A Plan for the Free Dining Room

The furniture is sold!

Dining Room Sold on Gumtree

The dining setting fetched $180 and the light went for $20. This gives me a grand total of $200 (I know, don’t be too impressed by my amazing math) to overhaul the space. What a nice round figure.

In all honestly, I was hoping for a tad more though this will absolutely suffice.

So now, onto the fun bit – decorating!

Like many people, my sister doesn’t really know her interior style. In fact, she’s not even sure she has one! In a way this offers an advantage as it provides lots of flexibility, though with flexibility comes indecision. And I think we all know how awesome I am at making decisions (insert sarcastic emoji here).

So, with no clear scheme to dictate the direction for the new design, I’ve taken some cues from the surrounding rooms and furnishings along with the general vibe of the house itself.

And I’ve landed on Transitional.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, Transitional is basically a blend of classic and contemporary.

This makes it sound like you can simply throw anything together, however Transitional is generally a considered collection resulting in something quite clean, fresh and understated. It can be a tricky balance to strike, though when done right is a lovely fusion of sophisticated and homey.

How you meld the old and new is entirely up to you. Here’s my vision…


Lighting can set the tone for a room and make a real statement. I see something quite modern and geometric with exposed bulbs, probably finished in brass to help lift the space (there is lots of wood and a dark leather lounge in the adjoining living room). Given there is no defined dining room a substantial pendant will help anchor the table and define the zone.

Brass Pendant Lights

Note: As here in Australia all electrical work must be certified, paying an electrician to install a pendant light is simply unavoidable. And in my case it’s an expense which would most certainly blow my tiny budget out! As there’s simply no way around the cost, ordinarily I would factor it in as additional, however we’re lucky to have a good friend who’s an electrician and will do the install for free.


I love a classic dining chair. Nice ones can be pricey, even second hand, so I’ll probably be looking for something a little neglected and unassuming I can elevate with a little bit of paint. My initial vision included Windsor or Bentwood style chairs though I’m doubtful I’ll be able to find a set within budget. So, I’m now also looking at more generic cottage style chairs, which seem abundant and affordable.

Classic Dining Chairs

Given my sister has young kids she doesn’t want anything with fabric – who can blame her? I’m thinking of a two-tone dipped look though am still undecided on colour. I’m guessing that lovely coral will not get past her husband though :)


To off-set the traditional chairs I want a modern dining table. The problem with that being modern dining tables are expensive! Even the second hand ones get snapped up super quick for far from cheap. My solution at this stage is to make my own! Well, the base anyway. My sister wants a petite round table and I figure I should be able to find one for pretty cheap, remove the legs and add my own new stylish ones! I’ve been crushing on the angle braced style and think it shouldn’t be too hard (famous last words?) to DIY something.

Cross Base Tables DIY

I did consider simply using a cottage style table (which are abundant and affordable and would have looked quite sweet) though decided I want a bit more edge, and something which can “talk” to the light fitting. Again, I’m still undecided on colour for the table though am thinking a timber top with a painted base to provide some contrast against the wooden floor.

So, there you have it. Of course, all of the items in my inspo pics are waaaaaay over budget and probably much more fancy than any I’ll be able to find! Remember, I need to source comparable pieces for $200 collectively, and this includes the expense of any DIY materials and final styling decor too. That said, I’m all about the power of a well considered space and believe money should be no obstacle!

Still…wish me luck.

The good news is this should be a relatively quick makeover because at present my sister’s husband is less than impressed about having to eat dinner on their outdoor table!


You can now find the finished room HERE.


Free Printable Blue & White Ceramic Wall Art

I’m a little ashamed to admit I started writing this post around four years ago.

At the time I had just finished refreshing my parent’s bedroom and was going to add some art to a remaining blank wall in the space. I decided on blue and white ceramic paintings (mum adores blue and white anything!), created several digital images and then changed my mind. I can’t recall for certain though think I must have concluded it was going to make things look too busy.

So with no good excuse to print, frame and hang the art (in order to give purpose to, and provide photos for, a blog post), these lovely free printables have been sitting in a folder on my computer… doing nothing…for four years!

Well, yesterday I stumbled across them again and realised that was just plain stupid! So here they are.

