Tag Archives: shelves

Pin of the day: Wishy washi dishes

I may have mentioned making a play kitchen for the kids for Christmas? Well… this idea just made it a bit easier:

washi tape dolls house by Frida Ramstedt

Take some simple shelves and add washi tape to fancy it up. Done!

As soon as I can find some replacements for our master bedroom bedside cabinets, they’ll be hacked a little to accommodate a play oven, fridge and kitchen storage.

I’m not one for big investment (money or otherwise) into kids toys so I plan to keep it super simple and go crazy with washi tape for the fancy bits. Then, if it’s a hit I can turn the fancy bits more permanent perhaps?!

Image from my Kids Room Pinterest board.

An organised office nook

I don’t know where to start with this, so maybe I’ll just start at the end?


Aaah that’s better! I guess I just didn’t want to start by showing you this:

0625_0554That is what was left of the doorway off the lounge into the kitchen, after we started working things around to create a new bedroom, laundry, and the office nook.

I can’t seem to find a photo from before we got started with demo, but here is the view from the other side, looking from the original kitchen into the lounge.


Here is the wall as it was getting cut out…


And after the framing and lining was completed…0625_1586

Eventually the trim got finished and we got some paint up. That is how it stayed for longer than I care to remember – one giant filing cabinet across the lounge, and a definitely seen better days student desk, with piles of all sorts half hiding behind it.0625_2087

Then the magic started to happen. We bought a piece of laminated timber benchtop off Trade Me, cut it to fit, varnished it up and one evening last winter it got installed!0625_4832

That was followed by some much needed shelves.

0625_4948And the delay since then has been all mine. I guess I was busy elsewhere.

So now I am delighted to introduce you to my office nook. Enjoy! Feast your eyes!


0625_7221 0625_7224 0625_7219 0625_7218 0625_7208 0625_7207 0625_7206 0625_7205 0625_7203 0625_7202 0625_7201 0625_7200 0625_7199

Here’s something of a source list:

Desktop – Trade Me
Shelves – Bunnings
Pinboard – inherited
Storage boxes – The Warehouse, Briscoes, Boxalong
Jars – collected
Ringbinders – Warehouse Stationery (labels my own)
Drawers – Ikea via Trade Me

As for a budget… do you mind if I skip that today? It’s been quite the challenge enough to get photos done and a post up!

I love that the pinboard will be a constantly changing artwork, but I also plan to hang something gorgeous to the left of it for balance. We are also toying with the idea of a narrow shelf (like this) above the pinboard to balance the shelves either side, and provide a little more storage space.

I do hope you love this space as much as I do! I’d be delighted to know what you think… comment away or tell me on Facebook.


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?!

Pin of the day: Leather strapped shelves

These shelves have been popping up in my world a bit lately, and at first I just admired them and carried on. But I couldn’t sleep last night, and in the process I decided it might be a good idea to replace the shelves in our lounge (just a few short months after buying them… oops) with a couple of gorgeous timber shelves held up with some leather straps, perhaps with a console underneath??

The thing is, despite mulling over the purchase of these Lundia shelves (we actually bought them from Second Gear) for quite some time, and spending a reasonable amount of dollars on them, they just don’t fit right in our lounge. (Sorry about the crooked photo… and the styling? Yes well… it’s Monday which means no child free moments for me. Styling involves moving the clothes airer aside. That’s it.)IMG_0519

Paint them? Yes, we’ve thought about it, but it just doesn’t feel right for some reason… and what colour would we paint them? White is too obvious and would just be one white too many for our lounge – which already has white(ish) walls and trim, white blinds, and a white lounge suite.IMG_0520

I’ve already relocated (in my mind) these shelves to the spare room – they will not be wasted.

It sounds like I’ve already made up my mind. I better hope Andre reads this post!

Father’s weekend in the man cave

Father’s Day rolled around this year with a few hints that tools were required (aren’t they always?!). Actually I should rephrase because he doesn’t do hints. When pressed I got “I think I need a spanner set.”

What he got instead was a sweet handmade card that is the spitting image of our newly painted (yes, yes, more on that later I promise) garage and a promise from Mama and the kids that we would dedicate two whole days to help find a spanner set.

