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The Great Barrier Reef

The breathtaking beauty of the Great Barrier Reef blows me away every time I visit.  The ocean is truly the last “quiet” place on earth, where all the stress and noise of every day life can be left at the surface once submerged below. The GBR is incredible, being the only living structure on our planet which can be seen from outer space, the biggest single structure made up by living organisms and the first coral reef ecosystem to be awarded World Heritage Status. 

As a photographer and story-teller I seek capture moments and bring them to life, like the pure magic of the Great Barrier Reef. There is another world to explore and so much beauty to be found underneath. 

 

Uluru & Rainbow Valley, The Northern Territory.

I’m continually drawn back to Outback of Australia for it’s rich, alluring land. There are very few places I have seen that are as unique or as diverse as The Northern Territory.  I am constantly encouraging everyone to go as soon as they can — to take off their shoes, turn off their phones and feel the land alive around them. 

The Northern Territory holds truly special place in my heart. I have been fortunate enough to visit Uluru / Kata Tjuta National Park three times and Rainbow Valley twice. On both visits to each destination I recall standing mesmerised by this ancient land, watching as the land changes every colour of the rainbow, from ochre red to orange and purple and illuminate under the chandelier of an outback night sky. 

A place of magic and the connection to land, and traditions are still very much alive. You can sit under the stars as you listen to the Spiritual Ancestors and Dreamtime Creation stories, and be apart of experiencing one of the oldest and most beautiful living cultures in the world.

The Blue Mountains, New South Wales. 

In the Blue Mountains, I feel as though I am discovering the land before time. Being reminded that we are small when immersed in the 1 million hectares of inspiring rainforest, blue-hazed valleys, towering forests and windswept heathlands – acknowledged for it’s world-class experience of environmental and culture significance. 

A quote from my canyoning guide on my last visit couldn’t ring more true –  The magic of these mountains doesn’t lay in their heights but their depths.” – From quaint country towns and local food, to bush walks, a plethora of stunning waterfalls and valley views, incredible glow worm caves and wading through the geological treasure of the canyons; there are so many hidden gems waiting to be uncovered in the beautiful Blue Mountains. 

Cradle Mountain, Tasmania. 

I am captivated by the highlands of Tasmania. The Tassie wilderness feeds the soul and allows the mind to slow and unwind. Being alone in the peace and quiet with nothing but our thoughts is something we so rarely get to experience in modern life and in here the time feels like it stands still. 

World famous as an eco-destination Cradle Mountain is the alpine heart of Tasmania. I’ve spent many afternoons unwinding to the the tranquil sound of moving water at Dove Lake, admiring the high dolerite cliffs rising sheer from the water, surrounded by distinct iconic peaks and breathing in the cleanest air. 

Cradle Mountain is a wild, stunning and unique environment that captures your heart and leaves you feeling inspired, always lingering for more. 

The Gold Coast 

And lastly, as much as love the mountains, I am a water-baby at heart and couldn’t live my life without the ocean. On The Gold Coast the skies are blue year round and the ocean sparkles crystal clear, with the hinterland only a stones through away, filled with the most incredible dense forest and dramatic waterfalls. Our beautiful beaches, golden sand and warm days are what The Gold Coast is famous for and even in the depths of winter it can still provide the most magical days creating the feeling of a seemingly “endless summer.” 

I feel so lucky that in-between my travels I can return to this idyllic place I get to call home to reset and restore.  

 

About the writer

Melissa Findley is an Australian travel photographer who currently resides on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

Melissa’s extensive scope of work includes Travel, Adventure, Portraits, Landscape, Lifestyle and Charity. Working with brands such as Canon Australia, Adobe Lightroom, Kathmandu Australia and a number of different tourism boards across the globe. Melissa has spent the past few years relentlessly chasing her dreams, wherever they may take her.

Melissa’s ventures in charity and raising awareness include donating funds from photographic prints and zines to both Cambodian and Nepalese charities, volunteering in Uganda with OrphFund and supporting organisations protecting Orang-utans and Elephants in Borneo and Laos respectively. This is only a glimpse of Melissa’s charitable contribution. She tells very intimate stories of the places she travels to and the people who make each

place uniquely their own. Through her lens, her dedicated followers become her travel companions and are immersed in a sensory experience of culture, beauty and emotion. With an abundance of real world experience, Melissa’s work has taken her across the globe from New York City to Nepal, East Africa to Samoa and everywhere in-between.

 

 

A romp in the sack can be a noisy time but we’ve taken the squeaking of out the bedroom with our Timber Bed Base (unless you know, you’re into that kind of thing). It even went on to win in the Good Design Award for product design in the furniture & lighting category.

But what about our bed base has driven all of those ‘add to carts’?

No screws no tools

Yes, you read that right. No screws, or tools needed except for your two capable hands. The secret to having a best selling product like our bed base is to find a need, and fulfil it.

We’ve always hated how no matter how good a customer experience you have, you get home just to sift through countless screws, locate Allan keys, figure out complex instructions, and probably argue with your partner as you ended up making it backwards.

