I joined in the fun of #7vignettes this month. It’s an Instagram game hosted by The Interiors Addict that involves making and photographing creative vignettes. This month RetroJan were the guest judges and boy did they have a tough job. With loads of stunning and creative entries to choose from, I didn’t envy their job. There was $500 for the major winner and daily prizes of $75 to spend at RetroJan, which was a wonderful incentive to produce pretty pictures. I was thrilled to be chosen as Day 7 winner with my interpretation of Texture. Pop over to Instagram to check out all the fuss.
Oh man, i love my colour coded bookcase! When we moved house a few months ago my sister-in-law unpacked our books and was more than happy to oblige with my request for a ‘colour coded’ bookcase. With so many beautiful book nerds in our family we have accumulated a decent number of books, so my SIL had plenty to work with. She went beyond what i expected when she organised them by colour and SIZE! Yippee! Since then I have been rearranging and fine tuning. I do have a tendency to be a little OCD about some things. Not everything, but there are certain things where I’m very particular. For example, I need like the cushions on my bed arranged in a certain way. If even one cushion is just slightly out of place, I have to fix it. My bookcase is another one of those things. It’s becoming a bit of an obsession, to the point where I don’t like anyone borrowing the books. My hubby is currently reading one of the ‘white’ books and I’d be lying if I said the gap in the white section isn’t annoying me. It’s getting to the point where I’m considering buying books based on their spine colour. That’s normal, right? Seriously though, it may be a librarian’s worst nightmare, but colour coding your bookcase is the best way to keep your books looking neat and tidy. Bookcases have the potential to become an eyesore if they aren’t organised. A colour coded bookcase can actually become a feature in your home as well as a practical place to store your books. My daughter asked me where a particular book was the other day and I responded, “I’m pretty sure it’s in the middle of the reddish/orange section.” And sure enough, it was! Proving that there may be some method in my colour coding madness.
Over the weekend a girlfriend was hosting the 50th Birthday celebration for a mutual friend. She did such a beautiful job on the party decorations and i was happy to be asked to contribute a couple of DIY party projects. The first DIY project was the place cards or name cards. As the birthday girl is a lover of nature and recycling, i tried to keep the theme natural. I found loads of inspiration on Pinterest and finally decided on a mix of coloured card, ribbon and hessian.
The next project was ’50 Things we love about Robyn’. This idea would translate to any age and basically involved friends and family sending us little phrases or words telling us what they love about Robyn. It didn’t take long to get to 50 items and these were then printed onto card and decorated. They were hung up on the night using string and pegs for guests to admire and read. At the end of the night they were all put into a memory box that i’d covered and decorated…..along with polaroids taken on the night.
And what a gorgeous job my friend did with the table settings. The orange, purple and green theme looked great!
While I was painting the parlour at RedAgape last week, I remembered that I hate painting! I painted the entire inside of my home a few years ago, and I swore I’d never do it again. I guess, like childbirth, the pain of it disappeared quickly and my promise to never paint again was forgotten. The pain of it started to return when i began preparing the parlour for its makeover. The prepping and cleaning time involved with painting is easily equal to the time spent actually painting. Prepping is very important, crucial really, and it’s a big part of why I hate painting. The taping up of skirts, doorways and windows, as well as covering furniture and floors, is super time consuming.
Here are my top tips for painting –
1. If you can afford it, hire a painter to do the job for you. No, i’m not joking.
2. If you choose to paint yourself, prepping is crucial for a quality finish and less mess. Use drop sheets and take the time to tape up properly.
3. Don’t paint at night, especially dark colours. After an undercoat and two coats of navy I thought I was finished. Unfortunately, the next day in the morning light I could see a few patchy areas and I knew another coat was needed.
4. Use a cutting in tool for the edges. This saves soooo much time and gives a nice clean edge. I used one of these when I painted years ago, but I forgot this time around. I used it for the final coat and i was kicking myself for not using it sooner.
