Welcome to my blog, hope you enjoy reading

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!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...