And we weren’t alone. After multiple surveys, focus groups, and customer user testing, our Koala customers told us how painful the assembling experience was for traditional bed bases. So we created ours with ease as one of the highest priorities.

Easy to make

New furniture should be a time for celebration so we’ve made sure our bed base takes less than 4 minutes to assemble so you can pop open the bubbly sooner.

The bed base is delivered in 3 lightweight boxes that have a combined weight of 56.3kg for the Queen, and 64kg for the King. By having the pieces in easy to carry boxes allows you to manoeuvre around even the tightest stairways, or elevators up to your apartment.

The bed base is in 11 pieces that slot in together like you’re playing an adult version of lego.

Smart storage design

Our beautifully designed Timber Bed Base was created using  cottonwood for plywood, and okoume for the surface.

The oversized platform provides the appearance that the bed base is floating, and allows short term storage for things like your drink, phone, or even a good book. Underneath the bed base is a long term storage space that is 900m x 600mm, and thanks to the floating platform, anything you stop underneath is hidden from sight.

Behind the headboard is a pillow storage area for your extra pillows so no throwing of decoration pillows on the floor every night! Last but not least is the smart holes for cable management found at the back of the headboard, and underneath the bed base so you can hide unsightly cables, and remove those tripping hazards form your floors.

No waiting time

Buying furniture from traditional furniture stores can be such a hassle. Sometimes you have to wait weeks for it to be made, and delivered which sucks for a person who is moving home. But now Koala has gone ahead to provide the convenience of 4 hour delivery for all of our products – including our Koala Timber Bed Base!

Just order before 2pm, and you’ll get it delivered that same day! You can check here if you live in a 4 hour zone  for delivery (not limited to metro areas).

It’s environmentally friendly 

Our impact on the environment is at the forefront of all the products Koala designs, and the bed base was no different. We are proud to say that 100% of the material we selected is recyclable. We only work with traceable wood to ensure that our timber is not coming from places subject to deforestation. This means that we have full visibility over where our wood is grown, how it is processed, and the conditions of the area.

The water resistant coating on the bed base is water based so we use no harmful chemicals, is low in VOCs, and has zero formaldehyde emissions.

For our packaging we try to use cardboard as much as we can even for protection instead of polystyrene. This is because polystyrene is non-biodegradable, and can take potentially thousands of years to decompose. We still use bubble wrap but Genevieve, our Packaging Manager , is working actively towards a substitute for future productions.

Built for Australia

Australia gets really hot during summer, and the last thing you want is a sweaty mattress. In fact, having a good mattress like ours but a bad bed base still results in a sweaty, and hot mattress as the head, and moisture that escapes the mattress is still trapped by a poorly ventilated bed base. To be able to tackle the Aussie summer, our bed base has holes through the platforms to provide optimal ventilation for the mattress!

It’s built for Aussies of all sizes

Koala knows that people come in all shapes, and sizes so we’ve designed our Timber Bed Base to withstand 600kgs of downward force.

The secret to it’s strength is the honeycomb core that also keeps it lightweight. The bed base is incredibly strong as the weight is distributed evenly across the 6 sides of the honeycomb shape instead of being stressed such as with square/rectangle/circle.

How much can a Koala bare? Our bed base can handle weights of up to 600kg 🐨 #koalamattress #koalabedbasechallenge @adonisathleticspenrith

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With it’s 5 year full warranty, and strong design remain supportive for years to come, no matter how many times you go bump in the night.

To buy the Koala Timber Bed Base, just click here!

 

About the writer

Bernice is the Growth Marketer for the Australian Bedroom category at Koala. Here for over 1.5 years at Koala, she has worked previously as our Community Manager, and Social Media Manager to now handle the affiliate program, referral program, influencer campaigns, content strategy, and ad hoc bedroom projects.

Outside of work, Bernice is a blogger, and Instagrammer who posts about lifestyle, food, bridal, and beauty.

 

Even if you live in a large house, chances are there’s an area within that a real estate agent might describe as ‘cosy’ – and if you’re one of the increasing number of apartment dwellers, you’re likely to be pretty familiar with compact rooms. In fact, there’s a lot to be said for small living spaces. They cost less to heat and you’ll have less need for stuff, which is good for both your wallet and the environment. Here’s how to make the most of living on the small side.

Go built-in

Furniture custom built for your room will not only make the most of every inch, it will also maximise your storage options, helping you to keep surfaces clear – important in a tight space. Tailor your joinery to suit what you need to store and the room in which it stands. A wall of wardrobes stocked with different-height rails, shelving and drawers is an obvious choice for a bedroom. In kitchens, where storage demands are likely to be high, take wall cabinetry to the ceiling for maximum capacity (this also avoids the dust traps that can gather on top of units) and include as many drawers as possible in the overall layout; drawers can fit nearly a third more storage than simple cupboards. For living zones, think low-lying credenzas running the length of the room that can double as display areas, whilst in a dining zone, a lidded bench can generate more storage space as well as enhancing your seating options.

