Tag Archives: furniture

Pin of the day: Mid century time out


I’ve been poring over a book of mid century house plans that Andre got me recently, so this outdoor space has me tying some of those plans into a minimal landscape like this one. I love the simple, neutral colour scheme, the clean lines and the scarce planting. And I just know those chairs are comfy – we have our own versions!

It looks like a good space to just sit in and contemplate.

I’ve been doing a little of that recently, hence the blog silence for a while.

It’s winter here in NZ, and while we haven’t been hit with nasty weather too much (yet!), it’s definitely feeling like time to slow down and just sit some more. Read books, chat by the fire, lay on the floor doing puzzles, anything… just to wind down.

I’ve been feeling exhausted with mothering lately – the constant demands, both physical and mental, and the guilt that comes with my need to take time to step aside from all that for a bit. We’re struggling to shift month-long colds and sniffles, and of course, battling to get our bedroom progressing so we can look forward to having a spare room again and another few square metres to breathe in.

I know updates on what we’ve been up to are well overdue… but I’ve just been busy getting on and doing it, instead of blogging it.

I’ll be back to blogging it when I’m done sitting in the “winter sunshine” in my coolie chair!

Small spaces: The sofa to fill them

Oooh I’m using a little creative license with this today and literally squishing a rather large-looking sofa into Small Spaces. But hear me out yeah?

Modular upholstered sofa PIXEL - Saba Italia

The Design Chaser introduced me to this sofa that I would so very much love to just dive into. Its feather-padded seat cushions look downright comfy. It’s called the Pixel Sofa, made by Saba Italia, and is configurable however takes your fancy (or fits your space) using a connector made specifically for the job.

Here’s how you’d set it up for a party in a warehouse:

But, just picture even one of those sections (two at a squeeze) in a corner of your tiny lounge room. It’s a piece of furniture that would function as many things at once – a sofa obviously, and configured right I can imagine it would be a good bed for overnighters, but more than that it would be your coffee table, a spot for some cross legged dining or the ultimate kids play space (the covers are removable for washing!). Just add a tray for your coffee and magazines, a throw rug for casual dining and some cars for the kids. A bookshelf in another corner, a rug underfoot, some bold art, and you’re done.

One last shot – with a more slimline backrest – in case you’re not yet convinced:

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:


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.


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?


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.

0415_3201 0415_3200 0415_3227

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…



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!

Lounge-o rearrange-o

The sun hit again this afternoon and it sent me off on a rearrange the lounge frenzy. It’s been in cosy mode for a few months and I’m excited to try it back the other way again (although I’m not tempting Murphy by taking that kindling box out just yet!).

Pictures, pictures… here they are: 0920_8160 0920_8161 0920_8163 0920_8165 0920_8166

And one little bonus shot of the sun streaming into the dining area –


Hey did you spot those dreamy new curtains in the lounge?? I’m just going to whip the rest of the house into shape so I can get some photos of them up in the master and spare bedrooms too. Enjoy the weekend, and I hope to be back next week with those bedroom curtain photos for you!

Consoling myself

It’s not that bad. I’m just feeling bad for the shelves I mentioned yesterday. But I’m cheering myself up with this eye feast of midcentury hall tables:


Clockwise from top left:

Senkki hall table with hairpin legs
Danish walnut console from Etsy
Swedish jacaranda console
Twotone conole from Ovo Home
Worlds Away skinny nickel console

Feeling some DIY with hairpin legs coming on. Can’t believe I don’t yet have any of those in my house… Wouldn’t those timber and leather shelves look awesome above one of these consoles?!

Full of Karakter

Our mid century scouts (aka just us) spotted some Karakter on a Parnell drive by recently. We didn’t have time to stop, but we did loop around the block and have another peep through the shiny windows.

There may or may not have been an awe-inspired uttering of “that’s what we want to do!”. Open a mid century furniture store? Yes, that’s on our to do list.

