The 2010/11 Summer projects have begun!

So, the neutral (cream) walls of our house, that were absolutely one of the things that sold the house to me 2 and half years ago (what can I say, I’m an aesthetics kind of girl, not very logical or sensible when buying a house but there you go), are now just yellow and they need to go. We erased *almost* all of the pink in the house (carpet, trims, curtains) during the last 2 years, but while that was a relief in itself, it also made the walls look worse somehow. Just, more… Yellow.

So off I skipped to Bunnings for a can of paint (never mind I took almost an hour to get it, have I mentioned before how much I love Bunnings??), which then sat in my car for a week, then in the entry way for a week. But today was the day! Miri came over and motivated me to make a start, and hurrah, I have done so. A very small start mind you, since usually when I start painting walls I do a whole room in one go, and am still up the ladder at 11pm. My downfall this time was the bloody huge roller I decided to get to “save time”. I didn’t really think about the extra weight of it, plus the weight of a full load of paint, plus the fact my arms are the weakest mc-weaklings there ever was.

So I quit once I’d done a couple of square meters (if that) and watch Dirty Dancing with Miri instead. I’ll get a smaller roller tomorrow and do the hallway over the weekend =)

1. Miri helping
2. Entry wall, before
3. Shitty paint job? The Painters tape took this off the wall, but not on the wall I had painted
4. Not quite done. You can see the difference in colours here. I love white!
5. Entry wall with one coat
6. Door still needs painting in glossy white, and handle needs replacing (might get them from Bunnings tomorrow too)

The colour is Taubmans – Snow Drop.

Entry Interior Design – finished

Well, almost finished… nothing is ever “done” around here!

A few days ago I realised I hadn’t posted an update on our entry hall room thinger after I first posted about it and we did the floors.

So here it is!
entry-complete

Live Love Laugh wall hangings were a wedding present, they’re available from home wares stores such as Loot or Seaweed and Surf. White Expedit bookshelf from Ikea. J & M letters from Typo. Bamboo mat from Bunnings. Bits and bobs need to be rearranged, such as the dark corner bookshelf (handmade by my Pa), and both fans are there only temporarily (see what I mean about “almost” finished?). I also want to paint the rest of the walls the same colour as the main wall (Beige Chalk). It’s ok for now though =)

Another floors update!

I promise I will post something more exciting tomorrow (think handmade goodies and other pretty things), but I just had to show another progress photo of my floors because oh. my. goodness. I am in love. With my dodgy DIY timber floors. They are GORGEOUS.

This photo was taken yesterday, showing the first coat of estapol going on over the Jarrah stain. Everything is now dry and has a beautiful satin finish, but it’s too dark to photograph now so I’ll take some of the “afters” tomorrow morning, along with some when I move all the furniture back in (THE most exciting part of the whole process, surely).

First coat of Estapol
First coat of Estapol - the stain colour is a bit red in this image

Preparing to stain and polish our floorboards

As I’ve posted a few times before, the carpet in our house is a yukky pink/peach colour. It’s in really good condition, as I think the previous owners laid it in the 90’s, but I can’t stand it. I hate the colour, but I also just don’t like carpet very much. It holds so much dust and dirt, and pet fur clings to it like crazy, making our house an allergy trap and also a time consuming clean.

Area that will be floorboards
Area that will be floorboards

For these reasons, we’re ripping up the carpet throughout the house excluding the bedrooms (JA’s request to keep it, I’m going to see if we can get it dyed) and finishing the radiata pine underneath. I got a quote to get the floors done by professionals, it was over $3000. So I’m doing it myself! Luckily my best friend’s partner is a floor guy and he’s going to give us a hand with the sanding, which is the hardest part. In preparation, I had to rip up all the carpet as well as the tack strips along the edges (you know, those damn sharp nails sticking up in the air that you always forget about and step on mid-project?) and countersink all the nails. I knew what I was getting myself in for as we’d done the same thing at my mum’s and also JA’s mum’s place, and I know counter-sinking the nails is the most annoying part, because it’s so loud and echoey. So you can guess how sad I was to see once I pulled up the carpet, that 98% of the nails were already countersunk… =D

Entry with and without carpet
Entry with and without carpet

So far I’ve pulled up the carpet from the hallway and the entry, and I’ll be doing the living room and dining room tomorrow. Then Scott is coming to help Tuesday, and from then on I’ll be coating it with stain and oil (hopefully to be finished and dried in time for a tea party on Sunday, eep). I’ve decided to go with an oil instead of a varnish as it will be easier to buff out the inevitable scratches from the dogs going crazy and playing inside like they do. I’ve also been advised not to stain it too dark as scratches will be much more visible, but I’m doing it a Jarrah colour anyway. I’m a bit stubborn like that.

While most of the small stuff has been moved out of the living and dining rooms I took the opportunity to look at different room configurations with the furniture. It took awhile but I’ve found one I’m happy with, which opens up the room and uses all the space, instead of having a small area behind the lounge that was being wasted.

Area behind lounge that is wasted space aka junkpile
Area behind lounge that is wasted space aka junkpile
Taken from wasted space corner
Taken from wasted space corner
From entry through to living
From entry through to living
No longer wasted space corner!
No longer wasted space corner!
I separated the 2 pieces of the lounge and put the TV in the corner in front of the window
I separated the 2 pieces of the lounge and put the TV in the corner in front of the window
Entry through to living, more open and uses all the space in the room
Entry through to living, more open and uses all the space in the room

So for the next week I will be a busy little bee, making my floors all pretty and tolerable =)

Stay tuned for the end result!

