Saturday, February 20, 2016

Little Girl's Bedroom Makeover

Taking photos in my daughter's room proved really difficult because of the lack of light...and the fact that underneath the blind you can see is another blind (the old one)...which is actually broken and doesn't go I couldn't open them right up and let more light in.  Hopefully you can make something out of these photos without having to squint too hard.

Anyway, this was a recent makeover I did in my little girl's room.  She grew out of her cot and moved into a 'big girl' bed and as a result I was able (at last) to decorate a girly room (she has three older brothers).  My daughter is crazy about ballet so it was an obvious choice in theme.

The furniture in the photo above is second hand from my brother, well actually the bed is 'third hand'.  When my parents originally bought their farm it was used as a weekender and they had two sets of bunk beds.  One set was given to us a few years ago, which is what we've been using for our two middle boys, but the other set was used for many years by my brother for his girls.  Until recently.  Just before Christmas he asked if I'd like one of the beds or perhaps both (which can be stacked on top of each other to form a bunk) and I said "Absolutely!  Bring them down".  Actually....if we felt like being really crazy...we could stack all four beds on top of each other and make a quadruple bunk!  How cool would that be?!  Nothing like adding an element of danger to bedtime!

Alright, we didn't stack the beds on top of each other to form a quadruple bunk bed....but the option is still there.  Instead we have gone for the boring single bed arrangement and I have completely 'ballet-fied' my daughter's room.  We had to get her a mattress, doona and pillows (so all the boring stuff) but that then left me free to go to town and choose lots of pretties for her room.

The doona cover set is a really lovely blush pink, which I much prefer over any other pink.  It's a bit more timeless, something that she would still most likely be happy with as a teenager, even if we have to ditch the sheets that are covered in little ballerinas.  I decided to go with the plain doona because of the 'busy' dancing sheets, and instead fold the top of the sheet down when I make the bed to add that bit of decoration.  The sheets, and the decorative throw pillow with it's embroidered ballerinas with the 3-D mesh tutu's, were bought online from Pottery Barn Kids, and the doona set was bought in a local store in Warragul. 

The ballerina ragdoll was a Christmas present to my daughter, bought through Etsy from a store called "Sew Many Pretties".  She makes the most gorgeous dolls and it took me ages to choose one, although I got there in the end.  Her little tutu comes off so as a result I find it under the bed, all over the house and even out in the garden.  Keeping with the theme I found this print of a watercolour at another Etsy store called "Zen Drawings".  My Dad did the picture framing for me, which he does all my framing as he used to own a store and business in Melbourne, but now he works out of his little workshop on his farm.  On the facing wall are a pair of pointe shoes that I found on eBay for $20.  Yes, they are real shoes but I can imagine just fairly crappy ones, not something that a real ballerina from, say The Australian Ballet, would dance about in.  I just thought they'd look good on the wall as part of the decoration.
Another pre-loved item, this chest of drawers was passed on by my sister, still in perfect working order.  With my roses all going crazy at the moment because of the really cold winter we had I am finding lots of places to put all the excess blooms, so this was as good a place as any.  I try to keep the bits and bobs up here fairly minimal as I tend to hate clutter.  My daughter's jewellery box is on the left (you know, one of those ones that you wind up and the ballerina dances when you open it) and a pretty picture frame.  Dad framed the print on the wall, (a little girl trying on her Mother's shoes) and hanging on the corner of the frame are a pair of delicate fairy wings that I bought from The Australian Ballet shop when my eldest son and I went to see a performance of "Cinderella" last year.  The dolls house I got for a steal because it was actually broken in the shop, from a toy shop in Yarragon called "Three Cheeky Monkeys", but it's still one of my daughter's favourite toys. (note the ballerina doll peeping out the top window)
This is the view from the doll house top window.  Ok, I assume this is the view from the doll house top window because I'm technically not IN it at the moment but standing precariously over it to take this photo.  The big wardrobe was given to us by my husband's brother and wife, it was brown but hubby stripped it back and gave it this white shabby chic paint job.  He did pretty well!  Various stuffed buddies line the top and the rocking horse at the end of the bed belonged to my brother's daughter, who kindly passed it on to my little girl when they moved to a much smaller apartment in Canberra.

Hands down my daughter's room is the nicest in the house and also it stays the tidiest (except when my daughter decides to pull all the toys out from the basket under her bed), but that's easy fixed and it very quickly goes back to looking really pretty again.

Next fix boys room......if I can find it under all their mess......

