Friday, July 30, 2010

Mirror Magic

I thought I'd end the week with something a little different. We often see rooms with walls covered in quirky vintage mirrors, which is a great look, I'm sure most would agree. But what about an ultra-modern room with modern mirrors lining one wall ..?

I kinda like it? Do you?

 Image courtesy The Contemporist

And here's a birds-eye of the living area in the same house.
Great photography; interesting house.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Week 5 of the Build

And so not a lot may look different to what went on in week four. But progress is being made.

I love the blue wheelbarrow, don't you? It's there to help with backfilling the main retaining wall so that the cut-away ground ends up meeting concrete.

Here, you can see the drop that needs filling. There were men down there when I visited who looked as if they were disappearing underground to go mining!

I'm really looking forward to seeing the old sandstone foundations in their new home - all buffed and looking like new (well, new-ish as I do want to retain some sense of rusticity).

The old garage wall still stands as if in memory of the house that is no longer.

The next stage is to:
1. Excavate the pool,
2. Form and pour the concrete for the pool,
3. Form and pour the lower-bedroom slab - which will be on the lower side of the site, behind the pool.

See you next time! xox

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mirror Revamped: Going Silver

From feeling down about my useless floorboards, I'm now feeling great about my revamped mirror!

Deciding that we had far too much wood in our bedroom - from the chest of drawers to the sleigh bed to the bedside tables - and after seeing some gorgeous antique-silver painted mirrors in a local design store with a four-figure price tag, I thought I'd have a go at turning our wooden mirror (above) silver.

Now, some might say that we had a perfectly good mirror frame and why attack it with an amateur paint job. Well, I'd probably agree but I was up for the challenge and hubby didn't seem to mind (or maybe he just wasn't listening).

Yet, while I fancied adding a little bit of glam to the boudoir, I didn't want a glitzy or fake, tinselly-type of silver colour either. With some help from my local Dulux paint man, I settled on Dulux Metallic in Pearl with a dash of Zinsser Smart Prime primer and some sanding to start with.

The added bonus of both paints is that they are water-based so brushes are easy-to-clean, they have virtually no odour and things can be re-coated the same day. My kind of low-effort painting.

I will let you know, however, that I've had them sitting in the laundry for the past month as I've not only been busy with other things but will admit I was little nervous about potentially ruining the mirror and having to put it out on the roadside for someone else to attack!

First coat sparkling in the sun

Putting my lack of confidence aside, I finally decided to give it a go on the weekend and I have to say, am more than pleased with the results

Second coat

The colour is just what I wanted and I think it now adds a certain je ne said quoi to the mantle and my trinkets that surround it. I hope you all agree!

Now I'm looking around for other things to paint silver ...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

One Sad Recycler

I'm feeling a bit down today and it's all to do with nails.
Yes, that's right, nails. And I'm not talking about a bad manicure.

I'm talking about hidden nails in the original hardwood floorboards from our old house.

I've been harping on for ages about how I was going to get a table made from them and when we finally get around to talking with a specialist furniture maker (today), we discover there are hidden nails in the boards which mean they can't be tarted up in a machine. Even if they're taken out, they'll leave large, unslightly holes.

We found all this out after making a trip up the Northern Beaches to Mona Vale where craftsman and furniture-maker Jeffrey Broadfield has a studio. I learnt about his work when I did a story for Green Magazine on ultra-green architects and lifestylers Ashley Dunn and Lee Hillam of Workshop 1. Anyway ... It wasn't until Jeffrey put one of the boards in his machine sander to check out the wood that he discovered the nails. And, thankfully, didn't ruin his machine! The sanded wood ended up like this ...

Jeffrey does some amazing things. He showed us a massive door made from ironbark that was 3 metres by 1.8 metres, custom-made for someone's house and a bathroom basin made from recycled wood surrounding a copper chef's bowl - very cool. My plan had been to have a long, narrow trestle-style table that could line the stone wall which will flank one side of the entrance hall.

But, alas, useless timber and a floorboard table we will not have. Sigh ...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Building Commences

With everything that's been going on here recently I've been a bit slack at keeping on top of documenting the build. I only took photos of last week's progress (week four) on Tuesday and have now only just found time to post them. Needless to say, it's hardly riveting stuff unless you love concrete!

Lots of concrete, that is. A retaining wall has been built between the two levels of land to encase the lawn at the back (back left where the site office sits) and to partition the area between it and where the pool will go (back right) and, of course, to ensure earth doesn't move.

A bit of a side view. Please do take time to admire all the concrete as it's costing many arms and legs.

Stunning, shiny pipes sit in what's left of the old garage that will encase the footings beneath the ground. And never be seen again.

Scrunch up your eyes for a minute and imagine that in this pile of mud and rubble there lies a sparkling blue pool surrounded by lush vegetation and stylish landscaping, to-die-for poolside seating with summer cocktails awaiting to quench your thirst ... oops, I digress. There's a rather a lot of work to be done before we get even close to such a picturesque scene!

See you next time xox

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

An Award!

Hello friends! How is everyone? Well, I'm pretty chuffed as I've just received my first blogging award from the lovely Nellie at McCarthy Designs.

