Archive for the ‘renovation’ Category

Re-upholstered Verge Find

March 17, 2012
bar stool rescue

bar stool rescue

The week we first moved into our house there was a verge collection. On one of his 6billion-Super-Awesome-help-us-move-trailer-trips my Dad found 3 bar stools on the side of the road. They used to look like this:

bar stool - before

Bar stool - roadside find

They were actually worse than this, legs and support bars had fallen off completely, but it was all glued back together by my hubby and Dad before I could blink.

We had never had a breakfast bar before and so we didn’t own any stools. I think the boys were so tired from all the moving they were dying for somewhere to sit. Poor things had to glue their own stools!

Well, they stayed like this for quite some time, secure but not pretty.

new foam - Clarke Rubber, Fabric - Ikea

new foam - Clarke Rubber, Fabric - Ikea

Finally sick of the dogy look of them I resolved to redo them.

I’m trying to have some pops of yellow in my kitchen for a bit of happiness and fun and thought the bar stools would be a good place to ‘pop some yellow!’

I found some yellow and grey stripe fabric at ikea, could it be more perfect, or better priced? Plus it ties into my grey bench tops perfectly. I then resisited the urge to spray paint the legs yellow and got some white spray paint.  I finally went to Clarke Rubber and got them to cut some new foam to size for the top.

Then I snapped my fingers (hahahah)…ok I fought with my nail gun, sewed up a storm and several sheets of sandpaper and cans of spray paint later….

Ta Da…..

Yellow and white upholstered kitchen bar stools

Yellow and white upholstered kitchen bar stools

refinished yellow and white bar stools

refinished yellow and white bar stools

I’m loving how happy they are and how comfy the new cushions are! I wish I’d bought more of that fabric though, there’s none left at my ikea!

Yellow and grey kitchens

Yellow in the kitchen

What to do with Huggies boxes?

September 10, 2010

Use them as a temporary wardrobe!
We’ll we’ve moved! There will be photos, but right now I’m up to my ears in boxes with no end insight because anyone with an older home will know, there is NO storage! We’re yet to hook up to the net but when we do I’ll be back blogging away. Until then I’ll try and dig my way out of the box madness!

Wallpaper Samples

August 12, 2010

Its here! My samples are here. If you want to try and buy wallpaper in Perth you should totally do it this way!

yellow wallpaper samples

yellow wallpaper samples

I found it hard to find anywhere that supplied a really broad range of papers in Perth. So I found this website. Wallpaper direct is amazing. You can browse all kinds of papers then buy samples. You even get a couple for free, I got 7 samples all sent to me for about $10. Decent sized samples too, A4. Its a UK website but they ship to Australia. It has a HUGE range and its not overly expensive either. Here are the real life samples of the yellow wallpaper I blogged about earlier.

yellow wallpaper

I hung them up to help me try and choose

I was so glad I got samples. They really do look different in real life.

This yellow geometric pattern is great and it has this amazing texture, almost foamy. I like it but I dont think it would stay very clean, especially in a kitchen.

yellow wallpaper

yellow and white textured wallpaper

Can you see it?

In real life the colours sometimes look different. This peony wallpaper is a tad too orange-y for what I want, it too is different in real life. There is a visibly painted effect which is lovely.

yellow wallpaper

orangey yellow

I think I like this sapling one the best. Its the simplest of the papers and a little bit more modern than I would have expected to choose but its so cheerful and seems so fresh!

bright and cheerful wallpaper

bright and cheerful wallpaper - sapling

I threw in a couple of samples of some other papers that I thought might be nice for things for the girls.

wallpaper for girls

wallpaper for the girls

I was pleasantly surprised how much I loved this one. My eldest is already claiming it as ‘My pretty bird paper’, she wants to hold it all the time.

pretty bird wallpaper

pretty bird wallpaper

It looked nice on the site but now I’ve seen it in real life I love it and must have it. The next question is what to do with it? Oh it will come to me!

Actually hanging these samples up around the house has given me inspiration of how to hang wallpaper in an alternative way, somehow using the recesses of your doors…hmmmm, I feel an idea whirring.

