Rove Concepts


Meet the newest member of our family, Dexter the sun conure. (Crappy photo I know but there will be more to come.) It's been almost 10 months since our boy parrot, Bubba, was startled and flew up into a tree. The problem was he didn't know how to fly down. That's him in that very, very, very tall pine tree in our neighbour's yard.

Try as we might we couldn't get him down and eventually he flew off into the big wide world. Heartbroken we swore we wouldn't get another. Our girl parrot Portia would get all our love.

That was until a friend asked if we would take her bird ... and we did. It's only been a couple of days but Portia and Dexter are getting along famously. Each has their own cage but they spend daylight hours out on perches and ropes in the stables only heading into bed at night. Most importantly they both have freshly clipped flight feathers. No more lost birds.


In the garden

Now that the house is painted it's time to work on the outdoor areas. I love gardening, well lazy gardening. I'm not one for formal hedges and lots of flowers I have to dehead. I'm more of a rambling rainforest look. When we first moved in the garden was a hot, barren mess. Thankfully we had two stands of golden cane palms but they were sad and neglected and a brick paved driveway that adds a little structure to the garden. Lots of plants, water and patience later and we have made some significant progress. We haven't spent much money. Most of what we have planted were pot plants I already had (plant liberation I call it) and cuttings from friends and from the plants we had established. We have found a wonderful plant resource here in Ipswich. The Salvation Army has a farm and nursery where the unemployed gain experience raising plants and selling them at bargain prices. Did I tell you I love bargain prices?

A little colour via the Salvation Army

Slowly we have worked from one area to the next, concentrating our efforts to make one section lush before moving on to the next. There is a long way still to go but what a change over 5 years. One of the first things I did after the house was painted was to move a table and chairs onto a small "patio" area we have just outside  the breezeway and kitchen. I ignored this area for so long because I hated the mismatched, flakey paint. The house looked so tired. Not anymore.The chairs are replicas but Kelvin did pick them up from a Big Brother house auction. The table is a vintage Vico Magistretti Stadio 120 bought from @katherinetheoldboathouse for a song. I still need to do a few things. Those security screens have to go. Who ever thought they were good looking in the first place? Yuck! I need more plants in pots to "lush" it out and a cover for the AC unit. The lightbulb needs to be changed out to something a bit funkier. 

Elkhorns on the palms. A friend had a large elkhorn they didn't want anymore so I chopped it up and spread it around. They are finally getting to a good size.

Training hoyas up the palm trunks.

A pre-painting picture. The bird cages have been moved down the back under the bamboo trees we planted and the area where they were is being planted out with elephant ears and walking iris. You can see some of the white chairs in their old home in front of the unused carport. That's one of the next projects. Needs a paint and big pot plants along the bottom of the cane blinds which screen Kelvin's workshop. We don't have a car so don't need it for that use. I'd like to make it a cabana but Kelvin says he needs the space for his tools etc.

A couple more shots pre-painting.

Looking back up the driveway before painting. You can see the compressor we used to power wash the walls. All of this was bare and blasted by the sun when we first moved in as you can see in the photo below.

You can see from these old photos of the stables taken soon after we moved in that there was little to no garden just outside. A lot different now ... as is this space which is serving as dressing room at the moment until we convert it to a bathroom.

The weather bureau is predicting a top temperature of 41 degrees on Friday, actual not "feels like". I hope my little garden doesn't get too burnt! I better make sure I keep the water up for the next few days to give it a helping hand.


Summer bedroom

It's a little difficult to go light and summery in a black bedroom. Here's my attempt at a little lightening up without actually buying anything new. (Note that I don't make my bed that often.) I'm thinking I might take up the flokati as the weather gets warmer.


And here she is

Ta da! So much better. Notice how the colour changes with the time of day.

Bottom two steps waiting to be fixed then they'll be painted. That ugly grey box is for our broadband internet service. Wonder if I can paint it? Here's one of the french doors onto the verandah in its new red paint.

