Exterior house paint colours

I’m loving a newly renovated wooden cottage round the corner from home this week, which has been painted the most delightful shade of sea green. Colours are hard for human eyes to reproduce away from the original, so the best I could come up with is this Benjamin Moore Sea Green:

paint-north-sea-green

(It’s a bit more grey.) With complementary white trim, and grey window shades and corrugated iron, it looks spectacular, dramatic and clean and a world away from the ubiquitous grey and white that has Australian homes in a stranglehold. I used to love grey and white. Now I think I prefer something else.

I’m not sure this colour will suit our house. I don’t want to be too conservative, but house colours can last for up to 30 years on the house, so one has to be prepared for a long-haul colour that won’t date too fast.

I’m liking the blue/green/grey combos such as Benjamin Moore Lucite Green:

paint-lucite-green

Matched with white trim, this colour is great. But without some depth, it can look wishy/washy. One of my favourite renovation shows is Masters of Flip, which shows in Australia on 9MSN. The colours chosen by the host are often fantastic, and I think this show is single-handedly responsible for my new-found love of rich exterior colours, such as this one below:

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Can you see this in a sea-green with white trim, grey and white window shade, and white valance? I’m excited about the possibilities.

It’s either that, or white and black!

In which I confess my Pinterest obsession. Again.

I’ve been having some seriously green moments of late. I’ve been scrolling through Pinterest with the fervour of a demented person, and I’ll have to take a break just to claim my sanity back.

I’ve been loving window seats and banquettes. This may have something to do with the brain wave I had about our planned kitchen/family room addition (sadly on the never-never plan, but a gal can dream). On the bottom right of the plan is the kitchen, which sits along the east boundary. The whole addition is 5 metres x 7.3 metres, which when added to the current room more than doubles the space. The butler’s pantry will be about 1.5 metres wide. The free-standing island bench will be about 3 metres long and about 1.2 metres deep. The kitchen wall will stretch the length of the space, giving us about 5 metres. Once the fridges and appliances are accounted for, there will be about 2 metres of inexplicable room at the end. What to do, what to do?

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My cunning plan is to put in a corner window seat. How ’bout that?! The architect and I had planned for doors to open onto a narrow deck on the south-east corner, but I have a better idea. We will move the doors (yet another repurposed set of French doors to the south west corner. Once again repurposing the kitchen windows (which are beautiful and original to the house), we will place them on the south-east corner and put a window seat underneath, to which I will add a recently purchased 1870 mahogany breakfast tilt-table. I think it will end up being the most popular spot in the house, and certainly the sunniest in the mornings. Huzzah!

This is what I think it might look like:

window seat

Yass.

window seat 4window seat 3window seat 2

This is a version of the table I recently purchased:

Mahogany breakfast table

Tilt tables became popular with the rise of the middle class throughout England and America in the 1700s, and were used for conversation spaces where breakfast and afternoon tea were served. I envisage this table will evoke exactly the same feels. At least, it will make a lovely study space and Sunday-morning-paper-reading space.

It’s no surprise that the images I’ve shown also indicate the type of kitchen I want. As our house is nearly 100 years old, it has a country farm style, and I want to carry that through the kitchen, with Shaker cupboard faces, slightly retro fittings and finishes, and a wee touch of marble (NOT on the counters, because marble stains horribly. Perhaps marble subway tiles in a herringbone pattern on the backsplash).

In the meantime, though, I’m planning the studio addition to the house, which DH and I are hoping may be possible to add sometime next year. This will add valuable capital to the house, allow us to paint the exterior and move the entryway to the front. We will also add another family bathroom at this time. I had a great deal of success with our ensuite, and I know exactly the types of fittings and fixtures I want, as well as the tiles and general design. I’ll stick to the same basic palette of concrete-style floor tiles and extra large white tiles laid in a subway pattern I used in the ensuite, but I’m thinking about a pale blue Spanish tile as the feature:

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I’ll order the same light fittings, but I’ll choose a slightly different mirror. As for the vanity: well, it might be an off-the-rack job, depending on the size. I’ve also decided to add a bath under the shower. It might reduce the size of the room but my children will appreciate it!

