Archive of ‘General house talk’ category

June 15 update

It’s been a crazy few months, so much stuff has happened since my last update – hardly surprising considering that was six months ago! We had a baby, sent our eldest boy off to school, all the while trying to pack in as much house stuff as we could. Three children is hard work! Not in a bad way, but of course newborn babies take a lot of time and steal a lot of your sleep, leaving you with a lot less time and energy for other pursuits! Not that I mind one little bit, I’ve enjoyed the relaxing time away from renovations, our baby boy is so delicious and following in his big brother and sisters footsteps of being a fantastic sleeper and basically one relaxed and happy little man. He is perfect, we are so very blessed.


A few more rooms in our house are feeling “finished”… In that they have blinds and light fittings, we still are really lacking art on the walls in almost every single room but there is time for that.

I finally finished sewing the massive drapes in our room. In true Laura fashion I decided to go big or go home and sewed huge floor to ceiling drapes for our bay window. We have a really high stud (3.5m) so it was a flipping mission and one I won’t be doing again any time soon. They look amazing though – it was almost worth it.



We purchased a second hand sofa bed and have had people to stay in our blind-less third bedroom …



And most recently ….. we have started dealing to the disaster that is the laundry! We left this till last and have been storing a huge amount of tools and paint and just grossness in this room. Unfortunately you have to walk through it to get to the toilet and the upstairs so everyone who comes over gets to view its disgustingness … and I spent a fair amount of time in there doing just the most insane amount of washing what with Playcentre and cricket and gym and school and sports and renovations and day to day washing….


laundryThis has been a huge DIY effort on the most insanely minimal budget – and once again huge thanks to my dad for all his epic work including cutting and fitting this beautiful undermount sink. The tap was $40 off trademe, sink $140 off trademe and the bench $100 from bunnings. The cupboards came to a total of $240 off trademe as well. Unfortunately I’m dumb and forgot to take any before pics which is a shame because this was almost the worst room in the place. Still got a lot of painting and tiling etc to go but it’s so beautiful I had to share. xx




It’s the front! Update

We have been on such a mission to finish off the house! Baby number three is rapidly approaching (and I mean rapidly, it’s even measuring weeks ahead of schedule) and the pressure is on. I have said all along that I don’t want to be painting when I’m massively pregnant again but once again here I am!

We don’t actually have any great photos yet – I’ll try my best to take some soon and update this post when I do – but who has the time to take pictures when you are working so hard anyway?!


Jonno hard at work trialing the finial. This was the final missing piece and actually one of the very few things we have actually had to buy a reproduction one of! We having missed a few on trademe, but turns out we actually needed an unusually large one anyway so off we went to the first time to Bungalow & Villa and picked up this beauty!

housebeforefrontSo the beautiful before shot… keep i mind that all of this we have stripped, fixed, cleaned and painted ourselves. If you’re wondering where the window from the porch is – we’ve still got it, put aside for a very, very rainy day!



Another view, check out those layers of lead paint. I will tell you, painting those concrete stairs was one of the most satisfying things ever!

housefrontWe’ve even had time to do some – landscaping of sorts, check out our three beautiful bay trees, and hard to see as they are still babies but their is a very neat little topiary hedge growing around them.

It’s a pretty great feeling patting ourselves on the back at the moment for all our hard work!
Poor Jonno had the job of painting the top peak shingles and roof boards etc and I managed to smash out the rest in two days (I’d done the window frames previously). We finally took down our scaffolding tower of doom from the front of our house!

Next up… this side of the house… (no we didn’t get to keep the car!)…




One year on – back of the house

We have just celebrated our one year house anniversary – and it’s time for a well overdue blog update.

