Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tile prices

Well I have learnt today that it pays to shop around. The other weekend we saw that some of the big tile stores had sales so rushed in to see what we could get for our new family bathroom and ensuite. The tiles we picked were on sale and so we naturally thought it was a good price.

Today I went to a smaller store, Mitcham Tile Centre and discovered I could get similar or in case of the wall tiles, the same tiles for $4 cheaper per square metre, so now know that sales don't necessarily mean that it is cheaper then elsewhere.

To give you an idea of the kind of look we are after - these two photos were taken from my friend Amanda's bathroom. My bathroom inspiration. We also love the free standing bath and the tiled recess next to it with the difference being we are looking at tiling the recess with a blue / grey mosaic.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Change of plan

It has been an interesting week, following a visit from our Construction Manager hubby and I have discussed changing the order of our renovations. Initially we were going to make our current bathroom into a ensuite later this year then do the extension after Christmas to make it easier to live in the front of the house.

Now we are considering flipping it, as love to get the main part done before Christmas. The question is with our current toilet being in the back half of the house which is being knocked out, how long will we be without a toilet in the house, can my four year old survive using a portaloo?

The other big question is around timelines. We haven't got our permits yet but here's hoping they come soon and we can move forward.

Should make for an interesting extremely busy end of the year.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Inspiration - a step back

As those of you who have redecorated and or renovated your home would know, when you are starting out, or come to think of it in the middle of it and at the end you can get a little obsessed with detail, I am no exception to this.

It is all about the tiles at the moment and other bathroom fittings. Luckily in my case hubby and I have similar tastes but that doesn't keep us free of heated discussions as we have very different ways of going about things.

So after a tense Sunday morning last weekend with a bathroom discussion that was going nowhere we decided we needed to take a step back and get out of the house with the kids, heading into Melbourne on the train. We had a great time especially considering it was a cold Wintry day and was impressed with the new Federation Wharf, loved the old stone work backdrop to the cafe /bar there. A wander up Collins Street with it's French feel, also got me thinking and reminded me of what my inspirations are for how I want our home to be and feel.

Following this over the past week and lots of discussions over coffee with friends, I have been thinking more about the overall picture and what we want to achieve with the renovation / extension. For us it is all about lifestyle, we love Europe especially all things French, Italian's love for life, family, food and wine oh and the wonderful architecture and gardens in both places.

With this in mind I was reminded for me it is all about creating a place that is warm and welcoming, a wonderful home to hang out with friends and family in.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Red wall?

If you are about to head on a renovation journey I would highly recomend buying the July edition of Home Beautiful. They have a special issue inside of real-life renovation including plans budgets, advice & lessons learned.

One part I really liked is that they list in detail components of various rooms in the houses featured such as paint colours, appliances, flooring, fixtures and the list goes on. My favourite was one called French affair. I particularly like the red feature wall around their living room fireplace, while the rest of the room is painted white. This is something I have been thinking of doing for a long while but wasn't sure as couldn't find the right red. The red featured is apparently Taubmans Easy Coat in Streetwise.

So what do you think, would it suit? I think my hubbie might need some convincing. Also let me know if you know of another great red paint.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

At home

A couple of weeks ago we found out that our little boy has a number of food and other allergies. He has also been sick with one virus after another and so the doctor recommended that we take him out of childcare for a while to try and break the cycle of illness.

So now me a Mum that normally goes into an office three days a week has been at home for nearly two weeks and possibly will be here for at least another two, after which my husband will take over.

Although upsetting at first having a sick child and having to completely change his diet, I looked at the positive and thought I will savour this time where I can just focus on my children and the house.

So to the house - a time I thought to think about bathroom design and other things that need looking into before we start work on the renovation in a few months. This however hasn't been the case, but instead stuck inside on these cold Winter days I have been moving furniture around in our living spaces (as really feel the lack of space in Winter) and making decorations with my daughter to hang in the family room play area.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Heating on these cold days

This Saturday is World Environment day so a perfect time to think about what we can do to make a difference to the environment.

On these cold Winter evenings I sit in our lounge room very warm and toasty thanks to our wonderful gas central heating system. However there are a few energy related issues with it. For one the system is old and can't be zoned so heating one room means heating the whole house when often this is not needed, not very efficient or sustainable. Secondly, though the living areas are warm, especially the North facing family room, the front bedroom is cold, due to obvious drafts and very poor window insulation. Thirdly once the heater is switched off it doesn't take long for the house to loose heat.

So in our renovation and house extension, we are looking at how we can improve our heating efficiency by buying a 5 star central heating system that can be zoned, plus use the heater as little as possible by putting in good insulation - double glazed windows with good window coverings, high ratings on wall and ceiling insulation (this is where you loose the most heat).

Proposed new weatherboard extension - old brick will be removed also

Insulation is key for us too as currently our house has a brick casing which helps but this casing is going and old weatherboard houses are notoriously bad for insulation - something we will need to fix.


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