0208This Peter Hvidt Minerva Lounge Suite is pretty cute. The cushions not so. And the hide rug? That was one of my alternative ideas for our own lounge rug. Therefore I am qualified to open a furniture shop.


Glamming up the man…

…robe. Further to the sanding, I got stuck into glamming up my manrobe again. Can you tell this is my current pet project?! I’ve been wanting one of these for so long now, I’m just pleased to be getting into it!

My beloved manrobe has one of these quaint slide out rails (so your clothes hang in a row front to back instead of side to side) but it was a bit stuck so needed some greasy attention.


Lubed up, he was up next for a new coat of shining armour.

The first coat happened outside:

Then a couple more coats inside (dodgy weather) got it nice and glossy:

We used Cabot’s Cabothane, which we believe is the same stuff we used on our kitchen shelves (but with a change of name?). Chosen because it’s water-based and less fumey than oil-based products. It’s super easy to apply and cleans up easily. With 3 coats I think it will hold up just fine to the wear and tear of a childs bedroom.

Mr Manrobe is now awaiting me to fix up his handles and maybe give his insides a bit of smartening up, then I’ll be sorting Master W’s haphazardly arranged wardrobe of clothes into fresh new order. Aahhhhh!



Cosying up by the fire

Our lounge is relatively long and narrow, with the fireplace and two windows very well centred on one wall. With a super long sofa, we’ve always struggled to create a cosy set up without things looking a bit odd. For a long time, our sofa and two armchairs have been well spread apart, with the big coffee table and a whole lot of space in the middle that tended to clutter up with toys (and big boys toys boat upholstery supplies behind the sofa!):

Among other things, we made the most of the Easter weekend by shifting our boy, Master W, into his new bedroom, making room in his old bedroom for such things as upholstery supplies, clothes airers and extra boxes and chairs which had been cluttering up the lounge. We also managed to sell an old filing cabinet which had been a bit of an “elephant in the room” for far too long.

So I didn’t waste a moment to finally, finally set up a “proper” lounge with a cosy seating area, and a slightly separate area for toys and lolling on the floor.

We tried this (loooong sofa lengthways in the room):

But even squinting to imagine it without piles of washing on the sofa, it wasn’t working for either of us and we quickly put the sofa back to sitting across the room. With much shuffling of the floor rug, coffee table and armchairs we eventually settled on this:

It’s a bit hard to see, but the sofa is now sitting about a half a metre forward from where it was previously (see top photo) with room for the temporary sideboard (long story short: the one Andre started making for me is still sitting right where it landed in the garage almost two years ago when we moved here, so he turned up one evening with this fill-in to ease his guilt!) behind it.

We’ve also pulled the armchairs in a bit so the lounge area is nice and cosy and discourages the spread of toys in an area I’d like to keep a little bit “special” and tidy.

It’s not all bad for the kids, it’s actually better for them too, because now we have this area behind the armchairs and within sight of the kitchen, where they can play and spread toys without it getting too much underfoot:

And no, they don’t play with stacks of paperwork (this is now relegated to the spare room and is waiting for some attention of the rubbish bin variety). Because I’m a bit paranoid about crumbs on my Persian handiwork (well, someone elses really) I am going to get a comfy shag rug or similar for the kids (and big kids) to play on. One problem with wooden floors is it’s so jolly uncomfortable to get down on the floor and play. Must remedy that as there’s nothing better than a good play session down on the floor – just ask Master W who is always tugging me down – “Mummy play wis you?”.

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.

My Home is my Sanctuary

This is what my home says about me:

Your home’s your place of comfort and you like nothing better than to get home, take your shoes off and relax.
You are a fairly community oriented person. You like to get to know your neighbors, but you also like your privacy. You can get attached to neighborhoods and cities.
Appearance matters to you, so your home is neat and tidy and the outside areas attractive to the eye.
Your home is furnished in a style that represents you and your interests.

See what your home says about you!