Monday, June 28, 2010

Home Love Inspiration

Had to make a visit to the mall on the weekend. Yeah, I know: ugh! Sometimes I don't mind it, but this weekend I really didn't want to go but my girls were insisting and there were things we needed - boring things like gumboots so we can romp around the muddy dog park without a care in the world for our shoes!

But that's an aside. I took the opportunity to make a purchase that will hopefully help me on my interior decorating journey. With still some money left on a Dymocks book voucher from my birthday last November, I decided to buy - instead of a novel which is what I'd usually indulge in - a book that got a lot of press when it came out a month or two ago: Home Love by well-known Sydney design consultant, stylist and props collector, Megan Morton.

With a subtitle of '100 inspiring ideas for creating beautiful rooms' I couldn't resist.

It is fat and juicy with gorgeous pictures and looks at everything from 'Pleasing an early teen' (that's me!), 'The laundry as a retreat' (I will need convincing on that one) to 'Charming the pants off a room' (definitely want to learn the secrets of this) and the art of the 'Perfect display'.

To see more of Megan's fabulousness, see the Design Files' post that Lucy did on her late last year, here.

P.S. It looks like we can get the price down considerably on the sewer pipe encasing debacle so work can continue and the rest of the build isn't held up. Thankfully, the guys were able to plug it over the weekend to avert disaster! Phew.

That's all for now, folks!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Week Two of the Build

We've just been over to the house and wow, what a transformation in only a week!

The only problem is, of course, we have a slight hitch. I suppose it's not surprising for unexpected things to crop up but this one is going to be even more costly than it was already going to be! Basically, as a sewer pipe runs across the property at the front, we have to encase it to ensure that it is not damaged at any point during the build and so it can be easily accessed by the council if required (which hopefully will be unlikely).

The whole exercise had been assessed by the appropriate people and a contractor employed to undertake the job for a specified quote. When they started work on it yesterday, they discovered that the pipe is further into the ground than they thought: that the high end is 2.7 metres rather 1.6 metres deep as originally thought and the low end, which was originally thought to be 0.8 metres deep, is 3 metres deep. How they could have got it so wrong, I don't know. And now they're saying it's going to cost nearly double than originally quoted!!

View down the side with the hole where the sewer pipe lies

We are, of course, going to dispute the huge increase but they do have us by the short and curlies (as hubby would say) as they are already in the middle of the job and it really, really needs to get done before any other work can commence. The last thing we, and everyone else, wants is a popped sewer pipe. The thought doesn't bear thinking about.

Last wall still standing

I guess the moral of this story, is to try and have some extra money squirrelled away in the event that things don't go as planned (which I don't think they ever do on builds or renos). As, even with a fixed contract, as we have, the budget can implode.

The pipes for the sewer

The offending site of the sewer pipe

View of the view

What can I say, except let's hope our builder project manager can do some good negotiating on Monday.

I hope you all have fantabulous weekend!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Is this House for Real?

Check out this house ....

Aside from the amazing photography (by a guy called Wm MacCollum), the too-perfect-to-be-real grass, the delicious blue sky, the gorgeous all-white stepping slabs and all-round symmetry of the piece, it's hard to believe this is someone's home.

A stunning piece of modernist architecture, sure, but could you live in it?

Located in Montecito, it was designed by Californian-based designer and developer Steve Hermann and is now for sale. While I wouldn't want to buy it, I wouldn't mind having a nosey around!

What a bathroom (let's hope there are blinds!)

While our new house will definitely be channelling white, it will be timber and there will be open plan living but not pavilion-style. Hopefully we, too, will have a stunning lawn (so long as Ruby doesn't dig any holes) and some scrumptious blue sky that Sydney does so well (most of the time).

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Week One of the Build

The build has officially been going for one week now - yipee! It feels surreal not being there. Although I could pop down daily, I don't want to get in the way and I also want to keep an element of surprise. My plan is weekly visits unless I'm urgently needed. So far, the front fence and garage are gone.

Now, they are merely a pile of rubble on the front lawn.

The beautiful bricks we can re-use.

Pretty isn't it?

With the garage gone, the builders have erected a 'bridge over rubbled waters' to the house.

Where you'll find a roof-less kitchen ...

a roofless master bedroom (it's amazing how much bigger and lighter everything looks without a ceiling!) ...

a non-room with a view...

and a floor-less, roof-less living space.

But I promise I won't keep posting pictures of rubble and muck and roof-less rooms forever. Even the kookaburra in the neighbour's tree looked non-plussed ...

Over the next week I'm going to scout around for some rubble-less, muck-less, homes with roofs that will be far more visually appealing, eye-catching and inspirational.

Watch this space!
LOL :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beach Memories Framed

Remember the holiday photos I showed you a while back that I was thinking of framing? Well, they're done! My amateur snaps haven't come up too bad - helped along, no less, by the recycled timber frames from the Southbank Market in Melbourne. They will certainly add some zing to the walls at the bach, if nothing else!  

Storm Brewing on Byron Bay Beach

Island Gull

Footprint in the Sand

Friday, June 18, 2010

Vintage Keys

Still on my travels to Sydney's Dank St (you can see I had a good time on this visit!), we went to one shop whose name I am sorry to say I forget, but it was in the PYD Building, and some things caught my eye ...

large, vintage Indian keys and ...

kitchen scale weights ...

I love their heavy solidity, rich colour and sense of history. The keys remind me of my old French cellar door key necklace, which I happened to be wearing that day!

The weight I plan to use as exactly that - a paper weight - and I'm thinking of framing the keys in a white box frame.

I found two bloggers who have done just this - here and here - but as I am unable to upload their photos, you'll have to click on the link to see what they look like.

What do you think? Any ideas for other things I could do with the keys?

P.S The build officially started on Tuesday (hooray!) but the first few weeks will be all about getting the site prepared, taking off the roof and dismantling the bricks, literally, brick by brick so we can re-use them. It's all very exciting, although slightly surreal. For not being there, makes it feel like it's not really happening!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ruby Star Traders

On our visit to Sydney's Waterloo, we stopped by Ruby Star Traders which is an emporium of all things furniture, homewares and textiles sourced mainly from India. And I bought these ...

Aren't they beautiful? They're sheets of velvet-embossed paper which you could use for wrapping gifts, craft, or even frame as wall art. Wouldn't they be gorgeous as wallpaper?

Check out their 2010 catalogue here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Doug up on Bourke

A week ago I abandoned my desk and the work I had to do to accompany my interior designer friend, Rachel, on a reccy of the design and furniture strip around Sydney's Dank St, Waterloo. On our way home, we popped into what is possibly the best shop of all time - Doug up on Bourke at 901 Bourke St - that specialises in ALL kinds of stuff from the 1850s to the 1950s. It's a place where you go back in time and get lost in a world of industrial, commercial and homely rustic antiques. Where you're met at the door by the creepiest mannequin ever who stands spookily by the stairs in front of an Aussie classic - a Four 'n Twenty Pie sign. There are baskets of used shoe lasts, dozens of old oars, street signs, taxidermied animals' heads (unfortunately hubby likes the smiling hog - ugh!) ...

mounds of old suitcases,

hundreds of tatty, tired and not-so-tired tables and desks,

railway station chairs, signs and accessories,

sporting equipment and watering cans,

quirky tin animals,

lamp shades and tins and odds and sods of goodness knows what else,

and then you have to walk past creepy mannequin-man again ...

Oh how I love that place. I'll be back, Doug up on Bourke.


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