Would you let your husband choose tiles? Alone?

Note from wife sign.

Photo source: unknown.

Up until this week The Nice Wolf (a.k.a. husband) has been too busy to get involved in the minor details of House By The Water.  He’s left all the interior decisions to me and many of the other decisions too.  An ideal situation, as far as I’m concerned.  Well, The Nice Wolf is now on holidays and has been busying himself with thoughts of reticulation, hanging cray pots from the ceiling, cobblestones and many other future DIY projects.  He’s been popping past House By The Water to act as liaison between myself and our landscapers and to submit a daily report on the head count of tradespeople on site.

And yes, he had to bring a note from his wife in order to make a tile selection.

Pool tiles.

Pool tile samples were duly brought home for my approval.

More about that head count.  It has been exceptionally high this week.  Webb and Brown-Neaves and related contractors have been pulling out all stops in order to get the keys to us next week.  On top of that, our landscapers, Tim Davies Landscaping, have started work.

Here is just some of what has been happening:

The lights were installed:

The painters have been inside and Kitty Grey is looking very pretty:

The tiling and stonework is just about finished:

The robes were installed:

Sinks, tapware, shower screens and mirrors (not shown) were installed:

Work on the deck began:

Jarrah decking.

Deck in progress.

Behind the scenes we’ve been booking in the wood fire and floor installers, connecting the internet and phone and ordering the council-supplied bins.  In a very pleasant twist of events, we received a variation notice from the builders giving us an $11.5K credit for site works.  Yep, you read it correctly.  Credit.  Yippee!   (Skipping all the way to the cobblestone shop….)

Looks like I’d better start chilling that wine.

Living room.
Gallery

Building update. With my very own eyes.

So, we may have made a short visit to House By The Water at half past midnight, upon our arrival in Mandurah.  And it’s quite possible that we are averaging 3 site visits per day this week.  We are a tad excited.  We have a lot to catch up on and so do the builders.  The new construction plan is all go go go, aiming for handover before Christmas.

Here is the promised tour:

Front facade

Front facade

Entrance

Entrance

Garage

Garage

Stairs

Stairs and hallway.

Entrance

Entrance void

Library

Library.

Living room.

Living room.

Kitchen

Looking towards the kitchen from the living room.

Master bedroom

Our bedroom.

WIR

Through the walk-in-robe to the bathroom.

Ensuite

Ensuite

Looking down into the living room.

Looking down into the living room.

Bedroom

The Second Little Pig’s bedroom.

Open living area.

Open living.

3 little pigs

The Three Little Pigs, squinting to preserve their anonymity.

Man hole

The Nice Wolf inspecting the man hole. I think it fits.

I added the above photos to this post this morning, but by my second visit to the site this afternoon more ceilings had been plastered and lots of the scaffolding was removed.  Woohoo!  So now you can really see the size of the living area, including the living room void and alfresco area which looks especially huge.

Canal side aspect of the house.

Canal side aspect.

Alfresco

Double height alfresco area.

Open living area.

Plastered ceiling, dining room

Plastered ceilings ground floor.

Plastered ceilings ground floor.

And for this week’s style dilemma, the stack stone that I selected almost 2 years ago for the feature column on the front facade is currently unavailable, so I needed to reselect.  I checked the options online and made a tentative selection, but for $14K worth of stone and the labour to install it, I thought it wise to see a sample.  Midland Brick in Mandurah stock Boral’s stone cladding and I went to inspect.  I’m so glad I did because the colours of the stone on my computer screen were completely different to the real samples.  That made me nervous so I decided to take a short list of samples around to the house for testing:

Online “Aspen” (left) was my first choice, but in reality there was too much orange.  So Echo Ridge (middle) and White Oak (right) were the last two contenders.  I’ve selected Echo Ridge, wanting a bit of dark contrast to the rest of our light grey pallet to break up the front facade with texture and colour.  My Mum (starring in the photos) likes White Oak the best which is very beachy, but slightly off my colour pallet of greys.

Ledgestone

Oral “country ledgestone” in White Oak, Echo Ridge and Aspen.

That’s all for now.  My head is still a bit rattled by jet lag, too much excitement and a hectic week.

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.

Build update: roof cover.

We have a roof.  It’s a rather dazzling white despite the gloomy day on which the Nice Wolf took these photos.

Colorbond Surfmist skillion roof.

