Furniture and Continuity

Hey everyone,

Can you believe it?! There are only 5 weeks until Christmas! We will have a great little gift this year with the completion of our new home scheduled to finish up in roughly 9 days! Eep! My last entry was at the beginning of October and within 7 short weeks our ceilings, cornicing, windows and doors, sanitary fittings, cabinetry, tiling, stone and part of the internal painting has been completed. All of the exterior has been painted and our feature linings have been installed. We are really impressed with the build progress so far and we are beyond happy with how all of our selections look installed. Another big thanks to the amazing HBC team for making this journey so enjoyable.

With Christmas fast approaching and lead times blowing out as a result, I have now locked in window treatments, extra cabinetry, carpentry (skirting boards,) upholstery and wallpaper installation. I’ve also been sourcing some new pieces of furniture. We won’t be replacing everything because I still like a lot of things we own already, but there are a few pieces that will be too small in the new house. In this post I’ll touch base on buying selected furniture and give some tips on how to achieve continuity and flow in your home. So sit tight, or make sure you bookmark this as a ‘must read’ at some point this week or over the weekend.

I’ll start with furniture. For large ticket items like sofas and beds I always suggest to select a quality product, in a neutral tone. Try to avoid trending, seasonal colours when purchasing anything expensive, unless you really love it and will continue to like it when the trend passes. If you want to inject some vibrance into your home, you can easily style each area using pops of colour in decor, artwork, linen and textiles.

Top tips for buying a sofa

  • Look into sofa designs with removable or reversible seat and back cushions. This way you can rotate them to maximise the life of the foam or feather insert and you can conceal any unexpected stains or imperfections, by flipping it over.
  • If you want elongated sofa seat cushions, expect some sagging in the fabric over time. Stitching helps the fabric stay in place so a long span of cushion will naturally stretch in the centre more than a shorter seat cushion.
  • Consider your family dynamic and the way you will use your sofa before selecting a fabric. Larger/thicker weave fabrics are more likely to pull and catch on sharp objects like pet paws, jean studs, jewellery etc. A finer and tighter weave won’t catch as much but it will show up marks a bit more than a chunkier weave.
  • If you are wanting a leather sofa make sure you do your research on what category/grade of leather will be most suitable for you. Don’t be fooled by the word ‘genuine’ leather. It doesn’t represent a higher grade or quality, in fact it is less breathable and prone to splitting/cracking because of the thin top layer of PU or vinyl bonded on the top.
  • A sofa that is on glides (frame goes to the floor) is easier to keep clean in a darker colour because the bottom of the frame will get shoe marks across the fabric. If you’re wanting a lighter coloured sofa, consider a design on legs so there is no fabric at foot level.
  • If you have an open plan living area and the sofa is not against a wall, take into account the ‘backside’ of your new sofa. Some cheaply made lounges are upholstered to only be seen from the front and will have multiple panels of thinner fabric pieces stitched together to create the back… and not in the ‘luxe quilted’ way either.
  • When choosing a sofa with a modular or chaise option, consider your room layout and locate the chaise on the far side of where you enter the room. This will open up the area and ensure the space is accessible and usable.

I generally have all my sofas custom made here in Perth, but here are some of my favourite store bought designs that I have used or specified in projects.

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Bedside tables

  • Bedside tables with drawers are practical for any bedrooms being ‘used.’
  • Side tables are a great, affordable way to furnish a guest bedroom, where bedside storage isn’t necessary.
  • Designs with a shelf can be aesthetically pleasing, but in reality can collect a fair amount of dust.
  • In my (tried and tested) opinion, one of the best features on a bedside table is a rim around the top edge. It is so handy as nothing falls off eg phone on the charger, reading glasses, books etc.
  • Try and purchase a bedside table with height in mind. Compare the height of your mattress to the height of the table so they are similar measurements. Double pillow-top mattresses usually look better with a taller bedside, whereas low-lying beds look better with shorter bedsides.
  • Be cautious of resting drinking glasses or water bottles on both veneer and timber bedside tables. Watermarks are common and are hard to fix on veneer products, so the best way to avoid them is by keeping a coaster nearby.
  • If you are looking into a hinged/door design, make sure you can specify opposite swing directions. If both hinges are on the same side, one will open towards the bed (rather than away from the bed.)

Some beautiful 1 and 2 drawer bedside table options are linked below. These are a few of my favourite designs at the moment and the first two have the brim around the top (that I mentioned above.)

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Homebuyers Centre ‘Cove’ Display Home

Beds VS ensembles

Choosing a bed with a frame or an ensemble completely comes down to personal preference, but there are a few factors to think about before making a final decision. In the Homebuyers Centre display homes I mostly specify ensembles, paired with a headboard. The base of the ensemble doesn’t need to look pretty because it is covered with a bed wrap or valance, so as a result this is a more cost effective option for us. It also allows me to customise headboard designs based on the style and the colour scheme I want to adapt. In client projects I always gravitate towards a full bed, as it’s a more unified piece of furniture.

