18 November, 2018

Alfresco Transformation & Inspiration

When I look back at the before pictures of our alfresco renovation, I can hardly believe it is the same space!

The planning and designing began, as usual, with Pinterest.  I also took time to think about how I wanted to feel when we used this space and also what function did we want it to provide.


Note the location of the outdoor toilet, compared to the AFTER photo of the alfresco

The look we decided on was a Sunday Session, beachy vibe.  I wanted it to feature, chunky wood framing, honed white concrete, matte black bi-folds, white slat wall, speakers to play beachy tunes, lots of natural light, especially to the inside and cactus – which is the perfect plant for a family friendly alfresco!

The transformation happened slowly, too slowly but we’d had a couple trade hold ups and we had hit a massive renovation brick wall.

Once the bi-folds were installed, we’d gotten to that stage where we didn’t want to spend every night and weekend renovating.  It was all functional and most importantly, there was no dust!  

We had reached that dangerous stage where a renovation is most likely to stall - we got comfortable and slowly, slowly we didn't even really notice we were living in a half-done-reno, although our family reminded us, every time they visited! 

A side note on the bi-fold servery window - I had been intending this window to act as a servery from the kitchen through to the alfresco.  I wanted a seamless Caesarstone bench top, without a track through the bench top.  I had organised a window installer to do the job and then at the last minute realised that they weren't able to install the servery window without the bench top track.  So, it was back to the drawing board.  Luckily, I found The Perth Window and Door Company who were happy to install a top hung door, minus the counter track. I was so relieved as I had rang around to numerous companies who weren't able to do it this way.

Back to the construction site - Finally we realised two things -  i). a whole year had gone by without any progress & ii). I was pregnant with Elliott and I didn’t want to spend those early, lazy post pregnancy days living in a construction site.

We decided to put the tool belts back on and get it finished.

The first step was to get the concrete slab laid – we opted for honed concrete.  Our concrete was supplied by WA Premix and I would highly recommend them if you’re in Western Australia.

Next was the patio.  I knew I wanted a really chunky look with big wooden sleeper beams and a really substantial fascia to the alfresco but without the substantial price tag!

We used Tim Keogh from Perth Precision Construction.  He understood what we wanted straight away and came up with amazing suggestions to help us get the look that we were after.  I loved everything that he did from the big beams, chunky fascia, big boxed out skylights & horizontal panelling.

Once the patio had been constructed, it was time for the finishing touches.  We had planned Elliott’s Christening at our house and luckily we did, as I could feel the "we’re-going-to-take-another-year-off" vibe starting to set in again.  Paul & I both work really well under pressure and it was just what we needed to knock this job off.  We worked until 1am for a week or so to get the painting and final touches all sorted.

We decided to paint the whole area in Dulux Lexicon Quarter which is a bright, crisp white. We originally  tried Lexicon but it gave off a really blue hue so I’m glad we did a lot of test patches!

Another difficult decision was whether to paint one of the walls with Mon Palmer’s collaboration with Bauwerk Lime Wash Paints in Malibu.  Now, I’m a black and white (with a touch of gold) girl, so it took a long time to decide but I’m so glad as it add the pop of colour that this area needs.    

Finally, time for my favourite part – pulling it all together and styling.  I found an outdoor lounge on sale at Segals and ran around Kmart Australia to buy decorator pieces including pots, towel hook, crochet wall hanging, bar stools, cushions, decorative pots and a naughts and crosses game.


I hope you enjoyed our before and after images and hope this post gives you inspiration to carry out a renovation or even just a Kmart haul redecoration project at your place.

23 August, 2016

DO IT YOURSELF // Over Sized Round Mirror Statement for Under $200



I want to share an area of my house that was causing some unease.  You know that spot in your house that isn’t really a spot.  Not quite a nook, not really space but a blank area that just needed....something.  

It’s the internal wall where our bi-fold doors stack when they are open, so I needed a versatile solution, nothing too heavy or permanent.

I popped into Gogo Furniture and spotted the Replica George Nelson bench and knew it was exactly what I had been looking for.  The colour, style, the size all fit and for a bargain price of $259 for the medium bench.

When we put it together, it looked great but obviously the area wasn’t finished.  I jumped onto pinterest to see how other people had styled their George Nelson bench. Of course, I was drawn to the bench/oversized round mirror combo by megtimjakebay (below) from instagram.  Pinterest link here 


The picture instantly reminded me of a heap of images of oversized, round mirrors that I had recently pinned on Pinterest which I wanted to incorporate into our renovation as some stage. Check out my Pinterest boards here .

