27.8.15

Happy Birthday to Moi!



This year I choose no candle counting...

(At least I'm not as old as I will be next year!)

x KL

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26.8.15

The grass is always greener....

...when it's F A U X !

My last post detailed where I'm planning to place a small area of Artificial lawn.
This product has come a long way since first developed as ChemGrass in 1965 and marketed as Astro Turf a year later!



Although short napped versions are still used, as originally intended, to provide easily maintained indoor sport's fields, today's options include longer lengths which are visually more appealing to the domestic market. They are softer, more natural looking and are a great alternative for areas where natural grass is difficult to either grow or maintain.

 I met with a local Artificial Grass supplier today and chose ours:


It's a longer napped brand and feels very soft and dense.
We chose to go this route for several reasons:
  • It was more cost effective than the travertine tiles thus lowering the overall deck cost outlay
  • Visually broke up and softened this very large expanse of hard flooring;
  • I'll get allot of 'green' without multiple weighty pots
  • No maintenance!
The only negative is the heat. Being 'plastic' it will get hot underfoot. But, no hotter than the travertine tiles. Aesthetically, it will look cooler....

Anywho, with an acceptable quote expected tomorrow and, with some sunshine predicted for next week, this will be another tick we can make, signialling our getting closer to completing SeaSpray #2!

Here are some of my favourite inspiration pics from my Pinterest boards which I've pulled out many, many times in order to finally convince David, that this was a good idea!....





via: The Block


And the image that started the concept for me:

Matt Leacy's Green Rooftop; Landart Landscapes
Looking forward to the 'green' light on this one!
*cough!*


x KL

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24.8.15

Detailing: The Cabana

"At the Copa, Copa-cabana!"

It's funny to be detailing The Cabana. At Copacabana...
It is actually a patio / veranda area that is partially covered by the overhanging dining room above.
When we initially applied to council to build, we had some difficulties with our floorspace ratio, until we renamed this deck area a 'cabana'. Problem solved. It's all in a name...


I've mentally divided this area into four zones:
1: The pool. 2: The pool deck. 3: The Cabana and 4: The deck.

The pool zone will have the pool...duh! and a high wall to the left for privacy. I wanted the wall to be dry stacked stone but slate tiles are the fiscal compromise.

I wanted Alpine Dry-stacked stone (above)                                 The budget determined Lichen Split slate tiling...

 I'm planning a bridge / deck area at the end too; something like the Pinterest image below, but simpler...


The pool will have travertine coping which we've already bought and can be seen below:
 

We had the pool form work done a few years ago but illness delayed the concrete pour. Now the steel is too rusted so we need to remove it and start again. Ooops!


An expensive mistake! Hopefully this will happen next month so we'll be swimming by summer! The front wall will be solid masonry with a slither of glass on top so we gain swimming privacy without losing the view when dining. Something like this:


The pool will have a nifty little beach area too, similar to the image below.


We would prefer to tile the pool interior but pebblecrete might be more money wise. That decision is still being debated! If I had no restrictions, I'd tile the pool with slate al-la-bali-style!


The pool deck is to the right of the pool. Both areas are isolated from the cabana and house by a combination of solid walling and frameless glass.

 
 I added the solid walling (shown on the plan in red) to create a niche into which the BBQ can sit.
 I'm planning on inserting a patch of faux grass to soften and break up the large expanses of travertine tiling.

I'm currently 'playing' with cute little faux grass samples
As there are no garden beds on this level (All this area sits on top of the Garage / storerooms) the grass will add some much needed green too!


Above is my all time favourite example of how beautiful faux lawn can look!

I have purchased a lounge for this area too.

My bargain Myer Vue Sunlounge!
The Cabana itself is covered by the top storey of the house. The three big stacking doors between it and the family room retract completely into a wall allowing unfettered access between areas. The television is easily viewed from outside if required. The laundry / kitchenette / bar room opens onto the cabana, via bi fold windows. and the bench top will run through to outside creating the 'bar'.

via Pinterest
 I've just ordered the joinery (Whoop whoop!) and these stools for this area:

There is also a mini bar fridge, accessible cabana side, for refreshments when the bartender is having a dip! LOL! The area will be furnished with one of our existing day beds, a dining table and chairs. (I'm thinking the chairs will need to be replaced...)