Colorbond Surfmist skillion roof.

Roof at the front of house.

Roof at the front of house.

The skillion roof line of our house is such that no one is actually going to see much of the roof cover.  We picked “Surfmist” Colorbond to reflect the sun, to keep our home a little cooler and minimise air conditioner days.  We plan to add solar panels later.  These will contrast completely with the white/grey roof cover but only the seagulls will notice.

You really can’t see the effect of the roofline yet for all the scaffolding:

Canal side/back yard.

It’s a scaffold jungle on the canal side/back yard.

Side of house, pool in foreground.

Side of house, pool in foreground.

Eventually it will look a bit like this:

Front Elevation.  Not a lot of visible roof.

Front Elevation. Not a lot of visible roof.

Aside from the addition of the shiny roof, all the ducting for our air conditioning has been installed and our air conditioner unit is ordered.  We have ordered an LG 17kW system – recommended for its value for money by our cooling specialist.  Other companies recommended that we install two units for our house, doubling or even quadrupling the cost!  Luckily, we are not wilt-in-the-heat types, and hope to manage the heat well with window dressings and only use the air-conditioning on the really hot days of the year.  On those same hot days, the solar panels will be producing plenty of energy.

We had to raise the roof line by 3 courses of brick to accommodate the air conditioning ducts.

We had to raise the roof line by 3 courses of brick to accommodate the air conditioning ducts.

Pre-wiring for our phone and internet lines, the plumbing and electrical tubes and guttering has all been installed for the second floor.

Bathroom plumbing will be hidden in the scullery ceiling.

Bathroom plumbing will be hidden in the scullery ceiling.

According to my schedule we are still 3 months away from “lock up”.  The next big job on the list is internal and external plastering but I think some of that incredible scaffold jungle has to come down first.

One last dodgy site photo (for my Mum)!  This picture is taken from the open, upstairs living area.  Check out the view!   It’s a little dark now, but wait until the rain clears, the scaffold is removed and the walls and ceilings are painted.  We were so focussed on getting the downstairs orientation for views right, that the upstairs view comes as a pleasant surprise.

Upper living

Walk straight ahead to our bedroom. Space here for the kids lounge, a study nook and the Pilates Reformer.

 

Interior paint shortlist

I’ve been stalking everyone’s homes in the last month or two, keeping my eye out for the perfect shade of grey for the interior walls of House By The Water.  And whenever I’ve seen something I like, I’ve pounced!  “Excuse me.  What colour is your wall?”  The internet is great like that.

Here are some lovely walls:

Wattyl "Snowdonia" 3/4 strength in Josh and Jenna's bedroom.

Wattyl “Snowdonia” 3/4 strength in Josh and Jenna’s bedroom on The Block.

Wattyl "Kid Leather" at Finlay Homes.

Wattyl “Kid Leather” at Finlay Homes.

Pictured above:  Lovely, beachy new home.  Details kindly shared by TBrown on HomeOne Forum.

I know I’ve posted on interior paint colours before, but firstly that post looks a bit drippy (ha ha!) since I changed my blog’s format, and secondly, it was based on a paint brochure.  I’m far wiser now.  I’ve realised just how different colours can look on a screen and in different light.  Thus, my internet stalking for real-life examples.  Of course, nothing compares to testing it out for yourself, and so I have a plan!

While my husband is in Mandurah (HBTW’s location) next week for meetings, I want to him to buy a few sample pots of paint, paint up some boards and leave them there for the interior designer to study in situ.  So I need a short list.  I want a cool grey.  Light, but definitely not white.

My Solver Paint shortlist.

  • Soft Apparition
  • Feather dawn
  • Kitty Grey
  • Southwards
  • Crystal Ball
  • Scribbly Gum

    Notes:

  • Soft Apparition – looking the least like a “greige” on my screen.
  • Feather dawn – I’ve been using this in all my digital mood boards, but I think it’s going to look white in reality.
  • Kitty grey – based on photos of good looking display homes.
  • Southwards – wooed by The Islander (see below).
  • Crystal ball – my favourite on paper.
  • Scribbly Gum – looking too green on my screen but perfectly lovely in The Etesian (see below).