  • Bed frames are usually fixed to the headboard making it a more solid unit, in comparison to an ensemble/headboard pairing. In saying this the headboards I have custom made, feature a built-in wall mount option to secure it safely and prevent movement.
  • A quality bed will usually be more expensive than an ensemble setup.
  • With an ensemble you don’t necessarily need to have an upholstered headboard at all. You might want to create a feature wall with VJ panels, wallpaper or a boxed out plinth as your statement headboard.
  • Do you like the look of a valance or bed wrap being visible? Even if you go up a size with your quilt to create extra hang on either side of the bed, you’ll still see part of the valance or bed wrap somewhere around the perimeter (see above image.)
  • An ensemble base will either come with castors (small wheels) or fixed legs. Castors are good if you need to move the base around the room. However in a main bedroom where it get’s used more, the fixed legs will be more practical.
  • For either product, I always try to keep the headboard around 1100mm high. 1050mm is my go-to measurement because it allows enough height for europeans pillows but ample room above for a statement piece of art too. If I’m not using any art, I will arrange to have the headboard made at a taller height of 1200-1400mm.

Ensuring continuity and flow throughout your home

  • One way to create flow with your interior is to use the same timber tone throughout your home. RJ Living have a beautiful European Solid Oak range which extends across various products and this is a neat way to ensure the tone of your wooden furniture is consistent. You can shop their timeless collection below.
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  • Using a ‘Colour’ palette is another great way to create continuity in your home. By dispersing pops of a similar colour palette into each room, it helps the overall interior feel connected and harmonious. You can decorate with colour in so many different ways for example in artwork, cushions, florals, ottomans, rugs, books, vases, textiles, linen, lighting and planters- to name a few. This pointer can also be applied to neutral or monochrome interiors by replacing colour with the use of repetition in texture and tone.
  • This next tip is not essential but I personally like to keep a majority of the interior hardware and trims consistent. Below is an example compilation of how you can create cohesion in your home between hardware, furniture, lighting and decor. I’m actually in love with all of the below!!
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  • ‘Shape’ can also be cleverly used to keep your interior looking unified. ‘Curves’ are insanely popular at the moment and it’s soft, round form can be applied in many areas of the home. In lighting, mouldings, accent chairs, artwork, cushions, shelves, cabinetry handles – you name it! There are plenty of products on the market to inject the repetition of shape into each space, and it doesn’t have to be costly or permanent at all.
  • Similar to the previous dot point, ‘Pattern’ can transform a space and create flow in your home. Linear patterns have been trending for years but they continue to be a huge influence with new, innovative designs evolving. Lining boards like Easycraft Vj panels have been circulating in mainstream residential design for around 6 years now, but batten and half dowel cladding has quickly gained momentum with brands like Porta and Glosswood becoming increasingly popular. Kit Kat tiles are also a firm fave of mine, with many styles and finishes available. These materials use the repetition of linear pattern to generate a textured focal point and feature in your home.

Well if you’ve gotten this far, thank you for reading and I hope this content was informative or helpful in some way. If you’re a first time home builder, I have documented our journey from the beginning and included some shop the looks and handy tips in each entry. Feel free to navigate through them below.

Furniture and Continuity

Hey everyone, Can you believe it?! There are only 5 weeks until Christmas! We will have a great little gift this year with the completion of our new home scheduled to finish up in roughly 9 days! Eep! My last entry was at the beginning of October and within 7 short weeks our ceilings, cornicing,… Continue reading →

Landscape Planning and Design

Our HBC build has reached a new milestone to document! My last update was at the end of July and within 9 short weeks our brickwork, plumbing, electrical and roof has been completed… As well as the float (grey cement render) and set (white plaster coat.) We’re seriously impressed, not only with the process but… Continue reading →

Where to spend and save money during pre-start

With loads of people taking advantage of the new home builder government grants, I thought I would share some tips on where to spend money during PreStart. We completed our Pre Start about 6 weeks ago with Homebuyers Centre and I know first hand how overwhelming (but exciting) this part of the building journey can… Continue reading →

It’s crazy to think that the next time I write a post, it will be from my new desk, in our new home!!!!

Have a fab weekend everyone,

T x

7 week progress shots
Cabinetry installed> Cornicing installed> Ceiling, doors, frames and cornicing painted> Exterior painted and linings installed> Stone bench tops in > Tiling complete>

Homebuyers Centre WA has kindly sponsored this blog entry, based on my experience as their decorator and our own building journey. All thoughts, design work, styling and written content are my own.

Landscape Planning and Design

Our HBC build has reached a new milestone to document! My last update was at the end of July and within 9 short weeks our brickwork, plumbing, electrical and roof has been completed… As well as the float (grey cement render) and set (white plaster coat.) We’re seriously impressed, not only with the process but the whole team involved!! The build is quickly taking shape and resembling an actual home, so it got us thinking about what is left to finish after handover. We decided to make a list and start getting quotes for various things like landscaping and aggregate, built in cabinetry, window coverings, plus any furniture/ decor we want to buy new. We have decided to tackle the largest $ outlay first to ensure we give ourselves as much time as possible to save. As a result, landscaping is our first priority at the moment because we are not savvy gardeners but want to create and enjoy a beautiful outdoor space.

