Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our First Renovation...

As I scroll through numerous blogs and read about some other amazing stylists I find myself wondering what they do with their time, what their house looks like and what kind of person they are. Some of them actually put posts up about their lives and their homes and I find that these are the posts that I enjoy reading. I know it sounds bad but everyone is a little bit nosey.  So I thought maybe some of my readers would like to know a little but about me....maybe not but here it is anyway.... 

So a few years ago my then boyfriend (now husband), Ben, and I decided that it was time to take the next step in our relationship, we had been saving up as much money as possible and thought it might be a good idea to start investing in property.  I was looking for a cute little home just for the two of us while my Ben was looking for something a little bit different. So we weren't really on the same page when we started looking. Our weekends took us through multiple homes that just didn't suit either of us, apart from the fact that we were looking for different things.

Some of the things that were important to me, like 2 bathrooms, a decent wardrobe and a gorgeous little kitchen area were not even on Ben’s must have list. Ben was looking for something older, something with a big backyard and of course something with potential....even if he struggled to see it.

We came across a little home built in the 60’s that was basically in its original condition. It had a large backyard and a lot of potential. Ticked all the boxes for Ben, but unfortunately wasn't a home that jumped out at me. We chatted a lot about this place and discussed the potential it had and what we could do and I finally agreed that this could be a good investment for us.  So here is what we bought....(please excuse the poor light in the photos...they were taken at night time).

Master bedroom

Bedroom 2

Bedroom 3

Bathroom...this room had grass green carpet!

Separate toilet...note the brown carpet!

Separate shower....arrgghhhh the wallpaper in the hallway that you can see was a nightmare! 

Our lovely lounge room...don't you just love the velour green curtains.

Our amazing kitchen..please excuse the mess, we had already started our days of work.

I know what you’re thinking.......could it get uglier?? Well the answer was most certainly NO!! It was hideous, check out a close up of the wallpaper that we started with in our master bedroom

I can’t thank my family enough for spending the first month of ownership of OUR FIRST HOUSE helping us peel off the wallpaper and go through the incredibly awful process of getting our new house ready to move in. As we were all working full time already it took weekends and weekends of us steaming the wallpaper off, fixing the cracks in the plaster, pulling off the wooden boards on the walls and of course throwing out the terrible curtains and carpets.  We had to transform this ugly house into our home.

We have now been living here for around 4 years and can I say it looks 100% better than when we took our first steps in the front door. Over the years we renovated the bathroom and kitchen, put new blinds up had the hardwood floors polished and performed a lot of maintenance.  When we were deciding what to do with the place we landed on leaving it as neutral and basic as possible, after all we had only planned on living here a few years and then moving out.  All the colours were basic, except for a few feature walls that we painted before thinking it through, the kitchen was designed to be as neutral as possible and the bathroom was modernised with new fittings and fixtures and a new set up but again very neutral.

As you can see from the photographs above there was a fireplace in the living area, together with a large entrance way and a wall full of windows, this basically only gave us one usable wall. The house had ducted heating and the fireplace heater was broken so we decided to cover it up to give us more usable wall space. I know you are probably thinking from the photos above that we don’t have matching couches. I know I know, I hate it but when we first moved in we didn't have the money to spend on getting new couches so we borrowed from family. We decided we could live with them for a few years until we bought a new place and then purchased a new fantastic lounge suit, well that few years have now dragged out to 4 but should be ending very soon!

Please excuse some of the mess in these photos. I have not styled the place ready for photographs, I figure I am opening up my house and my life to you, I may as well show it the way it current is. There are still things in a lot of these rooms that are not finished so maybe when they are I can show you our place in its full glory.

The previous owners who I believe were the builders of this property had enjoyed the lovely set up of a bathroom which included a vanity and bathtub, with a separate toilet and a separate shower! The shower room was a decent size but when we were renovating....it had to go. We had to bring this place into the current century. So we knocked out the wall between the toilet and bathroom and moved the entrance door. This gave us a nice big bathroom. We then turned the shower room into the toilet and moved the shower into the bathroom. An expensive process but definitely paid off.

When we did the kitchen as well we had to knock down a wall and open it up. It was a very dark room with wood basically everywhere. There was only a doorway leading into the kitchen so with the wall timber and flooring the room was very dark, you could not walk in there without turning the light on, no matter what time of the day it was. We had to lighten it up a bit and open it up into the rest of the house....the end result.

There are still so many things that we would like to change or may do differently next time but from where we started our place looks amazing. I certainly can’t take all the credit for what we have done but I must say....we did a damn good job! 

A few months ago when we decided that the house was basically finished, except for a few bits and pieces, we decided that it was time to take on the next job, and that was .....subdivide the block and build a house in our backyard. That however is a whole new story so you will have to stay tuned for how that has all gone. I must say though, it is the most amazing feeling to know that when we first bought this house, we had decided that it was a good investment because we could do exactly that....renovate the front house and build one behind it. To know that we have actually completed our goals and can see the final result is perfect, stressful and difficult, but perfect!

Since living in this house our lives have taken on so many different roads, we got married....the most amazing day of my life, we have both started new jobs and my new business and now we are so very proud and happy that in the next 2 months we will be expanding our family and having a little baby.  The next two months cannot go any quicker. So renovations...marriage...holidays...new jobs...finding out we were pregnant...then starting to build a new home. The plan now is to have the baby.....buy a new home...then start all over again! Don't worry, i'll keep you updated on our subdivision and our future renovations.

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