Room Reveal – Laundry

Building, Decor, Home, Lifestyle, Styling

It’s officially here! Our very first room reveal. And I have to admit – it is one of my favourite rooms of the whole house (disclaimer: you are going to hear me say that A LOT in the coming weeks!). This room is a space that i designed to be 100% functional. Room for storage, the appliances we wanted and for it to also look pretty (not necessarily in that order).

Functionally, I wanted lots of bench space for folding, plenty of overhead cupboards for storage, a hanging rail for drying, a pull out laundry hamper to hide away the dirty clothes and, most importantly, a wine fridge for celebrating when all the work is DONE!

Being a laundry didn’t mean that it needed to be bland, boring and have no thought go into how it was going to be used. I changed the position of the sink at least 8 times throughout the design process. Ultimately this design works the best for us, for how we use the laundry, but also for how it connects to the rooms around it. The laundry is one of our first points when we enter the house, so it needed to be calming and welcoming. It needed to be an extension of the rest of our home, so neutral colours with a splash of brass (HELLO ABI Interiors brass fixtures!) and plenty of natural light was essential for the flow of our home. It is also connects to the outdoors via a full pane glass door, so it needed to be planned in a way that we could glide through easily (primarily to slide on through and grab a drink from the wine fridge!).

I did a lot of research into the products that I wanted to use in here. I tossed up between engineered stone and Laminex bench tops and in the end decided to go for the Laminex. The laundry is a space that we use daily for so many different functions, so I wanted to be sure that the products I used there would be able to withstand this. e.g. washing out paintbrushes with turps etc. For me personally, I would have a difficult time accepting damaging stone, so for this reason, Laminex was the winner. We went with a design that complimented the rest of the stone throughout the house and chose the Carrara Marble in a gloss finish (you can find all the products linked below).

Now for the pretty touches! The entire aesthetic behind the laundry was based around brass fixtures, so beautiful ABI Interiors were of course my first choice. I had seen them in my favourite magazines and knew that they would make a statement in our laundry. I also featured the same fixtures throughout the rest of our home, which gives a gentle and continual flow from the laundry to the rest of the home. It was important to me that all the fixtures had the same brass finish, so even the tile insert (drain/waste) in the floor had to be brass.

I am a firm believer in the finer details being spot on, so this was something that was non-negotiable. The fab part about selecting all of our fixtures from ABI Interiors is that the finish and colour of the brass completely matches. You would think that brass would be the same universal colour, right? WRONG! There is a huge variety in brass finishes (some are more gold, some much more orange) and then there is polished brass, antique brass, satin brass, distressed antique brass….the list goes on. Trust me when I tell you how valuable it is to find one company who are as versatile in providing such a huge range of products to fit out all the areas of your home like ABI Interiors does!

So here it is, our very first room reveal! I hope it was everything you expected and more. I can’t wait to bring you more spaces within our home!

I’d love to hear what you think of our Laundry – make sure you leave a comment below if you have any questions of comments, I always love to hear from you!

Brass Sink – ABI Interiors

Brass Tap – ABI Interiors

Brass Floor Waste – ABI Interiors

Door handles – Lo&Co Interiors

Tiles – Beaumont Tiles

Benchtop – Laminex Carrara Marble

Glass jars – Kmart

Cork Top Bottle – Kmart

Brass Curtain Rod – Spotlight

Round Brass Tray – IKEA

Top Tips for Packing + Moving

Building, Home

By now, I would consider Dave and I professional packers and movers. We have moved 4 times in 4 years, so I guess we have kind of earned that title! And from this self proclaimed professional packer (try saying that fast five times), I am here to offer up my 14 Top Tips For Packing + Moving!

Time is everything…and give yourself plenty of it! Packing ALL OF YOUR EARTHLY POSSESSIONS into little boxes is no easy task. Moving house can also be a really emotional time. So don’t put extra pressure on an already stressful situation by leaving it to the last minute (says the queen of procrastination…..).

