Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Zara Visit

I, like many others here in New Zealand, have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first Zara store which opened at Sylvia Park in Auckland a few weeks ago. A friend and I visited recently. I must say I was impressed. The store is bright and clean and seems to stock the full range of Zara goodies. I had been worried that the company might offer us a half-baked solution but they've come to the party with the full womens, mens and childrens ranges. I picked up a loose-fitting white shirt which I love! So comfortable and versatile. It's lovely to finally have Zara here!

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Christmas Wreath Workshop at Garden Objects

So excited to be attending this workshop at the gorgeous Garden Objects in Kohimarama in a few weeks! I consider myself a non-creative type so this will be a challenge, but fun I am sure! The best thing is I'll be trying something different and meeting new people which I really need to do more of. I will post pictures of my Christmas wreath when it's finished!

And I highly recommend a visit to Garden Objects. It's a beautiful store and each 'object' is carefully curated by Lisa and Jared.

copper watering can haws

small fork

apple holder

bird call | blackbird

companion planting in new zealand by brenda little

gidon bing small ceramic tripod pot | crackled

korbo galvanised basket classic 35

new zealand heritage rare seed collection

paperweight | forget me not | small

wonder weeder

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Master Bedroom Wardrobe Removal

Our master bedroom is huge now that one of our wardrobes has been removed! We have a 12ft stud, so the person who did the renovation thought it would be a great idea to install two 2.8m tall wardrobes almost to the ceiling, thus boxing in the room and providing an overkill of closet space.

Yes, villas are notorious for lack of space but ours is BURSTING with it. Paul and I gave it some thought and realised that we wouldn't be compromising the storage space by removing one wardrobe.

Because I have my own huge dressing room, Paul stores his clothes in our master bedroom. He used only one of the wardrobes for about a month to see if he could do it and he could! And soon we are getting all of the wardrobes in all bedrooms re-fitted with bespoke shelves, poles and cubbyholes so he will have a more efficient space to work with. Oh, and the ugly sliding door will be replaced with double-doors that look like the period of the house, not the ultra-modern doors the previous owner put into a 1910 house... :(

Chris, owner of Luxury Living Builders and his team (Peter, gib-stopper and Mike, painter) got to work earlier this month to remove the wardrobe and they did an incredible job. It's so flawless, you wouldn't even know there had been anything there! I highly recommend them! Mike even colour-matched the wall paint as the previous owners didn't provide accurate information.

The room is much more spacious now and we have the choice of three positions to place our bed (we had one choice before. And there is still one huge double wardrobe so we have not affected re-sale value.

Before and after photos are below. Note that we now have a big hole in the carpet (revealing the most beautiful original matai floorboards - WHY did they have to cover them up?). And in the new year the horrible grey/brown carpet is getting ripped out and replaced with oak to match the rest of the house (that's another blog post - big flooring project happening mid-January 2017!). So this is not the final look for this room, the photos just show the difference removing the wardrobe made.

Upcoming projects: kitchen cabinetry revamp, wardrobe fit-outs and door handle and knob overhaul (yep: goodbye shiny gold door handles!).

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Front Door, Porch and Garage Door

The smallest changes make all the difference we're discovering. Thanks to the fantastic Adrian Parton Painters, we now have a more elegant front door, porch and garage door. The colours we went for were Karen Walker for Resene Fuscous Grey and Resene Black (Gloss).

The front door was white (like the interior and exterior of the house!). We wanted to break things up so went with a bold black. This has really brought out the leadlights. Next project is to remove all of the door hardware and polish it up (or replace where necessary) with shiny brass fixtures so it really pops against the black.

The porch and garage door were painted a depressing, dated blue-grey (like a shark). I wanted a warmer grey. After many test pots (see below!) we settled on a Karen Walker for Resene grey which we think brings back some elegance to the space and looks more modern. Very pleased, and we can't wait to get stuck into the front gardens and gates to tidy them up so our whole frontage looks amazing!

Here is what the porch and front door looked like before:

And here is what a lick of paint can do!


Wednesday, 12 October 2016


I've been following this interesting company for a couple of years. In the past six months Everlane has had some major growth. They pride themselves on direct-to-consumer retail, cutting out much of the middle-man noise, the result being a high-quality product at an amazing price. They also take ethics around materials-sourcing, production and administration very seriously. And all of the staff seem to be around 12 years old (or am I just getting old?).

Everlane started by selling a basic range of cotton tshirts, silk shirts and wool jumpers. They've since branched out into cashmere, shoes, coats and accessories. I haven't seen any of the product in the flesh, but if their marketing is anything to go by, this stuff looks like a winner.

And yes, they do ship to New Zealand.





Monday, 10 October 2016

Side Path Landscaping Finished

We had some respite from weeks of rain on Saturday so the whole day was spent in the garden. We picked up three bay trees, planted them in plain grey pots and placed them in the middle of the path. We might get two more yet, but for now it seems to be enough. I also tried my hand at staining wood and really enjoyed it. In the far distance of this photo you can see a black plank of wood. There is one at the other end of the path too. I stained them both and they look great! Very proud of my first-ever DIY!

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Trenery's New Loungewear Range

My loungewear and sleepwear are some of the most important items in my wardrobe. So naturally, I'm excited about Trenery's new sleepwear and loungewear ranges!

Organic Cotton Long Sleeved T-Shirt

Striped Organic Cotton Jersey Tank

Organic Cotton Short

Striped Organic Cotton Nightie