Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ah Home

around ours, at the mome(nt)

I hate those timber blinds. Anthony loves them, and although I've tried my very hardest to convince him to let me ditch them, he will not budge, so I'm stuck with the bloody (dusty) things!

(extra points if you've noticed our cowhide is looking a bit flasher than usual. It's a 'new' one, op-shopped for thirty bucks a couple of weeks ago. Its predecessor (the one I found on the side of the road not long after we bought this house) has been moved to our bedroom)

We are repainting the walls in this room (only two are papered. DON'T ask why! It'll stir up a hornets nest!) As I type, the first coat's drying. It's a tricky job because we have taken a leaf from Abigail Ahern* (she likes her colours dark), and chosen this:

which looks completely different on the walls. Much richer and darker.

Cutting in without getting paint on the wallpaper and trims has required the patience of a saint and the skill of an Old Master. Of which, I have neither! So far, so good though...touch wood.

pssst we are going shopping for something special for this room tomorrow, of the Danish/teak variety...To be continued.

Ficas Lyrata (Fiddle Leaf Fig) in West German planter
(those binds may be ugly, but they do make nice shadows)

Another Ficas and more detail of our plywood steps. I love those steps. We built them with the left-over bits of ply from my desk. They are wearing six coats of Tung Oil. Applied with a brush and sanded in between! Beautiful to walk on in bare feet. We are tempted to lay ply floors in the rest of this part of the house, but I think (hope!) we'll end up going with polished concrete which is a pretty good alternative (some things are worth splurging on, aren't they Anth?)

Here's a before pic
(from the real estate listing - it was not love at first sight!)

It looks much 'nicer' (and cleaner) than it did in real life too!
(there was an identical (and equally useless!) space on the other side of that wall before we pulled it down)
Btw, those curtains have gold cupids all over them!
And none of the windows opened or were made of proper window glass. Some of the panes, and I use that term poetically, were even broken.

Here's what it looked like sans carpet and wall, coat of white paint (no more custard Mel!), and the gap between steps patched up.

You can see where that wall used to be. We're stuck with the beams though, because it would cost a fortune to remove them. At first I hated them, but they've grown on me and I kind-of like them now.

We like to kid ourselves that we've got a bit of a warehouse thing going on is this part of the house (ha!). What we're trying to do is make the best of a series of bad cobbled-on extensions without going into debt in the process. 
Now, want to see something really ugly???


is our bathroom door. We have to stick a screw driver in a hole where the knob used to be (before it fell off!) to open it.

(it has a matching window! It doesn't open either)

But don't worry, it's going.

I've told Anth, it's goodbye door (and window), or goodbye me!
I'll show you what's behind the door another day, when I'm feeling's pretty bad. Disgusting is a word that gets bandied around here, revolting, and (my fave) repulsive, are others.

On a happier note, here's what my Ficus are going to look like when they're all grown-up

nice eh?

pic from Decorating with Indoor Plants, A Sunset Book, published 1980.

(if you ever see old Sunset Books on your travels, grab them. The pics are great and they're full of handy info - especially if you like a bit of retro in your house and garden)


* Gosh I like the way she writes, and her design philosophy - basically she throws all the 'rules' out the window - I like that too (but I'm still not keeping that door!)
p.s. and on plywood ?



  1. I lOVE seeing photos of your home. What a transformation Kylie, I really like the colour, the wallpaper, the new rug and the ply floor looks amazing! We have wooden blinds too left in one room, they are dusty as hell too. Is the bathroom door real leadlight? It is very 80's chic..haha

  2. Ooh its looking fantastic-im mad for your desk area and love the ply on the floor. Very much looking forward to seeing how your dark walls turn iut-our dark grey dining room walls have been a triumph and so im totally sold on dark colours now (and darks look amazing with wood, and teak in particular dont they!). You kniw someone would prob. Love that door and window-you should try selling them x

  3. Great pics and what a groovy space you are making. Oh yes, those stained glass windows, and in your unfortunate case a DOOR! They were so popular in the 80's people thought they were really arty and creative putting them in. It probably cost a fortune to have made too. I had a moon and sun over my door at the time (not my choice), barf. Your challenge will be to think of something worthy to do with the door once removed. Garden feature? A cowhide for $30 in an oppie? I hate you.

  4. Looks like you are making great progress! It seems like such an interesting space. Looking forward to more pics and updates and you go : ) xx

  5. Love having a nosey around bloggers homes, thanks for the guided tour Kylie.

  6. A lovely little insight into your home.
    That is an amazing price for the cow hide. You easily pay $500+ for new ones.
    The yellow, grey, timber combination is a winner.

  7. You have a super-stylish home, Kylie - immaculate taste, darling!
    I do a love a nosy around, even though it makes our shabby-not-chic home look embarrassingly... Well, shabby. And untidy. And so not stylish. Oh well.
    The wall removal and the step look wonderful, and I like the blinds - just get your feather duster on them! You have such a good eye for furniture and decorative pieces, and it all looks so calm and uncluttered and beautiful.
    1980s stained glass, hurrah! That door isn't so bad, I have definitely seen more garish examples, and I'm sure your commenter above is right, bet it cost a fortune. We have a stained glass panel saved from above our front door when we replaced it - I think it's contemporary with the house (1898) and one of these days I will get it cleaned up and put on a wall somewhere. It's very art nouveau but rather fragile. xxxxxx

  8. I'm slightly dumbstruck by those pictures. Your house is so gorgeous. Now I get the bit about studying interior design. I need to look up Babette Hayes. I know Abigail Ahern and I love her use of dark colours.

