Suite Extension Progress

If you follow me socially (via Instagram, Facebook or through my Facebook Group) you may have seen some progress snippets over the past few weeks. I’ve been holding-off on posting here because I was so eager to have something finished to share, but the fact is we’re still between projects at the moment. So unfortunately another ‘progress report’ will just have to do for now.

Still, we’ve been doing quite a bit so there’s plenty to reveal. Here’s where things are currently at…

 

BATHROOM

The bathroom is soooooo close! I know I’ve been saying that for a while, though it’s essentially finished. I’m just waiting on some cabinet pulls, wall hooks and pretty towels to arrive in the post.

Cabinet Pulls

Robe Hooks

Towel

My custom wallpaper arrived not long after Christmas and I hung it in early January.

Wallpaper

It was tempting to share some wide-angle pics, though I don’t want to give too much of the room away whilst it’s still incomplete.

It was such a relief to open the package and see it looked just like I had hoped! Ordering anything custom, especially something you’ve designed yourself, has its risks.

After quite a bit of research, I ended-up purchasing from a company called AJ Wallpaper (they are relatively local to me though ship worldwide). They offered a very competitive price (the most affordable I came across) and had great customer service too, plus the delivery was very quick, especially considering it was right near Christmas time. I opted for their premium canvas peel-and-stick material which cost a total of around $280 for the room (about 5 square meters). As with any wallpaper, it wasn’t difficult to hang though it was a bit fiddly and time-consuming. It probably took me about three-four hours from start to finish.

For those of you who have been waiting for the free printable downloads I mentioned in my previous wallpaper post, I’ll be sharing them following the full bathroom reveal.

Wall Chart

To finish off the wall tile, mum and I attached some timber trim to the top.

Bathroom Trim

Tile Trim DIY

We were originally going to use pencil tile though this was about 20 times cheaper, plus I prefer the fact that the timber trim provides long unbroken lines. We simply painted it gloss white to match the subway tile.

I really wanted a brass oblong mirror for in here, though after searching high and low nothing I found was quite right (unless my parents were willing to spend hundreds of dollars – which, understandably, they weren’t). I considered DIY’ing something though in the end we decided this $30 Kmart mirror would suffice.

Kmart Round Mirror

It’s basically identical to what I’ve had in my 3D renderings from the beginning, and if the perfect brass oblong mirror happens to show-up, we can always relocate this one. No harm done.

The frame is a little duller than I would have liked so I might give it a coat of Gold Leaf Rub ‘n’ Buff to liven it up a bit.

 

POWDER ROOM

Like the bathroom, this little room is very close to being complete.

The only real projects are painting the walls and possibly doing some kind of mirror hack. And decorating of course – but that’s the fun bit!

Although the powder room has been designed to gel with the adjoining bathroom, I didn’t want the two spaces to match so it was never my intention to use the same wallpaper in here. That was a statement that needed to stand alone.

Instead, my idea was to unite the rooms by bringing the ‘trees’ from the landscape mural into the powder room with colour. Does that make sense? Almost like the powder room had stolen the green from the wallpaper.

I was keen to go with quite a deep olive, though my parents weren’t so sure. Dark colours aren’t really their thing.

Green Paint Colours

So I slapped a few different swatches up on the wall to help us work things through.

Green Paint Swatches

All of these colours are the result of using just two sample pots (one of which I already had). It’s a good little tip…if you’re quite unsure about the exact colour you want, instead of spending money buying a million sample pots, just get two at the extreme ends of your spectrum. If neither are right, try blending them at different ratios until you arrive at something close to what you’re after. You can even experiment with adding touches of black or white, and also other colours you happen to have on hand. Once you’re happy, you can then match your invented colour with a comparable official colour.

At this stage it looks like we might be going with something like this one…

Green Paint Choices

Because there isn’t much space on the little basin, from the start I’ve been considering using a mirror with some kind of shelf. Not sure whether I’ll be able to find something, will have to hack something, or may need to build something from scratch.

