$440 Living Room Transformation

I mentioned last post that Hubby and I have been bitten by the reno bug again lately. I wrote about how we spent all night discussing options to expand out kitchen but ended up going to bed frustrated and back at square one with it. Over the weekend we found a solution that actually works. Finally! We even ran it past my folks and they said it would work, however the only down side is we would lose our laundry (for now). To me that’s not a big deal but when we eventually sell I know it’s important.
While we work out costs and look into how to DIY it, I’ve also been looking at some new styles for our home.
When we moved in here in 2011 our taste and style of interior design was very different to how it is now. Well, mine is. I’m finally not afraid of colour, and want to incorporate more of it into our furniture and decor.
Other factors – like the fact we have a tiny human tornado whooshing through the house – have also prompted me to look into new items. Our current coffee table is getting ruined because of Olivia (it’s this one from IKEA, minus the wheels) and the TV unit isn’t enclosed so buttons keep getting pressed and the volume turned up to excruciating levels by an inquisitive accident.
I’ve also been keen on a rug since we moved in, especially during the winter months. But shit, rugs are expensive, so it’s never happened.
This morning I finally found the new items I’ve had pictured in my mind for months… years even! Before I go into the new items, here is one of my inspiration pics:
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I’ve been crushing on a coloured TV unit for quite some time and was even open to a DIY refurb job but haven’t come across anything suitable. The second part of the picture is the coffee tables. The 2 simple square tables side by side. I love the simplicity of them when you have so much else going on (like a coloured TV unit!).
Now, onto what I’ve found at IKEA today:
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How awesome is this TV unit? I was hoping for more of a mint colour but I’d settle for turquoise. Great to hide all the electronic stuff from little fingers… it’s a great standout coloured piece for the living room! If I got it in turquoise I would then put this rug on the floor:
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And on top of that I would sit two of these simple white coffee tables:
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I know it can be difficult for some people to imagine all of this thrown together and what may look bold and scary in a product photo can actually be quite warm and transforming when placed in a home with other items. So bear with me! I’m not sure the Hubby would go for a turquoise TV unit. If he doesn’t, it happens to also come in this colour:
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Which means I’d then use this rug:
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And I’d probably still use the 2 square coffee tables pictured above, in either white or black.
It would cost $440 all up, which in my eyes is pretty reasonable to transform a whole room. So I’m saving my pretty pennies. What do you think, which of the 2 options do you prefer? Or do you hate the TV unit?!
Oh, one last thing. This is another inspiration pic I have found:
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The thick black and white stripe wall paper. This is exactly what I want to do on the wall that greets you when you walk in our front door. We have a tiny entrance area before leading into the hallway or into the lounge room. Since removing the mirrors I had hanging there (I found out it’s bad feng shui) I’ve been racking my brains what I could put there. THIS! This would also tie into the lounge room which you can see from this wall, if I used the black and white striped rug pictured above. I think I’m onto something 😉
Perhaps I’ve found my calling!

Raw Cheesecake Recipe

I hate cheesecake. I always have. But raw cheesecake… well I could eat that every day! It’s soooo good. And whats better is it’s actually good for you! And so easy to make even though it doesn’t look like it. I wanted to share this post now, because with the weather warming up (at least here in Oz!) it’s a great dessert to take to a backyard BBQ or to have stashed in your own freezer as a sneaky dessert at night.

There’s lots of raw cheesecake recipes floating around lately. I’ve adapted this one from here. Because who doesn’t love berries? You can easily leave the berries out if you want though.
Raw Cheesecake
For the base:
  • 3 cups macadamia nuts or peacans (I’ve tried both with happy results)
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pitted
In a springform pan lightly spray some coconut oil on the base and then sprinkle a layer of desiccated coconut over it. This will prevent the crust from sticking.
In your food processor, combine the base ingredients well. You may need to add an extra date or two. 
Press the mixture down firmly into your tin and then pop it in the freezer.
For the filling:
  • 3 cups cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours in filtered water
  • 3/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup raw honey or agave
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
Combine all the ingredients in your food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust to taste (I often put some more lemon juice in). Pour half or 3/4 of the mixture over the top of your base and tap the pan on the bench to remove air bubbles. 
Place some frozen raspberries in the mixture… just gently press them in with your finger.
Add a handful of frozen berries to the remaining filling in your food processor and blend until the berries are combined. Pour this over the top of the plain filling and then place the cheesecake into your freezer carefully.
Leave it in your freezer until it’s firm… at least 4 hours. You can remove it from the pan once it’s frozen and slice it. I keep mine in the freezer and take a piece out onto the bench top 30 minutes before eating it. If you had this for a party, I’d recommend taking it from the freezer to your fridge about 3 hours before you want to eat it!
You could also make a raspberry sauce up to drizzle over it before serving by blending some dates and berries together. I usually just top it with some berries and maybe a drizzle of agave. Options for this cake are endless!

It’s not the cheapest of cakes to make but it does last quite a while, as it’s kept frozen, and it’s large!
I want to take this cake to someones house and see if they notice that it’s not a “real” cheesecake… that would be fun 😉

Decorating Plans

I’ve got a case of the decorating itch and I’ve got it bad. We’re on a really tight budget here so we try to do everything to our house ourselves. And it’s what we prefer anyway – it’s fun to do it yourself, and you get the added satisfaction of feeling smug every time you walk past the finished result… or feeling like crap if it turned out horribly! And it makes the project unique, knowing there is no exact replica in any other house.

I don’t consider myself a creative type. But I’m willing to try a few arty projects to save a bit of coin where I can. If I can make and create as good as I bake and cook then we’ll be okay 😉

I’m really keen to try these Mason jars. It’s a simple as painting them and then sanding them back a bit for that rustic worn look.

I don’t know what I’d do with them yet. Use them as a vase for (most likely fake) flowers? In the office like the picture above? Or maybe in the bathroom… One to hold toothbrushes is a good idea. I think I’d probably use them in the kitchen for some cooking utensils as it’s where I spend most my time so it’s where I’d see them most often.

We also have a bit of painting to finish off inside the house still. We started before O was born and never finished. Door frames and window trims mainly. When the weather warms up a bit we will finish that off.

I’ve always loved the atmosphere that string lights give. It makes me think about summer and parties and cicadas in the evening on the deck. I want some string lights for indoors and outdoors, especially on the deck and veranda with summer coming up. Last summer we watched the sunset on most nights, on the front veranda with a drink or even over dinner. And I know I definitely want to string some up in the office under my shelf above my desk.

I’m loving these colour combinations, as well as plain white ones…

All lights pictured are available from Ze Cotton. There are a heap of sellers, designs, colours and types (maybe rattan is more your style?), it’s just  matter of having time to go through them all!

Despite only have one 3 seater lounge in the house, I love cushions. I want to update our lounge with new pillow covers from Nest Home Decor. $40 per cover is pretty affordable. These are just a handful I’m loving:

A local artist and good friend gave me a heap of prints of her paintings. I’m excited to get them frames and thought I may as well frame a couple more images while I’m at it. This one below will look good on our bedroom wall, I purchased it from Etsy also.

I’m excited to get all of these ideas happening. And don’t even get me started on our outside plans! Extending the deck, a bit of landscaping, new stepping stones, spruce up the undercover area for O, knock down the concrete water tank, and the biggest one of all – the vegie garden! One day, one day…
What do you think?