Yellow in the kitchen

July 29, 2010

Right now I’m looking for ways to inject some yellow into my new kitchen

yellow stripes painted on a wall?

If only I could find some french bistro style stools like this in yellow and white

french bistro breakfast stool

french bistro breakfast stool

Where can I get these in Perth??! Could I possibly have some made with yellow woven into that white? Just like there is blue woven into the same seats here in this kitchen. Totally to die for isn’t it, there isn’t one thing I don’t like about this kitchen.

beautiful blue and white traditional kitchen

How about some yellow glass brick tiles to complete the look:

Yellow Glass Brick Tiles

Yellow Glass Brick Tiles - Crosby Tiles

These tiles are by an Australian tile manufacturer called Southern Cross Ceramics. I’ve used their mosaic tiles before in the bathroom and I love them. I’ve been looking for an excuse to use more brick style tiles!

What about one of these yellow wallpapers?

yellow and white wallpaper

yellow and white wallpaper

wisteria in yellow and white

yellow and white wallpaper - peony

peony in yellow and white

Ahhh yellow, how I love thee.

God is in the detail – Carpentry

July 23, 2010

Now this renovation is no van der Rohe. I’m also certainly not a huge fan of modernist architecture, although I still appreciate it. I do however love the idea of ‘less is more’ and ‘God [being] in the detail’. I think if you get your details right you’ll find that’s where the heart of your design comes together, where it sticks and finds its identity. Ideals and theory’s aside, here are the details thus far:

We’ve replaced all the doors with some solid wood doors. The doors were original but there was nothing special about them. They were hollow core doors and the top wood had warped over all the internal framing. They were split at the bottom and falling apart, not to mention hovering 10cm above the ground and no sound barrier what so ever. Sound proofing is very important in a small house with napping children!

new solid wood doors

I got at a great price from my window and door carpenter on some rejected custom made solid wood doors. If you go to the manufacturer of windows and doors or at the very least the guy who does their installing you’re likely to be able to pick up a great ‘mistake’. I got these custom made doors at a 1/3rd of the price. The customer the doors were originally made for thought they didn’t match the original doors in their house well enough. Seeing I only needed a few and I wasn’t trying to match anything I had the joy of flexibility.

We’ve repaired and replaced the damaged and missing windows. There were literally windows just boarded up.

boarded up windows

We fitted out the kitchen with the cheapest cabinets we could find which happened to be Ikea Applad. Yes plain plain white. That’s it. No frills. I’m actually really happy with how it turned out. Now its not my dream kitchen but its neat and simple, and that’s ok with me. It will certainly be more than ok for the next couple of years.

Building the kitchen, and some repaired windows in the background

I’m currently choosing bench top colours. I’ve been talked out of all white, so I’m just choosing which grey I should go with

Cast Concrete


Bliss Cinder

I’m leaning towards Cast Concrete because I was advised that the Cinder might show up scratches more easily. I’m also planning on incorporating some yellow details so I think they will go better with the Cast Concrete.

The floors which were treated with some sort of odd brown paint/stain now shine in all their jarrah glory after having a good sand and polish. I now have jarrah coloured dust everywhere. The boards were so old and unloved they were very dry which causes more dust than the sanding of newer wood. Eventually I’ll get rid of it all.

polished and unpolished jarrah boards

One of the final carpentry based things we’ve done is fit an access ladder to the attic. The attic is unconverted at this point but we find attics in old houses make great storage. The tradies have appreciated the easy access to the roof space too, so it was wise to fit in the beginning of the build process and not at the end. At some point we’ll put in some flooring nothing fancy, just a place to rest our boxes and baby paraphernalia!

access ladder all folded away

Yes that is a new ceiling and new paint, once the ladder is painted in it will hardly be noticed!

Access Ladder and matched in skirting boards

Aren’t the floors coming up beautifully?! Isn’t it amazing what paint can do, whilst there is still more to do, this hall already looks a world away from when we bought it. You can see some of the skirting is not painted in the back there, that’s a new section of wall, (the back of the bedroom wardrobe). Luckily when it came to replacing skirting we pretty much needed just as much as we ripped out! So by being careful in the demolition we could reuse all the original skirting that was either on walls we took down or stashed under the house. We just got the carpenter who installed the beading on the floors to put them back on for us. He was happy to do it as part of the job and it only took him about 10 extra minutes to do 4 small sections.

