Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Escape To The Country

In one week today, we will have a crew of packers packing up our 'stuff'. I am now in scary moving mode, but that hasn't stopped me seeking out the next move!

We often talk about moving to the country but the fear of actually doing it has stopped us, so far.
We have the girls' schooling to consider. They are happy where they are and I love that they can walk to school. I want to avoid the 7.30am bus as long as I can.
Once they're older will they be bored stuck in the country?
There are so many opportunities for children in a city but we also love the idea of them not being so exposed to living in a privileged, pristine world.
I just don't know.

I do know I could happily sit here...

There's something about the seclusion and homeliness of this large country home that really appeals to me.

There are 6 bedrooms and large living spaces. All there ready for a little colour.

I think I would love waking up to that view...but would I miss living so close to the water, good schools, friends, dare I say, shops?

It would mean a big change for us as Peter currently works in Corporate Land and there's not a lot of that in these parts. It would require a major lifestyle change for us all.
I guess we'll keep pondering, but in the meantime, big family homes like this just seem to speak to me.

Sorry I'm a little errant this week. I have one last week to get 'pre move' work completed on the house. I've even managed to slot in a nasty gas fire removal on Wednesday - yee ha!

I hope you're all having a lovely week. Annie x.

All images from here.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fabric Love

The lovely James, the FedEx man, delivered some fabulous fabrics today. This, however, is the one I have been checking the door for...

It is printed standard to a linen cotton ground, but I've had this order printed to Suncloth acrylic. That makes it a happy playmate to the outdoors, food, pets, husbands and children. Everything about it makes me smile.

On frightening news, it is one month exactly to Christmas Day. Sorry.

Staying true to today's colour theme, here's some Christmas prettiness to kick start the silly season.

Wherever you are, and especially to anyone on holiday through the Thanksgiving Break, have a very happy weekend. Annie x.

Fabric image my own; table settings, Eddie Ross from here; cushions from here; tree from here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I Could Spend A Lot Of Time Here...

I have been meaning to post this room for some time. I think it is AMAZING.

It is from the October 2011 issue of House & Garden (UK) Magazine and is featured on the Quadrille Editorial Page as those chairs in the centre....well, if you employ that magnifying glass I often require of you due to my poor technology capability...are covered in Alan Campbell's (fabulous) Criss Cross.

Fabulous in its simplicity.

As is that room.

Whilst designed within an inch of its life, this room calls me in to sit down, relax, have a drink. Chat...oh,  I can do that - WARNING: I talk like I write: why use only 10 words when there's 100 out there???
Stay for a meal? Of course I can.

Wouldn't you?

Image via Quadrille Editorial Page.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Our Renovation - Floorboards

It is two weeks today that we move into out new house. The painters are due to finish this Friday but are finishing...tomorrow! How much do I love this team?
So, seeing a gap in the Gannt Chart schedule, I've decided to get the wooden floorboards sanded and polished before moving day.

Our floorboards are currently in average condition but it's a great opportunity while the house is empty to get them cleaned up. They are wide boards but have that orange tone to them...

Most houses around us have had their floorboards stained dark. I do like that look, when done well with the right furnishings, but I have seen a lot of houses here with dark floorboards and very modern, often white furniture, and I find it all starts to look very 'staged for sale' and clinical.

So I'm retaining the tango-ed warmth of our boards. Bruce the floor man is starting his dusty job on Thursday morning. If he can make my orange, presumably pine, boards look like oiled oak, I'll be happy enough.

Failing that magic trick, a cleaner version of the 'as is' that I can look at and not have to think about doing in future, will be okay too.

All images via Pinterest from here, except 2 and 3 my own.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Our Renovation - Skylights

It always amazes me the difference good lighting can make to a room - both natural daylight and the electric variety. We have installed Velux windows into almost every house we have lived in as we love the way they can totally alter a room.

As well as being practical in introducing natural light where it's lacking, there is something so wonderful about how the sun splays across the room differently throughout the year.

We are having 4 skylights installed at this stage - two in the living area, one on the other side of the raked ceiling in the kitchen, and one in Lily's room with a UV blackout film (also a raked ceiling).

We are considering an extension to the back of the house, but also want to be able to enjoy living there in the meantime or, indeed, should we decide against further work.

So, here is the main living and dining room, before...

First task was to remove those blinds on the bifold windows - I don't even know how that works.

I'm not always keen to paint over timber - I tend to think it best to go with what a house is, accept its oddities and make the most of it. Honour what is.

However...this ceiling is basic NZ pine - nothing special and it is dark any time of day. So, we will extend the white paintbrush to the ceiling and install the skylights. I went in yesterday and the primer had just gone on the ceiling and the difference already is amazing. 

To illustrate my point about the darkness, this is the banquette seating area. It wasn't a sunny day, but that is just d-a-r-k. The brown vinyl/leather seats don't help and are off to be replaced with, well, anything really.

So, here's some prettier rooms to take us into the weekend. Imagine them without the skylights and see how different they would feel.

Thank you all for your lovely comments this week, particularly the positive ones regarding our renovation. I have a sinking feeling about buying the wrong house this time and am madly throwing myself at re-couping the feeling I had when we first viewed it. We have moved so many times, I could kick myself for getting this wrong...I should know better than to panic and leap in. Selling first with very little for sale in a surging market is not a nice place to be!

I know it will be fine. It may not be perfect, but it will be good and we will be happy. Very happy.

Have a lovely weekend. Annie x.

All images via Pinterest from here, except 3 - 5 my own.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Our Renovation - Playroom

I had a lovely scheme in mind for the girls' playroom. It centred around using the pistachio green fabric of these blinds in this room by designer, Amanda Nisbet...

Blinds - Quadrille Paradise Background in Pistachio

Yes, very pretty and what a fabulous scheme...UNTIL...I went into the house in the weekend and clocked the turquoise tiles on the fireplace that I had totally forgotten about.
Even then, I say fireplace, but it is far, far less desirable than that. A 1970's gas fire, which I think is going to have an accident rendering it useless, but not just yet...
In order to illustrate, I'm going to go against my better judgement and show some photos of the playroom.
This is before, okay...

Isn't that thing U-G-L-Y?

See why green blinds would be a clash? Add a yellow sofa and even more so!

Doors from the hallway to the playroom

Quadrille Fabrics are hand printed, so are usually printed to order with a 1 to 2 month lead time. Sometimes though, there is immediate availability and lucky lucky lucky...this was in stock...

China Seas New Batik in Turquoise New Navy

I LOVE this fabric and have some in Magenta New Navy waiting to make it onto some chairs I am having reupholstered. It is a great design in some beautiful colourways.

Happy Days in Fabricland because this is available too. I think it will make some lovely cushions.

China Seas Nitik II in New Turquoise 

So, back in business for the playroom.

On another renovation note, I met with an architect at the house today.
Now, sorry to anyone who is an architect, but many tend to make me feel like my pockets are drifting down to the ground whilst my arms are shrinking. 
I would have to say that this chap seemed very practical and respectful.
I did feel a sharp pain in my shoulders when he pointed out the 'loggia' two doors down, that he designed.
Let's call it a covered patio and keep the costs down I say. I can always rename it after the bills are paid!

Image 1 via Amanda Nisbet Design; 2 - 4 my own; 5 - 10 via Quadrille Editorial.