Sunday/Sunny/Sunny-Sue/Baby-Boo/Bubba. She’s sweet, she’s feisty, she’s passionate, and she loves her new room. We recently added some pieces from the whimsical new collection from Margherita Missoni and Pottery Barn Kids. A magical mix of gorgeous colours, the pom pom quilted bedding is really lovely quality, and the Designer Doll ‘Clara’ is Sunday’s new favourite. Floor play with baby Rafferty has been made that much sweeter with the beautiful floral rug and the luxe Daisy Pouf. As you can see these pieces have complimented the new room beautifully. Sunday’s one request was for a pink room (!!) when we moved – we settled on Taubmans Pink Sangria with the crisp Cotton Sheets white on the top half of the walls.
As you can see, she’s pretty happy with the new set up (and I really struggled to pick my favourite photo, so I’ve gone all ‘stage mum’ and shared them all). Plantation shutters were installed by Signature Shutters and Blinds and Sunday’s wearing a leotard and tutu from Cotton On.
It’s definitely a little girls room! Also pictured from Pottery Barn kids is the Kendall Dresser, the sweet Farmington Dollshouse she got from Santa a year ago and the adorable Sherpa Anywhere Doll Chair (which matches her living room chair). The cool denim jacket was a gift from my sister, Hannah made it up herself with all the cute badges.
I love the colours in the new Margherita Missoni collection – it really pops on the ‘Greystone’ grey wool Stonefields carpet I chose from Feltex. I can honestly say that Sunday loves spending time in her new little room, it’s an eclectic mix with pops of her favourite things – flowers and the colour pink.
Thanks to a very efficient builder and his team, our renovations went completely and utterly smoothly. Being our first home I know how lucky I am to be able to say that, as I hear horror stories all the time. Demolition was completed in a few short days, which was hugely rewarding, as we could immediately see the extra space we were creating in our living and dining area. The new kitchen had it’s final measure up a week later, which meant all the cabinetry when in to manufacturing straight away. Being the first home for our young family, we were really careful not to over-capitalise, so instead of changing the house around too much when it came to the layout, we simply gave the bathrooms and laundry major facelifts. Existing bedrooms stayed put – but with new lighting, flooring, skirting boards and window treatments. The magic of a professional paint job never ceases to amaze me either! As I’ve mentioned, we moved in after Christmas, and the feeling of accomplishment now we are living here is hard to describe, I would never have imagined we’d be in this position 5 years ago, it really does feel like a brand new little home for my family.
One thing I hadn’t anticipated is that by knocking out the back wall of the house made our garden a major feature, you can see it in full from the front door. Patchy and yellowing grass, a spindly (kind of dead) Banskia, a green hills hoist on it’s last legs and some tired looking Camellia’s were definitely not in my final vision for the place. Luckily for me, my Aunt is Michele Shennen, who besides from being one of the greatest people I know, also happens to be a very talented and accomplished Landscaper Designer, and wow – does she have some amazing ideas for our home. Michele is known for designing contemporary yet practical and family friendly outdoor spaces, with your chosen budget in mind. It’s been a fun process working with her to bring the vision to life.
Out the back, we’ve gained a huge deck (made out of gorgeous wide blackbutt timber that will age grey), more grass for the kids, a big working vegetable garden (which is a dream of Mark’s) and last but not least – we will be modernising the surrounds to the 1980’s pool area (this will really transform the space, but I’m seeing this as Stage 2 in the landscaping plan). The front garden is going to be a dedicated cactus and succulent area, a direct nod to my love of mid-century design. Michele has workshopped these ideas, and with that comes obvious extra construction costs.
When renovating a property, it’s important not to leave the landscaping budget at the bottom of your priorities because you really can reap the rewards when selling a house that has good outdoor spaces, particularly if you are targeting the first home owner market who may have young kids…you know, those apartment dwellers who are desperate for that backyard dream (putting my hand up right now). I’ve written about People’s Choice Credit Union before, read here – and they’ve recently been named CANSTAR’s 2016 First Home Buyer Customer Owned Institution of the Year SA. You may be interested to know that to celebrate the win, People’s Choice has a highly competitive three-year Fixed Home Loan Package rate specifically for first home buyers. Winning!
