$100 Kitchen Makeover Reveal

Kitchen Mini Makeover

I must admit, when I posted about this impromptu room refresh last week and received lots of excited “Can’t wait to see!” messages, I felt a little worried.

Aside from the fact the budget was just meager, the room itself was quite nice and neutral to begin with. This meant there was no call for any particularly major changes so the transformation was never going to be super astounding (some of you may even struggle to spot the differences!). It might sound strange, though I find that the most striking makeovers tend to begin with the most hideous of spaces! I guess that makes sense given they offer so much scope for change.

Here, on the other hand, it’s all in the details. Well, mostly.

As mentioned in my previous post, this is my parent’s little kitchen.

After 25 years mum decided a freshen-up was in order so she took to it with a circular saw late one afternoon. True story.

She has plans to undertake a more extensive remodel in the next few years so this is just an interim solution.

I helped with a few minor decisions, a couple of little projects and the final styling, though overall this is mum’s project.

Easy Kitchen Update

And she’s thrilled with the outcome! Although the changes are only subtle, they’ve had a big impact on how the space both feels and functions.

Easy Kitchen Update

The big change (and where the circular saw comes in) is the re-imagined peninsula.

Easy DIY Cottage Kitchen Makeover

Where there was once a dated raised bar, obstructing sight-lines and further constricting the already tight kitchen, there is now a spanning benchtop which opens the kitchen up (from both sides) and invites people to gather. It’s hard to grasp the impact from the photos though it really is a game changer.

DIY Kitchen Lowered Bar

Due to the way the raised bar was originally constructed, mum worked out she could remove the entire panel, cut it down, then screw it back on again. She then carefully prized the timber moulding from the discarded bar and attached it to the existing benchtop to continue the trim line. To finish she covered the “new” panel with some paintable wallpaper (it’s Anaglypta ‘Waxwell’ which I bought a few years ago from eBay – she only used around 1/5 of the entire roll). Once painted the same colour as the walls (Dulux Antique White USA) it looks just like pressed tin!

Paintable Wallpaper

Paintable Wallpaper

Although, like the previous raised bar, there is no over-hang on the new bench, it’s still a great little spot to sit. Mum had two old school stools in the shed so decided to renew them with some gold spray paint (Dulux Duramax Bright Finish in Bright Gold) and fresh upholstery.

Bar Stools

The metal legs were badly pitted so the spray job isn’t perfect though it does the trick.

For the seat she used thick foam from an old ottoman and sewed covers to give them a more tailored look. The fabric is actually a linen table runner from TK Maxx. I love the distressed feminine design.

Stool Upholstery

A subtle detail which is easy to miss is the change we made to the glass fronted overhead cabinet.

Mum decided she wanted to re-claim that cupboard, which had only ever been used purely for display purposes, as a space to house all of her regular crockery. Though she didn’t want to have to worry about keeping it neat all the time.

Our solution was a bit of an experiment.

At first we were merely going to frost the glass, though then decided to try adding a vintage style graphic. Almost like the glass had been reclaimed from an old store or something.

DIY Frosted Cabinet Doors

We cleaned the glass, attached basic alphabet stickers in a simple design (Watson’s Bakery Co. Est. 1978 – ‘Watson’ being my parents surname, ‘1978’ being the year they were married), taped off the door surrounds to protect them from any over-spray, then coated the glass with frosting spray paint (Dulux Duramax Frosted Glass Effect).

Once the paint was dry we carefully peeled the stickers off to reveal the design. I was skeptical though it actually looked pretty cool!

Like I mentioned, it’s just a subtle detail, and can only be properly seen on certain angles, though it adds a nice point of personalised difference. And the frosting works perfectly to conceal the contents as intended.

Pantry Wall

You can see the laundry cupboard I added trim to a few years back through the doorway.

Along the ‘cabinet wall’ there was an open cubby (just below the microwave) which mum could never keep tidy. Dad built a basic cupboard front using scraps from the shed and hinged it from the bottom so it drops down like a bureau.

Not only does it work to now hide all the crap which accumulates there though mum uses it as a little work station to write shopping lists and pay bills.

Drop Down Door

It’s painted semi-gloss white to match the trim, rather than satin cream to match the cabinetry, though because it’s different I think it works.

Removing the raised bar opened up more wall space above the bench, providing the opportunity to install a simple open shelf.

