Thursday, 18 September 2014

and almost two months later...

Life looks so different now compared to three months ago- I've spent many hours cuddling, kissing, rocking and feeding the little baby attached to those adorable feet. I've let my little corner of the web go for a short time but now I am finally settling into a bit of a routine and getting chances to do a few new projects while Henry naps. As soon as Spring started (here in Australia) and I felt I little bit of warmth, I wanted to clear the excess stuff that had been building up in our home and reassess the way we've set out our house now that I am a stay at home mum for the time being. There is just something soothing about waking up in a clean organised house and not having any junk or useless objects around cluttering up space- the more excess stuff the more cleaning needed.
After searching the web for ideas to motivate me to declutter, I stumbled across the 40 bags in 40 days. While this challenge was a few months back, I've taken it on myself and so far I'm 7 bags and 7 days in. I've also been purposely seeking charities and donation places to take these goods and doing a bit of tossing as well. Our home already feels much cleaner and organised.
Although my last post was about setting up the guest room, we had my sister in law and her bub stay for just under two weeks and after that I realised the space would be better used as a play space (joining on with the lounge room). I then moved the guest room to another room- combining it with my craft/office room which is really just a space to hold everything I have quite worked out what to do with. Let's be honest, kid's spaces are super fun and since we spend lots of time reading (already, I know, I'm a teacher), listening to music, lying under the play gym, practising tummy time and sitting in the swing- I like having a dedicated space to keep all these things organised and house the toys that Henry will grow into in the future. Being a Junior Primary teacher for the last four years has meant I have many toys that Henry won't be using for years.
I've attempted a mood board below of a few things I'd like to incorporate into the space that can remain as constants while the toys evolve.

 1 / 2 / 3  / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7
For storage an expedit (know known as kallax in Ikea) is great as it allows toys to be on show and accessible or grouped together in boxes. I already have one I purchased second hand last year which is perfect. After looking around I've become a bit smitten with the Skip Hop range of storage boxes as they're just so cute and a bit more fun that a plain box. It's always good to have some soft surfaces to play on and a sheepskin rug is perfect for that as well as Skip Hop play spots. I recently got a free faux sheepskin rug from a deceased estate and my sister in law gave their old set of play spots which are perfect for the space. The walls need a bit of excitement as I'm leaving them white. I love these star decals from walls need love and a search of Etsy led me to these cute artworks. I'm also hoping to do some DIY projects in the room.
Here's a little sneak peek of how it's coming together...
Time to go fill another bag for today- 8 days down :-)
Lisa x

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

And onto the guest room for a new paint job.

Once you start painting, it's hard to stop as new paint just makes everything look so much better. We've only got a few spaces in our home now that are still wearing their old crusty paint job, the rest of the house is fresh and ready to have personality added to it. With paint cans filling the hallway and rollers everywhere, we proceeded to tackle the guest room . This room is in the front of the house and was originally a second dining room but my clever Dad enclosed it with some old blackwood doors he owned. Living back in the city I am unsure how much use the guest room will get (it's only had four sets of visitors through in the last 6 months) but since we've got the space and already owned a spare bed, it seems like just as good a use for the room. In fact husband and I spent 2 weeks in the guest room bed while we were painting our main bedroom. We ended up finishing painting the guest room about a week before Henry came along.

Recently I found out my sister in law and niece are coming to visit from overseas for 10 days so it seemed like the time to get the guest room together before they arrive. It's exciting to add special touches to a room and make it feel that little bit more homely and welcomming.

A before shot: The room was the same dark pink as the rest of the front of the house but with some cracking and necessary filling needed. The before shot was taken with the old owners belongings before we added the blackwood doors.

Even with the doors the room still fells large enough to be another bedroom and the house doesn't feel any smaller than it did previously. We removed the curtains quickly as they really weren't our taste and then had a blank (albeit pink) canvas to plan a guest room in.

