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.


bar cart

I have wanted a bar cart for the longest time. I was picturing a gorgeous rounded art deco or mid-century piece, but – even if the budget stretched to an antique – we simply would have nowhere to put it.

My brother-in-law’s partner is a keen painter and when we were admiring the latest piece in her studio recently I spotted the cute Ikea Råskog cart she used for her art supplies.

Not long after, I spotted it on the Ikea website for a steal ($49 down from $79) and immediately raced down to snap one up.

bar cart

It makes a great bar cart for a small space. The middle shelf is adjustable so we could fit the tall bottles on the bottom shelf and glasses on the middle shelf.

We certainly don’t need hard liquor on hand on a daily basis (we’re mainly wine/beer drinkers) but it has freed up almost an entire cupboard in the kitchen. And you know how excited I get about additional storage space!

I’m also happy that the original mid-century anodised ice bucket that I inherited from my late great-auntie now has a suitable place to be displayed out in the open instead of shoved at the back of a cupboard.

I would still love an antique bar cart one day, but I didn’t hesitate about buying this for the same purpose as it’s such as versatile piece I know we’ll always find a use for it. We’ve already discussed an artists’ trolley and a bar cart, but how about a mobile craft station, bedside table, bathroom storage, cleaning supplies storage or perhaps its advertised use: extra kitchen storage?

Til then, I think I can feel a cocktail party coming on…

What do you think about bar carts? Do you have one?

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This post is sponsored by Target.

cloche centrepiece

I’d recently been suffering a case of the decorating blahs.

There are only so many times you can rearrange the same ol’ pieces after all, so I’m delighted to be working with Target to freshen up my decor for the new season.

cloche centrepiece close-up

It was time to send the hurricane lamp to the bench for a break and bring in a new player for the dining table centrepiece.

I’d been wanting to try out a cloche for ages, but they were always too boring, or too formal or too expensive, so I was pleased to find this quirky one with a metal base. At the moment it is housing a stunning faux giant peony from Lotus Flowers but I can imagine it will be a really versatile piece that I’ll be able to change up with the seasons and holidays.

Flowers are the ultimate decorating accessory, of course, so I paired it with some supermarket tulips for a really fresh, happy centrepiece.

frame vignette

I picked up this sweet artwork by Peach Patrol a few weeks ago at a market and it had been sitting waiting for the perfect frame. I’ve bought frames like these from Target before and I keep coming back to them as the double mat gives it a way higher-end look than the nine bucks they cost!

laundry shelves

laundry shelves close-up

I then turned my attention to the laundry. I am terrible at keeping indoor plants alive so it makes sense for me to go faux. There was a great selection but I ultimately decided on this cracked glaze potted succulent. I think it’s rather charming!

I also spotted this cute gardening tool kit (green! in a tin!) and knew it would be the perfect practical accessory for the laundry shelving, which is adjacent to the door into the courtyard. (Sorry, I can’t find the link online but check your local store.)

So there you have it! A mini freshen up of our downstairs was just the thing to get me out of my decorating funk.

How about you? What have you been tweaking at home lately?

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living room before

living room after

I have to say I think my favourite type of makeover is actually a makeunder.

Take this now-gorgeous living room, which has been stripped back to highlight the architectural features and beautiful floorboards.

The owner actually revamped the entire house, so check out the full story and all the pictures over on Design*Sponge.

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I must say the thought of renovating and decorating an entire house at once is daunting to say the least (one of the many reasons why I am refusing The Man’s suggestion that we should enter The Block next year).

Thankfully this home owner (admittedly, an interior designer) was up to the task, because the results are unbelievable.


kitchen after

If the eclectic lounge/dining didn’t win you over, how is this for a beautiful farmhouse-style kitchen?

Get the full tour and the story over at Design*Sponge.

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changing table as bar cart
Curbly via Honey & Fitz

Babies seem to require an awful lot of stuff that is only needed for a short time. Here is a clever way to repurpose your growing child’s change table. Give it a coat of paint, add some castors and liberate your spirits and cocktail glasses from the cabinet to set up your very own bar cart. No one would ever guess its original use.

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Window room divider
By Living 2 Design

This wall of reclaimed windows is not only a unique feature but also a creative way to divide a large warehouse-style space without blocking light.


lounge ceiling light

Light fittings are often overlooked but they really can take a good room and make it look a lot more resolved. We have been sloooooowwwwly replacing these shoddy light fittings in our joint. We’ve just done the lounge and dining and here’s what it looks like now:

new lights dining

Cool huh? I love the texture and warmth they add.

new lights dining 2 new lights dining 2

I love low-hanging lights but because of our low ceilings, this is actually as low as we could hang the pendant in the lounge area without The Man’s head banging into it. But if we hung the one in the dining area at the same height it would sit awkwardly between the laundry door the ceiling beam. I wanted to hang it low and centred over the table, but it wasn’t worth the expense of moving the socket, so we looped the cords and hung it from the beam instead.

new lights attach

We were wracking our brains for weeks trying to figure out a way to loop it through so that it would stay there. The guy at the hardware store suggested adhesive cord managers but that was complete fail. I don’t know why it took me so long but I finally I worked out that we could use fishing line to attach the pendant’s inner metal frame to the cup hook in the beam. Success!

Here are the before and afters, starting with the dining area:

dining area

new lights dining 3

And the lounge…

lounge Sept 2010 1

new light lounge

I’d had my eye on these babies for the longest time but never quite had the budget for them, then I spotted them for like 60% off at Beacon so I quickly snapped them up. You’ve gotta love a project like that!



Under stairs before Under stairs after

We’ve had a teensy issue under our stairs. Bear in mind that this is not hidden in some rarely used corner, it’s right in the middle of our small open-plan living/dining room.

It started when The Man and I got engaged, oh, almost two years ago. We (er, I…) started collecting decorations for the engagement party, then the wedding. After the wedding the boxes just, well, stayed there.

I have sloooowly been picking away at the pile, donating something here, repurposing something there. Until finally, miracle of miracles, it is now back to how it should be and I’m no longer ashamed to have anyone see it.

Does anyone else have that one problem area in your home? Please tell me I’m not the only one.

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glass candelabra

As you may have noticed, we haven’t done too many big projects on the house lately.

But there have been a few small additions, like this candlestick. The shape is much more formal and traditional than I’d normally like, but the glass makes it so much more modern, don’t you think? It makes a nice little touch to my quite girly dresser.

tallboy before 2

On the other side of the bedroom, we’ve replaced the chunky old CD player…

tallboy after

…with a compact new iPod dock. We already had a dock actually, which we use frequently when entertaining outside, but for the bedroom we wanted one with a radio and alarm clock. Apart from being a lot sleeker in appearance, I love that it is so much smaller and less intrusive.

felt table runner

For downstairs, I scored this fantastic laser cut felt table runner for $2 and the local bargain shop! It really dresses up the table without getting in the way.

matryoshka measuring cups

I had been eyeing off these cute matryoshka doll measuring cups since they came out a couple of years ago but could never really justify the purchase for myself. Imagine my surprise when my friend gave them to me for my birthday! How did she know? They are the perfect addition to the new kitchen shelf.

What are your latest fave finds?

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