Globally Inspired Indoor Outdoor Living For The Australian Lifestyle

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Creating a Visually Pleasing Interior - The 60/30/10 Rule

Satara Sales - Tuesday, June 19, 2018

One of the most satisfying areas of an Interior Stylist’s role, is helping homeowners prepare their homes for sale. The brief is simple; to create a visually pleasing interior to increase the appeal of the property to potential buyers. Homeowners are often so impressed with the finished product they’re left asking why they didn’t think to employ a professional stylist for themselves sooner.

To make the most of your home just follow a few simple decorating rules and you won’t be in a hurry to leave your comfy nest anytime soon.

Have you ever walked through a home where every room features a different colour, and by the time you walk through the entire home you feel like you’ve visited the circus? Individuality in rooms doesn’t have to be as dramatic as featuring a different colour, in fact choosing a coordinating palette of colours for the entire home at one time will help rooms flow visually and won’t feel so jarring.

The 60/30/10 rule states that a well decorated space should consist of 3 different colours; A dominant colour which should cover around 60% i.e. walls, flooring etc. Start with a paler more neutral base. A secondary colour which takes up around 30% of the space and is usually used for furniture and finally a bolder accent colour at 10% used in smaller décor items.

New Design Businesses - Making the Most of Online Platforms

Satara Sales - Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Navigating the world of social media may seem daunting, time consuming or a waste of time. If done properly, it’s none of the above. Having an online presence is of course, not 100% essential for a new or established design business. But it can certainly can lead to new clients and allows you to connect with your audience. Particularly as a new business, it’s worth creating a social media strategy to leverage your name in a saturated marketplace.

Have a clear idea of your social media intention

Before you start madly posting, writing and pining on social media, consider who your audience is and what the intention of the interaction will be. Are you trying to gain new business leads and contacts? Are you hoping to connect with your existing clients? Or, are you wanting to communicate your look and aesthetic to the broader community? Perhaps it’s all of the above! Knowing this will help you focus on the right platforms and select the appropriate imagery.

Once your intention is considered, think next about what the demographic is of the client you have or a trying to attract. Images directed to a youthful, trend-orientated design sensibility are not going to attract the high-end, discerning client. In turn, images which seem unattainable to the “everyday” person could push your potential young family client away from your social media handles. What type of visuals/ information do your dream clients want to see?

Be consistent

While life can get very busy (particularly if you’re running your own business!), making time for social media regularly is very important for retention of followers, engaging with comments and feedback and generally being part of the online community. Consider social media as a business tool, not just something to do on the weekend when you’re on the couch.

Once you have decided what is realistic for you, such as one blog post a week or three Instagram posts a week, be consistent with this. There’s great planning technology for most platforms to upload several posts in advance and schedule them in. If you have some down time or a quiet period, take the time to get organised. Write a spare blog post to have up your sleeve. Take photos of a completed project or find an additional five images for the days you’re so busy you feel you don’t have the time. Schedule a weekly time to organise your social media if you think you won’t be consistent in your management of the platforms.

Image style and quality must be of a high standard. Always.

Interior design is a visual business, as you know! Clients are coming to you for your specific skills in all things aesthetically pleasing. Your images should reflect this. Ensure all images are of a very high quality, not grainy, blurry or with terrible composition. Some images will take a few times to get “right”.

If your project is something you’re particularly proud of, it’s worth getting a professional photographer in to record this. Their images will be worth the effort and expense. Images should also be consistent in style or vibe, reflecting your personal taste and work. Use similar formatting or filters if using Instagram for example.

Connect and engage with the community

On all platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook or a blog, there is generally a place for your readers/ followers to share, like, comment or engage in some way. They may ask questions, make a positive comment or show their appreciation. It’s important to acknowledge this and respond in turn. A simple “thanks!” is all it takes. In turn, take the time to look at other people’s blogs or feeds and connect with them. If you’re using Instagram for example, try to comment on other’s work a few times a week.

While many of these platforms are very visual, they are also a time to communicate your ideas, personality and style in a written sense. Be careful with what you write and consider if it’s reflective of your ethos while still being professional. Find your online “voice”. Is it factual or are you a story teller? Make the most of hashtags on your images and blog posts. This is an excellent way to connect with others who may not ever knew your business existed. See what hashtags are used commonly in relation to your business and use them on every post. Perhaps add one unique hashtag which links back directly to you or your business, such as #angietompsondesign or #angietompsonstyle for example.

Analyse the statistics of your activity and followers

Social media is so much more than just posting pretty pictures. You need to understand what your followers like and what they’re engaging in so you can do more of this to retain their loyalty. Do you get more traction if you post at a certain time of the day or day of the week? Did one image or article get a lot more feedback or “likes” than all the others? This data is golden. Use it to your advantage to grow your followers even further.

Textural Moodboard- Turning Inspiration into Real-life Palettes

Satara Sales - Tuesday, May 29, 2018

You may have heard of the Danish term “hygge” which is the design world’s current obsession. Loosely translated to comfort, or cosy, the word holds great meaning to the Danish people (and the Norwegians too, who share the words same meaning). For them, the idea of being comfortable, enjoying life’s simple pleasures and creating this atmosphere within their homes is so important. They achieve this through the use of candles, soft furnishings, slow cooking, reading, woollen socks…. You catch the drift. A key element of hygge is texture. Consider the Scandinavian homes you may have seen in magazines. Soft wools, raw timbers, baskets, knitted throws and reindeer hides are plentiful. In the pursuit of hygge, including various textures in your home is just one of the many benefits.

