The Winter Room – before & after

Who would choose to have a pink fireplace with a black and blue granite hearth and mantle? I’ll tell you who …. me!

Not really, but we bought a house and the previous owners made that choice and we were stuck with it until we came up with a plan to turn it into something special.

One of my Inspiration pics – The Tarnished Jewel blog

I’d been trawling Pinterest (again) and I really wanted an exposed brick fireplace with a beautiful white timber surround and mantle.

We wondered what was under the pink render on our fireplace so we did some research, we found it would probably be bricks or concrete blocks. We thought we had nothing to lose and got the jack hammer out.

We had to address the problem of it being too high anyway, so we got started.
The old fireplace was very high, which would usually be fine, but we wanted to hang our TV above the fireplace and it needed to come down to a better level. We ended up removing 3 rows of bricks.

My husband slowly and carefully started chipping away at the pink concrete coating and found we had beautiful bricks underneath. I did a little happy dance and it only took about an hour to remove the majority of the pink and the rows of bricks.

Our next question was what was under the black and blue stone hearth. There was no saving it so we got the sledge hammer out and smashed it up. To our absolute delight, there was bricks underneath that too.

It looked better already and we had the perfect canvas to achieve the look I wanted.

I spent a day or two with a blunt chisel and a wire brush and cleaned the bricks up, not too much though, I wanted them to have some history and look a little aged.

I made a whitewash with some white Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and water and brushed it lightly over the bricks wiping away any excess with a rag. I concentrated on the mortar to lighten it up. I’m really happy with the overall effect I achieved.
I also filled any obvious holes in the bricks with Mortafil and painted the inside with Pot Belly Black paint. I sealed the bricks with Lithofin Stain-Stop to stop the dust and prevent them from getting any stains from coal or marshmallows.

Now for the tricky part, the surround and mantle.
I’m really lucky my husband is a builder and is good at this stuff, but to be honest, as long as you are pretty handy and know your way around a power tool, you could do this. It takes a little planning as there are so many components, but you can make your surround and mantle as plain or as fancy as you wish.

We (when I say we, I mean my husband) started with the frame work. I wanted the sides to project out a little further than the middle so they look like a big chunky timber pillar.

We bought most of the supplies from Bunnings and a couple of the fancier mouldings from a local timber supplier (Paradise Timbers at Helensvale for my local readers).

The frame work didn’t take long. As you can see we used small bits of leftover timber across the top. We knew they’d be covered by the moulding so it was fine to use them. This is why it’s important to have a clear plan and detailed drawings from the beginning (so my husband says).

The first moulding is on below, some of it will be visible at the end, some of it is used to pack out other pieces. The corners are mitred. You can just see some of my drawings on the wood to help guide my hubby.

More of the moulding has been put on below, now you can see why we needed to pack out the top fancy moulding so it would sit nicely with the one below. It’s a bit like a puzzle, every piece you add affects another piece.

We added shiplap above and to the sides of the fireplace surround. We did it for two reasons, firstly I loved the look, but secondly so we had room to bring all the electrical wires through to the back of the TV without having cords running everywhere.

We battened out the wall then got the electrician in to do all the wiring. As you can see he needed to make a few holes which were easily fixed, but I thought I’d share a little tip if this happens to you. When you cut little holes in your wall like this, keep the bits of plasterboard to put back in for the repair. It’s much easier than trying to cut a new piece the exact same size.

The shiplap isn’t hard to install (according to hubby), it just clicks into each other. It would have been a lot easier if we just used a edge strip to go over the corner, but I wanted it mitred, so that took a little longer but I think it was worth the extra effort.

You can also see a glimpse of the round pillar that we squared off here. I’ll tell you more about that later.

You can see the mitred shiplap edges here.

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All done and ready for paint.

It was time consuming with all the different mouldings, mitred cuts, corners, angles and layers. It took some patience but we got there in the end.

I took my time filling all the nail holes and blemishes with Spakfilla and sanding it smooth. This part is important to achieve a good base for painting. Sometimes there will be nails sticking out that haven’t gone in all the way, we use a Nail Punch and hammer them in.

