Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bloggy Design Help Please

Well good morning all. This Sunday's broadcast is coming from one of my reader's homes. 

Michelle has asked if you would all be able to help her make some decisions regarding the renovation/rejuvenation of her home, here in Brisbane. Oh it's got character... VJ's, mouldings, pretty window, French doors... deep sigh.

Lets start with the kitchen:



Michelle's first question is: "Do you think I should paint the doors in the kitchen white? Change the splashback"? Michelle is on a tight budget so she is not planning to replace her floor tiles or benchtops for the time being. So any changes she makes really have to work in with what she is not changing! Look at those cupboard door profiles! Do you agree they are screaming out to be highlighted in white. I did refer Michelle over to Kerri at Driftwood Interiors for some heart stopping, white kitchen reno inspiration! What do you think she should do with the splashback?.. if anything. You know me... my answer most likely will always be - white subway... sigh!


Moving on to the main bathroom. The floor and wall tiles have been removed since these photos have been taken.. so you're getting the real 'before photos' folks. Michelle has already laid the floor and wall tiles you see below in the renovated bathroom/laundry downstairs. She is wondering whether she should use the same tiles, you see below, in this bathroom. Now I'm a sucker for consistency, I don't know about you. I used the same floor and wall tile right throughout all my bathrooms and laundry... and just made each room unique with different fixtures and fittings. Michelle is not sure whether to paint the dark window frames/door/vanity white in bathroom. She notes that the other windows in the rest of house are timber on the inside so this may mean needing to paint everything else to be consistent. Yep, I say paint it all. Your thoughts?

Michelle also is thinking about about changing the vanity top to stone (maybe snow) and changing the handles. Not to sway you Michelle.. but I have 'snow'... LOVE it... easy to clean...even with 2 boys and their grotty bug hunting hands.


Michelle has used 600 x 300 (gloss white on walls) & 600 x 300 (limestone / beige colour in honed finish on floor) in the downstairs bathroom. The wall tiles have been laid vertically. Yay!.. complements the age and character of the home.


The rest of the bathroom in question. She's keeping the bath - yay! ... and there's the window trim in question. Remember all these current tiles have gone.....bye-bye diamond pattern.


... and last but not least, Michelle requests - "any tips on what to do with our attractive fire place and dining room would be appreciated.  Have not had any luck finding a dining table/sideboard to suit this room, hence the lack of furniture present!!" Side track - love the floors, room arch, cornices, vj's... isn't it great to work with good bones!

Well thank you in advance, for helping out Michelle with advice on her kitchen, bathroom and fireplace. It will be great for her to receive opinions other than mine! I told her... you put it out there in blog land, you'll have your reno done in no time. I mean you all helped me build my house from the ground up... and that was no mean feat.....oh it makes me tired just thinking of it all again!
Thanks girls.
Have a great day.
A-M xx

30 comments:

  1. Definitely paint the kitchen white, it will improve all the other fixed elements in the kitchen. Stick with subway tiles for the backsplash (I regret getting something fussier). Paint everything in the bathroom white and continue it on all the window frames throughout the house. We're currently painting all our new window and door frames white and the difference between wood and painted white is amazing. Use the same tiles throughout if they suit the colour scheme of the rooms. I didn't because I've used different wall colours in each tiled room. Definitely go with stone for the vanity top, it looks beautiful. Snow is gorgeous, but if you want something cheaper and similar - I used Quantum Quartz, Alpine White. It is gorgeous! I have Caesar Stone in Whisper in the kitchen and the quality between the two is the same. And you're right A-M, very easy to clean, even with paint spilt on it in the laundry..Also, ask stone suppliers if they have offcuts (all of my Quantum was offcuts, much cheaper). There is also a website dedicated to offcuts - offcuts.com.au. They have a range of surplus building supplies, including stone. With the fireplace, I think it would be great if the brick could be removed. If that's not possible, paint it white or perhaps a stone facade? Look at ebay, auction houses, second hand stores for furniture (you can paint just about anything..) Good luck Michelle, you've made great decisions so far and we'll all be following your progress! Rachaelxx

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  2. I would definitely agree about painting the kitchen cabinets, but then I adore white kitchens. I love beadboard backsplashes but that is what the cabinet doors have on them so I also think white subway tile would look great.

