Kitchen Renovation – Part THREE of three – reflections

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The layout of the kitchen. I spent YEARS on this. I was always playing with the layout. I drew it to scale and moved everything around and in the end I believe I came up with the best solution. Having utilised the kitchen for about 9 months now, it is working nicely.

The knobs and handles!! They are so glamourous.

I like my down lights. They are pretty inconspicuous when turned off. And when turned on they give amazing light and I like the way we wired them. 2 sets of 4 on an individual switch.

The kitchen sink. I am so glad I swapped to a big single bowl! I can wash the tray from the high chair, the fridge shelves, the oven racks all with ease! I also have a small suspended drainer that acts like a small secondary sink/drainer without taking up any extra bench space. Thankfully I was able to get one from ikea for less then $40 as opposed to the the abey optional extra drainer that was ~$180 (from memory)

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This is how my sink normally looks. I really try to avoid having the dish cloth hanging off the tap. When I want to quickly wash up a 1 or a few items I just place it in the drainer, if I washing up more, I just lay out a terry dish towel to drain everything that place it over the back of a dining table chair for the sun to dry it.

I love my pull out bins! SO HANDY!!!!!!!

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I am not a fan of the bench top colour. It is a warm white. Obviously not what I wanted. I just wanted a white. I hate my range hood. It honestly serves no purpose. It does nothing. I couldn’t get anything else or would mean touching my cornices which I wanted to keep as is. I couldn’t duct it out through the wall behind, because that is a bedroom. If we are frying something on the cook top, all doors and windows are open . .  even in winter. . . I am constantly wiping the cabinets door fronts above too. To keep everything pristine. The 2 pac poly finished makes that easy. It honestly is driving me to the point that I want to make this kitchen a show kitchen and put a butlers pantry around the corner (where the current laundry is) in an extension. An induction cooktop, ducted quiet range hood and another fridge! HA!

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The fridge. I wish it was built in. I hate the way it is just plonked there. Doesn’t look well resolved. We wanted to use the current fridge because it wasn’t that old and we were trying to keep costs down.

The grout colour of the backsplash tiles. I am not entirely happy with the grout colour of the back splash. It should have either been white or DARK grey. The grey we used just matches the tiles and blends in.

 Would have chosen fake stone tiles that look like slate. We spent a small fortune on sealer for the slate tiles and it doesn’t appear to be working and they are staining. Even though we are diligent with cleaning up spills straight away.

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Art work for the wall between the windows. I would love a demi lune console table to go between those 2 windows.

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And have a grand ginger jar or really nice ceramic on top OR this GORGEOUS lust-worthy candy dish I spotted the other day from on Juliska’s instagram.

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But I have visions of a rogue ball hitting it and smashing it to smithereens. Or kids bumping the table. I think this idea might have to go on the back burner until kids are moved outta home!

I am yet to make curtains for the dining area. I want to make curtains for that space to mark that it is a different zone or space from the rest of the kitchen as this house does not have a dining room!

(Ohh I wish!) I am going to make dreamy soft flowing white cotton curtains.

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But with an aqua trim tape to pull in the colours of the bench seat and the back door. And also to just add some colour. Because I don’t want it to be too monochromatic. I am not that bold.

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With the window above the banquette. I want to make a fake roman blind valance and use the same trim tape.

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The windows need extensive work. They need some TL C and some painting. Then I can swap out all the old painted over hardware for shiny new brass hardware that I purchased. This is a big job and I can find people that will do the fixing up of the windows but also point out that they won’t paint the windows.

This is also a very dirty job! Probably should have been the first thing to be done.

Chandelier. If I can pick one! I keep going back and forth about what I want. I still like the original one I picked out from my mood board.

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The French doors need to be painted white. Along with the laundry door. Lots of bits of trim painting here and there. As well as the architraves.

Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to return with the reveal of more finished projects.

Kitchen Renovation – Part TWO of three – Sources

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Chinese slate natural split tiles 300 x 600

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White 2 pac poly doors.

Stone bench top – Essa

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Top knobs cabinet pulls and handles.

