Easter eggs and DIY

I’m in a pretty good mood today! Here in NZ we are almost beginning the best (longest) weekend of the year with Friday and Monday included in our Easter weekend, and this year it’s followed by Anzac Day next Friday and therefore another long weekend! It really doesn’t get much better than that.

We feel pretty satisfied with the away holidays we had in January and February this year so we’re making the most of these coming weekends at home. And yes I have a list of renovation jobs that’s pretty looong. Here’s hoping we can cross off a few things!

But first, an Easter egg card, with much thought and love from Master W.

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I’m guessing by the end of the weekend he should know his Easter eggs from his fried eggs?!

Here are a few things I’m reading today, then I’ll be back next week with a whole lotta progress (I hope!). Have a fabulous Easter weekend (whether you choose to holiday or DIY), and good luck with finding a stash of the right kind of Easter eggs!

- A bedroom makeover on sfgirlbybay

- 5 tips for evaluating a business idea on A Beautiful Mess

- 10 ways to make cheap wardrobes look more expensive on Apartment Therapy

- 3 tips for styling an entryway on A Beautiful Mess

- A California house tour on A Cup of Jo

- The Perfect Carrot Cake on Made from Scratch

 

Small spaces: Castaway style

It’s Easter weekend! Well nearly… I’m entitled to jump the gun because my day started with an easter egg hunt. There’s still one out there somewhere that we couldn’t find, so if you’re wandering in The Gardens you’re welcome to it!

As kids we camped without fail every Easter weekend and egg hunts meant chasing each other around tents and up trees. It also meant long drop toilets and solar showers that never quite warmed you up with their measly drip system and the wind whipping around your feet. But the most memorable things were the campfires, ghost stories and hide and seek after dark.

And now there’s a new way to get those memories minus the smelly toilets and the long wait on a cloudy day for your shower to warm up. It’s glamping!

And it’s new-ish but not so new that your options are limited. In fact, you can experience this concept anywhere you like if you have the casssshhh and the phone number for Wildernest (cool name!).

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Speaking of cash, even the “permanent” glamping sites come more expensive than your average city hotel room but, obviously – no toasted marshmallows in your hotel room ok?

This one at Castaways on Kariotahi beach near Waiuku is pretty special. This place has amaaazing views and it’s got that wildness about it that makes New Zealand, well, New Zealand. And an outdoor bath here? Sold!

It’s run by Canopy Camping, who by the looks are adding new sites to their collection all the time, but they’re popular already folks – book ahead!

So would you do it? With heating and hot water on tap these holiday retreats are good for all year. Are you brave enough to try it instead of a hotel room?

All images from Canopy Camping and Wildernest – click them for direct links.

Interim measures

I’ve been at it again… making ugly furniture into something a lot less ugly.

And this time it was easy! No dramas like that time with the kids table

But first, a little back story:

A few weeks ago I couldn’t help myself – I started picking at the wallpaper in our bedroom. I just wanted to know, y’know, how easily it was going to come off? Or not. So it’s uglier than ever and I hate it. But thinking ahead to the time when I’ll love it, I did that “Buy Now without consulting the husband” on Trade Me, and got us our first EVER piece of real furniture (that we haven’t built ourselves or amateurly upcycled from something awful) and it kinda set the ball rolling on a couple of other teensy updates that alllllmost make me forget the wallpaper for a second.

Here’s a little sneaky peek of our grown up furniture:

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I can’t show you any more than that because it gets ugly again if I zoom out!

And we hung a mirror! This is a big deal. We’re those people that hate putting holes in walls, because what if we change our minds?! But mirrors and 3M command hooks don’t do so well together. So… out comes the drill. And then, the strangest thing happened. Andre drilled straight into that wall – not once, not twice… but something like ten times! Hah! And still no stud/nog to hang that mirror on. I guess knowing you need to replaster a room sooner rather than later is a little liberating. So off to Bunnings to buy a wall anchor. Another big deal. Andre doesn’t do wall anchors.

But it appears that now he does and I’m very thankful. Because now I can see more than a reflection of my chin in this mirror.

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So now for the amateur upcycle of a watermarked and ugly old petticoat table project (because one piece of grown up furniture is enough for a few months). I shared this one on Instagram and got a little debate going about whether or not I should add some metallic bling. So… did I?

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No I did not!

I’ll tell you why in just a minute, but first here’s the pretty after photos (again, zooooomed in because you really don’t want to see any more).

0415_0476 0415_0479 0415_0480Not too bad hey? If you ignore the wall colour, missing door handle and bed that’s seen better days.

Since we sacrificed my bedside table to become the kids play kitchen I’ve been living with this nasty mdf and pine petticoat table, complete with lumpy and water-stained top.

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A quick sand, prime and painting of the top in high gloss white and it was looking a million miles better. But the question remained – what to do with the legs? Paint them white and dip them in coppery bling-a-ling? I wanted to. Oh I really did, but I also didn’t want to ruin the simple freshness of the white top and timber legs. A smart young Instagramming gal by the name of Katrina suggested painting just the edge of the table with copper.

