Home Inspiration

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I’ve been collecting pictures of pretty homes on Pinterest since long before we were considering buying a house of our own. I’m so excited to finally have the chance to get to put some of that inspiration to use! The pictures above are just a few of my favourites. I’m really inspired by light, airy spaces, especially when they incorporate wood, handmade and vintage elements. I adore white walls, wood floods and pops of colour.

Our new house is quite a bit larger than any of our previous little homes, so we’ll have to get op-shopping and flea marketing for some new (to us) furniture to fill it, though I’m determined not to over fill it as I’d like to keep the space feeling open and bright. At the moment the house is full of horrible floor coverings (old carpet and lino), apricot walls and hideous vertical blinds but it has so much potential! The rooms are large and light-filled with lovely features like moulded ceilings and big windows. We’re both desperate to strip the floors back to the wood hiding underneath, but sadly I don’t think we’ll have the time or money to do that before we move in, so that will be a project for down the track. We will however, definitely be painting all the walls and tearing down the vertical blinds straight away. Though our renovating and decorating budget is pretty much nothing, so we’ll most likely be DIYing the new window furnishings!

There’s lots to do in the garden too. The house is situated on a funny triangular block so the garden is quite tiny, but there is a side yard (the wide end of the triangle) big enough for our veggie patch. We are thinking of building a couple of raised beds with “wicking bed” watering systems, like the ones featured in this fabulous book. The opposite corner of the garden (the skinny end of the triangle) has enough room for a couple of hens to scratch about, so we are planning to fence that corner off for the chooks to roam in during the day, and building or buying a little house to close them in at night. We also plan to plant a couple of fruit trees along the fence and put window boxes full of flowers on each window. At the moment the “garden” pretty much just consists of crunchy dead grass and one sad little apple tree, in desperate need of some TLC, but we can’t wait to make it a beautiful, productive space.

Have you done any DIY renovating? Or started a garden from scratch? Anyone out there ever stripped back wood floors? We’d so love any advice you could give us! And thank you all so much for your kind wishes on our last post. We feel so honoured to be part of such a lovely, supportive community.

Katie x

PS I tried to find and link to the original sources for these images but couldn’t find all of them. If one of these pictures belongs to you or someone you know, please let me know so I can give credit!

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About Katie

Katie is a tea drinking, jewellery making, op-shopping daydreamer. Katie likes vintage dresses, Pictionary, doilies and colourful tights.


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30 Responses to “Home Inspiration”

  1. Meg January 10, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Hi Katie. Congrats to you and Reuben on purchasing your first home! In answer to your questions, yes, yes and yes! We have an old weather board place and we’ve done plastering, painting, building (including a shed, garden shed and chook shed), paving, fencing, concreting and my Dad and I redid the bathroom. Eight years ago the house was on a bare block surrounded by a bluestone track, and we are now surrounded by gardens (native, fruit and veggie), lawn and paved/gravel areas. So I guess my message to you both is if you’re keen, have a go! Before we purchased this (our first) home, we lived in a rental that had carpet in the kitchen . . . yes, super horrible!! We were quite desperate for a place to live, and so when we took on the lease we asked if we could rip it up . . . and to our surprise, there were some rather lovely boards underneath . . . we did all the work ourselves (ripping up the carpet and underlay (and taking it to the tip), taking up the spiky strips, removing nails, sanding and then sealing) . . . we hired sanders and the guys at the hire shop in Bendigo were very helpful . . . I’m guessing your place is on stumps, so insulation might become a bit of an issue when you pull up the carpet . . . check out polystyrene underfloor insulation – it’s DIY! Good luck. (oh, and sorry this was long-winded comment!)

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

      Don’t apologise! Thank you so much for sharing a little of your experience. It’s good to hear the guys at the hire shop in Bendigo were helpful as we will being doing the floors ourselves. And you know, I hadn’t thought of the insulation issue! So thank you so much for bringing that to my attention! xx

  2. Nara January 10, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

    They’re all beautiful – and probably quite easy to thrift/DIY as well, especially if you’re handy with a sewing machine.
    Best of luck with your new endeavour!

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:31 pm #

      Yes, I’m very much drawn to thrift and DIY style! It’s what I find most beautiful, which I suppose is quite convenient seeing as it is all Reubs and I can really afford, haha!

  3. Pearl* January 10, 2013 at 11:55 pm #

    Lovely! We live in an old church in Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada. My husband did a great reno job, but I’m always on the lookout for inspiration…trying to maximize the building’s natural charm. Thanks!

