Archive for the ‘ Bathroom & Laundry ’ Category

Tool Rack

So we have a million and one tools, nails, screws, drills, bits and bobs, all crammed into this one, very unattractive tool box- which, coincidentally, also was squashed by my husband motorbike in it’s first week in our home :/

I was constantly rummaging through dangerous spikes to try to find the most-used tools- so I decided to make a tool rack! It was super easy and I must say- now that it;s up we’ve already used it many times and it is so bright, colourful and neat that it makes me smile every time I see it!

Take a look through the steps below to make your own.


A quick video of my completed tool rack sitting pretty in the laundry:

First of ally evaluate your tools one by one and put aside anything you would like to have on hand. For me this was mainly different sorts of screws and hammers, but for others this might be an assortment of nails and screws, different paint brushes or pens and textas.

Next think about how you would like to arrange AND affix these different items to your board. For me this meant measuring out the space above the washing machine in the laundry where I was going to hang the board and laying down my tools in the order I thought I’d organise them in. Take a photo at this stage so that when you go ahead with drilling holes everything fits as it should.

At this stage I started thinking about how I was going to affix the tools. All of my tools would stay up from dowel pegs (either under the handle, or looped through the middle) but you might consider hooks to hold rubber bands, cups to hold smaller paint brushes or even mini drawers to hold screws etc.


I then took myself off the Bunnings to get a piece of MDMF cut to size, pick up a pot of salmon sample paint plus waterproofing vinyl spray, a packet of wooden dowel pegs, a bracket to affix to the wall and two door hinges to affix my board to the bracket (as well as screws and nuts).

I painted the whole thing in two thin coats of salmon paint with a sample pot rolling brush. I think a fun colour really pops in a boring space like a laundry and makes gritty tools look much more appealing. I then sprayed the whole front and back of the board in waterproofing vinyl as it is going to be in the laundry.

Once dry, I placed all of my tools out on the board, referencing my earlier photo, and marked the centre of the spots for the dowel pegs with pencil- use a ruler over the top of the tools where possible to make the corresponding spot level. I then drilled a shallow mark in each spot while the tools where still on the rack- just to make sure the dowel would sit snug enough to hold the tools, but not too snug so the tools couldn’t actually fit!

Then I removed all the tools, lifted the board up and drilled all the way through- I used a drill bit that was just a bit smaller than the dowel pegs. I then hammered each through with a rubber mallet, drilled the hinges on and popped it up on the wall! Couldn’t be happier with my new easy to access tools :)


Thanks for reading The Nookbook!

Life Instyle Trends

On the weekend I decided to go down to Melbourne for Life Instyle- Australia’s only boutique trade event showcasing emerging trends, brands and products that are on the cooler side of style and design. I knew I would see some beautiful, inspirational design- add to that the promise of seeing a beloved friend living in Melbourne (who I don’t get to see anywhere near enough)- and I’d booked a ticket!

The offering at Life Instyle this round was phenomenal- lots of really interesting designs, styled beautifully in the gorgeous Royal Exhibition Hall. The event is mostly for makers and designers from around Australia to exhibit their wares to distributors and media in the hopes of being stocked at stores and covered.



This year there were also fantastic talks from design and media industry professionals on trends, social media and e-retailing- all really interesting to me!

The main themes that I pulled from trends talks is that style is really reflecting a ‘living’ concept. Genty Marshall, from New Black, is an internationally recognized Design Futurist that presented at Life Instyle. I found this take really interesting- that we don’t follow trends- trends follow us. For example, with the overload of information that we have coming at us every day in the digital age- Genty is observing an international trend towards nature and chilling out- getting back to the human, hand-touched and real experience. This combined with our current environmental conscience is creating a powerful force in design!


How does this then translate? Well I guess that’s up to the designers to interpret and us to adopt. I did notice some key things that fit this trend though so I thought I’d run through them- natural, animals and brights. Have a look at some of the best bits I saw (below) and let me know what you think- do you identify with the need to ‘switch off’ and crave things that reconnect you with real life?



Thanks for reading The Nookbook!

Life Instyle Trend: Natural

It’s all about luxurious, natural touches- shown best by Caravanserai‘s display of items:






This rolling pin is a kitchen queen’s dream! Definitely on my wish list.

There were some beautiful, natural displays, such as this by Water Tiger


Or this part of the daily live styling event by Greenhouse Interiors:



This clever dome housed Telegram Open House- creating intimacy in a large space. The clever folks at Thinkers & Makers Society created the vision (more about them at the end).




I desperately wanted this medium size mango wood cheese board- so beautiful! But as it was a sample they wouldn’t sell it to me :( Ah…the one that got away!

The luxury and natural trend may feature in bathroom spaces- but it was definitely flowing through to laundry and cleaning as well! The Cooking Company displayed my favourite of many luxury cleaning ranges- The Laundress. The Funkis stall (not pictured) also had an extensive range of beautifully designed wooden brushes- I wanted all of them!


I purchased the ingenious sweater comb (for removing pilling) and three gorgeous, fresh laundry-scented candles.


These ship-motif clouds by Pili Pala Pieces would look perfect in my husband’s den (which doesn’t exist yet… :( so I couldn’t allow myself to buy them)


Sustainable Stubbies, brainchild of glass sculptor Ruth Allen, up-cycles bottles in to design items- such as these gorgeous pendant lights. Imagine a bar highlighted with a hanging bottle light installation!


Super-fun and festive, creators Dick & Dora created these over-scale wooden Christmas baubles and bunting as shop displays- but when the enquiries started pouring in they decided to manufacture them for retail sale! How glamorous to feature a string of baubles along the wallway instead of the traditional tinsel or miniature decorations. More from them in the animals section below.


