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Friday, August 31, 2012

Fridays Letters - Dear Roof Restoration

The Friday's Letters link up isn't happening at Adventures of Newlyweds this week but I'm still going to do my letters because I'm hooked I love to do a weekly recap of the happenings in my little world.
I'm imagining this weeks letters are written from this very flowery feminine home office and I'll be writing in my cute notebook and sipping on a freshly squeezed juice
Dear Roof Restoration - You are now finished and look bloody fantastic! I've had neighbors come and tell me the house looks brand new and they'd better start cleaning up their place! I'm more than impressed.
Dear Garage Door - Second time lucky you are now installed and locked up and secure. They say good things are worth waiting for and you sure look good to me.
Dear Cruise Holiday - You are less than 3 weeks away now I am ready for a holiday. I still need to buy some things from my wish list so I'd better find some time to hit the shops soon.
Dear Sunday Trading - It is embarrassing how far behind the rest of the world we are here in Perth but hooray for finally letting us go to the shops on a Sunday. I don't have to cram everything into a Saturday anymore so thanks.
Dear Mr P - For your Birthday this week we had cake, beer, pub meal, beer, movies in style la premier, and you guessed it more beers. Happy Birthday baby, you are the love of my life and I hope all your dreams and wishes come true.

[Image via My Pinterest]

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Largest Thing You'll Ever Paint

I thought I had it all figured out picking the exterior colours of our house until we had to pick the roof colour so the roof restoration guys could start work.

Let's face it the roof is the largest thing you'll probably ever paint! It's such a big area and grabs a lot of attention so we were a bit stuck on the colour to pick.

Since the major works to the exterior of our home over the last 6 months the icing on the cake is to get the roof restored, at a cost of $5000 and 4 days work this job involves replacing all the cracked tiles, rebedding and pointing, new gulleys, pressure cleaning the roof tiles, and finally painting the roof tiles so you'll never notice the garage extension and the mix of orange tiles amongst it all.

So what colour roof paint should we pick? So far these are our exterior colours ... 

The front of the house and inside of the garage were rendered a sand stone colour
and then painted in Dulux exterior Classic Cream
(not Limestone as I wrongly picked the first time!)

The down pipes are Classic Cream so they blend with the side of the house
They are not a feature so we didn't want them to stand out in a different colour

The gutters and facias are Ironstone which is a charcoal colour with a blue tinge to it
it really plays up blue in the sunlight

We asked the roof restorer to drop off a few painted roof tiles for us to choose from and we have narrowed it down to:

Tile 1 on Left: Left half Charcoal Right half Monument
Tile 2 in Middle: Barramundi 
Tile 3 on Right: Ironstone

Something to remember with paint colours is the material the paint is on will also affect how it looks - the metal gutter absorbs the colour whereas the ceramic roof tile is painted with a glaze so reflects the colour

The Ironstone tile against the Ironstone gutter
(Yes these are the same colour but look quite different don't you think?)

The only solution was to put the tiles on the roof to see how they would look in real life.

As feared, the Ironstone on the roof tile was going to give us a blue roof which is not what we wanted.

The greys looked a bit too matchy matchy like we didn't quite get the colour tinted right.

So the one that gives us the best and brightest contrast was Charcoal.

The Charcoal ironically is almost the same as the original roof colour and gives us a sharp contrast against the Ironstone and the Classic Cream walls.
I was a little worried about the dark colour heating up with the sun, as it is almost black. Although the roof is insulated we decided to get a Whirly Bird as well which we'll install once the painting is done. Whirly Birds are great for circulating the air in the roof space of your house - we bought the Edmonds Windmaster from Bunnings $98.

I can't wait to show you what it looks like all repaired and painted ... it's going to look like a new house!

Next job is to get the garage door guys to remake our door the right size and install.

[All images my own]

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Monday, August 27, 2012

Interior Design Course: Week 3

Here is a recap of what I learnt in Week 3 of the Interior Design Course

Kitchens Bathrooms and Laundries
Design Layouts
Finishes, Hardware and Fittings

The latest session covered Kitchens Bathrooms and Laundries the layouts for each room and types of finishes and hardware.

I was really interested in this session as we'll be renovating our Kitchen and Laundry next year and although we have renovated our retro purple bathroom late last year, since finding the perfect mirror we haven't yet put the final touches on (towel rail, another coat of paint on the ceiling, paint door frame and a new door and lock). So this session has inspired me to get our Bathroom finished once and for all!

We went through the different Kitchen styles and how important it is to keep the style of your kitchen to your home -  a colonial style home with an industrial kitchen just doesn't work. We were shown a heap of slides on what not to do – don’t go crazy and put in too many different materials and styles because it just ends up looking like a mix match! It’s also important for your appliances to line up so they look neat and pleasing to the eye.

