Thursday, February 23, 2017

light bright living by nimmo neilsen collective

This gorgeous light filled home in Sydney was revitalised by Naomi of Nimmo Nielson Collective.  
Naomi redesigned the existing Californian bungalow floor plan, adding a new master and ensuite and a fabulous open plan kitchen and living area.  The brief was for a contemporary home with natural finishes that linked the old home with the new, the transformation has certainly delivered.

Naomi's pallete of materials includes oak for both floors and cabinetry accents, combined with crisp white, and teamed with hand painted encaustic tiles in the bathroom.  I could move right in.
The light filled kitchen opens onto a luxurious pool and garden.  A new pool cabana with bathroom and kitchenette is still being completed.  Perfect for entertaining, and keeping an eye on the kids.

A few glimpses of other areas in the home include this luxury bathroom (below), you already all know that I am currently obsessed with encaustic tiles, and this bedroom with detailed textures and fabrics.

Naomi has been renovating homes for 10 years and says "your home should tell the story of who you are and be a collection of what you love".  

The Nimmo Nielsen Collective operates in Sydney and does everything from decorating and styling, to planning new kitchens, bathrooms and living spaces in existing homes and new builds.

While allowing each client's personality to shine through, Naomi's strong sense of style runs through all her spaces.  I love the attention to detail in the finishes, its a relaxed luxe style that I can totally relate to.  

Photography by Benito Martin Styling in collaboration with Shellie Nielsen, also of Nimmo Nielsen Collective

Thursday, February 16, 2017

things to let go of when you move

When you move house each box you pack, ship & store costs you money.  So this move I am going to be putting my dollars into replacing items rather than moving them.  And yes that means we sold & are officially looking for a new home.  Watch this space. 

I won't be taking:
  • the 5 remaining white plates from the set of 12 that I can't get any more of
  • ditto the wine glasses of various discontinued styles
  • the gifts given with such care but never really used (makes me feel guilty already)
  • a varied collection of Ikea candle holders bought for parties over the years
  • the glass jar collection for those jams I am going to make "one quiet afternoon"
  • the old bed linen which the girls have grown out of, or is slightly frayed, or has that one dodgey mark
  • the pillowcases in the large floral print which I thought were a good idea for the guest bedroom (not)
  • the 5 extra bamboo steamers I bought once for a large picnic
  • a (surprisingly large) number of vases whose shapes I no longer like and which I haven't used in at least 5 years
  • any tupperware without a matching lid

Why is it so hard to let these things go!  Reading through the list makes me wonder why I still haven't already!

The dollars I save on moving these things, I am going to put into getting more of this great linen bedding for all our beds.  Something we will enjoy every week and which won't just sit in the back of a cupboard.  Even the cat thinks they are fab.

Monday, January 23, 2017

trends 2017

2017 will be about refreshing and replacing
Trend time again.  Looking backwards and looking forwards I am not seeing a huge change for 2017.  I expect colours to remain softer, tones of pale woods and greys in lighter tones.  I expect fewer pink tones, although I still love them, and more neutrals, more naturals in leathers and wood.  I see pastels in our future, but not sweet ones, these are washed out: pinks like faded rose petals, yellows like soft sunlight, blues from a wintry sea, duck egg greens.
Texture is going to remain big: mongolian wool cushions in soft tones, more linen and velvet fabrics for bedding and soft furnishings.  Honed wood and stone for furniture and finishes.  
Textured neutrals pair well with the oversize photographs of landscapes and succulents that are still so popular, as well as hand crafted ornamental pieces and decorative crystals.

Beautiful storage to make our life easier will always be in style, be it bespoke built ins or collections of baskets.
Indoor plants continue to be huge and I will never get tired of fresh flowers and plants for indoors.  However I am not a huge fan of every surface dripping with greenery and a hanging plant in every corner, reminds me to strongly of the ferns in the 70's bathroom of my childhood.  I am ready for this particular fad to move on.

