Come on a journey of inspiration & adventure while renovate & restore a beautiful Victorian home 'St Elmo' in the picturesque Hunter Valley, Australia & laugh at a few of our family adventures along the way.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A dream house Update

Those that read my blog regularly would know that recently we suffered a devastating blow from our builder, where after months of telling us he could build to our budget, he came back to us with a quote

After much thought & discussion we have decided to do some research & planning toward becoming owner builders. The only part of building this house my dream guy can't do is the slab,brick work & plumbing. He is very clever like that. 
Austin Patterson Disston Architects traditional living room

The savings we could make would mean we wouldn't need to sacrifice those beautiful timber floors that I covet. My dream guy has laid timber floors before using the hidden nail method, Perfect!!!!
In order to do this we  will be spending the next 12months working towards ridding ourselves of any debt, we will also use this time to plan & research & we are allowing a 12 month time period to build.
Well, that is the plan at this point, things could change, but there is nothing to lose by looking into these things & taking time to save a little more.
Our neighbor is a draftsmen who went owner builder on his home, except he acted as more of a project manager. He didn't do any hands on labour & says he still saved money. His house took 9mths to build. My dream guy helped him out with a lot of things on the house site so he is more than happy to sit down with us & walk us through  the process, as well as draw up our plans. This is great!

Any advice or website recommendations on this matter would be greatly appreciated.

Sorry I haven't been around much this past week, my family & myself have been taken over by a monster virus & we are all very unwell, not much fun for the kids as it is school holidays here in OZ.

Have a lovely week everyone!

Trish xxx

All images via houzz

Friday, September 24, 2010

Twins for the kids

I have 4 children & at the moment 2 have their very own rooms, with queen size beds & two are sharing, but when we build everyone will be fortunate enough to have their own space.
 As anyone with kids knows, as they get older they love to have friends for sleep overs.
 How do you set up for the sleep over, do you have a roll out bed under your child's bed, a blow up mattress that tucks away in the cupboard or a set of twin beds in their room?
I thought I would live the luxurious way today & opt for the twin bed scenario, some a little more glamorous then others, after all,
 Dreaming is free!!!

This one has it all, canopies, pendant lights & tufted ottomans. Don't you just love the sunburst mirror.
Oh & that wallpaper!

image via Decor Pad
More beautiful canopies. Love the hot pink with white, very fresh.

Ive used this image before, I am a HUGE fan of black & white. There are quite a few different patterns used in this bedroom but because of the monotone clolourscheme it looks more striking than busy.
Pendant lights & sunburst mirrors in combination with bed canopies appears to be a popular theme.
This bedroom screams total luxury to me.
As far as my kids are concerned this room would only be entrusted to dream child No 2. She is a clean freak who likes her room to look beautiful  & in her words she is often "Editing her space", she likes to create a picture wall using the glamorous & beautiful images that you find on the pages of vogue, especially if it has a Chanel logo. She has a great eye & very expensive tastes for a 15yr old.
Mind you she has gone out & purchased Vogue from the age of 12 just to create these picture walls.

This one is very feminine & french, fit for a princess I say!

West Village Loft modern kids

A world map feature wall is definitely one of my all time favourite design ideas. I would love to be able to do something like this in my son's bedroom, which I know he would also be very happy with.

Malibu Mediterranean mediterranean bedroom
I like this sophisticated beach style, something a little different than your usual beach decor.

twin room traditional bedroom

Another fabulous boys room, a nice restful  traditional look. Just what most small men need to unwind !
Studio EA </P>
<P>David Hertz Architects Inc. modern kids

A great way to place these beds,  still leaving plenty of floor space for a great play area & all of that fantastic under bed storage makes for an easy clean up.

Does your kids bedroom match the vision you have for the space as well as fulfil the practical requirements for their age?

Have a great Friday everyone!

Trish xx 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

crafty kids

 Janette at My Sweet Prints recently did a post about this fabulous blog called Filth Wizardry

Lindsey, over at Filth Wizardry is a mum to two little girls & her blog is all about  art & crafts for preschoolers & she really has some fabulous activities to keep messy little cherubs occupied.

