Category Archives: home decor

new idea for a linen closet

I currently have 3 linen closets in my hallway, yes three!! I also have another funny little room that is perched over the stairs. I shall show you this another day.  Anyway, I was thinking to convert one of my linen closets to a chest of drawers. This one is outside the bathroom/WC  and I thought it would make it a bit more open.

I don’t really like linen closets. Do you? I think they always end up messy, with the things underneath never being used. Plus all those small things that get lost at the back of the cupboard. I would like to have drawers so I could organise them as I did in my bedroom with my clothes.

I want to take out the cupboard a paint up a set of drawers, maybe decorate in a stencil design. Read about some ideas for stencilling in my post stencil tabletop ideas.

A set of drawers with deep drawers would be great, perhaps some smaller ones up the top for items such as placemats and serviettes.

In the space above I would put some hooks or shelving to allow for pretty things. I also want a place to put my clothes when I take them off to shower. This is usually my nightie and I put it on the sink but sometimes the sink is wet and that is damn annoying! Does anyone have any ideas for where to put your clothes while showering. There may also be times when I want to dress in the bathroom as my hallway is opened to the living area and my dressing room is off the hall.  This Tarva one from Ikea might be OK.tarva-chest-of-drawers__0213289_PE367596_S4


Alternatively I might pick one up off Gumtree for a lot less, which I did for my dressing room tall boy that I repainted.



30 minutes a day to a clean house

I have been doing a lot of research lately on how to clean my house efficiently and quickly and not seem like I am always cleaning. There are many solutions out there, but nothing that suited my exact needs, so I made my own that I am going to share with you today.


Firstly, let me set some boundaries so you know where I am coming from. I live with my husband, kids are grown and gone. Our house is a split level, so 1 story on half the house and 2 stories on the other.  It has 3 bedrooms but we only use 1 of them as a bedroom. The other bedrooms are our individual dressing rooms – the beauty of not having kids at home anymore! It has a full bath on the bedroom level and a half bath off the laundry. It has 2 other rooms downstairs, my very large craft room/study and my husband’s (much smaller) man cave/train room. The living/dining/kitchen is one space and is not that big.

I did not include washing. I do my own and the household washing and my husband does his own. Washing really doesn’t take much time to do, I do a load every few days.

I decided to do a schedule covering 5 weeks, or 35 days as I found those that went for less that that much time seemed very rushed. I set myself 30 mins each day to clean. Set the timer and only work for 30 mins. If you can’t achieve what you want in this much time then you are either going too slowly, worrying too much about it or you have set yourself too much to do, so fix your schedule.

Over the 5 week period, do a deep clean of each room once and do surface cleans of them during the other weeks.  I work on a 9 day rotating schedule, so each thing gets done every 9 days. Yes, this is a little more than a week between cleans for the rooms, but honestly, who cares! The place looks clean and tidy all the time.

Here are the things I do each 9 days, spaced out over the 5 weeks, meaning I do them 3-4 times during the 5 weeks.

  • Clean downstairs bathroom and laundry
  • Dust lounge/dining/kitchen
  • Clean upstairs bathroom and toilet
  • Change sheets/dust master
  • Surface clean dressing rooms
  • Sweep/vacuum all floors
  • Mop all floors
  • Dust/clean craft room

And the things I fit in elsewhere in the schedule one day during the schedule, so they get done once every 5 weeks.

  • Deep clean kitchen – sink, stone, rangehood, oven, appliances etc (I have a pyrolytic over so this only involves the outside part of the oven)
  • Clean interior window sills and light fittings
  • Clean all door knobs, remotes, banisters etc
  • Deep clean the lounge/dining (move the furniture/mats, full clean under table)
  • Clean out and tidy pantry
  • Clean out and tidy fridge
  • Clean out and tidy linen closet
  • Clean one item you have been meaning to do and never seem to get to
  • Deep clean my dressing room, tidy clothes and drawers (I leave my husband to do his)
  • Deep clean craft room
  • Clean entry and front porch including furniture

I hope you find my tips useful. I love comments, so let me know how you go with your cleaning schedule.


*My main idea for creating my own list was a list I found on


the new kitchen

Finally I am able to reveal my new kitchen. It has taken much longer than anticipated, but I am very happy with the results.

If you read my post about buying an Ikea kitchen you will know that is what I was thinking of doing. Pleased to report that we ended up doing this and here are the results.

I love my farmhouse sink. I also love the grey which goes so well with my wooden feature wall. My bench space has tripled in size and I have much more cupboard space even though the footprint of the kitchen only changed by 12 inches.

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should i buy an ikea kitchen?

I need a new kitchen! Definitely! The house we purchased last year has a very old kitchen. The stove top does not work, which is very frustrating! I cook on the barbie hotplate ring. The cupboards are old and not enough of them and the bench is laminate. I don’t cook that much so I decided on getting an Ikea kitchen as it is a lot cheaper than a custom kitchen. The one I have picked is the Bodbyn grey color. I will get the white bench tops as in the picture and the walls will be grey.Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 3.22.59 pm

The kitchen isn’t that big so I won’t be able to have an island but I will have cupboards on both side of the bench top to create more storage.

Firstly I have to get one of the kitchen windows made smaller so I can run my cupboards under the window. This will give me heaps more space in what is a small kitchen.

