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.
lounge dreams 1
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.

CREATE YOUR OWN PHOTO WALL

Sometimes life gets busy, who am I kidding, life is always busy. It can often make me a little complacent and I forget to appreciate the most important things. I’ve recently created a photo wall in our dining area, I love that being surrounded by memories of special moments with those I love the most puts a smile on my face throughout the day, even if I’m in the middle of folding my third pile of washing. Here’s a guide to help you create one of your own…

create your own photo wall

1. Choose Photos
Choose 10-12 photos that remind you of special moments, I included ones from our wedding, our honeymoon in Greece and a family holiday in Bali. I also added a great print – Blacklist ‘Forever + Always’, from Paperplane. You could even add some of your children’s favourite art into the mix, it’s really just whatever makes you happy. Choose images that everyone in the family is happy with. I wish my mum had followed that rule, I remember rushing inside when bringing my now husband home to introduce him to the family and hiding all the super embarrassing photos on the wall. No one needed to be reminded of my spiral perm, monobrow and braces. No one.

2. Pimp Photos
There are so many free photo editing programmes these days, my favourite would have to be PicMonkey. It’s so easy to use and can really transform your images to rival professional pics.

3. Choose Frames
To help your photo wall look cohesive choose frames in the same colour, or colour palette. I chose black and natural wood which went with the atheistic of our home. If you are going to purchase all new frames, it’s worth finding a framing wholesaler as you will get a high end finish at a great price point. I used Harrison Framing Factory Shop in Mount Maunganui, their customer service and knowledge was outstanding. I bought 10 frames for just under $300.

4. Print Photos
It’s definitely worth getting your photos professionally printed when wanting large prints rather than using the self service machines. Because I had chosen some custom sized frames, having someone help make sure the photos fitted perfectly was fantastic.

5. Design Layout
I love photo walls that look balanced, but not too uniform. The easiest way I found was to lay them out on my lounge floor and have a little play until I was happy. Take a photo once you have chosen the best option.

photo wall on ground

6. Hang Photos
I learnt a new word from my husband ‘eyeometer'(I actually thought he had just made it up!), basically it means calculating sizes and shapes using only your eyes. Using an eyeometer we replicated the layout I had previously designed and photographed onto our wall. We used a spirit level to make sure each frame was straight. The staff at Harrison Frames had advised against using hanging strips (that was music to my ears as they are ridiculously expensive), and instead suggested sawtooth picture hangers. They also sold me little discs to place on the bottom corners of the frames so they sat level against the wall.

7. Enjoy Your New Photo Wall!

photo wall final

When going through all my photos I found it so hard to narrow it down to just ten, in fact I had about a hundred I loved! So I decided to get the framers to make a large plain white frame with no glass and basically used it like a pinboard covering it with photos. I love the end result and it has really brightened up our all white hallway.

collage 3