My little girl is a 3yr old craft obsessed, mess maker & we are constantly on the look out for new things to entertain her & feed her thirst for all things creative!!

She also likes to play dress ups, dance &  she sings the whole time she is doing something crafty...possibly the happiest girl on the planet!!!

Over at Filth Wizardry  Lindsey showed us how she made a fantastic bath time craft, by cutting shapes from sheets of thin foam. I was able to purchase a pack of 6 sheets for $2 at the supermarket & we have just started out with some very basic shapes & ideas. Lindsey has an awesome range for her kids to decorate with. All you need to do is wet the foam & it  temporarily adheres to the tiles.
We didn't just reserve it for bath time, it saved me from pulling out the paint box today, which means it saved me from a messy clean up as well..Thank you Lindsey!!!

My kids had a fantastic time...

They thought I was the cleverest mum on the planet!!!

The best part is that there is no major mess to clean up...YAY!!!!

My dream guy doesn't mind getting in on the act himself & decided to put to use a few Styrofoam boxes.

He worked with the kids to make a diorama that they could play with.
 Our 7yr old son loves his army style scene & was able to play with his toy soldiers in it, don't you just love the explosion!!!

He helped our 3yr old make this under water scene & added some shells he had collected whilst fishing, she loved helping on this project....
These are an on going play item that have entertained them both many times over the past few weeks!

On the messy side of fun, we have even dabbled in a little paper mache'

We did this one in the garage as it was EXTREMELY messy, but a tonne of fun!!

 Kids craft is a huge part of our world & we are always on the look out for some great new ideas.
Where do you go for crafty fun?

Trish xxx

Friday, September 17, 2010

Loving Roman Shades

 AB Home Interiors

A Life's Design

Good Life of Design

Decor pad

Cote De Texas

House of Turquoise

VT Interiors

Elle Decore

Every where you look you see these fabulous blinds.
 I have always loved Roman shades & I am seriously falling for them made from natural materials such as bamboo & sea grass.
A great way to add a little extra warmth into a room.
They also suit a range of decor styles & are budget friendly!!

Don't you just love them!

Trish xxx
P.S some of these images have been in my inspiration files for a while,so I'm not sure where I have collected them from. If there are any from your place let me know & by the way, I love your style!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bedside lights with a difference

Image via A page of Inspiration

I love the idea of pendant lights or chandeliers as bedside lights, something a little different to the usual lamp

I love how they leave the bedsides free to display something pretty...

Images via Decor pad

I love these lanterns for a touch of whimsy.

Source unknown

These pendants add a very elegant touch to a  formal bedroom, complimenting the extremely beautiful sunburst mirror, without over powering it.
I wonder if this is a guest bedroom or does someone out there have children that would love & respect such an incredible space.
I know my kids wouldn't, they like to add their own little style stamp to their bedrooms!!!

Nicky Hilton's bedroom

Image via Houzz

Very glamorous, what can I say...

 I'm really loving these Plume lights at the moment

They are available through Mercator lighting here in Australia.
I love a pair of these pendants for the bedside & the ceiling mounted version for over the bath in the ensuite, to connect the two rooms.

Image via Urban Farm girl

Here is one in action!

Do you have a chandelier or two in your bedroom?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Progress...What the!!!

I thought I was a little overdue for an update on the progress of the dream house
should I say lack of progress
We selected a builder whose work was of good quality & he was easy to deal with.
 After showing him our plans & inspiration images he assured us he had the time to build our house & it wouldn't be a problem to build to our budget...
4 months later we still have NO working plans from the architect, just a concept. Last week when we thought we would be receiving an exact costing to take to the bank, we got nothing more than an estimate cost.
This estimate also happened to be exactly 
The builder has gone on holidays for 2 weeks. No one in his nice, busy little office, is able to answer any of our questions, they are only saying "We will make an apt for you when he returns"

We just want to know
has this guy just waisted a huge chunk of our life ?
He sent us to make selections of materials, fixtures & fittings. We have designed the kitchen & bathrooms, all within the budget he allocated, so HOW can it possibly blow out by so much?

