Friday, February 27, 2015

bean bags with style...inspiration

I have been shopping around for bean bags for a client and I know I would love to have these bean bags in my courtyard.  Easy to move when you mow the lawn, and super stylish.  But the price tags for these babies will set you back over $1000 a piece!  Helloooo!!!  Who has this kind of cash to spend on a bean bag!  I am thinking about making one...

Top and bottom right: Zoe chair by Verzelloni
Center and bottom left: Sail chair by Gan

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Build House Home on Instagram

I realised the other day that while I am becoming more and more obsessed with Instagram, there is no link to my feed on the blog!  Silly me, it will be fixed soon.  I am loving sharing pictures of little moments around the house and city, little projects or furniture moves that won't make it onto the blog because they are just to small, or lovely new things to dream about spotted out and about.

I would love you to join me on Instagram, and if you are not on Instagram yet you should be, its such fun!
Jump through to my feed here and make sure to follow me so you can see what happens behind the blog.  That's our gorgeous kitty Fender leaning against a cushion I made recently, he is very photogenic, he features a lot.

Friday, February 20, 2015

cottage renovation...main bedroom

This funny dirty room with to many doors has become a serene retreat for afternoon snoozes and lazy mornings.  That is if we ever have an afternoon without diy in it!  This is one of the before and after projects I love most, the room was just so dirty and ugly before.  My wonderful hubby closed an extra door that opening into the living room and put lining board panelling across the wall behind the bed.  Neatly taking care of all plastering problems and creating a subtle feature.  Scroll down to see just how impressive this change was.

Dirty paint, cracked cornices, peeling ceiling, ugly curtains and pelmets, this room was full of ugly.

Closing up the extra door gave us a larger space to put the bed against and the panelling created a subtle textural feature.  Good looking and time saving, you got to love that!

I love the soft grey wall with the crisp white of the rest of the room.  It took coats and coats of paint to stop the yellow of the wood trim coming through.

It doesn't even look like the same room!  It looks twice the size we started with!  The colour scheme centres around the gorgeous knitted bed cover that was given to me by a friend.  I found patterned grey and white sheets that feel a bit Ralph Lauren, and added just a little bit of yellow in the cushions and lights.

The bedside tables were repurposed from home and given a fresh white finish.

My amazing hubby made these wonderful wall sconces, I love how the yellow cable pops off the grey wall and the old style globes create a lovely soft light at night.  You may have noticed that only one light is up in these photos.  The other one made it up a few months later but I haven't been back to see them yet.  I will post an update next time I visit.

The final touch was adding the linen look curtains, again in a pale grey.  I found this fabulous poly linen mix at Bargain Fabrics.  It looks like linen but won't be affected by the sun and won't stretch or shrink.  Making them was a labour of love and took several days of sweating at the sewing machine.  I'll tell you all about it in another post. 

Just a final reminder of what it looked like before...and after.  Hooray!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

how to arrange flowers in a wide vase

A neat little trick a picked up off Pinterest a few years ago.  I often want to use low wide vases for flowers, this one is actually a glass salad bowl.  So how do you prevent the flowers all flopping towards the edges and create height in the centre.  Easy, magic tape to the rescue.
Scroll down to see how
Use strips of magic tape to create a rough web across the vase.  

The flowers will hang over the edges and hide the end of the tape.

Now simply arrange the flowers as if they were in a normal vase, using the tape as a support to make flowers in the centre stand up.

Enjoy your gorgeous arrangement.

Friday, February 13, 2015

trends 2015

Yes I know its already February but I have been thinking about the trends for this year all January.  I don't see too many changes from last year (see what I picked for 2014 here).  It's going to be all about texture: linens, marbles, ben ourani rugs, beautiful woods and I am definitely feeling velvet and chinchilla for winter.  Copper is still pretty, but brass will be bigger.  

