Inside my wardrobe – how I organise my vintage collection!

A question I notice get asked a lot is “how on earth do I organise and store my pinup collection!?” … which for many of us fashion loving ladies is a real dilemma! As well as frocks for every occasion, a pair of shoes or 100, gloves, hats, bangles, jewelry and more jewelry, petticoats …. the list goes on! For those of us not blessed with a customised dream walk in ward-room (you can just go away now please haha), clever storage and display solutions are needed! So here are my particular problems and solutions, some tips and a little video of my bedroom so you can see for yourself!

For me, having a husband and 2 kids in a small 3 bedroom house means storage for anything is difficult, let alone my huge vintage and pinup wardrobe! And no, just “getting rid of some stuff” is NOT a solution thank you very much … everything is much loved, carefully collected and necessary haha! Yes that includes at least 100 dresses, a rainbow of petticoats and oodles of accessories! So much thinking, trial and error and a little investment were needed so that we can all happily co-exist … happy wife, happy life, right!?

First problem… clearly I don’t get a separate room for my things! So everything must fit in to our medium sized bedroom with it’s king sized bed. Also, alas, my husband needs closet space too!

Solution – we decided to create a giant floor to ceiling wardrobe by expanding the old fashioned existing wardrobe and taking over the closet from the adjacent bedroom to make a 3m wide space that takes up the entire end wall of the bedroom. This was done on a budget of only around $1000, with my lovely hubby doing the renovation work, using mostly leftover building materials and paint from previous projects and ordering a flatpack modular closet system that I designed the layout for. We got ours from EzyNeezy and was much cheaper and of better quality than similar systems at Mitre10 and Bunnings. Eventually we will have sliding wardrobe doors but and interim budget friendly solution was bright curtains from the bargain bin at Spotlight!

Having this generous space (half his and hers!) meant we could free up floor space by not having an free standing drawers or cupboards. I keep all of my clothes in the wardrobe except for an industrial clothes rack on one wall where I hang all of my dresses! There is a bit of room underneath for some shoes, bags etc.

Not having a dressing table meant I had to think a little about how to store accessories! I found a few inexpensive drawer and shelving units from Kmart which work well and take up very little room.

I highly recommend this awesome jewelry organiser from Amazon also! Not very pretty but so very practical, and putting things away in the little pockets is so easy, even I will actually do it!

Gloves and hats are stored in pretty hat boxes that I stash around the room wherever they will fit. Petticoats fit well into a vertical hanging sweater organiser that hangs from my clothing rack. A sock drying rack with pegs from the $2 store is great for clipping scarves too and also hangs up on the rack. I use various hanging belt organisers to store these! Most of my shoes live on a rack I found secondhand at Surplus Traders, it was used to store industrial paper rolls! I use “S” hooks from the hardware store to hang bags off it as well!

Miscellaneous items are stored under the bed in rolling organisers!

Just a few general tips for making the most out of a small space and budget…

  • Make the most of vertical area! Use baskets, old suitcases etc underneath hanging items, hang things from hooks in the ceiling, attach high shelves above closets or racks for items like hats.
  • Use ALL the spaces! Bins under the bed, hooks behind the door, a basket or box in a gap under a table or dresser.
  • Explore the storage solutions at places like Kmart! There are tons of cheap and clever bits and bobs – over the door hooks, shelving, hanging organisers, pretty boxes and bins
  • Re-purpose what you have and look through op shops and junk stores. Old suitcases, wooden boxes, hat boxes, old shop shelving, vintage sewing boxes and storage ottomans… there are so many ways to make storing and displaying your collections interesting and pretty … and that don’t cost much or anything at all!

I hope you enjoyed this post and found some of my ideas useful!

