Category Archives: Travel

Small spaces: The staircase

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The sole reason I would like to one day have a two storey home, is so that I can have a spiral staircase!

I fell in love with them on a lazy afternoon spent at Copenhagen Botanical Gardens where I wandered dreamily up and down this beautiful iron masterpiece.

Since then I’ve sketched all manner of houses with spiral staircases as the centrepiece!

They are perfect for small (albeit two storey, or at least a mezzanine/loft) spaces because they have a small footprint, and visually they can be very open and easy to work around.

If you want some more inspiration I’ve just been on a little pinning spree and there are plenty to take your fancy, whether you’re into modern or vintage, minimal or fussy.

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Time in the sun

I’ve just spent a week listening to waves rolling into shore, the chug of boat motors and the distant hum of sea planes… singing accompanied by ukelele, handmade brooms sweeping sand off front porches, and the odd pig grunting its way through the bush.

0526_1808 Which means you’ve been getting deathly silence from me. In my best pretend sincere voice – I’m ever so sorry!

But I was busy.

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Busy trying to tear myself from lazing on a lounger because I had a massage appointment to go to.

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I was there. Yesterday.

Today I am here. And the fire is roaring and my slippers are on (and the dryer is going on the third load of washing) but I’m still not getting that warm and sunny feeling.

It’s back to reality like a plane hitting the runway (something should be done about that inevitable bump – it’s pretty destroying!).

But the good news is that before we left we made big progress on the wallpaper in our bedroom and I have one wall left to sugar soap before plastering can get underway. So we’re nearly at the blank canvas stage before the good stuff can happen like fresh new paint and decor, decor, decor!

Also, while I was pretending life was all hammocks in the sun, our kids play kitchen got a write up on Design*Sponge! So exciting! To those of you who’ve come on over from there – welcome, and do have a look around. You might be interested in our kids bedroom, or the table we made for them. And I have to say our newly “completed” mid-century style deck is worth a look! Thanks, and enjoy.

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.

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?

 

Welcome to 2014

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We’ve had a fabulous few days away camping with special friends. We had a little bit of rain (and a leaking floor!), and a whole lot of sunshine, along with enough swims in the sea to get the kids to the point of enjoying those waves! And the food? Plenty thanks!

So… Happy New Year!

For perhaps the first time, the arrival of the new year feels like it should be more than just a date change. I’ve not been one for resolutions or any grand new year plans, and to be honest, the last few new years have been a whirlwind of new babies, renovating and one year of hard work just rolling on into the next. So far this one is proving the same, but it feels like it should be different. We’ll have to wait and see where that gets us!

As far as I can see, things won’t be slowing down in any way on the Duck Egg Blue house… as you know we are well underway with our backyard renovation, with much more to come, and we still have a few untouched spaces both inside and out. The master bedroom, for one, is crying out for some attention!

I’ve also been teasing you with hints of our latest project – a play kitchen, which finally came together at 1am on Christmas morning! I will do my best to share that later in the week.

Until then, we’re doing our best to extend our holiday to some lazy days at home (as well as getting through the last of the camping washing!).

Small Spaces: Caravanning in retro style

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It’s that time of year (down in the summery south) when we’re all dreaming of sand between our toes. And caravans get dusted off!

I had the pleasure of a coffee catch-up with my cousin yesterday, who was bemoaning the idea of heading off on a caravan holiday soon… in very retro style. However, not just retro in style, but rather retro in condition apparently!

Because it won’t be me putting up with less than comfy conditions and a leaky roof, I’m just excited for her at the potential… Maybe next year it’ll be looking more like some of these beauties I’ve been ogling this afternoon…

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Love Vintage Caravans offers these pretty ladies (they have names like Mary-Lou and Lola and Polly!) for sale or for event hire.

If you’re lucky enough to have yourself a caravan already, these guys also have the perfect wares to make retro condition magic into retro style!

They say “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy caravans and wares and they are kind of the same thing” – cute!

A no DIY weekend

If you’re wondering why things are happening a little slowly here in the Duck Egg Blue house at the moment, one of the reasons is we keep taking off to some place else!

A few weeks ago it was to spend time with good friends in Christchurch, and last weekend we packed our bags again and headed north to Baylys Beach. It’s one of those places that make you realise why New Zealand is such a special country.

Of course there was some second hand shopping, but alas we came away with nothing. Always, always worth a look though!

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But for the most part of the weekend we got a fresh dose of sunshine and sea air, and sand between our toes – bliss! We could totally forgive the cold wind, because of the promise of summer in the sunshine.

There was awkward dune surfing (or sliding):1008_1573

Family rides on the motorbike (yes, all four of us!): 1008_1613

With Miss E up front (she looooved it!):

1008_1631And some helpful advice from Master W before I ventured off on a wobbly solo ride:

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This surely must be the worlds most stunning official highway?1008_1620By the way, construction of the deck is underway. I’m listening to sawing and hammering right now! It’s a beautiful sound.