Home tour video!

Hey guys. Choices Flooring came to visit and film the house for their website so I thought I’d share it here! I am still receiving lots of comments about the house and try to reply to them when I can but am about to have a very busy month with Fringe shows so if I take a while that’s why. Thanks for the continued love. Amity xx

 

All the final photos (Part 2)

As promised here is part 2 of the final photos. If you missed part 1 you can find it here.

KIDS BEDROOMS

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MAIN BATHROOM

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LAUNDRY

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 PLAYROOM

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 BACKYARD

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Details below. For extra details check the older posts as I gave a lot of supplier details in each of them.

Builder: Scott Salisbury Homes

Kitchen, Bathroom and all joinery: Alby Turner Kitchens

All Tiles: Beaumont Tiles

Timber floors and carpet: Choices Flooring

Paint: Wattyl

Pool: Narellan Pools

Pavers: Maison Design

Thanks for following this blog and our building journey. I hope you’ve been inspired by the process! Massive thanks again to Scott Salisbury Homes and Alby Turner & Sons Kitchens, who we worked with closely to create our dream home and had such a wonderful experience with. And who knows, we might decide to build again and I’ll see you again then!

Amity xx

All the final photos!

Hey guys, I haven’t updated the blog for a while but continue to check on the comments you leave and try to reply to them when I can. Now the house is finished I won’t be posting as much but here are all the final photos, which I’m so thrilled with! They were taken by Brad Griffin Photography and Brad did a wonderful job in capturing the feel of the house. It’s so lovely to have the decorating finally done and to be able to enjoy living in it. There’s still a lot I want to do with the garden but that will be a work in progress, as much as I wish I could click my fingers and have it look established!

So here are all the final photos. Enjoy!

FRONT EXTERIOR

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MAIN BEDROOM

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 ENSUITE 

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MUSIC ROOM

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 STUDY

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KITCHEN

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LIVING

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DINING & DECK 

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Details below. For extra details check the older posts as I gave a lot of supplier details in each of them.

Builder: Scott Salisbury Homes

Kitchen, Bathroom and all joinery: Alby Turner Kitchens

All Tiles: Beaumont Tiles

Timber floors and carpet: Choices Flooring

Paint: Wattyl

Driveway pavers: Boral

Porcelain pavers: Maison Design

 

That’s a lot of big photos, so the final shots of the backyard, kids bedrooms, main bathroom and playroom will be in the next post.

 

Our floor plan

I’ve had quite a few requests for the floor plan so here is the final version. There is honestly nothing I would change about it at this stage, it works so well! I love that the kids have their own ‘wing’ and that they can get outside from the french doors off their hallway and playroom. This also lets air flow though the whole house. We also chose to put the kids rooms down that side because it’s south facing, which is the darkest part of the house, which doesn’t matter for rooms that are only used at night.

The whole house gets the morning sun and then the front rooms get the afternoon sun. I always thought I’d want a north facing backyard but I like the morning sun, especially in the summer when it’s hot, it means the house stays cooler. It’ll be interesting to see what I think after our first winter here though.

I also like the cavity sliding door between the living room and kids hallway, which keeps the noise down in their rooms at night. And the study nook is one of my absolute favourite things about the house!

We added a roller door so you can access the backyard from the front and could park boats, extra cars or caravans down the side. None of which we have, but it’s been helpful with the landscaping to have that access.

The rooms aren’t massive but they are definitely big enough. If rooms are too big you can feel like you’re rattling around in them, so I think the sizes are perfect. Having said that, the deck is massive and that’s awesome! It’s like a whole extra living space.

Any questions, just ask!

Amity xx

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The Kitchen, ensuite and deck reveal.

Thanks so much for all the fantastic feedback you’ve been giving us on the blog, Facebook and Instagram, we’ve loved reading all your comments and are thrilled that it’s inspiring people for their own homes.

So here are the next batch of shots, first up our gorgeous Hamptons inspired kitchen.