 

Free up the floor

Keeping the floor as clear as possible is a good design trick to make a room seem more spacious – we’re talking vertical solutions such as wall hanging the TV, and fitting open shelving. For the bedroom, a great bed is a must, but choose one with less visual bulk; the Koala timber bed base is curved inwards to give the appearance that it is floating, and as an added bonus, has a storage zone behind the slender headboard to tuck away chunky items such as extra pillows or blankets. In the bathroom, choose essentials that can be wall mounted, like the vanity and the loo. Gain extra marks if you can use the wall cavity to recess a shaving cabinet or conceal the toilet cistern – both moves will mean less protrusion into the room and a greater feeling of space.

 

 

 

Plan your palette

Painting the walls in a light-reflecting pale hue will make a room look larger, but you don’t need to go for a stark white box. Soft off-whites will do the same job, while cooler shades such as greys, light blues and greens also visually recede to make a space look bigger. For flooring, light, neutral tones with little or no pattern tend to fade into the background, while plain white on a low ceiling will lift it visually, helping add to the sense of space. Keeping to just a few colours in the room will generally deliver less visual noise. You could try painting architectural elements like skirtings and picture rails the same shade as the walls, instead of the more obvious white, for a less busy feel; try the same trick with big pieces of furniture, like a chest of drawers or wardrobe, to help them ‘disappear’ against the walls of a small bedroom. Alternatively, why not embrace the size and drench the walls, ceiling and architectural features in deep colour for a room with a sense of theatre and cosiness? The choice is yours.

 

Choose furniture wisely

Interestingly, restricting your furniture choices to a few larger pieces can work better in a compact
zone than a plethora of little items, which can make the room look like a hot mess. Just ensure you map out your space before you hit the shops to ensure your chosen item will work in the room. A good trick is to arrange sheets of newspaper to size on the floor, which will help you work out whether your piece is too big or small. Look for low set pieces with on-show legs – the lack of height will allow the eye to travel through the room, and the feet reveal more of the floor for a lighter, roomier feel.

 

 

 

The Koala sofa, with its mid-century vibe and sweet timber feet, neatly ticks both boxes. Glass and acrylic are good material choices for pieces like coffee tables and chairs – Philippe Starck’s Ghost chair has become a design classic – while reflective pieces like a mirrored cabinet or metallic lampstand help bounce light around, all of which adds to the illusion of space. Also, look for pieces that can work hard – an extendable dining table is a great choice, while a comfy storage ottoman can be coffee table, toy box and extra seat in one.

 

Four design tricks to try

• Arranging all your furniture against the walls can actually make the empty area in the middle the focal point and the whole room feel closed in. If you can do so without restricting movement around the room, try pulling the sofa forward off the wall to generate space around it, which will give it more of a hero status.   

• Mirrors positioned near or opposite a window can help visually double the space. Just ensure, if you can, that the reflected view is of something pretty, like a leafy streetscape or a lovely garden, rather than a dull wall.

• Lots of knick-knacks and ornaments on every surface will make the room feel cluttered and cramped. Try editing your stuff – a good stylist’s trick is to work in threes and look for common elements, such as subject matter or materials, to create a cohesive look. Pack the surplus away and rotate when you like.

• Try positioning curtain poles well above the frame and extended beyond it, and hanging full-length curtains that just kiss the floor. It will help give the room height and visually big up your windows.

 

About the writer 

Jane Parbury spent several years devising, crafting and editing the features in Home Beautiful magazine, both in print and online, before making a South Coast sea change and embarking on a freelance career. With wide experience as an editor and content producer for homes and lifestyle publications both in Australia and the UK, she lives and breathes all things interiors.

The first time you share a bed with someone can be filled with excitement, anticipation not to mention a few nerves.

Sharing a bed is a positive sign that the relationship is progressing to a new level and you’re getting comfortable with that significant other.

But…sharing a bed for the first time is not always the sweet scenario you see in the movies, instead you could be left wrestling for the sheets, wrapping a pillow around your head to block out foghorn snoring or wrangling out of an intertwined spooning position leaving your feeling sweaty and uncomfortable or dealing with your partner pressing the snooze button 1o times before getting up.

Rest assured there are ways you can overcome these obstacles with a little compromise it can be an easier transition to an enjoyable bliss.

Sharing a bed has its own set of rules.

Here are a few essential tips so to sharing a bed for the first time:

Think Ahead When Packing Your Night Bag.

When packing your night bag make sure it isn’t too large otherwise it will give your partner the impression you’re moving in. This could start the night with an unspoken awkwardness.

Preparation is key, when you’re getting ready pack a discreet bag and keep things compact.

Pack just the bare essentials, tooth brush, toothpaste, skin care something to sleep in, perfume and the next days outfit and protection if you think you’ll need it.  Plus, some gum or breath mints, they do wonders for that dreaded morning breath.

You Both Love Sleeping on The Same Side Of The Bed.

So, you go to slide into the sheets and you realise you’re heading for the same side.

Studies have found that more than 10% of couples argue about which side of the bed to sleep on. That same study revealed that 80% of couples remained on that side through their entire relationship, it’s important to get this right early on. Yes, even on the first night!

Which side of the bed you prefer is influenced by several factors. People with claustrophobic tendencies tend to avoid sleeping next to a wall, then practical considerations such as being closer to a heater, away from the street light, and further away from the noise or being closer to the bathroom especially if you tend it get up through the night. Interestingly, studies show people who sleep on the left side of the bed tend to be happier!

