Saturday, 11 March 2017

Our Farmhouse

Chasing the light

This week our home - and its post-renovation photos - were shared on Habitat by Resene's website.

We moved into the family home on the farm, in the depths of a Southland winter, nearly four years ago and at the time 8.5 months pregnant with baby number 3.

The farmhouse had already been significantly updated from its original state by my in-laws, with a new kitchen, bathroom, extensive decking and more contemporary wall colours (paint and paper).

The brief

Our growing family desired a forth bedroom, a second bathroom, an office, central heating, a new roof, a better connection with an enlarged back garden and, perhaps most importantly, more light.

Here are just a few photos of the renovated farmhouse - and because I'm a habitual rearrange-er, things already look different to when these photos were taken - so maybe that's a blog post for another day...

Welcome to our home

An existing foyer now doubles as a piano room and the new double doors with glass better connect the interior of the house to the entrance.

The new bedroom used to be part of an open plan living area. We closed it in, squeezed in the world's smallest ensuite and enjoy the first rays of the sun across the valley each morning.

Laminate wood flooring was a no brainer for us after having carpet under the dining table in previous homes: kids + food + carpet = mess.

We dub this 'The Library'. A massive built in cabinet has loads of storage underneath for kids toys and big shelves for books and other treasures.

Look at all the light! The window seat - especially with the bi-folding windows thrown open - are a favourite place to spend an afternoon reading. This part of the house was an extension. It grabs all the afternoon sun and gives us so much space.

The completed farmhouse is a dream to live in and worth all the time, money and chilly winter days.

See the full blog post on the Habitat blog here:

x Mel

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Nursery design made simple

Congratulations: you're pregnant!

You've just peed on The Stick. 2 lines have appeared.

There's so much to do:
  1. Find a midwife. 
  2. Work out how to discreetly not drink that wine until you're ready to tell people. 
  3. The Pregnancy Announcement. 
  4. Figure out if you can eat that cheese. 
  5. Figure out if there's anything you can eat that won't make you vomit.
  6. Buy maternity clothes.
  7. Decide whether to find out the sex. 
  8. Pee.
  9. Choose a name - or two depending on #7
  10. The Gender Reveal - or not, also depending on #7
  11. Antenatal classes.
  12. Pee.
  13. Write a birth plan.
  14. Waddle.
  15. Pack the hospital bag.
  16. Pee.
  17. Labour.
You could be forgiven for ranking nursery design way down the list. Afterall, the baby's not going to care for a (long) while.

How to Design a Nursery

Fortunately, nursery design is as simple as choosing 'The One Piece'. 
Just one. 
The trick is, you have to fall in love with it.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

The hanging basket's moment in the sun

'World famous' in Aotearoa

The latest issue of New Zealand's hugely popular Your Home and Garden magazine has hit the stands and arrived in the mailboxes of subscribers (of which I am one).

Being about as far away from the distribution point as it's possible to get, I was one of the last to receive the mag... but so worth the wait!

Monday, 5 September 2016

DIY Framing Instructions for your Penny Drops art

Adding value to your art

If you own a piece of original art, you're already onto a winner. The subtle tones, textures, and, if you're really lucky brush strokes, add a rich depth that can't be captured in a print.

Frame that art and you take an eye-catching piece to next-level-amazing!

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Art on Tour

The Penny Drops' original paintings exhibited at Hello Sunday Cafe

Christchurch locals are now well familiar with the amazing Hello Sunday Cafe. You may have read about their second-year-in-a-row award winning haul at the Christchurch Hospitality Awards. Or read one of the many write ups and reviews: like this one, or this one, or this EPIC one...

So it's my greatest pleasure to have an exclusive selection of The Penny Drops' original paintings on display at this bustling, beautiful location.

Monday, 8 August 2016

Coiled rope baskets

These coiled rope baskets are among my favourite things in The Penny Drops' Etsy store.

The natural textures and tones are perfect for any home and they are such a practical item.

Storage for all sorts

I love using the baskets with a wooden bar as a resting place for books - making these baskets ideal as bedside (or couchside) storage: keep those favourite reading books close to hand. Of course, the baskets can also be used for kids toys, fruit, remotes, soaps (and other lotions and potions), those assorted bits and bobs that accumulate in every household, tools of your craft etc etc.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Tropical watercolour leaves

New Paintings

Fresh new botanical-inspired art works using fluid and dreamy watercolour paints, which are so well suited to the subject matter: evoking leaves blowing in fresh tropical breezes.
These new paintings - all original pieces by artist Mel McKenzie - are available to buy via The Penny Drops' Etsy store.

Interior design WOW

Interior design experts declare "Plants are the new black" and like many of you I can't get enough of the real green variety in my home decor - but my love of foliage doesn't stop there.

Taking the mantra literally, I'm in love with this fresh series of tropical black watercolour leaf paintings now available in The Penny Drops' new Etsy store.