With a comfortable little budget in mind, below are some reference shots I’ve pulled from Pinterest over the past year, which explains my vision – with the deck already up, I’m really starting to envision those backyard parties, with a Basil Bangs Chaplin stripe umbrella on the deck, if I’m going to get fussy.
We will eventually cover the dated pebblecrete that surrounds the pool with some wide timber to match our back decking. Painting the inside of the pool is also on my list of things to do, but not a huge priority at this stage.
This house in Portland that featured in Dwell magazine has all it’s priorities right if you ask me. I love the lush grass, and the flow of decking with options for a comfortable seat.
As a contrast to the family friendly backyard, I want a low maintenance cactus garden at the front. This area gets hit with hot westerly sun, and I love that it will complement the 60’s lines at the front of the home.
Top of my list of ‘wants’ for the house was a breeze brick wall in white, similar to above. We’ve managed to incorporate one along one side of the deck, giving us privacy from our neighbours, and something pretty for me to look at.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated on our landscaping progress, providing you with tips along the way!
Big news for my little family! The Stanleys have decided it’s time to move to our first house on the northern beaches. Purchased about 18 months ago, I mentioned it on this blog post. We have been lucky enough to be renting it out to the loveliest family, who will be vacating it in the coming months. These few months are going to give me valuable time to think about the next steps for a mini renovation. It will be “mini” because we really want to live in the space before deciding where we want things, like a new kitchen etc. However, there are a few spaces that will be definitely staying put – and that’s the three bedrooms and the main bathroom. First cab off the rank will be ripping up carpet to expose the original floorboards, followed by a fresh coat of paint, updating the dated ceiling pendants and if budget permits, plantation shutters on all the timber windows.
Let’s talk about the main bathroom and it’s lilac tiles. As you can imagine, I’m looking forward to replacing them. The bathroom renovation will be the most costly exercise, so it was with good timing when I came across People’s Choice Credit Union. As my family has grown and we’re making big life decisions like everyone else, such as upgrading the car and renovating, a small personal loan might just be the answer. I’ve had a play on their online calculator to calculate how much the loan repayments would be, and how long it will take to pay back the loan – so it’s all transparent.
Once we’ve got a clear idea of the budget and our finances sorted it’s on to the next stage for our bathroom renovation, which is when it really gets exciting. I’ve outlined the stages below, including a few images of bathrooms I am in love with.ONE – Research Stage / Draw Plans
It’s a good idea to get a design down on paper. Not only will this help you see the finished bathroom laid out, it will also make it easier for all your tradies to quote and save confusion on-site when it comes to actually carrying out the works. You could even have a go on something like Sketch Up where you can draw plans up yourself.
TWO – Pricing and Quotes
Now that you have your plans, it’s time to start talking to people to work out how much it’s all going to cost you. It’s a good idea to break it down into two categories: 1. Fittings and fixtures and 2.Tradies
Choosing your fittings and fixtures can be difficult as there is so much out there! I would start with getting inspiration from Pinterest, to get a clear idea of the look you are going for, and then spend a little time online checking out tile and bathroom suppliers. Make sure you are able to dedicate a day or two to go and visit showrooms in person (with your measurements in -hand), and to make your selections I must admit, this is the stage my clients love me to get involved – and I love nothing more than a shopping spree in a tile showroom!
You then need to know what your tradies are going to charge, and try and go off recommendations from family and friends – there is nothing worse than a dodgy tiler!
THREE – Sort out a Timeline
I think it’s really important to have a timeline of works written out so you know exactly what’s happening on any certain date. In a nutshell, below is the order of how a bathroom renovation should progress –
Protect any flooring to and from the bathroom, as things are going to get messy!
Demolition, removal of all fittings and tiles
Organise for the plumber and electrician visit to make any additions or relocations
Check if the original concrete or timber floor needs repairing
Update/patch up wall linings (brickwork or plastering)
Waterproofing the space (needs two to three days drying time)
Organise waterproofing inspections and certifications
Wall and floor tiling (this is a great stage, as you can see your bathroom really come to life)
Install bathroom cabinetry and shower screens
Install plumbing and electrical fittings
Update doors and windows, if needed (this could be as simple as updating a door handle)
The final stage should be installing things like mirrors towel rails and hooks – the finishing touches to make your bathroom pop!