As a rule of thumb, most men like to be closest to the door to feel like he can protect you from intruders.

Whatever your side is, negotiate it on the first night is always a good idea. Keep it playful and light hearted. According to cognitive behavioural therapist Paul DePomp, it is possible to retrain your body on your preferred side. A good way to do this is to sleep, upside down a few times to reset.

How To Deal With The War on Space

If you or your partner have slept alone for a long time, chances are you may not be prepared for the extra space to disappear particularly if you’ve had the bliss of sleeping like a star fish.

When sharing a bed, a queen bed with a 60-inch width quickly becomes 30 inches less. If this is a problem for you over time as you spend more nights together it might be time to consider upgrading to a king size bed it gives you 16 extra inches. It’s a good compromise to ensure your both comfortable.

Think about the pro’s and con’s, of a queen size bed it is good for giving you more space in your room and is perfect for couples that like to cuddle, however if you’re sleeping with a bed hog the upgrade is always best.

Over time there will be an adjustment phase, and you’ll find your happy medium for space.

What Do If One Of You Is A Blanket Hog?

If you’ve discovered your sharing the bed with someone who rolls up comfortably into a linen cocoon leaving you out in the elements to freeze, or perhaps you are the guilty party there are things you can do.

Turn up the heat, get a hot water bottle or try getting a larger blanket. If you have a sense of humour, go and buy yourself some blanket clamps. They are clamps designed to prevent your partner from stealing the blankets by tightly securing the blankets to your side of the bed.

If all else fails, get two blankets so that you can both have your own individual blankets.  Over time sharing the bed will get easier and the blanket problem will likely to become a thing of the past. A good way to do this is to make your partner aware of their behaviour or be conscious of your own blanket habits, awareness is everything.

What To Do If Your Partner Snores

According to the National Sleep Foundation, 37 million adults suffer from snoring on a regular basis. Snoring is one of the biggest problems that couples face and is both detrimental to the snorer and their partner.

So, what do you do? Apart from getting yourself a really great set of earplugs.

Get to the bottom of the cause of snoring is highly recommended.  It will be beneficial to both you and your partner. Snoring normally is a result of congestion, too much alcohol or sleeping on your back.

If you or your partner snore, try a nasal spray to get rid of congestion and or sleeping on your side to help the airways. Cut down on alcohol before bedtime. Over time if the problem persists you can see a specialist, there are remarkable treatments with lasers and other remedies, you’ll both appreciate the peaceful silence and a good night’s sleep.

If you want the first time sharing a bed to be memorable, and be as relaxing as possible you can help ease the nerves and set the mood for romance. Nice music, scented candles and a little laugher will go along way. Just know that over time you’ll get more, and more comfortable.

 

About the writer

I’m Samantha Jayne, Relationship Expert and Advisor to Channel 10’s The Bachelor and Internationally Accredited Dating Coach, and I’ve been helping single professionals find love and stay in love since 2005.

Website: http://www.samanthajayne.com.au

Waking up on a Sunday has been greatly improved (thanks to a Koala pillow), and what better way to celebrate another week gone by than brunch? Today I’m going to answer the most frequently asked question ever; where I brunch!

Little Turtle Restaurant

Can a Thai restaurant be a brunch spot? I’m pretty sure it’s a yes since the whole menu is ready to serve from 11am. I’d say it’s a must try because innovative and addictive plant-based menu is key. This place serves curry in a fresh coconut, fried rice in a pineapple and dessert in a dragon fruit. Serving it that way not only makes the foods more photogenic, but also brings that real freshness to the table. Do you know the easiest way to reduce your carbon footprint is having a vegan meal. And the harmony of flavours here can make you forget it’s vegan.

Location: 10-14 Standmore Rd, Enmore, NSW

Instagram: @littleturtlerestaurant

Recommended dish: Hor Mok, Pineapple Fried Rice, Mixed Mushroom Salad, Masman Potatoes and Dessert Platter.

Cafe Claire Annandale

The place is, by far, the tiniest yet warmest cafe that made it to this list (by tiny I mean only

 

15-20 seats). It’s the bright side of a local coffee shop which is full of so much character and personality. The staffs care about their customers on a more personal level than that of a large corporate company. They also care about how their food and drinks are presented. Not to mention that the pastries and high tea cakes are baked in-house, freshly everyday.

Location: 3/2 Young street, Annandale, NSW

Instagram: @cafeclaire.annandale

Recommended dish: Rose Pancakes, Unicorn Bowl, Duck Waffles, Italian Soda and High Tea.

   The Grounds of Alexandria

is what I call magic! Seriously how could one cafe has so many different zones to photograph, different foods/menus and has its own ‘coffee roastery’. The foods here are world-class you can’t come to Sydney and not see The Grounds. You should put it on the top-rated tourist attractions along with Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach. If you want more than just a brunch I recommend attending one of The Grounds’ event to experience the exclusivity because this place is almost always packed.

