DIY PROJECT: Turning Stair Risers into Cutting Boards

Blog DIY Cutting boards

After our recent stair renovation, I had a few of these solid timber planks left over.  Mmm, what to do… would prefer to not just chuck it in the bin!  As we love entertaining and always looking for an interesting way to display cheese, desserts or meat, I decided that cutting boards would serve our household well.  Here’s how I did it.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

diy timber cutting boards template

  • Handy husband (or know your way around a jigsaw – which I do, but I pretended that I didn’t)
  • sanding paper
  • masking tape
  • paint brush
  • paint
  • wax

THE TEMPLATE

cuttingboards_template

Cut a template for your cutting board out of brown paper and place it on the plank for easy tracing. Follow this line with your jigsaw.

CREATING PATTERNS OF YOUR CHOICE

diy timber cutting boards patterns

First, sand down the boards to avoid splinters in tongues (not that I have friends that like licking boards, but one can never be too careful – friendship groups tend to evolve).  Create different patterns with masking tape, or use a stencil from your local art shop.  There are endless possibilities, just use your imagination.

PAINTING

diy timber cutting boards painting

Paint the boards in the colour of your choice, you don’t have to stick to just one colour.  I used this aqua colour, as it’s present in a painting that gave direction to the colour scheme throughout our house.

SEALING

diy timber cutting boards wax

I wanted a bit more depth to the colour of the boards, so I used this dark beeswax to seal it.  A clear version is also available, the only skill you need is elbow grease for this final step.

SERVE

diy timber cutting boards display

Voila!  How simple was that!  These can be used instead of placemats, to serve cuts of cold meats, hold condiments, or what their name suggest, a cutting board!  Have them handy for serving a delicious slice like brownies, or impress your friends with an array of cheeses and biscuits.  Even comes in pretty handy during a fight…just to frighten, not cause bodily harm, of course  🙂

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Lyndie’s Kitchen Renovation – Installation Begins

A kitchen is that tricky room in your house that needs detailed thinking and extensive planning to get just right.  A well functioning kitchen doesn’t just make the cooking hub of your home more functional and easier to navigate, but add value to your home (so no pressure there…)  After a few weeks of cooking in an electrical frying pan in the garage in the middle of winter, installation day finally arrived (and not a moment too soon)!  This is how it went down:

Lyndie's Kitchen Installation

DEMOLITION

Kitchen demolition

The layout of our kitchen has changed quite a bit, so we (no, didn’t get my hands dirty) had to demolish the entire interior.  We (I use the term “we” quite loosely, my husband, nor I never touched any equipment) removed the benchtop that separated the kitchen and informal dining area to create one large open plan area. We also changed the position of the oven and fridge.  The dishwasher and sink were left in their original positions.

Bifold window installation

The window cavity that overlooks the entertainment area was widened and we installed a bi-fold window with a narrow benchtop on the entertainment area side. This will give us the benefit of a serving bay for placing food platters, a place for kids to sit at meal time, or keeping the host company while washing dishes (Yes, I did mean that the guests will be washing dishes 🙂 Our builders, The Swedish giant, Dan and Aussie hero, Pete (who sings like a nightingale) has done a magnificent job and has obviously done this many times before (the building bit, certainly not the singing).

CABINET AND FLOORING INSTALLATION

Timber floor installation

After some consideration whether we should install the solid timber flooring on top of our existing tiles, we decided that we didn’t want to lose any ceiling height and ripped everything out.  Although it created more dust than a sand storm in the Sahara Desert and we’re still finding some in untouched crevices (I’m usually not big on looking for unnoticeable places to clean) , it was well worth the effort.  The new flooring has made a huge difference in our house and created wonderful contrast to the dark kitchen cabinets.

BENCHTOPS AND TILING

Ceasarstone benchtops

The arrival of the benchtop created quite a tummy flutter.  We decided on Ceasarstone that has a feint vein – this combined very well with a matt white subway tile that looked almost handmade.  Step by step, these finishes brought us closer to the desired effect of the final design.  Seeing all these elements in place, just the way you pictured and planned, was quite an exciting moment.

