Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sitting Room/Library Concept

This is the preliminary concept plan for the new sitting room/library:

Concept - view from hallway into sitting room

The built-in joinery will include display shelves, book shelves and cupboard storage. We did have plans to replace the window with french doors to provide access from this room onto the front verandah, but due to planning regulations this is no longer happening.

Concept - view from kitchen into sitting room

This is how the room looks now - it is currently being used as a bedroom:

Surprisingly, the internal walls are white - no shades of green, pink or yellow to be seen.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Design Progress - Bathrooms

There hasn't been much to report on in regards to the progress of the cottage of late. All that's been happening is regular meetings with the architects to discuss the design elements of the new scheme. A lot of planning is going into the joinery details and finalising the schedule of fixtures and fittings. They are still plugging away on the drawings which should be finished soon.

However, here is the latest update on the bathrooms.

Product Selection

The bathroom and ensuite will have the same fixtures and fittings, for consistency. As both rooms are relatively small, we have chosen to use round wall-mounted basins to create a feeling of spaciousness.

Main Bathroom Section

The basin in the main bathroom is located in a niche, and will have a mirrored cabinet above it with open display shelving on either side.

As I mentioned earlier, green happens to be a favourite colour of mine, so I have decided to use it on the bathroom floors. The house is currently painted light green (soon to be replaced with Dulux "Whisper White"), so I wanted to ensure that the new program would reference some of the existing features of the house. The same green floor tile will also be used as a skirting tile. The walls will be tiled with gloss white subway tiles with slate grey (or charcoal coloured) grout.

The beautiful thing about this space is that it will be flooded with natural light. If you imagine standing in front of the mirror, there will be a casement window on the right-hand wall (roughly the same size as the mirror) and full height glazing behind you.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Have you ever wanted a weekender?

Well it's always been on my wish list. I have often dreamt of having a little cottage to escape to on weekends and school holidays. A place to get away from city life, a place to catch up with friends and family, and a place that will give my kiddos many fond memories to look back upon.

Well I think I may have found the perfect place! This house definitely ticks all the boxes:
  • it's within 2 hours of Brisbane
  • it's an original weatherboard cottage full of character
  • very private and secluded
  • close to town
  • near the beach
  • and surrounded by mature trees
This little weatherboard house....

sits on just over 1/2 an acre of land. There are no other houses within sight and it's surrounded by big, shady trees. The gardens are a little overgrown, and could do with a bit of TLC, but there is so much potential here.

I love the view from the north-facing rear deck across the countryside and it shows you just how close the beach is.

You can just about smell the clean, salty air. It's a little bit country, and a little bit coast. The house has good bones - I would retain all the existing features and furnish it very, very simply.

The house was constructed in the 1920's - it has 14 foot ceilings and the rooms are of grand proportions. The current layout is not bad, but I would make a few minor changes.

The internal colour scheme is well, rather hideous and each room is painted a different colour - this house needs lashings of white paint. However despite this, I can see this front bedroom that has french doors opening onto the wrap around verandah ...

looking a little like this:

The existing living room ......

with the old carpet pulled up and floorboards sanded and polished (and some more white paint) could look similar to this:

or this:

And the room which is now used as a dining room:

I would reinstate a farmhouse style, eat-in kitchen, which is probably where the original kitchen once used to be.

This room is north-facing, so it would get fantastic natural light with the added bonus of having ocean views as well.

Oh it's so nice to dream ....

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Country Road

We have been on the hunt for a weekender - and I've found the perfect place.

Down this country lane...

and through this gate..

I stumbled upon the most amazing house.

It has a big shed...

and is surrounded by mature, shady trees...

The house has large, wrap-around verandahs....

and all of its original features are still intact....

It has gorgeous rural and coastal views and is only 7km from this...

I am in love...

Thursday, 18 October 2012

John Giese Bull Paintings

Here are two of the latest paintings from John Giese, an artist from the northern rivers region of NSW.