And the front door while she was getting her first coat of gloss.

A shot while they were still painting the back section. Before they did the trims in the dark swamp brown :)



The old girl gets new paint

What she looked like before with all her fake "Victoriana" from an 80s renovation ...

... then we replaced her railings to something more appropriate for her age. And then ...

Yes after a hiatus that lasted FOREVER we have started our renovations again. It's time to give the old girl (I can't call her the new old house anymore as we have lived here for almost 6 years now) a new exterior coat of paint. Of course even that took forever to arrange. There were infinite paint choices, a little thing about sorting out the finances to see if we could stretch the budget to include a new kitchen and a bathroom and then there was the matter of a painter. After my horrendous painter experience in the past I was just a little bit wary about the whole process.

First let's talk about paint colours. I live in a heritage house but not a heritage listed house ... thankfully. My neighbours 2 doors down live in a house built in the same year as mine and have a heritage listing. They are doomed to forever live with a strange salmon coloured pink house with a red brown trim. I think you can see from my previous post that heritage colours of the time included a rich red brown, Brunswick green, burgundy and a clotted yellow cream that would give you high cholesterol if it was an actual food. Because the old girl wasn't listed I could paint her any colour I wanted, within reason. I'm sure I could have painted her black and people would have raised their eyebrows but they would not have been able to door anything about it. I didn't want to paint her black.

I wanted to paint her a colour that sat easily with the dark brown bricks she was built from. Ideally I would have liked her to be all bare brick again but it wasn't possible to get all the cement render that someone smothered  two sides of her in the 60s. To do so would have damaged the old bricks underneath. There was the chance that we could remove the paint from the kitchen wing as it seemed to be only painted not rendered. Enter Costa, a family friend, who spent a Saturday blasting paint off with a high pressure hose. It appeared to be working. There was a chance we could strip back to brick.

Then we hit the part of the building where they had bagged the brick in an attempt to cover old damage. No getting that shit off. Bare bricks 0 painting in our future 1. Friends kind of liked the shabby brick look that resulted from the pressure wash but I knew it would do my head in. It had to be painting. (P.S. Be warned pressure blasting paint off walls is a VERY messy business. VERY. I'm still cleaning up little flakes of paint from all over the garden.)

 Inspiration photo I found on Lonny.

Now I was talking about colours wasn't I? I hopped on the Dulux paint app and started saving favourites. Here are a few I considered.


As you can see they all fell within a brown meets khaki green palette perhaps with some mushroom thrown in. I knew I wanted a colour for the main walls to work back with the brick. I wanted an even darker almost black colour for the guttering, sills, verandah railing and anything else horizontal, vertical elements and windows in a white and the two main doors in a red. Off I want to Bunnings and came home with some sample pots, slapped some paint up on the wall and decided on Army Issue. Here is where I tell you the cautionary tale about paint colour apps, paint chips, paint sample pots and wall brush outs. None of them look the same. The app colour looks nothing like the paint chip which looks nothing like the sample pot when you open it or when it is dried on the wall. Nothing. I liked Army Issue. I thought it looked like that soft tan/khaki that is more a desert fatigues army issue than a dark jungle khaki army uniform. When it went up on the wall as the actual colour and dried it was a different colour all together again. My idea that was getting a sandy brown with a green bases with perhaps even a touch of mushroom grey became a full on Army Issue green. Should have realised from the name I guess :) Not what I thought I was getting but I still like it. It changes colour during the day from a warm based grey with a green tinge in the morning to army green during the day and darkens back to a greenish grey in the afternoon shade. I used to say to people giving me a lift home "Just pull in to the green house on the left." I think I will still be saying that or perhaps a slight change to "pull in to the khaki house."

The brush outs gave me no idea what was really coming.

The colours I really love are the trim colours. Namadji used on the horizontal trims and gutters is a rick dark brown with a touch of swamp while the white, White Duck Half has a lovely silvery feel. Then there are the doors in Red Box. Yum. But you'll have to wait till another post to see how it all turned out.