Everyone that lives in Cherrybrook, Northwest of Sydney, knows that soaring temperatures well into the 30’s occur quite frequently during summer time. With the ocean a good 45 minutes drive away and running through the sprinkler not cutting it any more, we decided to take the big step of putting a 4m x 8m concrete pool into our small backyard. If you missed my first blog about our pool installation, check this link out.
The view from our kitchen is becoming increasingly disturbing at this stage. I think we’re running out of space…
We’re ready to get the framing up to start concreting. Next week, I’ll show you how the concreting is coming along. To see what we did to the interior of our home, have a look at these links:
If you want to be able to pinpoint your style inspiration, it’s helpful to know the major furniture design trends from the last century, and therefore, we need to sometimes look back and discover how today’s designs were born. It will also help you to sound very informative and super designer-like the next time your friends visit! Today’s blog post is kindly presented by BROSA FURNITURE, where designer pieces are delivered straight to you from the makers, without the expensive price tag. They are based in Melbourne.
If you have a look around your house, you are bound to find furniture inspired by a great design trend of the past. Whether you got that furniture new from a retailer, or second hand from an Op shop, it will have a story to tell. If you want to be able to pinpoint your style inspiration, it’s helpful to know the major furniture design trends from the last centry.
From 1900 to the 1940s, there were several trends that would go on to inspire much of the design we know today. Art Nouveau was classically beautiful, with flowing lines and ornamental designs. This trend resulted in some very pretty furniture. In Germany in 1919 Bauhaus sprang forth from a famous art and design school. It couldn’t have been more original. Focused purely on functionality, the simple forms were easily mass-produced. Inspired by post-war life, Art Deco took over. The style was present in fashion, art and architecture, making it very recognisable.
WHERE MODERN BEGAN
Mid Century Modern design was straightforward and no-nonsense. While we might call it “retro” now it was unlike anything that came before it. It was minimalist and functional. Materials used in the past were more often than not dark, polished woods. But Mid Century Modern called for modern materials like chrome, formica and vinyl. With modern materials came the ability to mass-produce designer furniture. Furniture like armchairs began to resemble pieces of art. Many Mid Century Modern pieces are now collector’s items.
Scandinavian design was present during much of the 20th Century. It lasted from the thirties until the seventies. But it has continued to influence much of the furniture we see today. Being Modernist, Scandinavian furniture was both functional and could be easily mass-produced. The designers of Scandinavian furniture thought it important that good furniture be available to all. The affordability of Scandinavian design owed a lot to modern improvements in cheap materials. Lighter coloured woods and simple, natural shapes were important to Scandinavian design.
Late 20th Century Rebellion became hip in the sixties lasting until the eighties. Rebellion was loud, bright and unapologetic. Designers used clashes of bright colours and wild patterns to inspire. Colours like yellow and green were hugely popular. Patterns from paisley, polka dots to stripes became the norm. Towards the end of this period, monochromatic rooms were livened up with bright and unusual armchairs or sofas.
As we prepared for the new millennium, design seemed to nurse its Rebellion hangover with Minimalism. Like in Scandinavian design, woods were lighter and fabrics were calmer. Furniture took on a more comfortable form. Subdued colour palettes of neutrals and pastels became popular.
The new millennium didn’t give us silver-clad sofas or digital wallpaper like in the movies. Instead, we reflected on past trends and embraced those aspects that best suit our modern lifestyles. Sustainability is now an important factor when choosing furniture. Mass-production made the coolest furniture available to everyone. And replica furniture means we can have a little piece of design history for a fraction of the price.
From the intricacy of Art Nouveau to the natural materials of Scandinavian, there is a little of everything in the furniture design of today.
WE THANKBROSA FURNITURE FOR EXPLAINING TO OUR READERS THE HISTORY OF DESIGN TRENDS AND HELP US ALL IMPRESS OUR FRIENDS!
PLEASE NOTE, THIS IS NOT A SPONSORED POST & WE DID NOT RECEIVE ANY FINANCIAL GAIN FROM BROSA FURNITURE. PLEASE VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AND VIEW THEIR AMAZING PRODUCTS. YOU COULD EVEN TRY YOUR HAND AT DESIGNING YOUR OWN OWN BED!
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:
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.
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
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
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.
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:
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…
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.
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:
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.
Our stairs were carpeted and, although soft underfoot, I wanted to create more impact as you enter the house.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Hold your horses, this is not as easy as you think! The wet room is a popular bathroom trend, but can be very unsuccessful if not done correctly. For a proper wet room, you need to throw a few extra dollars into your budget.
Wet rooms started as a solution for very small bathrooms where a toilet, shower and basin had to fit in a small space, but there were no place for extra walls. It reminds me of the bathroom in a standerd suite on a cruise ship. No ways two people can use those bathrooms together. You can’t even brush your teeth without hitting your head against the shower head. However, if people now mention a bathroom renovation with a wet room, they actually want a huge wet room with a spa feeling where you can almost fit a whole sports team in.
