the family table

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My dining table is the same table that I sat at as a kid.  Well, almost the same.  As the youngest in a family of five, it was my job at dinner time to roll in the office chair so I could fit in at the four DSC_4423seat table (perhaps I was an afterthought after all?!).  I guess the advantage of being the youngest is that I now have the wooden table top that survived years of cosy family dinners.  But the table wasn’t quite right.  The four matching wooden legs, particularly against the sideboard, were just, well, wooden.  But I was in luck when I went to the tip shop (rubbish sale?) and found an incredibly ugly table, with an incredibly cool chrome sixties base.  Fortunately I had one of my (many) monkey wrenches (see the black tap post) close at hand, and now I have the cool chrome sixties base sans the ugly laminate top.  And it cost me $5.   It took was some drilling and the screwing of screws to remove the wooden legs and fit the new sleek chrome base, but it fit perfectly.

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cost: base $5, top free (from the folks!)

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gold lamp

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I have an aversion to brushed chrome.  Why, why, must every apartment built in the last DSC_4470decade or so feature that dull brushed chrome at every opportunity.  Chrome handles, chrome taps, chrome edges.  Gah!  Ok, so, spray paint: it is an easy way to make things not chrome.  My old lamp (from, yep, Ikea) was looking a little sad so I got rid of the shade and bedazzled the base up with some matt black spray paint around the top fitting and gold spray paint on the stand (not a speck of chrome to be seen).   I also discovered that Bunnings stocks filament globes (so excellent) and voilà.

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details: matt black spray paint and gold spray paint

cost: about $7 each

 

 

 

 

 

brass switches

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DSC_4442There is a satisfying click when you pry the white plastic cover off light switches.  I get that most normal people don’t spend their time prying off light switch covers (most normal people don’t blog about these things either), but I thought I’d share the experience.  I had decided to venture down the electrics aisle at Bunnings (the Australian hardware store where I spend way too much time).  It is an intimidating aisle.  So many switches and cords and such.  But then I found it: shiny brass light switch covers.  It was like learning that Radiohead has decided to put on an Australian tour that includes Canberra, but better (well, almost).

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details: brass light switch covers

cost: $6 each

black tap

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What to say about a black tap?  I guess I should point out that it is another product of those  those Swedish geniuses at Ikea (love the Scandis).  So rather than spend hundreds of dollars on tapwIMG_1618are (when did “tapware” become a noun?) I spent under a hundred.  It was also easy enough to install.  I had to buy another monkey wrench (yes, I am the proud owner of monkey wrenches – plural) and I enlisted the the help of my housemate (now officially known as the Water Man), and well, I got the job done.

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details: ikea ringskar tap in (yep) black

black and white tiles

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I like subway tiles. I know they have been done to death, but I like them. Unfortunately I can’t fork out the cash for the real thing (with its delightful grainy crackle) but I figured I could work with what I had to create a monochrome tiley delight.  And it was easier than I thought.  The original tiles were simple white with white(ish) grout.  I bought a black grout pen (I ordered it from the interwebs for about ten bucks) and I simply ‘coloured in’ the grout.  It was like being a kid again, but this time it didn’t matter if I went outside the lines because, by some crazy miracle, the grout paint simply wiped off the tiles and stayed put on the grout.

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details: black grout pen, cost: $10

the black wall

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the final product

so I decided to go against everyone’s advice and paintDSC_4329 my wall black.  I can say that when I go against everyone’s advice I generally regret it. But not this time.  Being warned about committing a range of design faux pas (making the space feel smaller, never being able to paint over it, scaring off would-be renters, recreating the 90s feature wall) I forged ahead (with a little help from a tall handsome foreigner).  The black wall makes a feature (dare I say it?) of my op shop sideboard and paintings.  I don’t think the space feels smaller at all.  Whether The Black Wall will scare off renters – only time will tell.  In terms of recreating the 90s: well perhaps it is a little 90sish, but I think the 90s is a great decade anyway.

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preparations

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details: dulux klavier paint (slightly grey/purple black), cost: approx $80 for paint and materials