The word 'Art' is most commonly associated with pieces of work in a gallery or museum, whether it’s a painting from the Renaissance or a modern sculpture. However, there is so much more to art than what you see displayed in galleries.

The truth is, without being aware of it, we are surrounded by art and use it on a continual basis. Most people don’t realize how much of a role art plays in our lives and just how much we rely on art in all of its forms in our everyday lives.

The Joy of Art

You may be wondering why all of these things are so important to our daily lives and that you could probably survive just fine with essential items that were non-artistic. That is just the reason why art is so valuable! While art may not be vital to fulfill our basic needs, it does make life joyful. When you look at a painting or poster you’ve chosen to hang on your living room wall, you feel happy. The sculpture or figurines on the kitchen windowsill create a sense of joy. These varieties of art forms that we are surrounded by all come together to create the atmosphere that we want to live in.

Art and Music

The importance of art in our daily lives is very similar to that of music. Just like art, music can make life extremely joyful and can have a huge effect on our mood. In the workplace in particular, music is something that can help people set the mood for what they are about to do. If you have something hard or difficult to work on or are feeling tired, an energetic song will likely wake you up and add some enthusiasm to the situation. Similarly, when stress is high, many people find that relaxing to calming music is something that eases the mind.

Inspirational Art

Inspirational art, such as posters are often found in work spaces to encourage employees to continue being productive. There is now an increasing amount of companies using art in their offices, as well as playing background music, as it is proven to actually work in making end results far better quality. There may be a piece of art that you own that you personally find motivational. Perhaps a print with a positive affirmation or quote beautifully scrolled on it or a painting of a picturesque scene of where you aim to travel to one day.


1. Creates Mood
2. Adds Personal Character to the Home
3. Makes Memories
4. Provides a Colour Palette
5. Makes a Room Feel Finished
6. Inspires and Fosters Creativity
7. Conversation Starter
8. Supports Artists
9. It is an Investment
10. Creates a Livable Environment
11. Keeps the Brain Active
12. Relaxation
13. Curating Your Own Gallery is Fun!


Today I’m finally sharing our laundry renovation on here! I absolutely love our laundry makeover. If you were to ask me which renovation project in our house has given me the most satisfaction, I have to say I think it would be this room. And I don’t even LIKE doing laundry. This is my favourite before-and-after because I love how it used to be a dark, small, grotty, mostly non-functional

The post Our Laundry Renovation (and my Tradie Recommendations) appeared first on House Nerd.

Imagine having acres and acres of land around you, no other houses as far as the eye can see. Sounds like heaven – right? But what if it’s so many endless acres of space that every so often you actually end up craving a little more intimacy, a bit more privacy and enclosed space? That’s part of the story behind this garden renovation I’m sharing with you today. I most

The post A Blissful Pool Retreat for a 100-Year-Old Rural Farmhouse appeared first on House Nerd.

“If we ever renovate again, I would…” “Our next house, we should do this…” These are words Mr Nerd and I have uttered to each other many a time as we’ve been ankle-deep in renovation rubble here. I am still FAR from a renovating pro, but we’ve learned a lot of things through trial and error from renovating our 70s fixer-upper – a house we bought after being lured by

The post Renovating our House: What I’ve Learned and My Advice for Renovators appeared first on House Nerd.

One of the most common problems I think people have when renovating and decorating their homes is choosing the right white paint. We love our white walls in Australia, and for good reason – white walls are versatile, they feel fresh, light and airy, they work with all kinds of décor and they can make a room feel bigger, brighter and more uplifting. But white paint isn’t ‘just white’ anymore.

The post How to Choose the Right White Paint for Your Home appeared first on House Nerd.

Since we have started our project to rejuvenate the exterior of our house using Scyon Walls™cladding, I have been blown away by the number of people interested in these products and asking me questions about it. I’m not blown away because I’m surprised – I think the products are fantastic – but blown away by how many people have really noticed them. We don’t think just about how the insides

The post How to Clad Over a Double Brick House appeared first on House Nerd.

Choosing lighting for our home is one thing I used to put in the ‘too hard so I don’t want to think about’ basket. It meant I would walk into a lighting store, become completely overwhelmed, argue with my husband, and then we’d just be so overwhelmed and undecided we’d walk right out again without having come to any solutions. So frustrating. This is not my proudest moment, but if

The post How to Choose Great Lighting for Your Home: Tips to Give You Confidence appeared first on House Nerd.

