… Before it gets better

We visited the house today and things are looking sooooooo much better already.  I didn’t have the camera with me as it was a quick drop in to check on the painter after work.

The painting progress has been a little slower than we would have liked and when we visited the house on Friday afternoon it was disappointing to say the least.  However, after a quick chat with the painter who assured me that things would progress quickly today we moved on.  And he was right.  When we visited this afternoon the ceilings were all done, cornice all done, walls all done with just a touch up here and there and the internal doors are all done.  The skirting boards, an extra coat on an internal door or two and the front door are what’s left to do and the team will be working on Sunday and Monday to get it done.

This is a good thing as the carpet for the living room and bedrooms comes in on Tuesday and we have the removalist booked for Wednesday.

We’ll go visit again tomorrow afternoon and take the camera this time!  It is amazing what a little paint can do and I can’t wait to see it finished.  I chose the same pale grey that I used when we repainted our Melbourne house for 90% of the house.  In the laundry I chose a light, breezy aqua colour as I think the laundry should be a little fun.  And in our bedroom I chose a darker grey.  With one wall being almost entirely window it can take the darker colour even though it’s not a huge room.

We’ve done our own painting before and my Handsome Handy Hubby hates it!  I love painting and the more practice I get the better at it I’m getting.  But in this instance we don’t have the time to paint the whole house as we are both working full time and we don’t want to be paying rent and mortgage repayments any longer than absolutely necessary.  The professionals also do a better job that me I certainly can’t deny that.

Handsome Handy Hubby did undertake the huge task of laying 55 square meters of stranded bamboo flooring though.  It runs from the entrance down the hallway and into the laundry where we removed the linen cupboard and put a sliding door in across the end of the hallway as well as in the large kitchen and dining room area.  It’s pretty much been covered in plaster dust since it was finished but even so it looks wonderful.  I’m so excited to see it once the painting is finished and the floors are all cleaned up.

I’ve started packing and hope to get the majority of it finished tomorrow.  Thankfully there is still a load of stuff in storage in Melbourne which we will probably sort out around Christmas time and have brought up here.  Things like bookcases and far too many boxes of books to even count, tools, a huge 6 burner BBQ which we’ve decided we can live with out and who knows what else after a year of having it stored away.

Little Miss Cutie is a bit confused at the moment about our old house, our new house, her grandparents house and her cousins house and isn’t quite sure exactly what is going on or where she is going to be living.  I’m looking forward to getting her settled into the new house so that she feels a little more secure.  Of course just days before we move she has once again started to sleep through the night … same thing happened before we left Melbourne … and again when we had been living with my Grandmother for six months and then started renting.  Oh well, I can only hope that the move doesn’t break the habit!

I’ve ordered curtains for the main bedroom and living room as I already have them for Little Miss Cutie’s room and will do something temporary in the Man Cave.  We’ll have bare bulgs on the ceiling for a little while I think until we settle on furniture placement and see just how low anything will hang as Handsome Handy Hubby is a tall specimen of a man.

There is a trip to Ikea in my near future from some accessories, sheer curtains and I’m sure a few other bits and pieces will jump into my basket.

Back soon with progress photos.

It get’s worse …

What a difference a day, well two days, makes!  Kiama nearly got blown off the face of the earth on Saturday and we sure managed to get a lot of the pulling apart done at the house.  You know that old saying that things will get worse before they get better?  Well that’s definitely what the weekend was about.  Here’s what we achieved.

  • Pulled up the carpet
  • Pulled up the vinyl
  • Jackhammered out the slate tile in the entrance
  • Pulled off the skirting boars
  • Pulled of 95% of the architraves around doors and windows
  • Removed all window dressings
  • Tore out the linen cupboard
  • Tore out the laundry wall
  • Tore out the master bedroom wardrobe
  • Removed the doors from the wardrobes in the other two bedrooms
  • Filled one might big skip bin

Then it was on to the putting it back together part … kind of.

Where we pulled the linen cupboard out of the end of the hallway and tore down the laundry door we put in a new sliding glass door.  This lets a great amount of light into the end of the hallway and makes the laundry even bigger.  We loved the look so much that we decided to replace the sliding door between the dining room and the hallway with a glass one as well.

