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Posts from the ‘DIY’ Category

Affordable & Adorable

I know most people spend $20,000 – $50,000 renovating their kitchen – but this story proves it can be done so much cheaper…My good friend, interiors photographer Anastasia Kariofyllidis and her husband Jason bought an old 1950s house and renovated the kitchen gorgeously but cheaply themselves. They started by gutting it completely to get rid of the asbestos. The floors were taken back to the original floorboards and the walls to the original cement. The plan was to plaster and then paint the walls – but they fell in love with the grey of the raw walls and sealed them with a clear sealer instead.

Then – and this is where the major saving was achieved – they furnished the room with free-standing pieces, all found on-sale – which of course is miles cheaper than commissioning custom built-in cabinetry – they even bought a commercial stainless steel sink as a free-standing piece – and Anastasia’s mum whipped up a linen cloth curtain in lieu of a cupboard door. Pressed metal panels (painted grey by Jason) were used as a splashback (don’t know if this was much cheaper but lends a cool industrial edge to the scheme)

And the really amazing part about it is how much this gorgeous kitchen cost. Excluding appliances, it came in at an astounding $3400!

Though this style won’t lend itself to all homes, if you have an older home with plenty of character and a large enough kitchen, it’ll work fabulously.

Photos by AK


Instant DIY cabinetry

This is a clever idea carried out by a friend’s husband. He bought an Ikea cabinet and attached it to the wall and then adding some framing (individual pieces of pine, cut to size and then glued straight onto the Ikea cabinet) – an instant timber and white floating cabinet at half the would-be cost. He originally saw something similar on Remodelista,, which is where I sourced this photo of the white painted frames (originally from Yatzer) – what is it about white on white? Just looking at this picture makes me feel calmer. Have a gorgeous week, Tx

Cabinetry photo by Anastasia K.

Up-cycled Fridge

A friend of mine, Prue (The Grass Tree Kitchen cooking school) found this old chiller fridge in a nursery. It wasn’t for sale but was just sitting outside in the yard, with ferns growing out of it, and she just approached the nursery owner and made an offer. It needed a thorough clean, and then it was sanded back and re-lacquered (the dark stain is the original stain, the lacquer is clear). It looks fabulous – and because it’s so well insulated, it’s perfect for storing wine.

Photography by John Downs

White Paint

The right white is always a little tricky to find. Basically white falls into three categories; warm, neutral and cool.

Neutral whites are the true ‘white whites’ – warm whites are a little creamier and work well in traditional homes, and with natural finishes such as timber and linen – and cool whites have a little grey or blue showing through, they work well in more contemporary homes and with man-made materials such as steel and glass.

Use lighter hues to bring more light into the home and darker hues to cut down on glare and create a cosier ambience.

I’m not a huge fan of true neutral whites in the home, as I think they feel a little cold – and they show up every little imperfection. Instead, I always head for light shades of warm white (lovely creamy ivories and vanillas). My current favourites are “Milk” by Porter’s Paints and “Natural White” by Dulux.

I particularly love Porter’s products are they’re so low in VOCs and really pleasant to work with.

Photo by Anastasia K.


White on White

This is a home I styled recently for Country Collections magazine – and it shows how much a couple of cans of white paint can change a room. The room originally had chocolate-coloured walls and blue carpet. The owner, Sandy Palmer (who fittingly enough runs a business called Paint Me White, ripped up the carpet herself and painted the concrete slab underneath white (luckily, it was in pretty good order and only needed to be filled slightly around the edges where the carpet had been attached). She used a specialist paving paint called Berger Jet Dry and choose a satin finish, which she says feels beautiful to walk on. The walls were painted in Dulux ‘Antique White USA’ – a soft, slightly warm white, which works well with Sandy’s vintage furniture. As she did everything herself, it cost next to nothing – and it looks fabulous.