While texture may bring the visual and literal idea of comfort into the room, it’s also a celebration of true materiality. Texture is not just wool or felt, it comes in different forms. The beauty of timber and its innate characteristics are seen. Rope, woven materials from nature, leather and linens also add to the story. While glossy finishes, metals and flat surfaces are a texture in their own right, they are cool and need balancing with rawer materials if you’re trying to achieve a warm and homely look. Textural palettes suit all homes, even those which are cutting edge contemporary, it’s just a matter of how you apply this palette to fit within the style you’re aiming for.

Coastal homes work well with a highly textural palette, as do rural properties. They reflect the outdoors and the natural location of the property. By adding rope, woven materials, sisal rugs, linen drapes or upholstery and timbers, you are instantly creating a casual, eclectic and inviting space. These textures sit back with either a neutrals palette (such as all white) for a fresh look, or rich colours for a statelier and formal feel. Teamed with accessories, this is the perfect textural interior. Think: baskets of timber, pinecones or magazines, woven lamp shades, drift wood, linen or velvet cushions and other finds from nature.

More contemporary and clean-lined homes can also benefit from the textural palette. Even the most modern home can have a feature of timber (be it in joinery or a stand-alone piece of furniture) or cow hide rug. In some ways, the inclusion of texture needs to be considered more carefully in these spaces. Each item is sculptural and will be observed individually. An occasional chair is a great place to bring this piece to the contemporary interior. Try one which has elements of woven material, timbers or leather. All homes, no matter how minimal, see value from the warmth that texture brings. It is a home after all!

There are a great deal of places to find inspiration for your textural palette. Seeing the materials together is helpful to form a guide when choosing finishes and furniture. Create a flatlay to refer back to, like the ones which can be seen here. Note that they have variation in their texture. There are layers of softness, rawness and contrasting elements. Layering of texture creates balance and visual interest. Once you’re happy with your flatlay, you can allocate each of the materials to an actual finish, furniture item or accessory in your home. Some may be large, such as timber floors, while others will be small, such as a linen cushion. Keep coming back to the board to ensure you have each of the materials ticked off in the interior.

Textural combinations that are unexpected form beautiful points of interest in the home. Think outside the square and know there are no real “rules” as such. Team felt and leather, rope and timber or metal with timber. Find balance however and for every cool material, try to counter this with some warmth.

Nature is one of the greatest forms of inspiration and the provider of so much textural warmth for our homes. This doesn’t just have to be large items as well, like a dining table or kitchen joinery. Adding plants, flowers, beach-walk finds and anything else from the environment can be the way to include the warmth without the expense of a whole home overhaul. If you’re working within a budget, try other smaller accessories or furniture pieces. A timber tray on your coffee table, some new linen cushions or woven candle holders. These are items which will never date, as timeless as it comes when talking interiors.

Don’t forget to start with the flatlay or moodboard. Always an anchor point to refer back to if you get a little lost.

Trend Forecasting - Sustainability Matters

Satara Sales - Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Trend forecasters have seen sustainability as a hot topic for some time now, citing a more global awareness and education of the issue as one of the key factors. We see it as more than a trend though, more as a responsibility of our company in the broader design industry. Luckily, there are so many beautiful materials and design options available for specifiers and customers! 

Many of the trends explore concepts of finding beauty in natural materials and celebrating imperfections which can be found in older materials and furniture. Even giving a second life to much-loved items. These ideas are helpful in contributing to a more environmentally friendly home and a clearer conscious for all involved. It also pushes the design industry to create new ways of thinking about manufacturing, quality, longevity and materials. It’s a win-win for the environment, the designer and the end-user.

So how can you implement these considered designs and materials into your own home?

Buy Once, Buy Well

As the adage goes, buy once, buy well certainly rings true when it comes to furniture and interior design products. While it may seem difficult to budget for such items, in the long run it makes sense to make an investment with the best you can afford. Quality products, materials and warranties mean that you will be replacing your items less frequently therefore it can make financial sense as well as lessening waste and landfill. Good quality furniture and materials are also worth refurbishing down the track too, another win for the environment.

Image by Satara via [] Featuring Satara's Bukawu Daybed

Natural, Sustainable Materials

What is considered sustainable and what’s not can be quite a difficult area to navigate, with so many brands and designers claiming their product (in all consumer areas, not just interiors!) is sustainable. There are so many wonderful options which cause minimum impact on the environment, such as natural materials which grow and can be replenished quickly, such as bamboo, rattan, willow and other grasses. Other materials may be reclaimed and given a second life, such as recycled timbers which are a beautiful addition to any home. New technology is also pushing the boundaries and HDPE plastics are being used in outdoor furniture. This special type of plastic is not only hard wearing but recyclable too.

Design by Martin J Scott Design featuring Satara's Roxanne Lounge Chairs

Something Old, Given New Life

The next time you’re considering throwing something out, ask yourself if there’s a way to refurbish the piece before dismissing it. Re-upholstery and restoring timber products are a great place to start. Even if you still want that gorgeous new armchair, perhaps the old one can be covered in a beautiful new fabric and find a home elsewhere! In turn, there are so many places to find unwanted furniture which can become a great weekend project involving paint and a staple gun.

Image via []

A Whole Lifecycle Considered

It’s easy to forget about products once we no longer have a need for them. Even good quality pieces can come to an end. But then what? Natural materials and HDPE like those mentioned above are excellent examples of this. They’re able to return to nature or given a new, different life. It’s our responsibility to consider the WHOLE lifecycle of a product, not just while it’s in our homes.