Due to our room layout, we had to hang the TV above the fireplace. I know some people think it is a crime to hang a TV above a beautiful fireplace, but it didn’t make sense to put it anywhere else in this room.

My short list of colours.

I painted the shiplap around the TV a gorgeous shade of green for a couple of reason. Firstly, because having a big black TV on a white wall is really harsh and the deeper colour softens the TV. Secondly because I really wanted to define the fireplace mantle and the green really makes it pop. And lastly, and most importantly, because I fell in love with a gorgeous floral that I chose for the window coverings, I pulled the green from the colour palette of the fabric.
We used Dulux Olive Leaf (the 3rd one down) it’s a beautiful green, it looks quite different depending on the lighting conditions. Oh, and don’t panic when you start painting, it looks much darker when it is wet as you can see below. We did one coat of undercoat and 2 coats of colour.

I love the green shiplap, even if I fractured my tibia, dislocated my knee and damaged some soft tissue in my knee when I was doing it! Yes, I’m serious, I stepped off the edge of the work platform (like a ladder) while I was painting at 10pm on a Thursday night. Doesn’t everyone paint at that time of night when their husband is watching football, ha!

Next I painted the fireplace surround and mantle in Porters Paint Aquasatin in Popcorn. We undercoated it first and I gave it a light sand between coats. I chose the water based enamel because it is washable, meaning it can be easily wiped down with a damp sponge which is perfect around a smokey fireplace. We did 2 coats of the Aquasatin.

After everything is painted we like to go around the edges of everything with No More Gaps , places like the little gap between the fireplace and skirting boards and the gap at the top between the shiplap and ceiling, you can see where I mean on the picture above. It gives you a straight line and really clean finish.

So that’s the fireplace, but we did so much more in this space.
Remember the pillar I mentioned above, you can see it in the photo below. It is a classic 1990’s feature and was very trendy back then, not so much now. Unfortunately many of these pillars are structural so it is a big mission to remove them and involves putting a beam in and a great amount of mess.

Also, while you are looking at this picture, take note of the benchseat … the pink cushion, the high gloss 2 pack paint and the concave feature line around the top. I’ll get to that later.

Back to the pillars, we decided to square ours off and add some mouldings.
It wasn’t hard and it makes such a big difference!

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The first step was to box in the round pillar, we used fibre cement board, it’s tougher than gyprock and is easy to paint. You don’t need to mitre the edges of the board because it will be covered with mouldings.

We used 2 mouldings on the pillars, one for the edge that was mitered, and one to add a little bit of detail. We used the same detailed moulding on the fireplace and I like to tie things together by using the same elements.

You can see a little peek at the dining room above, we have started this room and I cant wait to share it with you!

The pillar was given the same finish as the fireplace surround … punch the stray nails in, Spakfilla, sanding, undercoat and 2 coats of paint.

Which brings me to the bench seating that we also attacked with paint and mouldings.
The house originally had indoor gardens, we can tell because the inside is fibreglass and waterproofed and there is drainage. At some point the previous owner has converted them to bench seats, much better idea, except the cushions were covered in the same pink fabric as the putrid pink curtains.

The other issue was that they were painted in 2 pack and had a routered  line around the entire seat. I’m not a fan of the high gloss finish and I wanted to add moulding to the seats. A 2 pack finish is a paint system which involves acrylic paint for the colour and hardener resin, which results in a very tough and shiny surface.
We used a combination of 2 electric sanders to strip back the paint to a surface that we could paint. I’m not going to lie, it was a yukky job with super fine dust everywhere, and yes Mum … I wore a mask!

Then we rolled our fingers in 80 grit sandpaper and sanded the routered line. We had to get this part sanded all the way back to the custom wood because we wanted to fill this line. We used builders bog to fill it and then sanded it flat.

Then my husband did 7,483 (pretty sure he was exaggerating) saw cuts and used the nail gun to apply all the mouldings in a square pattern around the benchseats.

Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos of this process as I had my leg in a full leg brace and I was shuffling around on my bottom trying to work. The above photo was taken before we filled the routered feature line, this is when we were working out the design, but you get the idea.
I have a few more of these benchseats to do in the front entry, so if you want more detailed photos, yell out and I can take them with the next one.

