I have been so busy over the last few months since we began fostering that I haven’t had time to be creative or the energy to work on projects. Just keeping my living room floor clear of toys and toddler gunk has been a mission. I have also been looking for another house for us to rent that has more space but to be honest I have not found what we are looking for. So now I have settled in my heart that we will stay where we are unless something amazing comes up that is affordable. For now we have good, manageable space and a great size yard and a very good rent. The owner of our property is also making some long needed improvements that will make a difference. After settling all the yearnings to move I got this crazy nesting urge – that is I felt the creative bug bite and I wanted some things done – NOW, TODAY, IMMEDIATELY. I am not the patient type when an idea comes to mind – lucky for me Hubby is the same and so off we went shopping and spent some of our tax return. I think too it is the start of Spring that has got me going – sunshine just makes me happy and feel energised.
I started with my veranda – Moved one of my paintings out there as a statement and added some cushions to the bench.
We have been eyeing out a giant canvas from IKEA for two years now but we have never splashed out on it because it was a luxury for us. Last year I was planning to get it for Hubby’s birthday but as usual some expense came up and we never quite got there. Yesterday we decided to just splash out and get it. It has been placed over our mantel and covers that horrible seventies arch brickwork. Although it covers almost the whole wall we love it because it is a picture with such depth and perspective and it draws you in creating a feeling of space. We just love how the rope bridge almost looks like an extension of our jute rug on the floor. The problem though was that the brick work was still ugly and seemed to diminish the beauty of the canvas so I bought some mdf and painted it with Taubmanns suede finish in a green colour. Then I put the two strips of green mdf down the side of the canvas covering the brickwork. I must say we are quite pleased with the result as the picture stands out more now.
The next thing I have been wanting to do for a while is to change the lights in our living room. Firstly the lighting was so poor as the glass shades are yellow and secondly they are just plain UGLY!!!
I wanted to modernize the look a little without spending too much money. Initially I had my heart set on certain lights from IKEA but then Hubby and I were a little concerned they would be too dull again. Also they were more than I wanted to spend as this is a rental property. Eventually we settled on two large shades to hang from the ceiling at a very affordable price.
Since the boys have arrived to stay with us we have re-configured our home slightly. We have blocked off the doorway from our hallway into the living room so that you get access to the living room from the dining room and kitchen. The reason for this was to prevent the toddler using the circuit as a running track constantly and also because he gets very stressed when someone walks out the door – this was becoming stressful every time someone went out the front door. Now he is not always aware when someone leaves. We blocked off the door with a hutch in the entrance. Although this works it is not the prettiest sight in the living room as again the doorway is arched brickwork. I came up with a plan to add texture to the wall and to cover the back of the hutch with a blind that hangs from ceiling to floor. I got this at an op shop for a few dollars.
For the longest time ever I have wanted a console table to hold some items in my lounge. I have been looking on Ebay for something I could restore but even the worst ones have been too pricey for my liking. As I was wandering through IKEA I spotted some metal trestle table legs that were going for a song so I snapped them up. I wanted my table to be very rustic in appearance so we popped into Bunnings and picked up three sleepers that had beautiful texture and colour. In no time Hubby had constructed my quick and easy console table for me. I had thought of wrapping the metal legs in jute twine to make it more rustic but I actually like the contrast of the metal and rough wood so for now it will stay the same. I still need to sand the table top and get it looking beautiful as at present it is still rough and ready.
We have picked up some very lovely pieces over the last few months from Op shops and specials. This standing lamp has a bit of an industrial feel/ movie set feel and we got it for $17 from Target on a clearance sale. Our deep red shag rugs that match my cute little sofa were a buy on sale again for $30.
I have been collecting old suitcases for ages – they have become quite fashionable again and so are not always reasonably priced, but these babies were going at various stores for a few bucks.
I decided to improve our entrance hall at the same time. It is still a work in progress but this is what I have done so far. Hubby bought me a coat stand for the entrance hall ( I have been coveting one of these for years). He picked it up at an op shop for $6. I have plans to spray paint it a really funky bold colour – maybe a deep turquoise. I was really bored with the look of the pine hutch so I decided to paint it in antique white and then sand it so that the wood showed through in places. The knobs will eventually be replaced by some colourful ceramic ones.
I have also been looking for a chair for the entrance hall. Finally I found this red vinyl chair for $10. It has been nick-named the “Thinking Chair” because the toddler gets put there regularly when he has tantrums. Seems to be working a treat.
Our dining room has also had a makeover slightly. The table needs to be sanded again and I plan to keep it lighter this time by simply applying some Danish Oil rather than a stain. Hubby brought home some high backed leather style dining chairs that were far more sturdy and comfortable than the set we had. He picked them up with a table for $30 from an op shop ( yes and you thought I was the op shop queen – he is fast usurping that title from me – I have trained him well). We didn’t need another table but we did want a small one for the computer so hubby quickly got our his saw and cut that table up to make a smaller one (Clever man!!).
Some other changes – I have moved my ladder from the bookshelves in the living room (as I feared a toddler would be squashed by falling ladder) and put it in my bathroom as a towel holder for when we shower.
This weekend has been spent getting our home back into some semblance of normality and order ( except for my laundry that is piled with washing as usual -SIGH…..) and I have loved being creative again – I have missed the satisfaction that comes from creating and making something/ re-purposing something. Hubby has been busy too out in the kitchen garden. New winter veggies are growing – broccoli and cauliflower and sweetpeas planted. We are trying out some new ideas we have recently seen too – growing plants on a trellis – so we have a passion fruit plant and an olive tree growing this way – can’t wait to see how they turn out. Roses are pruned and ready for spring/summer. Hubby found a whole lot of beautiful terracotta pots thrown out to plant so slips getting planted.
All in all this nesting spree has been very productive and the best part is that it has not cost us an arm and a leg (other than our beautiful canvas we treated ourselves to.