Easter, but not really …

When Kim from Figs & Feta magazine contacted me recently about doing an article about ME I was gobsmacked. Our homes have been in a few magazines before, but those features focus on our home and style, not me!

I asked Kim why she wanted little old me in her beautiful magazine. She said she admires the way I have built a community of beautiful friends through IG, she likes how I share my DIY’s and encourage everyone to give it a go and she appreciates the fact I keep it real.

I had a little think about it and I realised I DO have an amazing Insta tribe of gorgeous, supportive and caring friends (so grateful), the only reason I share my DIY’s, shopping finds and styling ideas is to show you that you CAN do it and yes, I do like to share my giant piles of washing, my dirty floors and my epic fails just to ‘keep it real’.

So, the article was born, you can find it here.

Kim asked me to take a few photos of my house decorated for Easter for the article. I photographed the images in January and I wasn’t quite ready for 100’s of bunnies to invade my home so soon after Christmas, so I went with more of a Spring vibe with a hint of Easter. I chose a different colour palette than I usually do and I really love the way the photos came out. I wanted to share some of the ones that didn’t make it to the magazine here with you. I hope you like them too.

What kind of photoshoot would it be at my house if one of the animals didn’t make an appearance?

And of course the original photobomber – Orly!

I hope you liked my pics as much as I loved taking them. The best part about a home photoshoot is getting to eat and enjoy the props afterwards. Those mangoes and macarons were delicious, and the flowers brought a smile to my face everyday for well over a week!

Hx

White Dinner set – Shop here
Yellow gingham tablecloth and floral napkins – homemade by me!
Cutlery – Shop here
Black bunnies – Shop here
Hop Hop Hop bunting – Sold Out, from Pottery Barn Kids.
Flowers – Always from my favourite florist – That Pretty Market
Frog – Shop here
Rattan Jugs – Sold out – Similar here
Boxwood Topiaries – Shop here

If I’ve missed anything, you can usually find me on IG here.

Are DIY shutters really DIY?

I’ve always loved the look of plantation shutters, there’s something so sophisticated about them, yet they are also casual and classic. They complement nearly every home style and are very practical.

I knew I wanted shutters in my office space for a few reasons.

Firstly, our office is right at the front of our home, it is visible from the street and I knew shutters would compliment the curb appeal, they look just as beautiful from the outside as they do inside. I would eventually like to match the entire front elevation of  our house with the same plantation shutters.

Secondly, the office is a bit of a dumping ground in our house, if someone doesn’t know where to put something, – in the office, anything that needs to be retuned to a store or someone else – in the office, half done projects – in the office, leftover decor that I haven’t found a spot for yet – in the office …. you get the idea. So, I wanted something very clean in the office, clean looking to reduce the visual clutter and easy to keep clean. Shutters tick all the boxes.

Lastly, the office faces west and has 3 huge windows, the afternoon sun can be awfully hot in summer and absolutely gorgeous in winter. I like being able to control the light by tilting the slats to an angle that blocks the light or lets it stream in, while the bifold design makes them easy to open to access the windows.

So, they say DIY … how easy is the DIY and can you do it?

If you can measure your window, drill a hole, read a spirit level and screw in a screw – YOU CAN DO IT!

If you said no to any of those things, keep reading and I’ll show you how easy it really is.

I’m going to give you the quick version of how they arrive and what you need to do to put them together and install them. Please don’t use this as your instructions if you order your own shutters, it’s just meant to show you the process so you can see how simple it is.

Depending on what fitting option you choose your installation may be slightly different. The fitting guide from Tuiss Blinds Online gives you step by step instructions that are simple to understand and easy to follow. We have the ‘Recess with Sill’ option to fit on the inside of our sill, at the same projection as the architraves.

You shutters will arrive in separate parcels with the framing in one package and the shutter panels in another. Unpack everything before you start, lay your components out on the ground and familiarise yourself with the tools in the fitting kit.

The fitting instruction from Tuiss Blinds Online tell you to assemble your frame first, then drill your fixing holes, but we found it easier to drill the holes first as our frames were so big and it was much easier to manoeuvre the frame lengths before they were assembled.

