Real Home Series – 1960’s boho botanic bliss

Eclectic shelving

Opening the doors to her 1960’s home in Mairehau, Stacey Weaver takes us through the house she’s made a home. From the dried flowers in her kitchen to the most peaceful workspace that leads to a private garden, this home is truly a piece of art created by one creative lady!

Who lives here?

Stacey Weaver a 32-year-old Girl Boss, self-employed, photographer and creator of botanic art print, accessory and homewares brand Just South West, her boyfriend Lance and her gorgeous little grey cat called Blue. Stacey is an art lover through and through and it’s fair to say her home is a true reflection of that passion.

What style/year is the home and why they chose it

It’s a cute butter yellow 1960’s weatherboard house surrounded by a brick fence and gardens that Stacey has been nursing into her own botanical bliss. The house had a lot going for it, the central location, generous room size, beautiful french doors that she pictured opening onto the deck that’s now built, it was in Stacey’s price range and she could immediately see the value in a DIY renovation and moving on with some money in her pocket to do it all again.

The vision Stacey has for her home

Being a photographer and lover of all things art, light and bright is important for her houseplants to flourish. A marriage of modern boho within a traditional shell for the styling with a clean colour palette for re-sale.

What made you renovate?

When renovating, Stacey keeps in mind that this home is her first, she has been mindfull of renovating spaces that improve the homes function and flow. The deck was a must because it increases the floor plan and theres nothing better than basking in the sun with a few G&T’s.

Where do you draw styling inspiration from?

Stacey worked at a local homewares store, Copper + Pink, her time here obsessing with eye candy and art influenced a lot of the styling. Pieces in the home have been purchased mostly second hand via trademe, eco store, garage sales. In fact, only three items of furniture in her house have been bought brand new. (a sofa, her desk and bed) and collected since 2010. The amazing art she has on display is mostly gifted or swapped with friends in the industry. The eclectic mix of pieces come from a love of New York Lofts and their styling.

Any regrets?

Being organised helps with having no regrets, although Stacey wishes she used more expensive wood for the long shelves in the dining room but was trying to do on the cheap!

Favourite things about your home?

The first thing I purchased for my home were paper shades, so my oversized shade in my bedroom. Sitting on my new deck in the sunshine. And the little pockets of dried flowers hanging in the dining / kitchen.


Why we’ve broken up with Kmart

Kmart Home, why we don't buy Kmart furniture

For those of you that follow our blog, you’ll know that this time last year we were die hard Kmart fans. We would find ourselves joining the great race every night for the new “ladder shelf”, matching marble with marble – with marble….

We used to be great friends

Kmart Accessories

Our flat was soon a showroom of Kmart homewares and we were proud of them. When we wanted to redo our lounges aesthetic we could achieve this for a price of a cushion at other homeware stores. But what we soon found is that a good percentage of the stuff failed considerably.  What good is a shelf for plants when you water them and it swells with a drop of water that has come off a leaf?

Our garage was then a holding place for things we purchased 6 months ago. We were lucky enough to have friends and family that would take a few of the items but when we bought our Little Villa we decided that we would save in the long run by buying second-hand vintage furniture giving it some TLC, and it worked. If you’re into modern mixed with some old like us and shop glossy laminates and clean lines, you can achieve this by up-cycling or repainting (very easy – check out this post) .  Introducing some older pieces will give you that quality that Kmart lacks for sometimes less that the cheaper pieces at Kmart so we would recommend going with option (we learned our lesson). And the upside is that you then find after 6 months that you don’t want to rotate your pieces with the trends like you do with Kmart because you’re proud of them and they will last for many years to come.

Just the other day we decided that we would spend half the price on a peg board at Kmart than what I would have to spend making one.  Instantly we regretted it.  The particle boards were mouldy and wet and the pegs were so uneven in thickness, some couldn’t fit. I wish we just went without something that week to afford the materials to make one, we wanted one for all our sewing gear for our handmade bags at Mrs Swan so just decided to just go grab one.

We still talk

We still have some KMART furniture, a guest bedroom is a perfect place for Kmart side tables where they will get very little use so won’t damage fast, up close you can tell they are no DA Lewis, but it’s our first home so we can’t have it all. We have the odd Kmart ornament, the quality difference is very minimal between them and the higher affluent stores. Ornaments are also something that doesn’t get used so it won’t wear. We tend to not shop at Kmart with a basket anymore where you just walk in expecting to walk out with something haha (we used to take a trolley).

