Tanika Blair

Blog

The first ideas for our new home.

We have been wanting to do a ‘reno’ project for us long as I can remember. Our unit that we purchased 5 years ago now, has been a great investment, but it wasn’t the kind of property we were going to make a profit off if we renovated it. We’ve made small changes here and there, but nothing major.

We’ve been hunting the property market for a our second property purchase for the better part of the last 2 years … and then when we find out we were pregnant again, it wasn’t a want anymore, but a need … Our unit is large in size, it is a 2 bedroom and 2 bath (with oh so much storage) but we wanted to get something with a 3 bedroom, and backyard for the kids to play.

Truthfully with both of us being self-employed (banks certainly don’t reward you for being small business owners) it’s not been the easiest road to get enough finance for what we were wanting, and trying to keep our unit as well.

With the pending arrival of baby number 2 (due in 5 weeks) … we needed a place that was decent enough to live in for now (my gosh we looked at some ‘way too far’ gone places, which we would of taken on if it wasn’t for the tiny feet sure to get injured) but room for enough improvements that we would make a profit.

The other factor in buying our new family home, was we had got so use to our lifestyle so close to the beach, especially with limited windows in time in between ‘baby naps’ (i like to be home for naps so that I can get work done in the time alone) … being so close to everything really had it’s perks … I walk into Kirra beach most days with Cash, or walk to get groceries and ride to see family and friends.

Both our families also live close to Coolangatta, and when we rely so heavily on them for baby sitting (when we both work like we do, and Cash isn’t in daycare yet) … we needed to stay close to them too.

So we have end up purchasing a home only 2 minutes drive from our current unit.

And here is where the fun begins … we will have to take it slow, choosing to do most of the work on the house ourselves (in our very limited spare time) … it isn’t a property that is going to need walls taken down, we think it’s going to be the perfect little reno, for our first reno project, work to be done but nothing too extreme.


The plan:

  • Of course painting all of the interior (well we certainly aren’t, but Chameleon Colour Concepts is)

  • New window furnishings for all windows (by A Curtains and Blinds)

  • Completely guttering the ‘backyard’ space, to give us maximum ‘lawn’ area, and create a new outdoor entertaining zone.


Not straight away but hopefully in the not to distant future:

  • Pulling up all the carpet, replacing all the flooring with hardwood parquetry style flooring. (in the bedrooms too)

  • Adding an ‘entrance nook’ under the stair case, to store (and display) hats, bags, shoes etc … easy access for the whole family.

  • I would like to also update all of the bedroom wardrobes to be a wooden detailed finish.

  • Replace the stair case rail.

  • We will of course renovate the kitchen, adding in a bench seat dining space

  • and renovate the main bathroom


Down the track, we also hope to:

  • Renovate the downstairs laundry and bathroom.

  • And completely change the look of the exterior, new hand rail on the balcony, take off window coverings, paint the brick work and the roof, new front door, new garage door, update the driveway, and add grass and landscaping to the front of the house.


Now here’s where problems start. We don’t see this as a ‘forever’ home, it’s simply our home for now, and our project for the next few years. So when it comes to choosing the finishes, it’s so hard, cause if it was us living in it for the unforeseeable future I would go crazy with colour and pattern and out there textures, but seems as we will be selling this beauty in say 5 years? … I’m mindful of what someone else is going to want to live in. So the finishes will be fairly neutral and I will amp up the whole thing with colourful (easily changeable) accessories of course.



I am a big believer in buying furniture that you truly love, that you plan on keeping forever … I harp on about this to my friends, we all have tight budgets, but I try to get them to save for the pieces they will want to keep, not the things they are buying ‘for now’ because they ‘need’ a dining table now (and don’t have the money for the one they truly want).

So for that reason, we don’t actually need much new furniture for the new place, everything we have will sit nicely in our new home, and I want to keep everything, I don’t want to change any of it. So it is only because it’s a bigger space then what we currently have that there will be a couple of new pieces of furniture, where needed. But we aren’t getting rid of anything we already own.


The entry, stair case and under stair case feature nook.

The stair railing, is super duper wide! … like our kids will be able to squeeze through it and fall down, until they are at least 5 years old, so as much as I would love to just paint this beauty up and keep this existing stair rail, we are going to have to replace it. I’m liking the feel of these beauties:

(Iluka Home by  Alexander & Co )

(Iluka Home by Alexander & Co)

(image found on @dos_ombre)

(image found on @dos_ombre)

(Iluka Home by  Alexander & Co )

(Iluka Home by Alexander & Co)

(Magnolia House by  Arent & Pyke )

(Magnolia House by Arent & Pyke)

(home of Kate Dinon, featured on  The Design Files )

(home of Kate Dinon, featured on The Design Files)

The whole interior is currently painted in a pastel yellow … wow! … yes our paint work may get damaged through renovations but I had to get it painted for me to like it for now … so after much deliberation (I was trying to be more bold with my paint colour choices, but have gone pretty safe) … I’ve chosen Dulux ‘Lexicon Quarter’ for all the woodwork, the living space walls and the downstairs office walls. Dulux ‘Silkwort’ for all the bedroom walls (3 bedrooms) … and Dulux ‘Subdue’ for the entry hallway.