Location: Building 7A, 2 Huntley St,

Alexandria, NSW

Website: https://thegrounds.com.au

Recommended dish

(Cafe): Black Rice Bowl, Matcha Noodle Bowl, Salmon Niçoise

(Garden): Hot potato Hot Potato, Lamb Pizza, Unicorn Soda

(Potting Shed): Barramundi, Caramel Honeycomb Cake, Rose or Sunflower cocktail.

Two Sis Pyrmont

I have to confess the first time I came here was solely because of their tropical vibe wallpaper (and marble tables haha). Then their Japanese inspired brunch menu got me coming back for I-don’t-know-how-many-times more. I still keep going back every time they have new special menu because it just that good. Okay maybe I’m just a victim of their cute, Asian-ish foods (which are so tasty I can’t complain).

Location: 306 Harris St, Pyrmont, NSW

Instagram: @twosispyrmont

Recommended dish: Fairy Floss French Toast, Fairy Floss Hot Nutella Drink, Matcha Pancakes, Ramen.

Gibbons Street Cafe

Located in next to the Redfern station, this Thai Australian brunch spot is super easy to get to. They do Bangkok brekkie and variety of tasty Thai inspired pastas that, in my opinion, are better than anywhere else. Also there are some fancy holidays dishes worth keeping an eye on every Halloween, Easter, Christmas, etc. 

Location: Shop 1,7-9 Gibbons St, Redfern, NSW

Instagram: @gibbonsstcafe

Recommended dish: Hotcakes, Mango Whipped Granola, Milo Affogato, Any Pasta!

 

 

About the writer

Paulpayasalad is a creative food photographer based in Sydney. He has photographed foods all over Sydney, from Kiama to Central Coast, from Watsons Bay to Orange, from rustic cafes to award winning fine dining restaurants. He loves to create thoughtful images that reflect new perspectives of things. Complex, natural, soft, and romantic is his artistic style.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paulpayasalad/

Website: https://www.paulpayasalad.com/ 

Have you ever heard the saying, “Never Go To Bed Angry?”

Well, that old saying actually has some merit.

Whilst going to bed angry might seem like no big deal, and you think logically you can sleep it off, and wake up fresh but if you do it often enough over time it can cause your relationship to crumble.

Going to bed angry is a toxic pattern that causes long term damage.

Research from Beijing Normal University has found that when you go to bed angry, your brain puts that experience into your long-term memory zones while you are sleeping.  This causes the fight to hold a lasting impression, and intensifies the anger.

This has a negative consequence on the relationship because you start to associate bed time with anger where in reality is it a place where you should be getting, and connecting with your partner.

If you go to bed angry on a regular basis it will eventually turn into resentment, and destroy your loving connection.

Going to bed angry divides you as a couple.

Anger is toxic in a relationship, the arguments start getting more regular, you speak to each other less and you may end up sleeping in different rooms. You may also find that you speak to your partner less, and reach out to other people more. The continual cycle of anger can create a feeling of hopelessness in your relationship, and you may want to give up, and withdraw.

Eventually your partner is the last person you turn to when they should be the first.

Going To Bed Angry Is Bad For Your Health.

Anger impedes a good night sleep, you may struggle to fall asleep and instead of waking up feeling refreshed you wake up exhausted and distant from your partner.  It’s harder to get into the day when you carry the hard feelings of the night before. Negative emotions release stress hormones adrenaline, and cortisol causing you to be snappier through the day at loved ones, work colleagues and impact your immunity.  

Going To Bed Angry Kills Sexual Intimacy.

Going to bed angry kills the mood. Anger is a huge turn off. If you do this repeatedly it creates, and unhealthy pattern, and destroys potential opportunities for sexual intimacy. If your relationship has periods of conflict, and angry silence chances are you’re not happy being intimate with your partner. To be intimate you with your partner you need to relax, and trust your partner, feel good about being together as intimacy is a time of vulnerability.

Going To Bed Angry Shows You Value Winning And Argument Over Your Partner.

Anger causes people to lash out, avoid taking responsibility of their emotions, and can lead to criticism. If you go to bed angry this is telling your partner that they are less important to you than winning the argument.

This causes unhappiness to build and cause more ill feelings overtime. Your partner will eventually disconnect and there is a risk that someone else could make them feel good and the could get pushed into the arms of another.

The good news is that if you want to break the pattern of going to bed angry, and build more intimacy, and a closer connection with your partner you can!

The best way to do this is to always try to resolve the anger before bed by letting your partner talk, listen to them wholeheartedly, acknowledge what they are saying, and spend time with them.

Always take a few deep breaths before you speak, cool down, and watch your words.

Counteract the anger with telling your partner what you love, and appreciate about them. Always try to end the day on a good note, and a sweet kiss good night.

A spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a gallon of vinegar –  Benjamin Franklin

 

About the author

I’m Samantha Jayne, Relationship Expert for Channel 10’s The Bachelor. I’m a trained certified coach, NLP Practitioner, and Hypnotherapist. I’ve been helping singles find love, and couples strengthen their relationship since 2005.

