Tag Archives: vintage

For a king & a fairy princess

My last post got me a bit motivated to move things along another step in the kids bedroom. Actually it was less that, than the fact Miss E’s feet were hanging over the end of her toddler bed – a sure sign she was ready for a “proper big bed”!

So the last couple of weekends have been about furniture shuffling and a little shelf install. Fun times!

And version 4.6 of the kids room is…. here! And today it is tidy, which is as good as you’ll ever get from me. Styling to perfection is not going to happen despite my best intentions. So that creepy dark thing on the wall? It’s not a giant bug – it’s a peacock feather which looks perfectly charming in reality, it just doesn’t photograph well (or look particularly harmless in the middle of the night!).

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Here’s how it looks from the lofty heights of King W’s bed (a bit scary to be honest when I’m up there making the bed, but he’s fine with it!):

And here’s my little fairy princess doing her best to untidy the room (which I totally am ok with because it tells me she loves hanging out in here!), and she’s super excited that Version 4.7 gets underway tomorrow with a “princess bed” pick up planned.

0925_7105Let’s hope she can hold that excitement for a while, because Mum’s gone and bought yet another thing that requires some Daddy DIY to get it functional. Stand by kings and princesses!


Growing room

Our current project-du-jour (the master bedroom makeover) isn’t providing many photo-worthy opportunities just yet, so for today’s post we’re going back to the kids bedroom one last time.

A couple of months ago it was all about the layered look we seem to have stumbled upon in there, and then last month I shared a quick DIY curtain project. So the final piece in the puzzle is changing out the cot for a toddler bed. Miss E was happy enough in her cot, but we felt she was ready for the bed, and we needed every bit of space we could get in the spare room (where we’ve moved while our master bedroom gets trashed!).

So while her cot is packed down and standing in the corner of our lounge, the kids bedroom is looking a little more spacious, and colourful and fun and cosy!

0529_0699 0529_0704 0529_0705 0529_0706 0529_1221 0529_1222And doesn’t Miss E look so sweet but tiny snuggled up with her special bedtime bunny in her new bed. Altogether now: Awwwwwww!



I did get a little sentimental packing up the cot – it’s a very definite end to the baby era – but I’m excited for the freedom that comes with the short time between babyhood and settling into school life.

We have a long weekend coming up, and plans to get some plastering underway. Of course if all goes to plan I’ll have photos to share next week!

Until then, adieu x


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?!


DIY Retro Style


I’ve had an amusing and enlightening half hour this afternoon listening to Miss E chatter in her cot instead of sleeping… browsing through a decades old Reader’s Digest Do-it-yourself Manual!

This wardrobe is what I was looking at before I got distracted by all the other “projects”.


Andre pointed it out to me the other night (he regularly flicks through this manual…!) and I was keen to have another look, to see if it might be an option for our master bedroom wardrobe.

I’m not a huge fan of lots and lots of bare timber so my pick would be the white doors, with timber trim (bottom left).

But that’s a whole post for another day, so here’s some more midcentury project inspiration:


Adore the tiled (tiled-look at least) splashback and the hardware free cabinetry. Fresh baked bread – that too!


These stacking beds are good for a smile! And they’re actually a bit ingenious don’t you think?


This plant table has potential… I think I’d make a succulent version for outdoors.


Speaking of outdoors… if you have a large tree in your backyard how fun would this little hideaway be?! I love the striped canvas “roof” rather than a more permanently built one.


This telephone hall table brings back memories of a childhood friend who had one in her big wide villa hallway… envy! Home phones might be somewhat obsolete in the near future but it wouldn’t be wrong to perch on one of these for a chat on your smartphone would it? It would put a stop to pacing up and down or trying to fold the washing while holding a meaningful conversation – that’s got to be a good thing!

The previous generation (or two) were smart cookies, with style. And they even left us manuals to prove it. Hooray for them!