Using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I recently purchased an old wooden tall boy from Gumtree. I wanted a chest of drawers for my dressing room but the only ones I found at Ikea were over $500 and they are not made of real wood so I thought I would try to recreate an old one. It cost me $140 which is pretty good as it is solid wood with proper steel drawer runners, which was an important feature to me. Here it is here sitting waiting to be dealt with.

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The next question was what to paint it with. I had thought I would make my own chalk paint but as I have never painted anything in chalk paint before I opted to play safe this time and buy Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I also wanted a specific color, the French Linen, another reason why I decided on buying the paint. At $60 a tin it is not cheap but it is so lovely to paint with. NO sanding required and it goes on nice and thick. I did 3 coats and only used a 1/3 of a tin.

Here it is a work in progress. The drawer on the left has had 1 coat and the drawer on the right has had 2 coats.

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I have yet to add a stencil to the front and then I will wax it with Annie Sloan wax. I shall show you that when done.

If you haven’t tried chalk paint before I would recommended it, definitely.

Outdoor setting

As we have moved to a house that has outdoor space, we needed a larger table for the poolside. We only have a small but lovely 2 seater mosaic table that is now living on our front porch.

We priced up purchasing a new setting but the prices of these things are astronomical, unless you go for a metal setting from Bunnings or somewhere similar. We purchased a refurbished on off Gumtree. A man over our way buys them, revarnishes them and sells them for a good price, about 1/3 the new price. Our is a wooden 8 seater with a square table.

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I then set out to buy cushion covers, again they are so expensive, $80 each! That is nearly as much as the table cost and I don’t care how much they tell me they are “fade” resistant, I don’t want to pay that much for them. I could have made them myself, but time is my enemy and so I ended up getting them from Barbeques Galore, they were $50 each but I bargained them down to $45 each, so $360 in all. Our new setting is lovely and we have already used it a lot. With the rest of the summer still to come this bargain basement price of under $1,000 in total is  worth it.

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Finished powder room

We have finally finished the downstairs powder room. We actually completed it a few months back, but I was still trying to find something else to put in the space. I wanted a surface where visitors using the bathroom could place their belongings. I bought one thing, a small hall table to go in there but it just didn’t suit. I shall have to find another place for it as it is a lovely old piece.

You can read my original thoughts on what I was going to do here.

I then found this great piece at the vintage store. It is an old plant stand (I think) that has a part of a wooden table attached to the top.

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We ended up painting the walls in Dulux Duck Egg Blue, which is a lovely constrast to black and white tiles.  I also love my little sink.  The tiler was none too happy about my floor layout but he did a great job on it. The top tiles have a rolled edge on them, hard to see in this photo. I wanted a vintage looking bathroom, no modern large tiles here. The builder told me he last tiled a bathroom like this 40 years ago as an apprentice, so mission accomplished.

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The table fits perfectly in here and matches really well.

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I have some hooks to put up on the wall yet and I will get a wire basket and fill it with pool towels as this the change room for the pool for both us and visitors.

Do I have too many hobbies?

Hi and welcome back to my blog.  It has been a while since I have blogged. Today is my birthday so I thought this is as good a time as any to start again.  I retired (in September) this year and decided to keep my hand in so I have taken up working as a freelancer. Turns out I am pretty good at it and able to get plenty of work, so that is nice. All those years of experience are paying off, the problem is that I have limited time now.

I have a lot of hobbies and I think a lot of you may be in the same boat but the question is, do I have too many?

Coloring sheep is not one of them but I love this picture.sheep2


I love scrapbooking, stamping, sewing, quilting, water color painting, jewellery making, making things for the home, photography, genealogy, blog writing, novel writing, swimming, Red Hat Queen, learning Spanish, studying, trivia and travel. Whew!

I am just not sure how to fit it all in. So let’s look at why and what to do about that.  One thing I can do is to make a plan so that I have time for everything. I have decided to make one day a week all to myself. I will not done any work in this day, just whatever hobby takes my fancy.  I swim twice a day, usually when I get up and then again late afternoon. I need to work around 30 hours per week and study about 20 hours per month.  The other thing I need to do is get my supplies in some sort of order and cull those that I no longer have a need for. I shall be doing a post on that next. Meanwhile, if you have any thoughts on how to plan my and day fit in all my hobbies, feel free to leave me a comment.


my bedroom

It is finally happening and I am amazed! My bedroom is being decorated.  It has been pulled apart for a few weeks and the skirtings prepped but nothing had progressed due to the other things we were caught up with. Now it has progressed and the paint is going on the walls. The color I have selected as discussed in my post on painting interior walls have turned out so gorgeous.  The light fitting I showed you in new lights is up and looking wonderful. So blingy!

Here is a picture taken from my bed.  The wall color is very hard to photograph properly, but you get the picture. I have not yet painted my floors white but I will be doing that soon.

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Shoe Lasts

What is a shoe last?  A shoe last is the thing they make shoes on, like a reverse mould.  Mainly they were wooden, but some are plastic. I love the old ones and use them as displays items. I have also altered some.  Time to share.

Here is one my daughter did. She beaded the toe and put some beads on the side of the heel.

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I did a few of these. I covered the toe in an old doily. Then I made a flower from fabric and bits and pieces and added that.

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Here is an idea I found online.  I haven’t tried this one yet. My shoe lasts are quite hard so I imaging make holes in them may not be easy.


Here is another idea I may try from Chipping With Charm.


This one is also a photo display.  Sorry, I can’t remember where I found this.



…and this one has been painted. I should do this for my powder room as the color would match perfectly.  This one has been given a little heel, I think they have used a cotton reel to do this. Great idea.