How to create a meaningful home

Once more, with meaning

Decorator with the mostest, Emma Blomfield

Decorator with the mostest, Emma Blomfield. All images by Lisa Zhu of And A Day Photography.

Emma Blomfield knows a thing or million about decorating homes. A stylist, decorator and homewares buyer, she’s also the co-founder of The Decorating School, which equips Sydney-siders and beyond with the know-how to make their homes reflect their personality and lifestyle as well as looking schmick. In between paint jobs and cushion fights, we caught up with Emma to hear about how she approaches a brief, and the most important thing you need to keep in mind to make a room ‘work’. Hint: it’s got something to do with the title…

Design-spo: The Surry Hills Terrace

This terrace house was shared by three women in their mid-twenties who all worked very long hours each day but needed a colourful and bright home to come back to in the evenings. The goal with this project was to use as much pattern and personality as possible. When I turned up one day, one of the girls had used washi tape to write on the wall and create that amazing piece of art in the living room. It had to stay!
Images from a redecorated apartment in Surry Hills
Images from a redecorated apartment in Surry Hills
Images from a redecorated apartment in Surry Hills
 

Don’t learn to live with it

Your home is your sanctuary, your haven and your escape. It serves so many purposes for us yet so often we neglect it and ignore certain elements of our homes. It might be that you’re mentally preparing for a renovation so expending any energy on decorating is bottom of the list, or perhaps you’re so overwhelmed by the thought of spending time re-decorating that it’s easier to bury your head in the sand… You stop inviting friends over, you turn the TV on at night and focus on the screen rather than anything else in the room around you, or you are out the door at any chance you get during your downtime so you don’t have to stare at the peeling paint on the ceiling that needs re-doing. Let’s not even mention the 13 year old sofa that your toddler has kindly mashed his banana into…

We all have that friend whose home is a beautiful breath of fresh air. We love hanging out at her place and exploring all of the interesting pieces she has placed around the house, but when it comes to re-creating this ourselves it seems like an impossible task. Walking into a home and feeling as if you are home is such a powerful feeling. It’s one we all strive for, yet often don’t put enough time aside to actually achieve it.

I’m here to show you that creating a meaningful, welcoming and real home isn’t an impossible task. With some forethought, and careful planning one weekend you can achieve so many things.

Design-spo II: The Rushcutter’s Bay apartment

This apartment belongs to a young professional couple who took great pride in the appearance of their home. It was important to them to incorporate a number of their favourite pieces, like the small tray that doubles as a bar cart so when entertaining the room can be multi-functional for them.
Pictures of a redecorated apartment in Rushcutters Bay
Pictures of a redecorated apartment in Rushcutters Bay

Emma’s top tips to creating a meaningful home

1. What’s your goal?

When we first sit down to really think about re-decorating, it’s important to have an end goal in mind. Just like saving for a house or getting fit, it helps to have a goal to work towards. Perhaps your goal is to have the house looking presentable to host Christmas dinner. Or your goal is to host a girl’s night for you and your closest girlfriends to enjoy a night of cheese and wine. Whatever your goal may be, write it down and stick it somewhere like the fridge so you keep seeing it over and over. It’ll keep you accountable!

2. Assess your needs & wants

So often I see clients jumping into a design project without having considered how the space will actually be used. To create a meaningful home, we must consider the different uses people have for the space. You will use your living room very differently to your 16 year old son, so it’s important to be aware of all the different needs and wants of each person who uses the space.

3. Buy what you love

Buying items because they are appearing in magazines each week isn’t the way to a meaningful home. Buying items that you fall in love with on the spot in a shop or while away on a family trip will mean so much more to you once placed in your home.  If you’ve got a meaningful story behind something in your home you’ll find a way to make it work among the other items you already own.

4. Keep, chuck, re-home

We all become a little complacent from time to time with items in our homes, but every now and then the mess and chaos gets on top of us and a spring clean is in order. Approach a spring clean with these three words – KEEP, CHUCK, RE-HOME. Wander around your home and ruthlessly label all items (physically on a post it note or mentally, whatever works for you) and decide then and there what deserves to stay in your home, what can go in the bin and what could be re-homed to another room or to charity.

