Saturday, 15 April 2017

Decorating With Plants

Greenery Inside Works Wonders


We had a very dull, empty entrance to our new home & because we couldn't decide what we want to do to decorate it we were looking for a cheap quick fix! 

What could we do that was not a permanent & was not really expensive but also packed a punch.....greenery!

We've also styled some other green pockets into other parts of our home & had some fun doing it! 

Green chandeliers, some palms in pots & on our bedding to add green pops! 

I love greenery & it adds some life to a space & is an easy way to change your space.


The front entrance our urban jungle

Palms on the bed & in pots <3

Lu helping with the moving of the Monstera
Tyler finishing off the green chandelier

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Timber Floors

What Works?

I love timber & its not a phase. I'll never grow out of this one. 

We purchased our first home about 15 years ago. It was a tiny painted cedar cottage that we had to cut & relocate from 45km south of where our block was. Once relocated it sat neat on a large block just a stones throw from the beach.

I fell in love when I first spotted the modest little cottage, but I was enamoured with one thing, the hardwood Brushbox floors. 

Little did I know it at the time but this little cottage would ignite in me a love for living with timber floors under foot.

We have now owned 5 properties & 3 of them we have built from scratch. The last 4 have had timber throughout & the timber really makes a visual impact & also helps to sell the houses in my opinion. 

"Wow, what timber is that?" is what we hear the most about our houses when people visit so I thought Id write about it & share what Ive learned. 

We have had 3 types of hardwood timber floors in our houses so we have lived on 3 different hardwood timbers in 4 houses (2 had Wormy Chestnut). This gives me experience in how well it works, whether it stands up to a bit of wear & tear, what looks good, is easy to decorate with etc.

Timber has a Janka (hardness) rating, the higher the number the harder the floor. I will list that with each species below.


Brushbox (Lophostemon Confertus):
Used In our cottage

Janka: 9.5

Colour Variation:Pale pink to redish brown

This timber is beautiful & hard to mark, scratch or dent. It is possible but it really was very hard wearing & stood the test of time.

Blackbutt (Eucalyptus Pilularis)
Used In Build 1

Janka: 9.1

Colour Variation: Cream to light brown with light tinge of pink

Beautiful even colour & very hard wearing. Takes lots of hits & doesn't mark easily.

Wormy Chestnut (Eucalyptus Obliqua, Sieberi & Fastigata)
Used In Build 2 & 3

Janka: 7.5

Colour Variation: Pink, blonde cream, black & honey. It goes with everything. Three species of Eucalyptus mixed together give this timber its beautiful colours & character.



Summing Up: 

 My favourite by far is Wormy Chestnut because I love its colour & character but it certainly marks, scratches & dents more easily compared to the other species.  

It has the most incredible colour & markings. With 3 species of Eucalyptus mixed together & natural markings provided by bushfire, trees stunting their growth to cope with the environment, squiggly worms & black beetles all leaving their marks. The character is unbeatable & if you like a mix of blonde tones with hits of honey, chocolate & black its perfect.

I came across Wormy Chestnut by pure accident. We had ordered Blackbutt for our second build but the order was not going to arrive in time. Our builder gave me 4 timber samples to choose from. They were about 2cms long & I was nervous! Picking approximately 200 square metres of flooring from such a small sample was a tough gig & there was no house to go & check it out in first as it wasn't used readily at that time. It felt like a huge risk & possibly expensive mistake but it paid off! We loved it so much we put it in two houses & so have 6 other people in our area since we kicked it off.

 A friend saw mine, loved it & put it in her own beautiful home & the ripple effect spread. Starting from that humble small sample it has now been used in 8 homes & 1 office in our area in a very short time span & thats only the ones I know of(including our 2 houses).Each person has seen it in either my house or my friends & loved it enough to put it in their own home & business. That shows how aesthetically pleasing this timber is. People ohhh & ahhh when they see it & they want to know all about it. 

It goes with any style or colour palette too. Its probably worth mentioning our area is coastal & very close to the beach which is well suited to this style of timber & the laid back coastal look & feel it creates but you could use it anywhere.

Australian Wormy Chestnut Flooring will not collect dust or conceal dirt, making it a natural choice for asthma and hay fever suffers which also suited us.


Notes:

We've used oil finish on one wormy & a matt finish on the other. I love the matt but oil is also great.

We clean our timber floors with water & an Enjo mop.

Lift don't slide furniture on timber to avoid scratches & dents.

Watch small rocks getting under foot & furniture as it can scratch.

Put protective pads under chairs, beds, lounge legs etc.

We use a huge mat under dining chairs as small legs can mark timber.

Enjoy living on timber, it feels like a year round holiday. :-)


Some Images of our floors in our latest build all Wormy Chestnut:

Freshly laid no finish, sooo beautiful


Our lounge area.Finished with a mat finish, no high shine for me but it would look equally as good glossy if thats what you like.




Our kitchen & my signature combo of timber floors white & timber accents.

Love the markings, I prefer a floor full of character so wormy works for me.