Thanks to my Brilliant Brother who is a carpenter and spent all weekend at our house working the view at the end of the hallway is looking entirely different.

Now we’re ready to really start putting things back together in this makeover.

The entrance before … and the entrance after Handsome Handy Hubby pulled up all that slate with a jackhammer drill.
Entrance beforeEntrance during 1

The living room with about half the carpet pulled up and showcasing that lovely feature wall.
Living Room Before 1

The living room facing the other way
Living Room During 1

And the lovely light fitting with the ceiling staining showing above.  There’s actually a foot print or two up there... how does that happen!
Living Room Ceiling & Light before

The view down the hallway.  Before – a deep linen cupboard.  During – no more linen cupboard.  After – a frosted glass sliding door across the end of the hall which makes the laundry bigger and lets light into that end of the hall.  This is the biggest structural change we made and it’s all thanks to my Brilliant Brother who have up his weekend and evening time to get it done for us.  And the view from the laundry.
Linen Cupboard Before 2 Linen Cupboard During 1Laundry During 1Linen Cupboard During 2

The master bedroom was the other structural piece of work.  We removed the built in wardrobe as it was build deeper than usual and mean we would struggle to fit our king size bed in.  We also have plans to create a walk in wardrobe and ensuite which means we won’t need a built in wardrobe in the master bedroom.

Master Bedroom Before 1Master Bedroom During 1

The kitchen and dining room lost it’s vinyl flooring ready for the new bamboo floors to go down.
Kitchen Dining Before 1Dining During 1Kitchen During 1

Finally, the two smaller bedrooms.  One will be Little Miss Cutie’s and the other will be Handsome Handy Hubby’s man cave.
Bedroom 2 Before 1Bedroom 3 Before 1


It’s all ours!  Well, it’s mostly the banks but they are graciously letting us living in it while charging us daily interest.  Settlement went off without a hitch thank goodness.  I breathed a mighty sigh of relief when I got those phone calls.

So we officially now have two properties in our portfolio.  One in Melbourne and one in Kiama.  When we first looked at the Kiama house it was remarkable how similar they floor plans are.

Here’s Melbourne and Kiama side by side

House Floor Plan 1Original Floor Plan



Do you see it?  I didn’t actually notice it at first but as soon as Handsome Handy Hubby saw the house he pointed it out.  The office and bedroom 4 in the Melbourne house even used to be a deck … just like it is in the Kiama house.  We even think we might have enough room in the bathroom at Kiama to create an ensuite, walk in wardrobe and family bathroom making the master bedroom even more like the Melbourne house.

So now that we have the keys it’s time for the fun to being … pulling stuff apart and putting it back together again.

Half Way There

We reached a great milestone today … the first settlement happened!  It’s a huge relief as it was supposed to happen on Tuesday and was cancelled at 3:45pm.

I can’t tell you how much my heart stank and my stress levels rose on Tuesday when I found out that the scheduled settlement hadn’t happened.  This was the refinancing of the house we own and rent out in Melbourne.  We’ve also chosen to use some equity from that property to purchase our home here in Kiama so it absolutely had to happen prior to the second settlement which is scheduled for tomorrow.

To know that it happened to day is a massive relief!

I also did a little window shopping today, specifically for lights.  The lighting in the house is all somewhere between ordinary and bad and will pretty much all be replaced.  I know exactly what I want to do over the dinning table – have known for years.  I’ll use school house lights in a lot of other rooms, but I would love a feature in the living room.  The living room is also so huge that it’s probably going to need more than just a central fixture to light it.  And, I’m planning on having my desk in a nook in the corner so that will need some specific lighting.  The kitchen also only has a central overhead light so could use some additional task lighting.