We used Dulux Precision Maximum Strength Adhesion Primer as our primer.
Then finished with 2 coats of the Aquasatin Popcorn paint.

We took the benchseat to our upholsterer to be recovered in something …. less pink. I chose a dark beige large scale check pattern and had it piped both top and bottom of the box cushion. You can see the before and after in the photos below.

Lastly, the whole room got a coat of paint to freshen everything up before we the fun part begins … dressing the room!
The previous owner had repainted not long before we moved in but there was holes that needed patching and a few marks from moving furniture and it didn’t take long to give it one quick coat. We kept the same colour the previous owner chose as it’s fairly neutral and once you change one room, it snowballs into doing the rest of the house, especially when it’s so open and the rooms all flow together.
The colour is Wattyl First Kiss 1/4 strength.

The last major change we made was new blinds and curtains. I personally think this has made the biggest difference in this room. The pink curtains were so drab and they reflected a weird pink hue around the entire space. I actually thought the carpet in this room was pink before I pulled the curtains down. It’s not, it’s a dark beige!

I wonder if the fireplace was actually pink?

I chose roman blinds in a beautiful William Morris fabric and pinch pleat curtains in a beautiful pale linen colour.
You can see more pics and read all about them here.

The rest was all about the furniture and styling.
We ditched the big bulky brown couch, as comfy as it is, it really isn’t pretty. I also removed the big rug from the floor, now the carpet doesn’t look pink it’s not bad. It is wool carpet and it is absolutely perfect. I think this was the ‘good room’ with the last owners and it barely got used, she told me they had never used the fireplace!
I repurposed the rest of the furniture from this room and started again.

I bought the little cabinet from Facebook Marketplace and gave it a quick makeover using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I’m sorry I can’t share the colour, I mixed it myself from a few small sample pots I had. If you want to try and recreate it, I used – Florence, English Yellow, Oxford Navy, Paris Grey and Pure White, but it’s probably easier to just buy the Duck Egg Blue which is quite similar.

I also bought the barley twist lamp from Facebook Marketplace.

The fireplace tools, wood buckets and screen are from Early Settler. I love the little birds, they add a pretty little detail when the fire isn’t on and they also look amazing when the fire is on.

Our beloved Ikea Stocksund sofa and armchairs are perfect in here, unfortunately they don’t have this fabric anymore, I live in hope that they’ll bring it back or release a new one that is equally as fabulous.  The blue stripe works beautifully with the floral blinds and they pick up on the sweet little blue flowers throughout the pattern.

I’m currently hunting the perfect cushions for this space, I’d like to pull some more colour from that glorious blind fabric, maybe some green and terracotta.

I couldn’t resist popping a sheepskin rug in front of the fire, a little nod to the era the house.
We also bought the Ikea Ektorp white armchair you can see to the right in the photo below, but it’s already been moved to another room, that tends to happen around here, ha!

I love this room, it’s warm, cosy and inviting. It feels homely and nothing is precious. All the sofas have removable, machine washable covers which makes it stress free for the kids and pets. It’s a real family room and we all love spending time in here.

Phew, I think I’ve covered everything, feel free to ask any questions, I’m always happy to share.

Happy Styling!

Hayley x

 

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Ready in 45 secs with Tefal

I’m ‘all in’ for anything that makes my life easier or more productive. I know many of you feel the same so I thought it was my responsibility to share this with you.

I recently got my hands on the Tefal IXEO All-in-One iron and steamer, thanks Tefal! It’s one of those things that you don’t know you need until you get it. I wasn’t sure if I would use it for much more than ironing clothes, but I actually reach for it a few times a week, it heats up in just 45 seconds so it’s great for a quick touch up.

Let’s start with ironing clothes, this is not like any regular iron. Firstly, there are no settings, it uses intuitive technology to adapt to the the correct temperature to care for your garments. The iron head is super light, about half the weight of a regular iron and it glides over your clothes effortlessly.

You don’t need a traditional ironing board anymore, which is such a great space saver. You can still choose to iron the traditional way with your Smart board set horizontally, or you can do it at an ergonomic angle or vertically, which is great for steaming, oh and it’s also height adjustable. I’ve found the easiest way to iron business shirts is by putting them on a coat hanger and hanging it from the top of the board vertically. The iron just glides over the fabric and releases all the creases instantly.