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Marble splash back tiles – Bisanna

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French doors – Doors Plus. I kick myself for this decision. The quality is SO POOR. Never again.

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Ilve cooktop & rangehood. Fridge (from previous kitchen) – Fisher and Paykel

Dishwasher – Asko. LOVE IT!

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Rugs – Overstock (was happy at first with these but the colour is turning to yellow because they are exposed to the sun)

Sink – Abey. Tap – Brodware

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Paint – Dulux Limed white quarter. Whole house is painted in that colour

Back door – Sydney Woodworkers in Brookvale. This is a gorgeous door! I would love to use this company again! They were fantastic. I love the reeded glass. Back door paint colour. Dulux Meadow lane.

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Bench seat – Designed and partly upholstered by me. See tutorial link here.

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Brass handles. Domino or Superior Brass (Which is NOT AT ALL SUPERIOR. Made in India and the quality is terrible.)

Kitchen Renovation – Part ONE of three – Before and After

Lets face it. I can’t wait until the kitchen is completely finished to do this post, because I don’t know when that will be.

I thought I would just put the post up as is and WHEN we do finish the kitchen/dining room completely I can just add some more updated shots.

So let’s kick this off.

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The kitchen/dining room is at the back of the house. You enter through these French doors from the living room. They aren’t painted yet and still have the protective film on the glass.

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Audrey at 15 months

D’oh! Another month has passed

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And naughty me didn’t keep my promise.

Forgive me?

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The phone. . . not a fav thing to give her but a life buoy when you need her to be quiet or you just need a sitting still shot of her.

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Audrey currently has 12 teeth.

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And they snap down hard and fast like a crocodile if you are not quick!

I lost a pair of Audrey’s shoes. Hence why she isn’t wearing any. I am going to buy her some nice dress shoes today or tomorrow. Because it is party central this weekend. I took the weekend off work because I received invites to 3 events! THREE in the one weekend. And by George, I am going to them all! An afternoon tea engagement party, a family reunion in Newcastle on Saturday night (Christmas in July) and then back to Sydney for a Christening on Sunday! Plus I want to make a start on my bed head d.i.y.

No sleep for the wicked.

Finally I have a day off and time to spend with my Audrey. I didn’t really get a weekend last week. I had to do a freelance gig that meant working AND taking care of Audrey at the same time! It worked out ok in the end. I took Audrey to a nearby park at lunch, let her run riot and then she zonked out to Zeds ZZzzzZZ land in the pram on the walk back and she slept for 1.5 hours while I bashed out some work! When she awoke I left her to her own devices and I was working with my back to her, I turned to check on her and she had taken a corn fritter out of the take away container and smooshed it into the carpet and with a plastic knife and fork was trying to eat it! The colour drained from my face and I said a little prayer. “Dear God, don’t let anyone walk into this office until I can fix this.” The humble baby wipe saved the day and my caboose. Couldn’t even tell!

They wanted me to come back the next day, but that was just WAYYYYY too much. Just too much. I had to draw the line somewhere, so I have been working on it when I can. But that has all been wrapped up now. Thank goodness.

Then I had some intense days at my regular job too. I just need a breather. Or in other words and all expenses paid holiday to somewhere tropical and balmy.

Not going to happen? So instead I am spending some leisurely time at my dining table and bench seat bathing in the beautiful sunlight that enters this room! Speaking of this room. My kitchen posts will start shortly. . . .

Long time coming.

Audrey at 14 months

Gosh it seems these days that I just pop on here to put up the monthly pics of my daughter. Oi.

I’ve got some things in the pipeline though I assure you.

On Sunday we had a combined 1 year party for our babies from Mothers group. Audrey turned 14 months old on that day.

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Teething hardcore.

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This is the cake I made for the party. I guess you should use paper towel for the berries first. Learn something new everyday.

It was a 3 layer chocolate cake with whipped cream in the layers with strawberries. The outside icing is buttercream

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These photos are by – Willow Art Company

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Her hair is growing so fast.

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And she is NOT interested in any clips or head bands.

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Or staying STILL!

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Well. . . maybe sometimes. Just enough to paparazzi snap a shot of her.

