Tag: vanilla slate designs

Lyndie’s Renovation in Cherrybrook – Concreting the Pool

 

Renovation in Cherrybrook

Although pools don’t usually give you a good return on investment, it must surely be on the list of every Australian’s Dream Backyard.   Cherrybrook, in NSW, can get as hot as hell in summer, so we decided to go all the way and put in a concrete pool.  The entertaining area extension will have a view over the new pool area, so we thought we’d better not skimp on the size.  To fit the budget, we chucked the water feature and splurged on heating and nice pavers.  Heating would prolong our swimming season by at least 3 months, so now we can get the most out of this new expensive toy 🙂  If you’ve missed the beginning of the pool installation, follow the links below:

Digging the Pool, Pool Progress

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The excavation is finished and now ready for the framework.  The frame is built with corrugated iron, steel and a timber frame to contain and shape the concrete.

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The stairs are shaped and smoothed, ready to be tiled after the curing process.

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Finally, the pool is ready for our first “pool party”.  All it needs is a few weeks of curing for the concrete to harden.  It also needs a good hose down every day, to ensure that the concrete doesn’t crack.  We’re now ready for tiling, but first, we need to start the demolition work to make room for the new home extension’s foundation.  More on this next week.

If you’ve missed the renovation to the interior of our home, have a look at these links:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

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Lyndie’s Home Renovation: The Pool Progress

 

home renovation, digging pool

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.

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The view from our kitchen is becoming increasingly disturbing at this stage.  I think we’re running out of space…

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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:

Before & After of Entry and Stairs, Before Photos of the Interior, Renovation, First Phase, Ensuite Bathroom Make Over, Kids’ Bathroom Make Over, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal, Formal Dining Room Demolition, Inspiration for the new Bar, Bar Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

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Lyndie’s Renovation – BAR INSPIRATION

When we decided to reconfigure the interior of our home to suit the way we lived, the conversation between my husband and I steered towards every man’s dream,  a cellar, or man cave.  In my mind’s eye I could already picture the ladies sitting around the dinner table (or most likely doing dishes) and the guys congregating in the underground cellar, getting worked up about rugby, army and politics.  Seeing that our formal dining area would become an unused space after building the extension, we decided that this would be the best spot for the new bar, rather than excavating into the ground.  This would ensure a great flow from the formal lounge into the bar and then out into the new extension with fireplace (which you will see in the following few weeks).

New bar before

Hard to believe that this area would soon house a bar, but it’s wonderful to work with such a blank canvas!

New bar cabinetry

As our bar area would have an open doorway from the kitchen, the two rooms needed to “talk” to each other, but we certainly didn’t want the bar to looking like an extension of a kitchen.  We used black polyurethane cabinetry in the kitchen and finished it with Caesar stone benchtops, so we needed to repeat these finishes in the bar for cohesion.  We also wanted open shelving to display a whiskey collection, a sink and tap for quick rinsing and a cabinet for the storage of  wine and glasses.  We also designed a bar counter with a cavity at the back, so that bar stools could be stored out of sight when not in use.

New bar inspiration

We definitely wanted to steer away from the traditional timber bar look with framed rugby jerseys against the wall, as this would not suit the style of our formal lounge room, which is connected to the bar.  By using black cabinetry, an immediate sense of drama and old worldliness was created, which was further enhanced by an antique mirror splashback and soft lighting that cast a glow on the whiskey display.  We decided to finish the bar counter in black panelling and a timber top, to suit a modern country style and to create an informal atmosphere in the area.   Glass pendant lights, which mimicked the shape of a wine glass, were installed above the bar counter.  The only thing missing, was a rustic timber slab for the top…

the-discovery

Funnily enough, it was on a search for an ever evasive winery during a recent holiday in Mollymook, South of Sydney, that  we came across a timber yard.  As luck would have it, they had the most exquisite timber slabs, just perfect for our new bar!   It only took a tractor and bent roof racks to get it back to Sydney, but it was well worth the effort!

