Building action: ceilings, render, white-set, roof.

It has sometimes been hard to get a park at House By The Water this week.  The head count has included a roof carpenter, ceiling installers, insulation installers, scaffold workers, electrical contractors and renderers.  It has been all action and there is plenty to show for it.

Kitchen bulkhead installation

Skilled tradesman at work on the bulkhead above our kitchen.

Home theatre

Library, now looking bright with white set walls.

canal side render

Canal side rendered.

Living room

Living room – white setting in progress today.

Front facade rendered

This morning’s work: front render done.

Behind the scenes, the electricians are ready to receive all our lights for fitting.  Only their message reads more like a ransom note than a request for fittings:

“Deliver to our warehouse….at this secret location…. only at this time….or we will fine you… a lot…. and you will regret it!   Don’t try to sneak in a wrong light…..we will fine you for that too…  If you dare to forget to label a box….that will be another $95.”   Okay, I might have embellished that a little, but honestly, their complex instructions and unforgiving fees have me scared I’m going to make a mistake.  Luckily, we’ve only received this information now, otherwise I would have been too frightened to order anything that was not available from the builder’s recommended light suppliers.  Most of our lights are coming from Radiant Lighting and I trust that they have the experience to meet the demands of the “ransom note”, but I also have 7 pendant lights that I’m supplying myself.  My pride and joy, the coco pendant, is now in my possession and my order from Dunlin lights arrived this morning.  Sadly, one of the pendants has been pushed out of shape in the box during shipping, so the delay to get a replacement to the electrician is bound to incur one of the electrical company’s friendly fees.

The cabinet makers have been checking up on a few of our details:  hidden robotic vacuum dock in the laundry and our integrated dishwasher.  I’m very happy to hear they are making a start on our cabinets.

I bought curtains for the master bedroom:

Bedroom Moodboard

Ink Blue Emery Curtain sample from Pottery Barn with Kitty Grey Solver paint, and a wool floor rug and throw from Santiago Airport.

I met the sales rep from Boardwalk Shutters on site this afternoon to measure up the shutters for the other bedrooms and our library.  I left this until the white set was completed so that more accurate measurements could be taken, but with the 10-12 week lead time on shutters, this means we’ll be without window dressings for a few weeks post handover.

And between running around like a headless chook for the past week, I’ve enjoyed a couple of cuppas and sweet treats at Frisky Deer Interiors with friends, old and new.

Frisky Deer Interiors

At Frisky Deer Interiors + Cafe in Mandurah.

I love linen.

Warning:  $$$$ alert.  Read ahead at the risk of your budget.

I have a weakness for linen.  The 100%, made-from-flax kind.  In fact, I’m at risk of dressing like my decor.  Or is it, decorating like I dress?  It’s in my wardrobe, it’s on my bed… table, cushions, oven rail.  I’ve always loved linen, but it was at odds with my dislike for ironing.  But now that the world is embracing the rough look, un-ironed, there is no holding me back.

I have big linen plans:


Curtains for the master bedroom

Photos:  1.  Home Beautiful Magazine.  2.  Mark Tuckey.  3.  Eye Swoon.

Possibly for the living area too.

We are talking double height curtains here!

Photos:  1.  Collected Interiors (Perth).  2.  Vosgesparis.   3. Home DIT.  4.  British Properties.

And, for the beds.

Photos:  1.  Nancy Bird.  2.  i gigi.  3.  vtwonen.

Before I get too carried away by gorgeous pictures, let’s talk cost.  Here are some Australian suppliers of 100% linen products and a quick look at what two standard products cost:Cost chart - 100% linen


I shall be looking in the green section, but I’m also keeping tabs on the orange section for sale prices.  Andrea and Joen recently had 40-50% off linen bedding.  Of course, if you are not as adverse to sewing as I am, you might make your own.  Linen by the metre starts at about $25 and goes up quickly, especially if you’d like a nice print on it.  If you prefer linen bedding with a pattern, try Moochie Lou or Nancy Bird.  And if your budget doesn’t extend to 100% linen, Aura Home has bedding in linen-cotton blends.  Nearly as good!

Since the Nice Wolf is probably already gagging by the time he’s read this far into this post, I might as well keep going.  In for a penny, in for a pound!  (Or dollars, as the case may be.)

