Saturday, January 22, 2011

pimp my lounge...

Our lounge room was one of the first rooms to be made over when we moved in.  I've mentioned my bro, Mick, before and some work he's done around our house.  To put it in context, what actually happened was this.  My brother Michael is reeeaaaallly good at all that handy hands on stuff (that I suck at, and
Boofy wasn't great at at the time, but is getting better at by the day)...  When we moved in here, we had neither the time nor the expertise to change the things we wanted to change, and it was going to cost us a lot of money to hire all the different tradies that would need to complete all the different jobs (not to mention the amount of time coordinating them all, taking time off work to be here when they came, and then crying in frustration when they didn't turn up at said time!)  Mick was between jobs at the time, so we offered to pay his flights and pay him a wage to come up here (from Sydney) to do whatever he could get done in the almost-three-weeks that he stayed.  What Mick got done in that time was amazing, and if you continue to follow this blog you'll see heaps of his handywork!  So when I say Mick did this or Mick did that, you know the story behind it now :)

Well, back to the lounge.  So when the house was on the market, the lounge room looked like this:

Its hard to see all the details.... so let me fill you in.  This actually used to be a double garage....  The front door was originally located in our (now) dining room, but more on that later.  So the carpet was an old, cheap, stained synthetic loop style carpet complete with staples on the edges to cut your feet and did not cover the whole floor.  That little decorative patch of yellow near the front door is actually bare cement painted with paving paint - and in front of the window it was just bare cement, full stop.  The step up into the next room?  You got it, bare cement!  There was no trim around the windows, missing bits of skirting and cornices and a huge bare gyprock wall (not show in photo), not to mention all that patching and plastering we needed to cover, and the dreaded pale aqua paint that is all through this house!

So, firstly Mick set to work.  He put the trim around the windows, put on the required skirting and cornices and primed all that trim and the bare gyprock to within an inch of its life!  It sounds simple but there was soooo much to do in this room, it was a big job.  So after that Boofy got to getting some colour on those walls - half Dulux Self Destruct.  Truth be told, we went crazy and bought enough to paint the entire house in that colour (because we liked it) but I actually think its a bit warm... sssshhh, don't tell Boofy!  If I could do it again, I think I'd go with something that was a bit more gray.... something with green undertones rather than yellow.  However, my hubby has worked super hard on the paint job, and I'm very grateful, so I'm keeping my mouth shut and living with what we have! :)

After the painting was done, we looked into flooring.  It was going to cost us a fortune to tile or put down floor boards (my personal preference) so in the end we went for carpet (Boofy's personal preference - he likes a carpeted lounge) which was less than half the price of the other two options.  We opted for something hard wearing, good with stains and on special!  We figured Alex is still pretty young, so it will probably get a bit trashed and that's okay.  For the price we paid, we're fully prepared to replace it in 5 years when Alex is (hopefully) a little more careful!

We got our lounge on ebay a while back, when we were still living in our old place, and it fit perfectly in here.  Only problem for us was we have great expanses of wall to fill... it was going to cost us a fortune!  That's when I lucked out and found this bamboo screen in Vast Interior which would fill about 3.5 metres of wall for only $140!  Sold!  Check it out, it looks great with the lounge:

What to do on the other 7 or so metres of bare wall?  Fortunately I work for a large company which has its own intranet, complete with a Buy Swap and Sell section...  with thousands of employees someone is always selling something useful.  And that is where I picked up this cabinet, which I absolutely love, for a total bargain.  The photo doesn't do it justice and doesn't really convey the sheer size of the thing - its enormous and so heavy!  Its very useful too, all our DVDs are in the drawers.  Its the perfect size to line them, spine up, so we can see what they are at a glance. 

The metal tree on top was given to me by my Dad and Stepmum for Christmas (thanks Dad & Heather!) - it was something I spied when I last visited them in Melbourne, and Heather remembered :)  Come to think of it, the wooden discs on the right hand side were the same thing, I spied them in Melbourne and again Heather remembered!  Isn't that sweet?  And the candles on the left were bought by me in the same shop in Melbourne last time I was there....  (sidenote:  Dad and Heather live in this arty little suburb outside of Melbourne called Warrandyte.  City dwellers flock there on weekends to picnic by the Yarra, enjoy the great shops and cafes, and go the the awesome markets.  Its a really leafy beautiful little part of the world, and is .quite close to the Yarra Valley which is very handy!  I can't recall the name of  the particular shop that my metal art, candlesticks and wooden discs came from but hopefully Heather will fill me in and I can update this post - its an awesome shop.  It is so cheap, its really incredible!  If you're out that way and share my passion for homewares, you must check it out!)

Anyway, here is the cabinet!  (Ignore the green kiddies chairs I happened to have stacked in the corner when I took the photo!)

So everything was in.... but it was all looking very, well, beige!  It was wonderful over Christmas when everything was decorated, but now that its all put away, I was feeling a little depressed.  (Does anyone else get like that?  Like things are drab and boring once the Chrissy decs are all gone?  I get sad every year...)  Anyways, I'm not huge on colour, but I'm having a bit of a love affair with green and turquoise at the moment, and I found these cushions that were perfect!  The blue swirl one behind is from Far Pavilions and the colourful one in front is by Kas (I bought them from Samsara).  Aren't they gorgeous?

I was then lucky enough to find the same ones in a big floor cushion, which brightens up the bay window a bit, and is perfect since Alex likes to sit there and watch the world go by sometimes (or wait for visitors if he knows they're coming!)

I then put some candlesticks on one side table and a mirror photo frame with some capiz lotus flowers on the other side table.  For my big cabinet, I got these great glass candleholders, I put pebbles in the bottom and then just popped some tealights in them.  And a couple of fake Ikea plants for colour (I know, I'm a shocker... I never thought I'd have fake plants but I'm just in love with these ones, they just add some nice green and they're so cute... you will see them scattered around the house in many photos, lol!)  So now the cabinet looks like this - much better with a little bit of colour (photo doesn't really do it justice - I love my current camera but it is getting on and getting a bit outdated, we're saving for a digital SLR!)

And now the lounge area looks like this... heaps better with the colour in the cushions to cool it down a bit.

There are other things in the room that aren't in the photos, so you can't really see the whole thing (like the front door, my nanna's little old table and the tv cabinet) but one of these days I well get around to doing a video house tour so you can see it all and get more of an idea of the size of this room (its a huge room - the lounge itself is 4 metres wide so gives you an idea). 

Bye for now :)

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