So what happens when an interior designer gets two weeks holidays – rest, relaxation, romance… NO… she buys an investment property in the blue mountains to renovate – right before Renovate and Build Show (only 12 sleeps away!!!!!). Nothing like a D.I.Y project to launch into spring!  ECO-MANIA!

An uncanny purchase, a train trip to Lithgow NSW on the hidden side of the Blue Mountains – after my sons U17 hockey grand final game, the same week my husband was on a Yoga camp in Ubud Bali – resulted in a love affair with this 1897 Federation Cottage from a Balinese furniture importer. Pressed metal ceilings, cast iron kettle stoves, timber paneled ceilings and deep chocolate timber floors, poetically possessed me from the first step! The previous owner is also a fine artist, specializing in large scale glorious canvases. Susan also donates her work to various charities in Ubud!

This humble historic and small footprint home felt like a home away from home, and I bought it on the spot – with a 15 year investment plan to rent it out to someone who loves it just as much… or AirBNB or Stayz or all of the above!

Kate and I love sharing our personal journeys and this is the beginning of a one month wonder as we restore and renovate Catherine’s Cottage. Colours were selected by drawing references from the architectural elements of the home and its local surrounds.

SJW Style Tip:

When working with older properties celebrate their charm. Search for the clues that lie within the architecture, that tell the tales of time and your palette will naturally evolve.

I jump in the car tomorrow morning loaded with 30 Litres of Resene paint in a plethora of colour to paint the weekend away with Chloe my ever hugging spoodle, a good supply of  Merlot and  lots of Jazz – before the boys burst in on Sunday morning!

Resene has an extensive range of Environmental Choice approved paints that have been independently verified, including VOC free and an extensive range of low VOC products. Once you have finished decorating, return your unwanted paint and paint packaging to the Resene PaintWise recycling and product stewardship programme and let us take care of them for you. Or if you prefer to get someone else to do the work for you, hire a Resene Eco.Decorator. Resene Eco.Decorators are a nationwide network of environmentally responsible, quality focused painting contractors so you can hire them to complete your decorating projects with the confidence that the contractor is committed to sustainable work principles in their work processes.”


Crafting a colour palette

SJW Style Tip:

Search your surroundings for clues and colour match what lies hidden in your house and environment.

I spent an entire day as a ‘design detective’ diving into the depths of this old cottage to pull out a colorful palette that resonates with the house but stands strong and contemporary.

The flooring was the first choice to unite a patchwork of various floor surfaces in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry  area –  and just to make it bigger we will pull it through the dining area. On the walk from the station I stumbled upon a local flooring company. Working with local suppliers is a great way to keep a sustainable economy especially in smaller communities – they had Gerflor’s textile backed flooring – Primetex in the showroom – that combines the warmth, comfort and quiet of carpet with the practical, hard wearing benefits of vinyl. Perfect for a mountain based rental – that celebrates the age of the existing surfaces! Next week in our post I will cover this weeks adventures – wherever they take us as we open walls, remove bricks, reinvent kitchens, play with reclaimed appliances and pre-loved Silestone…





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