It’s really coming along at a great rate now.

the rebuild

July 20, 2010

Its been a while since I posted a decent update on the renovation, so look out there are a few posts coming in a hurry.

That’s the way it is with renovation, there are times of nothing, then times of lots happening, then before you know it, its done! If a renovation is going well your times of nothing shouldn’t be very long, but they are often necessary, sometimes in this fast paced world its good to remember to let things take the time they are supposed to. You’ll end up with a better product in the long run.

Well my last post showed all the demolition. So this one is about the rebuild.

In the master bedroom we blocked up the back of the wardrobe we’d created and patched a massive part of the damaged wall.

master bedroom with new robe and repaired wall

Actually I was impressed at how easy it was to repair the wall, we got someone to do it, but afterward I realised it would be quite a simple DIY job for someone with a bit of nous. Essentially you remove with a chisel and mallet the damaged plaster. Which should be pretty easy seeing its damaged. Then you fix a piece of plaster board to the brick work and patch with filler the join to the plaster. Hopefully we dont have more damaged walls but I think you could seriously repair one if you needed to.

In the kitchen we had the wall rebuilt and plastered.

kitchen wall rebuilt

The wall was built out into the laundry, which has a sloping ceiling (seeing its in part of the back verandah). So we chose to deal with the uneven ceiling by putting in a small bulk head. It will sit over the upper-cabinets nicely, and actually helps define the space a bit.

plastered walls and small bulk head

The plasters even put back the period rail detail. I love attention to detail.

Rail detail found in kitchens and bathrooms in period homes (turn of the century to the 60's)

The bathroom we extended into the hall has had a new floor put in and the walls repaired and re-plastered. I even spent several hours scraping layers and layers of paint off that window. The problem with paint is there is only one real way to strip it. Elbow grease and patience.

new plumbing and flooring in the extended bathroom

We had most of the ceilings removed and replaced.

ceilings removed

While we were at it we put back in some period details like deco-style ceiling roses.

deco style ceiling rose in the lounge

In the back enclosed veranda we sectioned off a small 2x2meter room as an Office/Sewing room!!!

new stud wall creating our study/sewing room

Doesn’t it already look better now that half the terrible purple wall is covered up!

Out the back all the dead trees have been removed and chipped. We had a pretty serious hiccup along the way when we figured out why all the trees were dead. Someone had killed them because they were interfering with the sewer. They did a dodgy DIY job which resulted in more damage to the sewer, and us having to replace the entire thing. I’m a great believer in DIY but sometimes its ok to call a trade. They know what they are doing.

backyard, in blank slate stage

Essentially we have the shell of the house back, now it’s on to the fitting and fixtures.

Oven Update

July 19, 2010

So I know I’ve devoted an entire post to ovens already but I thought I’d update you on the final result.

I love traditional ovens. Yes they are hard to find here in Perth and they can be expensive. I very nearly bought this oven:

Fratelli Onofri oven

I know it’s not white and silver (my dream combination) but I figured I could make it work. It was a good price for a period style oven with a great load of features. However, just before I bought it I read some reviews that pointed out the internal capacity of the oven was very small. So I panicked. The reviews suggested I go down to a show room and take all my favourite baking pans and try them in an oven.

There isn’t a show room for the Fratelli Onofri here in Perth but (like a crazy lady) I packed up my stuff and headed down to the ilve showroom in Osborne Park. Lo and behold the 60cm oven wouldn’t fit a rectangular sized biscuit tin or my large roasting pan. Now I have no problem buying new baking pans BUT I know that when I cook a roast for the family I fill up that roasting pan. I also know my recipes for biscuits use up all the space on my baking tray, so having to use smaller tins and trays is going to be a problem. I also figured out that you can’t fit anything in the 30cm oven. Not a muffin pan, slice tray, standard dinner plate. Nothing. Biiig problem. If you’re paying money for a second oven, you want to be able to use it right?! Sure I could still put my rotisserie chicken in it, but I don’t think its economical to pay extra for what would essentially be a rotisserie oven.