His work is regularly exhibited in Melbourne and Sydney and they get snapped up very quickly. We have a couple of his pieces already - I love the hues in his artwork. They will add a nice colour injection into our interior which we are painting in Dulux's Whisper White.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Great Brisbane Duck Race, and Room Sharing

I love the view we have out across the river - it's certainly one thing I'm going to miss when we eventually move.

It's generally pretty quiet, and particularly since this section of Riverside Drive has been closed to traffic. However last weekend, this was the venue for The Great Brisbane Duck Race and it definitely livened things up. We must have had the best vantage point.

For $10 each, the kids got unlimited access on all the rides. I think the firm favourite was the jumping castle. And boy did they sleep well that night.

And speaking of sleeping, we made some minor adjustments to the sleeping arrangements around here. I decided that it was high time to reclaim our bedroom, which meant that baby Oscar (who had been sleeping in our wardrobe for the past year) has moved into a shared room with his big brother.

And these two rascals:

are now sharing this room together:

So far, so good.

And I'll finish off with a vista from the end of our street - those Jacarandas are in full bloom now - they are just gorgeous.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Library - would you put one in your house?

I used to think that a library was something only the rich and the famous had in their homes. I don't watch a lot of TV, but I do love to read and I've got stacks and stacks of books that need to be kept in an orderly manner, so when my architect suggested incorporating a library into the renovation, I immediately agreed.

The library/sitting room planned for our house will be located in the NE corner, and I envisage it to be a lovely, sunny spot to sit and read a book or two or just listen to some nice music. I see it as an adult zone, free of toys and clutter. It will be fitted out with built-in shelving and banquette seating and most probably a big, comfy armchair. My original plan was to have black shelving, similar to this:

Image via

but as I'm pretty hopeless in the dusting department, white is probably a better choice.

Image via

The kid's also have a pretty extensive selection of books, and like all children, love having stories read to them.

The boys are actually pretty good at reading themselves too - have a listen to Charlie (who's only two) read his favourite book by Mem Fox, "Where is the Gween Sheep?"

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Time for a Makeover

It's been around six months since I started this renovation blog, so now that I'm becoming a little more familiar with Blogger, I decided to give my blog a quick makeover.

Unfortunately there is not a lot of content in regards to the actual renovation to include at this stage, but I hope to share the real-life renovation photos with you very soon.

We're now waiting for the architects to complete the latest schematic design plans, then we can finalise the kitchen and bathroom details. Looking forwarding to sharing my ideas with you.

My goofy boys and I 

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

How things change in one week!

I've only been away for one week, but there have been many changes around here. I must say it was lovely to be greeted back home by the magnificent flowering jacarandas - those pops of purple are dotting the Brisbane skyline everywhere. Yes, Spring is definitely here.

Also on arrival was a HUGE rubber duck sitting in the Brisbane River. The Great Brisbane Duck Race, a charity event to support cancer research, is on again this Sunday, 14 October. Unfortunately the new duck is having problems sitting upright. The old one was destroyed last year by vandals the night before the event  - I watched it all unfold. At around midnight, two men undressed and swam into the Brisbane River, deflated the duck then slithered out and ran off up the road in their jocks - cowards.

And remember this old girl?

Well six months later she's hardly recognisable:

That large concrete structure on the RHS is the new swimming pool; the car accommodation will be behind the yellow skip.

I don't know if it's official yet, but there has been a name change. Local architectural firm Owen and Vokes are now Owen and Vokes and Peters. Long time collaborator, Aaron Peters, has finally got his name up in lights - congratulations Aaron.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Holiday Wrap Up

We finally got home from our week-long holiday in Cairns, and what a week it was. Between us and our good friends, we had a total of 6 boys under 8 who played hard the entire time.

One of the highlights of the trip was the train ride up to Kuranda. The boys thoroughly enjoyed it.

We drove up to a beach just north of Palm Cove, and the water looked so inviting

however our plans of having a swim were quickly put to rest after a 3 metre crocodile was spotted in the water.

Our week consisted of eating:

and resting whenever we could find the time.

This week I plan on doing some online window shopping for a new fridge and stove that will cater for a family of six.