If you look closely in the right corner of the picture you can see how the crown molding has fallen down a little. This meant that we needed to remove the crown molding and put it back nice and straight.
The process of replacing it involved using the original pieces and simply reattaching them in a straight line, using screws and nails to hold them in place until the gyprock had dried. Once it was dry the screws and nails could then be removed. Hopefully  in the future we can use some watercolour paints in the future to fix up the marbling and get rid of the white lines left. For now though it is much better that the crown molding is straight and neat.

After this work the room received a few coats of antique white (following the usual painting process) before furniture was moved back in and a few pictures and items we had around the house were given a new home. When decorating the guest room, I used items that needed a home (and I didn't want to part with) and placed them in the room. It is really nice to have a nice, neat, clean room, always ready for use when someone pops round.
The dolls house was built by my grandfather when I was a child, the chest of drawers used to be my nannas when she was a little girl, the bed was secondhand and my Dad built the bedside cabinets (he's so clever). The blanket holder was an upcycled freebie, the Marilyn Manroe picture was purchased in on a holiday in Vietnam and the rest of the items in the room have been thrifted. As my niece is also coming to stay there is a temporary portacot and a few items for her around the room.

I plan to do a feature wall in the room as I loved having the chevron wall in our previous house and would really like to have a special interesting wall in this home. I won't be doing a chevron wall but it will be much more interesting than a plain white wall :)  I also want to keep adding to this room, maybe even some more bunting, to make it more cute and special but it is a far cry from what we started out with.
With a needy newborn I just need to rest for a little before this project will happen but it's always nice to dream of future ideas.
Lisa x

Monday, 21 July 2014

A before and after round up.

Life has certainly changed in the last month as our little man is now a whole month old. I haven't had any time to really do any crafting or diy projects for the last few weeks as I've been lapping up and cherishing my first month as a Mum and it's been fantastic.
Today I thought I'd share a little round up of the busy last six months before Henry entered our family. I've really enjoyed transforming our home into a space that feels like us and since I love a good before and after shot, I thought I'd go round the house and share the progress we have made so far. While there are still many ideas and lots to do, the progress has been great and I'm so pleased with the new space. I think the nursery and half bathroom are the only truly finished spaces (that I'm happy to leave as they are and won't be making any more changes to). However a home is really always a changing space, especially with our new baby forcing us to make more child friendly choices.
Enjoy the round up so far and feel free to ask any questions about sources/projects done.

While the original before photo makes the walls look white, they were actually a peachy colour and just whitening the walls and shelving has already significantly lightened the feel of the kitchen. Eventually I'd like to paint the cupboards white, install a gas stove and extend the island bench (currently not pictured). I'm trying to restrict all items to display to neutral colours with a splash of yellow and black. 

Our laundry feels so clean and crisp now with the fresh paint and crisp white laundry sink. We've actually set up Henry's baby bath in this room and the long bench has been perfect for washing and drying off our little man. We've also recently installed a dryer (not in above picture) as washing for three in the middle of winter was getting too much without one. 
Half bathroom:
Our house was purchased from an older lady and her daughter and had a distinctively dated feel about it. Removing the curtains and wallpaper frieze was a start, but with crisp white paint, a new mirror and some wall stickers the room really feels a lot more modern and us. 
Adding gold wall spots

Lounge area:
 While the after photo looks much darker, it's due to my developing photography skills, rather than how it really is since the walls went from peach to white (the carpet stayed the same and looks like the original photo colour in real life). We added a gallery wall and while the photo doesn't show it well, the room has three defined spaces (the lounge area, dining area and kitchen) combined.
Black gallery wall


Having white carpet in the entrance way was terrible so we quickly replaced it (and consequently the library which is just off the entrance way) with wooden floorboards which have made a huge difference to the feel of the space. The walls are no longer pink, but a nice fresh white and a lot of freebie furniture has been upcycled for the room.
Painting the library
DIY window seat
Baroque style chairs
Library bookcase


Once the wallpaper frieze was removed from this room and it was freshly painted, the bathroom felt much cleaner. We also custom designed and built shelving/ framing for the mirrors which has finished off the room nicely.