Mirror with Shelf

Mirror with Shelf

Mirror with Shelf

Mirror with Shelf

Mirror with Shelf

 

NEWEL

Another little project I’ve been working on is trying to make sense of this messy half-wall-meets-newel-post left by the builders.

Stairs Before

Newel post before

As you can see, it was pretty poorly resolved. The builders weren’t sure how to tackle it so I just told them to leave it with me.

Although it’s not part of the new build it needed to be modified following the placement of some structural steel. There was originally a balustrade where the half wall now is (sorry, I can’t find a photo of it) but here are some other pics to provide context.

Stairs Before

Existing Stairs

Now, I’m not gonna lie, working out how best to deal with this was a total brain melter. There were lots of different components to work around and everything was a little off square.

I started by bulking-up the front of the newel and attaching a chunky skirt before adding some trim (and very messily filling all the gaps!).

DIY Clad Newel Post

Then I attached a shelf to the top of the wall and built a finial to top things off.

DIY Newel Post

Clearly it still has to be painted, and the floor needs a bit of work too, but it’s looking better already.

DIY Newel Post Before and After

Aside from the shelf, which cost a grand total of $9, I just used scrap timber from the shed so it was basically free. Looking forward to sharing the proper after!

 

KITCHENETTE

We’ve finally found some time to sit down and work out a rough design for the kitchenette.

Kitchenette Design

Kitchenette Design

This isn’t set in stone though it’s nice to have somewhere to start.

 

Can’t wait to have some finished projects to share. It’s not long now!

 

Signature

 

Easy Kmart Stool Hack

Why, hello there! Remember me?

I’m sorry I’ve been so absent.

Things have been busy, just not in a super productive way. With summer holidays comes lots of family time which means completing projects and writing blog posts isn’t always a priority, or sometimes even a possibility.

Still, I have quite a bit of suite extension progress to share and thought I’d ease into things with this simple stool hack I finished a few days ago.

Kmart Bamboo Stool Hack After

From the start we knew we needed some kind of seat in the bathroom to partner the make-up vanity we had designed.

Vanity

I was envisioning a gorgeous primitive style stool – like the eastern elm ones you often see – but man, those things aren’t cheap!

Elm Stools

Plus, I didn’t love the idea of painting over the lovely rustic timber (as I knew we needed something with some colour to off-set the wood vanity).

In my rendering I had included a basic curved milking style stool.

Rendering

And although I never really considered it ideal, just by chance I happened to notice a very similar stool at Kmart which got me thinking.

Kmart Stool

Whilst it wasn’t perfect, it was only $25, so I figured I didn’t have much to lose by playing around with a few modifications.

This was a super easy, and very affordable, little project.

All I really wanted to do was lose the slats and paint the bamboo.

Not that there was anything wrong with either of those elements, they just weren’t what I wanted in this case.

1 | REMOVE SLATS FROM LOWER ‘SHELF’

The stool comes unassembled which is handy. The first thing I did was cut the slats out of the lower ‘shelf’ component using a jigsaw.

Jigsaw Kmart Stool Hack

I was hoping they might just tap out though they are partially glued.

This left me with just the two side rails.

Rails

2 | ASSEMBLE STOOL AS PER USUAL

Next I simply assembled the stool as per the instructions. Not having the lower slats made no difference. It was really easy.

Kmart Stool

3 | CUT COVER PIECE FOR TOP

To conceal the top slats, I decided to cut a piece of thin timber to fit snugly over them. I just used basic 3mm plywood which I had left-over from a past project.

First I positioned the plywood on top of the stool, pressed it into the shape of the curve (this is important), then marked out a template on the base of the ply by tracing around the stool top with a pencil.

TIP: Line up a corner of your plywood sheet with the stool edge so you have two nice straight lines to begin with. I know it sounds like a no brainer, though it can be an easy thing to forget.

Then I simply used a jigsaw to cut out the shape.

Cutting the Top

Please ignore the mankiness of my plywood. It’s been sitting in the shed for a loooong time.

Although you want to be somewhat accurate with this step, you can always finesse things once the top is attached. If in doubt, always go slightly larger. You can easily trim or sand back excess timber though you can’t add more!

