Tag Archives: welcome

A halfway hallway

Back in the midst of our bedroom painting party, I thought we may as well get something going in the hallway as well. We had the paint right there, along with rollers, brushes, a step ladder, paint trays, screw drivers, paint stirring sticks, drop sheets/towels, sore arms and long faces. So why not?!

The hallway is a little dog leg of doorways and no space for much of anything, but that was no reason to neglect it any longer. That last patch of apricot-beige was calling – loudly – for some help.

Problem was… this.


Yep. Cracks. Plastering required. And maybe even gib…


Undeterred, I checked out the rest of the hallway and decided the front “half” was in ok condition. Just a few minor plaster touch ups needed. So I convinced Andre to get the plaster out again (ooooh he hates that stuff!) so I could start painting. It was easy enough that I could have done it myself, but I know that if I show any interest in getting acquainted with a new skill I’ll be in the thick of it in no time. I know my place, and I’m sticking with it!



But first, a proper before from back when Master W wore smaller shoes, and Miss E still needed a blanket by the door for stroller walks:



Actually these aren’t a true before because all those doors and all that trim were once far from white too.

But, a couple of nights and kids at kindy/in bed daytime hours later, and the walls were joining in with the lighter, brighter and fresher theme.

Here’s how it looked after the first coat. I wanted to get some more photos today with the morning sun streaming in here again, but I missed the little window of time due to dropping off kids and enjoying my coffee a little too long…

So today – minus the sun but still plenty light enough!0829_2176 0829_2177 0829_2178 0829_2179 0829_2181 0829_2182 0829_2184

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Furnishing is a little sparse and/or temporary… the print was destined for our bedroom but didn’t look right there so I tacked it up out here out of the way and there it has stayed! It’s nice to have a reminder of the first home we owned, right by the front door of the first house we own! It cost about $7.50 to print at Warehouse Stationery. Cheap art!

The mat is really not right for this space but it’s doing a good job of minimising grubby footprints and reminding us of our time in Fiji. These mats are handmade by the villagers in dozens. It was one of these or a hand-carved turtle. I want to go back for the turtle…!

My lovely outside door mat is from Tea Pea Design – I snapped it up in their big sale a while back.

The little strip of ugly above the laundry doors will be my motivation to continue with the rest of the hall. But it means plaster dust in a very central part of the house which we can’t close off for too long (there’s a bathroom at the end which we all kinda need!). I’m working up the courage, and it may take some time…

Beyond the painting… I’m mulling over some wall hooks so I can artfully hang my best coat and stylish scarf to wear everywhere I go. And more artwork… and plants… for the walls – not for me to wear everywhere I go.

Have a lovely weekend!

PS. dum de dooo… dahhh dayyyyy…. scroll up…. up…. up….. see it? The sneak peek of my next project? Sharing next week some time.

Pin of the day: Making an entrance



There’s nothing grand about this, but I still think it is a grand entrance! I like that it just says “Hi, this is us, come on in”.

It’s friendly and welcoming – if a little reserved – and totally without fuss. It’s tidy, it’s sweet and it gives no inflated expectations of what you might discover inside.

First impressions count, and I’m getting well-scrubbed, big ol’ kitchen table and a pet-hair-free, comfy sofa from this one, which is just what I’d like!

Have a great Monday…

Welcome in!


After almost two years of wear and tear, our mid century doormats were defintely more antique condition than retro cool.

After looking around for some replacements I was a little stumped. Yes, there are plenty of nice doormats to be had, but there’s something that just doesn’t sit right with me about spending almost three figures on something to wipe your feet on.

For some reason (I’m blaming the muggy afternoons we’re getting this week) it took a while for me to come to “hey… I have two dead doormats, a bunch of spray cans… how about round two of DIY doormat design?”

But there wasn’t three minutes after that thought before I was out ready with spray can aimed!

Prep was limited to a quick bashing of the mats with a half brush to get the worst of the dust and dirt out. Obviously you’d be better off starting with some fresh clean mats (from memory these were something like $7 each from Bunnings) but Miss E was asleep and a trip to Bunnings wasn’t happening.

Excusing the sorry mess of front lawn (it’s not all this bad, I just picked this spot for my painting spree because clearly I couldn’t destroy any grass in the process) this is my two doormats with a base coat – one of silver and the other duck egg blue.


