Finally I am delighted to announce that: yes, we’re moving! Our house sold well (considering the impact of COVID-19 on house prices in our area) and we’re moving to a new part of town for us, one that I suspect I may never leave!

Here’s our new home:

Cute, huh! BTW, this is a screen shot of the house that I took from the real estate web site we found it on. I cannot wait to change those colours to something a little less drab. The paint job is in very good condition though so it might stay for a couple of years.

Here’s the floorplan. On the left is the downstairs (in QLD houses are often built under, so living quarters and the kitchen are on the top floor), and the right is the main living area and bedrooms:

I know there are four bedrooms when there are only 2 of us. But I use my study every day, and hubby needs a study too. So we’re making the first 2 upstairs bedrooms our studies, and the fourth bedroom downstairs is definitely our dumping room for the time being as we sort through our outdoor stuff. In our old house we had a great breezeway under the house, all 140sqm of it, in which we stored all the gardening equipment and spare items. In this house we don’t have that so we are making plans for a garden shed and workshop, to sit at the bottom of the driveway. It’s currently a turn-out for the under-house parking but, you guessed it, we’re not parking under the house! (except perhaps during hailstorms…)

We’d like to renovate this house (well der!) and the section under the deck and master bedroom is perfect for a new rumpus room (hubby calls it the pool room but I think he means the room with the grand piano ;)). We’ll take apart the old deck eventually and put in a new kitchen and deck that extends to the end of the master bedroom, and underneath we’ll lay some new concrete and enclose the space. We’re on 810sqm of land which is great for this part of town, and I don’t want to impact on the generous yard with more house, so we’re keeping our ideas modest (and in truth we won’t be able to afford much more than what we’re planning). We’ll upgrade the bathrooms and give the master bedroom an ensuite and walk-in-robe, by moving the kitchen to the new construction, and making it a galley kitchen, as seen below:

Soz about my terrible drawing – I did it on my computer that doubles as a tablet and my drawing is super shaky. We’ll add a small family bathroom upstairs where the kitchen currently sits.

So I’m a little concerned about the generally poor placement of the laundry – at the moment the downstairs bathroom is connected to the bedroom and I don’t love this – if we want to add a family room area I don’t want to add yet another bathroom. I think what I’ll do over time is to reduce the size of the bathroom to make it a family bathroom (not an ensuite), and then put a door in the ensuing corridor to the outside. At the moment the laundry door faces the hall to the rumpus and I don’t love the position, and I think if we rethink the laundry layout then we might get better flow. I’m loving playing with these ideas – it will be two years before we can pay for most of the new stuff so we will live with what we have in the meantime, and just do small things. I think the current rumpus will make a great 5th bedroom if we decide to add a downstairs family room at the rear, which will add great resale value to the home.

Do you have some great ideas to make this house even more amazing? I’d love to hear.

In the meantime, here are some interior shots of before. That is: before we moved in! 🙂

House and home photos 

So, friends. Herein lies the problem. My MacBook Pro was recently upgraded and now iPhoto doesn’t seem to want to upload all my iPhone photos. Which means I have to do my blogging from my iPhone if I want to show you pretty things I’ve done this year! Which, for an all thumbs typist (I kid you not, I’m only using my thumbs), is slow going. Anyway, I want to show you some of the things I’m working on. 

First up is the spare room. Yass. My daughter moved out. And now her room is light and bright!

I painted the walls with 3 coats of Dulux Vivid White and the woodwork with a coat of Dulux Natural White Enamel. We bought the double bed from Forty Winks as it was on sale, and I dressed the bed with linen and cushions I’ve owned for a trillion years. Laura Ashley, Freedom Furniture, and Adairs, I think. The curtains and lamp are IKEA and the chair is one my mum restored. I also cleaned up the crappy fan with a new shade, some coats of white satin spray paint and a quick glueing to repair it. Next, I’m going to create a mirror wall with some found mirrors from vintage stores and under the house:

Added to these beauties are some rectangular wooden mirrors I’ve renovated and cleaned up. However I’ll have to hold off on any more spending because my son is getting married in a month and April is looking expensive, y’all! I really want to do a basic woodworking course but I can’t afford it right now, so all my restoration projects under the house will have to wait until after May.

I don’t know about you, but do you ever get overwhelmed by the list of home projects you need to do, and the order in which to do them? I do. And the weather here is not exactly cooling down, so my next interior project which involves de-moulding and then painting the family bathroom is beyond me right now.