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  3. White, white and white! Get out the spray gun and go your hardest. The bones are great, they just need a little sprucing up. I agree go to Kerri's site for a 'how to' that will get you to the hardware store faster than you can say 'I don't know where to start!?!'. I look forward to seeing the 'afters'.

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  4. Michelle's kitchen and mine must be twins - same profile, same brass knobs! I have been umming and ahrring for the past year wondering what to do with my New Guinea Rosewood kitchen. How could I possibly "paint" over such beautiful(??!!) timber. Kerri has shown me the "light" (in white!). Subway tiles - yes. I am investigating Granite Transformations for my Heritage green counter tops. They simply fit over the existing tops just like a sleeve - sounds good to me. I say we take the plunge together Michelle - hand me that spray gun!

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  5. Oh, thanks for the mention A-M, you're so lovely! Michelle's house has great bones, and that kitchen would look fantastic painted white. If Michelle has any questions, I'm more than happy to go through all the details with her, but firstly I'd get myself a spray gun and get stuck into those doors! They have a great profile and would look fabulous in a crisp white.
    As for the bathroom tiles, I'm with you on the consistency front, so she could either use the same tile, or the same colour in a different size, to tie the two rooms together. Snow would be perfect for the vanity top, and I'd paint the vanity white as well, along with the rest of the woodwork throughout the house - the dark timber is dated and a complete whitewash would keep the whole scheme nice and cohesive.
    Fireplace: For a quick fix, I'd check whether those bricks are actually necessary for heat protection, or whether they're just there for 'decoration'. If so, I'd remove them and use some sandstone offcuts to cover the raised area under the stove. If funds permitted, she could replace the pot belly stove with a new fire box, but if not some 'stove black' paint (from Bunnings) would give it a bit of a zhush and clean it up like new.
    Hope that helps Michelle, and honestly, I can't recommend the white paint enough! It makes such a huge difference, and the biggest outlay is your own time and effort. So worth it! K xx

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  6. Oh, and most definitely subway tile for the kitchen splashback - stylish, timeless and classic. K xx

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  7. I think most definitely she needs to paint the kitchen white it will bring such a change into that room without costing a lot! Can't wait to see what she decides!

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  8. I'm thinking, paint everything white (cupboards, vanity, windows) and maybe then the splash back will blend with the counter tops until you change them later on.

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  9. Painting the kitchen doors white will give it a real wow factor. I think the benchtops need be changed too, perhaps on her wish list! I do a gorgeous Sarah Richardson small contemporary marble like brick tiled backsplash. The bath vanity, hmmm, personally I;d replace the whole thing, painting it won't make much diff because of the dated sink - and her tiles look amazing - so it will REALLY stick out then. I bought a great vanity on EBAY for under $500 a couple of years ago - still looks great. So I'd search around to replace asap! to match the gorgeous tiles!

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  10. I too am on the white bandwagon! The kitchen would look great white with a simple subway tile as a splashback. A stone vanity in the bathroom would be extremely practical and look great with the bath.

    As for the windows, I would paint them as well. Speaking from experience, we had beautiful cedar windows and french doors for many years and then last year I painted them white (much to the surprise of my husband)- the difference and improvement was amazing,the room si so much lighter and brighter. I'd never go back.

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  11. Go white :)
    Gotta love white kitchens!

    Btw, what do you guys think of modern(minimalist) kitchens with a white subway tiled splashback?

