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Outdoor Spaces

It’s an exciting day here today at The Petersen’s home. Recently we heard about an amazing new product by White Knight called White Knight Ultra Pave. Word on the street (well among all the YouTubers and tradies we spoke to) was that the concrete covers easily (in two coats) and is very resistant to damage. My hubby Richard Petersen (a master painter who works on millionaire homes) was sceptical. He’s used most products on the market and he didn’t believe there could be a product he didn’t know about that could be that good.

So these were my 10 goals for this project:

  1. Put this ‘amazing’ product (White Knight Ultra Pave) to the test on our dirty old shed floor
  2. Launch our new website ‘Room Reveal’ showcasing our six year renovation project, the savings we made (over $70k) and much more.
  3. Transform the shed for a budget of just $200 (because well… you know I’m always on a budget)
  4. Get the kids off digital for an entire weekend & get them working
  5. Clear all the clutter we’ve accumulated from living in a home with so many rooms (when we declutter the house it ends up in Richard’s shed!)
  6. Clear out the shed and create a space for the kids to ride their scooters in if they want
  7. Create a man cave for Richard to enjoy a beer with his mates
  8. Include a nice and comfy space for Richard and I to enjoy a few Friday night wines and a natter that isn’t too blokey
  9. Get a bit of exercise and lose a bit of weight lifting and lugging stuff around all weekend
  10. Get it done within one entire weekend starting Friday night

These are the exact steps we took to get this job done:

Step 1: Take a Before Shot

I do this alot – even when I’m cleaning. Why? Because it is motivating. I love the warm-and-fuzzy satisfaction of looking at a before-and-after kitchen, bathroom or living room. We’ve taken it up a notch for this story because we filmed the entire process and it is so fun to watch this transformation in video format.

This was the shed before the transformation (poor Richard):

Step 2: Create a Plan

Never execute any project without a plan. If you read my blog you know I can save you up to $600 on groceries a month by using a simple plan. The same goes for renovating. If you don’t plan your project well and create a budget like my $200 goal you will absolutely overspend.

Tip: Try to use FREE tools for creating your plan. I used a free tool called Room Sketcher – which I find easy to use. I have also used this tool to draw up our entire renovation. Otherwise, just google ‘modern shed or garage’ to find an image of the look and feel you are after (note: see palettes next to include colour in your search).

This is the plan I created. Make sure you make the plan ‘fluid’ as it may change depending on what you find at Op Shops and so forth.

These are the simple drawings I created at RoomSketcher:

Step 3: Pick a Palette

I wasn’t sure I could get the pool table for FREE on Facebook Marketplace – but this was our fluid plan and starting point.

I learnt this little trick from creating websites. It is important to pick a palette for a room. You can use any palette that takes your fancy but I recommend picking just three colours for the shed. Two neutral colours and one colour to make the whole room pop. My choices were charcoal, silver/grey (the Taubman’s tint we chose for the White Knight Ultra Pave Paint) and finally yellow. I just like yellow. It’s a colour that makes me happy and other people happy, I feel. Our style is a mix of what we call ‘Club’ and we also love Scandinavian style. So we like to add a little wooden feel to our ‘Club’ look. Wood always makes a room look natural and not so clinical. This worked well in our makeover, because Richard had a heap of old school signs (he’s an ex-signwriter) and retro wooden pieces (like his old signwriter box) that fitted well with this choice.

Here’s a palette I found online and what they look like. I just omitted the blue but we might add it in at a later stage. I thought it looked pretty blokey too but still had the female touch I wanted for when I visit the shed.

It is so much easier to work to a palette than not to!

Step 4: Stocktake Your Home

As you know I am massively into reducing, reusing (repurposing) and recycling just about everything. This world has a huge rubbish problem and I want to leave the planet better than I found it for my kids to enjoy. There is a win-win in doing this too. You will save hundreds of dollars in the process. I highly recommend taking the eco-smart shed makeover path for these reasons.

There are plenty of FREE home inventory apps out there where you can also add images. I downloaded an APP called exactly that ‘Home Inventory.’ You can use it to wander around your home, take photos of items and then put then in categories.