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In the lead up to designing this I spent many many hours on Pinterest looking at Hamptons style kitchens, so when it came time to doing mine I would know exactly what I wanted. It was always going to have shaker style cabinetry, marble or marble look bench tops, a big island bench, a butlers sink, free standing oven and tiled splash back – they’re pretty much all standard in a Hamptons kitchen. I was also always going to go to Alby Turner and Son to make it, because in Adelaide they are the best company for this style of kitchen. I have admired their work for years and was so excited I was finally getting to do my own kitchen with them! I met our designer, Sophie Doumbiotis and we hit it off straight away. We put thought into every single detail, to make sure the kitchen was as fabulous to work in as it was to look at. Sophie had so many great suggestions on how to store things, just little ideas that make a difference like the bin pulling out from the middle of the island bench, which is so handy, and lots of the deep drawers with smaller drawers inside them, to make the most of every bit of space. I would send Sophie links to online pics late at night and she’d respond straight away, we both get equally excited about kitchens!

As I wrote about earlier on the blog I weighed up the pros and cons of marble and decided it was too risky with a family home (and a daughter who is obsessed with craft and drawing) and I wanted the island bench to be the heart of the home and not to be worrying about every tiny thing that went on it. So I went with Caesarstone, which to me looks just as good as marble but is way more practical. I chose the Statuario Nuvo, which has the veined marble look, but is a slightly warmer tone from their Calcutta Nuvo (which is also gorgeous, so it was a tough choice.)

I absolutely adore the butlers sink, which is huge and can fit the largest of trays and baking dishes. You can also hide dishes in there if people pop over unannounced! The tap has a pull down option, which you really need for such a large sink. On the right of the sink is the concealed dishwasher. I went with the Bocsh one (after it received the most recommendations on our FB page) and it’s fantastic! I may have mentioned before that we didn’t have a dishwasher in our last house so this may be my favourite thing of the whole house!!

In the butlers pantry there is another sink, a dish drawer and the pantry storage. We designed it so you would only see closed cupboards from the main area and the food shelves are in the corner, so it looks tidy but is still practical. This is also the coffee/toast/sandwich making area. We made the fridge accessible from both the pantry and the kitchen which also works really well.

The oven is the freestanding Ilve oven and convectional oven with Teppanyaki hotplate. It’s a new model that has a 1000mm top with a 700mm oven and 300mm convectional microwave built in. How fancy is that?! I haven’t actually used the teppanyaki plate yet because we’ve been using the BBQ non stop, but I will!

Above the oven there is a patterned feature on the tiled splashback, which if you look closely is a variation of the herringbone pattern. I came up with this pattern because I wanted something slightly different to the standard herringbone. These tiles are hand cut subway tiles in a warm white/cream and they’re from Beaumont Tiles. They shine when the light hits them and I love them!

Finally with the lighting I have a combination of down lights and pendants, with lighting built into the cabinetry as well. I decided to go with two pendants above the island instead of three because I felt like three was a bit done to death, but both would’ve worked. Then I added some texture and warmth with the oak stools. I did try white stools first but felt like it was too much white, so I changed to oak.

Next up, the ensuite….

SSH Ensuite

My inspiration for this was the luxury American bathrooms I have drooled over on Pinterest (you can find my bathroom board here) which were always grey, marble and white. The shaker cabinetry is also from Alby Turner and Son, who did all the joinery in the house, and they’re painted Wattyl Chalkdust, the same as the walls. The grey tiles are a hand-cut subway tile from Beaumont Tiles and they are the most gorgeous warm grey colour. The marble mosaic is also from Beaumont Tiles – you can’t have a Hamptons bathroom without marble and I decided if I had any marble it would be in the room the kids don’t use ! The taps cut into the ceiling height mirror looks amazing but was a bit of a challenge, we went through two cracked mirrors to get to this point! Finally we installed a skylight in the ceiling so we didn’t have to have the lights on all the time, because it’s an internal room. The toilet is on the right and is painted the same grey colour as the tiles. We also have underfloor heating, which we had on The Block All Stars and I feel in love with, it’s so nice to wake up to!

