The Modern Honolulu & Waikiki

July 11, 2014

Paul and I just came back from 10 days in Hawaii - so, so good! For us, the hotel is part of the holiday experience and I can say that our stay at The Modern Honolulu lived up to expectations.  I like to have a peek inside hotel rooms almost as much as seeing inside other people's homes so here's a look inside The Modern (and some tourist shots too).

The front of the hotel and our room.  Each night when we came back from our day out, we'd find cookies on the bed, bottles of water & ice and slippers laid out beside the bed - sweet little touches.

The Sunrise pool (above) and the Sunset (adults only) pool (below).  Whichever pool you relax by, do so with a coconut mojito in hand.

We can't wait to visit Hawaii again, such a friendly place (shopping is good too!).

The DIY: How to Repair and Re-Use Old Cornice

July 6, 2014

So going back a few weeks now I mentioned that we had trouble finding a match for the cornice in the guest room. It was really just dumb luck that when we removed the old built-in wardrobe in this room that we decided to remove the cornice surrounding it gently and keep it (to remove the cornice, a Google around revealed that all it needed was a bit of delicate levering with a chisel and the pieces come off). This was about 18 months ago, so we had kept the cornice in the garden shed just in case it would come in useful later. Which it did.

Even though we had the two pieces intact, all that time in the shed (and umm, a little time outside at one point...) meant the plaster hadn't fared that well. At this point we just thought we'd get new cornice but after visiting two plaster work companies and not being able to find a match, we were about to pick out a new design (which would have meant ripping out all the existing cornice in the room and replacing it), we got the assistant at the second company we visited to check out one of the pieces we had brought with us to see if re-using what we had would be OK.   He said it was fine to re-use, provided we cleaned the pieces up and removed any of the old cornice cement on the back of each piece and touched up any cracks, removed any of the old flaking paint before lightly sanding and then repairing any of the cracks with plaster and leaving to dry.

Here's the smaller piece up (along with the new wall vent which were able to match).  Putting the cornice up just required cornice cement (which we put generously on the back of the cornice piece and also a little on the wall) and then once the cornice was in place, we tapped in some small nails at the base to act as a bracket while the cement dried. The nails were then removed once everything was dry and secure.

We did the first piece one day, then got to work painting the picture rail and then the following day, put up the bigger of the two pieces with the same method - repaired cornice, cement on back of cornice and on wall and then used small nails as a bracket.

This is the new wall vent and the re-used cornice before being painted.  It's not completely perfect as it was hard to match up edges of the existing cornice with the repaired piece as some of the plaster on each edge had chipped off, but I think it's a pretty good job and I'm so happy we didn't have to rip out all the cornice and replace the whole lot - I am also very relieved we hung onto that old cornice for as long as we did.

A little extra plaster to smooth over the edges has made the join less noticeable but it's still there if you get up real close, which unless you have a ladder, won't be happening ;) I tried to get the pictures at the same time of day but the 'after' still turned out darker as it was dark earlier today - that's winter for ya.

The Driveway: A Makeover

June 15, 2014

Before Christmas we gave our driveway a makeover and I never posted about it, so here it is!

We went the DIY route with this and used Berger's Jet Dry paving and driveway paint which is specially formulated to be hard wearing on this type of surface.  The great thing about this paint is, that like a lot of other paint ranges now, it's available in Colorbond colours. We had it tinted in Ironstone to match the bullnose roof and trim on our house. 

It's a very simple process but time consuming, especially when you have a driveway as long as this (the driveway runs more than the length of the house, down into the carport).  We had to first clean the driveway using a mild acid solution and then left the driveway to dry before applying the first coat of paint.  The paint is just rolled on with a roller which didn't take too long, but any time saved there was taken up by then having to make sure the paint had gotten into each of the grooves of the brickwork pattern - the pattern looks great, but it was a complete time suck to paint.  Because of the nature of this type of paint it has a 16 hour drying time, so we left it overnight before applying the next coat. Then it's a week before the driveway can be driven on, but worth all the time put into it as I'm really happy with how this turned out.

Also out the front our English box is finally catching up to the established hedge and I'm so glad we decided to plant the new plants when we first moved in.  Five years ago when we moved in the front garden looked like a desert, so we've come along way (although I thought we'd be done and dusted with this renovation by now!). We still have the roof to re-do, which will now have to wait for spring/summer. 

Since the driveway refresh we've also added a security light to above the garage door and removed all the plastic garden edging we had installed.  The plastic edging just doesn't maintain its shape and the pegs that secure the edging would come out, so we took it all out and just used mulch and a garden edge tool to mark out the garden beds.  It gives a much neater finish and is much easier to manoeuvre the lawn mower around (or so I've heard...).

P.S. The yellow stripes in the front window are our Socceroos scarves, not a new window treatment ;)