June 08, 2010

DIY Entrance Hallway Makeover with BeadBoard Part I! + A GIVEAWAY


So hello, here we are again, in my tatty little cottage on Sydney's beaches talking about all things white, vintagey, beachy, coastal.  I aim to please ;-)

Thanks for all who guessed in the impromptu giveaway  posts today...too funny...yeah I am a wicked old teasing Beach Cottage Witch....I really enjoyed this, that'd be my warped sense of British humour coming through...some great comments, love you gals thank you...

...errrrm BUT what I didn't expect were the emails protesting that this giveaway was a little bit leaning towards those of us in the Lucky Country cos a lot of you were asleep.  Well, I must just point out here, that Down Under, we often miss out when we are snoozing but I have decided to extend this giveaway to include this Reveal Post...but it won't last all week like usual, giveaway will close when the next post goes up ;-)

So yep as many of you guessed a nautical inspired coat rack, actually inspired by a shop round here where they wanted $400 for one of these...as is my usual fashion I set about making my own and was hoping to utilize those knobs from last week, alas they weren't rocking it on the oar at all. 

Now, this actually all started though sometime last week, when I happened to get into a conversation 


about style and styling, who has it, who doesn't have it, who wants it and who thinks they have style 'cos they can head to the nearest trendy homewares store with a big price tag and chuck a few thousand dollars at it.

It got me to thinking alot about it.  A throwaway comment from a wannabe with just a tad too much casheroony on her hands led me on a mission.

So, having been thinking about the state of my hallway and it's general grubbiness from those pesky BC kiddos coming and going I decided to put myself up for a challenge...a budget makeover for a very small space...it's amazing what a lack of being able to throw money around can do for ones 'style', cough cough.


There is no getting away from it, I have one seriously tiny entrance hall.  Not that I am moaning (as if you would hear such a thing from me). 

But no fear fellow beach cottagers, there ain't nothing white paint, beadboard, vintage things and knobs can't fix!


This is one of those makeovers that you start on a rainy weekend, when you are already in the midst of a bathroom makeover that is taking the longest time e v e r.  When your cottage is such a tip that you feel a burglar must have ransacked through in the night without your knowing, when your husband is so up to his eyes in business that you have to offer him things to crack his face into a smile, when your teenager has exams and you really should be playing Perfect Beach Cottage Mum, floating about in white linen, dolling out comfort food and aiding revision notes.  When you are suffering a pretty sore head courtesy of a night at lg's.

Yup when you have all that on your plate, you announce to the family that there is some serious need of some serious hallway kerb appeal...you declare that we are gonna sweep the decks of all the old, paste on some beadboard for a nautical vibe, we will add vintage oars for a coastal twist and slather everything in a pure zap of white for a wash of pure.


The design brief for the Stylist Extraordinaire intiated from, my friends, problems when we enter our little cottage....it was getting um rather packed, was to get rid of some of the furniture and free up some of the precious space.  So this new minimilist me with a vintage twist would mean the Beach Cottage hallway would be free of too much paraphernalia from treasure hunting trips so we will be able to walk in without dodging a vintage cupboard, we will not need to shimmy around various beach baskets hung for decor but with no real purpose in life and we will not need a deft little twist as we walk into the breakfast room to avoid the leaning vintage ladder.


That was the plan...a tiny hallway that we could walk through, a front door that spoke softly in dulcet tones of glossy black, hints of an old house by the sea, a glut of knobs, a dab of Frenchy chic, a dash of laid-back whitewashed beach...


Halfway through the weekend, with a 1970's amber glass panelled front door halfway through its transformation, a wooden floor splatted with spills of white paint, wallpaper that had come unstuck, no roast dinner to be seen, school uniforms not washed and husband's mumbling, I had to give myself a stern talking to.  Along the lines of get your act together lady.


Hours of white paint brush in hand later, a cleaned up floor, a whitewashed oar, and freshly painted beadboard walls and I was one very happy beach vintage loving girl.

And we all know what happens in Beach Cottage Land when Mrs BC is happy!