By making our house floor plan larger, we knew it would cut into our backyard space. We aren’t too phased though, because there is a large grassed area/ park being built a few houses down. Knowing our space is limited, I designed an outdoor area that flows on from our interior, maximises space and sunlight, is practical, functional and stylish. When I had finished some rough sketches, Paul and I contacted Landscapes WA and set up a meeting with Nic and Ryan to discuss our landscaping wants/needs. I have worked alongside their team for over 2 years now on all the current Homebuyers Centre Display Homes and am always impressed with their creations. We love our base concept and can’t wait to get started.

The look we want to achieve is a contemporary, urban style outdoor area. After looking at some products in person, I put the above textures together to form some initial inspiration. We love how they work together with the rest of our home, so they quickly became key elements in our landscape design.

  • The cladding- The battens are consistent with our feature walls out the front and will be used in two areas of the backyard. To save floorspace we will have a large L shaped bench seat constructed in the same material, as well as a feature screen along part of the fence line. The spotted gum colouring works really well with our monochrome facade and the linear repetition will be fluent throughout the rest of the home and outdoor spaces.
  • Magnolias- Their full foliage will provide a nice screen in front of the fence and create a nice backdrop to the bench seat. The colouring is also spot on with their brown undertone leaves and contrasting white flowers.
  • Aggregate- We’re undecided on colour at the moment but we have narrowed the honed aggregate in the backyard down to two white Limecrete options. One has black and grey stones (Salt and Pepper.) Whereas, the other has green and grey- like the above image (Travertine.) For our driveway and front path, we are set on a very dark charcoal (almost black) exposed aggregate. It’s a bold choice but it will balance out the roof colour and contrast nicely against the painted render and garage. The maintenance factor of aggregate has sold us both because there are less joins for weeds to grow through in comparison to paving.
  • Reclaimed/ recycled brick- We love the raw, organic texture of recycled brick and it is bang on the ‘urban’ style we are wanting to achieve. A planter box running along our fence line will house the magnolias, enhance the height and create a point of interest in front of the black fence. The various warm tones of the brick will help tie in the spotted gum battens and soften the black and white contrasting colour scheme. We will also be using this material in our front landscaping in the form of a letterbox/ low wall design.
  • Black steel- The use of black is apparent throughout the landscaping and facade against white, timber and warm grey. Our roof, window frames, fence, open structure (yet to be drawn in on the design,) garden edging and some of the outdoor furniture will all be similar shades to Colorbond Monument. This ensures a continuous and harmonious flow throughout the outdoor areas.

Here’s how we maximised natural light in the drafting stage of our build to suit our home and it’s orientation. Majority of people choose to extend their alfresco longer to create a larger undercover area. We broke away from this concept knowing our space was limited and instead, chose to create a boxed recess ceiling over part of our alfresco. The roof ends at the middle pillar but you must be thinking why? Why on earth would you reduce it? First of all, it’s just our personal preference and other’s might think otherwise. It’s important you design your home based on what you and your family will use and enjoy. We both love the sun and don’t want to be lounging in complete shade. Our block faces east, so we get the northern sun down the side of the house all day. The sun then sets at the back of our home so if we kept the roof cover to the extent of the aggregate, hardly any of the open plan living (which includes the kitchen, living, dining, games room) would ever get direct sunlight because it’s covered predominantly by a large alfresco. Instead, we are having an open structure built by Landscapes WA (in addition to the alfresco) that allows the sunlight through and creates a second entertaining zone. This will ensure that the lounging area of the yard is light filled, as well as the games room which filters through to the rest of the open plan area. Our outdoor dining space will still be completely roof covered and we felt that this design made the most of Perth’s climate, the natural sunlight and the way we want to use our backyard.

We move in hopefully at the end of the year so outdoor furniture is also on the forefront of our mind so we can enjoy some warm, summer weather outside. We won’t need a sofa because of the large built-in bench, however we would still like 2x occasional chairs, a couple of side tables and an outdoor dining setting (for under the alfresco.) Quality outdoor furniture can cost a small fortune, so I thought it would be nice to share with you all, some mix and match pieces that I have recently saved. To keep costs down, I think we will choose a plain (somewhat affordable) dining table and invest more on quality chairs. In saying that, the $60.00 Bunnings rope dining chairs (further down) are surprisingly comfy!! All of the dining tables below, are priced as a 200cm or larger size- Pair it with a feature chair and you have a winning outdoor setting, that looks designer- for less.

|| 1. Hattholmen Table || 2. Lava Bronte Table || 3. Maine Table || 4. Terrazzo Table || 5. Switch Cement Table || 6. Havelock Table ||

Last image credit- Adam Robinson Design, Other Images- Globewest

Here are some chairs that caught my eye while scrolling through endless outdoor furniture websites. I also discovered that there are a lot of really affordable chairs, or a lot of really expensive chairs. There is little middle ground and the vast price difference purely comes down to material. The more expensive woven chairs will likely consist of an ecolene wicker and galvanised steel frame. Ecolene wicker is a polyethylene synthetic material which is made to withstand our harsh climate and weather conditions- including UV, heat, mould, sea and chlorine water. It is really durable, washable and even better, recyclable. They’re a true investment piece, whereas the cheaper alternatives will need replacing as they wear and tear.

