Life & Style Blog

See what's new and have your say on the latest trends, fashion, products and events at Forrest Chase.

How to make the most of your home wares

27 February 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2014 Homewares

Image source: www.pinterest.com.

After a weekend spent moving house, I’ve been in heavy re-decoration mode: seizing the ability to breathe new life into an existing space and shuffling all my home wares about, finding holes that need to be filled. I’m big on home wares – they’re an oft inexpensive, very easy and always effective way to revitalise your house and add a sense of personality to the space. They are to the house what accessories are to an outfit, and unsurprisingly, I can’t get enough of them.

Colour blocking

2014 Homewares 1

Image sources: Salt and Pepper Oink money box, $9.95, from Myer; Trinket dish – fox head, $25, from Pigeonhole; Chevron camomile throw, $69.95, from Laura Ashley; Salt and Pepper Fiesta plate, $9.95, from Myer; Cube vase, $12.95, from Pigeonhole; Ladelle Mila Jacquard tea towels, $8.95, from Myer.

A failsafe tip for effective home styling? Colour blocking. Grouping objects like vases, books and crockery of the same colour together in a book case, or picking a vivid accent colour for your room and incorporating it through furniture and homewares is an always-stylish way to revitalise your living space – and to display pieces that might have been hiding away in cupboards.

Prints and patterns

2014 Homewares 2

Image sources: Orla Kiley House lamp, $499.95, from Myer; Red Southsea Stripe mug, $19.95, from Laura Ashley; Peony Garden cushion, $49.95, from Laura Ashley; Pattern blanket, $79, from Pigeonhole; Sorrento floor rug, $34.97, from Laura Ashley.

Be it feminine and sweet, wild bohemian or graphic and bold, be not afraid of prints in the home. Printed home wares are an especially easy way to add serious life to a room without committing to a major piece of furniture – just make sure that you pick one loose theme and stick to it, or things can get a little crazy.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Homewares, Trends

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Nailed it

21 February 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2014 Nailed it

Image source: media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com.

More than just a little shield of armour to protect the squishy bit on the end of your finger or something to bite when you’re nervous, nails are a fashion statement. An oft-overlooked opportunity to accessorise. The crucial bit of polish on a carefully constructed outfit. Manicures, pedicures and all things nail-art have been enjoying their time in the spotlight for the last few years, but like any trend, it’s one that is constantly evolving – and because the medium of nails is paint, the possibilities are endless. So, let’s get inspired and have a look at what 2014 has to offer us in the world of nails:

2014 Nailed it 1

  1. Chrome:
    As always, metallics rule the roost – shades of silver in particular. You can’t go wrong with a good bit of chrome on your nails: you can get away with a few scratches and chips and it will tone in with anything you wear.
  2. Fresh takes on the French mani:
    Fashion loves taking the known and turning it upside down – this is no different. Take one classic nail, invert it, turn it upside down or any-which-way you please.
  3. The halo effect:
    This is sort of like an inverted French manicure to the next level: on a black or white background, carefully apply a pool of colour leaving a pencil thin glow around the edge. This one is best left to a pro.
  4. Stiletto nails:
    I love this shape – it elongates the finger and reminds me of those dream “lady nails” I used to fantasise about as a young girl. You knew you had made it to womanhood if you couldn’t peel an orange or open a yoghurt lid without assistance. Wear them sharp and pointed or soft and almond shaped, either way; you’ve got a lot of growing to do.
  5. Retro airbrushed nail art:
    I sense the return of slightly cheesy airbrush nail art might be in our midst – it’s a great one to try out in summer and a wonderful counter to a more serious outfit. Airbrushed nail art also has a very heavy west coast hip hop vibe, which is right on trend for everything in street wear at present.
  6. All things leopard:
    If you’re going to do any nail art at all, you can’t go wrong with leopard: fashion’s official mascot. Make it bright like the rainbow, paint spots on a nude background or go for classic tan shades.

As always, some things (like the halo effect or leopard, or airbrushed stencils) are only really achievable with someone who knows nails like the back of their hand – the folks at Foxy Nails and Professionail on level one at Forrest Chase know what they’re doing and the prices are low enough to keep you coming back for something fresh. But even without tricky nail art, it’s still nice to get your nails done by a pro – the mani always lasts longer and looks smoother.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Fashion, Special Occasion, Trends

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Electric dreams

13 February 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2014 Electric Dreams

Image source: www.fanpop.com.

