Saturday, 19 April 2014

Making a window seat for the library.

It's been a joy to go through my parent's old furniture stash and see what items might just work in our new place. It's good for both of us as I get free furniture to fix up and they get to declutter and have more space. One particular item that caught my eye was a chest that was in great condition but not very attractive. It was just the right height and width to fit underneath the window in the library and seemed like a good cheap way to get us a window seat. I love giving life to old things and finding cheap alternatives for finishing off the room.
It was an easy choice to paint the chest white as I wanted it to match my white painted bookshelf. The chest needed a sand down and a coat of primer, before being given two coats of white.Once it was painted white, the next challenge was finding the right materials to change the chest into a window seat. My goal was to get make a nice chair using materials that were comfortable and didn't cost too much.
After looking around at different fabrics I settled on a green gingham print which would go nicely with the reupholstered baroque chair that was already in the library. I usually always go for neutral colours but I'm really getting into different shades of green lately and fell for the fabric (which using a voucher was only $1.30). Foam is never that cheap so I stretched the budget and bought a big piece that fit the top and was about 10cm high. Hopefully I will get lots of use from this seat! Then I cut some old mdf, from a stash in the shed, to the size of the bench top and started the upholstery process.
Cut the fabric to size leaving around 10cm on each edge to staple down. Line the fabric up straight (easier with non gingham print fabric). Then I used a staple gun to staple down the top longest sides. 

Corners are always the trickiest and I'm not perfect at it but I've included an underneath photo to show how I decided to do the corners.

To finish off I put the upholstered bench seat on top of the chest and now I have a new seat. This room is starting to feel a bit more purposeful and like it will actually get some use.  Now four people can sit in the room :) I'm no pro upholsterer but this seat is the perfect size for on top of the chest and looks neat and nice. I would show a whole room photo but we are currently painting the walls (from a hideous shade of dark pink) so the room is not in a photo worthy state- but hopefully will be soon!

Still to do in this room:
- paint walls and ceiling white
-find a lounge or larger item of seating
-hang up some artwork
- find a bigger bookcase for the other side of the chest? (one day I'd love to have built ins but for now this girl is gonna dream).
Lisa x

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cord clutter no more.

In the last four months I can't count how many times I've tripped over the phone and modem. Visits from little friends have also proved challenging as toddler fingers seem to gravitate to the phone and want to play with it. So to summarise, we had a little bit of a problem with phone and internet cords and it was time to get inventive and make something to solve this. I was sick of this eyesore and wanted a less cluttered look.
Dad and I did some brainstorming and came up with the solution of making two handmade wooden shelves; one for the phone and one for the modem.  Dad crafted these shelves out of some scrap wood he had lying around and we gave them a couple coats of white paint. We then screwed the handmade shelves to the wall and used clips to pin back the wires.
It only took about an hour to make the shelves and then we just had to wait a bit in between coats to paint them up.  It ended up being a simple solution to one more unsightly mess and is an easy way to improve the space. Yay for no more tripping and toddler distractions! This wall is looking more and more cute and I feel like the house is coming together and looking less like we just moved in. I like adding personal functional touches.
*If you're interested there are tutorials on how to make the pom pom wreath and "you are fearfully and wonderfully made" artwork.
Lisa x

Monday, 14 April 2014

I'm living wallpaper free - bathroom update.

Last week, Sue Jason shared with us about creating a minimalist bathroom and now I'm ready to share the start of our bathroom fix up process and how I'm enjoying my bathroom a bit more now. It's cleaner, fresher, emptier and wallpaper frieze free! Hello blank walls.
Every time I had a shower the wallpaper frieze just glared down at me. It was ugly and just made the bathroom feel dirty and dated. I had already removed a lower down frieze and some in the toilet but the bathroom wall is surprisingly high.

