Ikea Duktig Kitchen Hack

Okay… back story! This post was meant to be published at the start of the year, but way back before that was when I originally snagged this 2nd hand IKEA Duktig kitchen off Gumtree for a steal! It was almost in too good a condition to hack up, but I did it and I’m ever so glad I did! I had been gawking at Duktig makeovers on Pinterest for months, getting ideas here and there but really had my very own little plan right from the beginning. I hacked this one way back in August/September last year (!!), but intentionally held off sharing anything as it was kept hidden for her Christmas gift. Thankfully, I wrote up the whole tutorial while I was renovating so today I can share it all with you… better late than never, right??

Call me crazy, but I wanted to create a mini version of our own kitchen, and thankfully we had just the right supplies left over from our renovations to do just that. I used the same spray paint as our cupboards and we had some handles left over, which amazingly fit the holes of the Duktig kitchen perfectly. The bench top was a little trickier and this is where we had to compromise, as it was either a beige vinyl tile (that looked like it was from the 1990’s) or a calacatta marble vinyl contact paper. After trying the tile and dying a little inside, the marble won out.

Here’s a list of what I used…

I started out by taking off all three doors, removing the sink and mixer tap, and completely removing the top section of the kitchen. I masked up the windows of the oven and microwave door so when they were sprayed the plastic would stay clear. Everywhere was given a light sand to remove any grime and then a good clean. Then I sprayed… and sprayed… and sprayed!

Every where was given at least two coats of paint. First up was a white coat over the whole kitchen and the door that sits below the sink. The oven and microwave door were sprayed with silver to make them stand out as appliances.

Next, it was time for the splash back. I used a 3mm piece of MDF board, sprayed with gloss blue and sanded back with 320 grit paper between coats – until I had a beautiful glossy finish. Then it was cut to size and using the white paint pen and a ruler, I drew on the subway tile pattern. Finially it was attached to the top part of the kitchen with some glue & nails.

Once everything was dry the vinyl tiles were cut to size and stuck down…. I immediately started wishing I hadn’t used them. So it was off to the shops for my roll of marble adhesive which was stuck down in place of the tiles… The rounded corners were a little tricky as I wanted the marble to wrap around the bench top, but we got there in the end and it looks a million times better than the previous option!

Finally I could put everything back together. Adding new handles to the doors, attaching the hook to the side and screwing on the knobs above the oven door were the final touches! This little kitchen has been a huge hit with Summer, she’s currently going through a “copy mummy” stage and absolutely adores her mini version of our kitchen! 

Kmart Hack: Toy Box makeover

If there’s one thing that is guaranteed with kids, it’s that they require a lot of “stuff”. Thankfully much of this stuff is stored in our little girl’s bedroom, but it doesn’t mean that she hasn’t taken over our main family room! However, I’m a big believer that the home should still remain a place that everyone can enjoy, and so having clever storage in our family room to tidy away all the mess at the end of the day is definitely high on the priority list!

Before Summer was born, we installed a wall of cupboards which were great for platters, our 2nd dinner set, the alcohol stash and the list goes on…. but since welcoming our new little housemate, things have been somewhat reorganised. The bottom half of the cupboards are now an excellent place to hide away bigger toys, books and craft supplies (a little higher up) which can be accessed by our little munchkin without the worry of her pulling something breakable down on her head. For everything else, I knew a trunk would be the best way for us to store away all those little toys…

We ended up buying this basketweave trunk from Kmart for $39 (bargain!) but it wasn’t quite right for our room, so I thought I’d try a little experiment with some watered down paint and I have to say, it worked a charm and took hardly any time at all.

Here’s what I used…

  • A tube of white acrylic non-toxic paint (this is important as I can’t count the number of times our little one has chewed on one of the corners!)
  • Water
  • A large flat brush & an old rag

Once you’ve mixed the paint there is just two steps for this little makeover (For mixing the paint I used about 30% paint to 70% water)! Painting it all on and wiping it off with an old rag. The wicker will absorb quite a bit of the paint, so if you just want a light whitewash use a ratio of more water and less paint, likewise if you’d like a thicker coat, just use less water in the mix!

I didn’t want the finish on our trunk to be totally uniform, so this is where the idea of rubbing with a rag came from (it’s not really a crucial step). I wanted to be able to see some of the wicker through the paint, and so while I was rubbing I just rubbed some areas more than others so the finish would be a little more varied.

What do you do for toy storage? While what we’ve got going on at the moment is perfect, I have a feeling we’re going to need more hiding places soon!