5. Make practical purchases

I don’t know anyone who can’t put their hand up to say they’ve bought something in a store only to get it home and realise it was a terrible choice. For example, you fall in love with a beautiful white throw rug for your sofa. While that would be fine if you lived in a museum or never drank red wine or ate chocolate in your living room, if you have kids, or like me consume way too much chocolate on the couch at night, anything white is a terrible idea. Buyer’s remorse is avoidable! Go back to step 2, assess your needs and wants, if you need a new rug, but you’ve got an 18 month old who’s crawling around on the floor and playing with toys then you’ll need a soft one, not a hard sisal weave rug. A little forethought goes a long way in the long run.

Happy decorating!

 

Design-spo III: The Palm Beach apartment

This unit is by the seaside so finding inspiration for this one wasn’t tricky. The main goal for this client was to bring elements of the iconic Palm Beach indoors while also being practical. We even went so far as to frame maps of the area to really amp up the Palm Beach concept!

Pictures of a redecorated apartment in Palm Beach Pictures of a redecorated apartment in Palm Beach Pictures of a redecorated apartment in Palm Beach

Giveaway: kick off Mother’s Day the yummy way

Brunch to go with your gift for Mum

Breakfast ideas to go with a gift for Mum

Ness (with lemon) and Jo (about to nab it). Photo credit: Matt Johnson

Brunch out for Mother’s Day can be a lovely touch – but it’s often super booked, crowded, noisy and a bit overpriced… So why not match the thoughtfulness you put into her Mother’s Day present into a special breakfast you can make in her honour?

Joanna Cooper and Vanessa Rowe know a thing or fifty about delicious food that helps you glow from the inside out. Co-authors of Our Tamarama Kitchen (tried and tasted 😉 by the hardtofind team), Joanna and Vanessa created their gorgeous book to celebrate the way Joanna cooks for her friends and family – simple, effortless and delicious food with a focus on using whole, natural ingredients. Joanna believes in balance and harmony – eating in moderation and not ruling out any particular food group, unless you’re medically required to.

Blending general principles of traditional Chinese medicine with enjoying the pleasure life has to offer, Jo and Ness have shared two of their tastiest recipes perfect for Mum on the 8th – a lush, fruity brown rice bowl (don’t make that face – it’s really, really good) and their amazing chocolate chai truffles: full of nutrients and great fats, and far better for her than a box of choccies. We’d wager they taste better, too.

Mums themselves, Jo and Ness would love to wake up to this brekkie on Mother’s Day (albeit with awesomely good coffee and champagne for good measure), possibly with a baguette and Jo’s salmon pate later down the track… but both agree their favourite meal is one cooked with love, and surrounded by the people who mean the most in the world to them.

WIN YOUR COPY

Jo and Ness have given us got three copies of Our Tamarama Kitchen to give away! To enter, email your favourite memory of a meal with Mum to competitions@hardtofind.com.au. Entries close at midnight on Mother’s Day. We’ll email the winner and post their name here. Good luck!

 

Our Tamarama Kitchen’s Sweet Brown Rice Breakfast

A delicious, healthy brown rice breakfast bowl for Mum

Sweet brown rice breakfast. Photo credit: Vanessa Rowe

As we head into winter, the mornings are becoming noticeably cooler, which makes this a perfect nourishing and delicious breakfast choice. It’s super easy, so give it a try to create something different and special for mum on Mother’s Day.

Download the recipe here

 

Our Tamarama Kitchen’s Chocolate Chai Truffles

Better than a box of Roses any day... Photo credit: Vanessa Rowe

Better than a box of Roses any day… Photo credit: Vanessa Rowe

If you like chai you will love these. If not, try using peppermint, earl grey, green or chamomile tea. They look gorgeous and are the perfect ending to a dinner party or the perfect sweet treat that’s not too naughty for after dinner. Jo’s rather addicted to these and sometimes eats up to 4 or 5 balls a day!

