Sunday, March 27, 2016

New Dining Room Artwork Love

We have divine new artwork for the dining room. This is my Easter project. I decided not to go away this Easter as the partner is in Papua New Guinea on a diving trip and my parents are arriving next week for a family christening. So everyone will be in town next week and we can do our family celebration then. These holidays, I had house projects to do.

Totally unplanned, but the artwork I've had my eye on for the dining room space went on sale. I totally fell in love with these when I first saw them in Real Living magazine. I love the bold colours, the abstract shapes, the black frames. I've been waiting forever for them to go on sale. Of course they were incredibly popular so I had to ring around and beg them to put them on hold until I could get to the other side of town to pick them up.

I spent the morning of Easter Sunday, in between stuffing myself with Easter eggs, installing these beauties juuuuust so. I just looove them. They bring a whole new level of brightness and life to the room. Oh and I gave the poor dining table a decent coat of wax and polish. It was very neglected and very dry. It brought out the gorgeous deep grain of the walnut though and made really made the new artwork pop! The dining room looks great now, though it's not quite finished, there's still a space in the corner for a plant or even a sideboard. But for now I'm just going to enjoy this.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Great Chair Restoration of 2016

Seems to be an annual tradition in this home for me to start a seemingly small and easy project and have it turn into some bigger and more difficult then Ben Hur.

It started off with the Great Skirting Board Project of 2014 followed up by the Great Fence Painting Saga of 2015.  This definitely had the markings of this year's "project to go wrong".

These are the bar stools in the kitchen that I bought secondhand from my work when they were moving offices. They were originally from Ikea and I think I paid $5 or less for each of them. They're the perfect height, look subtle yet classic and tuck neatly under the bench. 

I absolutely love them, but the metal on the legs is looking really shabby. I'm not even sure whether they were grey or black to start with, but they've been worn down and now have this multi colour look that just makes them look dirty. They were a bit shabby to start with, but after a couple of years they look really bad.

I would happily have bought new ones from Ikea as I think they were only about $20 to start with, but they don't make them anymore so I thought it would be easy to just re-spray the legs.

There was a little more to pulling them apart than I initially thought. And I stupidly pulled ALL of them apart at once and we wouldn't have anything to sit on at the breakfast bar for as long as this was going to take. (Note to self, dumb idea.)

Pulling them apart did make me realise how absolutely filthy they were. I gave them a really good scrub with a scourer and gumption and they came up like new!

I originally thought it would just be a matter of spraying them, but Jansen insisted that if I wanted to do it correctly, I needed to lightly sand them back, spray with a primer then spray with paint. The sanding took the longest as there were 20 legs plus the foot frame at the bottom. All the pieces were sprawled out in the downstairs lounge for 3 weeks and I sometimes only got one or two legs sanded per night. So annoying that downstairs was a mess AND we didn't have chairs to sit on when we had friends over.

I did eventually get them sanded and I strung them up under the house to spray them.

Bella the ever loyal wonder dog just sat next to me, often downwind of the spray. She had a couple of new silver streaks by the end.

Ta-dah!!! I used White Knight Chrome Spray, which i would have liked to have had a bit more of a mirror finish, but the light grey still looks great and 1000% better than before.

They all look so much cleaner now. All up the materials were about $40 and 3 weekends worth of time. Much longer than I'd anticipated as I thought it would only be a weekend project, but well worth the extra effort.

Monday, March 14, 2016

New blinds! Jumpy claps!

These were the "blinds" that had been covering the windows above my bed since we'd moved in. They were just a couple of cut pieces of corflute which balanced vicariously on the windowsill, somewhat held in with the latch on either end. The windows generally stay shut for that reason, but every now and then a breeze from the other windows (or the fan) will blow them over and if you're lucky they land on your head in the middle of the night and scare the bejesus out of you!

This is the new blind! Yay!! Jumpy claps!! The online place that I get my blinds from was having a sale, which was first time I'd ever seen them have a sale in the two years that I've been buying from them. So I bit the bullet 

It seems weird, but putting this home together bit by bit reminds me exactly of my mother and my childhood. She would probably have been my age when she built the house that we grew up in and just like my situation, the house was finished, but there were so many little touches still left to do to make it complete. She bought things bit by bit, only as she could afford them and not on credit and I think it was a good philosophy not only to live by but also a good example to set. 

I remember growing up for the longest time with sheets over the windows, held up by pegs. My personal preference is corflute, but Mum preferred sheets. Perhaps corflute wasn't even invented then? It never really occurred to me that it was weird or embarrassing, I was just happy to have a house. I feel like the same is for son. He never complained about having corflute for window furnishings, and he always helped out whenever we were putting up the blinds, when we finally bought them. In fact when I showed him the blinds this time around, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "looks great, what's for lunch?" 

Anyway, we lived in that house for years and it was always evolving, always something new, but always totally liveable as is and that's what I think of our home. Building-wise, everything is complete, it's just those finishing touches that need to be done and they're only ever done as we can afford them.

This was the "blind" in my walk in wardrobe. Also a piece of corflute leftover from one of my work's sites. It balanced there as well by the grace of god, and protected passers-by from any of my wardrobe tantrums.

This is the window without the "furnishings". You can see that it looks straight out onto a main-ish road, so no covers is absolutely not an option.

Although…it does overlook my beloved gardenias in the front garden. I could stare at this all day, but that would look very creepy from the road.

Ta-dah! This is the newly installed blind. It's a translucent blind and not a block out one, so it's easy to look through my clothes in the morning without turning the light on and without having to pull the blind up. I love it so much! Not just because I don't have to worry about the corflute falling out of the windowsill and exposing me to all and sundry. Mostly because it just looks so neat and so finished! There was a slither of sunlight creeping through the top of the sign and it was starting to fade the flooring, but this colour and brand are the perfect fit so no more faded floors. These blinds are absolutely perfect! Very happy Karina.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The guest bedroom gets a makeover

My parents are due in a few weeks so I thought it might be nice to update the guest bedroom. It's had the same look for a couple of years now, with loads of guests using the room so it's a nice freshen up, especially with the change of season.

I'm LOVING the new quilt cover from Adairs, the larger charcoal cushions are from there as well from last Winter. The dove grey cushions are just cheap ones from Target, but look amazing. All the other decorative items were already in the house, including the fab Bernard Villemot print, which I've just had framed. It's supposed to go in the reading nook outside, but the console it will sit on is on backorder, so it can just sit in the guest bedroom in the meantime.

I've installed blinds in this room as well, which is awesome for my guests cause the morning sun streams straight in.

I'm pretty happy with this…I hope my guests are as well.