Tag Archives: kitchen

Pin of the day: Modern farmhouse kitchen


Whoaaaa!!! Modern, classic, midcentury – this kitchen has it all going on! My dream kitchen has a big ol’ farmhouse table in it like this one, but I’ve never been a real country kitchen type. Love how this one puts it together with both timeless white and my favourite design era with the pendant and chairs. Oh and the floor? Is that concrete?! Concrete floors in the kitchen are the very best – I should know!

PS. I missed this post on Monday… worth the few extra days though right?!

The curtains that nearly weren’t




These curtains. They’ve been a long time a comin’.

So first the pictures, then the story…

0527_1153-(2) 0527_1232-(2) 0527_1241 0527_1244-(2) 0527_1249-(2) 0527_1255 0527_1257 0527_1259 Starting way back when I first eyed up this fabric, in… August 2012. Gulp!


Then we DIY’ed some curtain rods a year later. And they stayed bare for many more months, while I shopped around, and around, and around. Call me thrifty, call me cheapskate… but I didn’t want to spend over $1k on one pair of curtains. One summer passed by and I missed the special deals. Another summer came… and I juuuuust scraped in, with a few lessons learned along the way.


After hosting a few big brand curtain consultants who offered only scary quotes and less than helpful advice, I decided to trust my own judgement on the fabric and style I’d had plenty of time to mull over, and hunted down a smaller scale curtain maker.

They appeared professional, with a simple website, some good reviews, and plenty of helpful advice. Not to mention a 30% lower quote than the cheapest of the big names.

Things were looking rosy and I had high hopes of hanging some curtains before winter began. Deposit paid!

And then… a few weeks later I thought “hmmm, looks like autumn is arriving, I wonder how my curtains are going?”

My emails bounced back, phone numbers were disconnected and a getting desperate phone call to the fabric supplier came up with “oh, they closed their account with us about a year ago”.

I felt pretty scammed. I felt a little silly, and a whole lot disappointed. I felt annoyed and grumpy. I felt like I’d just lost a few hundred dollars.

Then I got mad and hunted down the guilty party. I found an alternative email address in the depths of a business listing website, and my firm but friendly email didn’t bounce back!

But who knew if it had been read…

Then a few days later, a reply! Woohoo! They’re alive! But all it said was the fabric had just been ordered. Not so promising but at least a response and a way of contact was formed.

Days passed before another reply to my “where are my cuuuurtains?!” and apparently there’s trouble in the small-scale curtain maker camp. So my hopes were low.

The next email got a little more threatening and I did feel bad about that but Autumn was well and truly settled in and I just wanted my curtains! Or my deposit back.

I didn’t get a reply to that one. But eventually I got an email to say “your curtains are ready, where shall we send them?”. What? Really? My hopes rose a little but the fingers were still well and truly crossed.

Until a week or so later and just as I was walking out the door one morning, a courier van pulls up with a big box?! Noooo… it can’t be?! I told the kids to stay in the car, and ran back in with my box, grabbed the scissors and opened it just enough to peek in. Hallelujah!!! We have curtains!

I half expected spiders or mice or something to jump out at me too, but no. I just got my curtains, as ordered and as lovely as I hoped! Relieved and a little bit wiser, but I took a few days longer than I would normally to pay the balance. Fair’s fair I say.

And now these are my favourite curtains to pull every night and morning, and we can enjoy dinner without the cold draught through the french doors. All is well!

Especially now I’ve adjusted the hooks and they hang just right. I snapped these photos below before I fixed them up so ignore their bunching at the bottom, and just admire how they look from the living room (I forgot to get more photos from this angle after I’d adjusted them).


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The fabric is Pegasus EMI Imperial, in Duck Egg. My fave!

And the curtain rings come in packs of 10 – Nusa, in pewter (but I sprayed them the same colour as I sprayed the rods) by Windoware, from Bunnings.

I’m not naming the curtain maker because I believe they are/were genuinely in trouble and did their best (the curtains are well made and their advice in the beginning while we sorted the details was appreciated) but in future I will make sure to have a physical address for contact because phone numbers, email addresses and websites can disappear in an instant!


Small spaces: A kitchen – cluttered or cool?

We don’t see too many kitchens here, because that’s the last thing on my mind. We finished our kitchen a looong long time ago!

But kitchens are the biggest part of a home, even the tiniest kitchens.

Here’s one that I liked the look of, until it started to close in on me. What do you think of all the pictures? Is it too much? Or is it a whole lot of good style?

It definitely helps that there’s no colour – the black and white is a classic look… but it still scares me a little at the thought of turning around with an armful of hot pot and whacking a picture or two off the wall.

Found on a blog with a cool name. Because that footwear of choice is my favourite too!

Our custom splashback – a performance review

Happy Monday! I’m writing to the sound of a lawnmower somewhere down the road, and I like it! Even though lawns need mowing most of the year, it does feel like a summer sound still.


I’ve had a few readers ask about our custom splashback, so I thought I’d do a post on what I think of it, a couple of years down the track. Do I still like it, and how is it holding up to cooking mess, and general wear and tear?

