Sunday, 29 January 2012

Home Improvements are on the Horizon!

Being a science geek and more recently "a suit" in my day gig, I was very chuffed this weekend to be asked by a super cool retailer "Do you work in interiors?" This very unexpected thing happened to me whilst doing some home renovation research in Surry Hills i.e. the capital of cool homewares. Eady was there to witness this miraculous event, miraculous as budgeting and management are really the antithesis of anything remotely creative so to be accidentally mistaken for one of the arty brigade really was a miracle that made me giddy with excitement. Hence the re-living of it every 5 minutes: "Gosh, babe, how funny that they thought I was an Interior Designer?" (Cue preening and self-deprecating shrug whilst Eady smiles and nods his head for the 150+ time).

Anyway, compliment aside, the home improvements are really at a very exciting stage which is reason enough for some giddiness on my part. We have now done all of the hard work for phase one of the townhouse project - chosen colours, materials and suppliers so we are all good to go come March. Woo hoo! In a nutshell, we are updating flooring (upstairs and down), two staircases and an outdoor area and then replacing window dressings upstairs and furniture downstairs. For the downstairs flooring, we have decided on bamboo as it is very environmentally friendly and super hard-wearing and therefore more likely to stand-up to any punishment metered out by Jimmy Choo. We debated about floating floorboards but have decided to go with the solid, stick-down variety as we absolutely abhor squeaky floors plus we love the feel of something solid under foot. It was a huge decision about whether to go carpet or bamboo on our dog-legged stairs and mezzanine level due to the amount of work needed to make each step symmetrical and even but bamboo won out in the end and we are quite excited by this as it will really make a feature of the staircases. We are going for a mid-brown colour (the bottom sample in the photo to the right) which we think will work really well with both our current furniture and new furniture. 

Upstairs we are going to stick with carpet but go for something which is much easier to keep clean then the current cream sisal. Greys and charcoals are my favourite shades and to offset the colour of the timber flooring and stairs, we have selected a beautiful dark grey carpet. We had our bedroom furniture made last year in Tasmanian Oak and think the carpet will look fantastic against these pieces plus the feature wall which we are re-painting to a cool pale lime / soft green colour. The other walls are a soft vanilla, the ceiling and plantation shutters will be in white. We love the thought of all of this combined so fingers crossed it works as well in the bedroom as it does in my mind! The study is also very accommodating to grey carpet as our furniture is white, large accessories are red with some anodised aluminium thrown in for good measure.

For the plantation shutters upstairs we are going streamlined with narrow louvres and narrow panels (the top sample in the photo right). They will be made up so that each window is made up of 2 x 2 bifold shutters for a total of 4 shutters per window. We felt that if we did want to open the shutters and allow some sun in (in all honesty, there is 0% chance of that happening as we face South!) or watch the fireworks in the harbour at night, we can do so easily and without the shutters taking up hugs amounts of room when open. I really love the look of plantation shutters although the wider louvres (bottom sample in the picture right) really seem to be more suited to a Queenslander and not a teeny, tiny townhouse in inner Sydney. I have seen examples of both sizes in properties nearby and I am pretty certain we have made the right decision. I guess we will know for sure in about 3 weeks time...

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