February 2012

Finally, a room tour post!

It’s been such an emotional coaster ride setting up our new home: the excitement, the stress, the exhaustion, the adrenalin and – ultimately – the fun! To me, setting up a new place is all about turning an empty box into an actual home, and transforming an empty space into an actual room. Even though these two months have been crazy, I feel this is exactly what we’ve managed to do with our new home, and Rick agrees with me!

I wanted to kick off the room tours with Jamie’s room because, well, he’s a special little guy and his room is one of my favourites. You might remember, this is what his old nursery looked like (well, bits of it anyway). I wanted his new room to be a ‘big boy’ room: fun and colourful with a slight eclectic feel and with pieces of decor that could be used in other rooms of the house down the track. I also wanted to use furniture that we already had.

First up, we kept the Hensvik change table/cabinet by Ikea (shown above). This has proven to be a good little change table for us, and I can picture us keeping it for some years to come. Even though its colour is white, it does give off a somewhat girly vibe because of the curved, um, bits at the top. So I tried to make it more boyish by using an old Vittoria Coffee tin for storing the plastic nappy bags and by snapping up a deep red planter pot from Bunnings to replace the very pastel-coloured bin we were using before.

My initial idea was to stick old pages from vintage books onto the back panel to fill up the empty white space. However, for the sake of time, energy and my sanity, I decided to keep the number of DIY projects to a minimum (when you have three boys under three, opting for efficiency and sanity is a no-brainer). Instead, I picked up the ‘Bonjour’ sign from Bed, Bath & Table on a whim one day and, in my opinion, it completes the space perfectly.

The delightful bunting is from Paint Robot and was originally purchased for the other boys’ room but it works beautifully here to add interest and colour to an otherwise bare wall.

This is the view from the entrance into the room. Even though the window isn’t that big, the room still gets a good amount of light.

This room started out with just the Boori chest of drawers (on the left), the Ikea Tullsta armchair and the dark brown cot. Add to that the slight latte colour of the walls and the dark brown carpet, you can imagine how desperate I was to add some colour in order to inject some life and vibrancy to the room.

The replica Phillipe Starck Aha Prince Stools were the first things I tracked down. I really wanted them in yellow and was close to giving up when I discovered that Life Interiors did yellow ones! I ordered a pair because I didn’t think that a single one would sufficiently fill the space, plus I was confident there were at least three or four other places around the home where I could use one. That’s one of my key tips in home decorating – if you’re ever unsure about anything you’re purchasing online, always have one or two other backup uses for it!

The vintage red Planet lamp was from my old studio (purchased from Explore the Kerb when we moved into our last place), and the crochet blanket was from eBay. I have to say, you will be seeing at least a couple of other crochet pieces in the other room tours. It’s an easy and classic way of adding colour to an armchair, couch, bed or even – the floor!

Speaking of floors, I’m still patting myself on the back for finding this awesome rug from Crate & Barrel! (Yes, my fellow Aussie friends, Crate & Barrel ships to Australia and might I add that the shipping charge for this rug was only like $30.) The unconventional stripy design was exactly what I was looking for, and the colour palette was irresistible. Word of warning though – this rug is more purplish than it appears online and also the rug feels a bit rough, like hemp. I was slightly disappointed by this at first but Rick convinced me that it simply made the rug more suitable for a boy’s room. Men and their logic.

Of course, no kiddo room would be complete without some beloved soft toys! Clockwise from top left: Nino the horse (he actually neighs, which for now freaks out Pete and Jamie so sadly Nino doesn’t get ‘ridden’ a lot); Monkey, Rick’s oldest friend (he’s had it since he was 0-1!); Jamie’s teddy; and Woof Goes the dog and Flappy Ears the dog, both given to Angus when he was born and both named by Rick. The red cross cushion is from A Cushy Number, and the union jack cushion is from Table Tonic. The alphabetical artwork on the chest of drawers is the ubiquitous OLUNDA picture from Ikea, which comes already framed.

And last but not least, the ‘Keep calm, go to sleep’ canvas art was one that I designed myself and printed through Cheap Canvas Prints. Originally the words were going to be ‘Home, sweet home’ but Rick was absolutely adamant that we didn’t use that phrase (I still don’t understand why). So I thought I’d jump on the ‘Keep calm’ bandwagon and give our little man an essential piece of advice: to go to sleep (and most of the time, he does do this very well, bless his cotton socks).

Well, that wraps up our first room tour. Hope you enjoyed it – more to come!

Big love

Today started off with this:

So that’s pretty cute in my opinion. I’ll have you know that Jamie’s not always that happy sitting on the floor. Correction: he’s almost never that happy sitting on the floor nowadays. Being eleven months and all, he’s at that stage where he wants to be on his feet and be in the middle of all the action but sadly he can’t stand up by himself yet so needs what I like to call a ‘propper’ – ie. me or Rick or any available grandparent. Unfortunately for Jamie, said parents are usually running around getting milk or taking out the dirty nappies so the poor thing is stuck sitting on the floor a lot. Discontent and screaming, I might add. We still love him big time though.