Jo & Ness’ Mother’s Day gift picks

What Jo wants

  1. I love good quality chocolate, good quality honey with a twist, organic, natural bath products and the piece de resistance is a really good candle. This would definitely fulfil a Mother’s Day wish list……
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/70379_four-seasons-gift-tube
  2. I love all sorts of foods on a wooden board. This beautiful Acacia board would be a welcome addition to my serving board hardware.
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/27794_large-long-serving-and-cutting-board
  3. You will always see me in an apron.I wear it all the time. I feel naked without it if I am in the kitchen. I find it hard to understand those who don’t wear them. Perhaps I am just a really messy cook? I love this one because it’s made with unbleached cotton and would also be a useful addition to the kitchen, as well as looking good.
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/15392_suck-uk-apron-cooking-guide
  4. I also love tea towels. You can never have enough. I love the quirky packaging of this one – it’s two gifts in one – a really cool organic tea towel as well as a pickling jar!
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/52063_organic-condiments-tea-towels-gift-set
  5. I love tea. I drink it every day and always invite friends to join me for tea. This is such a cool teapot. It’s little message resonates with me!
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/96503_josephine-teapot

    What Ness wants

  6. Since Jo and I finished our cookbook, I’ve been baking way more regularly than I used to. So I need baking tins to store all my new creations. As well as being functional, I’d like mine to look cool as well. These Orla Kiely ones would fit the bill perfectly – multiple sizes for multiple creations, in five different signature print designs.
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/82697_orla-kiely-set-of-5-cake-tins-in-pear-and-multi-flower
  7. A new yoga mat has been on my list for some time now–as my current one has definitely lost its zen. This one by Cork Leaf looks beautiful, is non slip and is eco-friendly.
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/110271_cork-yoga-mat
  8. A good mortar and pestle is such an asset to a kitchen, and a unique present. I love using them – there is something tactile and satisfying about it, plus you get good ingredient crushing aromas in your kitchen. On a practical level this one has silicon around the base to help stop it slipping.
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/97767_eva-solo-mortar-and-pestle
  9. I’m always on the lookout for interesting platters to serve nibbles and cheese on. I love the look of this dark marbled one – I think food colours would really stand out on this, and I like the practical handles.
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/106843_base-212-rectangle-marble-platter-various-colour
  10. I could probably wear this bracelet with much of my wardrobe – I love these colours together. Very pretty but a little tough and oversized at the same time.
    https://www.hardtofind.com.au/86503_woven-bracelet-in-rose-and-rose-gold

Mother’s Day gift ideas for new mums

New mum gifts for Mother’s Day

Whether it’s her first, or just one of her most tired (thanks to a new arrival), there’s nothing that says Mother’s Day quite as much as doing her best not to tear the gift paper because the baby’s *finally* gone down, or trying not to drop cake crumbs on them after they’ve fallen asleep mid-feed.

Presents for Mum at this stage include ingenious finds that make her life easier; cute clothing to wrap her tiny in; and anything that raises a smile. We’d love to say relaxing bath salts, a face mask and a stunning piece of jewellery, but – real talk here – she does not have the time. Between whack-job hormones, the beginnings of sleep deprivation and pushing through the breast feeding pain barrier, there’s not a lot of time for R&R… and inquisitive, grabby wee hands do not make the most practical match for fine necklaces or dangly earrings.

So… what makes our Mother’s Day Gifts: New Mum Edition shortlist?

Sleep thief baby grow Mothers Day gift for new mums

Mother’s Day presents with a wry sense of humour never go amiss.

Sweet treats Mother's Day hamper

And neither do wholesome sweet treats she can grab a mouthful of in between feeds (and nappy washes).

Nappy bag gift for mum

She’ll thank you for this wipeable, waterproof nappy bag with zips galore and a matching change mat.

Newborn baby skincare set

She’ll love using these organic creams specially formulated against dryness and cradle cap (and help with wee one’s sleep).

Snuggly robe gift for mum

And for super-soft feel-good factor that’s practical as well as luxurious, you can’t go past a gorgeous robe.