When I am scrolling through Instagram, the photos always guaranteed to stop me in my tracks are ones of renovating. Maybe it’s because I have always been obsessed with a good before and after story – all the bits, from the demo to the drywall to the decking being laid out – but there is something so fun and motivational about seeing a photo of a home’s renovation process and

The post A Light and Bright Home Renovation in North Fremantle appeared first on House Nerd.

Land, land, land – and big blocks of land at that. In WA I feel like we’ve always been obsessed with land size. And for decades I think we’ve been subconsciously schooled in the traditional way of thinking, which is to believe that you should seek a bigger block of land whenever you can. But what if bigger ISN’T always better? I think we are finally experiencing a real shift

The post All the Advantages of Small Block Living appeared first on House Nerd.

Buying your first house is such an exciting time, especially if you have always rented. All of a sudden here is this house you can theoretically do anything to that you want – paint, wallpaper, knock out walls, create a ball pit, fill with as many throw cushions or cats as you want and decorate to your heart’s desire (my secret house fantasy is to have a bookcase door or

The post Hidden Housemates: One Important Thing First Home Owners Rarely Think About appeared first on House Nerd.

Aside from our own renovations, I haven’t often featured room makeovers on House Nerd – I’ve always gone the whole hog and done a whole house. Even though putting together full home tours – like this one – take me ages, I haven’t often done ‘room renovations’, such as a kitchen or bathroom only, because my time to blog is so limited and my thought process has always kind of

The post Before and After: A Beautiful Traditional Kitchen Renovation appeared first on House Nerd.

House Nerd has had a makeover – but you can still visit the old site and enjoy all my stories here! In the meantime, I’ll be migrating all the original content to this site.

The post Visit the Old House Nerd appeared first on House Nerd.

So I’m going to make a bold call here, but I have to call it – I think I’ve found my favourite Iwan Iwanoff house yet. (At least my fave of all the ones I’ve visited so far!) It’s this quietly shy beauty – the Frank House in Menora. The house is owned by Michael and Carmen Forde, who own Mary Street Bakery and MAKERism and who live with their gorgeous one-year-old daughter Wylie and their

The post The Frank House by Iwan Iwanoff appeared first on House Nerd.

Well, this is it, guys – hands-down one of the coolest houses I’ve had the honour of featuring on House Nerd! This is Nature Inspired Eco House. Designed for a tiny 200sqm infill block in the city, this two-storey, solar passive new home is eco-friendly and runs on renewable energy (with no air-con). Built from a mix of eco-friendly materials and quirky recycled elements (including a wall built from salvaged 1960s

The post The Nature-Inspired Eco House appeared first on House Nerd.

Would you buy a house you hated? Could you make an offer on a home with an interior you didn’t like at all – a home that was actually a particularly ugly example of the era it was built? Home owners Craig and Emma Croxford did – buying a 1970s Willetton house that was so depressing and needed so much work that it actually brought Emma to tears on various

The post A DIY Makeover for a Daggy 70s Willetton Home appeared first on House Nerd.

I’ve been a bad blogger. Seriously I have been meaning to do this blog post for ages, I’ve had it mostly written up and I mostly just kept forgetting. (Sorry to those of you asked for it). I am disturbingly absent-minded. I don’t know how I retain stupid information, like that there are four to six harmless mites living on the base of each of your eyelashes (and they love

The post Thinking of Doing an IKEA Kitchen? My Pros and Cons List appeared first on House Nerd.

When you were growing up, you probably dreamt of the day you’d have your own place. I was way too dorky to get invited to house parties and do normal teenager things like hook up with boys, so daydreaming about my future house was pretty much my hobby. One of my first (and quite possibly strangest) blog posts was about how I even kept a glory box. Fast forward to actually

The post How to Make Any House Feel Like Home appeared first on House Nerd.

What better way to celebrate turning 100 than with a makeover that makes you feel beautiful? If houses could talk, this stunning Federation home in North Perth would certainly agree. Once beautiful back in its heyday, this old Federation home had many charming character details. But over the decades it had fallen into disrepair and desperately needed some love. Now this old girl’s top-to-toe transformation, overseen by Dalecki Design, has

The post A Renovated Federation House in North Perth appeared first on House Nerd.

Amy and Andrew Palmer-Millin stumbled upon their new home by accident. They were house-hunting in seaside Scarborough and were on their way to a different home open when they chanced upon the place that was to become their next home. “We accidentally went to see the house, it wasn’t on our list to view at all,” says Amy. “We drove past and saw the sign and thought, ‘Oh we are

The post A 1980s Renovated Home on a Steep Scarborough Site appeared first on House Nerd.

