The Painted Hive Dining Room

More a nook than an actual room, our little dining area forms the southern end of our living room.

The neutral palette combines loads of natural elements and character-rich texture – with nothing too pretentious – for a relaxed, yet fresh space. So, whilst it’s nothing super special, it’s warm, inviting and very much me!

Here it is just before we moved in….

And here’s the floorplan to give you an idea of the layout….

As per our living room, we painted out all the dirty apple green walls in pale cream and all the timber trim in gloss white. Taupe linen romans were also added in place of the heavy green drapes.

The previous owners had already installed the faux timber floating floor which, whilst it wouldn’t necessarily have been my first choice, is nice, clean and neutral.

Pretty much all the furniture and decor is either second-hand, thrifted or gifted.

The big mirror, with its pale frame which makes it almost undistinguishable from the wall, really helps create an illusion of space.

I’m a sucker for pretty, earthy vignettes and for now, to tie in with the living room, there’s loads of terracotta and twine plus white ceramics and some vintage finds.

I’ve been too slack to add pics of my own wedding to this photo gallery yet though it’s the perfect sentimental filler for this narrow little wall space and I’m looking forward to watching it grow!

I’m still searching for the perfect light fixture at the right price (vintage gal pendant or wrought iron chandy) and am contemplating painting the chair frames white and mirror border dark…..we’ll see though.

So again, just for comparisons sake. Here’s the space before and after….

Glamorous Wardrobe Makeover

Confession: Because I’m a naughty blogger I forgot to take a real ‘before’ pic so the above robe is just a comparable one I found on-line. The actual robe I madeover was in way worse shape than this one though and didn’t have any mirrors or a head plinth but you get the idea, right?

Having come straight from the tip the finish on the robe was weathered almost dry (not in the nice silver coastal way though, more in the cruddy “I’ve-been-in-landfill-for-the-past-two-months” way) so it was pretty easy to take it right back to raw timber with a light sand.
Having a raw base gave me a few finishing options so rather than just paint it black, I instead chose to apply two coats of an ebony timber stain.

The rich semi-transparent stain allows the timber grain to peek through here and there which gives the robe a rustic, antiquated elegance.

To compliment the commanding black base and add a unique touch, I highlighted the corners and grooves with a genuine copper pigment paint which, after first trying to apply with a brush, I eventually figured out was easiest rubbed on using my finger.

I rarely use gloss sealers though in this case, to create some extra impact and formalise the rusticness of the transparent stain, it works perfectly.

Finally, the handles, escutcheons and key were coated in the copper pigment paint for that finishing touch.

TIP: Painted metal can scratch easily so for some added resilience bake it in the oven after each coat. The heat helps set and bond the paint and, whilst not fool-proof, will strengthen the finish some what.

Our Fijian Honeymoon

We had an AMAZING time.

We spent our first week on the main island, Viti Levu, down on the Coral Coast. Snorkelling, scuba diving, foraging for hermit crabs, drinking cocktails, cheering on cane toad races….you know, all the stereotypical islandy stuff!

We travelled up one of the inland rivers on a long boat to visit a traditional village and primary school where we took part in a kava ceremony and had a lovo (Fijian earthern oven) lunch.

We also went on a rainforest hike to some volcanic hot springs. It was a beautiful walk and, let’s just say, interesting experience – unbeknown to us, the road to the start of the hike was a muddy 4×4 goat track navigated in a dodgy old ute with us in the back on makeshift timber stools being advised to “just hold on to whatever is available”, getting bounced around like popping corn then ending up bogged in the mud!

He, he, it makes for a good story though.

Our last few days were spent on one of the islands in the Malolo Lailai group.

It was beautiful and relaxing….my favourite part of the holiday. Snorkelling (again), bike riding, sunset gazing, basket weaving, drinking cocktails (again!).

The view from our room was so gorgeous.

Okay, so that’s enough of the non-housey, non-decory stuff. I’ll be posting a few new furniture makeovers in the next couple of days – promise!


Bula….I’m Back!

Did ya miss me?

Thanks so much to everyone for all the pre-trip well wishes :-)

I’ll be trying to catch up on all your lovely blogs over the next few days.

We had an absolutely awesome time! I’ll post some details and pics soon though in the meantime to help me get back into the bloggy swing (and maybe ease my melancholy as I lament for my already fading tan) here’s a little sea-side eye candy.

Before I left for Fiji I was working on a few projects which should be ready for their reveals soon. So, I promise some new inspiration is coming right up!

I don’t know whether it’s a good thing or not that I felt a little guilty for neglecting my blog and somewhat lost without you guys during my absence though it really hit home to me how passionate I’ve become about The Painted Hive and the importance this little blog of mine has as a creative and cathartic outlet.

Of course there’s more to life than just staring into a computer screen all day though what a nice little supplement blogland can be!


I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane

That’s right, because of this day….

Lovey-Dovey Pic (sorry!)

Which, admittedly was a few months back now, we’re lucky enough to have an excuse to take a holiday under the guise of a honeymoon (belated as it may be) and will be frolicking (can I say that?) in Fiji for the next couple of weeks!

Though don’t be tooo jealous. I mean, this doesn’t look like much fun at all….

Nah, seriously, I’ll be back before you probably realised I was gone – you can miss me a teeny bit if you want to though :-)

And just a little note to say a big THANK YOU to every one of my followers, commenters, readers or accidental stumblers! I know I don’t always manage to get around and visit all of you though please know that I do try. I read and adore all of your sweet comments and emails and always do my best to follow-up on any questions.