When I was younger the term ‘empty nesting’ and what it would mean to our lives did not really compute. Our children were young, and that stage of our lives seemed such a long way off. But as we know, life does not standstill for anyone and that day when our first child left home for university, (2 ½ hours away) came around very quickly. Then our second left home two years later, fortunately same city and university. I was suddenly back to where I started. It took a bit of adjustment.
Our daughter gave me an ultimatum, “Mum don’t redecorate my room for 2 years, it’s still mine.”
So, I didn’t! After all, I wanted my children to come home once in a while.

But there does come a time, I feel, when you do need to take charge and reclaim your home. Your children are young adults making their own way in life, and after a few years, only come home a couple of times a year.

What do you do with two empty bedrooms on a modest budget? For me it was easy, the smaller room a guest bedroom and the other a multi-purpose room.

I listed what I required…

Guest Bedroom – simple, restful, and uncluttered

  • White walls (paint over Resene Energy Yellow)
  • White full gloss built in furniture (drawers were existing)
  • Queen bed (bed was existing with blue iron bed ends
  • New window treatments
  • New bedding
  • Replace carpet (the lounge and bedrooms were due to be re carpeted)
  • Bedside cabinet (existing- white wash)
  • 1 ½ wardrobe (it had sliding doors which I am not a great fan of)


The guest bedroom was simple fix. The room was stripped, and prized possessions of childhood memories boxed up. Memory boxes were put in the attic. This was the second clearing out, the first when my daughter left home had been thorough. Though when you have creative children there is a lot of art and supplies. The room was stripped bare, holes filled where pictures had been hung, then sealed and the bright yellow painted out with low sheen white. I love Resene Lumbersider and most of my house is finished in that paint system. We have aluminum windows with rimu reveals, with rimu and matai throughout the house. The pine built in furniture was painted in full gloss enamel.

The ceilings I left, they are Pinex and in good condition, but I also have glow in the dark stars on all my bedroom ceilings and I was not going to remove them to paint the ceiling.

The slat bed and bed ends remained but I replaced the mattress with a foam mattress. The beauty of this is that there was a lot of storage under the bed for boxes of fabric.

The windows had a privacy blind already which remained, and I replaced the existing Roman blind with a tulip floral pattern. The bedding was white so there needed to be a bit of colour somewhere. The loop pile carpet from the 70’s was replaced with a pure wool cut pile, colour aubergine. Wardrobe doors were replaced with soft off-white linen sheers.

Multi-purpose room – bedroom, craft and sewing room

  • Single day bed (a later requirement)
  • Cutting/craft table
  • Purpose built sewing table for overlocker and sewing machine
  • Storage boxes for fabric
  • Storage for rolls of fabric
  • Bookcase
  • Storage boxes for haberdashery
  • Painted walls
  • Window treatments
  • Replace carpet
  • Double wardrobe with sliding doors

My multi-purpose room has evolved. Same process as before, but I had a lot more ‘treasures’ to box. I think boys are, a little different about what they leave behind. The room had painted over wallpaper in Energy Yellow the same as my daughter’s room. I love painted textured walls.

Thousands of pin holes were filled, sealed and thousands more that I had missed in the original patching. It seemed endless! The room was then repainted in Energy Yellow. I find this a very, creative colour to work in. I had fitted sun filter blinds to help stop fading of fabrics and topped with a floral Roman Blind. Initially I had a couple of old oak tables, one for cutting and the other for my machines. As time went by, the room needed more structure. I had fitted, a custom kitset bench, which spanned the width of the room for my machines and traded my oak table for a Formica extension table which is more practical for crafts.

Resene Energy Yellow teamed with richly printed cotton daybed.A daybed was needed later, as my little family was now growing. This is an old-style wirewove bed with oak bed ends. I re-covered an old mattress that I had cut into three and concertinaed, for my son years ago. This fitted perfectly and in a nice rich colour works well as a day bed. My granddaughter sleeps in it when she comes to stay.

