House Rules: Caring for Timber

Today has been one of those days where I know exactly what I need to do but keep getting distracted by – hey look a squirrel … My head is just all over the place! But between all my procrastinating some how I managed to pull this together and I hope it helps you out a bit!

Setting yourself up with good quality timber furniture can be quite costly so you want to ensure that you a) LOVE what you are buying and b) know how to take good care of these investment pieces. Today I want to focus on the latter – how to take care of timber furniture. It goes without saying that we all want to live with our furniture and not have to tip-toe around pieces. Solid timber furniture can be a great option for busy family homes because it allows us to live with it, rather than around it. The right styles can develop gorgeous patina over time, adding both value and character, but sometimes we want to keep certain pieces looking sleek and new – as they did when they left the showroom. So to help you navigate the how-to’s, below are a few of my ever trusted and loved timber tricks – passed down from one generation to the next.

1. Dust regularly: Using a soft cloth (like an old t-shirt or microfiber duster) dust down your furniture every week or so – this will prevent dust and grime building up on your furniture which can be more troublesome to clean later on.

Caring for timber furniture - Liv with Vision

Pottery Barn

2. Wipe up spills with a damp cloth & use coasters: Liquid is timber’s biggest enemy so wherever practical use coasters or placemats to protect your hard wood from moisture. This is especially important for items like Vases of flowers that will be sitting on the furniture for prolonged periods or glasses of wine or other coloured liquid that can also stain your timber surface. If you do happen to spill something on the timber, wipe down with a soft damp cloth as quickly as possible to prevent the liquid from absorbing into the grain.

Slate Coasters

Valleymill – etsy

3. Finish with the grain: When you take the time to clean your furniture, use a damp soft cloth with timber approved cleaning agents. Firstly wipe across the grain of the timber to remove any built-up grime and then finish with long smooth strokes in the same direction as the grain.

Caring for timber furniture - Liv with Vision

Pinterest

 

4. Polish with the seasons: Or don’t. I actually like to use day light savings as a reminder of when to give timber pieces a good polish or varnish. Realistically this job only needs to be done every six months and the changing of the clocks is a handy reminder that the task is due. Varnishing furniture any more than this can sometimes do more harm than good, so in between you only need to remember to dust and clean with approved agents.

Caring for timber furniture - Liv with Vision

Architectural Digest

 

5. Keep clear of direct Sunlight: Like leather, overtime the sun can alter the colour of timber furniture. Tasmanian Oak is a great example of this as it changes with time and can become quite yellow (provided you have a clean lacquer finish), which is probably not what you what if you chose this timber for it’s warm blonde tones.

Caring for timber - Liv with Vision

Nordic Design

6. Move objects regularly: Unfortunately, like the sun, your own interior lighting can also effect the colour of your timber, so be sure to move object around regularly or you might just find a darker or lighter patch when you do eventually remove that old lamp or vase of faux flowers.

Timber furniture - Liv with Vision

The Style Files

Decorating for New Years Eve

As sit here, I’m somewhat stunned – where has this year gone?2014 has been one of my best years so far – and for the first time in many ways I’m going to be sad to say goodbye to it. Over the past twelve months I’ve ticked a number of boxes on my bucket list, started this blog, married the man of my dreams and travelled to some locations I thought I’d only ever dream of, we’ve set up our home, renovated our kitchen and shared our first Christmas together. So now as we step into 2015, planning is well and truly in place for another big year. I’m already calling it the year self-improvement and am looking forward to when the clock ticks over  – but before we get too carried away with resolutions and new year goals, lets take a look at some ways to bring the new year in with true celebratory style!

New Years Eve is perhaps the one night of the year where decorations should go all out! Glitter, sparkles and all things bright can be embraced as a scene is set for a big celebration….

Liv with Vision | New Years Eve Decorating

Babble

Liv with Vision | New Years Eve Decorating

eighteen25

Liv with Vision | New Years Eve Decorating

The 36th Avenue

Liv with Vision | New Years Eve Decorating

Wedding Chicks

Liv with Vision | New Years Eve Decorating

Carla Aston Designed

 

Decorating for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is not a holiday that Australians get the pleasure of officially celebrating, but it’s always been one that has really interested me. I absolutely adore the idea of having a special day that is set aside just to give thanks and be thankful for all we have. Traditionally, Thanksgiving was a holiday that was created to give thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year, so naturally that’s where all the pumpkins and rustic décor come from.

This year, I get the pleasure of being in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving – we fly off tomorrow and to say I’m excited would be a huge understatement! We’ve had this holiday planned since the start of the year, so (as you do for most holidays) I have been researching all things LA and Thanksgiving – from cocktails and dinners to décor and most importantly, how to set the table. So I thought, although we don’t celebrate it down under, lets take a look at some table settings and thanksgiving décor for one the most meaningful holidays of the year…

table 2

The Daily Basics

table 3

My Life and Kids

table 5

Better Homes & Gardens

Social Manor

Social Manor

table 4

Yellow Bliss Road

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I’d love to know what’s on your menu this year. I always love to get inspiration from what other people are getting up to in the kitchen. If you ARE looking at cooking up a storm for this year’s holiday season, check out comparaboo to see a comparison of all the top rated products to create your perfect festive feast!

