Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Giveaway Series

I am always so grateful for all you beautiful supporters of Lilyfield Life. As this hobby turned business grows and grows I am meeting more of you and appreciate all our interactions on and offline. As a little thank you, I've put together a series of giveaways over on my Facebook page that will run weekly until Christmas. 

I want to share with you some of my favourite things so first up is 5 beautiful silk peonies.

to enter click here and follow the prompts. 

I have a set of these flowers myself and you will recognise them from my furniture styling. These are some of the most realistic fakes I've ever seen. Postage available worldwide.

Good luck! 
and thank you 
Fiona xx

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Limed Elm Bedside Table

I hope everyone survived the storm in Sydney and along the coast last night. I came home from quoting on a job last night and the roads were awash with rain. I'm sure some local houses will have flooded. Fingers crossed for you. Our building site survived okay. The roof didn't blow off which is always a good thing :)

One little project I didn't share yesterday was a little elm bedside table that I decided to give a limed look to. Liming is like a whitewash, but a method that that allows the natural grain and features of the timber to shine. 

Traditionally liming timber was done using lime or bleach to give a faded weathered look. An easy way to replicate this without using caustic chemicals is to use liming wax. For this table I used Porters Lime Wax.  I did a post a while ago about making your own liming wax but to be honest this stuff is better and probably even works out cheaper. It even smells beautiful.

Liming wax works best on open grained timber such as oak and elm. The open grain will give the wax some where to settle.  It is very easy to apply. clean your surface and then I just applied with a lint free cloth (I used a chux wipe) and work the liming wax into the grain. Then take a clean cloth and wipe the excess off in the direction of the grain. Additional applications will increase the whiteness of your finished piece.

I love how it enhances the beautiful timber grain, giving it an old weathered look.

This is a very easy makeover for a little coastal charm.

I'm off to take the kids to school then to continue painting Kristen's hutch. Stay warm, friends!

Fiona xx

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In the works

Good morning! As I write this post, my living room walls are going up and a 300 kilo steel beam, that will support the upstairs of the house, is being levered onto steel posts. I have to head off to do another onsite custom painting job but I wanted to stick around for a little while to see the builders hoist the steel beam into place. It's all looking fabulous, amazing and rather large.

Today I'm just sharing a couple of projects that I've been working on. I have several pieces of furniture scattered around the place that I am working on concurrently. I find that this is a much more productive way to work rather than painting one piece fully and then starting on the next.

I love the shape of this cupboard. It's massively heavy and has some beautiful details that i hope to enhance and give justice to with paint. Below you can see it in progress with it's first coat of a custom mix pale putty colour. This piece will be for sale. (although Phil says he wants to keep it so we'll see)

I've also just finished these side tables for my neighbour. She's decorating her guest bedroom and wanted a pop of colour. I'll share a full before and after post with details later this week.

I am also painting an umbrella stand and a marble topped sideboard for Nicole (who bought the black hall table I posted recently about). Nicole is loving the black finish I do so these are also going black. How nice is this heart detail on the umbrella stand?

Finally the best part of my week (even though ti's only Tuesday) was finishing painting Marianne's hutch. When the lead light doors and new handles are on I'll share a full detailed post and photos but wow I love this transformation.

I've finished my morning coffee and will go check on that beam now. I'm about to start painting another huge hutch but this time in a lovely pale taupe so hopefully it doesn't take as long as Marianne's.  I need a good neck massage already I can tell you!

I'll post photos soon of progress of the above buffet hutch - this one is for my friend Kristen. She asked me to find her one for her new house and within ten minutes I'd found her one, bought it the next day for a great price and then had my delivery guys pick it up and bring it to her house a few days later. Love a quick turn around. Now just to get it painted so Kristen can finish her unpacking.

have a good day. 
Fiona xx

Monday, October 13, 2014

White bow front drawers and a concrete slab

On Friday I finished painting this lovely sweet chest of drawers. I've painted it in a custom white mix of homemade chalk paint. I wanted a lovely soft white for this piece and I love the colour I created. I will definitely be using this mix again.

This chest of drawers is solid timber and very beautiful. It has a couple of dings and scratches (a lot I was able to sand out) but I don't mind them as they show it's age. The handles are my favourite part.

The waxed finish is very smooth from lots and lots of sanding. I know sanding is unpopular with a lot of people but trust me  - it makes a huge difference to your finished work.

This lovely mirror is for sale. I had it on hold for someone but now can't get in touch with her so I'm offering it for sale again. Email me for dimensions and pricing. It's solid timber and a beveled edge. 

In less pretty but equally exciting news we had our concrete slab for the living room poured on Saturday. It's very exciting to see it all take shape. 

Phil's been laughing at me because I've already mapped out where the furniture is going. 

What else would I be doing!