Without too much thought I grabbed my masking tape and whipped up one grid design:0227_9949

And then a random diagonal version:0227_9950

For something that took all of 15 minutes effort, with barely a minute of prior thought, I’m delighted with the results! My front entrance and back door look so much more welcoming and bright!

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The paint job may or may not last long… but there are more spray cans in the garage!! Thank goodness for spray paint right?! It hides an array of disasters… although sometimes it can be the disaster!

Coming ready or not!

Finally what we’ve all been waiting for…

New kitchen photos – whoop whoop!

But just because there’s a little bit of power-crazy nastiness in me a call for suspense here, I’ll give you this first.

6 months ago we had a kitchen in the middle of the house (well we still do…), with an internal window looking through the sunroom, and a laundry off to the side with another window looking at our fence. All in all, a little gloomy and average, with perfectly adequate but tired cabinetry and an also perfectly adequate but not my style wooden benchtop. According to the master plan (another post perhaps??) it has to go to make way for another bedroom.

But first, a new kitchen… in a space that just housed our desk but was begging to be transformed into my happy place (and why not the kitchen seeing as I do actually spend a fair bit of time in there for one reason or another?!).

What was originally the verandah of our house was walled and roofed in some time ago to create a space that got the best sun in the house but made little sense in function or flow.

In the midst of the demolition it looked a little different…

And finally… it looks a little different again!

Above the splashback there you’ll notice some steel pipes sticking out of the wall – they are not towel rails (temporarily they are!) but brackets for open shelving which we’re working on (or I’m constantly reminding about and he’s working on!).

My mother in law gave me some flowers last weekend and they have pride of place in my new kitchen! Oh happy, happy kitchen!


Polished or ground & sealed?

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Our new kitchen/dining floor is going to be concrete. The rest of our house has wooden floors, but rather than attempt to match that in the newly floored area we are going to go for a contrast.

Here is what the area used to look like with the terracotta tiles (mm mmm! Love the random tile inserts…):

And here is a bit of a progress shot looking the other way. We used a laser level to mark the level of the new floor which will incidentally be… errr… level…(it wasn’t before) and higher than it was previously so we’ll have less of a step down from the lounge. The white paint on the wall is about where the floor level will be (so the ranchslider at right is coming out, and will be replaced with the french doors removed from between this room and the lounge, and they are perfectly shorter to fit right in!)

The question is whether we polish the concrete, or grind it and seal. Excuse me if I have the terms not quite right. It’s Andre that has been doing the real research on this one.

Anyway, here is the sample we’ve done to help us decide:

On the left is the ground and sealed. It’s not long been sealed in this image and still has a milky white appearance – it’s much clearer but lighter when dry.

On the right is the polished look which is much glossier, and definitely the look we are after. The only concern is how well it will hold up to kitchen/dining spills? Will the concrete stain because there is no protective coating on it?

Here are some polishing in progress shots just for interest:

My Home is my Sanctuary

This is what my home says about me:

Your home’s your place of comfort and you like nothing better than to get home, take your shoes off and relax.
You are a fairly community oriented person. You like to get to know your neighbors, but you also like your privacy. You can get attached to neighborhoods and cities.
Appearance matters to you, so your home is neat and tidy and the outside areas attractive to the eye.
Your home is furnished in a style that represents you and your interests.

See what your home says about you!

Mid-Century Doormats

With renovation dust from the back room (soon to be kitchen/dining) constantly tracking it’s way through the rest of the house I’ve been itching to get a doormat in place at the back door. Gritty feet is not nice… especially when hopping into bed.

A quick search online is all it took to confirm there are not too many interesting stylish doormats to be found so with this old post from Young House Love in mind I bought up a couple of plain coir door mats from our regular DIY place Bunnings for about $7 each and found this Mid Century themed site for stencil inspiration.

Here are the two patterns I picked out:

A while back I painted the first one and didn’t get any process images – but here it is currently in place at the front door:

It does tend to highlight the apricot walls and sage green door but once we’ve got that all painted up in white and glossy black with a charcoal door step it’ll tie in nicely.

Here’s a close up to show how the mat has “worn in” over a couple of weeks:

The colour is a bit off here but you can see how as the mat is scuffed you do see a bit of the original brown showing through. Time will tell how bad this gets, but I’m ok with it for now!

On to the next mat with some how to photos.

You will need:

1 x coir door mat
2 x cans of spray paint in different colours
1 x stencil large enough to cover the mat (I created mine in Adobe Illustrator and printed it tiled over 3 x A3 pages)
Double-sided tape

Plus a cutting mat, steel ruler and knife if making your own stencil.