Let me know in the comments

Liv xx

Make your own peekaboo sensory boards

Hey guys, today I thought I’d share a little craft project that a good friend and I filmed last week. These peek-a-boo sensory boards have been a huge hit in our house and are seriously so easy to make. The first time I made these (a few months ago) with a bunch of different fabrics and Summer loved it so much that Mel and I thought we’d make another batch, but this time with different textured papers. Check out our little video below for a tutorial on how to make your own! 

If you want to give this a go some ideas for materials are below, but really the options are endless. Anything with varying textures from around your home or your local craft store will work perfectly! 

  • velvet 
  • wool
  • silk 
  • corduroy 
  • carpet 
  • sponge
  • sand paper 
  • metallic gloss paper 
  • corrugated paper 
  • the sticky side of contact paper
  • felt 
  • sheets of foam

Also, make sure you check out Mel’s youtube channel for other great videos & follow her on instagram @sydneymuminspired! 

And of course, let me know if you give these boards a try! 

Liv xx

Dining table makeover

Today I wanted to share with you a project thats been in the making for over 2 YEARS!! Seriously, I cant believe how long we’ve been thinking, planning and figuring out this project, all the while having a big, ugly, orange table in the middle of our dining room! 

 Before the magic happened.... 
Before the magic happened…. 

Admittedly, it wasn’t a priority for a long time as we had such a huge list of other (practical, yet, non-pretty) jobs to get done around the house. That list started to clear and then finally, the weather cooled down just enough that all the sanding didn’t seem like such a bad idea!

It took me ages to find a process that would be just right for what we wanted. All I knew was how I wanted it took look in the end but I really had no idea how to get there! Just staining or whitewashing wasn’t going to cut it, so I spent ALOT of time researching different ideas and finally found a process (on this website) that seemed like it could work. Before we tackled the table I tried out the method on a smaller piece of timber, it worked perfectly but also made me realise just how much sanding would be required to get our table back to it’s bare timber state…  

To get the finish, we pretty much just used the tutorial on Heidi!’s blog as a guide, her instructions were simple and easy to follow – the main changes we made were what supplies we used! In the garage we already had white ceiling paint which we watered down for the white wash, and an old can of walnut stain turned out to be the perfect tone for our space. I literally only had to purchase some lacquer (a clear, flooring sealant) from Bunnings and we were ready to get to work…

We started with the table top leaves and once they completed and dry, we removed them and tackled the legs – which were super easy as they just needed a light sanding, undercoat (we used a Zinzer primer) and two top coats (Dulux half-strength Antique White USA in a semi gloss). And that was it – for all the hype we made about how long we thought this project would take, it really was completed faster than I ever imagined! I’m so glad we finally got around to doing this project and am so excited to share it with you all! Every time I walk in this room now, I feel so proud of our hard work and am so pleased with how great it looks in the space. It really has transformed the room…. 

Oh, and for anyone interested… we also purchased these spindle back dining chairs to comeplete the look, which I am also totally in love with! 

What pieces of furniture have you made over?

Let me know in the comments! 

Liv xx

House Rules: Caring for Timber

Today has been one of those days where I know exactly what I need to do but keep getting distracted by – hey look a squirrel … My head is just all over the place! But between all my procrastinating some how I managed to pull this together and I hope it helps you out a bit!
Setting yourself up with good quality timber furniture can be quite costly so you want to ensure that you a) LOVE what you are buying and b) know how to take good care of these investment pieces. Today I want to focus on the latter – how to take care of timber furniture. It goes without saying that we all want to live with our furniture and not have to tip-toe around pieces. Solid timber furniture can be a great option for busy family homes because it allows us to live with it, rather than around it. The right styles can develop gorgeous patina over time, adding both value and character, but sometimes we want to keep certain pieces looking sleek and new – as they did when they left the showroom. So to help you navigate the how-to’s, below are a few of my ever trusted and loved timber tricks – passed down from one generation to the next.

1. Dust regularly: Using a soft cloth (like an old t-shirt or microfiber duster) dust down your furniture every week or so – this will prevent dust and grime building up on your furniture which can be more troublesome to clean later on.

Caring for timber furniture - Liv with Vision

2. Wipe up spills with a damp cloth & use coasters: Liquid is timber’s biggest enemy so wherever practical use coasters or placemats to protect your hard wood from moisture. This is especially important for items like Vases of flowers that will be sitting on the furniture for prolonged periods or glasses of wine or other coloured liquid that can also stain your timber surface. If you do happen to spill something on the timber, wipe down with a soft damp cloth as quickly as possible to prevent the liquid from absorbing into the grain.

