Monday, July 10, 2017

Marimekko Canvas Find

Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE Gumtree? This giant Marimekko Ulmenia canvas is my latest ultimate find. I wasn't even looking for it and I can't even remember what I was originally searching for. Regardless, it came to me somehow and was just meant to be.

I'd always planned a statement piece for the space at the landing, just hadn't found exactly what I wanted. Well, not entirely, I had considered putting this Marimekko Hetkia Moments there, but I really wanted something with colour that would really stand out from the bottom of the stairs and this was perfect! Weirdly, I do know this piece from my general love of Marimekko - so I knew EXACTLY what it was when it came up.

The lady that I bought it from was selling it for her mother. She'd bought a display apartment and this was in it. It was taking up too much space in the storage area downstairs so she was more than happy to get rid of it for what I consider to be a very, very good price!

The canvas is HUGE!  So big in fact, I couldn' fit it in my Honda CRV and had to call for a ute. To put it into perspective, this is Jansen prepping it for hanging and he's 6 foot tall.

From every angle it looks amazing. I love it so, so much and it's so perfect in this space. Some things really are meant to be.

PS: In case you can't see it, it's a cow. (Can't unsee that now can you?)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Stone top up under the house

I had the guys who did the fence also replace the treated timber border under the house with 200mm sleepers. They also laid some builder's plastic and topped up the tumbled river rock. I had originally put some weedmat down, but it was pretty useless and there were loads of weeds coming through.

The larger sleepers separates the space a bit better and will also make it easier to spread the topsoil and turf that's coming later next week. 

I would so have loved to deck or pave this, but it's just too expensive at this stage. That will be for the next family to make their own.

I'm still getting used to the fence being's so weird to have such a small backyard after so long having a big one. Maybe once all the landscaping goes in I'll feel a bit different, maybe it will feel more cozy and intimate.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

This is what 52 metres of fence looks like!

The dividing fence is up!! All 52 metres of it - that's a whole lotta fence!! The guys that did it though only took 2 days to build it, I was pretty astounded at just how quick they were. It's a pretty standard pine fence, the cheapest type you can get, but my plan is to put hide the fenceline with plants and hedges so it's really not a big deal. Not sure what my new neighbours will be doing with their side yet but I would think it's probably a similar plan.

The new fenceline is CRAZY close to the house. In actual fact, along the concrete garage pad, they've dynabolted the posts to the pad rather than into the ground as it was too close to the footings.

The two separate backyards look sooo teeny now. I'm so used to having a large backyard and so are the dogs. We've installed a removable fence panel as the kind new neighbours are allowing us to use the access from their driveway to truck in topsoil and turf, which is next on my to-do list.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Dining Room Completion...maybe

I've been searching for the perfect rug for the dining room for forever! I've even brought ones home that I thought might work, but in-situ just didn't look right, so I've had to return them. When I saw this on Instagram I thought it was PERFECT, but it took me ages to track one down.

This is actually an outdoor rug which will work perfectly under a dining table cause it will be easy to clean and the pattern works fab with the artwork on the wall.

I'd like to say this completes the space, but I have my eye on a little mid-century tea trolley I saw on an antiques site but haven't been able to get hold of. It will need restoration, but would look so, so amazing in the corner.

In the meantime, I'm so, so, so happy with the rug.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Swiss Cheese Plant!

I FINALLY got my hands on a monsteria deliciosa, aka SWISS CHEESE PLANT!! These little suckers are really hard to get hold of at the moment and when you do, they're often really expensive. I saw quite a few in James Street, but they were all $70 plus. Jam that!

I got these from a local wholesaler that sells direct to the public but I had to wait 3 weeks for it to come in. It was only $25 though and I split it between these two pots.

They're currently sitting next to the Marrimekko canvas, but it will need a new home as it's in the middle of the hall. I have no idea where it's going to go though, there's so many indoor plants in the house now that each room has about 3 plants, including the bathroom.