Solver Paints are utterly hopeless when it comes to showcasing their paints online.   Get with it Solver!   Webb and Brown-Neaves use Solver Paints as standard for the interiors of their homes and our paint is included in our building contract.  Fortunately, W&BN have some lovely display homes that show Solver Paints so you can get a real idea of some of the paint colours.  (Dale Alcock have also used a lot of Solver Paints, in case any one else is trying to choose from these paints.)

Solver Southward at The Islander by Webb and Brown-Neaves.

Solver Southward at The Islander by Webb and Brown-Neaves.

Solver's Scribbly Gum can be seen at The Etesian, by WBN.

Solver’s Scribbly Gum can be seen at The Etesian, by WBN.  (Note to self:  Scribbly Gum looks a bit green in sample circle, but not  in The Etesian.  I saw it with my own eyes!)

Solver Creamy Coffee at The Bayfield.

Solver Creamy Coffee at The Bayfield.

Solver Kitty Grey as seen in home by Dale Alcock.

Solver Kitty Grey as seen in home by Dale Alcock.

Has anyone used any of the paints on my shortlist?

Or ruled them out after testing?

Got a light, cool grey that you love?

And what about the 1/2, 1/4 strength can of worms?  Should I go there?

You’ll find more named paints in my Pinterest file, if you are keen.

Painted feature walls.

Dear Reader,  

Thank you for suggesting I write about the topic “Feature walls, Yay or Nay?”  I was wondering the same thing.  It is with pleasure that I present to you my entirely unqualified opinion on the matter.  

Yours sincerely,

Johanne at House By The Water.

Yay or Nay?

5 rooms that definitely say “Yay”:

The colour adds mood, without drowning the whole room.  Source:  Lonny.

The colour adds mood, without drowning the whole room. Source: Lonny.

Black wall adds depth.  Source:

Black wall adds depth and definition. Source: Home Adore.

Framing a view, creating a division of space.  Source:

Framing a view, creating a division of space. Source:  Home Adore.

Background colour highlights the pendant and fire.    Source:  Cote Maison.

Background colour highlights the pendant and fire. Source: Cote Maison.

Grey wall frames art.  Source: Lux Interior Design.

Grey wall frames art. Source: Lux Interior Design.

When to use a feature wall:

  • to create mood, without intruding on the feeling of space and light.
  • to frame a feature such as a view, painting, fireplace, special piece of furniture, architectural detail.
  • to create depth and interest.

Simple, hey?

Wrong.  I’ll use my dilemma area as an example.  Our fireplace.

Display home version of our fireplace.  By Webb and Brown-Neaves.

Display home version of our fireplace. By Webb and Brown-Neaves.

Firstly, I can’t decide whether or not our fireplace wall should be “a feature”.  Giving it a colour of its own, would highlight the fire and provide a nice back ground to a large pendant light that will hang in the room.  On the other hand, we’ll already have the canal view as a feature (at least in the day time) and I have plans for a big piece of art for the large bare wall, shown on the left side of  the photo above.  Is that too many features?

Secondly, for every beautiful feature wall I’ve seen, there is an equally beautiful room that is elegant in its simplicity.  (Plain in the left column, “feature” walls on the right.)

Photos sources:  1. Zusss.  2. The Style Files. 3.  Remodelista.  4. Plastolux.  5. Zuster. 6. Contemporist.  7. Milk Magazine. 8.  Nixon Tulloch Fortey.

Thirdly, try searching “feature wall” on Google or Pinterest.  You’ll find all kinds of “nay” happening there.  Pulling off a feature wall takes confidence and skill.  A feature wall, well, features in a room, so you’d better love whatever colour you choose.

In the case of our fireplace, I don’t think we can go wrong.  The easy answer is “no feature paint” but I don’t want to miss an opportunity.  With the double height wall, painting it  later would be a saga.  At this point, most people would buy a couple of sample pots and paint a wall to make a decision “on the ground”.  We don’t have this option right now.  The next time I see House By The Water will be for the “Practical Completion Inspection”, when the interior walls will have long since been painted by the builders.

To resolve the issue (again), I turned to my new favourite time-wasting activity, mood board creation.

Open living at House By The Water.

No “feature wall” in our open living area.  Kitchen, living and dining all in one.

So for our fireplace, I’m saying “Nay” to a painted feature wall.   An additional block of colour seems to detract from the rest.

I also considered a painted feature wall for my son’s bedroom.  We are going for an industrial/coastal style there.  (There’s a new combo for you!)  A charcoal colour would go nicely, but there was the question of which wall to paint. In the end I’ve decided it’s all or nothing.   (Another post, another day.)

