Sorry for my absence - life has been busy. With the three children back off to school/ preschool in the past two weeks, I thought I'd have more time than I'd know what to do with... but trying to pull this house into some semblance of order and cleanliness, and the backlog of errands left from the frantic school holiday period have kept me off the 'net and busy.



Speaking of cleaning, this was a (highly glamorous) recent purchase: a steam mop. The other day I vacuumed the entire house, then mopped all the floors (I usually just do it in bits on an as needed basis during the school holiday as it's so frequent). It's much faster than a normal mop, the floors dry quicker, and it cleaned the floors better. It took me 1.5 hours to do he whole house (mopping was a half hour)... and made me reflect that sometimes living in a small space does have advantages. Our old house in Melbourne could be entirely vacuumed by plugging into a single power point in the hall. It reached all the corners and used to take me only 20 minutes.



In renovation progress, it's been all about the slate tiling outside. The poor tilers have been working away through the heat (43C today again), and have today finished laying all the slate, and will finish off by grouting on Monday.



It looks amazing and it's not even finished and clean. I'm so glad we did the lino inside and the Mintaro slate outside (early in the project in order to offset the cost of the slate, I decided to do linoleum inside). The linoleum inside feels like leather underfoot, very comfortable. The slate outside will outlast me.


If you are ever installing natural stone (of any kind), bear in mind that you get variations in colour/ the sizes of the stones will be slightly bigger or smaller than each other, and you may find different thicknesses of tiles. This is something that always upsets clients, but natural stone is not a porcelain tile, so you will find variation because of this. The Mintaro slate is actually pretty consistent in colour - there's a little bit of texture on some pavers compared to the generally smooth appearance, and there was a little bit of inconsistency in the thickness of the tiles, but the tiler sorted most of thickness issues out.



Back inside, the powderoom had the architrave and skirtings installed and painted and the toilet was installed. This has been sitting in the shed for the past 3.5 years, so it was a momentous occasion when it finally made its way inside. It's from Duravit, and was purchased at 50% off in a warehouse sale I attended when S was only 2 weeks old.




The clothes airer has arrived and will be installed in the Laundry. I'll be able to dry a full load of laundry on it. I have to spray paint the ends white, as black only was available. I would have liked one of the slicker and more modern versions available overseas, however the shipping would've been prohibitive, so I stuck with something available locally. It's a bit faux Victorian, but being at ceiling height (and in the Laundry) I'll cope.




The art light arrived at long last - I ordered this back in September, but some problem with manufacture meant that it's only just turned up. It's an LED light - I love the new generation LED's which put out a warm glow and cost only a couple of cents to run per hour. LED's also don't produce heat, which is important near artwork. Halogens are the other option are widely available and best avoided. I'll never forget working in retail many years ago, and finding that when we took displays down after a couple of months from the top of the shelves the clothes would have bleached out patches from the heat produced by the lights.



We had friends to a very casual dinner mid week. I'm so enjoying getting out all the entertaining bits and pieces that haven't been used for 3 years, like the horn dragonfly napkin rings one of my Sisters gave me after a trip to Vietnam.




And I also went to a Champagne lunch during the week with a couple of friends - the guest speaker was Natalie Fryer from Jansz and Yalumba wineries. She's their chief Winemaker, and the foremost expert in Australia on Sparkling wine. She was such an entertaining speaker, giving lots of insight into the making of Australian Sparkling, and the way the French make Champagne. the protection of the Champagne 'brand', and the differences between French champagne houses in production. Apparently the place to go and visit is the Charles Heidsick cellars, which are 1000 years old and recently decorated by Dolce & Gabanna. Christian Louboutin designed a special crystal shoe to drink champagne from while you taste the various champagne vintages.


I wore Ikat (Oscar de la Renta for The Outnet) with my late Mum's amber beads. They match a pair of shoes I've had for a while perfectly.





Hope you've had a good few weeks too!

38 comments:

  1. Looking good Heidi. Can't wait to see the wallpaper in the powderoom, no doubt you feel that way too! Champagne lunches are one of my favourite things, lucky you, a well earned outing after cleaning and getting children back to school.

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    1. Slowly getting there Claire! I'd say we'll be all finished in about a month.... then we'll have the garden to sort out. The lunch was so interesting and fun, and such a change from the norm after the long school holidays! xx

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  2. You look fabulous! I am loving seeing the renos coming along! I must ask - where will the sink be in the powder room?