8 FREE Printable Blue & White Ceramic Paintings

This set of free printables includes eight high resolution blue and white ceramic “paintings”. For your convenience I’m offering them in two different standard sizes: A3 and 11″ x 14″. Of course, you could always shrink them to fit smaller frames if desired, or matte them and use even larger frames. Additionally, the prints themselves can be somewhat enlarged (by around 30%) whilst still retaining decent quality.

Free Printable Blue & White Ginger Jar

Free Printable Blue & White Ginger Jar

Free Printable Blue & White Vase

Free Printable Blue & White Vase

Free Printable Blue & White Vase

Free Printable Blue & White Ginger Jar

Free Printable Blue & White Ginger Jar

Free Printable Blue & White Vase

A3 Blue and White Ceramic Free Printable Wall Art             11x14 Free Printable Blue and White Wall Art

Once you click a download button above you will be redirected to Google Drive to download the files. Files are saved in zipped folders. Download the entire folder via the arrow icon at the top right of the screen before extracting the individual files. If you’re unsure what to do or have any trouble, feel free to ask. I’m happy to help.

If you have a large format printer you could always print theses at home otherwise you can have them professionally printed through any good print store. Prices for standard document prints of this size generally start at around $2, whilst high quality photo prints may cost anywhere from $10 upwards.

I created these digital artworks by applying a painterly effect to some product photographs I found online (of course, I sought and gained permission to use each image first). You see, at the time I was looking for blue and white ceramic art I really struggled to find anything within my budget so figured there was nothing to lose by giving things a go myself! I’ve spoken before about the ease and awesomeness of converting photographs into paintings and if you’d like to learn more you can read my previous in-depth post HERE.

I’m thrilled with the results and am so excited to share them with you!

Here are a few different framing and configuration ideas…

Free Printable Ginger Jar Painting Wall Art

Free Printable Blue and White Painting Art

Free Printable Blue & White Ceramic Painting Wall Art

Free Printable Ginger Jar Art

If you’re after a grid of nine there’s no reason you couldn’t reverse and repeat one of the images – I’m sure it would look fine.

And here’s a lovely vignette I stole from Pinterest with a couple of my prints edited in…

Blue and White Free Printable Art



I hope you find them useful.


Free for personal, non-commercial use only.
Reproduction, republication or redistribution in any form is forbidden.


In other news, my sister’s dining room furniture has just sold! I’ll be back soon with an update including details about my plan for the space.


8 FREE Printable Blue & White Ceramic Paintings


The Dining Room is Listed!

There’s something exciting about listing old stuff for sale.

The anticipation of an offer, the fun of playing “shop”, and the prospect of a little windfall.

More than anything though is the sense of freedom which comes from purging those extraneous items, and the ensuing promise of a fresh start – for both yourself and the pieces!

And that’s exactly how my sister is feeling about selling her old dining room furniture.

Dining Room Before

In case you missed my last post, I’m planning on making-over my sister’s dining space for FREE by essentially “swapping” her old items (being the pendant light and dining setting) for new ones then re-styling the area. Should be some fun!

Of course, to get the ball rolling I first need to sell the current pieces and for that I’m enlisting Gumtree.

One of Australia’s largest online marketplaces, Gumtree offers a super quick, easy and free (with upgrade options available) listing platform. And with millions of monthly visitors selling success is basically guaranteed!

Although getting started selling on Gumtree is really simple, there are a few little things you can do to optimise your listings…


Check the price of comparable items (both new and second-hand) to ensure you set a reasonable and realistic price which will be attractive to buyers.


Not only will good photos draw buyers attention to your listing, they can form part of the description. For this reason, use clear images and be sure to highlight the positive aspects, along with any negatives (if necessary).


Mention item features such as materials, colours and dimensions, along with the condition and any notable defects. You may also like to include a brief history and your reason for selling.

With these selling tips in mind I went about creating my listings…

Gumtree Listing

Gumtree Light

You might notice that the dining setting looks a bit different. As mentioned in my previous post, being eight years old it had seen better days so we gave it a quick spruce-up by refinishing the damaged table top and reupholstering the worn chairs.

Dining Setting Before and After

Here are a few of the other pics I used in my listings…

Gumtree Listing

Granted, they’re not as ‘blog-like’ as my usual shots though they aren’t supposed to be :)

Now I can not wait until these items find their new homes. Not only will it mean a fresh chapter for the pieces themselves, though it will also finally reveal my budget for this dining room refresh!