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Another round of hide and go seek in the curtains. Sorry the photo is blurry as all get out, but couldn’t resist her little face. She was so ‘shocked’ that I found her LOL!!

So, yeah. Till next month! Adios.

NO WAY! I’ll be back shortly. I got 4.5 hours sleep last night. Nothing to do with the baby. I think I need to be stay up late person and a get up early person AT THE SAME TIME!

I went to bed at 11.30pm and awoke at 4am . . . KILL ME NOW.

I have got a lot done. but still loads more to do. I just cannot get on time of this cleaning gig and I only have 1 child!!!

Weekend

Today is my Saturday My husband took a day off work to join me and the babe.

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We had a lovely time!

Cooked breaky together and went to a cafe for lunch. Then did some gardening. Nothing too stressful.

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Painted this new artwork for my Audrey.

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I did a “v” Violet too.

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I have been doing quite a few of these floral initial artworks! I even did 2 big A4 size ones! They are in the post right now! As well as a big “L” for a boy!

If you are interested in these. I have them in my etsy store right now!

I have also gone BOW mad!

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One for a girl and one for a boy!

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I re-did the “L” in the top corner as I wasn’t happy with it. It looked flat. I was so glad I changed things up. Different paint, different paper.

There are more bows! I am part way through a creamy/yellow floral one. I am addicted. Practice makes perfect.

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Flowers from a friend! I helped her design her engagement party invites. Those lilies lasted for a long time! Great impact.

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(Filthy windows! I’m getting to it)

This was Audrey and me on Mother’s day morning! Gee I had a lovely day. I had to go to work, but it was still lovely. My husband cooked baked eggs with creme fraiche and smoked salmon. Then drove me to work and then brought nice sandwiches and sweet tarts to me at work.

Then they hung around till I finished. We went to my parents house. Chatted. Dropped the babe off then Husband and I went to dinner and a movie. GOLD CLASS!!

WOW. I was knocked off my feet.

Hope you have all been well. Sorry for the lack of posts. Life has been challenging of late. Not sure why. Just seems a bit much. But I’m working through it. I’m trying to do everything. Oh except exercise. Can’t seem to make the time for that right now I don’t really care. WHICH IS BAD! ahahhahah oh well.

Cleaning is HIGH on my agenda at the moment. I mean, did you see my windows in that pic?? Clearly that is unacceptable. I have been positively PICKING the brains of some girls at work. They are on the verge of OCD with cleaning habits. They give me great advice. I tell them my HONEST habits without any shame. I told them without hesitation that I haven’t cleaned my oven and it was installed in October last year. I don’t think I even own oven cleaner. They nearly fainted. And I love my kitchen. I have been in the process of changing my cleaning habits ever since we moved into this house.

When I met my husband I was living at home in a shoe box bedroom. A double bed would have gone wall to wall to wall. The whole floor space would be 1 bed. So that room was always a mess because I just didn’t have space to store anything. Then I moved out of home to an apartment and shared with 2 other girls. So again, Just the one bedroom to house all my possessions. My husband was always at me about the tidiness of my rooms and I always rebutted with “It’s because I have no space!” He accepted that excuse (my lies) Then we moved to a 1 bedroom apartment, together. That is when he started cottoning on . . but still it was just a 1 bedroom apartment. Then we moved to our current house and my lie could not live on. No more excuses. I was completely found out!

I WANT a clean house more then most things in life. I get frustrated at myself when I am trying to take a picture and there is always something yuck in the background. I have really been trying to change my ways. I really wonder if there is hope for me.

Are you a clean freak? Tell me your secrets. Are there any secrets? Or just clean, clean, clean CONSTANTLY! IT NEVER ENDS?

Audrey at 13 months

I think I am just going to keep this up.

I really need to print out her 1 to 12 months and make a book for her. I have such grand plans. Gorgeous hand made paper for the end pages. Velvet ribbon.

ONE DAY. Or in the mean time I should just get one of those cheapy photo books done.

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Playing with her softies in her room.

How chic is the moover pram? As well as the dolly cot. I am using it as storage for her toys until she is old enough for play. Like putting her dolly to bed, tucking her in, kissing her.

