Monday, December 15, 2014

Decorating...Christmas and Photo Gallery

In the last two weeks I have managed to both print and hang 33 photos for my wall gallery and buy and assemble a Christmas tree and decorations. Reasonably productive I'd say.

You may remember I spoke about my travel photo wall gallery plans here. I really wanted to fit the maximum number of photos I could manage onto our walls, while still looking organised of course.

Well they're up and I love every one.

Thursday, November 27, 2014


I've been struggling for blog post inspiration lately. We haven't worked that much on the house (a combination of attempting to have a life and helping my parents with a big cull and house move) and I've also been really tired and lazy lately. So much so, I don't even feel the need to apologise for it. I have been thinking a lot lately and want to start a new series to help me stay motivated to blog.

Friday, November 7, 2014

G20 Cultural Celebrations

SJ and I took a break from working on the house last week to head into the city to see the lights and displays for the G20 Cultural Celebrations.

I signed up to 'design' one of the Colour Me lights displays online, so I was camera ready at 7:08pm when my purple and green design lit up the city. I don't think there any slots left now to submit designs but you can still have a play here:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Decorating...A new table

We swapped our dining room table with a cousin over the weekend. She's moving to a much smaller place and liked the look of my cheap tiny one.

So we went from this...

Monday, November 3, 2014

Decorating...Shaggy Rag Rug

Since I figured I wasn't busy enough with all our renovations, I've also been working a little side project....I'm making a rug for our living room.

I started during the first few weeks we owned the house, before the asbestos was removed and we couldn't do much. After that I worked on it while we were staying at Mum and Dads, particularly during the week we had to wait for the floors to cure.

Since then I work on it every few nights depending on what else I've got going on (at the moment, cleaning a lot of paint flecks off the floor because I wasn't as careful as I should have been painting the skirtings!).

Friday, October 31, 2014

Renovations...The almost AFTER photos

We're almost at the end of 'Stage 1' of the renovations and the house is looking a lot different to it did in those BEFORE photos. Which I posted at the end of September, along with a list of things we still had to complete:

Still to complete over the next few weeks:
- replaced the rest of the internal doors and paint them
- fill (nail holes) and paint all the skirting and architraves
- install roller blinds  (half complete)
- install kitchen kickboards
- paint the kitchen cupboards
- tile the kitchen splash back

Still to complete over the next year:
- the entire front room (still gutted)
- the downstairs bathroom (still gutted)
- renovating the existing bathroom
- sanding all the timber casement windows back to bare timber
- building a new deck
- painting the house/roof (external)
- all landscaping

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Decorating...Travel Photo Wall Gallery

This is just a quick post while I get a few others sorted. Friday's post should be photos of the whole house as it was a few weeks ago before I started painting all the skirtings, architraves and doors.

While renovating the house has been fun (sometimes) I'm really itching to get into decorating the house properly. All the furniture we have is second hand or old (our bedroom setting as been mine for almost 10 years) for the most part, we'll make do for the time being and slowly upgrade but I'm really keen to starting putting a personalised mark on the house...beyond choosing the paint colour.

I'm really excited to be able to put up photo frames and want a travel photo wall gallery. SJ and I have so many good photos that need to be freed from the computer.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Renovations...The kitchen (part 2)

Attaching our cupboard doors was a bit of a drama. When my cousin delivered the kitchen to our house, I was busy painting the bifold door and window. I didn't help unload it but her husband presented me with a bag of screws for the doors reminding me that they were very important and I should put them somewhere safe. I swear I did but for the life of me, I couldn't/can't find them. I fear they were put with other old screws/nails/etc. and thrown out by a helper. We searched for new screws to purchase, but most are sold with hinges (worth $10-20 each) but in the end bought a $3 pack of screws the right gauge but wrong length which SJ cut down at work. Worked a treat in the end! Now we have cupboard doors the kitchen looks a lot more finished.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Renovations...The kitchen (part 1)

After waiting the required 10 days for the floor to cure (and they were a long 10 days when we couldn't do any work!) we were able to start installing the kitchen. It was also the period where we started to really move into the house, filling up the garage with our stuff...after making some room amongst all the tools and supplies.

In the end, we had to buy both a new sink and oven. The day we installed the oven, it fell over and the glass front may be repairable, but we decided it just wasn't worth it. I'm hoping to sell it on Gumtree. The sink had a dent in it when we removed it from the packaging, the corner had rolled over, and while we may have been able to bash it out, again just not worth it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Renovations...Polishing the floor

First of all, Happy Birthday to me! I'm now only 1 year off scary.

As luck would have it, today's post is on of my favourite results of our home renovation, polishing the floor. A lot of what we were doing was leading up to the floor and it was the last piece of major work before we could really start living there. I'm so happy with the results, we get a lot of complements on it and it's super shiny. The decision to go gloss vs matte wasn't a hard one for me, matte is a bit on trend but high gloss is definitely classic and really brings out the natural colours of the timber.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Renovations...Sanding the floor

Once the house was painted we could finally, finally sand and polish the timber floor. You may, like many of our family and friends, believe that the floors look great as they are based on the photographs I've shared. I'm sorry to say, I've deceived you. I usually took photographs of the house and the end of each stage of work when we had cleaned everything up. This usually involved me mopping the floors so I took photos immediately a result, in some shots we appear to have beautifully polished floors. We didn't.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Renovations...Painting the walls

For the walls we chose Dulux (Wash'n'Wear) in Grand Piano Quarter, the ceilings are just Dulux ceiling white. I didn't use any sample pots but went off paint chips and lots of google searches, from everything I had read it was a beige/warm grey that throws green. I first sampled the paint on the kitchen wall (below where cabinets would go) and didn't like it, it looked too lemon for my liking. The paint wasn't stirred properly though and once we actually put the colour on the walls I was very happy with it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Renovations...Priming the walls

On the 19th of July we had our first 'day off' from the house. We drove to Toowoomba for a wedding and spent 2 nights in dust free bliss. It was great not to have to think much about the house and to get all dressed up and clean (and paint my nails!).