I created a category called ‘Richard’s Shed’ and then walked around my home finding items that could fit into the ‘fluid’ plan we made.

Here’s a list of items around the home that we could repurpose:

We found 15 items we could repurpose (and hence FREE in terms of our $200 budget).

They’re listed below with the reasons we wanted to repurpose them:

  • Brown Chairs that were cluttering the house
  • Yellow chairs from Kmart that were cluttering our deck up
  • YEAH Picture that was lying around (not-in-use)
  • Black and white picture we from inside that looked better in the shed
  • Silver ladders, fans and other silver gear to match the floor
  • Yellow items in the shed to ‘act’ as style items to match the palette
  • Old JBL speakers we had in storage
  • Plants brought from outside in
  • Coffee tables, candle holder and fake plants getting lost inside the house
  • Richard’s old signwriter’s box, old suitcase, our existing pizza oven & homemade stand
  • Yellow tools and neutral coloured toolboxes matching our simple palette
  • Kids skateboards, large ladders
  • Yellow hoses and sponges to place on hooks
  • Macrame hanging plant bowl to match the brown chairs
  • Yellow cushions from inside the house – we had way too many inside

Step 4: Source Gear

Now that you know what you’ve got, the next step is to list and shop for gear you need to purchase.

As you know I am massively into reducing, reusing (repurposing) and recycling just about everything. This world has a huge rubbish problem and I want to leave the planet better than I found it for my kids to enjoy. There is a win-win in doing this too. You will save hundreds of dollars in the process. I highly recommend taking the eco-smart shed makeover path for these reasons.

In hindsight, the most vital part of this room makeover being a success was the White Knight Ultra Pave paint (Etcher – an acid you apply, wash off after surface) we wanted to try for this experiment. The reason is that it totally transformed the shed floor and refreshed not only the concrete itself but also the entire look and feel of the space.

  • Paint Shop: Visit your local paint shop (Taubman’s and Bunnings stock White Knight Paint or head online to White Knight Paints for more information. Ask your Taubman’s or Bunnings paint rep to tint the paint to the colour you would like.
  • Op Shops & Facebook Marketplace (Budget $40): We purchased the bar stools for $40. Because Richard was nice to the guy he got a $20 discount.

Important Room Reveal Tangent…

Before I reveal this amazing room makeover to you (and get into the awesomeness of what happened) here are the main reasons Richard LOVED this White Knight Ultra Pave (and yes, it certainly did live up to its rave reviews) in the end:

  • Gave the concrete a whole new lease of life
  • The process itself was easy (in terms of its application)
  • The product was super easy to apply and durable (Richard found learned about its DuraTough technology which delivers long lasting results)
  • Richard did a ‘scratch’ test and dragged furniture along the floor and it still didn’t scratch (he was very impressed!)
  • The paint is cost-effective as you only have to apply two coats to get the finish we got
  • White Knight Ultra Pave range includes preparation, primers, sealers and topcoats which is an added bonus
  • Richard liked the idea the product has multiple uses such as driveways, garage floors, paths, patios, verandas, courtyards and even more applications that that
  • I researched other products they bring out and here’s the list of those: White Knight Ultra Pave Quick Dry • White Knight Ultra Pave Topcoat Grip Additive (if the surface is very smooth please also use White Knight® Ultra Pave® Concrete Etcher)
  • You can add tintable bases (Taubmans) to the paint to get the colour you want. This is good because there are 1000s of colours to choose from to get the colour to match the palette you choose.

This is what the paint looks like:

Source: White Knight

We picked our paint from our local Taubman’s store. We needed enough paint for about 35 sqm – so this 4 Litre drum was more than enough. Richard actually used leftovers to paint his bench edge too and still had some left. He a happy man when he gets leftover paint because he can use it on other projects. It takes a lot to make Richard happy when it comes to paint (he’s a major perfectionist) so to see him loving a product like this was rare.

Step 5 – Get To Work!