Dad and I tried just using a wet warm cloth and scrapper but was sad to discover that the wallpaper frieze had been stuck over another wallpaper which was much harder to remove. This meant we needed to hire a steamer for $39 and get to work removing it. The wallpaper made a big mess as it was removed but it was so nice to see blank (albeit dirty walls).
It was quite a process but then it looked a bit more like this... (I'm not quite sure the photos do justice to how gross the walls were)
I  had always thought I would paint the walls white to be nice and neutral but after thinking about it I realised that the.white paint mightn't be the best choice to make the old white subway tile walls pop and look whiter. I had been eyeing off some minty green bathrooms on pinterest and since I had plenty of sea bubble paint leftover from the nursery I decided to be bold and have a white ceiling with sea bubble walls. I just love how clean and bright the bathroom now feels and looks.
Unfortunately I am still learning how to photograph this space and the wall appear much whiter/apricot in the photos below but they really as mint green as the pictures above.

The bathroom has existing features that I really like- the subway style tiles, added shelf, his/her vanity, large shower with two heads and matching gold handles and hooks. As this is not a finished project yet, I look forward to having shelving to clear away the clutter on the current shelf, in hopes of achieving an even more minimalist look.

I am also considering painting the vanity white as there is a lot of wood in this room. I think painting the vanity might be just enough as painting the two doors and window frame would be too much considering how much other painting is necessary in the house.  I also want to frame the mirrors and add some built in shelving around the his/her mirror to hide the necessary bathroom items that make the space feel more crowded than it needs to be. I am considering getting some artwork too to hang on the space above the other towel rack and give the room a little bit more personality. I know it will be a small picture and need to include white, gold and mint brought together. Right now I'll just enjoy sharing the change with you readers and feeling that bit cleaner and better in the bathroom :-)
Lisa x

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Minimalist Bathroom Decor.

Today I'm excited to have a guest post for you all about how to create a minimalist bathroom. I've been working on our bathroom, toilet and laundry area for the last few weeks and have been keen to soak up any wisdom to improve my spaces. I'll be sharing where I'm at with these rooms later next week but for now let's meet Sue...

Hi my name is Sue Jason and I am a blogger at My-bathrooms blog. You may follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus.

Minimalism is a great way to make any room seem bigger and relies on paring down the décor to the bare minimum, keeping only the necessities and those in plain simple shapes with much of the impact of the style coming from the sleek planes and smooth uncluttered surfaces. A minimalist bathroom is attractive, easy to clean and has the added advantage of appearing to be ultra clean and hygienic!
  Color Less

Minimalist décor aims to clear all distractions from view, and for this reason most minimalist bathrooms are decorated in pure white: from the walls to the bathroom fittings. Any accessories – and there will only be a few, with much hidden from view behind doors and drawers – should follow this white theme, to retain the stark and clutter-free look.

Less is Right

Keep toiletries and bathroom products tucked away neatly in cupboards and cabinets. While it is fine to leave a bar of hand soap (or dispenser full of liquid soap) on the basin for guests and family members to wash their hands, try to keep everything else out of sight, as nothing ruins the purity of a minimal look more than a row of toiletries lined up on the edge of the bath or shower!

Signature Piece

If you have the available space a minimalist bathroom is a great backdrop for a free-standing designer bath. Place the elegant bath as centrally as possible (with help and advice from a friendly plumber!) and design the rest of the décor around it to create a wonderfully eye-catching focal point.

Store It

For minimalism to work you need to strip almost everything out of the bathroom, but for the bathroom to work you will need access to towels, soap, shampoo, conditioner and so on. Therefore, your minimalist bathroom must contain plenty of cupboard space so that everything can be put away properly once it has been used! It will take some time and training to get the family in the habit of putting things away after they have finished in the bathroom, but you will be delighted with the end effect once they do have the hang of it!

Minimalism is not for everyone, but if you are keen to try it out in just one room of your home you can do no better than to choose a bathroom for your first effort! Concentrate on removing clutter and opening out the room as much as possible – and do not worry if it does not work at first; you can always tweak the décor until you find a level of minimalism that works for you.

