Thursday, September 30, 2010

When I grow up

My four year old daughter announced today “I want to be a drawer and cutter when I grow up Mummy.”

This statement came about fifteen minutes after a conversation of what she could be when she grew up (obviously having thought about all we said). She wanted ideas and so hubby and I came up with many with explanations of what the job would entail. So we started with Doctor, Vet (she is a caring child) and then moved onto things such as Architect as she loves to draw houses particularly at the moment.

We then suggested a designer and explained how she could decorate rooms and move around furniture (something she does a bit) but her response was “I would get too tired if I moved furniture all day.”

So after this conversation she obviously gave it a bit of thought about what she likes to do most which is definitely drawing and cutting things out – a drawer and cutter (so maybe an artist or fashion designer). And this is fair enough, considering she is averaging about ten drawings / paintings or cut and paste pictures on her kinda days, this would suit. (Ideas on what to do with children’s artwork in my next post.)

As for my two year old boy, if I go by his favourite activity, I think a demolisher would suit him.

It will be interesting to see what happens, but if they are anything like me they will change their minds many times, even once they have grown up!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The wait continues

Good news our double vanity and shower for our en-suite are ready to be delivered. I would love to say that this means we will have them here in the next day or so, but instead I have asked if we can keep them in the warehouse for a couple of weeks as we still don't have a building start date.

Mizu Walk-in wetroom

It has been over two weeks since we signed our building contract and now we wait for the building permits. Once we have these we will get the call from the Site Manager to discuss next steps and start date.

I have never been good at waiting and not having a definite start date is something I struggle with as I like to plan. So trying to ignore this we have picked all our fittings.

My two favourite magazines

While I wait though, I do like having the time to look at my favourite magazines (something I haven't packed) and cut out pictures for my style file. And to my blogging friends looking at your blogs and getting inspiration and ideas.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Out in the garden

The sun is out and the sky is blue for the first time in a while. So we have spent the day in the garden making the most of it. I love this time of year when the trees are starting to blossom or leaf and flowers are everywhere - the colours of Spring are beautiful.

And even though it wasn't at all wet today I just had to wear my wellington boots.....

Friday, September 24, 2010

A promise of sun

We were told we would have a warm 21 degrees today in Melbourne. So in preparation a good friend of mine came over to have our traditional glass of champagne to celebrate the first day over 20 after winter. Unfortunately we were a little premature as the sun didn't shine through but even so the promise of sun left us feeling happy.

This got me to thinking about the fact that good design can make a beautiful house but what makes a lovely home?

Top of my list is family and friends. I love to entertain and am looking forward to having our new deck, with room to set up a large table for a long lunch with people I love.

I love to fill my house with warmth, fun and happy children. It is important to me that our house reflects my families personality. So our walls are filled with pictures we have collected in our travels, photos and children's artwork.

What makes your house a home?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


From packing up part of the house in preperation for the build, I have realised how many candles I have and now that they are gone I miss them.

The different candle sticks, lanterns, or hurricane lamps add that little something to just about every room in my house, the candles themselves add colour and I love the effect they give when lit at night.

When we have people over for dinner or just because, we light candles throughout the house to give a great atmosphere. Perfect with that nice glass of red.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Fairy party

Way back when, well actually only a few months ago we were very hopeful of having our renovation and extension done by this Christmas. And in a period of madness thought would then be able to host Christmas on our new deck and started planning for it.

Call this naivety or misunderstanding of what our builder was saying about build dates - I also managed to convince my daughter to have her 'five' party (as she calls it - she is a December baby, as am I) at home other then at a Play Centre which she was initially hoping for (she has been planning and talking about this party since March).

She was so excited, ‘I can show everyone my new room and all the toys in it.’

Well now her new room will not be built in time and she is very disappointed. She can’t quite get so excited about the concept of the new en-suite and walk in robe that will be finished. So trying to swallow my own disappointment, I have instead got her excited about this wonderful fairy party I am going to plan.

Some of you may be thinking but it is not until December but it already seems I have left it too late, as the fairies I have rung are all booked. How am I going to explain this?!

