The private chef in our kitchen.

We’d like scallops for dinner, thank you.   Followed by crispy barramundi, then creme brûlée, please.

IMG_2955

What could be better than a brand new kitchen, decorated exactly to my liking, with plenty of space and all the mod-cons?  Someone to cook and clean up afterwards, of course.  Last Friday, our builders, Webb and Brown-Neaves, organised just that.  An evening with a private chef is their “handover gift” to all their clients.  Such a treat!

Photos are few.  I was having way too much fun.

I had the place looking spick and span and the Three Little Pigs were banned from dropping crumbs, socks and toys for 24 hours:

Dining room

Dining room.

Our dining room has great views in all directions.

Dinner setting.

The third little pig set the table. Can you spot the error?

Eric, our French chef, from Ryan John Private Catering, arrived with all the meal preparation complete and started cooking:

DSC_0778

Our special spies guests, who helped us out in various ways during our build, arrived and might I just say how well they all dressed to complement our interior decorating!

Dinner party guests.

That’s me and The Nice Wolf on the left.

We toasted our new house then devoured the delicious meal.

Dinner party

Don’t tell The Nice Wolf but the scallops were the best I’ve had in years. The meal was completely delish and our glasses were kept topped up.  Best of all, Eric saw to all the clean-up and dishes, then politely took his leave before things got a bit embarrassing silly amusing.  We tried to keep up our civilised behaviour for a while with a little game of “Guess the Aroma” using a fun wine aroma kit.  One thing lead to another and the boys couldn’t resist showing off their amazing musical talents playing the crystal glasses, which we all knew meant it was time to go home.

Jam session on the crystal glasses. Oh dear!

Jam session on the crystal glasses. Oh dear!

Oh, hang on a minute.  We live here!  A lovely night of fine dining and celebrating our new home with good friends and we only had to walk upstairs to bed.  That’s my idea of perfect.

 

Never without a hitch. 

Good news first.

Doesn’t our kitchen look swish?

kitchen

House By The Water kitchen.  I think I might “pin” that.

I glammed the house up a bit with some greenery in honour of my Mum’s visit and the return of The Three Little Pigs from holidays with grandparents.

Kids' bathroom.

The Little Pigs’ wash trough, with maiden hair fern sitting atop the laundry chute.

girls room

Christmas gifts for our 11 year old pig included an Armadillo & Co rug and bedding from Adairs. Furniture still in transit.

The fireplace saga….

 Round one of fireplace saga took place a year ago, I won’t bore you with the details.  Round two of fireplace saga started with us collecting our fireplace from storage last month to find that we only had 4 metres of flue.  No good for a 6+metre building.  A few extra days and we soon had some extra flue.  Next, the fan kit for the heater ($750) was nowhere to be found.  Storage upturned and triple checked, supplier contacted and no evidence that it was delivered or not.  Nice Wolf huffing and puffing (enough to circulate heat around house). No chance of paying for another.  Fireplace installer and supplier both agree that fan is not necessary.  Fireplace installed without fan and with a frame that’s sort of just hanging loosely off the wall….

Moving on.

Driveway.

A quick rush to get the driveway concreted before the timber floors were to be finished.  The aim was to have an access point to the house that doesn’t involve traipsing through sand.  A couple of quotes later and a bobcat was ploughing sand out of our front yard.  Well worth the $300 + clean fill when compared to the hours of digging that would be the alternative.  I’d never have thought we’d have 3 truckloads of sand/dirt to clear.  All was going well until a little water spring appeared from the water meter.  “It was already leaking.  Can’t you tell by the green grass around it?”  “Fair enough”, I said, wondering if there was also a leak from our letterbox which also has a green patch of grass.

I supplied the concrete contractor with a copy of council’s requirements for driveways, but thought that this should be old hat for any local concreter.  If you follow council’s requirements, they’ll reimburse you for some of the cost of the “crossover”.  Well, they almost got it right.  No expansion joint at our property boundary….maybe I should get them to come back?   Maybe it’s too late.

concrete driveway

The base for our future cobblestone driveway.

Our window shutters were due to be installed mid January.  When I inquired about progress last week I was told there was a “slight delay” of a few more weeks due to one of the shutters being unusually small.  Hmmm…..

Our timber floors are currently having “a rest” before being sanded and finished.  The blackbutt stairs and our curved void area are quite impressive.

 So, there you have it.  Progress, albeit with hitches.