I actually own an old 90cm double oven (60cm, 30cm) I can easily fit Everything in the 60cm oven and I can fit muffin pans, plates, slice trays all kinds of things in the 30cm. After asking why I was having trouble achieving the same thing, I found out that the way they make ovens has changed. These days the insulation and internal workings take up more room, internal capacity of an old 90cm oven is much larger. So I realised whilst I still wanted a double oven I was going to need an even larger one, the problem was we’d just finished fitting the kitchen assuming I would choose one of the 90cm double ovens.

So we went to plan….um ‘e’? I bought the cheapest 90cm oven we could find and here she is:

Cheapest 90cm Oven we could find

(Ovens should be a she right?) She’s being fitted this week and as they say ‘we’ll be cooking with gas’ – literally. Ugh, look at the fingerprints all over it already. Why do people love stainless steel so???

In case you’re wondering what I will buy one day when we do our extension, I’ve got my eye on the ilve 100cm double oven, beautiful!

100cm Nostalgie 6burner double oven

Yes its beautiful, expensive and I can have it in ANY colour I want with silver trim (as long as I order it 16WEEKS before I want it!)…one day.

Nursery Room Tour

July 5, 2010

We’re selling our house. In preparation to make the big move to our new-old house, that we’ve been renovating. Part of me is excited about the move but I’m also increasingly nostalgic about leaving this place. So I think there may be a few room tours over the next few weeks, as I try to say good bye to our home.

I wanted to post about our nursery for a while now. Its a blue girls room and I love it. Its still needing some bits and pieces but there is no time for ‘finishing off’ now.

girls blue nursery

blue and white nursery

I’ve never wanted my girls existence to be a parade of barbie pink (although there will always be pink around!) I wanted to find ways to make their rooms girly in a less obvious way.

Blue Girls Room

blue and girly

As I tested paints I found I really needed to choose a very light blue. I chose to paint it Answers by Dulux, which is a soft, pale, sky blue. I think its perfect blue colour for a baby girls room. I then coupled it with the brightest of whites (WA white by Solver) on the picture rails and above. Almost like the colour combination of a blue sky with fluffy white clouds.

Blue Girls Nursery

Blue and White for a Baby Girl

I then wanted to make it more girly by accenting with pink and purple. I’d found this stash of vintage flannelet in some fabrics my mum gave me that she bought when I was little.

Pink Orange and Purple Vintage Flannelet

Pink Orange and Purple Vintage Flannelet

It was $1.50 for two meters! From Woolworths! (it still had its price tag, stapled on!) Now if only I could pick up awesome, good quality fabric at fabulous prices from Woolies these days!!! The little orange and pink flowers inspired me to include orange into the accent colour mix. Using that I made bedding for the bassinet.

pink, orange, blue and purple basinet bedding

vintage flannelet basinet bedding

I bought the bassinet on-line from gumtree for $20! I like this woven style as it still seems soft enough, to put a baby in, but doesn’t bother me (about SIDS) like the flouncy, fabric covered kind do.

white basinet with handmade bedding

white woven bassinet

The little quilt (don’t look too close it’s my first quilt!) is backed in it and large enough that she now uses it in her cot. (The cot, which was handmade by my Dad.)

Baby quilt

Baby Quilt

For the rest of the room we really just re-purposed what was already there. The room still houses our guest bed and once used to be our master bedroom so has a wall of cupboards for storage and clothes.

Blue Girl Nursery

Blue Girls Nursery

Instead of removing them and putting in a change table we just installed a supported shelf where a hanging rod used to be and there you go, instant change table. Its actually really safe because there is hardly anywhere for her to roll off. Plus I have room to store nappies and wipes and everything else you might need.

Repurposed Wardobe as change table

The wardrobe made into a baby change area

The shelves at the end make perfect storage for all those tiny baby things.

Converting a Wardrobe to change table

Baby Storage in the Wardrobe

A few pink accents and a bit of whimsy here and there and I think its on its way to being a fun place for bubs to grow into.