Some…. where….. in…… here:

A spanner? In there? Hardly likely… and he wants a whole set?! Before I go any further I need to say two things: No attempt has been made to sort this garage since things were thrown in on moving day, and with all going on inside the house the garage has born the brunt of hurried returning of tools and bits and pieces. Secondly, my poor husband can’t stand up in this garage… being 6’4″ has it’s advantages – a low roof is not one of them.

Now, arrow 1 points to the chest freezer where I have a few meals stored for “one of those days”. For some time I have not been able to get to any meals on “one of those days” which is just the last straw and makes it “ONE OF THOSE DAYS!!!” Arrow 2 points to the “tool drawer” which hung out in the house for quite some time and quickly became the dumping ground for anything that I or Andre couldn’t immediately find a place for ie. everything! Arrow 3 marks the spot where one or two motorbikes are usually parked but weren’t for this photo – I just have to point that out so you know I really, really couldn’t get to the freezer and there was a very valid reason for sending Andre back out for takeaways as soon as he got home.

Anyway, there are loads of photos so I’ll let them speak for themselves for a bit:

Ugh! Because this was a serious operation, Andre took a couple of days off work so we had ourselves a four day weekend to get this chaos into order. Being Auckland, rain was guaranteed at least four times in those four days so we put the tent up to store everything in the meantime. This is how it looked by coffee time on the first morning:

Some time after lunch everything was out (including Miss E) and in various piles designated for the rubbish truck or Trade Me or for keeps (this is where we put Miss E).

And we got to cleaning in preparation for a repaint (looks like someone had tried to clean their paintbrush on the walls previously…??).

I have no progress shots of the painting because it was all hands on paint brush to get it done before dinner. I was pretty delighted to get so far in one day – never thought we’d be painting until day two!

Day two was another big one which involved splitting all the scrap timber into kindling for next winter:

And starting the slow process of moving everything back into it’s rightful place. Because this is my kind of job I was so engrossed I also missed pictures of this process, but am delighted to be able to present some “finished” pictures after a solid three days of getting well acquainted with our man cave and all that is in it (and no longer in it).

Sooo much better don’t you agree? Thanks to removing an old blind off the window, freshening up the walls and painting the lower beams white (hmm… varying shades of leftover white or not so white) and putting everything “away” the garage looks bigger, lighter and there is space to work at the work bench at the back, or even work on bigger projects without having to hang from the ceiling beams. The bench just to the left of the motorbike holds all the “for sale” things, so if you squint and picture that free from clutter it just gets better! I didn’t wait for that to be gone before I took after pictures because… well, I just couldn’t wait.

I’m pretty proud of this corner:

It’s my gardening station. I no longer have to fight with the ladder for possession of the rake. Dare I give you a close up look for my tool rack? Oops, you can see where I took a wee shortcut and didn’t paint the underside, but I can assure you only small children or squatting photographers see this view.

Down below are these old nail boxes which have faithfully followed our every move since Andre claimed them from his Dad’s (or Opa’s?) garage when he moved out. They look so smart lined up together and they’re doing a great job storing the smaller gardening tools and gloves, seeds etc.

Further back in the garage are these shelves (repurposed from the kids room, which now has a new manrobe) which hold the only new purchase for this makeover: 8 storage crates from Mitre 10 at around $9 each. We’ll call them the Father’s Day present (I think we found the spanners!).

They hold painting supplies, plumbing bits and electrical things, as well as some other odds and ends. Based on the above view I have imposed a “no more paint” rule. Surely there is enough paint, sealer and filler to allow for whatever project we dream up next?

Once I had “my” gardening corner and these shelves set up I pretty much left Andre to get to know his man cave on his own. I am absolutely delighted at the transformation and am no longer afraid to venture in for a piece of sandpaper, but it’s Andre’s place to hang out, not mine. Besides, my usefulness had expired by then anyway – I was just getting in the way and putting things in the wrong place, which was definitely not the idea. I snuck back in one morning last week to get some more photos.

Long may it last!

Habits of a two year old lifetime

Well, we made it! On Friday of Easter weekend we were up bright and early and shifted our little-big boy into his new bedroom.