Coming up:

  • Tree farms.
  • Floor finishing, I hope!
  • The return of our furniture.
  • How are the builders tracking with the pre-handover list?
  • And, you never know your luck, a pool before winter?

Jetty Christmas!

Santa on the canals.

Santa delivers lollies on Christmas Eve.

In the scheme of things, I thought that a jetty was low priority.  After all, we don’t actually have a boat.  But The Nice Wolf had other ideas and last week the Jetty Man motored up to House By The Water, drilled in a couple of poles and attached a brand new jetty.  Just like that!

The Three Little Pigs watched the jetty poles go in.

The Three Little Pigs watched the jetty poles go in.  Jetty by West Coast Jetties.

The Nice Wolf paid attention to the functionality of our jetty design, I oversaw the aesthetics and I am rather pleased with the result.  An unexpected bonus of the jetty is that it visually extends our “back yard”.  Suddenly our canal side area seems so much larger.  The jetty has been well used already:  breakfast while dangling feet over the water and many boating guests, including Santa, a previously anonymous blog reader and some new neighbours who welcomed us with a gift of champagne!  Plus, there has been plenty of shenanigans on our kayaks and the Three Little Pigs’ Christmas gift, a blow up paddle board/windsurfer.

Another highlight of the week was the installation of our cray pot pendants.    They are not quite finished yet, but already I love them, especially at night.

Christmas baking provided a good test for our ovens and kitchen space.  Pavlova?  Check!  3.5 kg salmon?  Check!  2 adults cooking at once?  No problem.

Kitchen

Kitchen in use.

Kitchen crowd.

Boxing Day kitchen crowd.

Guess The Handover Date Competition.

Congratulations to John!  John guessed December 24th would be the day we received keys to House By The Water, 6 days later than our actual handover day.  A good bottle of West Australian bubbly is  available for collection or delivery.  Thanks to all blog readers who joined in with this competition.

…She’s making a list, checking it twice…

Kitchen splash back.It seems to be the done thing to start writing lists at this stage of the build.  I’ve been postponing my list writing for fear of what I might find.  But here it is, out in the open, for all of you to tut about how it’s not possible to do all those things in just two weeks, before the builders shut down for a long break.

To do:

  1. Finish interior tiles: powder room, splash back, laundry chute/bath surround.
  2. Exterior texture (nearly finished).
  3. Stacked stone feature (started).
  4. Render, waterproof, texture planter boxes and retaining walls (started).
  5. Paint walls (started).
  6. Install balustrade.
  7. Plumbing finals, installation sinks, taps, toilets.
  8. Electrical finals, install light fittings (started).
  9. Phone/future link finals.
  10. Shower screens and mirrors.
  11. Robes (started).
  12. Door hardware.
  13. Manhole.
  14. Stacker doors, front door.
  15. Flyscreens.
  16. Garage door.
  17. Install appliances (started).
  18. Insulation.
  19. House clean.

I started the list last weekend, and although it seems like there has been plenty of activity at House By The Water, the list looks fairly unscathed.

As I am a “glass half full” kind of person, here is my list of items that were completed this week.

Completed:

  • Balustrade measured up and a new balustrade finish negotiated to avoid availability of product delays.
  • Splash back tiled and grouted.  Looking very lovely, if I do say so.

    Scullery tile and bench

    Masia Gris Claro tile and Alpine Mist Caesarstone.

  • Bathroom and ensuite tiles grouted.
  • Powder room floor problem # 4 (some tiles in the series darker than the rest) resolved by creating a new pattern.

    Powder room tiles.

    Powder room tiles.

  • Robe areas painted.

    Solver Kitty Grey. Purrfect.

    Solver Kitty Grey. Purrfect.

  • Stacker doors installed.
  • Appliances, sinks and toilets delivered.  Ovens installed.
  • Downlights, some pendant lights, smoke alarms and power outlets fitted.

    Vintage LED pendant.

    One of the void pendants. Cray pot to be added later.

  • Robes started.
  • Stacked stone progressed.
  • Front door delivered.

All considered, I’m pronouncing it a good, productive week at House By The Water.  Stay tuned for the big week of painting ahead.

 

How cabinets made my day.

Fearing another slow week, I decided to trial a new strategy to keep work progressing rapidly at House By The Water.  Bribery.