Next up, the deck and living…

SSH Lounge

The exposed beams were really the first thing we were certain on with the house because we knew we wanted to do them every since our Block All Stars renovation, where we had cathedral ceilings. Yes, they’re probably dust catchers but I love how they look so much that I don’t care! They give such wow factor and make an impact the minute you walk in the room. They give the space height and impact and give the home character. So the were there from the start and when our Scott Salisbury Homes designer, Peter, suggested we take them through to the deck we loved that idea and the house really grew from there. Again the look I’ve gone for when decorating is Hamptons meets modern country, which an emphasis on neutral and blue and white tones and natural textures. I love bright colours but in this house I wanted it to be very calming and soft, which works beautifully.

The sandstone fireplace is another thing I love. We recycled the sandstone from the original house and had it cut into tiles and it looks so beautiful and warm. I can’t wait to turn the fire on as soon as this unseasonably warm weather ends, although we have enjoyed being able to swim right up until May! I realised after posting this photo that the TV is crooked (I had only seen the photo on my phone!) but don’t worry it’s not always like that – my OCD couldn’t handle that! It’s on an arm that tilts and moves so it must have been tilted.

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This artwork is from our dear friends Waz and Gav, from the first Block series. It’s from their Designer Boys Art Collection and I have a few of their pieces, their whole range is stunning. These ones went perfectly with the house and I’ve had my eye on them for years!

These shelves were definitely a labour of love to style. I spent weeks, actually months, looking at them, moving things, buying things and stressing over it until it was just right. Shelves are hard to style and there are a lot of shelves in this house! I wanted to get the mix right between looking magazine ready but also like a family home. I wanted it to have character and depth and texture and stay within the soft tones of the room. Hard, but worth it once you get it right!

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SSH Deck

I love that this shot shows the skylights, which are such a great feature. I love looking up to see sky and clouds, and trees from certain angles, it’s so restful. We have since added plantation shutters to the windows above the outdoor kitchen, unfortunately they didn’t arrive in time for this shoot. The outdoor kitchen is so fabulous, we use it all the time. That was also by Alby Turner kitchens. I went with a stainless steel bench top here, which is great for outside. Seeing as Poppy loves to paint and craft on this outside table it’s also good to not worry about it getting dirty!

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In our old house we had a tiny paved courtyard and a dark living area, so this is such an amazing change! Being able to open up the bifold doors and let the light in is just heaven and this yard and deck has literally changed how we live. We used to have to go out on the weekends to enjoy the weather but now we don’t need to go anywhere. If the kids say they’re bored I won’t hear of it! With all that lawn, the pool, a trampoline and a puppy – what more could they want?!

The pool is the Symphony from Narellan Pools and the colour is quartz grey. It’s interesting that a grey pool turns a beautiful turquoise colour when it has water in it and that’s the exact colour I wanted – the colour of Fiji beaches! We weighed up the pros and cons of a fibre glass versus concrete pool and I’m really happy we went with this one. You can’t even tell it’s fibreglass when the coping was done.

The pavers are porcelain pavers from Maison Design and they have a very high non slip rating, which is perfect for around pools. I know light pavers are probably a bit impractical for keeping clean, but they look so pretty! I came up with the idea to do the river pebbles around the edge to cover the black drain, which I thought was a pretty good way to disguise it. And then there’s the lovely glass fence, which is also a nightmare to keep clean but looks so fab. That is from Signature Stainless, who were fantastic to deal with.

We’ve entertained so much since we got here and it really is the dream Australian lifestyle, which was exactly our aim when we were planning the house. We feel very lucky indeed to have such a beautiful house to call our own and are once again so appreciative to our builders, Scott Salisbury Homes for doing such a great job.

Have a great weekend and I will be back with kids bedroom, playroom and study photos next week.

Amity xx

The big reveal!

It’s been a long time between posts so thank you for sticking around and waiting patiently for me to do the final reveal! We’ve now been in the house for just over 3 months and have settled in to normal life. It was a big push to get the garden ready and the house styled in time for the photos so it consumed me during that time, but since then I’ve actually been able to sit down and enjoy it, which has been lovely! I will write another post soon about what I love and what I would change, but there isn’t too much I don’t love. I’m happy to say it’s as pleasurable to live in as it is to look at, which is ultimately what’s important when you build or renovate.

