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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

on the market ...

We are officially on the house selling roller coaster with all its ups and downs.  We have put so much of ourselves into this house, every little detail has been planned, every space used to its best potential.  I am very proud of the home we have created and I know the next owner will be very happy here.
I love love love these evening shots of our home!  You can just see the pool cabana on the right.
Looking from the kitchen towards the pool, a favourite view.  The kitchen really is the heart of our home with a large pantry on one side and a butlers pantry behind for all the messiness.
Looking from the courtyard through the living space towards the back garden and verandah.  All houses should have courtyards!

My lovely luxe bathroom, going to miss this space and the walk in robe that comes off it even more.
The entrance looking lovely at dusk.

The only picture I really don't like is this one of the living area, the estate agents insisted on shooting it without the rug, and I do have a rug, which I think looks quite unfinished.  And then they photo shopped a hideous screen picture on the tv which was neatly out of eye sight against the wall.  This room is far nicer than pictured, see my pics here and detail WITH RUG below.

What I do really like is the video they shot, link here if you want to watch.

Where are we going next?  I am not sure yet.  We are looking for a house to renovate, I have some ideas brewing in my head but it will depend on what we find.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

three birds 5

A fabulous before and after renovation fix in this great reveal of House 5 by Three Birds Renovations.
This is definately my favourite house yet from this team, and is a fab resource for any of you looking at a reno any time soon. 

As always the styling is superb.  Classic, contemporary and fresh.  
I love the pale mint or sage of the kitchen cabinets, I adore the Scion cladding, especially the wide profile Stria, and I love the paint colours both inside and out.

Well done Bonnie, Erin and Lana.  It was clearly a great team effort but seriously, Erin getting the build work all done in 9 weeks is pretty amazing.  I want you to project manage my next build!  

Would love to know what this all cost, hoping that a budget is going to be shared sometime soon.

Catch the amazing before and afters of every space in house 5 here, and their other projects here.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

inspirations and dreaming

some things that caught my eye...
The cutest reading nook and a fab Ikea hack all rolled into one.  Great use of a small space.

Loving this diy headboard for Miss E, maybe in our next house.

Vintage mirror and glasses, so pretty

I am just loving these paintings by Sally West spotted on Est Living.

Have a fab week