I know this bit sounds scary, but if you have basic knowledge of how to use a drill, it really is very easy. We drilled one hole 10cm in from the top and bottom of the ends on all 4 sides and also another hole in line with the centre of each hinge on the side pieces. We measured and marked our holes with a pencil first, my tip is to measure twice and drill once!

To assemble your frame you just need to push the hoffman keys into the holes, you might need to give them a little hammer into place.

Now you are ready to install the frame into your sill, or whatever fitting option you chose. Use a spirit level to make sure it is sitting level and straight in all directions. You can use the ‘shims’ or ‘packers’ provided to adjust it horizontally or vertically.
Drill your pilot holes through the holes you made in the frame and into your sill or wall. A pilot hole is small hole that is used to guide the threaded screw, it reduces the risk of the wood splitting and makes it much easier to drive the screw in.

Once all the pilot holes are drilled, use the long screws from your kit to secure the frame to your opening. We put the screws in loosely at first then checked the frame with the spirit level again to make any small small adjustments before tightening up all the screws.

It is worth taking your time through the frame installation step to make sure everything is level as your shutters will hang straighter and operate smoothly.

Now you are ready to hang the shutters.

If you loosen the hinges just a little it will give you some movement and flexibility which makes popping the pins in much easier. This is the only part of the process where I found it helpful to have someone else help me, the panels are not heavy, but the extra hand is helpful, one person to hold the shutter steady in place while the other person pops the pins in. They just push in, but they are made to fit snug and may need a little tap from your hammer.

You shutters are now installed.

If they are not perfectly level or sitting slightly off centre, you can adjust them. The fitting guide shows you the best way to adjust them depending on where they are uneven.

See, it’s really not hard at all!

And your next question – Why would you WANT to install your own shutters.
Two reasons, convenience and money.

I find it much more convenient to measure up myself, order online and fit my shutters at my own convenience instead of having pushy salespeople coming to my home and having to wait all day for them to turn up when they feel like it. I’m not saying all tradies are bad (I married one) but I have had a few that walk dirt through the house, bump into walls and the worst – use your loo for number two, ew!

And money … do you have any idea how much money you can save by doing this yourself? You’re basically doing the labour yourself, and we all know that the labour costs is quite often the most expensive part of any home renovation. Obviously I can’t tell you exactly how much you’ll save as prices differ from business to business, but to give you an idea – we ordered shutters from a local business at our last house, we looked at their invoices and worked out a rough meterage price, then we did the same with our quotes from Tuiss Blinds Online. The DIY shutters were LESS THAN HALF the price of what we paid last time.
Seriously!

We chose the Sherbrooke Egg Shell shutters from Tuiss Blinds Online and we couldn’t be happier.

Here’s a few before and afters.
The first ‘before’ is when we first moved in, the windows had greenish-grey sheers over the blinds. We removed them pretty quickly. The second picture shows the blinds just before we removed them.
I’m thrilled with the transformation in this space!

What do you think?
Leave me your thoughts or questions here or on IG here.

Happy DIY’ing!

Hayley x

Our PINK bedroom

Firstly, let’s get one thing out of the way, the one question I have been asked more than anything else ….. no, my husband doesn’t mind having a pink bedroom, in fact he loves it, and I love a man than is comfortable in his masculinity and embraces pink!

Okay, so let’s look at the pink, it’s not a bright candy pink, nor a pretty baby pink, it’s a dirty pink with warmth and depth. It changes with the lighting from a peachy sunset to a nudie tan.
It is Primal 1/2 strength from Dulux.

Why pink? Our ensuite is pink, floor to ceiling pink marble, while it is currently tired and dated, we are going to keep the pink marble and update the rest of the bathroom with a new vanity and hardware. Stay tuned for that makeover, it’s going to be fun.

We decided to embrace the pink and work with it instead of fighting it. I have to admit, I was a little worried at first, so I kept all the other elements in the room neutral in case I hated it and wanted to change it, but now it’s done, I absolutely love it and I think it’s just what this room needed.

It was a quick and easy makeover with minimal effort and money for maximum impact.
So, what did we change in this space?