But right now how it looks is the the focus, so enjoy the photos!! A massive thank you again to Scott Salisbury Homes  for being such a joy to work with. Their attention to detail has been amazing and the quality of the build is first class. This style of house is quite different for them, but I have a feeling they’re going to be building a whole lot more of them from now on!

So now, here’s the house!

SSH Front

As I may have mentioned before my inspiration was a Hamptons meets Edwardian meets Queenslander weatherboard and I think that’s exactly what I’ve ended up with. The wrap around verandah is very Australian and I love that the front two rooms open up with french doors to the verandah, letting the breeze in. The cladding isn’t timber, it’s actually a James Hardie product called Scyon, which is a concrete composite. The paint colours are Wattyl Wicker White for the cladding, Wattyl White for the trims and Colorbond Shale Grey for the roof. The driveway and edging is Boral ClassicPave in charcoal and the light pavers are porcelain pavers from Maison Design.

Isn’t it so cute?! Every time I drive up the street and see it and can’t believe it’s ours. :) Next up is the main bedroom…

SSH Bedroom

The inspiration for this room, along with the whole house, was the relaxed luxury look of the Hamptons. It’s a little bit coastal and a little bit modern country, with an emphasis on natural tones and textured layers. I have used blue and white throughout the house because it’s my favourite colour combo for interiors.

I knew I wanted wall sconces because they’re synonymous with the Hamptons look, but they’re really hard to find in Australia. So I bought these online from the US Pottery Barn store and a friend bought them back for me (actually a friends husband who’s a pilot bought them back, earning MAJOR good husband brownie points!!)

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The walls are Wattyl Chalkdust and the trims are Wattyl White. The carpet, which is just heaven to walk on, is the Habitat Collection from Choices Flooring. It is honestly the thickest carpet I have ever walked on and I love it!

Next up is the music room….

SSH Music

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This has to be one of my favourite rooms because it’s my room! This is the room I write and practice music in, which is such revelation because in our old house the piano was in the living room, so I had to compete with kids, TV and noise. I would regularly get told to be quiet so the kids could hear the TV, which isn’t the most productive working environment! So now I can shut the door and sing to my hearts content. The kids also practice their instruments in here, but the rule is they are only allowed in there if it’s to read or practice music, which is working so far! And that means it’s the only room where the cushions stay where I put them, which any mum understands is an exciting achievement indeed!! This room can also double as a formal sitting room, so if I had friends over and wanted a cup of tea in peace we could go here. It could also be an extra bedroom if it needed to be, but for us I assure you it will stay the music room! Then there’s the main bathroom…

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The inspiration for this is the Hamptons bathrooms I regularly drool over on Pinterest!

The idea behind the layout was that I wanted it to look and feel like one room, but also be able to close off the toilet, sink and shower area if you needed to. So the beautiful opening  (that is so immaculately tiled) actually hides a cavity slider. I always had a picture in my head of the bath sitting under the window (with plantation shutters) with two pendants above it, with a tiled ‘rug’ pattern leading up to it and it looks exactly like I imagined.

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I had seen the rug concept in American bathrooms on Pinterest, but never in Australia before. So of course I wanted to do something new! For the ‘rug’ I choose the patterned concrete tiles, from Beaumont Tiles, with the same tile in a plain grey surrounding it. We then cut a charcoal concrete tile into thin pieces, to use as a border. This floor took a lot of thought and a bit of risk doing something so different but I’m thrilled with it.

The cream tiles are hand cut subway tiles from Beaumont Tiles, which I also adore. You can’t see the shower (although you can see a bit in the mirror) but there is a wall of grey subway tiles (which are the same tiles we’ve used in the ensuite) just to break up all the cream. The toilet is painted the same warm grey colour.