Just a quick heads up on what we chose, and why…

I wanted something here that would make an impact, as it is the only real area of colour in the kitchen. Our cabinets and benchtops are all white, and the open shelves (which I love!), as you can see are timber. So the splashback needed to make something of a statement, to make this kitchen ours. Ideally, I wanted a glass splashback so it would be very easy to clean, especially because we have the extraction system set into it. I have heard tiles, which can look amazing, can also be annoying to maintain.


A quick check on prices for printed glass splashbacks (where a pattern, or photo is applied directly to the back of the glass) put that option out of our reach, but there is nothing like a budget challenge to make me get my creative hat on.

I then rung around for prices on a clear glass option, explaining that I intended to fix it to the wall in front of some wallpaper. I already had my eye on this mid century patterned wallpaper (although I shopped around for a significantly cheaper price).

It seems the standard way to fix glass splashbacks to walls is by smearing glue all over the back of them… so I had quite a few adamant replies of “No, we can’t help you with that sorry lady”. But I had a plan, and when I have a plan it’s hard to throw me off it (for better or worse!) so after talks with Andre and his dad we figured out a way to do it, giving me a comeback for those doubting splashback manufacturers!

We had the glass cut with screw holes in each corner, and used some capped screws to fix it to the wall. One thing we learnt in the process was to cut small crosses in the wallpaper, so it didn’t tear when drilling/screwing into it.


Then the key to making this work is to silicone around all edges. As soon as possible!


The one regret I have is leaving a couple of edges without silicone for a few days, because this happened:


Bugs. Little, tiny, irritating bugs. Somehow they made their way in and there they stay to this day! I initially thought they might shrivel a little and drop to the bottom, but actually, they haven’t budged.

I must admit, despite our best efforts at siliconing everywhere pesky ants etc might get in, the original few fruit flies have recently been joined by a couple more. We have both an extraction fan grill, and a power outlet set into this splashback, and I’m pretty sure we sealed around the grill, but for safety reasons we didn’t seal around the outlet. Perhaps this is where the two or three have got in?

They do annoy me, I’ll be honest, but having exactly the splashback I had in mind makes me forget those bugs most of the time! We get so many comments about it, and I’m very glad I persisted with those doubters and I do feel like I’ve proved them wrong for the best part. There were predictions of doom and gloom and ants nests!

There are no ants nests. Just awesome mid-century pattern which adds personality to our kitchen and makes me smile while I cook!

The thing is, even if things do get worse from here on out, it’s a simple matter of slicing off that silicone, removing the glass and wiping away the bugs. Put the glass back, redo the silicone and it’s as good as new.


You have the look of a fancy custom printed or tiled splashback, for far less cost!

A couple more posts planned for the week… I’ve taken way too many photos of our less than perfect but I love it very much Christmas tree, and some long-awaited deck progress updates!

All in the open

We’ve been having some gorgeous spring weather lately, and the other day I got inspired to clean and rearrange the open shelves in our kitchen… Lighten them up a little, to go with the sun streaming in the windows across the other side.


I won’t dwell on the cleaning process, but it is the only definite disadvantage to open shelves in a kitchen. Ours also happen to be right above the stove. There was a lot of ick, but I’m still in love with them and wouldn’t have our kitchen any other way. How amazing is that?!


When these clever-husband-built-shelves were first installed, they got loaded with every single plate and drinking vessel we owned, plus recipe books and sundae dishes and jugs I never used. As a testament to Andre’s design and build skills, these shelves held up without so much as a groan, but I never intended for them to just be a place to put things. So the sundae dishes have gone to my charity box, and most of a dinner set and the recipe books got put away elsewhere. Now my cupboards are well and truly stuffed full, but I just shut the doors and admire my pretty open shelves! 1113_8518

A while back someone asked me about our in wall extractor. Does it work? Are you happy with it? To be honest, I don’t think it works as well as a range hood, but it was the best option for our kitchen, and I’m happy with it. The functionality and prettiness far outweigh the little bit of extra cleaning that is required. I used this homemade cleaner on the shelves, and it worked marvellously.1113_8519

Love these shelves, love my kitchen!

And… I’ve just painted a third coat on another little laminated timber project that I hope to share after the weekend… can’t wait!

For a less permanent and much smaller taste of open shelving, a plate rack is a cute idea too – like this photo from Mousehouse.

A rug in the kitchen!

Allison Burke's Modern Mix

I saw the sweetest little kitchen this morning (via Apartment Therapy on Facebook), and it’s sent me off on quite the tangent today… a kitchen rug search.

Never before have I considered a rug in the kitchen. It doesn’t seem a typical thing to do in New Zealand – the land of the barefoot children. For the whole of this winter my son has refused to wear even socks while we’re home. And I’ll admit I’m pretty happy going barefoot myself, although definitely only in the summertime.

But back to rugs in the kitchen. I can’t think of any friend or family member who have a rug in their kitchen. Not now, not as a child. But a quick search for “kitchen rug” and a million and one images appear of gorgeous kitchens in all kinds of styles and states of designerness (or obvious DIYness!). And all with various lovely rugs, right there in the kitchen. Some people opt for a mat alongside the sink (they must prefer handwashing dishes…) and others go for a full size mat to cover the entire kitchen floor.

