Rove Concepts

DHgate has all for travelling


Baby steps

It seems like nothing has been accomplished at the new old house. It has but it's boring stuff like cleaning and unpacking and sanding and gardening. The new painter starts in March (you have to wait for the best) so rooms are in limbo. We still have some of our favourite furniture pieces in storage and we are hoping to move them here soon. It has been raining cats and dogs for days and has only recently stopped in the last day or so. Scrub that! It has started again. (Which explains why the photos are a little dark and blurry ... that and I wasn't wearing my glasses.)


Kelvin was feeling left out of the house set up. "Drag that over here honey." "No put it back where it was." "I don't like that." "No there is nothing you can do to help. I'll have to do it." So on and so on. A small room at the rear of the house, the old stables, is his own personal space. The man cave. Somewhere to listen to his radio or his birds. Somewhere to relax or take Sunday afternoon naps. A place to have a drink with friends that drop by and b*tch about the wife. "She keeps moving the furniture round and round!"

Today we set up the man cave in its first incarnation. The room will be the last to be painted but Kelvin doesn't care. He told me he wanted a daybed, his leather chair and some storage. The couch is an old beaten up eBay find that I stripped and made the mattresses for. The leather chair is a thrift store find. The paintings are by Vincenzo Rizzo that have patiently waited for years for a home. There are 4 on one wall (you can only see three in the shot) and another behind the "buffet". Speaking of which, it's a student piece I bought from a final year exhibition when I was studying interior design many, many years ago. A vintage typewriter, a terrazzo lamp, artist's wooden model, bits and pieces that Kelvin chose and Gordon who still isn't a lamp. Cow hide on the floor and we are done. Still have to hang a blind on the window, hang a few more prints, maybe some logs for the little fireplace and perhaps a small rough hewn shelf as mantle. I need to find something to hide the power point and wiring right down the front of the chimney because moving it is way down the priorities list right now. Just noticed a whole heap of nails and hooks that need removing. There is a brass 5 arm octopus floor lamp still to come for behind the leather chair and the base of the bird cage needs some plants. Room done! Except it will probably change by next week :)


Santa how could I call you evil?!

Evil Santa I apologise for setting the crocodiles, lions and tigers onto you. I really do. (See below after the goodies and you'll know what I mean.) Perhaps you have been so generous this year because I built a shrine to you. Perhaps ... or maybe it's because you let me choose the presents this year :) That sexy green silk canape is making its way from the window to my living room. It is going to give me goosebumps paired with my green egg chair. Perhaps a little lightening of the wood finish oh so carefully. Evil Santa says it is a gift from Kelvin to me. It was a bargain!

My gift to K is a vintage, handmade pigeon carrier, all chippy, dinged and blue. K loves birds. A little too much for my liking (I still think rats with wings and how closely they are related to dinosaurs) but this box is perfect for the man cave. It's about a meter high and a little expensive but Evil Santa you made me do it! Balancing the slurge with a big fat billy bargain I give to you ... drum roll please ... my gift to myself.

This tripod is just too sexy for words with its pointy brass feet and bondage chain (ooops too much information) and will soon transform into a floor lamp. Are you sitting down? It was only $30. Evil Santa I love you. If I was at work I'd save you from the crocodiles. I would ... if I was at work instead of cooking at home. Merry Christmas!



Evil Santas and my work desk

I love evil Santas. You know those Santas, often retro, that give you the creeps. It's just that look in their eyes, the sneer on their lips. A flick of a paintbrush or a wayward stamp and a jolly old fellow becomes my favourite Christmas decoration ... the evil Santa.

This is my desk at work. Boring yes (remember my day job is for a government homeless health team) but now just a little more festive with the addition of one retro Santa and 36 new "made in China" handpainted Santas. Each work day until Christmas I am adding another 12.  Call me mad but it has got me in the spirit. Have you noticed that Santa is pole dancing with a snake? Just because he can.

"Little did they know the danger that walked amongst them ...." Hey it wasn't an exciting day at work OK?! :)


And I thought I had problems before


You have to laugh or you'd start crying. That is my lovely old floor after my painters started "painting".  Not what I was expecting. It's a long and involved story that can be summed up simply ... they were cowboys. A supposedly reputable firm sends a cowboy crew to my home to "paint". First they didn't start in the room they said they would (the bedroom which we had stripped of furniture). They decided to start with the office and spray it (I was not informed this was how they were going to "paint"). I have seen rooms that have been professionally sprayed and they can turn out OK ... if the room is cleared of furniture, heavy drop cloths or plastic used, lots of masking and taping and covering up everything that isn't to be sprayed. This is what I found when I got home. I don't need to explain the carnage.



Painters had gone home for the day but quick as a flash I was on the phone. I remember threats and profanities were used by me and profuse apologies by the painter. "We'll fix it! I promise." I wanted to sack them then and there but they had the keys to my house and I was worried that they would take "payment" by way of computers or TVs when we weren't home. With trepidation I let them come back the next day to clean up. They were there when I got home. It was worse!



The floors that were covered in paint spots and a fine mist of white paint which they tried to wipe off turning it into a "whitewash" were now splotchy and discoloured. They had used methylated spirits, sponges and a scraper and preceded to ruin my floors even further if possible. "Don't worry we'll fix it with varnish." It was at that stage I screamed at them to get out :)

I have spent a day trying to fix the problem but I'm admitting defeat for the moment. My 150 year old cedar floors had been shellaced at some stage of their lives and the metho had removed the finish. Worse still it softened the finish and mixed it with the remains of the paint producing muddy white clouds of now reset shellac/paint all over my floor. The beautiful thick waxy finish is stripped away and well you can see the results. Wine helped last night and jam and cream donuts have made today's efforts a little more bearable but it's f*cked. Want to see what it was like before?

It was never perfect. There were some areas of slight discolouration, some scratches but there was also this lovely richness, a thick, smooth and silky finish underfoot darkened with age. Like a lovely old piece of furniture you have polished over and over. It was what I loved about these rooms. People have said sand it back, refinish it and most likely I will have to but what I will be losing is the history. The boards are cupped with age. You can see shallow trails worn into the timber over 150 years where people have walked the same path from door to door or door to bed. I love that. Now I'll have to rip its history away with a belt sander and have a "brand spanking new floor". I think I need another donut! Here's my before video. Goodbye floors. I miss you.


Houston we have a problem ...


Edward and Tom have started stripping the wallpaper. Scratch that. They have finished stripping the wallpaper and I must say despite the mess and chaos it looks fab. I can see where it is going and I love it. One problem though. They found damp. Ouch! Not surprising as large parts of my ground floor are underground. The building report showed nothing and we were surprised. We definitely expected some moisture. Might have something to do with years of drought finally breaking with a big momma of a la Nina. Wet, wet, wet for months. Good news is that it can be fixed. Bad news is the price goes up. But my mad Irish painters are very competitive on price so it is onwards and upwards ... or is that downwards and underground. Plaster off, sealant x lots, plaster on, paint and then address the drainage problems. Fun! Paint soon though. Oooooh paint!!!!!!