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  12. A-M, have you ever considered creating your own forum? I think it would be an awesome idea :)

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  13. The first thing I'd do is paint all the cupboards white, but I'd leave the SS splashback until everything else is done. The white will lift the kitchen no-end and will look fine with the SS...as for the bathroom...again, paint everything you can white! White lifts everything and completely changes the way a room looks

    Good luck with it all.
    Lesley

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  14. Lovely house. Another vote for all white.

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  15. I agree - white kitchen - I think the benchtops and splashback will look OK once everything's white, if not I'd still leave the benchtop and go with everyone's idea of subway tiles. Maybe change the knobs if she can find something modern that doesn't cost too much.
    Vanity in the bathroom - paint white too! All that fresh white paint will make such a difference.

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  16. It's pretty much all been said. Definitely go for the white. I would have a go at the vanity and see how it comes up. What about replacing the patterned tiles on the back of the vanity with some pressed metal and match the colour to the rest of the vanity? Good luck and look forward to the updates.

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  17. I agree with the white makeover- will freshen and lift both the kitchen and bathroom. While the white tiles are my pick for the splashback, as Lesley above said, I don't think the stainless steel would look out of place once the cabinets are painted. What a beautiful, character filled home - tell Michelle to share some after pics with us so we can see what she goes with...

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  18. I say Michelle should start a blog!!! (I did thanks to A-M.) She needs to capture the story and it is fun to share... So, go for the white cupboards as they will look great with their current profile. I think the ss splash back willlook ok once everything else is white. The vanity top will look great in snow and tie in with the tiles. You may find you need new shiny taps $$$ :-( As for the fireplace, I have recently been looking into these and perhaps remove the bricks and fix up the plaster behind for say 1/2 the wall with the bottom half in VJ paneling and a rail. Hope that makes sense? We just did this in my sons room and I will be posting that room shortly (still painting...). I am looking forward to some after shots!!! Enjoy!

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  19. Sorry, I just realised the fireplace has VJ behind it all the way up, so dis-regard previous comments... Just remove the bricks and fix up the VJ. :-)

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  20. Janine MarshallSunday, May 30, 2010

    Hi A-M and Michelle,
    Love looking at photo's like this, so thanks for sharing. Mmmm probably not going to tell you anything different...Michelle your home does have lovely bones, I'm really quite envious!! I have not purposely read any of the above comments. Let's start with the kitchen. Me I would paint the cupboards white, would not hesitate, then I would put the ss tile on the splashback. Personally, I would not have a feature tile. You want to go timeless, good money can be spent in other areas, rather than spending on updating tiles every few years or so. I would even go so far as to paint the walls cornice and ceilings in same white or complementary white (this sounds wrong or boring but remember that white reflects and can pick up lovely tones from things in the room) and bring out the cornice with a gloss or semi-gloss. It's quite amazing how this brings a beautiful feature out. Moving onto your bathroom I think you are heading in the right direction with the white in this room as well. If you are keeping the vanity I would paint that white as well. White is dateless and because the kitchen and bathroom are the most expensive rooms in a home, whatever you do in these rooms needs to be dateless too. I keep my interior magazines and love to look back through them....and you do get a sense of what keeps in the classic department and what can sometimes be a passing fad. Onto the dining room....if the woodheater is not needed I would rip this out faster than you could blink, an 80's rendition (my auntie had one like this in her house, nice back then, not so much now). Lovely cornices in this room, beautiful and the room arch. Very nice. If you have to keep the heater then I would cover the bricks with beadboard, but PLEASE don't paint over the brick HATE that look, or render over them, personally for me I can never understand why people just paint over brick, just a pet hate of mine.....love the outside of your home Michelle. Wish mine had the charm of yours outside....but I have to say you can do better for a front fence. I know you will make it all beautiful. Please keep in touch with your renovation decisions. Thanks for putting yourself out there.
    Take care
    Janine
    XXOO
    N.W. Coast Tassie

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  21. Janine MarshallSunday, May 30, 2010

    Back again,
    Didn't take long did it??? I just have to say that I'm hearin' ya at how hard it is to find furniture that is nice, will last and you won't fall out of love with it in the foreseeable future. And to make it more difficult sometimes if you have a space that is only so big by so big...it does seem to remain elusive!!
    Bye for now
    Janine
    XXOO

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  22. Oh I'd try cream or white in the kitchen, leave the splashback as it is! If you have a stand alone island you could leave that in the brown timber colour if you were to paint the other units cream.