Kitchen Shelf Vignette

Open shelving is always a great solution in basic rooms which can benefit from having some pretty decor on display.

Kitchen Shelf

The brackets are the EKBY VALTER from IKEA which mum painted an earthy green and the shelf itself is a relic from my brother’s childhood bedroom.

Shelf Vignette

A few other simple updates include…

…switching out the generic window winder for a cute antique style brass latch. Mum found it at Bunnings.

Mixing Metals with Brass Window Latch

…changing the pantry door hardware to more modern style gold pulls. These ones are from IKEA.

Pantry Wall

…removing the blinds. They were sweet though after twenty years it was time for a change. It’s nice having the windows free from any dressings though I think some colour and pattern would be nice here. Mum will probably put some new ones up in the future.

Easy Kitchen Update

…painting the brass pendant black. I love brass and don’t mind when it’s a bit worn and weathered, though the pitting and tarnish really bothered mum so she hit with some black chalk paint she already had.

Kitchen Makeover

…replacing the range fan cover with a piece of timber trim. The original plastic cover was yellowed and just plain meh. Mum attached a left-over section of moulding from the old raised bar to better integrate it with the cabinetry.

Easy Kitchen Refresh

These little changes don’t always translate well in photos however all add-up to make the room as a whole feel fresher, updated and more refined.

Of course, some pretty styling never hurts either.

Kitchen Vignette

I was careful to use only bits and pieces we already owned (most of which are inexpensive op shop and charity store finds). Bringing a room to life with accessories is probably my most favourite thing about interior decorating.

Kitchen Vignette

Kitchen Vignette

Kitchen Mini Makeover

I’m sure there are those among you who may prefer the more old-fashioned charm of the ‘before’. That’s cool. I know it was never a terrible room however I think we can all relate to needing a change.

And I’m well aware there was sooooo much more we could have done to really change things up (adding trim to the cabinets, maybe painting the lowers a dramatic colour, switching out the hardware, altering the benchtop in some way, adding new lighting) however, like I mentioned, with so much of the original kitchen being nice and neutral it just didn’t feel warranted. Plus, remember, this is only a temporary fix.

The main thing is that mum released her creative tension and absolutely adores her “new” space.

Here are the comparison before and after pics…

Kitchen Before

Easy Kitchen Update

Kitchen Before

Easy DIY Cottage Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Refresh

As always, feel free to ask any questions.

I hope it helps inspire!



Easy DIY Cottage Kitchen Makeover


$100 Kitchen Refresh

There are two types of room make-over (well, in reality, there are many, many more though for the sake of poetic licence let’s just pretend there are two, mkay?).

The type you plan for. And then the type which just sorta happens…

…maybe late on a Friday evening…

…after two (or more) glasses of wine…

…whilst you’re still wearing your ‘good’ clothes – or perhaps even your jammies – and something about something suddenly needs to change before your head explodes.

Yep, let’s just say this particular room make-over isn’t exactly the “plan for” type.

This is my parent’s little kitchen.



As you can see, it’s far from hideous.

Some might even say cute and charming.

And it may surprise you to learn that, although it looks relatively new-ish, it’s actually 25 years old. Yep, quite possibly older than some of you reading this here post!

My mum has always been drawn to enduring interiors which stand the test of time (gee, I wonder where I get that from?) so, when over two decades ago she updated her kitchen, timelessness was first and foremost in her mind – along with budget of course (gee, I wonder where I get that from too?).

For the most part she retained the original 1960’s layout which sees the kitchen as little more than a compact, somewhat hidden, room.

Of course, nowadays we grant kitchens precedence in our homes and mum has plans to undertake a more extensive renovation in the coming few years. For the time-being however she decided a few interim changes were called for.

Mum had mentioned some of her refresh ideas to me though seemingly always in reverie, so just imagine my surprise when I popped over to visit late one afternoon to find her and her sister, still dressed in the nice outfits they’d clearly worn out to lunch earlier, trimming down the breakfast bar with a circular saw. I guess her head had reached explosion point!

For the most part this is my mum’s project and I wasn’t sure whether or not to share it on the blog.

There are things I would have done differently, and for under $100 it’s nothing astounding, though I think there are some interesting take-aways. And, in this crazy world of knock-down re-builds, who doesn’t love a simple little update?

The room is still currently a work in progress however is nearly done. Will share the full reveal next week!