Home Style – things I love – October 2016

Things have been a bit quiet for me on the blog front lately! But with the warmer weather and sunshine of spring finally here, I follow my usual cycle of feeling more motivated to throw off the winter cobwebs (literally) and freshen up things around the house! With all of the major renovations in our home finally done it’s really just about having a good clean up and out, re-arranging existing bits and bobs to change it up and adding some cheap and cheerful spots of colour with soft furnishings inside and planting fresh flowers and veggies in the garden.

Picking up couple of new cushions, a duvet cover, a few colourful hand or bath towels or a new bathmat, tea towels, tablecloths and placemats or pretty cloth napkins are ways I like to add freshness, change and colour … without spending much money! Here are some things I love right now…

Orla Kiely bed and bath range:
I’ve lusted after having a wall of Orla Kiely mid century inspired wallpaper for ages … I was excited to find her retro designs also come as a range of homewares! Not the cheapest, but I have seen a few sales and discounted lines on Ebay, and there are a few stockists in NZ – worth shopping around. I just love the bold patterns and fun retro colours!

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Orla Kiely kitchen

Orla Kiely towels Clementine

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Some stockists in New Zealand to check out:
www.homeinteriors.co.nz
http://www.perchhomewares.co.nz/shop/Brands/Orla+Kiely
http://www.alliuminteriors.co.nz/Brands/Orla_Kiely.htm

I found this amazing retro style butter dish at Living and Giving on sale – it matchesLiving and Giving butter dish our Sanderson mobiles wallpaper so perfectly! When you have kids (or cats, or a husband) and like to keep your butter at room temp like I do, a covered dish is a nice way to turn a messy marmite covered eyesore into something attractive 🙂

Living and Giving Trees butter dish

 

 

 

I don’t follow seasonal “trends” but I do get rather excited when a style or colour I like becomes on trend for a time and suddenly there are so many new places to find things in my own backyard! It’s a good time to be a tropical lover because just about every retailer that does home decor has a cute and kitschy tropical range – perfect for summer. I really liked the selection at Bed Bath and Beyond… there are palm prints, flamingos and pineapples galore… all at very reasonable prices!

Tropical duvet cover set

Tropical outdoor setting

Seriously… how adorable are these little tea lights??

Bed Bath and Beyond tea lights

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And these cute flamingoand pineapple LED light sets are on sale for a steal at $12!trpoical-lights

Orange … ok and yellow and red … but bright orange really makes my heart a flutter! I’m kind of a nana and I love a cute rug in the bathroom… it makes it so colourful and cosy! Not those toilet rugs though…. ewww… haha. In such a high traffic area and with the need for frequent washing I do need to replace mine around once a year when it gets faded and ratty. But I’m fussy! A good bath rug is hard to find… so thanks Freedom! I love the pretty and retro crochet style and it’s ORANGE… yusss 🙂

bathmat

As a Mum who works from home, I spend a lot of time in it … so our home really is my castle! And it’s the little details – expressions of personal style and colour and collections of objects that are pieces us and our history as a family – that make this a happy space to live and spend time in. My husband might say my abundance of throw pillows drives him crazy (I do have a tiny obsession)… and didn’t we already have tea towels? But he loves our home too, it is something we have done and grown together. It may be bright, organised chaos … but it makes me smile 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Organising your Pinup products: Some simple ideas

Organising and cleaning out hair and makeup products is something I thought I wasn’t TOO horrible at. But chaos seems to have snuck up on me and I decided it was high time have a quick clean out  – and think of better ways to store and access my most used products.

I had a quick look at Pinterest for inspiration and then made a trip to my local Kmart41810026-f-1. I picked up a variety of these very useful clear plastic storage boxes and a couple of plastic “storage turntables” – all $10 or less. I didn’t want to spend much time or money.
42108078-tf-1I threw out any old or empty products and organised what was left… I have A LOT of products… but I use them all!

 

 

I dislike a cluttered bathroom bench, so all of my makeup used to be stored in the vanity drawers, and hair products and brushes in the cupboards. However, despite my best intentions, everything tends to get thrown in and messy, and I know I could save time if I didn’t have to search for each item!