The Sunday after we were right back into it though, we finished up all the paint prep and cemented the last bits of cornice ready for a week of painting. We then primed Monday and Tuesday with the help of SJ's mum. SJ took Monday and Tuesday off work and I took Tuesday and Friday (to pain the ceilings), it was nice to get a big chunk of work done without having to work super late each night.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Renovations...Paint prep and cornices

Another boring step before we could start painting was to fill all the dents and scratches and holes in the existing horse hair plaster walls and ceilings. Horse hair plaster is really annoying by the way.

To make life easier for when we sanded the floors, we removed all the skirting boards from the existing rooms and then we also pulled off all the existing architrave. We had to put new skirting and architrave in the new rooms anyway, and in replacing the trim we sized up (previously 42mm architraves and 66mm skirting, now 66mm architraves and 92mm skirting). The added advantage of going a size up in the existing rooms was that we didn't have to patch areas where the plaster ripped a little. I also taped all the edges where we had exposed plaster which stopped it from continuously crumbling while we were painting and sealing the floor, we then nailed the new trim right over the top.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Plastering was easily the worst phase of the house renovations, it's dusty, it makes an incredible mess that you can never quite get clean and you just feel so gross through the whole thing. It's the phase that most people will warn you about when you say you're renovating and doing it all yourself, everyone I know seems to have a plastering story whether they did it themselves or would never even consider it.

We're glad we did it ourselves (I say we, but SJ really did most of it) even though there are some visible flaws, particularly in the ceilings. We've learnt from experience and have noticed worse flaws in other homes so it was worth the savings. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Renovations...Hanging the Gyprock

The next step in our renovations was to hang the Gyprock, we started in mid-June and it took about two weeks worth of work (nights and weekends). During that time I was sealing the cedar door and window and we started some of the plastering, but we also had a bit of family help so two weeks is probably the right timing.

My dad has been a great help with the renovations (my family loves this sort of thing) and bought us/himself a plasterboard lifter and screw gun. Made the whole process a lot faster and less frustrating (thought it was still very frustrating!).

Monday, October 6, 2014

Renovations...New door and window

One of the bigger changes we have made to the living space has been to replace an existing window with a bifold cedar door that opens up onto the deck.

At the same time, we also replaced the existing kitchen window (which was previously frameless glass sliding panels) with a cedar bifold servery window. You'll notice that at the moment it looks a little odd hanging from the side of the house as it does, we intend to extend the deck below the window and include a BBQ space. Actually, there's a lot we intend to do with the deck but that's all down the track.

Friday, October 3, 2014


Now the title of this post might be a little deceiving when I mentioned in yesterday's post that this was the 'most disgusting task yet' but this isn't just about installing insulations, it's about removing all of the old stuff as well.

Given we had rooms gutted, we figured it would be a good time to clear out the roof allowing us to drag everything down into the open rooms rather than attempting to break down large sheets of Styrofoam to fit through the man-hole.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Renovations...Stripping it back

The first steps in our home renovations were removing all the carpets and curtains, they were old and they smelt. The second step was getting the asbestos removed from five rooms. The asbestos came out in the last week of May, so we had owned the house for 4 weeks without being able to do much at all.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Introducing Our House...the BEFORE Pics

As I mentioned in my last post, our house has changed quite a bit over the last 5 months. A lot of changes aren't that noticeable from the before photos (a room that has asbestos that's been gutted and re plastered still looks like a room) but we've definitely seen our hard work pay off.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Introducing Our House...

We've owned our home for 5 months now, we're officially living it and we're still very busy each weekend with the renovations. Renovations plus a lack of internet access are my main excuses for not posting about what's been going on.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Gluten Issue

First off, a little bit of good news, we have a quote for asbestos removal that's about half what the previous quotes have been! It's all booked in for the end of the month and I have a new credit card with 0% on purchases for 10 months to pay for it all with. There are a few other things we're going to do on the house in the meantime but they will get their own post.

The rest of this post isn't house related, it's just a chance for me to complain about my current state of health. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Asbestos Issue

​I've had a few questions about the house, are we in it yet? Are we renovating it yet? The big answer to both those questions is....No!

Don't get me wrong, we're super keen to be doing both, but we have a bit of an asbestos issue that needs to be dealt with first.

Asbestos (for those of you who don't know) is a natural mineral that was use in a lot of building products from the 1940s through to the 1980s. It has the potential to cause health problems when fibres are inhaled and the body doesn't manage to get rid of them naturally. If fibres remain in your lungs then long term (40+ years) you may end up with all types of nasty lung related diseases (i.e. cancer or a lot of scaring from your body attempting to cover the fibres and as a result slowly reducing your lung capacity)'s pretty nasty stuff.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

5 months later...

Perhaps I only used to be a blogger, the way I used to dye my hair blonde and live in Melbourne. My life has changed quite a lot over the course of the last five months, yet at the same time, here I am sitting on my parent's couch typing away with nothing better to do.