This year hasn't been the best in the grand scheme of things. Leanne's email a couple of months ago was an absolute highlight though, and not just for this year. You want me, the cat, and the SFC for an Apartment Therapy shoot? You found me via instagram? Damn instagram...
Leanne seeks out homes and shoots them for Apartment Therapy in Australia. She was so lovely and open and warm, I couldn't say no. I had grand plans of what I would do to the house in anticipation, but I'm glad at the end of the day I just gave it a good tidy up - because after all, this is how I live, and I've always looked to Apartment Therapy for lived in spaces. I was beyond excited to hear that the SFC (single fronted cottage) would feature before the year was out - ending the year on a high was what I needed to prepare for a more positive 2015.
The room that got the biggest tidy up? my 'study' - lets just say the junk that normally inhabits this room was hidden around the outside of the house... Didn't really think a pedestal fan, a swag, a cat cage and boxes that I still haven't unpacked of kitchen goods (three years later....) made good viewing...?!
Leanne is seriously the cat whisperer. Chuck started turning it on, I'm sorry - is that your 'blue steel' look Mr Bass?! I was told that the big draw card is always seeing the people and the pets that live in the home. Safe to say the bass burger stole the spot light. Oh and I wonder why he is the most poorly disciplined four legged fur child the world has ever seen?! With his squishy fur and chubby handsomeness, I don't have any hope.
This pic still makes me laugh, he was strutting his stuff and then starts getting a little bit too comfortable while he is being snapped, starts rolling around on the bed, and then all of a sudden falls off the back of the bed. He pops back up trying to not look too dishevelled, as if to say - um that was so part of my planned act. Got to love the crazy critter... keeps me sane. Just.
My practical and simple bathroom.
I'm still so excited by the cabinetry in my lounge room. I have dreamed of having such cabinetry since I bought the 'shanty' when I was 27 years old, but waited until I moved into the SFC to have it done. I found a fabulous cabinet maker in Adelaide, so fabulous in fact I had to wait a significant time to have them finally fitted, but it was worth the wait.
It was always a no-brainer that I would do it, but I didn't know what it would do to the space - I thought it would maybe make it smaller, but I didn't mind that - I wanted the space to be intimate and cosy. The dining and outdoor area was the 'big space' for entertaining larger groups, but this space was always about me feeling at home and comfy when here alone (I didn't want to rattle around...), but also when I had a few girlfriends around for takeout or a decent red while we watched some Will and Grace or SATC, or just talking and laughing until our cheeks hurt - I wanted us to feel wrapped up in comfortable space.
The most pleasant surprise was that the cabinetry actually opened up and made the space bigger, and higher! - whilst still maintaining a cosy, homely and intimate feel. One thing I did finally get onto knowing that 'apartment therapy was coming' was a coffee table - hooray! I've long loved a glass topped coffee table but difficult to find or when you do, so prohibitively expensive. Perfect timing as I found this one on west elm. The freight didn't come cheap but the table was so reasonable it still made it worth while and has really warmed up the space even more.
I'm yet to get the lighting right in here, but give it some time. I bought a piece from sokol furniture, that as soon as I opened the box I knew wasn't right. $400 spent and they won't let me refund or exchange, despite it not being used, not happy sokol. I will never ever shop with you again and quite happy to tell others not to shop with you either. (rant over)
My two favourite stories about the SFC - first being that I bought it via the Internet. I like to think of it as 'extreme online shopping' - I was based in the Philippines at the time for work and would often scour realestate.com.au for the elusive 'single fronted cottage' - I had grand ideas that my first home would be such, but now I realise how fortunate I am that even my second home and property was one of these blue stoned beauties. Even better, fully renovated and extended. I put in an offer online and negotiated from the Philippines. My parents and good friends visited the property, I had a property inspection done, and flew back home the day of settlement. Luckily I'm an experienced online shopper?!
My second favourite story? I still had my unit (the shanty) - and have it today (lucky girl to get into the market before things went nuts) - I rented it out fully furnished when I first headed overseas for work thinking I'd probably be returning to it. I then bought the SFC, kept it rented with a great tenant at the time, which meant it stayed furnished. I had NOTHING for this home when I moved in (slept on a swag for sometime.... lucky for this country girl that wasn't a big issue) - so what would be the first order of business when you move into a new home and have nothing to furnish it with? You get a wall in the kitchen wall papered of course!?!? - I didn't think twice to get this iconic wallpaper installed, and I still love it today. And I advocate that doing something like this is so much more cost effective than buying art. After I bought the wallpaper and had it installed, cheaper than a decent piece of art and framing.
The only other thing I did prior to the shoot was get myself a console table for the hallway. Honestly - after getting a rug for the lounge room (I spent way too much time and worry on it), this is the second thing I spent ridiculously amount of time finding. I'd seen things I loved but they were from overseas, or something that was a poor second in Australia were costing thousands of dollars. It needed to be narrow too, its not a a wide hallway, but it did look bare without anything in it.
My friends and family know that I'm super bad when it comes to choosing things to purchase (clothes, furniture, anything!) - ridiculously expensive taste without the wage to match. I have friends who have the most exquisite taste in homes and fashion and they hunt and thrift and get the most magical pieces at a song, but its taken massive (wo)man hours to find, and maybe some TLC once it is theirs. I don't have the patience or the eye, so its easier just to throw the credit card at it (and for that reason, its not as nearly as special as the spaces and style they create)
hmmm hang on, where was I? Me? off on a tanget? NEVER..... pffft.
So then I happen upon Fantastic Furniture's (yes, fantastic furniture) console table. For a whole SIXTY FIVE DOLLARS. I'm so proud of this little purchase. It's perfect, and cheap. Happy flipping days. It's doing a perfect job in the hallway.
The original light fitting was still there when Leanne came to take the photos. I had grand plans, but just can't justify it now that Sokol won't take back and let me exchange the fitting I bought (THAT IS STILL IN THE BOX NOT TOUCHED) - I'm already $400 down, this paper lantern shade will have to stay.
Yes that is a black and white print of Jackie O eating an ice cream, my poor dad still doesn't get it. I love it, it needed to be bigger but the best I could get.
The Aura Home rug I'm still pumped with despite how long it took me to decide on (not good at hiding the red wine stains though....so my fault)
My I Love Linen cushions are doing such a good job, such a good price point - get yourself some!
Very much looking forward to using my outdoor lounge this summer. I purchased it at the end of January last year so didn't get a full summer to enjoy. Having said that - 'pin head' the scary giant dangerous blue tongue lizard turned up on the weekend and I. am. terrified. So maybe I might just enjoy it from inside, looking out at it. (give me a dinner plate sized spider any day, but anything of the reptile variety larger than a gecko and I'm out. It's either burn down the house or move!)
Love my house, love the chuck bass and lucky to be able to share it with fabulous friends. Thank you so much Leanne for the opportunity to share it xxx