Tuesday, 16 December 2014

It's getting hot in here..

First of all I am a terrible, horrible, despicable person. I abandoned you all for longer than I intended :( But I am back!!! YAY!

It has been crazy hectic here; we have had a few visitors staying, some awesome christmas parties and a lot of staring-at-our-new-kitchen-till-it-gets-uncomfortable. I promise to never leave you all again.

I realise I still owe you a post on tiling our splashback, and I will get to that when I find what I did with all the pics (whoops); but today I would like to take a moment and talk to you about the weather. It's hot...like SUPER hot. About 39 degrees (or about 103F for my new lovely US readers) and a billion percent humidity.

Apart from the rank window rattlers that were already here when we purchased the house - see this post for mind-searing images and details of their removal - our new home was devoid of any air-conditioning. I feel like I could've manned up, drunk my glass of concrete and dealt with it, except our house likes to think of itself as the 9th circle of hell and heat up to absolutely ridiculous temperatures. This is probably attributed to the sunroom and one wall of our bedroom being all windows and the fact that we are on the top of a hill with no shade.

So a few weeks ago we bit the bullet and ordered two new members of the family that both look like this:

 Samsung SmartII 3.5kw

The small 3.5kW will be installed in our master bedroom, with the 7.0kW installed in the loungeroom above the current TV position. We are hopeful that the big one will go some ways towards cooling the two spare bedrooms (which will also have fans once renovated) for guests. 

We chose these aircons as they were a little bit cheaper than the other and (wait for it!) they connect to the wifi. Yes you heard right...TO THE WIFI. I never have to get out of bed to turn it on again! I can turn it on before I get home! Who knew these existed and didn't tell me?!!!! 

After a bit of a wait and a few frustrating stuff ups on behalf of the supplier we finally received our aircons and they are right this minute being installed by the awesome guys at Airbay. So stay tuned for pics!

On another note Tim & I am SO incredibly honoured that one of our favourite blogs - House*Tweaking - has done a full feature post on our kitchen renovation - check it out here

Monday, 6 October 2014

Kitchen Reveal!

BAM. It's done!!

I was going to do a post on the splashback tiling; but....who cares! A post for another day. Let's get into it.

Remember this?? Well.......

Soooo happy!!!! 

I am so excited and proud of Tim and his meticulous hard work for the whole of this project. I would be lost without him :) Renovating is truly addictive when you see your hard work finally come together and you love everything about it. 

Ignore the missing floor and skirting in the hall - that's the next project STOPJUDGINGMEDAMMIT

*happy dance* Look at those appliances, that amazing marble splashback, the cute little clock, the very touchable benchtop. You love it; it's okay you can tell me, we're all friends here. 

Detail shots you ask? OF COURSE. 

Clipsal Saturn lightswitch

Clipsal Saturn powerpoint that controls the cooktop and is mounted on the splashback

Our stainless steel tap with pull out vegetable washer. Possibly Tim's favourite thing ever

We elected to have drain grooves cut into the benchtop, best idea ever

One of my favourite things in here, our techtonite Franke sink that is surprisingly hardy and holds a TON of water

Hmmm wonder what is in here...

Ta-Da! Hello my little friend. How I have missed you for 8 months...you have no idea!

Our massive-ass 80cm cutlery drawer....

The splashback! Tim originally had reservations about Carrara Marble but has bowed down to my obviously awesome style in the wake of finishing this #totallytakingcredit

Oh and the Tasmanian Oak trim under cupboards & on the archways was also my idea. You're welcome. 

& that Hahnii mother in laws tongue in the dice planter is totally mine as well. Just sayin. 

We bought this clock in Byron Bay on our 5 year anniversary mini-break so I'm very happy it has found a new home in a room we created together

We also FINALLY put our lounge room back together (no more dinner in bed while watching The Block!). We maintained the previous layout for now; using the rug and chair placement to create a separate, designated space. 


No, no, don't cry little readers, this is the not the end of our beautiful relationship. Next post I will tell you all about how two useless non-tilers managed to not screw up our splashback....and then maybe in 2 or 3 weeks, after I have enjoyed sleeping in past 6am and actually wearing normal clothing, we will be back and ready to tackle the first of our guestrooms - the amazing Stank Room

Thanks for coming on this journey with us so far! 

Jess xoxox

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

The End is Nigh!


Bench top is in!!!! This last week has been hectic. Tim had a couple of days off and I feel like we grossly underestimated the sheer amount of little shitty jobs left to do before the bench top/electrician/plumber could do their thing and hook our kitchen up. 

