Displaying posts from June, 2012

I truly, truly believe that New Zealand is the most spectacular country on this earth. And if I wanted to sip fine wine, dine with a view and hot tub with an amazing vista then I might just have to do it at the Matakauri Lodge on Lake Wakatipu just minutes from Queenstown. Summer would be amazing but can you imagine winter? Light the fire, warm up the tub, amazing skiing is calling and if I could well… I would. I really, really would.

Fiona sent us an email about her bathroom and kitchen renovations that she did on a budget. She even included a breakdown of costs and the after photos are a big improvement, particularly the bathroom which you’llsee after the jump. First up, Fiona’s kitchen. 

I couldn’t afford $20-$25K for a brand new kitchen, so I spruced up what I already had. My blue laminate bench top was covered with 12mm thick stone (fitted in a few hours), the kitchen splashback tiles were removed & the same stone was fixed to the walls. I had an overhead cupboard made which included a hidden under cupboard range hood. I scoured Google images to find a design I liked and had it made by a cabinet maker. I had the floor tiles replaced (and extended to include the dining & entrance way). Finally, I had my oven and cook top professionally cleaned to fit in with my ‘new’ kitchen. I kept all my appliances and existing sink with mixer to keep costs low. My price breakdown was:-

* Kitchen, entrance & dining floor tile removal & laying $1950
* Kitchen floor tiles & grout $1012
* Range hood including ducting kit $442
* Stone bench top & splashback $3830
* Floating cabinet $3500 (included installation of cabinet, installation of range hood & removal, patching & painting of old ceiling fan)
* Kitchen wall tile removal $400



I thought I’d share with you my bathroom renovation also – all with the help of Ebay! It all came as a shock to me when I received quotes for between $18-$20K.  I thought about ways to keep costs down for materials down & sourced most items on eBay.  My price break down was as follows:-
2 x Caroma Basins & chrome pop ups $584 (ebay)
Wall mounted soap dispenser & tumbler $15 (ebay)
2 x Chrome towels rails $80 (ebay)
Wall mount bath tap set $269 (ebay)
2 x Tower Basin Taps $310 (ebay)
Shower Mixer $89 (ebay)
Sliding Shower Rail $159 (ebay)
Polymarble shower base with stainless steel grille $199 (ebay)
Chrome ceiling fan $165 (online)
Mirror Cabinet $159 (ebay)
Floor & wall tiles 60 x 30cm + grout $820
Mosaic Tiles $380
Downlights $240
Bathroom labour/plumbing (4 weeks), custom made vanity & semi-frameless shower screen $11.5K.

We kept the existing the bath & re-configured the space so that the bath sits under the window & the vanity is now where the bath is.  We wouldn’t have been able to accommodate two basins where the old vanity was with the window in the way – I  thought about a sliding mirror across the window, but everyone convinced me otherwise & I’m happy I listened!



A very small space that lives big

Posted on Tue, 12 Jun 2012 by KiM

We received an email from Robert Garneau of Studio Garneau, an architecture firm in New York, about one of their award-winning renovation projects called Transformer (a derelict pre-war studio apartment). This is one of the coolest and most efficient uses of a small space I have seen in a LONG time. Here is a quick breakdown of what they did and the features of the space. 

  1. Sliding a wall carves a bedroom from the living room, while revealing a library or a home office.
  2. Sliding wall transforms into surface for projector for movie-watching.
  3. Tilting down a wall-bed unveils a walnut clad sleeping nook complete with bedside niches.
  4. Wall-bed tucks away tp create yoga niche.
  5. A tiled washroom wall opens to expose walnut clad laundry hampers and linen closets.
  6. Pressing a button converts a dining table into a countertop, complete with secret compartment inside.
  7. Custom modular sofa can be configured into queen size bed. 

Six Degrees

Posted on Tue, 12 Jun 2012 by midcenturyjo

Melbourne architectural firm Six Degrees (the name derives from the chilly temperature on the iconic Nylex clock the day names were being discussed) is known for embracing human scale in their work, raw materials used in unexpectedly rich, quality finishes, materials that age and tell their story with time, layering and the Japanese concept of “gomi” or utilising unwanted objects,  re-inventeding them to suit a new purpose. Although now more widely know for their high use commercial and cultural spaces it is their smaller, domestic designs that I think really embrace their ideas of human scale, rich layering, reuse and raw materials.

Casa Olivi

Posted on Tue, 12 Jun 2012 by midcenturyjo

In the heart of the Marches in Italy is a 300 hundred year old farm that combines tradition with the modern, minimalist with the sensory, rough walls with streamlined severity, luxury with simplicity. 360 degree views meet bastion like walls. Infinity pool reaches forever and cool stone is cave like. Casa Olivi, heritage protected, has been renovated by its owners into a luxurious holiday home. Design by Swiss architects Markus Wespi and Jerome de Meuron. This stylish piece of Italy is available for holiday let. More information at Casa Olivi. ***Update: Now available to rent via Paradizo Private Collection