Fremantle period cottage

Art for arts sake – An essential when Styling a property

Art in all its’ forms can be comforting, stimulating, intriguing, mesmerising, puzzling and take us through many other emotions, but when it comes to ‘styling’ and making a space feel interesting and homely, and above all, cohesive – it is an absolute MUST!

Photographs without eye-popping art often appear dull and incomplete, especially if the spaces are sparsely furnished and minimalist.  Furniture, walls and floors can be neutral – and indeed should be when selling a property – but the addition of strong accessories, particularly the artwork, can be transforming.

Happily, these days art is no longer a luxury item only for those with disposable income, and we are often asked where to source affordable art. So, depending on what you are looking for, whether it is ‘eye-popping’, landscape, photographic, whatever your tastes, check out these sources, you can’t fail to find something you like and can afford:

Online:  The Home, Temple & Webster,, United Interiors

In store: Gallery 360, Living Emporium, Fantastic Furniture,

Emerging artist: The Design Files – Rafaella McDonald

Pantone Colour of the Year 2014 – Radiant Orchid

Radiant Orchid Last year’s colour, Emerald Green, never quite broke through I felt. Yes, there was a hint of it in the fashion stores, and there was a hint of it in interiors, but the only really strong use of Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2013 seemed to be in outdoor accessories – exactly where you would expect to see it!

This year Pantone’s ‘Radiant Orchid’ is again slow to hit the stores but that’s not unusual, only now (and we’re already halfway through the year) are we, StyleCounsel, starting to use it in our home-staging and styling projects. The good thing is, it is proving to be much more versatile than Emerald Green, it really does work with so many other colours – don’t believe me! Take a look at the following decorating ideas – I love it with yellow and grey, but just imagine using Radiant Orchid with turquoise, teal, charcoal, taupe, olive green…the list is endless – it even goes with Emerald Green!!!

When it was launched, Pantone described the colour as: “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, inspiring confidence and emanating great joy, love and health!” So how can we not like it – four words that we all need in our lives on a daily basis!

Radiant Orchid 2 Radiant Orchid 3


Another Success Story!

Kerr1 StyleCounsel was recently asked to style a charming period cottage which had been beautifully renovated in West Leederville  which was being sold by Adam Marchant at Abel McGrath.    The property was completely empty providing a wonderful blank canvas for us to work our magic.

At the first home open 28 groups passed through the door and three offers were presented the very same day.    The asking price was low $800,000s  and the owners happily accepted  the final offer of $850,000.   So for a styling investment of  $3,875 including design, installation and hire of all the furniture and accessories, the investment was repaid more than 10 times over.

Many estate agents agree that home staging really does work, it makes their job so much easier, and the on-line photos are always so much more interesting and appealing, enticing potential buyers to come and take a look.  And of course, the more people through the door, the more chance of a sale!!!




From a client’s perspective

PlayroomMy house sold the first day it was open, even before a sign went up.

It cost me a lot of money to prepare the house for sale, but the best money I outlaid was that that I spent with Lynne and Jill, to give the house soul.

At our first meeting, I liked the girls enormously. They were lovely, professional and personable. They made a great presentation to get my business. However, all my friends and advisors said not to style, it was too much money on top of the new carpets, tiles, gardens and paint. So I decided to save my money and present the place empty. The girls were a bit disappointed, but genuinely empathetic.

I live in Melbourne, but my house is in Vic Park. So I organised the trades, cleared out the whole house and prepared to leave the sale in the very capable hands of my friend Helen, at Letz Get Organised, and my chosen agent.

Back in Melbourne, I kept track of the changes with photos. The trades did wonderful work, transforming the place, and mostly they stuck to a busy schedule, working around each other under Helen’s fabulous co-ordination.

But I could see it lacked soul.

So just a few days before the opening I rang StyleCounsel and the girls were terrific. Of course they could help, despite the time limitations. And boy, did they help!

The thing about styling is it gives a house a heart.

I knew it was a problem that my house had four bedrooms, but only one (huge open-plan) living area. So I asked Jill and Lynne to style the fourth bedroom as a kids’ retreat. They did it perfectly, right down to a toy guitar.

In the rooms I asked them to style, their pieces were modern, chic, streamlined and thoughtful. And the accessories made the big difference.

They followed my requests perfectly and chose an ideal color scheme.

Fast forward to the home open. The 15 groups through were very positive about the appearance, three of them put in offers, and I took the offer I wanted.

And what of those friends and advisors who said not to style? Well, they agree with me now too.



Before and After – Styling Works!

We recently styled a two bedroomed apartment in East Fremantle.   The apartment had recently been refurbished, had great views over the river but was in need of some serious styling to enhance the property and attain its full sales potential.   StyleCounsel was here to help!

With the addition of some funky furniture, great art and our styling flair, along with the marketing skills of Jan Ragan of  Acton, Dalkeith we were able to attain a sale in ten days, achieving a sale $20,000 above the asking price.


home staged by StyleCounsel

Another Property transformed by StyleCousel

Stunning one bedroomed flat in Claremont Quarter, close to all the amenities being marketed by Jan Ragan of Acton, Cottesloe.


Feature Property – Fabulous Family Home in Wembley Styled by StyleCounsel

This is a fabulous family home in Wembley which has been renovated and extended to a very high standard. Photographs by Tony Harrison Photography.



Things that make a difference ………….


When it comes to making a house ‘a home’ the things that make a difference are, without a doubt, the accessories…the cushions, the pictures, the rugs, the ornaments and things you have collected over the years. Things that instantly tell a stranger to your home something about you – what colours you like, how you like to live, where your travels have taken you – all of these things and more will paint a picture of who you are.

And we are all different (thank goodness), some of us strive to be bland and neutral so that we blend in, others need to be ‘out there’ in every possible sense so that we lead the way, and then there are the ‘inbetweeners’, we don’t really want to ‘rock the boat’ but admire those who do.  Regardless of who you are I think most of us will agree that it’s probably much more fun being ‘out there’.

It’s no different when ‘home –staging’…the accessories are the things that pull a house together, make it feel complete and create ‘flow and harmony’, but a few little ‘out there’ things will also add interest and detail, hopefully making this house just that bit better than the next. There is one fundamental difference however, in a ‘home’ the accessories tell the visitor WHO lives there, in a ‘staged’ home, the accessories catch the attention of the buyer and make them WANT to live there. Either way accessories are important and can make a huge difference.

For those among you who do want to be a little different and ‘out there’ check out the furniture and homewares on my favourite website, these just have to be some of the best ‘out there’ accessories around……………….