Well I am thinking I will just have to design an amazing fairy garden, decorations and activities to make up for it. Hopefully at the end of it I will have a very happy little girl and some great pictures and ideas to share with you.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blue inside and out

The sun finally came out in Melbourne today and we got some blue sky, we haven't seen much of it of late. I miss it! The blue sky reminded me of my love for blue in all its variations, a colour I use to decorate inside and out.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Decoration distraction

'Mummy when are the builders coming' - this is a question my daughter has been asking a lot lately. I feel like responding, with 'good question, now that the contract is finally signed it depends on when the permits come through'.

But for my four year old we count the sleeps (hopefully only about 30 more at most). And depending on her mood she is either really excited about having new rooms built and can't wait to show her friends, or on other days she gets really upset about the idea - 'I love our house the way it is, I don't want it to change'.

So I am trying to get her excited explaining how she is going to get a new room that she can help decorate. She loves to draw, paint and strangely enough move furniture around. Maybe a designer in the making?

And so we have started with some art work for her new room. Luckily for me, her favourite colours are red and blue, though I might have had a bit of influence on that. Decorating with red or blue candles, cushions and pictures against our white walls is fitting in with the French theme I love.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Bring Spring inside

Well it is meant to be Spring in Melbourne but the weather has generally been more like Winter. Even so at least the trees are blossoming and Spring flowers have appeared. So having packed up most of my ornaments ready for the build, thought I would decorate using flowers throughout the house and add a little Spring indoors.

An easy way to change the mood and decorate the house especially as can reuse old bottles like here

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Love for bookcases - storage with style

I am now in packing mode getting ready for the builders to start in a few weeks and our bookcases are one of the first things I have started to pack as we have quite a few.

Packing up our books and seeing the emptiness left behind has made me realise that bookcases really are a feature in our house - they provide a wall of colour against our white walls adding character and warmth to the room.

I love how they reflect our families personality and style, housing our books, pictures, ornaments we have collected on our travels and different things my daughter has made.

They also provide what I call ‘storage with style’. Ours are filled with coloured boxes containing CDs and cane baskets filled with toys (you can buy all those pictured from IKEA). Not only do the baskets look great but my kids love them. Maybe I am just lucky but both my kids enjoy sorting through the baskets (they are just the right size for them) and then putting the toys back in them at the end.

The issue with bookcases though is if they get too untidy they don’t look that great. In my case I haven’t seen keeping them tidy as a chore (packing them up is though). The way I look at it is by swapping over ornaments, changing photos and other things you can give the room a little easy design re-fresh. Also if you are an avid reader like me it is great to pull books out and reorder just to remind yourself what you have.

The bookcase itself can also add a ‘style’ to a room. In our family room I love the warmth that our large bookcase made of recycled timber provides. Whereas the simple white bookcases in our lounge frame our white art deco fireplace really well. Our smaller bookcase in the hall acts as great storage for shoes and for displaying things on top to act as a nice welcome into the house.

My dream with the extension is to have a wall of bookcases in the new family area. I can’t wait to do this and restock our existing bookcases once the dust settles.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We did it - contract signed!

Yesterday we finally signed our building contract after seven weeks of almost daily phone calls or e-mails between us and the building group. It has been a long and frustrating couple of months why we waited for questions to be answered and new quotes to be done. Everything seemed to take so much longer then I thought it would and we haven't even started the build yet.

However I am glad we were thorough, so hopefully there won't be too many surprises during the build.

Now I thought I would give a few examples of things we questioned to give you an idea of what to consider if you are negotiating a building contract.

We asked to see what internal doors, external sliding glass doors and windows they were going to put in - so glad we did as they weren't what we wanted even though we had specified high quality in the beginning. Fittings such as these are worth checking as builders often use cheaper models so they can pass on a lower overall quote.

This was also the case with flooring, cornices and picture rails which weren't what we expected in all rooms.

Timeline - we were given a number of days but make sure you are clear what is considered a builders day and what contingencies have been included. It is also good to have a clear commencement and end date.

Anyway we may have sorted the contract but I am told that now the real fun and games begin especially as we are living in the house for the whole build.


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