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Archives for 2017

The Entertainer: Kitchens of Today

It’s hard to believe that there was a time when cooking was quite the chore. It was once dirty and sooty business; getting wood, stoking the fire, literally preparing your food from the farm to the table. How spoilt are we with the advancement of technology today? Supermarkets provide us with all the food goods we could ever possibly want, and today we have the best kitchens to prepare and cook our food in. As a matter of fact, the trend over the years has seen the kitchen advance in the ranks of household importance. Today, it’s the one room that the house revolves around. Food nurtures the mind, body and soul and without it we wouldn’t survive. It truly is the heart of the home. You might have noticed that over the last few years the kitchen has undergone a dynamic change. the meals area is the new dining room and the dining room has been mostly phased out in a lot of the newer the Australian homes. The open plan home designs have kitchens that invite family to create meals together and with the kitchen, meals and living areas incorporated it makes for a closer family environment and has been great for entertaining, and so many of the designs look fantastic. It also means that you can use that dining space for a bedroom or media room, or anything else that your heart desires. Here are some of the gorgeous kitchens I found on the internet. And that’s pretty much it in a nutshell; the evolution of the kitchen and how we’ve built our home around it.     Advertisements

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Creating a Haven for Your Littlies

When my oldest daughter Jennifer was a baby I desperately wanted to create a magical space for her to not only sleep and play but also for her to feel safe. Darren and I did our best with the little money we had to make her room look sweet and special. We were always scouting for pretty or creative things that would fire up her imagination. We had an incredibly tight budget back then and could only afford sale and secondhand items. Now that we’re grandparents we get to try our hand at creating a new and visually exciting room for our grand-daughter. Scouting the internet for ideas, there are so many wonderfully creative people putting together amazing rooms for their children. Here’s some of my favorites. These house frame beds are the latest craze for DIY-selfers and they really do look great in kids bedrooms. There are so many great DIY sites to help you save money and that can help you on your way if you feel like getting creative and a little bit dirty. The Design Confidential has a great plan you can use to build this bed at thedesignconfidential.com/2017/01/diy-furniture-plans-build-full-size-house-bed/ Ana White’s site is fantastic. There are so many different beds to choose from. She also has an abundance of free plans on her site so you can build just about anything. For the bed below go to www.ana-white.com/2012/07/abis-castle-loft-bed. For the rest of her plans you can go to ana-white.com/plancatalog   Good luck creating a happy and sacred home space.

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Storytelling With Vignettes

I remember years ago going to woman’s house with a group of friends after a book launch party (I was a +1). Lynda’s  home was eclectic and every corner told a story. I was particularly drawn to the home office which was adjacent to the living room. There, two thirds along a wall sat an old waterfall dresser that had been returned to its former glory. On top of the dresser sat an old war era framed photograph, a carved marble table lamp and a Fada radio, amongst other memorabilia. I do remember feeling a bit warm and fuzzy but also a little sad. I was dying to ask Lynda what it all meant. The rest of the house was a mixture of themes but this office was distinctly styled in a 1940’s “art deco” theme. Even the desk looked like it was an original Johan Tapp. Eventually, after spending time chatting with the others, Lynda and I introduced ourselves properly and got to talking and a little bit in I asked about the office, I mean, after all we were there for a post book launch party drink and chat, not lessons in one’s taste in décor. Either way, her eyes lit up and she practically dragged me back into the office explaining that the photo was of her grandparents who were so much in love with each other their whole lives and died only months apart. The lamp had been one of her grandmother’s favorite possessions and she would often sit beneath it reading Lynda stories in the armchair that was now angled in the corner. Her grandfather would often listen to news of the war on the radio in the kitchen, or at his desk that was now in this office. Lynda explained that she had a very close relationship with her grandparents, and putting their items around her workspace helped fill her with calm and inspiration. If she felt stressed she simply looked around her and the peace and confidence her grandparents instilled in her would fill her again. Now I know why I felt so warm and fuzzy. That night years ago was the first time I learned about what a vignette was and “the rule of 3” or “the rule of odds”. Turns out Lynda was an interior designer turned author. She explained to me that what probably caught my interest was the layout…

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Is Minimalism an Art Form?

The last three weeks have been interesting to say the least. My daughter had surgery on her kidneys and bladder, then a week later I had surgery on my foot. To top that, I don’t cope well with anaesthetic as I’m allergic to all the drugs the doctors use, including pain-killers. Even though I’m still off my foot, I’m feeling pretty good now and couldn’t wait to write this blog. I may be feeling pretty good, but very sadly there has been an absence in my housework, and my house is falling down around me. You can’t see my sad and frustrated face, but it’s definitely there. Anyway, as they say your home reflects your personality, mine reflects a lot of different personalities. My family love living in their home, and in saying that, they love to make a lot of mess. Oftentimes leaving most of it for me to clean up. No can do right now and it can be quite distressing. Believe it or not I actually enjoy cleaning and take pride in my home and things, but a certain man in my life isn’t as fussy. He’s really good at the basics, but if he had to take care of the home in general it would end up a disaster zone. Lately, it’s fallen on his shoulders to take care of the everyday details and even though he’s trying his best, he doesn’t know where most things go. To a degree, it’s quite funny (and a little bit sad). In all the years that we’ve been together we had accumulated a great deal of stuff until I decided that was it. I had had enough of trying to organize the clutter without looking like a complete hoarder, only to find myself failing miserably the second the children came home from school and my partner from work. That was it….toys had to be culled, wardrobes dissected, kitchen crockery reassessed, and general items that had neither purpose nor beauty was either thrown out or donated. We had bags upon bags filled with goodies to go. I wouldn’t call myself a minimalist, but I certainly had ideas that would fall in the category of minimalism that day when i decided everything had to go. I wanted to be able to dust without knocking ornaments off shelves, or vacuum without having to dodge old barbie shoes or beads (OMG my pet…

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Take Back Control of Your Desk – 9 Easy Tips to Help You De-clutter Your Workspace

I was going to redecorate the office, but when my eldest daughter had a baby it was set up as a nursery for when my grand-daughter comes to stay, so I’ve had to set up a makeshift area to do my work. The house my family and I live in is nicely laid out design wise but the space is not huge and makes it difficult when you need to cram more furniture into an area that’s already low on space. The logical solution was to downsize the furniture and de-clutter so that I could use as little space as possible. The outcome was that I didn’t need as much floor space as I originally thought I needed. Creating a space in the living room, I ended up buying the malm occasional table from ikea, which is long and slim, and I’m using that for a desk. I already had two of the vika amon shelves that I bought years ago so I slid those under the table for the extra support, which I might add was a good fit. The table was only slightly lifted off the floor by about a centimeter and if I had used one shelf I wouldn’t have been able to do it. It would’ve been just enough to be lopsided and unstable. The table needed the shelves under it for the support so that it didn’t sag in the middle. They are not what I’d call the sturdiest table, and when standing alone it moved quite easily but up against a wall it  don’t go far. I wasn’t about to run out and spend heaps of money setting up a makeshift work area. And they make a great option as my kids have a tendency to use this space to do their coloring and crafting and you can wash their texta marks right off the desk. The good news is that because I’ve had to incorporate my office into the living room, I’m challenged to keep it clear of clutter. If you’re like me, you like to keep your things looking as pretty as a picture. So how do you organize your desk space? I’m going to share some suggestions with you, some of which I’ve learned over the years, some which are plain common sense, and some which I got scouring the internet for some good ideas. I swear when I vacuum my…

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