So I’m excited to share that we are about to start our Scyon Walls™ elevation makeover! Not long ago I shared in this post that we were going to be making over our house’s elevation with a modern mixed materials look in collaboration with Scyon. We also had a designer on board to help us kick off the makeover process, which has really helped us go in a direction we

The post Making Over Our House’s Elevation: The Design appeared first on House Nerd.

So! I’ve been procrastinating on writing this post for a little while but now it is time. Time to grovel, guys. Grovel for votes.

A little while ago, I found out a very sneaky friend who shall remain anonymous (you know who you are. SARAH FAIRCLOUGH) nominated me for these annual national business awards called the AusMumpreneur Awards.

Photo by Heather Robbins.

The AusMumpreneur Awards are basically a networking community for mums in business and if you win a category, it is a pretty great boost for your brand, great publicity and so on. Anyway, Sarah put me into the running. “I was just on their website having a look and it asked me to put in a name and I thought there would be more steps but then I just clicked ENTER and all of a sudden it told me you were in the competition,” she told me, all green wide-eyed innocence while managing to look smug and fearful at the same time, which is impressive.

Little Nerd and me photo by my friend Crystal Patterson of Mère Photographie.

I asked my Facebook and Instagram friends to put in a vote for me and I want to thank you guys for doing that because I was named one of the finalists in the Influencer category! I am actually a finalist in...

Thinking of building in Perth? I have always been ALL about renovations and older houses my whole life. But it’s funny because in the past 18 months I have all of a sudden found myself thinking, if our financial situation allowed for it, I would actually love to be able to build a more contemporary house one day.

There have been a few triggers that have made me think (often enviously!) that there must be something so nice about building anew. Like no worries about maintenance, about things falling apart or needing repair or replacement just because they’re old. Or not having to deal with the constraints or size of an existing home, or renovating and discovering unpleasant hidden surprises from pulling a wall down. One of the houses that’s really made me daydream about building anew has been this inner-city Perth one I just featured... there’s something romantic about finding the perfect block in your dream location and creating a home from nothing. Or finding a beautiful block out of the city and building a home on it. Creating something from nothing – that’s cool.

Obviously, I’m not the only one who thinks about the possibility of building. Since I started House Nerd, I’ve...

I have always been intrigued by people who pursue one career path, excel in their field, then turn around and decide to chase something completely and utterly different. It’s partly because I can’t imagine the level of dedication and commitment required for someone to study something completely new, right from the start, and then pursue it as a new career.

Lawyer-turned-architect Sandy Anghie is one such person. I first met Sandy and her husband Michael many years ago, when I was freelancing for The West; visiting homes most days of the week and writing on them. (And in typical Perth ‘everyone knows everyone somehow’ style, my dad knew them – with my dad and Michael being of Sri Lankan background (and as anyone Lankan in Perth knows, all Sri Lankan people in Perth have some common link somehow!)

Back then, Sandy was working as a lawyer, and she and Michael, who is a managing partner at EY, had just finished building a large two-storey home in Mount Pleasant.

FAVE SPACE: “My favourite room is the living room,” says Sandy. “I work from home so my desk is hidden behind a wall in this space.” With high ceilings and plenty of natural light, even on grey days, like the day I visit,...

How many of you own or have owned an investment property?

If there is one major lesson Mr Nerd and I have learned from investing in a property, it’s to keep an organised record of photos and documentation of the property, inspecting it from the moment you get that place. And if you don’t, it could very well one day bite you in the ass.

Say one day your tenants straight up-and-leave the home, and your property managers can’t find the tenants because they appear to have dropped off the face of the earth and they’ve left your property with damages.

Photo by Natasja Kremers. 

Well, one of the most important things you’re going to need to claim your insurance for the damages will be good photos and records of what the place was like before they moved in.

The thing is that when you’re in the middle of getting a property there are so many things to do and remember. Admittedly, if you are as scatterbrained as I tend to be, it is so easy to just forget.

Read on House Nerd

Have you ever been house hunting and seen a listing with real estate photography so bad, it’s turned you off from even visiting a house? Or have you ever visited a home for sale you’ve been eyeing off only to be disgusted the moment you step foot inside?

I have, while we were house hunting. Not only do I remember feeling turned off from bad real estate photography (like countertops piled so high with clutter you could barely see the kitchen, dishes in the sink, and dark, blurry photos that make untidy houses look like unclean hovels) but I also remember visiting a 1970s apartment in Applecross with my parents and Mr Nerd. 

