Vivian and her husband started renovating their Sydney home short after moving in. Room by room they transformed the house and created an airy, bright and beautiful nest for their little family.
Along the process, Vivian gave birth to an adorable baby boy and quit her job. She is now a stay-at-home mom and the proud owner of a relatively new and charming blog named ishandchai (if you are curious about the name then keep reading). Always working on new house projects, Vivian says that interior design has become all what she thinks and talks about with friends and family (and she is sure that they are sick of hearing about it)!
Well Vivian, here at houzz we love looking at your sunny home and hearing its story. I’m very happy to introduce you to Vivian from ishandchi
and her lovely home.
Please tell us about your “first meeting” with your house to be.
I bought the house before I was married and my husband and I now live here with our son and cat. I hadn't seen the house before the auction but my parents had viewed and researched the property and I trusted their opinion. Definitely not a recommended way of making such a large purchase but it worked out for the best in my case.
When I first walked through the house the thing that struck me was how light and bright the home is. It is an elevated property with a garage underneath. From the balcony we have distant views of the city and it's lovely to sit here in the mornings.
The first step of your remodeling process
My husband and I renovated when we moved in. The house needed work and the first thing to go was the green shag carpet - yuck! Next, we knocked down a wall separating the kitchen
and living area to create an open plan space. We ripped up the laminate floor in the kitchen to reveal wooden floorboards underneath which we polished throughout the house and then installed a new kitchen and new bathroom pieces (vanity, toilet).
The biggest renovation challenge you faced
Trying to decide how much of the home to renovate. We are planning to extend in the future so we didn't want invest too much money in renovations when there was the possibility we may have to re-do in the future. The kitchen was the largest expense but it had to be done. It was in an awful state with laminate
doors that were chipped and peeling. In an effort to make the kitchen bearable I painted the cabinets a canary yellow colour but I don't think I could have lived with it that way for long so we ripped it out.
Your favorite style and colors
I love to mix new with old furniture. A lot of my furniture is neutral in colour but I am slowly adding colourful accents with wallpaper and accessories.
A spot in your house that makes you very happy/proud
The nursery is my favourite room. The Catherine Martin wallpaper used is a beautiful vintage-style circus print that I love. I'm really proud of the way the room turned out.
Your precious accessory/furniture/art
The old mirror which hangs in my studio and given to me by my parents. It used to hang in my parents home before they renovated. It's one of the only items to survive the renovation. Everything else was either sold or given away.
Your next house project
I have so many projects on my list - to finish decorating the studio and the master bedroom
, tackle the study, reorganize the laundry (or turn it into a sunroom) and one day we may renovate which will add to my growing list of projects.
5 things that houzz readers need to know about your blog
1- The main focus of my blog are my home decorating projects
but sometimes a little bit of fashion or food crops in.
2- I regularly update the quick links at the top of my blog page with things I love, must read blogs I've stumbled across and Etsy finds.
3- 'ish & chi' comes from 'fish & chips'. I had seen a photograph of a model standing outside a store with a large fish & chips sign and the first and last two letters were cut from the frame. I was pregnant
at the time and had food on my mind!
4- I usually post in the evenings once my son has gone to sleep.
5- I love getting to know readers via their comments and by visiting their blogs. There are a lot of very talented and inspiring people in the 'blog world'.
Best tip for the remodeling beginner
Reuse what you own. If you are renovating your home it can be tempting to want to start from scratch with new pieces of furniture or accessories (if the budget allows of course). Sometimes though, I think a piece of furniture that has travelled with you for years adds character to a home and can become one of your most treasured pieces.
Last but not least: as a houzz friend, you get to choose a giveaway gift to one of the lucky readers that will share their thoughts about your house and interview.
Here's my little giveaway gift choice:
I would like to choose this ABC Love print which I've had my eye on for.. forever!
The original ABC Love Screen
If I had the space I would purchase this print for my son's nursery though I think it would look great anywhere in the home. Good luck!
Thank you for sharing your beautiful home Vivian!
For your chance to win the ABC Love print, selected by Vivian, comment on this interview by Sunday, June7th at 5pm EST.