Before and After Colour

About 12 months ago I was asked to advise on exterior colour for a friend of a past client. I love word of mouth client’s, they are just as nice as the client who referred them!

Before

Before

The house sat on the lower side of the road and the client wanted the house to look bigger. After I blu tac-ed a few colours onto the wall we settled for Dulux Barnfloor. The gutters, barge boards and fascias were going to be Colorbond Woodland Grey and the window frames would be Dulux Whisper White.

Colorbond Woodland Grey

Colorbond Woodland Grey

Dulux Barnfloor

Dulux Barnfloor

Dulux Whisper White

Dulux Whisper White

To make the house appear bigger, I chose to use the Whisper White on the Gable End Batons and the Verandah Beams and Brackets and Awning. I suggested the verandah posts be painted the dark Woodland Grey as in my mind the dark colour gives strength to the timber. However the client preferred to paint the posts white to lighten up the facade of the house.

New Exterior Colour

New Exterior Colour

Either way, the paint looks great and lifts the house into the current era.

If you would like assistance choosing paint colours for the exterior of your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

 

Wirelessly checking on your plants

Apart from interiors, I am also a keen gardener. I love getting outside with a pair of gloves and a two pronged weeder. Something about digging around in the dirt calms my nerves.

IMG_1941

I am also blown away by the technology we have at our fingertips these days. I am of the age where I can remember making the first phone call on the home phone. I can remember getting excited watching a piece of paper pass through a machine and knowing that someone, somewhere was seeing that same piece of paper. And don’t get me started on the capabilities of smart phones and the myriad of information we now have in the palm of our hands.

To Do

So I eagerly accepted the offer to road test the new Parrot Flower Power. It is the first smart wireless sensor designed to help you take care of your plants and provide advice to keep them flourishing all year round. A lovely potted paper plant was delivered to my door with a funny looking green twig inside the pot. That’s the monitor with bluetooth smart technology.  A quick read of the instructions (not much into reading manuals, I’d rather do!) and I downloaded the app onto my phone.

Parrot Flower Power

Parrot Flower Power

Now I’ve always had houseplants and the spathiphyllum or Peace Lily is one of my favourites. I’ve had them for years with their green glossy leaves and elegant white flowers. I have one in the dining room on a plant stand my MIL gave us as a wedding present. So I popped the Parrot thingy into the pot and started to watch the magic.

Peace Lily on Plant Stand

Peace Lily on Plant Stand when we first moved in over 10 years ago

I don’t tend to go into the dining room often so it was a great test of the app. It sort of became addictive to check in on how the plant was going. Previously I would walk past the plant notice it was drooping and give it a cup of water. Aah, but with the app, I now know when it needs fertilising, more sunlight, higher room temperature and extra water. It’s very cool.

Peace Lily

There are over 6000 plants, trees and vegetables in the database and the monitor can go outside. So if you are having difficulties with any of your plants you just pop the monitor into the ground next to the plant, add the particular plant to your phone via the app and then check in every couple of days to see how it’s going and what needs to be done.

Parrot Flower Power Monitor in pot

Parrot Flower Power Monitor in pot

I must say, my plant is looking very healthy, as I now know it needs a spell in the kitchen once a week to receive more sunlight and the odd cup of liquid fertiliser goes down a treat too.

Light

The Parrot Flower Power can be purchased at Apple Stores, DIY stores and selected landscaping and nursery outlets at an RRP of $79.99.

Dining Room Now

Peace Lily on Plant Stand now

 

 

Period Style Kitchens

When I assist my clients transform their house into a home, I have two main criteria. I prefer to stay as sympathetic as possible to the style and architecture of the building and I must create a home which reflects the lifestyle and personalities of the occupants.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.05.13 pm

There are many period style houses in my immediate area and many people wish to update them to suit today’s lifestyle. No-one wants to prepare meals the way they did during Federation back in 1901. However it is nice to keep some of the features like taps and sinks.

gold1901federationtap

Restoration Online are now supplying a new range of taps from 1901 Sinks and Taps reflecting the design of that era. Whilst these taps are based on the styles and shapes used in the early 1900’s they would also suit a Hamptons, Provincial or Farmhouse style kitchen, especially teamed with a porcelain butler’s sink.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 1.04.55 pm

Which style of kitchen do you prefer, period or modern?

Butler's Sink

If you would like assistance creating a kitchen to suit your lifestyle and home, contact us for an appointment.

Rosie Basket The Market Basket Co. RRP $65.00

And don’t forget you only have one more day to enter our giveaway! You could be shopping with your gorgeous Market Basket Co basket.

DIY Projects

Woo Hoo, it’s a long weekend and another one next weekend. It’s the perfect time to undertake a few of those DIY projects you have been meaning to start.

Porter’s Paints have released a brand new product called Chalk Emulsion, which is ideal for painting furniture giving a chalky, soft finish. The product doesn’t need priming so can be applied directly to picture frames, shelving, flea market finds and furniture.

