Posts Tagged ‘Outdoor’
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.
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you will know that not only do I assist my clients who are renovating, but we are actually renovating our home in Sydney. Naturally I’ve had a very close involvement in designing, sourcing and selecting all of the items in the house.
The New South Wales government require all homes undergoing major renovations include a rainwater tank. Ours will be under the house and hooked up to the washing machine, downstairs toilet and have an outlet for the garden hose.
The builder asked my husband what colour would we like the rainwater tanks? Of course, I was consulted (he wouldn’t be game to make a decision without at least asking!) and I said “a grey – as long as it wasn’t visible under the house”. The men agreed on a dark grey as apparently it came in light grey or dark grey.
Guess what? They are green!!!!
Fortunately the colour will be fine. Some things are just not that important to worry about. However, it made me realise once again, how the subtleties of colour are often lost on men.
If you would like assistance choosing colours for your home renovation, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
Last week saw the end of week two of our renovation with more demolition and a little building work.
We are taking off two 1970′s extensions and then rebuilding them bigger and better than there were. We are also rejigging nearly every room inside the house. The only room that will not be touched at all is the formal lounge room.
The dining room is pretty much staying as is. The room had three doorways and was used as a thoroughfare from the hall to the home office. To make the dining room more of a destination, two of the three doors are being closed up. The bricklayer has been busy this week closing in these doors.
The original bathroom in the house is being converted to the master ensuite so it has been gutted and a new doorway cut in the wall between our bedroom and the bathroom.
Many years ago the front verandah was enclosed and turned into a walk in robe for the master bedroom. It had a step down and last week the builders levelled the floor.
The kitchen has been totally gutted and the back deck has been removed and the doorway to my daughter’s bedroom has been closed in and a new doorway made in the adjacent wall.
The builders have also marked out on the grass where the new building will be which brings it all into reality. We have been poring over these plans for the past 4 years but to see the markings on the ground and things starting to move is very exciting.
We’re not up to choosing anything too exciting yet, just rain water tanks and skylights. I have revisited my external colour scheme and tweaked a few placements but still have time to reconsider the internals.
It’s so hard doing my own place because I know so much and seem to second guess everything!
Whilst I am technically back at work, many of my clients and some of my suppliers are still on holidays so I can enjoy a slower pace. However, I am enjoying my walks around the suburb each afternoon and watching the houses changing colours.
I live amongst Californian Bungalows and Federation homes in Sydney’s North Shore and many of them have undergone renovations over the last few years to accommodate the families that have moved into the area.
Most of the houses subscribe to my 3 colour formula and I must say, I think the homes look smart with a light, medium and dark colour.
This was the house before via Google Street View and I really think it would’ve benefitted from a dark colour on the barge boards (they’re the wide boards at the top of the gable). Alternatively, the shingles could’ve been painted a colour between the dark grey and the white.
Remember a Colour Consultation is the cheapest part of repainting your home but will make all the difference.
If your home is brick then the brickwork is considered a colour so you only need to choose two colours. What do you think – two colours or three?
If you would like assistance choosing exterior paint colours for your home, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.
Now that title probably makes you think of something you’d pick up at the local hardware store. Something you’d keep in the shed for that camping trip or when there’s one too many around the outdoor table.
Well let me introduce you to a new kid on the block – the Flux.
It is made from a single piece of weather proof plastic that can eventually be recycled. The piece of plastic has fold lines and notches and with a quick (once you get the hang of it) flick of the wrists it becomes a comfortable chair for either inside or outside use.
Designed in Holland by industrial designers Douwe Jacobs and Tom Schouten it was awarded the Grand Designs Product of The Year in May this year.
It is available in a range of colours and now has a mini-me to add to the stable. Flux Junior has been specifically designed with kids in mind and also comes in a range of child friendly colours.
The chairs aren’t cheap at around $250 each for the adult versions but they are a work of art and will last much longer than that one you picked up at Bunnings.
If you would like further information on the range of Flux chairs or need help with seating for your home, contact us.
We have well and truly left New York behind now. We’ve been travelling around New England and taking in the sights we’ve read and dreamed about.
Our first stop was Newport, Rhode Island. Famous for the home of the America’s Cup (which Australia won in 1983) and historic houses from the Gilded Age. It is a colourful, harbour town with cute homes and lots of shopping.
From there we drove the entire stretch of Cape Cod to the very tip and stayed overnight so we could explore the town the next morning. Cape Cod homes have a big influence on the houses in Australia and many people would like to replicate the style. The easy-going relaxed lifestyle suits our Australian way of life.
Then it was into Massachusetts to meet up with fellow blogger Linda Merrill. Linda writes a number of blogs including Surroundings and Silver Screen Surroundings as well as co-hosts the popular podcast The Skirted Roundtable. I’ve been following Linda for a number of years now and we have exchanged emails and blog comments from time to time. When I knew we were visiting her “backyard” I emailed her for some insights into things to see and do for an Interior Decorator from Down Under. In true Linda style, she emailed back with loads of ideas and information so it was only natural that we should meet for a bite.
We met in her pretty hometown for lunch and a long chat on design, country similarities, what’s popular and general chit chat before heading further up the coast to Maine.
I wish we had more time to explore this interesting and beautiful state. The houses are so cute and the word “neat” kept popping into my head when I stopped to snap photos of them. I’m not sure what makes them appear so neat. Maybe it’s the symmetry of the architecture or the neat gardens. Maybe it’s the high pitched roofs which don’t attract leaf litter or maybe it’s the manicured, green lawns.
Don’t you agree, the houses here are “neat”? You can check out more photos on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to “like” it while you’re there.
Last week I posted this photo on my Facebook page with the comment – “I see signs of Spring.”
Never a truer word was spoken with Sydney enjoying a run of 20+C days. So it was no trouble at all to sit and take in the view and the food yesterday at Quay Restaurant on Sydney Harbour.
My friends at Electrolux have just released their new range of premium barbecues and world renowned chef Peter Gilmore was putting them through their paces. I’d never been to Quay before so was delighted to be a guest at this esteemed restaurant and sit in the front row of an intimate masterclass with Peter Gilmore.
Peter cooked four different cuts of Angus Sirloin Beef – grass fed and air aged for six weeks, grain fed, F1 and Wagyu. Peter likes to preheat the barbecue for ten minutes with the hood down on a very high heat. He then seasons the meat with salt and pepper before turning the burners to medium and sealing the meat. He then turns the barbecue off and lets the meat rest with lid closed for about 40 mins.
The Electrolux barbecues have inbuilt sealed grills with drip trays so the fat drips down and there is no spitting and flames. You don’t get any burnt bits of meat that way which is good when you’re cooking Wagyu which is in excess of $110 per kilo!
The En:tice Barbecue comes in two different sizes, 600mm and 900mm. They not only look smart and would be welcome in any outdoor entertaining area, but are made of easy cleaning materials like cast iron and stainless steel.
Peter also cooked a vegetable salad on the barbecue with purple carrots!
I found his tale of the history of carrots very interesting. Apparently carrots originated in Asia and were purple and orange. The Dutch bred the purple out of the carrots as their national colour is orange. So now when we see a carrot other than an orange one, it looks kinda weird. But oh, what a beautiful colour scheme!
Thank you Electrolux and Quay Restaurant for a lovely afternoon.
If you would like assistance with furnishing or design for your outdoor entertaining area, contact us for an online or in-person consultation.