From top left:
row 1: textured chevron wall paper in mineral (Schumacher), Moroccan wedding blanket cushions (El Ramla Hamra), carved skull (image by Vintage Piken)
row 2: Geometric cushion cover (5C Home Decor), chinchilla cushion (Zone Maison) 
row 3: Vail Chenille in Driftwood (Schumacher), coco bead and gold chandelier (Candelabra), succulents and greenery
row 4: marble console (West Elm), Queen of Spain wall paper in soft silver (Schumacher), bronze and soft rose velvet vintage chairs (1st Dibs)
row 5: brass candle holder (H&M), marble chopping boards (Jayson Home), brass detail flush mount (CB2)

I just have this feeling about light wood making a come back sometime soon, we have all been loving the dark woods and oaks and high contrasts, I just have a feeling maple and beech are due for a comeback.

All things beautifully crafted and artisan will be popular too, which is lovely, and this will follow through to textiles with a tribal feel like Moroccan wedding pillows, kilims and graphic patterns.

Well only time will tell.  I do know that I like all these things now.  What's on your radar?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

valentines day

We don't go huge on Valentine's day in our house, I like to do something personal and less commercial, and for the whole family than a single valentine.
Last year I did a little valentine celebration with a lantern chandelier centrepiece and heart topped jellies.  The girls loved it.  To be honest I still haven't decided for this year, something sparkly would be fun.  Here are a few other ideas that may inspire you to make the day just a little bit special for your loved ones.

Clockwise from top left:
Valentine party with easy to do chandelier lantern
Berry ripple baked cheesecake
Home made chocolate ice cream with maltesers (no ice cream machine required)
Heart shaped fairy bread sandwiches for school lunchboxes

Friday, February 6, 2015

cottage wall mounted copper lamp

This was a cheap and easy lamp with big style points, and I needed good achievable value in this budget rennovation.  The corner of the living room needed a lamp, but the cheapest standing lamp I could find was around $150 and not very pretty.  So inspired by all the copper projects I have seen out there I decided to make my own.

You will need:

  • lamp holder for pendant with built in switch
  • 1 tube of copper pipe
  • 1 x copper L-bend connector
  • 2 x copper saddle fittings
  • 1 x lampshade
  • 1 x 5m extension cord
  • hacksaw

To make:
  • Use hacksaw to cut pipe in half
  • Cut plug end off extension cord (not the end that plugs into the wall) and thread through pipe, L-shaped connector, second piece of pipe
  • Connect 2 pipe pieces uses L-shaped connector
  • Attach lamp to wall using saddle fittings
  • Attach lamp holder to cut end of extension cord and pull through the pipes until it is the correct drop length.
  • Plug into wall and use
I am not going to talk about how you attach the lamp holder to the electrical cord.  If you can change a plug you will be able to do this bit of work but if you are worried get an electrician to help.  

The cost of all the parts including the lamp shade was around $40 and it took me about 2 hours to make and hang.  

I am just sorry that the photo's are not a bit better.  The day I shot these pics was rather dark and I battled to get the lampshade visible against the white wall.  To much white on white and not enough contrast.

The arm swivels well and can be adjusted to just the right position easily.
Super pleased with it and I think they would make really good bedside lamps too.  

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

cottage renovation...dining space

Looking at the progress we made in these photos is very rewarding.  The original dining area was poky and saturated with yellow pine.  But the window looks out into the garden and little orchard and is flooded with north light all day, it had potential.

The biggest change is from opening out the wall between the living room and kitchen.  It feels so lovely and open and we can turn the table around making more space for people to sit down.  My favourite change is the bench seat built by the clever Mr B.  I have always wanted a window seat and this one is the perfect place to sit and rest during the day, or enjoy a cup of coffee.

This is what it looked like before...

And these pics are once the wall between the living and kitchen was taken down.
I made the cute cowhide cushions, ran out of fabric so still need to finish the third one, and they are perfect to soften the wooden back.  I loved seeing all the family cuddle up here during the day.  We had our second dinner party and managed to squeeze in nine people, we could never have managed more than five before.

The final change was painting everything white.  It was incredible to see the change this made. The space looked bigger again, white certainly tricks the eye.    It all looks amazing with the burlap lamp shade from Honeybee Homewares, and a few pieces of greenery from the garden.