Here’s my ideas so far …

Ever since I saw this collection of vintage lights hung in a grouping at the Order of Melbourne years ago I’ve known that I wanted to do this over my art deco dining table.  I have started collecting the shades and can’t wait to do it!
Vintage light chandelier

I love vintage school house lights.  I’ve used them in the house in Melbourne and now I’m going to use the modern version throughout this house.  They are the same shape as the vintage ones and I love them as much now as I did when I bought my first vintage one about 10 years ago.  The Schoolhouse Electric Co has a stunning selection … but I may be going for a cheaper version for now.
School House Light
I’m struggling a little to decide on what to use for the living room so it might be a simple white drum shade for now, but I would love a capiz shell chandelier if Handsome Handy Hubby won’t hit his head on it every time he walks past.

I’m also looking at curtains and have just discovered that the ones I’ve had my eye on for the living room for months are no longer available … sigh.

And so it begins …

When we moved to Kiama a year ago we figured it would take us a couple of year to get settled in.  We had hopes of being able to buy a home at some point after that but we weren’t sure if it would be in Kiama or a neighbouring suburb or town.  Well, to our surprise we’ve bought a house almost a year to the day after arriving in town!

Front Listing

If we were able to buy a house we knew it would probably be the worst house in the street at the lowest end of the property market.  And while this one isn’t the wost house around, it does need some love.  What it has going for it, other than the right price, is that it’s a solid house at the end of a cul-de-sac, great size living spaces and reasonable size bedrooms (3 of them), a great size laundry, a deck and a good size yard.  The only down side of the structure itself is that there’s only a single car garage and no room to extend it to a double.  Oh well, the cars have lived on the street for the past year so a little more outdoor living won’t hurt them.

We’re still a couple of weeks away from final settlement but we are lucky enough that the current owners have already moved out so we’ve been able to take a good look around at the house in it’s empty state and see exactly what we need to do.  As I said, the house needs a little love in order to give it a new lease of life, but the structure’s sound so it’s mostly cosmetic.  The list of thing that we have to do is short but essential … the list of what we’d like to do on the other hand is a bit longer, a tad more complex and full of thing that we’ll have to tackle over the next few months.

At the moment our office wall is covered in my lists and inspirational photos … and yes, my husband does think I’m a little crazy.  But getting it out on paper stops me from laying awake thinking about it all night


So, here’s the list of stuff that we want to get done BEFORE we move in.  Yep, you read that right, before we move in.

  • Paint EVERYTHING – ceilings, walls, cornice, skirting, doors, inside wardrobes …everything you can think of.
  • Flooring … carpet in the living and bedrooms and bamboo boards in the hall and kitchen & dining area.  We’re going to attempt laying the boards ourselves so I’ll keep you updated on how that goes.  We’ve also got some slate in the entrance to pull up, and we’ll probably pull up all the carpet and lino ourselves as well.
  • New skirting boards – the existing ones are in pretty bad shape so we’re pulling them all out and replacing them.  We’ve bought some never used ones of eBay and will install them ourselves.
  • Reconfigure the laundry door area – The laundry is at the end of the back of the house at the end of the hall.  There’s a very deep linen cupboard right at the end of the hall.  We’re going to pull that linen cupboard out and put a sliding door across the end of the hall which will make the laundry space bigger.
  • Pulling out the oversizes built in wardrobe in the master bedroom.  We’ll probably have to use the 3rd bedroom wardrobe for a while until we decide what to do.

Thankfully my Handsome Hubby is a supper handy guy, I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty, my dad is a handy guy as well and my brother is a carpenter.  I’m sure Little Miss will also get in and give us a hand as she loves to help out even though she’s only two!

The list of things that we’d like to do is much longer.  Some of it we know we’ll be able to tackle pretty soon, some of it will take some time because we need to live in the space for a while first and some of it we’ll have to save up for … should make for an interesting time.

It includes things like reconfiguring the bathroom to create a family bathroom, ensuite and walk in wardrobe.  Yes, it’s big enough for all of that!  Rebuilding the existing deck as some of the woodwork needs replacing and extending it across the back of the house.  This will include knocking a hole in the brickwork and putting in some doors across the back of what is the dining area.  This will let in a lot more light and give us a great outdoor space.  And the list goes on …

Jackadaw will be a place for us to keep track of progress, ideas and before & after shots.