If you’ve ever attempted a semi-small renovation, you’ll understand when I say that it’s the final stages that seem to drag on forever. I think it’s because with demo work, the results are virtually instantaneous – here’s a wall and now it’s gone. But the fiddly bits don’t have such instant visual gratification for me and I really have to push through to see my vision come to life… Continue reading



original bathroom

Pretty in pink

Many moons ago, well six years ago to be exact, I attempted my very first bathroom update. It all stemmed from the fact the 1960s steel window in my unit needed to be replaced. It didn’t have a latch so swung freely in the breeze thus becoming a potential danger should it drop off its rusted hinges and fall onto someone below.

The Body Corporate arranged it’s replacement. Unfortunately, the man who undertook the work was a) like a bull in a China shop, and b) sleazy/creepy crawly. (Note to self – this is one time I wished a male friend was present). Continue reading


Laundry door

The old laundry door – had to go!

The vestibule area was an unusable space. I had grand plans to eventually re-work this whole space so all I could try to do was lighten and brighten and make its usability more friendly. The previous owners had built a single bi-fold door for the laundry area that, would flap around should there be a window or door open. It was bulky and well, ugly don’t you think?!

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GROUT & ABOUT: A guide to grouting

Grouting is one of the easiest DIY tasks to master. With just a few tools and tips, you’ll be a pro in no time. 

Before you head to the hardware store, here are a few things to consider:

  • The size of your tile joints – ensure you buy a grout suitable to the size of your tile joint.
  • The tile you are using it with – there are different products available for different materials such as natural stone and marble.
  • If you need a grout that combats mould – great for use in wet areas such as bathrooms.
  • If you need a flexible grout for areas where there’s movement in the wall/floor.
  • Premixed v’s powder – the premixed usually costs a little more but it saves you a bit more time and fuss. I usually go powdered.

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The bricked-up fireplace had been opened up again, the hole in the floor covered and the wall patched but my work here was just beginning. The trims needed to be freed of the hideous maroon stain/paint and the ceiling and walls were flaking. Oh and a cast-iron fire surround and mantle needed to be sourced. Deep breaths…IMG_8003 Continue reading


Anyone who’s renovated a house while living in it knows that there’s always one room that ends up being the dumping ground for furniture, boxes, stuff yet to be re-homed and junk that materialises from nowhere. That was my front bedroom. Besides the mammoth task of re-depositing said stuff, there was the even bigger task of bringing this room back inline with the rest of the house.

Front [storage] bedroom

Aside from the obvious items, I had no idea what was in here or where it materialised from (or where I re-housed it to be honest!)

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I love tiling. There I said it. I’m not afraid to admit it. This is the part of the reno that I enjoy… until it gets to the hard bits. The bathroom is small and does not get a lot of natural light so I decided to stick with lighter colours to reflect back as much light as possible. I had lusted after small grey hexagon marble tiles I had seen used in the States many moons ago but I just couldn’t afford them. (Check out my tile tip under Tips & Tricks!)

Instead I went completely off my own brief and chose what was a relatively new product back then – ceramic “floor boards” for the floors. This was in keeping with the relaxed beachy feel I was going for in the house.

Bathroom reno

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There are so many options/directions you can take in tiles so if you have a look or feel or even better, a reference, take it with you when you visit your big local tile store. 

BUT once you’ve decided on a tile and it’s a more “common” variety, go home and do some research. Shop around. Yes, you may have to travel a little further to grab a bargain but if you are like me and working to a budget of next-to-nothing, then a little time and effort can save you big bucks. I saved a few hundred dollars on my subway tiles just but shopping around. 


The bathroom was a shining example of 80s decor – peach tiles with gold accents. If you need a reminder of just how special it was, take a look here. In my [crazy] wisdom, I decided to renovate it just 3 weeks before Christmas. And it was my turn to host that year. Hmmm.

Aside from the fact it was just plain ugly, the wall tiles had also been used on the floor. Big no, no. Why? Because the wall tiles were designed to be just that – wall tiles. When the tiles on the floor got wet, they became extremely slippery (so I found out) and dangerous.  Continue reading