Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Thanks for the Mention!

A few recent shout outs I'd love to mention... 

My latest boy's room design was featured in the newest issue of House of Fifty

It was also featured on Apartment Therapy a few weeks back. See it here.

I am glad people are still enjoying that room!

Help me decorate our foyer

I am after a slim console table for our foyer, to go along the tiny 60cm wall between the staircase and the cinema doors. I would love to hear your suggestions or any specific examples.

I have considered a pot plant etc, but it just wouldn't be practical for us. We really need a spot to leave our keys when we enter the house :(

Also, any suggestions as to how to decorate the rest of the foyer would be greatly appreciated... Keeping in mind that our walls aren't at 90 degrees and there are a lot of doors and not really much wall space at all... I've considered a zebra rug, but would need to run that past MrB and research the washability etc.

Please excuse our unsanded staircase and the lack of balustrading. It will be glass with timber posts and handrail.


Monday, 30 January 2012

Built-in robes for our secondary bedrooms

Just like everything else in this house... I've been overthinking this built-in robes business... Our secondary bedrooms are all 5m x 3.5m and the built-in robes range between 2.3m and 3.5m.

We don't know how many kids we will have so these might be used as kids'/study/guest bedrooms. Should we just go with the cheapest fit out (hanging + some shelving) or invest a bit more? (I have no idea if our clothes will fit in our walk-in-robe so we might have to use one of these bedroom's buit-ins for our stuff as well).

If/when we have kids, I am thinking Bedroom 2 would be the nursery.

Also, my lovely Decorating Forum friend Sooty, suggested that we have a wardrobe just in the centre with shelving to each side. And use the shelves for storage of books/decorative items. I really like this idea but am affraid that it might create too much mess... I really hate dusting *shy* and with our generous room sizes we are thinking that we should be able to fit study desks as well shelving as it is. What would you do? Are you a lazy person who hates dusting?


Mailbox Makeover

Behold our white plastic dinosaur mailbox:

We have been living with this rust bucket since day 1 and I finally decided something had to be done. Aside from that, we had removed the outdated house numbers plaque from the top of our garage and never got around to replacing it with something more modern (I wonder if this is why some of our packages never made it to our house... hmmm...)

We were procrastinating because our house is entirely brick and stucco, and there's really no decent spot to drill numbers into. So I figured I'd knock both projects off the list by combining them somehow.

Step #1: Get a new mailbox:

I realized when mailbox shopping that these things are quite costly. I didn't want to use a standard wood post, so I did some bargain hunting and found this nice black post here for around $45 shipped, which I thought was a great deal compared to similar looking products. Then I picked up a matching black mailbox at Lowe's for around $15.

Next it was time for the house numbers.

I didn't want to just slap some vinyl numbers onto the side of the mailbox, so I had to get a litte creative.

I grabbed a leftover piece of trim (from our foyer board & batten) and decided it was the perfect size to make my own plaque.

After trimming the wood to size and painting it a bright white, I carefully chose my font and printed out two copies onto sticky-back paper (one for each side):

 Here is where a Silhouette machine would really have come in handy. Unfortunately, I am sans Silhouette, so I grabbed an Xacto knife and got to work the old fashioned way.

All done... wasn't so bad.

Then I carefully applied my template to both sides of the plaque and gave them a few coats of ORB spray paint (sorry, no pics of this step).

Once dry, I peeled back the liner to reveal my numbers.

It worked!

Finally, I gave the plaque a couple good coats of poly to weather seal it.

Once it was dried and cured, I put four screw eye hooks (2 for each side) into both the wood and the bottom of the mailbox. Then I used some simple S hooks to hang them... and voila!

For under $60, our mailbox is no longer the embarassment of the neighborhood. And now the UPS man can't miss our house, which is a good thing because our kitchen cabinet handles are scheduled to arrive any minute. And you know what that means.... kitchen reveal soon!

Etsy Valentine's Day Roundup

Valentines' Day is such a neat holiday! It makes me happy that we all come together and celebrate all the people we love. Here are some items from Etsy to make that celebration easier.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Can you help me find some BIG apothecary jars for our kitchen?

My lovely bloggy friend Brooke from The House on Chambers suggested "two enormous glass apothecary or ginger jars to sit on the island bench". Can you help me find some online?

Our island is 4m long. What is the ideal or minimum jar height I should be looking at?

KL, do you remember where you got your Cita apothecary jar from?

Also, do you think the bottom kettle/toaster are too blingy? Should I get the plain ones instead (top) or go blingy?