Check out more new mum Mothers Day gifts

Mother’s Day gift ideas worth getting early

Personalised Mother’s Day presents

One-off gift ideas for one-off mums

May 8th. The day we all scrabble to find gifts that say, ‘thank you for giving me life’ and fall hilariously short. Because nothing can come close to acknowledging that feat, or dedicating at least 18 years to instilling values and wisdom that (hopefully) shape us into half-decent human beings.

But – collective clearing of consciences – mums don’t do it for the thanks (or the presents). So with that in mind, the Mothers Day gifts most likely to floor them are the ones rich in thought, meaning and memories that mums can tear up over all year (and beyond).

Which all really points to one word: personalised.

There’s the little touch that will bring a smile to her breakfast or dessert…

Image of personalised Mother's Day spoon

 

The hand-drawn portrait capturing her much-loved pooch for all posterity…

Pet portrait gift for Mum

 

The beautiful memento she can always keep close, or save for extra special occasions…

Personalised necklace for Mum

 

And the sweetest of messages that can lift an otherwise uninspiring day of errands.

Personalised clutch for MumBecause one-off mums deserve one-off gifts that don’t have to cost the earth – but show that she has your time, she’s in your thoughts, and that she means the world to you.

Discover all our personalised Mother’s Day presents for foodie mums, stylish mums, shine bright like a diamond mums and mums you’ve driven to wine.

10 no-fail Valentine’s gifts for him

Valentine’s gifts for your boyfriend/husband/bloke of significance

Are men really that hard to buy for? At hardtofind, we reckon we’ve got your bases covered when it comes to Valentine gifts for him.

As we see it, you can go one of two ways:
1. Go for something he’ll wear or use all the time, so he’ll be reminded of you constantly; or
2. Choose something luxe for special occasions that will stand the test of time.

Whichever route you opt for, you’ll never go wrong with a personalised Valentine’s Day gift for him for that extra thoughtful touch.

Here are 10 of our get-it-in-time favourites:

1. Personalised guitar pick necklace Valentine's gift ideas for himPersonalised guitar pick necklace
Whether he’s a bona fide musician or more of a dabbler who likes a post-surf strum on the beach, this pendant has the low-key but heartfelt thing going on.

 

 

2.Black leather and steel bracelet – Valentine's gift ideas for himLeather and steel bracelet
This gift takes things up a notch. Understated and masculine, it’s an eye-catching bracelet that looks equally at home with a tee or a crisp shirt, especially if you spin it.

 

 

3. Mouth-blown whisky glass – Valentine's gift ideas for himWhisky glass
Design-loving guy who partakes in a tipple? This gift will kill those two birds with one ice cube. Now he can enjoy an Old Fashioned in a contemporary, mouth-blown glass that’s all his own.

 

 

Pantone cufflinks – Valentine's gift ideas for him

4. Pantone cufflinks
Speaking of design lovers… Throw your guy some (of his favourite) shade this Valentine’s Day with these stainless steel and enamel cufflinks made for everlasting wear.

 

 

Humorous Darth Vader t-shirt – Valentine's gift ideas for him

5. Cassette Darth Vader tee
The Star Wars fan: they’re almost a gift category unto themselves. If you’ve done the whole Leia outfit and lightsabre double entendre thing, this is a less novelty choice he’ll be sure to love.

 

 

Travel lovers' wallet – Valentine's gift ideas for him

6. Cartography wallet
Not all who wander… like to stay single 😉 If your guy (or the two of you together) are all about seeking new adventures, this very unique (and very gorgeous) wallet will be right up his street.

 

 

Chipolo key finder – Valentine's gift ideas for him

7. Chipolo key finder
Practicality and tech? Could this be any more of a dream Valentine’s gift for guys? Attach the token to his (oft misplaced) keys, download the locator app to his phone and Bob’s his uncle.

 

 

Ocean is calling t-shirt – Valentine's gift ideas for him

8. Ocean calling tee
If you’ve ever put your head on his chest and heard the sounds of the sea instead of a heartbeat, this makes a brilliant ‘you get me – you really get me’ gift.

