Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Image Courtesy Kimberley Seldon

Now for the fireplace. Well it's gas, with a remote control, so we can just point and shoot, to get it started. With our current climate, we'll probably get to use it for one week out of fifty two, each year! What a week that will be ... "gather 'round friends and family, it's fireplace week". At least it will look good.

We are tiling it, from top to bottom in a stone tile ( no traditional mantle) .... hard to describe... didn't take a photo of the stone sample I carried around in my car boot for weeks, before I had to hand it back! The stone tile had to be light weight or else the floor would have given way (we need 10 square metres of it). It's not going to be a traditional stone look though, more coastal, casual, 'Queenslander-ish'. As we fit this place out, you will see that I have included modern elements in amongst traditional features. We are, after all, a rather laid back, casual bunch up here in the Sunshine State. OK, back to the stone.... varying sizes of rough edged, stone squares and rectangles, in beige and grey and "beigey-grey'... how technical can one get! The hearth will be a 'beigey-grey' slab of caesar stone. It will take the tone of the Great Room down one casual notch ... so mixed in with an elegant piano and some elegant Baroque 'greyish' oak armchairs, it should be a quite a nice mix.

On site today: not much is happening, except painting. I sure hope more than one painter turns up. I am almost tempted to turn up in my overalls, brush in hand. Lloydy, 'pool master', is due to make an appearance, to do the pool coping tiling. He has been waiting for the concrete tile bed, around the edge of the pool, to set. They had problems with the first batch setting so it had to be all ripped up and done again. Dominique will finish off the side decks and start on the random stone paving, later on this week. As soon as the landscapers have finished using the back lawn area for a work site, we will lay the turf.

It's just a waiting game now. Waiting for paint, waiting for the tilers, waiting for the plumbers, then waiting for the electricians. Gives me some time now to scheme the interiors.

Have a great day! A-M xx

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's Great!

The Great Room is great! The cabinetry is in and I am so happy with it. It's so meticulously constructed and level and square! Deep sigh!




I will have my baby grand piano down that far left end, in front of the French Doors.

Under the windows, are lovely big soft close drawers.
The handles will be antique black to match the black piano.
There will be cushions on the window seats and Roman blinds on the windows.

Each little bookcase section has a drawer and a cupboard underneath it.
There will be lighting in the bulkhead in front of the window seat and each bookcase.

VJ bead board backing.

Other news:

The decks are being constructed (by our landscapers) down the sides of the house . I will have a lovely walk down the right side deck, from the laundry, to hang out my clothes on the right side wall. No wet grass to walk on, no green ant bites... luxury... in the end... it's the small things!

The clothesline run, from the laundry. The random stone paving will start at the end of the deck.

There will be random stone paving up to the start of the decking.

The other half of the pantry, showing the shelving, I promised to show you last week.
There will be cove lighting above the little stainless steel benchtops. You can see the wiring for it hanging down.

All the waterproofing is being done in the wet areas and we have a solitary painter doing a major bicep work-out on our doors.

I have an 'approximate' completion date... approximately 6 weeks... maybe mid May? We have 2-3 weeks of painting and then the tiling and then we have a 2 week lead time to wait for the frameless shower screen. I can't believe, in the end, it all boils down to a @#%#& shower screen. We only have one screened shower, all the others are tiled. I'm happy to move in without it. When you think about the holding costs involved in that 2 week wait (mortgage+rent)... it's one helluva expensive shower screen!

More photos tomorrow! A-M xx

Monday Bed Post

Image Courtesy Country Home Ideas

I haven't done a Monday Bed Post for a while. Does this count as a 'Monday Bed Post'? It's a bed. It's just on a lovely porch.... very 'Queenslander' style.

It's 4.40am Monday morning, I have been wide awake since 4am. I just can't sleep.... my mind is too active. Once I'm awake, the mental lists start. Can I say now, at this stage, that I am 'officially' REALLY looking forward to finishing this project. I might need to just do a reno' next time!

Both you and I know that this place is not going to be finished by the contract date, in 14 days time. We have no tiling, no interior paint, no sinks/taps installed (still on my dining room table).......a long way to go. We have asked our builder for a more definite date... kinda handy when we have to move on from a lease......no news yet.

This week, a lot is happening around the pool area. The pool coping tiles will be laid, which will enable our landscapers to start laying the random stone out the back. The Great Room cabinetry installation will finish off all the cabinetry work.....so I am hoping to see a tiler wandering through the place this week. If we all close our eyes and concentrate really hard, can we conjure up a tiler?