We have two day beds to choose from. Images above are of our last home.
The flooring in this area, as elsewhere, is French pattern Travertine which has just been completed.

Half way and ungrouted. All the Cabana floor is finished now!
 I'd like to add just one or two big pots with statement plants. Simple and contemporary. So far, the only really BIG planters I've found are  w a y  out of my budget (try $4K!) so not sure if I'll achieve this!


The deck is a small area providing the laundry with access to the rear clothes drying area and guests access to an externally located bathroom when wet from the pool. 

The deck off the Laundry / Pool W.C.
Finished Pool W.C.
We have decided to screen this area from the Cabana to create a windbreak from the South. (Shown in red on plan above) Copacabana is notoriously windy with most of the gusts coming from the South. As we face North, we are well protected by the house's bulk but this opening was creating a wind-tunnel that needed to be addressed. We'll use timber to match the lower bar area.

the completed bar front
Well, that's this area detailed. There was a myriad of decisions in this zone alone and I'm really looking forward to seeing it all come together. Rain is forecast for this week so that will slow us down but then we'll be full steam ahead again!

x KL

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23.8.15

Come on baby, light my fire...

 The time has come to turn our attention to our lounge room, proposed fireplace.

Our choice back HERE was for an Ecosmart, Bio ethanol Fireplace
When we designed the house, we knew we wanted a fireplace to be the focal point of the main lounge.
 I was keen to have a room without a television...somewhere for adult entertaining with no black-box in sight! (Televisions are installed in the playroom / snug and family rooms). 

We initially installed gas fittings, anticipating a gas insert but after seeing the Ecosmart display at a Grand Designs Show, we were swayed by this new, clean fuel and visually more substantial option.
The room is large so the scale was, in my opinion, perfect
Fast forward to this year (The Year of The House!) and we have spent the last few months designing our custom made fire box and obtaining bio ethanol burner costs. Those quotes, now in hand, have almost tripled since we first entertained this option, as more information about bio ethanol use has become available with its increased adoption.  Many commercial establishments, and early adopters, are now removing theirs due to high fuel prices and health concerns relating to the lack of flues. 
Long story - short? We were back to the 'drawing board'....


With the fireplace surround already framed and gyprocked to accommodate a 2 metre firebox, without major re-hashing, we had very limited options:

Lopi Linear: 1550 mm wide


Real Flame Simplicity: 1800 mm wide

Jetmaster Horizon: 2000mm wide
To be honest, the Real Flame was my preferred choice. 
The representative met me on site (the only one to do so) and was extremely professional. I loved the product, the variety of options and the overall look of this fire compared to rivals. This company even do a 3300 mm version. W O W! And money-wise it was a very close call.
But balancing the look I wanted with size (width) and budget had me ordering the Jetmaster Horizon Lowline Inbuilt in the 2000mm wide option (I customised the log / coals feature)


I've ordered a 'frameless' version so we can square-set the plaster up to the firebox. 
It's not a deep nor as high as we'd wanted but for our budget, and the pre-built wall cavity, still creates the grand focal point we initially desired. It has a one month lead time which is also pretty good too...


Above is how I hope it will look...

P R O G R E S S !


x KL

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22.8.15

Heart felt catch-up

Well, its been an action packed few weeks here. 


After my last post, I had an emergency dash to hospital with some serious cardiac problems. Although I've had a dodgy ticker since birth, and have had two open heart surgeries, this episode seriously scared me. Lots of intravenous drugs and a  few thousand joules later (cardioversion) and I was home feeling better; to then succumb to pneumonia. WTF? 
Add a near fatal car incident too...if the last paragraph doesn't have you agreeing with my cussing...

Anywho... forced bed rest has me now feeling 110%. My cardiologist has remixed my meds. My new car has been returned to the manufacturer for investigation. I have organised my Will, and appointed a Power of Eternity and Enduring Guardian. (W A Y overdue...so a good thing) and been prompted to really contemplate what's important in life!

It's ALL GOOD. 
In perspective. 
I'm still here....
...and I'm counting my blessings. 

Normal house-y post transmissions will resume ASAP!


KL

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You are very welcome and encouraged to comment, I love receiving feedback!