Entryway Update

One of my first posts was sharing with you our Entryway.  I’ve been a bit bored with it for a while and have been wanting to give it a bit of a facelift.  After completing Kyly’s entry a couple of weeks ago, it inspired me to finally do something about it.

Before:

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Step 1: For about a week before it I placed all items i was considering using and placed them on the buffet.  This meant every time I walked in the front door or walked passed it I was forced to consider how I wanted the spaced to look.

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Step 2: Removed all the items from the buffet and wall and placed them on the dining table.

Step 3: Clean the wall with sugar soap.  I was amazed at how dirty the wall had become around the photo frames.

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Step 4: I played with the position of the shelf and the mirror and star to make sure that the mirror would still be usable above the shelf.

Step 5: I used a stud finder to locate the studs.  I marked the studs on a post-it note so that I wasn’t marking the wall.

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Step 6:  I was alone at the time and didn’t have anyone to help me hold the shelf in place.  We happened to have moved from ADSL 2 to NBN that same week so I used the Fetch box, modem box and a photo frame to hold the shelf in place.  I screwed the shelf into the wall – into studs.  All level but the drill did leave a mark when I screwed in the second screw.  A bit of white paint and it will be all good.

Step 7:  I then used 3M products to attach the mirror and the star frame to the wall.  The mirror measures 60cm tall and the star frame 55cm so I ensured I centred the star frame to the mirror.

Step 8: Now for the fun bit – pulling the look together.  I knew I wanted the black and white photos there still as they are snaps we took on our honeymoon nearly 10 years ago.  I then placed items around them.

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And this is the almost finished product!  I am going to paint the front of the “OXO”s navy and my hubby has suggested that I run a piece of blue ribbon along the front of the shelf to supply more contrast.  I’m giving this some thought and will give it a try.

So, have Kyly and I inspired you to do up your entryway?  Would love to see pics of your before and afters.  You can either share them in the comment section on Facebook or tag me on Instagram.

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My first job!

So I am a little bit excited!  My wonderful friend has asked me (ME!!!) to help her bring her home to life and to have her home reflect her and her girls.

Like most of us, money is tight, especially at this time of year post Christmas and the purchasing of all the Back to School supplies.  This makeover will be over an extended period of time but step one has already made a big difference.

The brief:

To create a space that feels welcoming, homely, fun, happy and like me.

Kyly purchased a new lounge and some cushions for it 6 or so months ago.  The cushions were $20 each from Big W and the pinks and oranges are the primary source of inspiration for this makeover.  Kyly has been a lover of pink since I’ve known her in 1995, and well before then.

As you walk into Kyly’s home there is very short hallway that brings you to her living room.  The wall is just over 2 metres long.  There is a beautiful artwork there signifying that this is a home that has a child living with Cystic Fibrosis here which prompts you to clean your hands upon arrival.  Kyly wanted to create more of a welcome along this wall and I was only too happy to help.


We started by sourcing a few bits and pieces to go on this wall.  I located the mirror at Trade Secret for $20.00 and the art print from Big W for $12.00.  We went to Typo to purchase the letters K, I and A (3 letters for $10.00) and I stopped in at IKEA on my way up to Kyly’s place to purchase 5 FISKBO frames ($1.49 each).

Once I arrived and we had a little chat, we collated all the items and discussed how we would lay the items out and ultimately hand them on the wall.

I then shocked/scared Kyly a bit with the suggestion that we were going to create our own art.  DIY art.  We’ve discussed this before but I don’t think she was expecting it to appear right be her front door.  After dinner I got the paints out and we pulled up Pinterest for some ideas.  This is what we came up with:


We headed to bed, ready to put it all together on Sunday.

Sunday came and after a lovely beach-side breakfast and trip to Typo for the letters, we commenced hanging things on the wall.


We centred the mirror on the wall at the perfect height for Kyly to have a quick check of herself as she walks out the door.  We then commenced hanging the balance of the items around the mirror.  This is what we came up with:


Kyly says:

“It makes me smile every time I walk in the door and see that wall. It has made me feel so excited to see how amazing my wall looks and to think about what else we have in store!”

Her two girls squealed with delight and loved their letters so I guess it was a win with them too!

The total cost of this makeover is $46.90 ($12.00 Big W print, $20.00 mirror, $7.45 Ikea frames, $10.00 typo letters).

So tell me… have you been inspired by my entryway or this one?  Do you like to do a bit of DIY art? 

My Blue and White Christmas – DIY Projects

13 days until Christmas!

Last week I showed you my blue and white Christmas tree. This week I’m going to show you a few Christmas DIY projects that I have completed.

In the hallway I have grabbed a white platter from the kitchen and filled it with pine cones that I collected from a local football field. I simply sprayed these with spray paint from Bunnings in white, light blue and dark blue. The pine cones were free but the spray paint probably came in at near $30. I will just need to find something else to spray paint to make the cost worthwhile. I love them!

Something that I have been meaning to do for a while (since January 😳!) is make this DIY artwork for above the fireplace. In the January sales I purchased this silver star from Bed Bath N’ Table for $15 ish (RRP $34.95) with the idea of cutting it in half, mounting it to an indigo sheet of cardboard and placing it inside a frame from IKEA. It took me about 10 minutes to put this together and I love it. I cut the cardboard to size to fit the frame and removed the glass. I then used a Stanley knife and kitchen knife to cut through the styrofoam. I then used Tarzan Grip glue to adhere the star to the cardboard and then weighed the star down and left it laying down for a good while to ensure that the star adhered to the cardboard. The bonus to this artwork is that I have given the other half of the star to my friend and she will make the same artwork with a sheet of coloured cardboard to suit her interiors. The silver star was around $15, IKEA frame was around $15, cardboard was under $1 and I had the glue at home already. I will probably use this in our entryway all year round when I re-do the artwork at the entryway next year.


With the decision to move to a blue and white Christmas, I knew that I would need to get the kids new stockings. I also knew that I would need to be frugal in doing so as I had spent quite a bit of money purchasing their red and green stockings and having their names embroidered on them. I picked these sequined stockings up from a $2 shop for $2.50 each and then had a look in their craft/scrapbooking section and picked up the diamontè letters for $2.50 as well. $10 for two stockings and I think they look great.


MumO managed to find me some battery operated fairy lights for my wreath at the front door. I love the faux pearls attached as it means the wreath looks lovely through the day as well as at night.

I like putting trees in the kids bedrooms. In my daughter’s room, she has a wooden tree from Spotlight which I purchased about 3 years ago now. I painted it white and this year purchased some pastel coloured decorations from Woolworths for around $16. I probably could’ve gotten away with only spending $8 as there were about half of the decorations left over.


In my son’s room, he has a light grey, Scandi looking tree from Domayne that I purchased in the sales in January. He has silverplated stars and Nutcracker men that I purchased in the sales from David Jones about two years ago. 


The final tree that we have in our home is our international ornament tree. I purchased the wooden tree in a local shop around 9 years ago. It is decorated with ornaments that were mostly purchased on our honeymoon in 2007.

So, that’s the DIY projects done for this year. I would like to replicate something like this artwork for above the fireplace for next year if I stick with the blue and white theme (which so for I AM LOVING!!!) but until then, I am done. 


So tell me, do you like a bit of DIY action at Christmas?  Any projects you’d like to share with me?

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?

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!!!