Here’s a few things other things I’ve used my Tefal IXEO for in just the last couple of weeks.

Curtains! Anyone who has struggled with the masses of fabric in curtains on an ironing board will understand how fabulous this is. We steamed them while they were hanging, it was so much easier and the bonus of doing it with steam is that you are also giving your curtains a quick refresh, eliminating any odours and killing germs and allergens.

Next, this awesome idea was from one of my lovely IG followers. I removed those annoying old furniture marks in the carpet with steam! As most of you know, we moved into a new house recently, the carpet has lots of pressure marks left from the last owners furniture. It’s where the carpet has flattened down in one spot and no amount of vacuuming will bring it back.
I clipped the fibre brush onto the iron head and brushed the carpet fibres up as I steamed. So easy, it took a minute or two and you can’t even tell where it was.

 Lastly, and probably one of my favourite things about the Tefal IXEO is ironing or steaming textiles directly on the furniture, things like fabric sofas, dining chair seats, upholstered bedhead and bed linen while it’s on the bed. This is a stylist dream!
I removed the wrinkles from my armchairs loose cover and it looks amazing.

Next on my list is to iron my sheets, pillowcases and quilt covers while they are on the bed.
Oh, and just so it’s extra easy, you can also detach the main unit and steam head from the stand and move it around as a portable unit!

You can find yours here.

Happy steaming!

Hayley x

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My Blinds Online transformation

The day has come, my new curtains and blinds have arrived and the excitement levels are out of control.

Putrid Pink!

The putrid pink curtains have gone, thank goodness because I’m sure they were a health hazard, they were so disgusting! I must have sneezed 7,823 times as I was pulling them down, the lining was covered in black mould and they had dead cockroaches falling out of them everywhere.
I had no idea they were so nasty, they didn’t look that bad while they were hanging! Check your curtains friends, they could be extremely unhygienic and causing you all kinds of health concerns. Also, just so you know, we just moved into this house a few months ago and I have no idea how long those curtains had been hanging there.

Naked!

Okay, back to my new window coverings.
I ordered them online from Blind Online.
You can see how I chose and ordered my blinds and curtains here.
The entire process was an absolute pleasure, everything from choosing my fabrics, the excitement the day the samples arrived, the feeling of accomplishment when we installed them and the happy husband when he learnt how much money we saved by doing it ourselves. They arrived safely and on time (even during Covid delays) and were packaged well.

My fabrics

When you receive your online order confirmation, you will receive an installation guide, you can also find the installation guides here. They explain everything in basic language and it really isn’t hard. All you will require is a few basic tools depending on how you will be hanging your blinds and/or curtains.

We hung the roman blinds first. They are really easy to install yourself as they only require a couple of brackets to be screwed into your wall or architrave. The blinds just clip into the brackets and you’re done. So easy!

I shared some video of us hanging them on my Instagram and have saved it to the highlights here.

As I explained in my previous post, this window was a little bit tricky, so we decided to fit our roman blinds into the aluminium window head. This is probably the hardest place to hang them because you have to screw into the aluminium, and it’s still really simple.
First we made a small hole with a drill, then we use the screwgun to put the screws in. We used two screws per bracket.

Then they just click into place, I know that sounds easy, but it’s true, they simply clip into the bracket.

I got so many questions about the roman blinds as we were hanging them. I’m going to answer some of the questions here in case you have the same queries.

Are they lined?
Yes, they are beautifully lined with a separate layer of fabric. I chose the standard lining and it is a white cotton blend fabric.

Is the lining a separate layer or is the fabric coated onto the feature fabric?
As above, it is a separate layer, your feature fabric is not coated.
You can choose the standard lining, a thermal lining or a block-out lining.

How do they open and close?
They come with a metal ball chain, the chain runs smoothly and can be operated easily with one hand.
They also come with a child safety clip to be attached to the wall.

How far up do they pull up?
They pull all the way up to the top layer and fold on themselves neatly.
My windows are nearly ceiling height which makes my roman blind very long and it sits nearly flat against the window. It will depend on your unique measurements but it usually pulls up to between 26cm and 30cm.