 

 

Of course, whatever furniture and furnishing you choose for your place is entirely up to you. But since you ask, here are nine – er, enhancements that your home can probably do without…

Boring neutrals

Now, there’s nothing wrong with understated colours, and as a base to your overall decorating scheme, they can be a positive winner. But – top-to-toe off-white can be as bland as tofu. Naturally, a few simple pops of colour will work wonders, but if anything but neutrals gives you nightmares, try these décor tricks instead. Warm up your whites with timber flooring, furniture or shelving; give them an interesting edge with glass and metallic accessories; and add some texture – think linen fabric, shag-pile rugs or chunky wool knits. There – delectable, not dull.

Vertical blinds

The bewildering choice of many a landlord and new home builder, cheap vertical blinds should be reserved for super-basic office fitouts and dental waiting rooms… and maybe not even those. They’re outdated dust-gatherers, and random sections seem to have a mysterious habit of dropping off. Much better to opt for a chic, understated roller blind or sumptuous swathes of curtain fabric (choose sheers for a lighter look) – both can be a budget buy if you shop around. Try Ikea and Spotlight. 

All-matching furniture

Your living room is as much a personal space as it is a place to entertain visitors and as such it should reflect your own style, not feel as though you have walked into a furniture showroom, pointed to a room set and told the happy salesperson that you’ll have the lot. Pick your big ticket items first – the Koala sofa has slightly Scandi-esque, classic lines and comes in two colours, grey and navy, that will work back with numerous modern schemes. Then layer up with smaller pieces, keeping to a similar palette or style so the whole look has a certain amount of cohesion without looking matchy-matchy. Bear in mind that you don’t have to shop the whole room at once – taking the time to find pieces you love will really stamp your personality on the space.  

On the other hand, a whole selection of uncoordinated plates and glasses can look like a hot mess. There’s a real skill in making the eclectic look work on your dining table, and the answer lies in – as with your furniture – a certain amount of cohesion. Try symmetry – for instance, the same settings opposite each other, even if they differ from the ones next to them – or alternating just two sets of china. A similar colour scheme can always help unify a mass of mismatched items, and if all else fails, opt for a white tablecloth, white napkins and a central arrangement of white flowers as a focal point. See! Back to unity.

Over bright lights

Of course, there are some areas in your home where you need good illumination, such as task lighting in the kitchen, where you’re dealing with sharp knives and hot pots, in the wardrobe so you can identify colours easily, or a lamp for a reading corner. What you don’t need is maximum wattage simply EVERYWHERE. Instead of a ceiling runway of downlights, look at mixing and matching your lighting so that you have pools of soft illumination in different zones – think sconces, table lamps and dramatic central pendants or chandeliers.

Cheap bedding

Seriously, people, you spend roughly a third of your life in bed, so why settle for scratchy fabric? A set or two of soft and silky sheets is an investment worth making. Natural fibres are the best bet – they are breathable to help keep you warmer in winter and cooler in summer – but not all natural-fabric sheets are created equal; depending on the weave, even some cotton sheets can feel quite rough to the touch. Koala’s sheets are constructed using a twill weave for a lush, silky feel, and as they’re made from sustainably grown eucalyptus fibre, they’ve got a feelgood factor on more than one level. That should help you sleep at night.

Travel souvenirs

OK, this doesn’t apply to all mementoes gathered on your travels. After all, there are gems to be found in every country in the world, from Indian textiles and Japanese ceramics to Italian leather and British tea. However, before you whip out the credit card, you should ask yourself whether that set of humorous fridge magnets, hand-painted Moldovian shot glasses or dish bearing the legend “A present from [fill in city name here]” will take pride of place among the family photos or end up gathering dust in the attic until your next Secondhand Saturday. 

An overworked theme

If you’re lucky enough to have a country bolt-hole or a beachside cottage, the temptation is often to decorate accordingly. Be aware, though, with a surfeit of straw bales and rusting old farm tools strategically positioned around your home, or a shells-with-everything approach to styling, you can have too much of a good thing. 

Unframed pictures

Bin the blu-tack AT ONCE. If your poster/photo/print/children’s drawing is worthy of hanging on your wall, please give it a little dignity and put it in a frame. Try Kmart and Temple & Webster for a wide range of ready-mades, or if you’re willing to splash the cash a bit, consider turning to the professionals. You’ll be amazed how easy it is to transform a cheap artwork or poster with a proper mat and well-chosen frame.

To buy the Koala Sofa or Koala All Season Twill, just click here!

 

 

About the writer 

Jane Parbury spent several years devising, crafting and editing the features in Home Beautiful magazine, both in print and online, before making a South Coast sea change and embarking on a freelance career. With wide experience as an editor and content producer for homes and lifestyle publications both in Australia and the UK, she lives and breathes all things interiors.

Does sleep affect weight loss?

Yes. During periods of less than ideal sleep, the weight you lose is actually a higher proportion of the hard earned muscle than fat. Let’s break it down further: 

I’d often get a confused look on peoples faces when I talk about how sleeping more can actually help you lose fat. Sure, getting your training, and nutrition right helps, but if you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep, chances are you’re selling yourself short.  

 

 

What happens to your body, and why?