The cot is a micki cot from my parents.

Her dress was a gift from a friend.

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She enjoyed pulling all her toys out and moving them all over the room.

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This photo is so cute to me!

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Getting off the chair is no drama. Getting on . . . well . . .  that is a different story and I for one am thankful that she is not quite there. She can get on the couch though.

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I painted this little “a” for my Audrey. I am also doing them for the kids in my mums group as they turn one.

I have more artwork ideas too! Just need to get onto them.

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Headboard

I am part way through 19 days of work with only 2 separate days off. And 1 of those days off was spent with my husband! He actually took a day off, just for the sake of having a day off. I think people forget that we can have days off. Not just out of necessity. I certainly have forgotten that too.

So that was lovely. I of course crammed way too much into a day which is my usually fashion. My thought is, if I have managed to pack a baby bag and get thy self out the door, I ain’t coming back anytime soon. I don’t concern myself with the cost of petrol/tolls or driving kilometres.

We set off over the harbour bridge to one of my favourite places. The fabric shop. Because the banquette in my kitchen is finished I wanted to start on the next project. The bed head. Have been going back and forth at what I wanted to do for that. At one stage, diamond tufting came back into the mix, but I vetoed it again. I am going to do a fancy shape head board with a piped edge. D.I.Y!

Pray for me.

The only constant has been that I wanted a duckegg coloured velvet fabric. My dream was the Schumacher mohair velvet in mist

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Which I received pricing from the lovely Heidi. It was what I was expecting. But because I am d.i.y.ing it, what if it is tragic? What a waste. And my boss at work said, no, go low spend, because if your taste changes you can just change it out and no feel any guilt because of the money put into it was low. That resonated with me more.

For me, high end fabric is just for throw pillows and the single chair I am afraid. (ONE DAY, CURTAINS. Because I am confident in my curtain making ability)

So I present to you $34 a metre fabric, that isn’t quite a velvet. But It is not directional so I can railroad it (lie it sideways) and it was the widest width I could find. 148cm. It is darker then I had hoped but I have to compromise somewhere.

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I love one of the ladies in the shop there, she always gives me great advice. Enjoys seeing pictures of my finished projects made with their fabrics. She chatted to my husband to tell him that I SAVE him lots of money!!!! HAHAHAHAHAH because my husband certainly doesn’t see it that way.

I am heavily inspired by this hickory chair head board.

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From my reading of diy head boards, the general consensus is to avoid curves. . . .  well um ya,. . about that!

CAUTION TO THE WIND!

All you can do is try and that is why I went low spend on the fabric. The fabric isn’t of low quality though. It is commercial grade, made for upholstery Zepel branded fabric.

When I walked out of the fabric shop it was quarter to two! So much for doing lunch. . . . I spent 2 hours in there.

I think I want to make 2 or 3 covers for European pillow/cushions that will lean against the head board at the back. With nice, indulgent fabric. Needs to tie in with the headboard and my bedding

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This is where I allow myself some high end majesty!! So I am taking advice/recommendations!

I love this swallows fabric. Have done for a while, I am pretty sure that Coco Republic used this fabric and made up cushions with it. That was probably the first time I saw it.

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I feel like remaking my curtains in my bedroom. So they look like this

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Here’s a sketch of what my bedroom will look like.

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My husband expressed great interest in this fabric!

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He said he would love it in our lounge room for curtains. The colours are not really my colours, but the fabric is quite decadent. The orange in the fabric is like our settee.

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and would tie in nicely. I have plains of re-upholstering the settee,  but there is nothing wrong with it. It is in fab condition, just not my colouring. But maybe it is a sign to just leave it. Remove myself out of it and do the room up as if it is for a client (aka my husband) and that is the brief to use that fabric and those colours. Would be a great exercise.

I think I should do that. I love the fabric too. (I am just a pastel girl at heart, but I have a young family, so maybe these darker colours for a communal room is a wiser direction to head)

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Does navy blue go with this palette? I would love a navy blue couch.

Then we headed off to Palm Beach. Lunch turned into a 3.30pm affair. Thankfully my husband fed Audrey her lunch while I was perusing in the shop earlier.