Christmas Wreath Tutorial

I can’t believe it’s less than 6 weeks until Christmas – time has flown by so quickly this year! That being said, it’s also my favourite time of year and this year especially as it’s my first Christmas with Andrew. Last night we bought our first Christmas tree – a beautiful 7 ft tree that’s big, lush and all that I dreamed of. I can not wait to decorate it, but that will have to wait until the first weekend of December! In the meantime there is something beautifully special about making some of your own Christmas decorations. Over the next couple of weeks I’m looking forward to sharing a few of my favourites – the first being the humble Christmas wreath.

Set to adorn your front door or as a beautiful centrepiece for the dining table, wreaths are super easy and seriously satisfying to make yourself. This year I wanted to do a floral wreath, I’ve seen these in various stores ranging from $150 to $200+ and thought surely I can do better myself.  So after searching through a few stores that I know sell faux flowers, I found everything I needed to bring my vision to life – here’s how it all went down….

Bits and bobs:

Plain Christmas wreath (you can get these from Lincraft)

Faux flowers – I used 11 extra large roses (I got mine from Spotlight)

Holly Berries on wire stems

Glittery decorations on wire stems

Pliers or wire cutters

Scissors

Florist Wire

Ribbon

materials

What to do:

1. Start by pulling the leaves off the faux flowers (keep the leaves for later, they may just come in handy). Once you have pulled the leaves off, trim the stems just below the receptacle (as pictured) to ensure your flowers don’t fall apart!

Liv with vision | DIY Floral Christmas wreath

2. Once all your flowers are trimmed, spend some time playing with how you’d like everything laid out. A cluster of flowers at the base or flowers all around the edge? I probably spent more time on the actual layout than I did putting the whole thing together! When you’ve got it set out how you like, make sure you take a couple of photos to use as a guide for when you are securing everything.

Liv with vision | DIY Floral Christmas wreath

3. Now we are ready –  It’s time to start threading and twisting! Using the florist wire, cut lengths of about 20cm, thread the wire between the outer petals and the receptacle so you have equal lengths on either side – then twist until tightly secured (about 5 twists), you should be left with two wire tails that are about 10cm in length.

Liv with vision | DIY Floral Christmas wreath

4.  Using your guiding photos, start to place the flowers on the wreath, wrap the wire tails around the wreath frame and then twist again to secure. I gave all of mine a little wiggle room so I could manoeuvre them a little bit once all the flowers were attached.

5. While I would have loved to leave my wreath with just flowers, to add some Christmas charm I also used holly berries and some gold glittery holly leaves (on wire stems). Being on a single stem of wire, I simply just hooked these around the frame of the wreath and gave a little twist to secure . I also took a few of those leaves from the rose stems to make the wreath nice and lush, again – more wire and twisting.

Note: You could also use hot glue to attach all your flowers and decorations but I prefer to use the wire as it’s not so permanent and each year I can update my wreath to a new style.

6. Finally use a length of ribbon (about 30-40cm) to give your wreath a hook to hang on. Simply wrap the ribbon around the top of your wreath frame, tie a bow and voila – ready to hang!

complete2

complete1

complete

Operation Organise: Clever Kitchen Tips

Having an organised kitchen is one of my top priorities in the home – without this space being clean, organised and tidy, stepping into the kitchen just isn’t as enjoyable. Now being 90% of the way through our own kitchen renovation, we have had the blessing of being able to sit down and design our kitchen plan around how we want to operate. Today I would have liked LOVED this post to also include our reveal of the new space, but there are still a few final touches to finish before we are at that stage.

While we have built much of our kitchen using drawers (the best way to get maximum storage space), today I’m going to share five of my best organisation tips that don’t require any renovation at all.

1. Door mounted storage – Whether its inside your panty for spices or under the sink for scrubbing brushes and kitchen towels, door mounted storage is already one of my favourite additions to our kitchen. Check out options from Ikea or Howards Storage World for permanent options, or for those who don’t have that luxury, let DIY skills shine through.

Door Sixteen

Door Sixteen

2. Two for One – Double your shelf space by installing under-shelf baskets (especially for items like cling wrap or spaghetti) or temporary stackable shelves.

kitchen 2

Howards Storage World

3. The Pantry – I absolutely LOVE well organised pantries, and couldn’t tell you how many hours I have spent researching how we are going to be decking ours out. What I have found, is that open shelving (that is well spaced out) is probably the best and most flexible option. From there, everything from matching containers, well stacked cans or jars, baskets and the like can be added in to suit your needs. One trick I’ll definitely be implementing is using staged platforms to give better visibility for items in the back of the cupboard.

Simply Fabulous Living

Simply Fabulous Living

Buy the pretty things – I’m talking about the bottles you keep on the counter, whether its for washing-up liquid, hand soap or oils next to the stove top. Invest in nice bottles that are reusable and a pleasure to look at, rather than your typical Morning Fresh fluoro green bottle. I highly recommend the Fleur De Sel dish soap from Williams-Sonoma (pictured below) – it smells absolutely divine!

Williams-Sonoma

Williams-Sonoma

Use Platters or Stands –  Placing a collection of items on a chopping board, cake stand, pretty platter or in a basket on the counter works wonders at creating a tidier space. The theory is, four or five items sitting on the bench-top appear as four or five items, when the same items are clustered together on a board or in a basket, our eyes now see the collection as one item hence giving the illusion of an uncluttered space.

Pinterest

Pinterest