Thursday, 29 November 2007

free wrapping paper!

We're a nice bunch at real living. We not only give you cool ideas and pretty pictures each month in the mag, we're giving everyone some free wrapping paper! And the good thing is, it's on the website so you can print out as little or many sheets of it as you like! Our clever deputy art director, Renae, whipped it up in a gorgeous teal colour to tie in with our blue, silver and white-themed issue and I thought I'd show you what it looks like.

Pretty paper in my fave colour!

I printed it out in A3 but A4-size is still great for small pressies. You could also take it to a printing place and get them to print it a little larger for you - all depends on if you're willing to part with some $$$!
Enjoy it and also don't forget, if you need extra gift tags that were free in the Christmas issue (which went on sale Tuesday), they're also available to printout on the site - for FREE!
Go here for your free goodies!

The so-pretty Christmas issue - out now!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

I heart Kmart

Yes, I do. Some people have eBay obsessions, other's Space Furniture or Ikea. Mine is Kmart. Now, this is much more to do with necessity than adoration - there are very limited shops near my home within walking distance and seeing as I don't often have the car during the week, my shopping cravings have to be satisfied with Kmart. Or Best & Less. Or sometimes even The Reject Shop.
But honestly, there are some brilliant things to be found for all areas of your life - you might just have to look a little harder than, say, Domayne or Bayswiss. Just in case you don't believe me, I thought I'd share some of my fave finds in the past few months that have dressed up my home, my son and myself!

I love my white orchid which was just $25. I couldn't find a pot that was right, though, so I popped it in this duck-egg blue ceramic bowl by Living with Deborah Hutton, $19 for small or $25.50 for large. It looks so pretty against the chocolate brown feature wall.

I bought these zebra-print patterned canvas storage boxes to house a portion of my seemingly never-ending magazine collection. They came in a pack of two (the second is on the messy shelf at the bottom!) for about $20.

Perfect for my fave mags!

This little guy was a whole $3. I bought several to line the windowsill for Chrissy.

Meet my new beach bag! It was $30 and also comes in a pinkish metallic colour. Roomy, pretty and zebra-print again. I'm a tiny bit obsessed with this print in small doses. I almost bought a zebra-print rug for the living room, but chickened out. I don't think I'm that bold just yet. I do have an awesome baby sling in an orange zebra-print fabric though. Zak hated it, but I loved it. I hope the next baby likes it cause it's a rather expensive room decoration otherwise!

Now at the risk of sounding like Kmart are paying me to say this (for the record, they're not!), I'm begging you to check them out! They have great homewares stuff - the Living with Deborah Hutton range is particularly nice and their Homemaker brand has some great finds like vintage-inspired kitchen canisters and beautiful thick wooden chopping blocks. It's also great for blinds, kitchen appliances, sheets and towels - they do Egyptian cotton and 1000-thread count sheets, now. And the best thing about all this, besides the decent prices, is that half the time you only have to wait a few weeks for your fave item to go on sale!

Saturday, 17 November 2007

my home "office"

Oooh, two posts in one day... am catching up for being so lazy these past few weeks! In my defence, I have been busy! OK, remember the odd space created by our new bathroom door being in the middle of the small corridor to the bathroom? Well, if not, check out one of the gazillion bathroom reno posts below. Anyway, I decided to make good use of the space and turn it into a little home office.

My home office - notice the website on my laptop?
My biggest challenge was finding a desk narrow enough to fit the whole 40cm I had to work with. I finally settled on a console table, shoved a linen cupboard in the corner (as we demolished ours to kit out the bathroom) and butted it up against it. I popped some floating shelves on the wall above (well, my father-in-law did, but I did help. A little.) - the top one in line with the linen cupboard for an extra-long shelf - and slapped up some cork tiles (with genius 3M removable tape) in a bit of a pattern around the shelves as my pinboard.
Now, I could have gone all magazine-stylisty on you and styled it up nice and proper as a mood board as every single magazine feature about home offices does. But I just took the shot as it is - bills, notes, pics, stamps, lotto tickets and all. After all, this is a REAL house, right? And I need my important dates and bills right in front of my eyes or I'll forget! Mind you, my desk is not always this neat - I quite often can't see any of the desktop when I'm in work mode...
Overall, I'm happy with my little office space! And it didn't cost me a bomb.

In case you're wondering...
Desk: $199, House & Garden
Shelves: $20, Big W
Cork tiles: $2 for packet of 6, The Reject Shop
Chair: $138, Matt Blatt

Bathroom - last post, promise

Just in case you hadn't seen enough of my bathroom... Here it is completely finished - painted, shower screen in, actual signs of life (towels, cosmetics) and also a little floor plan to show you how different it is now!

Can't believe how pink the "extra bright white" tiles are against the white paint!
One tip if you're doing your own: go for a bath screen over a fixed-panel glass screen if you have a bath/shower combo. It swivels both ways so you can access the taps easily, is longer than a fixed panel which means less water all over the place, and is still so minimal it doesn't interfere with the space. You can also get it with a second panel that folds onto itself like a bi-fold if you want it extra long. And the bonus: it was SO much cheaper. We were quoted up to $2000 for a fixed panel screen, but this bath screen only cost us about $450. Gold.

PS: The hand towel was just a few bucks from Best & Less! (We don't have much by way of shops near me...)

Before: not the greatest use of space...

I'm still surprised by how much room we seem to have!