We went through different Kitchen layouts, the kitchen triangle, and what to put where – the stove should always be on the back wall as it is the safest place. It was suggested to not go for a big walk in pantry but to put the food and items where you use them – put the baking paper, pots, etc next to the stove so your not running to the pantry and then the cupboards to find what you need. Admittedly I do this with my tea towels – I have to walk to the linen cupboard in the hallway every time I need a tea towel with dripping wet hands instead of keeping them right near the sink. These are all great ideas I’ll be taking into account when I do my kitchen renovation.

We had a guest speaker come in to talk about his kitchen cupboard products and passed around samples of the different kitchen bench tops, springs used in drawers, etc. 
We then went on a walking tour of the Home Expo to look at a few different kitchen layouts and to point out what worked with the design and what could be improved on – in one instance the sink was too low you would be bending over to do dishes, in another they changed the colour of the cabinets in an odd spot which made it look clunky and not flow. 
The homework was to cut out samples of different kitchen/bathroom/laundry bench top materials and integrated appliances. We also had to research energy efficient appliances but I was too slack to do that part!

The Bathrooms were covered quite quickly and again we were shown photos of bathroom layouts that could be improved on, the best types of materials to use in wet areas, different tiles and grout colours and the affects they have.

An important thing to remember when making rooms flow is to stick with a theme - if you are going to get a square basin then get square taps and handles and follow it through. So often you see round bowls and square handles and round taps and square shower heads and it just doesn’t work as well. I have been really careful with this in our bathroom which is why we have round bowls, round shower heads and round taps, round mirror etc.
Square Fittings
Round Fittings
Finally we touched on the Laundry which is often the smallest room in the house but it has so many functions. You need to think about what is important to you so you can get the quality of bench top and sink etc that suits your lifestyle. The point of storing what you need to use where you need it came up again, why put the ironing board in the laundry if you carry it into the living room each time you use it - try to store things close to the function is such a new way of thinking.

What I really like about this course is that we are shown what not to do and explained why it doesn't work so that we can start to see in our own designs what to do. It's like that TV show What Not To Wear I feel that you can teach style and still have the things that you love, but they need to blend and flow together and that is what makes great design.
Week 1 you can read about here
Week 2 you can read about here
Week 4 is all about Storage

[Images via My Pinterest - Kitchen Style Modern, Colonial, Industrial; Kitchen Triangle; Bathroom Modern, Colonial, Industrial; Bathroom Square, Round; Laundry 1 and 2 and My own images Homework 1 and 2]

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fridays Letters - Dear Mental Health Day

I'm a little late playing along with Adventures of Newlyweds Friday link up thanks a bunch for hosting Ashley even while your under construction!
I'm imagining my letters are written from this calming office space I could almost get lost in that wallpaper of woods but I'm sure my hot chocolate will keep me awake.
Dear Mental Health Day - I need more days at home in my PJs doing nothing but watching daytime tv and eating chocolate. MHD are good for my soul.
Dear Patterned Tights - You make a boring outfit look exciting and with so many styles to choose from. You have been my Winter staple.
Dear Garage Door - I waited 6 weeks and you were finally being installed until it was discovered you were the wrong size. Seriously guys make that door properly this time you have 1 week that's 7 days or there'll be trouble.
Dear Bomb Fire Party - Nothing says goodbye to Winter like being on my parent's farm down the  paddock with a glass of wine and toasting marshmallows by the fire. Bring on Saturday!
[Image via my Pinterest]

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Book Club: The End Of Mr Y By Scarlett Thomas

My August Book Club read was The End Of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas

It was my book pick this month and I picked this book because a fellow blogger recommended it to me

This book is the story about Ariel a PhD student who is researching Thomas Lumas and finds a book written by Lumas that is said to be cursed because it contains the recipe to get into the Troposphere where you can read minds and go into the past and future.

If I'm honest, this book was a head case! There was so much scientific jargon it was a headache to read. There was a bit of sex and humour thrown in for good measure and the main character Ariel was actually quite likable. But the story just didn't grab me. I felt like I was doing homework and thinking and figuring everything out in what is meant to be my leisurely reading time.

I would recommend this book to young adults and science nuts. I give this book 2 stars.

Jarrah Jungle's Star Rating:
1 Bad - I'd rather eat brussel sprouts topped with anchovies than read this again
2 Not Good - I'd rather watch re-runs of Neighbours than read this again
3 Ok - I'm sitting on the fence - its not great but not terrible either
4 Good - I'd pass up a pack of tim tams for this read
5 Great - I'd pass up a date with Johnny Depp for this read

You can view a fun website on the book here

[Image from here]
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Transformation Of Our Home Exterior

Since the garage extension was approved late last year and we started the build in March, Mr P and I have made steady progress almost each and every weekend as well as the tradesman coming and going to do their bit over the past 6 months.