“Half House” by Atticus & Milo. Photo by Shannon Mcgrath

The Bigger Picture

Sustainability is multifaceted and complex. There’s the materials, the manufacturing and technologies. But there’s also the communities which are involved at the very core of furniture and other products production. Who’s making it and how are traditional skills maintained? Most reputable companies who import or manufacture products will have this information on hand- if they’re committed to the bigger picture.

Photo by Michael Mauney

The Future

There are some brilliant minds and visionaries out there and the future is looking bright. At a recent trend forecasting seminar, we saw all sorts of fascinating things, from a chair made of leaves to furniture made from trash and even tiles made from recycled television sets! The future of design is exciting for those who want to take the leap…

Simon Kern’s Beleaf Chair, made from fallen leaves

Kitchen Styling – Add Personality to a Functional Space

Satara Sales - Monday, April 30, 2018

It really doesn’t matter if you live in a brand new home with a generous kitchen or reside in a small rental apartment with a less-than-ideal kitchen space, you can still make this room a reflection of your style and taste. Finding that balance between adding personality while remaining practical in such a functional space is key. Form follows function as the old adage goes, which remains true here. Consider the following tips for making the kitchen a space that you want to be in.

Add Furniture

If you have the space, include a small breakfast nook or some barstools. These additions create atmosphere in the kitchen by bringing family and friends closer to the cooking action. Ensure the barstool sits neatly under the island bench and allows enough space for legs to be comfortable underneath. Timbers, cork, metals and woven materials are hardy and easy to clean. They will likely bring contrast to the kitchen materials too, softening stones and laminates. Consider the height of the backrest, you may not wish to have them too high, therefore possibly blocking a view into the next room or outdoors. Breakfast nooks are a sweet addition to the kitchen but require a little more space. Small, round tables work well with chairs that are made from materials that can withstand daily use.

Image by Satara via [] Featuring the New York Kitchen Stools

Make Useful Accessories a Centrepiece

While the majority of cooking and kitchen items can be relatively unsightly, there are a some which can be used as beautiful accessories. Depending on the style you’re going for, get some of the following items out of the cupboard and onto the kitchen surfaces.

Contemporary Kitchen

  • Designer pieces like a kettle or toaster
  • A sleek stainless-steel jug
  • A marble or metal utensil holder
  • Small collections of ceramic plates, vessels or cups
  • Canisters made from ceramics, glass or metal
  • Cook books, but only the nice ones!
  • Chopping boards made from timber or stone

Image via []

Classic Kitchen

  • Stacks of mismatched plates or glasses
  • Ceramic jugs to hold utensils
  • Stove top kettle
  • A Kitchen Aid or similar
  • Vintage kitchen scales and colanders
  • Mixing bowls and beautiful serving platters as a fruit bowl
  • Again, cook books work well here too
  • Chopping boards made from timber or stone

Image by Brigid Arnott, Stylist Vanessa Colyer Tay via []

The Island Bench Feature

If you’re blessed with an Island bench, you may be left wondering what to do with such a large surface. Layering works well, so start with a tray or platter. Contrast it to the bench top. Woven materials look beautiful against stone and add warmth while a dark stone tray against white bench tops packs a punch. Timber trays or bowls pretty much work on any bench top! Once you have selected your base, layer with other objects, such as a vase of flowers, a sculptural vessel, a bowl, a designer candle or some seasonal fruit. Groups of three always look good.

If you’re attempting a more minimal look, chose well designed objects that can stand alone well. Try a recycled timber bowl of lemons or a stainless-steel vase with bare branches or autumn leaves.

Styling by Justine Hugh-Jones

Art in Kitchens

Bare walls in kitchens can be rare, with storage filling most spare spaces. Even with loads of storage, modern homes tend to be open plan in this area, meaning less wall space. If you do have a spare wall (lucky you!) art could be the perfect way to accessorise the space. Large clocks are a great addition to a kitchen on a practical and decorative level, while a small collection of black and white photos or oil paintings can also create the feature you’re after. Be mindful of kitchen spills, oil splatters and other hazards in the kitchen. You may not want to place a wildly expensive artwork in the firing line.

Image by Michelle Adams

Plants and Foliage

The simplest of kitchens can be transformed instantly with a floral arrangement or the addition of plants. Of you have open shelves in your kitchen, place an indoor plant or two here layered with beautiful cookbooks or a candle. Talk to an expert at your local nursery for some ideas regarding suitable plants for your home. Pop them in gorgeous planters in materials such as woven rattans, gold or timber. Succulents or herbs in pots also work well placed on the bench if you don’t have shelves. Foliage can be extravagant or minimal. Bare branches, olive sprigs and leaves offer a sculptural and inexpensive look while flowers can add colour or a softer look. Change the water often and select in-season flowers to get more longevity on your floral purchases.

Have fun! Remember, you can really change the look and feel of the kitchen with only a few small additions.