Consumers now days are very much in touch with the trends and want to keep their finger on the pulse. There are so many ways you can adhere to these without buying into the Kmart craze. Our blog is all about showing you how, so check out our posts and keep that garage free!

NB: This is our own opinion, as we said we still shop at Kmart and their styles are super trendy. We are all about a good upcycle and want to educate that sometimes (like in this case) for the same price of a cheap piece of furniture – you don’t have to have cheap quality. We were not paid or incentivised to write this post.

Go upcycling!!!

Painting an Edwardian washstand

Edwardian Washstand

The Edwardian period was a time where the dark hues of the Victorian times were replaced by a more cheerful colour pallet and design.

Georgias Dad bought this stunning Edwardian washstand a while back, complete with a solid marble top. Being raised by antique loving parents I was a little worried about painting this because I know what they would say… BUT furniture is about you and your home. We don’t stain our furniture because we like the natural look beside the white walls, some stain theirs a yellow tone, some stain them dark – it’s all down to preference.



The brief was “cream”

We’ve used many shades from many paint brands but the one I knew would be perfect for this was “aged white” by Newtons Chalk Finish Paints. This paint we find to be so much easier to apply. Because we are close to winter and I like to upcycle outside I had to paint with the gaps of sun so it took a while. I applied 4 coats of paint, the last of them a thin one.

If you’re going to take on a piece this big I would recommend painting in a heated garage so your coats can dry OR in the summer so you can paint outside.  I like to paint outside so I can see the colours naturally and how they work with the piece.

This was a time-consuming project but in theory, it’s pretty straight forward, here’s what I required:

  • Paint Brush 
  • Masking tape
  • Sandpaper

Newtons paints require little to no prep work so a light sand and I was on my way. Making sure the piece was well masked was important so the finishing came up really well. If you feel this paint is a little thick, which chalk paint can be – just add a little bit of water and shake it up, this works a treat.



As you can see the piece came up so well.  I really like the colour we went with, the chalk finish ties in so nicely with the character of the piece too.  If you’re into shabby chic, an alternative to sanding back the paint is using a product Newtons have called “Antiquing wax”. This way you can choose how far you go and buff off accordingly.

If you see one of these beauties around, pick it up! The marble top alone is worth the price and look how those tiles pop now!

How we restored a bookshelf

Painted Bookshelf

Displaying a group of objects in a home adds an area of interest where people naturally gravitate towards. In our lounge, we have applied the rule of thirds to our main wall.

The rule of thirds in design basically means that objects are visually more appealing in odd numbers.  We’ve applied this by having three stacked vintage suitcases to the left, our TV and sideboard in the middle and our newly upcycled shelving to the right.

The restored Bookshelf

We like to be bold with our furniture so we make sure it all aligns to a cohesive style that exists throughout our home. Our latest find was a home made Rimu bookshelf from a lovely couple that I would guess made it many years ago. I’m always glad when I pick up furniture because It’s a bit like a classic car where you know someone really enjoyed it back in the day and with a bit of TLC – it can be enjoyed for years to come.


Usually, with furniture, I have found it on TradeMe after putting hundreds of items on my watch list and making a last minute bid.  This was a different story, I knew what I wanted and I’ve spent months looking for it, so when I found it I flicked them a message and asked for a buy now!

Keeping the piece in-line with our recently upcycled sideboard with Loftmotif hairpin legs, I sanded it back with 80 grit and then 120 grit disks and painted it with black fence stain.  Now why I use fence stain for these pieces is because it dries fast and I like the streaky look so they are not “Jet black”. When the bookshelf was dry, I applied a coat of Newtons beeswax. If you’ve read our blog recently -you’ll know I love this product!! After an hour I buff it off with a microfibre cloth and prepped the wall.  Using wall plugs for GIB I made a template that aligned with the holes and marked it up level on the wall.

After a few minutes, it was easily installed and really secure because of the wall plugs I used.


Then for the fun part – styling!! We already had all the ornaments and plants from a KMART ladder shelf that was there before, but of course had to buy a new plant for the occasion… a drooping one too!!


We love our lounge, even more, it all works so well together and surprisingly we have a huge amount of floor space now!


  • Shelves $20.00
  • Wall plugs and screws $6.00
  • Plant $23.00

An up-cycled chair for my valentine

I’m all about a gift that has a purpose, last years valentines day I up-cycled an old Raleigh Twenty for Georgia and surprised her with a picnic. This year I wanted to do something similar but have whatever I did for the home.

I was looking on TradeMe as I do for vintage furniture to up-cycle and found this old 1960’s chair that was in need of some TLC  so hit buy now for $30.00.