I put all of my hair products on the storage turntable in the cupboard which was so simple and worked brilliantly! Now I can access each product without taking all of them out.
I used another stacking organiser to separate my different sectioning and hair clips (something else which is usually a mess!).

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Hairbrushes, combs and cosmetic brushes have a new easily accessible home on a second storage turntable on the bench. I added a few pretty things too, and a cute cotton bud container from Kmart.12007302_10153183810186973_1696168589_nUnless I am going to a special occasion or doing a photoshoot, I tend to wear the same makeup most days. I took out all the the products I use for my everyday look and sorted them into a stacking cube organiser, also on the bathroom bench.

And here is what the bench looks like… I think the time saved by having everything at hand will outweigh the sacrifice in bench space!

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All of my lesser used makeup products and other cosmetics live in the drawers (Yes, my husband gets one of them!). I still need to sort out the scary mess in the under sink cupboard, but for someone who avoids this type of thing like the plague… it was surprisingly painless and only took around an hour!

Here are some other simple ideas!

  • Use a wine rack to store hairspray bottles
  • Look at your local stationery store – desk organisers work great for makeup too!
  • Use a magnetic strip on the wall to keep bobby pins handy
  • Stack cake stands to make pretty displays for makeup, cosmetics or jewellery
  • Decorate different sized jars and group together to make pretty storage for makeup brushes and pencils

I hope you find some of these ideas useful! Happy Organising!

Lorelei xx

 

 

 

 

Retro Renovation: Diary of Our DIY kitchen

Around a year ago, we began the renovation of the last remaining space in our 3 bedroom, 70s something slice of West Auckland suburbia. Exciting for the designer and retro enthusiast me, relief for the side of me that can’t stand being in a space that doesn’t feel “good” … a nightmare for the part of me that hates mess, things that are unfinished and delayed gratification. Of course, my favourite part of the process was going to be planning and sourcing the design touches that would make our new kitchen not just practical and efficient, but also a beautiful and inspiring space to be in, with plenty of colour and retro personality! But first, we needed to take care of the practical stuff – as this was a real “DIY” project… so no designer, project manager, contractors or labourers for us. Just me and the hubby – and luckily for us – my amazing Dad. Builder, DIY expert, and both solver of interesting problems and voice of common sense … when faced with some of my more challenging ideas! Keeping it close to home, my brother (who is also a builder) as well as some good friends in other trades gave their advice, expertise, weekends and trade discounts!

The existing kitchen was not very old, it was a kitset that had been put in by the previous owners shortly before we bought the house 5 years ago, in 2009. Unfortunately, like many of the existing DIY “features”, it just begged the question “WHYYYY???”. But, since it was hardly decrepit, it came last on the list. As the rest of the house came along, the kitchen stuck out more and more as completely lacking a single redeeming feature – here were some of our major complaints…
problems and fixes

before

Design details, and some head scratching

The original plan was to retain some of the existing cabinet bases and work from there. Once I sat down and began drawing out some basic ideas, it soon became clear that there wasn’t a single part of the old kitchen that worked for us! So our “remodel” quickly became completely gutting the space and starting from scratch, with some serious rethink on budget! The good thing about this is I could really think about the best use of the space for us, without working around existing fixtures. That being said, we did have some major constraints! Budget, being a huge one. We wanted a custom kitchen, with high quality finishing and details, without the designer price tag. We wanted to strike a balance between a beautiful kitchen that we would be using for at least the next few years, and over capitalising. Size – our entire home is less than 100 square metres, maximising space is a big issue. Resale was also a consideration, which is why we decided on a modern and neutral kitchen “base” (cabinets, flooring, appliances), with our personal style brought out in less permanent features – retro wallpaper and backsplash, vintage cabinet pulls and timber open shelving and hanging pot rack to display attractive and useful pieces of vintage kitchenware! And, I was not going to be budged on my 50s diner style breakfast bar… despite the many objections and obstacles that arose! Let’s just say I am a dog with a bone when it comes to some of my ideas…

Getting Stuck In

It’s easy to watch shows like The Block, or look at awesome DIY kitchen ideas in home and interior magazines and get some serious inspiration! I’m a guilty as the next person 🙂 What is not so obvious, is that serious projects like kitchens, do not really happen in days, or even weeks – unless you have an army of contractors, a big budget, or both!

during

Building cabinets in the living room, outside “kitchen” facilities, washing dishes in the shower (efficiency!)… all part of the fun!

