16 July 2013 Multi - Colour Fun

Introducing new Casablanca Multi-Colour. The elegant Moorish Inspired design is now available to mix and match with a palette of 28 shades. Customising to suit your tastes and interiors, and a fun and easy way to add colour and spunk to your home.

Choose between 4 or 5 different colours for your Casablanca and create striking compositions for each unique setting. Custom made as a rug or runner, this traditional pattern is instantly modernised with graphic colour.

Contact for more information.

13 June 2013 Double R Studios releases new collection


The Collection features 5 new designs; Floriana, Hellena, Valetta, Calypso, Bellus.

Floriana - Ionian Sea
Available in 3 colourways
Hellena - Azure
Available in 3 colourways
Valetta - Brilliant Sea Available in 3 colourways
Valetta - Brilliant Sea
Available in 3 colourways
Calypso - Amethyst Available in 3 colourways
Calypso - Amethyst
Available in 3 colourways
Bellus - Olive Available in 3 colourways
Bellus - Olive
Available in 3 colourways

Please enquire at The Yellow Room for samples and details.

13 June 2013 Inside Job

With the house  now mostly watertight, we can start working to make the interiors more of what we expect them to look like....liveable.

During this stage the following works will be taking place:

  • Install Insulation This includes both roof and wall insulation. Although the wall insulation will be installed before dry walling the ceiling insulation may be installed following ceiling board installation.
  • Plasterboard installation This will include ceiling boards, wall boards and cornices (if any).
  • Air conditioning / Ducted Heating If a large main unit is mounted in the roof space it may be installed before the ceiling boards are in place. The ductwork will follow ceiling installation.

However, before plastering and/or rendering commence on the inside walls,  all services that are to be roughed in or fitted prior to walls and ceilings being finished. These include plumbing, wiring, a/c, sound system and wiring, security and intercom. Its a busy and stressful few weeks on site for me with the contractors working out exact positioning for plumbing, i.e. exact position on basins, taps, toilets etc. And then busy with the electrician marking out the exact positioning of power points, switches and also deciding on 2 sway switches, dimmers how many and where, which switch will turn on which light,  so on and so forth. This for me is the most mundane of tasks. It requires hours on site with the pressure of not just making the decision quickly but they are really important decisions and can make all the difference between making a room work well or making mistakes that will be a cause for endless frustration on a daily basis.

Boys Bathroom Ensuite Bathroom

All decisions on bathroom PC's including toilets, basins, tapware need to have been made prior to this time as the plumber will need exact specifications to ensure the right allowances are made. Also with the lighting, the electrician will need a very detailed lighting and power plan as well as specifications of all electrics including all lights, heated towel rails, underfloor heating, fan, exhausts, kitchen appliances etc.

The workers are all 'chasing each other' to finish so they can start. Its a time and labour consuming job for the trades as they all feel the pressure of carrying out the works with good pace while ensuring all particulars are carried out to the clients/home owners instructions.

This is also the time when other fixtures need to be decided on and signed off to allow enough production or manufacturing time to fit in with the construction time line. For instance, the kitchen and joinery designs need to be locked in and finishes chosen. We need to allow time for the materials to be ordered plus the manufacturing time. This particular home will require custom joinery throughout, from everything from the kitchen, entertaining  units, study, wardrobes, linen cabinetry, vanities and mirrored shaving cabinets. I have been given a 6-8 week time lead time. Fingers crossed we will be ready to install once they are ready.

With the internal staircase, the design and finish need to be finalised so that manufacturing can take place. Up to this point the access to the 2nd floor has been via a ladder through the scaffolding. The staircase will be fitted with temporary treads and will enable the trades and contractors to have better and easier access across all floors. For the staircase, the design includes a black steel and timber open riser stair. We have been given a 3 week lead time for work to commence on site.

Next on the list are the following, which I look forward to covering in the next blog entry...:)

  • Waterproofing Wet Areas This is applied to floors and walls before tiling
  • Carpentry – First Fix This sees the kitchen cupboards and bathroom vanities installed. Doors, drawers, and counter tops are often left off at this stage. Skirting boards and architraves and internal window sills are also installed.
  • Main Plumbing Fixtures Baths, basins, sinks shower trays and laundry troughs are installed and connected to the drainage system. Taps, mixers and toilet bowls are usually left off until after tiling.
  • Tiling Both wall and floor tiling are normally completed at this stage.

Happy reading


26 January 2013 Lock Up...

A house is to "lock up" when the frame and trusses have been completed, the exterior walls are up, windows and doors are fitted and roof has been completed. Literally when you can lock the house up and no-one can enter from any given point i.e. through the roof, windows or doorways.