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Then we went to another favourite shop of mine. Palm beach home. Which has 3 locations. I haven’t been to this one yet and I picked up another Astier de Villatte product. This time the Adelaide bowl/platter thing. Perfect serving dish.

Then I wanted to go past Alfresco Emporium. They only have 1 shop in NSW. Didn’t rate it. I don’t have a costal house. So I am not their target market.

Then I just wanted to keep going. We went to Chatswood Chase. My husband wanted to take me to the phone shop. I am in need of a new mobile phone. I was bemused. I am not interested in this stuff, they all do what I need them to do. Not interested. LOL.

Then we browsed around. I FINALLY got my sister in law a birthday present. I am so crap at buying present. OVER THINKER over here! *waves* It is also very difficult to buy for her. She is travelling the world and working on a boat. Her possessions are limited to her suitcase and she shares are small room on a boat! WHAT ON EARTH DOES ONE GET FOR HER? I wanted to buy her 2 or 3 small copper sauce pans that you can do soufflés in or garlic prawns

And they are small enough for her to take with her or she can leave them here as the start of her glory box for when she settles down. Because she has become quite the cook and foodie. I thought she would love them.

But I ummed and ahhed too much and thought, would that be too cumbersome and unused.

Then I went to mimco and looked at a bracelet and it was $130 for some trendy faddy thing and I wasn’t even sure it was her style. . . So I just bought her a gorgeous top from Cameo the label. I am 90% sure she will love it. She is a party girl and I see her ripping up Antibes/Ibiza/Miami in it!!

Meanwhile I have been researching copper pots. They are actually objects of beauty and I want some. But they don’t work with induction. . . but I don’t have induction. . . but what about the future. . . Hmmm. LIFE IS HARD.

Here is a different present I enjoyed wrapping.

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Anyways, thanks for reading this far. I’ll let you go now. Let’s chat in the comments.

Feedback on head board and fabric choices?? THANKS.

 

Audrey at 12 months

a.k.a 1 YEAR OLD!

(this post is a bit late, but life goes on)

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This is her on the morning of her birthday just before going to daycare.

As luck would have it, it was the day the reptile man came to visit the daycare centre!

She was born the day before my mum and sister in law. So we had a little group do at my in-laws place.

I made yet another cake.

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This was a carrot cake requested by my sister in law.

She turned 20 something (count the candles LOL)

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I didn’t get enough photos of her on her party day so I dress her up again and snapped some more.

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NeoReverie Diamond Tufting Tutorial Banquette.

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Welcome everybody. There is a wealth of information and guidance available for this process, but I still thought I would do my own version.

I’ve graduated, master upholsterer, from the University of YouTube based on all the videos I watched and information I absorbed.

Supplies

Medium density foam: cut to the shape you require. This stuff is expensive. There are more savvy ways to acquire foam, like foam mattress or other end products made of foam from big box stores like IKEA or target and cutting it down with an electric bread knife. I have a history of getting stroppy with a D.I.Y that doesn’t go to plan. So my personal philosophy is to start off on the right foot with the right products. Just pay the money and get exactly what you need. I bought the foam at the Foam Booth in Surry Hills. You can also get Foam at Clark Rubber and I am sure there are others. I needed 2480mm x 380mm and this cost me $80

MDF/ply wood/peg board: I used 3mm mdf which I believe was too flimsy. Hence why I braced it which you will see later.

Batting: I bought it on a roll from Spotlight. I needed 3 metres

Fabric: Thickish in weight and upholstery grade. You will need more fabric then you think. I cut 3.2 metres for my 2.5 metre long banquette. Because my projects had really long rows of buttons, it just ate the fabric up

This YouTube video shows how to measure your project to determine the right amount of fabric you need. I didn’t bother doing it, because I was talked out of it by this blog post.

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As she casually mentions that it doesn’t take up much more fabric. To be fair, I had a lot more buttons on a row then she did and I should have realised. It left me to sew on more fabric on either side. I had the half tufted banquette on the floor and the sewing machine on the floor while my husband pressed the pedal and intermittently moved the 2.5 metre long piece through the sewing machine.

