A bit of a bedroom update

Hubby and I went to Sydney a few weeks ago and enjoyed the most wonderful king sized bed sleeping experience. We decided then and there that we needed a new bed. My old Queen sized bed base was 30 years old and while I loved the 20s vibe it gave, we were overdue for a bedroom update. We decided to gift the bed base and mattress and accompanying bedding (I gave away my old doona, some sheet sets and doona covers) to a local couple who needed it for their son’s place in Toowoomba. I hope they get lots of use out of it! The mattress was a bad buy for us – far too soft and even though it had “pocket coils”, I don’t think there were enough of them. It was a poor experience all round.

We decided to buy a king sized bed. We had to decide between firm and medium – this is a major issue for us as our backs are not getting any younger! I reckon we tried every single brilliant mattress in SE Qld, until we discovered Hypnos brand from Beds ‘n’ Dreams. From there it was a matter of deciding firm or medium. A wise person on our travels told us that one can make a firm bed softer, but one cannot make a soft bed firmer. Well. That decided it. Firm it was. We had four weeks to wait while they constructed the ensemble which is made in Australia. Oh dear, what a shame that I had to immediately go out and buy all new bedding for the unit.

Here is an image of the bed we selected (headboard NOT included!):

It’s freaking enormous. I have to stand on my tiptoes to get in the thing. I laugh every time I do this, btw, because it feels so ridiculous, but I’m happy to say it does not overwhelm the room. I’m utterly thrilled with the ensemble as it comes with drawers for my shoes (huzzah!!) and it’s actually streamlined the look in our bedroom. Here are some shots of the new bed with accompanying bedding from Adairs, Pillowtalk, Bed Bath ‘n’ Table and the Coastal Cushion Company:

I’m still getting used to the firmness of the bed but it’s starting to soften up just a bit, and it has some memory foam too, which I normally don’t love but it’s fine in this instance. Hubby loves the firmness. I’m miles away from hubby in the bed, too, which is quite a blessing after 15 years of marriage!!! 😉 I’m just loving our new all natural bedding – wool, feather and down, linen, cotton and bamboo. I feel like the sage green and olive green pillows were an inspired touch – they will work beautifully with our white linen doona cover. Now, of course, I’m eyeing off new lamps…

So it’s 4 months between posts.

Don’t judge me. It’s not that I haven’t been working on the house: it’s that I hightailed it to Melbourne as soon as my teaching year was over and spent a blissful six weeks just hanging with my homies. AKA my family. We actually like to hang out together. I know. Odd. (Also took the opportunity to redecorate the beachhouse for presents for mum and dad. Which now looks AWESOME.)

Anyhoo. So remember when last year I was moaning about the house being too noisy? Well it still is, but an amazing, wonderful thing happened. My daughter moved out. Yep. She and her partner were handed a house across town and she leapt at it. So she’s been gone since Australia Day/ Invasion Day and guess what I’ve been doing? !

Painting, y’all. Painting. While I wait for the agonisingly long time it’s taking for my iphone to upload its photos to my dear old, tired MacBook (now that’s a design story for another time), let me tell you what I’ve been up to these last few weeks.

At the time I was moaning and bitching about the noise, we got a bunch of real estate agents through to look at the house. Turns out we could get a good price for it, but there is an ever so slight correction in the overheated Australian property market and I think to suggest we’d make $1,000,000 on our little home (and land) is a bit of an overreach. And now we’ve had a bit of a mind change about wanting to sell, because life, the agents keep bugging me and I’ve had to ignore their calls.

And then I went away for a long, long time. So I’m back home, daughter’s out, and now WE HAVE A SPARE ROOM. In truth it’s not really a spare room because my step-daughter needs it, but she has to share with visitors now. Sorry not sorry.

So of course, being one to grab an opportunity when I see an empty room, I PAINTED it. And now it’s beautiful. I’ve complained before about the length of time and effort it takes to paint VJs, haven’t I? Suffice to say, once again hideous. But the result is stunning. The room is south facing, which in Australia means the cold side, but which in hot QLD means the comfortable side. I painted the walls with 3 coats of Dulux Vivid White, and finished the woodwork with 2 coats of Dulux Natural White Enamel. God it looks good. Then, and this is where I give myself the biggest pat on the back, I McGyver’d the ceiling fan. It was an old rattan-inset wooden-bladed thing. Dusty, a horrible cream colour, it had a horrible amber glass light shade and was ERGLY. Parts of the blades were coming apart because old, and really it needed to go. But we can’t afford to do that right now, because then there’s a whole thing with lights and electricity we need to deal with and we can’t afford it. So.

I spray painted it with 2 cans of British Paints White Satin Spray paint. I glued and clamped the dodgy fan blades back together, and replaced the light shade with a simple round white one from Beacon Lighting. Sometimes, I amaze even myself. The darned fan looks like new.

Then, and this is where it all gets a little bit exxie, I bought a double bed for the daughter-of-step (and visitors), and now we have a beautiful guest room decorated in shades of wood, white and blue. It looks amazing. I’m about to decorate with a mirror wall, (no, NOT that sort of mirror wall), in which all our old mirrors and some new ones will be artfully placed on one of the walls to give the impression of even more space in there. I’ve bought a bunch of cheap vintage mirrors in gold plaster frames, and we already have some regular wooden ones, so one whole wall will be devoted to this decorating extremism.

Also in my painting adventures, I finally painted the woodwork in our ensuite and WIR. While it was all given undercoats etc, I hadn’t quite gotten around to finishing it all off. So I used the hottest ever recorded months of January and February to do this. Because I’m a masochist. And because I like sweating into MY EYES. But the effort was worth it (of course).

