Suite Extension Progress | Pressed Tin, Brass Hardware & a “Leather” Sofa!

It may have been a long time coming, but work on the suite extension has finally re-commenced!

With local travel distance limits being lifted, my parents were able to visit a pressed tin supplier to solidify their kitchenette backsplash choice and, much to my surprise, came home an hour later with four panels of pretty sheet metal in the boot of their car!

Pressed Tin DIY

The “much to my surprise” is not because they rocked-up with something totally random (as we had already discussed what they wanted), but because they just went out and purchased it first go!

On average my mum usually requires at least a month and a half of contemplation time before committing to any major purchase (hmmm, I wonder where I get that from?).

Pressed Tin Backsplash

The panels are made from light-weight heat and rust resistant aluminum, and come raw. There are heaps of designs to choose from but deciding on this simple and classic pattern was pretty easy.

Pressed Tin

Some companies offer pre-primed or powder-coated sheets.
Powder-coating is not recommended by the supplier we used as it can apparently chip very easily during the cutting process. 

Although the preparatory and installation process isn’t overly difficult, it was a bit more fiddly than anticipated.

I won’t go into too much detail as there are plenty of expert guides out there, but basically all we did was first coat the panels with an etching primer before trimming them to size as needed using tin snips.

Priming the Panels

Then we attached them to the wall with adhesive, followed by some small nails (you can also use rivets).

Pressed Tin

To finish we caulked all the joins then painted the tin with two coats of water-based enamel (which is the paint type recommended by the supplier – we decided on Dulux Aquanamel in the colour ‘Snowy Mountains Half’) using a foam roller.

Pressed Tin DIY

Having never done anything quite like this before I was a little nervous about the outcome but am so happy with the result! I absolutely love it and my mum is over the moon because having pressed tin somewhere in her home has been a long standing dream of hers!

You can get pressed tin look tiles too, which we did contemplate and they do also look great, but in the end we decided to stick with the real thing.

The panels cost around $100 each and we used four (with plenty left-over). Tiles would have been quite a bit more expensive.

Now that we finally have a backsplash, we can complete the kitchenette!

We’ve ordered cabinet pulls and knobs



I’ve bought some shaker pegs to make a rail between the overheads…

Shaker Peg

And am even at the stage of considering decor, like one of these affordable runner rugs


Which one would you choose?

I’ve seen some other really cool rugs though the standard minimum runner length is 3 meters which is too long for our space. I’ve also found some amazing vintage options on Etsy, but man, they aren’t cheap! Plus, although I love the slightly disheveled nature of vintage rugs, imperfections aren’t really my mum’s thing. Which is totally fine.

In other news, my mum bought a sofa!


For a long time I thought we might use a white slipcovered sofa in the guest suite, but mum already has two slipcovered armchairs in her sitting room and doesn’t love the up-keep. With grandkids and dogs running around like crazy, I don’t blame her.

Leather was always another option, and in this case the clear best choice, and last week we came across this three seat sofa (which is actually synthetic buckskin) for under 1K. Yes please!

Mum has synthetic buckskin sofas, in a much darker finish, in her main living room (in fact, they are manufactured by the same company as the new sofa she just bought) and swears by them.

Living Room

I must admit, they are almost five years old and with all the abuse they cop, they do still come up like brand new!

The new sofa hasn’t been delivered yet but should arrive prior to Christmas. So perhaps we will actually be able to take a seat in the suite extension and share a glass of spiked eggnog to celebrate. Or maybe just some champagne because I really tried to like eggnog but I just don’t get it!


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

I’m Back! Plus a Virtual Design Concept

Why, hello there!

Sorry if you were in the middle of munching on some cereal. Pretty sure the shock of seeing a new post from me now has that mouthful of Froot Loops all over your screen!

In all seriousness though, yes, it’s been a while and I’m so sorry for the impromptu absence. Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me over the past few months.

If you follow me socially (on IG or FB) you may have seen that over the weekend I shared this post:

“When Melbourne went into hard lock-down four months back, it’s fair to say I wholly surrendered.

