Category Archives: Research

My research on products/style/info/stuff n things

OMG I’m in LOVE!!!…. ok fine it’s just lust…

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So I was watching Nick Knowles Original Features on the weekend and the show was about a couple who were doing up a ramshackle ole farmhouse which was really cute. BUT one of the things that struck me deep within my lusty decor heart was a little segment towards the end of the show where they were finishing off the bathroom and they trying to squeeze the bathtub through the bathroom door. Not just any ole bathtub but it was a copper bath!! I’ve never seen one before. It was almost a rounded egg shape. It was SO beautiful. I’m seriously in love with it (but not enough to marry it though…)

Promptly had to google it to see if such a beautiful beast can be found in my fair land, which is not usually the case, and YES! At aptly named copperbathaustralia.com.au hahaha! It’s a different (but equally beautiful) shape than the one on the show and it looks deep enough to get your whole body in for a delicious soak. Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL?!!

copper bath installed(image from copperbathaustralia.com.au)

copper bath(image from copperbathaustralia.com.au)

Only thing not so beautiful about it is the price tag 😦 But tis to be expected for something that solid. They also do beautiful basins so I’m seriously considering placating my desire with one of the oval ones instead. hmmm don’t think I’ve said the word beautiful enough have I? *sigh*

copper basin(image from copperbathaustralia.com.au)

I love the brand new shininess of them but also love how it patinas. It’s funny because ages ago I wanted a copper roof. I think it was on Grand Designs or something similar that a woman did a round copper roof and the verdigris patina was just lovely. I gave up on that idea because of the cost and heat aspect but a copper basin in my ensuite… I could drool over it every day and it would go with my ensuite colour scheme (which is either grey or light teal/sage).  mmm yummy!

(and just FYI – I have nothing to do with copperbathaustralia other than bumping up their site page count with all my drooliness and lustiness)

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cloooser…. cloooserrr…..

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I’m one step closer! Signed all my homeloan paperwork and got a confirmation text to say that the bank is ready! AND not only that but they gave me a lovely bottle of Grant Burge that I’m going to save for my first night in the place. Gotta say that my mortgage guy has been one of the best I’ve ever dealt with so if you ever need a recommendation, Abraham Tang at CBA is your man! And not just because of the lovely wine, just been really great service and excellent communication (which as you know is something I’m a BIG fan of)

I made a good contact for my solar panel system yesterday. One of our work suppliers who deals exclusively with providing rugged systems so I can’t wait to start talking nitty gritty stuff with him and getting myself off grid. He did make a good suggestion in that I should stay connected (even if I don’t use it) as a backup. I’d only have to pay the daily provision charge so I’ll see what that is when I get my first bill (but I’m assuming like a dollar a day).

I’ve been doing a bit of reading on chickens and ducks (and whether they eat the same sorts of things because I have no idea when it comes to ducks) and one thing that people recommend is roasting and crushing up the egg shells and feeding it back to them. This struck me as a little bit like the human equivalent of eating a booger (or should that placenta?). It seems to help with shell strength and quality so I’ll probably be doing it too with my ladies (feeding shells not eating boogers btw).

45 days to to!

When life gives you lemons, make gin and tonics :)

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So I was thinking about that bit of land that was not “THE ONE” and maybe how I could make it “THE ONE”. (and that’s not my aforementioned super sneaky plan btw). A kind friend who understands my addiction obsession with building my house recently sent me a link to a site about earthships. First I thought she might have been taking the piss and subtly stating that perhaps I needed a tin foil hat but no, it’s a thing. I’m still not entirely sure why it’s got the word ship in it as it’s nothing ship-like at all but I guess it’s a quicker way to describe the thing than “half buried house that is usually fronted by glass” (see no shipness (shipiocity?)).

