Category Archives: Gorgeous Greens

My favourite Monstera.

I know I said the next post would be all about the master bedroom, but A) I still haven’t found a bed base I like (and while mattresses on recycled pallets can look industrial-chic, I think mattresses on the floor just look povo) and B) I haven’t finished the fabric jewellery board I’m aiming to take pride of place on the rear wall. I’ve also been annoyingly hindered by a nasty throat infection I may or may not have brought upon myself by inhaling a kilogram of teak dust over the weekend. Sanding back wood without the proper PPE is like clubbing past the age of 30: it seems harmless enough at the time but inevitably leaves you dirty, nauseous and consumed with self-loathing.

So instead, I’d like to introduce the latest addition to the household; a baby Monstera deliciosa I paid way too much for at a local florist’s last week while walking home from the pub. Serves me right for drunken plant-perving, I guess.

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Monstera deliciosa (also known as Split-leaf philodendron; Fruit Salad Plant), artfully positioned to disguise the leaf damage I caused by dropping my phone on it).

I have a particular fondness for MD’s, as my Mum kept a gorgeous specimen in our living room for years when I was a kid. When I bought this one, it had already outgrown the pot so much that its roots were climbing over the edges and crawling through the drainage holes. I immediately transplanted it into a much bigger pot, thinking I was doing the right thing giving my new baby room to breathe and grow and maybe even dance a little when I wasn’t watching, but it turns out I may have screwed up – apparently when repotting you’re only supposed to go up another inch or so in pot size to avoid the roots taking in too much water and developing rot.

I don’t want to traumatise it by repotting again so soon, so I’ll keep it dry for a bit and see what happens. Seeing as it is Dry July and all, I might give myself the same treatment. Or if not for the entire month, at least until I find another route home.

New living room.

So I finally got around to snapping a few shots of the flat. Overall it’s old and tired and a bit grungy (a bit like myself TBH), but the wood floors, neutral paint scheme and large rooms make it liveable. The living/dining room is the closest to being “done”, so I’ll start there.

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Are you feeling the understated earthy retro whimsical rustic industrial vibe or what?

I brought the coffee table and the green faux persian with me from Perth. The coffee table is vintage MCM, bought on Gumtree for $100. couch1

The couch is new. I was after another 2.5 seater in charcoal but didn’t have as much cash to spare this time, so I was thrilled to find this one at Furniture Galore for $550. It came with ugly blocky black plastic feet, which I swapped out with tapered timber legs I bought online and stained. They look a bit stumpy from this angle, but they’re actually 10cm high and have completely altered the look of the couch.

Speaking of stumpy…Hans is not allowed within one metre of the couch at any time.

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The cactus painting, cactus statue and cushions were bought from Freedom a few years ago. The Eames bird was an online buy and I found the green pot at a Mexican import store in Fremantle.

I have two fruit bowls in the flat, neither of which contain fruit.

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The hardwood dining table was another Gumtree find. The legs were originally raw welded steel that I spray painted black. The table top itself must weigh over 100 kilos, and even though I had a 100+ kilo Maori helping me (thanks, baby!), dragging it up three flights of stairs nearly destroyed me.

The chairs are cheapies from Fantastic Furniture, but they’re surprisingly sturdier and more comfortable than the typical Eames knock-offs.

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Both the fabric print and the Parker dresser are from a vintage furniture store in Fitzroy. The dresser was dull and dirty and covered in flecks of white paint, but it scrubbed up real nice after a thorough clean and oil. I was a bit hesitant about buying the print because it couldn’t be cleaned, but I figured I don’t have to touch it to appreciate it, right? And any fabric that reminds me of the fabulous curtains that my grandparents hung in their caravan in the 70’s should be a no-brainer.

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I sent the vase, stand and fake foliage over from Perth, and I wasn’t expecting them to make the trip unscathed. The leaf tips got a bit bent when they fell out of the mailing tubes I packed them in, but I actually think it makes them look more realistic. At least that’s what I keep telling myself to feel better about it.

Stay tuned…the master bedroom and accompanying vibe is up next!

The green house effect.

I love wearing green because it’s fresh and crisp and suits the cool, neutral (alright then, pasty) tones of my skin. It’s also incredibly soothing, so if you have a fiery temper like me you’d benefit from adopting it as a colour scheme in your home. Just looking at my green decor helps calms me down when I’m worked up; its like psychological aloe vera. As a renter I’m limited to green furniture and accessories, but if I owned I’d be going crazy with the paint roller to rip off these awesome looks.

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I’m in two minds about this last room. While I do like the effect, I’m not convinced the bog is the right showcase for a vintage print collection. At least glass is easy to clean, right?

Ikea minihack #1.

I bought the TÄRNÖ as a temporary balcony filler at my last rental, intending to replace it with a more durable setting at a later date. I’ll be moving again soon, so the new setting is on hold. While I’ve yet to attempt a “real” Ikea hack, I decided to use the green paint left over from my dining table project to give the TÄRNÖ a new look.

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The setting is made from unfinished acacia wood, so I didn’t need to do much preparation. I sanded each piece lightly and taped up the steel sections before applying two coats of green (I didn’t bother with primer or an undercoat this time). Although I like the lightly distressed look of the dining chairs, I amped up the sanding on these to create a more weathered effect.  I brushed on a couple of coats of varnish to finish.

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I’m sure I’ll get tired of the distressed look eventually, but right now it’s a good match for my fledgling skills.

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Photos by Madame Squee

The delightful centrepiece is Hans, my three month old dachshund and the reason behind the move. Although I love the unit’s easy-care gardens, the lack of lawn is an issue. Every time I pass the depressing mountain of boxes in my living room I remind myself how much he’ll enjoy having a proper yard to play in, and how much I’ll enjoy him peeing outside in the sunshine rather than in my shoes.