Next week, I’ll show you how the kitchen turned out in the end. Don’t miss our other room renovations – just follow the links below.

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Lyndie Farewells her Kitchen

Take it from someone who’s been through a renovation:  The planning part of a renovation is a lot more fun than the actual renovation.  Especially if you decide to stay put during the entire process.  I can deal with builders at my door at 7 each morning (they’re extremely punctual), I can deal with the noise, the constant digging, the removal of walls, roofs and ceilings, BUT… when they rip out your kitchen, things get real very quickly…

kitchen before renovation

As the hour didn’t allow for any other beverages, I farewelled the kitchen with a cup of tea and a friend.  I know that you secretly think there’ll be lots of time to remove kitchen utensils to set up elsewhere.  THINK AGAIN!  These guys are pretty quick.  They demolished that entire kitchen, floor tiles included,  quicker than it took me to pack everything up.

Kitchen Demolition

Hard to imagine a brand new kitchen in this mess!  After months of planning, one can only hope that it will turn out the way we imagined.

Garage kitchen setup

Mmm, this is our best efforts at building a new kitchen – it’s our set-up in the garage for the next 6 weeks (possibly longer…).  As you can see, we have somewhere to sit and have dinner, we have a fridge, microwave, storage, but most importantly, we have wine… If you’d like any recipes for cooking in an electrical frying pan, please give me a call 🙂

Next week, I’ll show you the progress in the kitchen. If you’d like to see how we changed some of the other rooms in our house, follow the links below.

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

 

 

Best tips you will ever need for a Hamptons Style Home

Most people fail when they try to decorate in the Hampton’s style. Why?

We visited a new client this week, and she loves the Hampton Style for her project. So I thought maybe I will share the Hampton’s style with everyone today.

Two key features are usually overlooked when decorating Hamptons:

  1. GO ALL THE WAY HAMPTON’S – or give up now. It’s about creating the style throughout your home, and not a theme you create in your living room only. Hampton’s style is creating an overall timeless look for your entire home, that represents a classis, sophisticated look. Don’t combine it with other styles in your home, as it wants to be the hero. Hampton’s is not a theme, but a lifestyle. It’s also important to have a lot of natural daylight in your home.
  2. INVEST IN HIGH END ITEMS – after all, the Hamptons style originate from the upper class elite and their holiday region in Long Island, New York. Not some beach town somewhere in nowhere.
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TIPS FOR HAMPTON’S STYLE

 

Two focal points all Hampton styled homes must have:

  1. DRAMATIC ENTRANCE – Hamptons style insists on making a first impression. Either you have a beautiful staircase, or a double volume entrance hall with a huge pendant light. If you can add a small table with a huge bunch of fresh flowers that look like your butler has just arranged it, you’ve got a winner!
  2. HAMPTONS KITCHEN – The kitchen forms the centre point of the Hamptons design style. It will define the style for the rest of your entertainment areas. It’s actually easy to create a Hamptons kitchen with just a few elements, e.g. panelling or shaker doors, white subway tiles, crisp white finishes and glass pendant lights.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Entrance Hall
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Hamptons Kitchen

Walls & Floors:

  1. Stick to white walls as far as possible (Dulux Natural White is great, as it has a soft undertone)
  2. Add some white wall panelling for character if you can.
  3. Timber floors (of course) work well with either a white washed look or a deep chocolate brown colour.
  4. Add natural rugs like sisal or jute.
  5. Hamptons love dramatic but neutral curtains. You can also go for white plantations shutters or white sheer curtains.
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Image source: Hamptons floors, walls and curtains

Furniture & Accessories:

  1. Linen upholstery – a must have!
  2. Add wicker or cane elements – High End pieces of course, because wicker can quickly look cheap and worn if not quality products.
  3. Mix old and new furniture, but in a classy way. Timber furniture must still have a classical style, but be freshly painted, in good working condition and timeless. Here you can save a lot of money if you have a keen eye for second hand furniture.
  4. Add accessories like driftwood, a few (only a handful) of shells, glass jars, a butler’s tray and a little bit of bling. It must still be stylish, even though it does not have to be expensive. Think high end… Not your uncle’s old marine rope in his shed or an anchor you bought on gumtree. Keep that for your nautical style beach house…
  5. Down lights are not really Hamptons style, but we all need them. Make sure you alternate the down lights with a few pendant lights, especially with glass and iron features.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
Image source: Hamptons style accessories

Don’t feel overwhelmed, just remember that the Hamptons style does not mean you need to overspend, but it definitely means you need to think carefully that each item has meaning and has a flair for the high end. Proper planning is essential, and it’s best to choose Hamptons if you have a clean slate to work from.

Enjoy lying on your sun loungers with your cocktails in your Hamptons house! (Hopefully there is also a butler and pool boy to keep you company!)

Happy decorating,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

 

How Lyndie changed her Kitchen

Over the last century, kitchen design has evolved from being a secluded room at the back of the house, entirely divorced from all social and eating areas, to becoming the hub and focal point of the house.  In our house, a tucked away kitchen can’t be further from the truth!  It’s common practice for our guests to help with meal preparation (drinking wine in other words) or just keeping the host company and chatting away.

In order to get to the entertainment area, our guests move from the entry, through the kitchen, to the entertainment area at the back.  For some reason, most of them (you know who you are…) get stuck at the benchtop that separate the informal dining and kitchen area.  Well, we needed to fix that!  Can’t have guests sitting down, drinking wine in the kitchen all night!  My husband (who needs lots of space… he cooks with more gusto than most…) and I, both love cooking and entertaining.  I wanted to create a space that would be functional for both of us to cook in, as well as a little easier on the eye than peeling, laminated kitchen cupboards and a yawning oven door…

So here’s what we’ll do:

Kitchen Changes

So, getting from the old design to the new design, quite a few changes needed to be made.  Question is, will our guests still want to hang out in the kitchen with us?  One can only hope…

New kitchen layout

I believe that your kitchen should not just be about functionality.  If you want it to be a gathering place for friends and family, you should add a touch of your memories and items you feel sentimental about.  Don’t be afraid to show your personality in the form of possessions you’ve borrowed or inherited.  Always add something that’s alive (not insects… focus on greenery such as herbs or flowers).  I knew that I wanted our kitchen to feel the way my Ouma’s (Nanna’s) kitchen felt when we visited her as kids.  She lived in a gabled Dutch style house on a farm just outside of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Her kitchen had an Aga coal stove as you walked in the door, that always had a kettle boiling with rooibos tea.  The kitchen cabinets were painted dark green and in the centre of it, stood a large timber table and chairs.  This was our gathering place, listening to stories about the gorillas in the vineyard (she was such a liar!), drinking hot chocolate and cutting pictures out of magazines.

Kitchen inspiration board

Although I opted for black cabinets (not green!), I tried to impart some of our South African heritage and rustic charm with dark timber flooring.  We reused a number of vintage and antique items that my husband and I had gathered over the years, in particular an old butcher’s block.  Other items are from Council clean up that I’ve painted (but we’ll keep that a secret), and several are lucky finds from Vinnie’s and Salvo’s (I’ll show you those later).

Next time, I’ll show you how the kitchen has progressed and where we cooked while undergoing the renovation.

If you would like to see what we’ve done with the upstairs part of the house, follow these links:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Are stone pebbles in a bathroom still on trend?

