HOME RENO: LIVING ROOM, A WORK IN PROGRESS

Although the main extension to our house was completed last year, there is still so much on the to do list, it’s very much a work in progress. My interiors budget was eaten up by boring but necessary things, so our living and dining space are very, very…minimalist may be a polite way to say it, e.g. we have outdoor furniture in our dining space!

Not many of us have the ability to go on a Block-style shopping spree to furnish and decorate a space, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan it now, even though the end result may not become a reality for a while. By planning a space you eliminate the possibility of purchasing sometimes expensive items that don’t end up even working in the room and you have to either replace or live with it begrudgingly. A plan will also allow you to know when to jump on a second hand store treasure or pick up big ticket items when they are heavily discounted. Slowly but surely you will piecing together the puzzle of your dream room.

Our living room has great bones, the high white wooden beams on the ceiling my favourite feature, great natural light thanks to floor to ceiling windows and light wooden floors. We have a few items already, just the bare necessities; a comfy large couch to relax on, a soft rug for kiddies to play and a ridiculously large TV (all husbands think these are a necessity right?!). I’m really thankful we also got a custom made wall cabinet made by our kitchen supplier, designed to hide all the electrical wires, DVD’s and kids games. We designed it to be floating so it takes up no floor space, as our lounge isn’t a very generous size.
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blog lounge shelvesI love the look of custom made large shelves filled with books, magazines and collected treasures (also a great way to sneak some toy storage under the bottom shelf!). I’m not sure if I would like to go with white or a light oak finish yet.

lounge hanging chairPerhaps not the most practical thing with wee children, but I don’t care, I loooove hanging cane chairs, they are the perfect mix of scandi-boho-beachy looks that I love.

Lounge dreams coffee tableA round coffee table would balance the hard straight lines created by the existing furniture and be the safest style with children running around. I am in love with the round coffee tables Australian designer Mark Tuckey creates, just got to save my penny’s and get someone to start stocking his incredible range in New Zealand!

lounge finishing touchesEven more so than big ticket items, the finishing touches are what really give a space soul and personality. I love to add colour through plants and accessories and texture and interest through layered throws and cushions. Hopefully when our living area is finished it will feel warm, inviting and relaxing…when ever that will finally be!

All inspiration images are from my pinterest page where original sources can be found.

YOUR FAVOURITE DESIGNERS ARE NOW ON SALE!

winter header picIt’s not even the middle of winter and already the sales have begun! For someone that can make the most menial excuse to purchase seem extremely justifiable, you can imagine when I see a serious sale price, I convince myself I am actually saving money.

I know sales from your favourite designers can lead even the most sane of us to act like a crazy person, so earlier this year I wrote a Fashion 101: How To Shop a Sale guide to help.

Here’s a few of my favourite designer threads already on sale, more top brands will follow suit in the coming weeks. The items I have chosen are either timeless and will be sought after winter after winter, or they are trans-seasonal stunners that will work in your wardrobe year round. Now they may go even cheaper, but you risk missing out on them all together, such is the gamble of the designer sale season!

Juliette Hogan Roll Neck Sweater, was $459 now $359.
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Twenty Seven Names Clairmont Coat, was $550 now $385.
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Chaos & Harmony Momento Boots, was $339 now $203
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C&M Cape Cod Cardi from Sisters, was $359 now $251
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Twenty Seven Names Stripe Dress, was $270 now $135
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LET THE NURSERY INSPIRATION BEGIN

I’m not even half way through my pregnancy but am already excitedly planning the baby’s room, I’m loving losing myself in pinterest and instagram feeds. You may remember this super talented and stylish pair from their time on The Block Australia. Sophie and Dale Vine’s nursery for their new baby Van is predictably amazing. Yes his name is Van Vine, you just know he’s going to be one cool kid right.
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vanvine1vanvine1aI love the neutral palette used, perfect for wee girls and boys. Elements of nature are seen throughout the space, from the stunning Cole & Sons ‘woods’ wallpaper (I’ve used the same wallpaper in my previous house and love it), to rustic timber accessories and woodland creatures appearing around the room.
vanvine2vanvine3vanvine8My favourite feature in the room is the hanging clothes rack Dale made – an idea I just may pinch!
vanvine4Sophie’s instagram is full of inspiring images from interiors and fashion to her pregnancy and daily life with gorgeous wee Van, definitely one to start following if you’re not already!vanvine10