4 | ATTACH STOOL TOP

To attach the top I applied some wood glue to the slats, positioned the piece of plywood in place, then hammered in a few small finishing nails to keep everything secure.

Attaching the Top

If needed, you can recess your nail heads using a prick punch.

5 | FILL & SAND

Using some wood putty, I filled my little nail holes and also the large screw holes on the legs. Filling the screw holes just helps make it look less like a flat-pack.

I also filled the little gaps in the lower rails where I had removed the slats.

Kmart Stool Hack

BEFORE FILL

Kmart Bamboo Stool Hack

AFTER FILL

Once the filler was dry, I sanded the excess back before sanding the stool all-over to provide a good surface for my paint.

Sanding

6 | PAINT

I knew I wanted my little stool to be green and settled on Dulux ‘Shallot Leaf’. I simply used a sample pot then sealed it with a clear matte poly to provide some protection.

DONE!

Kmart Bamboo Stool Hack After

I know it’s not the most earth shattering project, but it was just right for what we needed.

Kmart Stool Hack After

Kmart Stool Hack

And of course, although the bathroom’s still not entirely finished, it was fun to play around with some pretty styling.

Vignette

In other suite extension news, we have just been granted the COO (Certificate Of Occupancy) so can now move on to fitting out the interior. Yay!

I’ll be back soon to share some of the progress.

Stool Before

Kmart Bamboo Stool Hack After

 

Signature

Catch up on all of the other suite extension posts HERE.

Suite Extension Update

I know it’s almost Christmas and everyone has better things to do than catch-up on other people’s house progress, but I really wanted to share this quick update on the suite extension.

Our original plan was to have the build aspect entirely complete and signed-off (with official Certificate of Occupancy) prior to Christmas, and whilst we got super close, it didn’t quite happen.

No real biggie as this extension is purely an extraneous addition to what is already a fully functioning home. It’s not like my parents have been without a kitchen or bathroom for the past few months, or like there were gaping holes in their main living area walls or master bedroom ceiling (as is often the case when you’re undertaking a large-scale reno).

So, as things currently stand…

STAIRS

The stairs are in!

Stairs

Yes, I know, probably not what you were expecting, right?

I was keen to go next level on these, though my parents wanted to keep things simple, mainly because there was already a small basic staircase off the same hallway (less than two meters away).

Existing Stairs

Stairs

My parents had no desire to change the balustrade of the existing staircase, so it just made sense to keep the new stairs somewhat consistent.

But, we will be adding some DIY decorative trim to the newel posts, and painting the railing and risers, to help make everything look a bit more up-to-date and special. Oh, and that ‘super attractive’ bulky regulation handrail on the wall side just might need to come down – shhhh!

Top of Stairs

BATHROOM

The most exciting progress has undoubtedly taken place in the bathroom!

After a nervous wait, the vanity was installed last week and I’m super relieved to say it looks really great!

Vanity

Sorry, my quick snap doesn’t exactly do it any justice. And the top drawer is missing because it needs to be trimmed to accommodate the plumbing.

As nice as it would have been to have a solid timber vanity, that just wasn’t on the cards, and this vinyl alternative is awesome. I actually had to touch the knots because they looked so real (of course, I realise authentic shaker doors would have the timber grain running horizontally across the top and base rails however that wasn’t an option here).

As you can see the sconce light has also been installed (glass shade not yet attached). We found it on eBay a few weeks back for around $40. I always wanted mixed metals in this room (the vanity will eventually have brass hardware), though the antique gold finish on the sconce is much deeper than I expected, and granted at the moment it looks totally lost. Still, I’ll wait until the room comes together before deciding whether or not to paint it.

The tapware has all been installed too!

Basin

Shower Head

It’s a little bit pretty!

And as you can see above the shower niche shelves (which match the vanity top) are in place.

Finally, the massive glass shower screen panel is in!

Shower

I’ve ordered the wallpaper and can’t wait for it to arrive!

POWDER ROOM

There is a working toilet! With a glorious blue sticker.