Our builders, Webb and Brown-Neaves asked me to meet the tiler on site on Monday, so first thing in the morning I left the tiler a box of chocolates hoping it would make him work at his best.  I know that the tiling is a big job and a critical one in the pathway to the builders handing over the keys on December 18th.  Well I’m not sure that it had the desired effect, (any tilers reading, please send in your suggestions,) but we do at least now have the bathroom and ensuite screed.

Bathroom screed.

Kids bathroom. Note: hole in floor for laundry shute.

Ensuite screed

Ensuite

The renderers have started to add the final textured layer to the house exterior:

Grey pebble render.

Dulux Grey pebble render.

I collected some render that had fallen to the ground to take to the tile shop.  I need to select a tile to cover the top face of the patio awning.  I want it to be inconspicuous.

The concreter poured the garage floor and a concrete plinth beside the house for the air conditioning unit to sit on:

Grano garage floor.

Grano garage floor.

A couple of broken windows have been replaced and some interior scaffolding is in place.  I hope it means that the painter will start soon.

But the highlight of the week is definitely the arrival of the cabinets.  My mum sent me a text message during the day…”There’s a large furniture truck outside your house.”   Oooooh!   Cabinets!  Cabinets for the kitchen, scullery, laundry, bathroom and ensuite.  Lots and lots of beautiful storage.

What a giant puzzle it must be now to put it all together.

For those of you who are missing my little chats about interiors, I promise a short break from building talk next week.  I’ve been making a few exciting purchases and plans for our interior but I can’t reveal them just yet.

Top 5 new house features that I will not take for granted.

Traditional and modern housing.

This is not my house. I live in one of those modern concrete and tile monstrosities in the background.

Before I give you my list, let me first say that I am well aware of my spoilt brat status.  Here in Brazil, we are certainly part of the privileged population.  We live in a brand new apartment, with 4 bedrooms, plus an extra room out the back “for the maid”.  There are 6 bathrooms!  Complete luxury, yet things here just don’t seem to work quite right.

As I am counting down the days until our departure (30!), here are the top 5 things I’m looking forward to having at House By The Water:

  1. A dishwasher.
  2. Hot water.
  3. Safe drinking water from the tap.
  4. Toilets that really flush.
  5. A house with some soul.

 

Dishes drying.

It’s usually a two rack job.

1.  A dishwasher.  Maids are more common than dishwashers in Brazil.  Hmmm.  Alas, the “maid” in my household is moi!  Dishwasher, you are most definitely top of my “can’t wait” list.

Kettle.

Our hot water system. I’m yet to see an electric kettle at the shops.

2.  Hot water is not plumbed into our apartment.  I suspect that most people shower in cold water which is not really a problem when you live just 2 degrees from the equator.  We have shower heads installed that heat the water just moments before it falls on our heads.  The water, that is.  But also sometimes the whole shower head and, once, the heating element, in flames.  That was an exciting moment.  These shower heads require regular maintenance to refill the little silicon plugs that pop loose and spray water all over the ceiling.  I’d have a bath, but well, it’s cold.

Water bottles

Our drinking water order.

3.  I order 80 litres of drinking water at a time.  No big deal, usually.  The supplier has changed phone numbers several times and today the number is unresponsive.  I don’t understand the recorded message in Portuguese that is coming on the line.  Ho hum.

4.  Without going into too much detail, there is a good reason why we have 6 toilets.  Only 1 or 2 work at any one point in time.  Moving on.

Typical Brazilian kitchen.

Our rental kitchen, fully lined with tiles and highly practical.

5.  Soul.  I know this bit is up to us.  Plants and things you love can bring soul to any space, but even so, being surrounded by so many large white tiles feels a bit sterile.  At House By The Water, we’ll be living in our own home for the first time in 10 years.

This list goes on, but I know I shouldn’t.  I really shouldn’t publish this post.  I should relegate it to the never-to-be-read pile, along with the post I wrote about “Ways to justify living in a big house”.  But, you know, every time I do the dishes these thoughts come back into my head, so I’m blurting it out.  Feel free to tell me to get a grip.  Or you can tell me what you are most looking forward to in your new home, or what you’ll never take for granted.

And, did I mention?  30 days!!!!

 

Outdoor kitchen

Outdoor kitchen

Our barbecue collection is becoming a bit embarrassing.  Lest we be caught short without a barbecue, our current count is 4, spread over 3 locations.    But that is not enough for The Nice Wolf (a.k.a. husband).  Australians love to barbecue, but so do Canadians, Brazilians and South Koreans and they all do it in different ways.