Have a great week and stay tuned for some major photos! A-M xx

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Quick Update

Little soccer helpers.
There's all our random stone waiting to be laid sometime this week.

Went around to the house this morning, to water the plants ....... so I thought I'd upload another round of photos.

Bit devastated by the positioning of the downpipe.
Did it HAVE to be there, on the front elevation, in the middle of my 2 beautiful windows?

Climbed out on the roof for this shot!

Kitchen wall cabinets are up. That's it for wall cabinets in the kitchen, hence the reason for all the storage in the pantry. They have plain shaker doors on them so they don't compete with the windows. I have a beautiful Ilve Nostalgie freestanding stove and canopy for in between those 2 windows. Hutch will be to the left, against that wall. Other than that, the only other feature will be a Gessi gooseneck tap over the big undermount rectangular single sink ,in the island bench. I have a plain white, 40mm stone bench top and will have 4 gorgeous rattan stools for in front of the bench, that will tuck in under the bench just nicely (once Harry and Iain, pretty please, shave about 10cm off each of their legs!!!)

Left side of the pantry. The cabinet makers had to rip out the beautiful cornice that had been installed in the pantry...it took half the wall with it... great glue!!... you can just see the damage up the top. It will be covered with a cornice panel in the same colour as the cabinets.There will be a stainless steel benchtop on top of the cabinetry. Just to the right is the space for the fridge. Shelves for platters above the fridge. All my white crockery is going to look so beautiful on those 'greyish' shelves.

Right side of the pantry.
To the far right, a space for my 20 year old microwave (still works perfectly..can't justify a new one) and lots of pigeon holes in varying sizes.
I will get a better picture next visit.

View from laundry into hall. 3 metre ceilings on this level.

Little one has a monster wardrobe. It takes up the whole wall of his bedroom.
Doors will be painted gloss white. I can just see him lying on his bed pulling faces at himself in the mirrors!

So much space..... I can still use my Ikea 'hanging thingy's'!

Cupboard in playroom upstairs will be painted gloss white.
To the left will be double clear 10 light, French doors , leading into the hall.
That's the main bedroom at the end of the hall.

Love my stairs... white stringers, white risers, white balustrades, white newel posts, stained timber steps, stained timber handrail.

Going downstairs to the garage, gym and 'Frog Room'
..... and Armchair Trader stockroom and wrapping station!

I am over the moon about the positioning of the stairwell window. As I have never built a house before, and had no idea where the internal stair platforms were going to be, I took a guess wrt where it should be positioned on the exterior elevation, when drawing up the plans... whew!

The wall in the study that is crying out for some wallpaper. The wall is in front of you when you walk in through the French Doors, from the hall. That's a bit of Great Room cabinetry there!! Cupboards and drawers for under the bookshelves.

Our hall entrance lantern. We would also love to have a similar lantern in the stairwell. The light point, in the stairwell, is in the middle of a bulkhead, 50cm in from the stairwell window. Is it in poor taste to repeat a light fitting?... I just am in love with this fitting as it is very simple and elegant.

That's all for now. Back to the spiders in the garage. A-M xx

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Weekend With Spiders

Image Courtesy Better Homes and Gardens

As much as I'd love to curl up in this spot for the weekend, I will be spending the weekend in my garage, ferreting around in boxes and fighting the 'Daddy Long Legs' spiders. Not only do I have some serious packing to do but I have a few 'Bubbles and Bling' nights coming up, so I have to 'play' with all my stock, in preparation for some glamorous nights ahead (they're glamorous and fun .... but oh they are HARD work!.... I need my health back NOW!).

Hubby popped into the house this afternoon. Still light on for painters but the Great Room cabinetry has arrived, in a million pieces. All the bookcases have bead board backing ('VJ's' for us Aussies).... be still heart! The cabinet people will be back on Monday to install it all. I thought I would leave you with a 'before' photo before I sign off for the weekend.

Great Room Cabinetry, with child in background.

That's all folks!
Have a great weekend. A-M xx

Looking Ahead

Image Courtesy Chris Everard Via Sarah Kaye

Once the interior painting's done, I'll start with the wallpaper. I plan to wallpaper in the Great Room, the Study (there is a lovely big wall, bordered by 2 little windows, screaming out for wallpaper) and possibly the Main Bedroom. As my windows have already got detail, shutters might be a bit much, so I plan to have curtains for the French Doors and Roman blinds for most of the windows, as they will nearly always be open for light and fresh air. What do you think my friends.... curtains/shutters/blinds?

