Tuesday, November 24, 2015

airwick diffuser scent home flower

When Airwick sent me a flower diffuser to test I was a little hesitant.  I don't love synthetic scents for the home as a general rule, but the water iris and night orchid diffuser was a pleasant surprise.  It is a little sweeter than I generally choose but it is very clean and fresh, perfect for our powder room.

The deep blue has a good retro apothecary feel and looks really pretty on the mirror shelf.  I can see I will be keeping this bottle to hold a single flower once the diffuser is finished. The flower diffuser arrives white, and changes colour as it absorbs the scent.  By the time it is all blue it is quite dramatic.  I kind of wish it could have stayed white.

The reed diffuser looks pretty in the playroom.  This one was paradise retreat, very tropical and a little to strongly cherry for me, I would definitely choose the water iris and night orchid version of this product which comes in an even prettier bottle.  Winning.

I like the flower diffuser, it is a good option for a room or shelf where you can't light a candle, but to be honest I am always going to prefer fresh air from an open window.

I was given the diffuser's to test but all opinions are, as always, my own.

Friday, November 20, 2015

pool cabana work in progress

This is one of those projects that has taken quite a while.  Below you can see the space as it was, a lovely spot but very sunny which makes watching the kids in the pool a hot job, the midday sun in Sydney is fierce.  We also needed to create a privacy screen for the new house being built next door.  

The inspiration is tropical resort style luxury, I want people to feel they have walked out into their own private villa on a super stylish holiday.  Read more about the fabulous bean bags here, and yes they are as comfy as they look.

So this is where we are so far and how we got there...

The structure is up, the roof is on, and we have painted it black to tie in with the house.
Still to do: finish ceiling, cladding for the back wall, add decorative screens on the sides, and add up lights for the evening.
We haven't quite decided how yet which is why it isn't finished.

It has totally changed how we use the space and added a real sense of drama to the outdoor entertaining space.  

Cannot wait to get it all styled up and share when it is finished at last.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#makeitthebestyearever...free 2016 calendar

Hard to believe I know but I am starting to think about dates in 2016!  So I put together a pretty calendar for next year and you can download you own here: free 2016 calendar  Share the love and the hashtag and print one for all your friends too.
Enjoy!!  #makeithebestyearever

Thursday, November 12, 2015

casual table... a pretty cutlery wrap diy

When the girls come for dinner I like to have a little bit of bling on the table.  This time I experimented with the Fiskars tag maker to create these quick and pretty cutlery wraps, with a little bit of bling of course.

To make the double sided tags for the wrap I punched each tag twice, once to create a normal tag, and a second time to create the swing tag shape on each side.  

Make your own - clockwise from top left

  • Use punch as normal to make an ordinary shaped tag.
  • Hold the punch upside down and feed your tag back into the slot.  By holding it upside down you can make sure you have fed the paper in the correct way, and decide how big you want the finished tag to be.  
  • Feed each end of the tag into the eyelet punch slot and create a hole on both ends.  The great thing about this punch is that you get a perfectly centered hole every time.

To finish:

  • Cut a 20cm length of sequins and thread each end through a hole, creating a loop at the back of the tag.
  • Write your message or name on the tag
  • Wrap a linen serviette around the cutlery, slip the bundle through the sequin loop and gently pull tight.  

It was as simple as that, easy to do while you watch your favourite TV show the night before, and a very pretty addition to an otherwise very casual table.

I am going to be having a lot of fun with this tag maker as we enter the festive season.  Present labels, jar tags, decorations, perhaps tags for a thanks giving tree.  I do love a craft tool that really makes your life easier.  

The Fiskars tag maker was given to me to road test, but all opinions are, as always, my own.

Friday, November 6, 2015

concreate panels

I am loving these new concreate wall panels from Royal Oak floors.  They are fire retardant, so a good product to use around a fireplace.  The product is adhered to the wall like a fibre cement board and not grouted, and apparently is easy to cut.  I love that they come in a huge 600 x 1200mm format.  Sold in packs of 4 tiles at $285 per pack it works out to $85 per square meter before installation, not a bad price for a huge impact, a good wallpaper will set you back more.  

Another interesting looking product from Royal Oak floors is this floating staircase system below which doesn't require a steel beam to be cut into the wall.  Interesting if you are wanting to retrofit floating stairs.  Very beautiful looking product too.

We used their gorgeous wooden floors in our home and I am very happy with them.  Wish I had a spot for those wall tiles.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

win shopping vouchers with zizo

I love a little online retail therapy, and with ZIZO, which is a fresh new brand from the Temple and Webster stable, there is a whole lot of online decor shopping to discover!

As part of their launch ZIZO has given me a $150 voucher for you my lovely readers to win!!!  How exciting is that.  I spent a happy few hours finding the decor accessories that I would love in my home right now.  I really like that you can search on a colour, or a style like "tribal" or "tropical", and get right to the style you are interested in.  As I was picking items I realised I had gone for a soft coastal colour scheme, but I couldn't resist the vibrant green of that palm leaf cushion.

Now that I really have you ready to shop here is how you enter.

Tell me, in 25 words or less, what decor accent you want to update in your home this summer and why?
  • Comment below on this blog post or our facebook page 
  • On Instagram: regram the competition with the handles #zizo #summerupdate @buildhousehome -  and don't forget to add your comments
  • Competition runs from 9am, Tuesday 3 Nov 15, to 11pm, Sunday 8 Nov 15 (AEST)
  • Prizes are allocated at random, announced on facebook and instagram
  • Competition is open to Australian residents only
  • Winners are selected based on the most creative answer
  • The giveaway promoter is Build House Home
  • Employees of Build House Home, or their family members, or anyone else connected with in any way with the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition
  • Entrants under 18 years old must have parental/guardian approval to enter
Go on and share to win.  For me it is often new cushions to change up a space a little.  I really love the tribal style Flinders cushion, but the soft watercolours in the print are pretty amazing too.