 

 

Duffel overnight bag – Valentine's gift ideas for him

9. Duffel bag
In durable canvas with luxe leather detailing, this is a great Valentine’s Day gift with a nod to romantic weekend getaways to come (or – less glamorous – if he wants to up his gym bag game).

 

 

LEFF amsterdam watch – Valentine's gift ideas for him

10. LEFF amsterdam watch
This is the kind of watch Daniel-Craig-as-Casino-Royale-Bond would wear while he’s punching holes in walls. The perfect Valentine’s Day gift for the exceptionally stylish badass.

 

 

Looking for more Valentine’s Day gift ideas for boyfriends and husbands? Take a look at our collection >

Our pick of Christmas table decorations

Christmas table settings from hardtofind

Once the present unwrapping’s done, all thoughts turn to Christmas lunch and dinner. And regardless of whether you’re having a laid-back BBQ, lobster lunch or going the whole hog turkey, gathering round an occasion-worthy table really helps to set the festive scene. Here are some of our best Christmas table ideas to help you set pride of place and really get into the spirit of the season.

Click on each picture for details.

Christmas table runners & tablecloths

Christmas table clothChristmas table runnerThe easiest way to bring Christmas to the table is to lay a wonderfully festive tablecloth or table runner across it. These top selling options have you covered for both the traditional Christmas with snow-covered berries and squirrels(!) and the far closer to home sunshiny Australian version with Moreton Bay figs and the iconic cockatoo – perched amongst it all like a native Christmas angel.

 

Festive placemats and coasters

Christmas table decoration coasterChristmas table colouring in coasterStaying on that theme, yuletide designs can bring a more subtle, but still striking nod to Christmas (or layer-up with a table-cloth and go full-tilt festive), while these ingenious (and best selling) Australian-themed colouring in placemats can keep little ones occupied and staying put so the grown-ups can enjoy a good catch-up.

 

Place setting ideas

Christmas table place setting name tagChristmas card Christmas table place settingSo, where does everyone sit? If you’ve carefully arranged a seating plan (keeping Aunty Margaret away from Grandpa Oliver; putting Dad beside Jack’s new girlfriend because he’s so good at making people feel comfortable; and keeping young Toby as far away from the candles as possible…), writing each person’s name on one of these gorgeous gift tags and laying them across the plates is an easy, elegant and cost-effective option. Or, as an extra gift-like touch, you could mark everyone’s place with a Christmas card, including a personal message inside.

 

Centrepieces and table decoration ideas

As long as there’s nothing too tall (especially lit candles!) to impede passing of potatoes and topping up of wine glasses, a festive centrepiece and little yuletide touches can really lift your table to the next-level. Scatter a selection of the smaller pieces around or lay them on napkins and plates; and group together some of the larger options down the centre of your table scattered with some pine cones, wattle or bottlebrush flowers.

Christmas table centrepiece Christmas lilliesChristmas table decoration centrepieceChristmas table decorations tea lightsChristmas table centrepiece copper votiveChristmas table decoration candle holder candelabraChristmas table decoration centrepiece candle holder

 

Servingware for the Christmas table

And lastly, what’s a Christmas table without lots of food to share – and gorgeous platters and plates to share them on? Here are some of our top sellers and favourites to pile mince pies on top of, squeeze some end-of-meal cheese and give the red wine a good airing.

Christmas serving platterCheese platter serving trayChristmas table carafeChristmas table decorative plateChristmas table servingware moose platterChristmas personalised cheese board

 

 

Christmas decorations to toast to

Christmas ornaments to go all-out on

While the centrepiece is always going to be the Christmas tree, mantlepieces, bookshelves and architraves can always be recruited for festive decorative duty with Christmas stockings, Christmas lights and ornaments. At hardtofind, we’ve found all manner of traditional, contemporary and all-out quirky Christmas decoration ideas, including personalised options and wonder-filled items that hail from more wintry climates along with the handmade and homegrown.

Here are some of this year’s hits. Click on the images for a closer look.

