Category: Our home

Home redesign – roof terrace – the inspo

Morning loves, how are we doing?  I thought this morning I’d look at the redesign of our roof terrace here in Singapore.

I’ve had a minor (major) hiccup in that while we were back home in Blighty for three weeks over Crimbo during RAINY SEASON here in Singapore, it seemingly rained twice.  Or maybe just once.  Soooo much plant-death on a massive scale, a plant massacre if you will.  So I am currently nursing the stocky survivors back to health but it’ll be a little while before my green vine-y friends will be ready to be paparazzied, but their turn in the spotlight will come eventually.

Anyhoo, so here’s the roof terrace when we moved in:


terrace before

And here’s more what I’m after – a sprinking of Balinese, a touch of Moroccan and lots of lovely greenies…

roof terrace inspiration pic2 roof terrace inspiration pic3 roof terrace inspiration pic4 roof terrace inspiration pic1
terrace redesign1terrace redesign2

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!

Home redesign – bedroom – the inspo

I’ve posted {a tad err haphazardly} about the redesign of our place before, but I’m thinking I’ll go through the process in a slightly less crazy-lady manner, from inspo and ‘before’ pics all the way through to the ‘afters’.  Let’s start off today with the master bedroom.

So we (my client is very understanding, he agrees with everything I say…ha) wanted to keep the space very airy and relaxing and calm – lots of whites and neutrals but amped up with tons of gorgeous natural textures: washed linens, carved and organic woods, mother of pearl, woven cottons, bamboo, leather yada yada yada…

Before I got started it had loads of potential – high ceiling, lovely-ish floorboards, oodles of light – but was unfortunately painted a particularly offensive grey/brown shade of sludge:


bedroom before

I immediately got the painters in and turned it bright white.  The shade would be too stark and cold in a more northern country (eg. Blighty), but here it really cools down the light and opens the room up, and generally does the bizness.

Anyhoo I’m getting ahead of myself already.  Here are the inspo piccies I was drawn to from the beginning – beautiful natural finishes galore!

bedroom inspiration1 bedroom inspiration2 bedroom inspiration3 bedroom inspiration4 bedroom inspiration5 bedroom inspiration6

bedroom inspiration7


What do you think…?  Do you likey or do you prefer a little more colour?

Flooring conundrums

So I’ve got myself into a bit of a pickle with regards to our living room floor situation – first world problem I know, I’m not exactly losing any sleep over it.

The flooring is a fairly revolting black tile (I have a serious issue with tiled floors outside of the kitchen and bathroom, even in the tropics – just reeeeally dislike them unless they are covered by a giant mofo of a rug):

living room

{This was taken pre-moving in let me be clear, it is unrecognisable now}

Right now I’ve got it hidden under a bunch of layered IKEA jute rugs with a gorgeous vintage Beni Ouarain over the top, kinda like a ‘jute carpet’.  I didn’t want to splash out on a custom jute rug as this is only a rental and that would be crayzee, but the grouping of smaller ones is not working as well as I’d hoped.  So I’m rethinking and wondering if I should overlap the jutes to make them a smidge smaller, so that there’s a thick black border around the edges of the room.

Every interiors blogger and their dog posted this feature from Lonny last year – it’s the Copenhagen home of the couple behind Day Birger et Mikkelsen, and it is making me think I should perhaps go for the black option.

Such a gorgeous space, that parquet floorboard action!

lonny1 lonny2

I’m actually using a pretty similar colour palette of neutrals, but with brass, indigo and duck egg accents.  Duck egg + black = nicht so gut.

lonny3 lonny4 lonny5 lonny6 lonny7 lonny8 lonny9{credits}

Insanely beautiful no?!

Crumbs it’s a difficult decision…  I need to make the call in the next couple of days as we have a friend staying right now and will need at least three peeps to lift up our heaviest-dining-table-in-the-world.  Tricksy tricksy tricksy.

Have a happy weekend loves, sorry for the errrr monologue.

