Category: Caribbean Living’s portfolio

Home redesign – bedroom – the plan

Morning loves!  So today I’ve put together the final plan and furniture boards for the master bedroom redesign.  As it’s just a rental I couldn’t do as much as I wanted to but am pretty pleased with the result.  As is my ‘client’, ha.  I’ll go through each aspect in turn, or just skip to the bottom for the good stuff.

Flooring – we already had ok floorboards [laminate but pretty good quality], so I just kept these and added a rug.  It took me a looong time to decide on this, I have real Rug Indecision Issues clearly, but eventually settled on using a vintage Moroccan wedding blanket.  It gets zero foot traffic so I don’t need to worry about the rug being too delicate, it just sits there lookin’ pretty.

I’ve been swooning over handiras for a long time now, see here for more of these goodies!



Walls – I got the painters in to give the room a new lease of life with some crisp white paint, which completely transformed the space.  I wanted to keep it all quite calm and minimalist so I’ve just added a few simple pieces of art and a carved wood mirror.  Will share piccies in a little while…

Window treatment – this was potentially a problem area as the bedroom gets a lot of bright sunshine every morning at 7 o’clock on the dot.  Singapore sits pretty much slap bang on the Equator so the sun rises and sets at the same time year round, but we’re  both early risers so I decided to go for a white linen full height curtain with a thin cotton lining – when the sun comes up it shines right through the linen and shows off all the gorgeous natural slubs and nubs and creates this amazing diffused light.  A very nice way to wake up!

white puddled curtains


See more puddled beauties here!

Furniture – we didn’t have to squeeze in a wardrobe or chest of drawers, as we luckily have a slick walk-in wardrobe.  So I was really only looking at the basics:

1. Bed

So I desperately wanted to do a DIY canopy-bed-style-thang, with fabric hanging from battens attached to the ceiling but {sob sob} it’s a false ceiling housing the recessed downlighters, which might feasibly take the weight of some very very thin and floaty fabric, but I didn’t really want to risk the whole thing crashing on our heads in the middle of the night.

canopy hanging from ceiling


One day, one day…

So in the end I bought a simple but good quality headboard-less kingsize bed, and added a gorgeous carved wooden screen from Indonesia.  See here for a few different options for this kind of look, from shutters to artwork!  Kinda like these…

screen as headboard


2. Bedside tables

I have a huge and long-standing grudge against bedside tables.  I’m not sure exactly where this came from, I’ve never been particularly offended by one, but the matchy-matchy aspect really irritates me.  So I was open to pretty much all ideas.

Alistair has expressed very few demands in terms of what he wants in the place {I’ve married a wise man, ha}, but a ‘cool Asian froggy rain drum’ was one of them.  Very happy to oblige as I’m rather partial to these bronze beauts myself:

rain drum


They make a dramatic plop noise [technical term] when rain (or um…house keys?) drop onto the surface – it’s all fun and games until it nearly induces a heart-attack every time Ali’s mobile phone alarm goes off directly on top of it.  No need for the snooze function in our house, oh no.

Ermm and I decided to go for a gorgeous little mother of pearl inlay table for my side, creating a his ‘n’ hers bedside table situation – there’s no reason why you can’t have mismatched sides really, as long as they play together nicely and are approx. the same height.

inlay table


3. Armchair and side table

There was a little corner just begging for an armchair vignette.  I intended this technically as a little reading spot but in reality it is really just somewhere for me to throw my crap at the end of the day.  Pretty though!

Lighting – there was very little to do for lighting really, as the recessed downlighters were already in place.  I just incorporated a simple and chic table lamp and Bob was your proverbial Uncle.

Accessories – again, I haven’t added many as I wanted to keep the whole space very calm and simple, but a Balinese capiz shell sculpture (to be transformed into a light one day…maybe), a couple of cute photo frames and some beautiful washed linen cushions do the business.

washed linen



Soooo that’s all the deets and here it is in ‘fun format’:

singapore ethnic bedroom_edited-1

{credit – Elly MacDonald Design}

Let me know what you think!

Living room update (2)

Ok, so I was up late last night finalising the decor for our new living/dining room and thought I’d share the results with you lovelies today!

Here’s the annotated plan:

Elly MacDonald Design - Living-Dining Room Plan

And the corresponding decor boards – not all items are noted on le plan, but are pretty self-explanatory I think.

Living Room

Elly MacDonald Design - Living Room Decor

Dining room {delish gold cutlery alert!}

Elly MacDonald Design - Dining Room Decor

I like how the whites and light colours of the mother of pearl etc. of the dining room balance out the slightly darker more masculine elements of the living room, and blend into one giant Balinese/Moroccan contemporary explosion.  Did I just refer to my design as an explosion??!  Bit OTT perhaps…  But I’m bouncing around on my desk chair I’m so psyched to move in.

Hope you likey, let me know what you think?

Living room update…and a little bit of Greek Key

So over the last couple of days I’ve been teaching myself how to use SketchUp Pro (which I’ve found to be incredible after struggling on AutoCAD for aaaages – and no this is not a sponsored post, although it should be…), and have put together the plans for our new home.

Voila mesdames et messieurs, my first attempt at our living/dining room (ahem, and please don’t laugh at the cowhide, they are tricky!!):

Elly MacDonald Design - Living Dining Room Plan

{credit: Elly MacDonald Design}

It’s a smidge squisharoo as we are in the lucky position of having the ‘problem’ that our parents are giving us a few pieces of furniture as wedding gifts, so we’re looking to the future and not just picking pieces to go in a mini apartment in SG.

