simply stunning!


Gloss Image Credit

Adding depth and glamour with a dark gloss subway – a completely different result.


Rough Image Credit

A rough finish I particularly like for commercial premises… thinking industrial/contemporary bar in the city.


Marble Image Credit

Taking it one step further with the marble look


Hexagons Image Credit

Subways make great skirting tiles! Featured here alongside amazing hexagon tiles and the iconic Captain’s mirror.


the Mr Loft

Image Credit

The second Interior Design brief to be brought to life in the shape of an actual person is the Loft style.

Cool and casual, yet impressive and individualistic. Loft is about borrowing the idea behind the industrial style, but softening it and bringing in lots of interest through colourful artwork and big, or rather, huge, feature pieces!

Mr Loft would have the kind of look that says “I only buy designer labels…. yet you’ll feel absolutely relaxed around me”.
So what would his wardrobe consist of?

Fairly plain key pieces of clothing for a blank canvas to begin with, a trendy and bright coloured designer blazer, fashionable shoes for a bit of fun and big sunnies to complement the oversized feature pieces back at his “humble” abode.

Mr Loft….. comfort meets designer.

What do you think of the result below? What would you change?

The Loft Style

the Ms Hamptons

Image Credit

Looking through some lifestyle blogs the other day, I saw some posts to do with fashion, which is something that never really grabs my attention, as I think each person is so unique they should dress to their own style, in whatever makes them feel comfortable, or attractive, or happy. But that triggered a thought. What if interior design styles were personified? What would you find in their wardrobes? What would be their favourite outfit? In this series of posts, I’ll be giving life to the main interior design briefs! Let’s begin with a style that has come back to hit the world by storm: The Hamptons interior design.

Ms Hamptons would dress with understated elegance. Natural linens paired with fresh white for a comfortable and timeless look; a splash of duck egg colour for softness; plain white low heels; a lace-look clutch bag for that touch of femininity; and to top it all off, sophisticated pearls tying it all to the coastal origins of the style. Check out the result below.

The Hamptons Style

Feel free to reply to this post: do you agree with the selections? Or do you envision the persona differently? What would you change? As much as there are pre-defined specifics to each interior design style, your home should always reflect your personality and character… making each project unique!



the “IN” in Industrial

You know that old stepladder that’s been sitting in your shed for so long you forgot all about it? What about your rusty but trusty sitting stool? Think you should do a massive clean-out and send it all to the tip? Think again!

Meet the Industrial Style – it’s all the hype in interior design!

It’s all about bringing back those old worn pieces you didn’t remember you had, and letting them shine in their own right! Yesterday’s trash is today’s treasure… so make the most of it!

Metals, recycled timber, exposed brick, comfy worn chairs and items being used in unexpected ways – all combine to make this style one that’s full of character and charm!

Why not embrace this style today? With so many garage sales happening all around, your next feature piece could be just around the corner… literally!

Presentation is everything.

Industrial Piece Bathroom Image credit

An amazing find from an architectural salvage store made this bathroom impossible to forget! Such an imposing feature can only ever be combined with understated clean lines… you don’t want different elements fighting for attention! Let it shine.

Industrial Meets French Bathroom Image Credit

The timeless captain’s mirror teamed with the oh-so-in-vogue hexagon tiles and solid timber vanity is a winning combo for those who appreciate the industrial look but want a softness added to it.

Industrial Brick Bedroom Image Credit

What’s an industrial scheme without quirky storage? Let your creative juices flow!

Industrial Timber Bedroom Image Credit

Industrial-meets-cabin, this bedroom is both cozy and cool.