Christmas tree decorations (including personalised Christmas ornaments)

Vintage spoon Christmas tree decoration

Specialists in personalised and repurposed vintage spoons, British seller La de da! Living has created these gorgeous baubles that are every bit as ‘memento’ as they are decoration. Classic but striking, they take on even more significance if there’s one for every member of the family (and give your tree a touch of understated stately charm).

 

Australian Christmas tree decorationsCaravan Christmas decorationIf squirrels, red-breasted robins and snow-dusted woodland scenes don’t quite wash with you when it’s 30 in the shade, celebrate with all that’s ‘Strayan. Make Me Iconic and Dick & Dora are two of our true-blue sellers elevating utes, caravans and fairy bread to a whole new level. Hang them from your tree and display the lighthearted and lovely dioramas in pride of place to fly the flag for all that’s great about the sun-baked Australian Christmas.

 

Moose head magnet Christmas decorationsCeramic Christmas decorationsIf it is traditional you’re after, Nordic Designs are all about Santa: Scandi Style (Lapland is the capital of Christmas, afterall). They’ve got your bases covered for all that’s red, reindeer and rugged up (with an impressive beard or two thrown into the mix), while these adorable ceramic baubles from Mozi Australia capture the cuteness of the English countryside.

 

Ceramic personalised Christmas tree decorationsWooden Christmas tree decorationWhen it comes to personalised perfection, it doesn’t come a whole lot better than these ceramic baubles from Scottish seller Twenty-Seven. Stunning in their simplicity, they come with red or natural twine to up the festive or rustic feel respectively. These look especially wonderful in amongst wooden and red ornaments like these ones from  Sydney-based Scoops Design.

 

Christmas stockings

… Santa sacks, whatever you want to call them, they add an extra crackle of present-packed excitement into the big day. Hung from the mantelpiece (or the bed frame as a specially squeal-inducing wake up surprise) here are five of our favourite personalised Christmas stockings.

Personalised Christmas stockingPersonalised Santa sack in hessianPersonalised Christmas stockingHessian Christmas stockingHandmade Christmas stockingWhite and gold Santa sack

 

 

Top 5 presents for teachers

Top picks for teacher gifts

As the school year draws to a close, it’s time for a tangible ‘thank you’ to the fine men and women who have endlessly told your kids to stop texting and drop the attitude educated and inspired your children’s fine young minds. It turns out expressing appropriate gratitude is a fine art when it comes to teacher presents. For example:

  • Bottle of Jim Beam and a couple of Valium – F, irresponsible, sets a bad example
  • Six month gift subscription to eHarmony – D-, judgemental, inappropriate
  • Go Elf Yourself eCard – C+, minimal effort, possibly mocking.

We present our fail-safe guide to the best gifts for teachers…

#1 The personalised wine bag

Personalised wine bag gift for teachersIdeally padded out by a bottle of Australia’s finest, you’re equally welcome to slip in a non-alcoholic option or even a beautiful quality olive oil. With the teacher’s name, plus your child’s name, class and school, it’s a really touching gesture for someone who’s made all the positive difference to your youngster’s year, turning into a keepsake for years to come. Buy now

 

Personalised mug gift for teachers

#2 The personalised mug

If you haven’t spotted a theme yet, personalised teacher gifts are *the* way to go to add that extra touch of special. This apple mug is a daily reminder that a student’s looked up to them, they’ve made a genuine connection, and that they’re darn good at what they do (which can feel miles away when they’re buried under admin avalanches or have had an especially authority challenging day). Buy now

 

Personalised engraved compact mirror gift for teachers#3 The engraved compact mirror

This manages to look extra special while not blowing your gift budget to smithereens. Add the teacher’s name and this year’s date to the uplifting, inspiring message, and you have an elegant present that they can keep with them every day. That style factor also makes it an ideal gift for high school teachers from older students. Buy now

 

Notebook gift for teachers#4 Poem notebook

Students of English teachers, look no further. Primed for jotting and journalling, this recycled craft paper notebook has a thoughtful, playful poem on its cover weaving together all of the elements of what makes a teacher terrific. The poem’s author – who works for the seller Bespoke Verse – is an ex-English teacher herself, so it takes one to know (and write for) one. Buy now

 

Handkerchief hanky bundle gift for teachers#5 Thankie hankies

Handkerchief bundles are some of our most popular gifts for teachers – especially when they’re by seller Boutique Heidi with their choice of Liberty prints for her and hipsterish symbols for him. Nothing fuddy duddy about them, they’re quirkily perfect for any teacher who’s got the creative touch.

