• Mar
  • 27
  • 2013

Shaynna Blaze judged my room and I won!

A few weeks ago (thanks for a friend who mentioned it to me), I entered a competition run by The Interiors Addict blog, “Impress Shaynna and win a course at the International Institute of Home Staging worth $500″. Yes, Shaynna Blaze from The Block on channel 9 is judging, who am I kidding?!

So the nature of competitions are… that there will probably be hundreds or thousands of entries and what would the chances of winning be? But this morning as I scrolled down Facebook on my phone in bed, I saw my photo posted by Interiors Addict! I was shocked. Surprised. Happy – 0f course! I’m very happy to announce that I was chosen as the winner for this amazing competition. As part of this win from Interiors Addict, I am posting this makeover on my blog to show you more photos of my toddler room transformation and how you can achieve amazing results with a minimum budget using recycled materials, found objects with lots of research, passion and determination!

This is a typical 60′s house. Very retro, lots of patterns. It can sometimes be a bit overwhelming to the eye. When I was pregnant with my second, I told myself I needed to finish off the spare room. At the time, it was being used as an ironing room, a computer room, a storage room and what not! So when my morning sickness slowly faded away, I got myself together and started planning for this room. My first borns’ room was a very girlish room. This time I wanted something different. I opted for a unisex look incase I was expecting a boy.

The room is a work of art in itself. All decorations are DIY from salvaged items and recycled materials. From the wall art down to the cushion details & baby mobile, all are handmade! It took me a few months to research, gather and create these beautiful items.

This baby mobile was created with paint chip samples. I have a box of them in the shed so all I had to do was cut probably about 30 of them using a heart template I made. These are then sewn using a needle and a thread, attached onto tree branches that I cut off a tree in our backyard. They are finished with a small bead at the end just to give each string-piece some added weight.

What is a room without cushion? They are ridiculously overpriced in stores, $30-$60! I have made these adorable cushions for only a few dollars!

I have most of the fabrics at home so it was just a matter of buying some felt.

The bottom cushion was made from an old granny jumper! I will put some photos up in another post of how I made this cushion. The table was an old IKEA table that I repainted. The timber tray was bought from a second hand store for $3, again repainted in the same colour as the feature wall. The lamp was bought from Salvos (second hand store) for $10, it even has a chip at the bottom, yes, and I love that it has a chip to show imperfection! Another IKEA product which is the rug, RRP is $49 but I got it for $25 from Gumtree :)

This is a digital artwork that I have created and now am selling in my Etsy store.

The picture below is a breakdown of what in the room is second hand and DIY.

Side view of the room. The bed belonged to my sister in law, 15 years ago. My in laws managed to keep it well in their garage. Its now time for my children to benefit from it!

My hand painted ‘bird silhouette’ oversized canvas.

I am absolutely in love with this no 14 chair! Its an original chair (still has the stamp on it!) Its by Thonet and made in Czechoslovakia! I was pretty lucky to have found this chair after months of searching. The owner didn’t know it was an antique, so she was happy to give it away.


  • Mar
  • 25
  • 2013

{interior design} kitchen mood board

Here is a little teaser of something exciting that I am currently working on. Mood boards are often created as a basis for designing, ie- the research part. Once the designer and client have agreed with the theme/feel/look of the space, then the work begins! Design proposal, design documentation and design construction will take place one after another. So stay tuned!

 

 


  • Feb
  • 19
  • 2013

DIY Wall art for living room nook

When the husband wants something, he just has to say the word and then I’ll take care of the rest. This time he wanted an armchair, for more comfort.

I wasn’t exactly sure where else I could put this extra armchair seeing that our living room isn’t a big room, so I had to compromise some things and move around. The photo below was the old living room decor nook, where the floor lamp is. And this is where the new armchair will go.

So when we put the new armchair there and moved the floor lamp to the opposite nook (gotten rid of the magazine rack), the walls behind the armchair looked rather plain. I decided to DIY some art from the stuff we already had and picked up a couple of things from the junk yard. I got this timber tray for $2.50 each.

Above: Sanded timber tray (before)

Below: During the process of painting

The picture below are the 3 DIY wall art.

1- Exsiting Ikea MALMA mirror that I stencil and painted with a quatrefoil design.

2. Junk yard timber tray turned wall art – digital design print.

3. Junk yard timber tray turned wall art – hand painted.

For the quatrefoil mirror, I cut out a stencil and traced it all around the mirror with a pencil.

Then using acrylic paint, painted it with love and care.

Here is a close up of the timber trays, they are painted to make it look a bit rustic

As for art #2, Its a digital design art that I made in illustator and printed it out. I’m also selling it in my Etsy store.

The cushion was purchased online from eBay.