Bad Karina. Bad girl.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Yaay - new work boots!!

Karina Roberts Steel Blue Steel Cap Workboots

My new steel cap work boots have arrived today. HUZZAH!! These are Steel Blue Argyle and seriously the lightest, most comfy work boots I've ever had. I LOOOOVE them!! They've arrived just in time cause I have a ton of bricks (I'm not even joking) in the backyard that I have to move by next week.

Sunday, May 21, 2017


So...this happened! The land is sold and another stage ticked off on my big plan of everything. The sign definitely wasn't very creative, though it is pretty hard to make much of a vacant block of land. Interestingly though, most of the enquiries did come from the sign, which indicated that most people are looking local.

The journey wasn't without a few hiccups, there were a number of offers and contracts, but they come to nothing really until settlement. It's definitely been a lesson in patience and sticking to your guns.

I'm so excited this stage is done and I now have the time (and funds) to concentrate on getting the house ready for sale.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Plant Love

I have no idea why people think I have a problem with plants. All I want to do is fill my house up entirely with greenery and if I spend hours repotting, planting, watering, researching and scouring the markets, I hardly think that's an addiction.

Meanwhile, how amazingly beautiful do my new indoor plants look? I have no idea what half of them are, other than beautiful.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Reading Nook Update

The reading room is almost complete! The replacement console, for the one that arrived in the wrong colour, now looks perfectly matched with the other key pieces in the house.  The supplier came good on their promise to make the replacement in the old style (just naturally waxed, no stain), but only as a one off. It took another 12 weeks to arrive but so worth the wait and the American walnut grain now shows through as it does with the dining table, Josh's bed and bedside table.

I've moved the retro chair from the lounge into this space, now that my bargain Don Draper chairs are there. Truth be told, the reading nook was always the place it was meant to be.

The lamp and lamp table were both on sale from Adairs (surprise surprise) and both were pieces I've been looking at for a long, long, long time, waiting patiently for them to go on sale.

The rug was from the office and probably not a permanent piece, was just left over from a bit of shuffling that I've been doing. It's definitely fine for the moment.

While our little reading nook is ALMOST finished, I would like to make a change, not now, but down the track when our budget allows...
I would love this walnut Sean Dix bookshelf (from for this space and then I'd move the console to the top of the stairs. I love the simple, clean lines and I could imagine this filled with some books, photos, plants and board games.

But for now we just love our little reading nook just as it is. It's a quiet little escape pod to just read a magazine and have a cup of tea. I'd really like some more photos in frames so that will be my little project over Easter.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

More of a bargain than I ever imagined

I'm still madly in love with the Don Draper chairs I picked up from Gumtree. They're so unique, but so classic AND comfy! Two are in the lounge room and the remaining eight are over at Jansen's office, being used as meeting chairs until such time as the new house is built.

The curiosity of the history and designer of these chairs has been killing me though. I did a bit of google searching, but it's hard to trawl through thousands of results when you're searching for 'walnut and black leather chair'.

Seriously, look at this! UNBELIEVABLE!! I came across this purely by accident. It's a retro furniture store in the city that I follow on Facebook and I was just scrolling through some of their old pics not specifically looking for these chairs, but then there they were. Mystery sold - the chairs have a designer! Fredrik A. Kayser!!

So with further research, based on the timing that Kayser was working at Vatne, it looks like these chairs were designed and manufactured in the late 1950s, a lot earlier than I had originally thought. And surprisingly, the timber frame is walnut stained oak and not walnut as I had thought.

BUT, the unbelievable thing is the price!! They were listed at Vinyl Frontier for $465 EACH but some overseas sites (I found, after more research) had them listed for up to $800 each. I bought all 10 for $250 so I'm absolutely astounded (and stoked) that they may be worth up to $8000! It's a moot point though because I love them and have no intention whatsoever of selling them or breaking up the set.

