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, 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

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

You can have any colour you'd like, as long as it's white.

One thing I have discovered about living with a graphic designer, the only acceptable colours are white, matt black and grey. Such a variety! 

Obviously when it came time to pick a paint colour for our house, I was overwhelmed with options. 

6 months ago when we moved into this house we umm-ed and ahh-ed over paint chips, tried out a few sample pots on the loungeroom and selected Dulux White on White. It was awesome; until we finished  painting and realised it was exactly the same old granny-blue white we already had in the house. *sigh*

Fast forward less than 30 seconds and Tim decided he didn't like it. I'd like to say I was shocked....but I'm not. We (read: Tim) decided to embrace the kitchen reno as an opportunity to repaint the house - beginning with the kitchen/lounge/hall/study and finally, after all of that is done, start on the bedrooms. 

So this weekend we moved onto the painting stage of the project. 



Now don't get me wrong, I am one of those weird people who thoroughly enjoy painting for a little while. I don't enjoy getting blisters on my hands from painting multiple coats on trim around a bazillion doors and windows. 
(I also don't enjoy it when Tim says 'uh-oh' while painting next to my trim...cue re-painting yet AGAIN)

& don't even get me started on painting the ceiling

The colour we have chosen this time around is Dulux Vivid White - literally base white paint with absolutely no tint. Our ceilings were previously a darker creamy white, with a distinct shade of crappy we painted them Taubman's Flat White Ceiling Paint which is slightly warmer than the new wall paint. 

Ready for painting. Looks pretty white already but don't let that fool you

The new hall wall. My boyfriend is amazing. 

New ceiling paint going on

Garage door and front door alcove

I never realised that our internal doors and trim were FRIGGIN YELLOW. So of course I had to add all of the trim to my trim-fest. 

Look at the trim. Look at it. Appreciate it. Love it. It's amazing. 
Of course we still have to pull off all the doors and repaint them - once we decide on a colour (white, slightly grey white or slightly even more grey white???)

Tim painting like a boss

New paint in the study vs old paint

Phee cameo! Unfortunately she was no help painting. 

We also painted the doors of our linen closet to match the walls

All done!

The bathroom/WC/small guest room alcove. Sooo many yellow doors!!!! 

I cannot wait for my holidays to start next week so I can tackle all of the internal doors and new skirting boards...

Next weekend we will be installing the kitchen cupboards and starting to lay the laminate flooring, wish us luck!!!

J xox