WELCOME to Don’t Call Me Penny

Don’t Call Me Penny is a premier Australian website for all things related to Architecture, Building, Interior Design, and Outdoor Living. As a publicity and PR agency, we work with style and design brands, products, and services.


And as a ‘blog’ we showcase tips, trends, expert advice, inspiration, and the best luxe and luxe-inspired architecture, design, interiors, homewares and more from Australia, Europe, and unique artisans.

That’s me. Hi, I’m Penelope Herbert – passionate about style, design, dogs, and bubbles (yes, the ‘in a tall champagne flute’ kind). Please call me Penelope… but please don’t call me Penny. Hence the name.


I’m passionate about architecture, interior design, and lifestyle, particularly how it relates to the lives we lead and the homes we love.


From working in New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, and North America, I’ve wrecked havoc in television, print magazines, digital, and radio (plus Government and corporate gigs). Now I follow my passions for architecture, design, interiors, and home as a journalist, newspaper columnist on Home + Interiors, style design writer, blogger, marketer, podcaster and public relations chick.

Here at Don’t Call Me Penny, my small team and I promote luxe and luxe-inspired style, architecture design, building, interior decorating, outdoor living, and garden style.

I follow my passions for architecture, design, interiors, and home as a journalist, newspaper columnist on Home + Interiors, style design writer, blogger, marketer, podcaster and public relations chick.

Styling Your Home… your way

If you love stylish and design-worthy living you’ll love the inspiring images, expert information, DIY projects, unuusal finds, what’s new, what’s hot, and exclusive content featured here on Don’t Call Me Penny.

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New articles are posted daily on Don’t Call Me Penny. All articles are EXCLUSIVE to this site and are NOT PUBLISHED elsewhere. It’s important to us that you enjoy fresh news, inspiring images, step-by-step DIY projects, and the best Home + Interiors trends and ideas.

If you have a suggestion for an article you’d like to see on this site, please CONTACT US.

Browse the latest blog posts below

5 Reno Ideas To Steal From The French

Reno ideas. From where do you get yours? If there is one thing the French are known for, it’s their style. The timeless elegance and sense of style can be seen in every aspect of life in France – high fashion in Paris, mesmerizing architecture, even the décor of that one quaint corner café with possibly the best croissants you’ll ever taste. World’s top designers will use at least some elements of French interior when renovating a home. So if you’re about to change the way your house looks and need reno ideas, think about following in their design steps. See now some of the best interior décor ideas to make your home chic:

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Rental Property Management Just Got a Whole Lot Smarter

Rental property management just got a whole lot smarter. Do you own a rental property? Are you thinking of purchasing one? Are you a Property Manager? If so, I have some great advice for you. When your hard-earned money is used to buy a rental property, you want to keep your investment safe, right? You may have engaged a Property Manager and you will rely on them to choose the right tenants, make regular inspections, provide reports, and advise on maintenance. The issue with many successful Property Managers is they have LOTS of rental properties on their books. It’s a stressful job dealing with tenants, maintenance, tradespeople, and inspections but that’s what you’re paying them for. So how can you be sure they are looking after YOUR best interests?

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Three Color Rules, And How To Break Them

Color rules are made to be broken, right? Now, I’m the first to acknowledge that some color rules are there for a very good reason; don’t mess with them. However, the use of color in your interior spaces is a highly personal choice. For some, the idea of a bright purple room sounds like a horror show. For others, they have no particular opinion on it – purple’s a nice enough color, so why not? The latter category is as determined as the first, but in the opposite direction: a bright purple room? Rules are made to be broken so here’s three to add to your list.

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Positively Glowing : How To Keep Yourself in Top Condition

People who are positively glowing exude strength, confidence playfulness, and a harmony with life. You probably know people like this. But how do they get that way? You know when you are on a plane and the flight attendant says “When the oxygen mask is released ensure your own mask is secure before helping others”? Well, that’s an adage for life. Unless you are OK and healthy you can’t help others. And that’s the same for every adult and every parent. You can’t effectively care for your children if you aren’t positively glowing. So what can you do?

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Cleaning with Bi-Carb : In The Kitchen

Cleaning with bi-carb (bi-carbonate of soda) is virtually the cheapest, most reliable and effective method of cleaning many surfaces and fabrics in your home. It’s an effective cleaning solution for every room in your home plus equipment, drains, silverware, windows and more. So this Cleaning with Bi-Carb series will bring you tips co-ordinated by room and cross-linked with other cleaning with bi-carb tips as new articles are posted. This article focuses on cleaning with bi-carb in the kitchen.

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Kubic : The Modern Luminous New Kitchen from Gruppo Euromobil

Gruppo Euromobil has released a thoroughly modern and luminous new kitchen design that’s elegant and contemporary. The Kubic. As we all now, the kitchen is the hub of the home and the area that gets the most use and traffic flow. The Kubic has been designed with toughened glass; an extra strong material that provides perfect hygiene, is waterproof, and 100% recyclable. Gruppo Euromobil has used toughened glass to create contemporary lines and an elegance that distinguishes all of their cucine designs.

