Monday, July 29, 2013

Our First Build

A few weeks ago I shared with you all my home, I opened the front doors to what we first lived in with the hideous wallpaper and curtains to what we now live in with lots of natural light and what I hope to be modern touches with a brand new kitchen and bathroom, please head over and have a look at what we did in our home by clicking this link.
 
After my husband and I had worked very hard renovating our house we thought it was time to move on to our next project, because well....I get bored very easily. The next project however was going to be a big one. We were lucky enough that when we bought our house the market had dropped so our house was a little bit cheaper than what we had expected to pay. We also chose our house specifically because it was on a large block of land and we knew it had subdivision potential. So as you can guess...our next project.....subdivide!
 
Now this sounds like it could be fun ...why not subdivide your block of land and build another house, how hard could it be right??  WRONG......on every level! If this is what you are thinking about doing, think long and hard and make sure you are ready, it is NOT easy, very time consuming and very expensive!!! Just to subdivide a block of land can set you back anywhere between $20,000 and $30,000 and that is without building anything or even putting it on the market. But if you can stick it out and finish it, it is worth every cent!
 
We had been planning this for quite some time so getting plans together which were exactly what we wanted took the most time. But...once we had those it went pretty quickly for us.
 
We sent out plans in to Council, had to make a few changes here and there, advertised our plans and notified all the neighbours, had a few complaints which we were expecting, got everything resolved and finally received our Planning Permit. We then decided to be very picky when it came to selecting our builder...after all we were going to spend a lot of money and effectively give them full access to our block for what we thought would be several months.
 
Most of our builders came through recommendations from friends and family, but we kept getting referred to one builder in particular. Figuring it would be worth meeting with him and getting a quote, we organised a time, discussed our options, received their quote, had a look at one of their display homes and were convinced that they were the right company, and well.....they were fantastic!
 
We gave them the go ahead on a Friday and organised to meet and sign the Contract on the following Tuesday. Much to our surprise they arrived bright and early Monday morning to get started! We hadn't signed or even paid our deposit...but this was definitely a sign of things to come. We had a complete home ready to move in with the Occupancy Certificate 10 weeks later. Yep you read that right, 10 WEEKS TO BUILD OUR HOME! And they did a brilliant job, see for yourself....
 
A beautiful entrance
 Entering into the lounge room
 Lounge looking into kitchen and meals
Storage and lots of it 
 Bedrooms 2 and 3
 Right near the main bathroom
 
 Master Bedroom with ensuite and walk in robe
 Backyard (excuse my hand and phone, I couldn't get a good photo without being in it)
 Dining looking out on the back decking, as shown above
Beautiful and big kitchen
Fully fitted with a walk in pantry!
We went to a lot of effort with this property when designing it, we had decided that spending a little bit extra now putting in the walk in pantry, the larger kitchen and the larger walk in wardrobe hoping it would be beneficial down the track. We put in the things that our current house was lacking, including a heap of storage!  There is not only a large storage cupboard as shown in a picture above (which by the way is the size of 3 sliding doors) but there is also another storage cupboard in the hallway (the size of 2 sliding doors). Considering my current home only has a single door storage cupboard it was a must in this new place.
 
In the first photo of the lounge room about you might have noticed that small windows.  There are 3 small windows in the lounge room that run across the front of the house. They face the driveway and are right next to the garage. This was another expert decision made specifically for this house. Our current lounge area has only 2 useable walls. We have a large open space/entry way taking up one wall, a large window taking up another wall, the left overs of an old fireplace which we covered with plaster to give us a wall to put our couch on and 1 other wall that we were lucky enough to be able to use. So think of that and think of where to put your furniture???
 
A pet hate of mine is when I walk into homes and the owners have decided that the best place for their couch or their bed or furniture is right in front of the window, blocking the natural light that would normally stream in and brighten the room.  In our house we have to do this and it frustrates me every time I walk into the room. We have a 3 seater couch sitting right in front of the window, unfortunately it was our only option with our furniture.  So in the new place I had to fix this, I had to give the occupants a few useable walls to make furniture placement easier and also help with the car head lights beaming in the lounge room every time someone drove down the driveway, so result.......half windows with block out blinds! Seemed logical to me and works extremely well.
 