Stop by tomorrow for Part II (what's on the other side)

Let me know what you think, c'mon Lurker Babes you know you wanna!

comment to win the Beach Cottage Care Package

white treasures, vintage finds and of course a shell decor ball







hooks  :  IKEA Lillholmnet $18 for 2 

oar  :  garage sale $5 for 2

white paint : Dulux White on White $50

beadboard wallpaper  :  Graham and Brown (not in Aus) $50

mirror  :  thrifted

white paint on mirror  :  Dulux whisper white sample pot

stylist  :  free

gaffer  :  free

painter & decorator  :  free





shared atShabby Nest and Romantic Home & Miss Mustard Seed

Roll up! Roll up! it's the Beach Cottage Game..the next Giveaway clue!


ok girls this is the next clue

as to what I got my husband to do deep into the night yesterday clasping a beer

you know my bribes are good don't you ;-)


some of you are about there with the guesses

I'll post one more clue before the reveal tonight here in Aus hee hee

(I am strangely really enjoying this...how do you get your kicks lol!)


I may even try to win my own Beach Cottage Care Package

tho' Alicia says she'll call the blogging police


there are only 60 or so comments so far

for Beach Cottage eye-candy

think the infamous BC shell sphere, white things, pretties and vintage treasures...





enter = comment

entries = infinite




Quick! Another Clue! The Beach Cottage What's Mr BC Doing Giveaway!



the Beach Cottage hallway makeover is rocking my rocks

so to celebrate an impromptu Beach Cottage celebration...

if you fancy the chance to win


{ Beach Cottage care package }


full of


white things & shell balls


plus a


 few vintage things and eye candy














can guess


my darling Mr BC









see you tonight








Come guess what Mr Beach Cottage is Doing!




You get one guess as to what the lovely Mr Beach Cottage was putting up on the wall at 10 o'clock last night...when he should have been preparing a business speech he's delivering today he was yet again making me a happy girl and doing DIY (there is something very dangerously afoot around these parts when that happens).

I'll be by later today with the hallway reveal...

(yep that'll be a beer in his back pocket)





***edited to add p'haps we need a little GIVEAWAY to get you out of

 Lurkdom & guessing my beauties



A Beach Cottage Care Package up for grabs...just comment

...think white things, shell decor balls, a few vintage things...



June 07, 2010

A Beach Cottage Lesson in Wallpapering


I wasn't gonna post today...I thought I might have a little blogging break and spend time getting my freshly painted front door and people, not just that, a freshly painted BEAD BOARDED hallway, all ready and finished for you to see.

But then I thought you might like to see my workers from the weekend?

Sydney has been whipped with rain the last few weeks and with no sport for the whole weekend rather than sit around and relax, read newspapers, slumber around in pj's drinking vanilla coffees I got the troops working for their keep.  (Miss BC and I kept quiet that when we went to buy DIY supplies we snuck into the Frenchy shop for a very nice cofee and an iced tea).  

With a long list of jobs cooked up by me the Beach Cottage Crew made a joint effort in all things DIY and got their act together to spruce up our long overdue for a paint job entrance with wallpaper and fresh white on white paint and make the lady of the house one happy-tongue-and-grooved-heaven girl.

There is something very satisfying about seeing one's lovely teenager perched perilously on a stool, lamenting the woes of wallpapering...Mr Beach Cottage patiently looking on...


Remember the saga with the beadboard from before, when I so wanted it and couldn't get it here?  Well I found a way and the rolls of wallpaper used here, not available as far as I can ascertain, in Australia were hand delivered to me by my personal courier Sue who travels to Sydney frequently and just so happens to read my blog and tweet with me and was oh so kind as to offer to bring me three rolls of the stuff in her cabin bag.

Since that day ages ago when Mr Beach Cottage met her in the city and spent the evening at a business function with 3 dirty great rolls of beadboard about his person it has sat around patiently waiting.  And waiting.



Now, I have many talents as you know my friends ;-) but wallpapering which equals a fair deal of patience and not a whole lot of slapdash is not one of them.


But! Not only that, no no no, not only am I wandering around finally with panelled walls I have a newly painted front door (after the two base coats above).  One that very nearly had to stay open all night cos the lock wouldn't go back on...


This is truly a trash to treasure story...it was one horrible 70's style front door that I sneakily kept hidden from you all and even zapped with the trusty Beach Cottage white paint it was passable at best...but after much door searching in door shops and steady avoiding of those hideous trendy ones around at the moment we stuck with the best of a bad bunch and what we had...you can see the insets -they were a lovely amber 70's coloured glass...ooh yeah...(before/after pics to come) and the big old panels of flowers were a browny orange wood colour...mmm mmm...but in it's final glossy coat which I've get to photograph, wooeee, it's a makeover fit for a queen

Anyway I have to fly, I have loads to do...see you tomorrow






June 04, 2010

The Beach Cottage Countess { A Vintage Platter with a Golden Touch }

Softlyplated2 copy

Hello my lovelies!