In my original post, I said these were in my top five of amazing finds. I'm pretty sure this has just shot to the number one.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Can I come in?

Bahahahahahah Bella cracks me up so much. She's so serious sometimes! It must be a whippet thing. Oh and we bought a new car. A red one. One that can fit lots of plants, lots of IKEA flat pack and lots of tall teenagers. #finally.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

New pieces for the lounge

It's amazing how a couple of pieces can change the look of a room. We've put a new rug in the lounge which is very different from the last one. The previous one was a plain, grey, wool one which I loved, but was getting a bit tired. When I saw this one with its bold geometric pattern I thought it would look awesome in the lounge.

The new clock was a Christmas present from my son, who knows his Mum so very well - it was a perfect gift and I love it!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Wonderland under the house

One thing I didn't consider when designing the house, was outdoor lighting under the house. On paper it didn't really look like much of a usable space and I never realised how large it was, how useful it would be and how much time we would spend down there until after it was built.

During the day is fine, in fact it's an awesomely large and breezy space that's nice to just chill or rest during gardening. Since we completed the first stage of the underneath part of the house, we've added some chairs and at a later stage we'll add some tables and maybe a hammock and it will really become an outdoor room.  The dogs have their dog house and a few pillows for them to relax on. The clothesline is also under there, safely undercover out of the rain.

At night though it's a different story. It's pitch black and can be a little scary. I often have to put out or take in washing or check on the dogs and there's been a number of times that I've tripped over things, or even run into poles. There is a torch stored under there, but it's a bit useless to light up the whole space. I've even put those press button, battery operated lights you get from the junk store, but they're nowhere near bright enough and you have to walk around to turn them all on and off.

Just before Christmas I bought 50 metres of warm LED fairy lights, with the idea of hanging them around underneath to light up the area so it could be used whenever we were down there, but also for parties and gatherings at night. It's sat there on my "to do" list since November, but last week I kicked my toe on a piece of timber at night while carrying a load of washing. I kicked it so hard I actually thought I might have broken it, but it just cut the skin and bled everywhere. I guess that was a sign. 

I finally put them up on the weekend, just using some screw in hooks and I could not have imagined how amazing they look. They light up the space amazingly and bathe the entire space in a warm glow. It's like our own little wonderland. It will be a fabulous place for a party of just a casual BBQ. I don't think it will take Josh and his mates much time before they use it. I really wish I'd done this earlier.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The front garden fourteen months on

The front garden is massively overgrown at the moment and in dire need of pruning and weeding, a problem I never thought I'd have a year ago and one I'm pretty actually pretty happy to have.

I was looking back on a post I did 14 months ago when I'd JUST finished the front yard and the murrayas, gardenias, magnolias and spider lillies looked ever so teeny! I actually thought it would be years before they matured but time and time again, Mother Nature surprises me and here we are with the lush and fragrant garden I dreamed and wrote about.

It hasn't all totally been Mother Nature though. I have spent hours and hours, watering fertilising, weeding and planting over this time. I water them most nights and every week they get a good dose of either epsom salts, Seasol or iron chelate. But this is progress far beyond my expectations and I really can't wait to start on the backyard.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My new Don Draper chairs

"Be still my beating heart," I told myself, when first I laid eyes on them. Beautiful, rich leather and deep lustrous timber I hoped would be walnut. They'd been listed on Gumtree as vintage armchairs and they came as a set of ten. They were just gorgeous and I was in love. I was so very lucky to have them.

They're so very Mad Men-esque wouldn't you agree? I'm calling them my Don Draper chairs. They came out of a divine heritage office in Charlotte Street, where the lift had an old manual gate and the walls were exposed brick. The chairs were around a meeting room and were being replaced with a new set. I had no idea what I was going to do with ten, but I knew exactly where two would go.  The buttoned leather was similar to the couch in our lounge's like it was meant to be.