You know come to think of it I think I’ve seen one of these built out of tyres on Grand Designs (another obsession along with the current season of The Block). It’s basically a house which is sometimes built into a hillside but is made of environmentally friendly or recycled materials and is well insulated and solar passive. It recycles just about everything (water/air) and is generally fronted by a wall of glass which acts as a greenhouse for your veggie plot

Anyway it’s an interesting concept and certainly in line with my whole sustainable, don’t pay the utilities pirates merchants for services house thing that I’m trying to do. AND I could build it into the side of a hill as that would help with the insulating properties. I really like the idea of the pretty glass bottle walls like the below too (especially the Bombay Sapphire bottles!).

glasswalls            glasswalls1 glasswalls2

(Plundered from here)  soooo pretttttyyyyyy

BUT as much as I like earthships and the concept behind them I can’t help but feel that it’s not what I want. I like to wake up to a lot of light in the house. And if I built it set into the hill then the likely spot for the bedrooms would be at the back… and then I’d almost never wake up because it would be too dark and I’d become Sleeping Beauty without the aid of a prince to wake her up with a kiss. I am, however, considering the use of the glass walls… somewhere, somehow. Not sure if I’ll be able to incorporate it into the house exactly but maybe in the entertainment area outside or something.

Now… for those gin and tonics! cheers to my 40th post 🙂

Ikeaaaaaaaa

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So I took a lil daytrip to Ikea on Monday and woah $500 bucks later…. So much for my list of things that only totalled $150… But I did buy 5 ceiling pendant lights for the house and saved myself about $300 on the ones that I was considering before. 3 to go over the kitchen island and 2 to go over the dining table (or bedroom lights if I don’t like them over the dining table). Bought a bunch of other things in the house so most of it is going straight to storage, don’t even get to play with my goodies 😦 (well apart from the gorgeous doona cover and purple glass water bottle heheh).

I also found the kitchen I want! Even down to the handles I like so looks like it’s an Ikea kitchen for me. I’ve used the SmartPak kitchens from Magnet Mart before so even if I have to put the kitchen together myself, that’s fine with me. The benchtop I’m getting from a family friend and it’s the same as what I had in my other renovated kitchen. It’s a white caesarstone type bench with little mirrored chips in it. Of course I can’t find any good pics of it so you’ll just have to go here and have a look http://www.caesarstone.com.au/Colours/Colour-Detail.aspx?Collection=3142-White%20Shimmer%E2%84%A2 to get an idea of what I mean (and those pics aren’t the greatest either, doesn’t really show off the mirror chips).

The last two kitchens I’ve build have been all white and I’ve been longing for a black kitchen since I saw a budget kitchen makeover done by Better Homes and Gardens, and of course I can’t find a bunch of pics from the episode but swiped this from Tara Dennis’ Facebook (sorry Tara!).

black kitchen

I also found this episode video for it so take a squizz:  http://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/better-homes-gardens/renovation/photos/p/17095661/kitchens-we-love/16989827/

I love the dark dramatic look but my kitchen won’t have the big bulky top cabinets like the reno as I’ll have my walk in pantry to store most of my appliances and stuff and the cabinets will have DRAWERS (Strictly NO cupboards, I fkn hate cupboards…. Irritating lil bastards) for crockery, glasses & pots etc. I think it will also lessen the “heaviness” of having a black kitchen if the top is light and airy (although I do like those glass fronted cabinets below… maybe just one or two of them :0 ) The below is basically the kitchen I want but obviously white counter top, different handles and white polished concrete floors. The lights that are over the island bench are even the ones that I bought. I don’t mind the white subway tiles but I saw some in stainless steel which look amazing. Not sure if it’s overkill though so I’ll have to do a bit of photoshopping so I can get an idea of how it will all look together. It’s even the same style sink that I want. Not sure bout their tap though, it’s nice but not quite what I’m after.

black ikea kitchen

(clickyclicky the image to make it bigger)

The alternative idea would be the same cabinets but in white and to have a black counter top sort of like the below

kitchen bw

But I think I do have my heart set on the black kitchen. I keep looking at pics (research mhmm) and getting swayed both ways. Below is an idea with the stainless steel tiles (from last season’s House Rules – all kitchen pics here: http://au.tv.yahoo.com/house-rules/galleries/photo/-/17153152/amy-and-ebseans-kitchen-transformation/17153195/)

stainless steel tiles

All opinions welcome if you care to weigh in 🙂

Build a bridge….