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    1. Thanks Wendy! The sink is going where the pipes are sticking out of the floors in the first photo. We're just waiting on a waste grate to come in (they only had chrome in stock) and they'll fit the handbasin hopefully this week. xx

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  3. love the steam mop the slate the lino the dress the beads and the shoes

    great to hear your voice this morning x

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    1. LOVED our chat this morning! You'd love the steam mop with your commitment to cleanliness and order! xx

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  4. Heidi those shoes with the amber beads are just the sort of matching combination I love, your whole outfit looked great. Champagne lunch sounds good about now. And that slate! It is gorgeous! You really made great choices with the flooring both in and out.
    I have a steam mop and I love it. A clean house certainly makes me feel calm.
    Have a great weekend!

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    1. It was a fortuitous match up Dani! I'm not surprised you have a steam mop Dani... it was very satisfying to clean the floors and then actually have them stay that way until the children came home from school - hope the puppy training is going well! xx

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  5. I have always been tempted by those steam moppies - maybe this will be the year?
    The house is looking so good and the slate is amazing and like you said not even finished!!
    Well you have pantone matched superbly again! how amazing is that match and it looks fab with your OR dress. You need to sit on an ikat sofa or chair Heidi. would make a cool pic :) Please do not stay away so long next time - we all need our fix of Adelaide Villa!! xx

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    1. I can't believe I thought about the steam mop for so long before buying one, but it's made a big difference. I was so pleased when I pulled out the necklace and then thought about the shoes matching. I think it's a good Winter colour combo with black, but it did look nice with the ikat. There will be no ikat sofa in our house - Mr AV hates ikat! He's really not fond of that dress, and I haven't worn it out once with him. Always with my friends for lunches or dinners instead. xx

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  6. Love your black and white outfit, you are such a glamorous Mama and you always do the complete outfits. That butterfly wallpaper is so sweet and so stylee with the blue mop too. Some real couture with your frock and Veritable Cleaning Couture we've got here.

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    1. Don't be mistaken Jody - there is no Oscar being worn when I'm mopping the floors! Love my butterflies in the laundry too, goodness knows I spend enough time in there! xx

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    2. Just back again to look at that Mintaro slate, intriguing how its all different sizes, that is genius, its like an outdoor art work

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  7. I may have to reinvestigate the steam mop....bought one when they first came out and it was a disaster! A big yellow contraption that leaked boiling water everwhere! I binned it after a few attempts but I love the concept; would be perfection on my marble floors if I found one that worked! LOL! It's interesting to hear your opinion / recommendation on the art lights. I've had halogen gimbles installed where art will hang with the hope of 'washing' the pieces with soft low wattage light. Eeek! Think I might have to re-think this...not that I own anything of great value! I love the slate (French pattern?) and think the ununiformity in colour / texture is perfection! I must say that I'm excited for you (because I can't wait to do the same) unpacking after such a long time, all those precious treasures! The powder looks AMAZING too! x KL

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    1. They've probably improved since then KL! First generation of anything is usually not so good with technology. You'll probably be fine with the halogen gimbles - I have used them elsewhere in this house and previous houses with no ill effect on the art as they are a reasonable distance away from it. It's more the actual picture lights that sit on top of frames and directly wash the artwork with light that are a problem due to proximity. I was surprised how many were halogen only, rather than LED because the heat is definitely a problem in my opinion. I'm so happy to finally unpack after so long - still have all my books to go though, so I need to get on with designing the bookshelves for the study. xx

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  8. A good bit of cleaning is so satisfying: the mop looks great. Love the slate too.
    Great napkins rings - looking forward to seeing lots more of your treasures in future. Do you store everything in the laundry?
    Love the dress, shoes & necklace combo. x

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    1. What was so satisfying was having the floors stay clean until 4pm Charlotte! After 7 weeks of constant mess during the school holidays, it was quite nice to feel that all the hard work wouldn't be undone too quickly.
      I'm storing the linen (towels & sheets) in the laundry in the deep drawers along with vases, cleaning supplies and equipment, light bulbs, batteries & a few odd bits and pieces (bits for car seats and other random things!). The napkins, placemats and tablecloths go in the side board next to the dining table (it has three decent sized drawers). xx

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  9. We also made the glamorous steam mop purchase too!! Our previous one no longer works. I count my blessings every time my husband uses it. It is his toy. I don't have to use it. Thank goodness. But I do love the steam mop. The LED art lights sounds wonderful. Can't wait to see it put up.
    The slate is, of course, very gorgeous. I read an article the other day saying that stone is an eco friendly choice, even though it is not a renewable resource, but because it lasts multiple lifetimes and won't end up in landfill within a decade or two. That made me excited about my slate. I love the uneven-ness of the slate tiles. I love the earthy feel. It really drives home the point that it was dug up from the EARTH and not made in a factory. Any product that is 100% consistent is soul-less.

