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Monday, November 14, 2011

The Reno continues...

Not yet ripe for photographing either - but in the meantime, I've been busy with some easy craft projects to help spruce the place up!
Probably the only thing I could photograph would be the kitchen, actually - which WAS a deep brick red colour just over a week ago, and is now a bright, crisp and inviting WHITE! The only problem is.. silly me.. I forgot to take a 'before' photo!!! So I might have to have a dig through some random photos and use that as an example.. and when i'm done 'styling' my 'new' kitchen, i'll post some pics.

Here are my fancy 'new' switch plates - covered with leftover wallpaper I had lying around and some japanese washi tape (bottom pic).

This is how ugly they were BEFORE:

And how pretty they are AFTER:

An extremely cheap and effective way to make your switch plates NOT look like sun ravaged eye-sores!! 

Wallpaper samples ($5 + $3), Washi tape ($8.99), some glue/masking tape and a stanley knife. DONE!

Also, check out my fancy 'new' pendant light, now hanging above my dining table:

It still needs a coat of fluro paint.. not sure what colour yet, but I am loving it - especially with the new old school bulb. 

All I did was buy the pendant cord ($20), the bulb ($4) and the old lamp shade shell from a junk shop ($5). And voila! LOVE! 

Last, but not least - my new framed art for my girls' room:

Fabric remnants, Florence Broadhurst wallpaper off cuts and a glue stick. Craft LOVE! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So, it begins!

Another room has been gutted. This one will be magically transformed (hopefully faster than the rest..!) into DD1's new bedroom; freeing her old room up for the New Arrival in December.

I'll do my best to keep up with the transformation...

The dining room STILL isn't 100% finished (that's what happens when you have no money and you're pregnant... things move VERY slowly), but at least there's light at the end of that tunnel!

Here are a few photos of the work so far.. pulling off disgusting old manky plasterboard!

We are hoping to be done by the end of November. We shall see :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Wallpaper by the yard!

If you are desperate need to use some swanky wallpaper in your home, yet don't want to splash out on a whole roll then you're in luck! Hygge & West are selling designer offcuts/end of line prints by the yard, and my, my, ain't it pretty!

More suppliers are doing this now - so if the idea of some wallpaper covered drawers or framed art appeals, you can also head over to Ferm Living and our very own Paper Room for a great budget way to spice up your home. 

My Florence Broadhurst wallpaper off cuts are still waiting in their packaging tube for me to decide what to do with them, but I keep changing my mind! I think I need some guidance.... 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Obsessed with...

Chevron patterns!
I love horizontal stripes too - but this is taking it up a notch.
I desperately need some of this in my house NOW. Finding it hard to come across in fabric stores - but as usual, etsy.com has a booming supply!
Also very tempted to start painting random walls.. might wait till I have some walls worthy of it though... most of them are currently in rubbish condition. But we're working on that.

How's the painted floor decal in 3rd photo down? I love that! If only I were that brave!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Win some, lose some.

TradeMe is getting far too populated for my liking. Especially with the likes of people who happen to have  the same needs as me. They hijack my auctions, bid on them and push the price up to a point where I can no longer compete;  leaving me empty handed and deflated. Woe is me.

Take last weeks' amazing find: a weathered and well loved old teak dining table - big enough and tough enough to take the knocks of a young family and yet still shine like the grand lady of design she was. Turned legs and all! I was in love! And the reserve was only $150!! Then the bidding started. And didn't stop.
When it was all over, the sensible $150 price tag had catapulted to $750!!! Ok, so it was probably worth it. It was beeeautiful.. but sooo not what I wanted to pay. Who likes teak these days anyway?! Hmpfh.

Back to the drawing board.
I mean, don't get me wrong - I really like the dining table I scored on TM for $80 a wee while back, but this was something i'd been after for a long time. And my $80 bargain won't last that long. I need to recover the chairs, actually. Perhaps that will placate me for a while.

Moving on!
Today I was scouring the back page ads in the latest Your Home and Garden and discovered that Mocka - makers of really cool, good quality and affordable kids furniture here in NZ, have branched out into adult stuff! And it's really cool! And all really good prices! They're also doing some super cute cube storage units that would sit well in either a kids room or a light bright adult rumpus.

I love this trestle desk!

And this tv unit:

Simple, lasting design and it won't burn a hole in your pocket.
There are more great pieces to peruse on the Mocka website. Keep your card at the ready!