2014 - 1 (1)

Here’s the back view of the house, taken this morning (I painted the deck last night). As you can see, there have been quite a few changes. It’s fixed! Painted! All sorts of work has taken place, right at the beginning my Dad did a whole heap of re-piling as some of the foundations were gone, replaced the rotten deck with some plywood, Jonno painted the roof and the turret, we smashed and repaired some windows, including when I gave myself a crash course in glazing to repair a smashed bathroom window on a public holiday… Jonno covered up the rotting access to under the house with our improvised plywood panels, much of the paint has come off and of course it’s all been repainted by us – the back I did with high build Resene contractor paint that we acquired, and has worked out well because the back is in such poor condition it’s hidden a lot of imperfections.

We’ve also leveled out the lawn/extracted all of the car parts from the garden, planted a few trees and had my first attempt/learning experience with a vege garden which is tucked away behind the garage.


Sometimes it doesn’t feel like we have achieved a lot but considering we have done all the work ourselves on top of our normal jobs/mum life I think we are doing pretty well! The inside of the house is fairly close to being done, the upstairs room and laundry are still to be done but the rest we love and have done all ourselves on such a super low low budget.


Friday inspo

Taking a moment this sunny Friday for a spot of internet shopping and inspiration while both kidlets take a much needed nap. Maybe I should take some inspiration from them too!

Last night I got fed up painting the dented door architraves, apparently the guy who hoarded car parts liked to swing them into the frames at full force while transporting them in and out of the house… meh – its taken me this long to accept that perfection in this case is not going to be smooth and straight, it will be slightly dented but still lovely.

I’m at such a loss for curtaining fabrics -you may have seen if you follow me on instagram -that I’ve checked out possibly every fabric store in Auckland and while I love a lot of fabric – maybe too much fabric?? There’s not one that is calling out to me saying pick me!

Current inspo……

Eclectic Living Room by Amsterdam Media & Bloggers Louise de Miranda
Eclectic Bedroom by Brooklyn Photographers Rikki Snyder
Eclectic Living Room by Dallas Media & Bloggers Jamie Laubhan-Oliver
Eclectic Living Room by Los Angeles Media & Bloggers Justina Blakeney
Eclectic Kids by Amsterdam Media & Bloggers Louise de Miranda

Week TEN oh my

I can’t believe so much time has passed since I posted the last “weekly” update – basically the past 5 weeks been a blur of coffee, stress, guilt, extreme tiredness and wearing the same four outfits! So I only packed for a few weeks when we moved out of our unit… clothing FAIL!wpid-ABM_1393121156.jpg

What’s been happening….

The good….

* Gas is hooked up finally!
* The skirting boards and door architraves are finally getting put back up!
* The earthworks and driveway are well under way! The topsoil has been scraped off to remove the thousands of lead paint flakes, broken glass and car part remnants and awaiting the concrete pour for the driveway and the fresh topsoil!
* We have both increased our carpentry skills a hundred times over, I made a pair of brand new window frames and Jonno has been sticking up packers and door architraves. It’s been such a steep learning curve, none of the walls or doors or windows are remotely straight so mitring corners has been one hell of an experience.


The bad….

* Communications with companies and tradesman has just been all round bad or at best average. You leave for a day and stuff gets crazy! I’ve learnt that checking round every day at the minimum is so important. And special note to Vector who promised a phone call before the gas was connected and then just did it with no warning haha.
* Realising that we made some decisions that have set us back significantly. Had we left the children’s bedroom ceiling scotia on that room would be practically done by now – instead we are faced with the nightmare of constructing our own from 2 pieces of moulding and sticking it up ourselves. Same with all the door architraves in the hall – bit of a fail.
*Wrinkles and pimples have increased 300% and my birthday request of Botox was denied… sigh hubby…
*The outside appearance of the house has stalled except the driveway. Inside is the priority so we can move in and we can do the outside after.
* We have had some epic fights. Last night someone may have said that the other should walk out the door and not come back and the other may have said they hoped the other crashed……………………..

One thing is for sure – when this is over I am going to sleep for such a long time every single day. Oh wait… forgot I had children.