Of course, there are alternatives to painting a feature wall.  Wallpaper is big right now.  But if you think I have commitment issues with painting a feature wall, I am down-right scared of wallpaper.  I don’t think I’ll ever recover from the time we removed the old wallpaper in our first house.  It was not fun and it went on for days.  Timber panelling, exposed brick, raw concrete and stone are all high-commitment options for feature walls.   Although they usually require thought in the planning stage of a build, I consider some of them to be low risk options.  Rarely do I see a stone or timber wall that I don’t like.

And, for the complete “feature wall” chicken, here are some gorgeous wall hangings that I love:

These are from Restoration Hardware in the United States.  Unfortunately, they don’t ship to Australia.

So, dear reader.  Are you still there?  I’m voting “yay” for feature walls, but not always.

Your turn:

Are you planning a feature wall?

Have you painted a feature wall that you lived to regret?

How about one you love to bits?

Has anyone tested out the new so-called “removable wallpaper”?

 

 

Tween room.

The First Little Pig is about to turn 10.  There are days when my stuffed-toy-loving daughter still seems like a little girl and, gradually more often,  there are days when she seems all grown up.  She’s certainly old enough to have her own opinion on most things, including her own room.  I’ve been trying some gentle persuasion using my favourite pictures of bedrooms, many of which my daughter has categorically dismissed.  And, in turn, she has collected some pictures that I’m not too fond of.    We’ve managed to find just enough common ground:

Purple bricks.  Girls bedroom.

Source: Originally on Vertbaudet. (No longer available.)

OK, so we are not painting a wall purple, but if we had a brick wall with daggy bricks, I’d go for it.  My daughter’s favourite colours are blue, white and purple.  She is attracted to drawers, shelving and boxes – probably a good thing given her genetic predisposition to hoarding.  (Nothing to do with me.)

Girl's bedroom.

Source:  Original source not found.

Hands up all 10 year old girls who’d like a four poster bed?  What about a hanging chair?  I understand the attraction, but nope, that’s not happening either.

Red bedroom.

Source: Originally on Pottery Barn, no longer available.

I like the more adult colours here.  Still fun and feminine, but fresh too.  Originally I was drawn to this picture by the red and pink tapestry above the bed.  We bought two similar tapestries in India a few years, one for each of our girls.

Source:

Source:  Daily Dream Decor.  (Unverified.)

The hanging chair is definitely popular.  I have no idea whether our ceiling could cope, but my daughter is happy with any kind of space dedicated to book reading – so I am planning a book-nook of the more traditional kind.  I like the light colour pallet used in this picture, with a bit of red to avoid it looking too young.  We already have a few things in this colour pallet.

A whimsical room.  Still dreamy but definitely not babyish.  I love this one in every way, though my daughter is not keen on the quilt.

This week’s “Top 5” inspiration pictures are such a hotch potch.  The internet is overflowing with gorgeous baby and toddler rooms and there is plenty of inspiration for adults too.  But where are all the pictures of rooms for the inbeTween years?   Are photographers too scared to enter?  I see my kid’s rooms as a chance to let loose a bit.  To inject some fun and personality.

So here is my mood board (take 1) for my daughter’s room, approved (without any particularly great enthusiasm) by my daughter:

First little pig's moodboard.

Based on furniture and decor we already have.

My mother-in-law painted Van Gogh’s “Almond Blossoms” to celebrate the birth of our first daughter.  In real life, it’s beautiful and is the only “must have” in the room.  Something’s not right with this mood board, but I can’t put my finger on it.  Any suggestions?  I tried adding some bold yellow.  My daughter screwed up her nose and I admit that it’s not right for her.

Adding yellow to the mood.

With yellow?

Of course it can be work in progress and I’m sure it will evolve.  We will be using an old wooden bed that belonged to my Aunt before it belonged to me.  I think it needs a lick of paint.  White?  We’ll also make use of an old wooden bookshelf, bedside table and storage bench – all ripe for the painting.  It’s just a matter of picking a colour.

Edit:  Following your suggestions and photos, the First Little Pig and I prepared this mood board together.  I think it’s much better.  She’ll probably put her very bright coloured donna cover on at first, while we search for “the” perfect bed cover.

Hanging chair bedroom.

Bedroom mood board – Take Three.