 

And don’t forget the card…

Personalised card for teachersCard for teachersCards for teachers

Terms and conditions: Bespoke Moments giveaway

Win 5 prints of your choice from Bespoke Moments

This competition has now ended. Congratulations to Kieren from NSW – our lucky winner. Thanks to everyone who entered.

 

The winner will receive their choice of five unframed A4 prints (including personalised prints) from Bespoke Moments. One winner will be selected based on the most creative and original entry as determined by a panel of judges at hardtofind.

1. Information on how to enter forms part of the terms and conditions of entry. Participation in this promotion is deemed acceptance of these Terms and Conditions.

2. Entry is open to permanent residents of Australia.

3. To enter, email why your home needs the creative touch to competitions@hardtofind.com.au.

4. This is a game of skill and chance plays no part in determining the winner. Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. The most creative and original entry as determined by a panel of judges at hardtofind will win. Each entry shall be individually judged based on originality and creative merit. Prizes cannot be transferred or redeemed for cash.

5. The competition opens Tuesday 10 November. The competition closes at 12 midnight NSW time on Friday 13 November.

6. The promoter reserves the right to request winners to provide proof of identity and proof of residency at the nominated prize-delivery address. Identification considered suitable for verification is at the discretion of the promoter.

7. Prize winners are advised that tax implications may arise from their prize winnings and they should seek independent financial advice prior to the acceptance of the prize.

8. Employees and their immediate families of hardtofind and their agencies and companies associated with the promotion are ineligible.

9. The winners will be announced via hardtofind’s blog and the winner notified by email. Winners will need to provide postal delivery details via private message to receive their prize.

10. The promoter shall not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever which is suffered (including but not limited to direct or consequential loss) or for any personal injury suffered or sustained in connection with any prize/s, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law.

11. All entries become the property of hardtofind. By entering the competition, the entrant irrevocably assigns the copyright in their entry to hardtofind. All entries will be entered into a database. hardtofind may use any entry and/or any entrant’s name and email and the winner’s name, email and photographs for future promotional, marketing and publicity purposes in any media worldwide without notice and without any fee being paid. hardtofind may also use any entry without attribution. Entrants have the right not to have their photo published if they so advise hardtofind. Entrants will not be contacted by the third party, unless they have opted in to do so.

12. The prize includes five unframed A4 prints from Bespoke Moments. There is one (1) prize available. Total prize pool value is AU$124.75.

13. The promoter is: Hardtofind Pty Limited (ABN 13 132 954 039).

Christmas party fashion ideas + five gifts for fashion lovers

Top style tips for the Christmas party

Guest stylist Sarah from Styling Mrs Oliver

Guest stylist Sarah from Styling Mrs Oliver

Stuck for outfit ideas for the festive silly season? Not sure what de rigueur is for a formal occasion, casual lunch or sounded-like-a-good-idea-at-the-time boat party? We’re chuffed to be joined again by guest stylist Sarah Calvert from Styling Mrs Oliver who’s mined hardtofind for the solutions to your Christmas fashion dilemmas – plus found her five top gifts for fashion-minded friends.

Christmas party time has arrived so now is the time to shop and have some fun. Whether you’re dressing up for a work party or keeping it more casual for a laid-back BBQ or boat party, making sure you’re comfortable and wearing the right shoes is essential to ensuring that you have a great time, look cool and can stay the distance.

Here are my takes on three party outfits with accessories, party heels and back-up party sandals for difficult terrain or comfort at the end of the night. Now is the time to shine with a mix of metallics, vivid colour and a perfect party dress.

