Small spaces: Traditional vs contemporary

A Pinterest trawl this morning stopped me at this remodeled barn type house. Anything that says small and cosy has me peering closer…

We love how this #kitchen fits into the house like a puzzle piece. www.remodelworks.com

And despite my ignorance as to what this one is all about – it links to here, but I can’t spot it – it has me intrigued with it’s well executed combo of traditional style and contemporary fitout.

It would make a perfect mini flat out the back of someone’s big ol’ house, or a cosy holiday house in the woods. Amp up the contemporary style and it would look equally as at home near the beach.

I love the porch-tree-swing, the farmhouse table right alongside the kitchen, and the built in seating that tucks right up to the shelving and the windows. Gorgeous!

Summer lovin’

What an absolutely stunning summer we are enjoying here in Auckland this year! It’s hot, dry and the locals will agree that it’s not even humid!

We were lucky to spend a few glorious days at a bach on Waiheke Island. So, this was our summer – beach fossicking, swimming, stunning views, and a few motorbike rides around the winding roads!

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But we are home now, and back into the DIY groove that has been off since our last big project. Of course this time of year lends itself to the outdoors, so we are tackling the backyard once again, with a pergola/playhouse in the pipeline. Pipeline – it’s a clue! Stand by…

Merry Christmas and a bit more

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I feel a bit of a fraud – writing on my own blog, after ignoring it for so long!

But I do have to check in and say Merry Christmas and thanks for being here. And in case you get all nostalgic at this time of year (who doesn’t… just a little bit?!) here’s how we did Christmas last year, the year before, and back in 2011. As the years go by it gets a little more… well… Christmassy!

It’s been a year and a half this one. Lots has happened that wasn’t supposed to happen, and not much has happened that we thought might happen! But we are looking forward to “big things” next year, and I have my fingers crossed for a little more time to myself, with one off to school and the other to kindy. I may even get back into blogging regularly?!

But for now, just have yourselves a merry little Christmas!

Thanks x

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Mid century style in Hamilton

Hamilton is known for a lot of things, but architecture isn’t one of them, as far as I know. Although to be fair, Hamilton and I have never been more than vague acquaintances.

So I was surprised but delighted to see HOME magazine has featured a gem of a mid century home in the heart of the city, overlooking Lake Rotoroa.

Lomus house Hamilton. Photograph by Paul McCredie.

I love the thought that has gone into the design of this house (courtesy of the owners, and the architect – Peter Middleton), and the spaces that were created to accommodate various family members and activities harmoniously.

Photographs by Paul McCredie.

There is even some adults-only territory, otherwise known as a parlour. But my favourite would have to be the library. And the fireplace. I love a handsome open fireplace.

Photographs by Paul McCredie.

The big reason I got excited though, was this:

Lomus house Hamilton - Peter Middleton

A floor plan!! Weirdo me, but show me a floor plan and I’ll be happy as Larry for hours after! This one is truly a good one, and after some perusal I can’t see anything I’d be in a hurry to change. There is outdoor access from almost every room, guest accommodation at the opposite end of the house to the kids rooms, a study nook (AND the library, don’t forget!) as well as a studio and store room. Wow!

They did make good houses back then. In Hamilton.

Happy hump day x

All photos by Paul McCredie. for HOME magazine.

DIY clothes rack

As you know, we moved into our bedroom without a wardrobe. We had plans for a midcentury style built in, but got cold feet on that at the last minute. Neither of us could visualise it entirely, and we decided that wasn’t a good thing.

So our plans are to find a gorgeous pair of vintage freestanding wardrobes (like this one – below), and give them a modern lick of gloss white. Because we like our white bedroom, even though it really was unintentional!

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But… we do things a little slowly, so an interim measure was required. Crossing the hall to fetch clothes from the spare bedroom only felt fancy-dressing-room-like for a couple of days. It didn’t help that the wardrobe in that bedroom is less than an arm span in width and full of “stuff” already. Something more convenient was required!

On an instagram (@duckeggblueblog) post a while back I vowed I wouldn’t consider a clothes rack, knowing our collection of clothing is a long way short of colour-coordinatable. Plus, there is an alarmingly large pile of husbands trackies and swanndri jumpers that don’t fit in our drawers, and will never know a coathanger. Where to put those?!

Ignoring that small problem for a minute, I quickly realised a clothes rack would be the perfect interim option – cheap, quick and not so bad if I could leave the loudest of our clothes across the hall for special occasions!

So… a clothes rack:
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For anyone in a similar situation, there is so much inspiration out there for DIY clothes racks. It’s a simple matter of finding the one you like best and copying it.

I started this on a night when chaos was reigning… so excuse my over-zealous attempt to regain some control by laying out all my pieces like this:
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From there it was a simple matter of attaching the tees and elbows to the right pieces and then Andre helped me to connect them all up (one person holding up the frame, and the other spinning the allen key). Once it was all put together Andre got his squint on and adjusted everything so it was all in line, and standing straight up.
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We opted not to put flanges on the bottom to keep things a little more minimal, so needed some “feet” to keep the cut off end of pipe from scratching the floor. I found the perfect size bungs at Para Rubber!0904_2104

A little spray primer, followed by gloss white and we had ourselves a basic clothes rack!0904_2108 0904_2109 0904_2202 0904_2203 0904_2204 0904_2205-(2) 0904_2206 0904_2207 0904_2208

Budget breakdown:

Pipe $40 – Easysteel
Joiners $46 – Advanced Steel Products
Bungs $6 – Para Rubber
Spray paint (we had primer already, and some leftover white gloss, but I needed one more full can of gloss white) $8 – Bunnings

Total $100 (give or take a few cents!)

I’ll be honest and admit I removed half of our clothes for the styled shots above. This is how it really looks, with a few more colourful summer clothes still hanging next door. Not so bad!

0904_2212Next up is something other than a chair in the corner to dump those aforementioned trackies and big fat jumpers…

 

Small spaces: A bridge house

If ever you have a difficult building site, or just an extra special landscape you don’t want to mar… the bridge house could be your thing.

Besides “touching the earth lightly” this one by Max Pritchard Architects is packed with eco features such as a black concrete floor for thermal mass, huge north facing and double-glazed windows, steel louvres for summer shade and solar water heating.

Gorgeous innit?!

PS. Anyone know that ol’ railway bridge on the left just at the southern edge of Ohakune village? The property it is on was for sale a while back and I reeeeeeeally wanted to buy it and create a house on the bridge. Big old arches and all. How fun would that have been? And it looked straight up to Mt Ruapehu. Amazing… but not to be.

Pin of the day: Spring living

It’s spriiiiing!!! Despite today’s wintry grey raininess, I’m still excited that down here in the upside-down side of the world we can now officially look forward to summer! It’s just around the corner…

The lengthening of days over the last few weeks means we now (sometimes) have dinner before dark, and on a good day even the birds are still singing! That’s awesome.

So I thought I’d keep an eye out on my Pinterest feed for something springish to share today. Gardens, outdoors, flowers… nope? How about a little living space then?

The light in this one puts it squarely in the spring camp, and the potted tree totally goes with the theme too. I also love the big artwork (it’s so trendy right now) and doesn’t the sofa look comfy? I want that floral cushion…

Hope spring has arrived for some of you with more sun and less rain than is going on in Auckland today?