In life we’re always told to THINK BIG. DREAM BIG. ACHIEVE BIG. But with moving I am here to tell you the opposite *gasp* and…….think small! Break the packing into small, manageable tasks. Plan to pack a certain cupboard at a particular time. Once that’s done, pat yourself on the back (trust me, you deserve it!) and move onto the next small manageable task. Before you know it, you will have completed a whole room. And then the next room and the next and then the whole house! If you’re a real freak like me, you can make yourself a planner with specific rooms you want to complete on certain days. I tell you, there is NOTHING more satisfying than ticking that bad boy off, room by room!

I ‘aint no Marie Kondo, but girl….it’s time to let go of the things holding you down and stressing you out! I have a little rule of thumb, and it’s got nothing to do with holding an item close to my heart and whispering things to it (thanks Marie, but no thanks): if I haven’t used it, worn it or needed it in the past 12 months, it’s time to say goodbye. Obviously there are certain exceptions to the rule – sentimental items and things that I genuinely love stay etc. But there is no way in hell that I am sweating and swearing and lugging boxes of things that I don’t love or need from one house to the next. It goes before I go (before I move from the house, I mean. I’m not planning on dying any time soon).

I know what you’re thinking…..”Now hold on for a hot damn second, crazy lady….you’re telling me to orgainise BEFORE i move? BEFORE? Are you insane?” (my answer to that is, technically no, but my husband might tell you different..) I feel like moving to a new house is a chance to have a fresh start. Start anew. Turn over a new leaf. SO when i say to get organised before you go, i mean to start planning your storage solutions in the new place. If you are able, spend a little bit of time in the new place with a measuring tape and a clip board. Have a think about where certain items will be stored. Do you want them tubs or loose in the cupboard? If you’re thinking tubs, definitely measure the height of your cupboards to then be able to find a storage solution that works for you. Trust me, there is NOTHING more annoying than thinking you have found the perfect tub to only find that it doesn’t fit. So do the leg work before you get there!

It took me a little while to figure this out…buuuuuut……find smaller boxes, rather than large ones. Why would you want to do that? Smaller boxes will fit less!I used to pack everything into larger boxes, thinking it would be handier to pack a lot away in the one go. However, try lifting a HUGE box of books. 2 smaller ones are much more manageable to carry yourself.

So where do you find your boxes from? There are a few places you can try. Friends and family that have moved before you. I can guarantee that they’d only be too happy for you to take them off their hand. Also, if you contact the bigger homewear chain stores, they are happy for you to collect their boxes after they have stocked their shelves…their boxes are always really sturdy and it’s so much better for the environment to re-use.

Get groups of things together. Collect up all your faux flowers for one box. All your trays for another. Your coffee table books in another. That way, when you are unpacking, or looking for an item in particular, you will know that your Tom Ford book is inside the box labelled ‘coffee table books’, rather than searching through 17 different boxes that have all sort of assorted books in them. Also, putting your items together is also a good way of you to take stock of what you have. Do I really need another Chanel coffee table book when I already have 5?

(p.s. the answer to that question is ALWAYS YES!)

May sound obvious, but always wrap up your precious pieces, even if you’re only moving around the corner. It would be so sad to get to your new place, excited to unpack your special things, to find them in a shattered mess in the bottom of the box (not to mention glass poking through a box when you’re moving it is never a good idea). Wrap it in whatever you think will keep them protected. I never pack a box of towels or tea towels or blankets. I always use the bigger towels or blankets as buffers between furniture or paintings, or for my tea towels, I use them to wrap smaller items. You’d be surprised how much you look for this stuff on your actual moving day, for a bit of protection on your furniture. If I was given a $$ for every time Dave asked me ‘Have you got something I can use to pop here….” I would be a very rich woman indeed!

You can also start collecting newspapers to wrap glasses etc and can buy bulk bubble wrap from wholesale packaging stores, rather than Bunnings or Office Works – they tend to charge more. Shop around! And remember to save it for next time, that stuff isn’t cheap!