Next week, I’ll show you the end result…

If you would like to follow the changes we made to other parts of our 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, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

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Lyndie’s Renovation – Formal Dining Room Demolition

Setting up home is all about learning how you like to live in it.  Seeing that we’ve been living in our home for the past 12 years, a few things dawned on us during this time.  Firstly, we realised that we’re not ones for formal dining arrangements and secondly, we “needed” (wanted) a home bar.  I gently persuaded my husband that an underground cellar would probably not be the way to go, as this would segregate the drinkers from the non-drinkers (who we still need to meet) too much.  We decided to ditch the formal dining room, as the new extension would house a large table for dining and social gatherings and we had a small dining table in the new kitchen for family dinners.  The former formal dining room would now be opened up with bi-fold doors and connect to the new extension and become our bar.  So this is what we did:

Dining room Renovation - Before

Dining room renovatoin - The Changes

Dining room renovation - bifold door frame

Dining room Renovation - levelling floor

dining room renovation - level floor

dining room renovation - gyprocking

Next week, I’ll show you the inspiration behind the bar design and what finishes we selected to make it fit in with the style of the kitchen and formal lounge area.

If you would like to follow our renovation in other parts of our home, 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, Demolition day, Formal Lounge Room Reveal, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal.

If your home bar needs an update or you’re wondering where to install one, give us a call for some instant inspiration 🙂  We could give you a full bar design, selection of finishes, or assist you with a quick update for your bar as well as a cocktail making course (only kidding).

Cheerio ’til next time!

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Lyndie’s Formal Lounge Renovation – THE REVEAL

 

Lyndie's renovation first page reveal

I believe an awesome living room should leave people happier than when they first entered the space.  It should have an arrangement of furniture that would encourage conversation, reflects your personality and not be cluttered with pieces you no longer love.

Formal Lounge Before

In my previous blog about our lounge room renovation, you’ll see what our vision was for this area, as well as where we found inspiration for the decorating style.  Our lounge room desperately needed new flooring and an update in accessories.  We also wanted to create better flow from the entry and did that by removing the pillars and nib walls.  Most of the old furnishings in this room will be used in the new entertainment area extension.

Formal Lounge After

The colour scheme throughout the house was inspired by a painting by Karen Tabak, which we purchased at the Kings Art Show last year.  We decided to purchase sofas in a lighter colour, as the room needed a light and fresh palette.   There’s a large possibility that these sofas will be covered in plastic sheets before our red wine drinking friends arrive.  Some of them (you know who you are), might just be banned from the area entirely… 🙂

marble coffee table accent chair

No living room is complete without a few decorative items to make it feel homely.  I stuck to the colour palette and added a few quirky bits to complete the picture.  It was love at first sight when I spotted the slatted accent chair, which works perfectly with the Modern Country/Colonial theme.

removal of pillars in lounge room

The feeling of openness was finally achieved by removing the decorative pillars and low nib walls.  The view from the lounge room to the entry is now unobstructed and creates a better flow through this space.

View from Formal lounge to entry

Formal Lounge Renovation

Formal Lounge Renovation After

New timber flooring was installed throughout the first level and lends a wonderful warmth to the interior.  The pewter side tables were purchased in Berry in the Southern Highlands on a recent holiday and the table lamps we found on another scavenger hunt in a small town a number of years ago.

White sofa Abstract Painting

If you’re struggling to find your style direction or need help putting a room together, book a consultation today!  If you’d like to see how we renovated the other rooms in our home, 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, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal.

Cheerio ’til next time!

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How Lyndie changed her Formal Lounge Room

How Lyndie Changed her Lounge Room

Our front door opens up into an entry area and the first room to the left, is our formal lounge room.  Previously, this room connected to the formal dining area, where we usually hung out during winter when entertaining.

Lounge room before renovation

The room started looking a bit dark and dreary with dark leather sofas, dated carpet and accessories that looked a bit tired.  The pillars, which we disliked from the moment we moved in, didn’t add to the ambiance.  Pillars do have their place in society and fit homes from Georgian to Federal to Greek Revival to Italianate to Romanesque to Classical Revival.  They can provide privacy or create an ambiance of openness. In our house, they looked old fashioned and only created obstruction between the entry and formal living room, so they had to go.