 

Well, hello!

Oh my word, has it really been 2 months between blog posts? Well, sometimes life gets in the way.

It’s been 2 months since I fell off the ladder and I finally figured out why: the ladder is a bit crap, and the floor is uneven at just the spot that I fell down. When painting the second coat I discovered this and got my daughter to hold the ladder for the 2 minutes it took to paint that section. Then I got the hella off of that ladder. There are jobs I gave up attempting: I’ve given up trying to paint the ceiling. It’s nearly 11 foot high and I just can’t manage it without buying some serious scaffolding equipment. I’ll hire a professional painter. I’ve also (for the time being) given up trying to paint the windows and architraves. Not that I can’t: it’s just a messy business, what with sanding and filling and gapping and all that stuff and I just can’t bring myself to be bothered right now.

One needs a break from hard yakka.

On the fun side: I’ve been slowly upgrading our bedroom furnishings. Our bedroom is SO much more inviting now, and it still has 2 chairs, 2 bedside tables and 2 large chests-of-drawers in it, plus a queen-sized bed. I’ve added a Chinoiserie stool similar to this:

china stool

I bought that lovely dove-grey Belgium linen doona set I was coveting:

belgian linen doona

I paired it with a beautiful set of duck egg blue Sheridan sheets in 700-thread count Egyptian cotton (on sale, of course!). The picture below is actually of white sheets, but it’s appears about the right shade with a cursory glance.

sheets

The blue and grey complement each other very well. The grey could be paired with just about any colour as it is quite a neutral stone, but a blue themed bedroom (SO restful) is my preferred look.

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These photos were taken before purchase of new blue sheets.

In the next few posts I’ll show you some photos of my newly painted lounge-room, and the adventures I’ve been having with French-polishing. Adios for now!

 

 

 

Fall from grace 

Well, just as you think you’re really hitting your straps, along comes a minor disaster to keep the hubris at bay. As I was standing atop my 6′ ladder with a full 4 litre can of acrylic Dulux Antique White, busily painting the largest of my bedroom walls, I was thinking about how my dad, who is a still sprightly 75, would be up here painting, but that if he fell it would be a serious accident. I thought about how fortunate it was that I hadn’t had a single fall in 5 years atop this old ladder. I was happily engaged in this thought when I fell. With a full can of paint. Onto the floor which was only partly covered with a light canvas drop sheet. The paint went everywhere. Onto the floor. The drop sheet. The furniture. Splashing onto the walls. The oil-painted bedroom door which was about to have a new coat of oil paint. Me. 

As I was doing the large rear wall I hadn’t covered the furniture with anything, which wouldn’t have mattered if I hadn’t fallen. But even the new quilt cover got a little splash of paint. Well. I picked myself up. Adrenalin was pumping so hard I couldn’t tell if I was injured, but I knew I had to get the paint off the floor before it dried. The furniture wasn’t too badly spattered; a few little drips that would peel off when dry. But the wooden floor. OMG. I frantically started to paint the walls with the paint that had glopped on the floor. I was wet, sticky and cold with paint in my hair, hands, clothes and feet. I couldn’t tell where I didn’t have any paint! The door, splashed with half a can of paint it seemed is now half painted Antique White. Not sure how to fix that except paint it all and sand it back slightly. I was working so fast that I was very slapdash, but actually the speed worked for me and the paintwork looks fine. I got most of the paint onto the walls and then I called for my daughter to get a bunch of towels and stuff to help me clean the rest of the floor. Actually I think I probably screamed at her, but she was very good about it! She got me a heap of warm soapy water, some Brillo pads and a mop, and between her on the outside of the room and me stuck inside we managed to clean up the paint. You can hardly tell where it has been, except for a couple of cracks in the floor between the floorboards where the paint got in. 

I am unutterably grateful for the excellent polish our floor sanders applied so well 5 years ago. The acrylic paint literally just lifted right off. The blue Brillo pads helped lift the dried bits but without even scratching the floor polish.