I am looking forward to doing a little less diy, and a little more relaxing on that window seat this year.

Friday, January 30, 2015

cottage renovation...the exterior (part 1) with dulux rapid finish

In our cottage transformation we have been very inspired by Scandinavian summer houses with the dark walls and cool white trim.  We knew this was just what our little fibro needed to make it look loved again.  When Dulux contacted me to test their new RapidFinish(TM) spray unit this job went straight to the top of the list.  I have always wanted to try out a paint sprayer but could never decide if it was worth the cost of buying one.  Let me answer that question right now - if you are painting any exterior surface it is totally worth buying.  Its faster, its cleaner, it gives great coverage, its easy to clean, and its FUN!

Its fun to use & you see progress fast
Now I like painting, but painting a whole house is a big job and by the end of the first few hours I am always wishing I had hired somebody else to do it.  Not any more.  The RapidFinish(TM) unit is fun to use, and the coverage is so good that the job goes really fast and you see results fast.  You will be patting yourself on the back in no time.

Mr B had started repainting before Dulux approached us and the front of the house was done old school.  The fibro panel profile meant he could only use a small roller and it was taking him ages, and several coats to get reasonable coverage.  In fact it took him the entire day to paint the front of the house with the roller.  The other THREE sides took us (drum roll) just ONE DAY.  That is not a typo, just one day.  We ran out of paint or we could have done more.

I was also a little worried that the paint capacity was a little small.  This also turned out not to be an issue, in fact it is quite heavy full and I would battle with much more weight.  It does need to be refilled pretty regularly, but fewer times than you would have had to refill a paint tray.  It is a little messy pouring from the tin into the spray unit, we ended up getting a lot of paint on our hands and the floor pouring.  A funnel or something similar would have helped.  This may be something Dulux can improve on.  Let me know if you have any suggestions for stirring and pouring paint fairly cleanly.

It's easy to clean
I was worried about this bit.  I was concerned that cleaning would be a big job and that the nozzle and pipes would start blocking up with use.  Wrong assumption, its actually quite easy to clean.  Pour any remaining paint back into the tin, fill unit with water and spray until water runs clear.  I gave it a good shake and the paint seemed to come right off and spray out easily.  The unit dismantles so that you can give the nozzle and pipes a good final rinse before drying them out.  

Its easier than cleaning paint brushes, and I hate cleaning paint brushes.  

Value for money
Its worth the money.  You would spend at least $40 on good paint brushes over several days of painting, the spray unit costs around $99, it will pay itself back in just a few jobs. 

Prep and splatter
It is worth buying some disposable adhesive drop down sheets (from your local hardware) to protect your windows and trim.  This is a great product with low tack tape at the top and a plastic sheet that rolls down to cover the windows.  We taped the bottom and side edges firmly closed with blue tape (see below) and our windows stayed very clean.  Took much less time than trying to paper up a window which I have done before.

We tested the spray for splatter as we went along and I was pleased to see that it stays pretty localised.  Test it out a little bit and you will soon see how careful you need to be.  Spraying outside you have a little leeway, but have to say I would test this little unit indoors to some day.

So now that I have the technical stuff out of the way let me show you some before and afters of the cottage!!

I love how the black makes the green of the garden pop, and I just love how clean it makes the house look.  I forgot to take a final one of this wall complete, we ran out of paint just before we could finish it off.  Imagine how cute this is going to look once we add some trim!!  

Below is the view from the front.

And finally a view of the back.  This is the entrance to the kitchen and the access we use most.  I am planning to pretty it up with an apple crate planted up with herbs (we found an old one under some trees).  It's going to look so cute.

And that is almost as far as we got this trip down.  We did finish all the paint and have added the trim but still need to paint it all white.  It is a huge transformation and I can't wait to get it all done and share the final pictures with you soon.

A final word about the RapidFinish(TM) unit, I have big plans for it.  I am finally going to paint the fence at our Sydney home and I am going to film it to show you just how easy it is.  It's a great product and if you have been thinking about trying one out you should.

The RapidFinish(TM) was given to me but all feedback is, as always, my own.