BLOCK Spoiler!

I was surprised to see in the Sydney Morning Herald's Domain today, that one of The Block Triple Threat Challenge apartments had hit the market.  It was overhauled by contestants Josh and Charlotte and more info is available HERE if you're interested in snapping up an affordable piece of The Block TV show.
I wonder if we'll see any more for sale before the episodes containing them are broadcast?

I was excited to get a sneaky peek into the completed unit and don't think seeing these images will spoil my enjoyment of watching the series but, if you feel otherwise....click away now!

The blue-chip located, top-floor unit will be sold unfurnished and is expected to fetch $400 000 +
Here's what the agents, Jellis Craig have to say about it...

18/85 Caroline Street South Yarra

Make a designer debut

The benefits of a just completed renovation are immediately apparent throughout this bright top floor apartment high on South Yarra Hill, moments from Toorak Road, the Yarra River and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Oak floors, reverse cycle heating/cooling and a contemporary kitchen featuring soft closing storage, stone benches and stainless steel appliances complement a living/dining area that delivers appealing dimensions and opens to a balcony with attractive leafy outlooks. Equally pleasant views accompany a double bedroom that accommodates in complete comfort and is served by a fully tiled bathroom finished and fitted with an exceptional sense of style. Off street parking adds to the inner city success of a smart start in property ownership - or a consistently rewarding investment opportunity. 

 I think the unit is gorgeous and the finishes very neutral for any prospective buyer to add their own style, though I think (with the exception of the art - yuck!) the displayed furnishings are spot on! I liked this couple and the winning aired bedroom, so I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in subsequent episodes!
Are you watching this series? 

x KL 

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We celebrated Australia Day yesterday in true-blue style with friends, a BBQ, slippery slide into Terrigal Lagoon, cricket and soccer....in between an almost continuous deluge of rain. Not that the kids seemed to mind! Disappointing weather but there were lots of laughs with the large contingent of adults sheltered under leaky tents and tarpaulins!

 For overseas readers, Australia Day is a national holiday and marks the anniversary of the 1788 arrival of the First Fleet of British Ships. In contemporary Australia, our celebrations reflect the diverse society and landscape with community and family events.

With the wet weather continuing today, building work has ceased here and at client projects too. J has a mate over and it's a perfect day for the movies so we have that planned for this afternoon. 
Meanwhile, I'm catching up with some e-mails and blog reading. 
Did you know The Pantone Colour of the Year 2015 has been announced?

Gotta say, I'm not a fan. Reminds me of the late 70's when burgundy was all the rage. Unlike the colour of 2014, which I interpreted here with pink highlights, I think I'll be skipping this colour trend entirely unless I creatively view it as copper-like, which has not waned at all in popularity.
Personally though, my newest, favourite colour is blue.
Dirty blue, teal, aqua and royal. I love them all!

I've already bought a few items to add pops of blue to our monochrome black and white interiors:
And four of my art works / wall hangings contain some blue...

Now I'm dreaming of an accent chair for J's room ....

... in blue, of course!

What do you think of The Colour of the Year?
Do you have a favourite colour featured throughout your home?

x KL

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You are very welcome and encouraged to comment, I love receiving feedback!


kitchen thoughts

With the timber floor commitment made HERE, (delivery and installation still to be arranged) my thoughts are onto the next possible project... frustratingly, money for building supplies is not our enemy ATM, but time is. 
Paying someone else to do what David can, when time allows, is money ill spent. So, patience it is.

With this in mind, my thoughts have returned to the kitchen.
I nutted out the plan eons ago and the beautiful B, from B is Building a House, who has sadly evaporated from the blogosphere (please email sweetie if you're still reading!) generously drew some 3D plans to assist in visualisation.
 The design is mostly the same so now I'm on to tweaks and all important details!
These are my current thoughts....

 I am thinking about placing the cook top and sink in-line on the back wall and eliminating the microwave / oven stack. These can be located under counter instead.
I'm currently using an in-line arrangement in our temporary kitchen (the downstairs laundry) and it works well. I'll miss the convenience of a wall mounted oven but this will streamline the back wall. The prominent island will also become devoid of any dish cleaning clutter. The back wall will be topped in stainless steel (LOVED this in our last place) as a heavy duty and practical work surface. I like the idea of a thin edge profile.

I'd like the overhead cupboards to be constructed as long, low units that lift upwards as these images show. I like the horizontal line emphasised, tying into horizontal elements in the house facade.
 I don't want handles.

The Island, being free of the sink, would be a single, large serving area. I'm still holding onto the Cararra or Calacutta dream for this; 20 mm thick and flush with the cabinetry below. (Plain white Ceasarstone is the default option) As it will be 1200 deep, I can have cupboards or drawers on both sides. The outer side, visible from the dining room can be more decorative....maybe something like these:

Again, repeating the horizontal shadow line I 'm fond of.
On the right hand side will be the pantry and home office set up but shallower than originally planned. 450 mm should be adequate.
 I like the concepts in the images below but am not sure how to make the doors work ? Davey will not entertain the use of pocket door either!