It didn’t take much to restore this chair, some hard sanding, bit of undercoat and 3 coats of Dulux Duramax, gloss vivid white. It was easy to do this in the garage so she didn’t spot it (she never goes in there). I’ve been keeping an eye on the awesome homewares that EziBuy home has to offer so shot down to their store here in Christchurch to see what they had in stock. I was in luck!!!! They had a striped outdoor cushion to match our beanbags and a charcoal pom-pom throw.

I set the chair up before I left for work so she could see it when she got home before me. I added a movie voucher in the card and had some flowers delivered to her work, I think she was pretty happy haha.

1960s chairPainted mid century chair

Next time you’re in need of a gift, think outside the square and think of something that the receiver can use for years to come.  It’s so rewarding when you see that they genuinely love the gift considering the amount of time you put into it.

Getting to know Newtons Chalk Paint

Blue up-cycled dresser, Mooch style

We have been looking for the right piece to trial a new paint type that we’ve heard so much about but never used.

When the lovely Ali from Newtons Paints suggested we try their paints we, of course, took her up on this.  Shaydens Mum is into shabby chic and has used it in the past and raved about it so we had to try it out for ourselves.Chalk finish paint

Chalk Finish Paint

Chalk Finish Paint is a self-priming, user-friendly paint that traditionally provides the ability to create shabby chic or distressed looks. Chalk Finish Paint removes the usual preparation that is necessary when using acrylic paints, no sanding or priming needed! The paint is a water based paint and has very low VOC’s (volatile organic compounds) and is environmentally friendly.

Benefits of Newtons Chalk Finish Paint – in our opinion

  1. Covers more surface area and MUCH easier than others we have used
  2. Colour range is extensive
  3. They are eco-friendly 
  4. Clean up is a dream
  5. Has plenty of products that compliment the paint 

The up-cycle

We upcycled some drawers that were in a pretty tired state.  They functioned great but the varnish was terrible and had marks all over it. We started by sanding back the top and drawers to bare wood, leaving the sides as-is.  We then wiped the sides down with a steel pad to remove any dust. Giving the paint a really good shake for a few minutes mixed it together and then used a small-ish brush to apply the first coat.  Be generous but not too heavy on the coats and allow to dry for 1-2 hours. We applied 3 coats to the sides carefully cutting into the top so it didn’t bleed at all.  When the paint was dry we applied 2 coats of beeswax (also by Newtons) to the top of the paint and the bare wood.

Click on the pics below to see the before and after 

We had never done this before and DAMN it looks good and makes your hands feel nice too haha. You simply just lightly rub in motions with a sponge and then after say 30 mins – 1 hour you wipe off with a cloth.  The wax will protect the paint and wood from dings, dust and water.

For the handles, they looked really horrible so out of the blue decided to use cotton rope, a super simple alternative to metal handles (and cheap). You cut it a smidge longer than the length you want and tie knots either end after its thread through. This was inspired by our low-boy we completed last year.

The colour we used was Newtons Regal Blue, they have a great range but this blue caught my eye for this project. As you can see the Blue is brilliant and compliments the wood.

Our experience with this paint is 100% positive, next time you have a piece you want to do up – think of Newtons.

Total spent:

Dresser – $25.00

Newtons paint and beeswax (will do another 2 projects) – $40.00

A new life for a side board

Up cycled side board

They don’t make furniture like they used to. I think we have all purchased a bargain buy at Kmart or the warehouse, spent a few hours putting it together then soon realised there is a reason it is so cheap.

When I won this piece on TradeMe the lady told me that she was going to take it to the dump because it was rubbish, well I bloody showed her haha!


When I got this sideboard home it was obvious that it was a solid piece and in pretty good shape. I sanded it back and was confused as to what I could do to make this beauty look any good, the side panels were a different wood to the drawers which made it look terrible and it had a horrible veneer stripping on all the edges, it honestly looked like one of nanas patchwork quilts….. to my paint box I went!!

I noticed I had two cans of Dulux Duramax Tranquil Retreat and this would cover this piece easily! The top had a really nice woodgrain and the drawers matched so I decided to keep them natural as well as the backboard.

Once the shell was dry I went down to Mitre10 to get some fine grit disks for my sander to finish the wood, I was walking past the rope section and had a thought that a white rope handle would match the paint and wood perfectly, so I took some of that too!

Upcycled side board - moochstyle

What was once destined for the tip is now a piece that I don’t want to part with, unfortunately we have our quota of up-cycles so this will be off to a loving family haha.