The cabinetry is by Alby Turner and Son, who did all the joinery in our house. Their work is the stuff of Hamptons dreams and for me they were the only choice in Adelaide when it came to that detailed shaker style of cabinetry. It’s painted Wattyl Chalkdust, which is the same as the walls throughout the house. The bench top is Caesarstone Statuario Nuvo, which looks like marble but is more practical and family friendly. The taps cut into the mirror looks amazing but was a bit of a challenge, we went through two cracked mirrors to get to this point! It looks so great though. As does the mirror going up to the ceiling, it gives the room so much height.

So there is the front exterior and the first three rooms! More to come next week, I hope it was worth the wait! I can’t wait to read your comments, I love getting all your feedback.

Amity xx

A month today!

It’s been a month today since we moved into the house and it’s definitely been a busy time with the move, Christmas, unpacking, New Years, school holidays, my birthday and endless decorating and cleaning. Honestly, I have never cleaned and worried so much about keeping a house tidy in all my life!

Our previous house was old and had plenty of character (read: cracks and worn paint) so it could be a little lived in (read: dusty) without anyone noticing. But with a brand new, very white house, you notice! I seem to constantly have a micro-cloth in my hand so I can wipe down surfaces, making me feel like I’ve turned from someone who was fairly relaxed about these things into my mother!!

One thing is for sure, it certainly looked perfect on handover day, when we were greeted by our team from Scott Salisbury Homes with champagne and cheese, to do our official walk through.

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It was such a wonderful moment to know it was finally ours, as our site manager Thomas went through each room and changed the locks from builders keys to our keys. I never knew they did that, I just thought all our tradies would have keys to our house and we’d have to trust them!!

As we walked through and the kids excitedly ran into their rooms (and eventually got down to knickers and jumped in the pool) it still felt completely surreal that it was ours to keep. To be honest, even after a month I still can’t believe it’s ours to keep.

I have loved the building process so much and funnily enough will miss it now that it’s finished. I can’t rate the team from Scott Salisbury Homes highly enough, I have had such a great experience working with them all. I have to give a special thanks to our site manager Thomas Taylor, who I have spoken to pretty much every day for the last 6 months. I am an unashamed perfectionist and so is Thomas, so I knew every detail would be taken care of and managed to the highest standard, especially when I was away on tour. There was even a time where I posted a photo on our Facebook page that Phil had sent me and Thomas saw it and noticed someone wasn’t quite right, so had it changed! That is attention to detail!

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Some of the SSH team we’ve been working with, Thomas Taylor, Nicole Staples and Lyndon Henman.

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Thomas and I. He’s been fantastic, but I won’t miss him calling me at 7am!

So now I just have to learn how to maintain that standard of keeping the house looking like I want it to, while having two kids and a puppy live here. Does anyone know how to do that?!!!

After they left I called my family to come over and we sat on the deck while the kids swam and we drank champagne and took a moment to take it all in, before heading back to finish packing and cleaning. And as it turned to dusk and I put the lights on and looked back at the house I thought, imagine if you lived in a house like that – how lucky would you feel.

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Amity x

 

 

 

 

 

We’re in! But let’s go back a bit…

If you follow us on Facebook you will know that we moved into our house on December 23. We made it by Christmas – hooray! In hindsight it was probably a bit silly being so obsessed with being in by Christmas, because it’s just one day and it did put a lot of pressure on everyone. Not that I’m admitting you were right Mum! But it wasn’t just Christmas day that added the pressure, it was the fact that all builders and tradies shut shop for a few weeks from Dec 24, so whatever didn’t get finished by then would have to wait. So that made the last week feel very much like a Block week, which I enjoyed but my site manager hated!

So we did make it, with everything but the garden finished (which I’ll get to later.) But with everything being so crazy with the packing and the moving I got a bit behind on this blog. However I do want to document the whole build and have you follow the process with me, so I’m going to back date a little bit and pick up where we left off….

The last thing I wrote about was our Alby Turner and Sons custom joinery and if you thought I loved it then it was nothing on how I feel about it now we’re in the house. The storage is a dream and it all looks absolutely stunning. But there’s another thing that looks stunning and every person that comes to the house comments on and that’s the floors.

