{The Design Nest}Architecturally enhancing your open plan space

Architecturally enhancing your open plan space

It’s no secret that we love our open plan living spaces, who wouldn’t? They provide so many lifestyle options – spending time with family and friends, cooking together, yelling at the kids, telling off James at the office for eating all the Kingston biscuits. But I digress.

In architecture terms the issues we face with open plan is ending up with a soulless echo chamber. To avoid this, the best designs define the various zone by playing with changes in elevation, materials, natural light, furniture placement, etc etc. The point is design doesn’t happen by accident; by adding deliberate layers a space can become more interesting and enjoyable to be in (and ensures James and the Kingstons’ are within eyeshot).

Define Zones


Think you can either have separate spaces or open plan? Nope, and that’s great news! The design of open plan can be manipulated into creating zones through various options such as floor level, floor materials, ceiling detail or as simply as your furniture configuration.

The beautiful home above shows a strong sense of separation even though the spaces are obviously in the same room – this has been achieved through the use of a sunken lounge. Originating from the 30s, the sunken lounge is making a comeback as the ultimate chill zone and space for intimate gatherings. But, be warned, don’t try it unless you make it a decent size. Anything small will come across as a pothole on the highway.

Create visual separation

kirsty ristevski

The Central West has some beautiful old homes, and many are being altered to suit modern families. When doing this, creating a clear visual separation between the old and the new can really enhance the sense of more space.

The image above with the cute photobomber shows the parquetry floors have been contrasted against crisp concrete in the new extension. Overall, this style of extension allows you to experience the best of both worlds with old world charm and contemporary living.

Use an island

Kate Walker Design

Kitchen islands are probably the most common design tool for defining zones, providing you have enough space.

Fun fact: most people don’t realise that open plan is so popular because of islands

A well-planned kitchen is not only functional, but give the added benefit of making people feel immediately at ease by knowing where they can and can’t be. A great example of this is any visitor will be instinctively aware of if they stay on the back side, they will be out of the way of the cook (and from being poked with any sharp objects).

Expert tip thanks to our favourite honey badger:

Remember the 7 P’s. Prior proper preparation prevents piss-poor performance

Christine Ghrayche, owner of One x One Interiors and lover of all things design, is a passionate interior designer, mother of 2, coffee addict, wine lover, and has called Orange home for

{The Nest 101} The ultimate cheat-sheet on designer names..

So, this one time I was standing at the cosmetics counter at David Jones (please note: if you are the hubby-bird reading this I was probably not spending money) and this lovely young chap approached the counter. He pulled a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket and asked one of the glamorous beauty assistants for some “Ivys saints laurennt” for his girlfriend. After a slight giggle and smirk the assistant proceeded to ask if he meant “Yves Saint Laurent”.

Yes he did.

It made me wonder how many times, poor unsuspecting boys were sent to fashionable beauty counters with tiny pieces of paper in their pockets that were scrawled with unusual gift ideas that concerned certain designer brands.

Then I found this marvellous  ‘designer brands for dummies’ or well actually its called ‘How to pronounce designer names 101

To all the boys who ever thought Miu Miu was the same sound a cow made, this list is for you.


{The Nest Loves} Eat. Drink. Chic.

Holy guacamole batman – cancel your plans for today.

I am so cereal.

I am about to show you the best way to waste re-spend your day.sweet_calendar_01d

Please let me introduce you to the VERY talented and completely generous Amy Moss from Eat Drink Chic. She has a completely pimpin’ website that just consumes me.

It is pretty and special and delightful. Best of all it is guaranteed to make you smile.


Amy is a graphic designer who loves all things gorgeous and actually creates (and shares for completely un-co design peeps like me) free printables to make your stuff look good. It is great to see someone so clever, doing so well.


Cheers to Ms Moss for being the bees knees.

{The Nest Buys} Macaroon Kids – buying your little people a heirloom

Every so often you stumble across something magnificent.

Macaroon Kids is that special kind of wonderful. Macaroon kids

Founded in 2011, by a very clever mumma Macaroon Kids offers something just a little bit different and lovely than the standard baby products that line the shelves of the baby shops you usually visit.

What we love most about Macaroon Kids is the combination of stylish handmade children’s gifts that actually have a social conscience.

Each product sold is lovingly created by the very talented Amanda Tuckerman, so you know your gift will be one of a kind for that very special little birdie in your life. You could even say that you are buying your family’s future heirloom.

Exciting news is on foot, because Macaroon Kids is about to release their new FRIDA range and we are desperately LOVING it.


This incredible range showcases vibrant colours, popping designs and a refreshing take on children’s fashion.

Plus, they use 100% natural fibres, luxury fabric and eco filled cornfibre in their toys. WINNING!


You can drop some well-spent coin at: www.MacaroonKids.com.au or you can find some more wonderful pieces on Etsy – Macaroon Kids

You can also find Amanda and the team on Facebook – Macaroon Kids or hit them up on Instagram.

P.S: Our very favourite product from the very talented Amanda is the MK handmade doll. It is simply sublime (and hopefully soon will be wrapped in my baby-bird’s arms).

handmade MK Doll

Happy shopping Nesters!

{Wear this} Kimono – exciting Boho wear or designer dressing gown?

KIMONOS. Do I love them or hate them? I’m not entirely sure.

Part of me thinks ‘gorgeous, boho style‘ then the other part thinks ‘take yourself out the back and give yourself an upper-cut because you are just trying to justify wearing your dressing gown in public again’.

I will leave it to you..


ASOS floral cardigan – asos.com – $82.00

Mint top – windsorstore.com – $45.00

Black Hearts Brigade jacket – urbanoutfitters.com – $100.00

Tigerlily Sheer kimono – revolveclothing.com – $235.00

Free People clothing –freepeople.com -$165.00

Short kimono– theiconic.com.au – $70.00

Enjoy dressing up (or down) Nesters!

{do this} Learn a new trick at the Fox & Willow workshops

The fabulous peeps over at Fox & Willow will be hosting two workshops next weekend – Saturday 30th November and Sunday 31st November if you are looking for a little pre-Christmas inspiration.

The first workshop will feature Natural Pampering Recipes for you and your home. Fox & Willow will teach you how to make scrubs, bath teas and room sprays; using simple ingredients in your pantry & garden.

natural scrubs workshop

The second will include ‘The Art of Gift Wrapping’ (just in time for Christmas!). The team will teach you how to wrap like a goddess using items found at home & in the garden.

gift wrapping

Plus, because everyone loves a little show and tell you can take home with you a sample of each product you create on the day & a recipe collection of ideas.

Cost: $60.00 each or $100.00 for both days.

If you want some more information regarding the workshops you can email the team at: foxandwillowstudio@gmail.com

Happy learning Nesters!