Sunday, 22 January 2012

Amazing Lighting

I started uploading pictures of light fixtures I love onto my Pinterest page, then I decided they are so fantastic they really deserve their own blog post.

I have a bit of an obsession with light fittings, especially pendants & chandeliers. I think lighting is one of the best ways to add character and personality to your home.

This chandelier is still one of the most fantastic things I have ever seen. I can't find the exact post from Design*Sponge but needless to say it looks as though it has been drawn onto the picture, I can only imagine how amazing the perspective must be laying in the bath looking up at it.

I love these modern rectangular pendants filled with (what seems like) hundreds of little globes. This lucky family not only has one but two in their home!

I like the simplicity of the tear drop pendants above this table. Using the three in different sizes gives the perfect balance.

These incredible creations are by Restoration Hardware, what a great idea to mix the always popular and glamorous chandlier with bird cages & orbs!

I am completely obsessed with the above pendant, once again by Restoration Hardware. There is something so refined yet robust about it. I'm also in LOVE with the kitchen above designed by Benjamin Dhong. Light grey with some pops of yellow is my idea of kitchen heaven!

So there you have it, a quick round-up of some of the most amazing light fixtures around. Clearly you'd have to have a reasonable budget to add some of these pieces to your home, but they'd definitely be worth the investment!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Temple & Webster

I was reading one of my favourite blogs The Happy Home and noticed that Belinda mentioned a new online store Temple & Webster had opened here in Australia. I knew I had to sign up immediately! It is a similar concept to One Kings Lane (for those of you who are familiar with that site), Temple & Webster run shopping events for a certain period of time. They offer designer pieces at excellent prices (up to 70% off) and it's a good idea to be ready to log-in as soon as the sale starts if you wish to pick-up their gorgeous items, as some items have a limited quantity available.

The very first time I loged into to their site, I purchased a fantastic table runner by Aura. Not only was I extremely impressed with the site, the fabulous price and their quick postage (with excellent postal tracking advice), but to my delight when it arrived it was wrapped beautifully. I really appreciate it when someone takes the extra time and effort to present something in such a lovely way.
The lovely T&W wrapping I mentioned

My new fabulous chevron pattern Aura table runner

For those of you who love quality furniture and homewares, I can't recommend Temple & Webster highly enough, with such a variety of sale events you'll definitely find something to suit your style and home.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Coastal Chic

I'm fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful areas in Australia. We have some of the most stunning beaches just a few minutes drive away from our home. Of course whenever you find stunning beaches you are also bound to find many stunning beach homes. As we are in the midst of Summer here in Australia, I thought I would post some photos of lovely homes that can only be described as "Coastal Chic".

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In my opinion, if you are trying to obtain the coastal/beach feel in your home it is best to do it in a subtle way. Using coastal colours such as blues, greys, greens and sandy off-whites will reference the colours that you see in nature when you are by the ocean. Using bead board and pieces of coral as well as natural materials in furniture such as timber and rattan are excellent ways to achieve that coastal, holiday feel. Of course the most important thing to do is to make sure nothing is too perfect, after all spending time at the beach should make you feel relaxed, not uptight. One last point on coastal interiors - lots of sail boats and knotted nautical rope are perhaps best left in the past!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Classic White Kitchens - Part 2

It has been a couple of months since I posted Classic White Kitchens - Part 1 so I thought I'd follow up today with Part 2.

I have been working on a project to update a local fisherman's cottage (I will hopefully post some photos of that project in the next couple of weeks). The owners wanted to update the old timber kitchen and of course using white is the best way to bounce light around and give the kitchen a more timeless feel.

White kitchens work well with all styles from traditional, right through to contemporary & modern. Using white as a backdrop also allows you to use pops of accent colour or as the first photo below demonstrates, you can easily add industrial elements to it.

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I used many of these kitchens as inspiration for the little fisherman's cottage. White gives us a sense of happiness & ease and most importantly in a kitchen, allows us to see any spills that may have occurred!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Updating My Bathroom...How To Guide

Thanks for all the kind comments and questions about the bathroom. I've had a few emails from people asking if I'd painted the tiles and the other changes I'd made so I thought I'd write a post on it.