Redesign update (3) – a calm and collected place to sleep

So as these things always do, my home redesign project has been evolving and changing as it progresses.  Items that were meant for the living room or dining room are ending up finding a better home in the master bedroom, and vice versa.  But that’s all good, it’s better to adapt and let them have their way, than to rigidly stick firm to the original plan.

Anyhoo, so here’s the current plan for le bedroom – almost everything is in now and looking pretty fabulous (if I do say so myself – we’ve had a lot of great feedback from all our house guests too!).  I’m keeping it light and bright with a few Asian twists and a little splash of colour:

Elly MacDonald Design - Bedroom Redesign

{credit: Elly MacDonald Design}

And here are the goodies:

redesign bedroom-1

{credit: Elly MacDonald Design}

So I’m writing this post from Hong Kong – Ali’s over on business for a few days and I make it a firm policy to never turn down a (free) stay at a swanky hotel, ha.  Right now I’m looking out over a smoggy plain of dirty concrete buildings lapping the bottom edges of the Peak, but it feels good to be back!

Cracking capiz

Sooooo I will post up les Bali pics tomorrow (promise!) but here’s a little sneaky peeky at the most incredible shop I have ever been to in my entire life:


Oh yes people, I have found the Mothership Capiz Shell Chandie Workshop which I suspect every other store around the world sources their beauts from, and bought our very own one for the price of two bottles of wine in Singers (is it a bad thing that my unit of measurement of choice is bottles of wine…?!).


Can’t wait to get it up and show youuuuu!

Impulse purchase…

Thanks for all the input yesterday lovelies, was extreeemely helpful to hear your oppies (Kimberly you made me laugh with your scornful comment, teehee) – so I’ve decided to go for it but on a smaller scale than I was originally thinking.  Cryptic, huh?!

Our place is the dream home for anyone who’s into super-contemporary decor and a slick minimalist vibe.  ‘Bugger that for a bunch of bananas’ is unfortunately my usual response to such spaces however, so I’ve been busy finding ways to mask the floors and walls that won’t lose us our security deposit… 



The floor’s a piece of cake (hello IKEA jute rugs, I love you) but there’s also this particularly offensive shiny white wall with built-in weird angular stripes that looks like it belongs on a spaceship.  I keep expecting Dr Spock to walk down the stairs and ask someone to beam him up.  It’s been playing on my mind alot as it is just positively ruining my scheme darling – see the shiny little sucker on the RHS?:

shiny wall

Sooooo, I’ve come up with a DIY concoction to cover it with an ikat fabric, which may or may not work.  The hubs did not seem particularly convinced that it will function given the fact that there is gravity on this planet, when I was explaining le plan to him last night.  Fingers crossed anyhoo, I’ve bought the fabric and it is winging its way to this little island as we speak!

Anyway, so I wanted to share with you guys this incredible fabric resource I’m using for the project.  I’ve known about for a while now but it somehow slipped the old (operative word) memory for a while.  But they have some dang good fabrics for pretty amazeballs prices, and also a 20% discount right now (code: SNOW2013).  I’m a huge fan of Osborne & Little and Designers Guild etc., not to mention the likes of Ms Weinrib, but let’s be honest, I am not rich – $18/yard sounds a lot more palatable to me than £90/m…

Check out these beauts!

fabric.com1 fabric.com4 fabric.com5

{credits – also forgot to credit the image yesterday: fabric, throw pillow, rar!}

A little piece of the Caribbean…

…in your living room:

interior design ocean photo1

What do you think?!  Oversize ocean photos can create such drama in a space, and we have been pining after our old view of the Caribbean Sea, so I’ve been thinking about getting a couple of our piccies printed onto BIG MAMA canvases for our dining room.

interior design ocean photo2 interior design ocean photo4

Not sure what this bird is doing…

interior design ocean photo3

…but she has a nice living room. 


The tricksy thing is though that if I do manage to get my hands on the capiz shell chandie I’ve been drooling over, it might look like I’m actually trying to recreate Seven Mile Beach in our dining room – would just need to add a few plastic blow-up palm trees and a colony or two of hermit crabs.  Thoughts?!

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?