Curtain costs

I love the soft, romantic (see Nice Wolf, linen is in your favour) look of linen curtains in a master bedroom. We have 8 metres of full length windows in our bedroom.  Yep, 8 metres!  Two sets of windows, each about 4 metres wide.  They join at the corner.

Master bedroom plan.

Half the walls are windows!

Given the limited area to draw the curtains to, I’m planning to use light linen curtains (to minimise bulk) for mood and we’ll add blinds for light and temperature control and privacy.  Ready-made 100% curtains seem to be few and far between and really are only made for small windows.  On my last trip to Sydney, Pottery Barn’s linen curtains caught my eye:

Pottery barn curtain.

I’m not sure which colour this is, but I like it!

 According to curtain rules, you need 2 – 2.5 times your window width in material.  That equates to at least 12 of these curtain panels for our bedroom!  $888 not including the curtain hardware.  There is the issue of having to join the panels together but I reckon I could just about cope with that amount of sewing.  I looked at some fabric options for DIY, but I’d be hard pressed to find some that I like for under $1000.

Have I missed your favourite source of linen?  Do tell.

Or are you more of a flannelette kind of person?  Silk?  Cow hide? 

Have you made your own curtains or found some goodies ready to hang?  

Keep an eye out for plain linen curtains for me.  Blue, grey, black, natural and any where in between, are all possibilities.

Aunty Kate’s House

Sunset over the city.

Sunset over the city.

Aunty Kate,  do not read any further!

My sister is the biggest sap I know.  If she reads nice things about her home – the first home she owned together with her partner, and their first family home – she’s going to cry.

As I’ve said before, Kate has great style.  She has an eye for beautiful old stuff and stylish new stuff, and a weakness for buying it.  She has the patience and talent to reupholster a chair, paint some art, sew a beautiful quilt and give new life to old furniture.  She is also brutally honest, so she keeps me on the straight and narrow with my styling ideas for House By The Water.

Aunty Kate’s apartment in Breakfast Point, in Sydney, is on the market, so it’s a good excuse for us to take a sticky beak.



The perfect place for wine and cheese!   Adirondack chairs from Ocean Country Furniture.   Pots from Bunnings.

Living area

Rug from Pottery Barn.

Rug and cushions from Pottery Barn.  Moroccan leather pouffe from Table Tonic.  DIY reupholstered arm chair and paintings by Kate.  Framed photos by her partner.

Aunty Kate said "If she saw another real estate picture of limes or lemons, she'd scream."  So she go pomegranates instead.

Shutter love.

Aunty Kate said “If I see another real estate picture of limes or lemons, I’ll scream.” So she bought pomegranates instead.  Since working for Sydney Markets (and being a judge of “miscellaneous vegetables” at the Royal Sydney Show!), my sister knows her pomegranates from her persimmons!  There is always a bunch of fresh and fancy flowers in her home.

The shutters throughout this apartment are partly responsible for convincing me we need shutters in our new home.  They look so good, the light control is great and they are tough!  Note the sliding shutters.

Breakfast Point living area.

Entertainment unit made from Tasmanian blackwood, by Oz Design.  Wall paint is Dulux Sisal (but be warned Real Estate photography has a tendency to oversaturate the colours.) And the flower-in-vase  painting is by my mother-in-law.

Custom cabinetry.

Custom cabinetry.

My nieces’ room.

Photos exclusive to HBTW!  And by my special request.  I love this room.  It always looks gorgeous and has morphed over time; originally a guest room, then home to one little girl, then two!  It’s a showroom of many of Aunty Kate’s talents.

Girls room.

Room for two little rabbits. Painting by Kate.  Wall colour Taubmans Blue Waltz.

Ahh…  I’m getting sentimental now.  That cot is up to baby number 5!  My 3 kids slept, sang and cried in there, then Aunty Kate’s two little girls.

Toddler bed.

Hello Charlotte! Bunting, mobile and quilt all handmade by Kate.

Community space

Old fashioned cricket field - the scene of my son's first birthday.

Old fashioned cricket field and pavillion- the scene of my son’s first birthday, hosted by Aunty Kate.

Fancy a pied-a-terre in Sydney, or a few more angles of Aunty Kate’s home?  Pop over to to see more.