Here is my stencil (printed onto 3 x A3 and taped together:

The grey bits are the bits I need to cut out. Halfway through in this photo (it did take a while…):

Once I was all done cutting, I put double-sided tape cross-wise, as below, then length-wise after I took the first lot of backing off (this just helps to hold it down on the mat while you’re painting):

Here is my mat with the first colour applied all over (I did a couple of coats). Bear in mind that because you’re starting with a brown mat, the colour does appear darker and “browner” than the actual paint colour.

I painted on the back lawn (which is all but dead and will be ripped up at some stage so I wasn’t worried about containing the overspray). Centre your stencil on the mat, stick it down and spray away (try to spray directly downwards to minimise any bleeding under your stencil). Once again I did two coats, leaving an hour or so between them:

Here is the final product:

I’m really pleased with the pattern, but disappointed in the colour. You can see from the lids on the spray cans in the image further up what I had in mind – lemon yellow and charcoal grey. Unfortunately the colour of the mat has affected the yellow a lot more than the blue in the other mat. Anyway, it is in place at the back door and doing it’s thing to help keep dust and dirt well away from clean sheets.

The great thing is if the colour wears right off or I get sick of the pattern I can just do it all over again for next to nothing! And I have a totally unique mat.

If you want the stencil patterns I’ve used feel free to send me a message and I can send you a pdf to print.

Hello Cherry

We’ve always loved a front yard with a feature tree big enough to hang a swing!

So one of our first adventures to Roger’s involved a trailer. We went with “cherry tree” in mind but Rog tried his best to sell us various other “lovely foliage” and “striking colour”. Being the bit stubborn that I am (and having always wanted one) we came home with a cherry tree.

Knowing the tendency of our little boy to get well and truly in the way we plopped him right in bed and got stuck in with the spade.

This is about as far as it got before we hit pay dirt solid rock.

Thankfully we had a rock breaker hanging around due to another project underway but no go with that outside Otto’s bedroom at nap time!

No nap forthcoming unfortunately so off we all go back outside to get those rocks out.

There they are! Fun times ahead for all landscaping projects…

Here’s the only photo of me – just to show it’s not just Andre who does the real work!

And in Cherry goes – a couple of handfuls of sheep pallets in the bottom of the hole and a whole lot of compost right around.

Beautiful! (If you squint right you can miss the trailer full of tiles – yes more terracotta tiles gleefully smashed… more on that later – and the scruffy flax bush on the left).

We envision a tidy hedge right the way round, minimal/no garden at the foot of the hedge and a decent lawn area (minus a whole lotta existing concrete) for playing and… ahem… trailer and boat parking. And if we stay here long enough, a swing hanging from our great big cherry tree!

A welcoming entrance

Or at least the start of one…

Some people love terracotta tiles, and that’s nice… but we couldn’t wait to get rid of these things! Walking over them every time we stepped in and out of the house was plenty of incentive to make this one of our first projects.

Picture our welcoming entrance: Glossy black door, charcoal sill and “just a touch of grey” house walls… ground concrete steps with a non-slip sealer and a raised garden with bay trees along the right hand wall… all at the end of a ground concrete pathway.

This is the start of it:

As you can see there is much to be done but good riddance terracotta tiles and welcome ground concrete!

No photos of the grinding process – it got a bit messy so I was in charge of keeping the little one out of the way for the most of it. Plus the camera may not have appreciated concrete dust in all it’s crevices…

Excuse the work boots and the concrete dust all over the wall.

As you might notice we’ve chosen chosen not to extend the steps to the right as they were – the bare edge will be finished off with a raised garden along side with some structural planting… maybe 2-3 bay trees with some buxus edging?

The “after” photo also shows the pathway which has been ground and cut – to the left of the cut (the unground part) the concrete will all be ripped out and the front lawn extended. A little bit of history: A previous owner apparently ran a concrete business and it seems like he got carried away with the leftover concrete from his jobs… hmmm.

The rocks lining the edge of the garden were an idea for the garden wall, but they’ve now been banished again and the decision is to go with a stuccoed concrete wall to match the house.

Of course the house will be painted (apricot has NEVER been a favourite colour…), we’re thinking very, very pale grey walls, white window frames, grey sills and a stunning gloss black door. Welcome to our home!