|| 1. Mimosa Rope Chair || 2. Zarli White Chair || 3. Slope Natural Chair || 4. Granada Scoop Chair || 5. Gallery Wire Chair || 6. Leah Chair White ||

Image credit- Brickworks Truganina, Image credit- WB ‘The Cabin’

And lastly, before this post get’s any longer, I threw together some monochrome side table options. I do love natural wood tones, but seeming as though the side tables will be next to our batten bench seat, the neutral colour on any of these will work better as an understated piece. I’m leaning towards #5 or #8 because I am drawn to the sharper/ clean lines for our style home. I also really like the nesting shapes of #3 and #4 (along with their price tag haha) so I think I’ll wait until we confirm the rest of the larger outdoor furniture… then I can match it to those selections.

|| 1. Leon Concrete Stool || 2. Kaia S/table Stool || 3. Lucas Side Table || 4. Lucas Coffee Table || 5. Hammer Stool || 6. Akoni Side Table || 7. Aksel Side table Set || 8. Livorno Round Side Table || 9. Etta Cream S/Table Stool||

Well, I am beyond excited with the progress of our home so far and I can’t wait to see where we are at within the next 8 weeks. I’ve been informed by HBC that the ceiling, cabinetry, basins, tapware, wastes and tiling are all happening within the next month! Eep! I know a lot of you are also building/ renovating/ redecorating so I hope this post has been a joy to read. If you have any questions or topics you want me to cover next, please feel free to comment below.

Have a lovely weekend and I’ll leave you with a few progress snapshots.

Tx

11 week progress shots.
Pad down > Plate high brickwork > Electrical and Plumbing provisions installed > Roof on > Render applied > Plaster applied.

Homebuyers Centre WA has kindly sponsored this blog entry, based on my experience as their decorator and our own building journey. All thoughts, design work, styling and written content are my own.

Where to spend and save money during pre-start

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With loads of people taking advantage of the new home builder government grants, I thought I would share some tips on where to spend money during PreStart. We completed our Pre Start about 6 weeks ago with Homebuyers Centre and I know first hand how overwhelming (but exciting) this part of the building journey can be. So relax and take a breathe, I have a few insightful and informative tips that might help ease the pressure, or highlight an area you haven’t thought about yet.

Electrical and Cabling

The most obvious area to budget for is the cable and electrical plan. Most people will add several more GPO points and change locations of the current ones to suit their day to day life. For additional points- think about:

  • Where you charge your mobile phone frequently, outside of the bedroom.
  • In the broom or linen cupboard for a cordless vacuum.
  • On the island bench.
  • In the corner of the living room for a floor lamp or your Christmas tree lights.
  • Where you sit and use your laptop outside of the study area, to easily recharge it (eg dining table or next to the couch.)
  • Either side of a bed in each room.
  • An extra one in the garage for high pressure cleaning, gym equipment, power tools or to easily vacuum the car.
  • If you don’t have a microwave box in your kitchen cabinetry, one in the pantry is handy.
  • In any long hallways so the vacuum cord reaches into the bedrooms.
  • We added a double GPO in the alfresco at 6c, for possible speakers or bar fridge.
  • An additional one in the study if you have more than one computer. We have built in cabinetry spanning 5 meters in our study so I added another GPO for our second computer, then a hidden one in the cabinetry for my printer, scanner and camera battery charger.
Add an extra GPO in the corner of your living area for a floor lamp or Christmas tree lights.linebreak

Another handy tip is to move the fridge GPO higher to sit behind the overheads above (if you have any.) This way the fridge sits further back in the recess and doesn’t stick out as much- Check how long your fridge cord is before committing to the higher location though.

On your cabling plan you will need to budget for additional costs to have your TVs wall mounted and conduits provided. This will create a channel in the wall to run (hide) the cables, cords and wires from the TV to the data points and GPO below.

An easy upgrade decision for me was to change our ducted aircon zoning pad to a MyAir smart system. It’s user friendly, easy to navigate and will be perfect for our family! You can see these management control pads at all the Homebuyers Centre display homes and it was one of the first upgrades we confirmed in our PreStart! You can read up about them here.

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Lighting

Most people will also add additional downlights to their plan. From memory Paul and I only added 2 down lights- one in the walk in shower and an additional one in a long hallway. However we did put 3 fan base plugs in the roof where we intend on having feature lighting. Fan base plugs are essentially just a power source for future pendants to minimise cords running through the roof. This was super handy because I haven’t chosen our feature lighting yet and didn’t want the added pressure of choosing an exact location for installation before the furniture goes in. More than one pendant can be connected to each fan base so we got one put in the ceiling above our dining room, master and kitchen. This info might only be relevant to single storey homes though- double storey might be different if the roof space is not easily accessible on the ground floor.

Another lighting area to think of before finalising your electrical plan, is to decide whether you want any internal wall lights. This needs to be put on your plan with a specified height because it cannot easily be done afterwards, unless it is located on a cavity wall. So if you are planning on having wall lights in your ensuite or master bedroom- PreStart is the time to add it in.