  4. Milynn {love and whimsy} January 11, 2013 at 2:00 am #

    cute cute cute home ideas! I love that ones with the floating branch and all of the natural elements in these photos! We have such similar taste! 🙂

  5. Holli Anne January 11, 2013 at 4:06 am #

    I adore these. I’m getting ready to move into a new house, too, and have definitely been pinning like crazy. You have some wonderful inspiration right here!

  6. Gina January 11, 2013 at 5:24 am #

    Hi Katie!

    Yes, my husband and I built our gardens and a back patio from scratch after we had our house built on the last empty lot in our neighborhood. I have many plants that came from friends and neighbors so there’s one way to save money. My husband used the flat stones from an old stone fence on the property to frame in the patio off the kitchen. He then filled it in with fine gravel. On top of that, we set large squares of decorative concrete paving stones. Then we filled in around those with fine gravel and dirt. He also used concrete blocks set into the ground to build a multi-path sidewalk out from the patio to the shed (he and his dad built that). He and a friend dug a hole and put in a shaped plastic pond insert. I added the plants in all the gardens in this area. If you look at our web site, you’ll see photos of what I’m talking about. He also did a sidewalk in the carport out front and built steps with flat stone and concrete blocks. I did most of the flower and other plant landscaping after he shaped the garden plots the way I asked. Our main expense was buying extra soil as the ground in our area is full of rocks and clay. I have a compost pile but that only makes so much a year and we needed LOTS of soil! Good luck and I can’t wait to see your work in progress.

    Syracuse, NY, USA

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:33 pm #

      Yes, I think we’ll have to buy a little bit of soil for our raised veggie beds, but thankfully not a lot. I will definitely pop over to your blog and explore your adventures in gardening! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  7. Petit Pixel January 11, 2013 at 7:26 am #

    I read this post in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep….then went to sleep and dreamed of pretty houses 🙂 Can’t wait to see how you integrate the Katie & Rebuen style into your new home!

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:35 pm #

      Haha, I have the opposite problem! I can’t get to sleep because my brain is too busy with ideas for our house. But glad I could help! 😉

  8. domestickate January 11, 2013 at 7:59 am #

    I see you have the beekeeper’s quilt in one of the photos. That thing is following me around, haunting me! All the images look great. I don’t have much experience renovating, but I can’t wait to see how your new place turns out!

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

      Oh I must confess, I am quietly OBSESSED with the beekeeper’s quilt! I am a terrible knitter but I think that needs to change just so I can make one of my own. I adore it! x

  9. Marcelle January 11, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Opshopping is no punishment 😉
    You’ll have fun with that!
    I love the pictures you chose (looks somewhat like my home)
    your home is going to be a cosy one.

    Congratulations 🙂

  10. rhonda jean January 11, 2013 at 9:31 am #

    Hi Katie and Reuben. I love your style. Open and airy with a touch of nostalgia. I’d suggest you start a comport heap as soon as you move in but don’t start on the garden till next spring. You’ll have a lot to do in the house. But if you can build up your compost, when you’ve had a chance to observe the patterns of the sun on the back yard, noting what it’s like in the middle of summer too, when you move in, you’ll have a good idea by spring about where the beds should go. Depending on the soil, you’ll probably have to build it up a lot before you start and if you have compost waiting, you can buy bags of manure and you’ll be off and running in spring.

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:37 pm #

      Compost and manure are now at the very top of our gardening to do list! Thanks Rhonda! xx

  11. Sarah @ Chantille Fleur January 11, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    You’ve got some gorgeous and very inspiring images there! Your house is going to look beautiful once you and Reuben have made it a home.
    The good thing about buying a house with no gardens, and that needs “doing up”, is that you can turn it into what ever you want. You can style it exactly how you like, plant flowers and vegies wherever YOU think they should go, ect.
    And you get to enjoy the process of making it truly yours….much better than buying a perfect house and having to style around someone else’s tastes.

    I can’t wait to follow along your adventures in your new home,

  12. suse January 11, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Yep, done it all ourselves too. A tip re the floors is to hire a sander and do it yourselves, then instead of finishing the boards with one of those awful toxic two-pack products (which take days to dry and fill your home with fumes), use “tung oil”. It’s non toxic, dries in a few hours and you simply mop it on. It’s good for the wood, and when it gets scratched after a couple of years you simply mop another coat on. We put it on the mountain ash floorboards of our first flat, the wooden bench tops in that kitchen, and then when we bought our first house we put it on the jarrah hardwood floors. It gives wood a gorgeous healthy glow rather than the surface shine of the polyeurethane products. Good stuff!