He keeps forgetting, and runs off to his old bedroom when it’s sleep time, or to get his shoes, or some books to read! We are creatures of habit. I found myself the other day at mums house opening the cupboard under the sink for the hand towel, over and over again, just because that’s where it is at my house (here)!

If you’re following my to do list, there were a few simple things to do in the new bedroom prior to shifting our little-big boy in.

Namely, adding the socket and switch covers, a ten second job one night:

Then a slightly more tedious job… insulating tape around the draughty (just had to look that up, it’s not drafty unless you’re in the US) window. It’s so draughty/drafty that it bangs in the wind even when it’s shut!

But, no more:

It’s a bit hard to see there, but Andre had a big roll of self adhesive foam tape in the garage, so he just cut strips and adhered them to the outside of the window frame, to create a better seal when the window is shut. We need to do this on all our windows… we go to sleep at night listening to our blinds banging against the window frames, despite the windows being closed, and it being a mildly windy night… sigh!

Enough of the small talk though, here’s the first draft (ahah! Draft is the correct term here, AND in the US) of the kids bedroom. Currently only occupied by our two year old boy, he will be joined by his little sister just as soon as she is sleeping through the night and they’re not likely to wake each other up.

Nailing in the picture hook for…:

The space claiming “W”:

You might remember the first yarn wrapping I attempted here, which was a little on the pink side for a boy, so I made him a new one in navy. He’s a navy sort of boy. Our little girl has her own version, here.

I bought him the other couple of tin soldiers as a “new bedroom present”, to match the first one, from Nood, so now he has the complete set to display.

The bed corner:

 And the storage corner:

And a couple more:

This simple toy is my favourite! It was a freebie from Mary’s Market and on it’s “right side” it has painted crosses for eyes, hence it’s name – Ol’ Cross Eyes. He is one of three soft toys that spend the night in bed. Anyway, I just love this photo for it’s portrayal of the casualness of small children in that they are so accepting of change (While I was so meticulously preparing his new bedroom, the little one “helped” by grabbing his bed friends and a few books and scattering them on the floor, before running outside to do some “building”) and also how it shows the character of our home – the old and the new, and the homely mess!

Still, much to be done in here, and it will be ever evolving as our little girl moves in to make her mark, then they grow and bed arrangements will change.

Immediate plans though are to purchase a rug, add some window treatments to soften the look of the blinds, and add some artwork to liven up the blank white space.

I’m also keeping an eye on TradeMe for an old manrobe to use in place of the functional but “no personality” shelves.

On the go

This post was intended for pre-christmas but didn’t quite happen…

While there hasn’t been a whole lot to report, we have been busy as ever chipping away at lots of little things, like new roller blinds throughout (remaining curtains and tracks have now been removed):

Swapping shelves between bedrooms (which involved some sorting of junk along the way):

The smaller shelves are now in the master bedroom temporarily but will likely end up in the 3rd (kids) bedroom again later:

And the large shelves which were in the master bedroom are now in the little one’s current bedroom and will move with him into the new bedroom in a few more weeks. There are some alterations to be made to these shelves yet to allow for hanging clothes and the smaller storage baskets. I also need to purchase some more baskets to keep everything tidy.

Grinding the odd patch of concrete where an old boiler sat in the new bedroom (this photo shows the drop sheet set up intended to keep the dust to a minimum – no photos of the process itself as I wasn’t getting the camera anywhere near it!):

Priming the walls and ceiling in the new bedroom (just getting started here, but it’s finished now):

Crafting up a cushion for a present (here is the letter I marked out on the inside of the cushion cover, which I bought, to use as a guide):

And the finished cushion:

Painting the trim around the lounge to dining, and office nook:

Building a new boat trailer… no pics of this sorry but it’s just to show not everything is house related!

Plus there have been a couple of trips to the hospice shop to dump old curtains and what-not, a trip to the scrapyard with an old trailer, a bunch of present buying trips and some making of goodies for Christmas Crackers:

You can expect another post like this in a few days after we’ve achieved a few more little bits and pieces about the place!

