Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Sweet Home Project - renovation week 4

Now our bathroom feature door is installed. Yay! I liked the image of a timber bathroom vanity in a white bathroom, but we could easily imagine that it would be damaged by water quickly so we decided to have a timber door instead. I'm hoping that this door will give some warmth to our bathroom.

When we decided to have a sliding door for the bathroom (well, we didn't have any other choice), I instantly thought we need a lock! Because Nico can easily open it when someone is using it. If it's just for us, maybe that's ok (parents never have their privacy) but not for our guests! The builder said it’s impossible to put a lock without making it a cavity slide but for our bathroom size, it was difficult to make a cavity…then Maria worked out how we could do it! We almost gave up having a lock on the bathroom door, but we’re glad that we can have exactly what we wanted.

do you like this way?
All the water proof painting was done in the bathroom last week and a tiler came last weekend. On Saturday we had to work it out how we wanted our tile to be lined.. (Sneak peek our 3D tiles!)
Or this way?

We haven't seen the complete work yet, so we are looking forward to seeing it this weekend. Once the tile grout is dry, our cabinet maker will put the laundry cabinet in the bathroom and will also put in the kitchen!!! The finish to this week will be pretty dramatic.

Now we're starting to reach our renovation goal. Before moving in there, we needed to paint all the rooms, so we’re hoping to start painting this weekend. But before that, we need to sell the old kitchen. All the pieces are dismantled and sitting in our bedrooms. We put an ad on gumtree a week ago and got quite a lot of enquiries but haven't sold:-(  Now we’re desperate to sell it before this weekend!! Does anyone want a kitchen for your garage or holiday house?? (
Note: after I wrote this blog, we sold the kitchen!!!)

With love,


Monday, 15 February 2016

Sweet Home Project - renovation week 3 & renovation budget

Now the walls and plaster around bathroom is installed so we can see how big our bathroom and lounge area will be more clearly. We kept thinking our lounge will be super small but it’s actually not too bad. We really love our new space!

we made a bathroom in our lounge!

This week Maria organised a kitchen maker, air con installer and skylight maker to come and get quotes. It’s starting to be clearer how much we need to pay for this whole renovation. Like most of the other renovations, our renovation is becoming a little bit over budget. Well, to be honest, quite a lot over…because we just keep choosing more expensive options!!!

a bit dark..we definitely need a skyligh!

For example, we decided to use the existing kitchen appliances to keep costs at a minimum but we had to buy a kitchen sink. We didn’t mind a traditional looking one as long as the quality is good, because modern looking sinks are nearly $1000. But we found a very good quality and modern looking, but reasonably priced one for under $500 and we decided to get it. Probably if we stuck to a traditional looking one, we could have saved about $150.

Our sideway door. To get sunlight, we chose a glass door

For the kitchen cupboards, the quote for painting the doors was only $200 more than laminated doors, so we chose paint doors. For kitchen splash back tiles, we had two options we liked, but in the end, we chose the $150 more expensive ones. Each time when we were making decisions, we thought "Well…it’s only $150 difference and we get what we really want. Why not?” and then all of those small decisions made thousands of dollars difference in the end:-(

happy home owners

But still we’re super happy with each of our decisions and hopefully it will all come together nicely. Most of the time, our decision was based on the durability, so we’re hoping that they will last longer than cheaper stuff and we can save money in the end!

with love,

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Sweet Home Project - renovation week 2

All the dramatic things happened in week 1 – pulling down walls and taking away the existing kitchen and bathroom stuff - so week 2 developments somehow looked a bit slow but it was actually progressing where we couldn’t see. The plumber came in so all the pipes for the bathroom (shower/laundry/toilet/basin) are now set. Our new side door was installed. The linen cupboard frame is done too. Our builder was out for another job for a couple of days last week so we’re really happy with what he has done with his limited time. 
our linen cupboard frame


We got almost all the fittings for our bathroom now so we started looking for things for our kitchen. Last weekend, we had to decide on our kitchen benchtop and kitchen wall tiles. Luckily Paul and I have similar taste for these things so we agreed quite easily. (I will show you all our choices when it’s all done!!) 
Nico loves visiting this place!!


For our tiles, we’re using Southern Tile. We just popped in this local showroom in Burwood by accident. Our consultant Marion is very knowledgeable and helpful. They have a huge range, from expensive European tiles to cheap Chinese tiles and we can choose depending on our budget. When we wanted a particular tile that we saw on Pinterest, Marion helped us to find it too.  
making decision....

We visited their Moorabin showroom last weekend and their collection was huge there too. While we were looking at tiles to match our benchtop, they even looked after our little boy ;-)

Now week 3 has started and if it’s going according to the original plan, it’s going to be half way soon. We almost finished choosing all the things except for our 3rd bedroom carpet colour and timber floor colour for the lounge and kitchen, so now we started to be able to picture our future home more. How exciting! 


With love,


Friday, 5 February 2016

New item: double gauze hand towel

little garden (left)

hydrangea (right)

Why do some people care about tea towels in their kitchen but not hand hand towels in their kitchen/bathroom? These cute hand towels will definitely make your home feel more special and will impress your guests with how much detail you pay attention to;-)

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Sweet Home Project - renovation week 1

So our builder thinks he will finish his work in 6 weeks and 1 week has already passed. We went to see our new place over the weekend and we were very impressed! Two walls (the wall between kitchen and lounge and the wall between hallway and original bathroom) were already taken down.
All the fittings in the original bathroom were gone. The original kitchen was removed. One window in the original bathroom was bricked up. I can’t believe that just one guy did so much things in 5 days… Is your builder this efficient? Or just ours?

We’ve been a bit busy getting small things for this renovation. Something like doorknobs, a sliding door lock, laundry taps, and a heating light etc. My mum was very surprised that we have to get these things ourselves because in Japan, the renovation company just brings a catalogue and you choose doorknobs, a colour of the cabinet, wall paper and so on from there. For locks or taps, they just use standard one that the company recommend and probably don’t even ask customers what they want (Probably if you build a house with a big company in Australia, the system might be similar…). It’s good for us to have more choices about what we want and we can also choose the price we like here, but choosing hardware is not that fun compared with choosing kitchen tiles.

For our bathroom, we went to some shops and showrooms and we really like this shop called Swan Street Sales in Richmond. If you’re living in Melbourne and thinking to renovate, we really recommend this place to get fixtures and so on… The staff are all guys, there’s no fancy customer service, but they are so knowledgeable. They do have famous brand sinks, toilets and fixtures, but they don’t really recommend those just because they’re famous.

Even if it’s an unknown brand and quite reasonably priced, if they think it’s really good, they just tell us. When we had to return a mixer because we got a wrong thing, it was very easy and they didn’t show any signs of being put out. When we went to another place to return something, the lady there was very rude!

So far, we’re really enjoying these little processes. These can be a bit stressful for some people, but we just love doing things together.

with love,