Nellie couldn't be more versatile by being a banker, a design student, a home renovator, a wife and a mother. She's even starting to document her get-fit scheme via Trish from A Dream House for Trish at A Dream Body for Trish!

Getting the Versatile Blogger Award means I need to share seven things about myself (oh dear!) and pass the award on to five other bloggers whom I admire. As I have a think about what seven things I 'd like to divulge, here are five bloggers whose blogs I love, get inspired by and learn things from:

Jules at The Diversion Project whose posts always include a whole bunch of cool stuff;
Will at Bright Bazaar - a man with a unique, colourful, and astute design eye. His blogs are full of eye candy;
Diana at Express-O whose blogs and comments on mine brighten my day;
Donna from A Perfect Gray who's made me love the colour gray even more;
Julie at Olive and Joy who has a beautiful blog with beautiful things and wonderful finds.

I'd love you all to play along - but its not obligatory, of course - and if you do, thank the giver, share seven things about yourself and pass the award on to five others. Have fun!

Now, for ...
Seven Things About Me (you never thought you'd want to know!)

1. I love beautiful gardens but hate gardening. Weeding is so terribly dull. Could someone invent a weed-free garden, please?

2. If I had all the money in the world, I'd have fresh, clean sheets and a perfectly made bed everyday. Even when I don't get the chance to make the bed in the mornings (which is rare) I will always make it before I get in bed that night which my hubby thinks is ridiculous! (Does that make me weird?)

3. The worst job I've had would have to be cleaning motel rooms which I did part-time when I was at university. But it did give me a high level of respect for cleaners and taught me how to do perfect hospital corners on beds (maybe that explains answer #3 ...?)

4. I'd rather be writing novels more than anything else (although no one has paid me to do so yet and most likely never will!)

5. Despite being 6 ft I have a terrible fear of heights which is only getting worse with age. I am embarrassed to say that a couple of years ago I had an anxiety attack a quarter of the way up Sydney's Luna Park ferris wheel in which I didn't think I could cope with going all the way round and nearly squeezed my daughter's hand off in the process!

6. I never go anyway without my trainers. For me a bit of exercise is like therapy for the soul.

7. If I could eat nothing but pasta every day until I die, I'd be one very happy Italian-loving mama!

Oh, to live here in this Tuscan villa where I didn't have to garden, had gorgeous clean sheets all the time, never got vertigo and could write and eat pasta all day!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Framing Vintage Keys: DIY Craft

You might remember a while back I posted on some vintage keys I bought and how I thought I might frame them. Well, instead of getting some fancy-pancy frame made, like a box frame with special glass etc, I decided to use a frame I already had and do it myself.

I thought one of the recycled and distressed frames I bought in Melbourne would be perfect. I took out the seagull photo and removed the glass.

Remembering we had a pile of hessian coffee sacks in the garage leftover from sack races played at the girls' beach birthday parties a couple of years ago, I got one out and cut a rectangle slightly larger than the backing board.

I arranged the keys on the hessian with the frame in place to see how it would look.

Then, with some twine - the same twine I used on the driftwood sculpture in my last post that matched the hessian perfectly - I tied the keys in place on the other side, using a pencil to widen the holes so the twine could thread through.

Lastly, I taped the hessian to the back of the board and fitted it into the frame.

And voila! One framing job that cost next-to-nothing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Nature's Inspiration

While we were away, I got very inspired by some of nature's wonders: their colours and tones which, I discovered on our return home, are identikits for some of the paint cards I've collected on my travels.

Such as the soft greys of this eucalypt that was in the property of the house in which we were staying.

The whites and dark greys of the beautiful pelicans.

The charcoal grey of beach stones and the creamy whites of some of the shells.

The paint cards shown are, from left to right: Wattyl Sheer Granite, Berger Night Flight, Berger Octavius Oak, Wattyl Colorbond Ironstone and Dulux Antique White USA (which I am always seeing referenced in magazines and I'm thinking must be a good basic white for walls).

And the driftwood on the beach which I decided to turn into a hanging sculpture with some twine.

Oh, how I love to bring a bit of the beach home with me!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Week Three of the Build

Back from our week away it was exciting to take a trip back to the site (I can no longer call it 'The House') and see what's been done in the past week.

It's easy when we're not there to keep thinking of the build in the abstract but when I visit, I get little butterfly flutters in my stomach at the realisation that it's really happening and progress is being made every day.

The house has completely gone, apart from the bricks we are re-using, which are in a pile next to the site office at the back of the property and the sewer has been encased and re-covered in soil.

The native ferns that lined the middle of the property have been moved to the front fence-line in the hope they will survive (apparently they don't like being transplanted) and can stay in the garden.

And a nice pile of rock and the sandstone from the house lies next to the ferns that will be used in the landscaping.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Light Blue Sofas

I like a light blue sofa. But I've never had one. Have you?
They go so well with wood and white, even gray and lilac.
For a coastal theme or for something a bit more glam.
These rooms are both sumptious and serene at the same time.

I think I like this sofa and its colour the best, especially as the room has my favourite ostrich feather light by Haldane Martin as a hanging pendant. Sigh.

Enjoy the weekend!


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