I bought my fabric on clearance from Bargain Upholstery in Seaforth. I wanted a light blue grey fabric that was a linen look-a-like and not a fabric that they needed to order in (So I could get started right away and If I needed more that it wouldn’t be a drama) I also wanted it to be easy to clean and have stain reducing properties. Like my couch. I am not a fabric expert or anything But it has 2 colours in the fabric. So one direction has the first colour of treads woven and in the other direction it is the second colour of threads woven. It helps to mask stains. (Well, in my experience) In a perfect world I would have loved glazed linen. I am into that so hard right now. But this fabric has man made properties and it gives the fabric a nice sheen, so I was happy with that.

And I will be scotch guarding the crap out of it on completion too. You have worked too hard to have it ruined by a wayward glass of red with a girlfriend or a naughty rugrat.

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 So because I had the diamond tufting bit half done and it was just leaning there and the bare base seat cushion foam there and I haven’t got around to finishing the project because I needed another set of hands and free time with my other set of hands (husband) doesn’t come around often and when it does, he sure isn’t helping me with this project. It was sitting there for some time. Unfinished. I was trying this new thing. Not leaving anything on my island bench. So I picked up my paint palette from doing calligraphy with highly pigmented MAGENTA gouache paint. And I went to place it on the foam base cushion and right before my very eyes the paint just LEPT! LEPT I tell you out of the palette and make a big splash on the diamond tufted part and then dribbled down. MY LIFE FLASHED BEFORE MY VERY EYES. Why God? Why me? I’m a good person. I tried. I’ve sincerely tried. What have I done to deserve this? F***ing panic town. Population ME!

ANYWAY. Blah Blah Blah. I got the stain out the best I could after 1 hour of frantic scrubbing and it is only just visible. . . to me. I can live with it. I died, but I have been revived. Then after my daughters party there was another stain. But I got that out too (on the base cushion). So yes. I need to scotch guard it.

Upholstery Twine: This is a nylon twine that is quite thick. I looked for it at Spotlight and they only had upholstery weight thread for your sewing machine, for when sewing covers. This will not be strong enough. I bought my roll from here. LINK I am sure there are cheaper places to get it. But this was what I came across and was easily accessible to me.

Upholstery Needle: I bought a packet of Doll needles by Birch from Spotlight. In Hindsight I should have bought a proper upholstery needle from an upholstery supply shop as the eye of this needle was still a bit too narrow for the twine to pass through. I soldiered on and managed though.

Self-cover buttons: The consensus is that you can make them yourself, but it will be the most monotonous and annoying part of the project. I didn’t want to lose momentum or enthusiasm, before I even got to the tufting part. One blog post mentioned that she outsourced them. So I did too. I couldn’t even find the self-cover button packs at Spotlight. They sold 2 self-cover buttons in a pack for $6 and that seemed very expensive. So I took my fabric to this place and got Number 36 buttons made up for me.

They did it in a few hours.

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Staple gun: I own a staple gun and just as I was gearing up to start, I asked my husband where it was. He has been pottering in the garage recently and he said that he has never came across it. So I had no idea where it was and part of the garage had blocked access. I wasn’t going to go and look through boxes. So I scooped up my kid to go and buy another one. You could put a regular staple gun for $20 to $50. But this job requires doing a lot of stapling and will be taxing on your hand muscles.

We have the RYOBI One power tools with the interchangeable batteries and I was looking at that brand to buy an electric one, but they currently don’t cater for it (And besides, I am not too keen on all this cordless get up. I would hate to run out of battery when I am full of steam, how annoying to have to stop prematurely)

So they had a cheapy OZITO branded electric stapler that is corded. SOLD.

STAPLE-NAIL-GUN-OZSNG16A

(Bosch had one too that was $99 but it was cordless and the battery would have needed charging before I could start and I wasn’t waiting for that)

Batons, liquid nails & screws: For bracing and forming around the bottom architrave of my window. Not necessary if what you are attching to is flat.

Scissors: Dressmaking shears. For snipping the batting and trimming the fabric.