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    1. So lucky your husband has adopted it. I was hopeful when we first got a Dyson (14 years ago) after Mr AV vacuumed the entire house, marvelling at the stuff it had pulled out of the carpets that it would become his special thing. There was Enormous enthusiasm. And that was it. A one hit wonder.
      This is true about stone, but only if it isn't actually taken out again for a long time. Unfortunately a lot of stone is thrown out after only 10 years (granite benchtops from the 80's and 90's and old tiles in bathrooms). It can be recycled, but most often is not.
      Too perfect is boring. The eye likes a bit of imperfection - nature is imperfect. xx

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  10. I love your posts! Always full of useful house and building info with a bit of glamour thrown in as well...I think your window frames are superb. Also, your tilers really do deserve a medal working in that heat. Laying slate is not an easy job with the thickness and size variations...well done.
    I am going to be lazy here, I have been thinking about getting a steam mop but can't be bothered with the research, please, what brand do you have and are you happy with it?
    thank you. Linda C.

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    1. Hi Linda - well, the blog runs the gamut, from steam mops, renos and champagne. I like to cover all bases! The tilers were SO good. The slate was out in the sun, and being dark on the hot days was probably like holding something incredibly heavy straight out of the oven.
      I've got a Hoover twin tank steam mop. The salesguy swore it was the easiest to use, and so far he's been right. It has an angled front bit and swivels really well so gets into corners quite easily. xx

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    2. Thank you for your reply. I forgot to ask, does it do all surfaces?
      Linda C.

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    3. Yes it does - tile, stone, wood, lino x

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  11. Heidi
    Looking so good! Really love the panelling in the guest loo (ooops, powder room), will look even better when the wallpaper is up. Like the combination of traditional and modern. Intrigued by the painting, can you do a full picture of it? Would love to see. The ikat dress and shoes look so chic, but really the MIRROR! So beautiful! Looking forward to seeing the whole thing when done, some day! Do you have one of those steamer things for ironing too? If so, is it worth investing?
    Best wishes, Pammie xxx

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    1. Hello Pammie! Guest loo/ powder room I don't mind what people call it. Although unfortunately S seems to think it's his special loo as it's carved out of a corner of his room!!
      You can see the painting in full in one of the older blog posts, but I'll do a full length shot again once the light is up. Here's the old post http://adelaidevilla.blogspot.com.au/2013/12/renovation-update-move-in.html
      That mirror was cheap as chips from Recollections! They often have bits and pieces that are really quite good. No steamer for ironing... I hate to admit it but I have recently outsourced the ironing and am very happy about it! I had such an enormous basket full, and eventually conceded that I cannot do everything - was feeling a bit overwhelmed around November last year with a partial house, doing dishes in the laundry and preparing meals in the Bathroom, and end of school year chaos. Have kept going with it this year, and it's made the laundry backlog almost non existent. xxx

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    2. Tks Heidi, looked it up but it's taken from one side so doesn't entirely do it justice. A full length close-up would be great. Do you know who painted it?
      So glad you're having someone do your ironing. With the three children and husband's things as well as your own you certainly need it. My lovely cleaners do some of my ironing but never give them anything precious, like a good silk scarf.
      Pity S thinks it's his special loo, what with the panelling and all. Toilets can be very difficult with small boys! Sometimes misfire while they're still young. Though S strikes me as a very meticulous young man, so maybe it's not a problem.
      Mirror looks quite beautiful in photo. Love a good mirror! Cheers, Pammie xxx

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    3. I'll take a decent photo once it's all finished with the light. It's called The Art of Patience by Kate Bergin. She's influenced by Dutch still life painting, and surrealism so there's always a peeled apple and spoons and animals arranged on a white clothed table. She tends to use the same animals in different ways in her paintings. We just love it - the children have all chosen a Meercat for themselves. We think the monkey with the phone is Mr AV, and I'm the tortise with everyone sitting on top of me! Here's a link to some more of her work http://www.kateberginartist.com/#!paintings/cay5
      I'm hopeful the panelling will at least save the wallpaper! S is often misfiring... as is his older brother I'm afraid. Little boys take a lot of training on that front.... I'm planning to ban them from that loo so that I at least know that it's clean if I have a visitor pop in unexpectedly! xx