Friday, September 2, 2011


Totally NEED this table. I've been going through a yellow phase for a while now, and this looks like the perfect lounge accessory for me!

It's not too hard on the pocket either - only $149 from Freedom.

Drool away..

Want it? Get it here.

More inspiration for your weekend.

I just happened upon stylist LeAnn Yare's facebook page. Check it out - it's great! Loads of fun, budget ideas and lovely snaps of her latest work.

She's one clever lady - I seem to remember reading somewhere that as well as being a hugely talented designer and stylist, the girl can also fly a plane! Is there anything she can't do?!

I love the yellow frame in this pic and on her page she shows you more ways to flash up junk store frames. So tomorrow being saturday, it's only right that I should perhaps go on a bit of a hunt for some for Lila's new room (post coming soon)!

I love her use of colour - it's so vibrant and eclectic, so i'm looking forward to gleaning as much as I can from her updates. Enjoy!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Writer's Block.

Have you been watching this series of The Block on Prime? I'm totally hooked. I have it series linked on my MySky. The only downside to that is having to delete some inspired episodes to fit emergency eps of Dora or Bubble Guppies.. blast it!
This series has been great, with its new 5-night-a-week-extravaganza format, plus the odd boring challenge  thrown in. Having said that though, I find it very hard to fast forward even the most mundane of tasks, for fear of missing out on some hot renovators tip courtesy of the handy host, Scott Cam.
I even delighted in learning how to build and plaster a wall! A WALL!

I won't link to the Channel 9 site, because if you don't want to know who wins, there's no way you can avoid finding out if you go there. Silly me!!
I have my favourites though. I love *almost* everything Josh and Jenna do, with the exception of friday nights living room. That small enclosed space and dark tongue and groove feature wall just didn't fit for me. It definitely made the room look smaller and boxed in. But I hear that is NOT how their finished house will end up looking. Perhaps a wise choice to start afresh (although, where the heck do they find the money?!).

The grey theme they've taken through the house is so light and refreshing, but the reason it works so well is because of the accent colours they've chosen to complement it. From bright pastel pinks and turquoises, to tangerine orange, to crisp and summery yellows; it embodies their young, fun and resourceful designers' aesthetic. It's got spunk. I LOVE IT.

LOVE the headboard and the yellow industrial style pendant lights. Pics here.

Vintage hanging light. Perfect. Pics here.

Pendant lights are big on my list of must-haves for this house. I have a nice wee collection of images sitting in my inspiration folder, just waiting for when the time comes and I can finally buy some!!
I'll get around to sharing some of my favourites soon.

I am also on the lookout for some great fabric to recreate the headboard pictured above. A simpler version, but just as nice! It would look super in our bedroom, which is not high on the reno list, but could use a bit of a spit'n'polish to see her through.

Sometimes I curse my love of The Block, because it simply makes me want to buy! And buy more. And MORE! The inspiration and rev up you get from watching it - and thinking, 'hey, if they can do it, I can!'   is a blessing. The longing and frustration it causes when you realise you don't have their cash on tap is a total and utter curse! 

So, I have gone on about Josh and Jenna and how great they are but I totally admire those sisters, doin' it for themselves! I mean, golly - did anyone else just about drool all over the tv when Amie and Katrina brought home their giant floor to ceiling artwork last week?! IN.CRED.I.BLE. I want.
I loved their Mark Tuckey log table too. This man does some incredible things with wood. I've never been much of a solid/exposed woody kind of person, but I could be converted.

Mark Tuckey log table. Mmmmmmm.

This week the kitchen's are front and centre, and having seen a little sneak peek, I'm rather excited about it. I'll just have to put up with the longing and frustration though, because girlfriend ain't gettin' a new kitchen any time soon! I do have plans to make it less eye-bleedingly ugly though. We'll see what happens.

So... who's your favourite?!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Back in from the cold.. kind of.

Ok it's still freezing. But I think I've ignored (..not quite the right word.. um.. 'neglected'? ...that's better) my blogging duties for long enough...!
I don't know what happened to me between February and now... well, that's a wee lie, because I do.. but mentally speaking.. I think my creativity just went off the boil a bit. Then I got pregnant (the watermelon is about how big Baby is now).. and sick.. and crazy busy at work... and then it was winter, and OH! look at all the excuses I just came up with in a matter of nano-seconds!!
That tells me I must be feeling better, or my brain is defrosting. Either one will do :)

Tomorrow I will plan a proper post, when it's not bed time and when I am not living in fear of my 2.5yr old waking and screaming out for us 2 or 3 times in the middle of the night, like she has done for the passed two. I swear, I thought this 'sleep training' business only had to be done once when they were new?! Pah!

