DINING ROOM • DESIGN

There’s really not a lot to see here! Our dining room literally houses a dining table and 6 chairs. That’s it!  
This is what it generally looks like when freshly tidied. 


The table and chairs (and matching bar stool with backrest) are from IKEA. Of course! The table is the Bjursta table and the chairs are the Ingolf chairs.

Being an open plan area and no solid walls adjacent to it, I firstly have no need for and secondly no space for, anything else!

I store our table linens in our double door pantry/storage cupboard and all the crockery is in the kitchen.  

We had a buffet and hutch in our old dining room but what I didn’t like about it was when we sat at the dining table with friends, the cupboard would look bare as everything would be in use on the table. 

Now seeing as we don’t have a lot to see here, I thought I could document it’s different uses our table endures over the course of the week. 

Homework


Study


Nightly dinners


Home from work/after school/daycare pick-up dumping ground


 
We are very lucky (and the main reason why we chose this table) that this table extends to 2.2 metres which comfortably seats 10. This suits us when my family gets together as there are 10 of us. 
Throughout the year I enjoy hosting events bringing our family together. The main one being Easter Sunday Brunch. This is how I’ve decorated the table for Easter over the years. 


For other occasions our table has also looked like this. 


I am going to be hosting Christmas Eve with my family for the first time this year (a Dutch tradition) and I am already thinking about how I will decorate the table. 

These things excite me and I make no apologies lol!

So, do you like decorating your table? Can it be a dumping ground at times? Do you use yours for family dinners? Homework?

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Lounge room • Design

The next room on my home tour is our living room.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, Dad was visiting one time after the gyprock had come down but the stud work was still in place. Sitting there and thinking, he came up with the solution to have the dining table adjacent to the kitchen and the lounge room run through the existing lounge/dining rooms. I loved this new layout as it meant that the fireplace became the feature of the room, and not a television!

When we renovated this space, we moved the sliding door that takes you through to my studio/kids playroom from one end of the wall to the other and installed an electric fireplace with two cabinets either side, built in with gyprock. As I said above, I love how this is the feature in the living area and not the television.

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I also mentioned in the renovation post that we sold our previous beech coloured furniture as I wanted to change over to white.  For readers from the beginning of the blog, you’ll know how much I love IKEA and I love the Liatorp range.  We purchased two bookcases with glass doors, the tv unit, console table and side table.  My clever husband then built the Liatorp bookcases with glass doors in and created the surround for the fireplace to be inserted.

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With the fireplace the feature, we placed the TV unit under the old dining room window and to divide the space from the dining room, we placed the lounge to face the fireplace/face the TV. Behind the lounge, we have placed the Liatorp console table. This is handy place for drinks and remote controls on top and blankets stored in baskets underneath.

I also have a desk to the side of this room.  It’s a handy spot to work on the computer and monitor the kids.  The desk is one that we purchased off eBay and painted.  The shelves and supports are from IKEA.

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Across from my desk is my chair.  I just adore this spot.  First thing in the morning, the sun streams in and helps to warm me on a cold morning.  A cup of tea and a good book and I could sit here all day!

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And finally, our lounge.  We had hand-me-down lounges from 2004 to 2012.  That’s 8 years of constantly tucking in the Spotlight couch covers.  The new corner sofa was from IKEA and has been a fantastic purchase.  Unfortunately, this sofa doesn’t appear to be available at IKEA anymore.

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Returning to the bookcases, I think they have been a great asset in protecting our precious items from little hands.  In these cupboards we have displayed momentos from our wedding day, honeymoon, the kids naming days etc, they all get to stay protected from little hands and also dust!  Seriously, I spring clean this cupboard once a year and there is next to no dust.  Awesome!

So, have you renovated your living room recently?  Is it on the cards soon?

Kitchen • Organisation

After a good few weeks of renovation, and having to unpack the whole house out of the storage pod, my goal was to just get everything out of boxes and away. We also had a 6 month old baby who was learning how to crawl. 

Initially, the kitchen wasn’t very well organised. As I got used to this new layout and worked out how I/we used the space, I had a further clean out and rearranged the cupboards.

Above the microwave I store my cookbooks. 
Below the oven I store our frying pans and baking dishes etc. 
Above the stove I store our cooking oils. 
Below the stove I store our saucepans, baking trays and cake tins. 


I store the above items there as this is the cooking/baking zone. 

The next cupboard along I store our Tupperware. You can read about this cupboard here

In the corner cupboard I store our ‘good’ plates and accessories as we only use these every other month. 


Under the sink I store our cleaning supplies and dishwasher tablets/cleaner. This cupboard needs some work but inspiration hasn’t struck as yet!