Another very minor detail that we opted for in this home was several sliding doors. With the exception of bedroom doors and the main toilet and bathroom doors the rest of the doors in the home are sliding doors. This includes storage cupboards, ensuite, walk in robe, wardrobes, pantry etc. Whilst sliding doors are not the best looking doors that you can find on the market they are so practical that I don't know why more people aren't opting for them. The space that you lose with a normal hinge door is quite substantial when you consider it in a bedroom. If a wardrobe door is a hinge door you have to make sure there is enough room to open it completely and not knock into any furniture = lost space. Make it a sliding door and no space lost whatsoever. Now all they need to do is make them look much prettier!
 
We have now had tenants in the house for a few weeks who seem to be loving it. Hopefully those added extras are working well for them and will work well for us in the future. And sorry...I just realised how long this post is, hope you enjoyed sharing in our lives and will be very glad to share with you our next project.....our baby who is due in 14 days! Nursery decorating here we come!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Style Icons

Now I know my normal blog posts are all about interiors and styling, but I absolutely love fashion and make up. I like to think that I would be super stylish...... if I could afford it!

Now that I am on maternity leave, I have a lot more time on my hands to browse the web and dream about what I wish I could wear and purchase and admire my style icons.  Two of my favourite style icons would have to be Lauren Conrad and Blake Lively.

They are both such beautiful women and have the most amazing style.
 
Lauren Conrad got her break on reality television first appearing in Laguna Beach followed very quickly by the TV Producers and her ever growing fan base all the way to Hollywood starring in The Hills. Since then she is not only a very successful author of several books from novels to self help books, she has a great website with a regularly updated blog at www.laurenconrad.com and also has everything to do with fashion!
 
She is so amazing and so successful in her own right that I see her as a real role model. Apart from being absolutely gorgeous she can pull of pretty much any outfit she wants. Whether it be styling her winter warmers with this gorgeous coat and stocking combo. I love that she has paired it with black pumps and her signature waves.
 Or whether she is going for the more casual blouse and jeans she still looks fantastic.
 Or on the cat walk with this beautiful dress. She has the most amazing figure and style that I would love the spend a day in her wardrobe and with her stylists!
Then we have Blake Lively, who is not only a beautiful and sexy woman, but is married to RYAN REYNOLDS!! Could life be better for Blake?
 
Blake has been in many movies since she started her acting career back in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. She has spent several years mastering her brand on Gossip Girl and of course in more recent movies like The Green Lantern, Savages and The Town.
 
Just like Lauren Conrad she can pull of basically any style and would have the most amazing wardrobe and stylists to make any girl jealous. I absolutely adore this outfit. What seems to be a simple tank which probably cost more than my monthly wage is just beautiful paired with her pencil sparkle skirt, because......what girl doesn't love a sparkle skirt! Her simple stilettos also top the outfit off in the most elegant way.
This beautiful dress is so fun and the bright colour really works well for Blake with her hair and skin colour. If only I wasn't extremely pale I could make this work!
Even in her pop down to the shops look she is gorgeous. The sweater, hat and Christian Louboutin pumps are so stylish and perfect that I want to buy a ticket to NYC, jump on a plane tomorrow and spend all the money I have just to hang them in my closet.
Both Lauren Conrad and Blake Lively in my eyes are the most amazing stylish women that I really admire. Not only for their style but for their success and career paths. Lauren Conrad in particular is someone I would love to swap lives with. She is so well educated on all things fashion and style but also loves her interiors and has made a name for herself as an author. All the things on my bucket list!
 
So these are my style icons......who do you admire??
 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Home Office Revolution

Home offices used to be frown upon....not any more! Especially not when they can look like this....

