Design Tips


Writer, a designer and trendsetting guru, Lynn Malone, first graced the Australian shores 19 years ago and has since been contributing her bright, brave and brilliant style to the world of interiors. Here, Lynn shares her insight into timeless home interiors but with an unconventional twist.

Today vs. tomorrow

Black and metallic finishes are the trending choices for today’s kitchen sink mixers and decorative accessories.  But what about next year, will these finishes be perceived as yesterday’s news? In this scenario, a sink mixer or accessories are relatively easy to replace without breaking the bank; however, an entire house of black or metallic finishes might prove more challenging and costly to update.

Lesson learned: when selecting finishes for your home be mindful that trends come and go – some are keepers, some are weepers. On the bright side, stay current on what’s new to keep your home furnishings fresh and innovative.

Collect vs. buy

In the 1990s I started collecting glass art and was advised by an astute collector, ‘When you have three pieces, that starts a collection.’ Over time I have curated a collection which invites conversation from friends who visit my home. Each piece of glass art comes with a memory of when, where and why it was acquired.

Lesson learned: a collection tells many stories and forms the essence of a home.  Refrain from buying impulsively to furnish your home with stuff.

Quality vs. quantity

Quality products and home furnishings stand the test of time and are less likely to require repairs or replacement. Using bedding as an example, a high-quality Sealy bedding set, mattress and base, that is well maintained has a lifespan of over a decade.  Given the importance of restful sleeping to health and well-being, the investment in quality serves as money well spent. This rationale applies to other home furnishings from bed linens and bath towels to tables and chairs.

Lesson learned: buy the best quality that you can afford, and you will save money in the long run.

Less vs. more

These days it seems everyone is on the decluttering bandwagon to rid their homes of the unnecessary.  Take time to peruse your home furnishings – are there pieces that do not serve a purpose or consume more space than value?  Downsizers relocating from a large family home to a smaller residence is a case in point. Before the move day is the time to evaluate which pieces add value in terms of their functionality, aesthetics and usability.  The next home will likely be more liveable and comfortable if the misfit items are gifted to others.

Lesson learned:  sometimes it’s time to let go. Or the flipside of the coin, it’s your home so furnish it to please yourself. And if it tugs on a heartstring, it’s a keeper.