Going full hermit was never a conscious decision, but with projects on hold and motivation on pause, my blog and social channels just seemed to drift into an incidental silence (the only place I’ve remained active is in my Facebook Group).

At first I justified things by laying blame on home schooling and client renderings (which granted, were taking up most of my time), though as the weeks passed, and I still struggled to find the enthusiasm to share anything with the word, I knew it was more than that.

Lock-down had drawn me into a secluded little hole, and instead of reaching up, I burrowed down, deep.

I may have felt comfortable, but I certainly wasn’t happy.

Now that restrictions have finally eased here in Melbourne, it’s time for a change.

Time to find a solid foot hold, clasp a fistful of grit and raise myself up.

I can’t promise any of this means I’m about to become some kind of “proper” blogger or influencer (whatever that means anyway) but I’d like to try and be better, for myself and for you.

Thanks for the privilege of having you here with me.”

Apologies to those of you who have already read this. I wanted to share here too as blog followers don’t necessarily use social media.

I hope that doesn’t come across as overly dramatic. This year has been difficult for everyone, and I’m under no illusion there are countless people out there doing it much tougher than me. Still, please be aware that my words don’t allude to everything which has impacted our family over the past few months (I’ve never been one for overt public sharing), so feel free to go a little bit easy on me if you like. But also know that in the grand scheme of things I certainly understand I’m one of the lucky ones, and I am eternally grateful for that.

Although one of the reasons I haven’t been blogging is because there simply hasn’t been any new project progress, something I have made lots of progress on is client design work.

I don’t tend to share my client design work much (if at all), but it’s something I’d like to post about more often. Not only because over the past few months it’s become a huge part of my decorating life, though also because I know some of you really enjoy seeing it. Plus, this year I’ve worked hard on developing my knowledge and skills, and am proud of how far I’ve come.

To kick things off I thought I’d share this cute toddler’s bedroom which is one of my favourite designs ever (again, if you follow me socially you may have caught a snippet of this space already).

My client is expecting her second baby early next year so is moving her 18 month old son out of the current nursery and into a new bedroom.

The brief was super open and the room was essentially a blank canvas. The only requirements were to add white shutters to the window, to retain the cot from the nursery for now (with scope to move to a “big boy” bed in the near future), and to incorporate a cane dresser she already had.

Here’s how the room looked before…


And here are the pieces my client wanted included…



Bamboo Dresser

Yes, this is the same dresser I used in the girl’s bedroom at the flip house. My client purchased it when I offered it for sale on Marketplace. That’s how she found me!

And here’s my virtual design concept…

Boy' Bedroom Concept

Boy's Bedroom Virtual Design

It has an earthy vintage vibe, with a bit of an eclectic jungle edge.

Boy's Bedroom Virtual Design

Boy's Bedroom Virtual Concept

You can see the shutters, cot and dresser are all accurately represented. That’s something I love about creating these concepts – the challenge of getting things as true-to-life as possible!

I’ve worked with this client before so I knew her style and taste well enough to take a few risks, and she trusted me to nail things for her. Fortunately she absolutely LOVES it!

Being able to share navigable 3D models and 360 degree panoramas with clients is one of the great features of the software I use (for anyone interested, I use Home Designer by Chief Architect).

View Floor Plan in Chief Architect’s 360° Panorama Viewer.


View Floor Plan in Chief Architect’s 360° Panorama Viewer.

Virtual Room Design Before and After

I know it’s not the same as sharing one of my personal projects, however I figured it was better than nothing, and I hope you like it.

Given the easing of restrictions here in Melbourne I can finally start work on my parent’s suite extension again so will be back soon to share our progress moving forward.

Thank you so much for still being here.



If you’d like help with a room in your home, refer to my Design Services page for further information.



The Suite Extension DIY Kitchenette Progress

DIY Kaboodle Kitchen

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been a very bad blogger of late.

You’d think being stuck at home all day, every day, would open-up a world of spare hours, but I’ve actually found myself more time challenged than usual.

I know my seemingly relaxed approach to this blog might come across as indifference sometimes, though the truth is that I’m super passionate about my little slice of the web, and having shared nothing with you guys for the past few weeks has really been bugging me.