Porter's Paints Chalk Emulsion

Porter’s Paints Chalk Emulsion How To Video

Perhaps designing is more your thing. Digital Fabrics are looking for you, then. The company is running a competition for Australian residents which involves designing a print for fashion and interiors. There are some great prizes including $500 of credit for printing, 2 weeks paid internship and 5m of fabric printed with your design. If this sounds like something that would interest you, you can find out all the important information, here.

Just a small snapshot of the fabrics available from Digital Fabrics.

Just a small snapshot of the fabrics available from Digital Fabrics.

One of our favourite cushion suppliers has released a number of items for sale this weekend. It’s the perfect time to change up your cushions for some richer, darker shades for winter.

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 4.54.14 pm

Bandhini Cushions

And if you’re gathering the clan for an Easter meal, take some inspiration from our Easter Decorating Pinterest Board and create a festive air to your home and table.

Cute Easter Centrepiece

Cute Easter Centrepiece

Whatever you do this weekend, take some time to remember the reason for the season.

Happy Easter!

Creative Colours

A few weeks ago a staff member from the Warringah Council phoned to ask if I could help with a colour scheme for a new building. Of course I said yes and made a time to visit the site and discuss the requirements. Council were remodelling a disused Scout Hall and turning it into a Creative Space.

Front view of new Art Space before

Front view of new Art Space before

View of front door after

Front view of after

The feature of the build was, that apart from the roof, every product was recycled. The materials which were in the building that would not be required were being sent away to be used elsewhere and any new materials were sourced from Kimbriki.

Rear of building before

Rear of building before

Rear of building after

Rear of building after

The council had fairly recently updated their image and brand and had new corporate colours which they hoped to use on the building.

Council Corporate Colours

Council Corporate Colours

The building was set on the edge of playing fields and opposite a residential area. The council needed the building to stand out so it could be seen on approach yet didn’t want it garish and offensive to the neighbours. They also wanted the integrity of the building and the recycled materials to remain a feature yet not look like a shack.

Side view of building before

Side view of building before

Side building after

Side building after

The building opened last month and it looks great. The building sits amongst she-oaks and so the building didn’t stand out too much I chose a grey for the body of the building. Using the orange and purple from the Council’s corporate colours, I selected different areas to highlight and give the building life. It will be used as a creative space and these two colours ooze creativity.

Open studio before

Open studio before

Open studio after

Open studio after

I chose to leave some of the timber beams unpainted as well as the recycled colorbond sheeting which forms the subfloor walls. The side area which will form a breakout or semi open studio had beautiful rusty walls. I wanted to leave them unpainted but painted the recycled pool fence and ladders to tie this area in with the main building.

Back verandah before

Back verandah before

Back verandah after

Back verandah after

I think it looks great and will breathe new life into what could have been just another abandoned building.

Signage If you would like assistance choosing colours for the exterior of your building, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Amazing Before and After

Whenever I am asked to consult on exterior colours, I will check out the home on Google Street View.

This assists in preparing me for the type of house and construction so I can make sure I take the correct tools of trade. I can also have a look at the neighbouring properties and sometimes formulate some ideas prior to arriving for the consultation.

Home as it is now

Home as it is now

This happened last week, when a previous client phoned to make an appointment for their rental property at Palm Beach. The client explained that the previous owner had been inspired by the Pastis Hotel in St Tropez. She sent me photos of the home as it is now and also a link to the hotel website.

Pastis Hotel, St Tropez

Pastis Hotel, St Tropez

But the biggest surprise came when I checked it out on Google Street View. Wow, what a transformation!

Home before

Home before

If you would like assistance choosing a colour scheme for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

Turn your home from drab to fab

We all love a good before and after shot. It’s amazing what can be done with different houses and rooms. One of the easiest ways to change your home from drab to fab is with a coat of paint.

Exterior of home before

Exterior of home before

A recent study of 1,000 Australian homeowners found that one quarter (24%) of people try to hide rooms away behind closed doors when visitors arrive, and 31% claim that their spare room has become a useless dumping ground. 80% of us would like to change their homes’ appearance and 57% don’t use certain rooms as much as they would like to as a result.

Exterior of home after

Exterior of home after

Taubmans and Shaynna Blaze are laying down a challenge – The Taubmans Endure Paint Challenge – trying to encourage and inspire Australians to break out of the decorating rut.

homepage_hero-image-flyer

The Taubmans Endure Paint Challenge aims to demystify home decoration and help Australians with the process of painting, from that initial spark of creativity to the final coat by providing everything they need – from inspiration and equipment, to fail safe colour palettes and expert tips. The website is full of helpful tips and advice for DIYers to finally act instead of just thinking and dreaming about a new look home.

DIY tricks 2

If you would like to change the look of your home, register for the challenge at the website, buy a can of Taubmans paint from Bunnings and keep your receipt. Take a before photo, get painting and then take an after photo and submit the images by 26 April 2014.