I should pass on a thank you, too - for had I not been avoiding my bed and browsing the Facebook through half-open-tired-eyes, my vanity may not have gotten the better of me, and I may not be typing this right now! For my eye caught sight of a pic I have used here of bark butterflies, used as the icon of a new blog added to KMB, so naturally, I sniffed and followed...
Low and behold - over at theramblingsofanothermother.blogspot.com, lil ol' me got a mention! And SQUEEEEE! a flurry of late night counter ramblings hath emerged!
Nothing like a bit of ego brightening to set you straight on your path to happiness again - so here I go.

I have the added bonus of having something to actually document too. We are renovating the spare room for The Sitting Tenant, so she has somewhere new and exciting to move to once the New Tenant arrives in December. Nothing too flashy or spensy, but wonderful all the same.

The demolition starts soon, so will post before pics ASAP.

See you lot soon!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sad times

What a week. Our poor Cathedral City, Christchurch, is all but broken.
It's hard stuff to watch on the telly. And being up here in Auckland, so far away, yet so close, you just feel helpless.
Thank goodness, everyone I know with family caught up in this hideous disaster has had good news. I personally don't have any family down there, and I'm thanking my lucky stars for that - as terrible as that sounds.
From my family to all those affected - Kia Kaha. Stay strong. You're never far from our thoughts xx

I've been so caught up with all this, I haven't felt the need to blog. But I came across something that I loved, so wanted to share.

Am I Art Nouveau?

I love a lot of interior styles, and it's hard to pin down one that I think represents 'me', but this one comes pretty close!

Here's a hint:

Now pop on over to one of my favourite new blog finds, Bright Bazaar, to see more! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pretty butterflies

Today I decided that the 70 or so paper butterflies I'd tirelessly hand-drawn and cut out were being wasted living inside that crumpled plastic bag on the 'craft' shelf.  They should be out - flying around! Or, at least, pretending to.... So, I blue tacked them to Lila's wall!
So her bedroom is now adorned with a giant tree, some lovely bird-themed number cards, felt birds, and LOTS of butterflies.
Yes, the loose garden theme is coming along quite nicely, thank you!


Another one from the 'I wiiiiish we had IKEAaaaaaaaaa' (yes, that was a whine) files; Apartment Therapy lead me to this amazing sofa revamp over at Our Mid Century blog.
After hunting for an authentic mid-century sofa and finding that anything new was far too expensive, they got creative.  They found an affordable Ikea Karlstad sofa, with great lines, and turned it into something very mid-century 'now'.
This could be just the inspiration you need if, like me, you've been scouring Trade Me for the perfect sofa only to be saddened when anything half decent goes for a bucket load.

Read how they did it here.


Friday, February 11, 2011

The Holiday's Over.

Hello again! 
It's been a very busy start to the year in our household - hence why I've been AWOL for a little too long. 
It started with a dinner party to see in the New Year and our weeks went on to encompass 4 blissful (yeah right - there were 4 x almost 2 yr olds present) days of camping, plenty of impromptu family barbeques by the in-laws' pool, screeds of 2nd birthday parties, and yet more entertaining! I'm looking forward to doing big fat nothing for a while now...aaahhhhhhhhh...!
But because it's a new year and it's that time when we all start thinking about a fresh start, setting new goals and seeking out fresh inspiration - I thought I'd share with you the workings of a good friend of mine who's started this year off with exactly that ethos in mind. 
2011 is off to a fast and frenetic start for the Sokolich's, who since deciding to sell their much loved first home, got to work to make it the best little Waterview cottage the market had to offer - and they did it. It sold it in a week. Not surprising, once you see just what they did, and how much the entire renovation cost. They've shown me just what is achievable even if you don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend. Read on and be inspired!

Michelle and her husband Kim moved into their adorable, but  rustic, 2 bedroom Waterview bungalow in 2003; fresh faced, newly engaged and full of vim and vigeur for the home they would create for themselves and their children to come. 
Flash forward to 2011, and the aging and cramped 1930s house they moved into has been transformed into a spacious and practical, modern, charming 3 bedroom home; full of life's comforts and jam-packed with a growing family's memories. 
With a slender budget of $75,000 ($10k of which was spent having the place re-wired) they took out walls, and even added a couple. They made space where before there looked to be none. They played with the layout and entrance ways, shifting things around almost like it was one of those jumble puzzles that you have to move all the pieces about until they fit properly. And they took out the cole-range. 