The body’s primary fuel source is determined on what is known as RER (respiratory exchange ratio). When RER is measured HIGH, you burn more lean tissue per day to meet your BMR needs – the minimum amount of calories your body needs to perform life-sustaining functions needs. When RER is measured LOW, you burn more fat per day to meet your energy needs. 

What is RER exactly?

RER = Respiratory Exchange Ratio:

Specific to muscle building and fat loss, RER is a tool used in laboratories to measure whether we burn more lean tissue or fats as the body’s primary fuel source.

RER is the ratio between amount of carbon dioxide produced by the body vs amount of oxygen consumed by body

It basically tells the type of fuel used for daily energy needs and if RER is measured high then you burn more lean tissues. If it’s low you burn more fat.

So with this in mind, here’s what happens when you consistently don’t get enough sleep…

What happens to your body?

A significant rise in RER means most of your daily calorie burn will come from your hard-earned muscle as opposed to fatty tissue. The goal is to keep RER low to ensure we are burning more fat tissue and keeping lean muscle mass if body composition is your goal.

Lack of sleep makes you less likely to adhere to meal plans, and result in binge eating. It also results in decreased levels of leptin which is a hormone that promotes satiety and a major regulator of a healthy metabolism in the body. So, you’re more likely to reach for salty snacks, and high starch foods due to the increased levels of ghrelin which is a hormone that increases hunger and cravings. Studies have shown that “the reduction of sleep duration to four hours for two consecutive nights has recently been shown to decrease circulating leptin levels, and to increase ghrelin levels, as well as self-reported hunger”.

 

 

In one study done in 2008, it was founded that women who had less than adequate sleep, 6 hours per night over 4 days was enough to send their voluntary daily caloric intake up by 20%. Just think about that for a second. Count the amount of meals/calories you currently consume, now add a further 20% of calories to that due to your increase hunger and cravings from sleep deprivation. There is no doubt you’d either put on weight or struggle to lose it if this becomes an on-going issue.

 

Fast track your results by simply doing the one free thing that many of us wish we could get more of: sleep! 

About the Author:

Will is the Co–owner, and Coach of Adonis Athletics Castle Hill, and Adonis Athletics Penrith. Will has worked with a range of people over the last 7 years ranging from the recreational lifter right through to the very elite in multiple disciplines providing coaching on both training, and nutrition. Across the two branches he currently houses multiple World Champions in Powerlifting, BMX and Fighters. National and Asia Oceania Champions as well as high level sporting athletes in both football, rugby and more.

If you would like to get in touch with Will with regards to your own training, health and fitness related goals you can contact him via email at Will@adonisathletics.com.au or through the website. www.adonisathletics.com.au

Koala hasn’t been around forever. We’re a couple of years old, but during that time we’ve prided ourselves on taking all the experience we’ve garnered from creating Australia’s highest rated mattress on Yotpo, Product Review, and Google Reviews to making Australia’s comfiest sofa perfect for naps!

We’re a very data-driven organisation, and it’s important to us that we take input from our customers and roll it into future designs.

We gathered the people who would know exactly what Australians wanted, and needed in a sofa: Australians. With over the 85,000 customers, we sent out surveys, conducted home interviews, held focus groups, and undertook weeks of testing with various prototypes to find the perfect sofa. We conducted both quantitative, and qualitative research, and testing so while we love a good data set, we also did testing with real people to make sure everything feels just right.

It wasn’t easy. Everyone has different tastes, and varying needs but there were a few elements that we found had to be part of the Koala Sofa experience.

It had to be convenient

We live in a renters culture where 43.4% of Australians have moved homes in the past 5 years. Interestingly, 67.2% of those aged 20-29 having moved in the past 5 years, and a further 33.9% have moved within the past year.

We knew the Sofa had to be able to move easily when our customers moved homes so no extra hassle during an already stressful time. This is why our Sofa only takes 4 minutes to assemble, and requires absolutely no screws, or tools to assemble – goodbye Allen keys!

If want to finally say goodbye to your old, worn out sofa instead of lugging it to your new place, we provide 4 hour delivery, and allow customers to pick out the 4 hour window you’d like it delivered!

But not to worry Koala Sofa owners, because our Sofa also takes less than 4 minutes to disassemble too when you’re on another move! The pieces are very lightweight too (Box 1: 24Kg, box 2: 11.5 KG, box 3: 18KG, box 4: 8KG) so no reenacting the classic Friends ‘Pivot Scene’. Not right for you? Well we give all of our customers a 120 night trial so you just need to contact us for the return, and we’ll give you a full refund!

It had to be life proof

You remember when you’d go into some homes, and there’s plastic coverings over their sofas because they didn’t want to get it dirty? Well we believe that you shouldn’t walk on eggshells around your own furniture so we designed the Sofa built to withstand the messes of life.

The covers are made of polyester which is extremely strong, resistant to most chemicals, stretching, shrinking, wrinkle resistance, and abrasion resistant. Polyester is hydrophobic making it quick drying.

If you spill something on the Koala Sofa just remove the covers using the zip, chuck it in the washing machine, and leave it out to dry! The textiles we use ensure that there’s no shrinking or piling so you can keep vegging out on the Sofa without worrying about stains or spills.

