Sunday, November 7, 2010

Living vicariously

Apologies again for being a terrible blogger, between quitting my job and starting somewhere new, my life has been a bit hectic to say the least! It also means that all my inspiration to have my garden looking gorgeous has all but gone out the window!

In the mean time I've been helping my parents around their place and living vicariously through their zhoosh-ing of their home. The most recent task was updating their bathroom... now for the record this bathroom was renovated at least 15 years ago, so it definitely needs to be completely redone. However, for the interim, the decision was made to paint it black and add a chandelier which Mum has lying around the house (as you do...). Let me know what you think of the results.

PS - damn bathrooms are hard to photograph, especially when they are this tiny!

The Befores:

As you can see the bathroom is relatively plain and in a somewhat traditional style - black and white floor tiles laid diagonally, white wall tiles with black feature tiles. The mirror needs to be replaced and the pedestal sink is a little outdated.


Picking a paint colour (and making sure we were happy with such a bold choice!). We ended up using "black orbit" which is a British paint colour if I recall correctly. When it's wet it looks navy, but it dries darker. It's not a pure black, but is pretty close.


Ta da! OK we aren't 100% finished, as you can probably see the door and door frame needs to be painted and there are some finishing touches to be added. Mum is thinking of putting some black and white prints on the wall and possibly putting a black frame around the mirror. I'll keep you posted.

Overall we are really happy with how it's turned out. It makes for a pretty dramatic statement to say the least! When we were picking out the paint the chick at Bunnings half-scared me by suggesting that it would be too dark. But by keeping the ceiling white and having the white wall tiles - it's enough to balance out the black and make for one interesting bathroom.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The best laid plans...

I had the most productive weekend planned... I was going to paint my newly rendered courtyard walls and plant the garden, buy some pots and funky plants and start painting my outdoor furniture.

So what did I actually get done? Well my walls are painted:

I ended up going with a taulbmans colour called "Hamstead" (but due to some major tinting issues when getting sample pots, I ended up using British paints and getting it colour matched). For reference, it was the upper right colour from my previous post.

As for the rest of my "to do" list... what can I say? I got a better offer. A friend took some of us over to Rottnest Island on his boat to watch the AFL grand final (version 2.0). I have to say I was personally much more interested in enjoying a day out in the sun as opposed to the footy.

Photos taken on my iPhone and made to look pretty using the "Polarize" app.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I'm in my own personal hell

I'm surrounded by 30-odd paint swatches, 5 sample pots, a dulux colour brochure I've pulled to pieces so I can hold the colours next to one another and analyse them in greater detail... I've been to Bunnings twice due to the lack of ability of the 12 year old working in the paint section to correctly tint my sample pots... and I'm no closer to an answer!

What colour do I paint my walls?!?!

(Click on the picture for a larger view).

OK to start out I'll say that I totally hate the colour on the left, it looks lavender (in my defence it looked grey in the colour chart)... so I think I've narrowed it down to one of the darker colours. I'm not sure whether to go with the more brown based colour (upper far right) or grey based colour (lower far right).

You can see a tiny hint of a light grey I tested (very bottom of the picture, to the right of the pole) - another one that just didn't work, since it was far too light. The one major advantage of the darker colours is they seem to hide the imperfections on my walls... which, having regard to my DIY rendering skills is a bonus.

As always thoughts, comments and suggestions are always appreciated. I will be painting tomorrow so decisions must be made!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I Rue You

I was so excited to stumble across a new online magazine "Rue". Not only is it totally gorgeous and available online for free, it's first issue features the home of one of my favourite bloggers - Victoria from sfgirlbybay.

Here are some images of her amazing home. I just adore how she uses the blank canvas of black and white walls to frame her ever-changing collections.

*Sigh* - I think I just died and went to interior design heaven reading Rue.

As a side note, does anyone happen to know where that bedspread with the birds on it is from? I'm in love and think I need to have it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rendering - the after shots

As promised yesterday, here are some after shots of my DIY rendering skills. Take that silly renderer who promised he could do the job on Saturday and then conveniently ignored all my calls and messages to confirm what time he was coming!

I still need to sand back some patches to even things up, but I think she will look beautiful once she's had a lick of paint.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What I did this weekend...

For those of you who are lucky enough to reside in WA like me, I hope you enjoyed the gorgeous sun-filled long weekend that was. My weekend was rather productive, as well as visiting my gorgeous friend and her beautiful new born bub, I rendered my courtyard.

OK, it's technically only 2 walls of the courtyard and I had a lot of help from my wonderful Mum... but who's into the semantics? I know you all want the gory DIY photos.

If anyone out there is thinking of DIY-ing... it's bloody hard work. I got quotes from a number of tradies but apparently no-one was prepared to take on such a small job (especially given the quotes I was receiving were in the range of $400-$700 for 10sqm!).

After chatting to someone at Bunnings I decided to give a certain product a try... I won't mention the name on here because in all honesty I thought it was terrible (email me if you want to know the name). It is aimed at the DIY market and you are meant to be able to apply the render using a special textured roller. Perhaps it was my technique, but despite making the render according to the packet, trying a thicker mix, trying a thinner mix it just wouldn't go on the wall the same way as in the instructional DVD. In any case, I have a Simpsons quote ala Radioactive man in my head... "the rollers, they do nothing" (as opposed to goggles).

In the end I applied render the old-fashioned way using a rectangular trowel. Here are some shots of the first coat of render (yep, rendering is messy!):

Here are the shots when the first coat was pretty much dry. As you can see, the outline of the bricks was still visible after the first coat. (I should note the product I used was designed to be applied in two coats to ensure full coverage).

I still need to take some photos of the second coat of render, so stay tuned for more... In the meantime I get to analyse the 30-odd paint swatches I picked up over the weekend and try to decide what colour to paint my pretty.

Oh... and I really need to get around to planting my plants. My collection seems to have grown exponentially and I'm yet to plant a thing! I guess there's always next weekend...

(Ignore my washing in the corner of the next shot... that corner of my garden is nice and sunny!).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Operation ugly courtyard - stage one

Step one of (trying to) make some improvements on my front courtyard was the tackle the problem of the ugly cream paving.

I was going to borrow a high-pressure cleaner from a neighbour. Unfortunately I was pipped at the post as they had recently lent it to another friend.

Down but not out, I ventured off to good ol' Bunnings to see what advice they could give me. The gentleman working there recommended that I give "30 seconds" a try.

Here are the essential ingredients if you're thinking of trying this for yourself:
(a) A broom (this is important if you have a lot of moss - you'll be scrubbing more than Cinderella);
(b) A sprayer (I picked up a cheapie which is meant for spraying plants, you could just use a watering can); and
(c) The product.

The whole process was exhausting! But I'm pleased with the results. To give you a brief summary of what's involved I first diluted the product with water and sprayed it over the affected areas. I then did a bit of initial scrubbing to start the cleaning process and then left the product for about 20 minutes. When I came back I made another small bucket of the diluted product which I dipped my broom into. This allowed me the chance to add more product on those tougher areas. A lot of scrubbing later, I rinsed the product off my paving.

Here's a before shot (you can see the difference in the bricks from the areas which are sheltered and those that aren't).

Here's the after shot - as you can see, it isn't perfect but it has come leaps and bounds from where it was.

A final note - for anyone who's planning on DIY-ing, 30 seconds is a bleach-based product. This means you have to be careful - wear some old / ugly clothes and if you have plants nearby, it would be best to wet the garden bed before applying the product. This should help to ensure that any product run-off is diluted and doesn't kill your plants.