Now they're sharing their Destitute secrets to making your money go sooo much further: 

**ARCHITECTS AREN'T THE ONLY ONES WITH GOOD IDEAS. We found a builder who had some really good ideas about what would work.  I think we saved a bomb by doing that.. but if you forgo the architect I recommend paying lots of attention to details like skirting boards in other people's houses and gleaning ideas that way.  

**FIXTURES DON'T MAKETH THE HOME. We saved money on things like taps, the toilet...all those little details that you can spend insane amounts of money on (we had friends that put in a thousand dollar tap!) but if you're on a budget I don't think that's where you need to spend the money.   We don't notice those details on a daily basis, and when people come round they certainly aren't looking at the taps, just the overall effect.
**KLEVER KITCHEN ETI-KITT. They can easily cost around 30-40 grand.  We looked around at a few of the bigger companies offering kitchens, and had a few sample plans drawn up by them.  In the end we decided what we wanted and went to a small local cabinetmaker who did the entire kitchen for $7000 (excluding appliances).  Massive savings!
We brought our kitchen appliances/bathroom cabinet at big factory sales and kept them in the garage till we needed them.  Those big sales at places like Ellerslie showgrounds are usually advertised in the Herald, so keep an eye out as soon as you even start thinking about renovating.

**THOSE WHO PAINT TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER. We painted the inside and outside of our house ourselves. A bit of hard slog never hurt anyone.. (er, apart from her husband!).

**IT'S NOT UGLY, IT'S 'CHARACTER!'. Our beautiful wooden floors were a bit higgelty piggelty - wood going in different directions.  We could have got the builder to lift it out and make it all match perfectly (at great expense) but we decided to leave it in and call it 'character'.  I think it looks fine!

**TILES SCHMILES! Don't be scared of lino!  Everyone was horrified when we said we were going to put lino in the bathroom - the builder almost refused to put it in!  But you will be amazed at what is on offer in the lino range these days.  It was SO much cheaper then tiles and I think looks great.  The builder had to eat his words!

**TALK IS CHEAP. Or at least it is if you can sweet talk your local Landscape Designer into drawing you up a DIY Garden plan! It only cost around $200 for the overall plan, complete with a plant by numbers diagram as well.  He then gave it to us so we could do the actual work.  That way you can do section by section as you get the money - confident that it will all work together in the master plan.

All in all, they increased the value of the house by $200 thousand - so it was well worth it.  They could've gone to town and spent $200k or more on renovations, but would've completely over-capitalised and ended up with zero profit. 

Check out the pictures of this amazing budget renovation and be wow'd! Farewell Waterview cottage - we'll all miss hanging out with you! 

BEFORE: PHASE ONE - The 'we can live with this' slight improvements.

As a start, Michelle and Kim removed the wall that separated the kitchen and dining (pic 1) to open up the space for an open planned living area, and ripped up the old carpet. 


Below, is the old entrance/dining room (the room off the kitchen) before Phase 2 took hold.

PHASE TWO: The Big One. 

Bathroom/Kitchen/Hallway/Bedroom extension/Extra bedroom added.

BEFORE - bathroom


The laundry tub was moved out to the landing by the backdoor, the old shower (not pictured) was removed and a new bath/shower combo added along with a new modern vanity. They tiled, but didn't go overboard with it. Another cost cutting measure which works a treat! And the vinyl looks great, no? 

AFTER: lounge 

AFTER: kitchen

The kitchen wall where the coal-range sat was pushed back in order to reclaim a little extra room to give the kitchen a nice big open feeling. 
You'll notice there's also a wall where the entrance/dining room used to be, going off towards the door. Well - that, is now this:

AFTER: 3rd bedroom added.

And here is the master bedroom, after a wardrobe was taken out (at the head of the bed) to create more space, yet again.

And finally - the exterior. Check out these incredible Before and Afters!

It's gone from this:

To this:

I think they did an amazing job, so that's why I had to share. Thanks so much to Michelle and Kim for letting me feature their gorgeous first home on my wee blog. I'm looking forward to the next project they're let loose on in a few years time! 
In the meantime - please pop along and visit Michelle's blog here. Have a cuppa, a read, and be into win some lovely edible giveaways! My very own Birth Story will be gracing it's pages very soon!


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