Lets_get_started

Mark out where your tufts will be on your mdf. I had 2 rows of 14 buttons and 1 centre row of 13 buttons. They were 17 cms apart horizontally and 8.5 cms apart vertically.

marking_the_holes

Drill through the mdf where you marked for the holes.

Brace your mdf with your batons, by gluing and screwing them. Making sure not to place them over any holes. (You don’t need to do this if  you use thicker wood. The stuff I used was pretty flimsy, plus I need to brace it and pack it out to go around the bottom window architrave that I didn’t want to remove.)

drilled_holes

Put your mdf on top of your foam and with a marker push it though the holes to mark the foam. Remove.

marking_foam1

With a knife, cut out channels in your foam for the button to go down deep when you tuft. I used a serrated steak knife. Stuck my fingers through and yanked out the foam.

cutting_channels

Place the mdf on the bottom. Then the foam. Drape over your batting over the foam and mark where the holes in the foam are and with scissors. Snip the batting in a x shape to make a hole.

batting

Drape your fabric over the batting.

drape_fabric

Now you are ready to tuft.

This is what I did, which If/When I have my time again, I would do some things differently, which I will mention throughout this. Start with your centre button and work out from there. Doing the one above, the one below the one to the left, the one to the right and out you go. From the front, use your thumb to push the fabric into the hole. Pass the needle through the foam until it pokes out the back of the mdf. I had trouble doing this, as it was hard to keep the needle straight and was going in blind and found it difficult to find the hole. What I ended up doing was from the back, I passed the non-sharp end of the needle from the back through the eye and up through the foam and the fabric. My fabric wasn’t a tight weave. So if your fabric is, I don’t think you would have had much luck with it.

Thread the needle with the twin and then pass it through the back of the button and tie and double knot. I used my teeth to make sure it was nice and tight. Then I pulled the needle back through to the back. Only when it was all completed did I realise I had done this step a bit funny as I was pulling the knot through the fabric. Again, if my fabric was tighter I would have had buckleys chance of doing this. It also at some points caused my fabric to snag. But I smoothed it out with my hands from the centre and it wasn’t visible. And some times because I was pulling on the knot, the knot would come undone, causing the button to pop off and for me to start the process again.

button

What I should have done was. Thread the twine through the back of the button and tie a double knot onto the button. And then with the 2 tails of the twine, thread the needle. This would have been very difficult for me as I had trouble just threading the needle with one length of twine, let alone two.

Then from the back, you have the knotted twine poking through. From the front side, fold the fabric, by rubbing/rolling it in between your thumb and forefinger to make nice pleats in the fabric. Then from the back, you pull with all your might to make a nice diamond tuft. You staple the twine in a zig-zag like pattern. Give it about 4 to 5 staples.

stapling

And that is one button done. Move on to your next button

half_way

Once all the buttons are done.

nearly_finished

Staple the excess fabric right around. Trim it off and if you wish. You can cover the back with inexpensive fabric for a professional look.

I didn’t do this, as I would like to still be able to access it if I ever need to repair it.

Last step. Outsource the base piped box cushion to an upholsterer. I can bring myself to diamond tuft, but not sew a cushion cover. Let it go and call it a day.

FINISHED

reflections

The only thing that needed improvement was the depth of each button is inconsistent. But as a first timer, I am happy with it and I will do better with my next diamond tufting jaunt if I so chose to take one upon me.

I wish I had centred the banquette with the window above it. The reason I didn’t do this is in case we wanted to put a heater to the right (their is a gas outlet) or a tall narrow cabinet in between the 2 windows. But I think it would have looked really flash and we could have made a feature of the window (that still needs repairs and painting) with a nice roman blind and trim tape and flanked it with Oly San Fransico candle sconces. Always in hindsight. . . .

Another thought I had was finding a really nice demi lune table to go in between those 2 windows and placing a nice piece of art above it. But I always suffer from cramming so much furniture into a room.

before_afterWho doesn’t love a before and after?

before_2

before_1

After

Next thing. I think I am gearing up to do a headboard. But probably not diamond tufted. I just can’t settle on a shape.