In our case, it was 3 months before we had a functioning kitchen again, 7 months until the bulk of the work was done, and 9 months on… there are just a few details left to complete, plus the laundry.

U DU IT
Clearly, any of the custom design kitchen places were outside our budget. We looked at many different sources of DIY flatpack kitchens and decided on U Du It [link http://uduit-diy.co.nz/]. For a similar price to flat pack kitchens from Bunnings and Mitre10, of far superior quality and with an excellent online ordering system that allows for many customisable cabinet sizes. Seriously can’t recommend these guys highly enough for the real DIYer!uduit

Of course, even with a name like U Du It… it didn’t quite sink in until our brand new kitchen arrived on a truck… on a pallet. And in our case, the “U-Du-It” started from the get go. With getting the pallet off the truck, which couldn’t reverse up our steep driveway. Luckily, Dad was on hand with a tow rope and his 4WD truck, and combined with some muscle power from my husband, our kitchen made it into the driveway. Which is when the fun of flat pack really began…

The Transformation (Progress So Far)20150817_092321(0)

It is really hard to believe this is the same space! It has been a long journey, but so rewarding to see all these bits and pieces that only existed in my mind before, come together into this wonderful and practical family centre. I am even becoming inspired once again to use my kitchen for cooking! Gasp!

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Wallpaper – Sanderson “Mobiles” (Sourced from Wallpaper Direct, UK)
Handles – Bakelite and chrome 50s deadstock – sourced from USA through Etsy
Pot rack – JK Adams – Amazon
Subway tiles – Mitre 10
Atomic clock (reproduction) – Nood
Custom formica bar counter and diner stool – American Retro

Although, at this time, there are still a few things left to do:
Floating timber open shelves above rangehood and door
Tile grouting
Broom cupboard (currently a wall concealing a dead space behind!)
Put up red gloss perspex “white board” as end panel on appliance garage
Appliance garage door

before and after

One of the biggest pieces of advice I can pass on is don’t skimp on the planning! It’s all to easy to get caught up on colour schemes, cool ideas on Pinterest, matching canisters… but hold those thoughts and sit down, visualise, brainstorm ALL the ways you are going to use your kitchen. What do you do most, or least? Where is EVERYTHING going to live? What things do you struggle to put away or store currently, and what would help? For example – my new kitchen contains almost no cupboards. Almost entirely drawers! For me, cupboards become a blackhole of junk so I love drawers. Which might drive someone else batty. Do you have a busy household? Think about ways to keep the benchtop clear of clutter and appliances so several people can use the space together. If you have lovely vintage items to display, incorporate open cupboards or shelving into your design. Consider vertical spaces – a wall mounted or small ceiling mounted pot rack can fit into almost any kitchen, above doorways are a perfect place for a narrow display shelf, Wall mounted magnetic knife racks, utensil racks and even cookbook racks make clever use of space.

Also, be prepared for everything to be harder and take longer than you expect! You might not get there the way you had planned, but you will get there!

Next project to be finished is the laundry room! Then we can start over at the beginning again!

Creating a Living Wall – Pinterest – the Real Life Edition

I love plants in my home – they add such colour and life – and I hear they do something nice for the air too! Ahhh… deep breath 🙂 I’m sort of running out of places to put and hang them however, so after re-vamping our front door entry which isn’t roomy enough for a hanging plant, I decided a “living wall” would be the perfect solution.