Lounge room renovation plans

The other pillars, between the new bar area (old formal dining area) and formal lounge area, housed supporting beams, so we decided to encase the beams in 1m nib walls on either side of the room.  This plan was ideal, as cabinetry for the bar butted up against this new wall, but it also created a definite divide between the bar and formal lounge area.

lounge room pillar removal

The pillars and low nib walls were removed and we couldn’t believe what a difference that made to the space.  Luckily, our builders knew what they were doing and the ceiling didn’t come tumbling down!  Always check with your builder or structural engineer before removing any pillars or supporting walls in your home.

lounge room renovation process

We removed all skirting boards and architraves in the downstairs area and replaced it with a higher profile to suit the new style.  The old carpet was removed and solid timber yarrah floorboards installed.

Lounge room Inspiration Mood board

My biggest source of inspiration for this area was a painting we purchased at the Kings Art Show last year.  The artist is an ex-South African, Karen Tabac, who’s abstract landscapes focus on nature without human interference (which you’ll see in next week’s room reveal).   It fitted the new style of our home, which has Colonial and Modern Country influences, but also provided a fresh aqua and bottle green colour palette to take throughout the house.

If you would like see some of the other changes we’ve made to our home, follow these 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, Kitchen installation begins, Kitchen Reveal.

Don’t miss next week’s reveal!

Cheerio ’til next time!

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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.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
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.
hamptons style, hamptons decor, tips hamptons decor, beach style hamptons, decor blog hampton
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

 

 

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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!

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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
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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
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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
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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!

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What do Guests Notice First about your Home?

Let’s be realistic, most of us don’t keep our homes tidy 100% of the time.  We stress and fuss for hours before friends come over, very aware of any specks of dust or an unclean dish.  Today, I want to put your mind at ease, as friends notice different things to what you may think.  Here they are:

THE SMELL FACTOR

what guests notice blog candle
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You may have become “nose blind” to the smell of your dog, the garlic prawns you cooked the night before and the cupboard full of sweaty sneakers in your entry way, but your guests have not!  Make sure you close cuboard doors with offensive items and light a lovely smelling candle well before they arrive.

DRINKS ANYONE?

bar cart mirror
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Although all friends might not demand a mojito as soon as they enter the door, make sure you have the basics ready to soothe parched mouths.  Red and white wine, a few beers, a vodka chaser (my friends, not yours) and some soft drinks (for nobody I know) will settle even the most demanding of guests.

FRESH FLOWERS

what guest notice fresh flowers
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Nothing beats a vase of fresh flowers or a potted plant to detract from dust at your home.  A pretty orchid is a great investment as it lasts for months if you look after it well (the fake ones even longer… 🙂

LACK OF CLUTTER

Your guests will (hopefully!) not run their finger along skirting boards or look under your sofas.  What they will notice, is dirty dishes in your living room, jackets draped over sofas and magazines or books strewn over a coffee table.  Your visitors will not poke around uninvited through your home, so chuck all clutter into a room that can lock and throw away the key for the time being!  I’ve been known to hide dirty dishes in the oven (a special trick I learnt from my mother) and embrace the space in the garage.  My car hasn’t slept in it for months 🙂

TIDY BATHROOM

Your friends will need to use the bathroom while in your home, so make sure it’s tidy, clean and has enough toilet paper.  It should have a deodorising spray, as well as a privacy lock.  No one likes to cut off in mid stream when surprised in the bathroom.

ORGANISED ENTRY WAY

what guests notice organised entry
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It’s enevitable that you’ll have piles of shoes (especially when you have kids), sport bags, umbrellas, mail, keys, etc in your entry way.  If you don’t have a hall table with drawers or a shoe cupboard, find a good hiding spot (even if it’s under a bed) for everything, before guests arrive.  Create a space for guest to leave their umbrellas, jackets or shoes (which is not under the bed with all your stuff) when they enter the house.

Happy tidying!

Lyndie camera

 

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