The formal Christmas party dressPerfect party dress – five ways dress in blue bird

This has to be the ultimate Christmas party dress! I love the directional bespoke print in fresh aqua coloured silk. Wear it with a pair of Christmas party heels in blush pink/white leather heels that elongate the leg with a silver & gold metallic clutch. It is all about the statement print in this stunning Christmas party outfit so accessories, like these drop earrings, are minimal and very chic. It’s a stunning outfit to wear for a more formal occasion, but is also versatile enough (you can style it in five other ways) to wear with flats to a more casual event.

Fashion gifts for her – gold tag earringsFashion gifts for her – metallic clutch purse in silver and rose goldFashion gifts for her – Lolita stiletto heels in blush

 

The boat party two-piece

Abbey tank top in whiteWhite is fresh, cools you down in the summer heat and looks very dramatic especially head-to-toe. Try dressing up a top and skinny cotton leggings with statement jewellery for a Christmas party look. The top has fullness at the hem and hides the tummy area (useful around lunch and dinner time) and the cotton leggings are stretchy, comfortable and supportive. If you prefer to cover your bottom try a longer line top, which has a lace panel detail at the back. Wear with a bronze coloured statement necklace, earrings and bronze metallic slides plus a white cut-out clutch bag. Easy, effortless Christmas style that is so versatile, you can dress these summer staples in so many other ways and really maximise your purchases throughout the season.

Fashion gifts for her – Ciara tunic in whiteFashion gifts for her – Orange blossom earringsFashion gifts for her – Fortuna short necklace

 

Fashion gifts for her – Metallic snakeskin sliders

Fashion gifts for her – Skinny stretch trousers in whiteFashion gifts for her – Leah cut-out clutch

 

The beach party or BBQ

Tory kaftanVivid flamingo pink is one of my favourite key colours this summer. This gorgeous kaftan is such a great piece to dress up for a pre-Christmas pool party or festive BBQ. Wear it with silver leather Christmas sandals, strands of silver bohemian necklaces and beautiful aqua drop earrings.

This is such an easy piece to throw on, so you will get plenty of wear out of it over the summer season. This kaftan is also available in a monochrome combo, so for those of you who shy away from bright colours, you can buy this in black and white, too.

The silver sequinned raffia basket is perfect to carry swimmers, makeup and towel and could not be more perfect as a must-have Christmas party fashion item these holidays!

Fashion gifts for her – Silver flower earringsFashion gifts for her – Long multi-heart necklaceFashion gifts for her – Frida choker necklaceFashion gifts for her – Silver basketFashion gifts for her – Metallic silver thongs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 gifts for fashionistas

Lucy metallic bird scarf

  1. Gold metallic bird printed scarf in blush pink cotton
    This is the perfect Christmas gift and will certainly be going on my Christmas wish list. You can add your own personalised sterling silver charms, which is the sweetest touch. It is a great price, very much on trend and gift wrapped with free shipping so such an amazing little package. $40.00 (Tip: order early to avoid Christmas rush as it comes from the UK.)

Anya studded sandals 

  1. Almond leather silver studded sandal
    These are such a great style and amazing price, too. They’re the perfect holiday sandals to wear with jeans or summer separates. Nude leather sandals go with everything, especially sun-kissed feet! $159.00

 

Gold passport holder

 

  1. How chic is this to pull out of your handbag? Give your passport a makeover this Christmas with this gold faux leather passport holder promising to help you board with a smile. $29.95

 

 Fashion gifts for her – bodhi beaded necklace 

  1. Tassled strands of beads will add some bohemian charm this Christmas. Wear them with a bikini and kaftan or white tee shirt and jeans for some laid-back elegance. $20.00

 

 

Fashion gifts for her – bedouin blouse in cinnamon

 

  1. This beautiful embroidered cotton cheesecloth shirt would be an amazing Christmas day outfit and so easy to wear. Tuck it into a breezy flowing maxi skirt or a pair of cut-off jean shorts with sandals. Relax and enjoy! $159.00

 

 

Styling Mrs Oliver is a consultancy that specialises in personal styling and design as well as colour and trend forecasting. Follow them on Instagram and Pinterest.