Big and small, inside and out, these vertical gardening systems are all over Pinterest and interior magazines at the moment. Mostly, they are fairly simple – a pocket based system that you put soil in, add plants and water manually. Although if you want to be spendy, there are all sort of fancy watering systems to be found!

Here’s the idea: Nice huh?
images (3) living wall 1

More info at Wooly Pockets or Vertical Gardens NZ

365267122Since mine is going to go outside, I didn’t search around for anything that was watertight, I found some simple pockets on Trademe made out of recycled felt – 2 planters with 4 pockets for $15.

 

 

 

How to: Step By Step

1. Materials

All the information online seems to revolve around pretty pictures of finished pockets with cascading plants – and lot’s of mention of the words “simple” and “easy”. I also found the “spill, fill and thrill concept”. Basically choose plants from each category and do the following:

Use the “Spill” plants, which drape down, to cover the edges of the Pockets. Next add the “Thrill” plants as focal points and to create a dynamic visual composition. Finally, use the “Fill” plants to fill in and cover the Pockets between the other plants. Use big, full plants!  The wall should look as full and lush as possible immediately upon planting, with as little Pocket showing as possible. 

Yay I love simple and easy! Ummm not so much. Firstly, I couldn’t see any of the plants on the lists at the garden centre. Or at least not in my low budget. Secondly, the pockets are SMALL. How to fit these various plant categories into one pocket exactly?

So, I thought of my own system. I bought some dangly, some eatable, some smelling nice and some little cheap and pretty. I also got some secret weapon – certain to cure my houseplant killing tendencies – Crystal Rain. This is magic dust that mixes with water to make goop, which you add to the dirt and keeps them from dying if you forget to water them.

2. Putting it together

I mixed up my magic goop and added a few spoonfuls to each pocket of soil and stirred well! FYI – you are supposed to do this an hour before!

I added potting soil and put 3-4 small plants in each pocket. I tried to put cascading type things on the edges and things I thought would be bushier in the middle – due to the pocket shape there is more soil here also! I used a mix of baby house plants and herbs (thyme and parsley) as well as transplanting some wandering jew from my garden (When I say garden, it grew after I tossed it out the window and is now ideal for cuttings)

Oh and making sure there is as little pocket showing as possible? Still not sure how that is supposed to happen!

3. Water

According to the internet, one is supposed to water the “tongue” which after some searching I discovered is the BACK of the pocket. This way the water will wonderfully wick it’s way down the tongue and perfectly disperse water to the plants without drowning them. Clever! In real life? It is actually impossible to water the back of the planter. Especially with a hose. I hope my plants like extra moisture. And I now understand what that fancy expensive watering thingy with the long spout is for. TONGUE WATERING. Of course!

So here is my finished product! I am hoping when it grows it will fill out a bit… and I’ll just replace anything that doesn’t survive 🙂 Not QUITE what I had imagined, but it has some potential! I think I will wait and see how things take before I hang it outside our front door or plant the other one… I will post an update on how it grows!

Final thoughts? This is a cheap and YES, EASY way to add some greenery to a wall inside or out! It doesn’t need to be complicated, just pick up a few things that don’t cost too much and have a go 🙂 Personally, I like combining a few edibles in there – thyme is handy and smells delicious and parsley is always nice to have!

Lorelei xx

Love copper? 5 budget ideas friendly ideas for under $30!

I just love metallics in home décor! Gold, brass, bronze and especially copper! I love the warm tone of copper, with that hint of red, it really draws the eye and adds something a little different. Copper pieces will fit well into existing décor and can look great mixed up with other metallics. Here are some gorgeous bits and pieces, as well as some DIY ideas, to get the look for less!