If you follow me on Instagram you might have read that I had imminent plans to refresh my parent’s ensuite, not their kitchen!

As I said, this make-over was a little impromptu and the ensuite update is coming soon.

Vintage-Style Mini Drawer Hack with Latch Handles

I hope you all had a lovely time over Christmas and New Year!

Our days were filled with rollicking children, too much food, lazy mornings, too much champagne, and lots of laughter with friends and family.

Getting back into the swing of things today by posting details of this simple IKEA hack I recently shared as part of my little boy’s bedroom makeover.

Moppe Drawers Before

IKEA Moppe Drawer Hack

Such a quick, easy and effective little project!

This is the MOPPE drawer unit. It comes in a few different sizes and configurations.

I first hacked a set of these around six years ago and was fortunate to have that project go a bit viral!

At the time I bought a second set, with plans to make it over in a similar fashion, though never quite got around to it.

Fast forward over half a decade and I finally had the perfect excuse!

These are awesome in my son’s bedroom for housing all of his mini figurines, though the original blonde wood and modern finger pulls (not to mention abstract toddler artwork!), didn’t quite suit the vintage lodge vibe I was going for in his space.

Luckily, I knew there was an easy fix…

First, I removed the drawers and stained the carcass using Feast Watson Prooftint in Brown Japan.

IKEA Moppe Drawer Hack with Feast Watson Brown Japan

Don’t mind the fact I’m wearing gardening gloves. We were out of latex ones.

I simply applied it with a rag before rubbing it off again, always working in the direction of the grain.

Because this timber is quite porous you could use a wood conditioner prior to staining though it’s not necessary.

Next I stained the rear of each drawer.

Staining the Drawers

Yep, the reverse side of the drawers are solid slabs with no finger pulls which is perfect if you plan to attach handles like I did.

Once dry I applied two coats of Feast Watson Scandinavian Oil.

IKEA Moppe Drawer Hack

As you can see, I wasn’t super neat with my stain. I just made sure I covered any visible areas. Of course, if this was an item I planned to sell or gift I would have been more fussy. 

I love the ease of Scandinavian Oil as a sealer, and the way it gently enriches the stain.

Generally, Scandinavian Oil is worked into the timber using a scouring pad or fine steel wool though I often simply apply it topically with a brush.

When everything was dry I pieced the unit back together again before scavenging through my hardware stash for some handles.

My original plan was to use label holders and little knobs (similar to my original hack) though I happened to come across some brass latches I bought years ago off eBay (unfortunately the seller no longer stocks them though you should be able to find similar. You can even get really lovely ornate ones).

“Hmmm, I’ve never seen these latches used on drawers before. I wonder if they could work?”

Ikea Drawer Hack with Brass Latch Handles

Apparently yes!

Given these drawers are only little and light the turn and catch can operate as pulls though I wouldn’t recommend them for larger drawers.

IKEA Moppe Drawer Hack

I love how unexpected they are, and the way they offer that antique campaign furniture sorta feel.

Cedar Dresser in Boy's Bedroom

On a different note, I wanted to take the time to extend a huge THANK YOU for your readership throughout 2018. Without you this little slice of my life would be lonesome indeed, so I am grateful beyond words for having you here with me.

Thank you.


Easy Ikea Hack using Moppe Drawers

Upcycling Everyday Items Into Christmas Decor

Berry Christmas Bottles

I know that seasonal and holiday decorating is essentially the inherent duty of any home blogger, though as I’ve admitted several times in the past, it’s just not my thing – even when it comes to the mighty crescendo that is Christmas.

It’s not that I don’t adore the look and feel of Christmas decor, or that I don’t appreciate all of the time and effort it must take, it’s more so that I tend to balk at “all of the time and effort it must take”. As many of my regular readers will attest to, I’m satisfied enough when I can stay on top of ordinary decorating!

And it’s not that I don’t love Christmas. On the contrary, it’s my absolute favourite time of year.

Still, a solitary tree, a nice advent calendar, a knitted stocking or two – and marveling in everyone else’s festive prowess – has always been enough for me.

Until now.

This year both of my kids are at that age where Christmas is the undisputed champion of absolutely everything, and their excitement is contagious!

So, I’m feeling extra spirited, though rather than rush out and spend money on a heap of new decor (destined to be stashed in boxes for most of year), I thought I’d have a look around my own home for some everyday items I could easily upcycle.

