Tag Archives: dining

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…!

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Curtain rods DIY: Hang ’em straight

Last week I got carried away with the boring but necessary details of our DIY curtain rods. So today is light-hearted relief in the form of more images, less words! First, obligatory pictures of the diy process and the loveliest handyman (although that t-shirt might have to bypass the outbox and go straight to the charity bin):

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Now, here are my curtain rods to say hi.

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0820_7855 0820_7852 0820_7853Aaah – who knew curtain rods would make me so starry-eyed?! Let me just have another scroll back…

Nice! So happy to have them up and despite the current lack of curtains the rods alone just make the rooms so much more finished looking (to me!).

In saying that though, there is nothing like a photo of a space you are so familiar with you could get around blind-folded, to show you the things you miss when you’re living in it.

Like that dining table that still hasn’t had its base painted white.

But also the things like the view of the lemon tree out the “green bedroom” window – it’s so pretty and full of fruit right now!

And the “temporary” light shade in the master bedroom – reclaimed from the sunroom before it became the kitchen – which we have plans for as a table lamp shade… one day!

And my sincere thanks to you for not even noticing the mess!

It’s a whitewash!

First we purchased an old mid century lounge suite off Trade Me and reupholstered it in white vinyl (seen here)… then we bought some Eames replica chairs (mentioned here) in white.

We have a toddler that doesn’t sit still despite listening to 22 months of “Just sit still while you’re eating!” so white is probably not the most sensible choice and we did have a few people (older, wiser… with now grown up children) mutter under their breath “White? Really? Have you thought about the fingerprints?”

But having had the lounge suite for probably a year now, and the dining chairs for a good six months plus, I’m still smiling (and not with a grimace underneath like my sister in law with 4 children under 5)!

A while back I borrowed an interesting looking sponge off my mother-in-law to try it out it’s potential on the lounge suite. It was one she’d bought at a Home Show or such-like, it was completely unbranded and she couldn’t remember the name of the stand or anything. Short story is, it worked and I’ve been semi keeping an eye out for one since.

Lo and behold, in a chase around Storage Box (the little one is going through a “run away!” stage) I spotted this:

Which says “Why is Whitewash so effective? Whitewash sponge is made from fibres, 10,000 times finer than a human hair. This creates millions of surfaces to pick up dirt, grime and stains, which makes the Whitewash sponge more effective than using traditional sponges.”

At $2.99 I thought it was well worth a try to see if it was the same one my mother-in-law had bought.

I broke it out tonight (the things I do in procrastination over installing insulation…) because in the dusk light the white was looking rather creamy grubby.

First up was the lounge suite, which unfortunately I was so into cleaning I didn’t get any photos for you, but let me tell you, this is the sponge, and the armchairs were even grubbier than I thought!

Here’s a step by step look at how I cleaned up the dining chairs though:

First some helpful “look at that mark!” photos…

This one actually looked suspiciously like a pen mark:

I even dared to line up the high chair for a clean with the magic sponge:

Here is the sponge mid clean, looking a little grubby:

And here is the sponge, and a rag (to wipe down after cleaning with the sponge, as per instructions) once finished… yick!:

It was actually a lot filthier than it looks in this photo, and wayyyy filthier after cleaning the lounge suite, but it just rinses right out and is ready for use again. The cloth will need to go in the wash!

And here are my shining white chairs all lined up for an after photo:

So, the Whitewash sponge is one product that looks like a gimmick, but is not. And at less than $3 there’s really no question – it’s a bargain. It’s also super environmentally friendly as no cleaning products are required – just dampen the sponge with water. And child-friendly to top it all off as no nasty residues are left behind. Miss Browne… something for you perhaps?

The light went out

Some projects just don’t go to plan… like the dreaded dripping spray paint one which I never got back to you about.

After the success of the first attempt I had high hopes (and a little too much confidence) for a quick update to this pink lampshade via Trademe:

As per last time I taped up the holes to prevent spray through, and gave it a once over with fine sandpaper:

Then I got a bit carried away with the happy yellow:

Hideous drips! I didn’t even realise how hideous until I had to do this:

A good waste of an hour or more of scraping and sanding those nasty drips, and still I couldn’t get it smooth. Really the only thing would be to apply paint stripper and start from scratch.

But, being the shortcutter I am (and losing patience with a project when it’s gone past it’s best) I opted for the patch up job. Reasoning that I wasn’t even sure about the yellow anyway so I’d just get it up and see if it’s even going to stay that way.

So here is my failure hanging in all it’s cheerful oblivion above the dining table:

No styling for this shot sorry – time is of the essence while little one is sleeping.

And here is the reason why dinner guests must be constantly entertained so their eyes don’t wander upwards and happen upon “the dreaded drippy lightshade”:

Embarrasing to say the least. How long it will stay there will be even more embarassing.

But, what do you think of the yellow?

Round table round-up

I can’t remember the who or the why of our round table decision, but the transition from rectangle to round has been quite smooth.

This is a little bit of round table advertising spotted in a Google search: “More seating space than a square design” from here.

The first dining table I remember as a child was a great solid round one – a little like this:

It’s a good option for odd numbers of people like my family of 5. Noone gets “stranded” at the end.

I do remember it was a job to shift though as it weighed more than my whole family put together!

The more modern designs are much less heavy on the back strain eye and can be found in loads of different styles to match whatever decor you have going on right now.

This is our inspiration from Nood – at $1698 it’s not really an option for us to just bring it back from the shop in the back of the wagon, and because we like a good ol’ kiwi DIY project we hunted out this one…

Excuse the temporary wall in the background – it’s serving a dual purpose of keeping the dust from renovating the sunroom (soon to be kitchen/dining) on one side, and small children on the other!)

We picked it up from an office clearance centre, and “all it needs is a lick of paint”!

Actually we plan to replace the tabletop as well. Which is why it is not an immediate project and is currently being used in all it’s glory ugliness.

One day the base will be painted white and the table top replaced with a non-pot-marked oak veneer version.

For now, it’s a great place for small gatherings and round-table discussions and I don’t need to worry about the little one bashing spoons onto a pristine surface!

Here’s another one that caught my eye just now in Google Image search:

Calligaris Florence Round Dining Table - Dining TablesIt’s from Rinke Design and I love the extra detail in the leg, and the black glossiness of it!

It is available in different sizes and colour options but seeing as there is no pricing on the website I’m assuming it’s one of those dream tables for the likes of us and we’ll just stick to our old lunchroom table!

Side note: The Eames replica chairs we got at a bargain bin price of under $50ea from Ezibuy. I am generally happy with them, but as always you get what you pay for and these ones are a little bit wonky, and the finish of the seat is textured rather than smooth which means marks are a bit harder to remove.