The inside of the apartment looked okay in the photos. But there was a horrible smell as we walked down the weed-covered path through the dead gardens to the front door. It was a dead magpie, right near the front steps. I have NO idea why the real estate agent (who proceeded to ring me mercilessly every two days for the next three weeks, even after telling him the apartment wasn't what we were looking for) didn't get rid of it for the next home open. And inside the apartment, after we were blinded by the hideous bright yellow walls, we looked down to see a...

What advice would you give your younger self if you could go back in time?

This is what I would tell my 24-year-old self. First don’t idly wax your eyebrows while reading a magazine. Focus, you silly twit. You will wax half your right eyebrow clean off, leaving you with an intriguing, puzzled expression for the next six weeks. You’ll then ugly-cry and cut yourself a fresh new side fringe in a blind panic exactly two minutes later to hide your half-brow (despite having no prior hairdressing experience, and this will be evident). Horrible times. Thank you, Alison Jade, you gorgeous girl and my savior. I’ve never been game enough to wax my own brows since.

Our dual sunscreen and blockout roller blinds from ABC Blinds. Photography by Sam Passante.

Secondly, think VERY carefully about what you do decorating-wise to your own house, because mistakes mean money. And one of the mistakes you will make, at the tender, eyebrowless age of 24, will be wasting your money on lots of really crap window treatments, before you finally find decent ones. We only just this year FINALLY got nice dual roller blinds on our house's 'problem windows' (kitchen window and dining room sliding door, which you...

The renovating bug is a sneaky thing, isn’t it? Once you’ve been bitten by it (or the home building bug, which I hear is as equally infectious) it’s never long after you throw down your paintbrush one day and swear, “That’s it! I’m done! I’m not doing any more renovations,” that bug raises its little head again.

About a year and a half ago, Mr Nerd and I decided we were done with renovating this place (or so we thought). We’d just had a baby (our first), we’d renovated through the pregnancy, survived the newborn stage, and now, with a little man in tow, we were still wrapping up some cosmetic renos to the Crap Shack (the last bits to the windows, the new floors, repainting the inside, etc).

We both got to a point where we were like, “Ok, once we do the floors, we’re done. No more renovating.” We mutually agreed not to do anything more. We had a baby, we were tired. The house felt good, or good enough. We were done.

But renovating is such a bug, isn’t it? Are you ever TRULY finished? I don’t think so. And it wasn’t long before Mr Nerd and I started to get some of our pre-baby energy back.

I don’t know what it’s like for most first-time mums, but I find that it’s taken me almost...

So I’m going to make a bold call here, but I have to call it - I think I’ve found my favourite Iwan Iwanoff house yet. (At least my fave of all the ones I’ve visited so far!) It’s this quietly shy beauty – the Frank House in Menora.

The house is owned by Michael and Carmen Forde, who own Mary Street Bakery and MAKERism and who live with their gorgeous one-year-old daughter Wylie and their very funny German shorthaired pointer Ferdinand.

The Frank House was built in 1961 and is perhaps one of the lesser-known Iwanoffs, but is no less special than its more publicly lauded counterparts. Unlike more iconic Iwanoffs such as Paganin House, Kessel House or Marsala House that have been the subject of much media attention, The Frank House has always flown a little under the radar.

The Frank House wraps in a U-shape around a courtyard. Twilight photos by Meghan Plowman. 

Renovators and home owners Michael and Carmen Forde at home with baby Wylie. Twilight photos by Meghan Plowman. 

It’s not entirely surprising. It sits on a whisper quiet cul-de-sac in tucked-away Menora, a quiet garden suburb that I once featured in a story for Domain on Perth’s best-kept secret neighbourhoods. I...

Well, this is it, guys - hands-down one of the coolest houses I’ve had the honour of featuring on House Nerd!

This is Nature Inspired Eco House. Designed for a tiny 200sqm infill block in the city, this two-storey, solar passive new home is eco-friendly and runs on renewable energy (with no air-con).

Built from a mix of eco-friendly materials and quirky recycled elements (including a wall built from salvaged 1960s and 70s windows and a front door that came from Alan Bond’s demolished Dalkeith mansion), the house has external walls that were made from rammed earth and recycled concrete rubble - waste products that would ordinarily have wound up in landfill. Other walls were built from recycled 1960s bricks. And there are more recycled elements throughout it - from the green bathtub to the 100-year-old Baltic pine floorboards.

COURTYARD GARDEN: The mature tree in the courtyard (a Gleditsia triacanthos) from Ellenby Tree Farm had to be brought in and transplanted before work even began on the house. Photos by Heather Robbins. 