The aubergine carpet is not very practical for a craft room, but at least you can see anything that is dropped on it, including coloured head pins. All the boxes ticked and both rooms work well!






By Terry Lobb
Creative Director
Terry Lobb Colour and Design Ltd

Beautiful colours as the leaves turn

Isn’t it funny how daylight savings finishes and we seemed to be plunged into autumn with winter cool on her tail?  Those long hot summer nights, lazy summer days quickly become a thing of the past and almost overnight the leaves turn from green to luscious tones of gold and orange with hints of red and then they fall onto rich green grasses to turn a crisp, crunchy brown.  Many memories of piling leaves high and throwing oneself into them.

It is time to draw the curtains and close up the house earlier to reserve the heat, light the fire and enjoy the change in temperature.  We tend to layer more in the autumn/ winter months, layer our clothing, add layers to our beds, throws to snuggle up in on the couch and eat more hearty food, comfort food to keep the cold at bay.

Lighting pays a key role in how we feel as well.  Our lighting was once simple with incandescent light throwing a warm yellow inviting glow.  Now with the choice of warm and cool whites our interior colours change and become a little more harsh, a bit brighter and cooler.  The warm white light isn’t quite as warm as the old incandescent bulb.  This can be counteracted by choosing warmer tones for lampshades if you enjoy lamps instead of full on light in the evening.

100% Woolen Throws

Do you add warmer colours and textures to your homes to give the feeling of warmth and comfort?  Crisp cotton and linen for summer bedding in cooler tones can be exchanged for warmer more textural colours with a mohair throw for extra warmth.  Brushed cotton sheets with heavier layers on top make for more comfortable warmer nights sleep and add a hottie.  Bliss!

100% Alpaca (1320 x 1830mm)

One of the other winter treats for me is delicious smells coming from the kitchen.  Comfort food shared with family and good friends, encourages lots of conversation and laughter.  My favourite is spicy, curry pumpkin and kumara soup with buttered toast or an old fashioned roast like Mum used to cook. 

And here we have a beautiful sunny day which will hopefully carry on into the Easter Weekend. 

Happy Easter everyone!   Enjoy time with family and friends.

Throws can be purchased by contacting Terry  http://terrylobb.nz/contact/

Last weekend we spent time in Wellington catching up with friends and family and generally mooching around the shops. I think we are so use to the great summer weather that when we do have the odd wet and cooler day we are not prepared for it. I certainly wasn’t dressed for rain so indoors we ventured and it was nice just to brows in the shops and take time out.

I have two favourite restaurants in Wellington, one I go to occasionally and the other more often. I like both of them because of the ambiance, décor, great service and excellent food. The restaurant and bar we tend to frequent most is The Southern Cross Garden Bar and Restaurant, both for dining and dancing. I love this venue!

The building is over 100 years old and was renovated to its current shape and form by Wellington’s award winning Architect John Mills. John is renowned for his very personal designs and unique work. The Cross as it is more favourably referred to is a hive of activity and caters to a wide audience from private functions, dance parties, fresco dining, more intimate dining, family gatherings, bar facilities with good old fashioned service. You can find a quiet space and work or relax, play board games or read a newspaper or simply enjoy the different nights of entertainment on offer.