    Also, vintage floral sheets make easy and cheap curtains.

    Have fun!

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

      Yes, DIY sanding then oiling was our plan! So it’s nice to hear from someone whose had a positive experience doing the same thing. You’ve boosted our confidence a little! And I love the vintage sheets as curtains idea. We had a couple of those in our Bendigo house 🙂

  13. eliza January 11, 2013 at 11:56 am #

    i always feel a little silly saying this, but: i’m so excited to see what you do! i llllove all of these inspirational pictures, and i love your aesthetic, so i’m just really excited to see it all happen!

    my diy base is limited to smaller projects. if i were to send you to any resource, it would be young house love. they are great diy-ers! though i don’t think they’ve ever tackled re-doing wooden floors themselves. oh! but you know who has? anna of door sixteen, who is another diy queen! although, she painted her floors white, rather than re-finishing them to a wood tone. i could see that working with your style, though!

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

      I love both YHO and Door Sixteen! We will definitely be trawling through their archives for ideas and advice in the coming months. I love white floors but (and I don’t know if I should be admitting this…) I don’t know if I vacuum often enough for them! Haha! I think the cat and dog hair situation would get pretty dire, pretty fast! 😉

  14. janet January 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm #

    Congratulations on buying your house, how exciting!

    I’d second what Suse said about the tung oil. We pulled up a whole lot of stinky carpet in our house and after pulling out the nails, gave it a really good wash. We decided that as there had been polished floorboards in the past that we could live with some imperfections. Indeed my partner got very concerned about sanding contractors and the amount the wanted to sand from the wood. In the end we gave it a very light sand ourselves and mopped on two coats of tung oil. That was four years ago and it is still looking good.

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

      I too am totally ok with imperfections! They just add character, right? 😉 We plan to do what you did and just hire a sander and oil the floor ourselves. It’s nice to know you had a good result with just a light sanding as I have been having nightmares about days spent going over the floors over and over again. You’ve put my mind at ease! x

  15. Joolzmac January 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Wow, you guys are going to have so much fun filling the house with goodies. I love the open spaces, pale colours and airy feel to the pictures. How good to fill it with second hand treasures, I can’t wait to see how it all goes.

    Cheers – Joolz

  16. Cassie January 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    Oh, I love all of your inspiration photos. They could have come straight off my inspiration board 2 years ago when we were planning our new house.

    We built this house knowing that we would be putting in a large tank, shed, raised vegie gardens and of course, the important CHOOK YARD!! It’s been a year of hard work, but we’re nearly finished now. It’s so much fun seeing it all come together, and it’s great that you already know what you want to do with your space so you can work on it without any delays.

    The first thing I did when we moved in was start our compost heap. Our soil used to be pretty ordinary paddock, so it’s starved and hard clay. Feed your soil first, then wonderful things can happen!!

    So excited to see it all take shape!

    • Katie
      Katie January 11, 2013 at 11:43 pm #

      Oh Cassie, I can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are about the prospect of chooks! We. Are. So. Excited! And we will be sure to get started on that compost heap ASAP! xx

  17. Natasha January 12, 2013 at 4:05 am #

    We’re so lucky to have beautiful wooden floors in our house, but we don’t get much light. I love your inspiration pictures. I like these types of rooms where it looks like a natural collection that developed over time and not just things that were bought to “decorate”.

  18. Nat January 12, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    What lovely house ideas! How cozy with hint of vintage!

    I love the crochet blankets in the first few photos — I’m starting on my first one, so this is great motivation to keep on going!


  19. Heather January 13, 2013 at 6:42 am #

    lovely that you have found your house, I’m sure you will make it just how you want it and fill it with great things! look forward to seeing more, Heather x

  20. Katie (Chestnut Mocha) January 19, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    oh, guys, this is so cool! I’m so excited for your new house and new life! Even though the garden is not too big I’m sure you’ll make it pretty and will use every bit of it. Excited to see! We just moved to a new place, too! It’s our fist house together but we’re just renting it. This is why we can’t paint anything or redesign. And this is the smallest place we ever lived in, so it’s fun 🙂
    So happy that 2013 is a new-house year to both of us! Yay!

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