After you’ve taped up your box, label it straight away. Write straight onto the tape (i’ll explain why in a minute). Write where in your house it is going e.g. Living room, master bedroom, bathroom etc and what is in it in smaller writing underneath. If you write which room it is going into, friends or family that are helping you cart boxes won’t be asking where you want it to go. Also, tape up and label straight away. Honestly, in the time it takes to tape the box and reach for the permanent marker, I can tell you that I’ve completely forgotten whats inside (that might just be me. Baby brain 5 years later is still a thing, right?). Don’t kid yourself into thinking that you’ll remember based on the size and shape of the box. You’ll have a mountain of them!

Back to writing on the tape. If you’re a habitual mover like us, this won’t be your first, or your last rodeo. You might need to use your boxes a few times over. Writing on the tape means that you can pull it all off when you’re flattening your boxes to store them. When you come to use them for the next move, you don’t have a whole scribble of ‘where’ and ‘what’ from last time. Feels like a fresh, new box.

You’ve got yourself some full boxes and some emptied rooms, whoop whoop! Now what to do with them? You’ve got a couple of choices here, and which ever option you go with will be what works best in your personal situation. I like to move boxes out to the garage as soon as they are packed, to make room for the next box. Completely emptying a room, and looking around to see just the furniture left feels like you’re really getting somewhere, achieving things and making a difference. When you put them in the garage, try to collect them room by room. E.g. All the pantry stuff here. And all the toy room boxes there. That way when you come to actually move, you’re not jumping from one room to the next and all jumbled all over the place. You’re making trips to and from the same room without having to think too much.

However, putting boxes in the garage might not be an option. So I would suggest stacking them in the middle of the room. You’ll be able to clean around them (vacuuming and wiping down skirting boards is SO MUCH FUN, right? *insert sarcastic tone here*.

Here I am….stating the obvious…but don’t stack your boxes too high. Or too heavy. Put the bigger, heavier ones on the bottom and the lighter,smaller ones towards the top. There is no greater feeling of panic than when you see the Leaning Tower of Boxes start to crumble and tumble.

Start shopping in your pantry for dinner ideas in the weeks leading up to moving. My hubby had a bit of a thing for curried sausages a while back, so when it was his turn to do the grocery shopping, he’d always buy a jar of ready made curry sauce (don’t know why he bought it, don’t even use it). However, I’m not chucking it out, so one of this weeks meals is going to be curried sausages. The less stuff I have to box up and move, the better. Check out what you have in your pantry and in your freezer and start using it up!

When it comes time to actually move, you’ll want to try and have most of the things in your fridge used up. But there will always be that pesky half bottle of milk and tub of butter that is not worth throwing away, and will be SO HANDY when you wake up on your first morning in your new place looking for tea and toast. We have one of those plug in portable Engels that you can use for camping etc. We’ll have our fridge empty and the left over bits popped int the smaller Engel. If you don’t have one, grab an Esky and some freezer blocks and you’re good to go.

Remember though, some fridges need to stand a while after moving them, before you can plug them back in again, so you’ll need some kind of back up to keep things cool while you wait.

We have moved a few different ways. And I sure as hell know which is best!

1. Do it yourself. Dave and I have moved everything from one house to another house all on our little old selves. And we had a LOT of furniture! We are a little insane, and hate asking people for help, or hate to inconvenience anyone. We started at the crack of dawn and were pretty much finished by about 9pm. HOWEVER, it was bloody hard work and we almost got divorced on at least 12 different occasions. Dave also had a bed frame fall from quite a height straight onto his head ( I sit here giggling to myself cause DAMN it was funny! Unfortunately for both of us, it didn’t knock any sense into him, and he also didn’t find it as funny as I did. I honest to god was IN HYSTERICS. (now that I think about it, this might have been one of the times we almost got divorced). If you know me well, you’ll know that I laugh out of control when someone hurts themselves. Yes. I am evil. But DAMN that shit is funny! Also unfortunately, he thought he might have knocked himself out for a few seconds, and possibly need to be taken to hospital. Thankfully he did survive and got to spend his first night in his own bed in the house he had spent 6 months building. Couple of takeaways from this experience. 1. Don’t be an idiot. Ask for help. 2. strap tall objects to side of truck. 3. help husband rather than wet pants laughing.