With the preparation of the 2nd floor slab underway, the countdown to lock us is around the corner. Lock up is a major phase in construction for the pure reason of being able to get to a stage where weather will no longer be a big issue prone to delay a construction and therefore affect holding costs and overall budget. The house structure, preliminary plumbing and electrical work completed and other major structural works completed. The focus will then turn to interior finishes as well as external treatments like render, paint and landscaping etc.



With the formwork complete, the concreters arrive to pour the second slab. In the next couple of days with the good fortune of good weather the bricklayers can commence.


On the 2nd level we have 4 bedroomsooms and 3bathrooms. The 2nd floor aslo has the most commanding views.


I personally like having all the family sleeping on the one level. But sometimes depending on the house, the land and the families’ requirements it also works well having a wing or separate zone for kids and separate zone for adults. This works best when you have a lot ofland and you can build on just one level. Sometimes, especially if the kids are older (teenagers) they may require more flexibility with their movements and study patterns and it may work better in this case to have there bedroom positioned on another level maybe with their own access in and out of the house. Bearing in mind always the view to appeal to the broadest market, having the bedrooms together on one level is assumed the most desirable especially given this particular demographic being young to growing families. For this reason when renovating, knowing your buyer is crucial.

Again, the bricklayers start with the external skin and work there way around. They work off the plans they have been given, however adjustments are often made with door opening sizes and direction, positioning and size of laundry shoots and internal layouts especially once the bricks start going up. As its only when you can physically see it in reality that all the potential errors become clear. Hence, why its so important that daily if not twice daily site visits are made during this time.

The weather is good to us and we progress quickly. The windows and doors chosen for this project are commercial grade aluminium in a powder coated black finish. A commercial grade system was chosen over a standard residential not only for aesthetic reasons, but given the position of the house and its exposure to southerly breezes and strong winds, the windows and doors are large spanning and need to be made of stronger and thicker sections. During this time, as the bricklaying of the 2nd and final floor near completion the window company will come and do their site measure to get manufacturing started. The windows were quoted and materials ordered off the architectural plans. The site measure will ensure that all the dimensions and specifications are correct. This is also the final opportunity to ensure all the window types selected are correct, for instance the direction the windows and doors are to open and the style of window/door for each room. The time given to manufacture and start installation of windows and doors is 3 weeks from date of site measure.

Once the 2nd floor brickwork is complete, the carpenters are called in to start on the roof timbers. The roof design for this house is a conventional clip lock colourbond flat roof. Given height restrictions especially in an area where views and protection of outlooks are important a flat roof with a very slight 3 degree pitch was designed.

During this time, the skylights for the 2 storey void are installed as well as the skylight in the ensuite. Considerable time was given to the design of the skylight roof for the massive void area. Everything from a custom made glass roof to a retractable sky roof were considered. However, it is decided due to practicality, budget and also for its ventilation qualities that 6 Velux skylights are installed side by side spanning the entire opening. This will not only be a great focal point as you enter the house but also something that will bring much needed light to all 3 levels.

Soon enough the windows installation begins. This is a big job that will take up to 2-3 weeks to finish. During this time the roofer starts to install the colourbond sheeting and the carpenter upon completion finishes the construction of the eaves.


The house takes shape and the scale of the development is now evident from the street.


With the house at lockup apart from some finishing touches like the installation of the gutters etc…we are essentially now looking at getting started on the finishes. The scaffolding will stay up for the renderers and painters. And we still have the construction of the garage and retaining walls in the front.


Please keep following the blog and stay in tune with all the fun stuff still to come.


Love TinaC

01 November 2012 Now it flies....

It took so long to get out of the ground, but once construction has started its hard to slow the boys down. From week to week the changes are jaw dropping.

The pouring of the concrete for our first floor which includes the kitchen and living areas, level with the rear yard is a big one and probably the most exciting stage of this development so far. The concrete spans all the way from the front balconies, vertical columns down to the ground floor, the living areas, all the way to the rear courtyard.

The concrete is pumped into the prepared formwork and steel reinforcement. The pour is complete in a couple of hours and the boys work fast and hard to even out the concrete, removing air pockets before the concrete starts drying. Within a few hours it will be ready to walk on. After years of planning, and all the preparation to this point, it is indeed a tremendous feeling to walk across the floor of what will be the most used area of the whole house.

But theres no time to rest. Scafolding is erected on the slab to which will be used from now until almost the end of construction to assist the bricklayers, roofers, carpenters, renderers and painters to carry out their work until the finish. The bricks have been craned up to the site and the bricklayers are on site within days to start bricking the external and internal walls. Given we are building in double brick we are only dealing with the one trade at this point, and therefore the job flies.