Perhaps its because moving is on the cards for me this year and I have been thinking about having less rather than acquiring more, but I do think there is a move away from consumerism in interiors.  I don't think I am alone here, people are thinking more about how much they own, whether it adds to your life, or just fills it with stuff.  

2017 will be more about refreshing and replacing    
I think this move away from a more is more mantra is going to have us choosing classic well made items when we are selecting big ticket items.  We are going to refresh our spaces with smaller items, like luxury scented candles, chunky knitted throws, decorative crystals, and soft velvet or wool pillows.

Lets move into the new year with the intention of curating our homes, letting go of past design decisions that clutter up our spaces, and really considering what we add.

Montage 1: calicool bedroom, bird hook, citrine point, agate & eucalyptus
Montage 2: bathroom detail by Canny Design, bone mirror, sconce, knob, photographic print
Montage 3: oak cabinetrysuper white granite, pendants, kitchen by Justine Hugh-Jones

Friday, January 20, 2017

diy self levelling cement floor for currawong

In last minute burst of diy, on the very last day of the year, I decided to lay a new cement floor in the laundry at Currawong Cottage.  This floor has been driving me mad, it was impossible to clean and permanently dusty.  With a few days of hot weather forecast and a few hours to spare I decided to take the plunge.

This is what the room looked like before (below), and no I guess its not a terribly dramatic before and after because the walls are still cracked and peeling, but that floor...
The new one makes all the difference.  
Because when you are taking the laundry out and you drop it on the floor, you don't want the floor to be so yucky that the laundry has to go back in again. 
 Below you get a really good picture of how bad the floor was before: new floor above, and ridiculously bad surface below.  Looked kind of like icing going on a cake but far more satisfying (I am not much of a baker).

  Some feedback on the Dunlop floor leveller product.  We mixed the powder at the specified proportions, and I was surprised at how stiff the mixture was.  I expected it to flow across the floor far more readily than it did.  Could be because the substrate was in such bad condition, I am just not sure.  I ended up using a plank of wood to push the cement into the corners and up against the walls.  I don't think it would have got there on its own.  This was not in the instructions but I would advise having a clean plank of wood about 30cm long handy just in case.

I would also recommend you at least double how much you calculate you need and just have the product on standby, you can always return an unopened tub.  I vastly underestimated the volume and an unexpected drive to Bunnings meant part of the floor had partially dried before we got the second tub poured.  You can see the line across the floor below and unfortunately it left a small ridge.  Luckily not an issue for this project.

There are also areas of the floor that are a little bumpy.  I think this is the result of the truly terrible state of the sub floor.  It looked far more level than it was.  If I had wanted a perfect finish I would have had to lay another layer on top of this one, or used far more product the first time.  Again for my purposes it is good enough.

  The floor dried perfectly overnight, I gave it more than the 4 recommended hours to be safe, and was perfectly clean and hard and ready for us to move the appliances back in by morning.  Job well done!!

I couldn't resist adding this floor detail with some masking tape and Annie Sloan Chalk paints.  I taped up a French stripe inspired pattern and rollered on two coats of Old White.  Love love love the way it turned out.  I haven't sealed the surface and I am interested to see how it wears.  

I finished by painting the ugly pink cabinet door in Annie Sloan Paris Grey (my favourite grey ever).  Chalk paint is a fave product of mine because it paints over anything with no priming or sanding required (see this dresser makeover). 

Just out of shot I installed a few hanging rails, perfect for hanging a few clothes on hangers.  Never had an indoor drying rail and I am a fan, very useful.

Seriously this room has gone from barely usable, to really quite pretty.  The walls are still pretty dilapidated, but with that new floor it feels clean and functional for the first time.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

welcome 2017!!!