Timber furniture, sisal rugs, pewter, lamps, candles, books, photos and all our little treasures....... I can't wait to unpack the contents of my garage, that have been sitting packed up for the past 18 months.... and I can't wait to finally tune our little baby grand. I have been putting it off since before our last move and it sounds terrible... like fingernails on a blackboard... even when 'big one' plays ragtime, which is meant to sound a bit 'cute' and out of tune!!!.

This is a first......I am starting to 'mentally' live in this house! A-M xx

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hey, Where'd Everybody Go?

..... well they were 'furiously painting'.

So we have 17 days to go, we're waiting on the painting to be done, in order to get moving on the inside fit out, and today?.......... no painters.

Hmmm... slight rush guys.... we have a lease ending very soon and no where to live after that..... so lets get this party started.

Some more photos.....another view of the hall in the morning light. That's the Great Room on the right, waiting for a fireplace and cabinetry........and paint and a clean floor.... and wallpaper and curtains... oh stop. Sorry about the angle... I'm not a photographer. I love the light in this home, at all times of the day. That's a good sign isn't it!

Another view of our ensuite bathroom, showing the cornice work on all the corners. Nice skirting Iain! Robe is around to the right. Little double doors lead out into the hall, to the right, past the robe.

Look at that picket fence - perfection, Dominique, you legend! Will be as pretty as a picture when painted white. Grow, little trees, grow, to hide that other hideous fence.

The top floor has been painted, just waiting for the gloss white on the windows. That's the main bedroom up there, with the ensuite to the left.......built right out under the eaves to maximise space.

Not the most exciting photo, but it will be soon - the downstairs powder room. Wall hung sink directly in front with grey French wooden mirror above. Shower is behind that wall to the left of the window... with NO glass, just open... after all, I have to clean the place, so only one shower will have glass, the main/boys bathroom upstairs (and no-one is allowed to use that one, so I never have to clean it..ha!).

Toilet recess (with no door) is to the right, behind that wall to the right, with an opaque, 10 light, French door, also to the right in front of the toilet, leading down to the laundry. Look at those gorgeous architraves, thanks Harry and Iain (the 'good carpenters'). I am going to spend all my time lying on my floor gazing at my architraves, skirtings and cornices..... it's the little things!... should have been a carpenter.

Great Room cabinetry is supposed to arrive tomorrow.

Be still, heart!

I'll be loiterin' tomorrow. A-M xx

Pretty Stuff

Image Courtesy Martha

Isn't this a pretty idea. Maybe I could do something like this in my robe drawer, with the glass top in it. Seems still such a long way away... making sweet little decisions like this..... so many more major things to be done.... like plumbing and electrical stuff, painting and getting rid of all the dust and muck on my beautiful floors. They are under there somewhere. They will have about 1mm sanded off them in the end..... hopefully that will remove the liquid nails, plaster and tuna spills... yes tuna. I am finding empty tins of snack size tuna everywhere!
Someone loves their Omega 3's! A-M xx

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Oh My Heart

This is serious business...wearing a tie....

... well maybe not that serious!

The 'schemers', with 'hat hair', on school photo day, just before my camera battery ran out.... BEFORE I got to the house!!! ....no house photos today! House Captain badge was polished until the words were almost rubbed off.
A-M xx

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Today On Site

The painters are painting furiously before the scaffolding disappears at the end of the week. Once the scaffolding has gone, the front retaining work begins. We are building up a front platform, on the far left for the porch steps to lead down to. The porch steps start to the left, of the painter on the left, at the end of the porch. It's quite a drop from the front porch and we didn't want to have to walk up a million steps, all in one go, to get to the porch....so we will have a front gate, a few steps, a built up path with garden beds and then the steps up to the porch. Well that's my plan anyway... now to convert it into bricks and mortar and pretty flowery garden beds!

Kitchen hutch will fit in between the window on left and the French Doors - just!

Kitchen is still underway. The stone guy has my sinks now so he's off cutting out stuff.
I have a beautiful Hamptons style hutch, (with little criss cross windows) that will JUST fit at the end of the far wall bench, before the French Doors. I purchased it before the beam (bulkhead) turned up and my carpenters and I sighed with relief when we measured up the space, after the walls and floors were put in. We have 4mm to spare. Lets hope the hutch dimensions on the spec sheet are actually the real dimensions.