I got both my floorboards and carpet through Choices Flooring in Keswick and the owner Bruno and his staff were so friendly and helpful to deal with right from the start. I always knew I was going to have timber floorboards because for me you can’t beat the warmth and character that floorboards bring. I also knew I wanted an oak colour because it suited the Hamptons style I was going for and complemented the tone of the sandstone fireplace perfectly. So it was just a matter of choosing which product. Bruno showed me one straight away that has been really popular for them and there was no doubt that it was the right one. How easy was that!

It was the Plantino Oak “Naturale” by Embleton. I loved the natural look of the woodgrain as well as the matt finish, which I hoped would be very forgiving with kids and a puppy. I knew it looked perfect as soon as it was installed, it had exactly the right character for the house. And I am happy to say I was so right about it being forgiving – it’s awesome! It doesn’t show any dust or potential scratches like shiny floors do so it’s so great for a family home. So I’m thrilled with that decision.

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The other thing I had to choose is the carpet, but I was less sure on that one. I have never put carpet in any houses before so it was new to me, so I had to research what carpets are on trend, what style I wanted and which colour to go with. Again I took Bruno’s advice and he pointed me straight towards the carpet he has in his own house, the Habitat Collection Inscape series. I have to say, it’s the thickest and softest carpet I have ever walked on! Even my site manager said he had never seen carpet that thick, so it’s pretty lush. I tossed and turned about the colour before going with the Buttery tone. I knew that one worked the best with the house, but being so light it was a risky choice for kids bedrooms. So in the end my mum suggested I only get carpet in the main bedroom and stay with floorboards and rugs in the kids rooms. Particularly because their hallway opens up to the deck and pool, so there is absolutely no way that carpet was not going to get dirty. So that’s what I did! I went with the gorgeous colour I loved, but I kept it in our room only. And I keep the door shut so the puppy can’t get in there!

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I have to say though, when it was installed the kids were very jealous that they didn’t have it in their rooms.  As you can see they loved it’s softness as well! But I’m so glad I didn’t put it in there because it took me a week before I could walk on it in just my room without feeling nervous! But I’m over that now and I couldn’t love it more.

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And both the timber and carpet is complimented by everyone who walks in the door, so I am so happy with my choices. So if you’re looking make sure you check out these products. And if you’re in Adelaide go and say hi to Bruno at the Choices Flooring Keswick store, he loves a chat!

More updates very soon.

Amity x

The dream of custom joinery

The kitchen is definitely the heart of the home and its design is one of the biggest decisions you will make when it comes to building or renovating your home. For me which company to go with was always a simple decision though, because I have admired their work for years. I wanted an Alby Turner & Son kitchen. Alby Turner and Son have been in Adelaide for over 40 years and I personally think they are the best company here when it comes to Hamptons or Provincial style kitchens and joinery. They’re probably fabulous at all styles of joinery, but I think it’s in this style they really shine.

So when we started I went to speak with Rob Turner and Sophie Doumbiotis, their head designer, to talk about the kitchen I wanted and I knew immediately they got the look I was after. Rob sent me an email after our chat to show me a kitchen they had done recently and asked if that was what I was going for….

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To which I replied ‘Um…YES!!!!’

However when we first chatted I didn’t realise they were also able to do the bathroom cabinets, laundry, wardrobes and all the joinery for the house, giving the whole place a tailored and luxurious look that I had only ever dreamed about. It’s actually meant I hardly need to take a cupboard with me because everything will be built in.

Oh the storage I have!! The house we’ve been living in for the last 9 years has barely any built in cupboards and no wardrobes at all, so I had to bring everything in and our wardrobe situation is atrocious. So to go from that to having more cupboards and better designed storage than I could have ever imagined is truly a dream.

Sophie and I spent hours talking about how I wanted to use the space and what we needed for it to be functional and user friendly. So it not only looks gorgeous from the outside but it will make our lives easier as well. Sadly Sophie hasn’t designed cupboards that put things away for you yet, but it’s as close as I’m going to get!