THE TEAM: Home owners Tanya and Peter, with Carla from Etica Studio and Terry from Satoa Homes. Photos by Heather Robbins. 

Designed for a tight, subdivided...

Arrrgh… I’ve been a bad blogger. Seriously I have been meaning to do this blog post for ages, I’ve had it mostly written up and I mostly just kept forgetting. (Sorry to those of you asked for it).

I am disturbingly absent-minded. I don’t know how I retain stupid information, like that there are four to six harmless mites living on the base of each of your eyelashes (and they love mascara) but then sometimes I blank on my PIN number when I’m at the Woolies checkout. Clearly I have the memory of a gnat. Or an eyelash mite.

Anyway a while ago I wrote about how we gave our old 1970s kitchen an IKEA kitchen renovation, completing it (kind of!) just in time for our baby's arrival (these pics above were taken by the lovely Alanna of Earthbound Images when he was nearly four months) and I also shared our IKEA kitchen renovation diary.

In a nutshell? Yes, I would totally recommend doing an IKEA kitchen if you are thinking about putting one in, especially if you want to keep things to a tight budget.

But because you all know I LOVE to talk (and talk!) here’s my breakdown of the pros and cons.

Read on House Nerd

Hi guys. It has been a little while in-between posts, hasn’t it? We have been busy. We went away on a really nice holiday over east, visiting my sister-in-law and her family in Berry, Kiama and Gerringong. You may have seen some of my excitable ramblings on Instagram about how freaking beautiful it is over there.

And how pretty is my sister-in-law's house? Every time we stay with them I come back to my own house feeling refreshed and energised to get my DIY on and make our house prettier.

We stayed here while we were away... no it's not some cute AirbnB, it's my sister-in-law's house by the beach! You can follow her (I love her style) on Instagram @livderoche.

A sneak of my sister-in-law's cute powder room. That painted brick and mirror!

We have really beautiful beaches in WA too, but man the NSW coast is also stunning. I went swimming every day that I could. There is something about a dip in saltwater that makes you feel like a new person. 

Oh hey Gerringong rock pool! And random floating dude.

I’ve been talking with my web people about doing a big House Nerd redesign and migrating over to Wordpress, which is a lot of work, but so exciting and will mean some fun improvements to the...

How to Arrange Art

  • "People have a tendency to hang art too high," says Linda Crisolo, director of merchandising. "The center of the image should be at eye level." In living rooms, people are usually sitting, so artwork should be lower. A good way to ensure you're placing artwork at the right height is to hang it one hand width above the sofa.
  • A common problem when hanging artwork above a sofa or sideboard is that it's not in scale. Having pieces that are too small or too large will make the whole arrangement look strange. "Make sure artwork is at least two-thirds the size of the sofa or sideboard," Crisolo says. "For example, a 9-foot-long sofa should have a 6-foot-wide expanse of art above it."
  • In the bedroom, choose personal art, such as family photographs or your own photography. If you're arranging the pieces in groupings, Crisolo recommends sticking with one color theme, either all black-and-white or all color photographs.
  • "Above a mantel or fireplace is the perfect place to layer pieces," Crisolo says. "A house looks like a home when you can see layers of artwork and accessories."
  • In the kitchen, hang art in a place where it won't get damaged by water or heat. Consider placing art above an office space, near the dining table, or above open counter space. Crisolo also recommends avoiding kitchen art in the kitchen. "I tend to shy away from pictures of asparagus in the kitchen," she says. "Vintage art with traditional frames works in a traditional kitchen. In a modern kitchen, try bright colors with stainless-steel frames."
  • A symmetrical arrangement creates a striking and simple focal point. All-white frames and mats unify this grouping. "I like to use the same frames to create homogeny," says Crisolo.
  • When deciding where to hang images in your home, consider the wall space available and the arrangement of the room. "Use small pieces between windows and doors," Crisolo says. "If small items are in a space too large, the pieces look lost. With larger pieces, allow room for people to step back and admire the work."
  • Artwork collaborates with other accessories and decor to create a visual story. Make sure images, moldings, and shelves all work together. "Hang artwork in front of a bookcase, on the face of the shelf," Crisolo says. "The shelves and ledges become part of a decorating story."
  • Make sure your arrangement matches your decorating style. "Symmetrical arrangements are more traditional or formal. Asymmetrical is modern," Crisolo says. "Also look at the image and style of the frame. For cottage-style rooms, stick with vintage images or botanicals. In modern rooms, choose large and abstract pieces."