Wednesday, 21 March 2012

The decorator touch ...

Well, not quite a decorator's touch but I thought it was about time we did something to the front entry hall so I wouldn't have to stare at the blank wall every time I walked in.

Peter and the boys gave me a lovely wrought iron look candle holder for Christmas 2010 which I always had full intentions of putting up in pride of place somewhere in the new house.

The original plan for the front hall was a very big family portrait taken outside in some sort of natural setting with everyone in jeans and T-shirts but as we don't seem to be a very photogenic family (in other words, I hate photos of me and include everyone else in that to make myself feel better!), we decide to put the candle holder up instead.

First, I taped off an area on the wall using painter's tape to see how big of an area it would need and to see whether I actually liked it in that particular spot.

Then it was off to Bunnings to try and decide on a paint colour for the background.  I was leaning towards a green or blue, but Peter reckoned we already had enough of both of those and wanted a bright yellow.  This was the compromise:

A textured paint called toffee... can't remember the brand .. think it's Walpamur. (I still think it looks like baby poo yellow but I'm getting used to it).

I had originally wanted a giant picture frame with the glass removed to be attached to the wall to 'frame' the candle holder but it was very difficult to find one big enough that had the right dimensions.  We ended up buying some moulding from Bunnings, painting it matt black and just nailing it to the wall.

This is probably the truest version of the colour .. my photography/white balance skills aren't good at all.  The whole thing turned out pretty well thanks to my darling hubby's handy skills (and my patching abilities ... sssh!!)

 The background colour may change.  I promised I would give it a while to get used to it but we'll see ... stay tuned!

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Woohoo .. we have air con!!

Thanks to my darling mum, we now have ducted reverse cycle air conditioning through the whole house.

After a lot of investigation, I gave Peter a couple of different options and togeether we decided on a system that had the ability to set and maintain a different temperature in each room.  It was advetised as having 'no dump zone' which was a big selling point for me as it meant that there wouldn't be a zone that was on constantly even when not required.

The ceiling vents are the same as those used for evaporative air con which surprised me as I thought refrigerative air con needed different outlets.  Turns out it doesn't .. learn something new all the time.

The compressor unit was put outside our ensuite window to avoid any of the other bedrooms having to put up with the noise.  It's not actually very noisy but we weren't sure and thought better safe than listening to the whingeing!

It's been in for a couple of weeks now and it works well.  I'm a bit scared of what the power bills will be like but we'll just have to wait and see.  Can't be worse than the first one ... $900+!!

Overall I'd say we're happy with it as it doesn't matter if it's humid or just hot, unlike evaporative which only works well in hot, dry weather.

One of the only things I'm not happy with is that I like to feel a breeze .. it makes me feel cooler .. and this system doesn't push that much air through to make a breeze.  It just feels cooler in the room which you notice when you first walk in but after a while, I find I have to turn a fan on to get the air circulating.

The other thing is that although the system was advertised as having 'no dump zone', it actually does have one but they have just called it soemthing different .. pressure relief or something like that.  What that means is that the boys's hallway, which never gets hot due to having no direct sunlight and being on the south side of the house, now gets all the 'excess air' produced when the system is trying to cool any other area.  This makes it colder than the rest of the house with the boys' rooms being even colder than they should be. 

I'm going to try to get the dump zone moved to the front hallway, where it would be better placed but I don't know if they can move it that far from the main unit in the ceiling space and then we'd have to patch the ceiling as well.

On the positive side, at least we have air con!!