Slate Coasters

3. Finish with the grain: When you take the time to clean your furniture, use a damp soft cloth with timber approved cleaning agents. Firstly wipe across the grain of the timber to remove any built-up grime and then finish with long smooth strokes in the same direction as the grain.

Caring for timber furniture - Liv with Vision

 

4. Polish with the seasons: Or don’t. I actually like to use day light savings as a reminder of when to give timber pieces a good polish or varnish. Realistically this job only needs to be done every six months and the changing of the clocks is a handy reminder that the task is due. Varnishing furniture any more than this can sometimes do more harm than good, so in between you only need to remember to dust and clean with approved agents.

Caring for timber furniture - Liv with Vision

 

5. Keep clear of direct Sunlight: Like leather, overtime the sun can alter the colour of timber furniture. Tasmanian Oak is a great example of this as it changes with time and can become quite yellow (provided you have a clean lacquer finish), which is probably not what you what if you chose this timber for it’s warm blonde tones.

Caring for timber - Liv with Vision

6. Move objects regularly: Unfortunately, like the sun, your own interior lighting can also effect the colour of your timber, so be sure to move object around regularly or you might just find a darker or lighter patch when you do eventually remove that old lamp or vase of faux flowers.

Timber furniture - Liv with Vision

Styling a bookshelf

We all have shelves, often filled with not just books but also life’s little trinkets that when not displayed properly can end up look like messy clutter. Whether you have an open bookcase, something with glass doors or a storage unit with solid doors – the difference between having those shelves well organised and styled or not can be quite significant. So here are a few tips to make your book case more appealing.
Mix small and large items – Mixing in variety of items in different sizes gives your book case a sense of scale. It’s a knack that can be quite difficult to achieve, but it’s a process that will evolve differently for everyone – keep taking a step back and editing how your shelves look. Books stacked in piles with an item placed on top will give that item a “stage” or sense of prominence which is great for small accent pieces. Larger or heavier items can be used as book ends or placed in a vignette with a few smaller items.

Pinterest

Allow for white space – Keep in mind that white space is just as important as filled space. White space is basically just the air space around objects – not every inch of space needs to be filled (both vertically and horizontally). Move a few items around to give feature items space to breath and create focal points.

Finding Home

Colour Block – Colour blocking is a great way to give the illusion of a tidier space.  If you are purely filling your selves with books, try stacking them or lining them up by colour blocking and you’ll instantly see a space that is more cohesive and a pleasure to look at. As a bonus, I also find this helps trick me with finding my books as I have a visual memory!

Hammer and Heels

Remember heavy items at the bottom, light at the top –  Those old laws of physics will always apply with bookshelves – whether you have your bookcase attached to the wall or not (you should for safety reasons!) keeping heavy items on the lower shelves will help keep your shelving stable. Big heavy items, be it thick books or a large accent piece also look great at lower levels, are less likely to break if they don’t have as far to fall and most importantly will prevent your shelves from toppling over or becoming top heavy!

bookshelf 2

Keep child friendly items at child friendly heights – If you have children that are using your bookshelf, keep their books on the lower shelves which are reachable for their little fingers…

Kollabora

Christmas Wreath Tutorial

I can’t believe it’s less than 6 weeks until Christmas – time has flown by so quickly this year! That being said, it’s also my favourite time of year and this year especially as it’s my first Christmas with Andrew. Last night we bought our first Christmas tree – a beautiful 7 ft tree that’s big, lush and all that I dreamed of. I can not wait to decorate it, but that will have to wait until the first weekend of December! In the meantime there is something beautifully special about making some of your own Christmas decorations. Over the next couple of weeks I’m looking forward to sharing a few of my favourites – the first being the humble Christmas wreath.
Set to adorn your front door or as a beautiful centrepiece for the dining table, wreaths are super easy and seriously satisfying to make yourself. This year I wanted to do a floral wreath, I’ve seen these in various stores ranging from $150 to $200+ and thought surely I can do better myself.  So after searching through a few stores that I know sell faux flowers, I found everything I needed to bring my vision to life – here’s how it all went down….