 

 

 

 


  • Jun
  • 01
  • 2012

a sneak peak…

picOf our grey and mustard DIY bedroom. Is it a nursery, toddler’s room or guest room? Well, thats what I’m trying to figure out myself too! For now, its all of the above. Stay tuned for more pictures. I am waiting for the sun to come up so I can take nice photos…at the moment, its dull and gloomy in wintery Melbourne. Lets hope for some sunshine soon xx


  • Mar
  • 30
  • 2012

living 101

living1

So I finally managed to finish off our living room. I kept changing my mind and the decor along the way but I knew I’ve always wanted a bright, serene room hence no wallpaper or paint was used. The furniture and decor speak for themselves. The reason why I changed it 101 times is because going from a newborn who pretty much doesn’t touch anything to having a super energetic toddler, I had to remove/reposition many decor items. They either were given away, stored in the garage or placed at a higher level. I also had to be careful to not over-do or under-do in terms of decoration. And also because most items are not brand-new-straight-from-the-stores-costing-me-a-bomb, it took me a while to source them. I did quite a bit of research and looked around second hand shops/ebay/gumtree and even managed to scavenge things found on the street. This is me and I am proud of it, I simply love recyclable materials!

living2

Our living room is not the best shaped room for a living/lounge… very rectangular and long, which makes furniture positioning a bit tricky. If you see the before photo, two pieces of bulky furniture were placed in front of each other making the room feel tight and crowded.  Of course when you have guests, that’s probably the way to go however this wasn’t our concern. We (the family) spend more time in this house so we had to make it a functional space for us to live in. We wanted the TV right in front of our comfy couch. Yes! That dark brown couch is super comfy. And sorry, I wasn’t able to fit a picture of the TV in the photo, but just imagine it sitting opposite the brown couch. Considering the living room is pretty small, we could fit 7 sitting people without it looking crowded. Woohoo, problem solved!

living3

The old wall gas heater is not fully working and it would cost us an arm and a leg to get it replaced, so we decided to scrap that and position a light beige couch in front of it. More space saving for us! We also installed a split system heating/cooling above the fireplace and are now looking to get underfloor ducted heating throughout the house. Melbourne can get very cold in winter and one heater isn’t going to heat up a whole house!

living7You can find the post for this hand sewn ‘love’ cushion here. Note: I did not make the cushion cover, it came with one of the couches we bought from Gumtree.

living4

For the mantel piece decor, I made this lovely frame with chalk writing and the post can be found here. Its very easy, just pick up a frame from a second hand store or a timber yard.

living5

living6

I am yet to make a post about this gorgeous timber scrap “Bismillah” art, which translates to ” In the name of Allah” in Arabic. I hope you’ve been thoroughly inspired. Its nothing glamorous, just a simple and functional space as I like to call it.


  • Nov
  • 21
  • 2011

back entry 101

back of house

Welcome. This is the back entry to our home aka the shoe room. Yes, we go in and out through the back door. Its much easier as this is where we store all our shoes. The front entrance has not been touched yet as we still need to figure out what we want to do with it.  We’ll come to that soon…the joys of renovating are never ending!

photo before

This picture was taken just after my husband started ripping out the 40 year old wallpaper (that was glued on the brick masonry wall). Sorry for the poor quality photo, it was taken with an iPhone (of course). I am pretty dissapointed that I didn’t get a photo of the wallpaper while it was still attached. This shoe room/entry reno was a spur of the moment thing. I walked out one day and realised he started ripping it off. No time to get the camera out!

back entrance

A bit of scavenging from the garage and we have ourselves a wooden welcome rustic sign. Now this area has definitely brightened up 10 times more than what it was before.

Catch more glimpses of our home renovation with before and after photos, here.


  • Oct
  • 31
  • 2011

nursery 101 | update 1

nursery toddler's bed

This is Aliya’s room/nursery 6 months ago. Since then, we have installed rolled blinds and changed the curtains to a light grey blockout. Her room is still in a work in progress as I haven’t exactly finish what I had originally planned out . For example, this wall next to the toddler bed was supposed to be the feature wall painted in grey. But we didn’t get around to it, I don’t think it will (ever) get painted as she sleeps in this bedroom full time now. So toss away the idea and lets decorate it with something else. I was thinking of an oversized hand painted canvas. Hmm, am I going to get the time to sit and paint it myself? Maybe. Perhaps. Ok, I’ll try. I’ve already bought the canvas (over 3 months ago!) so I just need to find the time and inspiration. Any suggestions? Hubby was saying why not make it an Arabic canvas with Arabic alphabets,  what a brilliant idea!

nursery bedside table nursery chair

Right:  DIY painted bedside table by hubby. White plastic pot and and flowers from Ikea. ‘Aliya’ painted wooden name sign, a sweet gift from CUE Designs and DIY curtains by me!

Left: Vinyl wall decal from eBay. DIY painted rattan hair by me, you can read the post here to see before/after photos!

nursery pendant

After a long and tiring hunt for a nursery pendant lamp, I finally found the perfect one!. This was the second lamp. I originally bought another one but then had to refund it simply because it looked good at the showroom but NOT when it was hung up here. And thank God its one of those DIY, at least I didn’t have to call the sparky*! So it took me another couple of weeks to find this. I should’ve taken a picture of the other one that I returned. Oh well. But isn’t this pretty? Even prettier when lit up!

Stay tune for the next nursery update. Hopefully by then, we can see pictures of her cot/sheets, DIY clock that I recently made for her and her oversized canvas. Oh and her gorgeous white chic wardrobe! And rug!