Image by Martina Gemmola, Stlist Ruth Welsby

How To Style a Sitting Nook

Satara Sales - Thursday, March 01, 2018

We were recently featured in the Herald Sun (24/02/2018). Check out the article & images below. (Featuring our Bella Rocking Chair, Anna Side Table & Americana Lounge Chair)


"If you live in a small home, making the most of your available space becomes super critical. The home study nook has become a popular way to use small, previously unused spaces, but there’s more than one way of furnishing — and enjoying — these zones. Not quite sure what these spaces are? They’re those odd spots, possibly just beyond the kitchen or off to the side of the hallway, that don’t strictly appear to belong to any designated room. They can be any small spaces in the home that are currently under-utilised. Satara business development manager Jules Hanby said these awkward spaces didn’t have to languish in the too-hard basket. As long as a small space is wide enough to fit a chair, it can be turned into a sitting nook. Not only will this create focus and style in whatever space it adjoins, but it becomes another useful area in the home. “The sitting nook should be working with the other areas of the home that it’s closest to, but it should also have something special about it that makes it stand slightly apart,” Ms Hanby said. “It shouldn’t just blend in. “Think about how you want to use this space. Are you going to be looking out to views? Or taking in natural light from a window? That will give you the first indication of how to position the most important item in that space — the chair.” Ms Hanby said a rug should be next on the list, followed by a side table. Rugs are an easy way to create a zone while the coffee or side table should be big enough to accommodate a book and a beverage. A floor or table lamp is another practical addition that can add height to the space. “I would also be looking at artwork for this room, to make it feel special,” Ms Hanby said. “It should be a relaxing space where you don’t have a TV, but it might be somewhere you sit and read a book or listen to music.”"

"How to style a sitting nook
■ Start with a comfortable chair that makes a statement on its own. You could buy something for the space or reupholster a chair you already have.
■ Add some height to balance the space. A lamp, plant stand or picture hung at eye level will work well.
■ Include a stylish and sturdy side table that is easy to reach from a sitting position, and add a book or magazine. A plant or fresh flowers will add a natural element.
■ Positioning a chair by the window is ideal for reading but if that’s not possible, go with a good task light.
■ Choose a small floor rug for the space. It will anchor the chair and make it more inviting."


How to Create the Ultimate Outdoor Room

Satara Sales - Monday, January 22, 2018

Add Value while relaxing in style.

The Outdoor Room is a fundamental part of most new house designs and renovations these days. Do it right and not only can it dramatically change the way you live, relax, enjoy family time and entertain but it can also add significant value to your property. Here are a few tips on designing the Ultimate Outdoor Room.

Image by Satara, featuring the Polaris Sofa, Bedarra Coffee Table, Samera Round Side Tables & our new range of outdoor cushions 


Having a plan of what you want to achieve before you start is the most important stage. Things to consider include: - how much space you have available, protection from the weather, which direction the hot afternoon sun shines, your view from inside the house, how the room will link with the indoors, Building/Planning restrictions, location of outdoor kitchen/cooking facilities, ventilation etc. Create an ideas board for inspiration by taking photos of interesting designs and textures, cut-outs from magazines, web articles etc. Pinterest and Instagram are great sources of images for inspiration.


You can spend anything from $1000 to hundreds of thousands on your outdoor room. Your budget will have a big impact on what is possible. A well designed outdoor room can add significantly to the value of your property and also to your ultimate enjoyment of the space. Don’t forget to allow money for good quality furniture and accessories to finish off the space.

Draw a Plan

Draw a scale plan (or have a landscape architect or interior designer draw one for you). On the plan work out spacing, furniture layout, direction of weather and sun. Allow enough space to move around the area. Think about lines of sight and using furniture, plants and pots as features that can be viewed from inside your house. You don’t want your neighbours peering out at you while you’re snoozing on the daybed in your bikinis or speedos so think about creating some privacy. Creating walls and defining boundaries for your outdoor room will give it better definition.

Outdoor Kitchens

The outdoor kitchen can be almost as hi-tech as the indoor kitchen these days. The old BBQ is still a favourite and can be combined with roasting hoods, wok burners, teppanyaki plates and woodfired pizza ovens. An outdoor fridge and sink are also very handy additions to the kitchen so you don’t have to keep running inside. You may find that you end up cooking more outside – especially during the warmer months – Less dishes to wash!

Image by E&S Trading, Featuring Satara Products [the Eden Dining Table & Shell Dining Chairs]

Furniture Layout

All too often outdoor rooms are designed and built with little thought into how the space will be used and enjoyed. The space you have available and the layout of furniture will have a major impact on your enjoyment of the room. As well as a functional use, your outdoor furniture can become a real feature so consider how it will look from the inside. If you have the room, combining an outdoor dining space with a comfortable outdoor lounge area will create a multi-functional area.

Image by Satara, Featuring The Polaris Sofa Range, Barrel Lounge Chairs, Vespa Rope Armchairs & Esperance Dining Table

If space is limited consider an outdoor sofa area with low tables for more casual dining. Another good option is to utilise your indoor dining area opening out to a more casual outdoor lounge. A large comfy Daybed is not only a magical place to relax but can be used as a key focal piece for your design.

Modular sofas are extremely popular and versatile. They can be setup in an L shape or similar for entertaining with friends or combine pieces to form a daybed to stretch out on, enjoy the sun’s rays while your better half serves the drinks.

TIP: If planning how to setup your outdoor furniture – use newspaper to mark out the space and layout of your proposed outdoor on the ground so you can be sure everything will fit.

Outdoor Furniture Selection

Once you worked out the layout and purpose of your furniture you need to select the type of furniture you will purchase. There are plenty of options, and like most things it is worth spending a bit more money to get the best quality you can afford. Not only will it last longer but you’ll enjoy it more and spend less in the long run.