We added VJ board behind the bed, we used Easycraft from Bunnings which comes in sheets, it’s easy to install and we got it up in a few hours. Then we painted the whole room pink, I wanted our bedroom to feel like a big warm hug and having the entire room in the same colour makes you feel like you’re being enveloped as you walk in.

The biggest change we made, and the most impressive by far, is replacing the curtains and blinds. This room has a huge bay window with an adjacent sliding door to the balcony. It is nearly 9 metres long and the first thing you see when you walk in the room. It has a beautiful view out to the waterway, but this also makes it a giant fishbowl which is not ideal for a bedroom.

I wanted to retain the beautiful light in this space, but I also wanted some privacy, and of course we needed a block out option for sleeping. I initially wanted a sheer curtain with a block-out curtain over the top for sleeping, then I saw the remote control electric blinds on @blindsonline Instagram page and I was SOLD! I imagined myself welcoming the morning sunshine into our room without leaving the comfort of my bed, this is one of those little pleasures that I love having at fancy hotels, I just knew we had to have them at home.

BEFORE
AFTER

I chose the Berber Basket Beige fabric roman blinds with block-out lining, and I added the remote control electric option. The fabric is thick and textural, but soft enough that it folds up neatly every time. The colour is the perfect neutral shade that would work with any colour palette.
The remote control option is an added expense and I did have that little voice in my head telling me that I didn’t ‘need’ it and that I could manually pull up my own blinds ….. I am so glad I ignored that voice! Honestly, this really is a little bit of luxury that you will appreciate at the end of every big day when you just can’t wait to get into bed. You just press the button on the remote control and see the world disappear from the comfort of your bed.

 I used the same sheer fabric that I used downstairs for continuity through the house, plus why would I choose something different when I love them so much? They are a perfect white and the ideal weight to let lots of light in while still providing privacy. This time I chose a pencil pleat instead of a pinch pleat. I think the pencil pleat is a little more relaxed and not as formal as the pinch pleat. I want our bedroom to feel effortless and laid-back and the pencil pleat works beautifully.
I chose the Tahiti Snow fabric.

I shared the details of how to prepare a pencil pleat curtain for hanging on my Instagram and I was surprised at how many of you didn’t know how to do it and didn’t know how easy it is. I was also shocked at the incorrect information some of you had been given by retailers that clearly don’t know how to install the products they are selling! A couple of you were told to put the hooks through the gathering strings, nooooooooo! I’ve saved the details of how to prepare them on my IG highlights, you can find it here.

You can rest assured, when you order curtains and blinds from Tuiss Blinds Online, you will receive step by step instructions for installation that are easy to understand and easy to accomplish, you can also find them online here and here.

The sheers completely transform this space. I hung them from a matte black glider rod, they are simple, timeless and stunning. I can’t gush enough about the difference the window furnishings make, look at these before and after photos! It’s hard to believe this is the same room! My husband said he felt like he was sleeping at a hotel for the first few days.

I can’t believe how different it looks, even the carpet looks a different colour with the fresh paint and beautiful white light coming from the sheer curtains.
I’ve kept most of the same furniture in my room and I’m slowly restyling it with pieces that are more in line with the feeling of our new room. I don’t want to go shopping and buy everything at once, I want to curate and collect the perfect things for our room and if that means that it’s a little bare for a while, I’m okay with that. I’m currently hunting vintage art with meaning and layers of beautiful linen.

Instead of trying to achieve a particular style, I’m choosing to strive for a feeling. I want it to feel warm like a big hug, I want it to feel like home and I want it to feel so comfortable that you don’t want to leave.

I think the few carefully considered changes we’ve made have helped achieve this and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

What do you think?

Hayley x

Christmas at the Little house

Christmas looks a little different at our house this year. We have a new home with a fireplace + mantle (a stylists dream), my style seems to be evolving (all by itself) and I’m using a darker + moodier (still colourful) palette than I ever thought I would!

I can’t wait to share it with you as part of the #itsacolorfullifetour hosted by the most colourful, creative and stylish Jennifer from Dimples and Tangles + Jewel from Jeweled Interiors. 

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If you have come from DIY Decor Mom … WELCOME!