And don’t get me started on the fox-proof chicken coop, the privacy planting on the eastern boundary, the repairs to our window hoods and decking, the plantation shutters for the main bedroom, the removal of the wall between the two teeny rooms from when we had a thousand children living here at once, the renovation of both the eastern and western wings… the list is endless! 

And until I pay the last of the school fees, none of this will happen. 

So I dream, and clean, and play with Poppy the pooch, and look to the day when all our debts are magically paid off (every time I pay off my credit card another purchase miraculously appears on it. And not teensy things. Oh, no. Overseas trips things.)

Happy March, everyone! 

Another shower shot

Today marks the final few days of building works before we can claim it is all DONE in here.

While I wait, though, here’s another shower shot or 3. 


In which I finally got up and did stuff

Yep. Did that. So I’m up to the final topcoat in the ensuite and a quick topcoat touch up in the WIR for those pesky beadings (I chose not to cut in first and that was just wrong, but I was concerned about time constraints) and then I’m good to go with oil topcoat on the woodwork after a quick sand.  

When I saw my bodgy gap filling in the WIR my heart sank because it was so amateur and messy. I decided then and there to use low sheen paint as the dags and messes would have shown up too much otherwise. Glad I chose to do this room first. The other 2 rooms look amazing though. Luckily I got much, much better at gap filling.

So tomorrow is the topcoat in the ensuite and perhaps a glance sideways at the oil painting. I really should do the window paint stripping now, not later, but I don’t wanna!!

What I’m slightly terrified about is when the lads finally remove the temporary wall to put in the louvres and in the cold bright harsh light of day I’ll see all the drips and horrors of my first room “learnings” (not mistakes, they’re learning processes, y’all). Gah. 

Nowhere to run to… nowhere to hide

Today is the day when the air-conditioning unit is removed from its old place in the old teaching studio and moved to the dining room/kitchen. DH and I discussed the merits of having it in the master bedroom (merits: at night, in summer, I want to die because of the heat, so air-con in the bedroom would be SO GOOD), but then we agreed that it’s not really the most used room in the house: the kitchen is. So for the good of all, it’s going there today.

This means, of course I have nowhere to hide. Every room bar the bathroom and Mara’s room) is taken up with noisy people. The dog has taken to my feet (a normal place for her, but she’s even more under my feet than usual), and there’s bangs and crashes everywhere. I’m sure the air-con tradies will be done by 10am, but early morning is quite the busy junction here. (* All done by 11am but no sparky to attach the electrics because we moved it too far, we’ll have to wait for the next sparky visit, in about 3 weeks.)

I COULD go to the gym, I suppose. But I’m much more interested in seeing what’s happening here. The French doors are DEFINITELY coming out today. The ghastly half-wall bifurcating the West wing for most of the last 40 years has just been removed. There will be light and space in the back section of the wing for the next year, until we do the other bathroom. Which will either be done next year or after we’ve added a whole new room.

I am about to tidy up the kitchen and dining room now – we’ve stored stuff in here while the other rooms have been otherwise occupied and it’s time now to move stuff back out. As usual, it’s the bookcases that take up most of the space.

An amusing side note: the builders are working in and around our bedroom, which we still have to sleep in. Today there’s a fair amount of dust all over the bed, bedsheets and covers, but it has to be said DH and I are usually so exhausted from the day (tradie days start at 6.30am, muso days don’t finish until after 10 sometimes, YES, even the administrative muso ones, so we’re a bit tired all the time) that we’ve taken to half-heartedly shaking off the dust and literally falling into bed.

Plenty of people who renovate complain about the dust and general mess, but these guys only make a mess during the day. They clean up after themselves, and we’re left with unfinished but quite tidy spaces. Ask me again in a few weeks how I’m feeling then and I’m sure I’ll feel differently!

The sad part is that I get to do the interior painting. Which means that once all the interior spaces that have been relined or in some way altered are finished, I’m the one that gets to wander round in my dungarees painting all the VJ board. Oh! And in case anyone thought we’re just using only VJ sheeting, think again. Discovered today that removing the French doors necessitates the insertion of proper VJs. Actual wooden boards. Because the sheeting is too thin for the cavity. Huh!

Monday and VJs are going up

These guys are SO quick, I swear. Today the wall between the WIR and the other bathroom was put up. I reminded the builders to put up cement sheeting on the outer wall because of the other bathroom renovations down the track (maybe a year away, maybe longer). On the inside wall there’s now insulation and Vjs, which I get to paint prior to the WIR shells going in. The paint will be white. So that we can see things.