Fiona xx

Friday, October 10, 2014

A black hall table, morning walks and spring flowers

Nicole asked me to find her a nice hall table that I could paint black for her. She wanted something a little fancy and formal. I hope she loves it.  

Below is the table when I found it on eBay.

and now after painting. (I used a matte exterior black paint and primer in one.) I really love paint for a quick transformation! But you already know that :)

How amazing is the detail on the back! Nicole said she wishes she had a glass wall to place it against.

I rescued these flowers from our rubble of  garden. Shame to be building through spring when normally our minute garden is so pretty.  It's such a building site. We stupidly thought that the grass area would remain untouched but it's now covered with a builders' toilet, scaffolding, timber, tools etc. I am managing to keep a lot of the flowers and plants alive on the borders but we'll definitely need to replant the grass.

Phil and I have been going on a morning walk every day lately and it's just lovely out early. I thought you might like to see some photos. We are so lucky living next to Callan park and the water.  It's about the only time we get to chat uninterrupted, living in such close quarters with the kids. I think it's a habit we'll definitely keep up. I may be even turning into a morning person! 

How could you not love it with scenery like this:

Wishing you a great day and happy weekend
Fiona xx

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Renovations: Living Room Inspiration

Even though we are at the very early stages of our renovation I've had to make a lot of design decisions already and am very happy with how things are panning out. We are being quite strict with our budget but still want a nice aesthetic but mainly a very functional house. I think that blogging and painting furniture have helped me hone my DIY skills and also realise that often you can get what you want without spending a fortune. Sam, our builder, is also just fantastic at coming up with suggestions to save money.

For example for a long time I dreamt of a french marble fireplace surround, along the lines of these below:

I know this room below is a bedroom but it has many elements that I love. Ornate ceilings, a huge mirror, the marble fire surround and wall paneling. Swoon. Until I leave my mess every where...

I even found a beautiful original French one that exactly matches my dreams but at $7000-8000 for the surround alone (and then several thousand for the firebox) I just can't justify it.   I did find one I can order from China (China Marble) for $1500 (I can't remember if that included delivery but I think it did) but my big problem with that is if there is a problem with the fireplace surround or if the marble is the wrong colour then I'd have difficulty returning it.  I'm not that good at international internet shopping obviously! 

 Then I was surfing Pinterest recently and I found the image below and I thought that will get me the look that I want but at a fraction of the cost.

What do you think of this fireplace?

Sam, my fabulous builder, said he can build that fireplace surround and it will hide the firebox inside. Depending on how the room comes together I can even put a marble slab on the top for the mantle. Phil just thinks I should paint the mantel in faux marble like I did last December for this hall console below.  The top was actually red timber (jarrah) and the client wanted it to look like calcutta marble. I was so pleased how it turned out for my first attempt.

For the back of the house we have an opening of 4.5 metres onto the paved area and garden. Neither Phil nor I are fans of big bifold doors so I searched Pinterest once again for french door images and I fell in love with this image below.  To work out what I like I just pin images that speak to me and then see what I keep going back to.  A set of three french doors won my heart.

I think the above image is a little too busy so the transoms I've chosen are just plain glass and the French doors only have horizontal mullions (so four panes of glass which is easier to clean than all those panes above). Each french door opening is 1.4m and there's a brick pier in between the sets of doors which actually means that the builder can use one less timber/steel beam in the house and that reduces our cost also.  Our back room has very high ceilings- around 3.5 or 3.7m so the back facade is pretty grand.  (I'm so excited every time I look at it!) We'll have a bbq table one side of the pergola and a seating area the other side.

I also love the look of paneling for the living room. I think for a relatively small expense you can make a grand statement. The paneling is something I will work with the builder on as it's pretty straight forward- measuring, cutting, glueing and nailing and then lots of painting.  Here are some examples of paneling I really like. 

Initially I wanted a white concrete floor like we've had for the last few years (but a better slab and less pitting).  If you've followed this blog for a while you'll know that our wall kept leaking in the back fibro room and so one day I ripped up all the carpet and painted the slab white. I've loved this floor as a stop gap but now we are renovating I've thought long and hard what to do in the new lounge room.

The rest of our house has NSW Spotted Gum floorboards so we've decided to continue that into the lounge room. It's really important for me to make the renovation as sympathetic the original house as possible. I don't want the look where you have the original house at the front then a big modern extension. You can see the NSW Spotted Gum floors below. These are proper tongue and groove floor boards (not a floating floor) and we had them secret nailed so there are nails to spoil the floor.

A few years ago a friend gave me a beautiful brand new chandelier that I'm looking forward to hanging in the centre of the living room. For ages the chandelier sat on my coffee table but it's now tucked away in my shed waiting to be hung.

It's all coming together - it my head anyway!

You can see my Living room pinterest board here to give you an idea of where I'm heading and to find all the links and sources.

Fiona xx