We have been back in our renovated Californian Bungalow now for 4 months. And as we still chip away at our “To Do List”, I am excited to finally reveal the main bathroom.
We bought our house 10 years ago and inherited a second bathroom with the house. It was a very
small tiny bathroom with no room to move. It had a toilet, washbasin and shower.
As it was in the fibro extension that had been added to the house in the ’70′s, (yes that meant asbestos and care and cost to remove it) it was going to be removed completely and a new and improved bathroom would be added.
The new bathroom was built on the same footprint as the old guest bedroom. You have no idea how many times I paced out that room and tried to imagine myself in a bathroom.
Would it be big enough? The guest bedroom wasn’t that spacious with no built-ins and just enough room to move around the queen bed. It only had one bedside due to space being at a premium. Oh dear, was I doing the right thing or should I make it bigger?
After many months of demolition, excavation and rebuilding, the bathroom was starting to take shape. We had crimped a bit of extra floor space by building a bay window and sitting the bath in that.
I opted for opaque glass in the windows as although the window looks out to a private garden, it’s still reassuring to know that there is no chance of anyone peering in. Also the bay window was at right angles which makes it very tricky to add window coverings unless it’s shutters. I must admit I was a bit disappointed when they first went in. I was not listening to the advice I give my interior design clients, that is – wait until everything is finished and then you will see that it all works together.
I had spent months agonising over floor tiles, wall tiles, paint colours and feature tiles. It’s really hard doing your own place when you have been exposed to so much and your head is full of possiblities.
So, once again, I tried to take the advice I dish out. What feeling would you like when you use the room? That was easy, I wanted it to be a bright space with loads of light yet I wanted to feel calm and relaxed when I was there. A touch of luxury and femininity seeing my daughter would be the main occupant and I might sneak in there occasionally for a bath.(Must get around to doing that!) That set me on the right path and I was able to make the selections relatively easily.
I’m so happy with the end result.
The feature tiles add a touch of glamour while the white wall tiles and bay window makes the room very light. And surprise, surprise, when everything was in place the windows look just perfect.
If you would like assistance with bathroom design or sourcing fixtures and fittings, contact me for an online or in-person consultation.
Are you struggling to finish off a room in your home? Perhaps you’ve recently moved in and don’t know what to do. Or your children are now a little older and want something more grown up in their bedroom.
These are often the scenarios that my clients face and either they don’t have the time or the interest to do it themselves so engage me to assist.
But there are many people who do want to do it themselves, who, like me LOVE shopping but don’t know where to go or how to successfully pull a room together.
There is help at hand! On Thursday 16 May, I am presenting my Dynamic Room Design workshop at the CALDesign Creative Studio in Killara.
I’d love to see you there and help with a room in your house. It will be a fun day with lots of knowledge shared and you’ll come away with a step by step guide so you can finish that room on your own.
Pop over and register your interest and take a look at the other workshops going on as well as their beautiful portfolio. But hurry as there’s only room for 12.
However, if you would prefer to engage me to assist with your home, contact me for an online or in-person consultation.
Renovating a bathroom or kitchen? Chosen all your tiles? What a releif, you can now sit back and let the tiler do his thing. Wrong!
Once you’ve chosen your tiles the next thing you need to choose is the colour of the grout. Don’t leave it to the tiler as you will probably end up with white or grey. The grout needs to support the tiles not detract from them. No-one wants to make a feature of the grout! Unless you’re really making a statement like this image below.
When we renovated I had definite ideas about how the tiles would look once grouted. The large format tiles in the bathroom were rectified which means they have square edges. I wanted the walls to look seamless and the rectified tiles can be placed close together so choosing a white grout assisted with the overall look.
In the ensuite, we used natural stone tiles on the walls and floor so I chose a cream grout there to match the filling in the travertine.
The black marble mosaic splashback in the powder room needed a dark grout as anything lighter would make the space look too busy. I already had a wallpaper above the splashback and that was the main feature of the room. The splashback needed to enhance the wallpaper and save it from water splashes but didn’t need to be a feature in itself.
The kitchen was tricky. I was using white subway tiles. The kitchen has a nod to French provincial style without the fuss so I wanted the tiles to stand out but I didn’t want the industrial look like the kitchen below.
White grout would’ve blended with the tiles and dark grout would give that industrial look, sort of like a butcher’s shop. So I selected a pale grey grout. The cabinetry is grey and the bench top is also a grey – Stone Italiana KSoul. The grey grout sets off the whole kitchen perfectly.
So don’t think once you’ve chosen your tiles your decisions are over. Think about the overall look you’d like, take some time and choose the colour of your grout wisely. Like everything else, the options are endless but will make a big difference to your finished home.
All images can be found on my Pinterest boards.
If you would like assistance choosing tiles and grout for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know that we’ve been renovating our Californian Bungalow on Sydney’s North Shore.
Of course once the builders have left and the house is looking fabulous, the gardens need attention.
When we moved in to the house ten years ago, the front garden was a tree and bark chips.
We built a sandstone, crazy path through the bark chip and planted a garden.
Fortunately the builders were not working in the front garden and it has stayed in tact. A couple of weekends of weeding and pruning and it will be as good as new.