Image by Satara, Featuring the Bedarra Sofa & Bedarra Lounge Chair

Synthetic wicker furniture has been extremely popular over the last 5-8 years due to its attractive appearance, range of colours and designs and minimal maintenance requirements. Satara’s range of all-weather synthetic weave furniture is available in 10 colours and hundreds of different designs. The synthetic weave is treated with chemicals to stop it fading and cracking in our harsh environment. Frames are made from rust proof powder coated aluminium. Cheaper furniture generally uses thinner aluminium tube, less welds and is more susceptible to cracking and breaking over time.The first thing to consider is whether the furniture will be kept under cover, or sit out in the rain and sun. To get maximum use of your furniture you want it accessible at all times and don’t want to be moving cushions in and out of the rain. If your furniture will sit in the rain you will need to take better care of your cushions. It is worth investing in a top quality outdoor fabric such as sunbrella and quick-dry foam which won’t retain any moisture in the foam. You will also need to regularly clean and dry the cushions to stop mould and mildew growing on dirt that sits in the cushion fabric. If your cushions will get minimal exposure to rain then you probably don’t need to invest the extra money in quick-dry foam.

Image by Boutique Homes - Featuring the Loupe Dining Table, Skal Dining Chairs & Skal Bar Stools

Stainless steel is another popular material but can be susceptible to surface rust (tea staining) – especially in areas close to the beach. Ensure any painted steel frames have been galvanised and powdercoated so they won’t rust.

Powder coated Aluminium framed furniture with ceramic or laminate tabletops and chairs, sofas and sunlounges made from open weave outdoor fabrics such as batyline or textiline are also popular.

TIP: To create a more eclectic feel to your Outdoor Room consider the use of timber stools and feature chairs to add a classy and organic feel to your room. Everything doesn’t need to be from the same product family to look fantastic.Teak has been popular for decades and is still a great material for outdoor furniture. It develops a grey patina over time unless it is regularly maintained with a teak protective coating. Teak tables look great with a wide range of chairs made from different materials.

Outdoor Heating and Protection from the weather

When the cold months of the year roll around, many of us retreat indoors and abandon our outdoor areas until the sunshine returns, but this doesn’t have to be the case. An outdoor undercover room with protection from the weather will provide you with the ability to utilise the space all year round. Outdoor gas heaters, fire pits, electric patio heaters (heat strips), pizza ovens/Braais, clear blinds and shade awnings can all assist in maximising your enjoyment of your outdoor room.

Outdoor gas heaters come in a range of designs and sizes, they’re also easy to move around, making them a great addition to almost any outdoor space. Be sure the outdoor heater is protected from radiating heat onto your ceiling.

Fire pits provide not only warmth but also add a great open fire atmosphere. Fire pits can be portable or a permanent display, depending on your needs and space restrictions. Keep in mind smoke ventilation.

Electric strip heaters are installed on your patio roof or wall, they take up little to no space and have a sleek modern look. They are more expensive than a fire pit or a gas heater, but because they take up very little space, they are an excellent heating option if you are limited on space or if you’d prefer a subtle yet modern look to your outdoor room.


Image by Satara, Featuring the Leah Dining Chairs

Pizza ovens are another great heating options for all the foodies out there (Although the majority of the heat is retained in the oven for efficient cooking). Not only do they provide your outdoor room with radiant warmth but they also give you the option of making delicious food right in the comfort of your outdoor room. Imagine having your friends over on a cold winters night for freshly made wood fired pizzas. The smell alone is worth it. They are quite large so you do need to consider the size of your space, and the location you wish to put it in, as you’ll also have to account for the flue.

To help shield you from heat and sunlight during the summer and retain heat within your outdoor space during the colder months consider outdoor blinds. Blinds will not only keep the heat produced but they can also protect you, your guests and your furniture from the elements, be that rain, wind, harsh sun rays or bugs, making them great all year round. Outdoor Blinds now come in a variety of materials and styles, and there are even options for how they’re raised and lowered. Blinds are more stylish, modern and simple to use than ever before.

Keep in mind your budget and space when deciding what heating options you’ll incorporate into your room. Some heaters require flues, smoke ventilation and wood, others need electricity or gas to operate. You should also think about how easy or difficult they’ll be to use, as that will ultimately impact your enjoyment.

Final Touches

Think about places you have travelled to, holidays you’ve enjoyed, and try and add items to your outdoor room that help re-create the same feeling you experienced while away.

  • Add Outdoor lanterns and candles to create ambience for night time entertainment, Low voltage garden mood lighting and decorative fire features are also great.
  • Small planters and pots with succulents make great table pieces
  • Add an organic feel with Timber bowls and stools
  • Combine colourful scatter cushions with a solid base colour for the majority of your outdoor cushions. Create continuity with your indoor rooms by using similar colours or bring in colours from the garden or pool in your scatters.
  • Consider a water feature – the sound of running water can be very soothing.
  • Adding a cluster of pots in different sizes and plants for greenery or a vertical garden with herbs for cooking. There is nothing better than adding freshly picked basil on onto a crisp woodfired pizza straight out of the oven.

The How & Why of Choosing an Interior Designer

Satara Sales - Monday, December 11, 2017

The world seems pretty obsessed about home improvement these days and you cannot turn on a television, open a newspaper or look at your phone without seeing a flood of imagery and information. Television shows deem interior design exciting but exhausting, with contestants of reality shows wielding paint brushes into wee hours of the morning, while Instagram makes the placement of objects and designer goods appear so achievable. But while it may seem simple and easy without training- is it? Certainly, some of us are more creatively minded than others, but it cannot be denied that professional designers and decorators bring to the table experience, knowledge and an eye that makes them worthy of their pay cheque. So when is the right time to engage a designer? And how do you go about it? 

Image by Alisa & Lysandra via [] Featuring our Fan Bedhead


There’s no real right answer here, but knowing when to hire a professional designer is just like many other things in life. Feeling a bit out of your depth? Can’t seem to source that item you can picture in your mind? Uncertain how to re-work a space to make it more functional? These are reminders that this is not where your skill set lies. Perhaps you’re a teacher, a mechanic or accountant. Those are your areas of expertise and this is great. Just like you wouldn’t expect your student or client to know everything about your industry, you shouldn’t feel bad that you don’t know enough about design to make things work for you.

