Bathroom Renovation


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.

Before_BathroomLet’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.IMG_1894ONE – 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.

IMG_1876TWO – 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!

IMG_1895THREE – 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 –

  1. Protect any flooring to and from the bathroom, as things are going to get messy!

  2. Demolition, removal of all fittings and tiles

  3. Organise for the plumber and electrician visit to make any additions or relocations

  4. Check if the original concrete or timber floor needs repairing

  5. Update/patch up wall linings (brickwork or plastering)

  6. Waterproofing the space (needs two to three days drying time)

  7. Organise waterproofing inspections and certifications

  8. Wall and floor tiling (this is a great stage, as you can see your bathroom really come to life)

  9. Install bathroom cabinetry and shower screens

  10. Install plumbing and electrical fittings

  11. Update doors and windows, if needed (this could be as simple as updating a door handle)

  12. Paint

  13. 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!

Briar x

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.

BugabooSummerPictured 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.

  1. Karen Walker sunglasses from Sunglass Hut
  2. Bugaboo Light Cotton Blanket
  3. Sophie the Giraffe from Seed
  4. Parasol from Bugaboo
  5. Baby boy ‘Hi’ Tee from Seed
  6. Bugaboo Buffalo with grey malange tailored fabric set (with extendable sun canopy)
  7. Bugaboo Cup holder
  8. Stripe Linen T-shirt from Country Road
  9. Bugaboo Comfort Wheeled Board
  10. Banana Salted Caramel smoothie from Pressed Juices
  11. Filipa Leather Sneaker from Country Road
  12. Girls Indigo Slub Dress from Seed
  13. Whatnot Organic Suncream

Bugaboo1Bugaboo5Here 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.

Bugaboo4I 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.

Bugaboo3Pictured 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.

Bugaboo8On 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!

Bugaboo2Our 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.

Bugaboo7One happy big sister. We really do love our Bugaboo!

Briar x

Man Mail


ManMail2Mark 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.

ManMail1Packaged 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.

ManMail3A surprise gift for her Dad, sharing a banana and strawberry smoothie, and all the heart eyes for her Daddy on Valentine’s Day.

Briar x

Three Things


Some things I have been loving lately…

EW_1Everingham + Watson is a brand that’s new to my radar.  I’m a big fan! I spotted so many quirky and original Christimas gift ideas on their fun Australiana website, and I’m really impressed with their fab packaging design. Plus, I can never go past a tea towel that can double up as art. The company is committed to Australian design and their products ranging from cushions to hand sanitiser are designed and manufactured right here in our lucky country. Love it!

SHOES_3I had it in my mind that shopping for a baby boy wasn’t going to be as fun as it’s been for shopping for Sunday. I’m slowly being introduced to brands proving me wrong. Oscar’s for kids is owned by a Sydney mum who is producing the cutest range of suede loafers. Pictured above are a pair of the Milan Navy loafers, which are beautiful quality and super soft for young feet. I can’t wait for our little man to be rocking these ‘Lord Disick‘ style shoes.

PAP-2Papinelle treated Sunday and I to a gorgeous box of luxury recently, congratulating me on the pregnancy. The brand creates the prettiest range of sleepwear, and I’m fortunate enough to now own the Arabella Cotton Silk Robe and a pair of slippers. Sunday loves her sweet Yolly nightie (which reminds me so much of the lovely nighties my Mum used to dress us in throughout the 80’s). The range of clothing is made from a really nice lightweight cotton and silk blend, and the homewares range is definitely worth checking out for some gift ideas for the girl that likes the lovely things in life.

Briar x

Photo 2 + 3 by Jacqui Turk

Sunday’s Gift Guide with Pottery Barn Kids


sundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-2I have a renewed love of Christmas since becoming a Mum, and now that Sunday is that little bit older, she’s going to have an even better understanding of it this year – which is exciting. I never see Sunday happier than when she is experiencing what she calls a ‘party’, surrounded by extended family, and there will be no shortage of cuddles and laps for her to sit on this year. There is also the obvious excitement surrounding a visit from Santa that she is really looking forward to. Santa is totally guilty of spoiling her around this time of year, but it honestly gives me so much joy to see her little face light up, and I figure she’s only going to be a kid for the shortest time. Thanks to Pottery Barn Kids, below is Sunday’s Gift Guide for 2015.

To say I had fun helping Santa select these gifts is an understatement. I was very similar to Sunday as a child in many ways, so I just teleported myself back to the time of Christmas Eve, where I could be found skipping around my childhood living room with my head about to explode with the thoughts of what Santa was going to drop down the chimney. Sunday might not have a chimney, but she sure maintains the same excitement levels, and she is what I’d best describe as a ‘girly girl’. The more pink the better lately…which I’ve decided to embrace – just as I would if she was in to trucks and trains, although I do wish she’d tone down her daily desire to wear a tutu.

If all things go to plan back at the North Pole, Sunday is going to wake up on Christmas Day to the following surprises, and I can’t wait:

sundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-15 copysundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-7 copysundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-17 copyWhen Sunday sat on Santa’s knee recently, all she asked for was a doll, so it’s lucky that Margot has come along just in time. She’s an ice skating special edition Gotz Doll (check out some of her friends here). Seriously, the cute ice skates had me at first glance. My guess is I’ll give Margot a day before she gets hit up with a new hair style, care of Sunday. Sorry, Margot.

sundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-4Sunday will also be enjoying a very special pink ceramic classic tea set for those afternoon teas we sometimes share after her nap. (Yes, my three and half year old still loves an afternoon nap – I figure we are owed it after such a rough first year and a half, where the girl pretty much refused to close her eyes).
sundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-12Sunday starts a new preschool in the new year, so a Mackenzie Pink Glitter Heart Retro Lunch Bag was definitely  in order. I love that you can have items such as this personally monogrammed via. Pottery Barn Kids.
sundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-5sundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-6My sister had one of these jewellery boxes growing up, and oh, how I used to wish I had one too. The next best thing is ensuring Sunday will grow up with one. I just know she is going to love the sweet Abigail Jewellery Box that plays classic ballerina music for all her treasures.
sundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-8 copyI’m hoping this Princess Bath Wrap will help me wrangle Sunday when she’s fresh out of the bath. Like most three year olds, she loves a nudie run around the house while still soaking wet. The sweet crown on this towel will have her keen to get herself dry, I’m sure!
sundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-1 copyI’m sure the highlight for the little lady on Christmas morning will be her very own Farmington Dollhouse. The perfect spot for her collection of random figurines, it will also go beautifully in her room (I just need some time to sneakily clear out some clutter to make some space) .
sundaycollector_PBK_hires_jacquiturk-18 copyThe beautiful bounty is all pictured on a Kendall Dresser (which also has an optional change table topper), and the cute christmas star garland is from West Elm.
So, there you have it – a sweet collection of beautiful gifts all from Pottery Barn Kids. Here I was, guilty of thinking they were all about cots and curtains. I can totally vouch for the quality of the products in real life too, and Mum’s of tomboys or boys, don’t despair – there is something for every type of child. Check out some more gift ideas online.
Briar x
All photography by my fave, the lovely Jacqui Turk.
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