Powder Room

And the cute little basin my mum bought has been installed too!

Powder Room Basin

Am thinking about painting the walls a deep olive green and hanging a timber or brass mirror with an in-built shelf.

FANS & DOWNLIGHTS

The black fans have been installed and all of the downlights are in!

Fans

BALCONY

The little balcony is almost complete.

Balcony with View

How lovely is the view?

The railing has been installed, and partially painted, and the plain concrete look tiles (which we plan to jazz up with a stencil at some stage) have been laid.

Tile

KITCHENETTE

The kitchenette was never part of the build contract so we will be ordering and installing the cabinetry ourselves.

Kitchenette
As you can see, it’s currently being used for door storage! Hopefully these will be hung soon once the painting is complete.

FACADE

Whilst there is obviously still quite a bit to do for the exterior overall, the extension component itself is almost finished.

Facade

I’ll be building some simple timber brackets to dress-up the underside of the balcony overhang. These will tie-in with the balcony doors (which I’m pretty sure we’re going to leave natural) and also a pergola that is eventually planned for the main balcony over the garage.

FLOOR

Like the kitchenette, the flooring wasn’t part of the build contract either so we will arrange and install this ourselves.

Originally we were considering vinyl planks, which are a practical and affordable option, however the rest of my parent’s house is solid hardwood and using vinyl just didn’t feel quite right. Lately, we have been looking into the Arbre range of engineered French oak which is just beautiful.

 

Have a lovely Christmas all.

 

Signature

 

Catch up on all of the other suite extension posts HERE.

 

Wallpaper for the Bathroom

If you caught my last suite extension update, you might recall reading that I was in wallpaper town trying to decided on something for the bathroom.

As mentioned early on, my parents like simple classic interiors which can stand the test of time, so injecting a bit of whimsy and interest through changeable elements (such as removable wallpaper) was on our radar from the start. In fact, we specifically chose not to tile the bathroom floor-to-ceiling to give us some wall space to play with.

To begin with I was envisioning a large-scale floral in here.

Something bold and moody…

Floral Wallpapers

Floral Wallpaper

Or something simple and understated…

Line Art Wallpaper

Line Floral Wallpaper

Both very different, yet with their own appeal.

Then, as happens, once I began researching actual products, a few more ideas crept in.

What about something green and botanical…

Green Wallpaper

Wallpaper

Or, something totally different, like a vintage landscape mural…

Landscape Wallpapers

Landscape Wallpaper

Of course, these four general “styles” are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wallpaper. And, even among just these basic options, the amount of choice is still totally overwhelming!

Wallpaper Choices

It’s at this point where you can become completely paralysed by indecision.

However, there comes a time when enough is enough already! You’ve got to acknowledge that any number of options could work equally as well, and realise that it’s not something you’re bound to for the rest of your life, and remember that it’s just decorating after all.

So, with that in mind, we’ve decided to throw caution to the wind and opt for the vintage landscape mural!

I’m well aware this is unlikely to be the favourite choice, however I need to stop worrying about what everyone else might think. I’ve adored this look for years and years, and my parents are keen to go with it, so it’s happening. I’m a little bit excited!

Before we settled on this choice, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to find an appropriate “off-the-shelf” wallpaper. Despite the fact they are generally super expensive, wallpaper murals are, well, often just that, murals. Unlike regular wallpaper which repeats, most murals are an individual image designed to create a singular feature, usually over the span of one large wall. Yet, here we have three narrow half walls. Although there are some options out there, the choice is pretty limited, plus I had an idea brewing…

Based on my research, most of the vintage murals being offered by wallpaper companies are reproductions of genuine antique artworks (etchings in my case). And, if you know where to look, you can find these images, along with many, many, many more, available online as large-scale digital downloads…for free!

Yes people! Free!

Then, if you’re somewhat handy with digital design, there are ways you can edit these images to make your very own custom wallpaper files!

Now, I’m not gonna lie, when it comes to vintage artwork online there are seemingly endless options out there and if you’re not careful you could find yourself looking for months. Again, this is when it pays to remember my aforementioned points – it’s just decorating, it’s not forever, nice is enough.