Here’s exactly what you need to do to make your Total Shed Transformation a win-win weekend:

Saturday – Declutter and Paint:

  1. Check the weather report for the coming weekend
  2. If sunny, remove all items from the shed onto the lawn or if it looks like rain try to put as much as you can into the house (Note: Non-flammable items only).
  3. Completely clear the shed floor of all items and sweep thoroughly with a broom
  4. Apply the White Knight Concrete Etcher (You’ll need a bucket, water, broom, safety glasses and gloves). Richard mixed this in a bucket with water.
  5. Use the Etcher sparingly at the beginning and really spread it out – otherwise you risk running out of it too early in the piece
  6. Wash off the concrete etcher about half an hour later using a hose or high pressure hose (Richard did it with a high pressure hose)
  7. Richard also painted the walls of the shed (in dark charcoal) using his spray gun and allowed them to dry
  8. Cut in the walls/floors of the shed and allow to dry
  9. Paint the floors of the shed using a long roller with the White Knight Paint and allow to dry
  10. Apply the second coat of the White Knight paint and allow to dry.
  11. While Richard was painting we (as a family) completely went through everything that was out on the lawn. We made a rubbish pile for Richard to take to the tip. We also made a pile of items for the Op Shop. Finally – we organised items that could neatly go back into the house. We also photographed and put items up on Facebook Marketplace straight away.
  12. Saturday night – bring important pieces back in. For example, we brought in Richard’s equipment that couldn’t be left out in case it rained. We managed on the Saturday to deal with anything we couldn’t leave out and find homes for those items.

Sunday – Style:

  1. Enjoy bringing the new pieces of furniture and items into the shed to styling it. We had so much fun with this part of the process and seeing the amazing results.

Tips: Plan a trip to the tip and Op Shops the following weekend to remove rubbish from the home. Sell unwanted items to FB Marketplace bargain hunters.

Drumroll…

Here is our amazing new shed – totally transformed using our biggest secret White Knight Ultra Pave paint. Plus Op Shop finds, a fun family working bee, repurposed items from the home and a big pinch of love. Isn’t it amazing how a totally transformed floor can completely change the look and feel of a room. Thanks White Knight!

Watch the Vid: Amazing Budget Shed Transformation In Action

Room Reveal: Design Notes & How We Did It

After Richard finished all the grunt work I was left with the lovely job of completely styling the shed. I couldn’t believe my luck. We usually style rooms together – but I think he was tired so I got full reign of this without any complaints. It’s the little things that make me happy – ha!

Tip: Rule of thumb here – Square chairs on square rug, round placemat on round table. My rule of thumb is to ‘place like items together.’

These old chairs were cluttering up our lounge

We moved our outdoor yellow chairs inside

We had the picture in storage & finally found it a home

Richard scored these awesome modern stools for just $40 on Facebook marketplace

The rug was making an indoor living room look cluttered so I repositioned it. Rule of thumb:

A man cave even a wife can enjoy – a place to escape hectic life inside a home for couple time

Bring In Your Memorabilia (Richard’s Restarosa Sign) and Use trade gear the colour of your palette (e.g. Yellow)

Same here. Working to the palette with the sign, wood, silver, yellow ladder and $2 retro sign and pizza oven

The White Knight Paint completely transformed our shed space and refreshed the concrete completely

White Knight Concrete Etcher, White Knight Ultra Pave Quick Dry Formula Paint $184 + Etcher $25 – Available at Bunnings & Taubman Stores

Bar Stools – Facebook Marketplace $40

The results were amazing. Read on and watch Richard Petersen’s explanation of why the results surprised him.

Finally…here are our biggest reno tips for people on the smallest budgets (like us!)

The total cost of this amazing renovation was drumroll…

  1. Always get the right information before beginning any renovation product
  2. Never pay full price for products you can purchase secondhand like furniture
  3. Definitely plan and cost-out all renovation projects beforehand
  4. Be prepared to wait. Never be in a rush to do a renovation. If you wait for the right renovation products to appear – you will save thousands on your renovation.
  5. Use hard-wearing long-lasting products you don’t have to spend money on again

Final Tally & Meeting Our $250 Budget

$249

Our budget was $250. So we came in just under budget.

I LOVE it when I meet the budget and I have money leftover (even if it was just $1). Much like Richard with leftover paint – it’s the little things that make me happy.

I’m giving the whole family a pat on the back for a job well done. We stuck the extra dollar in our piggy. We’re saving for a holiday and every penny counts.