Tim installed new skirting as our old skirting was tiny and incredibly crappy. We went with a thick (19mm) bevel edged, primed skirting from Bunnings which looks awesome and not that weird with the existing trim on the windows. We decided to try painting them the same eggshell finish as the walls....cue me having to repaint them all gloss white after they were installed because they simply did not hold up to being, yaknow, touched in any way. Oh well. 

So. nice.

We also decided we would paint our disgusting yellow doors. Remember these??


Tim wanted to go a light grey (shocker.); whereas I have always loved the black doors that Daniel from Manhattan Nest  rocks in his apartment & house. I decided (I KNOW I KNOW I WAS ALLOWED TO PICK SOMETHING, MY TIME HAS FINALLY COME!!!) on a very dark navy-grey called Ticking from Dulux. I am totally 100% in love with our doors - that's normal right?? Unfortunately I only have crappy phone pics of this stage in the process but I promise fresh pics once we reveal the finished kitchen.

The process begins

I love them sooo much!

We also purchased new door hardware, called Sienna from Ikonic So awesome, except the lock on our ensuite door doesn't work very well and I was trapped in there last night in a towel and thought I would die and rabid alsatians would eat my body. Obviously I escaped as I am now wearing clothes. 

So let's move on to why you'll all here. The bench top. Caesarstone 4003 Sleek Concrete installed by the awesome guys at Regency Stone. It has an amazing matt-finish texture; beautiful, understated white and black grain; and Tim has developed an unhealthy compulsion to touch it all the time. Although the stone itself was definitely not the cheapest option (read: most expensive Caesarstone we liked), it was the perfect choice for us. Not too brown but warm enough to lift the feel of our entirely white kitchen; and, considering I believe we have touched/caressed/fondled all of the available bench top options ever known to mankind during our 6 month search, it is by far the best one that matches our style. 

We chose a waterfall end to give it a more modern feel, and are so glad we did. We also elected to have 5 drain grooves cut into the stone top next to our black tectonite Franke sink 

Don't go chasing waterfalls, please stick to the ri.....oops sorry, got carried away....

Groove is in the heart aaaaaaah 
Look at that bench top texture. So sexy

Our sink waiting to be hooked up. Don't worry, the water is just from the stone people caulking it. 

The cooktop section

We will be tiling this splashback with carrara marble hexagonal mosiac tiles - a job for the weekend.

There have been a few things bugging me around the house - inevitable results of novice renovators such as small gaps between the laminate floor and the wall which are actually not going to be covered (because we have a secret surprise coming this weekend that will feature somewhere in this room); and also a section of the roof that we patched must have dried and moved slightly, allowing the edges of the patching to show through. 

So last night Tim skim coated the roof and sanded it. Just have to re-paint this section on the weekend and good to go. We also fixed up the little bits of flooring that needed it, whilst all the while whinging and bitching.

Today's adventures include our plumber Kevin  hooking up the dishwasher and sink and our electrician Jimmy wiring in the new pendants over the bench, wiring up oven/microwave/dishwasher/powerpoints and hopefully our new switches.

Until next time x

Sunday, 14 September 2014

New floors!

Today I have discovered it is possible to have genuinely affectionate feelings towards laminate flooring. Because I do, I really really love our new floors.

In case you cannot recall, our house was a mix of yellow laminate - lounge, black sheet lino (over broken white tiles) - entry and kitchen/study and gross discoloured carpet - bedrooms.


As part of our reno, we decided the mismatched flooring had to go. We choose Quickstep Classic Laminate in Midnight Oak Brown from Carpet Court. At $25 per sqm (including underlay), it was a great price as well as an awesome look. The boards themselves are about 1200 long and have a thin black edge; they are a matt texture with heaps of variance in print and are perfectly rustic while still being ultra modern. 

It is very hard to photograph the floors :( They are a muted brown oak, with a bit of a white washed look. This overexposed pic shows the closest to true colour. 

The study. Ignore the colour testing on the door, still haven't decided on what shade we will paint them

I had the pleasure of installing the majority of the lounge and kitchen boards as I am on holidays from work. In keeping with our renovation tradition so far, I googled/youtubed then just kinda went for it. It turned out to be extremely frustrating until I got the hang of how to install the subsequent rows. Tip: use a smaller board to clip together the two edges you want to meet, this keeps the two long boards lined up so the tongue&groove can work properly. 