Pantry Doors will be painted white - of course.
A big thank you to Chantal for her advice on moving the windows at plan stage.
(You were right Chantal, thank goodness you emailed me!)

New fence down the side. Dominique is just about to straighten off the top in this photo. He runs the saw along the pink bit of wood, to get it perfectly straight. I love this stuff... I must have been a carpenter in a previous life! There will be random stone paving up to the wood retaining bit, in the foreground, and then steps and decking running right down to the laundry door.

Front porch bead board (VJ's). I love this porch.

Front porch

Didn't the chippies do a great job at covering up that "what the?" box. Perfect solution.
There will be a light just above the door to make it a feature!

Hubby's at the end of the porch doing telephone business. We only have one car as he had a car accident yesterday. A lump of wood, the size of that porch post there on the right, in the middle of the highway. 100km/hr, car either side, car behind, he had to run over it. All the airbags went off and the car saved his life. Mwah! I love you sweetie. Thanks for livin'!!

2 posts in one day. I think I will take a break tomorrow. Off to the physio - my neck still does not work. C'mon driver, let's go! 
A-M xx

Slight Problem

Slight problem... I don't think my dinky little camera is going to do the finer details justice... but I will do my best to show you the best.

Bed 2 window seat installed, with 2 lovely big drawers for toy storage.....just imagine how many 'Bionicles' we're going to be able to fit in there! I am having some groovy 'boy cushions' made up for the seat.

Look at that gorgeous afternoon light! Doesn't the room look like it has been there for ever and that it is just having a makeover done!! Do you like the 'locks' on the windows? - lumps of wood!
The windows need paint before the locks go on.

We have 4 bedrooms upstairs... our room, a bedroom each for the boys and this room. We made this one a little bigger so we could use it for the boys playroom. We will have a sofa bed in here. I am just not a separate, spare room kinda gal. I can't stand the thought (or the added expense) of having a room that would only be used occasionally... so this is a playroom, a spare room, a study and a retreat for my boys... oh and it has the city views!

Laundry is coming along. I made the cupboards 900mm off the bench instead of the standard 600mm. Serious work needs to be done in this room which requires serious space and headroom! ... and yes I can still reach them, well the bottom of them! White subway tiles will cover the wall in this space. Laminate bench top, not stone, as I mistakenly recalled. I planned this all so long ago. Now I remember!..... this is where I got my sensible gene back and started reigning in the costs! I just couldn't justify the expense of stone in the laundry when I could spend the savings on this.......

Our robe!

That's a little desk/dressing table at the end, under the window. I just need to find a really pretty little chair to sit there. The window opens onto treetops so this might be my spot to hide when life gets too chaotic!

It's hard to see but the shelves are a beautiful grey with metallic grey shelf ends. I wanted to protect the ends from constant wear and tear. Robes can be brutal, I've been told. The drawers, desk and the divides are white satin 2 pak. As you can see, I've managed to get my beautiful cornice in, even in here! Even the installers were hyperventilating over the finished product. It's immaculately constructed. I have a beautiful plush dark grey carpet going in on the upstairs level so it should all tone in beautifully.

His side!

My side is exactly the same but I will have a glass top on my drawer stack so that you can see all my treasures in the top drawer. I need to go shopping for some bling in my shop.

Ensuite bathroom. Toilet and shower are behind the wall with the cabinetry, shower to the right, toilet to the left. There will be white shutters installed at the end of the bath. 2 oval Venetian mirrors will be above the cabinet. I will have grey stone floor tiles and white damask wall tiles to the ceiling.

Boys bathroom.
They will have those 2 gorgeous French grey metal mirrors I posted about last week.

The start of the kitchen!

We spent the afternoon positioning the centre kitchen bench just so! I will now have 3 pendant lights over the island bench so we had to take their position into account as well. The end with the spirit level on it will be an open bookshelf. I will have room under the bench for 4 stools.
They need the sinks today, to cut the stone, so hubby will be pleased that they will no longer be taking up room on our current dining table, where he is attempting to work, during this terribly messy transitional stage we are living through. Our living room does have everything .... including the kitchen sink!

The pantry fit out. This is in a stone coloured laminate, with Blum stainless steel, soft close, open drawers, under the benches (heaven I am told... I think I could get used to this lifestyle!). The fridge will be in the centre. Shelving and stainless steel bench tops will be on either side of the fridge.

This 'total transformation' bit is the other part I love in the design process (besides the 'big picture', elevations, scheming windows part).... from empty rooms to rooms with purpose!!
More photos to come. A-M xx