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lounge Room Uplift

After the success of my mini bathroom revamp I have decided to continue on through the rest of my house and make it a little more, shall we say, appealing.  With the loaming possibility of maybe having to sell our house in the somewhere 'near or distant' future, I have decided it is time to clear the clutter and try and widen the appeal of the joint!  I'm also attempting to do all of this while keeping within a tiny budget.

Anyway, my next port of call was my lounge room.  It's the most lived in room in the house, and if the state of the carpet is anything to go by, generally the room that gets the most trashed.  Honestly, when we decide to sell the house the carpet in THIS room has to be completely replaced.  It's undergone all sorts of horrible stains....from milk, to food, to toilet-training-toddlers peeing and pooping everywhere and more projectile vomit stains.  There is nothing for it but to basically tear it up and start again, but at the moment, while I still have a toddler not yet toilet trained, this carpet has to stay.  Sooo....(sorry to put you off your lunch) continue....

This bookshelf above has followed me from house to house to house to house (I've moved 16 times in my life so it's looking a little worse for wear), but was completely over stuffed with books and there were a few large scrappy looking folders on the bottom shelf, which hold all the paperwork I have to keep (you know, things like birth certificates, immunisation records etc).  I moved all the folders to my linen cupboard (out of sight completely) and rearranged the books so they are now a lot neater.  In the meantime I had made a few more little purchases from Kmart at ridiculously cheap prices to decorate this now much tidier space.
The pale blue folder is actually my writing folio where I have put all the magazine articles I have ever written.  Having worked as a writer and photographer for a Gippsland magazine for about a year and a half there are over 30 articles in here and it makes quite a nice I suppose if I ever get the opportunity to go for another magazine job it's going to look pretty impressive (!)  This folder was sitting on a higher shelf originally, lying on it's side, but it is actually a pretty nice looking bit of stationary (if you can get excited by stationary...which in all honesty a lot of us do....) so it's much better on display like this.  The little glass jar and (fake) peonies was a Kmart buy and weirdly they came as a set (well...I found it weird).  The copper basket is also new, something I bought on impulse because of my newly discovered copper 'thing' (my post here on my bathroom revamp was my introduction to my new found copper obsession).  I will find something to put in it no doubt sometime soon.
Oh...more copper.  This is unlike anything I ever thought I would have ever bought in my life but the triangles in on from the triangly theme that started in my bathroom revamp.  It's actually a candle holder, but as you will see, it suits the mirror I bought.  The little black clock is new too! (all Kmart)
The picture frame was bought separately and from my local chemist.  They have great gifts and this was on sale.  I'd been eyeing it off for a little while, and although there isn't a picture in it yet, I think it's really pretty.
Ok, so here's the mirror I mentioned.  Yes!  It matches the candle holder!  Bet that weirded you out for a while...wondering how a candle holder can match a mirror!  It's sitting above our TV cabinet, which is to the right of the bookshelf.  This was actually what started this particular make over, this mirror.  I'd seen it in the Kmart catalogue and as it was only $15 I thought it would be good to put here instead of the very dark poster of a bucking bronco that was here.  Seriously.  There was a bucking bronco on this wall.  It's now in the boys room.  Way more appropriate.  Anyway, I thought a mirror would help to lighten the room and open it up a bit.  It's not huge but I think it helps.  These are just some of the many roses from my garden that I have been picking.  They've gone nuts this year.
In the opposite corner to the bookshelf is my little desk, which I've had for a while.  It's my 'office'.  Normally I sit my laptop here and do all my writing and blogging from this spot but it's easy enough to put the computer away in the cupboard when I'm not working and have a pretty corner.  More flowers from my garden in a white teapot that was a wedding gift, a Kikki K. notepad, Ikea chair, a little fox pen holder and all the picture framing in my house has been done by my Dad.  He's an AWESOME picture framer, he used to have a business in Melbourne, but now works part time at it out of his workshop on his farm.
So this was my second attempt at decorating.  I will continue on........


Friday, February 12, 2016

Bathroom Revamp

Last week was the first week of school for two of my boys; their first steps into the world of formalised education.  What a shock to the system that was!  Although a few teething problems, they are both enjoying it immensely, although how long that lasts remains to be seen.  This step into schooling also meant my 2 year old daughter had her first day care session, which went fabulously.  She bustled in with complete confidence, made 'goo goo' eyes at a little boy, then settled down happily with a puzzle at the table.  As I said goodbye she replied quite calmly "Bye bye Mummy", and waved in my general direction without even giving me a glance!  Awesome!  Needless to say I was out of there in a flash and off to spend my first Monday child-free......the first day to myself in a long long long.....well you get the general idea......