5. Wear old clothes and a head scarf. I’m still picking blue paint out of my hair five days after the final coat.
Okay – whinging over. As much as I dislike painting I do love how paint can completely transform a room. I love the new colour in the parlour. It really feels like it was always meant to be a dark and cozy room. I’m planning on adding more wall decor behind the lounge, but for now I’m completely happy with the outcome. Not to mention, just plain thrilled I’m finished.
I really love the gold wall decor against the dark navy. There were so many beautiful rooms on pinterest that used the gold and navy combination. You can see other rooms here. I’m going to add more wall decor behind the chesterfield (as i find treasures) to create a wall display.
This old gold framed convex mirror is definitely one of my favourite things in the room. I love the way it reflects the opposite side of the room almost in entirety. I was pleasantly surprised with how the chesterfield looked against the dark navy. I think they compliment each other nicely. With the gas fire now installed the parlour is now a cozy and inviting room to relax in during the evening.
I’ve been finding some great inspiration for painting dark walls on Pinterest lately! I stumbled across some inspiring images by accident one day, when i was looking at wall displays. I was instantly drawn to the rooms that had navy covering their walls….and no, not one feature wall, but the entire room painted in dark blue. The parlour at RedAgape Guesthouse is the smallest living area and struggles to get natural light, so while i thought it would be a good candidate for navy walls, i was worried it might close it in even further. I wasn’t keen to start painting until i was sure.
Then, browsing through Megan Morton’s book, Home Love, i stumbled across this page dedicated to night time living rooms. She writes about how some rooms are morning rooms or night time rooms. My parlour is definitely a night time room. It’s a room where you want to cosy up in the evening by the fire with a good book and a wine in hand. Or as Megan Morton describes, “some rooms are born for serving whiskey sour, playing backgammon and reading Keats“. The helpful information on this single page of her book gave me the final bit of confidence to commit to a makeover for the parlour.
The first thing to do was get a gas fire installed in the fireplace. I didn’t want guests to fuss around with firelighters and wood during their stay and gas fires are the next best thing, plus so very easy to use. This is the parlour getting a nice new gas fire installed. I know, it looks a little scary, but i can assure you everything is now back in place.
With the fireplace installed, i headed to the paint shop for some samples. I grabbed four sample pots of varying navy as you can never quite tell what the paint will look like on your wall and i didn’t want to mess it up. I settled on Dulux Harpoon…..a lovely deep shade of navy. If you check out my Navy Wall Inspiration board on Pinterest you’ll understand why i have this gold frame against the wall. So many of the beautiful navy rooms have gold accents which look amazing again their dark walls.
These golden beauties i found in Peak Hill, at two different antique shops. I adore vintage gold frames, as you can see from the gold frames on the wall in the reflection. This painting caught my eye instantly and the round convex mirror will look gorgeous hanging nearby. I’m still searching for some more gold wall adornments as they will look gorgeous on my navy walls. Stay tuned!!
Do you decorate your house to please yourself or others? For a long time i’ve been very safe about how I decorate our home. I suppose I’ve been nervous that visitors to our home might make judgements on our decorating tastes. I say ‘our’ decorating tastes, but i really mean ‘my’ decorating tastes…hubby doesn’t decorate. Lately, I’ve come to my senses and realised that it is OUR home and we can present it however we like. Of course, when it comes to decorating RedAgape Guesthouse I have to be more mindful of visitors. I want the Guesthouse to be quirky and interesting, but not so over the top that guests feel overwhelmed.
Have you heard of Jumbled? It is a brilliant homewares store in Orange that combines all things eclectic and colourful. I have visited many times and only once, have I walked out empty handed (I must have been unwell that day). I always feel inspired by Jumbled’s fun homewares and wish my house was more FUN! A couple of weeks ago Jumbled ran a fun instagram competition. Using #jumbledbedroom on Instagram, those entering posted pics of their bedrooms. There were some inspirational bedrooms, so I took the opportunity to jazz up our bedroom and enter myself. Here’s the before and after plus my entry below – clearly accentuated by our picture perfect cat, Suki.