For the flooring through out the whole home I will be doing a wooden parquetry finish similar to these:

(image via @theinteriordesignco)

(image via @theinteriordesignco)

(image of Rachel Castle’s home)

(image of Rachel Castle’s home)


295d41b445c345cc8225bc46141b6ccf.jpg

Under the stair case, will be made ‘open’ to feature a bench seat (upholstered in a fun fabric of course) … with large/deep draws for shoes, bags etc. And the wall under this stair case, above the bench seat will be scattered with hooks to hang hats etc, a little shelf for keys too. (we have a similar little space at our entry in the unit at the moment, and we couldn’t be with out it). Keeping our family organised, with a place for everything, easily accessible when you need it.

(this photo isn’t a great explain of what I’m actually envisioning, so you might just have to wait and see for this space).









The living room & feature ‘art wall’.

A collaged art wall is a must, and I hope to do this on the ‘stair case’ wall, like this:

(image found on @apartment_34)

(image found on @apartment_34)

I have been known to change my art and colours around a bit, so I would like to do some kind of wire feature on this wall, to make it easy to swap hooks around, and change the ‘collage’ of the art when I want to, with out putting a million holes in the wall, I’ve seen a few examples, but none quite right for what I'm thinking, so hang tight for this idea to come to life.


There’s an odd little nook at the ‘void’ end of the stair case (on the second level), I’m thinking just a really large potted indoor plant there.

Part from the wooden parquetry flooring, and fresh white curtains (from A Curtains and Blinds) … the living room at this stage will be pretty well what is in our current living room in the unit. (I still love it all, as much as I did when I first made all those purchases).


The dining space.

Finally! I get to source and style an indoor dining space for ourselves! … keeping our unit more ‘open’ we choose not to have a dining space (we just used the large kitchen bench for meals, and the outdoor setting).

So of course there will be a bench seat, and a round dining table … must haves on my list FOREVER! … I quite like the look of these lovely spaces:

The upholstered back of the ‘bench seat’ … stripe pattern fabric. (interiors by  Aren’t & Pyke )

The upholstered back of the ‘bench seat’ … stripe pattern fabric. (interiors by Aren’t & Pyke)

The smooth table top finish, teamed with fabric seating. That touch of pattern on the leg of the table. The pop of colour. (interiors by Doherty Design, featured on  The Design Files )

The smooth table top finish, teamed with fabric seating. That touch of pattern on the leg of the table. The pop of colour. (interiors by Doherty Design, featured on The Design Files)

(interiors by Sarah Sherman Samuel, in the home of Garance Dore’)

(interiors by Sarah Sherman Samuel, in the home of Garance Dore’)

I have chosen this Coco Republic … concrete dining table, I’ve been able to get the grey in a price to good to refuse, still deciding but I will possibly paint it black.

coco-republic-regent-outdoor-dining-table-grey-900mm-outdoor-furniture-dining-tables-001.jpg
Screen Shot 2019-03-15 at 12.39.44 pm.png

I love love love these dining chairs from Uniqwa Furniture, but they are going to be too tall to sit under the dining table nicely, so I am still hunting for the perfect dining chairs, but honestly I can’t find anything else I like … send me anything you think I might like.

I think with having a ‘concrete’ table as an interior dining table, the dining chairs are best to be in a fabric of sorts, to soften the harshness of the concrete … so I prefer the dining chairs not be metal, or rattan … for fear it looking like an outdoor setting.

I will also need to find an exciting fabric for the bench seat. (so far I’m liking either Walter G Textile’s ‘Scopello’ in Lapis or Kelly Wearstler’s ‘Graffito’ in teal.)

scopello_lapis_linen_1024x.jpg
GWF-3530_color.TEALPEA_view.1.jpg

This dining space will sit very closely to the kitchen (not a huge amount a space there) … so needs to compliment the kitchen, as if it was one room.


The kitchen.

I have been waiting for this moment what feels like my whole life … to be able to renovate/design my own kitchen (and bathrooms) … so it didn’t take long to make the final choices on what I wanted. I have known a general idea or a long time.

The floor plan and layout of the cabinetry for the kitchen will be changed (sketches to come).

Black cabinetry was a must, preferable a grain wood finish (with a simple ‘shaker’ profile).

A white stone bench top, that will continue up the wall for the splash back space (less grout to clean, please!)

The Rangehood will be simple design, in black.

Feature open shelving on either side of the range hood. (to finally show off all the ‘pretty’ table ware I have purchased over the years).

A black sink, and brass gold tapeware.

… Now the decision on wether to have hidden ‘pull’ style handles (so flat cabinetry, with no actual ‘handle’ visible) … or a brass gold feature handle.

(wooden parquetry flooring will also featuring in the kitchen and a roman blind)

A simple one line border style profile to the cabinetry like this. (in black)

A simple one line border style profile to the cabinetry like this. (in black)

bd272c88065617ce57adca9223fb3f13.jpg
IMG_2640.jpg
This style of open shelving, possibly that simple range hood style too.