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Storage

It’s a vital area to think about when building a family home and the chances are your wardrobe fitouts will be fairly basic unless you have included a custom design in your contract variations. In our master bedroom we chose to completely remove the rail and shelf to have something customised after handover. You can either get this done through a cabinet maker/ wardrobe specialist, or have a crack at designing one yourself using the Ikea PAX system (which is also fairly customisable.) Below is an example I have started designing on the Ikea website and it is a fraction of the price a custom one would cost. This whole setup amounts to only $1560.00, whereas a custom made one would be roughly triple the price.

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To improve function and maximise storage in your cabinetry designs, some areas to consider upgrading are:

Add in overheads in the kitchen, fridge recess, laundry and scullery if they’re not already included in your build. If your cooktop is below overheads, the overheads will meet up to a range hood. However, if you want the overheads to run the full width, you’ll need to upgrade and get a pull out rangehood.

Drawers are so handy and can be upgraded from standard doors throughout your home. Drawers create more accessible space in your cabinetry and minimises having to stack high piles of kitchenware like pots, pans and tupperware. They can also be added in the centre of your ensuite or bathroom vanity, however to avoid substantial costs, your vanity ideally needs to be long enough so that the drawers avoid the basin plumbing. Drawers can be customised around the plumbing, however this usually incurs a large cost because of the labour and materials involved.

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A microwave box is really handy to have somewhere in your kitchen design, if you have the space. For a flat upgrade price Homebuyers Centre can include a box surround (matching your laminate selection,) factor in a GPO and add a pot drawer below. Having a microwave box will maximise bench and pantry space in your new kitchen and your PreStart consultant can guide you on it’s ideal location.

Window Coverings

Lastly, before this post get’s too long, an expense that most people are often shocked by is custom window coverings. It’s an area to definitely budget for if you want to upgrade your selections to quality products like sheer curtains and plantation shutters. We opted to remove all the window coverings included in our contract at PreStart so I can organise them after hand over. It’s hard to predict how much to set aside for window coverings of a full home because it completely depends on how large the windows are, how many, fabric and product selections etc.. but they can easily amount to 10K (plus) if you’re including sheers in majority of the rooms. In saying this, some banks/ home loan lenders require the home to be turnkey ready which means the property is ‘move in ready’ with flooring, window coverings etc (so removing is not an option.) If this is the case, I would suggest getting roller blinds as a blockout, then after handover you can invest in some beautiful sheer curtains in addition to the covering you already have.

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So in a nutshell here are a few key points that I personally think are worth upgrading at PreStart, oppose to doing yourself after handover.

Upgrade:

  • Electrical- additional GPOs, downlights and fan base outlets.
  • Cabling- conduits and tv mounts.
  • Flooring- quality carpet and underlay.
  • Functional storage options in cabinetry designs- drawers, microwave box, overheads.
  • Tapware.
  • Tiling.

Things you can do yourself, after handover or in the future:

  • Window Coverings.
  • Wardrobe Fitouts.
  • Change internal passage and privacy handles.
  • Internal door profiles.
  • Alfresco flooring.
  • Internal painting.
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As always, if you have any questions please comment below or send me an email. I hope this post is useful to anyone beginning their new home journey. Good luck and enjoy the ride! T x

Homebuyers Centre WA has kindly sponsored this blog entry, based on my experience as their decorator and our own building journey. All thoughts, design work, styling and written content are my own.

Pre-Construction Journey

linebreak5M7B0900linebreakHey everyone!!!

I thought I would start documenting our new home and the building process so far because it has been an absolute whirlwind, but in such a great way. With all the grants currently available for new home builders, my hope is that others might find this post useful or insightful (especially in regards to pre construction.) Firstly, I just want to clarify that none of our home or selections are sponsored/commissioned. When I mention brands, suppliers, trades and consultants below in this entry- it purely comes from a place of gratitude. I’ll start from the beginning and back date a bit, so I can shed some light on the timeline and how everything has progressed smoothly through the pre construction stage.

We put down a deposit on a titled block of land in January and settled on that in Feb (meaning we had formal approval from the bank and all the paperwork was signed.) The block isn’t overly big but we liked that it is in a private estate, close to where Chet goes to school, that there are local shops established and a large park being built one street away. The fact that it was already titled was appealing too, because we knew there would be no council hold ups once we found a builder/ home design. We started looking at display homes gathering ideas of what we liked and disliked, in regards to layout, finishes, inclusions etc… All we really knew is that our frontage was 15m and we didn’t want to spend a mammoth amount either. We just wanted a comfortable, classic home that looks great, without the boutique price tag.

To avoid disappointment, one of the best things you can do when visiting a display home is ask the sales rep for an ‘As Displayed Price.’ This will give you an idea of what the builder’s base price is in comparison to what they have upgraded in the display home. Some of the display homes we looked at, had upgrades of over $200K more than the base price, so in reality an average family would never be able to achieve the look being shown.  

linebreakFacadelinebreakAfter searching for weeks and weeks we signed up to build with Homebuyers Centre and started customising the floor plan to suit our wants and needs. We felt comfortable and have confidence in the HBC team because I built my last home through them 10 years ago and only sold it only 6 months ago. I had no issues with the property… and that says a lot about their precision because at the time WA was in a huge construction boom. I also am the interior decorator for HBC so I know the brand really well and have always been astounded by the site managers attention to detail. I know I can trust them to build us another home we’ll love.