The side garden, however is in a very bad way. There was a paved area adjacent to the pool and plants forming a barrier between the driveway and garden.
This area was totally trashed during the building process.
We needed a path from the driveway to the back door as well as a path to the front door and I wanted visitors to make their way to the front door. I also wanted some screening between the pool and the garden to make the pool more private. There were a few different levels to be considered and it was all too much for me to design. Interiors are my thing, not gardens.
So I called the landscape designer in The Designer Chicks. Nadia Pomare from Stylish Gardens met with me and listened to my wants and needs. We discussed the types of plants I liked and loathed and a couple of weeks later she came up with a lovely plan.
Next up was calling in the heavy artillery from Brisbane. My Dad’s a bit of a dab hand at the garden so he came down from Brisbane for a week and it was all hands on deck.
There’s still heaps to do (I think I’ll be saying that for the next 12 months!) but the back is broken and the garden is starting to take shape.
So that’s what’s been happening around here. What have you been up to?
If you would like colour and design assistance with your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
Did you know I was married to an Accountant! Thank you for your sympathies. Yes it’s a cross I’ve had to bear for 18 years now. It takes him forever to get over the price of things. Doesn’t matter whether its a kilo of steak or the reupholstery of a chair, it’s always a “that’s ridiculous!”.
So when we started our renovations I knew it was going to be a long drawn out process. He was adamant that HIS renovation wouldn’t have any variations and every little detail had been accounted for.
Ha! If you’ve renovated then you know it’s impossible to stay on budget as there are always little things that were overlooked or once you do one thing then it makes sense to do another. And so it was with our renovation.
But it’s the hidden costs that neither of us counted on. Like grabbing takeaways…….often. We were very hands-on renovators doing lots of painting and sourcing ourselves. So most weekends were spent either out looking at lights, bathroom fittings, tiles, etc or up a ladder painting. Naturally the last thing either of us wanted to do when we got home exhausted was to start cooking. It was easier to grab some takeaways for lunch and dinner and sometimes even breakfast. Mmmm, that wasn’t in the budget.
And all the little bits you NEED at Bunnings. Before, during and after the renovations there’s always something you need to pick up. Bubble wrap and packing tape when you’re moving. Paint brushes, masking tape and other painting paraphernalia when your renovating and brooms and door mats when you move back in. I swear we were at Bunnings at least once a week, sometimes more. Note to self – get shares in Bunnings.
Now that we are back in the house and trying to put things back together, the hidden expense is dry cleaning. I’m gradually taking all the curtains and bed linen and other soft furnishings that we have kept, in to be dry cleaned. Ouch! But as I pointed out to the accountant, it’s cheaper than replacing! I know how to appeal to his better judgement.
So it’s never just the bottom line when renovating, there’s always extras that haven’t been thought about.
If you would like assistance renovating your family home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
Well it’s now been a month since we moved back in to our renovated home. I’d love to be showing you photos of the beautifully styled rooms but you will have to wait. How long? I have no idea. We still have loads of painting to do both inside and out as well as a few more rooms to sort out.
It was a very exciting but extremely exhausting time. My brother, his son and their dog along with my mum arrived from Brisbane in mid December. I thought we would be back in the house by then, just. But that didn’t happen. No fault of anyone’s really, just things take a bit longer than planned and it was much better to stay away than move in with all the builders still crawling all over the place.
So we crammed into the two bedroom unit for a couple of weeks. Fortunately my studio was finished so we were able to set up a couple of beds there for the boys and the dog but of course they were woken every morning at 6am when the builders arrived. Anyway, we all survived and still love each other.
The builders finally left at 4.30pm on Christmas Eve. We’d moved our storage furniture back into the house on the 16th, the floors were done on the 19th and we moved the unit furniture back on 23rd and slept there for the first time. It was lovely to have the extra hands to move furniture, open boxes and put things in cupboards. Christmas seemed still so far away and not much thought had been given to the event.
The kids sensed that we were not going to have time, nor room, to put up the tree as every surface seemed to be covered with boxes! They gathered some sticks and found the boxes of decorations (which I’d left out in great optimism) and set about creating a tree. It was beautiful and brought my focus back to Christmas.
So after the builders left and we completed our last dash to the shops for food and presents, I started to turn my thoughts to Christmas lunch. Fortunately, I had remembered to order the turkey and ham and had a fridge full of vegetables. My brother was a Christmas baby and a birthday cake is our usual Christmas dessert. I had ordered an ice cream cake so at least the basics were taken care of.
At 2am on Christmas morning I was still unpacking boxes desperately trying to locate my big baking tray for the turkey as well as reading the instruction manual for the new cooktop.
Christmas Day was probably the most ill prepared I’d ever had and I had such high hopes of having everything organised with all the family here in my Sydney home on Christmas Day for the first time ever.
But it all came together in the end, even if we were still surrounded by boxes.
There was plenty to eat, plenty of laughs and even a few tears (of joy)!
And we were surrounded by family being thankful for all that we have. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? At least it will be a Christmas we won’t forget.
The unpacking continues but it’s getting there. How did you spend your Christmas Day?