The nursery was previously a small and uninviting room that wasn't really used much. We livened up with room with sea bubble (mint) paint and painted the existing sink and wardrobe. The furniture was purchased secondhand or found and this room has been filled with DIY projects as making things for a baby is great fun.


 In the country we had two large sheds so when we moved to the city, we really needed somewhere to store all our tools, camping gear and other larger items. We have a double garage and now it is getting lined with shelving and we're even in the process of building a little loft so we will have a large amount of storage for our future growing family. It's still evolving and I can't wait to share how much storage we've managed to create and some diy ideas...but the garage still needs work before it's ready to share.


One of the key selling points of our house was that all the rooms lead out to a central atrium, thus the house is always bright during the day. The atrium is the only outside area for our dog, Maisy so we needed to make sure there was an area for her to do her business. We've planted some plants and bought an outdoor table but there is still lots we can do to unlock the potential of the area.
Catering for the dog


The project we've invested the most time and money into has definitely been the outdoor area. While the before photo makes it look somewhat pleasant, in reality the retaining wall and fence were collapsing and causing some structural issues. Now that we have a blank canvas we need to think of some ways to spice up the space.

And there you have it, a before and after round up so far- I think we've come a long way! In the future I hope to  share the walk in wardrobe, craft room, master bedroom, guest room, a few of the hallways and the front yard. But right now I'm going to give Henry a big cuddle :-)
Lisa x

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Henry is here.

We are beyond thrilled to announce that our baby boy, Henry was born on the 17th of June. After facing many challenges to conceive, I feel beyond blessed to have this little boy in my arms. The last two weeks have been a life changing time where I feel the calmest, happiest and most content I have ever been. I love being a mum. While parenthood means much less sleep and a new lifestyle, I praise God for choosing us to be Henry's parents, whatever this brings.
I am just going to thoroughly enjoy this time as a new Mum.
Lisa x

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Pinspiration making part 4- bathroom mirrors.

I'd been looking through pinterest for a while trying to work out how I could make my builder's grade mirrors just a tad more special in the bathroom. They are both huge mirrors and I didn't want to remove them as I actually enjoy having so much mirror. The extent of mirrors in the room really opens up the space and makes the room feel more light filled. I came across the idea of framing builder's grade mirrors and from there on I was set. 
My Dad has far too much wood in his shed so using some pieces of pine that he had my Grandpa constructed some frames for the mirrors. Once constructed these frames then needed a coat of primer and two coats of enamel white paint before they were ready to put up.

The only way to really show both bathroom mirrors before was to get a very pregnant me in the photo. In this photo you can see the whole bathroom except for the area to the side which is home to double shower heads.
mirror 1
In the corner of mirror 1, closest to the window, was a piece of cracked glass which we wanted to cover. The edging of the mirror was in pretty bad shape too. We used the width of the crack in the glass to determine the width of the frame. For this mirror we used a regular frame with no shelving or other features.

mirror 2
This mirror is one that gets used a lot as it is where husband and I get ready every morning so we wanted to have just a little bit more storage. We're both fairly minimalistic with the toiletries we use regularly so we wanted just little shelves on each side to hold those most used items and then all our other sometimes toiletries can be kept in the vanity. 
The shelves were put on either side of the double sink so they are clearly one for me and one for husband. We used the existing shelf to help hold up the new shelves and frame.

I'm loving the difference in the above pictures between the before and after snaps.
I only have one more diy project in mind for the bathroom before I'll consider phase 1 of the bathroom makeover finished so hopefully that will happen soon. So far the only completely finished rooms in the house are the toilet and the nursery.
For photos/tips of how we got the bathroom to the stage it is now see this post on wallpaper removal and bathroom painting.
Lisa x

Monday, 23 June 2014

Nursery tour.

