Rove Concepts

DHgate has all for travelling

Feathers and my fat fingers

Meet the newest member of our family. Sunny. I'd love to tell you if it's a he or a she but we have to wait a couple of weeks to do a blood test to find out. Let's call him he for the moment. I took these photos while working in my office. Sunny has a large cage in the man cave for night time sleeping but spends most of the day on his perch atop his home watching the world go by outside the window, commanding top spot on our shoulders as we walk around the house or his favourite spot, doing tumbles and lying on his back for tummy rubs on my chest. Fortunately I have a large chest so he doesn't fall off. He also loves the few moles I have on my neck which explains the scarf I'm wearing. Right now he is climbing in and out of its folds, nipping me and running away. HE thinks it's fun!

Sunny is a sun conure, born into the pet trade, raised by hand and very, very tame. My husband loves birds. Ridiculously so. He has always had them as pets and loves the interaction he has with them. As for me? I'm torn because I think I would rather see them free in their native environment. Sunny unfortunately can't hop a flight back to the forests of South America. He is part of my home now and I guess I better get used to him pooping on my floor and chewing my ear lobes. He is kinda cute when he tumble rolls around my chest and chirrups for a rub.

Expect to see more of Sunny in photos of the house. He's quite the character and will be part of our family for 25 to 30 years. Just hope he doesn't start chewing the furniture. He already has a fascination for my fingers typing and the keys!


Beni Ouarain

Once upon a time there was a woman, let's call her Jo, who fell in love with a carpet. A big, hairy brute of a rug. It was a love that dare not speak its name because the rug was way out of her reach. So she sat and she daydreamed and she saved her pennies and she daydreamed. Then her path crossed that of Cassie Karinsky. The fates smiled. Cassie wove her magical Moroccan (via Sydney) spell and the beni ourain was hers at last.

You'll remember Cassie from my post about her interiors and styling business in Morocco, Muskelil. You would have seen her name again on DTI when I went to Sydney recently. She's the manager of Linda Gregoriou's aladdin's cave of a shop Pure and General. Like a temptress on the rocks she lured me in with tales of rugs so soft and thick, lush and heavy that I couldn't resist. And when I set eyes on the brute I was smitten utterly and irrevocably. Cassie is soon to start a new business here in Australia and you'll see it on DTI when she does but if all things Moroccan send your heart aflutter then she is definitely your woman. She'll work with her contacts over there and find your dream piece. You can email her here.

OK down to the facts. The new love of my life is 400cm by 210cm. Weighs 30kg. Matches Mickey's fur perfectly and is so thick that it feels like walking on a mattress. It covers a large swath of my living room floor hiding the ugly "terracotta" tiles and brightens the room right up. I promise that the furniture won't sit around the edges like that houndstooth chair appears to be now. I needed a big unobstructed picture of my new love. No shots of the room yet because half the furniture isn't here, the walls aren't painted yet and well it just looks shocking ;) Painter starts prepping the walls this week after the plasterer finishes just a few more spots. I can't believe that it was the beginning of June when I announced to the world that the painting was about to begin ... and now it finally is at the end of August. One thing this new old house has taught me is patience. You might remember that I am painting the living room in a dark brown Murabond paint. The beni ourain will lighten the room and be rich enough to balance the wall colour.

And now for a gratuitous gif of Mickey and the brute. Just because I'm so obsessed with both!

how do you make a gif


Glacial progress


Who said this would be a quick re-do? I need my head read. Honestly between work and blogging and weekends trying to get a life, time passes and nothing much gets done :) The counter tops go on this week hopefully. A good friend of Kelvin's is giving us a hand and this is why the counters aren't done yet. He wanted to get a better quality plywood. LOL. He may blow the budget out by $20! Speaking of budget it has come in around $150. Doesn't include props and the little paintings but, except for the paintings, everything is from thrift stores and only a few bucks each. (Oh make that $200 because I forgot to add in the 2 industrial pendants I put up soon after I moved in.)


I'm experimenting with different stains and strengths as well as just finishing with coats of danish oil for the plywood. I'm leaning towards a thinned out japan black stain, oiled then waxed. That will probably change by next weekend! So these shots just have a piece of raw plywood to give you an idea. There will be tops and edge strips in 5mm ply. The matt black acrylic paint is definitely not working so I'm painting it gloss. Next weekend ... or maybe the weekend after ...