I don’t believe so! I love a dedicated dining room especially in older homes.
Back in the mid 1980′s I bought my first home in an outer Brisbane suburb. It had a combined dining and lounge room and for a few years I had a pine round table with 4 rattan and metal cantilevered chairs as the dining table. Then one day, one of my colleagues at work asked out loud if anyone was interested in a Rosenstengel dining suite. He had been appointed Executor of a Monseigneur’s Estate and apparently there was a silky oak dining table and 6 chairs to offload. The asking price was $200. With all my income going in to my house repayments I said, “No”. Besides I didn’t want some old table and what was Rosenstengel anyway?
I was telling my Mum about it a few days later and she said, “Grab it.” She knew all about Ed Rosenstengel and his furniture making and knew it would be a great buy as well as owning a piece of Queensland history. So I purchased the table and it is still serving me to this day. Although right now it’s in storage as we renovate our home.
When I moved to the Gold Coast in the ’90′s I decided to have the dining suite refurbished. A furniture restorer cleaned down the table and applied a new coat of shellac which gave it a rich glow. I had the chairs reupholstered in a plain pink fabric to co-ordinate with the curtains and sofa.
When I moved back to Brisbane we renovated a little Workers Cottage on the northside and we created a formal dining room in the old sleep-out.
This time the upholstery on the chairs dictated what colour the walls would be.
When we moved to Sydney and bought our Californian Bungalow the dining suite suited the period of the house and the existing curtains.
However, after a few years, I was ready to ditch the curtains and I replaced them with gold silk and repainted the walls in the warm earthy tones of the time.
Now we are renovating, I have decided to keep the formal dining room. We’ve closed off two of the three doorways into the room and I’ve decided to be a little bit adventurous in choosing the paint colour.
I’m a firm believer that the formal lounge room is mainly used at night time so why not make it dramatic? But alas the existing upholstery will not suit the new look room. The question is, will I keep the suite and have it reupholstered, or is it time for a complete new dining suite?
Do you have a formal dining room or a dining suite with provenance?
No, not quite, but I have been rather consumed by everything that’s going on, so the poor old blog has been neglected. Sorry for being AWOL for a while.
Our house renovations are getting to the pointy end. It’s looking so good and I just want to wiggle my nose and be in.
My father-in-law (aka The Painter) has been here for two and half weeks and has been working non stop to get the interior of the house painted. My husband is helping on the weekends and does some prep work for him in the evenings. The colours all look great. (The one above and the one below are not the same, it just looks that way on the screen. Well it does on mine.)
The tilers have been and tiled the bathrooms and laundry as well as the outside rear stairs and landing.
And the floor has been put down in my new studio.
The logistical nightmare is now upon us as we juggle all the tradies for the final two weeks. The cabinetmaker is still to bring in the laundry, kitchen and bathroom cabinets. The electrician is to return to install all the light fittings. The plumber needs to come after the tilers to plumb in the toilets and then will return after the cabinetry to do the taps and basins. Shower screens and bathroom mirrors have been measured and will be installed also after the tilers. Then when they’ve all finished we can have the floors sanded, stained and polished (I’m going for a dark floor) and finally the carpet and curtains.
Then we can bring back the furniture and household items we packed away in storage 10 months ago and move in and enjoy Christmas in our new old home.
Besides all that I’m trying to ensure all the jobs that are in the system for clients get completed and delivered prior to 24 December.
A new dining table was delivered for one client today and we are still waiting on a new sofa.
We’re awaiting shutters for another client and curtains and blinds for two clients.
A bathroom is having a makeover for another client and I’m still doing colour consultations for clients about to paint over the Christmas period or have painters coming in the New Year.
The wallpaper hanger is booked for yet another client and a sofa is being carted off today to be reupholstered.
Fingers crossed everything goes to plan and we are all enjoying our “new” homes for the holidays.
If you would like assistance with colour and design for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
This week clicked over to five months into our renovations. I just couldn’t be more delighted with the way the house is coming together. It’s everything I have imagined it would be and feels quite surreal walking through the rooms that have only previously been in my head or on paper. I think builders are very clever.
The gyprockers finished today so we have walls and ceilings throughout.
The back deck and balcony have been clad and the balustrading has now been installed.
We managed to have morning tea out there on the weekend during our painting session.
Windows and doors are in and door handles have been installed.
The renders have rendered the bottom half of the exterior. We inherited a painted brick house (which I would never have done) so we will paint the new build too.
In between painting on the weekend, I also chose the carpet for the bedrooms. It wasn’t the one I liked in the showroom, nor the one I liked in the unit we are currently living in. Soooo important to look at samples in the room where it will eventually be laid. The decisions are never ending!
It’s time to start dragging the family into the picture. My father-in-law is a painter in Brisbane and he is coming down for a couple of weeks to paint the interior. He hangs wallpaper too so I’m going to test those skills.
I’m sweet talking my father into coming down in the New Year to help in the garden. There’s plenty of both painting and gardening to be done so we will need all the help we can get.
So much work to do yet but we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel. I’m even ordering window coverings and they are always the last things to go in.
If you would like assistance with your home renovation, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.