Obviously liaise with all your tradies regarding these stages, or even easier, if the budget allows – have a reliable builder look after all these steps.
FOUR – Construction
Hopefully everything is plain sailing (but let’s be honest, it rarely is). Providing you have reliable tradies, the process should be pretty stress free. I’d imagine you’d need 3-4 weeks for a full bathroom renovation, so it might be a good time to invest in a camping shower (assuming you only have one bathroom in the house).
It’s important to communicate with your tradies that you’d like to be able to contact them a few months post renovation should any defects arise. Make sure all your paperwork, warranties and receipts are kept in one organised folder should any problems come up.
I’ll make sure you to keep you updated on my personal bathroom renovation – now it’s just back to Pinterest for me, for more inspiration!
This post was written in collaboration with People’s Choice Credit Union.
I’ve been a fan of the Bugaboo brand since Sunday was a baby. I’ve mentioned before how much we struggled with her sleeping, it was so difficult in the early days I couldn’t get her to sleep a wink in her bassinette during the day. Our Bugaboo was literally my savior – I would head out in the morning and she would sleep soundly while I pounded the pavement and pushed (which was great for my fitness too). A few years later and with baby number 2 on the way, our strong and mighty Bugaboo Buffalo was still working for us perfectly for our taller than average girl. Some would say Sunday was getting too old for a pram, but I honestly still found it so handy for our longer walks and supermarket visits (I can load so much shopping in to the bottom carriage).
With Sunday’s baby brother on the way, it became obvious it was time for her to move on from the seat, and the wheelie board attachment was the perfect answer to getting our preschooler and newborn comfortably out and about.
Pictured above is a little mood board I’ve put together with items inspired by the latest and greatest accessories that have ‘pimped out’ our Buffalo, ensuring we head out for our family adventures in style.
Here we are, on our first official outing. Sunday has completely embraced the wheeled board concept (thankfully) and has been more than happy to give up her seat for her baby brother’s bassinette attachement. The high quality of Bugaboo products is so obvious in real life. Sturdy and solid, without that cheap plastic feel you get with so many other prams on the market.
I love our new grey melange tailored fabric set, which is a perfect colour for my boy – but also looks contemporary and stylish at the same time. The extendable sun canopy is also fantastic for keeping sun out of Rafferty’s eyes.
Pictured above is ittle Rafferty sound asleep and loving life. He’s kicking back on the luxe grey melange 100% extra fine Merino wool mattress cover and the soft and light cotton blanket, which is perfect for the warmer days.
On those really sunny days the Bugaboo parasol adds an element of fancy ‘chariot’ to the Buffalo, keeping the rays of the sun off your baby in style. Got to love being sun smart!
Our first visit to the beach as a family of four was made that whole lot easier with the Buffalo wheels – the stroller glides effortlessly across sand. As you can see, the generous size of the under carriage basket makes it so easy to cart things like beach towels and toys to the beach.
One happy big sister. We really do love our Bugaboo!
Mark was treated to a really cool gift box from Sunny and I on Valentine’s Day – the Leather Luxury Box from the online store Man Mail. I love the concept of this store so much, founder Kate Abdou sells unique gift boxes curated especially for men – which is kind of a godsend if you ask me, as I find buying for men like my husband, brother and brother in law really hard. With the box themes ranging from things like Foodie, New Dad to Travel – you’re bound to find something that suits all those men in your life. It’s also the perfect answer for corporate gifting too, Kate offers a custom gifting service – no matter the size of your company, she can work personally with you to curate and send the perfect box for your budget and purpose.
Packaged beautifully in a custom made box with the products inside protected with shredded wood, a leather swing tag adds to the luxe feel of the masculine gift box. Mark was especially taken with the beautiful quality of the cognac leather toiletries bag. Check out the full range of gift boxes available here, you can be confident that everything contained in these boxes is of really high quality.
A surprise gift for her Dad, sharing a banana and strawberry smoothie, and all the heart eyes for her Daddy on Valentine’s Day.