Do you struggle to keep up with changing trends for bathrooms? Today we have a look at the pros and cons of using real pebbles instead of tiles in your bathroom.

pebbles, bathroom, renovation, blog decor, reno blog, interior designers sydney, hills district

Using pebbles in your bathroom is extremely tricky. You need a good eye, as it can easily look like a children’s playground. Here are a few tips:

  • Stick to a neutral palette
  • Make sure the surface is as even as possible
  • Don’t overdo it, only apply in a small area
  • Have a professional install it

Here are a few examples that you SHOULD NOT DO:

pebbles, bathroom, renovation, blog decor, reno blog, interior designers sydney, hills district

You can either purchase mesh tiles where pebbles are already prepared and ready for installation, or you can follow the traditional road and have them installed one by one. If you want the job to be done quickly and by your local tiler, the mesh option is probably the easiest. (Not necessarily the cheapest!) You could also buy or pick up your own natural stones and lay them yourself. This last method is very time consuming, but sometimes necessary if the area you need to tile is very small or difficult, for example around a bath, or a small splash back above your basin. Even if you need to tile a niche in your shower. Please, don’t try the absurd patterns in the images above!

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You can even use left over mesh tiles as place mats!

But is it still on trend to throw them around your bath?

pebbles, bathroom, renovation, blog decor, reno blog, interior designers sydney, hills district

A few years ago everybody used natural pebbles in their bathroom. It was especially trendy to place a few around your bath. That trend has moved on now, but any natural product in a bathroom is always a winner. Make sure you apply it in a classy & elegant way, where it is not the statement in your bathroom, but rather the neutral background.

If you think you’re going over the top, you probably are! Pull back a little and rethink your bathroom layout. When in doubt, read a few of our previous blogs about bathroom renovations:

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney

 

Lyndie’s Renovation – Before & After of Entry and Stairs

The entry to your home, is the first glance of the interior visitors get when they cross your doorstep.  In my case, they would have a view of the staircase as well, so we needed to rethink the carpeted steps and consider a new coat of paint for the stair rail.

In my previous blog,  Lyndie’s Home Renovation, First Phase, I give you a bit of background about the area we live in, as well as the state of our house before we began our update.  For the next few weeks, I’ll show you the process of our renovation and how we modernised our home, room by room.

Stairs before

Our stairs were carpeted and, although soft underfoot, I wanted to create more impact as you enter the house.

Stair renovation

Mayne Rugs and Flooring in Castle Hill, did an excellent job with the stairs.  I was very lucky to have  a few offcuts of the solid timber risers left over after they had finished the installation.  Can’t waste solid timber, so I’ll show you what I did with them in my next blog.

Black and White stairs

Black and white Stairs after

Entry before

The white timber desk is a piece I bought on Ebay a few years ago. I painted it white to suit the Modern Country theme of my home at the time.   I decided to give it a lick of paint and change the accessories.  This way, it would suit the new updated entry to the house.

Entry before

Entry hall table

That looks better!  I found the Singer sewing machine base on Gumtree a few years back.  It was pretty rusted and dusty, but a good scrub with a rust remover and some oil brought it back to life once again.  We found the top at a timber yard just outside of Mollymook, 3 hours south of Sydney, when we went on holiday in April.    The lamp was another Ebay purchase.  I spray painted the base silver and replaced the existing shade with a white linen shade to suit the new style.

entry, timber floorboards

We’re very happy with the end result.  Have a look at the links below to see what we did with the upstairs part of our house.

Lyndie’s Ensuite bathroom makeover, Kids Bathroom makeover, Main Bedroom makeover

If your home is needing a make over, you know where to find us!

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

 

What Tradies do you need for a Bathroom Reno?

If you’re a newbie at bathroom renovation, there are a few people you need on your side before you begin.  They will all be equally important in the steps you take to a beautiful bathroom, so treat them well!

INTERIOR DESIGNER

Trades for batrhoom interior designer
Image Source

That’s us!  If you’re thinking about changing the layout to make it more suitable or functional for your needs, get a professional to help you at the planning phase.  It might be a bit more costly changing the plumbing around, but will work out better in the long run.  Any changes will be beneficial in increasing your enjoyment while spending time in this small little space.

PLUMBER

Unless you can do this job yourself, a licenced plumber will be your best friend during this renovation.  He can change the layout of pipes, install beautiful tapware, showers and gorgeous freestanding baths.