And who can argue the win-win in that?





A Dining Room Makeover…for FREE!

You can now find the finished room HERE.

This should be some fun!

When my sister mentioned she’d like to makeover her little dining space, in virtually the same breath she dismissed the idea due to a lack of funds.

You see, my sister’s not really into thrifty decorating, and having a non-existent budget seemed to pose some kind of problem for her.

Though anyone who knows me will know that I relish in a frugal challenge!

Dining Room Before


Like me, my sister has a small house. The dining area being little more than a throughway between the kitchen and living room. It looks deceptively spacious in the above pics though is actually quite tight.

Currently, although there’s nothing terrible about it, there’s nothing special either. And after eight years it’s time for a change.

The dining setting has never been quite right. Dark, chunky and dominant it does few favours for the petite scale of the house. And the square table hinders flow between the living room and kitchen (it’s hard to tell in the pics though the table is pushed right back towards the rear wall to allow enough room for a walkway – of course, this results in one dining chair being smooshed against the wall). In addition, it’s seen better days with the table top and chair upholstery showing signs of wear.

Chairs and Table Before

The traditional pendant light, whilst okay in a period home, just looks dated here.

Light Before

Ordinarily, I would try and work with what we already have, though in this case it’s not really the best solution. The scale and shape of the dining setting would still be wrong, and I don’t really want to alter a perfectly fine classic pendant someone else would be happy to have as is.

So, if I’m not planning to use the pieces already in the space, how am I going to pull off a super thrifty makeover?

By selling baby!

Yep. I’m going to list the original items on Gumtree then use the money gained from their sales to wholly fund the makeover, resulting in what will essentially be a FREE room refresh!

Of course, in order to secure the best possible price for my items they need to be in good shape. The light is in perfect condition though I will spruce-up the dining setting by refinishing the table top and reupholstering the chairs.

Wish me luck…and stay tuned – especially if you’re in the market for a traditional pendant light or five piece dining setting ;)


Dining Room Before


Easy Trash to Treasure Upcycle…using spray paint!

Trash to Treasure Makeover using Spray Paint!

Every now and again I’m reminded just how amazing paint can be!

Take this ramshackle collection of discarded “goodies”…

Spray Paint Project Before

Lovely, aren’t they?

Let’s face it, ordinarily you wouldn’t look twice at any of this, right?

The round board was the original top from the stool I hacked recently (it was just sitting in the shed gathering dust) and the other pieces were all found at the op shop for a grand total of $7.

Well, an hour or so and a few coats of spray paint later and you just might look twice!

Upcycled Thrift Store Finds using Spray Paint

Not bad, eh?

Amazing Transformation of Second-Hand Decor

This is such a quick, easy and affordable project anyone can have a go at. All I did was thoroughly clean each item, place them on a protected surface, then spray away. Around three light coats per item.

It really is that simple, though here are a few extra pointers for achieving great results…


:: After cleaning using warm soapy water, wipe with isopropyl alcohol. This removes any trace of grime and creates a squeaky clean surface ready to accept the paint. I find it improves long term adhesion.

:: Place each item on a little pedestal which is narrower than the item itself (you can use anything – a scrap piece of wood, a spray can lid, a yogurt container). This makes it super easy to spray all around the piece.

:: If you can, use a rotating board (lazy susan). Again, it just makes it easier to spray the piece all over.

DIY Spray Paint Update

The board is coated in Dulux Duramax Granite Effect (in “Light”) which is basically stone-in-a-can. So cool!

The other pieces are all Dulux Duramax Chalky Finish (in “Vintage Charcoal”) with a hint of Dulux Duramax Metallic Finish (in “Rose Gold”).

No lie, I think the super matte look of the Chalky Finish makes it my most favourite spray paint ever!

Spray Paint Upcycle

I’ve painted glass and ceramic in the past and have found it holds up great. Of course, it’s not foolproof (as no paint is) and I wouldn’t suggest scrubbing it with a wire brush or anything, though treated with some care it should be totally fine. That said, if there are any mishaps touching-up the paint is a breeze!

Hope this simple upcycle helps inspire some of your own trash-to-treasure transformations!

Spray Painted Thrift Store Finds


If you’d like to save this project for later, feel free to pin the below image.

Thrift Store Spray Paint Upcycle