1. Wooden picture frame with painted copper design
Grab a test pot of metallic copper and create a design on a plain wooden frame.
Here I have used Resene Copper Fire to create a slightly abstract geometric effect (that means I free handed haha!) on a simple $12 wooden frame from the Warehouse. I purchased this awesome mid century inspired digital print from House of Print Shop on Etsy ($7.50)and printed it on textured card stock to use in the frame.

2. Copper spray paint – so many options – only limited by your imagination!
I picked up this metallic copper spray paint from Super Cheap Auto for the bargain price of only $6.99!225339

Use tape to create a design on a plain white plate, then spray. Or give an old wire basket a makeover. Give jars, glassware or plain wooden items either an ombre or dip dyed effect!

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3. Copper toned glass vase – The Warehouse $12

9417648932388_eI love this, it looks amazing on its own, or with some simple foliage or a single flower. A real bargain!

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Wire storage basket – Bed Bath and Beyond $25

20150513_181011I love copper wire baskets, but they can get a bit pricey! This one is a steal at only $25, and there is a range of sizes as well!

 

 

5. Copper wire seed lights – Solarnights.co.nz

copper_seed_lightWire lights look amazing strung just about anywhere. Solarnights, link above, does a 50 light strand powered by AA batteries for only $15.

 

 

 

 

 

Well I hope you enjoyed this post and are feeling inspired!

Lorelei xx

 

 

 

A DIY Bar Cart Project – practical glamour on a budget!

I confess… I have a Pinterest addiction. So incredibly useful and inspiring… but also so easy to waste hours in the guilty pleasure of browsing what is essentially, DIY porn. Anyway, when searching for a suitable project to undertake as a wedding gift for my brother and his beautiful new wife … thanks to my Pinterest habit, I knew a bar cart would be the perfect fit!

I wanted to create something special, not only a lovely piece of furniture, but all the bits and pieces that would turn that into a useful and beautiful part of their home! Not to mention, styling is one of my favourite things and I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this!

troley

Pinterest inspiration

Firstly, I needed a colour scheme! I wanted something with a retro feel that would still fit into a modern home, and with a touch of glamour! Personally, I gravitate toward bold and bright colours, but I thought this would be the perfect excuse to expand my horizons, so I chose a lovely mint colour, Resene “Fringy Flower” (I admit, the lame name nearly put me off!), with accents of copper and apricot.

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Resene “Fringy Flower”, “Copper Fire” and “Apricot”

I found this old oak tea trolley on Trademe and it fit the bill perfectly! Small and simple and the wood (oak) still in excellent condition.

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BEFORE

Part 1: Creating the Bar Cart

I removed the wheels first and sanded back the entire piece. Since my plan was to distress the wood after painting, I did not use an undercoat – I wanted some of the lovely oak grain to show through. I applied two coats of the mint colour (a semi gloss enamel).

I then used a copper spray paint to create a “dip dyed” effect on the legs. Finally, I distressed the mint slightly with sandpaper and rubbed the entire piece with a dark furniture wax, to accent the distressed parts and add a layer of protection.

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Under mount wine glass rack

I also used the copper spray paint to apply several coats to the 2 racks I had sourced – both stainless steel. Both were very inexpensive! The one the left was to attach directly to the trolley to hang wine glasses on, the other was to store liquor bottles.

 

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Finished trolley with racks

Part 2: Outfitting the bar!

I had so much fun with this! I sourced pretty and practical accessories from a wide range of places. Some vintage, some new, some I added some colour to myself. Here are a couple of basic items I jazzed up to match the colour scheme!bar cartAnd here is the result (everything but the wheels which were still being restored when I took these!)20150427_102211 20150427_102149 20150426_181820 20150426_181456

Sources:
Trademe  – second hand trolley, new mounted wine rack, vintage decanter set, vintage placemat and coaster set
Resene – paint mint “Fringy Flower”, metallic “Copper Fire” and various metallic test pots
Freedom – wooden bowl (painted in metallic accents above), white plate (painted copper), faux Protea
Look Sharp – Coloured straws, napkins, faux lemons
Collected – Copper hook, copper metallic Washi bag
Spotlight – Marquee letters
Warehouse – Cocktail shaker and matching ice bucket, glass copper vase, gold tea light holder, glass water jug, tea towels
Stevens – Cocktail measure and muddler, small bamboo chopping board (hanging)
Paper Plus – cocktail book
Kmart – Wine rack

I hope you enjoyed this post and are maybe even inspired to create your own beautiful “after 5” station (isn’t it 5-o-clock somewhere!). And, if you have created your own bar area at home, I would LOVE you to share with me!