Pin of the day: A perfect home

Rachel & Brett's "Resourcefully Chic" Family Home

In the visual feast of Pinterest perfection that can get a little overwhelming at times, it was so so refreshing, and relaxing (phew, this looks more like my house!) to see this super gorgeous but utterly lived in home, shared by Apartment Therapy.

The retro touches, and the retro house for that matter, are not for everyone. But I love it so much, because it looks loved itself!

Oh yes there is definitely styling here, but it’s styling of objects that are meaningful and more than likely sentimental. And precious because of that, but not so precious that you don’t want kids within 3 metres. That, my friends is what I call a home. It’s the kind of home I aspire to and bit by bit, want to share with you here as we go.

There is so much more to see of this house – please do. Even if it’s just to humour me!

Matakana Markets


We had a much deserved time away from home last weekend. We’ve been working hard on the fence, gatepainting and patio so we decided to down tools and head north.

Matakana has been on our “to go” list for a long time – it’s just over an hour from home so easily achievable for just a two night weekend with small children.

We booked a wee bach at Campbells Beach which was a beautiful spot… but we didn’t even dip our toes in the water because every time we strolled down to the beach the water was miles away across mud. The playground came in handy!

The weather didn’t disappoint… clear blue skies and hot, hot, hot!

We started Saturday morning with a 10 minute drive to the famed Matakana Markets where we sampled some delicious food and had a quick browse of the surrounding shops. I think my favourite bit was the craft markets at Cream of Matakana. Lots of vintage goodies and some lovely things in the Cream shop. I bought an old wool blanket for Master W, to “match” one we got from Andre’s Oma for Miss E.


There was also some duck watching and “quack quack”-ing. We’re all into animal sounds just now – “What does a dog say Miss E?” “Fffffff ffffff!”


We took a late afternoon drive to Tawharanui beach too – it’s beautiful, and I can’t believe I have waited 30 years to know that it’s there!

There was a go at fishing on the other side of the peninsula on the way back… alas no fish.

0214_6335Thanks for having us Matakana!

We’re swinging!

I’m pretty sure I mentioned a DIY project for the kids Christmas present? More than a month later I’ll tell you about it shall I?

There are a dwindling number of old nail boxes in Andre’s garage and I’m doing my best to wrangle them out of there for higher purposes. I’ve sidelined three of ’em for my gardening supplies and managed to empty another into a junky old red tub and promote it to chief swing.

As you can imagine, Andre wasn’t having anything to do with it so for once he let me be with the drill and hacksaw, so be I did.

Here’s my supplies for turning one old nail box into the coolest kids swing in the ‘hood.


My first step as paranoia mama was to strengthen all joints with way too many screws. I just want to swing my kids, not take them to A&E.


Then, with chubby legs in mind I measured out some leg holes.


With corner holes drilled I got the coping saw sawing (the least fun part) but halfway down I ran into a problem… ie. the top of the box/swing. Hence the saw blade duct taped between two pieces of scrap timber. Even less fun going with that flexi blade that kept jamming. Still no help from Andre (fair enough… he was busy welding the gate frame). Haha… look at all those screws! It looks like I was trying to bling this swing but I promise it’s all about safety first.


Muttering… perseverance… more muttering…. more perseverance… and two chubby leg holes got done! I filed off the edges a bit so they weren’t all rough and nasty. Those chubby legs are precious.


Aaahh lookee who we have here now for the fun part?! It’s not every day you get to drill through a tree branch. Actually I was just too short for this – I got to swing off the branch instead as an attempt at creating some resistance for the drill to get through.


Two eye bolts later and we have one tree ready for hanging a swing. As ruthless as this method may seem it is apparently the kindest way to hang a swing from a tree. Drilling right through a branch damages it less than tying rope around it. Ring bark is just not nice.