Needless to say, I am covered in scratches and I even split my finger with the hammer. Fun times! I learnt to use to drop saw all by myself (no no, don't applaud me too loudly while you are at work - people will think you are weird).

Underlay down in entrance

Things are progressing

Study prep

Hall progress. You can see where we staggered the boards at the end in preparation for renovating the front guest room (aka the Stank Room)

Tim championed the hall and study floor install on the weekend and by the end we had a great system going. I am excellent at measuring for the end cuts; Tim's skills lie in tapping the boards in. Good teamwork all round. 

Done!!! SOOOOO HAPPY ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!

You may have noticed we also replaced the old wooden venetian on the front lounge window for 50mm Long Island PVC venetians from Bunnings. They really brighten up the room and give an updated, clean look.

 Next up will be painting and installing skirting boards - you guessed it, they will be white! We also have to decide on a colour for the internal doors and paint those as well.

It's all finally coming together!!!

From the Windoooow to the Wall!

Again I am late in posting! Geez, get it together Jessica.

In most important news, I am on holidays from work, hooray! So that means I get to install flooring all day long. YAY! (said with great enthusiasm of course).

 In actual fact we finished the flooring yesterday - well, finished it up to the bedrooms. After this kitchen reno is all done and dusted we will be starting on each bedroom; giving them complete overhauls with new flooring, paint, lights, switches, skirting and decor. Ahh the neverending cycle that will haunt my existence.

I can see why some people get hugely addicted to renovating - why they drive their friends batty with constant chatter comparing the differences between low-sheen and semi-gloss paint, and why installing trim is worse than world hunger (#firstworldproblems)....not that I do any of that...no, of course not.....WHATEVER GUYS you have to love me anyway!!
It is so satisfying to see progress, and to know that I had a part in it all happening.

Gosh I can't even remember where I was going with this post!

Oh yes, the kitchen install itself. It was horrific.

Imagine me - a short, whingy, weak ranga/t-rex combo who has been instructed to hold a fabricated fridge cabinet above my head for approximately a gazillion minutes while Tim hunts around for a screw that he should have really already found before I became the world's most red-faced cupboard-holder. Yeah. So that basically sums up my week, how about yours?

Tim under a cupboard swearing at drawers

Preparing for the install

Our personal Ikea Consultant supervising the installation

The aforementioned over fridge cupboard. Unfortunately Ikea don't make a cupboard the exact size we needed, so a bit of creative construction was required

Tim on a ladder. Noice.

Our creative method for installing the above fridge cupboard; which happens to be half the depth of the pantry next to it

Pantry in! 

After a lot of YouTubing and Googling, we decided to use a rail mounted level on the wall to sit the rear of the cupboards on, leaving only the front legs to be adjusted to align all the cabinets. Sounds super simple doesn't it? Yeah, it was a totally shit job. But probably less shit than having to adjust 4 legs per cupboard so...winning?

We used a temporary rail to hang the upper cupboards

Majority of kitchen in, minus Oven cupboard

As you can see in the pic above, the cooktop will go in the middle against the wall, the sink and dishwasher are located in the island bench. 

Row row row your boat Timothy!

Ahh the oven cupboard. Never in the history of the world has a flat-packed piece of shit ever come so close to ruining a relationship and causing a electric-screwdriver-related murder. The lovely lady at Ikea said "Of course your oven and microwave will fit in here, along with 2 handy drawers and a shelf up top and even a little filler panel to make it all seamless.


However in the interest of making sure you are suitably impressed with our oven cupboard and our kitchen in general; and you know, continue to think we are amazing renovators and everything is effortless and sunshine comes out of our butts; I am not going to divulge the issues we faced with this uh....beautifully constructed....cupboard. Let's just say it finally works. Hooray!!!

Sexy, smexy Fisher & Paykel extra tall Oven & Ikea NUTID MWC6 Convection Microwave Oven

YAY It's in!!!

Today the lovely rep from Regency Stone will be visiting to measure up our bench tops and order our gorgeous Caesarstone 20mm bench tops in 4003 Sleek Concrete - a textured grey with awesome white/black minuscule flecks. Photo below is from the Caesarstone web site

Sooo delicious

I promise, I promise, I will post the details of the new floors hopefully today as well for you :)

Thanks for reading! I love hearing you all say how much you enjoy my blog. Sometimes I feel a bit silly writing this, and that no one really wants to listen to me waffle about our reno; it means a lot to me that you all visit! Please do leave me a comment or two if you would like - questions/criticisms all welcome (ok I lied, not criticisms LOL)

Until next time xox