It's great to have Sue share her fabulous ideas. There is so much now I want to think about while planning the items to add to my bathroom and how to keep my bathroom from feeling cluttered.
Lisa x

Monday, 7 April 2014

Cute afternoon tea ideas.

I've always thought a babymoon was a brilliant idea as it gives us time to just spend together before life changes in a crazy, exciting way. We planned to go away before 30 weeks and husband was fortunate enough to get a week off work and we planned this around the time when friends had a wedding interstate.
The week involved lots of relaxing, exploring, photo taking and enjoying each others company. It was such a blessing to have a little holiday and as we made it into a road trip and took advantage of connections we had along the way and plenty of pre planning to ensure this little trip didn't blow our tiny budget (now that I'm not working as much.) But of course one of the highlights of our adventure was seeing our friends get married and celebrating with them. We got married before the days of pinterest but I always continue to be amazed by the beautiful ideas people add to make spice up events. The reception was beautiful but I thought I'd share some of the pretty details of the afternoon tea which was held in an old church hall. There was an abundance of bunting, white tablecloths, delicate foods on pretty plates and an incredible collection of teacups. All these little details made the afternoon tea feel special and fun. I took a few photos to show these little details.

I think it's time I gave my own teacup collection a workout and hosted a little tea party.After all, pretty teacups are crying out for use ;-)
 Lisa x

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Lamp table.

I got this pathetically ordinary lamp table for free the other day and wanted to make it into something a bit more special that could hold the new lamp I upcycled. I had no where to put the lamp so this little find is the perfect solution and also a place to hold some beautiful brass giraffes that I was given as a baby by an Aunty.
Like I always believe, a coat of paint can make a world of difference. Even after a coat of primer and two coats of white paint, it was looking far more like something I'd have in my house and want to use.
But a white table is just a little bit boring, I changed it up every so slightly by using some leftover 'silver dollar' grey paint to make a bit of interest to the legs.I considered changing up the top too but for now the white paint just makes the lamp and giraffes pop.

And the room is certainly coming together as I've also recently bought a second hand cot and rocking chair so all the furniture in the room is now purchased. The lamp table will need to move when bubs starts crawling and walking but it is a nice solution for the moment and looks cute between the growth chart and gallery wall.
There is still three months to go but I am so pleased to have this room almost complete. Now I just need to stock the cupboards and actually have this little baby :-)
Lisa x

Friday, 28 March 2014

Fixing up a free dresser.

 There is nothing like walking out your front door and finding a dresser just sitting there- especially when you've been needing another dresser for month to hold your pile of clothing that no longer fits your growing baby bump.
I couldn't believe my luck when  I walked outside and there was a dresser on our front lawn. I am assuming a neighbour was getting rid of it. Talk about good luck and just needing a sack truck to get it up the drive way. The dresser was well made but its previous owners had done a horrific job painting it. The paint was patchy at best and peeling all over. I really should have zoomed in closer for the before picture as I was shocked at what a nasty rush paint job it had previously had. However free dresser- No complaints here!
While restoring a white dresser is not the most exciting fix up, my new cleanly painted dresser looks great. It took a bit of sanding back, some minor patching and a few coats of white paint before it was looking brand new. I am so pleased that the handles were in fine form so needed no work. I lined the drawers with old white wallpaper cut to size and then stuffed them full of clothes which I will hopefully be back into in the next six months. For now it holds some tissues, a cute thrifted floral tray and a lovely l'occtaine gift pack I was recently gifted.
It sits in our bedroom just below a shelf full of jewellery and there is a space between it and a large chair for a bassinet which will be bubs bed for the first few months. It's lovely to have a little bit more bench space and I imagine over time it will probably be home to extra makeup and accessories.
Have you ever just walked outside and found the item you needed on your front lawn. I love free surprises and here's hoping the neighbours might want to part with a baroque style chaise or large bookshelf soon...just putting it out there :-)
Lisa x