Now you really get the chance to start feeling the spaces and the way they work. The window heights and sizes become apparent, as well as doorways and room sizes.

Within 4 weeks, the form workers are back to start preparing for the 2nd floor and final slab. With a job as involved as this, planning is the key. Planning for the trades to be working on different parts of the site while not stepping on each others toes allows for an efficient worksite.

Planning ahead, the cabana and stairs to the rear are also formed up whilst the bricks are work to allow these areas to be concreted at the same time as the 2nd floor slab.


Keep your eye our for the final pour...:)
I hope you're enjoying my blog...and Id love to hear your feedback.

Love TinaCx

03 September 2012 The House Construction - Ground Up
From this...

To this....

The Construction of the house itself starts with the construction of the garage and we work our way up. The garage walls as per above are constructed with the use of concrete blocks which are reinforced with steel bars filled with concrete. The choice to use these blocks rather than standard bricks is due to their structural integrity. Given the site is ready and prepared, the bricklayers take no time in getting the house off the ground. Once the garage is built the scaffolding is brought in so that the bricklayers can start on the ground floor. The main house will be constructed from full brick and what this means the walls are made from bricks set in mortar and they provide the full wall with no steel or wood structure to help hold the building up. Unlike brick veneer which usually means a wood or steel framed structure with a outside covering of brick set in mortar. The reason I have chosen with a full brick construction is due to its several advantages in addition to weatherproofing, heat and property value. It is fireproof, termite resistant and energy efficient. In addiction brick is incredibly stable and requires no maintenance. Given the site and the foundations of the house are rock (sandstone) concrete footings do not need to be poured. The bricks are layed directly on the rock. The walls go up fast.

With the brickwork almost complete the plumber is called on site to mark out and set all the plumbing that will need to penetrate throughout the concrete slab. This means that the plumbing for toilets, drains, grates, water etc need to be set in place and in order to do that the specifications for the toilets and the plumbing for the chosen basins and positions and layout need to be determined. Once the plumber has put these in place and the concrete is poured, you are stuck with these choices. So even so early on in the build the fixtures such as toilets, basins need to be selected. Once the walls are up and the concrete is poured, the ground floor takes shape.

The Brickwork continues throughout the site from the construction of planter boxes to the construction of subfloor areas, and we prepare ourselves for the biggest concrete pour this construction will see.

Until the next blog,


27 August 2012 Exclusive Wallpaper Debut

The Yellow Room is so thrilled to launch a brand new collection of wallpapers, Juju Papers. On a trip to New York, I came across this unique  collection and I just had to bring it to Australia. Juju papers is exclusive to The Yellow Room, and Im happy to say that prices are not crazy expensive and delivery is available as soon as 2 weeks.


I love the simplicity yet elegant designs and the subtle  use of colour is particularly endearing. I have specified the use of these designs for various applications, and it has been particularly popular in nurseries, kids bedrooms, bathrooms and living rooms. I think you’d agree they’re totally gorgeous.


More about Juju from Juju…:)

JUJU is a small wallpaper studio located in beautiful Portland, Oregon. Founded by Avery Thatcher in 2010, we have taken great care to develop a line of wallpapers that are beautifully crafted, and that have as light of an impact on our natural environment as possible. Every roll is printed by hand, is untrimmed, and in most cases has been made to order. We print with water based inks on creamy, durable, sustainably harvested paper. Primarily inspired by folk art of all kinds, our designs suggest the simplicity of an elegant old-fashioned signature, or the impossibly perfect collection of driftwood and sea glass on the shore.

The word juju means ascribing magical powers to inanimate objects, most commonly objects in one’s home. Everyone has a bit of this in their lives – the coffee mug that you love to reach for every morning, the wool sweater that you can’t seem to get rid of even though you long ago lost the privilege of wearing it in public, the toddler’s beloved blanket. They are all touched with a bit of our own personal magic. The word juju has it roots in West African traditional religions, and was made known to the world as Joujou by French colonials. Avery went to a few juju houses in West Africa fifteen years ago, and when the time came to name her company, she found that she had the word at her fingertips to describe the feeling that she had about the product that she had been developing over the last five years. Good juju.

Juju Papers bring a fresh, not over-wrought or over-thought, gesture to the room. Jujupapers express sanguine richness – a kind of richness that is defined by good company, conversation, laughter, and love.

Bring some good Juju into your home with our spirited prints.

Give us a call at The Yellow Room to see samples.

498C Miller St Cammeray NSW 2062



Looking forward to unveiling more soon.