I am also unutterably grateful to my daughter, who brought me cups of water, coffee and a Tim Tam as well as replenishing the mop bucket with fresh hot, soapy water. Even when I screamed at her. Because panic. (Of course I apologised later!)

And after I had finished cleaning up the floor, I cleaned myself up, had a good long sit down and started to feel very very tired. A body response to adrenaline. Well. That threw a spanner into my time frame! 2 hours to clean it all up and only 1 bedroom wall is painted. So today I’ll finish painting the other 3 walls (they’ll be a bit quicker because less wall). To make up for lost time last night I patched some of the ensuite woodwork which speeds things up a bit. Whew! What a day.

So last night I watched a lot of renovation shows (what gives, USA, about those house flippers?!) cooked my usual roast dinner and made Rocky Road for the first time. With cranberries, pistachios and some broken up Tim Tams alongside the usual marshmallows. And had a big drink of Shiraz! 


Today is a new day. With a bruised elbow the only human suffering apart from my bruised pride. Onward and upward. On that ladder. With a dented can of paint and newly acquired extra caution. 

Yet. More. Painting.

DH (darling hubby) is away for the week so I’m taking the opportunity to paint some of the rooms long overdue for a new paint job. I’m doing the master bedroom, lounge room and step daughter’s room this week. 

In the lounge room, we replaced an ill-placed set of French doors with a new wooden wall which until yesterday was completely raw. (Don’t worry, we’re repurposing the doors.)

I undercoated the new wall with Dulux 3-in-1 prepcoat and today gave the whole room its first topcoat in acrylic low sheen Dulux Antique White. It’s brighter than the Dulux Sand Dune half strength coat that was here when we moved in, but still works a treat with our brown furniture, and looks chic and sort of French. 

I’ll confess I’m a lazy painter. The original wall paint is only 5 years old and aside from a brief dust down I didn’t bother washing the walls. Naughty, I know. My experience tells me washing VJs is a huge waste of time. They are so crusty and wonky from previous shonky paintwork that it looks fine with a fresh coat of paint. In fact, because I fix the gaps it usually looks better. 

I’m also painting my stepdaughter’s room, as she shares the VJ wall, which is single skin. Her room is still bright and fresh with Dulux Vivid White. A morning spent gapping her room with various timber bog and selleys no more gaps and her first coat of topcoat goes on in the am. 

However, I’m kinda doing this arse about. I’ve bought a Dulux semigloss acrylic in Vivid White for the ceiling, but I’m putting off doing the ceilings. Because it’s a shitty job. Also, I have to sand the lounge room ceiling a bit because the last painter was even lazier than me and didn’t remove the flaking paint. I also have to gap the bedroom ceiling because that too had a set of French doors removed, and the architraves were pulled back from the wall to fit the new wooden VJs. 

So today I gapped one wall and painted another. I’m a bit slow. Tomorrow I need to give the lounge its final coat, then do the first coat in the bedrooms. A long day, but I only have until Friday to do the 3 rooms plus the woodwork. Ugh. 

Photos to follow. 

Cushion overload

Hello folks. Sorry about the long silence between posts. We’ve been enjoying our new mini renovation and taking some time out to relax and get some chookies. (Backyard hens for free range eggs). The black Australorp Josephine is already laying well but the other 2 are just not doing anything yet. We may have to wait a few months until spring.


I’ve slowly been updating our bedroom’s soft furnishings. I may have gone overboard just a tad this afternoon:


5 new cushions. Sad, I know. I encouraged my hubby to come along for the ride. He flat out refused! Can’t think why…😉 The grey velvet on the left, the stripe on the right and the silly white faux fur cushion were bought from Freedom Furniture; good buys for AU$33 each (buy 2, get 1 free). The watercolour style cushion on the left from Adairs was AU$50, and the gorgeous slub velvet on the right from West Elm was a breathtaking $75. Worth it! My hubby said to me just now as he prepared for bed: “I’ll be in the bedroom removing the cushions. As Scott of the Antarctic said when he stepped outside: ‘I may be some time'”. 😂