In the kitchen I have an island bench with lots of drawers and a pull out bin in the middle. On the side their are hidden powerpoints in both ends, which are fantastic! With the cupboards, every space has been used to maximise storage, from the tray rack, the hidden wine shelving, the pull out oil and spice rack and the double drawers which look like one deep drawer from the outside. Honestly, to go from what I have to this – I won’t know what to put in all these cupboards!

We designed the butlers pantry so the part you see will look the same as the kitchen and then the open shelving for food will be around the corner, so it’s neat and tidy. There is another dishdrawer in there, in addition to the full dishwasher in the kitchen, and a small sink for washing up coffee mugs, breakfast and prep stuff. There’s also a rack for trays and platters and plenty more cupboards.

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The butlers pantry already has more storage than my current kitchen (and looks way better too!)

And that’s just the kitchen! In the laundry I have cupboards on both sides, with a built in ironing board and two pull out dirty clothes baskets. There is also a ‘mud room’ area for hanging school bags and coats and drawers for dirty footy shoes and the like. I am very excited about that bit!

The bathrooms have double drawers, again with hidden powerpoints, and I have a study nook in the main living area, which you can hide behind folding doors that look like cupboards when you have guests. So no one sees all your paperwork and mess, which there is currently piles of on my kitchen table! This study nook also has drawers and shelves and two fantastic phone, ipad and laptop charging stations that you press to use or hide away again. So the kids can do homework or play on the computer in full view of us and then I can work there while they’re at school. Love, love, love!

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The kids wardrobes are equally impressive, with features I wasn’t even expecting. They have a pull down leaver, to maximise the extra height for more hanging space. So the kids have no excuse not to hang up their clothes. When Jamison first saw it he thought I had put exercise equipment in his wardrobe!

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Finally, two of my favourite features of the house – the shelving and cupboards in the living area and study. I had a picture I loved on Pinterest and told Sophie I wanted exactly that in the living room, using the sandstone from the original house.

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My inspiration..and how mine looks now!!

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I cannot wait to get in and style those shelves, there is my summer holidays project right there!

Then there is the study, which we are painting a deep indigo colour. So Alby Turner painted the back of the cupboards to match in with the walls, which looks stunning (if you ignore the handprints I haven’t wiped down yet!).

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This room will be Phil’s office but I have left a big space in the middle to put a TV, so it could also double as a media room. Again, the styling of these shelves will be carefully managed and I’ve told Phil he can’t just put anything haphazardly in them. For the first month or so at least!

I think it’s pretty obvious how happy I am with all of this and I cannot rave enough about how great Sophie, Rob and the Alby Turner team have been to work with. I really can’t believe this is my house because it looks way too fancy and impressive, but I guess that will sink in once I’ve been there for a while. :)

Just under two weeks to go….

Amity x

It’s all coming together!

It’s been a huge two weeks of progress in the house and I can finally see how it’s all going to look when it comes together. And it’s gorgeous – PHEW!!

The kitchen benchtops went in last week and I adore them. I wrote about my decision on marble versus engineered stone when I first started this blog, back when I was still tossing up the pros and cons of the two. I love marble but it is quite fragile and precious. And I have enough to stress about in life with adding a fragile and precious benchtop! So I ended up making the practical choice and going with Casearstone Statuario Nuvo, which still looks gorgeous but will withstand a little more family living.

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Right before the drama….

I can honestly say that when it was being installed I knew instantly I’d made the right choice. It wasn’t just that it looked beautiful, which it did. It was that when the installer was putting it in he happened to slice his finger, which resulted in him bleeding all over the concrete floor, and my new island benchtop. Can you even imagine if it had been marble?? It would have been ruined in the first TWO MINUTES OF ITS LIFE!!! As it was  I was slightly panicked about it (after I checked that he was OK) but luckily it wiped straight off. Giving me complete piece of mind that I made the right call and that sometimes it’s not a bad idea to be ever so slightly practical.

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Looks pretty gorgeous to me!

