When Eclecticism Meets Minimalism


When two successful creative come together to design their home without outside help, our ears prick up at Brosa. Meet Erika Garaerts and Charl Laubscher’s new Loft in Collingwood, Victoria.


Erika is the co-founder and copywriter at Willow and Blake, the creative backbone of brands such as “frank” and the recently revamped Greywing website. Charl is the co-owner and director of digital agency Love + Money.


The canvas behind this creation is an industrialist’s delight. An open plan Warehouse with high ceilings, exposed beams and Baltic pine floorboards. For the design traditionalists, this is where the fantasy ends. All conventional philosophies go out the window at this point, and it works masterfully!


In true minimalist style, the highflying couples have decorated their space with nothing but the things that make them happy. Keepsakes and vintage finds punctuate their apartment with the guidance only of their instinct and creativity. Where possible, materials are repurposed in the space, the living room table has been created with the frame of a table, topped with an old shower door. According to Garaerts, the couple love to have “awkward dinner parties”, whereby the couple invites four to ten friends over who are complete strangers. The mismatched chairs matchup with each individual at the table, “It’s usually small talk at the beginning, but it’s a great way to meet new people and everyone leaves with a new friend”.

Still evolving, the creative pair’s apartment is still under construction. Geraerts and Laubscher are still readjusting their layout and searching for the perfect lounge room pieces. “I’m still searching for the right sofa, I’m coveting a gold-velvet Danish Piece.


The open plan living plan is as alive as the couple is, creating walls out of bookshelves and wardrobe units which are dynamically changing with the couple’s moods to open up and spaces to match the couple’s moods. Ceiling high windows flood the living room with light, which are filtered by an array of nursery finds including maidenhair ferns and a fiddle leaf fig tree, which impart a calming effect on the living space.

Photography: Brooke Holm

Wingbacks 101: The Modern Classic For Every Purpose

Steeped in tradition, the word “wingback” brings back thoughts of fireside reaching chairs within old English lounge rooms. The winged feature originating in England in the 1700’s has influenced all core design styles from French Provincial to Scandinavian, with a unique take in each adaptation.

Here are 4 stylish ways to implement a wingback armchair:

Doubled Up Lounge Chairs:

A matching pair of classic wingbacks is a great alternative to a lounge or sofa. Doubling up the style of lounge chairs imparts cohesiveness to the space. Style simply with a throw, a side table and some greenery to make your new chairs pop. As a general rule of thumb, avoid placing taller chairs in the center of the room. Breaking the view of the room with taller pieces will tend to make it feel slightly closed off.   Go for medium height chairs towards the middle of the room and leave the taller chairs to accent a corner or the walls.

 As a Cosy Reading Nook: 

Not sure what to do with the space next to the staircase or that corner of the bedroom? Transform any annoying corner into a welcoming reading nook with an ultra comfy wingback and a bookcase. Ensure that lighting isn’t forgotten with a good natural light source for daytime lounging and a designer lamp for night time reading. Prevent the space from feeling naked with a side table or ottoman.


As Dining Room Chairs:

Box-shaped dining chairs were the trend in the 90s, nowadays smooth lines are the rage in interior design and a wingback dining chair is a perfect stunner for elevating your dining room. If your budget is a constraint, consider mixing and matching your dining chairs with a set of wingbacks. Combining the new and old styles together is enough to break the boredom from your tired dining chairs and be more interesting on the eye.


As a Bedroom Accent

Accent furniture is designed to be eye-catching. Usually, this can be at a cost to comfort as the emphasis is on looks. Not so with the William Armchair. Coming in 9 stunning colours and luxurious tufting, these chairs are supported by medium density foam and suspended by webbing and s-springs. Use this chair in the corner of the bedroom as a luxurious spot to put your shoes, or simply let it shine as a welcoming piece at the entrance of your home.

How to Make Your Apartment Fit for a Hotel: Hotel-Inspired Décor

Hotel décor is always inspiring, so it’s natural you want to carry ideas back home with you. Hotel designs exude luxury in plush fabrics, minimalist décor, and airy interiors, to help you relax. But you can recreate the effect in your home easily.

Get ready to be inspired. Here are a few easy tricks to reconstruct hotel opulence in your very own home:

Create your “brand”


Accommodation designs aren’t just about opulence; they aim to be unique – and the same should go for your apartment.


You’ll want to create your own “brand”, a look that reflects your interests, personality and life story.


Think of your hobbies and passions. Then reflect them in your choice of wall art, ornaments, and other accessories, as Gidleigh Park has done below.


Image via Victoria Winters

Pick a theme


Most hotels pick a subtle theme and reflect it in the décor. It could be bohemian, Hollywood chic, French provincial, Scandinavian minimalist, Japanese zen – whatever you like.


Keep the theme minimalistic – as just a soft touch of French provincial furniture, for instance. Aim for simple symmetry, but toss in a few personal items to really make the look your own.


This Hsinchu Stone Village Resort Hotel room, for example, incorporates traditional Chinese elements into a modern, open-air design.

Image via 準建築人手札網站 Forgemind ArchiMedia

Tell a story


Tell the story of your apartment’s location – make it belong. Remind your guests where they are and why they’re there.


Bring a bit of your hometown into your home by including local art, photography and nature in your décor.


If you live in a busy metropolis, for example, you could create a statement piece by hanging a bold canvas of a city landmark above your bed or sofa.


Do you live in a warehouse-converted apartment or in an area with a former industrial life? Maintain some exposed brickwork or pipes as pieces of interest, such as in this room from the von Stackelberg Hotel Tallinn:


Image via Unique Hotels

Play with lighting


One of the first things you notice about your hotel room is the warm and welcoming atmosphere it exudes.


This warmth is partially created by a clever lighting scheme. Layering your lighting enables you to shape the play with the room’s mood and shadows.


Aside from the overhead lights, you could have reading lamps on the bedside table and beside your armchairs, wall sconces, foot lamps – maybe even an overhead chandelier.


Image via Victoria Winters

Invest in an accent wall


Many contemporary hotels really experiment with styles and patterns – and accent walls are one of the most popular design features used today.


Accent walls create a focal point in your room that eliminates the need for additional decorative features


Geometric patterns are really trending, but don’t make it too cluttered: keep the other walls in neutral, calming colours so you don’t overdo it.


If you want to make a room with a low ceiling appear larger, you can try wallpaper with vertical stripes. Just make sure it blends into your room’s existing theme and décor.



Choose the best of the best


Perhaps the greatest thing we love about a quality hotel room is … well, it is quality.


The most sophisticated hotels live and breathe excellence, using only the most luxurious fabrics: Egyptian cotton sheets with 1000 thread count, thick down pillows and doonas, and Persian rugs. Splurge a little on your own accessories to make your boudoir feel top-quality.


Hotel rooms also tend to keep the furnishings simple, but add texture in the accessories – their throws, cushion covers, rugs, and pillow covers. Consider using silk, woollen or faux-fur fabrics to accompany your simpler haberdashery.


Image via Samantha Marx


Are you inspired to reinvigorate your apartment with these hotel-inspired décor ideas? We’ve got plenty more neat tips and inspiration on the Brosa Skapa blog. Browse through our other posts today.


Or if you’re looking for that piece of furniture that just fits perfectly with your hotel-inspired theme or “brand”, check out our collection of sofas, bed heads, dining tables and more today!