Being the savvy, hyper educated humans of the 22nd century that we undoubtedly are (yesterday I tripped on a piece of paper by getting my bare toes caught in it!), I know there’s no need to extol the virtues of electric appliances in our lives. Computers, washing machines, mobile phones that we can use to answer email and awkwardly transfer funds on the spot? We’d be lost and significantly dirtier without them. But you already know how great those are: I’m here to reveal the unsung heroes of the electric appliance world – the little gadgets that are just waiting patiently on shelves to make your life better if you would only notice them. And once you make first contact, believe me: you won’t be able to live without them.

2014 Electric Dreams 1

Image sources: Breville Ikon 2 Sandwich press, $69.95, from Myer; High speed HDMI cable 5m, $55, from Dick Smith; Logitech Pure-Fi Express plus, $59, from Dick Smith.

  1. You think your jaffle has got it all worked out with its scalding hot pockets of liquid cheese? No, my friend. The flat press is where it’s at. Not only can you use it to toast sandwiches to your heart’s content, this Breville number has adjustable height, so you can grill open faced sandwiches, make cheesies, re-heat pizza without it going soggy or dry, toast your banana bread (or anything else that’s too wide to fit in your toaster, like croissants) and if you’re me, use it as a hot plate to cook buttermilk pancakes because the clean up is so much easier.
  2. I’m going to be honest: I didn’t know the HDMI to HDMI cable existed until my housemate brought it into my life, and now it’s definitely something I can’t live without. Simply put: the HDMI cable is something nifty you can use to connect most modern TVs to your laptop/computer. Check all the plugs – sometimes converters are required (Dick Smith has all the converters you need, we have one that plugs into our macs). Now that I can plug my laptop into the TV – I can use it to watch all of the legally downloaded content my heart desires, forever. No transferring to an external hard drive. I can watch stuff on YouTube or use it to pump out music if I want – it just creates a mirror of what is on your computer to the TV. And I especially love the 5m cable length – essential for having your laptop on your lap, so you can use it like a gigantic remote.
  3. If you don’t have an iPod speaker yet, what are you doing with your life? You’ve got all that music trapped in your little rectangle and no way to share. The Logitech dock makes it so easy – it’s just plug and play, but what’s even better is that this one is battery operated, so you can take it to the park, or on a boat, or anywhere else where mains power is just a little too far away and still fill your life with music. You’ll be the hero of the party – trust me

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Category: Featured
Tags: Homewares, Trends

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The look of love

06 February 2014, by Rachael Ciccarelli

2014 The look of love

Image source: data3.whicdn.com.

Love it or loathe it, Valentine’s Day is officially upon us and numerous cupids and things shaped like hearts will be in and around your grill in approximately 10 days. Personally? I’m excited. I snap up any excuse to dress to theme and February 14 is no exception. There’s something brilliant about turning a global day of love/ cards with cats holding boxes of chocolates on them into a private personal celebration centring around a really fantastic outfit. It’s something you can high five yourself about or share with your significant other if you’ve got one: either way, you’re making the world a better, more visually appealing place with your excellent look and your super confident strut – and if that isn’t true love on a global scale, then I don’t want to know what is.

Date Night Valentine


2014 The look of love 1

Image sources: Cameo Overload dress, $172.45, from Pigeonhole; YB J’amie Love Silk Meghan dress, $270, from Myer; Lioness Liana maxi, $80, from Live.

I hate to be predictable, but if we’re talking serious Valentine attire, it’s got to be a) a shade of red, b) lace or c) covered in some sort of adorable thematic print. When else is a YB J’amie (That’s Yeojin Bae’s label) heart print dress going to look more appropriate than on the official day of heart motifs? Whether you sway toward sexy or cute, all three of these dresses are going to work some serious Valentine’s magic on your public.

Corporate Valentine


2014 The look of love 2

Image sources: Sleeveless bib shirt, $89.95, from Witchery; Geometric jacquard pencil skirt, $195, from Cue; Summer Fun necklace, $19.95, from Sportsgirl.

To bring a little romance into the workplace (the sort that won’t raise the attention of HR), go for classic monochrome with a splash of red – don’t be afraid to pucker up and put on some red lipstick as well.


Casual Valentine

2014 The look of love 3

Image sources: Mini shell top, $49.95, distressed jeans, $89.95 and Flatform creeper sneaker, $39.95, all from Sportsgirl

You don’t have to dress to the nines to look chic – it might be my inner sloth talking, but I think relaxed jeans and a sweet top is just as sexy as a barely-there lace dress: there’s something about the ease of casual clothes that is incredibly appealing and telegraphs comfort in your own skin. Plus, you know, hearts.

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Category: Featured
Tags: Fashion, Special Occasion, Trends

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