Tag Archives: home

Going backwards to go forwards

I’ve been itching to get a progress update on here, because there has been a bunch of stuff going on with just little hints shared here and there.

But… there’s not a room in the house that doesn’t have that “work in progress” vibe. The front room (below – first sneaky peek of that progress!) just has a hint of it, with it’s bare walls and badly styled shelves, but every other way I look it’s far from subtle.


The dining area currently houses a cabinet destined to be the new bathroom vanity, along with a stack of chairs and cushions that used to belong in the lounge.

The lounge furniture is packed and stacked tight in the middle of the room because we intended to get onto painting the freshly plastered walls and ceiling much sooner than we have… (haven’t yet!).

The kids bedroom is a haphazard halfway point between building a loft bed but not quite got to rearranging the other furniture and artwork to work with the new layout…


The map prints from the lounge are leaning up against the wall in our bedroom, precariously close to kid-sized somersaulting on the bed feet.


All that, and the arrival of spring is also making me freak out about the state of my kitchen cupboards and the contents of all wardrobes in the house. A massive declutter suddenly feels like a matter of urgency!

Plus, I miss this edition of the kids room. Why did they have to go and grow so quickly and need full size beds already?!



In the meantime… we are actually crossing things off the list, and I know it’ll all come together and look fab again soon. Real soon… because I can’t stand it much longer!!!

A Friday fest

Following on from my Pin of the day on Monday, I’ve had the camera out all week and every now and again I’ve just picked it up and click click clicked until I got that “What are you doing? Can you just take that camera out of my face?!” look.

It’s holidays, and my housework has been a bit ignored and we’ve done more out and about than usual, so a few more moments of putting off making dinner or doing the washing and mucking about with the camera instead wasn’t going to add much to the chaos.

Although I must admit I’ve got off lightly, with last week being a short week, and this week offers from both sets of grandparents to have the kids for a day or a night… I’m not feeling that end of holidays insanity at all!

So, our week at home in pictures.

Forward rolls on messy beds, and pyjamas left on the floor all day…

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Books, books, books…0502_0841 0502_0848 0502_0859

New spotty legs under the table…

“Mum! Did you get the flowers I picked for you at the back door?”…0502_0896

“Oh I did! Thank you so much!”…


Upside-down pizza picnic on the “new” deck0502_0910 0502_0937I’ve enjoyed my kids these holidays, and am enjoying enjoying that, because it’s not always that way!

And I’m glad for the odd little collection of photos I’ve got from this week, and the reminder that ISO matters. Playing with shutter speed and aperture is pretty straightforward, but somehow I always forget ISO. A few more weeks of the camera out on the desk and hopefully that’ll be a little more ingrained as well?!

But now, I better go tidy up while I have some peace and quiet. The end of the holidays is in sight and that obligation of getting back into routine is feeling closer. Too bad…!

By the way, if you follow me elsewhere you may know demolition has started in our bedroom, so I’ll have some less than pretty photos of that next week!


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

Layer upon layer

It’s been a while since I’ve zoomed out and given you a little room update anywhere in our interior. We’ve been all about the backyard for months! But just like the brick wall that’s happening layer by layer, life is adding layers to every room inside too.


Apart from a lack of curtains and art on the big wall by Master W’s bed, the kids room is the most “got it together” room in the house. And I like that it is actually the most mixed and matched and everything goes type room as well. A little like the lovely layered home I shared with you some time ago.

So here are some photos of my favourite space! This boy-girl room where our little darlings sleep (and jump on the bed).

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For a small room with no wardrobe (the cupboard in the corner houses the hot water cylinder) we have packed a lot of function into this room and I’m excited to see how it will grow and adapt with the kids. At some point in the future I’m envisioning corner bunks, to allow more room for play in here, as well as sleeping. I hope to lose the kids for a time, only to find them engrossed in a book curled on their beds, or having some fun with imaginary play under the bunk! A bedroom is such a big space in a small persons life. I know mine features strongly in my childhood memories. Maybe because of its pink floral wallpaper, pink floral duvet, pink floral curtains and pink floral lightshade. All matching. Laura Ashley I think. No matter, I loved it at the time!

