Monday, February 22, 2010

Pretty picture 1

Pretty Picture 1

Here's a pretty picture, please tolerate the photography I'm hoping it will get better the more pictures I take.

View from the kitchen

Choosing windows was just one of the many dramas we encountered during the build of the bottom floor. Because we wanted our new floor to be in keeping with the old upper floor it meant we had to source windows from specialist suppliers, not your average run-of-the mill window company. Of course that means added cost as well.

I had designed our kitchen space to take advantage of the view of the backyard and I really wanted a servery window, though I'm really not sure what I thought I would be serving through it! (I don't serve much any way, let alone through a window.) In the end we compromised and ended up with these windows. I adore looking into the backyard when I'm in the kitchen, even when it is unkempt. I get a great view of the pool and the kids and I love the feeling of being 'in' the garden, whilst also being in the house.

So here's a pic, please excuse as yet un-painted window surrounds and bad photography.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

New purchase, new project

In keeping with my new 'not so big' philosophy I've been searching for quirky, smaller, useful items to finish the job of furnishing the house. My latest score is this lovely old desk, which I intend to use to replace our existing vile A Mart number. My plan is to re-paint the legs and drawer fronts white and possibly re-paint the drawer unit in a lighter green. 

The Gas Man isn't sold on the idea but he is warming to it, especially once the desk received some compliments from family this afternoon. My vision is a simple desk which houses just the computer, a lovely lamp and stationery in the drawers. All the other assorted junk that is living on our desk right now (including a soccer trophy from 1991) is just going to have to find itself a new home. Wish me luck!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

In the beginning ...

So where did this all start? Well it really started for me back in the 1980's as a kid. You see we used to live in a very small, A V Jennings built home with only the most basic inclusions. Nothing was very 'pretty' and it certainly had no real soul to speak of. In those days we used to walk everywhere and often we would pass a lovely old Queenlander house just up the road and around the corner. The gardens were always so lovely to look at and sometimes if it was twilight and they had their lights on you could sneak a glance into the house and it's occupants. I used to imagine (in my ten year old logic) that someone very rich, and of course very pretty, lived there and I remember proclaiming that one day I too would live in that house.

Fast forward about 15 years and somehow I convinced my husband (AKA The Gas Man) that we should buy the house for ourselves. By that stage it had fallen out of the hands of loving owners and was rented out. The man living here was lovely but the yards were unkempt and the house had been ravaged by white-ants and wood rot. It certainly wasn't a dream home, in fact the real estate agent listing the house had no even taken a photo of the front of the home, lest buyers be scared away by the jungle outside. Inside the house was better, though it had been painted a revolting shade of green. Needless to say I somehow managed to convince The Gas Man that this house was just right for us. He has never let me forget that it was I who loved and wanted this house, and all it's problems.

So the house that was first built in 1885 became ours exactly 120 years later.

When we bought it our house sat on the ground, we have since raised it and built it in underneath. We've landscaped a bit and added a pool. It's been a huge task and it is by no means finished. We have a list of 72 things that still need to be done before we can finally see the end product of the project that we started 5 years ago.

Here are some pictures to put all these words into context.

Pic 1: This our house post-raise. Yes that is Santa - he always lives on the verandah and comes out to wave and sing each Christmas.

Pic 2: Here is a shot of the inside as it was in about 2007. Much has changed as I've found my own style and worked out how to live nicely here but I did want to show off one the features we have kept- the gorgeous floor to ceiling built in cupboards.

Pic 3: And finally here is our house in the midst of being raised.It is amazing how the contractors do this kind of work - such an art form. The child in the picture is Big Boy my now much older little guy who was probably only three when this picture was taken.

Pic 4: We were blessed to have a few nice features to work with, this entry way being one of them.


I think it's only fair that I share (and publicly thank) those bloggers who have inspired me thus far in our renovation project and/or in life in general. I've only recently realised that it's so much easier to devleop and articulate your own style if you find great examples and inspiration through the style of others. So I've given up the glossy magazines in favour of real-life inspiration, warts and all. As a result I'm currently loving these blogs, hope they can inspire you as much as they have me.
These guys are in quite a similiar position to us and I can't wait to see their final product.
Divine. No other words needed.
Fantastic designer extraordinaire, famous artist in waiting. (click on the link to her new blog home)
No matter how organised I am she winds hands down. I love her tips and her home, just don't visit if you are feeling like a slob today.
And last but not least my lovely friend Lauren.

I also adore and respect the work of Sarah Suzanka Stumbling across her 'Not So Big' philosophy has changed everything about how I see our home and our lives.
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