Decorating my house for Christmas

I LOVE decorating. It’s probably my favourite part of, well, anything. Parties, holidays, events… I love thinking up different ways to display things and then making it all come to life.

Which is why it’s probably a bit odd that I’m going minimalist this year with my Chrissy decorations, but I suppose this is all part of my “de-cluttering” that I am trying to do, in life (more on that in another post to come).

For the past couple of years we have had a 6/7 ft artificial tree with fibre optic lights, which has worked a treat, but this year I just wanted something a bit smaller and more manageable, and decided to go back to something we used to do in my family when I was a kid. We would get an old, dead branch from a gun tree, and decorate that, instead of a big pine tree. Putting an Australian twist on things, I suppose. Erin (JA’s sister) said she’s actually heard of a few people doing it this year, so it’s good to know we aren’t totally weird =P

The branch I’ve used for the tree was actually part of a much larger branch that fell from a big tree out the front of our house a couple of months ago, on to our roof. It’s been sitting in the front yard ever since, so it was decidedly dead enough to use. The whole process of putting it up and decorating it can be seen on my Christmas Decorations flickr set.

So here is (parts of) Mikaela’s house, decorated for Christmas!

(I should mention, it probably looks like I haven’t decorated much at all, but all these areas are basically in the same room, the entry opens onto the open plan living/diving area, where the tree is)

Coffee Table

Green baubles & trinkets in a white ikea pot, on an Alessi platter, with a Christmassy napkin underneath.
Green baubles & trinkets in a white ikea pot, on an Alessi platter, with a Christmassy napkin underneath.

Entry

Nice and simple: One little gold tree (probably from hot dollar or something), with coconut boxes from Bali on the left and Geog Jensen Candle holder on the right, sitting atop a white Billy Bookcase from Ikea.
Nice and simple: One little gold tree (probably from hot dollar or something), with coconut boxes from Bali on the left and Geog Jensen Candle holder on the right, sitting atop a white Billy Bookcase from Ikea.

Im still planning on filling the glass vases on the bookshelf with colourful little baubles to jazz it up a little. I want minimalist, not boring.
I'm still planning on filling the glass vases on the bookshelf with colourful little baubles to jazz it up a little. I want minimalist, not boring.
One little tree trinket hangs from my floating shelf in the entry hall, subtle but effective
One little tree trinket hangs from my floating shelf in the entry hall, subtle but effective

Dining Table

Green table cloth with wooden slat placemats, novelty drink mats & wire tree in the centre
Green table cloth with wooden slat placemats, novelty drink mats & wire tree in the centre

Living Room

Alessi platter & bowl in the centre (as always) flanked by 2 glass tealight holders (red and green) on top of Christmassy napkins. All sitting atop an antique hand crafted sideboard, I think from Japan.
Alessi platter & bowl in the centre (as always) flanked by 2 glass tealight holders (red and green) on top of Christmassy napkins. All sitting atop an antique hand crafted sideboard, I think from Japan.

And lastly, the tree:

The finished tree, it looks windswept I think
The finished tree, it looks windswept I think
More effective with the lights doing their thing
More effective with the lights doing their thing
A gift from my sister Altarra the year before she passed away
A gift from my sister Altarra the year before she passed away
Pretty Bauble
Pretty Bauble

How have you decorated your house this Christmas??

Entry interior design

On Friday I went up to Sydney with some girlfriends to see Britney Spears for JA’s sister’s birthday. Verdict: Going to a show when she was in her prime probably would have been amazing. I’m not really a fan, but I figured it would be a good show with pretty lights… which it was. The show was visually spectacular, the dancers were fantastic, the graphics were impressive. But Ms Spears didn’t sing or dance very well, which was pretty disappointing. Lip synch, fine, but at least dance properly. Also we were in the very back row, so it was kinda hard to see. Katie had an absolute blast though, so that’s the main thing. She’s a big fan.

One highlight of the trip was popping into Ikea (my second favourite store after Bunnings) on the way home to pickup a few things, including the small size Expedit Bookcase to complete the “feature wall” area of our entry hallway.

Expedit Bookcase
Expedit Bookcase

When I was painting our bedroom in Beige Chalk, I used the same colour on one wall just inside our front door. On the wall I’ve hung three word plaques that we received as a wedding gift from very good friends, along with wedding photographs. Unfortunately I forgot to take a “before” photo of the actual wall, but here is an example of the colours used by the last owner:

Creme Yellow on the walls and a dusky Peach/Pink for the trim
Creme Yellow on the walls and a dusky Peach/Pink for the trim

Along with the pinkish carpet, the whole house looks very pink =[

I have tried a few different arrangements with our coffee table, no table, and now the bookcase in front of the wall. I think this works best, and once we have the carpet ripped up and floorboards stained and oiled a nice walnut colour, it will start to look really nice.

Coffee table in front, takes up too much room
Coffee table in front, takes up too much room
Pink carpet with no table
Pink carpet with no table
With the white Expedit Bookcase
With the white Expedit Bookcase

I’m not exactly sure what to fill the bookcase with yet, at the moment I just have the magazine box and spare vases in it (as seen in the first photo), I have a few nice books that I should be able to do something with. Does anyone have any other suggestions for what I could do?

Let me know what you think of the “feature wall area” =)