Re-Love buffet after

After much hard work, the time has finally come for the Re-Love pieces to go up for sale! You can see all the before & afters here and click through to the eBay listings to place your bid.

Remember, all the proceeds are going to the Salvo’s so bid generously!

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Re-Love project after

You guys! It’s finally time for the big reveal of my piece for the Re-Love project.

Before I get into all the juicy after pics, I need to wrap up the final progress stage.

Re-Love project before & after

I was originally planning to just use a clear varnish to keep the authentic timber colour, but the damage was worse than first thought. To even out the discolouration I used the Timber Primer mixed with a Walnut stain.

Re-Love project before & after

I didn’t want it as dark as a true walnut shade so I just used a small amount of stain and gradually built up the colour with a few coats until it was looking lovely and even.

Re-Love project before & after

Granted the sides (shown here with one coat of stain) were not nearly as damaged as the top (shown unstained), but you can see the difference that the stain made.

Re-Love project before & after

Re-Love project before & after

I continued with the rest of the piece, including the drawers. Subsequent coats can be applied wet-on-wet which cut down on the need for drying time, which was handy.

Re-Love project before & after

I said goodbye to the pale green paint with a few coats of Dulux One-Step, an all-in-one primer and topcoat.

Re-Love project before & after

Re-Love project before & after 

After a light sand, I applied two coats of Clear Varnish (Satin) which really brought out the rich colour.

Re-Love project before & after

To finish, I cut the wallpaper to size, sprayed it with water and adhered it to the drawer insides and the back of the shelving. After a quick clean, the glass shelf and doors went back in.

Re-Love project before & after

And here she is now!

Re-Love project before & after

Let’s all just agree to ignore the half-painted skirting boards and tablecloth-covering-heinous-carpet situation happening in the scene and look at that gorgeous timber instead. The half-finished lounge was the only remotely suitable photo shoot location.

Re-Love project before & after

Re-Love project before & after

Re-Love project before & after

It’s quite a change from the honey-coloured sideboard with warped veneer and bits of sticky tape along the edges! I’ve tried to restore it in a way that was faithful to its origins while appealing to a new buyer.

To refresh your memory, here are the before and during stages.

Re-Love project before & after

Huge thanks to Feast Watson for having me on board this year’s Re-Love project. I love giving new life to neglected furniture so I’ve really enjoyed seeing this come together. I can’t wait to see the rest of the bloggers’ projects revealed, too.

Stick around for the big eBay auction starting on 24th July so you can bid to take one of the pieces home! All the proceeds are going to the Salvos, so get behind this very worthy cause.

As part of the Re-Love project, I and seven other bloggers have donated our time to revamp a piece of furniture using products supplied by Feast Watson. The finished pieces will be auctioned with proceeds going to Salvos Sores. Find out more here.

Winter outfits

I’m a third of the way through my first 3-month season of Project 333 so I thought I’d give an update on how I’ve been finding it. I showed you my winter capsule wardrobe, well here are some of the outfits I’ve been making from it.

There are 25 outfits here and it’s not even a comprehensive view of the combinations. When you consider jackets, jewellery, tights etc there are even more outfits so I’m not getting bored at all.

Honestly, it hasn’t been a struggle in the slightest. The 33 items I chose are basically what I lived in last winter anyway (I didn’t buy anything new this year). If anything, I have been dressing better. I’m accessorising more with lipstick, hair and jewellery and wearing heels and skirts more instead of always defaulting to jeans and flats.

Remember I only actually chose 32 items as I left a spare hanger in case I found I needed something (either new or from my boxed-up spares). I haven’t needed anything else, which is nice. I’ve dipped into my excluded items for a dress for my best friend’s 30th (I allowed myself special occasion outfits as planned cheats) but apart from that I haven’t even been tempted by the rest of my wardrobe.

