Planning for some summer living

Posted on Fri, 1 Sep 2017 by midcenturyjo

Winter is definitely over and it’s time to turn my attention to outdoor living, in particular the small “patio” area just outside the breezeway. I’ve had a table and chairs here for a couple of years but now that the trees further down in the yard have grown big enough the outdoor dining has moved under their branches (more to come on this spot). I’m thinking that the now empty spot where they once sat should become a lounging area.

I’m lusting after a couple of pieces from the Orbit range by New Zealand brand . The trouble is the price. The 3-seater is $2,890.00 and then there are numerous ottoman, side table, bench and back rest combinations that add serious dollars on top of the starting price.

With the quote for fixing our kitchen wall ranging from $12,000 to $18,000 depending on what they find when they demolish to rebuild it I just don’t have the budget for pricey outdoor furniture. I did find this cheaper version from Bunnings but I’m still baulking at the $1,299 price tag.

Perhaps I can work with the 3 seater sofa at $499 from the same range and combine it with pieces I already have to achieve a more eclectic look as opposed to clean lined contemporary. After all I’m a boho girl not a minimalist modern type. That’s the el cheapo sofa below. A bit plain but I can work with it.

I have a couple of spare white spun aluminium chairs or I could even use some of the Eros swivel chair knockoffs I’m already using as dining chairs opposite the couch. Perhaps my white Giotto Stoppino nesting tables as side tables. Leave it with me. I’ll get back to you.

After the initial shock of discovering the bulge in my kitchen wall we panicked for a few hours then realised that it may not be as bad as it first appeared. There was little if any rubble or old plaster behind the wall of cupboards. Just lots of dust and a rat skeleton. The cupboards appeared to have been built to skirt around the bulge almost as if it had been there back in the 60s when the kitchen was last renovated. Had the previous owner just hidden the wall behind a fortress of built-ins? At least the wall didn’t appear to be in any imminent danger of collapse. We called the city council’s heritage architect and he promptly came out to cast his beady eye over our old walls.

Next step was to the heritage brick mason who is based in Brisbane but works statewide and arrange for him to inspect the wall. He’s coming early this week. Considering his family company is the only one in the state who is able to fix this wall correctly (historical blah blah blah, heritage whatsa-doovey etc) I’m surprised he can come so quickly. We’ll be getting a structural engineer’s report too but wanted to see what the mason said first. We think it might be better just to fix the wall in the beginning instead of patching and waiting to see what happens over time. All work on the kitchen has ground to a halt while the “battle of the bulge” goes on. Thankfully we hadn’t disconnected the water or removed the sink yet and the stove is still working. Bench space is limited and storage almost nonexistent so we are living out of plastic tubs for food, plates and utensils.

Enough of these boring background details. Next post I’ll show you what I have/had in mind for the kitchen fitout. This is in a state of flux though as our budget may be about to get a big hit from the wall repair costs. We have a contingency fund but who knows if it is enough? Perhaps I won’t be getting a new stove or those fabulous marble counters after all.

Photo from

Well may you ask. We have been trying to make a start on our kitchen renovation since this time last year. We ordered a kitchen, had to wait until it arrived in the country in November last year. Then we had a series of problems on our end … problems that turned up in other areas of the house that ate up our kitchen budget, a tree that fell on the back of the house which caused insurance problems (have given up the fight on what remains outstanding on that one), trades that couldn’t coordinate because of our delays, let our kitchen cabinets go in return for a credit to use when we were ready to start again, etc etc etc. Finally about a month ago we were ready to start again. Yay! Bring on the demolition!

Can you imagine walking into a kitchen where a blind husband is wielding a sledgehammer then an electric saw, followed by a circular saw, a crowbar and whatever else he could find in his tool shed? Welcome to renovating at my place. Surprisingly everything went well at the beginning. We had had an electrician in to isolate a couple of power points so we could remove cupboards and were happy with our first day’s work. A small cupboard next to the stove was easy to remove (photo just above). Then we moved to the other side of the room and a large, heavy built-in along the wall. You can see it in the top photo on the left. Solid beast. Wasn’t going anywhere. Let me apologise here for the quality of the photos. I was using my phone not my camera.

Look at those old bricks! So exciting. I’m planning to just have a long zinc topped bench/table/counter on wheels along this wall and a pantry at the end. Perhaps some shelves. And a sliding arm industrial style light on the wall. Next we demolished the lower cupboards and got our first glimpse of what was hiding behind this hulking wall of cabinets.

Yes that’s a bow in the wall. Old limestone mortar gone. Cracks (but not in the bricks). Wall hanging out from plumb by 2.5-5cm. OMG! What are we going to do? You’ll have to wait till my next post to find out 🙂

Pattern clash

Posted on Tue, 28 Feb 2017 by midcenturyjo

Oh I do love me a little pattern clash. Turkish kilim, Indonesian ikat on a daybed and an Indian rag rug in my office. Add a vintage cross stitch pillow and a couple made from Kelly Wearstler Trellis and Florence Broadhurst Japanese Floral and I’m done.

Collection #16

Posted on Sat, 18 Feb 2017 by midcenturyjo

Doesn’t every girl need 40 or 50 vintage plastic mehndi stencils? I’ll frame them en masse sometime. Meanwhile if you want to do some henna stencils you know where to come for patterns.