*sparky is an Australian slang for electrician


  • Oct
  • 24
  • 2011

rmit | rmitis

RMIT or Monash?

RMIT or Monash?

That was me [thinking] back in 2003 after graduating from High school.

pamphlet islamic design

Interior Design. I knew exactly what I wanted to do. It has always been a passion of mine since I was 12. I just needed to choose somewhere that would fulfil my childhood dreams. I crossed out Swinburne Uni. So it left me with either RMIT or Monash.  At Monash, they call it Bachelor of Interior Architecture. Sounds posh. And smart. But its just a name and the structure of the course is very similar to the one offered at RMIT, except they call theirs Bachelor of Interior Design. Monash’s IA has only been around recently whereas the course at RMIT has been around since way before the 80′s. In fact, one of my dad’s friend graduated from ID there and is now a very successful interior designer, and no he is not gay!

pamphlet islamic design

So I chose RMIT for many reasons. 1.-Established for a lot longer. 2- Recognised nationally and internationally. 3- A lot of successful designers graduated from that course. 4- Easy to get to from where we used to live (direct train line) 5-Loved the fact it was right in the heart of Melbourne CBD, so that means a lot of shopping and eating in betweeen classes! Now, when I look back, I loved every single moment even during the bad and ugly. Yes. There were times when I felt like my brains were ripped apart, my eyes became water bags and my body turned into a dead vegetable. That was how the course drained the energy out of me. But I still thoroughly enjoyed it. For those who aren’t familiar with ID, its not what you think it is. Its not about cushions or curtains. Its quite the opposite. Its about spatial architecture and design. Exploring the relationship with its environment/society and how it affects our sensory. They really do squeeze your brain to think outside the context of interior design. The course is heavily theoretical based than a practical one. But urm, if you’re into hands on stuff like colours, furnishings etc…RMIT Tafe offers a Diploma in Interior Decoration. Check ‘em out!

Besides studying, studying and more studying, I had a social life too. It was the beautiful sisters (friends) I had met at RMITIS (RMIT Islamic Society) that changed me into who I am today. I started practising Islam. Not that I wasn’t practising prior to this, but it made me truly understand the beauty of this religion. I even met my husband through the society. So can you see how it has changed my life? Alhamdulillah, to a better one. I am forever grateful to Him.

The prayer room at RMIT became my second home. A place to hang out and to catch up on sleep (from those sleepless nights spent at the lab)! So if you’re at RMIT, join the society! Contribute a little for dawah purposes. Run some activities. We had the best of times during our years spent there. We organised paint ball trips, horse riding, sisters social nights, sisters lectures, games, bbq’s…oh and so many more! One of my small contribution to RMITIS are these pamphlet covers. Now these were from 5 years ago. If you’d like a copy of a current one with colour, IISNA’s pamphlet team (may Allah reward them) have developed their own set of pamphlets, printed and distributed hundreds and thousands world wide. You can check them out here. They have 15 titles so far and counting…

 


  • Jan
  • 03
  • 2009

2.1 | thesis’08 | veils of visibility

“You immediately are lost in space and that makes you anxious. But at the same time, there is a sense of euphoria that you are almost free of the body whilst being returned to it in a new way”. Anthony Gormley

This is a quick post as I just came across one of many experiments I did for my final year thesis in 2008. I am slowly uploading my thesis. Click here to read more about it.


  • Dec
  • 31
  • 2008

0.2 | thesis’08 | introduction

To be veiled is, to some degree, to be unseen; a condition of both great attraction and repulsion. It is one of the most visible parts of a religion practiced by more than a billion people around the world, and increasingly in western countries. Hijab, the Arabic term for a Muslim womens dress, refers to more than just the headscarf. Many think of it as an infinitely visual thing-a piece of cloth, without understanding what it truly means.

The veil has always been a huge part of my life. By drawing upon my interest in veils, this thesis seeks to  explore further into the realms of veiling in its broadest context in hopes to understand, analyse and critique it in relevance to design. ‘As much as the veil is a fabric or a garment, the veil is also a concept. Veils can be beauty, architecture, deception, transformation, dream, metaphor, hallucination, silence and holiness. Veils may as well be ethers beyond consciousness, a sense of spirituality.’ 1

I wish to investigate the hidden dimensions and potentials of veiling through symbol, performance, materiality and surface. Veils will be looked at as a tangible and/or intangible; static and/or in motion phenomenon that teases our senses, our eyes in particular to shape perceptible shifts in the way we perceive and encounter our environment.

Essentially, this body of research will examine the veil as one that alters conditions of visibility to reveal and conceal relationships between the artificial & the natural and mundane & sublime to highten the sense of the viewer. The mini projects undertaken are categorised individually to form an area of interest within the topic of veiling, all, strongly related to each other.

By exploring the possibilities of veiling as a methodology for the production of space, the aim of this thesis is to produce interiors that promote a sense of shelter/belonging, where one can ponder in realms of ethereal to encounter sensorious moments in a state of separation from the everyday world.


1. Heath, Jennifer. ‘The veil, visible and invisible spaces’.





P/s: I am slowly uploading my thesis. Click here to read more about it.

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