Our sales rep Jess was an absolute superstar- she was friendly, efficient, helpful and so patient with our requests. We decided we wanted a single story build with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a larger garage (acting as a store room,) key drop, study area, theatre, living, dining, games room/ activity, kitchen, laundry, large alfresco etc… Jess liaised with the drafting team who did an amazing job making changes and we are beyond happy with the working drawings. When we settled on the floorplan, elevations and overall design we signed the Preliminary Works Contract and Contract Plans, then our broker started the home loan process. linebreakceilinglinebreakRegardless of who you sign up to build with, some upgrades you might want to consider adding into your PWC if they are not already included are:

  • Raised, recessed, raked or skillion ceilings
  • Internal painting
  • Full height tiling
  • Aggregate 
  • Extra cabinetry or wardrobe fitouts
  • Oversized island bench (Stone should already be included these days.)
  • Ducted reverse cycle air con
  • Solar Panels
  • Stone benchtops to wet areas (laundry, bathroom, ensuite.)

linebreakWe didn’t have to pay any extra for the bottom three points because they were already included as a promotion, as well as 30c ceilings. One thing I took out of the contract was window coverings. I can get this done when we move in and get a feel for the space. Before removing your own to receive a credit on your contract, take into consideration that window coverings are definitely not cheap- especially if you want quality sheer curtains or plantation shutters.linebreaks32Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 8.28.07 amlinebreakLots of smaller upgrades like handles, undermount sinks, extra GPO points, additional down lights etc will generally be done at Prestart. I can’t speak on behalf of all builders but you can ask your sales rep if you are allowed to put a provisional sum in your contract to go towards Prestart. This means it will be financed in your home loan.

To be honest, the finance part took slightly longer than I thought it would (understandably) because we applied for a home loan with a major bank in April which was during a global pandemic. In saying that, our broker (Peak Finance) made the whole process really straightforward. They communicated directly with the bank and builder on our behalf and kept us in the loop the whole time.

In hindsight, it was a blessing to have a little more time up our sleeve! While waiting for formal approval, we needed to start the selection phase which meant visiting the tile supplier (Crosby Tiles) and flooring supplier (Trevors,) both in Osborne Park. Ebony and Antoni from Crosby Tiles were innnnncredible! They were so, so patient and accommodating- Who would have thought doing my own interior selections would be 100 times harder than doing my clients? Nonetheless, I finally decided on tiles that are simple and classic. I know I’ll love them for a long time and that they won’t date badly either.

Then onto flooring- We chose a textured loop, wool carpet in a mid grey colour for the theatre and bedrooms. I did like the light coloured carpet in my last home but it was not practical for a young family with inside pets. For the rest of the home, we chose luxury vinyl plank flooring in a washed blackbutt tone. I also visited the Polytec and Hafele showroom to look at colours of hardware and laminates. I went there purely to view larger samples of the laminates to get a better grasp on the grain in a larger format. Another helpful tool was navigating around the Polytec website and looking at the ‘projects and gallery’ links.linebreakProcessed with VSCO with hb2 presetlinebreakNow that our flooring and tile selection forms were complete, we were ready for Prestart!! Homebuyers sent us a link to our own personal portal where we could choose some of our selections online ahead of the meeting. I thought that was great because it gave Paul and I a chance to discuss upgrades and pricing together, rather than in front of another person. We pre-filled a fair bit and then met with Althea on Thursday this week for the scheduled prestart meeting- what an absolute saint this woman is! Things we upgraded were tapware, cabinetry handles, mixers, sinks, internal doors and door handles, extra GPO points, extra lighting, changed some doors to drawers in the kitchen, a third TV Data Point, wall mounted all our tv’s and a few other things specifically related to our floorplan.

My go-to light (warm) grey internal paint colour is Taubmans Barely Beige 1/4 strength and a nice light (cooler) grey is Solver Cape Horn in full or 1/2 strength. Internal doors, door frames and ceilings are always painted in Wattyl White.

linebreakCockburn2Pictured above is Solver Cape Horn Full StrengthlinebreakI feel like a huge weight is lifted off my shoulders now that prestart is complete, our building permit has been approved and all the paperwork is signed. Our site manager Mike is an absolute legend- I’ve worked alongside him on a display home in Southern River and he’s already expressed his excitement about the project. We can’t wait to watch the construction phase of our new home take shape over the coming months. Bring on the slab. YAY!

I won’t really be posting our selections online until the end but for anyone who is new to building and wanting some inspiration- I have put a few basic ‘concepts’ together below. *Please note* Many of these might not be classified as ‘builders standard’ ranges- they’re purely an array of selections I have accumulated as possibilities for our home or displays. Remember ‘the look’ can always be achieved for less as long as the colours and tones stay cohesive. If you have any questions about our building process so far please feel free to comment here or contact me directly.

Have a fab week!