Finally the room is ready to share. I think this will be an evolving and changing space but I am quite pleased with the cute little room we have created. I have shared many of our diys for the nursery on the blog already so I'll be linking back to them throughout the post for anyone interested.
Our goal was to create a calm and peaceful space which used animals as a theme. I wanted to use existing items wherever possible and find colours which were gender neutral and worked with the existing green light, carpet and blind. The room already had a built in robe and sink which we decided to embrace rather than remove- click here to see how we painted the built ins.
As I am not currently working at the moment the budget for the room was very small and total cost for the makeover were around $500 including all the purchasing of materials and furniture. This meant I looked around lots for the cheapest and best supplies but even with our tight budget we did not compromise on quality. Everything we purchased was well made and doing lots of diy projects meant that we finished each project off to the best of our ability. We are fortunate to have parents and a grandpa who happen to be quite handy and can help with lots of these diy projects. I've taken lots of photos of the room which was the first completely finished space in our home.

The details:
The cot is a tasman eco sienna cot and converts to a toddler bed for when baby is older so it should get plenty of use. We purchased it second hand off gumtree relatively new as it's still under it's five year warranty. We chose this cot as it was highly recommended on choice as being very safe.
The change table and rocking chair were also bought second hand off gumtree and the lamp table was a diy project. The lamp was a thrifted lamp that I updated. The cloud shelf above the change table was made by my grandpa, as was the framed box shelf and elephant bookends. The mirror, pin board, "for this child I prayed" artwork and giraffe canvas were diy projects. I also sewed the quilt, pillow and elephant toy.
The hooks in the room were all thrifted, as was the hanging basket and umbrellas.
All other items were already owned except the "sophie the giraffe" which was the first item I purchased when I found out I was expecting...I've just got a little thing for giraffes.

This room is just what I wanted and more and I hope many beautiful memories will be made in this space.  I loved doing lots of diys for the room and making a special room filled with love and unique items.
Thanks for reading through my nursery tour.
Lisa x

Friday, 20 June 2014

The garage organisation project.

My nesting instincts kicked into full swing and I really wanted to turn our garage into a more useable space. We had the amazing luxury of two large sheds in our old home and now have no shed at all (well there was originally one small shed but it needed to go in our backyard makeover to make the walkway more useable). Back to the shed dilema..
We are extremely fortunate to have a double garage as it seems to be a bit of a luxury in our area due to smaller block sizes and we really wanted to utilise this double garage to be our 'shed' for storing all those DIY tools and cans of paint we have accumulated over the last few years. 
To really take advantage of the garage and little bit of extra space in there involved a lot of planning. We needed to think carefully about each area and to make it most useful while still allowing parking space for our two cars. As our family is growing we really wanted more storage than we actually needed to accommodate the items that will probably enter our world in the next few years (like trikes and beach toys).
 We had a pool fence enclosed and there were a few storage shelves already in the shed. Finding a place for the bikes, lawn mower, deck chairs and other larger items was really important for us.
Lots of little items like sanders, screwdrivers and paint cans were just thrown around the place and dirty, with no particular organisation going on. The left side of the garage was really just a dumping ground for bits and pieces we didn't want in the house.

The first step:
I'm not always good at remembering before photos so the below photo will have to serve as the best before shot of what the right side of the garage looked like (although we clearly had already started the project and built a shelf.

This shelf was custom built by my Dad using some existing wood he had and some bought pieces. The outside of the shelving received a coat of white paint to help it be more durable against the elements. The shelf was built on top of our existing retaining wall and actually takes up no more floor space than if it wasn't there. I know I am extremely fortunate to have a Dad who can custom build a shelf for the cost of materials.

Before the shelf was built though we needed to deal with the existing gap between the fence and roof line. This was fairly easy to fix using metal sheeting and green paint which matches the fence. Now no water can get in and damage our shelving or the items on the shelves.
In total 4 shelves were built and they were all painted white and cottage green to match in nicely with our existing colour scheme.

One of the shelves was spefically cut into to hold the whipper snipper too. Step one complete. Stay tuned for how we tackle to rest of the garage organisation and if you have any good ideas on how to make the best use of this space please share, I'm always keen to work out the best solutions for a space and two (or more) brains are always better than one.
Lisa x