Friday, 27 January 2012

Outward opening doors? - MrB says "No!"

Remember my No room to move... Is this ridiculous post?

I've been thinking about our door opening issue and think I may have found a solution... But, before I propose it to MrB I thought I would run it past you first...

So, what I am thinking is of converting the door which has already been installed... so that it swings outward into a hallway, what do you think?

This is how far the door would open:

This is the vanity & toilet layout with the inward opening door:

As you can see, the vanity has to be under the mirror as the plumbing is already in place:


Friday Favorites

I'm switching things up again by introducing a new series I call "Friday Favorites". There are so many awesome things I come across on a daily basis (most of my day consists of being at the computer, so I can't help but run into stuff!) and I thought I'd share some of my favorites with you from time to time.

Today's favorite has been something I've almost purchased a few times...

How great are these?! They are the work of Liz and Rick, from OldNewAgain on Etsy.

They have everything from carved state key organizers:

to napkin holders:

and plenty of words and letters...

The best part: you can customize everything!

I want everything in this shop. All over my walls in every room.

I had my eye on this sign for my kitchen, actually...

But at the last minute I changed my mind and made my own sign.

Sneak preview:

That's all you get for now (step by step tutorial coming next week).

Speaking of the kitchen... there was a minor setback. It appears the cabinet handles won't arrive until Monday now, so you should expect the big kitchen reveal on Tuesday. I know, I'm bummed about this too. But the wait will be worth it, I am just loving how everything is coming together.

In the meantime, I have some other fun projects to keep me busy this weekend... like a DIY chalkboard... perhaps some bathroom mirror framing and crown molding? We'll see. I might even have the big kitchen AND master bath reveal next week.

Alt Recap

I honestly wasn't sure if I was going to make it to Alt this year. I was so excited to go but the morning sickness hit me earlier than I expected. But lots of prayers and zofran later I managed to show up for the two day conference and I'm so glad I did. 

I hung out with Caitlin Creer and Christina mostly but I was able to chat with some friends that I met last year and some new friends that I met this year. 

Alt is fun for a number of reasons. The people are interesting, the atmosphere is exciting the food and hotel are amazing and the all of the speakers are so inspiring. 

photo by Justin Hackworth 

Ben Silbermann from pinterest shared his inspirational story and received a standing ovation afterwards. It was truly amazing and an experience I'll never forget.  Let me just say that Ben is one-of-a-kind. I've never met anyone like him.

His speech was so inspirational and he got a well deserved standing ovation at the end of it. 

There were a few panels I really enjoyed this year. 

Jenny, Kirsten, Morgan Satterfield and Emily spoke on a panel The Ins and Outs of Interior Design blogging. I was really interested in Jenny's portion. She talked about how she always though the blog and the separate design business were really hard to manage at the same time but she realized that the business fed the blog and vice versa. I agree. It's so much easier to find things to blog about when I'm working on client projects. She also touched on spending 10% of your time on inspiration ie. blogs, pinterest, magazines.. and 90% of your time on perspiration meaning actually getting out there and shopping, working on clients homes or your own home etc. 

Emily Henderson gave some great tips on styling your projects for photographs. This was advice I really needed. A few of her tips that I liked:
- It's okay to show stems in vases
- If you have tight flowers use a blow dryer to open them up a bit.
- Combine open and closed flowers in a bouquet to make it look more natural. 
- Create asymmetrical shapes
- Don't use gerber daises unless it's for a kids room or party. 
- Use lots and lots of pretty books to style. 
- Fake or half eaten food is a no-no.
- Square objects should be straight on and have stuff on them. 

I also enjoyed the panel by Erin, Danielle, Meg and Sarah on Building Relationships with Ad Networks and Sponsors. 
I feel like sponsors and giveaways are still a mystery to so many people. There are new rules coming out all the time on regulations and laws regarding these things and the only way I get to hear about them is by going to things like Alt. Honestly I'm still a little confused. Basically I know that I need to start doing some research before I do any more giveaways. You can read some more info on what I'm talking about here. I also learned about the types of sponsors you should be taking. Make sure they are a good fit with your brand and blog. Make sure they are honest and have values as a company. You can even think about having some kind of document for them to sign stating that they are such. Go into blog advertising as, "Once I take money from you you are on my team and I will do everything I can to help you make money". Don't be a person that will just take any sponsor or any giveaway. Know your worth. 