This style of open shelving, possibly that simple range hood style too.

Marble stone bench tops, and continued up the splash back.

Marble stone bench tops, and continued up the splash back.



The main bathroom.

This one is still a tough one, I really really love full concrete bathrooms, to achieve this finish you must use a certain technique so that it is all waterproof. I love the look of it, but more so the idea of not cleaning any grout! is just fantastic! … I would finish this off with brass gold fixtures.

e72499a21abf4f4f816f33eae08546ab.jpg

I have heard this can be quite pricey to do. (so will wait and see what the quote is like fo this).

I do struggle to find tiles I like … wether to go neutral, or something with some colour? … I do love love colour, and generally stuck to greens, blues and purples all my life … but the tones I adore change all the time, so will the bathroom ‘date’ if I do a coloured tile? … my other alternative would be to wallpaper the ‘toilet room’ in something with colour (with a simple tile for the floor, skirting) … so it is a different and exciting, but wallpaper is a lot easier to change or replace rather than tiles.

Of course even going neutral with the tiles, I would still have coloured towels, accessories to bring that edge to the space. (if you didn’t know already, I love colour!)

This bit of open shelving. and the floating concrete basin/vanity.

This bit of open shelving. and the floating concrete basin/vanity.

This little bit of extra shelving/storage space nook, if we didn’t do a shaving cabinet mirror.

This little bit of extra shelving/storage space nook, if we didn’t do a shaving cabinet mirror.

These teal tiles! If I was to use colour.

These teal tiles! If I was to use colour.

Love these rough square tiles so much, but the grout cleaning! … The vanity cabinet, brass gold and shaving cabinet is all a big YES!

Love these rough square tiles so much, but the grout cleaning! … The vanity cabinet, brass gold and shaving cabinet is all a big YES!

Really like everything in this, especially the square tiles, the black marble vanity.

Really like everything in this, especially the square tiles, the black marble vanity.

Really like all the finishes and fittings in this.

Really like all the finishes and fittings in this.

Brass gold, vanity cabinet, saving cabinet mirror.

Brass gold, vanity cabinet, saving cabinet mirror.

That flooring? …. Brass Gold Tapware, and the marble vanity, if didn’t end up doing the concrete.

That flooring? …. Brass Gold Tapware, and the marble vanity, if didn’t end up doing the concrete.

THIS! concrete basin/vanity. LOVE!

THIS! concrete basin/vanity. LOVE!

I can’t stand ‘free standing’ baths … how on earth do you clean behind/around them? … so the bath will definitely be built in (boxed in? I’m not sure what you call it) … possibly concrete. And tiling, would mean we could do concrete sink, I love this:













If I can get away with it, I’d love to do no ‘shower screens' … but this doesn’t always work out with space/water splashing etc … the less things needing to be cleaned the better.

I love a ‘shaving cabinet’ style mirror, for the storage factor. This guy, with that lovely black frame has been a stand out so far:

(interiors by Three Bird Renovations)

(interiors by Three Bird Renovations)


The outdoor entertaining space.

’m envisioning something like these:

Pebble/stones? might be too messy, likely ending up all over the yard? … but I like the white/black/green colour palette, the greenery ‘shade’ and the outdoor setting.

Pebble/stones? might be too messy, likely ending up all over the yard? … but I like the white/black/green colour palette, the greenery ‘shade’ and the outdoor setting.

Don’t mind this paving, and of course all that lush greenery.

Don’t mind this paving, and of course all that lush greenery.

… or an ‘underfoot’ feature like this:

The round pavers to get from one area of the yard to another.

The round pavers to get from one area of the yard to another.

This paving (or any of the below).

This paving (or any of the below).

551771f3ccf015ba64c58ad519353a01.jpg
95f3ee2a1d4495db82b16ce9776ab68f.jpg
e9e3b0990b02871dd5c8d7ec3fcd1698.jpg

The exterior.

The exterior is likely the last thing we are going to do, so it is a long long way off. We will paint the brick white (cue Three Bird Renovations) … paint or replace the garage door with a black one … I will keep the curve of the garage opening. Put in a double door, of larger single door for the entry. Will get the driveway finished in the same or something similar to the backyard paving.

White brick, black window frames.

White brick, black window frames.

Greenery up the walls, curves in the architecture, a white exterior.

Greenery up the walls, curves in the architecture, a white exterior.

We will of course be taking off all those old ‘shutters’ on the exterior (give me all the natural light!) … and we will replace the balcony rail liking something similar to what I’ve been looking at for the interior stair rail.

And the landscaping will be given some serious attention.


I always struggle to ‘name’ the style I am going for … I think it will end up being a mix of ‘art deco’ and ‘industrial’ with a European feel? … What do you think? … What would you call it?

I hope this gives you a little insight into what I am aiming for, and hopefully my instagram stories over the coming months will make more sense for the end result I have envisioned.

I hope you will enjoy this renovation journey with me … learning and sharing all I find to help any one that might be interested in learning with me.

There is a lot of ‘pining’ going on over on my Pinterest, if you are interested in seeing more.

Tanika Blair