Lorelei Louise xx

Marvelous Marquee Lights: Where to find, and how to make them!

I may have mentioned before, I LOVE lighting! One of my favourite things are vintage style marquee lights and retro illuminated signs. I love the old timey, name in lights feel with the almost industrial edge and anything that lights up is double the fun to me! I became particularly obsessed with these when planning our recent wedding, especially sourcing New Zealand based sellers and DIY options, since at the time, this type of thing was either very hard to find or very expensive. Lately however, there seems to be many new places selling these types of lights and easier to find sources of DIY materials, I’d like to share some here.

Some New Zealand based sellers of Marquee lights and light boxes:

Junk and Disorderly – One of my favourite stores, bases in Northcote – a HUGE haven of vintage treasures, hardware and furniture galore – mixed with a big range funky new items for your home! They have lightboxes (illuminated signs with interchangeable covers) with a variety of different covers and signs and some great large sized metal marquee letters. If you get a chance, try the cinnamon brioche from the retro coffee caravan parked right inside – divine!

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Light Viking – A Tauranga based business that makes wicked custom marquee lights as well as other vintage lighting and it’s a great place to shop for loads of other retro and industrial style goodies!

bar light viking

Typo – An Australian company, Typo is a shop found either in malls, attached to Cotton On, or online. They are a great source of reasonably priced, on trend homeware and decor and get new things in often – well worth checking out! I bought several of these A4 sized lightboxes (with interchangeable letters to spell whatever you like!) to display at our wedding, and now they are also fun and easy to mix it up home decor. Recently, I spotted they are also stocking metal marquee lights in all the letters of the alphabet!

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Light boxes at Typo

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DIY options: Can’t afford the price tag? No worries!

Who doesn’t love Pinterest!? Unfortunately, sometimes materials for DIY projects that are easily purchased from a local hardware or craft store overseas can be a little harder to find in our corner of the world!

One easy method is to use cardboard or paper mache letters and fairy lights. I started this for our wedding but ran out of time! There are many cool tutorials online, and both cutting out the “front” part of the letter or hiding the fairy lights inside the hollow shell and poking them out the front look great – here is the excellent tutorial for making the the sign below!

images (2)

This is a project I did myself for our wedding, I wanted a Vegas style sign to hang above the arch where our ceremony would take place. It was a fairly straightforward and inexpensive project.chapel of love signMethod: I traced a template onto cardboard – printed out on mulitple A4 sheets using an online tool like this one here. I then traced this onto a piece of plywood and used a jigsaw to cut out the banner shape. After sanding and painting, I glued ready made painted paper mache (from Warehouse Stationery, or Spotlight) letters on to the banner shape and drilled holes where each light would poke through. Globe shaped Christmas lights can be bought cheaply from Mitre 10, simply remove the glass globe carefully from each light, poke through the back of the plywood shape and secure with a dab of glue, then replace the glass globe. Each string of lights had 10 bulbs, so I bought 3 – one coloured and two clear sets. I used 2 strings, and so had extra bulbs to choose the selection of coloured and clear bulbs for the final piece!

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Total cost – Less than $80 including all paint and materials!

Lastly, I am very excited that Spotlight is starting to stock these awesome DIY marquee light kits! Retailing for $25 a letter, including the battery operated lights and a template to make a background for your letter, all included. I can’t wait to try these out!