WATERPROOFER

Another step not to be missed for a successful renovation.  The waterproofer applies a membrane in your wet area, ensuring no water leaks to other areas.  Make sure he hands you a waterproofing certificate as proof that everything is up to scratch.

TILER

Trades for bathroom tiler
Image Source

A quality tiler is essential in a great bathroom renovation.  Tiles need to be sloped towards drains to ensure water doesn’t run out the door.  They also need to be equally spaced, applied with the correct colour grout and feature walls or niches need to look top notch.  Good tilers are usually pretty busy, so make sure you book them well in advance.

CABINET MAKERS

trades for bathroom cabinetmaker
Image Source

Today, there are many custom options for cabinets available, but if you need a bathroom cabinet to fulfil you storage dreams or fit a specific space, this is one trade you’ll certainly need!

ELECTRICIAN

You might think that water and electricity don’t mix, but your extractor fans, lighting, power points and heated towel rail will need proper connection.  A qualified, licenced electrician is the best man for this job.

BATHROOM BUILDER

Getting all trades to line up in sequence to finish a renovation in under 3 weeks (or 6 months!) could be a challenge for most.  To make things a bit easier, book a bathroom builder to do the hard stuff for you.  It might be more costly, but it will safe you a lot of time and effort in the long run.

Read our blogs Lyndie’s Ensuite Bathroom renovation or Eight Tips on getting the Kinks out of a Bathroom Renovation, before you start knocking down walls.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

Lyndie’s home Renovation – BEFORE photos of the Interior

Today, you’ll finally see the interior of our house before we started this renovation!   My previous blog, “Lyndie’s Home Renovation, First Phase” will give you a bit of background of the area we live in, as well as what the exterior of our house looks like.  Today, I’ll share a bit of the interior and the changes we’ll be making over the next few months.

In order to modernise the interior, our very talented draftsman, Ronel, drew up our plans and was instrumental in getting it ready for submission to Council.  If you’re planning a renovation or extension for you home and not sure where to start, contact us by clicking here.  We can also assist you in measured drawings, new designs, selecting finishes, as well as submissions to Council.

 

Before and After drawn plans

 

Changes to entry and stairs

Changes to formal living area

Changes to Formal Dining area

Changes to kitchen, fridge

changes to cooking area, kitchen

Changes to Pantry

Changes to informal dining

Changes to TV Room

Next week, I’ll show you how the building phase is progressing and the inspiration for each room.

Cheerio ’til next time!

Lyndie camera

How to decorate your home when you have a dog

Does your dog need a decorated room/special area? What? You never heard of this? Or even considered it? Let me share with you some inspirational images on how you can create that special nook in your home for your dog…yes… a special decorated nook! The last image is of me and my dog, Charlie.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor
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A beautiful monotone colour scheme. How awesome are those timber blocks and black and white photos? I adore this little corner.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor
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Time for a bath? A doggy “wet room” bathroom! A practical area to wash your dogs, but still beautifully designed to suit the style of the rest of your home.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor
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A great idea for that sometimes awkward empty corner next to your stairs.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor
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My dog always sits on my lap when I work on my computer. I wish I had such a great little corner for him close to my desk.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor wallpaper dogs blue door
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So if you need to go all the way… why not use this lovely black and white wallpaper? You can shop for it here on ETSY.

decorate dog decor tips animals home decor eriana bredenhann cavoodle
My dog, Charlie

As you can see, I don’t have a special decorated area for my dog, Charlie. In fact, that would probably shock him as he doesn’t know that he’s a dog and not human. Nope, he thinks he’s the youngest, spoiled brat of our family. He sleeps in my cozy decorated bed at night, on the kids’ sofa in our rumpus room during the day, and casually joins us in the evenings when we enjoy a glass of wine. Our whole house is his “decorated area”.

Any of you in the same boat?

Until next time,

eriana bredenhann interior designers hills district sydney