I popped up 2 white wooden shelves and threw up some copper and coffee pots, kettles and a colander. A smattering of West German and studio pottery and some Hornsea. I think I have too many wooden spoons. There are 2 more jars out of view. Old wooden step ladder holding a set of yellow enamel pots and my 4 small paintings I got at a recent exhibition. And look! My bookcover wall is finished! Yeah! Just wish the kitchen was as well.



Kitchen progress

... baby steps remember. I finished my book cover wall for now. I sanded the collage to smooth the raised edges and sealed with an oil based polyurethane in low sheen. (I normally use a water based "varnish" because it doesn't yellow but this is what my husband brought home on his trip to the hardware store. In this case the slight discolouration worked.) Decided not to "whitewash" or tea stain for now. I want to live with it and let the kitchen develop a bit more. I really liked the very graphic effect that the unsanded covers had but I needed to smooth the wall to minimise the grease trapping effect. I can still smear or dry brush a thin coloured wash over it some time in the future. The distressed look also will help minimise any further damage or scratches (a common occurrence in a "blind" house).

The fresh white trims look soooo clean and the sliding door is done too. Just not hung yet. K misplaced the screws. (Another common occurrence in a "blind" house.) We are going to be gluing 5mm plywood to the counter tops as a cheap short term fix. I couldn't justify the couple of hundred dollars on IKEA timber tops that I may never use again or may not be the right size for the next kitchen incarnation when $20 of plywood will do for a year. I need to sand it smooooooooth, stain it to blend with the floor better, then I think I will oil it over and over and over .... so soothing. Finish with wax and a good buff. I suspect that it will stain and peel and look ugly around the sink when it gets wet but it is only a temporary (and I really mean cheap) cosmetic fix. I popped up some open shelves in the spot where the suicidal cabinet once lived. Painted them white and now my copper pieces are slugging it out to see who gets to live there. Hopefully I can get some pics on the weekend when and if it is sunny. Put my kilims back in. Style the other open shelves and we are done .... until next year after we have saved up the money for a new kitchen. All up I think if we had bought everything from scratch the kitchen will cost us about $140 but it's a lot less because we had so much of it already.

The plasterers have been. That was quick! Walls look much the same just full of wet plaster holes smoothed over. Ready to paint in 10 days. Painter is here on Friday to start the final prep work. Big job even though we have done a sizable chunk of it to cut costs.


What to do with my hall and stairs

I'm happy with my colour choices for the living room and dining room (not telling yet) but they are dark and they have thrown my entry hall, stairs and landing plans into disarray. I want to paint the walls white with black trim and black doors. I have always loved black gloss doors in an old house. Having said that I mean the upstairs doors that are already painted. If they were still in their original shellac finished cedar like the downstairs doors I'd live them natural. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind painting wood but the downstairs doors and some trim have survived 150 in the original state and I get a kick out of that.




My problem is that you will be looking from a dark room through a bright white hall into a dark room. Solution ... paint the hall dark. Yay! Problem ... there is no real "end" to the wall. No obvious place to stop. The wall continues up the stairs and then up a double height to the floor above because I have a floating landing. Hope you understand the pictures. I've included my original video of the house as we moved in to give you another perspective.


If I painted the hall dark where do I stop? I had thought that I would colour block up that downstairs wall and across the ceiling while the white started at the front door wall and continued up the wall along the long flight of stairs up to the top landing and along the "Mary" wall until it met the block of colour coming up from below. Then I thought that would be just strange and contrived. I could be dark all the way up. A grey or brown or blue but that would spoil the drama of individual rooms if everything was dark dark dark. Or maybe not. My bedroom will be dark. LOL. Dark is my darling at the moment. Was thinking black but now I'm leaning towards the indigo in the previous post. Across the hall is my office/studio and this is the room I want white with a scandi boho feel.  Open the black door and bam! bright and white and colourful with art. This is the room that gets the morning sun and leads out to the front veranda. A beautiful place to create and blog. I'm so lucky I know. Don't you hate me!


So back to the hall and stairs. My solution at the moment is to wallpaper the bottom hall. Book wallpaper is tickling my fancy. Here are some examples.

Deborah Bowness

Seen here in Lyn Gardener's Daylesford house.



Library by Andrew Martin

Young & Battaglia's Vintage Bookshelf and White Bookshelf that I have found online here.

OK now it's your turn. Go for it. Pull no punches. Give me your two cents worth. Paint or paper? Dark or light? Where do I stop? How do I stop?