Of course, as with any Christmas-related activity, the first port of call is to crank some holiday tunes! Not only does Christmas music work to get those festive feels flowing, it’s the perfect way to annoy your grinchy husband who blames nine years working in retail on his aversion to any song with sleigh bell percussion.

I, on the other hand, can’t get enough! This year the kids and I have been rockin’ this epic Christmas playlist from Sony Music. Nothing better than tying pretty baker’s twine bows while belting out some Mariah Carey!

And here are some of the basic items the playlist has helped inspire me to repurpose so far…


Books Before

I have little stacks of vintage books lying around in most of my rooms.

When wrapped like a gift with some red and white baker’s twine and embellished with a few golden bells and sprigs of rosemary they instantly become Christmas-afied.

Wrapped Books for Christmas

Books Dressed for Christmas

I’ve kept things very simple though you could make more of a statement with thick ribbon and bold accessories, like mini pine-cones, clay stars or generous clippings of assorted greenery.



Glass Bottles Before

Vintage glass bottles are another of my decorating staples.

Again, with just some simple twine and a few sprigs of greenery they suddenly take on a subtle festive feel.

Christmas Glass Bottles

Simple Christmas Bottles

Simple Christmas Bottles

Or, for something different, a variety of ribbon and some faux berries make for a bright, cheery vibe.

Berry Christmas Bottles

Berry Bottles for Christmas

Granted, they may be artificial berries though having some water in the bottles helps with the illusion…shhhh!

Christmas Bottles



Plates Before

Most of us have some plain ceramics scattered about. Here I’m using a set of three white plates which usually hang in my kitchen.

Easy DIY Christmas Plates

To dress them up I’ve simply added some easy DIY stickers!

I found the graphics online for free (you might recognise them from my downloadable Christmas Book Page Signs).

DIY Christmas Sticker Plates

I simply printed them onto a sheet of clear sticker paper before trimming around each one then adhering them to the plates – so quick and easy! And the options are endless. Use mugs, vases, jugs, platters, whatever! And you can embellish them with any style of image you like.

The stickers only cost a few cents each to make and can be easily peeled-off when no longer needed.

DIY Christmas Plate

If you’d like to use the same artwork as me, I’ve attached my file for free download HERE.



Christmas Scales Before

Just like any empty bowl, there are lots of different ways to dress-up scale weighing dishes for Christmas.

For some reason, mini winter wonderlands first came to mind for me!

Vintage Christmas Scale Decorating

Here I’ve simply used inexpensive table salt, some craft store bottle-brush trees and a few old matchbox cars.

DIY Christmas Scale Scene

So quick and easy…and super cute!

Easy DIY Christmas Scale Snow Scene

As an aside, I don’t really advocate tying an over-sized fir tree to the top of a Volkswagon with an open sunroof – though each to their own.



Frame Before

This one might seem pretty obvious, though if you’re anything like me you probably rarely switch-out the art in your frames.

I’ve kept things super simple by using just one small frame, though you could easily go totally bonkers by re-imagining all of the frames in your entire house!

Christmas Tree Sign

My art is merely a pretty greeting card however the options here are endless! Design your own, use free online printables, download digital art via Etsy or eBay, or purchase prints, calendars, gift wrap or posters.

If you have any frames in 2:3 ratio (for example, 4″ x 6″, 8″ x 12″, 12″ x 18″, 16″ x 24″, 24″ x 36″) you can grab my free printable Christmas Book Page Signs HERE.

Free Printable Christmas Signs

The great thing about switching-out prints is that you can keep the alternate art in the rear of the frame all year long then simply change things around when the time is right.

Each of these projects literally took less than five minutes and now my house is looking decked for the holidays. And the kids are soooooo excited!

Would love for you guys to crank some Christmas tunes, have a wander around your own home and see what regular items the music inspires you to repurpose.

Have fun!



This post is published in association with Sony Music. All ideas and opinions are my own.


Boy’s Tiny Lodge Style Bedroom Reveal!

Rustic Lodge Style Boy's Bedroom

I never thought I’d be able to create another kid’s space I’d love quite so much as my daughter’s bedroom…but I may have done just that.

In fact, I might even love it more!