If you feel really confident about your design or decoration skills, that’s wonderful and go with it- it’s your home. However, where there is anything structural to change, consider at least chatting to a designer. They may point out something that would have been a costly mistake to change before it’s too late.

Image by Satara


Interior Design is the aspirational career of the moment and there doesn’t seem to be any lack of choice for someone looking to engage a designer. In a way, this adds to the confusion. Who should you choose to work with? In a social media savvy world, the internet is your friend. Jump online a start Googling. Check out designer’s websites and see if any work catches your eye. You can also have a spy on Instagram and follow some of the designers you come across. While you ultimately have to get along with your designer, their aesthetic is likely what will draw you in firstly.

The best way to find a designer however is just like any other service, recommendations. Has someone you know worked with a designer? Would they recommend their services to you? Having this connection is a great starting point, just as you may find your next hairdresser, doctor or gardener. When you meet with your potential designer, be ready to answer questions and have questions for them in turn. Did you feel comfortable? Do you think they “got” you? Did they seem to be clear on what you need, your budget and vision? Trust is a big part of a successful design/client relationship so take note of how you feel the meeting went. Of course, the designer needs to put their fee proposal together and their availability which has to align with your expectations, but the relationship also goes hand in hand with this.


Unsure of how to work with a designer? What will happen? How much will you have to pay? Your involvement? Unfortunately, there’s no set formula and each designer work differently. Most of the time however, you will work closely with the designer to achieve your requirements. Initial meetings may include site visits, lots of questions and sharing of ideas/ likes/ dislikes (yours and the designers). From here, a concept will be developed and the designer will present their ideas. The design development stages, which are next, include amendments and changes, possibly drawings, samples and showroom visits. This can be quick or drawn out, depending on the complexity of the project and how it plays out.

The costs involved also vary dramatically. Designers work differently and their fees will also depend on their experience, reputation and price structure. Some will offer a flat fee while others may charge hourly. Expect a high hourly rate, but within that hour, a lot can happen! Other designers will mark up furniture, accessories and fabrics from wholesale prices, making their money that way. Some charge a combination, with a fee plus their mark ups. How they intend to make their money doesn’t really matter. What does matter however is that you feel comfortable with the overall fee being changed. Be open and honest about this with the designer, they may be able to partly work within your budget if it’s outside your expectations.

If you do decide to work with a designer or decorator, enjoy the process. Make the most of the resources and knowledge of these professionals. While it may seem like something only the rich and famous can do, working with a designer can actually save you money in the long run. Consider it an investment!

Image by Henley Homes via [] Featuring our Gaspar Bar Stools & Bass Coffee Table

Designing on a Budget – Where is Your Hard-Earned Money Best Spent?

Satara Sales - Thursday, December 07, 2017

It can feel like everyone is designing or decorating their homes on huge budgets, especially when social media, television and magazines continually flaunt such beautiful and seemingly extravagant designs. Perhaps this is the case for some people, but it can be guaranteed that many also work within tight budgets too. Here are some of our favourite tips for designing and decorating on a budget.

Image by FlooringXtra featuring Satara Products [Aslak Sofa, Eden Cage Coffee Table, Sundial Dining Table etc.]


Sometimes it’s best to be realistic about what’s possible with the budget you have. Do you know what your budget is, or is it a vague amount you would like to stick to? Start a spreadsheet to track your costs, even placing estimates in as you get them to create a realistic budget. Somethings will be more expensive than you were expecting, while others may be a pleasant surprise. If you’re completing structural renovations or building, get your quotes happening so you can gain insight into how much things will cost. Remember to always allow for a buffer, things rarely go to plan!

If you’re working towards furnishings, accessories, art, surface treatments and soft furnishings (such as window treatments), start doing some research. Jump online and have a look at how much things cost. Are you willing to compromise on the items you really want, to get it all done at once, or would you prefer to stage the projects at different times to get what you really want albeit in a longer time frame? Once you know this, you can start allocating your money to various parts of the project. Remember to include estimates for furniture freight, installations and other extras.

Lastly, work out what’s the most important aspect of your project. If your kitchen is in dire straits, spend the money there, not on that artwork you’ve been eying off. As dull as it may sound, a functional home is money well spent. Anyways, functional can be beautiful too!

Use a Designer

Engaging a designer may seem like a strange suggestion when the pockets are not so deep, but sometimes it can be an excellent financial investment, particularly if you find a designer who is willing to work hard to ensure the budget is met. The wonderful things about designers, particularly ones who “get” your project budget, is they have their fingers on the pulse. They know who’s on sale, they can sometimes get discounts from places you never will and they also have a much wider net of suppliers to draw from.

They also can see things differently. Their solutions for things you see and live in everyday can save you money, breathing new life into existing pieces. And finally, doing something right and doing it once is far more cost effective than making mistakes and having to re-do it all a year down the track.

 Flat Lay by Sally Caroline

Re-imagine What’s Already There

Leading on from the above, think like a designer. Consider what that big old armchair would look like in a new part of the home. Or that big old armchair, how would it look with new fabric? Or even a new cushion and throw? Sometimes the simplest things really make everything feel different- and better.

Image via []

You may be thinking you need an entirely new living room setting. What would happen if you shuffle things around a little? Maybe keep the arm chair and the coffee table and bring a new sofa, lamp and coffee table in instead? A fresh lick of paint can change everything, so to can a new statement lamp, rug or artwork. Not everything has to be done from scratch.