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Well things have been manic at work and there really hasn’t been anything to look at lately hence the lack of postage again. I went and had a look at the place on Jinglemoney Lane (still love that name) but it’s just a bit too far away for my liking. I noticed the other day that they’ve dropped the price by $20k so I guess they’re keen to sell. If only it wasn’t so far away. Getting back to that dream piece of land I mentioned in my last. I procrastinated a whole bunch about talking to the council about building approval because I didn’t want a yes and didn’t want a no and I understand now what the agent was talking about with it being tricky. I pulled my finger out of my ass and spoke to the council who told me I’d have to get permission from the owner to view their Development Advice form which they had submitted and paid for and also to be able to view their building file at council. So I spoke to the agent who organised that and actually sent me a copy of the Development Advice form which states that yes development approval is possible…

BUT

It basically all hinges on the river crossing. As far as the council is concerned that river crossing has never been approved and hasn’t been structurally assessed. It doesn’t comply with their regulations in terms of signage and barriers etc. Vehicular access is something that they consider with all development applications. I did a bit of research and found out that the next door neighbour had a development application to have the boundary amended by a couple of meters refused because of the river crossing! So I would assume that any building application on “my” land would also be refused.

BUT I’m not going to give up. I’m still going to talk to council and view the file and I’m actually going to see how much it would cost to build a bridge. I had a quick look online and there’s actually some prefab concrete bridge builders so that may be an option. I can only assume that the other 12 or so properties on “my” side of the river are also unapproved because of the river crossing so I could approach them for a contribution to the bridge fund if they wanted to. I could probably put a sizeable contribution towards it or fund the whole thing depending on the cost… that’s how much I want to be able to build on this land! The bridge would still have to go through council approval to be built but considering we would be addressing their existing concerns (the paper said it was noted as far back as 1998) with a proper solution according to their standards surely it would get approval.  I’m an optimist can you tell?

I just chuckle at the irony of the amount of times I’ve told someone to “build a bridge and get over it” and now I’m the one that could actually be building a bridge. They better name the bloody thing after me if it happens ;} I’ll keep ya posted!

hmmmmmm…. a concrete house?

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I was talking to one of the guys at work about the new house I want to build once I find my bit of land and up until now I’ve been thinking strawbale house but he suggested ICF (Insulated Concrete Form) blocks such as these:

http://www.thermacell.com.au/

It’s funny because originally when I first started dreaming about all of this I wanted to build a concrete house. There was a company in QLD called Chameleon Concrete who were doing prefab homes and claimed that they could put them up in a couple of days. After that there was just the fitting out of internals etc to do and hey presto – Instahouse. But since I was looking at it last year their website has gone poof so I’m not sure if they’re still in business or not. So I started looking at straw bale houses as it’s another great alternative. I hadn’t heard of ICF before and I like the idea too. I think it would come down to price as to which one I choose as they both offer similar insulation and fireproof qualities that I’m after in the new house.  I’m going to have to start contacting builders to see what the average cost is but it’s definitely in the running now.  Have a look at their Media and Portfolio section for pics of houses. I’m gonna have to start posting my ideas up here so you can see what I have in mind.

Also came across another neat idea I hadn’t thought about (from a lunchtime blog read) – Solar tube lights. Another great zero energy way to get light into the house (I plan to be off grid). I think it’s something that I’ll consider after the house has been constructed as it may adequately lit during the day. Something like this:   http://solatube.com.au/

Have a great weekend!

The Hobbit House

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Just thought I’d share this link with you:

http://www.beingsomewhere.net/index.htm

Click on the Shelter menu and go to The Hobbit House. (and browse the rest of the site too!)

hobbit house

(photo from their website)

I LOVE this idea, to build a little hobbit house tucked away in a hill. Although for me I’d build one kinda as a “summer house” to play in not as a full time dwelling because I want to build my straw bale “modern” home and I’m not sure if I could build a hobbit house big enough for the ideas I have in my head. But I’d really like to try and build one of these as well. Maybe as a guest cottage or office or something. LOVE the reciprocal roof, so beautiful.