Monday, May 31, 2010

Mad Monday

Unlike some people, I always enjoy Mondays. For the past four years, I've had the pleasure of getting together with a fabulous group of ladies, on the pretense of teaching them to paint. Really, the art is just a small part of our day. We laugh, talk, eat, laugh, chat, eat, laugh, eat some more.....and maybe get some painting done too!

To make it even more fun, classes are held at the home of the gorgeous S, who lives in a beautiful spot near the water. Doesn't sound much like work, does it? Here's a pic of the kind of view we get to enjoy every week:

Oh, and to make things even more fun, I'm helping S with the renovation of her lovely beach house. I'll try to get some decent photos today of what we've done so far, it's looking great already.

I have a busy few days ahead this week, but I'll make sure I get the little giveaway I mentioned organised and underway. Hope you all have a great Monday too!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Giveaway scheming...

As I mentioned here, I'm planning a giveaway to celebrate all of you who take the time to read this little blog of mine. To make it a bit more special, I'm thinking I might have a choice of prizes up for grabs. But, as these are one-off designs, until I finalise things I'll leave you with these little bits of lovely.

 unknown - sorry

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

DIY Kitchen Makeover

Thanks everyone for the lovely comments on my kitchen makeover, I'm so thrilled you like the results of all my blood, sweat and numerous tears! Today as promised I'll go through all the details of what I did, how I did it and what I products I used.

So, the first step was to remove all the cabinet doors ready for painting. As I mentioned here, I bought myself an airless spray gun, and I tell you, that baby is worth its weight in gold! The most important advice I can give is to set up a mini spray booth - you do get a bit of overspray and for some reason I don't think I'd have been too popular if I'd painted everything else along with the doors!

Once you're all set up, give the doors a light sand before applying a coat of sealer/primer/undercoat. The best, in my opinion, is Zinsser's BIN 123. It's spirit based, dries quickly and can be used with any top coat. This was followed by two coats of Dulux Wash and Wear 101 acrylic gloss, in Vivid White.

after undercoating

While the doors were an easy fix, I still had the problem of a particularly ugly brick island - remember this?

I love the look of beadboard, which proved to be the perfect solution. I bought three panels of Easycraft Easy Regency from Bunnings, and as they come pre-undercoated, all they needed was two coats of topcoat. Then, I glued them straight onto the bricks using Liquid Nails.

To finish off, I trimmed the corners with timber beading, and added skirting along the bottom edge, and also under the benchtop.

Besides the painting, I think replacing the knobs made a huge difference to the look of the room. I went for black cast iron, and although my original choice was this one, available online from here, in the interests of time I went with an almost exact version I found at Bunnings.

That's about it. After wrestling with the door hinges, all the doors went back on, I replaced the knobs, and voila - a whole new room. I do plan to replace the benchtop, splashback and possibly change the wall cutout down the track, and I'm on the lookout for some lovely pendant lights for above the island, but for now I'm loving the new look and I'm in no hurry to change a thing. But you know how, once you revamp one area, the others look shabby in comparison? My to-do list is growing by the second - I think that little spray gun of mine can expect a serious workout! Ok, just a few more before and afters to refresh your memory:

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My big plan...the kitchen makeover (at last!)

And about time too I hear you say! Now of course, this 'little' makeover took much longer than first thought, but I'm so happy with the result it really doesn't matter. The whole room is much lighter and brighter, and so much nicer to work in. I still get a little thrill when I walk into the room, and yes, I can still, on occasion, be found just sitting and admiring my handiwork!

So this post doesn't become too long and cumbersome, I'll show you all the pretty pictures today, and tomorrow I'll go into the DIY nitty-gritty for anyone who's interested. So without any further ado.....

 it now looks like this..

instead of this!

mmm, nice!

beadboard now covers those oh-so-chic bricks

So, a bit of an improvement don't you think? My only regret is that I lived with the horrible 'before' version for so long. But be warned, this is just the start of a renovation blitz! I have big plans people. Very big plans. So stick around and come along for the ride - it should be fun!


I'm also sharing this makeover at Design Refuge's Before and After challenge, so check out all the great DIY projects on show. All images good, bad or otherwise by me

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fantastic followers!

Today, I just want to thank everyone for all the support and encouragement I've received since starting this little bloggy adventure. Now that my followers have reached 100+ (still can't believe it!) I thought it was time to thank everyone who's followed, or taken the time to leave a comment, or even just popped in to read my blog. With that in mind, I'm busily organising what I hope will be a really great giveaway, so I can thank everyone properly.

So, until I have all the details of the giveaway sorted, I'll leave you with a couple of completely gratuitous peony photos. If I can't have vases upon vases of the real thing, I'll just have to be content with some pretty pictures!

And by the way, tomorrow I'll be posting the full reveal of my kitchen makeover I mentioned here and here. It looks so much better, and I can't wait to share it with you - here's a reminder of what I had to work with.

See you all tomorrow!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Outdoor living

Here in the southern hemisphere, winter is almost upon us. There's a definite chill in the air, even here in sunny Brisbane, and I'm already dreaming of spring. Of course, reading all of my favourive blogs from our northern hemisphere blog buddies does nothing but whet my appetite for barbecues, spring blossoms (oh, those gorgeous peonies and lilacs!) and days spent soaking up the sun. So, here are some gorgeous outdoor rooms to keep us going until the warmer weather rolls around again.

 all images


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