Home based business are a lot more common than they used to be. Some bigger businesses are even allowing their staff to work from home as it can end up costing the company less. For every staff member working from home that is one less desk, chair and space that they need, simply give them a computer, a phone and sometimes pay for their Internet connection and you're done. I love working from home myself, no time wasted travelling to and from work, don't need to worry about being stuck in peak hour traffic, save money on petrol and of course it's comfortable. Who wouldn't like to work from home???
There are so many different home office styles to work with, it really just depends how much room you have to play with. This would have to be one of my favourites.....the compact office...
Most new houses these days have a small study nook or a dedicated office in the plans, but for those with slightly older houses it can become hard to find a good space for your desk that won't interfere with any of your bedrooms or living areas. Got a spare cupboard? Or a small area that really isn't being used? You don't need a big space or a big desk, as long as you can fit what you need it can be perfect for you. I love the idea of the office space in the cupboard, close the doors when you're done and you can be as messy as you like. If you do decide to go with a style such as this, please make sure that your desk is not as deep as your cupboard so that you have enough room to simply push in your chair and still close the doors. Otherwise you will be left with a random chair with no where to put it.
So you have a little bit more room for your home office...lucky you! Here are a few other options that you can play with. Experiment with them, se what works best for you and your family. The other thing to remember when you are getting setting up is who is going to use this space. Is it simply for the computer to have a space, which would not require much room, is it for the kids to play games, again no room needed, a teenager to do their homework, which would of course need a lot more desk space. The books they bring home from school these days are huge! Or a home based business which again would need a bit more room for the paperwork that always tends to follow the business owner.
 
The shelving is an amazing use of what would normally be wasted space. My shelves would be covered with design books, paperwork and a few decor pieces here and there but I love the way these are styled.
 Retro is back so why not head to a local market and see what you can pick up.
Although the chair does not look very comfortable, the black and white theme is incredibly stylish and simple that it could work in any room for anyone.
 I love this set up, so bright and colourful and full of life.
The dual office...simple yet stylish, small yet spacious. This looks to me like it would be a home based business office. I know if my husband and I shared an office space, both sides would be completely different. His decorated with memorabilia and messy paperwork, mine neat and tidy with some fantastic pops of colour!
Simple yet elegant. This looks like the kind of office space where you would be writing a book, the only thing you need is a nice big window just to your right so you can source as much inspiration as possible.
I know a compact office is on my list for my dream home, how about you? Share your office space with us and help our other readers find inspiration!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Wardrobes are a Girls Best Friend


Don't worry about the diamonds...you either already have at least 1 or they will come but every girl has a tonne of clothing and hopefully shoes, shoes and more shoes!!! So.....where to put them so you can be unbelievably organised and have everything easily accessible.....a walk in wardrobe! Not everyone has the pleasure and luxury of one of these in their homes, unfortunately I am one of those unlucky ones, but we can still dream......right?

There are so many different styles and set ups with walk in wardrobes these days that it can become hard to know what is going to suit you best. I always find stores like Ikea to be great as they have so many options and a whole floor full of examples for you to look at.
The prices for these fit outs can be a bit excessive but as far as I'm concerned, you would pay a lot of money to buy a house, so why not spend some of your hard earn dollars on a home for you clothes and some of your most prized possessions.
I love the style of this wardrobe above, the soft wall colours and light shelving really make the clothes to accessory. It is very simple but you can see everything with ease and with sliding doors it even looks quite deceiving and unexpected.
And for the opposite end of the scale, the darker shelving and walls. As you can see from this picture above some of the clothes blend in with the background, as do the shoes. I would find it difficult in a wardrobe like this to find exactly what I am looking for. You might really have to dig in to locate that little black dress.
The styling of this wardrobe is fantastic...a combination of both of the above styles. Light co,ours walls and furniture with dark shelving. The clothes still stand out and who doesn't need a lounge in their wardrobe. This one was a spare bedroom that the owners decided to turn into a wardrobe. Why not right??
I also absolutely love the rug and the colour separation...lights, darks and colours. Organisation is everything.
 I fell in love with this style as soon as I came across it. A beautiful mirror at the back, frames by shoes. I don't think the brown chair is really necessary but the pop of colour with the ottoman is great.  Similar to the wardrobe set up below, although the ottoman would have been great in a bright colour.
A wardrobe is not complete without a really funky light fitting, whether you opt for a chandelier, hanging pendant lights is just a simple shade they really finish the room.
 Or in this case.......a disco ball!
How can anyone go passed a wardrobe like this one! Absolutely amazing...no other words to explain it!

Love the colour coordination. This wardrobe is perfect for those with a small area. All you need is one row of shelving and complete organisation and here's what you end up with...
And don't forget about the men....whilst they generally do not have as much clothing or shoes as the ladies, they still like to indulge a bit and take pride in their appearance. So here are a few samples of men's wardrobes....these men have more clothes than I do!
 Have you got a fantastic wardrobe....share it with us. Head over to our Facebook page and tag your wardrobe, we would love to see it!

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