Tag Archives: NZ

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

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!

The Block NZ: My Room Two

The Block NZ is my sort of show. It’s DIY, it’s decorating, it’s a challenge, and it’s four 50s houses in suburban Auckland – just like mine. I think Andre and I would smoke it – sans children we’d achieve like we wouldn’t believe! We’re perfectionists by nature but work well under pressure.

Anyway, we’re not in it and so far not backing any particular couple although Rachel and Tyson do have me on tenterhooks! Kind of ironic that they won the distressing challenge.

I liked and disliked different things about each of the rooms and thought the judges were pretty harsh actually. No doubt there were rules and orders about where to buy and with time pressures of the ridiculous sort decisions will be made that will be regretted later. Like Ginny and Rhys’ boring bedroom. Sorry guys – I think you work great together but hopefully you can bring some more colour or at least texture next time?! (And note below that I picked the same duvet cover as you did..!)

I’ve set myself a challenge to whip up a moodboard of my own alongside the room of the week on The Block NZ. This week, if you’ve been watching, it’s the second bedroom. We have one of those. It’s currently Miss E’s bedroom/junk room/spare room. But this is what it could be if I had a week, some cash, vouchers and a handy husband (one of these I do have, the others I don’t):

I limited my virtual purchases to Freedom Furniture, because they were the only furnishing and decorating “sponsor” I spotted on the show (apart from Carpet Court, but I opted to polish my floorboards and throw down a rug).  I also DIY’ed a new top for my side table – it was tan, now it’s chartreuse… not quite as polished as the bought one, but at least I got a bit adventurous. The paint colours were Dulux of course – the main wall colour (duck egg blue funnily enough) is Dulux Waimauku Half.

At the end of my Week 1 (ie. an hour of online browsing and virtual painting my room red duck egg blue) I am content but not excited about my choices. I’m picking Freedom Furniture is playing it safe and only has the fairly neutral selections from its full range shown online. Let’s hope I spot some new sponsors next week and have a broader choice.

Judges (I am my own harshest critic) comments: Colour is nice but safe… try harder next time (see above). Good to see some layering of textures – almost makes up for the colour fail. Also, nice effort at DIYing a new top for the side table, but I suggest brushing up on the upholstery Photoshop skills.

5.5/10 for design, 8/10 for execution (no nasty paint job and everything fits where it’s supposed to!) = 13.5/20. Told you I would smoke it!

Note: Any references to The Block NZ (including the logo) are… ummm… without permission? Oops.