Laundry imperfection

Now that the purveyor of fine things has seen the good, the bad and the ugly of all that is going on (or not!) at my house right now, I can show the rest of you the laundry development.

As is the kitchen, the laundry is 95% finished, and if I wait for 100% you might never get to see anything. So ready or not, this is it, starting at the end of August with a wall (about to be removed):

Then the insertion of extra tall doors to maximise the space (it makes it look very narrow in photos, but the whole laundry is just over 1200mm wide):

Electrical work done, and MDF lining in (as with the linen cupboard, this requires no stopping, and means you can be more flexible with shelving):

Then primed, painted and the dryer and cabinet in:

Shelves in:

Then my two men were down on hands and knees to fill in holes in the floorboards where the wall had been. The floors are rimu and we used rimu putty which seems to be working ok colour-wise.

And then sand it (thank you husband for attaching the vacuum cleaner!). Varnishing happened somewhere a bit later…:

A new benchtop fitted (we bought a piece off Trademe and cut it down to fit. At $48 it was worth the small amount of extra effort! It’s not a complete match with the kitchen but is near enough to keep me satisfied.):

We repurposed the old kitchen sink to use it here – it scrubbed up quite nicely and is roomy enough for a bucket but not so big it takes up all the bench space. And as far as the tap went we opted for cheap over awesome. Here’s Andre drilling a hole for the tap:

The below image is a good one – it shows how my house looks a lot of the time. Tools, dust and doors every which where. It is intended as a plumbing work in progress shot though, so do take note of the pipes under the sink, and take special note of how tidy they are… nice job husband and thank you for spending most of a whole Saturday under the house, not only hooking up the new laundry but supervising the little one under there too!

And today, this is how it’s looking:

I contemplated using “makeover” in the title, but we’re not quite there yet which is why you don’t get the styled shot and I didn’t even bother to remove the lopsided stack of buckets and washing basket.

Still to do is the following:

1. Install kickboard under cabinet
2. Install tiles around bench (Mitre 10 and everywhere else I got to is suddenly out of stock of gloss white mosaics for 2-6weeks!)
3. Purchase storage containers (in a colour please, I have enough white!) to organise and tidy shelves …Side note #1: needing extra icecream containers is a poor excuse for treating ourselves to icecream every night.
4. Purchase baskets (fabric?) in coordinating colour with storage containers to sit on top of dryer to disguise bare gap and balance out top shelf
5. Paint doors and trim
6. Find and fit door handles (preferably to match existing hardware… hmmm…)

As is the way though in our house right now (and quite possibly forever and always…) once it’s done enough to be functional, we’re on to the next “big project” which does make me concerned about when the last little 5% might get done, and when I can do the fun part of styling and showing off some images fit for a home design glossy…

Still, onwards and upwards, there’s a new baby coming and a bedroom needs to be finished.

Side note #2: In case you’re wondering about the office nook – it has lights and powerpoints and is primed and puttied up, but is a bit on hold as the bedroom is more important right now. Or was I the only one wondering…?

Towels, sheets and camping gear

One old house, one new linen cupboard!

And the first linen cupboard I can organise, reorganise and organise  again in almost 5 years! Yes, for 5 years I have been without a dedicated linen cupboard. Kind of sad really, as such cupboards are made for storage nerds like myself. They provide ample opportunity to fill in time pulling things out, refolding and putting back in some other kind of order.

Order is kind of the order of the day around here just lately… what with working on 3 lots of shelving (linen cupboard which you’ll see here, and laundry and kitchen to be continued) and sorting mountains of clothes, unnecessary linen and kitchen bits and pieces I feel almost like the light at the end of the tunnel must be just around the corner! It could just be spring in the air… and daylight saving having restored some promise of getting things done “in time”…

So, here’s the linen cupboard after a coat of MDF primer (we used MDF instead of Gib to give us flexibility with attaching shelving, and to cut down on plastering… ughh!) and two top coats of Resene Half Rice Cake. We didn’t fuss with painting the trim or ceiling in here white… as you’ll see further down it’s not likely to ever be seen again anyway!

Post this photo, the floor was sanded, holes filled with Rimu putty, and sealed over – it’s actually come up really well and the line is much less clear between “old” and “new”.