Good luck!  You have to be in it to win it!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

the fab worx high pressure cleaner

I have been wanting to get my hands on high pressure sprayer for the longest time, so when Worx tools sent me their high pressure cleaner to test I could not wait to get it outside and give it a go.  And let me tell you it is even better than I hoped.  It is fab!!  
I spent a very happy morning sprucing up the walls, steps, tiles and cars.  Works a treat on bird poo which we seem to have a lot of.  The long handle made reaching the bird poo wall graffiti easy to remove, how do they even aim there!

No more bird poo on the steps at the front door.  Or the car!  I can't normally reach the bird poo on the roof of the car but again the long handle made the roof easy to clean.  No more Jackson Pollock bird art on the sun roof!

Was most impressive on the outdoor tiles below.  The tiles in the drying yard literally changed colour before my eyes.  It removed more dirt than I realised was even there and took off moss easily.  The tiles are back to being as good as new.  You really can see how effective it is in the pics below, especially the bottom one which has half done and half to go.

I wish I had taken photos of the travertine tiles on the verandah too, I didn't think they were that dirty so I didn't, but this transformation was just as impressive.  I had no idea they had accumulated so much dirt, especially in the grout lines.  Again good as new afterwards.

The cleaner packs away pretty neatly, the trigger gun clips neatly into the back and keeps the electric cord and pressure hose from unravelling, and it is  easy to carry around.  But don't put to far away, you will want to use it again soon.

Best of all is the price, I found it online for $90 including delivery today, that is a super price for the utility of this cleaner, it saves so much time and energy.  Well worth putting on the Christmas list for anybody who likes taking care of their home.

I was sent the Force 110, model G601 to test, and I love it.  I really love this product!  It was easy to use and made what felt like a huge job not only achievable but enjoyable too.  I can see we will be using it a lot.  Would a highly recommend a Worx high pressure cleaner for your house too.

Friday, October 23, 2015

the life creative reviews currawong cottage

So excited to see a review of Currawong Cottage on The Life Creative this week!!  Chris spent a weekend in the cottage and wrote a really lovely review of his stay which you can read here.  It is always interesting to get impartial feedback on a project, and see somebody else's photo's too.  I am delighted that he had the experience we hoped guests would have.

Pop by the original post on The Life Creative to see all the details and more pretty pictures too. 
Mr B particularly pleased that Chris loved the lights in the bedroom which he made, and Miss E loved that the horseshoe hanging rack that she made features in the photo's.

Chris is a blogger and interior designer and he celebrates decorating that is fun, easy and affordable, it is well worth stopping by The Life Creative to see his latest finds.  The Life Creative online shop is full of fabulous objet for your home.  My personal favourite is his pithy and honest review of reality show room reveals, a must read of a Monday morning!  

If you would like to stay at the cottage yourself hop onto the Currawong Cottage website to see how to get in touch.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

painting tips...for a quick professional finish

It is amazing how marked the paint on a home's walls get, just from the daily wear and tear of people moving around.   Every few years the paint needs a refresh, not everywhere, just those high traffic areas that are most scuffed.  In my home it's the entrance hall, the staircase walls, and kitchen, that takes the hardest beating.  This spring, three years after we moved, it was time for a refresh.  It only takes a day to do the job properly, invest the time and you will be rewarded with a crisp clean canvas.  Scroll down for my top tips for getting the job done quickly and professionally.

First gather your tools:

1 - Prepare your hands
Now hand cream may be a little unexpected but it is my secret weapon.  Not for the painting, but for protecting your skin and getting the paint off your hands easily.  A good layer of hand cream makes it far easier to wash the paint off, and I really don't want hands like a tradie.

2 - Preparing the area
Tape off all your skirtings and electrical points.  It takes a while to do but cleaning paint splashes off floors, carpets and trim takes even longer.  
  • Blue tape makes it easy and I like to use an extra wide version so that there is a larger margin of error.  
  • Drop sheets will protect your floors and carpets.  
  • Keep a damp sponge and dry rag close at hand, inevitable there is an unwanted drip somewhere and the quicker you wipe if off the better. 

3 - Filling holes and dents
This is the time to fill any holes and scrapes in the walls.  It doesn't take long to do but it is a four step process with drying time between each step: 1 - fill with filler; 2 - let filler dry; 3 - sand area until smooth4; 4 - paint with primer.  
It will add that professional finish to the job even if it adds to your prep time.

4 - Painting
I use a good quality brush to paint along the trim, electrical points and ceiling, then a small disposable roller and tray for the walls.  If you have done a good job of taping up the painting goes quite quickly.

5 - Taking a break
If you are stopping for a while slip the entire paint tray and roller into a plastic shopping bag and tuck the edges of the bag underneath the tray to make it airtight.  This will stop your paint and brushes from drying out.  In cooler weather this will work overnight too.  

6 - Cleaning up
I throw my roller and brush and paint tray away at the end of each job.  
Two reasons: I don't like the idea of paint being washed down the drains, and it takes a whole lot of unpleasantness out of the job. I have never got a really well used brush or roller clean enough that it was really worth the effort. 
Rollers and trays are inexpensive and your time is precious.

7 - Storing left over paint
If your paint tin is not closing well it is a good idea to decant the paint into a plastic lidded bucket, you can get them from any hardware store.  If air is getting into the tin your paint will harden and spoil.  

Write the paint colour on the lid with a sharpie so you will know what it is, and your paint will be all ready for you when you next need it.