With the weather here cooling down rapidly in Australia I find myself as usual turning to soup, not of course, that I don't make soup at other times of the year but as the long harsh winter in Aus, ahem, sets in (I'm thinking you know that Sydney winter temps in the day are about 18 - 22 C...um yah winter lol!)

And with the rain pelting down, howling winds, the windows rattling and the rusty old gutters dripping, I find myself regularly in the kitchen with something bubbling on the stove top.  Something made by me.  From scratch.


Now it seems from my travels around the net and my Facebooking that making soup 'from scratch' is not what we do anymore.  And I feel how strange 'cos there is, to me, little more satisfying in the cooking world that putting on a pot of soup.  So c'mon tell me do you make soup?  Or is it something you know and love in a can?  Not that I am saying I don't buy it in a can too.  I do.

Most weeks we have soup, unfortunately the teenager in this abode is not so keen on soup, so for him I dole out less liquid and call it casserole.  So don't do fussy eaters in Beach Cottage land.

Anyway the foundation of my soups is a rich, golden chicken broth (or a broth made from any kinda bones I have on hand)...something that normally started life as some sorta roast on Sunday and more often than not we've finished off as leftovers on Monday.

Do not switch off now at 'broth'...there really cannot be anything easier than dumping bones in the bottom of a saucepan (don't even think about encumbering yourself with the thoughts of stockpot...though vintage specimens are abundant while out op-shopping and hit the eye candy note pretty nicely too...)

I throw them in my vintage stock pot *wink, cover with water, quarter (with skin on) an onion or two and add whatever is on its side in the bottom of the fridge praying to be rescued from the dark and cold...normally a carrot and a stick of celery or two.   This takes no molly-coddling, no stirring or foofing, after a couple of hours of simmering...skim or not as you like the frothy bits and drain.

For the soup proper I have a bundle of recipes up my sleeve...the one here more a consomme...but as a rule I just soften some garlic and an onion or two, a cup or two of wine, a stick of celery chopped, any manner of herbs on hand, dried or fresh, a lug of vinegar, salt and pepper, a couple of cups of cooked chicken thrown in at the end and if I fancy it or does anyone else for that matter a cup of milk.

All too domestic-goddess-easy.

Hmm, but that was not what I came here to show you today at all.  I wanted to show you a recent thrifting prize...yep the perfect Beach Cottage plate made it to my hands without the need for me to side-step scary ladies with falling bags.

This is no other than one of my faves in old china...of course from the Old Country (they do some things very very well) and a Burgess & Leigh Royal Semi-Porcelain...that heady mix of thick almost utility with a fluted edge and a touch of old worlde gold to top it all off.


I love having it here, wondering how she got here, I love the handpainted flashes of shabby worn off gold hinting of much richer days gone-by.

Stacked up with the modern white she's a great little addition from Staffordshire to our cottage :-)  I just wonder what she is thinking of it all.

I will see you guys and dolls soon...happy weekend...go get some vintage treasure!


013p copy

June 03, 2010

On the Deck with Australian Polish Vintage Fish


At the weekend we had a cosy little dinner for three.  It had been pelting down with rain for most of the day, in fact it has been pelting down for what seems like a long time here in Sydney..the wettest May for a good few years apparently.

But it was actually fairly mild and I love that feeling of sitting outside when the rain is coming down...by the time I got to thinking about whether or not we could sit on the deck it was only raining very softly so decided on it...


I don't know about you but stress-free suppers at my house are what having people over is all about...and I seem to spend an inaudible amount of time devising ways to do little work...though that is not to say things are unorganized...I like to set the table and get everything ready to save any meltdowns.

I cannot abide the word starter, conjures up all sorts of horrid images of horrid little housewifes fussing around with tasteless offerings but invariably there is some sort of one...here it was baked camembert in the box...this is a no-brainer for the hostess challenged 'starter'...buy a camembert in a box, removed it's paper wrapping, stuff it back in the box, prick it with some holes, drizzle in some white wine, shove in oven...serve with crusty bread.