Don’t Skimp on the Important Things

There are certain things which shouldn’t be driven entirely by price. In the interiors game, this would include quality appliances, tradespeople and furniture items like sofas, beds and chairs. Cheaper tiles, timber imitations and plastics also are inexpensive for a reason, you may be replacing them sooner than you would like. Smaller items, such as art, accessories, lesser used furniture pieces and anything decorative can be brought under the line. As mentioned previously, buying once is far cheaper than having to repeatedly replace something of inferior quality. Check warranties and work with suppliers and trades you trust will deliver an excellent product which will be worth the money spent.


Image by Satara via [] Featuring the Brooklyn Sofa & Noah Side Table

This can also be said for key pieces. Investing in one or two statement items in the home will have maximum impact, such as a beautiful sofa or dining table. Having these “hero” pieces will allow for other items to be more discrete and often less expensive. 

Old Made New Again

There are so many great ways to give new life to things in your home that already exist. Consider your art work, instead of buying new art, try reframing. Instead of buying new cushions, see if new feather inserts give them a new look. Hunt down bargain fabrics online to reupholster chairs, sofas, dining chair seats and ottomans. Re-stain the old timber chairs or even try it yourself (if it’s not a family heirloom!). For art, try framing maps, vintage posters and flags for instant appeal.

Mixing Old and New

One of the great current trends of interior design today is the mixing of old and new. It’s charming way to add character to your home in a meaningful way. Pairing new, practical and contemporary items (say, a sofa) with a vintage armchair or antique lamp equals instant appeal without any pretentiousness. It’s a fun way to create stories in your interior, collecting things as you go on your travels or grow as a family. Keep your eyes peeled for items your family may want to throw out, visit an auction house or flea market to find items which complement but contrast your more modern pieces. It’s also a cost-effective way of keeping the budget down. Invest in your key pieces, such as a new bed, but balance out the costs with mismatched bedsides, or vintage pieces.

Image by Vogue Living- Manhattan Townhouse

Get Creative

While getting creative is not going to help you with your dream kitchen or designer dining chairs, it can help if there is very little left over after making big purchases. These are the things like art, accessories and the smaller items in the home. Try dabbling in some abstract art, or, collate your children’s pieces into a creative arrangement. There are plenty of tutorials online for weaving, watercolours and other creative pursuits. Try plant holders, cushions and throws or baskets as a place to start. Pinterest is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration in this area too- have fun!

Image by Marij Hessel

Be Timeless

Classic interiors will never date. Or, if they do it will take a very long time to do so! Not being a stickler to trends will help your home to feel fresh and modern for a much longer time which in the end, relates closely to money. Avoid “on trend” colours or materials and stick to classic materials, colours and designs. Perhaps this is boring? No, we don’t think so! If you fall in love with this seasons colour, go for smaller, less expensive splashes, such as cushions or a print. Replacing these in a few years will not feel so bad, rather than replacing your whole dining area furnishings.

Classic items of furniture will remain classic for a long time; they’re named that for a reason. Enlisting a professional to help guide you through finding these pieces which will stand the test of time will always be a great way to go. Remember to always be open and honest with your designer, that way they can work for you successfully and in your parameters, no matter how tight those purse strings may be.

How to Work Like an Interior Designer

Satara Sales - Wednesday, November 08, 2017
It’s easy to lose hours on social media or within glossy magazines, gazing at effortless homes and chic apartments. Many people work directly with designers and architects to create these dream spaces. This is not always accessible for everyone though so we thought we would share our best interior design tips. Following this guide loosely replicates the process of a designer as they share their handy hints.

Understand the Space

All interior designers take time to understand the space they’re working with. They take photos, measure, observe the natural light and see what features will remain and what will go. The light is particularly important and if possible, see what the light levels are at a few different times of the day.

Start by making a sketch of the floor plan and taking some measurements. A rough drawing is fine! Is the space generous or tight? What is the focal point of the room? Is it the television, a fireplace, the view or a piece of art for example? If we know what the focal point of the room is, we can arrange the furniture accordingly. In turn, once we understand how large or small the space is, the furniture sizes become more apparent. Consider the flow around the room. You should be able to move easily around the items. A dining chair needs about 80cm clearance behind it to comfortably get in and out from the table. Smaller distances are fine between items like a coffee table and sofa. Try to imagine reaching for a book or the remote on the coffeetable from the sofa as a guide. If you’re able to, map out the furniture loosely with masking tape on the floor as a reference point.


Image via [] 

Your own Client Brief

In this situation, you are your own client! Ask yourself the questions an interior designer would ask. What will happen in this space? How would you like it to feel (an important one which will set the palette)? What is your lead time and budget? Will you need to store things here? How big and how many things will you store? Do the materials and finishes need to suit a family? Pets? How many people sit around the dining table each day? What about when you entertain? Do you entertain enough to warrant a large table and chairs?

Once you start to ask these questions, limitations and parameters appear. As you know, when you start researching furniture and décor it can be very overwhelming. If you have these boundaries in place you can start to eliminate items very quickly, or refine your search.