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A Beginners Guide to Buying Your First Home

Home buying can be a daunting process especially when it’s your first time. Decisions will need to be made that will have a major financial impact on you. If you don’t have good guidance and feel you don’t know what you’re doing these simple tips will help you.

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Clever Bedroom Storage for Kids

Bedroom storage for kids may be the single most important component of a family home. If your house is anything like mine, there is never enough storage. And then when you want your kids to clean up after themselves too…well, good luck with that! Kids can be taught to clean up and put toys back after use, it just takes some patience…and some really clever bedroom storage for kids that you’ll love to have and they’ll love to use.

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Tips For Choosing the Perfect Bathtub

Choosing the perfect bathtub can be a lot more challenging than it used to be. Bathrooms have morphed into places of relaxation and rejuvenation with homeowners now seeking bigger or better-designed bathrooms. But there is one element crucial to a relaxing bathroom. Christie Wood, Communications and Design Specialist with Beaumont Tiles, is well versed with choosing the perfect bathtub. Christie says it’s important to undertake some research to ensure your chosen bath fits the purpose and space.

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The Beauty of Books…and reading nooks

Reading nooks and books have always played an important role in my life. My childhood was full of books and reading nooks. I have been surrounded by books, given books as gifts, encouraged to read and take care of my books. Virtually every room in the house in which I grew up had book shelves. My Father had a huge library where books were not only alphabetized but also arranged according to genre. I kid you not! My Father had a big reading chair, under a light, beside an antique writing desk and books were always piled on the floor on either side of the chair. Not that he was untidy; the piles were neat. But books were everywhere, ALL the time. Reading nooks were de rigeur.

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Five Simple Tips for Optimised Lighting in Your Home

From the number of fixtures to the intensity of illumination of each fixture, finding out how you can optimise indoor lighting during installations and retrofitting can be painstaking. To make it a bit easier for you, here are five simple expert tips from MatrixLED that you should consider.

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Luxury Italian Manor by Talented Ukrainian Design Duo

A luxury Italian manor brings visions of sumptuous high ceilings, grand windows, and opulent spaces. Architectural details abound as windows, walls, and ceilings compete for attention. This private luxury Italian manor house is situated in a rural area and is an exquisite combination of classic and contemporary styles. I was immediately drawn to the juxtaposition of colour and the restrained opulence. Clearly luxurious, this beautifully redecorated home doesn’t scream… it purrs. It knows it’s a knockout, so it can be calm and elegant in its confidence.

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Tips to Keep Your Home Warm and Safe This Winter

When the colder temperatures set in, you’ll soon be looking for ways to keep your home warm and shield it against harsh winter elements. Before cranking up the heater and running the risk of increasing your energy bills, Merlin has a few tips to help homeowners keep their home warm this winter.

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Get Ready for Winter : Firepits

Firepits are the greatest invention for enjoying glorious evenings outdoors in the winter. They are flexible in design, available as wood-burning or gas, and create a feature for entertaining. Now that I live in the beautiful Mount Lofty Ranges, in a quaint English-style village, I know what it’s like to be cold in the winter. Sometimes the temperature difference is 10 degrees between the city and the hills. That’s great for summer heatwaves but not so fabulous when it’s 9 degrees in winter.

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Dry Pressed Bricks – The New Stars on The Block

Dry pressed bricks have been stars on the block, literally, for some time. The Block featured dry pressed bricks and they continue to be popular. If you’ve ever built a new house or a significant extension you’ll know there are many factors to be considered. And one of the main considerations is those features that will be visual when building is complete; like bricks.

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Easily Improve Your Home Street Cred

Fashionistas understand street cred – that indefinable sense of style and absolute cool. Home street cred is the extension of this design aesthetic. Your home is your castle. It can be a highly personal piece of you. Your pride and joy. And you want it to be the most incredible property in your neighborhood. That chic property everyone stops to look at for a few extra seconds. The home your friends and family love to visit on weekends.. and crash when your entertaining excels. It’s that vibrant property you can sell in a jiffy the moment you decide to move on.

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Upgrading Your Home Improvement Philosophy

Does your home improvement philosophy need an overhaul? What I mean by that is, that you may have...
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Could Clutter Be Making You Fat?

Seriously, could clutter be making you fat? This is not such a silly suggestion when you consider some of the elements that link clutter with over-eating. How can that be? I’ll explain. When I interviewed Oprah’s De-clutter Guru, Peter Walsh, we discussed one of his books – Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Big? I thought it was a strange concept but it makes absolute sense when you think about it. In a disorganised home when your pantry is cluttered, your fridge is disorganised, your cupboards are a basket case, and you’re a busy mum with ravenous kids sitting down each week to plan a menu isn’t a priority.

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50 Shades Darker : Furniture Direct from The Film

50 Shades Darker is here in time for Valentine’s Day. If you follow the peccadillos of Christian Grey then you’ll be pleased. If not, you’ll still love the intense way of living designed by Brabbu Design Forces. It’s a fairy tale with a very dark side. Christian Grey may be 50 shades darker in this highly anticipated sequel but Anastasia Steele is more seasoned. It’s two years since we first met this incorrigible couple. This time Anastasia demands more rules as her relationship with Christian Grey gains confidence and stability. The set design is expectedly moody, sumptuous and 50 shades darker than the original.

