/  Inside Homes   /  Bentleigh Project: How Small Style Updates can Make a Big Difference

Bentleigh Project: How Small Style Updates can Make a Big Difference

I love writing this blog, don’t get me wrong. But I also relish the opportunity move away from the computer; flexing my styling muscles in the other pillar of the TLC business, my Melbourne interior design service.

A little while ago I was fortunate enough to work with an awesome client, Jo, who was eager to get my help transforming her open plan living and dining room. It was the first time I had worked on interior design in Bentleigh, actually, and what a lovely suburb it was to visit.

As with a lot of clients, life gets in the way and it’s often a while between when you finish the room and when you return to snap it. Thankfully Jo let me back into her home a few weeks ago to style and photograph the space, and this is the result.

Let me tell you a bit more about the brief and what Jo was after below.

cream leather sofa with navy cushions and white coffee table the life creative interior design melbourne

TLC’s Interior Design in Bentleigh: The Brief

Jo wanted to breathe new life into her open plan living and dining room, as well as her outdoor space.

On the plus side, the rooms were pretty big, so there was a lot of space to play in. Bifold doors joined the living and dining room with Jo’s alfresco area, which made the entire area feel even more spacious.

On the downside, the room was a little dark thanks to rich mahogany floorboards, so the task was to lighten the space up with some new furniture and decor.

Jo had some great pieces already that she wanted to keep, which is always the fun part as an interior designer. I love finding ways to blend the old and the new, meshing the existing colours and textures with new ones and watching them intermingle.

dining room with pink and blue abstract art from adairs the life creative interior design melbourne

marble candle on stack of books on side table styling the life creative interior designers melbourne

The Colour Palette

I went for a subdued base palette of blonde wood tones and cream rugs. The flooring was so rich and warm, that anything purely white would be too high a contrast.

So I went for a middle ground, which allowed me to introduce decor and accessories in deep blues and dusty pinks. Plus a splash of white here and there. And some greenery thrown in too, of course (I love me some indoor plants. The new artificial ones on the market are amazing).

Soft grey came into play as well, which is a phenomenal neutral if you don’t like beige. I used it in Jo’s new dining chairs and the side table above, and I love it.

sideboard styling with concrete lamp and pink and blue abstract canvas art from adairs

Considering Function

Jo has a hubby and two young kids, so this is a family home. The vibe needed to stay relaxed but sophisticated. The furniture and decor had to be kid-friendly, but also sturdy and durable.

The coffee table, for example, is at a level where the kids could sit at it and play. I also went for a round shape here to break up some of the hard lines in the room. It’s also going to prevent the little ones from running into sharp edges!

The buffet below was chosen to give Jo more storage. Where it’s situated is a bit of a play area for Jo’s little boy. So a tonne of things can be tossed in there in when they’re not being used. Or when people are coming over. Surely I’m not the only one that owns that one piece of storage that everything gets crammed into in a moment of panic!?

outdoor room with rustic timber outdoor dining table and blue and white striped cushions

What’s Next

Luckily I get to execute some more interior design in Bentleigh shortly. Jo has a few more rooms on the list that need some TLC magic worked on them. A home office is one of them, which I am very excited to get my hands on. Plus a few more finishing touches are required overall as well. Let me at it!

Photos in this post were taken by the amazing Jarrod Barnes.

Outside of writing the TLC Interiors blog, Chris is an interior stylist and author. You can also catch him on your TV screens as a designer on Channel 10's Changing Rooms. If you'd like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

Comments (8)

  • Anna Kenny

    Love the styling you have a gift for placement and the Art work is sublime, where is it sourced from, just love the serene colours

  • I love this post its given me some ideas for creating a more family friendly home 🙂

  • Clare

    Where is that gorgeous lamp from?

  • Monique

    Love the styling in this home. Could I please ask where that beautiful wooden buffet is from?


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