We cut all but the largest of the shelves from the old kitchen cupboard doors, which saved a bit of $$ – always a bonus! The large piece is a new bit of customwood. All pieces were sanded lightly, primed with MDF primer where necessary and painted over with 2-3 coats of Resene Enamacryl in White. It’s a bit glossy and will be reasonably hard wearing which is kind of necessary for shelves.

Then came some drilling, measuring and levelling…

And finally the shelves were complete! It’s a bit awkward to get a good photo of this cupboard as it’s a narrow little thing tucked in the middle of the hall.

And here they are after just a couple of organisation attempts – restrained aren’t I?! No doubt I won’t get to the end of the year without another reorganise…

Right up the top we have some bits of camping gear which is best stored inside away from the potential dampness of the garage, then there’s a guest shelf with special towels and sheets, then family towels, family sheets and beach towels and a picnic set and rug on the bottom shelf. Below that is the vacuum cleaner, and to the left is a narrow space (have a look in the next photo above for a clearer view) for the ironing board, mop and broom.

As you can see we do still need to paint the door and frame, architraves etc but functionality is a priority and we’ve moved onto finishing the laundry first!

Just an interesting thing I thought I’d point out… In this organisation attempt #2 I’ve collated sheet sets within their corresponding pillowcase, as I’ve seen recommended many times over. Check out the difference between the standard cotton set (on the bottom) and the flannelette set… whoa! Close-up for you, with said sheets in the middle shelf:

No I did not iron (it’s not really something I do…) but I pretty well sat on these to squish them down a bit. Maybe I need to try again when I’m 8 1/2 months preggo?


Reclaiming the pantry: Stage 1

Whoever would have thought I’d be writing about reclaiming my pantry so soon? Certainly not me back when I was dreaming of space and light (see here).

However, I have to admit when the move into the new kitchen happened loads of stuff was literally thrown into the nearest available space, and there it stayed. Particularly in the pantry – let me show you:

That benchtop you can barely see was going to be my little happy place where I’d stand baking cakes while gazing out the window. Not only is there no bench space for making cakes, there is also no standing room. Therefore no gazing out the window.

Here’s another look:

Oh dear, oh dear! Luckily for me a friend had a Tupperware party recently, and although I couldn’t make it to the party, it was just the incentive I needed to order a start to my collection of Modular Mates.

Tupperware? For a few years I have shunned it as having no personality, but finally practicality has won out for reasons of a lifetime guarantee, stackable/consistent storage and airtightness (which my pretty jars don’t do). I also had an issue with weevily things in the last pantry so twisty-tied packets are out!

While this won’t look to you like an improvement, it’s making me feel happier already!

Currently contained in some sort of order are raisins, sultanas, choc bits, pasta spirals, organic white flour, wholemeal flour, wheatgerm, icing sugar… and a couple of others I’ve forgotten about and am too lazy to get up and check it out.

Yes these do sit right in the way of the cake mixer and toaster at the moment, but the shelves are still a bit full! Most of what is in the containers came from the bench and bins on the floor so I have a long way to go yet!

I’ve made a wishlist for adding to my collection. It currently reads:

Oval 5 x 1 (for rice)

Oval 4 x 1 (for white sugar)

Oval 3 x 1 (for brown rice)

Oval 2 x 9 (for baking and ‘large spices’ like cinnamon bark)

Oval 1 x 12 (for tea bags, nuts, seeds, baking powder and bulk spices)

Square 4 x 1 (for flour)

Spaghetti Dispenser x 1 (uhh…, for spaghetti)

Grand Total: $524.40 OUCH! (Need to get married again and have a Tupperware gift registry..!)

Besides the organisation of shelf product I really need to find an attractive way to store the potatoes and onions as well as the half empty bags of flour. Ideally this would be drawers/bins under the microwave. I don’t particularly like those plastic drawers from Storage Box/The Warehouse… something with a little more style would be more down my alley. But the only thoughts I’ve had are for a couple of rustic nail boxes (maybe with dividers and castors added for ease of use) or some glossy white drawers to match the cabinets (cue hard to find/expensive).

Any other ideas?