Not only has the new garage extension been built but we have had a complete overhaul of the exterior of our 1960s house as well ... come take a looksy

This is how it looked in the very beginning
when we first moved in September 2009

This is how it looks August 2012
Still to do - Roof Restoration & Garage Door (booked for August 2012)
Driveway, Landscaping & Fence (left to plan and do)

Since the render went onto the inside of the garage walls we've had the concrete floor poured in the garage which has made it really take shape. Mr P levelled out the ground and compacted it flat and then the concrete guys came in for the day and poured the floor and set it into shape and included a new step up into the laundry door which will be the new 'shoppers entry' into the house - that shoppers entry is the feature that made this house perfect for a garage extension.

Compacting the ground

New concrete floor and step

Mr P painted the ceiling in the garage with an undercoat and 2 top coats of white - yes that's 3 coats people perfectionist anyone?! It took quite a while because of all the cutting in around the corners and managed 1 coat a weekend over 3 weekends (this is when I busy myself making man soup!)

Painting the garage ceiling and new wiring

Then we spent 3 weekends painting the walls inside the garage - Mr P is the cutter in guy and I'm the roller girl - I have the blisters to prove it!

We went through 1.5 tins of 15 ltr paint (classic cream, the same as the front of the house) we did not 1, not 2, but yes you guessed it 3 coats of paint on the walls. The render really does suck up the paint so you need to apply it really thick. The render had to be painted because we have discovered it marks easily so the paint will protect it from any water marks or scratches etc.

Painting the rendered walls of the garage

The electrician came over a few weekends to do the lights and electricity for the garage doors and power sockets.

New lights went on the outside pillars (the first ones we bought from Bunnings had no earth in them so the electrician didn't want to install them so we took them back to replace them with better ones and they had new stock which were the same lights for the same price ($40) but with an earth in them - score!). We bought from Beacon Lighting 2 large fluro lights to go above each car space and 1 smaller fluro for the store room area but the electrician hasn't yet come back to install these ones.

New lights for the garage

As for the rest of the exterior of the house this has also had a total transformation.

All the outside eaves were taken down by Mr P and replaced by the roof carpenter with new ones. These will need to be painted as well (when we get the time!). The old eaves were asbestos so they had to be taken down carefully wearing a suit, mask, etc and wrapped up and disposed of properly. 

Old eaves off

New eaves on

The front of the house was rendered the weekend after the garage was rendered. So the render can go on smooth and straight Mr P got the grinder out and cut up our concrete pathway around the house so the render could get to the base of the house and also cut off the window ledge bricks to make it a smooth sleek render finish.

Before - With brick ledge

During - With bricks cut off

After - With render

Cutting the concrete path around the base of the house

Bye Bye 2 tone bricks

The render going on
This is the only progress photo I have as I stupidly deleted them from the camera
before I uploaded them - so mad at myself!

What a difference the render makes
A facelift for old house bricks!

You saw our attempt at painting the front of the house render (and accidentally turning it into the hulk house with the wrong paint colour!). We still need to finish painting the front of the house.

We also need to paint the window frames - we painted one white but since picking our exterior colours we now think the window frames might look better the same colour as the gutters/facias in Ironstone or the roof colour (which we are yet to decide on!). As they are now, the white is very bright and glarey against the classic cream paint and a darker colour on the window frames might be what's needed to add some definition. Will see how it looks once the roof is painted and the garage door is on (which is happening this month).

The new facias have been on for a while as we needed them on to put the roof tiles back on.

The gutters and down pipes have been off for 3 months in this Winter weather and were installed earlier this month. I don't know how we survived the wet muddiness around the house but we have. We really had trouble finding someone to install the gutters and down pipes as we had already purchased most of the materials ourselves so in the end we just got them to supply and install and we'll have to sell our materials on Gumtree.

New facias and gutters in Ironstone

We painted this area of the house so the down pipe could go on

New down pipe on - blends perfectly with the paint colour

So that is the progress of the garage extension and home exterior over the last 6 months which has turned into not only a garage extension but a complete overhaul of the exterior of our house.

The roof restoration is booked in for this week (after a mammoth 10 week wait for them) and our garage door is going on next week (after a 6 week wait). It is really going to be the icing on the cake and cherry on top when those things are done I can't wait!

The next jobs to plan and organise are the retaining walls and once they are in the new driveway can be poured and I can actually drive my car into the new garage woot woot. The front fence will also need to be designed and built and the front landscaping done. I haven't a clue what materials we are going to use for any of these yet or who is going to do the work - us or someone else so I really need to get my front of the house design sorted out in the next few weeks so things can keep on moving.

Ideally, I'd love for this front house renovation to be finished by the end of the year - it's my 2012 goal and with 3 months to go I need to get moving!

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[All images my own]

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