Material wise, I would love the rear and right hand side joinery to be constructed with Matt lacquered, quarter sawn, black-stained oak al la my god; Mr Natale but am anticipating this to be out of our budget. Without finding a black-ish textured laminate that's similar, then 5% gloss Dulux Domino 2-pac  polyurethane it will be. The island and fridge joinery will be 5% gloss Dulux Natural White 2-pac too.

Counter tops: Stainless steel rear, Marble Island (fingers crossed)
Floors: Matt Oak.

Appliance wise, I'm in a quandary. I have already bought a sink, Miele dishwasher and oven and integrated Ilve range hood. The oven has been temporarily installed in the laundry but having looked at the price of my preferred cook top, (Barazza Lab, below left) I think I'll leave the oven downstairs and buy a 900 wide Ilve freestanding instead. ? We already have a fridge in situ, so a microwave is the only other appliance needed.

I've posted about the proposed kitchen quite a few times and it has morphed considerably. It can't be installed until the timber floor is laid (which we're waiting to do after the bathrooms and decks are tiled!) so we're still awhile off. I wonder how much of this post will change?
I think I'm starting to lock down all the details though in prep for a green light! Changes are easier done here than regrets when it's built!
x KL 

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progress, presents and procrastination

Some more PROGRESS to report!
The top balcony off the dining room has its eave soffit lining complete! 
I begged Davey to use lining boards but never won the argument....he thought they would look at odds with the contemporary exterior.  Pffft.  
Anywho, plain and simple they now are. Next up is to waterproof that deck so the last and largest area underneath can be sheeted too.

Our tiler came back to work yesterday and laid the screed in our en suite. My happy dance was short lived though when he informed me of another job he has committed himself to, starting today. Then Davey will occupy him for two weeks and....well, I'm not holding my breath expecting an imminent return...Damn!

 Being holidays here, the pace for J and I has been  s l o w . You know; lazy mornings, no set bed time, mid-day movies and pj days just mooching. School is on the horizon though; high school no less and it's probably time we got back into a better routine. Dave must have thought so too as he surprised me with a 'present' today: Ducted vacuum hose, fittings and motor / barrel.  
Subtle and thoughtful. LOL.

Daughter No. 2 recently turned 23! She loves dinosaurs ( ! ? ) and i think still harbours a quiet dream of being a paleontologist. My eldest daughter organised a surprise family excursion to Taronga Zoo to celebrate coinciding with their Dinosaurs In the Wild exhibition...and Sydney kindly turned on a heatwave for us! It was a wonderful but exhausting day!

The time has come for us to replace my car too. I've been driving a Ford Territory AWD Gia and it has been a wonderful vehicle. Accommodating us all, plus friends with the seven seats when required and a sturdy and spacious 'work horse' for me collecting building and interior supplies. But the girls now live away from home and with access to a Ute and 3 tonne truck as work vehicles, J and I can scoot around in something smaller.

Top to Bottom: Mazda 3, Honda Civic, Hyundai i30
The final three contenders are the Mazda 3 Touring, Honda Civic and Hyundai i30 SE.
On moi must-have list is a hatch for rear conversion as a work vehicle. Leather seats too...it's hard to downgrade some features! 5 star safety rating, blue-tooth connectivity, maximum leg room for J when he's a rear seat passenger, rear ventilation, usb or power outlets and enough head room for Davey and J when driving as they're tall. (Yes J too as, in just over four years he'll be a driver and we are buying with the forethought of giving him the car at his first vehicle!)
I'd like SAT nav if possible (own a TomTom so not essential) and don't want heated seats or a sunroof.
We've test driven...talked and slept on 'it'. 
Tomorrow's decision day!
Get in quick with opinions!!!!

x KL

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You are very welcome and encouraged to comment, I love receiving feedback!


MAC House

 This is a client home that we built last year and handed over a few days post Christmas. It was custom designed to suit a lovely retired couple with regular visiting family, and built to a tight budget. 

 It is contemporary in style with an Australian beach house feel that fits in well with it's neighbours and seaside location. Two large deck areas take advantage of cooling breezes. 

The house is built 'upside-down' with the kitchen, main living and largest entertaining area located on the top level from where ocean vistas can also be seen.

This upper level also contains the main bedroom, en suite, WIR and guest powder room.

Downstairs, and on the entry level is the family room, three more bedrooms (all with custom fitted robes), main bathroom with separate W.C and laundry facilities.

Unfortunately, these pictures were taken before completion and before the installation of shower screens and mirrors. The client wished to occupy three weeks earlier than planned; a request we accommodated.

There were a few 'tweeks' that ensured this property was a perfect fit for the client in addition to the structural plan. All joinery was taller than standard to accommodate a family genetically blessed in height. Toilets and shower heads were likewise specifically selected to be comfortable in this regard.
Relocating from overseas, the owners look forward to frequent visits from their children and grandchildren. The lower floor accommodation therefor provides independent living, a room for bunk beds and laundry and bathroom facilities capable of handling a crowded house!

One of the low cost but impact making features is the use of panelled internal doors and feature wall linings to the entry and stairwell which contribute to the desired casual 'beach' vibe of the new property. All fixtures  are deliberately neutral to ensure style longevity and adaptability to most furnishings.

Hope you enjoyed this house tour!

x KL

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You are very welcome and encouraged to comment, I love receiving feedback!