Broken house – Positive progress!!

Whilst our new broken house is super exciting, I had a little bit of a woe is me moment last week – infact it was whilst discovering just how long each soffit takes to paint whilst balancing on scaffolding and having a splodge of paint drip straight onto my eyeball – that some things have not been going as well as they could have done. We had a run of slow tradesmen and a total lack of ability to find any new ones, all whilst coming to terms with the fact that we were rapidly running out of time to do major work – we have to move out THIS. WEEKEND!!!


That was all until a friend recommended me this guy to do some gib fixing and plastering work. At the beginning of this week we still had 3 rooms and the hall to insulate, gib fix and stop. The guys from A12 Plastering gave an amazing quote and said they could start on Monday, so I wander over to the house and One room is fully gibbed, another room half done and the hall half done! What’s more is one single man did this on his own.. I’m totally blown away (especially as it took … two days for two of our other tradies to gib one average sized room… cough… rage…). I can’t not mention how amazing Steve has been – he came in for a quality check and called to make sure I was happy – I know it’s only really day one but WOW.

More positive progress – my father in law prepared, patched and insulated the majority of the rest over the weekend so it would be all good to go on Monday which was just super kind and amazing of him to give up his time.


More good news, we struck rock digging our trench for gas and thought we were going to have to hire a rock breaker or a jackhammer as it wasn’t quite meeting spec – called up Vector and they said all good! Weeheee!

More amazingness – my lovely Dad has been working tirelessly for days on end – actually weeks now doing all sorts of things – most recently fixing what was a very average discovery – that the back of the house was literally rotting off the foundations and angling down into the ground. He has poured concrete, jacked up the house and redone a whole bunch of the foundations and you can noticeably see the house is more level and what’s more – it’s not going to crumble into the ground any more YAY!!

Here’s hoping this run of positivity and progress keeps on keeping on. In the mean time, we are packing and shifting. Right now Jonno is moving stuff on a trailer with 2 of our best friends – um we owe our friends so much for all their help!!!! Things might quieten down as I need to spend all my spare moments packing and organising – LAME.

Um. Update. Jonno just called me in a rage because the hire trailer broke and the fridge literally won’t fit through the door. Sigh. Lets hope no one steals anything overnight :/

Shades of Grey Gray Grey Gray Grey – Week three roundup

My mother has a love for colour – growing up our living room was yellow – as was my bedroom – and she’s recently painted their bedroom a shade of lilac. I can appreciate it now – it’s very much french chic but growing up I was perplexed by the lack of neutral shades in our house that others seemed to embrace.

We spent 3 years in London living in a flat that was painted the default shade of creamy yellow ‘magnolia’. Returning home to NZ our unit is also a creamy creamy shade of white – strongly yellow based. Every time we’ve moved I’ve said to myself that I would repaint – but never bothered. Now that we have our own house I CAN NOT WAIT to embrace neutrals to the absolute fullest. And by neutral I basically mean white – and grey – with absolutely zero warm tones.


Some of my favourite white walls/neutral colour scheme photos {courtesy of pinterest – click to link} – just looking at these make me so happy and excited to be able to have some crisp white walls. I know it’s not for everyone – but I can NOT WAIT.

I’m going to try and do this weekly roundup from here out – like all other promises on my blog this may well go unfulfilled 😉

Currently browsing for secondhand Wardrobes, Oven, Paint, Kitchens, storage – new network cabling.
Urgent Priority List: Finish bathroom trim & paint… foundation fix.
Indecisiveness List: Exterior colours (STILL), Blind fabrics (all rooms!), upholstery fabrics
Week highs: Seeing Jonno’s paint shaving progress and my Dad patching up the bathroom wall. Celebrating mum & baby’s birthday!
Week low: Would have to be discovering that the foundations at the back are wrecked. Think we have a solution now but it certainly didn’t make me happy at the time!