While I still love our navy and white colour scheme, I’m looking forward to updating our bed linen soon with a soft dove-coloured quilt cover in Belgian linen, matched with darker grey Euro cushion covers. We’ll update our current lamps with new mid-grey linen lamp shades, and replace our very sad old white rattan ceiling fan with a new low profile white one. Now that the weather is finally cooling down I’ll get stuck once more into some house painting. The bedroom walls will be a simple Antique White (Dulux), matched with Natural White wooden trim and a Vivid White semi-gloss ceiling paint. Gloss paint is typical for these old Queenslander houses with their wooden beadboard ceilings, but it’s not too shiny. Because we live on a busy street we often have to keep our blinds closed so it’s important that the room feels light and bright. No grey walls for us!

The bedroom used to look like this: 

There were 3 entry points and too much furniture:


We removed the French doors near the chair and moved the bed to that wall. The wooden chest is no longer in the bedroom. The French doors on the other side were also removed and are now awaiting repurposing for a future renovation. The opposite side opening, flanked by the chests of drawers, leads into our walk-in-robe and ensuite. 

The room is already much larger and better organised and I can’t wait to add plantation shutters to the windows, which will really streamline the room. Finally, I’m hoping to find a large watercolour painting of clouds, much like the cushion I bought today: 


Peaceful and lovely. With that, I’m off to bed to see how my husband has fared with his cushion battle. Good night all! 

Australia Day and paint

   

 Just a few more days and we can declare the new ensuite and WIR finished!

The final days are for the electrician who has to return for the extractor fan install, plus a couple of little touch up jobs. I’m sueing the painter. Nah. But I need to patch and dress some final paint patches, which I will do after the fan is installed.

It’s been a long and sometimes frustrating process, making sure the vision we have is accurately reflected in the building works. Drawings and Pinterest boards aren’t always enough. Builders will make design decisions on your behalf, often without consultation at all. This is unacceptable but understandable given their desire to do a quick job. Even placement of lights and features need constant supervision.

There are elements of our renovation I would change if I had my time over, but they are small things. In general I’m happy with the final result.

Above are 2 images of the bathroom, which represent the conclusion of my design concepts. It’s come together really well. 

 

Arty, crafty, glassy.

There be photos of the new shower screen. Never knew you have to wait 3 days before touching or bumping it. Apparently it could explode. I ask, what takes 3 days to cure that a piece of glass might explode if you touch it?

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Not hugely in love with the piece of aluminium on the floor but I wasn’t actually given any choice. I love how builders make design choices for you (not). Anyway, it’s pretty unobtrusive and given that I hate water flowing throughout the bathroom from shower run-off I’m happy to see it there. My folks did a similar thing with a rounded piece of aluminium in their bathroom but it wasn’t high enough and water still flows over it. The only other alternative would have been to put a drain at the entrance but I hate the long ones – they’re swimming pools for cockroaches in our house.

I love the big, clear screen and that you can still see through to the picture window. It feels as if there is no glass at all! And the bathroom still feels spacious and well designed. So happy.

On Monday the boys come back to do the last of the work – the final siliconing of the glass, some extra electrical stuff, a louvre window, some tiling, and finally the silicone for the bathroom. Am I impatient to start using our bathroom? Not really. We’ve lived with the crappy bathroom for so long that a month seems short.

Of course, now I’m seriously regretting not having tackled the trim and door painting before the lads arrive. I might have a go with the oil paint tomorrow, just to get started.

In the meantime, DH bought a new Makita petrol line trimmer with a Bunnings gift voucher and I bought some herbs again. I love home grown herbs but I’m terrible at keeping the water up to them, and in Queensland summer sun you need to water every day – yes – even woody herbs such as Rosemary.

I’ve repurposed an old wire flower shelf back to its original use. I WAS going to de-rust and paint the thing but I couldn’t be fagged. I potted all the herbs, watered them and arranged them on the shelf and now I’ve created an artful Instagram picture (which I don’t use because Instagram).

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I’m pretty happy with the composition of this picture, actually. And yes, it has been edited a bit using Snapseed- our paintwork isn’t quite as bad as this!

Now DH is hard at work learning how to use a petrol line trimmer. There may be teething problems.