Monday, September 12, 2011

Cushions galore

Friends as you may recall a couple of posts ago, I was in desperate need of cushions to give my lounges some life. As luck would have it, a few of my favourite shops had sales on. And now my lounges finally are no longer naked. What do you guys think?

And my dear friend gave me this gorgeous silk throw that I fell in love with but didn't buy (because I could never make up my mind) when we did a bit of shopping after a movie date. Thanks Fadz- it takes pride in the formal lounge.

I have this passion for throws. All of my lounges have throws on them, even in summer. I feel that like cushions, throws lift the lounge/chair to a new level. There is an air of sophistication, yet coziness about throws. Does anyone else feel me?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An obsession with books

It's cold outside, but I am warm and cozy in my home library! Though it still needs a lounge or library wing chair or armchair (I haven't decided yet), the library is basically done. Our treasured antique Turkish rug takes centre stage and the bookcases have lined one full wall. Books and treasured decorative finds and gifts from friends are also on display. Here's a sneek peek folks:

 From a slightly different perspective.

And some close-ups:

A few of the awards hubby and I have received for doing work in the community.

Some of my favourite Palestinian pottery in front of the AMARAH civilisation books.

I love this black and white silk painting given by my little brother Salam. The painting is from a market in Malaysia.

And the shelves showcasing the books for my PhD.

Mind you most of these books in the library are mine- hubby's are in his office at work, but in the next few months, he will have to bring them home while his office building is being refurbished. I wonder if there is enough room? Hmm. I guess I will have to share.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

DIY weekends

Hi folks! Sorry for the absence- life has been hectic as usual. And we have been quite busy with the house. We so want to finish our flooring so that we can move on to other things, like the landscaping (our yard is simply concrete and dirt at the moment

So it has been 2 DIY weekends (we thought we could finish it all in one! hah- what a joke!). Hubby measured and cut the quads (which have been sitting in our lounge room and garage for over a month now), while our eldest son and I stained and glossed them. I haven't done anything like that before and I have to say I didn't do too bad. Hubby reckons they look really good. Mind you it's not hard work at all :). In fact, it is such easy work- just tedious and a bit time consuming though.

So this is what the quads (moldings etc) look like before:

Our equipment: The mitre-box and saw:

And the cans of stain and gloss:

Here is the finished product:

And our assembly line (i.e on our deck)

My best friend during this whole messy process: (Mr Humble Turps!)

And here are the quads in their glory- nailed in to the skirting boards, matching the bamboo flooring perfectly. 

What do you guys think? Now I want to re-stain a few other things in our house! Yes, that's right folks. I have the DIY bug now... Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Desperately seeking the humble cushion

I have been having a bit of accessories withdrawal. Every room in our house is furnished, thank God, but it feels bare. I have attempted to make the lounge and family rooms cozier by putting up clocks and a frame and a few candles and vases I already had, but it still feels bare. Hubby doesn't understand why I feel that way and keeps reminding me that once we sell our old place, we can bring all the accessories from there. And he also reminds me that he thought I was trying to live minimally. True, true. I am trying to live minimally. I have decluttered my closet and shoes and even knick-knacks. I have given many, many things away and encouraged my kids to do the same. But I don't want my house to have that bare feeling....oh gosh am I starting to think like my mum? She had 9 kids and has no wall, corner empty (intentionally). But then she is a bit of an extreme.

I don't want to NOT live minimally, but I want my heart to sing when I enter a room in my house and until this morning I wasn't sure what was missing. Then "lightbulb moment"- I realise I have no cushions on my solid colour lounges! That's it- I need cushions. Wait until I share this with hubby- he is going to soooo happy (NOT). Like his dad and uncles, he doesn't like cushions; he thinks they are unnecessary and uncomfortable. So when he sits down on a lounge or chair, he tosses the cushion(s) on the ground, instead of moving it aside. But I need cushions to dress my very naked lounges. Hubby and other men out there may not understand but I don't care. The humble cushion makes me happy. As it does for stylist Karen Creith:

Ahh just look at these beauties-is your heart singing too?

I love the colours of the cushions in this photo- would go perfectly in my house!

At the moment- this is what my lounges look like- naked!

See what I mean? Absolutely naked!

And even with some other accessories, like the rug, wrought iron wall clock, lamp and my blue and white china, the lounge room still looks incomplete.