VERY EXCITED to be living in a proper home again after gallivanting around Asia for a year, cannot waaaaait!

Ahem, anyhoo, so today I thought I’d take a little peek at one of the smaller design elements: the curtains’ Greek Key trim.  I just so happen to not be able to get enough of this lovely trimmy, in every single colourway in existence:

greek key trim1

I can’t tell you how full of grins those images make me, nothing like copious trimmings and fabrics to make me smile.

So it looks fabulous on cushions and lampshades…

greek key trim2

…but it’s on curtains that it’s really killer:

greek key trim3 greek key trim8 greek key trim7 greek key trim6 greek key trim5 greek key trim4

  {all credits}

Whaddya recky people?

The new pad

Very exciting news folks, this week we’ve managed to lock down our future home here in Singapore, and we LOVE it!!  Located in a cool conservation area on the East Coast, it’s a modern open plan puppy with an awesome roof terrace up top!

It’s definitely more modern than what I’d usually shimmy towards, but once the furniture’s out I reckon I’ll be able to create an ethnic, all natural feel to the place.

So here are the before pics – the dining/living room:

our place in Singapore - before1

Built in TV/storage wall:

our place in Singapore - before2

Goooooorgeous kitchen:

our place in Singapore - before3

Office/spare room:

our place in Singapore - before4

Master bedroon:

our place in Singapore - before5

And the icing on the cake!

our place in Singapore - before6

Here are a few of the ideas swirling around my brain for the redesign [not all together in one room, clearly]:

New place in Singapore ideas board - Caribbean Living

{credits clockwise from top left: Chinese wedding cabinet, sofa, herb pot, Tolix stool, boho drapes, ethnic screen, reclaimed wood dining table, Louis Ghost chair, jute area rug, bronze side table, wood sculpture, bronze peacock mirror, cowhide rug}

Happy a happy weekend guys!

It’s all in the styling – coffee tables

Morning folks and happy Friday!  I thought today I’d round up the week with the final instalment of my interior styling series: coffee tables.

Big fat tomes, vases, candles, succulents, bell jars, trays and knick knacks seem to be the order of the day – whether you’re going for a sleek masculine vibe or a more colourful girly look, there should be something here for you!

Loving with a capital L this sleek lucite lovely – being able to see the chevron rug and and collection of books through the top is pretty awesome:

A couple of slightly more sophisticated schemes:

This girly vignette would be a delight to come home to – wouldn’t break the bank either, I think those tables are IKEA’s finest:

Couple of soft feminine looks, you can’t go wrong with a dose of foxed mercury glass:

And I’m also totally enamoured with this slightly more minimalist look – that wire basket below is fab:

The bone inlay table on the LHS here is BONKERS!

And I’m still totally hung up on this pic too:

It’s all about the coffee table books in these next two:

And I think this may just be my favourite of the lot!  The mixture of colour, pattern and knick knacks is pretty much the bee’s knees:

Last but not least, I’m also hankering after these elegant vignettes – that lump of crystal (agate?!) on the LHS is making my mouth water…


Design classic (14) – Secto pendants

Goooood morning lovelies, how are we all today?  Hope everyone’s got a fabulous weekend lined up!  We’re off back to Honkers today so this has to be a shorty, but I thought I’d take a looksee at the famous Secto lighting range for today’s design classic.


Designed by Seppo Koho for Secto Design Oy, they’re made out of strips of Scandinavian birch and come in a choice of four finishes: natural, white laminate, black laminate or walnut.  Whether you opt for the Octo, Secto, Victo, Magnum, Puncto or Atto (oh, or one of their floor, table or wall lights) I absolutely ruddy love ’em, but unfortunately most of the images I’ve been able to find online are a little too utilitarian and minimalist for me.

My fave schemes are where a whole bunch of them are used together, like below – think it’s such a punchy way to add impact:

Love them here paired with the wood burning stove and quirky side chairs:


And they are the perfect accent to the fabulous Wishbone chair too!

Oh, and here’s an ‘octo’ light not to go for…yikes.


I thought I’d have a go at putting together a slightly more interesting scheme using a few of these beauts.  It’s a bit of an eclectic mishmash but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at it!  What do you guys think?

{from top left: Panton chair, Secto pendants, butler tray + stand, oriental rug, distressed oak floorboards, Tolix chair, reclaimed wood oversize mirror, reclaimed wood dining table}

Have a fabulous weekend all!

Project update – OMG it’s an EAMES LOUNGER!!

So I thought I’d post a little today about the project I’m working on right now.  The main living space is coming together nicely and I’m getting pretty ruddy excited about seeing it all in real life!!!

I’ve had so much fun working on this – the client is very hands on and full of ideas which is great, and it’s been a reeeeally interesting and useful learning experience for me putting together a more masculine design than I’m usually drawn towards.

Anyhoo, so here’s the current version of the living/dining space – it’s still a WIP but we’re definitely getting closer to the finished product.

(credit: Caribbean Living)

It’s a rental property so we’re pretty restricted in terms of floor and wall finishes etc., but I’m determined to not let it all become one big beige mushy splodge because of that…

The front door opens straight onto the main living room so we’ve been looking at different ways to screen off a little foyer area to make the most of the space – I’m loving this Japanese Shoji screen and am also loving the custom-made-in-China price!

Also totally hopping-around-on-my-chair-excited to be using three of my FAVE design classics, the Eames lounge chair (see Friday’s post!) in the living room and the Wishbone chair and Tulip table for the dining area, yippeeee 🙂

What do you recky peeps?  Ways to improve or constructive criticism always appreciated.

ps. Happy 4th of July to all the Yanks out there!