In the drawers, from top to bottom:

  1. everyday cutlery
  2. utensils
  3. special cutlery
  4. cling wrap, aluminium foil, baking paper, sandwich bags etc
  5. tea towels, trivets etc

In the final lower cupboard on this side, I store our everyday crockery and picnicware.


Along the top we have our wine glasses, display cabinet and our everyday cups/mugs/glassware. We also store some bins, bread and tea and coffee making items in this cupboard. 

Above the fridge is the alcohol and next to the fridge is our pantry and appliance storage. 


The reason why I store our crockery and cutlery here is because this is where the kettle and toaster are, therefore making tea, coffee and toast, and where we plate up our meals. 

I treat the island bench as my prep space so I like to have all the things handy that I use for making meals. In the island bench we have:

  1. Mixing bowls, sieves, chopping boards, scales
  2. Plastic platters, vases
  3. Servingware – platters etc


So, technically 4 ‘zones’ I guess – preparing, cooking, serving and cleaning. 

Do you organise your kitchen like this? Into zones? Do you have an appliance cupboard?

Finding your path

My heart is singing today!  I got up, got ready, donned my favourite colours and got Miss 5 and Mr 3 moving.  Dropped them at school or Granny’s and home to resume my studies.

Spring is here and whilst it is a little chilly today, the sun is shining, 3 loads of washing have been done and I have been head down, bum up working through my next assignment.

For new followers, I am completing an Interior Decoration course with the aim of combining that and professional organising and starting my own business – me working for me!  Today has been all about sourcing materials – fixtures/furnishings/furniture for a fictional shop that I would be opening in our local shopping centre – think Westfields. Whilst this may not eventuate for me in the real world (not sure it would be feasible here), I am having a blast putting it all together and spending up big with a fictional budget.

I’ve had a very productive 3 days at work, and am planning 4 very productive days at home. Maybe just don’t mention it to hubby that I am ready to get into our spring cleaning in full force – he may not come home from work Friday night lol.  I did the kitchen a couple of weeks back then dropped off but I intend to continue with Miss 5’s bedroom and maybe Mr’s bedroom this afternoon.

Anyway, spontaneous mid-week post – see inspired!

Are your planets aligning today?  Are you spring cleaning your place?  Are you studying?

 

Interior Design • Kitchen

Ah, my kitchen.  I love, love, love our kitchen!

Here she is…

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So, we should probably start back at the beginning.

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As stated in my last post, we moved into this house in September 2004 and purchased it from my in-laws in January 2009.  We undertook some renovations in 2009 to the toilet, bathroom, laundry and front yard and in 2011 we tackled some pretty big work to the whole house.  We laid hardwood floors throughout the whole house, knocked down some walls and installed a new kitchen.

We knew due to budget constraints that we would need to do this ourselves.  A good thing then that we like doing DIY.  We did get a quote from a custom kitchen designer and the cost was $20,000 to $25,000 depending on quality of finishes 😳. 

After looking at both Bunnings and IKEA kitchens (and after having had Bunnings kitchen cabinets for a couple of years as uppers in the old kitchen), we decided to go with IKEA.

We visited our nearest IKEA and had a very good look around the display kitchens, opening all the cupboards and drawers, seeing what each item had to offer.  We then looked at the hardware options (door handles and drawer knobs) and the sinks and benchtops.  We then came home, measured up the space and I logged on to the IKEA website and used their 3D Kitchen Planner.


As you can see, we are lucky to have a large kitchen.  It measures 5.5 metres x 2.6 metres.  I noted down the measurements, took the measurements of the window at the sink and there is also a sliding door at the other end of the kitchen.  I inserted all those measurements into the IKEA 3D Kitchen Planner and then played around with the layout.  I ultimately settled with the above.

There is lots of talk about the kitchen work triangle rule – the three points being the sink, fridge and oven.  The kitchen work triangle is a concept used to determine efficient kitchen layouts. The primary tasks in a home kitchen are carried out between the cook top, the sink and the refrigerator. These three points and the imaginary lines between them, make up what kitchen experts call the work triangle. This image shows my kitchen triangle. 


Once my husband and I agreed on the layout, we returned to IKEA, confirmed the door and drawer fronts were the ones we liked, finalised our door handle and drawer knob selection and proceeded to the kitchen section counter to place our order.  We arranged to have the kitchen delivered to my mother-in-laws as she had a spare space to store the 135 boxes that were being delivered, and also space for us to assemble the carcasses, ready for install into our home.  It took my brother and I the best part of a day to assemble the carcasses and 4 trailer trips to take them to our house, a 5 minute drive away.