Happy new year to all of you!!!  It has been a rather long, and much needed break.  2016 was a tough one for many of us, and I honestly didn't know just how worn out I was until I stopped.  We spent a restful and restorative three weeks at Currawong Cottage and I am starting the new year feeling refreshed, ready for the challenges of the year.
The countryside and living in a small pared back cottage (with no wifi) always reminds me what is really important in this busy stuff filled world we have created.  With plans to sell our home and start developing the farm in 2017,  this reminder came at just the right time.
Enjoy some of the prettiness of our summer garden, and yes we needed a fire on New Years Day because it was COLD.  All the best for your dreams and plans for the year.  Lets make it a cracker.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

diy budget wardrobes

We are looking at renting for a while and I am have a storage panic.  After living with a very generous his and hers walk-in-robe for several years most of the storage out there looks small, super small.
These diy budget wardrobes may be just what we need to get through any storage issues.

A gorgeous wardrobe make over by the ever creative Made From Scratch

Excellent diy tutorial to make this little wooden beauty yourself.  I like that there is space to store shoes off the floor, the option to add hooks on the outside, and of course the copper pipe is a pretty detail.

And of course my favourite budget walk-in-robe of all time by Nina of Stylizmo.

Get that look yourself
The Nordli series from Ikea is an excellent option for getting the look of either the Made from Scratch (top) or Stylizmo (bottom) concepts.  A clean white range that is very sturdy, we used the 6 drawer unit for extra storage in Miss E's room so I know it is good.  A wide double drawer unit starts from $149, great value.

Feeling inspired to organise my wardrobe right now.  And a little less panicky about handling the storage situation.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

xmas spirit...

I love decorating for Christmas, unwrapping the decorations, turning on the lights for the first time, getting out the advent calendar.   This year I am loving simplicity and the use of eucalyptus that is everywhere right now.  I paired metallics and eucalyptus with this table setting a few years ago, and last year I madepastel & metallics advent calendar, this year... not sure yet but it will be simple and hand crafted.

Brown paper star advent calendar, mini posies for gifts or table settings, message in a bottle advent calendar

Sweetest Swedish candle wreath, blue and white floral wreath, star wreathgiant Joy Christmas wreath

I have to admit to feeling pretty exhausted this end of year, its been a busy work year, a full school year for the kids, and an emotional roller coaster with our house on the market.  I think that is why I am drawn to these simple natural designs.  
The festive season should be a pleasure rather than a chore, so I am giving myself permission to relax into this one and just see what happens, do what we enjoy rather than what I feel we should.  
Perhaps there is a life lesson there that it has taken me a rather long time to learn.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

faux flowers for show forever...

Faux for show!  Yes I have totally changed my tune, but let me tell you fake flowers have never looked so good.  These are not the plastic looking roses with even more plastic dew drops of my childhood, these fake flowers will have you believing they are the real thing.  
Keeping our house styled to show home perfection was always going to be a lot of work, but investing in these faux beauties has definitely made it much easier.  Good fake flowers are expensive, but keeping the house filled with fresh flowers would have cost even more.  

I used amazing double stem orchids in the entrance hall (below) and bedroom (above), definitely my favourite.  Even live orchids look kind of super real, and seriously, I don't think anybody would be able to tell these were faux without looking in the pot at the base.

I bought two large Robert Gordon pots from the Monument range, the perfect size for a cluster of hydrangea heads, and for the large orchids.  I am going to get years of use out of these lovelies.
I chose white, going neutral again, but I love the glazed look of their other finishes.  Liquorice, salt bush and indigo all sound good, its a pity there was nowhere local I could see the pots before ordering.

Selling a home is stressful, and any way you can make the process easier for yourself is a good thing.  And using faux flowers is a definite win.  Make sure you invest in a really quality product, I bought fabulous ones through By Sabine.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

byron bay meets bahamas style

I am dreaming of a new project, something sub tropical.  I am thinking wide decks, shutters and filtered light, lush planting, with tons of white wood panelling and details of stone and weathered wood.  A very different feel from the modern home we have now.

This is a style made for Sydney with its balmy summer weather and mild winters.  We use our verandahs all year round.  A style that makes your home a holiday destination every day of the year.

I love this eclectic tropical style dining room with super sized pendant and panelling.  Doesn't have to be to beachy.

Now all I need is the new project where we can make this all happen.  Does anybody else hate house hunting?
Images sources & other renno inspirations