Now I must do something about those missing curtains. Here’s a promise… the next photo you see of this room will have curtains! And probably a toddler bed… how fast do the cot days go?!


Memory Lane

This is Memory Lane in Tokyo. It’s a little slice of old Japan, but it’s bars give it another, far less romantic name.

I’ve been taking a walk down Memory Lane at the Duck Egg Blue house today – the Befores page is now a Before & Progress page. Thanks for the memories li’l house, and thanks in advance for the memories still to come!

Inspired colour

I’ve been working on a little (or not so little actually) mid-century inspired project. And it got me all excited about the colour chaos of the period.

Back in my design student days, my favourite project of the entire four years was entitled “Zeitgeist”, which means “spirit of the time”. The assignment was to create ads for a chosen product in three different design decades. I did shoes in the 30s, 40s, and 50s.

Here is a little excerpt from the accompanying essay on Fifties Binge culture:

“The friction between the two vastly different cultures (*Casual American pop and NZ’s staunch God Save the Queen ideals) caused an explosion in the fifties of what is now known as binge.

This over-the-top culture embraced the new middle class affluence, caused by a booming economy, and introduced it to mass consumerism.

Relative to the period, the fifties brought huge technological advances. New, completely synthetic materials were developed, and alongside them, the ability to dye the material in a whole range of ‘new’ colours.”

This binge culture was the beginning of what is generally termed “mid-century modern”.

I love it.

In a world of such extravagant use of colour it can be a little hard to pick out a few that might work in a contemporary mid-century inspired interior. I had some fun giving it a go.

First up: Decadent Design. Starting with a cool hue of baby blue, add in rich layers of navy and dark magenta, and the obligatory wood tone in uber dark.


Number two: Coastal Charm. Natural timber is a big deal, with lots of white and light, accented by a moody sea blue and some zesty lime green. 0611_MidCenturyColour2

Third on the list: Nearly Neutral. Grey, and a bit more grey, then some rich wood and golden brown to liven things up. 0611_MidCenturyColour3

Last but far from least: Pretty Pastel. Starting with a base of grey keeps this one from getting a little crazy, but as long as you get the balance right, you can add as many colours as you like. I’ll do flamingo pink, duck egg blue (of course) and lemon. Mmm mmm!0611_MidCenturyColour4

I think the last one is my favourite (I love a bit of colour) but I’d just as happily grab any of these and run with them, depending on the location and furnishings I was working with.

Interiors images via Pinterest.

Warning: I may not stop at one post on this. I had too much fun!

Small spaces: The little house that wasn’t

before renovation

This cute little building began life as a substation, with nary (shall we make that “word of the week”? Yes I think we shall!) a dream of becoming a home. But home it became.

If you want to see how, have a look here. But I’m just saying…:

Don’t look. The before is better… in my opinion. Allow me to play “if I bought this house…”

If I bought this house (well, substation) I wouldn’t change a thing about the outside. I love how it looks right there in that before photo above. Leave the door, leave the trees, don’t paint… please, don’t even tidy that grass. Inside, would be a homely haven of unexpectedness, but made even more so by the judgement made on the front facade.

“I’m a little power station short and stout… here is my front door and here is my… ahah! Tricked you – here is my home!”

A layered home

Pinned Image

This has been in my ponderings today… a private, multi-level, low maintenance AND kid-friendly backyard. Oh a girl can dream! We haven’t exactly got a blank canvas to work with.

The home of Cris and Marcelo Rosenbaum in Sao Paulo is quite the visual feast and I just love how with all that busyness going on inside there is this outdoor area that is so calm and serene. Their home is delightful in its “lived-in-ness” and has a place for whatever mood its occupants might be in at any one time.