Knowing the state my kitchen floor can get in, I hate to think of having to keep a rug clean among all the splattering and dropped food that just somehow happens.

But, the good news is there are options…

Machine-washable rug? Mmmhmm. Outdoor (hoseable!) – even better. Or just plain old cheap so you can throw it out when it gets too hideous.

I’ve done a little round up of my favourites, available (or soon to be) right here in l’il old NZ – the land of the catching on slowly to kitchen rugs.

0830_Kitchen rug

1. Helmi by Brita Sweden (available soon from MintSix) – a soft plastic rug for indoor/outdoor use, and machine washable
2. Tabriz Zebra mat from The Warehouse – goes cheap
3.SPRINGKORN by Ikea (Find an Ikea seller on TradeMe and ask them to add one to their next container for you) – cheap. Replaceable. Awesome.
4. Recycled Turkish rug from Gaiam – you can do a few good turns with purchasing one of these – the environment (it’s made from old soft drink bottles), Thai artisans (who get paid well for their efforts) and yourself (all it needs is a hose down to maintain it’s cleanliness).
5. LET LIV Cotton Striped Floor Rug – 100% cotton so it has to be pretty washable, and a good price for a classic stripe. Can’t go wrong!

And because I’m a sucker for punishment, Dash and Albert have the best selection of indoor/outdoor rugs you could ever hope for in one place – but unavailable in NZ.

Do you have a rug in your kitchen? Or does the very thought of it horrify you? I am reserving judgement until I see how much the Brita Sweden one might be… it’s my kitchen rug crush.


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.





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!

Don’t be a wallflower

Yesterday I shared a photo (via Roomie) on Facebook of a colourful kitchen in Scandinavia. For those of you who missed it – here’s another peek!

Don’t you love the personality?! Kitchens can tend to be pretty sterile places, but this one is anything but. I’m wondering if that rug is meant to look a little like grass…? Or is that just me feeling like this kitchen is a walk through Nana’s garden? I’m sure we’ll agree though that the wallpaper totally makes this kitchen special.

So… wallpaper it is. Wallpaper, wallpaper, wallpaper.


Clockwise from top left, as always:

– Paper your furniture if you think walls are boring… Geometric by Cole & Sons, from Wall St
Olden Times from The Inside – reeetro! (By the way, 80% off at The Inside at the moment!)
– Miss Print’s Saplings Turquoise Gold via Paper Room – had to include a Miss Print paper… my Muscat Small Duck Egg Blue is still my fave (see below!)
– Stripes and dots by Vision Wallcoverings – this one is all matchy-matchy with my new filing labels!
– My bestest favourite… Ophelia Delft by Designer’s Guild, from Allium. They also have a rug available which I reeeally want.

Here’s my teensy slice of wallpapered home:


It’s the Duck Egg Blue diy version of a custom painted splashback. Wallpaper with clear float glass over top. But don’t forget to silicone around the edges so no icky cooking residue or bugs get in. Easy peasy and budget friendly!

Nice huh?

Hot concrete

I have loads of projects on the go, they’re just not going far or fast right now. Kids, weather, a weekend away – they’re not good for progress – but they’re good for other things!

So, you’ll have to wait a bit to see the kindling box, headboard, curtain rods (yes I did mention those months ago), more on the backyard and where we’re at with the front lawn.

For now, I have concrete on my mind. It started with a promo email from The Design Gift Shop this morning.


Clockwise from top right:
Our very own, awesome, one of a kind concrete floor
Outdoor bench by Design Warehouse
Stacking spice jars via Etsy
Planter box spotted at The Design Chaser
Soap dish by The Design Gift Shop

Concrete continues to astound me. It’s no longer just a cheapish option for whatever ground you have to cover… it’s a material for crafting pretty much whatever one can think of. Those spice jars – so (stuck for words) cool!

And I love our concrete floor to bits – minus the kisses. Having two little ones in the house it does get a bit icky under the dining table at least 3 times a day. But it does a reeeally good job hiding that if I just don’t feel like mopping it up right away. Again. Also, it’s no colder than the timber floorboards in the mornings (they’re both pretty cold to be honest!) and the afternoon sun does a good job of heating it up so it is warmest in the evenings. Hardly a person visits our house without commenting on it, and I’ve had to run for the nearest cloth a few times when I see them start to get down on their knees for a good look.

There are a million and one companies that can give you one, if I’ve convinced you, but it really is worth trying it yourself. It’s kind of fun, looking back on it months later!

Small spaces: a sink nook

Pretty perfect innit? I love everything about this little corner of Market Lane Coffee in Melbourne. It’s on the staff side of the counter but totally within drooling distance for the coffee and/or beautiful design addicts. Habitus Living – thanks for sharing.

Gorgeous tiles – they’ve taken subway and smashed it. American oak benchtop… I like a bit of american oak. The mixer is sweet and the flowers are my favourite.

It might be completely impractical for a home kitchen (size helps when you have kids that constantly snack) but I can see this working pretty well in a laundry nook. Why doesn’t mine look as good as this?