The Nice Wolf loves to entertain and if he invites you for dinner, the chances are you will be fed either BBQ or pizza.  And when the husband is cooking, which wife in her right mind would deny him the “necessary” tools?  So the outdoor kitchen at House By The Water shall be requiring a standard Australian/Canadian style barbecue, a Brazilian churrasqueira and a pizza oven.

Top 5 Outdoor Kitchens:

COS Design back yard.

This is probably the closest example of how I imagine our BBQ area to look. Amazing Melbourne back yard by: COS Design.

Pizza oven

Pizza oven and built in BBQ by Harrison Landscaping. (Feature photo is from the same garden.)

Punta del este alfresco

Space hungry but beautiful.  Source: Menossi Fotografo.

Black and timber outdoor kitchen

Building approval required for this rather OTT outdoor kitchen. Never-the-less, it’s classy. Photo source: unknown.

Simple BBQ bench.

Subtle BBQ bench by Secret Gardens.

Longtime readers will know that I like to choose my favourite 5 photos for inspiration, but I have to tell you that outdoor kitchens were a struggle.  So many of them dominate a space.  When I’m outside, I want to forget about the sink and let the canal and garden be the focus.  We want a lot of BBQs but we don’t want it to look like a lot.  Probably the standard BBQ will be wheeled out of sight most of the time, leaving just the built-in churrasqueira and pizza oven on display.  I’m sure the Nice Wolf will enjoy the challenge of designing just the right space, with my guidance on the finishes:

Mood board for outdoor kitchen.

Keeping the outdoor style consistent. Modern Australian with a touch of Italian and Brazilian!

  • concrete ✔︎
  • timber ✔︎
  • matt black ✔︎
  • stainless steel ✔︎
  • neighbour friendly ✔︎
  • plant friendly ✔︎

Have you got a fancy outdoor kitchen plan?  

What are your back yard cooking essentials?  

Could you start your own barbecue shop?

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to my Dad whose favourite BBQ method is a snag in a pan on a campfire in the paddocks, and to the Nice Wolf, who likes that too!

Paint, pendants and panoramas.

The Nice Wolf arrived back from his visit to Australia with everything he needed to stay in the good books for quite some time.

  • Australian home magazines.
  • Earl grey tea.
  • Tim tams.
  • A light weight measuring tape, more suited to handbags than my current heavy tape.
  • Loads of photos of the house.

But best of all, he brought small panels of sample Solver Paints from my short list.  I’ve spent hours gazing at these boards.  On the weekend they were perched on a bench in direct view from my bed, then I moved them to the living area to watch them throughout the days as the light changed. Any normal person would stop there.

Not I. 

Feather Dawn, the first to be eliminated from my shortlist.  Too white.

Feather Dawn, the first to be eliminated from my shortlist. Too white.

Kitty Grey is very pretty and looks the best with our Alpine Mist Caesarstone.

Kitty Grey is very pretty and looks the best with our Alpine Mist Caesarstone.

Kitty Grey and Crystal Ball undergoing a warm light, bedroom mood test.  You can see that Kitty Grey could be "greige" (grey/brown) at times.

Kitty Grey and Crystal Ball undergoing a warm light, bedroom mood test. You can see that Kitty Grey could be “greige” (grey/brown) at times.

Crystal Ball (I think!) flanked by purples and blues.  My biggest fear with using a "cool grey" paint, is it looking like lavender.  All clear here.

Crystal Ball (I think!) flanked by purples and blues. My biggest fear with using a “cool grey” paint, is it looking like lavender. All clear here.  Soft Apparition was next to be removed from my shortlist due to hints of purple in some lights.

Full sun test.  Top left: Crystal Ball, Top right: Soft Apparition,  Bottom left: Southward, Bottom right:  Kitty Grey

Full sun test. Top left: Crystal Ball, Top right: Soft Apparition,
Bottom left: Southward, Bottom right: Kitty Grey.

Final 3,  L to R:  Southward, Kitty Grey, Crystal Ball.  With some colours and textures that you are likely to find in our main living area.  The colour on my screen is fairly true to reality.  Which do you prefer?

Final 3: (L to R) Southward, Kitty Grey, Crystal Ball. With some colours and textures that you are likely to find in our main living area. (NB: Timber shown is not blackbutt such as we’ll have at House By The Water )

The colours on my screen are fairly true to reality. Which do you prefer?  Southwards is quite dull at night, so I’ve narrowed it down to two.  Kitty Grey and Crystal Ball.