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  12. I absolutely love your dress .... and the shoes/amber beads are pure heaven! So impressed with your slate tiles... we have used Hymalayan sandstone outside and on the treads and I am disappointed with the thin bullnose tiles!!.... I know that it will all 'disappear' as the house comes together but still!! :( Have also invested in a steam mop... they are essential and so hygienic... You're almost there and the relief must be enormous! I also love your panelling in the powder room Heidi! xxx

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    1. I was so happy with the shoe/ bead matchup. Love a bit of matchy -matchy! That's such a shame with the sandstone - how thin were they? I'm sure it will disappear... I think with every build you have something you're not 100% happy with, and sometimes start to obsess over, and no one else can see it! There are a few things I don't like, but I try not to get worked up, as it really isn't noticeable in the overall scheme of things.
      Very pleased it's almost all finished. Then I just have to try to furnish the rooms (this will be slow, as I'm not in a rush to just get it done, but rather to find the right things) and also to sort out the garden mess. Looking forward to your next update Jenny!! You're leaving us all hanging! xxx

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  13. Hi Heidi
    I just love it all. The wallpaper ,slate ,painting etc
    I love that it's different and so classy.
    The dress looks good.
    I invested in a new mop and bucket and a product to stop the floors from looking streaky ( bought at Floormaster at Hampstead Gardens) cost me $80 but the best money I've spent in a long time really made a difference. Just bought a new Asko dishwasher as my previous 20 year old Asko wasn't performing as well and the baskets were breaking down. It's excellent and so quiet.

    Kind Regards
    Karen
    PS: I look forward to your posts

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    1. Hi Karen, thank you for your lovely comment! Good work on the Asko purchase. I was so happy with my Asko dishwasher, was sad I couldn't have it in the new kitchen (my own fault as I wanted integrated doors). When we were on Kangaroo Island there was a Dishlex dishwasher and I really noticed how noisy it was compared to my dishwasher at home. My old Asko washing machine and dryer have also been a good long term investment - 14 years and still working after a lot of washing. Have a good week! xx

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  14. Lovely post Heidi a visual feast with tips and hints too boot!
    Love the slate so quintessentially South Australian. I love how they have laid the slabs such a modern look.
    Butterflies in a laundry will be very soothing.
    The steam mop. I have bought about 3 and like one of your other posters I found them to hiss and splutter water everywhere. Mr KB likes the old industrial size bucket with a huge mop but I loathe it and as I do most of the mopping it annoys me. I am desperate to get an ultra efficient steam mop that I can quickly do a once over of our expanse of tiles so will note the name of your mop for future reference
    Love the dress and the amber beads are perfection.
    Kate Bx

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    1. Your steam mops of the past sound v. scary Kate B! This one hisses when you press the steam button, but so far no spitting. It's much quicker than a mop and bucket, so I definitely recommend it!
      The laundry is becoming one of my favourite rooms with the butterflies. Not that it is making me break out the iron more though!! xx

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  15. Congrats on the purchase of your steam mop- we have one, although have recently got ourselves a dalmation to take care of any spills on the floor! Seriously though, I still use my regular mop every 2nd mop or so, as I find the steam mop does a more superficial clean. Love that Oscar de la Renta dress Heidi- you look beautiful. Slate looks phenomenal too. x

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    1. Dogs are the best clean up! Our dog used to keep the floors immaculate for me - very handy with small children who drop food around. He lost significant amounts of weight however when he moved to live with my parents after we sold our old house... xx

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  16. The mintaro slate flooring looks quite wonderful - that pattern really sets it off too - an inspired choice. Impressed that your tilers worked through that disgusting heat…they would be drowning now with all the rain!! What a crazy summer we are having…yours as well as ours it seems.

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  17. Heidi,
    Doing a major catch up on your fabulous and always interesting blog posts. Love the outdoor slate tiling and that steam mop looks terrific - I might need to invest in one. Your photos of Kangaroo Island in your previous post are just gorgeous and sorry to hear you have had some not so nice comments recently. The ODLR dress is stunning and so nice you can wear something of your mums. Any more book recommendations? I always write down the titles of the books you read. I am reading a couple of books at present- East of Eden is pretty good just a bit long. I now can't get comments on my blog; have no idea what I have done or how to reverse it! xx

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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