Bits and bobs:

Plain Christmas wreath (you can get these from Lincraft)

Faux flowers – I used 11 extra large roses (I got mine from Spotlight)

Holly Berries on wire stems

Glittery decorations on wire stems

Pliers or wire cutters

Scissors

Florist Wire

Ribbon

materials

What to do:

1. Start by pulling the leaves off the faux flowers (keep the leaves for later, they may just come in handy). Once you have pulled the leaves off, trim the stems just below the receptacle (as pictured) to ensure your flowers don’t fall apart!

Liv with vision | DIY Floral Christmas wreath

2. Once all your flowers are trimmed, spend some time playing with how you’d like everything laid out. A cluster of flowers at the base or flowers all around the edge? I probably spent more time on the actual layout than I did putting the whole thing together! When you’ve got it set out how you like, make sure you take a couple of photos to use as a guide for when you are securing everything.

Liv with vision | DIY Floral Christmas wreath

3. Now we are ready –  It’s time to start threading and twisting! Using the florist wire, cut lengths of about 20cm, thread the wire between the outer petals and the receptacle so you have equal lengths on either side – then twist until tightly secured (about 5 twists), you should be left with two wire tails that are about 10cm in length.

Liv with vision | DIY Floral Christmas wreath

4.  Using your guiding photos, start to place the flowers on the wreath, wrap the wire tails around the wreath frame and then twist again to secure. I gave all of mine a little wiggle room so I could manoeuvre them a little bit once all the flowers were attached.

5. While I would have loved to leave my wreath with just flowers, to add some Christmas charm I also used holly berries and some gold glittery holly leaves (on wire stems). Being on a single stem of wire, I simply just hooked these around the frame of the wreath and gave a little twist to secure . I also took a few of those leaves from the rose stems to make the wreath nice and lush, again – more wire and twisting.

Note: You could also use hot glue to attach all your flowers and decorations but I prefer to use the wire as it’s not so permanent and each year I can update my wreath to a new style.

6. Finally use a length of ribbon (about 30-40cm) to give your wreath a hook to hang on. Simply wrap the ribbon around the top of your wreath frame, tie a bow and voila – ready to hang!

complete2

complete1

complete

Operation Organise – Wardrobes

Not all wardrobes are created equal. There are those that come from dreams, like Carrie Bradshaw’s in ‘Sex and the City’ and there are those from my younger days – the not so glamorous garment wrack. In saying that, it doesn’t matter how extravagant or simple your wardrobe is, there are a few tricks that can be utilised by all. But before we get into the business, a little eye candy…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n57AmaAD0Nk

Now… back to reality! I don’t think I know of any girl, who would say no to a closet like that, but even Carrie’s walk-in could look pretty nasty if not organised. My points below are for just that – it shouldn’t matter how big or small your space is, if it is messy and cluttered it will always be a headache figuring out what to wear in the morning. So, read on to see some of my best tips for creating an organised closet.

A place for everything and everything in its place: This is the number one key and rule – live by this and it will help you tremendously! The guides below, may help you figure out how to organise your closet, but everyone is unique and what works on paper doesn’t always in practice. Each person’s space varies, but once you decide on a place for an item to be stored, ensure it always goes back to that place.

wardrobe 1

Summer/ Winter and In between: Keeping items that are out of season in either a space-bag or suitcase is always a winning idea (especially if you are short of space). However, keeping one or two pieces out (Like a bikini in winter), will ensure you’ve got something to go to should you have an out-of-season day or event. When packing away items, ensure everything is clean and totally dry before being packed away. Also,when pulling out last years stored items consider going through and making the cull at the start of the season – you will generally get a positive or negative vibe when you see the item again after having it stored away for a few months.

The Fashion Spot

Colour Code: Ok, this one is actually my favourite. Most mornings I wake up and will automatically feel like wearing a certain colour, whether it is white, black or something a more lively, I have found having my clothes sorted by colour really helps me put outfits together. As an added bonus, it also helps to highlight where you have lots of items (or are lacking) in certain colours.

Sadi + Stella

High to Low: I’m talking hemlines and sleeves. If sorting your clothes by colour does not work for you, try sorting by clothing style. All maxi-dress together in one section, working up to shorter hemlines and likewise long-sleeved tops, shirts & Blazers, over to short sleeve or camisoles. This trick is also helpful when navigating the AM dressing dilemmas.

They All Hate Us

Drawers or Shelves – Figure out what works best for you. For me it is a combination. All my socks and underwear are in drawers but for everything else that I want folded, shelving is my favourite option. On the flip side some people would prefer to have everything tucked away in drawers. Keeping items in drawers can be done in sold or wire drawers (where you can still see whats inside), drawer dividers are also a great idea for small items.