And just in case you were thinking of giving me an “A minus” for my home creating obsessiveness, here’s a current view of my rental kitchen.

Dunlin pendants (almost) - 45 cm diameter on left, 36 cm on right.

Dunlin Titan pendants (almost) – 45 cm diameter on left, 36 cm on right.

At $600 a pop for my proposed kitchen bench pendant lights, I wondered if I could get away with a slightly smaller pendant.  The answer is no.  Now, I just have to be certain that I’ve picked the right style.  It would be much simpler to install these lights when everything else is in, taking a couple home from a local shop to test, returning them if necessary before installing.  Online ordering and building by a “package system” don’t favour this.

My husband took a lot of photos on site recently.  I’m going to be restrained and limit my “show and tell” to just 2 panoramas.  One photo to show off the view, the other to give you a sense of our main living area, with the L shaped dining, kitchen and lounge area.  Click on the images to be taken to the interactive 360 degree panoramas.

Canal side at House By The Water.  Click on image for 360 degree tour.

Canal side at House By The Water. Click on image for 360 degree tour.

Standing in the kitchen looking towards the main living area.  Click on picture for 360 degree tour.  You'll see the dining room to your left and the scullery to the far right.   The door opening seen here is for the "cellar".

Standing in the kitchen looking towards the main living area. Click on the picture for 360 degree tour. You’ll see the dining room to your left and the scullery to the far right. The door opening seen here is for the “cellar”.

Home Trends Survey Results

Last week I surveyed readers about Home Trends in 2015.  As I suspected, you are a reasonably well-balanced bunch who only let the overwhelming barrage of home deco media and retail get the better of you occasionally.  Thanks to 40 readers for participating in the fun, mostly from Australia, but also 9 readers from elsewhere in the world.

What was our biggest temptation?  Copper!  Almost half of you can’t get enough copper, and the other half like it at least for the kitchen pots.  Let’s hope this is one trend that’s here to stay.

What were we most adverse to?  Human skull decor, closely followed by pineapples.

Of course there were a few rebels among you.  Thank goodness for that.  Life would be dull if we were all the same.  I’ll let you know when I sign up for a Shibori course, maybe you’d like to join me.

My husband wants an ugly coffee roaster.

I heart the Nice Wolf.  Really.  Picture source:  No Camels.

I heart the Nice Wolf. Really. Picture source: No Camels.

Dedicated to my Valentine.

I don’t like coffee.  Put half a teaspoon of it in a chocolate cake, and I won’t eat it.  And don’t even think about kissing me if you’ve had a Cafe Latte in the last 60 minutes.  Espresso?  You’ll have to brush your teeth first.

Here is the entirely functional, exceptionally ugly, coffee roaster in question:

Coffee roaster

Hottop Coffee Roaster. Source: Hottop.

Let me start by sorting out the serious coffee drinkers from the “I’d rather have a pretty kitchen” crowd.  Could you, would you?  

My husband singled out this roaster after scouring through forums dedicated entirely to coffee and related paraphernalia.

The retail price for this supreme coffee roaster is (AUD)$1599.  I don’t begrudge the cost.  It’s roughly the equivalent of purchasing a daily Starbucks coffee for one year.  My husband loves his coffee and has made his own ever since I’ve known him.  We’ve had the same trusty coffee machine for 15 years – a great wedding gift from the groom’s best men.   I know the industrial look is on trend, but in a chunky, raw materials, manually-operated kind of way.  Not in a looks-like-it-belongs-in-a-disease-testing-lab kind of way.

Of course I’ve been trawling the web in search of a good-looking alternative.  I’ve found some lovely old-looking machines, the size of  sofas and the price of  cars.  There are very few choices for home roasters.  So I sent The Nice Wolf back to the drawing board and this is what he came up with:

Yup.  A popcorn machine.  Apparently they can roast coffee too.  I wouldn’t say that any of these are worthy of residing on my kitchen bench, but they are light and small and can easily live out of sight.  Possibly roasting coffee beans in them will wear them out, but for as little as $30, I don’t think we’d be too upset.

So that leaves some spare change for stylish new coffee machine.  And it just so happens that I’ve found a couple that fit the bill.

L to R:

  1. The Anza.  Shown here in Corian and teak!  Also available in concrete.
  2. Lavazza in concrete.  Source:  Bit Rebels.
  3. Classic style by Breville.   Various prices.
  4. Ascaso shown in Deep Blue, Polished Aluminium and Deep black.  Retro style from Spain in a choice of 15 colours!  $900.