Now we all have an amazing place to hangout.

Next…we’re on the hunt for a FREE pool table to really get our shed party started.

Read more about White Knight paint here.

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AUSSIES are suckers for a great BBQ, beer & the perfect steak. More people than ever are heading outside to grill their goods. And why not? A BBQ is a great way to feed the family, socialise and relax at the same time. These days, having a BBQ might even get the kids off digital and barefoot on the grass. Most parents would agree, this is a wonderful thing.
 
Today I’m exposing six super fast outdoor kitchen secrets. 

Secret 1: Gas is good

WerbeFabrik / Pixabay

Most outdoor kitchens have a grill and a working counter area. Among households that have grills, most use gas. Then there’s charcoal, with electric versions coming in third in the popularity stakes.
 
For example, outdoor kitchens in Perth are often hybrid grills. These offer the option of cooking with either gas or charcoal.
 
Basic kitchen include a sink and small fridge. Fancy upmarket versions offer features such as a pizza ovens, BBQ smokers and bar fridges. Cube cabinets and outside heaters are also on the list.

Secret 2: Put a roof on it

Sheltered kitchens are on the rise. They’re popular for cooking in all seasons. There’s no need to go overboard either. Well designed outdoor kitchens look like a home extension or addition to the house.

Secret 3: Check spacing

One mistake people make in outdoor kitchens is too-little counter space. Free up space on both sides of the grill and the sink. Aim for about 900 cm each side. For example, go for 600 cm on one side, and 300 cm on the other.
 
Tip: Don’t put the sink next to a grill, and don’t put either at the end of a counter.

Secret 4: Don’t forget lighting

A common outdoor-kitchen oversight is a lack of lighting. Avoid finding yourself cooking with a torch. Fairy lights can also look pretty.
 
Note: Make sure you get advice on whether they’re suitable for outdoor conditions. Always prioritise safety first, especially when dealing with weather and electricity. Ask an expert.

Secret 5: Consider a rangehood

Most backyards have a wind flow direction. Get to know yours. Avoid your BBQ blowing smoke into your home. Also, place seating areas well away from smoke. If this isn’t possible, manage smoke by installing a rangehood.

Secret 6: Get the floor right

Outdoor cooking can be messy and hard on floor surfaces. Also, the mix of oil, grease and rain can be risky. Keep your outdoor kitchen safe and clean by selecting flooring that is grease, fire and stain resistant.
 

Looking to create your very own alfresco dining area?

Check out outdoor kitchens in Perth for a great quality range of affordable products, and with a professional service to match.

Enjoy!

There’s no reason to make your Aussie outdoor cooking experience any less than well, perfect!
 
Enjoy your time off. You’ve earned it!
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There’s devil in the detail. It’s in the detail that you’ll notice the difference between a good-looking property and one that knocks your socks off. It’s the little things that don’t show up on those super-stretched photos you see of houses online. Isn’t it so disappointing when you get to the proposed ‘house of your dreams’ only to discover it’s half the size? Bummer.
For sure, most of us have a tick list. Mine’s pretty simple after living for four years in a mammoth renovation.

Here’s my wishlist for our next home:

  • Awesome deck and outdoor entertaining area
  • Concrete driveway for my 11 year old and his scooter (he keeps trying to ride on the road.)
  • Big new kitchen
  • Renovated bathroom
  • Walk-in robes
  • Storage, storage and more storage

No matter what is on your wishlist, it’s the finer details that have the bigger impact on the value of a home.
Let’s take my concrete driveway example above. An awful looking driveway (like the one hubby and I haven’t got to yet) is dysfunctional and also visually unappealing.

dstarrpro / Pixabay

Here are a few ways a driveway can really let you down – and I’m speaking from experience:

  • A cracked or crumbling driveway is a safety hazard
  • A non-driveway will rip up the lawn underneath
  • Kids complain they can’t ride on it
  • They get muddy in the wet season
  • They eventually drive you mad

Driveways tend to be one of the last areas homeowners think about when it comes to property. That’s because us renovating types are busy sprucing up the inside of our properties so we can enjoy them. I can tell you now – that the two bathrooms I’ve got ‘underway’ at home are the only thing I’m thinking about right now. Driveway. Blah… I can’t shower and pamper myself on that!
I’m in Melbourne where those lawns sure do get ripped up without a decent driveway. Whether you are looking to get a concrete driveway in Perth, Sydney or the back of beyond, here’s the why and how of getting your driveway sorted and fast.