Look how warm these lounges are with the cushions on them:

Now I just have to wait for a sale to afford new cushions. Hmmmph.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Art and stuff

Happy Monday everyone. I am hoping to get some work done on my PhD this morning so that I can make my way to IKEA for some much needed homewares retail therapy. I haven't been shopping in ages (daily trips to Bunnings Hardware does NOT count!) amid all this packing, unpacking business. Mind you, our library is full of unpacked boxes and will have to continue to wait; however, in the meantime hubby and I are forging ahead and attempting to make our house feel more warm and cozy.

On the weekend hubby constructed a frame for a canvas painting we bought in Syria. He saw this frame in al-Hamadiyah Bazaar in Damascus and really liked it; I encouraged him to buy it as we had been to that many art shops and could not find pieces we both liked. Funny a year ago, he couldn't be bothered with paintings or carpets. Now he enjoys going to handicraft markets to buy original works of arts and crafts. I can talk art with him now! Perhaps I can get him to take me to the theatre for a musical?

Anyhow here is the framed canvas of an old Damascene market. I love the colours, don't you?

And here it is on the wall below. The family room is going to be Arab inspired, with our silver serving tray table, Damascene canvas art and Allepan mother of pearl inlay clock (see next photo) next to the red lamp.

And on that long wall behind the sectional lounge, we will be showcasing photos hubby and I took on our trip to Damascus and Syria. About 6 of them.

After viewing over 1000 photos this weekend, I noticed that I have a fascination for doorways (opened and closed). Not sure how this relates to my pysche? Anyone care to analyse me? Anyhow some of those "doorway" photos are quite awesome, so I have decided that the theme for the showcased photos will be doorways. Now I just have to get them printed and framed (hence the Ikea trip). When I told hubby my intention he was quite excited about it too and pointed out that the Damascene canvas on our wall also has an open doorway with the Great Umayyad Mosque in the background. I didn't realise that until he pointed it out. It is definitely all coming together. So excited folks. Okay back to work on my PhD so that I can go frame shopping at Ikea. Enjoy your Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Celebrations again folks!

Wow- what started off as a very small build blog to share with friends and family who wanted to follow the build progress of our dream home has now become something just that little big bigger. First I get to share with people all around the world (I have readers from Russia, Qatar, South Africa, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, United States, England, Indonesia, Australia, to name a few) my dream home (in the suburbs) as well as my thoughts on design, architecture and all things related to the abode!

And I also have been able to follow a few other bloggers on their own journeys and passions, exchanging ideas and thoughts. Thanks to all you folks out there, this humble blog has reached 2020 views today! Celebrations are in order friends. Please keep reading and commenting! I love receiving your thoughts!

Have a great Sunday everyone and remember those in Australia, it's a big night for those who love home shows: the Block is revealing the rooms tonight, 6.30 pm on channel 9 and .......the Renovator debuts tonight on the Ten network at 8.30 pm. Enjoy folks!!! I know I will.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Do you like the colour?

I had to cancel all my appointments and engagements today as the shutter guys could not finish the installation yesterday. And they have to come back again tomorrow morning to finish one more window and install the crimsafe for our external doors. Luckily I don't have any meetings in the morning! As the guys told me- we have a massive home with a lot of windows so one day wasn't going to finish it!

Now that most of the shutters are installed, hubby asked how I felt about them. Honestly, I don't know.... I love the shutters themselves, don't get me wrong, but I wonder if the colour suits. I am looking at them now as I type this. As many of you know I am so in love, LOVE with dark wood. There is something so regal, graceful, yet warm and cozy that dark wood conveys to me.

Mind you, dark wooden furniture is a nightmare to keep clean (you can see EVERY speck of dust), but I don't care. I love the look anyway.

So when it came to the colour of the shutters, we had a range of whites to choose from, at the standard price, and we would have had to pay a few thousand more to get a darker colour. In the end (when money (or lack of it) is always an issue) we decided to go with the standard range of whites and choose a birch white, which is a soft, creamy white. The owner of the company thought we made an excellent choice as the colour would go with anything and should we change our colour scheme (such as paint colour) later on, we wouldn't have to worry about the clash. And as hubby pointed out, we can't have too much dark furniture either- the place would be extremely depressing. I know he is right! I mean, the bamboo flooring is the darkest stain there is, our furniture is all dark wood, our kitchen cabinets is burnished wood (dark again!), even our paint colour is dark, so dark shutters would be an overkill. BUT.....I know there is no but. The light shutters are perfect. Right?  Here are some photos of the external showcasing the shutters. What do you think?