So I did. At least I started to. But you can see in this quick repeat for a photo after I wiped the first attempt off in a panic that it just didn’t look good. Maybe it would have looked better with a couple of coats? My paint was just artists paint after all, not really designed for the job, but I just wasn’t liking the colour. It really clashed with the bare timber legs.

0415_3253 I tried another colour – bronze I think this one was called. And it was marginally better (less red) but still not enough that I let it dry!0415_3254So I’m sticking with white and like it rather more than I thought. This temporary fix up might end up hanging around longer than planned? Although I would prefer a drawer rather than the baskets for those little books and bits that collect around a bedside. We shall see…

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For now, I’m enjoying these small snippets of our bedroom, because we’ll be moving out soon and really getting stuck into that wallpaper stripping and wardrobe demo. If it rains on our pergola building plans over the next couple of (long!) weekends we’ll be right in here!

Pin of the day: My modern style

B&W + Wood deco

Peace. Calm. Serenity. Definitely not words that go with my current house.

Our style of colour explosion works well at the moment but I can see myself tending towards the monochrome and timber look when we all grow up a little!

Think giant, black, steel-framed windows and lots of architectural shapes within shapes, softened with timber furniture and comfy cushions and throws. All in a refined palette of black, white, grey and timber. And with a stunning view of a rugged landscape or moody seascape.

Oh yes I can dream…!

A few weeks in an “insta”

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Progress has been making slow headway around here, which makes for little blog content. But there’s always little bits of projects on the go that end up on Instagram (@duckeggblueblog). So I thought I’d share them here in case you don’t catch them there. And there are a few bonus pics that haven’t yet seen the light of day!

So… starting out the back which is our current priority, here’s progress in pictures:

0410_0208 0410_0213 0410_3149 0410_3158 0410_3195 0410_3198I’m aware that not much of this will make sense right now, but you have my promise it will in a few more weeks (here’s hoping the weather holds to and beyond Easter!).

Much to my delight we’ve also made a start on the master bedroom, finally replacing the cranky old sliding door with a more pleasant hinged option, and the nightmare of wallpaper stripping has begun…

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Besides this, I’ve set myself another six year deadline to get our travel albums completed. A few short weeks away is the day that six years ago we headed off on the adventure of our lifetime.

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As we lived the nomadic life there was a lot of talk about kids and houses and settling down – and suddenly here we are and I’m wondering if that “big OE” was really the adventure of a lifetime?! Every day is the adventure of a lifetime is it not?! In another six years, who knows… I might even be missing these days of endless demo and painting?

 

Small spaces: Cosy in Norway

Winter must be on its way… I keep grabbing onto images of blankets and fires and cosy spaces!

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This Norwegian holiday cabin featured on the Citta Design blog a few days ago and I’ve been saving it up to share here for Small spaces this week.

In our travels around Scandinavia far too many years ago we fell in love with the rocky landscape. Despite its barrenness it doesn’t feel too harsh because look at those rocks - all the edges have been softened off them by the weather and they’re just right for embedding a holiday hideout into!

Inside, things are very Scandinavian, which looks great of course, but I’d move in with a pile more blankets and books and a basket full of slippers!

arkitektur kolman boYe

 

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hemma hos alexander mork eidem

I love this image, because it shows how the architects (Erik Kolman Janouch and Victor Boye Julebäk) worked with the landscape, and the house was built to fit, rather than modifying the landscape to suit the desired house.

Erik Kolman Janouch och Victor Boye JulebakPretty awesome right?! I can definitely see myself cooking up a real hot chocolate on that wood stove, watching the kids rock hopping out the window with scarves and boots and hats and mittens. And Andre would be out playing hunter-gatherer and fossicking for firewood.

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Bliss!

 

HOME NZ Home of the Year 2014: My small opinion

I wasn’t going to post today, but there’s so much controversy about HOME NZ magazine‘s Home of the Year choice… I couldn’t resist adding my humble opinion to the discussion.

Of course I have an opinion, because the house(s) that won, have a footprint of a mere 28sqm each. And you all know I love me a tiny space to live in!

Whether I like these back to basics cabins is not an issue, but I’m excited for their win because I totally agree with comments by HOME’s editor Jeremy Hansen.

He says “Our expectations of how much space we need to live in have got overinflated”. Well hear, hear! We have so much space in NZ that we hardly know what to do with it. Really.

The other day I read/heard/can’t remember something about a new subdivision, and the minimum build requirement of 270sqm. I just about fell off my chair! And then I started calculating how much time it would take me to clean up almost 3 times my current house size and I fell off again. Not to mention tripling the time it’s taking us to renovate this house! Imagine if that light we are seeing at the “end” of the tunnel was only a light a third of the way along?! How depressing would that be…

And this – again from Jeremy – is a goodie… “If you design a house well you find you can do a lot with a lot less”. Yep. And it applies to more than just designing houses… Try this: “You can do a lot with a lot less”.

I’m going to remember that today (lots to do with less time!).

Interesting HOME magazine, interesting.

And credit where credit is due…

Architect: Nat Cheshire of Cheshire Architects | Photo by Darryl Ward | HOME NZ magazine