Creating a Family Drop Off Area

I knew when we bought this house there was no area to ‘dump stuff’ when we got home from wherever we have been.

Currently, when we get home most days ‘stuff’ gets dumped in the dining room which doesn’t work for me as it looks messy and I’m constantly tripping over said ‘stuff’.  Shoes lay on the floor, saxophone case is dumped and school bags thrown with little precision.

It’s driving me mad, so I’ve decided to make a drop off zone in an area that has no defined use.  It’s currently a hall that sits smack bang in the middle of the house.  There’s not enough room for it to be a room, but, is not exactly a hallway.

Here it is.

So, I’ve decided to build a bench seat with storage for all the ‘stuff’ that gets brought home.  It’s also an opportunity to hide all of the Internet cords.

Here is some inspiration, hopefully mine will be one to inspire others and my son to put his ‘stuff’ away.

Studio McGee

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Watch this space for my reveal.

Thanks for reading.

Jo xx

FINALLY – Fireplace Mantle Reveal

Hi again.  There’s been one job that my husband has been pushing me to complete for a while, and that’s the fireplace mantle.  I’ve been reluctant to do it for no other reason than I’m lacking motivation!  Meh!

We have so many half started projects, so what’s another one on the list?

We started with this beautiful fireplace that was surrounded by dark oppressive bricks, we both agreed the bricks needed to go and we needed to brighten the entire area.  We decided to sheet the entire area.  Here’s the link to that particular article.

This is what it looked like when we bought the property.


After all of the sheeting, tiling and painting was done, it was time to plan our mantle.

Here’s a photo pre-mantle.


After a bit of  research and lots of discussion with my husband, off we went to one of my favourite places, yes, that’s right, Bunnings!

We came back with this.


It doesn’t look like much now, but just wait and see.

To start, we measured each side of the fireplace, cut to the required height and attached the timbers on both sides of the fireplace with screws.  We placed timber behind the wall when we gyprocked the bricks so we knew where we could screw into the wall safely.


Next we measured the length of the timber needed to run horizontally along the top of the fireplace and cut to size.  Before attaching this piece to the wall the corbels needed to be attached to either side of the fireplace.  We needed to attached the corbels from behind so that there were no holes or screws seen at the front.

We also had to attach a smaller shelf for the mantle to sit safely on, as the corbels were not large enough to hold the mantle shelf safely.



We attached the horizontal timber with corbels and small shelf to the wall. Then attached some decorative strips of timber on each side of the fireplace under the corbels.

Next we measured the top shelf of the mantle, cut it to size and attached it to the top along with the trims for each shelf.

We also measured and cut the skirting board.  The mantle was nearly done, it Was just needed patching and painting.



It’s important to patch the holes you have made very carefully.  If not done ‘just right’ you will be able to tell where every screw and nail is after you’ve painted.  After all what’s a bit more time to get a great result!

Here she is….



Tick this baby off the list – it is done!!!!!

I’m so pleased with the result.  I still can’t believe it came out as good as it did.  I’m one very happy lady.  Now I’m off to decorate it!!!!!

Thanks for reading.

Jo xx







The kitchen is finally done/finished/completed!

Yep, it’s DONE!

Our original kitchen was, um, yellow.  I have nothing against the colour yellow, however, this was the kind of yellow that belonged  in the 80’s and should never have seen the 90’s let alone the new millennium.  All that yellow countertop combined with yellow stained pine.  Let’s just say it was all shades of yellow with a bit of brown thrown in there for good luck.

There was a reason the Real Estate agent didn’t put photos of the kitchen in any of their marketing brochures.

Here are some photos to give you an idea why.

It was dark and small and was definitely time to go.  It’s only saving grace was the skylight above the sink.

We decided to knock down the wall where the pantry  was to open the kitchen into the dining room, which was the best decision we had made.  It was demolition time!

Our budget was pretty small so we decided to go to IKEA.  You all know my love for IKEA, however I was slightly sceptical that an IKEA kitchen would be the right fit for us.  After researching for what seems like an endless amount of time we decided on an all white kitchen with matt black fixtures and fittings.

If you’re planning on installing an IKEA kitchen this site by I heart organizing has the best instructions I have found. They are very thorough and honest about the experience. Because by the time you have assembled your 24th cabinet you will have wished you paid someone to do this.

Once all the slate flooring was removed and the floors were levelled.  This is all the boring stuff no one tells you about!  We were able to start hanging our cabinets.

This is the fiddly part that we got our builder to help us with because older houses never have straight walls and floors.  Ours were a bit wonky to say the least!!!!


Once that was done we had the Caesarstone installed.  We used the caesarstone as the backsplash as well.

We chose gloss white doors, however, changed our minds and installed white shaker doors instead.  They look so amazing and match the style of the home perfectly.

All the plumbing and electrical was then installed, all those finishing touches completed and well here is the finished product.


Hooray!  That’s one big task off my list.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

Thanks for reading.

jo xx











How to choose the perfect light fitting

This is a concise article on everything you need to know about choosing and hanging your lights around he house.  It will save time and any disagreements on how to and where to hand your lighting.  The article is from  Check it out here  You can thank me later.

Jo. xx

New bathroom renovation

Happy days are here.  I’ve been given the green light to ‘tart up’ our downstairs bathroom.  That’s the good news.  The not so good news is that the bathroom looks like a nineties nightmare.  Peach tiles with feature tiles and border tiles to match.  They even stuck a tile to the vanity door, urgh!  I’m sure it was the height of fashion back in 1992, however that ship has sailed and it’s time I put my own stamp on it!  Here are some pictures.