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Your Hips Don’t Lie, But Does Your House?

Your house is supposed to reflect your personality and fit in with your lifestyle.You’re house proud and love to style it with new ideas, and you don’t follow every trend (let’s hope you don’t), right? Yet there’s always the cleaning and decluttering to be done. Shakira got it right when she said ‘hips don’t lie’ but maybe your house is telling lies about you. No matter how much daily housework you do, there are certain things around your house that can be letting you down. It’s like a constant nagging “but I just cleaned it yesterday’ mantra.

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The Timeless Surfaces You Need Now

Timeless surfaces will stand the test of time when trends and fads have long been forgotten. Which is why classic finishes will always win over the-latest-greatest… gone! So if you are building, renovating, or redecorating there are four timeless surfaces to consider. I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t add fun and faddy elements to your decor. Your home should have fun and quirky elements, particularly things that can be easily changed such as cushions. You might also be a fan of eclectic decor and not want a ‘classic’ look. Fear not, timeless surfaces can be mixed with other design elements. That’s what makes them enduring classics.

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Video : DIY Repairing Plasterboard Holes to 50mm

DIY Repairing Plasterboard Holes to 50mm. In four simple steps even the most novice DIY’er can repair a hole to 50mm in a plasterboard wall. This one-minute video shows you, very simply, how to prepare and fix a hole in the wall ready for painting.

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Video : 11 Home Style Ideas You’ll Love

Create beautiful rooms with 11 simple home styling tips you can start to use right away. These are my favourite expert tips and ones I use the most often in my home styling. If you’ever wondered how to use colour correctly, what elements will make a room POP, how to maintain balance, whether you should use warm or cool colours, or whether to go pale or go bright… this short video is for you.

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Feel Confident and Look Fabulous

Do you still feel confident in the way you look after enjoying the festive season?The beginning of the year is always tricky. We’ve just emerged from the excesses of Christmas, and many of us don’t feel our best. We may have gained a little weight, and our clothes are a little tight. While we’re working through our New Year’s resolutions, we still want to look great. It’s possible for everyone to look and feel good if they’re comfortable in their own skin. But how do you achieve this?

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Are You Home Buying? There Are Four Options To Consider

Home buying is a serious consideration and one that is not entered into lightly. There are many options is location, design, decor, and more. However, there are four key home buying options you should also consider. If you’re hoping to move house or buy your first home, you may be torn between buying something old or investing in a brand new property. Like most things in life, there are pros and cons to consider. If you’re not sure which path to follow, hopefully, this guide will help you to make a decision.

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First Dolce Gabbana SMEG Refrigerators Arrive

The first Dolce Gabbana SMEG refrigerators have arrived! And don’t they pack a powerful punch for chic and eclectic kitchens? These hand-painted, limited edition refrigerators were launched to worldwide acclaim at the Milan Design Fair 2016. And you can see why. Colourful, dynamic statement pieces, they represent an innovative collaboration between the highly stylish Dolce & Gabbana design duo from Italy and leading kitchen appliance supplier, SMEG.

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Redecorating Panic? Relax, And Go With The Flow

Redecorating panic may hit after the excitement of changing your interiors subsides. Now the...
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Video : Seven Home Styling Tips To Try

These seven home styling tips are easy to try. They incorporate some ideas for colour combinations, thinking outside the box, plus tried & true home styling ideas that really work. Your guests will think you did an interior design course if you use some of these easy styling tips. Click the title to see the video.

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Sale Ready Home : Top Tips for Looking Grand

A sale ready home doesn’t just mean tidying up and slapping on some fresh paint. When you think about selling your home, you start thinking about gaining the best possible sale price. Most home buyers are looking to upgrade so you may need to make your home look as large and as spacious as possible. How can you do this?

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Publicity + Public Relations

Publicity + Public Relations

We also provide publicity and public relations services for Architectural, Building, Interiors, and Outdoor brands. If you are related to architectural, building & construction, interiors, art, homewares, textile, lighting, furniture, surfaces & flooring, landscaping, outdoor living, or storage products and services please CLICK HERE.


Thanks for visiting. Please stay in touch

Thanks for visiting Don’t Call Me Penny; it’s great to have you here. Please stay and have a look around.

We’ll soon be providing pdf ‘cheat sheets’ with expert tips and advice for styling your home… your way.

On our sister site, The Style Podcast, you can listen to interviews with people across the globe involved in Fashion. Beauty. Home. and Lifestyle. PLUS, in 2017 The Style Podcast will feature a new blog with fashion and beauty tips. Why not check it out now?

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Thanks for being here. Please come back soon. Love from Penelope, Eloise, Shelby, Mark, and Tim. xx


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Images courtesy of our clients including Reece Bathrooms, Koket, Delightfull, That Metal Company, Taubmans, Maison Valentina, and GM Architects (Galal Mahmoud).

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