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[caption id="attachment_3666" align="alignnone" width="640"]Photo courtesy of Inside Out: Photography by Trevor Tondo/Living Inside Photo courtesy of Inside Out: Photography by Trevor Tondo/Living Inside[/caption]Sometimes dreams really do come true. The new issue of Inside Out - available now - proved it by including me as one of its Six Blogs to Bookmark. That is, of course, not the only phenomenal thing about this issue, but it certainly helped raise my excitement levels when I got home to rip open my subscription and flick to page 42 to see The Life Creative mentioned!

Freedom Top Ryde - Red and White CushionsFreedom and I have had a long friendship. I recall saving up across several paycheques as an 18 year old and going to Freedom to get my first real bedroom setting; an amazing bed, tallboy and two bedside tables combination. Years on (I won't divulge exactly how many) I still gravitate toward this homewares haven for the very same reasons I did back then; phenomenal furniture with form, function and fun. On with the store tour of Freedom Top Ryde...

Happy Home by Charlotte Hedeman GueniauI thought I was a fan of colour and extremely adverse to the use of beige until I picked up Happy Home by the founder of Danish homewares company RICE, Charlotte Hedeman Gueniau. It clearly states from the get-go that not all Danish design is about cool and calm interiors and I must admit, the whole ethos of the book being fun, colour and enjoyment speaks to me like the new Pope speaks to the man upstairs (and I sometimes talk back)!

Oz Design Moore ParkWhere does one start when it comes to describing Oz Design? While it's been around as long as I have (30 years and still doesn't look a day over 25!), in recent times it's multiplied its amazement factor. When I walked into the Moore Park store for my exclusive tour, I almost needed the store manager, Joe, to slap me across the face to wake me out of my design-induced coma; the current range is that phenomenal.

P1090690I first saw the lovely Miss Shaynna Blaze on Selling Houses Australia years ago and instantly fell in love with the woman (well, the kind of love a homewares-adoring gay lad can have for a woman). Years later, the interior decorating legend has released her very own book, Design Your Home. And true to form, it's practical, attainable and uniquely Shaynna B!

P1090489There's a homewares store I've been going to for years now, every time a birthday rolls around and I want to present a gift to someone that oozes heart and warmth; it's called Humble Beginnings and it's quite possibly my favourite homeswares store (and ok - you got me - sometimes I go there when there are no upcoming birthdays and I just want a wow moment!).

P1090157Some books are your coffee table books (you know - you look at the pictures but you've never read a word in there) and others are ones you deem a little more educational because they offer actual ideas to make your home amazing. This book by Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick is just that; a practical source of inspiration from some of the globe's top decorators!

It's not often I wish for a red light