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Trying to find your own style? How to achieve that designer look without the designer price tag.


Deb chats with Australian style-queen Melissa Penfold about her blog and where to find inspiration to develop your own design style.

In the video below, Deb tells Melissa how much she loves her blog and admires its broad audience appeal. Melissa’s blog provides high-end style advice and product sources, but also how to create similar looks with stylish pieces at more accessible prices.

While you may not be able to afford a $30 million home, there are many style elements you can afford for your property – paint colours, tiles designs, same dining setting and so on. Use those accessible elements to create your own designer look.

“Decorating is really sourcing the best stuff and knowing how to mix it”, says Melissa. “Great decorating is really about self-respect – what we surround ourselves with. The minute you come home every day, you want it to boost your happiness, boost your spirits, boost your confidence. Even if you live in a 6×4, you can do that. You don’t need million-dollar architecture.”

French-inspired, Hamptons, Scandi, industrial-chic, contemporary, coastal… do you love many different decorating styles, but can’t figure out where your taste fits? Melissa says to start by getting out and visiting places around you for inspiration.

  • Window-shop everywhere
  • Visit the best decorating shops
  • Go into the fabulously decorated bars, restaurants and hotels
  • If you travel overseas, visit modern, upmarket hotels nearby
  • Look at the smaller, simple decorating details as well. Adding

For Sydneysiders, Melissa and Deb are great admirers of the beautiful interior design used in Justin and Bettina Hemmes’ Merivale projects. See links below.

The Design Files: Great Gatsby Grandeur at Bert’s

The Rhapsody: Coogee Pavilion Rooftop

About Melissa Penfold

Melissa Penfold is a journalist and author, and often described as Australia’s foremost authority on style and design. With a career in the lifestyle industry for over 25 years, she has an unparalleled reputation as one of the country’s most respected and trusted journalists and style influencers. Melissa has two best-selling books on the subject of Australian Style and Melissa Penfold’s Little Black Book: Sydney’s Shopping Secrets, which are the golden standard of reference books for architects, designers, stylists and magazine editor’s around the country.

Balance Team

This article was written by the brains trust of Balance . We are a talented team of writers and contributors with real life experience and a passion for finding balance.

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