I’m planning a return to the stage with a friend who’s writing a seminar on happiness, which amongst other things suggests that happiness is not something that can be attained through the pursuit of it, and that having stuff won’t make us happy. This is so true, however, I’m pretty sure that I’ll be a lot more cheerful when the bank gives us money to do much needed renovations to the house!
At present we’re aching for lots of things, such as wardrobes. Or a quiet teaching space. Or a parental retreat. Or painting the exterior, getting a new fridge and oven (aka kitchen); or even getting more storage and an upstairs laundry. These things, I’m pretty sure, won’t make me happy, but I’ll no doubt feel I can entertain again once I can cook on a better stove.
So, a few weeks ago we went to the bank to enquire about extending our mortgage, given that interest rates have dropped and we won’t be over extending ourselves. Computer said, well, ok, just not very much. Not enough to do the “you-beaut” extension, just a little teensy-weensy pretend renovation. We’re going to have to do this $20,000 at a time, clearly. I wanted $120,000 but they said, no, you can only have $80,000. Thanks. Thanks so much. What can you do with $80,000 when we clearly need a new teaching room (multi-purpose room), bathrooms and a parental retreat with storage?
Well. No new bathrooms this year, and certainly no new storage yet. But perhaps we can repair and paint the exterior, replace the old rattly louvres at the front of the house with new double-glazed casement windows, rejig some of the interior doors into our bedroom, and build a new teaching room down the bottom of the garden (also known as the pool room/teenage retreat) that will house all the books, my studio equipment, and the sofa bed for guests. Once most of the bookcases are out of the way, then we can plan proper storage for the remaining things. Like the pantry. Or some wardrobes for me and the DH.
Here are some images of back-yard rooms that I rather covet. The one below is too small for my needs but I like the colours and the cute verandah:
This one below has a nice set of doors but I hate the natural wood look. Who am I, a lumberjack? I do love natural wood but not all over the house, thanks.
The following is just plain cute with a hideaway look:
In the end, though, I covet and clearly need a room that is large enough to teach in but small enough not to overwhelm the back garden. I had drawn up some plans which are super simple but my mum reminded me that I would need to think about where to place the sofa bed if I covered the entire length of the back wall in bookcases. In other words, which wall would need to be free for this sort of stuff? (Personally, could not care less about housing people – I just want all the books in one place!). So the plans below are still in concept phase 1. I’m still waiting to hear from my designer and the bank. Once these two missing pieces of the puzzle are in place then it’s all systems go!
I have some room design preferences in addition to a simple kitchenette and teensy bathroom. The first is cathedral ceilings with white-painted beams and timber tongue-and-groove-style ceiling cladding. I’ve always loved this look but it needs to be carefully done so it doesn’t end up looking cheap. The second is painted wooden cladding on the exterior – I’ve been told that treated pine planks are fit for purpose and not too expensive. The third is a clerestory window in the gable of the roof. Not sure on cost for that. Then add a covered verandah and an extended deck surround for entertaining. Then paint the interior white, with LED down-lights and VJ walls (not a fan of plaster any more, having lived in houses with VJ walls for 8 years). Then decorate in an industrial-country style. I found a good quality vinyl flooring that looks like timber but is soft underfoot and doesn’t have that hollow clicking sound when you walk on it. Not as gorgeous as true timber flooring but a lot better than click-timber floors. Which I hate. I also hate tiles in living areas, so none of that either. Which leaves me with either carpet (no – not in this climate, also it’s too deadening re sound) or vinyl. I also love polished concrete, but computer says don’t be silly. Multifold doors for outdoor-indoor living, and Bob’s-your-uncle. Add some very basic landscaping (trees and lawn, path and lighting) and we’re done all bar the furnishings.