I’m excited to be creating my own “layered home” with our family personalities evident in every corner. Sometimes we’re a bit excited and crazy and sometimes we’re relaxed and content in our own little worlds. The more we live in our house and bring things we love into it the more it begins to reflect our collective personality.

I yearn so much for our house to be finished… but I think a real home is never finished is it?

A happy kitchen!

I’ve finally gotten around to doing up my first moodboard.

I’m very good (bad?) at just going around with all my ideas in my head so noone else has a clue what I’m on about. Sometimes a picture is a thousand words.

The room of the day is the kitchen, and it’s a happy kitchen! Actually the bones of the kitchen are quite subdued, even neutral (see here how I was a bit concerned about that) but it will be the little touches that make it mine – all mine! Well, and the husbands’ and childrens’ but seeing as they’re all mine too I’m ok with that!

The plan is to embrace the colourful mess that is children (or their toys) and make it seem deliberate (I never said I wasn’t cunning…) by adding a bit of adult colour to balance it out. Hence the gorgeous yellow vase which I have yet to buy and give pride of place on the open shelves!

Now without sounding a bit like an hour long royal wedding further ado…

If you’d like some explanation, we’ll start at top left and head clockwise:

This is our first kitchen inspiration image which was ripped out of a magazine (long forgotten which one). We’re stealing the open shelves and doing an oak (veneer?) version without the matching panel behind.

Alphabet letters (these ones from here) are already on my fridge – bought for myself the little one’s first birthday and somewhat disappointed that all he does as yet is try to eat them… I’m sure one day soon he’ll surprise me with “i   l o v e   m a m a” as I go for the milk at breakfast!

Duck egg blue and brown vase is very similar to a jug I purchased in a 2nd hand shop in Masterton last Christmas – it was the first new kitchen specific purchase so will have pride of place alongside “My Yellow Jug”. Which will be something like the one pictured which I found here and is from here.

Moving on around to the aforementioned kitchen in which I’m delighted by the blue scooter cast in a corner and the red water jug on the table, not to mention the flowers and general daily clutter. That will be my kitchen.

Last but not least we have some swatches. Polished concrete for the floor, white for the cabinets and benchtop (which will have some minimal pattern so as to not be totally white), white oak for the open shelves and the latest development is a clear glass splashback with ooh la la wallpaper behind (from here).

Dreaming of a new kitchen

Today I write to the tune of a concrete grinder on the other side of a 6mm MDF temporary wall… pleasant it’s not but progress it is! Our new kitchen/dining floor is well underway, but more details and pictures in a week or so when it’s “finished”.

I’ve been avoiding contemplating the finer detail of our kitchen to be and decided I really needed to do up a quick sketch to see the overall colour scheme that until now has just been floating around in my minimal headspace.

Quick sketch it is so please ignore the lines that are not quite straight (speaking to my engineer husband here – I’m sure noone else will be so rude as to point them out):

As you can see we’re taking a very neutral approach with a polished concrete floor, white cabinets, benchtop (tbc), walls, ceiling, trim, fridge (did I miss anything??), wooden (oak veneer??) open shelves… and the only bit of colour will be the splashback, tied in with some painted pendant lightshades over the sink.

I’m ok with this (said cautiously) as I think we can add some eye popping colour by way of kids toys scattered all over the floor fridge artwork, some feature crockery on the shelves, fruit bowl, calendar on the wall etc etc.

I’m channelling this gorgeous kitchen from here:

Two points: Daily clutter is the standout feature here… which I think is the bit that makes a house a home, and that’s what we’re all about! Also the dining table and chairs are (will be..) quite similar to ours which will sit alongside our kitchen too.

Since it’s Easter… (and the concrete grinding is still grinding me down) I might go grab myself some earmuffs, an easter egg and a good ol’ Your Home & Garden mag and take it easy for a bit!