Firstly, yes I painted the tiles. Our tiles were in really good condition and none were chipped or cracked, so they were the perfect candidate for painting. I also painted the doors and drawers on the vanity as well as changing the handles to new ones. I also created the frame around the mirror.

If you are thinking of painting the tiles in your bathroom, I would highly recommend getting a professional painter in to do this for you, if your budget will allow for it.

If your budget won't allow for a professional painter then I will very upfront in saying it can be a long and very laborious exercise and once you put that first bit of paint on, there is no turning back! You should also know that when you are up close to the tiles i.e. standing in the shower or sitting in the bath you WILL be able to see that the tiles are painted. No matter how much care you take you will be able to see small brush strokes, it will never be as perfect as a ceramic tile. If you simply cannot stand to live with imperfections, then you need to engage in a full re-tile of your bathroom. Of course those of you who need glasses have the benefit of simply having your shower or bath sans glasses and presto, no problem!

The products I used were White Knight products. I was advised to use their Griplock primer as my tiles were black. I only needed one coat of the primer to cover most of the black. White Knight have a specialist Tile Primer and I would imagine its best for most tile painting projects, I doubt the world is full of black tiled bathrooms like the ones we inherited.

Now for the most important thing I learnt through this process - it is VERY important that your application of the primer is as smooth and flawless as possible! Don't overload your brush with excess primer or you will get runs and these will still be visible (albeit only up close) in your finished result. Take time putting on the primer and your end result will be that much better for it. I would also advise that you start with an area that is concealed, for example behind the bathroom door, until you get used to using the paint. The primer and tile paint are very different to the paint you use to paint your walls.

For the top coat I used the White Knight Tile Paint. I only needed two coats of this paint to end up with the result you've seen. White Knight recommend that the tile paint only be used on vertical surfaces, but I obviously decided to also do our tub deck. I am really careful to mop up any water that sits on the tub deck when we are finished with the bath (especially after my girls have been splashing around in there!)

You can also use the tile paint to paint on laminate surfaces which I did for the vanity doors and drawers as they were a light grey and I wanted them white. I also wanted to cover the wooden border on them.

I swapped the wooden knobs with new ones for the doors. These handles were a bought from my local hardware store and were actually a gold finish, which made them look quite horrible and dated. I simply sprayed them with some black spray paint I had.

I created the mirror frame from lengths of decorative timber moulding. These are also able to be purchased, for a reasonable price, from large hardware stores. I'm proud to say that I cut the corners myself, using a mitre box and saw. Then they had a date with my can of black spray paint! Remember to spray both sides of the timber when creating a frame for a mirror, or you will see the unpainted wood in the reflection.

The curtains are called Eivor and are from IKEA, as is the curtain rod.

Here is a quick budget breakdown:

Griplock Primer (2 cans) - $52.00
Tile Paint (2 cans) - $132.00
Mirror Frame (wood) - $70.00
Eivor curtains - $29.99 for the pair!
Vagen Curtain rod - $14.99
Door Handles - $24.00
Drawer Pulls - $24.00
TOTAL: $346.98

The rest of the items I needed such as paint brushes, masking tape etc. I already had, so I didn't need to factor those in. I also already owned all the accessories so this wasn't included in my budget either.

I hope this helps those of you wanting to do something similar in your bathrooms.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The Updated Bathroom...finally!

Sorry for the extra time it has taken to post the bathroom was a very hectic end to 2011!

As you may remember from my previous posts about the bathroom, it was pretty ugly, here is a little reminder:

And now...

I've been really pleased with the result, especially considering it cost less than $350 (excluding the accessories which I already owned). It will definitely serve it's purpose for another year or so until we are ready to undergo a full renovation - at which point I will completely alter the layout!

P.S - Apologies to all the photographers out there for the quality of the photographs, clearly I was NOT a born photographer!