I’ve had a couple of casualties, though. My grey boots have an irreparable hole in them (womp womp womp). I’ll replace them with some similar boots that I already own, but they are not as versatile (not appropriate for work, for example) which is a pity but I only need to survive another eight weeks. My handbag was already in shabby condition but the daily use has tipped it over into bag lady territory. I spotted my dream handbag (which also doubles as a camera & laptop bag) at 50% off so I snapped it up.

In short, I’m loving it so far!

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Makeup drawer before & after

Decluttering is an ongoing process, usually requiring you to revisit the same areas periodically. It’s not often that I’ll do it just a few months later, but that’s what I just did with my makeup drawer.

In this post from our old home five months ago, I got rid of a ton of rarely used and out of date cosmetics. The ‘after’ photo was looking ship-shape but it wasn’t the whole story: I still had a couple of zip-lock bags filled with spare items (samples and gifts) and several lipsticks in every handbag.

So while I had already done a big declutter before we moved, starting Project 333 has made me take a closer look at other aspects of my getting-ready routine.

I chucked* a whole pile more items, this time focusing on getting rid of colours that don’t suit me, samples I’ll never use and spares that could have lasted me two lifetimes (seven blushers/bronzers – really?!).

I consolidated my lipstick collection and now only put the current day’s product in the single handbag I’m using this season. There are some similar colours in there that I do use but could live without so I won’t replace them when they’re used up.

Apart from getting rid of the zip-locks, the biggest downsizing was the eyeshadows. I managed to find the ultimate (for me) silver-taupey-grey palette that suits everything from a subtle highlight to full-blown event makeup so I was able to get rid of four others that were less versatile.

The only non-everyday items I kept were a couple of super bold lipsticks and a crazy eyeshadow palette that I’m keeping for costume parties. I put them in the difficult-to-access section at the back for now but I could even move them to the costume box.

I moved my brushes to a jar on the vanity as they kept jamming the drawers, but apart from that, this is now my entire makeup collection. Still not minimalist by any means but it’s a far cry from what I used to have.

My next task will be to consider my toiletries and hair products to further streamline my mornings.

Do you like to have a lot of variety in your makeup or do you have a simple routine that suits you everyday?

* Put aside to donate to a women’s shelter.

Re-Love buffet process

I’ve been hard at work on my piece for the Re-Love charity auction. Prep-work isn’t as sexy as a before-and-after but it is the most important part of any project, particularly when you’re working to restore timber.

I began by removing all the added-on bits, like the glass doors and shelf, felt drawer liner the and sticky tape that surrounded the back edges.

Re-Love buffet process

Re-Love buffet process

I didn’t realise when I bought it (it was so convincing!) but the piece is actually veneer, which I’ve never worked with before. It takes some special care as it’s more delicate than solid timber.

On the areas where the veneer had lifted up, I used a wood glue with a house brick on top of a towel to dry it flat overnight.

Re-Love buffet process

The whole piece is really dinged-up, especially the top surface which had water damage and flaking varnish, so I gave it a really good sand, using the coarsest grit that I thought the veneer could handle.

Re-Love buffet process

Next up was filling. The Intergrain Woodblend filler is really thick (more like clay than putty) but it’s easy to work with and filled holes with wood colour.

Re-Love buffet process

Because it’s so thick and pliable I was even able to use it to mould a replacement bit of handle that had chipped off.

Re-Love buffet process

Once dry, I sanded again, this time using a finer grit.

Re-Love buffet process

As they say, things look worse before they look better and this mess of putty and sanding dust proves that rule.

Re-Love buffet process

Now that the prep is complete, his weekend I’m working on the fun part of bringing the timber back to life and adding the awesome wallpaper lining.

As part of the Re-Love project, I and seven other bloggers have donated our time to revamp a piece of furniture using products supplied by Feast Watson. The finished pieces will be auctioned with proceeds going to Salvos Sores. Find out more here.

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keeping warm this winter

Picture The Man and I on the couch, wearing our thermals (the ones we bought to survive a European winter holiday), multiple jumpers and even scarves and beanies, with a nanna rug up to our chins and hot coffee in hand.