And though I refrain from the idea of lots of courses and too much rigmarole I actually do like to serve something that is turns it from run-of-the-mill supper to a bit of a feast...here I tried a new recipe...Polish Baked Fish...I know not why it is named Polish and for sure my fish was Australian.  Brown off a couple of onions and garlic, layer this between fish and ladles of sour cream in between, pour over a glass of wine...top with fresh breadcrumbs, salt and pepper...shove in oven.  

Now I must just point out here that if you make a Polish Fish Bake and a Fruit Crumble make sure you distinguish between the two otherwise when your lovely husband goes in to get a beer and you ask him to pop the all too easy Polish Fish Bake in the oven he will actually stick in the Fruit Crumble

 Need I elaborate?


To serve with this a puy lentil, parsley and lemon salad, which was a kinda thrown together last thought addition and turned out to be the perfect partner to the Australian Polish Fish (drain a couple cans of lentils, lug on olive oil, juice of half a lemon, salt and pepper...too easy)


And the table dressing?  On a Beach Cottage budget for sure...thrifted furniture, mis-match of chairs, IKEA tableware...vintage decor.

I must mention too the super-flowers...I am hoping with this I will win an award for longest lasting bunch of daisies..the bunch from the Sitting Room the week before last I believe and for sure on their last legs...I ripped them apart, stuck them in the vintage bottles, added some vintage crochet edged napkins for some...you know...and then threw around some shells for some...beach vintage...or coastal style...or country coastal...whatever it is we are calling it.

A very nice evening was had, we sat under the stars late into the night... 

Amazing what one can do with Polish fish and a few shells.

gotta run I am looking at doors...inside and screen and am hoping to at last rip out that sliding patio, hoorah




shared at Susan's event thanks!


June 02, 2010

Happy Birthday Mr Vintage Beach Cottage & The Man by the Sea


wow isn't he looking good?  but Mr Beach Cottage you are looking a bit vintage on your birthday today!

not really this is a guy I see around the beaches all the time...normally he is wearing one of those rather odd looking crash helmets with the open front..

I believe he follows the surf...at one with the waves...and there have been big old waves down my way these last few weeks


I had to get a picture of him..it seems he toodles into my life all the time..it is funny how that happens isn't it, I can go months without bumping into someone who lives across the road but him well he seems to pop up all the time.

I thought about approaching him as he jogged along before going in the surf...I thought I would ask him if he would like to do an interview...I thought perhaps about asking him over for Afternoon Tea...in return for some stories for the Beach Cottage...

I decided though that he would think I was rather a loony, asking for an interview for my website and so I quietly watched as he patted on by...

...I am truly revelling in the colours of winter and the man by the sea...






if you are landlocked you might enjoy listening to the waves..abeachcottage does winter...

**edited to add : quality not so gd in You Tube..you get the picture :-)




June 01, 2010

Shopping for Vintage & French Cottage Knobs


G'day all!

I had the misfortune to have to go to the mall today to try and find some gifts for Mr BC's birthday, I managed to stave off the Mall Witch by looking at my new camera, about to be purchased anytime soon and going to a few homey shops.

It's not that I don't like to shop.  I really like to shop.  But not at the mall. And only for things for me or girly things for Miss BC mostly.  Or vintage housey things for the cottage.

I prefer the shops to have a beachy.  Or somewhat Frenchy twist.  And ones with lots of knobs...and there aren't too many of those at the mall.


And so instead of buying man-gifts I left the mall and drove to buy French Knobs

At the moment I am seriously drawn to knobs ;-) 

And there are a couple of Frenchy and beachy shops near me that I loove that are stacked with knobs, Frenchy, Cottagey and Beachy knobs...and I have to tell you that over the last year the GFC (I am assuming lovelies that you are all too aware that this stands for Global Financial Crisis) I have become exceedingly good at dodging these knobs and have maneuvered myself about the beaches with a steadfast avoidance of all things knobs.

I have become an expert in window shopping...in browsing..and in stroking knobs.

But I have to tell you girls that today get out the flags, put up the bunting because hoorah from now on this girl is treating herself to some knobs.

And this self-treating is the new me.  And it's here to stay.


The Beach Cottage Crew may have beans on toast for the rest of their lives. 

But I will have beachy and vintagey and Frenchy and cottagey knobs.

Do you like my new knobs??  There's more where they came from ;-)

So long...





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