John Mills has created a Retro space with some areas being strictly retro and others with a twist. Perhaps that is why I like it, because it relates to my 1970’s Retro teen years. On dining there Sunday night with family I decided I liked it because of its relaxed friendly atmosphere and the fact that the whole complex is divided into different zones depending on what your mood is for the day or evening.
There is a lounge bar where you can dine, towards the back of the building which is like stepping back in time to someone’s home. The floor is carpeted in a 1950’s floral carpet, the chairs are comfortable lounge chairs that many of us grew up with and the lighting is subdued and warm. The walls are hung with those very family paintings and ornaments that many of us grew up with or remember from our grandparent’s home. You can sit and have a quiet conversation over dinner without having to shout at each other or hear the next door diner’s conversation. A very welcoming space!
I have often sat outside with friends from Wellington Batucada and had a quiet drink after their band practice then danced to the salsa beats on the dancefloor inside. The outdoor area is divided into ‘rooms’ so you can dine undercover in the rain or in the open air or sit with friends either side long tables not unlike my grandmothers kitchen table. It is a little bit like walking into a private courtyard, decorated for comfort, with strung paper lanterns, an outdoor fire for the chillier evenings and an outdoor kitchen and bar. The courtyard is tiered so you feel that your area of dining or socializing is more private.
We tend to dine mainly in the relaxed dining area at the front of the venue. This area definitely has a retro feel with Formica tables and chairs all mismatched. Vases of flowers on the tables, quirky lights and shades hang from the partially clad stained ply ceiling. The walls are either wallpapered in retro modern patterns or patterned paint finishes and there is added bonus of the old beaded curtain dividing part of the room from the entrance. It is a very comfortable and relaxed space to dine in. The complete complex is very alive with colour, various texture finishes and patterns, but it works well. Perhaps it works because it feels a little like the home we once knew when life was at a slower pace and we took more time to share and socialize in real time, face to face.


I am available for speaking engagements for small groups or larger organisations and can be contacted below.

Terry Lobb Colour and Design Ltd – Interior Designer/Personal Stylist/Colour Consultant

If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation or have a query about product discussed you can contact me on

mobile 027 602 3298

terry@terrylobb.com or contact me on Facebook.

I visit so many homes, old and often new where lighting is an issue. This is mainly due to lighting being placed in the wrong place for what the lights are required for, lack of lighting and sometimes overkill on lights.

Once upon a time there was the lonely pendant light fitting positioned in the middle of the room and often one three point plug for an extra lamp or other electrical device. This was our general light which basically covered all aspects of our lighting. It was often a 200 watt bulb because there was only one light and needed to light a large room with lofty ceilings. Life was simple back then, so easy to buy a bulb.

Now we have lighting for all types of situations and so much to consider when choosing lighting from different styles, colour rendering, how much light it will give, how efficient is it, how long with it last, how to I replace the bulb, does it have a bulb, how much do replacement bulbs cost, what will the light do and how it works. These things you do need to consider when choosing lights because it isn’t just about the look.

There are generally 5 different types of artificial lighting to consider in a home.

All homes should have general lighting – these are the lights designed for you home to be safe in getting around at night or lower light levels. They are often just practical illuminating the room well.

Some rooms but not all should have task lighting – this is as it says for completing a task, stronger more direct lighting for clear visibility. This could be in the form of a lamp that is movable or fixed lighting over a bench/desk or workstation. The old standard lamp that my grandparents had was often used as a task light as grandma sat and knitted or darned in the evening.

Some rooms but not all should have accent lighting and this is also great for effect outside. This style of lighting illuminates something worth lighting. It could be in the form of a picture or light box for a sculpture, strip lighting in glass shelves so that a cabinet is illuminated when you open the door or up lighting in the garden to highlight trees and shrubs.

Decorative lighting is one of my favorite! That’s really only because more than often it becomes a statement in the room and a finishing touch. Decorative lighting can also dub as general, task and accent lighting depending on what the style is and illumination. The old standard lamp or Chandelier are forms of decorative lighting. A decorative light can be as zany or practical as you desire.

And finally Kinetic lighting – light that moves. All our homes have kinetic lights in the form of those light bright lights and wink and flash through the night if we don’t turn appliances off. But it can also be the warm ambient light of a fire during the winter.
Next week I’ll break down the lighting types throughout the home and the benefits of having the right sort of lighting. Be wary when buying light fittings that you are buying quality.

Lighting is basically about your health and well being.








Decorative lighting in the form of the Ghost Lamp which can also dub as task lighting.


I am available for speaking engagements for small groups or larger organisations and can be contacted below.

Terry Lobb Colour and Design Ltd – Interior Designer/Personal Stylist/Colour Consultant

If you would like to make an appointment for a consultation or have a query about product discussed you can contact me on 027 602 3298 or terry@terrylobb.com or like me on Facebook.