Things to consider when planning a wet room:
1. EXTRA COSTS
You need to do extra waterproofing as your whole bathroom might now be splashed and become soaking wet. Make sure you also buy waterproof light fittings and special sealed joinery. Make sure you plan your storage to be out of reach of any spray and steam. You don’t want to have soaked shelves every time you shower. Invest in heated floors, because they will help to evaporate water quicker. Also invest in a proper overhead shower head to prevent too much spray outside the designated shower area. I hate it when I get out of the shower and my towel is wet!
2. SPECIAL TILES
In a wet room there is a lot of water spraying everywhere. After your shower you might find it difficult to walk around in the bathroom without slipping. Invest in floor tiles with a bit of texture or non-slip characteristics. You can even add a timber area to create the real spa feeling and to prevent slipping.
So how will you contain all the water in the bathroom and prevent it from running down your hallway? Get a great tiler that can build a gradient in your floor and make sure that all the water flows towards your drain. In a wet room it is best to invest in strip drains that cover bigger areas. The other option is to create a total seperate space just for the bath and shower and split them from your door, toilet and basin with a floor to ceiling glass partition. It is less wet room and more open shower design, but it will still give you the feeling as if the whole room is one big wet room.
4. POSITION OF YOUR TOILET
Nobody likes wet toiletpaper or a drenched toilet seat. If your bathroom is too small to prevent the shower’s spray to reach your toilet, maybe you should reconsider the wet room. Always position your toilet as far away from the shower as possible. Your other option is again to seperate the toilet from the shower with a floor to ceiling glass partition.
We would love to see photos of your wet rooms! Email them to us at: email@example.com and you can be in one of our next blogs! Or, if you need help designing a bathroom, send us an email to ask for our price list.
My children’s bathroom was so far out of fashion it was almost back in again! The tiles had lovely peach tones with a gorgeous gold framed shower and vanity mirror. To complete the look, the profile on the vanity doors catapulted me into another era and the towel rail also had a very special gold finish which unceremoniously fell to the floor every time we removed a towel.
Don’t get me wrong, I adore items from yesteryear that add character to a modern interior. A touch of Provincial has always been a favourite and I’m never one to shy away from the warmth of rustic timber combined with crisp white in a Modern Country style. Unfortunately, peach tiles combined with gold framed showers have yet to warm the cockles of my heart 🙂
So this is how I jazzed it up a bit… As this would be the only bathroom big enough to house a bath tub, I decided on a large freestanding bath to fit the country look and feel. I fell in love with the grey toned timber look ceramic tiles at a recent visit to Beaumont Tiles and I selected a top mounted basin for the bathroom cabinet.
In search of a new vanity, I realised that this item alone could easily blow the budget! Luckily, I found a lovely timber cabinet for $400 at Knots Pine, which I painted a crisp white and finished in polyurethane. I replaced the very ugly handles with something modern and stained the top to tie in with the floor tiles, then applied a coat of polyurethane for water resistance.
To complete the look, I decided on the Bastow Provincial range from Tradelink, as it ties in with the rest of the bathroom. A niche in the wall next to the bath ensures that shampoos, candles,bath bubbles and my wine glass are within easy reach. To add a sleeker look, we installed a frameless shower, a big improvement from the gold framed one!
The laundry basket was a lucky kerbside clean up find. One morning early, Eriana called me to inform me of this discovery in her neighbourhood. She also threatened that if I didn’t take it, then she would! As I’m such a good friend, I immediately found a spot for it in my home 🙂
If you’re thinking of a bathroom renovation and not sure where to start, email us for a price list or book an initial consultation. We promise we won’t bite! Our blogs about how to run a smooth bathroom renovation and ideas on subway tile layouts, will get you started on your bathroom make over.
My laundry was in pretty bad shape. We first rented this home for 4 years before deciding to purchase it about 7 years ago. As it is with most laundries in rental properties, we only had the bare basics; an inset sink with small cupboard underneath and a washing machine. We bought a large freestanding laundry cupboard which took up a huge chunk of space, and a practical laundry basket without any personality whatsoever.
Luckily, when you live in your home for a while, you know what your needs are and how you want your workspaces to flow. I knew that I needed a place to store pool towels, shelving for easily accessible pegs and washing powder, as well as an area for hanging damp clothes or clothes that had just been ironed. A new benchtop would also come in handy when folding is required and a space to store endless cleaning products is always a big plus. I needed cupboards/shelving for sliding in tubs with individual family members’ folded clothing, because in my perfect dream world, each person would be putting away their folded clothing into their own cupboards (haha, it’s my dream world and I’m sticking to it!)