Create a Mood Board

This is the fun part! Whether online or from magazines, start to pull ideas together. Don’t limit yourself too much or question your decisions early on. Even if the image is of something unrelated, keep it. Once you have a collection you feel happy with, start making hard choices and cull the things you don’t absolutely love. You have eight pictures of dining chairs? Try to make it two. Twelve wallpapers? Make it three. Keep doing this until you have really nutted out the look and feel. This becomes the go-to guide when you’re making the selections. Will a particular bed work, for example? Head back to your mood board and see. Olio Board is a great online program where you can actually insert your selections into a room for those who find visualising a little more difficult than others. (

Image by Ciara Eloise via her blog []

Set a Budget

Yes, budgets are boring and uncomfortable to talk about. But, there is nothing more disappointing than finding the perfect sofa to then realise it means you can’t afford anything else. Be realistic. There are a few ways to approach the process, you can either work with the budget to purchase everything at once, or, make all of the selections in the beginning and stage the purchases to suit the budget as more money becomes available. It’s helpful to do a bit of research and understand how much things cost. If you have not renovated or purchased new furniture in a while, you may be surprised. Make a comprehensive list of everything you need in a spreadsheet. Then you can start inserting costs when you make decisions and track the budget.

Create a Palette

Refer back to your mood board. What are the overall colours, patterns and textures you see? Try to really define what these are. Once you have done this, ascertain if it meets the brief questions you asked yourself early on. Does this scheme conjure feelings of comfort or is it sophisticated? Warm palettes of neutrals work well in classic homes where you’re wanting to achieve a light and timeless scheme. A cool palette of greys is more contemporary and works well in a large and light space. Try not to be too driven by current trends so you make selections that are long lasting. Don’t be afraid of colour though. Especially if it’s paint or small accessories like a cushion or even a rug. Hate it in three years? Is it that much of an issue to replace or update this?

Image by Adairs via their website []

Get Practical

Before you make any final selections, ask yourself if each item is practical. Interior design and decoration should always be firstly about functionality. Is the chair comfortable? Will it be easy to clean? If you have pets and small children will this be an issue? Is it ergonomic? Will it hold all the items you need it to? Will it fit in the room (not only once it’s in, but physically getting it in the space!)? Will it be too dark and heavy looking? What is the warranty? Will a chair fit under the table comfortably? Will you be able to move around the bed? Will you be able to open your robes with the bedside table location?

Really ask the practical questions. While it’s easy to be swept away with how beautiful something is, if it doesn’t meet the practical requirements, you won’t ever love it as much as you should.

Work on the Hero Piece First

If you’re finding it difficult to know where to start, even after creating mood boards and a palette, try to place your focus on one item. Working on a dining room? Start with the dining table and nothing else. How big do you want it to be and how many people are you planning to seat? What material is it going to be? Will that be practical for ever day use or it only an occasionally used space? Once you have picked the table, the rest flows on much more easily. The chair will have to physically fit under the top comfortably, the rug will have to be large enough to sit under the table and chairs, you will be able to calculate if you have enough space for a buffet. Then you can select art or a mirror for above the buffet once you know the measurements and materials of the piece. There is a natural process and flow on effect here by being systematic about the approach if this makes you feel more comfortable.


Image by Satara via [] Featuring the Bull Dining Chairs, Stewart Dining Table, New York Kitchen Stools & Cow Hide


Texture is so important in a successful interior. Texture impacts how a space looks and feels. Glossy textures and finishes for example make a room feel sophisticated, polished, clean, modern and cool. Raw textures make a space feel rustic, industrial, casual and warm. Ensure there is enough textural variation in a space, particularly if you have a neutral palette. This creates interest and comfort. Work in groups of three if you’re unsure. For example, in a living room you could combine timber, stone and linen. If you’re creating a vignette this also works well. Try a marble tray, timber vase and glass bowl.

Image by Satara via [] Featuring the Sultan Coffee Table, Bass Side Table & Hammered Bowl

It’s All About Lighting

Having sufficient lighting in a room makes the space more effective to use and more comfortable. Ask an expert if you’re unsure, but firstly understand the natural light levels in the space and be clear about the tasks which will occur in the space. Ambient lighting is also a lovely way to bring atmosphere into the space. As it’s largely decorative, the lighting can have beautiful shades and shapes which add to the overall scheme without getting too caught up in the light it provides.

Natural light is always lovely in a home but if it’s not enough in the day to comfortably complete what you like to do (such as reading, sewing, studying) then you will need to add task lighting. By task lighting we mean direct and clear lighting to allow you to see properly. Floor and table lamps are great at doing this, although you may want to ensure they’re flexible and strong enough for what you need it to do. 

Image by Satara via [] Featuring the Firenze Club Chairs, Ella Dining Chairs & Boomerang Kitchen Stools

Tell a Story

A home is not really a home until there are accessories to add layers of interest and personality to the spaces. Even if you have a minimalistic home, there will likely be artworks, rugs or books. Accessories give insight into the occupant’s likes, dislikes, family, history, travels and life. Don’t expect to accessorise a home with all new pieces immediately as it will appear flat and lack character. Take the time when you travel to pick up a memento, treasure the family heirlooms and add new pieces you love as you discover them.

Accessories don’t have to be an expensive exercise either. Nature provides us with beautiful (and free!) pieces which work beautifully. Shells, driftwood, husks, branches and flowers sit well next to other pieces in the home and can change often. Books and photos are also wonderful accessories adding to the story.

Image by Satara via [] Featuring the Bass Side Table & Lombok Lounge Chair

Have fun, it’s worth all the effort. Be guided by functionality first, then aesthetics. Then you will have a home you not only love, but works perfectly for you and your unique needs. If you’re still feeling unsure, or the whole process seems overwhelming, remember there are professionals who do this for a job! Interior Designers are trained for a reason and have very specific skill sets. They’re creative, excellent at problem solving tricky spaces and importantly, they’re the ultimate source for new products, materials and possibilities you’ve never heard of. They’re worth their weight in gold.