Yep, that’s pretty much been our reality for the last few weeks as winter has set in. We feel like total wusses – I mean, this is Adelaide, it doesn’t get that cold – but it seems our new home is fuh-reezing. Great in summer, but winter? Yeahnotsomuch.

It has an old double-sided oil heater in the formal living areas at the front of the house but it doesn’t function so we’ll be ripping that out. The man we bought the house from was in his 90s, I have no idea how he managed without heating but he was obviously made of tougher stuff than us!

We have been surviving with nothing more than a tiny blowy heater but of course they are terribly inefficient to run so we feel guilty even switching it on. (Even as I write this, I’ve just got up to put my dressing gown back on over my clothes so I can turn the heater off.)

We bought an electric blanket which we used for the first time last night which is a total lifesaver. But we are still hanging out for a more permanent solution for both day and night.

We’re planning on having ducted airconditioning installed before summer (there is only one tiny old aircon unit and it’s in the living room that we won’t be using yet) so we’ll likely get a reverse-cycle system to kill two birds with one stone. To be honest I prefer a radiating heat rather than a blowing one, but there are so many other pros (only one system to install, single set of ducts, no loss of floor/wall space, will heat entire house in zones) that I’ll have to get over the one minor con.

Til then, let’s compile a big list of winter survival tips. What heating system do you have in your home and how else do you stay warm?

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This post is brought to you by The Kitchen Place.

The Kitchen Place

Our recent kitchen makeover was a budget, cosmetic-only affair. But we do have fantasies plans of doing a complete gut job and calling the pros to start from the ground up. Living in the space as it is now will give us a feeling of how we use it and what our needs are so when we do come to create the dream kitchen we can be confident it will work for us.

Here are some other questions we’ll be asking ourselves while we save our dosh for the real deal:

How many people need to work simultaneously?

In our townhouse’s kitchen, whoever was playing sous chef had to squeeze their chopping board onto a too-small bench for prepwork. If you regularly cook with more than one person (or would like the option to do so) ensure you have two generous work spaces.

How do you tend to cook?

Similarly, how much space do you need for the kind of meals you normally cook? If you’re happy being a one-pot-pasta kind of person then bench space will be less of a priority (particularly around the cooktop) than for the type who regularly hosts three-course dinner parties.

The Kitchen Place

What items do you need to store?

Catalogue every type of item you need in your new kitchen. Figure out how much space it will take up and consider what will be the best way to store it (shelves, drawers, racks etc). It may seem like overkill but the last thing you want is to spend tens of thousands on a brand new kitchen only to find you have to store your cake stand in the laundry and you can never find the spice jar you’re looking for.

Are your needs likely to change?

In addition to noticing how you use your kitchen now, consider if future plans will affect your needs. Are you and your friend getting serious about your on-the-side cupcake business idea? Are you planning to have children so safety and durability will be crucial?

Do you need to change the layout?

If you find your current layout is working well for you, it may be wise to stick with it since moving plumbing, gas and electricity will significantly increase your costs. Of course, if an unworkable layout is your whole reason for an upgrade, then the infrastructure costs will be a worthwhile investment.

Do you want space to eat or just to cook?

Anything goes with kitchens these days. Include a breakfast bar, freestanding table or have a separate dining area; it’s up to you. Again, consider how you normally like to dine. If you normally eat your toast standing up you’re never going to sit at a dining table so consider a breakfast bar. If you can’t relax over dinner with piles of dishes in your sightline, you’ll want a separate dining room. Those who have spacious kitchens and enjoy casual meals will like an eat-in kitchen.

The Kitchen Place

Open plan or separate room?

Open plan kitchens are de rigueur now but they’re not for everyone. Those who want to stay in the conversation while entertaining guests and or need to keep one eye on the kids while cooking will love it. But if you like to be able to shut off the mess when guests come over, you may prefer a kitchen with a door.

What functions does it need to have?