Boy's Lodge Style Bedroom Makeover

Cedar Dresser in Boy's Bedroom

From the start I was excited about the rustic-earthy-vintage-collected-lodgey feel I was hoping to encompass in this space. I love moody and masculine schemes though it’s not a look I get to play with often so decorating this room was fun! And I’m thrilled with how everything came together.

Boy's Rustic Vintage Bedroom Makeover

As I’ve mentioned before, Riley’s bedroom is kinda teeny – just 2.4 meters x 2.4 meters (7.8′ x 7.8′). Whilst small spaces can present a challenge, they can also offer relief in terms of decisiveness as certain factors, such as furniture configuration, are immediately dictated. As there was really only one decent position for Riley’s bed this helped determine the overall layout.

I’ve spoken about most of the items in the room throughout my previous posts.

Antique Cotton Reel Bed

The old cotton reel bed was an antique store find. I scored it for $110 though it was missing its rails and slats so we added them. It’s my most favourite bed ever!


The antique cedar dresser is also one of my favourite pieces.

Cedar Dresser in Boy's Bedroom

I may, or may not, have been squashed into the back of the wardrobe whilst taking this pic.

I bought it eight years ago to act as a change table in the nursery. Since then it has been used for general storage in both my kid’s rooms. I found it on eBay for $350.

Kid's Desk and Chair

With little floor space remaining, I sourced an old hall table to do double duty as both a nightstand and desk. It was $120 from an antique warehouse.

If you’ve been following along with this room makeover then you’re probably aware of the “painting debate“. After living with the desk in its natural pine state for over a year I decided to paint it this soft blue-grey to provide some relief from the brown of the bed and dresser.

Boy's Bedroom After

It’s hard to grasp the impact in these pics (as I’m shooting directly into a full size window plus it’s impossible to get all of the furniture in one frame) though I’m so glad I painted it. It adds that touch of softness and references the blues in the landscape artworks beautifully.

Kid's Desk Swivel Chair

The desk is teamed with this vintage ochre swivel chair which adds a fun colour punch. It was $19 from eBay.

Boy's Lodge Style Bedroom

Furniture-wise, the only other piece in the room is a basic narrow toy box at the foot of the bed.

Kid's Toy Box

Tractor Toy

We custom built this from plywood because I couldn’t find anything the right size. I was going to dress it up like a trunk with some leather straps, brass catches and carriage handles though as it’s essentially tucked away I decided to save my energy and simply paint and dark wax it.

The latest addition, and the finishing touch I was waiting on to complete the room, are the curtains.

Boy's Bedroom After

My initial idea was for something with a vertical pin stripe though just the other week I happened to come across these for $20 a panel in TK Maxx. I couldn’t say no.

Horizontal stripes aren’t normally my thing, so at first I was skeptical, though now I absolutely love them! They were just standard sheers with a basic rod pocket so I added hook tape and rings and lined them with some old IKEA curtains I had to give them more bulk.

Opposite the window is the built-in wardrobe.

Chalkboard Wardrobe

The frame and doors were originally plain beige however I painted them with chalkboard paint and added the alphabet decals when this room was being used as a nursery. I contemplated making them over again (possibly in a barn door style) though decided it wasn’t necessary. Plus the kids still use the chalkboard and I like its rustic simplicity.

Boy's Room Vigentte

Amidst the decor atop the cedar dresser sits an old (slightly freaky) bath toy which belonged to my Mum, a book titled “Power Tennis” which came from Riley’s Grandpa, and a warrior horse which was a gift bought home from China. It’s always nice to include meaningful items among the purely decorative ones.

Kid's Vignette

The little drawers with the brass latches are a simple IKEA hack I’ll share soon!

On the desk a thrifted brass “pachyderm” bank holds Riley’s pocket money and the desk lamp, which was just $10 from Kmart, adds a touch of modernity.

Kid's Desk Vignette


Desk Vignette with Lamp

Now, here are some comparison before and afters just for fun…

Boy's Rustic Vintage Bedroom Makeover

Cedar Dress in Boy's Bedroom

Chalkboard Wardrobe

As mentioned earlier, as I’ve already spoken lots about this room in my previous progress posts, I didn’t go into super fine detail here. Feel free to ask if you’d like to know more about anything in particular.

Cedar Dresser in Boy's Bedroom

Boy's Lodge Style Bedroom Makeover

Hope you like it.


Boy's Bedroom