But in our new ensuite all the VJs are going up (it’s sheeting, not individual wooden slats!), and the room will have its waterproof coat on Wednesday. Then tiles, then fitout. At some point the new louvre windows and picture window will be put in too. I’ll be painting this room too. Including the sad old windows which frankly need some tlc before the topcoat. That’s my November taken care of!

Today too it looks like the wall and French doors between the verandah and our bedroom will be removed and replaced. Huzzah!

I will be repainting our bedroom too. At the moment it’s a not unattractive pale sandy faun with beige paint on the woodwork and a white ceiling. We’re thinking of going all white. Depends how our wooden furniture will look with white painted walls. White can be pretty stark with 19th century style furniture but the room will need repainting anyway so it’s a good chance to see if it will work.

Photos later, people.

Now for the framing up

The photos you see are of the room being framed up into an ensuite and WIR. The builders have been here for 3 days and the plumber is here now roughing up the pipes for the mixer and the other stuff. The work is noisy and what with all the other building works going on in the street I’m hoping we have no shift workers living nearby. It’s a bun fight out there competing with the sound of band saws and hammers.

Sadly the ensuite is the only room in the house that has a stunning view of the city and so we decided we needed to be able to see it. DH and I demanded an enormous picture window in the ensuite: it’s so long, low and wide it may show the boobies when I shower, but it’s a pretty private space from the street (you’d need a pretty powerful telescope to look in). I’m assuming the whole window will slot into the frame they’ve mocked up for it and the tiled ledge will provide useful storage for strategically placed shampoo bottles. Stuff privacy. If people want to go to the trouble of looking at an old woman’s saggy boobies when she’s showering then I say go for it! (So did my builder, laughing.) Eventually we’ll put an outside awning in to protect the room from the fairly torrid Western sun, which will solve the privacy issue.

The room will be tiled to 2100mm with white 300×600 gloss tiles. The feature tile looks like this: IMG_2521

and then we’re putting in VJs thereafter, including the ceiling. As I said to Dylan from McPherson Constructions, there is no plasterboard anywhere in our house. Why start now? Also, we’ve decided to keep the interesting higgledy-piggledy shaped roof in the bathroom because I want to recognise the origins of the house and its oddness. The front gable was attached in a really weird way with lots of angles, so the bathroom ceiling will pay homage to these where possible.

We’ve just ordered the WIR and bathroom vanity. The vanity is a bespoke piece in a clean shaker style with a large porcelain bowl laid on a satin blackbutt top, with four legs and an open shelf for towels underneath. It should look beautiful and I’ve had fun deciding on the shaker doors, the height of the drawers, even which side the centre door is opened! As to the WIR, I’ve had SO much fun deciding which section is going to be full height, which double. I’ve planned a centre console for my jewellery and makeup booth (I’ve talked to the builder about putting a mirror in the back of it and LED lighting in the top). I’ve even got some serious shoe storage happening.

I’ve ordered and paid for all the tapware, which should arrive soon. It ended up being cheaper than I thought because once I lost my desire for enamel handles I found a cheap and cheerful substitute at Reece that looks EXACTLY the same. By that I mean less than 1/3 the price of the original. I went to a Reece store yesterday and found exactly what I was looking for. No need for substitute items! Dorf Luxton (now discontinued) is a good Australian brand for our slightly old-style towel rails and toilet roll holder; Posh Bristol is the brand and make of the sink taps. Porcher Cygnet is the name of our old-style shower with diverter for my own shower preferences. Posh Dominique is the back-to-wall close-coupled toilet, and there’s a couple of other things including shower mixer and vanity bowl. Amazing how impossible it is to find a brand that incorporates all my favourite looks and designs in one make. I also ordered and paid for these beautiful lights which will sit on either side of the mirror (design yet to be decided but I’m weirdly tempted by a rectangular mirror with a narrow soft brass frame or an oval black-framed mirror). They’re ridiculously old fashioned but there’s little in the bathroom that is, and it’s about the only piece of bling in there aside from the vanity taps. Because the glass shade is a regular size we can always buy different ones down the track for a change in appearance. I’ll finish off the room with a well-placed orchid (I have one that is flowering nicely), brand new towels and perhaps a crystal container or soap dish. Can’t hardly wait.


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