The list goes on… Not only did I want this space to be functional, but also easy on the eye. It usually takes me about 4 days to convince myself that doing the laundry will benefit myself and my family. If it looks pretty, it might only take 2 days, who knows. In my house, the laundry room can become a stressful space, so I decided on the colour combination of grey and yellow for a calming atmosphere. I painted my walls grey and added a splash of yellow in my ironing board cover, which is mounted against the wall.
I didn’t want to splash out on a stone benchtop, as our kitchen renovation is coming up soon and I would rather splurge there. To tie in with our new kitchen, I decided on white shaker style doors in a satin polyurethane finish.
For a bit of playfulness, I put in a pretty mosaic splashback and a succulent in a colourful canvas bag to make the laundry experience a tad more joyful.
My hooks are from Bunnings (for an earth shattering $7,00!) and my yellow welcoming greeting from Target.
Voila, there you have it! I would still like to put in black and white retro vinyl flooring to complete the look, but that can wait until the kitchen is finished. It’s made a huge difference in my life. I have a place for everything and doing the laundry is less of a chore than it used to be.
I would love to hear about how you’ve improved your laundry experience, so drop us a line with a few photos.
This week, I’ve been dealing with putting a pool into our back yard. It’s funny how things turn out, even after all the t’s had been crossed and i’s dotted… During this recent experience, I’ve found that if the digger doesn’t fit past the side of the house, there will be no progress. There are many little things that happen when you decide to make changes to your home, things that you might not have considered before starting your project. Find a list below on why an interior designer might benefit you more than you think.
1. YOU DON’T HAVE TIME
It’s hard enough as it is shipping kids out the door to school on time, packing lunch boxes, working full/part time and keeping things on track to have a presentable home. Designing a home/room, organising trades and selecting finishes, could take months to complete. The last thing you want to load onto your fork is sorting through quotes and finding the right person for each project. A designer has knowledge of all resources that will be needed for the project at their finger tips and will save you endless hours of time in research alone.
2. YOU AND YOUR PARTNER DISAGREE ABOUT EVERYTHING
My husband gets sentimental about framed rugby jerseys, likes bulky leather couches and a rustic industrial look. I’m more of a modern country type of girl and like sofas on sophisticated legs and lots of cushions with pretty patterns. If you and your partner disagree about the style of your couch or whether you should have an underground cellar, an interior designer might just save your marriage and serve as compass to the most beneficial outcome!
3. YOU FEEL OVERWHELMED DURING THE DECISION MAKING PROCESS
A designer can give you a solid plan of action after assessing the task at hand. This will give you an order and timeline for tasks to be completed so that you have guidelines for the sequence of the project. This will assist you in tile selection, floor covering, colour of your walls and furnishings and make sure these are finished in a timely fashion and work together as a whole.
4. YOU STRUGGLE TO BRING TOGETHER FORM AND FUNCTION
Not only does an interior designer create a space that’s pleasing to the eye and set a desired mood, but they make sure that it’s functional, safe and efficient and enhance the living and working environment. A designer offers an extra set of eyes that are trained to see and notice things that you may not. They have the ability to find unique solutions to problems that you might not have dealt with before. It can be difficult to trust a designer if you like to dictate exactly what you want and aren’t capable of accepting alternative solutions. It’s best to take advantage of someone that has many years of experience under the belt and, by working together as a team, will have the best outcome for your home.
5. YOU NEED A MIDDLE MAN TO RELAY YOUR IDEAS AMONGST BUILDERS AND TRADES
Dealing with trades can be frustrating at the best of times. You will need to understand the plans and know exactly what you want, as they will ask you questions that you haven’t even thought of! You have to know the size and thickness of tiles, whether they’re interior or exterior tiles, the size of windows/doors, the profile on kitchen doors, the type and size of oven, the placement of power points, the type of timber floor, whether it will be installed over existing floor….The list is endless and you will need either plenty of wine or an interior designer to convey the hopes of dreams you have for your home, to the builders/trades. Money well spent, I’d say!
6. YOU STRUGGLE TO VISUALISE THE END RESULT
Interior Designers have many tricks up their sleaves… They not only have to come up with possible layout solutions for a space, but also help their client visualise the end result. Luckily, with the help of computer programs such as Rivet, Google SketchUp and Photoshop, the entirety of the room can be seen in a completed state. Add to that a mood board with samples of your flooring, all textiles, such as cushions, rugs and upholstery, as well as pictures of furniture and colour swatches of the rooms, you can already imagine yourself enjoying your new home.
7. TO INCREASE THE VALUE OF YOUR HOME
We all know that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses, but an interior designer will give you advice on moving or knocking down walls to connect areas and create a more modern and open plan style of living. Value boosters, such as adding windows in the bathroom, creating that extra bedroom and type of lighting that’s installed, are all helpful alterations that would benefit your pocket greatly when selling your home.
You know where to get hold of us for your next project 🙂