Pink Blue Nursery Details

Fun Pink and Girly Accents

In fact to try and help make the move as easy on bubs as possible we’ve started decorating her new room in a the same way. Although I’m sure as she grows it will evolve. So I might update you one day.

Help me choose an oven!

June 13, 2010

Ok I know you’re out there! (I have ways of seeing you clicking on my blog mwhahah). If you’re going to ever make a comment, do it on this post, I’d love to hear from you.

I need to choose an oven. I’ve got a real penchant for an ‘aga‘ style oven, but with the modern conveniences, like windows in the doors and programmable timers to switch on the oven while you’re out (or conversely turn it off). Problem is they are pretty expensive, however the sales are on and I’ve found a couple of bargains. I guess the downfall of bargains is that sometimes you dont get exactly what you want, you need to compromise.

The requirements I wont compromise on are: 90cm, free standing, double oven, as these are going to suit my cooking needs the most. Note in ovens I’ve found the second ovens have rotisserie functions… Sunday Roast at my house, cheesecake will be in the other oven!!

So far I’ve found these two ovens within my price range:

Ivory with crome and gold detail

Stainless Steel with Modern Details

Ideally I’d like this oven in BrightWhite or Stainless Steel but I can’t afford it.

My Dream Oven

So I have to choose between the others. I really quite like the cream oven but I think it will look funny in a white kitchen. I’m also not a fan of the gold details. As for the stainless steel I like it but its far more modern than I really had my heart set on. So do I go for the colour I want but not necessarily the style or do I go for the style but no the colour?!! A few more details that might help you help me. The cream oven is a Fratelli Onofri and I’d be buying it from Melbourne and having it shipped over. The modern oven is an ilve and I can get it from Harvey Norman.

If I do go for the cream what colour kitchen should I go for?

Ok weigh in with your opinions I’m looking forward to what all my lovely and creative friends have to say!

Restoring Perth

May 23, 2010

I often complain about the lack of products and variety in Perth. However I think part of this ‘problem’ is actually a lack of information or access to what is actually available. Listen up shop owners of Perth….make your store, product or service accessible. No longer is  word of mouth, or ‘my mother told me about it’ going to cut it. Get a good website, put the word out there do what you can to let us know you exist and have something to offer.

We’ve spent the better part of 4years (or is it 5?) restoring our federation home. I’ve looked and looked for period products and recycled antique fittings or even reproduction or ‘in keeping’ products. Very difficult to find in Perth. I could launch into a whole tirade about how close minded the people of Perth are and complain about their love of cookie cutter ‘New’ which is often poor quality at sky high prices. I could stand up and state we shouldn’t just accept what’s given to us and we should, as consumers, demand variety and quality. I wont. Instead I want to show you Perth’s best kept secret for renovators of period homes.

Subiaco Restoration

Subiaco Restoration

If you’re thinking, federation, old fashioned, wooden, classic, timeless, shaker style, craftsmanship, quality, period, styling then this is the place for you. Subiaco Restoration. Its the best place to find reproduction fixtures and finishing. Fireplaces, period style bathroom cabinets,tiles, mirrors, lights, wooden doors and window frames, awnings.

Shaker Style Bathroom Mirror (Check out whats in the reflection, period style bathroom fixtures)

Its also a renovators DIY heaven.

warehouse full of decorative molded wood

warehouse full of decorative molded wood

It’s full of moulded wood, decking, cladding, paneling, posts and rails. Latches, handels, door knobs. It’s a period style bunnings.

retro handles

a tiny selection of the hundreds of handles and pulls they have

I snapped a few photos on my I-phone to give you an idea because frankly their website is just rubbish. It doesn’t work well or give you a proper impression of the place, the navigation is tiny and easy to miss. I think its probably a little dated too. I wish it was better because I might have discovered this place a long time ago. I’m not sure my photos are much better but trust me it’s worth going there.

Period Hardware Perth

Period Latches, Handles, Signs, Awnings and MORE!

All’s well that ends well, we’re now restoring our ‘new-old’ 40’s/50’s war home. It’s going to be a great go to place. Now if only I could find a great reclamation yard I’d be set.

Woven Wire Handles

Loving these handles, surely I can find a use for them somewhere