After lunchtime, the boys went down for their naps and I drove off in our little green Corolla and headed up to Avalon Beach. (At this point, alarm bells are probably ringing in your heads. Relax – my wonderful mother-in-law was back at home with the little ones. If no alarm bells went off, shame on you.)

It’s so bizarre that I’ve lived in Sydney for some twenty-five years now and yet this is the first time that I’ve actually explored the northern beaches. It is seriously a beautiful place here.

Here’s proof:

Anyway, as I drove up Pittwater Road with the ocean on my right, I almost felt like a glamorous movie star cruising around sunny California with oversized 50s sunglasses and a silk bandana protecting my hair from the wind. Only difference being that my Corolla is no convertible and I looked nothing like a glamorous movie star. But still.

Once parked, I contemplated a snooze in the car (and indeed I tweeted about this as I thought everyone should know that I was contemplating #asnoozeinthecar) but after several minutes of discomfort, I decided I wasn’t falling asleep but my tummy was getting hungry.

So I went here:

Awesome, right? I mean, is there anything cooler than a gigantic chalkboard combined with picture perfect handwriting? If we were to ever own a house, I think I would seriously consider painting one entire wall with chalkboard paint. Thank you, Frank. (Funny that, because the barista’s name was Richard.)

Next to Frank’s cafe was the Mark Tuckey Home store. My goodness, it was filled with all sorts of eye candy. In particular, a bright yellow vintage typewriter made me swoon while some vintage-saris-turned-bedspreads almost made me abandon our white colour scheme in the bedroom. With all my willpower, I walked out with only a small notebook o-check notebook (this one in fact) as well as a sweet birthday card for Rick.

When I finally got home, it was time for some outdoor play with all three boys which, yes, involved me propping up the littlest guy. He doesn’t let up, that one. Fast forward through dinner and bathtime (and a lot of tidying and cleaning), I finally got to sit down in the boys’ room for two minutes before the little guys trundled in to be dressed. I look calm in this photo because I knew that there wasn’t long to go…

And once I put Jamie down, there was this…

Peace. Quiet. All I could hear was the distant murmuring of Rick with Angus and Pete as he finished saying goodnight to them.

Yes, my husband is awesome. He does the mornings, and he does the bedtimes. Oh, and he makes me yummy and healthy food to eat:

And that’s why he deserves this:

‘Big Love’ card by Me and Amber; vintage green necklace from Sobrina Blue.

Thus ends my impromptu ‘a day in the life.’ Gosh I had fun writing this! Thanks to Elise for the inspiration.

Reflection time

There’s no denying that it’s been rather quiet around here lately.

The truth is that I’ve been trying to find my feet again with regards to this blog – working out ‘a new direction’ if you will. I’ve been reading a number of new blogs over the last couple of months (a welcome escape from the craziness of moving) and as always have been greatly inspired. Our new home and this area that we’ve moved into have also been good fodder (try saying that five times!) for new ideas.

As cliched as it sounds, I’m both nervous and excited. Nervous as to how this ‘new direction’ will pan out and excited about all the possibilities! I know I’m being vague, but it’s forty five minutes till midnight and I promised myself fifteen years ago that I would start getting to bed earlier.

Till tomorrow!

Photos (clockwise from top): Evening reflection; deconstructed roses; gorgeous paper cut-outs from The Nest UK; an unexpected sun shower in the evening; a branch from my studio.

Oh happy (Valentines) day!

Rick and I don’t usually celebrate Valentine’s Day but today he surprised me with a lovely bunch of roses. Isn’t he sweet?

Anyway, thanks for all your lovely messages in response to my last post. I actually did get that massage though it was not a relaxing massage by any stretch of the imagination. It was a Chinese remedial massage and my goodness the guy discovered sore spots on my back I didn’t know existed. I felt great afterwards though! I’m all for short-term pain if it means long-term gain. (Cliched, but true.)

Hope you all had a sweet day with your special someone. xo

Recently…

…I enjoyed time alone at our local car wash cafe.
…I watched the boys watching cars drive by.
…I had my toenails painted a new shade of red.
…I made Angus’ first morning tea ‘bento box’ for preschool.
…I found time to take a photo with Jamie.

I’ve had an abundance of words swirling around inside my head for a long time now, but I’ve had neither the time nor the discipline to sit down and spin them into coherent sentences and paragraphs.

To be honest, this last month and a half has been rather hard-going, and my perfectionist tendencies and inability to go to bed before midnight have not helped. I’m constantly stressed, tired, tense and anxious and I’m certain I’m becoming increasingly unfit and unhealthy every day. Having no time to myself has almost meant that I’ve had no time to blog, thus stifling the primary outlet for my creativity these days. All this needs to change, otherwise I just know I’m going to drown.

So today I sat down and prayed. I started eating healthily again. I made time to take some photos. I wrote this blog post. And I’m hoping I might be able to sneak away for a massage in the afternoon.

Baby steps, I guess.