So coffee lovers, have you got a coffee machine that not only makes coffee just the way you like it but looks fabulous too?  Do tell…   The Nice Wolf is an engineer, and a chemical one at that, so he likes to play with temperatures and air flows and other stuff.  One of those one-touch machines ain’t going to cut it.

And, serious coffee aficionados, (do any of those read my blog?) have you ever roasted your own coffee beans?  How did you do it?  I recently roasted my own cocoa beans in a purpose-made clay pot over a gas flame.  I wish I’d thought to enquire about purchasing a pot.

Little discoveries from my W.A. visit.

Cocoflip replica

Replicas galore.

1.  I’m so glad I checked out the “Cocoflip” pendant replicas. At $300 (versus $1500 for the real thing) – I had to consider them.  They looked great from 2 metres away, but then as I got close I noticed that there was no join between the “ash” top and the “aluminium” bottom.  So I reached out to see how it was done and realised that the whole thing was painted tin.  If I’d been fooled online and had the replicas delivered I would have been so disappointed.

2.  A sad moment at Myaree Ceramics…. the oil-blue tiles that I had coveted to replace our discontinued splash back tile, have also been discontinued.  No time for crying.  There were a number of good options that were close to my original grey subway tile selection.

How about that white “painted brick” tile (bottom right)?  Very clever.  Possibly not in keeping with House By The Water’s style.  Here’s my selection:

Splash back tile.

Masia gris claro tile. $96/m2

I’m going to have it laid vertically for a modern touch.

Next, I needed to reselect floor tiles for the laundry and powder room.  The laundry was easy.  I’m keeping it simple.  A matt grey tile.  The powder room, however, is a little room where it may not cost much to experiment with something a bit “out there”.

Powder room mood board.

This floor tile is a bit unusual so I made a mood board to help the Nice Wolf visualise how it might look.

Here the Caesarstone bench top in clamshell and the floor tile seem to clash but in reality they looked good together.  The tiles actually come in 4 different prints (of which we’d use 3) so the tiler will have to puzzle it together.  Hmmmm?  That could be unpopular.  I’m waiting for the costs of laying this tile to be confirmed before I commit.

3.  Next stop, a meeting with the owner of “Well Built Landscape Construction” (WBLC) to discuss our front yard plans.  I give Nick 10 out of 10 for keeping his overheads low, with our meeting taking place in McDonalds!  WBLC gave me the best quote for a cobblestone driveway and have produced some stylish home landscaping.  We discussed the driveway and our front fence and gate.  I begged him to help me decide whether to go with vertical wood or steel infills and render for the front fence.  He would have humoured me with either option, but my sensibilities and his have pushed me towards steel infills.   WBLC will provide a quote to kick-start our front yard, leaving the garden preparation for us to do at our leisure.

4.    At Nick’s suggestion, I went to Water Garden Warehouse to study steel infills for our front fence.  They supply my favourite steel infill pattern – the “wattle”.

Available from Water Garden Warehouse.

Available from Water Garden Warehouse.

I photographed steel art featuring this pattern a year ago at Home Base because I loved it.  It’s still my favourite.

We need to choose a finish.  Powder coated is smart (no rust stains dripping down the rendered wall), but the rusty steel and Corten options have a more organic look.

Work in progress - but you get the idea.

Front yard mood board.  Work in progress – but you get the idea.

5.  And just because it’s right next door to Water Garden Warehouse, I had a browse in Eco Outdoor.  Our cobblestones will come from here and I always love their outdoor furniture, though it’s usually over-priced.  Currently they have a sale on so their outdoor sofas are closer to the realms of possibility.  It’s a good place for alfresco inspiration.  They have some tempting heavy linens for making cushions and a great vertical garden.

Vertical garden

The wooden frame hides typically ugly vertical garden infrastructure.

6.  I popped into to say hi to my “Construction Liaison” at Webb and Brown-Neaves’ office.  It’s always nice to put a face to a name.  Emma took the time to explain to me a proposed change to the width of our “gutter fascia” that despite my best attempts to understand, by studying the drawings, I still could not fathom.  I have been assured that the change is purely cosmetic.

So that’s it.  All else for the remainder of our house construction must be done remotely.  The next time I visit Western Australia will be for the “practical completion inspection”.  But you know, I’ll be hovering around in the mean time, one way or another!