Love TinaCx

12 March 2012 Demolition
Once the site has been cleared and the trucks are able to get access onsite, the demolition begins.

With a project of this nature, and the fact that the renovation entails that we work with the existing walls, most of the demolition needs to be done by hand.  Essentially we are taking the building apart while carefully preserving parts of it.  To ensure we do this correctly we are unable to use machinery like excavators or bulldozers for most of it therefore the task is labour intensive and time consuming.

Before demolition activities take place, there are some crucial steps that need need to be followed, including developing a work plan to include the identification and assessment of hazards and the control measures to be implemented to address these hazards. To check for and assess whether the building or structures have any traces of asbestos. Qualified asbestos abatement inspectors can help locate suspect materials and indicate whether you do in fact have asbestos in your home. Asbestos needs to be treated with caution and disposed of correctly by certified contractors and therefore the costs of demolition will be higher. Fortunately enough there are no signs of asbestos in this house.

Once all the safety measures are put into place, the demoltion of the house begins by stripping down internal walls and ceilings.

Windows and doors are pulled out, kitchen and bathrooms fittings removed and the roof tiles and trusses removed. The house is stripped down in layers.
Before you know it, the house is merely a shell.

In my next blog I'll be posting some dramatic before and after photos which will really illustrate the massive transformation from what was a very modest home to nothing but the shell of what is to become a luxury, contemporary residence.
I look forward to sharing more soon.
02 February 2012 Work STARTS Now!

With the  Stage 1 Construction Certificate for demolition and excavation at hand, and the boys ready we are ready for the excavation to begin.

Before we start the following needs to be done;

  • All services such as power, water, gas etc need to be disconnected and fixed off.
  • Stormwater and sewer drains will need to be sealed as well.
  • Adjoining properties need to be protected.
  • The site must be fenced or suitably barricaded to prevent public access during the construction process.

In addition, Council requires that a temporary electrical sub-station and toilet facilities be established on-site before construction commences.

Because of the sloping block and to ensure we stop earth falling onto the road or into drains and waterways we need to use a combination of sand bags and fencing for sediment control.

Before the excavator can start, the builder with the surveyor pegs out the dwelling footprint from the design drawings. They start at a boundary corner, peg a corner of the building, then lay a string line to describe the perimeter of construction. If the building has walls that step in and out each wall and its change in direction will need to be located on the site.

The plan is to excavate the garage and clear out the front to create a level, clean area to work and establish foundations in the excavation area and to give us better site access for the trucks and equipment for the demolition (phase 2). On any construction, excavation is the first stage and crucial to the success of a project.

Excavation and difficult sites are a common concern for many home renovators and developers as it’s well known that excavation projects can easily spiral out of control when it comes to finances with unexpected costs cropping up at every turn. You need to prepare yourself and research your excavation project before you commence in order to make yourself fully aware of what is involved. One of the first things to consider is where your excavation project is located and what kind of land it is located on. Basically the price of an excavation job will be greatly affected by what  material is being excavated with certain materials costing more to move than others. Another aspect of excavation projects that can easily cost a fortune are the removal costs for the excavated material.

In this case our site primarily consists of sandstone. To some that might seem daunting however sandstone is not too difficult to cut unlike other types of harder rock, however the removal costs can be quite expensive. A great way to save is by re-using the sandstone in other parts of the construction, like for retaining walls, footings and foundations.

Most excavation quotes are calculated by measuring the area to be excavated in cubic metres or tonnes, by the hour or in some instances it is actually possible to get a fixed price for excavation and  removal which we have been fortunate to receive.  By allowing us to have a fixed price it gives us much better control of our budget and also the allocation of funds. Especially so early on in the project, it’s essential we have a strong grip on costs and try to keep unexpected expenses to a minimum.

Once they begin its amazing how quickly the look of the site changes.

Firstly all the loose rocks and gardens are cleared. Once that is done, more invasive machinery are used for the rock cutting.

With the use of a rock saw, which are great for bulk sandstone excavations, we are able to cut through the rock at a greater rate with less force required by the excavator. A rock saw as opposed to hammering will also significantly reduce any potential damage to adjoining buildings.

After a couple of weeks, the change is remarkable.



With the excavation complete at the front of the site, its time to start the house demolition.
I look forward to uncovering more next time.
With Love, TinaC
26 January 2012 About Tina C

Based on the Lower North Shore, tina has over 7 years experience with design, renovation & construction. From concept through planning to completion with a passion for real estate, tina understands the importace of practicality in design.

Design not just to appeal aesthetically, but to work with your lifestyle, needs and budget.