1. The Design Chaser Blog - the home of Hanna Wessman
2. Decorfacil.com
3. Minosa Design
4. Image via Laurel & Wolf Blog

I literally went down to my local mirror/glass shop, Fremantle Glass that same day to get a quote for a round, 1 metre in diameter mirror.  Before I knew it (less than 3 hours!), they delivered it - all for the bargain price of $200.  

I asked their advice about the black tubing surround for the mirror edges.  They
 showed me some tubing that was exactly what I needed.  

It was 4mm window glazing rubber to fit my 4mm mirror.  So in less than four hours, I had the completed mirror ready to be hung.

Hanging it was a bit of a challenge which luckily wasn't my department.  We considered a couple of methods including:

  •      Glueing it directly on to the wall but we didn’t like the permanency of this   
  •      Spring loaded mirror clips – nope
  •      French Cleat method - nah
French Cleat Method

We ended up using liquid nails to stick a wooden piece to the back of the mirror.  

One piece at the top and a piece at the bottom for stability.  We then screwed a wire into the wood to form a loop which we hung on a screw in the wall.  
Simple !!

I think the finished look is exactly what I was looking for and it all came together really quickly - just as I like it.

If you have any questions on making your own oversized, round mirror - drop me a line.  

20 October, 2014

Instagram for dummies // the beginning of my love affair....

Ok, I'll admit it.  I never really understood Instagram...there I said it.  

Don't get me wrong, I love a good Hefe filter as much as the next girl but I didn't really, you know...get it .... and don't get me started on hashtags #zeroclue!  The bigger Instagram got, the less I understood and the further away I stayed ....until recently.

So, I'm a Pinterest girl and along with the rest of you, I like facebook too.  But I get them.  You upload a photo, connect with your family and friends, at home and overseas, you chat, you like. Yup I get it.  

Ohhh Pinterest, my dear Pinterest - I will ALWAYS have a soft spot for you....a place where I can organise all of my favourite web images (with the original weblink), by category of my choice...it's an OCD persons idea of heaven-in-a-website.  I pull out my Pinterest daily; at the hairdresser, the cabinet makers & even the supermarket for ingredients for a new recipe.  Visit my Pinterest boards here

So, back to Instagram.  I started to get a feel for Instagram by jumping in and observing...who am I kidding...I asked A LOT of questions so I'd like to thank my gorgeous friends who helped steer me in the right direction (YES I even understand hashtags and probably use too many!) and kicked off my love affair with Instagram. Check out my Insta-spiration:

Rose Grandile Pizzi - Click to see more or follow her @rosegrandilepizzi

Melissa Rossi - Click to see more or follow her @Melr03

Amy Day - Click to see more or follow her @daisyree

I started seeing my friends gorgeous images, taken with a humble iphone and got inspired.  With the evolution of this blog, I realised that Instagram was an awesome way to connect with the community and my favourite brands with the click of a button and also to get new traffic to my site. But you don't have to have a blog or a shop to enjoy Instagram, there are literally hundreds of communities within Instagram in which you can watch, follow or interact with.

I'll give you two examples

If you go out to breakfast in #freo or #fremantle, then people who search #freo will find your picture. They might be inspired by your granola and maybe visit the @cafeinfreo that you tagged in your post.  If you add the #breakfastinperth, then you may even be featured by @breakfastinperth.

My husband and I often browse this hashtag for inspiration on where to go to breakfast or places to add to the list!  Are you following?

The second example is photo challenges and one of my faves is @fatmumslim
Chantelle Ellem runs this really popular challenge and there is a massive community of people who join in each day.  Basically, to play along you need to upload a picture that fits the theme of the day and add the hastag #fmsphotoaday.  Everyday Chantelle features her Fab Four with kudos to the photographer

So a couple tips before you jump on in:

1. Connect with your favourite brands and celebs: think @Beyonce, @Victoria Beckham, @Country Road @RealLiving Mag 

2. Edit your photos, you'd be surprised the life that the sharpen tool alone can bring to your images

3.  Use free photo editing apps like VSCOcam & Snapseed...dont forget the hastags #vsco #vscocam #vscocamphotos or #vscokids 

4. Forget the filters - i know its tough but somtimes less really is more

5. Forget the random hashtags or keep them to a minimum eg: #ohmygodilovemykidssomuchtheyarethebest

6. Join some communities, here are a couple to browse during your lunchbreak: @nothingisordinary_ @todays_simplicity @lovelysquares

I hope this blog post has inspired you to give Instagram a shot, even if its just to sit back and enjoy the view....you may find a flash sale on your favourite brand or even find a funky new cafe in your area.

Be sure to follow me and I'd love you to share any of your #toptips  Do you have any favourite people to follow? or favourite communities to recommend?