These days kitchens perform many more roles than cooking and eating. Kids’ homework, paying bills, charging phones, dumping keys… you’ll want to ensure you consider the requirements (space, lighting, storage, seating and power points) for every activity that happens there.

With a few careful considerations you’ll end up with a kitchen that’s not only beautiful but suits your lifestyle perfectly.

lounge progress

It was a long weekend here (cheers, Liz) hence the delayed post but it did mean we had an extra day to finish painting the lounge. Phew!

The Man and I actually nixed the light grey paint colour outlined in this post and went back to my original idea of black walls (‘Domino’ by Dulux to be exact). Working about as dark a colour as you can get in such a large room meant for painstaking cutting in, proof of which is my sore neck today.

You can see a strip of white poking out at the top of the skirting boards, that’s the primer coat. We decided to prime the walls for a few reasons: we wanted to seal in any wallpaper glue residue, to provide an even base (we had to re-plaster quite a lot so it was looking like a patchwork quilt) and to cover the message wall from our 30th. Remember we were planning to go for light grey so we used white primer, if we’d known we were going to go black we would have used a dark-tint primer (thankfully two coats of cutting in were sufficient but we needed three coats of rolling).

On the advice of an interior architect friend we’ve also decided to switch up the pool table and dining table (to give more clearance room for playing pool) so this room will now be lounge/dining instead of lounge/games. (Here is the floorplan to refresh your memory.)

The room is very large but we wanted the spaces to feel intimate, so the dark walls will help to cosy things up. The other big reason I was keen on black walls is to disguise our TV so I’m really happy how that’s going to work out.

Excuse the shoddy photo, by the way. We’ve removed the wall lights and there’s only a single ceiling light in here so it feels gloomy (and hard to photograph) no matter what wall colour at the moment.

This room has come a long way! The next step will be ripping out the carpet and installing new flooring. We’re not 100% set yet but we’re considering timber-look vinyl planks, floating hardwoods or floating laminate floorboards. Have you used any of these floors? I’d love your opinions on installation and the finished product.

Re-Love project before

This blog has given me so much over the last few years so giving back is something I’m increasingly conscious of.

The perfect opportunity to do so when Feast Watson (the folks who I worked with on my office makeover) got in touch about a charity collaboration. They’re chipping in a furniture allowance and some of their woodcare products and the eight participating bloggers revamp their chosen secondhand piece. The furniture will be auctioned off on eBay with all the proceeds going to the Salvo’s. How awesome is that?

I’ve scored this mid-century sideboard which has great bones but has definitely seen better days. I’m going to restore it to its former glory, with the addition of this funky wallpaper.

You can see the other seven ‘before’ pieces and follow our progress over on the Feast Watson website or Pinterest board.

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lounge moodboard

As promised, here is the visual take on the lounge floorplan that I shared last week.

We’ve gone for Dulux ‘White Duck ‘ for the walls, a lovely soft warm grey that will complement the feature stone wall. It’s the same colour we used in our former office but this time we’ll be using it at full- instead of quarter-strength.

I love our existing Freedom sofa (so big and comfy!) but I suspect it may look a little lost against the similarly-toned stone wall. Still, I’m finding myself craving calming interiors so perhaps I’ll end up loving the neutral look? Failing that, both of us are smitten with the teal sofa (also Freedom).

More critical is the entertainment unit. I really dislike the el-cheapo flatpack beast of a thing we currently have. The Man and I have agreed to get rid of the vast majority of our CDs and DVDs (we’ve already gone digital but haven’t dealt with the physical copies yet) so this will give us much more flexibility in terms of finding a more compact and attractive unit.

To be honest I haven’t given much thought to the colours in this room, let alone the accessories. Once we’ve finished all surfaces (walls, trim, floors) we’ll set up our existing furniture and feature artwork and let the room evolve from there.

Moodboard: Shelving unit | Reading chair | Pendant light | Sofa | Media unit | Armchair | Coffee table | Rug

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