Give your home a good first impression

Your home’s first impression is driven by its facia, driveway and lawn. While you might be good at keeping your lawn acutely clipped and cleaning windows, like me, the driveway will be the last job you think of. A concrete driveway will greatly improve your home’s overall appearance. They’re also simple timeless. There’s no need to worry about them not matching your home in the future if you change paint colors or re-style your home. If you are planning to sell your home, good first impressions are vital.

Mr_niceshoot / Pixabay

Make life easy on yourself

Life is busy. People are looking for low-maintenance home options. There is no joy in performing maintenance on a driveway. Unlike a lawn, where it is easy to see the rewards, a driveway does not provide homeowners with the same level of satisfaction. This is why concrete driveways make much more sense in hot cities (like Perth and Sydney) than asphalt driveways. Asphalt driveways require regular care. This is especially true when exposed to hot, dry weather. Concrete is the opposite. A simple clean occasionally is all your new concrete driveway will ask of you.

jill111 / Pixabay

Make your driveway family-friendly

A driveway is a well-used place in a home. Most family members use one at some point during the week. They’re not just for coming and going. Kids will toss the footy around, shoot hoops or ride their bikes and scooters on an awesome driveway. A dirty ripped up driveway results in a large space that can’t be used to its full potential.

AdinaVoicu / Pixabay

A great investment

A concrete driveway is something a homeowner will benefit from for decades. When someone sees an ‘in-good-shape’ concrete driveway, they know relax. That’s one less thing to worry about. Like most home improvement projects, installing a concrete driveway should be viewed as an investment that has both short and long-term benefits. In the short-term, you can improve curb appeal. In the long-term, reduce maintenance fees. Your home’s will appreciate in value tenfold.

Brett_Hondow / Pixabay


It doesn’t matter the type of property you have. A concrete driveway is guaranteed to make your home sing.  Click here to find out more.

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As a homeowner, it’s important to secure you home. This is not only for your own safety but also to protect the hard work you put into buying the possessions you own. There are plenty of ways you can secure your home. Some measures include security gates and steel fencing, CCTV or quality locks. Read on to discover a little trick I use and how simple steel fencing can turn your house into Fort Knox.

Get security sticker happy

Jump online and find an image that says something like ’24 hour security surveillance.’ Then print these off and stick them around your home. Put them near the front door and on windows that face the street. Laminate one and stick it on your letterbox. Even if you don’t have a security system, this is an affordable way to deter would-be intruders. Of course, if you can afford it, fit a real alarm.

Source: Crime911

Go for sturdy steel fencing

Add a new steel fence around the border of your property. Steel fences are durable, strong and last the test of time. Make sure you research the best quality and value for money fencing you can find. This investment is worth your time in asking others, reading and testimonials online reviews. Read social media pages to see what customers are saying about supplier products. Adding a new fence is a simple way to mark your territory and screams ‘keep out’ at trespassers. This is important if your property is also close to the road.
Why steel fencing rocks

  • Heat resistant against hot sun
  • Wind and rain resistant
  • Crack proof during winter
  • Corrosion proof over time

You can buy steel fencing from Tek Gate & Fence online. Buy fencing from a reputable company otherwise you risk a poor quality fence or install.

Source: Tekgates.com.au

Invest in your privacy

Fences are also great for privacy. You can enjoy life inside your home without worrying about outsiders looking in.

Unsplash / Pixabay

Make it too hard for thieves and get a dog

Believe it or not, thieves have a ‘too-hard-basket’ too. Fences are ‘hard work’ for thieves and act as a further deterrent. Add a dog behind that fence and they’ll likely never consider entering your home. Fences are a win-win. They keep the dog in and the thieves out.
Tip: There are companies who specialise in steel fencing in Perth WA, Victora or elsewhere in OZ.  They give advice about the best type of fence for your property and needs. Ask about style, colour, height and purpose.