As most of you know, we are slowly renovating our new forever home and while half the house is still stuck in the 1990’s, I focused on the areas that we have started updating, so today I want to share our living and dining room with you, including my Christmas tree and mantle decor.

I feel like my tree needs an introduction, like one of those choir singing, spotlight shining with red velvet curtains opening type introductions. That’s how much I love my tree this year!

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I love tartan and plaid at Christmas (or anytime), so when I saw these decorations it was love at first site and I decided to create a tree to compliment them.

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I pulled the colours from this bauble and ran with it …. red, white and blue with some gold sparkle.

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Of course I had to finish it with tartan wrapping paper and pretty satin bows.

 I haven’t had a mantle to decorate for a few years, I was so excited to have one this year, especially after our fireplace makeover, and it didn’t disappoint.

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I decided to do a big asymmetrical garland and bring in the colours from the tree. Christmas is in summer in Australia so I chose flowers that bloom during our Christmas like magnolias and blue astrantias.

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It compliments my tree beautifully and I absolutely adore it.

Side note; I get asked at least once a day what I used and how I’ve secured my garland. I used a base garland, one of those flexible ones where you can bend the wired foliage, and secured it to my mantle with three 3M plastic hooks. Then I layered it with a couple more garlands which I kept in place by bending some of the wired foliage around it in a few spots. Lastly, I poked multiple picks and flowers into it to make it lush and full. It really is much easier than it looks!

Since I went all out with the garland I had no room left for stocking holders, but what’s a fireplace without stockings right? I made this stocking hanger from 2 very simple stocking holders and a curtain rod I had laying around. It was super easy, very affordable and I think it looks great!

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I also made the stockings with remnants of fabric and satin ribbon trim. I downloaded a pattern online and changed it slightly to create a longer and skinnier stocking. I lined them with pretty florals and ginghams, then trimmed them with satin ribbon which I left long at the ends to tie into a bow.

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 The whole living room came together beautifully and I’m really happy with it.

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These little Nutcrackers are probably my favourite Christmas decorations this year, they are so sweet and in the perfect shades of blue and white.

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Everything gets a ribbon bow at Christmas time!

 The dining room adjoins the living room so I kept a similar colour palette with red, white and blue.

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Buckley, my beautiful reindeer, is the centre of attention with his gorgeous gold antlers and floral display.

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My plate stack is not too high this year, as I said earlier, Christmas in Australia is in summer and it’s usually hot and humid. We usually don’t feel like eating a huge meal and often end up having seafood and salad.

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I had to use the baby blue gingham chargers because I am totally in love with them, and the sweet little red truck plates add the touch of Christmas I needed. The red dinner plate is a great connection to pull the colours together.

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I love the large scale gingham chargers on the smaller scale gingham tablecloth, the rattan placemats break them up enough so that you don’t go cross eyed.

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I restrained myself with the foliage on the table this year, there is enough going on with Buckley, the apple wreaths on my cabinet and the living room decor. I’ve also learnt to leave a little room on the table for extra drinks!

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This is probably one of my simpler Christmas tables, but I love the combination of patterns and colours, what do you think?

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Around the corner from the dining room I’ve created a little forest with sparkly trees and my dream home …

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I want my builder husband to build me this perfect pink house to live in.

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Actually I wouldn’t mind living in a forest of sparkly Christmas trees either!

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I’m also a sucker for a pretty bell, this one is the perfect blue. I painted this mirror with paint I mixed myself and coincidentally the bell is nearly exactly the same shade.

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Okay, that’s about all I’ve done so far. I’m still working on my pink tree and cocktail station, yes I said pink tree, I don’t mean pink decorations, I mean PINK TREE, stay tuned for that one!

Now, pop over to BD Interior Design and continue on the #itsacolorfullifetour. Everyone has gone to so much effort and I’ve been so inspired by how creative everyone is!

MONDAY
TUESDAY
WEDNESDAY
THURSDAY
FRIDAY
Instagram It’s A Colorful Life Party!
Post your Christmas decor in your feed this week with #ItsAColorfulLifeTour for a chance to be featured in IG Stories by IACL Tour bloggers!
Hayley x

PS. Skipper says hi!

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