To begin with, I had a few basic criteria to help narrow things down…I wanted something that was preferably in landscape orientation, had a decent amount of sky in it, and could be blended into a repeatable pattern without too much trouble (more on that below).

Initially I was after an Australian landscape, possibly even something local, to bring meaning and context to the wallpaper, and whilst I did find several etchings, none were quite right for my purpose.

So, rather than spend my life endlessly searching for that perfect (possibly illusive) image, I decided to cut my losses and focus purely on aesthetics.

Which opened up a heap of options!

And after playing around with a few possibilities we eventually settled on this antique artwork…

Vintage Landscape Etching

Landscape Etching by William Woollett (1760)

Of course, selecting the image is only the first part of the process.

It then needs to be edited as required. I’m still yet to completely customise my image however will need to re-size and re-scale it, plus do some general enhancing and adjusting. The great thing about creating your own file is having the ability to tailor it as desired. I can play with colour, tone, contrast, and so on, until I’m happy. Which is pretty cool.

The more complex editing step is making the image repeatable.

You might wonder why this is necessary. I mean, couldn’t I just blow it right up, crop it to fit, then stretch it all the way around the room?

Well, technically, yes, though it would be far from ideal.

You can’t overly enlarge an image without majorly depleting the quality, plus in this case it would be so harshly cropped that only a small snippet of the overall artwork would remain (because the aspect ratio of the image and the walls is so different). It would end up looking something like this…

Cropped Landscape

In all honesty, I actually quite like this because it’s a bit abstract and quirky, though in reality the quality would be noticeably poor and the room would have obvious large blocky patches (light skies/dark trees) rather than an over-arching continuity.

You might also wonder why I don’t just place the individual image on each wall and ignore the fact it doesn’t wrap around.

I could do this too but having the artwork abruptly end at each corner would look pretty clumsy and make-shift. Not having a seamless look would forever annoy me.

So, repeating the image is the only decent option in my case (if you have a wall with a similar aspect ratio to the image you’re using, creating a repeat is probably unnecessary). Although it does take a bit of work, time and skill, it’s pretty achievable using an editing program.

Here’s my effort…

Vintage Landscape Etching

ORIGINAL IMAGE

Art Cropped

EDITED IMAGE WITH REPEAT (PLUS CROPPING)
Notice the ‘new’ trees on the left. These blend with the original trees on the right to create a seamless look when repeated.

Repeating Pattern

REPEAT PATTERN

Granted, it doesn’t look great when viewed small-scale like this, though in the context of a whole room where the image is over-size and you don’t actually view each wall at the same time, it works really well.

Having never done anything quite like this before, I must admit, I was quietly impressed with myself. Especially when I asked hubby to pick the join and he didn’t have a clue!

Original Offset

INITIAL SPLIT
The noticeable seam is where the true image starts and ends as can be seen in the original artwork above.

Repeat Pattern

EDITED REPEAT
I’ve “cut and pasted” choice areas of the existing image to make the seam blend in.

I can elaborate on the process if anyone is interested, though basically I used Photoshop to split the image then I did some artistic “cutting and pasting” until you could no longer tell where the seam was. I don’t want to say it was fun, because how boring does that make me? But it kinda was, plus rewarding.

Edit Before

INITIAL SPLIT CLOSE-UP

Edit After

EDITED REPEAT CLOSE-UP

So it’s nearly ready to go! As already mentioned, just need to finish editing it then look into which company I should choose to produce it for me. As much as I’d love to be able to DIY the actual product, I don’t exactly have the capacity to manufacture my own wallpaper! And unfortunately I’m not holding my breath about it being super cheap – as most custom wallpaper can be a little pricey. Still, I’ll do my best to find an affordable option, and will remember to appreciate the fact this method still gives me ultimate control over the final image.

Can’t wait until it’s up on the walls!

As an exciting extra, I’m rapt to share that I’ve decided to optimise some of my favourite vintage landscape finds and share them as free downloads!