The NEXT thing I did, because my daughter moved out and we gave her all the crappy stuff under the house we no longer wanted; well there’s this thing in Australia we have called the nonburnable rubbish collection (AKA the hard rubbish collection, AKA the “we collect your shit so you don’t have to take it to the rubbish dump” collection). Yep, you guessed it. I’ve been clearing out the basement. When I say basement, what I mean is the ground floor of the house that is open to the elements and only has timber battens protecting all the stuff from the weather, thieves etc. It gets wet, and dusty, and dirty and all the things are not really protected.

We offloaded 2 broken fridges, some old broken chairs, a bunch of old electronic equipment, heaps of broken Ikea shelves and stuff, and then I cleaned nearly all the corners under our house. And swept the concrete. And now I feel lighter and cleaner. It feels SO GOOD, y’all!

I have to reconfigure my workspaces under there (I have 2 workbenches: 2!), and clean up some more bits and pieces, but OH BOY was it good to finally do this.

So in the next few weeks, I’ll be painting the ghastly 2nd bathroom a fresh white, cleaning out and painting the Oh Jesus room, and painting the rest of the house interior. Only 5 rooms to go, and the entire ceiling.

Oh yeah. Remember how I fell off that ladder last year and had a cry? Well, we offloaded that old thing and bought a brand new 2.4m ladder with paint tray, and a trestle board. Imma painting the ceiling now. Even though I don’t want to.

Y’all, my iphone and MacBook have decided that uploading 700 photos all at once is a bit difficult, so I’m going to suggest you take a look at my Instagram account, @brivegashome and you’ll see all the great photos there of my house and such. Because it appears the world will end before I get to upload any pictures from my phone!

Have a great week and I’ll be posting more frequently now.

Cheerio!

Jess

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!

 

 

 

Pinterest addiction (affliction?!) and the perfect master bedroom

I’ve become a little bit addicted to Pinterest. Pinterest is for people like me who have house-porn fetishes. I’ve discovered my style is an amalgam of Hamptons, warm, cozy British library, industrial vintage, French city elegance, collector’s corner and a touch of Scandi cool for DH’s study. I love colour but love muted neutrals too. I hate hate hate slick Italian moderne, glamorous shiny, or “easy care modern living”. Give me visual delight and clutter any day, as long as the floor and surfaces are clean and furniture is not too close to move the vacuum around. I’m suspicious of fads, even when I love them, such as those tall glass cake covers/stuffed animal protectors, because I think they may fall out of fashion pretty quickly, and then what do you do with a big glass thingy? I also love Steampunk style, which is a dense visual display of 19th century rusting industrial design such as watches and cameras and old implements and clothing and a big whack of neo-gothic romance. It’s too busy to have in the house but I can see that hanging paintings via gallery walls (aka salon style) might be good for the style. And the occasional occasional table.

I’ve been browsing Pinterest to help plan my dream spaces. It’s like working with mood boards and magazines except online. Totally addictive. I’ve found lots of interiors I love, particularly kitchens and laundries and bathrooms (because none of ours are any good), but rather fewer master bedrooms. Perhaps that’s because I have such a strong design sense for this space already. Our bedroom is perilously close to being “perfect” in my eyes. The room is a reasonable 3.6 metres by 4.2 metres, and we have a large “sunroom” to the left which we use as a sitting room when the children aren’t here. We don’t have a WIR or ensuite yet. That is a sad, sad story for another day.

The walls are a peaceful sand with white ceilings and our bed linen is Florence Broadhurst Egrets in a striking blue and red pattern which both DH and I loved on first sight:

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The nude drawing above the bed I bought from an artist friend, and I’ve started collecting blue and white Chinese-style pots to put on the mahogany chest of drawers because they look lovely against dark wood. I’d like to create a gallery wall but DH is a little bit overwhelmed by home clutter at times so I might have to leave the gallery wall for the powder room (aka the dunny). We have a suitable wall space next to my side of the bed, but given the amount of stuff in the room already I think DH would go crazy! Plus my side of the bed is a bit squeezy. I might have trouble getting past the hangings.

 

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At present there are two separate sets of French doors on opposite walls, plus a big window on the third wall, plus a nursery door on the fourth and final wall. We have a queen-sized tassie-oak 1920s-style bed, 2 restored 1920s vintage bedside tables, 2 large vintage chests of drawers, a vintage wooden chest, a vintage chair in navy velvet (I’ve wanted to get this chair re-covered for 20 years, now I don’t have to because now it’s back in fashion!), and a lovely blue-covered antique corner chair my mother restored. It’s awfully busy, plus there’s a laundry basket in the corner. If we keep the room as our bedroom we’d like to remove one of the French doors (saving and restoring it for the back rooms) so that we have a better use of space and more room around the bed. We’d then put in plantation shutters on the window as it cuts noise and would remove the visual clutter of the curtains  which are currently in for privacy, because they’re sure as hell no good for anything else!

House Plans P29-1

Because we are so pressed for storage we’re using the space under the bed for shoes. 2 old under-bed drawers on castors have been loaded up with shoes to try and declutter the room, given that we don’t own a wardrobe or linen closet or WIR or pantry or ANYTHING.

There are a couple of other things I’d like to get for the bedroom, including replacing the lovely but small bedside lamps with Chinoiserie blue lamps (the girls can each have one of the old ones, which are still in fashion but NQR for the space, and we’ll replace the shades with colours in their preference) and perhaps an old gilt mirror. DH says to me that for anything I buy one thing the same size has to go. I am not amused, but I can see why he would say that. I was raised by a hoarding mother who collects things. Lots of things. Lovely vintage things. Lots of lovely vintage things that need restoring. Luckily, I’ve been the recipient of some of those lovely things. Mostly restored. Some not.