T x

linebreaks1linebreak Finger tile (feature)- Haifu White Gloss Mosaic- Crosby Tiles

Grey tile (pressed edge floor tile)- Jakarta White- Crosby Tiles

White matt tile- (pressed edge wall tile)- Matt White 201x403mm- Crosby Tiles

Stone benchtop- Pure White- Caesarstone

Cupboard 1- Polar White Matt- Polytec

Cupboard 2- Natural Oak Matt- (also available in other textures)- Polytec

Carpet- Foss ‘Dorset’- Cavalier Bremworth

Top feature paint- Deep Sleep- Wattyl 

Bottom feature paint- Westerly- Wattyl 

My personal preference in hardware/tapware for this scheme would be either stainless, nickel or chrome. The pressed edge can be changed out to something similar in a rectified tile, however I wanted to show something budget friendly that still looks beautiful. The whites featured above are on the cooler, brighter side.linebreaks3linebreakTerrazzo look tile (feature floor tile)- Stacatto Mist- Crosby Tiles

White subway- 300x100mm- Crosby Tiles

Stone bench tops- Cloudburst Concrete- Caesarstone

Cupboard 1- Bespoke Woodmatt- Polytec

Cupboard 2- Polar White Matt- Polytec

Carpet- Green square ‘740 Winter Solstice’- Godfrey Hirst

Warm Grey tile (outdoor/indoor)- Prime Stone Silver- Tile Boutique

The 400x80mm Stacatto tile would look really lovely laid in a herringbone pattern on the floor as a feature. There are square and rectangle formats available too, but it is rectified so you will need to consult your builder first to see if these can be laid. The greys featured above have a warm undertone so brushed brass hardware/ tapware would work really well with these selections.linebreaks4linebreakFloor tile (feature)- Oxford Black 200x200mm- Crosby Tiles

Grey wall tile (pressed edge)- Jakarta White- Crosby Tiles

Stone bench tops- Intense White- Caesarstone

Cupboard 1- Prime oak woodmatt- Polytec

Cupboard 2- Black woodmatt- Polytec

Basins- Ivory concrete- Nood Co

Carpet- Salisbury ‘Monument’- Feltex

This concept has a more contrasting palette with an urban design. The feature tile would create an impact on either the floor or shower wall if using black cabinetry to tie in a vast area of dark tiling. Brushed gunmetal or matt black tapware/ hardware would look great against the lighter grey walls.linebreaks2linebreakMini herringbone (feature)- White Edge Mosaic-  Crosby Tiles

Floor tile- Portofino White Rectified 300x600mm- Crosby Tiles

Stone bench tops- Snow- Caesarstone

Cupboard 1- Classic White Matt- Polytec

Cupboard 2- Casentino Beech Woodmatt- Polytec

Handles- Recessed Leather Pulls ‘Classic Grey’- Made Measure

Carpet- Foss ‘High Cross’- Cavalier Bremworth

All of the white selections in this scheme are on the creamier side which will work beautifully with a warmer palette. Rose gold or brass tapware/hardware would be my personal preference to keep a cohesive tone throughout the home.linebreak

Aura Boy’s Room

6linebreakWelcome back!!

Today I’m thrilled to show you some more images of this vibrant boy’s room I created for Homebuyers Centre in their new Aura Display Home, located at 68 Muriel Court, Cockburn Central. I absolutely adore this room and thoroughly enjoyed designing, then bringing it to life. In this entry, you can read a little more about the process as I explain some of my design choices and product selections. You can also easily recreate this look at home with the linked ‘Shop the Look’ section below. linebreakpalette2linebreakMy starting point for this space was the ‘Fractile’ wallpaper mural. It was the foundation of my design and the room’s colour palette is drawn from the earthy green, ochre and sand tones featured in the wallpaper. When I found it on Scandinavian Wallpaper and Decor’s website, I immediately asked Lollo (nicely of course) to customise the measurements for me. Once we confirmed and made the order, I began choosing artwork and linen to compliment the space and work back with the mural.

For the main bedding I chose the Ivy Vintage Wash Quilt from Adairs and paired it back with a simple white/linen pinstripe sheet combo. I then used a variety of different size cushions, with mixed textures and earthy tones to position on the bed. The texture helps create a warm, cosy feel and the chosen colours give the room harmony because they are cohesive throughout the space with other elements, like the art and decor.linebreak1linebreak

Aside from ‘colour’ the other two main elements of design I focused on were the emphasis on line and shape.

The use of a rough, illustrated line is repeated throughout areas of the room like the wallpaper, rug, sheets and artwork. I then also used a circle/ round shape multiple times, for example in the rug, cushions, ottoman, wall hooks etc. By emphasising these elements through repetition, it ensures the room is balanced and not visually overwhelming.

I hope you all like this room as much as I do! Please feel free to shop the look below, or if you’re located in Perth you can check out the Aura Display Home in person- details here.