We are loving getting creative with furniture.  New Zealand needs more up-cycled furniture in our homes,  We can’t wait to own our own home one day and fill it with our up-cycles (fingers crossed that’s this year)

Side Board styled in lounge

Rope handles for drawersBlonde wood furnitureUp cycled side board



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I have a good collection of Voodoo Molly Vintage paints and have been itching to use something from their amazing colour range on one of our projects. I spotted a mid century style side board online and thought “could this be my opportunity” I won the auction and went to collect our new sideboard, with a huge smile on my face the poor guy that took my money was probably thinking – what is this mad couple going to do with this side board?!!

Photo 1-05-16, 12 39 50 PM10 (1 of 1)

I’ll admit I get so excited when I pick up new pieces because they are generally beaten up old wrecks that are about to get a serious facelift and live to see another generation rather than a garage door and the odd bike.


Photo 1-05-16, 7 57 54 PM

Putting the side board up on my up-cycle table I was staring at it thinking what do I do with you, I had my Voodoo Molly Vintage paint swatch out trying to decide if I do some patterns or a few colours.  Then I realised that I had Cherry Bomb! Cherry Bomb is a stunning rich burgundy colour that I knew word tie in so well with the old wood and gold fittings.

So Cherry Bomb it was!  I sanded the veneer first so it had something to key in to and then gave it 3 coats with an hour in-between coats. Waiting a day I then gave it a wax coat which protects it from any knocks.

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This piece has had some really good feedback on social media so it just goes to show that sometimes simple solid colour is sometimes more effective that going crazy with the geo patterns and lines.

What I really liked about this piece was the handles, handles can sometimes be really horrible but when you buy pieces that are older than you are they generally were made with quality front of mind.

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What are your thoughts? Would love to know what you think of the red!

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Dresser with a twist

I have been wanting a new dresser for our bedroom but for the life of me couldn’t find one. I originally was thinking of spending $160 on a locker from Big Save because it was pretty cool and would fit in with our style but I knew that it wasn’t the best solution for my mountain of clothes that I was stacking in a bookshelf type setup.

If you are wanting a practical storage option always choose vintage, they are sturdier, have 100% more space inside the drawer cavities and come with aged charm that new pieces really lack plus they won’t fall apart after 6 months – they are 20+ years old already, they have already stood up to 2 generations of kids with markers and sharp objects to scratch their initials into them (I did that).


I payed $36.00 for it (was going to go to $60.00) I fell in love as soon as I put it in my car, it was an antique for sure! When I get my pieces home I put them on my up-cycling table outside and stand back and look at them and have a think about who I am up-cycling for, in this case it was me. Our bedroom has white furniture and I like to keep thing neutral for when we have a new house. This piece has a round shape on each drawer and some hideous old handles, but then I looked closer and noticed that the handles would actually be really nice if i lost the horrible plastic detail to them.  I decided I will sand it, have white drawers and silver (original) handles.

The twist…

Photo 30-03-16, 6 53 30 AM (1)

when taking the drawers out I noticed that the bottom one wasn’t actually a drawer but a cupboard – HOW COOL!!!! The chain was missing so I had to replace it, but such a cool place to put my shoes, boxing gloves or travel bags!

Hard work pays off

I chose Dulux Duramax USA Antique White.  I have used this colour before and its not as sterile as other whites and the paint is an up-cyclers dream to work with! I gave the drawers a light sand before taping off the edges, taking off the handles and then painting.

Photo 30-04-16, 1 33 38 PM

While they were all drying I sanded the shell of the dresser, this was the hard part. I use an orbital sander and I went through 6 disks of 80g sand paper.  I gave the dresser a REALLY good sand but left the edges of the dresser not 100% stripped back so it had a really cool aged look – I freaking love it.  I then went over with the finest sand paper disks and made it smoooooooth.

Tools for painting furniture


I left all the imperfections rather than filling them because they make the piece look like it’s had a life!

The fun part

Putting the drawers back in and handles on after you have cleaned them is so satisfying but you really have to let the paint harden before you do. As mentioned I use Dulux Duramax it hardens fast so I just went out for the arvo before I did this.


I chose a black flat chain after completely confusing the guy at mitre10 with what I wanted it for haha.

I never realised how fun oak is to style either, it has a really unique woodgrain and the colour is so nice.

1 (1 of 1)13 (1 of 1)11 (1 of 1)6 (1 of 1)Photo 30-03-16, 6 53 30 AM (1)To keep up to date with our projects you can follow us on the below:

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