H_webMarquee-Letters-7

Whether you would buy one ready to go, or craft your own, there is plenty of inspiration to get you started getting a retro light art work for your own home! As always, I would LOVE to hear feedback and see pictures of your own projects!

Lorelei Louise xx

 

Frugal Friday! Budget buys $15 and under

Always a bargain hunter, being in between jobs at the moment makes me even more so! Now, I loathe shopping malls, but occasionally I do find myself in one out of necessity! Here is a round up of some goodies I have found recently…

1. Sink organiser from Kmart $620150306_115506

I admit, I’ve been a little obsessed over finding one of these! The only one I could find in NZ was $25… a bit much for a caddy to put your dish essentials in, in my opinion! But Kmart, once again is all kinds of awesome.

Now, I just need to find a refillable bottle to put dish soap in!

2. Wire storage basket from Kmart $12

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A great sized and brightly orange coloured basket – I could think of places this would be handy in every room in my house!

 

 

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3. Cute retro canisters from Living and Giving – $12 and $15 (30% off too!)

Living and Giving have a great range of retro styled canisters and tins, from the decorative like these guys, to ones that hold garlic, onions and even a handy bread bin who’s lid is a bread board! Our completed kitchen will have plenty of open shelving to display pretty things, so I love finding interesting containers – that are useful storage too!

4. Mini retro radio from Living and Giving $15

I couldn’t resist this cute little radio! It takes a couple of AA batteries, and has a tiny little tuner and dials, I just love it!

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5. Basic cropped tops from Tempt $12.99 each

Great basics to pair with your high-waisted jeans and trousers and swing skirts! I love the mustard coloured sweater, will work well with so many separates in my wardrobe. And who can resist that hot pink?

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That’s all from me, Happy Friday and hope you enjoyed this week’s round up!

Lorelei Louise xx

 

 

 

Luxe for less! Beautiful candles on a budget, for any decor

I am obsessed with lighting. Of all shapes and forms… lamps, vintage ceiling lights, fairy lights, flamingo lights, neon lights! But when it comes down to it, you can’t beat the basics. The mesmerising flame and romantic atmosphere of a good old fashioned candle…

I think a nice candle is such a worthwhile thing to treat yourself to! Smell is a very powerful sense, and can really affect your mood. Not to mention the lovely ambience of a flickering candle. My favourite thing is to light a candle for a few hours in the evening, it gives feeling of luxury and spoiling yourself as well as leaving a lovely lingering scent in the home. And there is definitely something to be said for a quality candle. Longer and cleaner burning, real scents and perfumes (with no hint of toilet spray) and novelty shapes. But they don’t have to cost a fortune!

Here are a few of my favourites, all $20 or under!

Recently I discovered Trio candles and became a convert. They are a local small business based in Matakana an hour north of Auckland. These handmade, luxury soy candles are poured in beautiful vintage tea cups and jars as well as other vintage style treasures. Not only that, they are the most divine scented candles I have ever come across! And they are very budget friendly compared to other market alternatives. For $20 or less you can get a beautiful candle as well as the gorgeous glass to reuse. You can find Trio candles on Felt here, or check out their Facebook page here.

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I found these amazing handmade skull candles from a Kerikeri based seller on Trademe. Now I have seen skull candles in fancy shops for upwards of $50, and also budget versions in places like the Warehouse. But what I love about these is that they are made from beeswax, which has such a lovely scent and they are a real quality candle at a budget price. They come in several sizes and a range of colours including gold and silver. The small ones are only $5.50, or 4 for $20 and the large ones are around $20. Listings for these candles can be found here.

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Now I’m a sucker for anything tropical, so I couldn’t resist these pineapple shaped candles I came across recently!

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pineapple candleThese are only $12.50 from The Importer and can be purchased online here, or they have a shop in Albany. Although I prefer to support local businesses when possible, they really are so cheap and cheerful I couldn’t help myself!

Lorelei Louise xx