To jazz up our bedroom for the jumbled competition, i added some curtains either side of the bed, some fun and colourful cushions (all made by me) and a fun, jumbled wall display. The most time consuming part of the makeover was putting the wall display together. I didn’t want to spend much money, so i hunted through the garage for old frames, spray painted them and added some homemade art. I strongly recommend making paper cut outs of the frames and positioning the paper on the wall before hammering nails. It certainly lessens the number of holes in the wall. See my plate wall display for an example.
I’ll admit that i wasn’t sure at first if i liked my new room. But it grew on me very quickly! I’m not used to having so much colour in one room, but it really makes me feel happy when i walk into it. So happy in fact i was keen to add some more colour with some beautiful kantha quilted items. A gorgeous quilt and quilted cushion. LOVE! It’s a fun room now! And really, if you can’t have fun in the bedroom, where can you?? 😉
If i had a dollar for every time i walked into the parlour and said, “I hate this room”, i’d probably have enough money to buy another house! It seems crazy that this room has caused me so much trouble. I have rearranged the furniture a 100 times, hung pictures on the walls and then taken them down, added more stuff, taken stuff out, bought new items, moved things around again….nothing seemed to satisfy me. I found this room so very frustrating, but in the end the solution was simple. Stop trying too hard!! I emptied the room and started a fresh. I put back only the basics, a lounge, some cushions, a mat, a coffee table, a mirror, a tiny hall table, some lovely books, a couple of carvers and some interesting items. Then i stopped. I banned myself from adding anything else. And now i am satisfied.
I have found some great buys on ebay and at garage sales! I have saved an enormous amount of dollars by shopping carefully and i don’t think the quality of the furniture or accessories has been compromised in the process. Here are just a few of the bargains i have found. I will let the pictures do the talking.
We found this chaise on ebay. It was still in the plastic! The owners were moving interstate and didn’t want to take it. Hooray!
We scored two carvers and ten regular chairs from the same ebay seller that was selling the chaise. We managed to get the chaise and twelve chairs in total for an absolute steal! And they are all gorgeous!
I bought this table and two bench seats at a garage sale….the same place where i found the cool bottles. The owners were lovely and generous people. I LOVE this setting.
We drove to Millthorpe again today. The short 2 hr drive makes a day trip quite doable, without completely wearing everyone out. Johno planted new hedges in the front garden and hung some more pictures and mirrors in the house. He had to use a drill today! For anyone who knows my husband, this is a big deal. I’m talking masonry drill bits, wall anchors and hooks. He did a great job and it looked exhausting, so i was really glad it was him and not me. That said, i didn’t spend the day lazing by the fire (i wish!). I made beds, unpacked kitchen gear, reorganised the parlour and helped measure out drilling points.
I discovered today that i might be addicted to red. I knew i liked red, but after looking around Winterfell today it’s quite clear that an addiction is forming. There are splashes of red throughout the main living area and parlour. I’m quite conservative, so i guess this is my way of adding some colour. I really do LOVE it. And it was the red door of Winterfell that got my attention in the first place.
My inner critic was louder than usual today, so i had to try extra hard to squash it. Sometimes i wonder why i am so critical of myself and the things i do. I question every little detail in the house and i want it to be perfect. Of course, nothing and noone is perfect, so i reassured myself today with this logic. And really, i’m not an interior designer. I have no skill in this area, so it’s time to lighten up and not be so hard on myself. With all that said, i’ve been completely unhappy with the parlour. It was too busy and was full of vintage and antique gear, which is great, but there was too much of it. So today i did a reshuffle and moved stuff out of the parlour and into the bedrooms and stuff out of the bedrooms and into the parlour. I’m feeling much happier about it now. I just need a nice coffee table….
Here is a sneak peak of the parlour. And where did the kids spend the day?…..lazing by the fire.