    I love the way you have opened up the space, I'm actually finding it a bit tricky to compute what you have done with what you had before, it looks so different. What vision you had! Your plywood floor is beautiful and I bet it does feel lovely underfoot. I can only admire that you sanded after each coat. I like the beams too.

    I fancy a cowhide for where I do my blogging in the seating area by the kitchen/dining room, but the man of the house objects. You have a real knack with house plants. They look integral to the overall design. I can't really do them. xxx

  9. It is great when things start to come together and you feel you can really call a place home! How many coats of oil on the step ... wow, that's a back-breaking job!!!!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  10. I loved seeing the before and afters of your home, Kylie. Curtise is damn right about you having fabulous taste. Love the cow hide - what a bargain. I made one once upon a time for Isabel's bedroom when she was little with some cheapo faux fur and a felt backing! xx

  11. Tonight T and his Dad are going to view a fixer-upper garden flat with a view to buying if it doesn't prove to have crazy damp or structural issues. And when I say fixer-upper it has a garden like a jungle and about 1/4 of a kitchen. I love, love, love the before and afters in your place because it always makes me feel that it really IS possible to bring around something neglected and make it your own! :-)

    Jem xXx

  12. Oh I like a little nosy about too. I love the wall map so much. Where did you get it from? Would you believe years ago when I worked in a country school a stack of old maps were thrown out! I love these peeks of your home. Oh about the lead light...I agree that there might be someone who will love it. You know the saying 'one mans trash is another's treasure'.

  13. Love the reno...I especially love the idea of a ply wood floor...we are in a tussle about what flooring to put through our house...the dead carpet has to go....thanks for the peek into your beautiful home. xxx

  14. Oh it's starting to look gorgeous Kylie, you're so good at this. I actually like way the wooden blinds look - we had some in our old flat, and yes, we chose them - but I will agree that they are the devil's own doings to dust. So probably not all that practical. They were loads better than the 'manky 80s high street solicitors' blinds we had before though (those vertical grey fabric ones held together with plastic bobbley things).

    How do you keep everything so minimal? I reckon someone else would love that door, try selling it (or leaving it by the road for another blogger ;-) )

    I adore the cowhide and dark grey walls (it wasn't attached to a cow when you found it by the road was it??)


  15. Kylie, I'm so utterly impressed with what you' ve achieved in your house, it looks amazing! So do your further plans, such a treat to follow! I love that living room of yours, that wallpaper is just stunning! I'm looking forward to seeing how that color turns out on your walls and that something special you're getting, please post about it! And don't even get me started on your plywood stairs.... They're beautiful!!

  16. Ahh, your house is reminding me of my grandparents house so much! In a good way! The cow hide, the curtains. Staring at that first pic is bringing me lots of memories, thanks! Oh and plate arrived today..I LOVE IT! Thankyou so much!xx

  17. Oh little miss. That door to your bathroom, my mom put stained glass in the front door in the 80's. Seriously. And I think I can find the old Sunset books for you. I doubt she will miss them. I really like the way your room is turning out. Very urban cowboy chic. Was that the look you were going for? I like these posts where we bare our souls. At least you purchased yours to fix up and didn't do it to the house yourself, like me.

  18. Yep, that door is truly repulsive (could it sell on ebay?), the ply floor more than makes up for it though. Love the before and after, we need a floor plan now. Gold cupids, we had brown net curtains in the bedroom, I wish I had taken a pic. You guys are going great!

  19. Wow, so much to like at your place Kylie! I hate venetians too but gee that is gorgeous that first pic with the light coming into that very cool room. All that pattern and texture is giving me palpitations. And your ply stairs, my god what a transformation, you guys are amazing. Now the bathroom door, well that is on par with my custard walls, how on earth do you stop yourself gagging every time you need the loo? Mind you I'm with Lea, I reckon someone would snaffle it up on ebay. mel x

  20. I have Ficus, Plywood envy! Great reno's going on! xx

  21. You have such a wonderful house. Wouldn't it be good to have a blog where you photographed 'normal' families homes and showcased their 'normal' grooviness. I follow a couple of OS blogs that do that, but I can't think of an Australian version.

    You're not getting rid of that wallpaper are you? It looks pretty funky.

    I'm also interested in the plywood idea. I'm going to ponder that now ...

  22. Oh such style.... such taste....coming together nicely i'd say?
    we are just starting on our sitting room.
    I say we actually I mean 'he' (oh it all takes so long.....)

    Kylie just to say thannks again for sending me the big eyed dog pic, i really do adore him!
    Daisy j x

  23. Oh but I love your door! I bet there are other peeps who'd like it too and pay good money for it - so maybe sell it?

    Your sitting room is so grown up and smart..sophisticated....ours is squashy and messy and very English.

  24. Sunset books are the best!!! Love the 70s decor and styling.

  25. My you did have a lot of yellow to deal with on those walls didn't you! Custard yellow, and, ah, sunshine (?) yellow. It must have been so very hard to cover up, and a challenge even for Abigail's Namadji, which looks absolutely gorgeous. Your handsome Italian vase, is a fabulous op-shop find. Amanda x

  26. I can't believe you didn't keep the curtains with the gold cupids on them!
    Your house looks VERY stylish! x