DREAMS ARE FREE

Just because I don’t have the bank balance to buy everything I fall in love with, a girl can still window shop right! Here’s what I’ve been dreaming would suddenly appear in my life…

Two Janes Wishlist June 13

Shades of black, white, dark navy and grey are my go to for my winter wardrobe. Country Road has 25% until midnight tonight, so this grey sweater and cute beanie are like every item on sale, a lot easier to justify! The dark navy slim line coat from ASOS would give a lift to my otherwise monochrome daily looks. Dark navy goes with everything, but is a nice change from a black or grey coat.

I’m already daydreaming about cute baby things, these booties from Superette are so adorable! Although my two year old may find it a little unfair that I stick her in $8 Kmart kicks and the baby gets these flash digs!

And finally on this cold Sunday morning, I could think of nothing better than being cozied up in bed in the gorgeous linen Jaimie Kay Duvet (in my dream I’m still lazing in bed after a sleep in, so far from my 6am wake up call reality!) and checking out some interior inspiration from one of Paperplane’s many amazing books.

DOES YOUR DRESS CODE MATCH YOUR AREA CODE?

Soon a good friend of mine is heading on an amazing trip to Italy and Greece, making me reminisce about my own honeymoon in Greece a few years ago. As I was looking through photos of the trip, I noticed that every outfit I wore mirrored the landscapes palette of white through to varying shades of blue and green. In all honesty I do vividly remember packing for the trip and only taking outfits I thought in my mind suited the ‘honeymooning in Greece’ atheistic I was going for!
final greece 111It got me thinking, have I always matched my outfit to my location? I’ve lived a in several cities around New Zealand, and on reflection my fashion sense has certainly changed too.

When living in Christchurch I certainly felt I dressed a little too over the top at times. The norm felt a little conservative, like people wanted to blend in with the crowd for fear of standing out or getting it wrong. I would sometimes get stared at, and not necessarily in a good way for what I was wearing.

In contrast when I lived in Auckland everyone wanted to stand out. It was quite freeing, I could wear anything I wanted! Of course a lot more emphasis was put on your personal style choices, designer threads were a lot more apparent, the words “who are you wearing” heard often (a little too often for my comfort).

Now living in Papamoa in the Bay of Plenty I find many have mastered the ‘polished casual’ style. Colours often reflect beach side living. There’s certainly less emphasis than Auckland about your appearance, but no judgement if you want to step outside the norm. (Although perhaps I’m just getting older and care less about others opinions!).

Some may say it’s more lifestyle that dictates your look, but when living in Auckland I worked in Sales and Marketing for a clothing designer that was stocked in boutiques throughout New Zealand and very obvious themes emerged each season as orders came in from around the country. In the deep South orders favoured black, dark tones and lots of layers, Christchurch was still quite dark, a little conservative, but with the odd pop of personality and colour, Wellington chose the more dark, edgiest pieces of the collection, the Bay of Plenty was quite casual and didn’t shy away from colour and Auckland wanted everything and a lot of it, showing it’s diversity and willingness to invest heavily in designer threads.

I’d love to know your experiences. Have you noticed a shift in your wardrobe when changing cities, does your dress code match your area code?

INDIE HOME COLLECTIVE

One of my very favourite home stores in New Zealand is Indie Home Collective, an eclectic mix of vintage furniture, incredible lighting and art, on trend interiors and lush plants all set against a raw, white backdrop. I think I could happily transfer the entire contents to my house and not want to change a thing. Until now I could only get my fix when I made a rare trip up to Auckland, but happy days are here with their online store now live.

Owned by husband Nell Girl and his talented interior stylist wife Claudia Kozub, what makes this store so breathtaking isn’t just the products it houses, but the styling by Claudia is incredible, you really feel like you’ve walked into a live version of a Vogue Living.