We want you to have peace of mind so we also chucked on 5 year full warranty! Don’t worry, weight won’t be an issue either as the frame has been tested with impact loads of over 300Kg so it would take some serious larrikin behaviour before these puppies give out.

It had to have a timeless design

Our Product team worked tirelessly to create a timeless, minimalistic design that wouldn’t go out of style, and in colours that are not restricted to seasonal trends.

Don’t worry about the beautiful colour fading either as our textile is light fast rated Level 5 which is described as Best or Excellent as there is no change in the fabrics appearance during the testing process. Your fabric will not be prone to fading, however it is best to remember that your sofa should not be placed in direct or harsh sunlight. Having nice curtains or blinds can help minimise the risk of sun exposure to your sofa.

It has to be comfortable

We know our mattress is freaking fantastic (check out our thousands of 5 star reviews from real customers), so we knew our Sofa had to be comfy too!

Our Australian made foam provides a comfortable area to nap throughout the day, or binge watch the latest show on Netflix. Just remove one of the back cushions, and ta-da you now have a comfy pillow to rest your head.

But there’s plenty of room for the whole family too! We designed the Koala Sofa so it’s wide enough for 2 people to snuggle comfortably, 3 people to sit with plenty of room in between, and even for our tallest of friends to stretch out.

It had to be environmentally friendly

Here at Koala, we genuinely care about how our products, manufacturing, and afterlife of our products affects the environment. At our very core of the business, we believe that we should leave the Earth a better place than when we arrived.

This is why we created our Sofa with the environmental in mind. The wood used is all FSC certified timber, and the frames are completely recyclable steel made in a screened, and audited factory in Vietnam.

The polyester covers are recyclable, and we are working to achieve a 100-percent closed-loop practice with our textile producer so all reclaimed textiles are spun back into polyester yarn, and used all over again!

If you’d like to buy a Koala Sofa, just click here to be redirected to the product page.

About the writer

Bernice is the Growth Marketer for the Australian Bedroom category at Koala. Here for over 1.5 years at Koala, she has worked previously as our Community Manager, and Social Media Manager to now handle the affiliate program, referral program, influencer campaigns, content strategy, and ad hoc bedroom projects.

W: https://www.bunnybernice.com

IG: https://www.instagram.com/bunnybernice/

Working at Koala has many benefits, and one of them is the sometimes hilarious amount of functional beds found across the workplace, and that we are allowed naps at work (in the designated nap pods).

Naps are actually good for you, and before you head off to your nearest HR Manager demanding nap time, here’s a few benefits for your employer allowing naps at work.

You’ll Work More

We currently live in a society of 24/7. We work so much, go out to relax, and when we settle into bed, we work some more. We’re a society in massive sleep debt, and it’s not really getting any better. In fact, inadequate sleep has cost the Australian Economy $66.4 billion in the 2017 financial year. That’s billion with a b.

In the 2016 Sleep Health Foundation “Sleep Health Survey of Australian Adults“, 17% of Aussies admitted to missing at least 1 day of work in the past 4 weeks due to being too sleepy, or having a sleep related issue. Skipping work due to sleep issues was most common in those 18-24 years of age (27%), and 24-35 years of age (30%).

Being too sleepy also reduces time at work with 14% of men, and 21% of women report being late to work from sleeping in, and 21% of men, and 13% of women reported falling asleep at work.

By allowing a much needed 20 minute power nap for employees after lunch allows them time to reenergise, catch up on an missed Z’s while also not interfering with their nighttime sleep.

You’ll Work Better

When people feel sleepy at work, they have a coffee, get a buzz, and get back to work. As Dr Fiona Kerr, University of Adelaide’s Neural and Systems Complexity Specialist said “it [napping] increases alertness and creativity, motor performance, gives you stamina, lifts your mood, improves problem-solving and allows your cognitive function to pick up. When people drink coffee when they’re tired, yes you feel alert but your memory suffers and you make more mistakes. People often confuse alertness for awareness.”

In fact, the Sleep Health Foundation found that “errors at work from sleepiness or sleep problems are also common, with 20% reporting errors on 1-2 days in the past 3 months, and 9% on 3 or more days. Again this was more common in younger adults, with around half of 18-34y reporting errors at work from sleep problems at least 1-2 days in the past 3 months.”

Instead of employees going out for a half an hour twice a day to get a caffeine induced pick-me-up, allowing an afternoon nap has already been proven to “significantly improve[d] alertness and cognitive performance” almost immediately after waking up.

Another study by the University of Sheffield found that people who napped for 45-60 minutes a day improved their memory by fivefold,

With the threat of losing clients, losing revenue, and losing momentum for projects at risk, the benefit of naps is substantial.

About the writer

Bernice is the Growth Marketer for the Australian Bedroom category at Koala. Here for over 1.5 years at Koala, she has worked previously as our Community Manager, and Social Media Manager to now handle the affiliate program, referral program, influencer campaigns, content strategy, and ad hoc bedroom projects.

Outside of work, Bernice is a blogger, and Instagrammer who posts about lifestyle, food, bridal, and beauty.

 

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