Joanne Hawkins

Melbourne-based writer, editor, copywriter and lifestyle content specialist with more than 20 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines both in Australia and the UK. Now freelance, my work has appeared online and in print for publications such as Inside Out, Home Beautiful, GQ Australia, Marie Claire Australia, Herald Sun, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Vanity Fair (Italy).

This property with a former bookshop is now a smartly renovated home -

When Eve Gunson and husband Matt Benetti first saw the charmless bookshop at the front of an Albert Park house that was to become their latest home-renovation project, they didn’t even bother getting out of the car. “The shopfront really put us off, initially. But then we did another couple of drive-bys and started to see the potential of what it could become,” Ms Gunson, an interior designer from Dot + Pop said.

Turn over a new leaf by getting in some indoor plants

Houseplants, you might say, are having their moment in the sun. Check out Instagram or interiors magazines and you’ll see Monsteras, aloe veras and fiddle-leaf figs everywhere. Plant expert Maria Colletti, a New York plant workshop teacher, said houseplants were a beautiful addition to your decor but also had an important function. “Plants make us happy. When we look at greenery and something that is alive, it gives us a good feeling,” said the author of Living Decor, a book about using indoor plants in creative ways.

How this bach and her beau have decked out their home

It’s a special time when you decide to move in with a partner. But while you both might bring a sense of excitement to the new digs, be prepared for the fact you might also both bring disparate furniture! You might even relate to the scene in ‘80s movie When Harry Met Sally when Carrie Fisher moves in with new boyfriend Bruno Kirby, whose furniture includes a wagon-wheel coffee table not to Fisher’s liking.

Now You See It

There was a moment in the summer of 2016 when Ewan McEoin looked at the neon pink structure that had taken up temporary residence in the NGV’s backyard, aka the Grollo Equiset Garden, and realised it had struck a chord with all ages. “It was absolutely slammed with so many kids, which was fantastic to see,” remembers McEoin, the NGV’s senior curator, Contemporary Design and Architecture. “People made an effort to come to the gallery just to see that project.”

Colour crush: choose hues for an easy but transformative makeover

WATCH an episode of The Block and there’s one thing the competitors are guaranteed to moan about (apart from each other) and that’s painting. But paint is actually one of the most effective and economical ways of transforming your home. “It is the maximum amount of impact you can get for the minimum amount of expense or effort,” said Haymes Paint colour and concept manager Wendy Rennie.

Dramatic reno blasts ‘70s Kew pad out of the past

WITH seven bedrooms, four bathrooms and a pool, this two-storey double-brick house in Kew was certainly a dream home for the professional couple who bought it in 2011. But as much as they loved the space, they weren’t blind to the shortcomings of their solidly built 1970s “mansion”. On a steep block, the house had a pool that was isolated and an elevated backyard only accessed via a long corridor on the first floor that ran past the bedrooms.

Step out in style with vinyl and laminate flooring

While carpet remains popular in bedrooms, the demand for wall-to-wall carpet throughout living areas has fallen dramatically over the past 20 years. And it’s little wonder, as hard flooring is easy to maintain, beneficial for those suffering from allergies and looks fantastic. But hard flooring doesn’t just mean wood, as laminate and vinyl options have improved to the point where many consumers are choosing to install them instead, and not just because of price.

Buyers swapping trees for trams as city living calls

WE can all understand the appeal of a tree change; giving up our stressful city lives and moving to the country. It seems it’s something Australians are embracing, with recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showing an increasing number of interstate and intrastate population movements are to either tree or sea change regions. But plenty of people are happy to do just the opposite. Regional and country Victorians are making tree changes in reverse by buying themselves Melbourne bases...
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