I’ll include a few seamless options if anyone needs a repeating wallpaper, and will also offer some which can be used as regular murals or large-scale wall art (which you can frame or create wall charts with, and so on).

Stay tuned for them!

Wall Chart

 

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Catch up on all of the other suite extension posts HERE.

 

Suite Extension Happenings

Things are flying along at the suite extension at the moment!

I think it’s partly because we’re just at that stage where things seem to go quickly, though also partly because the builder is keen to have everything done and dusted well before Christmas.

In terms of progress, the tiles have all been laid and grouted (still some caulking, touch-ups and cleaning to do).

Powder Room

Ended up going with mid-grey (Charred Ash) grout for the floor, and light-grey (Misty Grey) grout for the walls.

Bathroom Tile

Sorry, floors are sheeted over here because we’ve been painting.

At first I thought the floor grout was a mistake and that the herringbone needed something lighter to accentuate the pattern, though after playing around with some pale grey grout powder I’m convinced it was actually the right call.

Tile

With the subway walls it would have been way too busy. As things stand the herringbone is definitely noticeable, though it’s more of a subtle detail than a bold statement.

Still need to finish the shower niche which we’ve decided to add stone shelves to. The shelves will be Caesarstone Frosty Carrina to match the vanity top.

Niche

Love the simple pencil tile we chose to frame the niche with. They aren’t cheap (about $7 each – yikes!) but we wanted something different to the usual schluter edging and thankfully we didn’t need many.

All of the plastering has been done, and we’re working our way through painting the ceilings, walls and trim.

This is the kitchenette nook (taken from standing in the ‘living’ space).

Kitchen Nook

And this is the ‘living’ space (taken from standing where the bed will eventually go).

Living Space

Obviously, this is the little hall, beyond which the stairs will be positioned.

Hall

Mum was looking to install a more decorative door here, though the one she liked was double the price of this simpler one so we’re planning on hacking it a little.

Outside, some of the bulky scaffolding has come down so there is a clearer view of the exterior.

Exterior White Duck

Still lots to be done though at least you can see the colour scheme now (which I’m sooooo happy with!). Just ignore the mission brown brick!

So, in terms of projects moving forward, I’m pretty sure the internal stairs will be installed by the end of next week! And I think the balcony should be finished off too.

For the balcony, we were contemplating the idea of patterned tile, though they can be pricey and my parents just weren’t sure. Instead, we opted for simple inexpensive concrete-look tiles, which I plan to jazz-up with some paint!

Tile

Tile

Tile

Tile

Not totally sure what kind of look we’ll go for yet, though it will be something quite simple. Can’t wait to share more about that!

In other news, after a bit of angst and lots of tweaking, the bathroom vanity has been ordered. I’m still nervous about how my rendered design is going to translate in reality, but we just needed to bite the bullet and get it done already. We needed to add a panel on the left (so the make-up bench is no longer floating). This is kinda how I’m hoping it turns out (wood grain tone is just suggestive).

Vanity Design

There were lots of limitations based on what the cabinet company could offer, but I think this is a good compromise.

We’ve also started to think about flooring which, aside from the kitchenette, is really the only other major component still undecided upon. We know we want some kind of timber plank, we just don’t quite know what exactly. The stair treads will be Vic Ash to tie-in with the existing flooring throughout the original portion of the house (as shown below in the dining room), however we want something different for the extension.

Dining Room After

Light fittings are still up in the air (no pun intended) though we have bought two simple fans which will be positioned over the “living space” and “bedroom”.

Fans

There will be simple downlights throughout most of the space, with a pendant over the dining area and a wall light in the bathroom. Not sure on style yet though probably something a bit transitional.

My current obsession though is wallpaper for the bathroom!

As per my rendering, we will be papering the upper portion of the walls (barring the shower of course which is tiled floor to ceiling) and there are just too many beautiful options!

Vanity Design

Something like this black and white floral line art is a possibility, however I’m also loving bold botanicals and even the idea of a vintage landscape mural! In fact, I have so much to share about the wallpaper I’ll be back with a separate post soon.

 

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