2. Ask Friends and Family to help. No brainer. See above for cautionary tale.

3. Hire Removalists. I have just discovered this one for this move….you can hire removalists by the hour, rather than by the house. I am going to be moving all the manageable boxes by my self during the week, and getting the removalists in to do the bigger furniture pieces, fridges and beds for a few hours on the morning of our moving day. They’ll come around to your house and give you a quote of how long they expect it will take and how much. It’s definitely worth looking into this one!

Moving is a HUGE task. It can be overwhelming, stressful and a very emotional time. The chances of forgetting to do something important can be really high. So I’ve thought about how I can help you out with this…and I’ve come up with a moving checklist! (you know how good it feels to tick things off, right?!).

You can click below to download. Make sure you tag me in your Insta stories when you use it – I would love to see how it is helping to make your move a little smoother and a little less stressful!

Embrace this new chapter in your life and make the most of it! It’s a new place, a new beginning, and literally, a new door opening for you!

Happy packing!

Best in The Business!

Building, Decor, Home, Styling

It was love at first sight.

The moment i laid eyes the amazing spaces Three Birds Renovations created, i knew I had to work with them. The opportunity arose to be part of their Reno School community and as soon as i signed up, i sunk my teeth so deep into the modules and i was literally swimming with ideas, strategies and a whole lots of interior inspiration…and it came at just the right time, we had started planning our next building project, and i was in need of a little direction and reassurance. Despite this being our third construction project, it was the first time we have decided to take on….HOLD YOUR BREATH….an owner build. Looking back now, i can’t even imagine what we were thinking. Probably something along the lines of

“we’ve built before, surely it cant be that hard

(Insert future Jo’s eye roll and forehead slap). Rookies. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into, but thankfully The Three Birds did, and the guidance they have provided through the use of their Reno School program has been incredible. A life saver, and a real game changer. You would think that the concepts of renovating and building would be vastly different, but what i have come to realise is that the planning and preparation is so similar. Despite this being a ‘renovation’ guide, it REALLY works for a new build to. The modules within the program include the areas of planning, finding the right trades, and planning stunning interiors, kitchens, bathrooms and laundries. They also offer advice on how to transform the exterior of your home as well. No stone is left un-turned!

And then this happened….Meeting the Three Birds Renovations girls was beyond fabulous. They are as down to Earth, helpful and as gorgeous in person as you could imagine they would be. During their guest appearance at the Sydney Home Show, they spoke candidly about their work and offered tips and tricks to bringing your dreams to life. I only had one question for them:

“How do you convince you builder…AKA husband…that white everything is a good idea?”

Thankfully Dave was with me at the time, and heard it straight from the source.

“It just is. It always is. Trust in your wife, she knows what she is doing.”

THANKS BONNIE!

I’m not going to lie and say that this piece of advice has avoided further arguments, but I can tell you that line is used over and over again when Dave tries to take the reigns on the design front! They reminded me to go with my gut instinct on design and to follow with my heart. That our home is our sanctuary and it needs to be a place we fall in love with over and over again when we wake up each morning.

So if you’re not sure where to start on your building or renovating journey, i can not recommend highly enough The Reno School by the Three Birds Renovations. You’ll find their content informative while also thoroughly enjoyable. They also offer amazing discounts to their tribe which can really save you a bundle. Their online videos make you feel as though you are a part of their design conversation and also offer plenty of laughs in what can be a really stressful experience.

I’d like to personally thank these amazing women for being so open in sharing their knowledge and advice and for letting me be a part of it. And also for giving me a little ammunition in the ‘creative discussions’ (that’s a nice way of putting it, right?) that i have with my husband when I inform him of my next design choice!

I owe you one girls…!

I can’t wait to share my spaces with you a they are brought to life. Make sure you are following along over on my design page, @dreaminginteriors to keep up to date with all the progress – wont be long now!

If you’re currently building, about to build, want to build, plan to build in the future, want to reno your current house, have a reno project you’d love to tackle, or are even slightly interested in any of the above, you HAVE to pop over and check out The Three Birds Reno School. Click HERE to find the answer to ALL of your questions!