This is what we are dealing with here.  The bathroom has underfloor heating which is working and we would like to keep.  It also has a heated towel rail which is a keeper.

So here’s my plan:

  1.  Paint floors, this should be interesting as I’ve never done this before. I want to keep the underfloor heating so the tiles have to stay.
  2. Shiplap and/or paint the walls, (obviously no shiplap in wet areas).
  3. Remove the row of mirrored cabinets and hope to the heavens that there are no nasty surprises behind them.  I understand they are great for storage but I am yet to meet anyone who requires 5 shaving cabinets in their bathroom.
  4. The spa is staying its white and not a problem, however, on a side note, its deep enough to drown in!
  5. The shower is staying.
  6. The vanity is staying, I will be changing the fronts of the cabinets.  I will also been replacing the taps on the vanity.  Here’s a pic of the ones I have ordered.


That’s my list thus far.  Off to Pinterest I go for some inspiration.  Check these out…

  1.  Painting the tiles


Here’s some eye candy!



Watch this space for my reveal.  Thanks for reading.

Jo xx

Images from Home Beautiful, Amazing Interior Design, Bella Mumma and Houzz.

DIY kids wall art project for the school holidays 

School holidays are here so I thought I would share a project my son and I did a couple of days ago.  My son is car crazy and since moving into our new home we have neglected decorating his bedroom.  So, this was the perfect time for him to have his say on how he wanted to decorate his room.

We decided on some vintage car posters.  I love Pinterest.  Just type in free printable vintage car posters and up come thousands of, you guessed it, free printable vintage car posters.

The hard part was my son choosing which ones he wanted.  Once he had picked 8 posters, we printed them off, went to IKEA and picked up 8 picture frames, (only $1.99 each, bargain!!!!!)’ came home put them into frames and hung them up.

That’s all it took.  Have a look at the end result.  

He is so happy with the end result and is also very proud “he did it all himself”.  Love.

Thanks for reading.
Jo xx

How to design our small entrance foyer!

I’ve been putting off doing anything to our entrance foyer, well simply because have no idea what to do.  I would love to have a console table and lovely mirror on the wall but there is not enough room.  This is what my sad little entrance looks like at the moment.


It’s pretty boring.  Yep B O R I N G!  Don’t mind the blue around the glass we haven’t finished painting the exterior of the door yet.  I’m totally in love with light light fitting.

So I hit Pinterest for some ideas, here they are…

Wainscoting – adds interest and texture to a somewhat blah area.  Great article by Remodelaholic.

Faking an entrance foyer – this article is all about making the most of a small space.  There are some great ideas by Good Housekeeping.

Ideas for creating a small entry way by Decorola.

These have given me some inspiration.  Watch this space for an update on my entrance foyer.

Thanks for reading.

Jo xx

Feature image, A beautiful entry designed by @Robert Stilin.





Kitchen renovation update

Can you believe I am still waiting on my kitchen handles?  It’s been two weeks!

Anyway that’s my little whinge.  Don’t worry there’s plenty more where that came from but I won’t subject you to it all!

The kitchen has however, received a little love in the way of kitchen island shiplap.  I wanted to lay them horizontally however, due to the fact we already have shiplap in the same area and it runs vertically I decided to match it.  Whether this will haunt me forever – I’ll let you know!

It was a pretty easy task, again off to Bunnings (hooray) and picked up a humongous sheet of pre fab shiplap.  The friendly staff cut it to the size I needed and home I went to install it.

First thing was to make sure the piece was cut to the correct size.  I had two pieces that needed to be installed.

Slapped some commercial strength glue on the back, slid in into the perfect position. I used some spacers so that the lines ran straight, because there’s not one straight wall or floor in this house.  Got it into position and tacked it into place permanently.



I no more gapped around the sides and now I just need to give it a paint.  Still deciding what colour to paint it.  Do I paint it the wall colour or the cupboard colour?  Please let me know what you think.  After I paint it I will attach the skirting and that’s another job DONE!

Full reveal if my handles ever turn up!!!!

Thanks for reading.

Jo xx

Lounge room renovations – Part Two

The last update on our lounge room was making the shaker style doors for our cabinets on either side of the fireplace.  This weekend we fixed them into the cavity and fitted the benchtop.  It doesn’t sound like much, however, I needed to call in the big guns to help me with the heavier items.

I didn’t think there would be much impact by adding the benchtop.  I was wrong, the look amazing and I’m so happy with them.

If you missed the first Blog, click here.

This is what the space looked like before.

Considering the cabinets were a standard size, we had to fill the gaps on either side of each cabinets.


Then, added additional support to the benchtop by adding a batten.


We cut the timber benchtop we had chosen to the size of each cavity.  This may require a bit of trimming and checking as older houses wall are rarely ever straight.  Once you are satisfied with how the benchtop fits, secure it from inside the cabinet.


And here’s the finished product.



All that needs to be completed is the mantle and the skirting.  Another job done – tick.  I love it, what do you think?

Thanks for reading.

Jo xx





New bannister renovation

While swiping through Pinterest I found this great idea for updating old style staircase banisters.  If you’re looking for a quick update and are handy with tools, (even if you’re not, this looks pretty simple), this might just do the trick.


Click here the read article from

There looks like there may be another job added onto my forever-growing list of projects!

Thanks for reading.

Jo xx