    As for the bathroom sometimes I think tiles all over can be abit cold and clinical, how about using plain tiles between toilet, sink and bottom of bath and paint the remainder of the walls, that way when you get fed up with the bathroom it is must easier to paint it than waiting years to retile it. If the wooden panels behind the sink were staying, you could go for a kind of beach hut look, with blues and whites, so I'd paint the vanity unit white.

    In the dining room, the brick looks quite dark it may be just the photograph. On design sponge here is a before and after of painting brick white, you may like it, but then again you may hate it-here's the link http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/12/happy-holidays-happy-new-year.html
    Let me know what you think

    All things nice...

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  23. go the white!! We used a pressed metal splashback at our lat house and it looked great. Have seen it used successfully in bathrooms too.

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  24. Hi everyone...back again.

    Just to give you an update on the renovation. I just spoke with our builder and am now getting a quote also on Quantum Quartz, Alpine white - thanks for the tip Rachael! Hoping it will be a little cheaper than the Snow. Just regarding bathroom floor tiles would you recommend keeping with 600 x 300 or changing to 300 x 300?? The slate tiles in the kitchen are 300 x 300 so not sure whether they should be the same as the bathroom which leads out onto kitchen floor. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again for all your wonderful suggestions. Michelle x

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  25. I think the 300 x 300 would look great.... and a nice variation on the theme downstairs, same tile different shape. I used square tiles on my floors and vertically rectangular tiles on my walls... works well. A-M xx

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  26. how do you decide on a white ...there are so many ?

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  27. I noticed right at the end that Michelle has not had anyluck finding a dining table/sideboard to suit the last room....AND that she is on a tight budget....if she or her husband is handy they might consider looking at
    www.knock-offwood.com Ana puts plans up for some nice (pottery barn style) furniture that isnt' that hard to make! she could even ask Ana to put plans up on her site for a similiar design to what she might be looking for!

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  28. White - mother of all colours!!! Our home suffered from the mission brown disease as well- brown cupboards, brown tiles, brown taps, brown woodwork, ugh!
    So Michelle go for it. White cupboards will lift the kitchen and will match the splashback and tops better. Some nice crystal or simple SS knobs would be lovely as well.
    The fireplace surround may be difficult, but perhaps some sort of paint to lighten it may work. Good luck with everything.

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  29. hi i think michelle's house has huge potential with the kitchen i would paint the cupboards white and if already have enough cupboard space i would remove the overhead cupboards to open up the room with the bathroom i would remove the boarder tile and replace with a dressed white timber and paint the whole bathroom white including the glass panelled window and add a floral grey and white tight pleated curtain to it,
    with the floor i would tile over the existing tiles with a charcoal tile and to soften the room i would put a rustic light timber chair in the corner.
    and for the fireplace if you intend
    to keep the pot belly stove maybe go over existing brickwork with limestone or sandstone cladding.
    Regards,
    shell

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  30. I know I'm a bit late but go the white for the kitchen. If anything you will be able to see where you want to go from there. I did a similar thing in my kitchen. If you have SS handles keep them and think about replacing the kickboard at the bottom of the cupboards in either black or silver. It may tie everything in together and you may not have to hang the expence of replacing the bench and splashback.


    As for the bricks behind the fire, try painting them. Once again tried this in my own home and for me it really worked especially with the colours I had. If it doesn't work it has only cost you a tin of paint.

    I must say I am jealous, I love renovating.

    Krissy x

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Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave me a comment. I love hearing from you. A-M xx