Friday inspiration

Who needs magazines these days?  (OK, I may have bought a little magazine today, to celebrate that it is Friday.  It cost me a whopping $25.  But it came all the way from France and is beautifully wrapped in plastic.  And it goes very well with chocolate.)

But the modern day girl flicks though cyber pages.  Here is my latest favourite place to hangout on the web:

The construction site in my head.

My brain has been all over the place this week.  The Three Little Pigs have been on school holidays.  If that is not enough to rattle my head, the world news has been drawing attention to my current backyard (South Korea), interfering with my focus.  Fortunately, my months of obsessing about all things house-related has paid off, and when I go to sleep at night my dreams have been about our new house and not missiles.

In my dream, our new house had a glass stair well and stairs, so we could see the canal from the stairs.  That particular idea will not be making it to the real thing.  (Photo from:

In my dream, our new house had a glass stair well and stairs, so we could see the canal from the stairs. That particular idea will not be making it to the real thing. (Photo from:

On the subject of building, here’s a snippet of what I’ve been thinking about this week:

  • Adding a laundry chute to the house plan.  Straight from kids’ bathroom to laundry.
  • How to make a 900mm oven, plus a 600mm oven work, with minimal disruption to our favoured house plan.
  • Whether or not I can live with tiles for a kitchen splash back.  Is cleaning grout going to be an ongoing problem?  The Nice Wolf cooks a particularly messy spaghetti bolognese on a regular basis.  Is glass daggy these days?  I’d love stone (to match kitchen bench), but probably that is an exorbitant cost.
  • Window treatments for energy saving, mosquito exclusion, privacy and aesthetics.  (This one is big.  It might make it to a blog post of its own.)

The Nice Wolf raised the idea of asking for a named Site Supervisor (who comes with good references) to be included in the building contract.  Has anyone done that before?

The lovely sales rep at company X (builder currently on top of our shortlist) sent me lots more photos of our favourite house.  The house used to be on display, so they have many pictures.  Lots of the details you don’t see on websites – laundry, WCs, inside the cupboards, exterior fittings, garage interior.  This is as close as I’ll get to browsing display homes for a little while.

So much to think about….

The oven(s).

I think I’d better issue all my lovely blog followers with a measuring tape.  This time I want your oven measurements, especially the width.  How much width does a macaron-baking Mama and pizza-throwing Papa need?

I’ve been going through potential house plans with a fine tooth comb and there is a chance we’ll be having two wall ovens.  Is 600mm enough?  Would you sacrifice 2 small wall ovens (included) for one 900mm oven?

And does any one have one of those new-fandangled steam ovens?  What do you think?

A small oven could stifle the Nice Wolf's culinary creativity.  This lovely oven was surely 900mm wide.

A small oven could stifle the Nice Wolf’s culinary creativity.

P.S.  It’s now 9 days later.  Thank you for the comments and emails about your ovens.  We are leaning towards one 600mm oven, plus one 900mm oven.  (His and hers!)   In the interim, I’ve found the perfect oven:


True love. This is the kind of oven I’d give a name to. And possibly kiss it.
(Available for the price of a small car at:


The kitchen bench.

Attention has been drawn to the kitchen bench.  It needs to be big!  My uncle, very experienced at sitting around kitchen benches, says so.  He likes to sit and watch the cook(s), getting his fingers dangerously close to the knives, in order to sneak a little taste.  He reckons that my Mum and Dad’s kitchen bench is the perfect size, and given that it has recently been the scene of Christmas dinner preparations for 21 people, he could be right.  So I sent my Mum to measure.  3.2 m x .85 m.

Mum and Dad's kitchen bench - the gold standard in benches.

Mum and Dad’s kitchen bench – the gold standard in benches.

Here is another beautiful kitchen bench, in a beautiful home:

What do you think?  I think that it would be more useful if the space underneath the bench was cupboards, but I’m impressed by the bench’s capacity to seat a family of 5.  I wonder how long it is?  At our last abode, there was bench seating for 3, so I ate my breakfast standing up for a year.  That’s enough.

Here is another one of my favourite kitchen benches:

And here, sadly, is my current kitchen bench:

I promise never to make macaroni cheese again if I have a big kitchen bench.

I promise never to make macaroni cheese again if I can have a big kitchen bench.

If you love your kitchen bench, please measure it up and post a comment.


Igor returned from his trip to Australia yesterday bearing gifts.  Lots of glossy brochures from display homes and a handful of building/decorating/landscaping magazines.  You know what I’ve been doing today.

I now have a large collection of magazines, each one a different publication.  But before this stack started to overtake the lounge room, there I was in South Korea, with newly purchased land burning a hole in my pocket and a local magazine supplier that trebled the price of imported magazines.  I did the only thing I could, I discovered Pinterest.

Pinterest is an online scrapbook.  You can save pictures you like into folders to review later.  It is quite addictive.  Within a week or two of collecting pictures it soon became clear to me the style of home design, inside and out, that I liked.  There was a trend in the colours, materials and shapes that I was collecting.  Aunty Kate tells me that I was creating a “mood board”.

In some ways, I’m getting a little ahead of myself, finding paint colours and lamp shades that I like, but it has been useful to discover modern products looking good that we might otherwise discount.  It is helping to develop an overall picture in our mind of what the end product, our dream home, could look like.

You can see the 5 latest additions to my Pinterest scrapbook in the side bar on the homepage of this blog.  These pictures will be automatically updated as I find new inspiration.  (Aunty Kate, aren’t I clever?)   To see my entire picture collection, you need to visit Pinterest and I warn you, it is a seriously lovely time-waster.  You can find my Pinterest folder by clicking on the “more photos” link underneath the sidebar pictures on the home page or by clicking here.

Screenshot from Pinterest:

My taste - greys, woods, whites and lots of light.

My taste – greys, woods, whites and lots of light.

Top 5 features for our dream home.

Apparently people like lists.  Aunty Kate, who is actually qualified to comment on this, told me so.  My cousin, a professional organiser, told me to write a list.   I suspect they are quite wise.

So here is my first list.

The Top 5 most important features for our dream home:

  • Plenty of windows to take advantage of the canal view and let the outside in.
  • A large sense of space (high or raked ceilings, voids, open living areas).
  • A big, functional kitchen with room for two cooks.
  • Natural materials featured – wood, stone, plants, water.
  • Room left on the block to run around on some grass, plant a herb garden, cool off in a pool and accommodate 3 BBQs.

Feel free to add your own list in “comments”.