Our selections included the Lidi door and drawer fronts and Fintorp hardware.  The Lidi range doesn’t appear to be in stock anymore, but the Bodbyn range seems to have replaced it.  The Fintorp handles no longer appear to be in stock either and I couldn’t see a suitable replacement.  I liked the look of the glass-fronted cabinets and selected one only as I didn’t want everything on display all the time.

In steps:

  1. Install kitchen cabinets (we did this)
  2. Install bulkheads (plasterers did this)
  3. Install appliances (we did this)
  4. Install benchtops (stone mason did this)
  5. Tiling (I did this)072

Yes, I did the tiling!  I thought it was something that I could do after watching it be done thousands of times on TV.  After watching some more YouTube videos, I gave it a go!

One of my favourite features in our kitchen is our corner cupboard -what can easily turn into a nightmare cupboard!  When I saw this in the IKEA showroom I knew we had to have it.  I use this to store “the good stuff”

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And now some shameless pictures of the finished product

And this is the view as we walk in our front door

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The totals for our kitchen renovation come in at:

IKEA cabinets – $5,350.00

Benchtops – Ice White Quartz Stone – $1,880.00

Benchtop installation – $450.00

Bulkhead installation – $1,500.00

Subway tiles – $80.00

Appliances (wall oven, cook top, range hood and dishwasher) – $2,930.00

Total: $12,110.00

That’s a saving of around 50%!

I love, love, love our kitchen!  I love that when I am in the kitchen I am still part of whatever else is happening in our home, whether it be watching the kids or when we have people over and I am preparing drinks or meals.

Have you renovated your kitchen? Are you into DIY’ing? Ever tiled before?  Let me know!

The Big Renovation

I am getting ready to share our kitchen, dining and lounge area with you, but I thought I should start with the “big renovation” which we undertook in 2011 with a 6 month old baby. Stupid? Probably!  We started off renting this house from my parents-in-law in 2004 before purchasing it from them in 2009. This is what those areas looked like back then.

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The kitchen is behind the wall shown in this photo.

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The original kitchen.

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My in-laws and Dad above showing the dining room and beech coloured furniture.

My in-laws love knocking down walls. Seriously!  My sister-in-law’s roof nearly caved in due to a structural wall being knocked down without the proper supports in place.

My parents love walls!  Have never knocked one down in their lives.

My husband wanted to knock down all the walls in our home. I was hesitant so we knocked down half a wall and created ‘windows’ in the adjacent wall in 2009. This lasted 2 years and then I agreed to full wall removal.

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We commenced removing all the gyprock and preparing for stud removal. On one occasion Dad was visiting he was sitting on the lounge and came up with the solution of the new layout of our lounge/dining area from this:


To this:


Pretty obvious really to have the dining table next to the kitchen but when you’ve been living in a space for a long time, I think you get used to how it’s been and keep going along.

We installed the beam between the kitchen and dining room and got a builder in to install the larger beam between the lounge/old dining room.

Now that the studs were gone, and the house hadn’t caved in, I was really excited.

We spent time looking at kitchen designs. I spent hours playing around with layout software for kitchens on Bunnings and IKEA. I knew due to budget that we would need to install the kitchen ourselves, but I knew we could do it!

We also spent time selling our old furniture (was only 5 years old but I’d moved on from beech coloured furniture), looking at new items for the dining/lounge and looking at hardwood floors.

We decided on the kitchen and furniture from IKEA (of course) and Blackbutt hardwood flooring.

We also planned everything to time with my sister-in-law going away for three weeks so that we could house sit her place whilst we did all the work at our place.

We needed to pack the whole house up, remove the slate and current flooring, getting the house back to concrete slab ready for the flooring to be laid. We hired a storage pod that stayed in our front yard for a few weeks with our household contents inside. This provided a great opportunity to declutter. It was like packing for a house move.

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In steps:

1. Packed up/emptied house into storage pod

2. Removal of all flooring, back to concrete slab in entire house (except laundry, toilet,
bathroom)

3. Pulled kitchen out

4. Removal of all skirts and architraves

5. Extension of single pantry to double pantry

6. Reconfigured downlights and power point layouts

7. Had hardwood flooring installed

8. Spent a day assembling kitchen cabinets from flat pack

9. Spent a day or two installing the kitchen cabinets and appliances

10. Had the floors stained

11. Engaged plasterers to repair cornicing on knocked down walls

12. Engaged a builder to install all skirts and architraves in whole house

13. Had stone countertops installed

14. Painted

15. Unpacked

As you can see, a big job. But a job worth doing! It probably took us 4 weeks but when you consider my husband was still working throughout this period (shift work at the time), it was quite impressive that we managed it!

Next week, I’ll be back with our kitchen. I’m very excited to share it with you!!!