The design is so unique yet classic and the quality of workmanship is how it used to be in an era when people took their time and had pride in their work.

I love this arrangement, under the new tea towel art. Having two armchairs now in the set means a more people can comfortably sit in the space and have a conversation. I do need a new side table for the middle though, this just doesn't quite work. I feel it will need to be a lighter coloured table for contrast, just maybe in a round shape. For the moment though, it will do just fine.

Originally I thought this would be a good restoration project, but they really are in pristine condition, especially considering their age and the number in the set. There's really no need for restoration at all.

The leather is still supple without any cracks, scratches or fading, it's really quite astounding. There's just one chair with a button missing and it's hardly at all noticeable. The frames are still sturdy and with a few minor chips on the inside of a couple of the chairs. Nothing you would notice unless you were underneath and up close and personal with the chair.

I gave the chair pads a quick wipe with a leather cleaner and the frames a wipe with some furniture wax and that's all that was really needed. It's so cliched, but they really did look like brand new...I still can't believe it.

The remaining eight are earmarked for our new house (way down the track) where I'm hoping we'll have a large dining room. For the moment though, they'll be stored at Jansen's office. It works out perfectly as he only had a couple of office chairs. I have no idea what he did if he had more than a couple of clients in the meeting, but from here on in, he can have a meeting with eight (very) comfortably!

Over this projects I've really come across some amazing bargains and some amazing finds. I'm going to count this in my top five.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The 2017 Project

Happy new year!!! Wow I can't believe we're already halfway through January. Most of our holidays guests have left and I'm already back at work - it really feel likes Christmas and new year are a distant memory. If things continue like this then 2017 will fly by.

I have a super strong feeling that this year is going to be a great one for the house, with loads of projects on the cards. The main one is the desolate backyard, which has irked me for years. It hasn't been worth doing anything on it because it was going to be carved up during the subdivision process, so a drain could run the length of it and the neighbour's yard. The awesome thing is, this was completed late last year and so now this blank canvas is ready! So excited!

The backyard design was done long ago and while I still love it, it may need to be revised for budget and time constraints.  You see, the other big news is that we 'may' be selling the house. Yes, *sniff*, we may put the house on the market later this year.  This is actually not big news to us, as it was always in the plan. My son was just 11 when we bought the house and we bought it mainly because it was in a developing area and close to his school. It was always the long term plan that we would develop the block and stay until he finished high school. Well, he graduated late last year and the time has come.

The loose plan is to finish the backyard and put the house on the market when the time feels right. There's no hard deadline, however going forward we are looking for the next development, whether it's building a new house or renovating an older one, it's not really one we can plan for until we find the right project.

So there you have it, 2017 plans in a nutshell. Let's revisit this in December and see how accurate it was!

 Happy 2017 everyone!! xx

Friday, January 13, 2017

Remembering...and moving forward.

On this day, six years ago, our adorable little post-war home was engulfed by floodwaters not seen in Brisbane since 1974. We had no idea on that day just what heartbreak, hard work, setbacks, joy and celebration lay ahead.

Every year, on this day, I stop and reflect on the incredible journey this one, massive event of Mother Nature has taken us on. From incredible sadness and stress, to demolition to rebuilding a home that have now had so many fantastic memories and milestones for us.

This year, the anniversary fell on Friday the 13th, but it was far from black day. I actually look back on this day with no anger at all, just fondness and the realisation it was new beginnings.

The other reason this date is special to me, is that, either by sheer coincidence or some other higher force, this is also the anniversary for my partner and I. Though he wasn't my partner at the time of the flood, he has been a massive support for me since day one of "us" on this project. I guess it helps that he's a builder, but literally there's more than just bricks and mortor on a building project - it's the emotional and financial toll and just the constant reassurance that you need to know you're doing the right thing. And for that, it's just one more thing that I'm thankful for.

So here's to remembering the past...and looking forward to the future.