On the top of my wish list is a stunning Ay Illuminate light, a print from the Pampa Horse Series and one of their larger vintage wooden cabinets in black or white.
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20 FACTS ABOUT ME

I had been nominated by The Bubble to share twenty interesting facts about me, here goes! (eek I hope I’m interesting enough to get to 20!)
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1. I have never been an adult without being a mother. I do wonder what that would be like? I became pregnant with my oldest daughter at just 18! (cue total scandal throughout my Catholic High School).
2. I was a single parent until my oldest daughter was 8. Looking back I don’t know how I did it all by myself. It did help having a super fantastic family and an awesomely kind, witty and chilled child though!
3. I have an unhealthy obsession with cake. Oh how I love cake. And ALWAYS with extra cream on the side. Sometimes when it was just me and my oldest daughter we would have pre-ssert before dinner instead of after, bad mum I know.
4. I stalked my husband for months before he agreed to date me, there was no playing hard to get from me, I wore him down, this skill of debating until I win has fared well for me throughout our marriage.
5. My favourite overseas destination is Greece, I went there for my honeymoon and felt like I was in a dream the whole time, like I had stepped into a scene from ‘The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants’ (if you haven’t seen that movie, do it, trust me).
6. I have an amazing group of girlfriends of over 20 years, we all met in third form at high school, bonding over braces, perms (mine specifically) and a love of 90’s hip hop. Now scattered around the globe, time and distance doesn’t change a thing, they are like family and so many of my favourite memories involve them.
7. My favourite wine (and I am so missing it right now) is sweet Riesling, a seriously undervalued variety in my opinion! My top pics would be Main Divide, Millton and Pegasus Bay. A positive to no one else liking Riesling is at party’s or BBQ’s, I never have to worry that someone’s going to finish off my bottle.
8. My favourite TV programmes are Scandal, Homeland, The Goodwife, Orange is the New Black, The Block Australia and any trashy reality that happens to be on. I love how reality TV distracts my brain enough to relax, but doesn’t challenge it, it’s almost like meditating really, right?
9. When I am 40 and my oldest is 21, we are going to New York together. Just over 5 years to wait. The countdown has well and truly begun.
10. I feel a little like Carrie from SATC, when she worked out she had spent the equivalent of a deposit for her apartment on shoes, except for me it’s interiors magazines and maybe a deposit for a car.

Jeepers only half way! Hang in there…

11. I love sleep, can’t get enough, naps especially, how good is feeling of dozing off on the couch in the sun. I don’t understand why children don’t click onto its goodness.
12. I am a list person. Have a to do list everyday. Love them, so satisfying to cross off. Sometimes I write things I’ve already finished just so can cross them off immediately. When we did our Home Reno last year I had the the most amazing excel spreadsheet of to do lists for everybody. It was really a thing of beauty.
13. My absolute dream job would be to buy and renovate houses within a couple of months, before selling them and blogging about it. I day dream about it often.
14. I watch cooking programmes on my laptop every night when I make dinner, Masterchef Australia is my current thing, some how I feel like their skills are transferring onto me through osmosis or something.
15. Throughout the seven or eight years I’ve been with my husband, we have never lived with each other for more than a few months due to his work. Eeeek I hope he still likes me when he is around me all the time!
16. My daughter Ava is three in August and suddenly is having full on conversations with me. It’s so adorable. Yesterday as I buckled her into her carseat in the pouring rain, she started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, I couldn’t move it was so damn cute, so my butt and legs got saturated with rain while she finished two full rounds complete with hand moves.
17. I would absolutely love to travel to Italy with a group of girlfriends, stay in a villa, take cooking lessons, wander along the Amalfi Coast, take thousands of photos….whose with me???
18. I love the beach, don’t feel at peace unless I’m living very close to it, but hate swimming in the ocean.
19. Although I live in Papamoa, in the Bay of Plenty my very favourite place in New Zealand is Sumner. A stunning spot in Christchurch with the best wee community. If only I could manage to transport it up to the warmth of the Bay!
20. My sister and I found out we were pregnant on the same day. I was 18, she was 21. I fainted. Literally. Neither of us were married, our committed Catholic parents were incredible, stayed strong and said everything would be ok. And it was. Not until many years later did I find out that later that night they had gone down to their best friends house and balled their eyes out. Best lesson of parenting I have ever got, love your children through EVERYTHING, always tell them you it’s going to be ok and hug them tight. And then freak out if you need to when they can’t see it.

Wow, that’s 20, hope you managed to make it through! xx