Friday morning I attended a round table discussion on Tax and Accounting for bloggers. I'd been looking forward to this one. Caroline Devoy spoke at this table and she was really knowledgeable. Basically you can write off what you blog about if you feel it is promoting your business or is a business expense. You need to be careful though as to how you label things. Make sure you call them "Creative Supplies" 

One of my favorite panels last year was Growing Your Readership so I decided to go again this year. Jordan, Kelly, Nicole and Maggie spoke at this one. Some of the points I liked from this one:
- A well designed blog is a prerequisite now. Have a professional look and make yourself look bigger than you are. 
- Blog about what people are searching for on search engines. For example holidays, big events like the super bowl etc. 
- What's your story? Are you the girl who is building a house, fixing up a house, starting a business, writing a book etc. 
- If you have a good idea put it out there immediately before someone else does it even if you don't have the idea perfected right now. 
Jordan gave the best advice on my opinion on growing your readership. She outlined ways to actually post original content.
- Design beautiful layouts for your posts. Take a normal photo and add a beautiful graphic. This will also help your pictures get pinned.
- Blog about your experiences. No one else can have the experiences that you have. Experiences with travel, clients, in school, in your everyday life etc. 
- Share expertise. If you are an Interior Designer teach people how to become better designers. If you are a party planner guide people on planning the perfect party etc. 
- Post from your own research. Find ways to pull inspiration from the past and put your own spin on it.

I attended lots of other great panels but those few were my favorites. I hope I get to attend next near and I hope to see you a lot of you there!  

Wow that post took me like a whole week to write.  I would work on it for 5 minutes and then take a nap or get something to eat or just stare into space. Seriously I'm a mess right now! I hope you enjoyed that recap now I am going to go watch some t.v an lay on the sofa.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

How big is your computer desk and what's on it?

Ok. So, I've just realised that our new computer desk is very small and we won't be able to keep much on it :(

We've only got 120mm x 60mm to work with... and I was thinking of keeping something along the lines of a Drawer Desktop File Clear and A4 Document Box, in addition to an iMac on the desk.

Going with a larger iMac will obviously leave us with slightly less room on either side (12.2cm all up) ... but does it really matter? Is 12.2cm worth crying over? Further down are some diagrams of how much difference there is between the two. MrB obviously wants a bigger screen... and although I would love a bigger screen if someone else was paying, I am thinking the smaller one will do the job...  

How big is your computer desk and what's on it?


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Puff pastry pizza

This is what MrB made for us last night. Puff pastry pizza - yum! His and hers, because we both like different toppings.

Gypsy ham & prosciutto on mine
Pepperoni & cheese on his
Bacon, red & green capsicum on both.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

MrB's creations

Look what MrB made for two of us on Friday night :)

Sushi Train's Ebi Fry copies.

I helped of course. We used the Japanese Panko bread crumbs as per FAUX FUCHSIA's recommendation :)

It was delicious! The prawns we used were huge so they weren't exactly bite size pieces like the originals. But we didn't complain :)

Although, MrB said that next time he will just get them from Sushi Train instead as it took almost two hours to make. Eeeeek!

A bit of a house progress update... Mr B installed the fence at the front of the house over the weekend. It was boiling hot. I heped by suppling him with delicious smooties though :)
Oh, and he continues to work on his car so this was the only thing he managed to do last week. Better than nothing I guess :)

Oh, do you like our curtains? :)

The prawns look a little burned in the photo but in reality they weren't :)


Having second thoughts about floating shelves...

Thank you all so much for your feedback and comments on my previous post about our home office.

Having thought about it further …I am now having second thoughts about floating shelves :(

The desk has to stay where it is :( because of the Internet/C-bus points that are already in place...

I have never been about pretty homely things before… and have never had anything decorated/prettified before… so being the first room to get done this is a big deal to me *shy*.

So, because I want to make the desk and the area around it pretty… I would like to show it off… to both myself and my guests (without having to drag them to the other side of the room) *shy*. I just wish it was visible from the door

The reason why I put the internet point (as well as all other C-bus points) along the wall where I’ve placed the desk is because I wanted to give privacy to whoever is using the computer… but now I am begging to regret this… because if we go ahead with the home office/gym plan, the first thing you will see when you walk inside the room will be gym equipment :(

Although nothing spectacular (but to me is a big deal as mentioned before) this is what I imagined the desk/above desk area being prettified by: Ikea frams with cute prints, colourful storage boxes etc...

Here is the window, door layout for the room as well as its dimensions. Also, not that it makes any difference, but there are bulkheads all around the room.

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? I mean it's not like any of our friends/family members would care or get the pretty things anyway ...