Paint Tin

Worst case scenario is you have that much wished for painted home. Best case scenario, you win one of the $150,000 worth of prizes which includes Bunnings vouchers and a photo shoot and magazine spread.

IMG_1119

If you would like assistance with your home makeover from choosing paint colours to installing window coverings, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

The garden, twelve months on

2012 was the year of the much anticipated renovation of our Californian Bungalow on Sydney’s north shore. The builders left on Christmas eve, however, there was still a mountain of work to do. My husband decided he would paint the exterior of the house and of course there was a trashed area of the garden which needed a complete overhaul.

Builders' mess

Builders’ mess

Twelve months ago this weekend, the garden makeover started. My Dad flew down from Brisbane and we all pitched in and started marking out the garden which Nadia had designed for us.

Beginning to build a garden wall

Beginning to build a garden wall

For the next couple of months, the beds gradually were made. Organic Garden mix was delivered and poured on top of the existing soil which I had been feeding with gypsum.

The site resembled a lunar landscape

The site resembled a lunar landscape

Then the fun began. I visited the nursery and ordered the 200+ plants. I like to let everyone know that I dug the holes and planted each and every one of those babies.

Top soil all spread and ready for planting

Top soil all spread and ready for planting

Then the wood chip mulch arrived and we spread that over the gardens.

Little bitty plants all sitting pretty

Little bitty plants all sitting pretty

Taking shape

Taking shape

I’ve been pouring the water and fertilizer onto the plants and am thrilled to say that the garden is now taking shape.

I finally have a row of Magnolia Little Gems.

I finally have a row of Magnolia Little Gems.

Whilst I have been lovingly caring for the plants, my husband has been busy laying paths which lead from the driveway to the front door and stepping stones to the back door.

After the builders left

After the builders left

Building the gardens

Building the gardens

Nice new path

Nice new path

It’s so easy to look around and see what still needs to be done, but looking through the photos for this post, I can say I’m thrilled with how much we’ve achieved over the past twelve months with only working on the weekends.

How it was

How it was

How it is now

How it is now

Now we can put our energy into the driveway and fixing that broken wall. Does it ever end?

Before

Before

After

After – Hopefully in another twelve months that fence will be covered in sweet smelling jasmine.

If you would like assistance with your home renovation, contact us for an appointment.

Staring at the toilet

It’s one of my biggest bugbears. You know when you look into a bathroom and the toilet stares right back at you. And if that bathroom is seen as you enter a home or on your way through the home to the living area, it’s worse.

DSC01893 Unfortunately this is the case with many homes in Australia built before 1950. That’s when the outhouses started to vanish and the toilets were moved inside. Prior to that time, the bathroom inside was just for washing and the toilet had its own building about 100 metres from the house.

The easy answer if like me, you don’t like looking at a toilet as you pass the bathroom, is to move it. However, that’s easier said than done! Moving plumbing is a costly exercise and sometimes it’s just not possible due to limited subfloor access, concrete flooring or existing plumbing arrangements. So the next best option is to create a focal point that takes the eye away from the big white bowl.

DSC03476 This bathroom was a perfect example. The clients didn’t want to do major renovations to move the toilet behind the door and “hide” it from view. In a perfect world, I suggested moving the toilet to right of the door, where the vanity sits, and swing the door the opposite way. Instead we moved it slightly and although it can still be seen from the hallway, we created a spacious shower that became the main attraction of the bathroom. The clients no longer needed a bath and opted for an oversized shower recess. A modern vanity and large mirror helped to reflect light and make a showpiece bathroom rather than an afterthought.

DSC03477 If you would like assistance renovating your bathroom, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.

What a difference a year makes

This time last year we were saying farewell to our builders and then making a mad dash for the supermarket to stock up on Christmas day lunch essentials.

Make shift Christmas tree amongst the boxes

Make shift Christmas tree amongst the boxes

Our Christmas 2012, the first one in our much anticipated renovated home, was not quite what I had envisioned with no time to put up a tree or to fully unpack.

Boxes as far as the eye could see

Boxes as far as the eye could see

The last twelve months has seen alot of painting

Painting

Painting

and gardening,

Making new gardens

Making new gardens

cooking

Had to feed the hungry workers

Had to feed the hungry workers

and installing.

Finished Plate Wall

Finished Plate Wall

And just when it looked like the end was in sight,

Painting

Painting

there was more to do.

Painting

Painting

The house has come along way in those twelve months and I’m pleased to say this year’s Christmas is a little more organised and a lot more relaxed.

View from the front door before we renovated

View from the front door before we renovated

I hope all the preparations at your place are going along smoothly and you will have a wonderful Christmas surrounded by friends, family and loved ones.

View from the front door after we renovated

View from the front door after we renovated

We are taking a month off and will be back at work on 20 January. You can check in on Facebook and Instagram to see what I’m up to in the meantime.

Our house when we bought it

Our house when we bought it

Thank you so much for joining me here throughout the year. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Our house today

Our house today

Open modal