And it’s not even like I have nothing to share. On the contrary there’s been a bit going on, but like I said, finding time to blog amidst school holidays and remote learning and client work has been tricky, and, if I’m honest, my motivation levels haven’t exactly been peaking.

So it was refreshing to drag the camera out a few days ago, scour the fruit bowl for some pretty props, and take some nice pics of my parent’s new kitchenette, albeit unfinished.

 DIY Kaboodle Kitchenette

We started planning this kitchenette months ago. Some of you may remember my rough 3D renderings from February…

Kitchenette Design

Kitchenette Design

Although this was just a basic preliminary design, it’s pretty much exactly what we ended up going with – however we removed the roll-out dishwasher in favour of a pot drawer, and our wall cabinets don’t extend to the ceiling (which I did know was going to be the case anyway).

We chose to go through Kaboodle and have been really happy with everything. As with doing anything for the first time, some aspects of the planning phase and cabinetry install were a bit mind-bending and fiddly, though nothing was overly difficult, and it all came in at well under 2K.

Kaboodle Kitchen

Kaboodle DIY Kitchen

Cabinet Install

Kitchen Install DIY

Kaboodle Kitchen Install

Sorry about the quality of these progress pics. Most were snapped at dusk using my phone.

We knew we wanted simple shaker style cabinetry from the start so choosing the Alpine profile was a no brainer. We also decided to go with their Raw Board ‘Paint Your Own Doors’ finish so we could completely customise the colour, and can also easily re-paint in the future if we ever want a change.


The colour is Oyster Linen by Dulux, which is actually quite a bit darker than it appears in my photos, and we used Dulux Aquanamel paint in Semi-Gloss for a hard-wearing finish.

Dulux Oyster Linen

Given the amount of natural light in the space it can easily take the level of depth, and the soft beige-green compliments the wire-brushed oak floors so well!

DIY Kaboodle Kitchenette

Deciding on the benchtop was less straightforward. I went back and forth between light or dark and thin or thick. After a few days we eventually settled on light and thin, then basically ordered the Calcutta Gloss, before changing our minds and switching to Mayonella.

DIY Kaboodle Kitchen Mayonella

So glad we did because it’s just right!

We bought the sink and mixer tap last year (because they were needed for the plumbing rough-in). They were both from Bunnings though unfortunately it looks like they no longer carry the tap in our particular finish (which is called Rose Gold however is actually more of a burnished antique brass). One of my brother-in-laws is a plumber so he installed the sink and tap last weekend.

And several months back we picked up this little retro style bar fridge (we got it from Catch for around $400 however it’s no longer listed there).

Bar Fridge

Isn’t it cute?

Clearly we still need to choose cabinet hardware and decide on a splashback.

Was originally thinking we’d go with warm brass handles though due to the intense colour of the mixer tap, I’m now wondering if simple black might work better to allow the tap to pop and provide some contrast. I’m also not opposed to something different, like off-white ceramic. Either way they will have a simple heritage feel, with knobs on the uppers and probably pulls on the lower doors and drawers. This kinda style…


For the splashback we’re planning on doing the entire wall (behind the impending shelves, and above the upper cabinets) and are almost certain about using pressed tin. Mum has loved pressed tin since forever though has never used it in her home, so this is finally her chance!

Pressed Tin

We haven’t narrowed down a particular design or colour yet, though it will be something somewhat subtle in a soft white.

Of course we also need to install the wall shelves. At this stage we haven’t thought too much about them, and I’m not too fussed because there are so many lovely options. Initially I liked the idea of floating live edge timber shelves. If we can find some nice timber at the right price this may be what we end up choosing.

In addition, I’d like to add some crown trim to the tops of the upper cabinets, and maybe even some kind of moulding to the bases too, just for that more tailored look. The following examples aren’t perfect, though along these lines…





So the bulk of the hard work is already done, we just need those finishing touches to bring everything together.