Much Love, T ♡

linebreak34linebreakstllinebreakshopthelook|| 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6|| 7 || 8 || 9 || 10 || 11 || 12 ||linebreakstl2linebreakshopthelook|| 1 || 2 || 3 || 4|| 5 || 6 || 7 ||linebreak

Paint- Solver ‘Cape Horn’

Carpet- Trevors Carpets ‘Conandale Colour 930- Grey Drift’

Sheers- The Blinds Gallery ‘Warwick Corfu Moonlight’

Please Note- If something is linked to the main store (rather than the direct product) it means they are out of stock online but it’s always worth calling your local store to double check their stock levels. The headboard can be custom made through me. The side stool and the ottoman were sourced through a furniture supplier so unfortunately I don’t have links for those two items, sorry.linebreak5All images are the property of Tarina Lyell T/A Oh Eight Oh Nine and must not be used or published in any way without written consent.linebreak

Magical Village Nursery Reveal

9.pnglinebreakHappy December everyone!

I hope you’re all well and enjoying the festive season so far! Today I want to share a beautiful nursery that I recently completed in the new Homebuyers Centre ‘Vienna’ Display Home. As most of you know, I love to incorporate a few affordable products into my designs so I can spend more on features within the room that will create an impact. I’ll run through some of my selections and explain why I have chosen these pieces as part of this sweet nursery space.

I usually try to save the most money on furniture pieces in nurseries and children’s bedrooms. This is because, in reality as children grow we accomodate their needs and purchase larger/ more appropriate furniture over the years. Our babies outgrow their cots, change tables, rocking chairs, toddler beds, even single beds. So with this in mind, I always try to make budget friendly choices, that are still practical and functional for the client.linebreak5linebreakThe Koppang 3 Drawer Chest from Ikea ($199.00) is a great option if you’re looking for an affordable change table that can also be used as a dresser. The height (I find) is way more practical to change a baby’s clothes/nappy than the Hemnes Dresser , however the Koppang only comes in the 90cm size. I then shopped online for some cute handles that would compliment the rest of the room and make their own unique feature within the space. I purchased these Oak and White ‘Wok’ knobs here ($14.00 each.)

If you do purchase the Koppang Chest as a change table you will need to buy a slimmer change pad. I got the Homebuyers Centre one here and it fits really well for both the width and depth measurements. Another plus is that you can use a bassinet sheet as the cover! This gives you more variety when shopping because I find change pad styles quite limiting. Please Note- I know a lot of people use the mat resting on their change table or chest, however, it is always strongly recommended that you secure it to the unit to prevent any slipping.linebreak4linebreakThe next product I was going to write about is the Hayden Cot from Pottery Barn Kids but it’s sold out, sorry! Never mind, I will show you some other designs that are nice, neutral and budget friendly!! Don’t get me wrong either- I love a branded cot (like Oeuf, Babyletto or Ubabub) but sometimes budget does not permit and that’s when I start hunting for something just as appealing- without the higher price tag. Below are 6 great cot options that won’t break the bank- All coming in at under $500.00 each!linebreakCotsUnder500.jpglinebreakshopthelook|| 1 || 2 || 3 || 4 || 5 || 6 ||linebreakWhile on the topic of bedding, if you’re not too fussy, you can pick up a brand new cot mattress for under $90.00. I personally have never bought an expensive mattress for Chet and he slept through the night consistently from 3 weeks old. Even now he has a single size mattress from Amart Furniture and we’ve had no issues with it. Check these two links from Kmart ($89.00) and BigW ($90.00) for an affordable cot mattress- Just double check your measurements before purchasing.linebreak6linebreakNow to shelves! I’m pretty sure the MELLÖSA picture ledge are a fairly new Ikea design (to Perth anyway) because I only just discovered them a few months back!! They make a great, affordable book shelf, look super sleek and in comparison to other acrylic designs on the market- are a fraction of the price ($16.00 each.) Some other budget friendly purchases in this nursery are the Ottoman from Spotlight ($110.00,) Canopy from Adairs ($99.00) and Throw from Kmart ($12.00.)

With all these small savings, I was able to purchase the gorgeous Maison Village wallpaper mural from Scandinavian Wallpaper. It’s beyond amazing and even more magical in person. It is a feature within itself and I feel like it is a design that will easily adapt as your child grows. I also allocated a bit of extra money to use some ‘Shop Small’ decor items like the Plush Toys from Spinkie, the Bear Head from Leo and Bella and the Hot Air Balloon Pendant Light from The Little Interior.linebreak2.pnglinebreak3linebreakIf you’ve come across any great money savings ideas or affordable products for children’s bedrooms/ nurseries, please feel free to add them below in the comments section. I, and many others would love to read all about it 🙂

If you’d like to walk through the ‘Vienna’ Display Home in person, it can be located at 16 Quartz Road, Treeby, Perth. More details including opening times can be found on the Homebuyers Centre website.

Much love,

T xx

linebreakshopthelook|| Wallpaper || Cot- Unavailable || Dresser || Handles || Change Pad || Bassinet Sheet/ Change Pad Cover ||  Rug 160x230cm || Chair || Canopy || Ottoman || Hot Air Balloon Pendant || Bear Head || Plush Toys || Throw || Cot Linen || Shelves || Rocker ||

Sheer curtains are from The Blinds Gallery – Fabric – Warwick Corfu Moonlight

Carpet – Trevors – Victoria Carpets Elmview 51 1403 Murry Grey

Paint Colour – Taubmans – Barely Beige 1/4 Strengthlinebreak8linebreak