Anyway, I decided to go to Kmart.  Yes, I know.  With all the wonderful places I could have ventured on this remarkable day, I choose to go into a chain store.  BUT (in my defence), we had received a catalogue in our junk mail the weekend before and in amongst it I saw the prettiest things that I thought would be great to help spruce up my bathroom.

You see here is the THING....(and I'll put THING in capitals because this has been a bit of a dilemma for me for a few years now).  I have never bothered to actually decorate my house.  A few reasons.  The main one is I have little kids, so you dare not put anything valuable out (or in the case of my kids...anything at all because without a doubt it will be destroyed).  The other reason is the house I am in now is not the house we plan on being in forever.  Our home is fairly non-descript.  When we built it we had to go all budget-y with it and as the plan was to eventually sell (more in the short term rather than years and years down the track), we picked out an even more non-descript colour know, all creams, beiges and a hint of light-ish chocolate brown in the ensuite and laundry.  We just 'played it safe' knowing that something basic and....well bland really....would appeal to more people when we put it on the market.  SO my point is, when I think of decorating properly I always think of my dream house.  You know, the house that we are aiming for, the one that we will have when we finally get our farm.  The plan is (and who knows if this will ever eventuate), is a lovely weatherboard country style home with big verandas and inside it will have lovely country-isque (my made up word for the day) d├ęcor. 

Now, this is my problem.  For a few years now I have been NOT decorating because the style of things I like do not suit our boring plain non-descript house.  As well as the destructor kids I have bred (is that my gene or my husbands???...hmmmm....I think I might blame him (!)...everything I think of doing I always pause and end up thinking....NO....I can't do it because it will  So I haven't.  Until now.

Back to the Kmart catalogue.  Perusing through it one weekend I noticed all the pretty pastel items as well as the copper things (which weirdly appealed to me) and also the repetition of the geometric triangle patterns.  I don't know but something about it got to me and I began to circle things with a pen.  What a break through!!! 

Now Kmart is cheap.  Ridiculously cheap, and for the first time EVER I thought...what the heck (!)...why don't I decorate my house a little?  Why don't I decorate to suit THE STYLE IT IS!!!!  Honestly, I can't believe it's taken me this long to figure this one out.  I must be stuck in some kind of brain time warp or something.  Why didn't I think that perhaps I could decorate with cheaper items for now and then later get the things I really like and want, even if it means just passing on the cheaper "just for now" stuff.  Anyway..... to Kmart I trotted....(child-free and very gleeful)...and within HALF AN HOUR (I know....I could not believe how quickly you can get stuff done without children in tow!!) I had found absolutely everything I had circled in the catalogue, plus a couple of other little bits besides.  I had decided to start with my ensuite because basically it drives me mad.  I'd done a little bit of a 'clean up and throw away' and decided how sick I was of the limited storage space.  Honestly, our sink is this big square thing and we have literally four inches of bench space on either side of the sink.  THAT'S IT.  It's ri-donk-u-lous.   There's a cupboard underneath, but it's not massive, and that is all the space that this particular building company (in their infinite wisdom) think that a couple needs.  Pffttt. 

Anyway, here's what I bought......
Stupidly cheap shelves, with a smaller shelf at the top, increasing in size towards the lower shelves.  Came in a flat box with all the screws and an alan key thingo.  Took me ten minutes to assemble with NO swearing involved!
As well as the lovely candle and mug (with the flowers in it) in the top photo, I also picked up these two canisters, which were actually from the kitchen section.  My daughter particularly likes the pink one which I keep finding all over the house.  It's breakable but since it cost me $5 I won't burst into deranged mummy tears if she drops it.
Pink terracotta pot with a honeycomb pattern (super cute!) and a new plant that has matching pink on it's leaves (a real plant!.....fluke I found one with matching leaves).  I shall call him Llyod.  (in honour of my late indoor plant 'Flyod who no doubt died from a 'non-watering' related incident)
Why oh why have I never discovered copper coloured things before??  I love this!  It's actually a fruit bowl but I decided to do this with it.....
By chance the towels I use in the ensuite are pink and white....which as it turns out, are the colours of all the bits and bobs I bought.  (this was another fluke by the way...I don't ever have the presence of mind to coordinate anything with bits I already have).  I also got a toothbrush holder, a soap dispenser and the little dish on my sink was something I found in the local chemist the other week and just couldn't resist.
Weirdly this ended up being in the same colour scheme.  After discovering all of this I realised that this was NOT just a pointless shopping spree but was indeed fate, there were higher powers at work, and that I could indeed justify it completely to my husband.  Ok, just keep telling yourself that Amber.
Bathroom revamp success!!