27 June 2009

Living areas: Accessories

Many of the accessories used throughout are vintage items found in second-hand shops or collected from relatives over the years.

The art works include an original framed Joey Ramone print (Shepard Fairey), drawing by Fiona Lee (www.bonsaifoi.com), painting by Bad Teeth, canvas print of Esmerelda (dearly departed guinea pig) and skateboard decks by Dalek and Neckface.

In addition to the oyster light fittings that we kept when we moved in, we have a damask lamp on a side table (a gift from a friend), and a garland shade on the hall light (Tord Boontje). We can't afford Florence Broadhurst wallpaper at $350 a roll (or the expertise to install it), so we bought some samples from the Florence Broadhurst pop-up store in Brisbane last year and framed them.

Other accessories include the large apple fruit bowl (Hart & Heim), bone china origami cranes (Have You Met Miss Jones?), organic printed table runner (SunnyLife), black resin flying ducks (I Love Retro), as well as the many books, movies and figurines we've hoarded over the years. The large white cement frame (Reverse Garbage) is the perfect size for vinyl record sleeves, and currently displays Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti. The smaller one under the side table displays a plywood postcard given to us as an engagement gift.

Living areas: After

The easiest way to update the space was to take to it with a paint roller (which we didn't end up doing until around a year later). All of the walls throughout (including the purple dining alcove) have been painted with Dulux Image Tone Quarter - a very light grey-blue to complement the carpet. We decided to use red as an accent colour for accessories throughout, in addition to black and white.

As the living room is very large, we decided to bring the sofas into the centre of the room to leave more wall space for bookcases (of which we have quite a few!). We also brought the space together with a Flokati rug (Ikea). Rather than introducing a coffee table, we opted for two Lack side tables (Ikea). Warmth was added with some black and red cushions, and a cotton throw rug for winter (KMart).

The old dining table was replaced with a replica Saarinen Tulip fibreglass table (Matt Blatt) and white Panton chairs (eBay). We wanted to bring some personality into this space as well, so we bought a white display case (Ikea) for my 1980s-90s doll collection (New Kids on the Block, MC Hammer, Vanilla Ice, Boy George and Peter Andre). To make the space multi-functional (and to make use of the extra phone port), we put a small laptop table in the corner (Ikea).

We have not yet tackled the beige vertical blinds on the large sliding doors which open onto the balcony (where guinea pigs Gracie, Poppy and Harriet live). The long-term plan is to have dark timber plantation shutters, but in the meantime the blinds will be replaced with some nice curtains.

Living areas: Before

When we purchased the unit in August 2007, it had been in the rental system for many years.

The carpets were a stain-friendly dark blue-grey, clashing with the typical beige painted walls found in most rental properties. For some reason, the previous tenants had chosen to throw another colour into the mix - bubblegum purple in the dining alcove.

Although hideously ugly, the unit was in excellent structural condition, with nice recently painted textured ceilings and marbled oyster light fittings.

25 June 2009

Hello world

This blog will chronicle my continuing adventure of decorating the 1970s two-bedroom apartment owned by myself and fiance John. Stay tuned for the ugly ‘before’ pics, and the ever-evolving ‘after’ pics, as I get hold of exciting new trinkets to scatter around the place.

Here is just a tiny little taster.