The Thinkers & Makers Society is a grouping of trade professionals who combine forces to create exceptional installations- such as this ‘Australian Made Stall’ and the dome above. They also do spectacular shop fit-outs.


These moss balls were so imaginative and ethereal. I love this concept! More of these in the Brights trends report below.




Thanks for reading The Nookbook!

Mother’s Day DIY Crochet Soap Dish

Mother’s Day is this Sunday 12th! Not sure what to get for mum? This DIY crochet soap dish is a simple, yet stylish gift that’s super easy to make at home.

My parents recently completed a bathroom renovation that they’ve been planning for at least the sat 10 years. The new bathroom is absolutely my Mother’s pride and joy so I wanted to make her something that she could use in her new bathroom.

Decorative crochet ceramic and clay dishes have been on the market for a while now. I love the look and wanted to try recreating it myself at home. I ended up making a dish for mum and a bowl for me.

You could make something like this for your mum (kids will love playing with the clay!) or even better- send a link to this page to hubby and get him to do a crafternoon with the kids tomorrow while you head out for a coffee with the girls!
Have a beautiful Mother’s Day!


I also made my shell-obsessed mum a shell gift tag!

You will need:

  • Cling wrap
  • Air-dry clay
  • A crochet doily
  • A plate or bowl to model from
  • Small paintbrush
  • Sample pot of white, acrylic paint or clear glaze


Prepare the work bench area- maybe out down a piece of cardboard or newspaper. Cover the plate with cling wrap. Cut a slab from the air dry clay and gently push it out with your fingers to evenly spread over the plate.

Once you have a thin disk, push down gently with the heal of your palm to create an even surface. Place the crochet doily on the clay disk and push down firmly- first with fingers and then with your palm.

Cut around the plate and smooth clay edges using a stroking motion with your finger. Allow clay to rest for five minutes before peeling the crochet back- wash doily with soap immediately to remove residue.

Put the clay dish into a warm oven to ‘proof’ (aprox. 50C) for 30 minutes to an hour (depending on size and thickness of piece). You may need to flip the piece to dry the bottom. Remove piece from oven and allow to cool in open-air overnight.

Paint or glaze the piece taking care to cover all of the ridges and edges. Allow to dry and paint the bottom. You may like to do several coats to ensure it will remain waterproof.

Thanks for reading The Nookbook.

Sydney Home Show Extravaganza!!

On Friday 14th May I went to the HIA Home Ideas Expo at Darling Harbour Exhibition Centre.

Sorry that I have written this up a bit late, there is no excuse, I have just been super busy! I was hoping to have this post up just after the event, but as it only comes around once a year, I thought you would still be interested to hear about it. The  extravaganza spanned over 4 of the giant expo halls and ran for four days to allow all Nook creators to find a time to head in.

I have never been to something like this and I don’t think I have ever been so enthralled! I spent at least 6 hours wandering around the exhibition stands, listening to guests speakers and taking part in workshops; soaking up as much as I could. There were a few standard exhibitors, solar heating companies and electricity providers that didn’t really get my pulse racing, but a few exhibitors really went above and beyond to impress.

I walked into that entrance not knowing what to expect and quickly became completely overwhelmed with options. After arming myself with an exhibitors guide I marked out the highlights of the expo and planned out a route to ensure I didn’t miss anything.

Stylist’s displays

The most amazing thing about the expo was that there were rows of stylist’s display rooms next to the main stage, showcasing how all of the exhibitors wares could be brought together to make a truly unique space.

Of course, not all of the rooms appealed to my taste. Some seemed very cold, others too messy…two things that I have learnt do not appeal to me in the slightest! So I’ve only got pictures of the ones I liked :D

The first room that I loved had a very bohemian feel to it, juxtaposing just beautifully with a classic base. I love it when two such seemingly different styles come together with such harmony, one highlighting the others unique qualities.

Some of the displays were absolutely crazy!


Just as I was feeling the need for a pit stop an announcement came over the PA that a few spots were still available in a Personal Style Discovery workshop that guests had registered for online. So I headed upstairs as quickly as I could to ensure I didn’t miss this great opportunity. I’m going to go through the workshop in a different post because there is just too much to cover here!

Workshop info here (coming soon).

My mother is obsessed with sea related decorating. Our house is covered in sea shells. Generally I tend to revolt against anything sea related; I find it gaudy and dated. However, wandering past Alfresco Emporium‘s beautifully displayed stall I found myself feeling relaxed.

Their style seems beachy but relaxed. Not the forced kind of relaxed that beach style usually projects. I am discovering that I am very much attracted to things that look a bit ‘loved’ and the mix of relaxed beach chic with shabby chic made Alfresco Emporium‘s items very appealing to me. This just shows me that design is not so clean cut that I could completely dismiss a particular theme.

Besides, I am from Cronulla. I am pretty sure that there is sea water in my blood :p

My (not so) secret Achilles heel is glassware. I’m not sure why, but I lose all sense of place and purpose when I spy a beautifully hand blown piece of glassware. My absolute affordable favourite is Kosta Boda. I already have plans for one of the larger orange toned speckled vases to be at the top of my wedding registry list ;) So when I spied this lovely work by Ssali Glassware I just had to get a closer look.

Best of all I picked up some great ideas for the home. Puzzle pieces that, in hind-sight, seem to fit together to create a style sense that is uniquely ‘classic vs shabby chic’. So I guess that’s my style!

The HIA Home Ideas Expo is definitely going down as the best Home and Lifestyle event I have attended this year. By all means, I hope something will outshine the expo, but really, I doubt another event could! I will definitely be going next year. It’s on the calendar.

Ps. I promise to be much more diligent with my posts from now on! I have HEAPS of material to put up, so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading The Nookbook