Friday, 21 March 2014

Reno - Week 36

Our Living Room - just a rug and a stool
At Week 36, my stress levels hit an all time high and I officially had what is otherwise known as 'renovation fatigue'. We'd  just spent a week in a hotel and I just couldn't do another night, however the house was not what I considered to be adequate or safe for the family to move in into. Firstly the kitchen/scullery was not quite complete - no splashback, rangehood and only half the stainless steel benchtop had been installed. Secondly, neither bathroom was fully completed. Painting (amongst other things) was required in each and every room and there was no balustrades, fencing or even a yard for the kids to to play in and keep out of trouble. AND, Telstra had still not installed our comms, grrrrr.......

We decided that I would move in with the older two children, who would be at school during the day when most of the work was going on, and Mark would take the younger two away for a week or so to give the builder a bit more time to complete the house.

As most of the house (including the master bedroom) was not able to be occupied properly, I bunkered down in the kids bedrooms with the two boys. They were the only rooms that we could furnish and use:

Just the very basics were unpacked
Then during the week, bit by bit, deliveries of our furniture and appliances arrived starting with the fridge, WM and dryer. Then came these - our new dining chairs:


Finally we had somewhere to sit, but there was just a small problem: we still didn't have a dining table:


And while Alberto's up the road was temporarily taking care of my caffeine addiction, it was playing with my need of being largely self-sufficient (we rarely do take-away anything over here) so I rummaged through the boxes until I found our old faithful - but then I couldn't find our coffee cups anywhere. Luckily I had a stash of takeaway cups at the ready:


Our house was still largely unfurnished, so bare and not at all homely it was making me depressed, so I headed over to the Cottage Garden Nursery to find myself an indoor plant to introduce just a bit of colour in what was an otherwise blank-white-canvass. Of course I jumped straight on the bandwagon - probably a little late I know - and bought myself a fiddle leaf fig which fit perfectly into an old basket I had:



Attention then turned outside and it was time to start clearing out the mess to create a brand new backyard for the kids, so first came the excavators (not easy when you're on a small lot let me tell you.)


As much as the kids wanted to stay home from school that day to get amongst the action - they provided me with every excuse in the book - I still made them attend, but they did get their chance of taking control of the bucket:


During the excavation a number of items that had been dumped in the ground years ago were retrieved - mainly metal objects and a whole heap of glass bottles. These are two (maybe from the 30s or 40s) that I have kept as a memento:


OK - so the backyard started out like this - building rubble, leftover material and a whole heap of weeds:


The yard was then levelled up a bit and some new fences and garden beds were installed. We later planted them out with a row of tropical birch trees and underplanted these with a mixture of blue and white agapanthus.


That was the easy part - it then came time to laying some turf. But before we could do that we needed quite a substantial amount of topsoil to go down first and so the shovelling commenced which also happened to coincide with the most hottest and humid of weeks we've had all Summer long:


And then roll-out the turf: 

The corner in the top left is earmarked for the boys' fort



Doesn't look like much at the moment and there is still heaps more planting to do, but give it a year or so to establish and we should end up with a lovely, low maintenance garden to enjoy.

18 comments:

  1. Wow, it's all coming together now Caroline !

    Cheers, Col

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Col - how are the plans for your new house coming along? xx

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    2. We move in at Easter Caroline, so we are juggling the must do jobs now to allow that to happen, as well as figuring out how to get the jobs done to get the current house on the market. Lots of activity, but unfortunately hardly any blogging as you may have noticed! Glad we had that chat on email though about planning, it has certainly helped to guide us a little with how the next place will (and is) evolve.

      Cheers, Col

      Delete
  2. As one renovation comes to a close, another begins…May 19 is our date. We should only have to move out for a month…or so they say. I already feel overwhelmed…and broke!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cailtin! I had no idea - I mean I knew you guys were talking about it but I thought you'd shelved the plans to proceed. Oh I'm so happy for you and I can't wait to see what you've got planned. Did you get to keep your bathroom floors? Make sure you keep us posted with lots and lots of photos. xx

      Delete
  3. You are brave moving into the house half done, but you wasted no time making it homely with plants and a coffee machine what more do you need :)
    I have learnt from moving to pack my priority box with the kettle, toaster, cups, wine and glasses so that even if the rest of the boxes arent unpacked Ill be ok with my toast and wine :)

    ReplyDelete

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  5. Hi Caroline, I am seriously looking at an Owen & Peters renovation of our post war home, and seeing your blog has given me so much insight to the architects philosophy and style. So for that thank you. Now my mind turns to can I afford a build with finish, for example, like yours. You said in your blog to ask any question but I was always taught never to ask about other peoples finances. Perhaps I could ask the question in a round about way: what was the ball park per square meter cost including architect fees? If you would prefer to private message me I can send you my email. Thanks and congratulations on a great build and blog.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Lucy - write to me at westendcottage@bigpond.com. Happy to answer any questions. x

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