Having said that, I couldn’t resist having some marble in my Hamptons house. So I’ve got an amazing feature wall in my ensuite, which looks DIVINE!! But that wall won’t cop a beating from cooking and kids, so I felt I could justify it. And I swear, every time I walk into that room and see it it makes me happy. So I can definitely justify that.

After the stone went in it was time to tile the splashback, something I have really been looking forward to. My splashback tile choice has been changed many times over the last few months and I’m so relieved it’s finally done and I can stop thinking about it! Originally I feel in love with a tile I found on Pinterest, which wasn’t available in Australia. It looked almost like mother of pearl and I was desperate to have it.

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The infamous Pinterest tile.

So the fantastic team at Beaumont Tiles Commercial in Norwood went on a search for me and eventually found it in America. I was so excited!! They sent us a sample and it was the perfect colour to compliment my cabinets and sandstone fireplace. Everything was perfect…until the supplier gave us a quote and we realised it was going to be obscenely expensive. That was less exciting.

I’m not going to deny I have pretty expensive taste. But, I am a firm believer that you don’t have to spend obscene amounts of money to have style. Some things are worth it and you can justify the spend. But in other cases you can get the same impact by being clever and spending less. And I knew that spending that much on a splashback tile wasn’t going to be worth it, so I picked another option. And then at the last minute I changed my mind again, and went back to the exact tile I had chosen in the very beginning.

Hey, it’s about the journey, right?! When it comes to Hamptons style kitchens you just can’t go past the subway tile. They are classic, timeless, elegant and they compliment the shaker style cabinetry perfectly.

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Inspiration via Pinterest.

So I decided to do subway tiles in both the kitchen and bathrooms, but in the bathrooms I went with a beautiful grey colour.

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A sneak peek of the ensuite. I LOVE this room!

Then in perfect timing, Beaumont Tiles had just received a delivery of new hand cut subway tiles, that looked like were a little old and imperfect, but still with the sheen I loved in the mother of pearl tile. So it ended up being perfect and I didn’t have to spend a stupid amount of money to achieve it. Two practical decisions paying off, who would ever have imagined?!

If I was going with subways I knew I had to do a feature section under the canopy, just like in all the Hamptons kitchens I love.

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But in this instance I strayed from the traditional slightly. Typically they do that part in a herringbone pattern, but I decided I would get a little creative and try and make my own pattern. So I bought a big piece of paper, got some of my tiles to trace and set about inventing a new classic pattern. As you do! At first I thought I’d found something genius, but then as it got bigger then pattern didn’t work, so I had to abandon that idea. But after about an hour, much erasing and a glass or two of wine I found something that worked. It’s a variation on the herringbone, but in a bigger form, and I think it works really well. It’s not reinventing the wheel, but it’s a little bit different and something unique to my house, so I’m really happy with it. Now I just had to convince my tiler to do it!

Both of the Scott Salisbury Homes tilers , Dwayne and Tony, that have worked on the house have been so lovely to deal with and their work is stunning. Laying those small subway tiles piece by piece takes a fair amount of precision and patience and I’m sure they were happy when the bathrooms were done. So now I had to tell Tony that not only was he laying more of them, but he was doing them in a pattern he’d never seen before! To remove any room for error I traced a whole sheet of how it would look, so we could follow the pattern. We stuck in on the wall to make sure the sizing was right and then we worked from that.

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I really enjoyed my day with Tony doing that splashback, while eating his mothers almond biscotti and singing along to classic rock! I actually feel really at home on a building sight and enjoy the tradies company and the SSH team working on this job have all been really great to work with.

At the end of the day Tony and I both stood back and admired our work and I think we were both pretty pleased with ourselves. You see, that’s the thing I love about building or renovating your own home! Every time I look at that splashback I will know that that pattern took me an hour and two glasses of wine to get right and that Tony and I made it happen while eating almond biscotti and singing Toto songs. I love that connection you can have to the place you live, knowing that everything is where it is because you chose it. I felt that connection to The Block All Stars house (which is why I cried when I left it!) but this is the first time I will have ever lived in a place that I have worked on, so that is special indeed.

More soon….

Amity x