Because this little project (of mine) was so much more awesome than building fences Andre couldn’t give it up now so he carried on with drilling into the swing to attach the rope. Mama’s second safety request was that the rope run twice under the bottom of the swing as backup to those blinging screws. Phew! To provide maximum in-swing room (comfort is second after safety) we opted to run the rope down the outside of the sides, loop it through the bottom corners, across the bottom and up again. Which meant drilling the bottom corners through on an angle…


Which was a bit much for the on-the-way-out cordless drill. Time to bring out the big guns:


Because it’s a skill every DIY dad needs to master Andre chose to splice the rope at the swing end. It’s also stronger than a knot (safety step #3). Splicing by YouTube:


And finally the grand hanging…


And maiden voyage!


Sheer delight! I think she was copying my face!


Update: If you’ve come here via Apartment Therapy or Flipboard, welcome! If you want to see some more DIY projects for kids, we’ve also made an Eames style kids table, an easy sandpit (and again!) and a truly gorgeous play kitchen. Thanks for looking!


A blank canvas

The new bedroom – or nursery as I tend to call it, seeing as it will be the kids bedroom – is freshly painted and looking bright and lovely! It makes a huge difference walking by the door and seeing all that sunlight streaming in the window, where there used to be a solid door.

The ceiling is white, the trim is “painters white” enamacryl – nice and glossy (Note: painters white actually has the tiniest bit of black added for better coverage. A painter family friend told Andres dad about it. We struggled to get the trim in the kitchen looking good even after three coats, but with the painters white we’ve just done two coats and it looks great!) – and the walls are half Rice Cake. All paints from Resene with a discount via Andre’s work. He is under duress to keep his job until we’re done renovating as the discounts at various suppliers are well worth it!

Excuse the paint cans yet to be removed and the door yet to be rehung:

The window still needs to be painted, but we will probably leave this now until we repaint a bunch of windows all at once… we have a house lot to do so are waiting for a decent summer!

 The photo above shows the solution to the elephant in the room hot water cylinder in the corner… shifting it (even lowering it to sit under the floor) would have meant getting consent (costly… not for us!) so we have just made the best of it by boxing it in. There is space in the cupboard above the cylinder for storing boxes of out of season clothes, and room on top for some more attractive storage boxes or a stack of old suitcases or something. (A similar dilemma I still haven’t got around to fixing in the master bedroom… oops!)

Here are some before photos for reference just so you feel obliged to make encouraging comments:

And believe it or not, this is the real before:

As mentioned already, we just need to give the floor a light sanding all over, seal it, put up blinds, and we’re all ready to move in! I can’t wait to decorate… this is the room I’m most excited about actually and I know it’s not going to be all done before the kidlets move in, but it will be a work in progress and will change as they grow. Have a look here for some of my inspiration images. You’ll see I’m dreaming of a colourful but homely room with handmade and vintage furnishings.

This is my favourite, from here (and do check out the link as the blog is a great read, and the woman behind it very inspiring):

Miss E

I mentioned back here that I had a little something up my sleeve which couldn’t be revealed until the arrival of our little one.

Now that she’s here, I can bore you with share all the details!

The sum total of art in our bedroom has been one very old picture frame with photos of Andre which I used to have in my single bedroom way back when. It got hung on the only existing hook in the bedroom when we moved in, and hasn’t had a thought its way since.

So it was nice to think about the other corner of the room where the little wee one lives with a little more tender loving care.

This is what I made, to go with this for our big little boy (although because it’s on the pink side I plan to do him another one in navy… he’s a navy sort of boy I think!):

The other pieces of art are just prints which I put into a couple of frames I found in the depths of our old filing cabinet.

The silver frame has a cute vintage nursery rhyme print from here, and the duck egg blue frame started life as a black and gold picture frame:

And after a couple of coats of spray paint now has a fresh new look with my favourite scan photo.

The framed art will no doubt be changed out numerous times, and the frames themselves made over with spray paint or other embellishments but I like that our little girl came home to a space just for her!

She and her big brother are snoozing away to an orchestra of planers, nail guns and skill saws this afternoon which means trim is going up in the new bedroom! Photos will come – please wait patiently!