Saturday, August 20, 2011

A renovation update

Years ago there was a teacher at my boarding school that eventually went on to write a series of books about Australia at war.  The Tomorrow Series. In the first book Ellie (the narrator of the books) says that: 

"time spent in reconaissance is seldom wasted"

It is a quote that frequently pops into my mind, along with "touch it once" (but that is a post for another day).  If I remember correctly, Ellie names Napoleon as the source of the quote, who was probably referring to military type matters when he said it.  Nevertheless, to my mind it is perfect for renovating.  My number one renovating tip would be to do your research.  Take your time making decisions, think everything through and especially take the time to check references.  You are much less likely to make decisions that you might regret if you are not too hasty. This applies to everything from selecting tradesmen, to making decisions on fixtures, colour schemes and layout.

The colours that we have chosen are Dulux Oyster Linen for the weatherboards and Aspen Snow for the trims.  My sister in law is an interior designer and recommends painting a house a minimum of three colours to make it visually interesting and her suggestion for the roof is a neutral shade, complimenting the other colours you have chosen.  A neutral shade for the roof is probably a wise choice as it will need to work with any future exterior colours changes.   

For years I have been collecting pictures of  pretty Sydney weatherboard houses so I had a reasonably good idea of what colours we were going to use long ago. Even so we painted lots of sample colours onto the side of the house before comitting to a decision.

The front door is gloss black.  The door people were horrified that I was painting a cedar door black.   As a teenager though I lived in the States for a few years and really admired how much effort the Americans put into decorating their houses, in particular the seasonal decorations on porches.  A wreath looks stunning on a glossy black or red painted door.  I would have loved a red front door had we gone with a grey/white colour scheme but that had a more Paddo inner city style weatherboard feel to me rather than a beach house!

The new bathroom is now finished, hurrah!  All that we are waiting for is a mirror to hang over the vanity. This bathroom is fairly small so we were very careful with our use of the space and I am super happy with how it turned out.  I absolutely love the travertine floor!


Now we are fiddling about with this bathroom:

Yesterday we moved everything around in it a number of times using a chair as a toilet and blue painters tape to mark out the shower screen location.  We are doing a wet room area similar to the one that Jenna and Josh (from The Block) did in their ensuite, with the bath positioned behind the shower screen:


We are now wondering whether or not to run a shelf all the way along the length of the wall.  Josh and Jenna stopped theirs at the shower screen, probably so they didn't need to have a kick in the glass but we are thinking of continuing the shelf all the way along.  I would love to hear what people think about this idea!  Does anyone have a shelf in their shower or one of those nook things, are they hard to clean?  Love to hear any thoughts/feedback regarding this!


  1. Can't believe John Marsden taught at your school, I used to love those books!! The colour scheme you've gone with for the exterior of your house is gorgeous!!! I would have gone with similar colours. I also love your vanity and the way your sink is positioned on the wooden stand/cabinet - that pic is going straight into my bathroom inspiration folder for when we renovate ours! Enjoy the rest of the weekend x

  2. I think I know which school you went to. Loving all your bathroom goodness and I completely agree about the neutral roof. Ours is green - it was a new roof on an old house when we bought the place 8 years ago. It has restricted our choice for paint colour on the house.

    Glad to see it's all going well and you're obviously enjoying the process! I love your cute new header too.

  3. Oh my. You renovation is looking gorgeous! I have never seen that kind of glass enclosure before - I love it!

    We spent ages on the planning part of our reno...I think it was worth it.

  4. It is looking brilliant Emma.

    I agree about the red door too.

    Take care and hope all is well in your world.


  5. Oh, Sweetheart. I'm so tickled so see how beautifully it's all coming together. You have immaculate taste. I'm looking forward to seeing it in person (hopefully one day soon!). J x

  6. Crazy love for that bathroom - who would have thought to put a bath behind the glass? Brilliant! I did have a shelf in the bathroom once - I think if it is white, it will be easy to care for. It also is a nice place to put African violets too if there is a window nearby for shower mist & a bit of sunlight.

    LOVE your shabby chic powder room!! You must love it. Do you wash your hands in there a million times a day, just because you can?!

  7. For some reason I haven't stopped by for a while - how silly of me! Your renos are looking amazing and I love the colours you chose. THe vanity, and whole bathroom look amazing and thanks for reminding me that Sukin does handwash! (our vanity leaves little room for soap either and all I could think of were those horrid supermarket handwash bottles!)
    I look forward to seeing the other bathroom finished, I'm sure whatever you decide will be brilliant x

  8. Now that's what I call a gorgeous home!

    Seeing all that you've done has made me want to build my own beachside cottage, however I'm not sure if I would have either the patience or resolve that you've shown throughout this build.

    The bathroom is truly special and I can't wait to see what you do with the shelf.

    xx Felicity

  9. Just GORGEOUS Emma! You have exquisite taste and I can't wait to have a snoop around and steal some of your fabulous ideas!!


  10. Your home is beautiful Emma. I love the colours you've chosen for the outside of the house, they have such a nice feel to them, definitely my favourite:) And the bathroom vanity look great, I love the distressed timber. Thank you for showing us around. xx

  11. Love it Emma!! You guys have really put so much through into everything, I really hope you get the chance to sit back and truly pat yourself on the back and cheers yourself with some bubbles for all your efforts!

  12. Hi Emma... just sticky-beaking at your charming little blog...I like the external cladding (colours and trims etc) you've used...was wondering if you could tell me what cladding product you used? Is it linea weatherboard with axent trims/flashings? What size? We're in the design phase of our home... trying to get ideas together... Thanks heaps! Happy home to you! x Gemma

  13. Hi Gemma, I replied to you on your blog! Emma

    1. Thanks Emma! More research to do and more decisions to make! :)

  14. The colours look fabulous. You have such great taste! Is it full strength oyster linen?

  15. Hi Emma, love your colours for the exterior. The oyster linen looks really beautiful. Like Gemma I am curious as to which weatherboard product you chose. It looks great. We are about to start our own renovation and don't have a big budget so I'm hoping its the plain old 230mm smooth hardiplank! Kristy

  16. Hi, Could you please tell me the colours you used on the guttering and the roof? Such a nice colour scheme. Thanks, Maddy

  17. Hi Emma, Could you please tell me the colour that you chose for your guttering and the roof? I am doing a reno at the moment and these colours would be perfect! Thanks



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