So for fear of this dragging out FOREVER we are now off to visit other builders, to get an idea as to whether or not the budget we have for this dream house is possible...
If not we will start looking at project homes to suit our sloping block

Time is ticking...
We thought our plans would be at least progressing through the building approvals department at our local council by now, instead we are still at square one!!!

The frustration!
Any way, there is no future in the past, so we will keep working on moving forward & see what results come from other builders & what answers we get from the current builder when he returns to HIS HOME after a mind clearing holiday!!!

Trish xxx


Friday, September 10, 2010

What can you do with Blue?

Some designers & colour consultants recommend that you take a peek into a clients wardrobe to get an idea of the colours they are drawn to, so, I thought I would assess my own  wardrobe to find my style.

As it turns out, I believe this experiment actually DOES reveal the whole colour story!!!
If you walk around my home you will see warm whites, creams, white, black, timber, silver & a dark  blue lounge.
Now peek into my wardrobe & you will see lots of black, varying shades of grey, white, a few brown things, a spattering if red & once again, blue...
As a child my favourite colour was blue...

Aaah! My blue lounge...
We have had this lounge for about 7yrs now, so style wise it is rather unattractive, but it is still in fantastic condition. We will use it in the kids activity room in our next house because it is easy to clean & very robust. Once they are older we will replace it with something a little more stylish
Does everyone with kids or pets, have that piece of furniture they would love to replace, but know its not worth it until the kids have been house trained ?
This was my  bedroom in my last house. When we first purchased this house I thought the carpet was fantastic & I have to admit it was great for hiding stains from the kids spills, but, I tired of it very quickly & found myself dreaming of something much lighter & a lot more neutral!!!
It became rather limiting when it came to decorating choices, dictating the colourscheme.

This was my lounge area, no TV & no colour...
Unfortunately I never got to finish decorating so I never had any art on the walls & I would have like some patterned cushions to soften the look.

I have also learnt that matching everything perfectly is why I could never get it to feel right. We had made the decision to move just after I started studying interior design so there was no point in spending anymore money decorating this one.

I really love my square dining table & I am torn between painting my next dining room in a warm white, you know the very safe & usual Trish colour, or should I step out of the box & go for something rich & dark, I do love the darker warm Grey's Or should I call it a dark greige?

This is definitely one of my most favourite dining room images floating around blog world of late!
I love the timber with the grey, its just a matter of finding the perfect shade to go with my chairs. Any suggestions appreciated!
So I guess what I am trying to say is as much as I love blue I think I would like to try adding in something a little different, perhaps to give my current neutral furnishings a bit of a lift!

How ever, I thought I should apologize for exposing you to  my dull decorating snaps by showing you some FABULOUS ways some stylish folk have used blue in their homes... 

dark blue and white eclectic entry

White is just a magical colour, no matter what you put it with, white always seems to make everything around it look spectacular.
Austin Patterson Disston Architects traditional living room

I love this room, especially the way the piping really gives the white couch a lift, not particularly kid friendly though !
Presidio Heights Residence traditional

Love the mix of stripes & mosaics in this bathroom

Image via A Tranquil Townhouse

A fabulous example of how to mix up patterns in a room & still have a fresh  & inviting space.
This is a skill I would love to master!

source unknown

This one hasn't only used pattern to add interest but also several shades of blue, I'm feeling inspired to decorate!!!

I really do love this basement!!

image via Apartment Therapy

Art is definitely one of my biggest decorating challenges, which explains why my walls always end up bare. I think the right art really adds the warm homely finish we all aspire to achieve when decorating.
 I just don't think I have an eye for it!

I am open to suggestion on this one!

Image via Willow Decor

I love this very masculine looking room, I think it would be lovely to sleep here & would also make a great space for a teenage boy or beach house!

The green rug really sets this bedroom off perfectly
. Very inviting...

This lounge has several of my favourite decorating elements
I dream of owning a tufted ottoman one day...
A striped rug is always very striking no matter what room you place them in...
I love the use of several patterns & textures, creating lots of interest in a very monotone colour scheme.
I think this lounge area screams WELCOME, come sit & relax...
What do you think?

Trish xxx

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