Looking to create a seaside sanctuary? 
Wormy Chestnut will do it!
Dx





Sunday, 1 January 2017

Photoshoots At Home

Capturing The True Spirit of My Kids At Home on my iphone


It would be great to have a regular photo shoot with an ace photographer but its not always possible or affordable so Ive started grabbing my kids for a regular photo shoot at home.

 I love photographing my kids, they are growing up way too fast & I look back often & notice the big & small changes in them. 

When photographing them I keep it low key & I move fast. No primping or preening. Usually i jump up & announce it 5 minutes before we get started. 

They usually wear whatever they have on as long as its clean & fairly subtle, I wipe their faces tussle their hair & go to work. The less fuss I make the better the images we create.

My trusty iphone 6 is so good & has turned out some of my favourite images of wonderful moments.


e s k i m o  .  k i s s e s


s i s t e r  .  a c t


Tips & Hints:

Let the kids get involved & throw in some of their own ideas.

Make them laugh & relax.

Take lots of frames from all different angles.

Move fast, the mood may not last.

Keep it natural & not too posed.

Use a white wall or other plain background. It helps simplify the whole process & looks awesome.

You can zoom in & crop your images later. I did with Eskimo Kisses above & its my favourite picture ever. 

 Always study your shots & think outside the square. You can lighten & darken your images after the shoot. Let your imagination guide you.

In both images above the kids just jumped in wearing the clothes they had been in all day. Keep clothing fairly light in colour & simple fabrics & patterns. A white tshirt & plain bottom is always great.

Get creating. 
You will make beautiful memories!
Dx




Plattertude

Platters that turn heads


Ive become obsessed with making my cheese & fruit platters pretty,  rustic & able to feed many.


Oh the joy I get watching peoples eyes light up when they see these hit the table. 

Below is our NYE platter & it easily fed 4 kids & 4 adults & took me  about ten minutes to throw together. 

My plate was about 40cm wide & round but you can use anything that is food safe, think timber boards, bowls or even entire table tops for large crowds. 

Add anything you think works. I love edible flowers & will be experimenting with them soon.








Tips & tricks for a platter with tude:

Use interesting boards & bowls, think rustic & natural.

Decant your dips into a pretty bowl. No store bought packaging unless its super cool & worth showing off.

Fill it up! Don't leave any space. 

Fill gaps with baby spinach or rocket leaves.

Colour adds interest. Coloured dips, fruit & vege do the job.

Make sure you have great cheese knives to make cutting & eating easy.  


French bread boards make beautiful platter boards








eat up, drink up & enjoy!
Dx











Salty Suite

Our Shed Makeover




 My husband Andy spotted his best mate Josh's cool tool shed & decided he would like a similar one.

 The shed was originally going to contain all of Andy's tools, the mower, bikes & other odds & ends. 

When it was at planning stage I already had thoughts that we could do more with it so we added a toilet & back door. When it was built I fell in love & decided it would be better suited to becoming a retreat for our family & our guests so the tools etc would need to be re homed. Andy is a visionary & took no convincing that adding liveable space is always a great idea.


We named it the Salty Suite paying homage to the north facing point break called Saltwater Point in our small coastal home town or Salty as the locals call it. Salty Point is just up the road from our home & is Andy's favourite place on the planet to surf & unwind, it seemed like the perfect name for our little retreat. 


Salty Suite as it stood had external walls & an external paint job but internally it only had a cement slab, roof, toilet & walls begging to be insulated, lined & painted in to life. 

We added a hardwood timber deck between the shed & pool which gave us another zone to hang out in. We simply throw up the big roller door & the pool is fully visible from the shed. We underestimated how awesome this would be & how much we would use it. Its brilliant & i often lay on the bed in The Salty Suite with a cool drink or cuppa to supervise the kids in the pool.

What we ended up with instead of a tool shed is a light, bright, airy & beachy space with a pure palette that totally relaxes everyone who enters. Salty Suite really stands up to the sand, salt, dogs & kids too. 

Got a shed you could convert? Twist your other halfs arm & stash the tools elsewhere. You wont regret it! 


Salty Suite painted in Taubmans Pebble Bay half & trimmed in Taubmans Akimbo.







By painting the walls a clean crisp white & knocking the top off the ugly cement slab to reveal pale grey matte aggregate we created a beautiful calm space that we don't ever want to leave. Walls Taubmans Akimbo. On bed Tulum Original Roundie towel by The Beach People.  


We still need to add art to walls but its so much better than a shed don't you think?








A few faves:
Here are my absolute favourite purchases we made for breathing life into the Salty Suite. These things add luxury & are also practical & well made.

For our deck we chose the Natural Instinct Beach Umbrella from Sunday Supply Co & it is so amazing. The quality is second to none & it adds shade, texture & style.




The Tulum original roundie from The Beach People is stunning. We throw it over the bed as a blanket & use it after a dip in the pool. It is so thick soft & cuddly & the print is gorgeous.

Kimbra Round Rug from Fantastic Furniture is affordable, large & adds beautiful subtle shades of blonde & texture to the concrete floor.  


Think of different ways to use your space!
Dx