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




DIY Shutters for the Suite Extension House

DIY Shutters

If you’re anything like me, then you probably consume quite a bit of design and decoration content online, either through social media, blogs or other websites. And, like me, in your time you may have come across the odd article or two about exterior shutters and their supposed “right and wrongs” (perhaps with a heated ensuing comment thread!).

Yes, apparently some people have strong opinions about some wood attached to the side of a house!

The bulk of the negativity is aimed at decorative shutters, especially those which don’t “fit” the window size so can’t even pretend to have some sort of function.

The secondary annoyance centers around their general appearance. The belief that they diminish, rather than enhance, the look of most houses nowadays because they tend to come across as fussy, old-fashioned, forced and erroneous.

I get it, and totally understand the arguments, but I’ve never been one for rules or trends.

When my parents painted their exterior brick a few months back, they needed to remove all of their original white louvered shutters – yes, the ones below which don’t “fit” the window size.

Painted Brick Before and After

At that stage we discussed the possibility of leaving them off entirely, though they were both adamant that they wanted them back. And, I must say, I liked the idea too.

As you can see, a large portion of their house is visible from the street, and although the new white brick was fresh and crisp, there was a LOT of it! Plus, my parents have always loved the charm of country style homes, so the somewhat sleek and modern look of having no shutters, whilst appealing to many people, simply wasn’t for them.

DIY Z Shutters

We toyed with the idea of re-using the original louvered shutters (which are currently popular again!) but decided something with a bit more substance and character would work better. Plus no-one was interested in stripping the paint off all the louvers – LOL! It would have been a massive job. Of course we still have the original shutters and will repurpose them for future projects.

After settling on a simple ‘Z’ design, my Dad built all of the shutters from cypress pickets. It’s a pretty straight-forward DIY (just cut, glue and screw – similar to the batten style shutters I built last year for the flip house). Each shutter cost $60 and there are ten in total.


They are merely bolted directly to the brick. To retain and enhance the natural warmth of the timber we simply finished them with clear exterior oil.

DIY Cypress Shutters

Here’s a before and during (“during” because the house is still a work in progress) with and without shutters…

Before Shutters

After Shutters

And here’s before the brick was painted with the original shutters still in place…

DIY Shutters

Shutters After

For a while we were tossing up the idea of charcoal or duck-egg shutters, though I’m so glad we went with natural timber!

Like I said at the start of this post, they may not be for everyone though I absolutely love them!

DIY Cypress Shutters

If you noticed that my photos are all relatively tight-framed, this is why…


My Dad pulled down the old retaining wall a few weeks ago so this whole area is a big mess. Aside from building a new wall and having the driveway made, we still also need to finish the garage area and stairs which will all be clad in stone, and there will be a timber pergola going up on the balcony. It’s slowly getting there.




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


Before and After Shutters




DIY Pergola-Style Balcony Millwork

Firstly, thanks so much for all the love on the bathroom reveal post! You guys are just the best.

I know it seems like things have been sitting stagnant at my parent’s house for a while, though there’s actually been quite a bit of progress I can’t wait to share!

Something that happened a few weeks back was the addition of some DIY pergola-style millwork to the underside of the new balcony.

Pergola Millwork

If you follow me socially (through Instagram or Facebook) you may have seen a snippet of this project already.

From the start I knew the balcony was going to be a bit of a design challenge due to the unusual way it over-hangs the angled roof.

Balcony Before

I get that counter-levered structures can look cool and modern, though something about the stark blockiness of this never really sat right with me, and it just didn’t suit the style of my parent’s more traditional house either.

So, I had this slightly unconventional idea to attach some chunky decorative timber to provide a bit of relief from the boxy lines and add some extra charm and character…and it actually worked!

DIY Pergola Brackets

My dad built all of the elements from inexpensive treated pine, stained them a warm cedar tone, then bolted them up there!

It was pretty easy, very affordable, and looks so much better (well, according to me)!


Pergola Millwork

I know some of you will prefer the more modern appearance of the before but, like I said, it just didn’t quite suit the feel we were going for here.

DIY Pergola Style Mllwork

I’ll be back super soon to share some more of the progress we’ve made.



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


Pergola DIY Before and After