Thursday, July 26, 2012

DIY: Replacing your kitchen tap

So our new kitchen tap has been staring at me for a few weeks, while I've been happily procrastinating playing PS3 games - finally decided to get up and have a crack at replacing our crappy kitchen tap today.


I've said it before, I'll say it again - avoid upgrading anything through the builder that you can do yourself. We paid a couple hundred bucks to "upgrade" from the standard kitchen tap to this piece of cr@p Dorf Oasis spray mixer, and look at the just how much quality you get after a year of use, with all the braiding frayed, exposing the soft plastic hose inside.

To change it actually took a lot longer than I thought. Ideally you'll need a big wrench or two, a basin wrench, screwdrivers/hex drivers, spare towels, things to catch waste water in. Make sure you turn off the water from the internal taps located inside the kitchen cabinet first, disconnect all water lines to the tap and drain into containers.

Actually getting the old mixer out was a huge battle, since there was very limited space in the cabinet with our massive sinks getting in the way. I needed a sink wrench to reach way up under the sink to grab a tiny nut on a thread that was holding the tap in tplace, and with many hoses running into the tap in the same area it was hard going. If you have easy access to your tap from underneath the sink, things will be much easier for you!


After the old tap is removed, clean up the benchtop where it used to be,.


The final result... well, almost! This tap is retained in the benchtop a totally different way with a massive nut on a 35mm screw, and the plastic washer it came with was too big to fit under the sink, so at the moment it's held in only loosely. And of course, once I hooked up the new hot and cold water hoses, I found the hot hose had a crack/leak in it, so I need to get a replacement of that. Tomorrow,  a bit of fine tuning with a bench grinder on the washer, and a trip to a hardware store for a hose, and hopefully it'll all work out well!

Also ordered a new TV from JB Hifi online yesterday, and already having second thoughts about the whole process - should've walked into one of the stores and bought it that way, because their online store is truly craptactular. Logging into my account doesn't reveal my order, there's no contact phone number to call, and they don't return emails. No wonder we're all shopping online overseas, if this is the best an aussie company can do.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Need wall design inspiration from our blog readers!

So, for many years I've been involved in the design, creation and manufacture of vinyl signage and graphics, specialising in vehicle graphics - racing stripes, sponsor logos, etc, selling to retailers around Australia and direct sales via some websites. Anyway, no doubt you've all seen wall graphics/wall decals, a great way to modernise and decorate (plus they're easily removable, changed and upgraded), and an area in which we already have some expertise! One of my (financial) new year's resolution is to get our wall design website finally off the ground, I thought I'd ask all our very informed and trend setting blog readers to maybe make any suggestions on what you'd like to see!

These are some example of wall decalsjust randomly found on the web;

I've always liked the look of the black chandelier wall decal - it can reflect an existing light, or give a very luxe influence on a room. Tina found us a nice black French chandelier for the entrance (which still hasn't been installed, a year later!). I've done a few designs for chandeliers that'll definitely be on our website. Probably will leave those falling black leaves alone though.

This one is pretty neat, a silhouette that reminds me of Reservoir Dogs/Pulp Fiction. Would go well in a home theatre room, teenager's retreat, or rumpus/games room!

So,  we've already got a website name, I'm working on the store customisation which might take another week or two, but what really matters are the designs, of course!

There's already plenty of stores which supply wall decals, but we want our store to stand out. Many wall decals sold in Australia are actually mass produced in China (which is why they all look the same) - where I think our store will stand out is that everything is designed and manufactured locally right here in Melbourne, and to take advantage of that, our store will have many items that are unique and personalised. For example, you might be able to submit your child's name to be integrated into a particular design, for example "Stephanie's Room" as a stickable design, surrounded by hearts and stars for example. Naturally, a custom one-off item will cost slightly more than a generic mass-produced item, but it'll be unique and tailored exactly to your needs and your style! Of course, we'll also have some custom designs that you won't find anywhere else too.

Anyway, if you have any ideas at all, what you might like to see, what you're sick of, or anything else, please leave a comment as your feedback will be greatly appreciated! Hoping to have the website launched with a few products within a month.



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