Then we hung the curtains.
If you already have curtain rods, then it will be as simple as unhooking the old curtains and hooking up the new ones.
If, like us, you have a new curtain rod, follow your manufacturers instruction to install them first. I had a rod custom made and bent to suit my awkward window. It came with ceiling mounts that were simply screwed into the ceiling.

I chose pinch pleat curtains, you can adjust the position of the hooks on the curtains by gliding the hook towards the top or bottom of the heading tape. As I had a nice pole that I didn’t want to hide I chose to position them  towards the top of the heading. The adjustable hook also gives you a little bit of control with your length, depending on where you position the hook you will lose or gain a few mm’s so you can get them to fall at the exact length you want.
I made sure I had enough glider rings in my rod to accommodate all the curtain hooks and simply hung them starting from one side and working to the other.
If you choose Eyelet or Pencil Pleat curtains the fitting process is similar and explained thoroughly in the Installation guide.

What did I learn during the process?
This was the first time I had ordered blinds online. I measured everything myself, I took my time and I checked and double checked my measurements.
My roman blind measurements were absolutely perfect, my husband was so impressed with me!
As for my curtains, what I didn’t take into account was that we changed the curtain rods, the layout of the new rod is slightly different to the old rod. The old rod was 4 separate pieces and they overlapped in the corners, ultimately making the rods longer. The new rod is one continuous rod with no overlap, hence shorter overall. So a couple of my drops are a few centimeters too wide for the rods, it doesn’t really matter, you can’t tell when they are open and they are just a little fuller when closed.
Lesson learnt and I thought I’d warn you so you don’t make the same mistake. I probably should have put the rod up first and measured from that rather than taken my measurements from the old curtains.

The last thing I did was gave them a quick steam to help the fibres relax.
They will drop on their own with time, but I helped the process along because I’m a bit OCD like that, ha!

Ta Dah!
All hung in a few hours and I couldn’t be happier!

The total transformation of this space is phenomenal. The window treatments have changed the entire look in this room from dated and drab to classic and chic. I don’t think there is another component in this room that would have made such a huge impact.

Have a look at the Before & After … mind-blowing!

BEFORE (obviously!)
AFTER

If you still have shabby old curtains or broken vertical blinds, or maybe your windows are still naked, what are you waiting for? Read my blog post full of tips for selecting the perfect window treatments for your space, then order them online  from Blinds Online and transform your house into a home.

Happy Measuring!

Hayley x

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Fun Felt Pennants

I’ve been scrolling Pinterest again looking for ideas for Orly’s bedroom.
I really like the ‘summer camp’ style and I noticed one component that was in many of the rooms I loved … felt pennants.

Source : Miss Mustard Seed
Source : Curious Details

Vintage pennants are hard to come by, especially in Australia, so I decided to have a go at making them myself. I knew my Cricut Maker would be up to the task so I started designing them in the Cricut Design Space and came up with a few designs I liked.

I managed to get my hands on a some Cricut Felt, but you can use any felt, just make sure you choose the right settings when you create your design. Some parts of my pennants aren’t exactly the same colour as my design, but that’s the great part about the design space, you aren’t locked in to anything and can change the colours on your mat as you go with whatever you have on hand.

I used the pink FabricGrip mat to secure the felt.

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I used the rotary blade.

The felt peels off the mat easily and there is no need for tools to remove it.

After my creation was cut it was as easy as assembling the pieces and glueing them together with craft glue.

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I laid them all out before glueing them just to make sure I was happy with the colours and spacing.

I used craft glue and layered up the elements until I was happy with the results.

I think they look amazing!

This is where I would usually show you what they look like hanging in Orly’s room.
Unfortunately, I have fractured my leg and am in a full leg brace and crutches … climbing up on Orly’s bed to hang them along the window ledge above his bed doesn’t seem like a very good idea right now.
Stay tuned though and I’ll show you as soon as I’m back on my feet, in fact I think his whole room is due for a mini makeover. I’ve got lots of time to  plan right now!

If you’d like to make your own pennants, you can find my design here.

Happy Crafting!

Hayley x

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