Remodelista

Ultimately the most important thing to remember it to think about your habits and lifestyles and go with that – put simply, there is no point implementing a plan if you are not going to stick with it!

Operation Organise – Bedrooms

Ok, lets be real – this post could easily be taken over by what is often the focus of bedroom organising – wardrobes, but today I’m not even going to go there. In each and every bedroom, there are a couple of other areas that are also important to keep your sacred space organised and looking sharp. Your bedroom should be a sanctuary. It may only be you (and your other half) that sees it, but it’s the first thing you see each morning and last each night so that makes a pretty important space. It should be a place of rest and relaxation and that means, clean, tidy and peaceful. So what are some ways you can get the most out of your bedroom, beyond the organised wardrobe?
Under the bed – Whether you invest in a new base with storage drawers or simply use space-bags under an ensemble, under-bed storage is valuable real estate when it comes storing away out of season clothes or hiding away other items.

Domayne

Bedside tables – Aside from looking good, I couldn’t live without mine. Hiding away hand cream, tissues, books and other night-time essentials, having a bedside table with drawers means I can have a table top that is a refreshing to look at each morning, rather than a dumping ground for all those little things!

One Kings Lane

Baskets – Whether it’s for dirty laundry, scarves, belts or ballet flats, I can’t speak highly enough of baskets. They are stylish enough to have as decorative pieces, but the added practicality of being able to store items in them is an instant bonus.

West Elm

Storage ottomans – If you have space for one of these, end of bed ottomans are the bomb! We have one in our bedroom and it’s the most useful piece of furniture in the room. Used to store all my husband’s shoes it was a serious upgrade from the good old shoe rack that was previously there. The ottoman not only finishes off the room beautifully and acts as great storage, but is also a very handy place to sit when getting ready.

Hermon & Hermon

Wardrobes – And finally, because I couldn’t do a post on bedroom storage without including at least one wardrobe. Be it built-in, free-standing or an exposed rack there are so many options when it comes to wardrobes, but for now the doors are closed and you will have to wait until next week for my top tips on how to organise them.

Pinterest

 

 

Operation Organise – Lounge Rooms

Spring has officially sprung, and with that comes Spring cleaning and the chance to get your life organised.
Being organised is a big thing for me. I can handle a bit of dust here and there, but feel completely frazzled when my surroundings are not organised. So much so, that my mum and sister have always teased me for having everything down to my underwear draw as neat as possible.

So with that in mind, I thought I would put together an operation organise series. Over the next few weeks we will be tackling one room at a time, starting with the Lounge and moving through to the Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom and Garage.

The number one key to remember for any room is everything has a place and should be kept in it’s place. The next thing to remember is, no two rooms are the same. What works in one room, may not in another but there are always opportunities to do something different (and possibly better). So without further ado… lets get organising!

Week 1 – The Lounge

1. Less is more – One word: Declutter. Do you really need it? Is it in the right room? Have You used it in the past 3 -6 months? If you’re answering no, no, no to these questions then you need to consider whether of not the item is worth the space that it’s taking up. Be ruthless – it’s my favourite word and probably my most dangerous quality, as I will happily throw away unwanted items without second thought!

lounge 7

2. After being ruthless think of the children. No, not yours, but the ones out there who aren’t as fortunate. Is your item something that could go to another home? Even magazines can be donated to op shops and will enjoy a second life. Spend some time sorting through what can go to another home, be recycled or be thrown out.

lounge 5

3. Spring Clean – Now that you’ve got a fresh start get those rubber gloves on, the vacuum out & start spring cleaning your space. Nothing is more therapeutic than putting all your beloved items back in a sparkling clean home. Taking everything out of their original space can also give you fresh ideas to place items in a new location.

lounge - 3

4. Baskets, Boxes & Bookshelves – All of the above can be worked into your room to become a part of the design, rather than obstacles or intrusions in your space. Whether your home is country classic or minimal modern, these days there are many furniture solutions online and off, so finding something perfect for your space has never been easier. As online options, check out Temple & Webster or The Home for great daily deals and Zanui or Crate & Barrel for some fantastic buys.
lounge - 2

lounge 6

5. Hidden storage – Okay, here’s where we can start to think outside the box. Think, hidden drawers in coffee tables, window seating with storage, push-open cupboards or storage ottomans. Any of these will work exceptionally well to hide away items that you want close by, but not on show.