Friday, April 18, 2014

An Overdue Post

Once upon a time, there was a blog. 

There was a woman who wrote this blog, let's call her Edwina, and she also did 679 million other things and sometimes she sort of had to let the blog fall away a little to keep the wheels of her life from wobbling off completely.

So, hi there. I've been slack. I apologise. I'm here today. Incidentally, today was the first really cool and misty morning of the season. Soon it'll be frosty again. We're almost coming to our second winter living in Little House. 

How terrifyingly quickly time flies.

Recently, we've had some rain. It was long overdue and has turned the whole valley green and lush again. This is Big and Little House (can you see Little House, hiding away there?) as taken from our neighbour's property.

We've been out the back a bit, getting the weeds under control. It's pretty down there. Weedy, but pretty.

But mostly, we've just been getting on with the process of living our lives.

In what must be one of the slowest journeys ever, we have nearly finished the undercoating in the big room. Nearly.

I don't know if this is becoming the slowest renovation ever, or just top five, but hey - good things take time. 

And when there's so much else in life to do and enjoy, why hurry?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Exterior Inspirations

This is what our big old Queenslander looks like at the moment. If you can ignore the overgrown tree, you can get a fair idea of what we have to work with. 

Here's an example of what we'd LIKE it to look like. This particular example has the added example of not being wrapped in an aluminium verandah.

Image from here

On the topic of verandahs, this is what we'd like ours to look like when done... the colour scheme, particularly. And the fairy lights, of course.

 Image from here

(While we're on the topic of exterior lighting, this is Lu standing under the lights of her playhouse, clearly on an important call - too cute not to share!)

Our verandah ceiling isn't framed, so it will end up looking more like this one from Walk Among The Homes blog. 

Image from here

And another colour scheme example. Grey is very in, clearly.

Image from here

The gate and front steps of this example are wonderful, although it's a different style and generation of home than ours.

Image from here

And that's that! Now, if anyone has a magic wand I can wave in the direction of Big House to expedite the process a little, please let me know!

This post was sponsored by Monier. To see their range of terracotta tiles and other roofing products, please follow the links!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bathroom Renovation Inspiration

Following on from yesterday, when I showed you why bathroom is a dirty word around here at the moment (literally), I bring you a series of slightly less horrifying photos.

Before I start though, I'm going to show you the bathroom we actually use, before anyone misunderstands the situation and calls child services on me. This is the bathroom at Little House, although it's had a shower screen fitted since I took these photos hours after the renovation finished.


Ok, there's a few factors at play when it comes to deciding what the Big House bathroom will look like. Firstly, the main features of the room will be the windows and bathtub, because we already have them and they both demand attention.

The bathtub is an old clawfoot tub we unearthed from the garden on arrival here and plan to clean up. This is what it looks like. 

Mmmm, nothing says let's get clean more than a tub full of weeds, does it?

I have been contemplating what colour we'll paint the base of the tub and saw this matt black finish on Pinterest. I love the fact that it looks aged and quite achievable. Dan will be painting the tub himself, so achievable is good. Rustic is good.

Photo from here

Although, you know what other colour I'm strangely desiring? Can you guess? Apple green. That colour is infectious.

Photo from here.

The windows we'll use are these ones from Gumtree, which I've featured before.

This is what they look like when the sun shines through them, which will be often as they will face west. 

Have you noticed how bright they are? Because they are in your face bright. I love them, but I know everything else has to be pretty subtle to get away with them. These are feature windows if ever I saw them.

The windows will sit over the tub and be set up so you can slide them both open and look out at the view, which will look a bit like this. 

In terms of colour scheme, well, I'm thinking white wall and charcoal floor tiles much like the ones we used above in Little House. It's practical and durable and those big tiles are easy for my novice-tiler husband to install. 

I think we might follow the pack and go with the very-trendy subway tile with grey grout combo. Because dark grout hides a multitude of sins, in my opinion. Less time spent scrubbing grout can only be a good thing.

Photo from here.

Vanity-wise, we used a fairly contemporary one in Little House but I'd like to go a bit more classic in Big House. Something unassuming with clean lines, like this one from Ikea:

So that's where we're at, bathroom ideas wise. Loads of ideas and loads of work to do to implement them. 

This post was sponsored by Monier. To see their range of terracotta tiles and other roofing products, please follow the links!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bathroom Woes

What if your bathroom looked like this.

Say the shower had been pulled off the wall by your husband so he could attach the high pressure hose for use INSIDE the house (don't even get me started).

Say your rickety toilet, an afterthought built into the hottest corner of the back verandah, carried the scars of abandoned wasps nests. And they weren't even that old.

Say the ceilings were unlined and when the sun shone, which was pretty much always, you could almost bake to death in the time it took to relieve yourself.

Although, luckily, there were spots where the cladding had been hacked away by the roofers so at least you had a bit of ventilation. 

What if you knew that most of this back verandah still had to be built in, incorporated into a bathroom and the 'master suite' - although, mercifully, you had decided to incorporate a large section of open verandah into that suite mainly you couldn't be bothered doing anything more significant with it (also, private back verandah accessible only from French doors off master bedroom? Yes please!)

If all of this were true, well, you might find yourself up against the occasional wall of renovation fatigue. 

We're pretty cozy and comfortable living over in the renovated comfort of Little House, which probably explains our slow-down. I feel a need for a bit of motivation though, so I'm going to raid Pinterest for some bathroom inspiration ideas today to share tomorrow. 

Who knows, maybe before I'm old and grey, I'll get to put them to use!

Friday, February 21, 2014

An Update on the Bonded Stores on Margaret Street, Brisbane

A few days ago, I shared a post on the Bonded Stores on Margaret Street, saying that demolition may commence at any time.

We had some great news yesterday afternoon, with the announcement that the State Government has issued a stop work order for work on the site until the buildings can be assessed by the Queensland Heritage Council at a special meeting.

Hotpoint House, one of the three Bonded Store buildings.

Premier Campbell Newman himself is quoted in the Brisbane Times as saying that the bonded stores are heritage buildings and need to be properly assessed.

This is a HUGE step forward for the campaign to save these buildings. While they're not safe yet, their fate now lies with the Heritage Council.

I'll keep you posted, or keep an eye on the Brisbane Heritage webpage for more information.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Let's Go Fly A Kite

This renovation has been moving a little, ahem, slowly of late. In fact, it's barely been moving at all. Sometimes we get through lots of work on the place, other times we are more occupied with actual paid work - which we need in order to fund the renovations but does tend to get in the way of actually DOING the renovations.

We have, however, spent a little time doing other more enjoyable things. We have turned the old cream shed into a playhouse for Lu. I felt that a house without walls, doors or windows didn't feel like much of a house - so I got a doorbell, street numbers, a gnome and some furniture from the op shop.

The sound of the doorbell can now be heard most afternoons. 

All afternoon. 

It's driving me a little insane, if we're being honest.

Then there's been the kite flying sessions, carefully supervised by Scooby the pony of course.

And that's been life of late. Has anyone been up to anything more exciting? Care to share?

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Bonded Stores and Brisbane Heritage

A couple of months ago, I heard about the fight to save the Bonded Stores on Facebook. I've since become involved with the Brisbane Heritage group and the fight to save these three beautiful buildings from demolition. 

This is the central building, called O'Reilly's Bonded Stores. 

There's also the Free Stores building...

and Hotpoint House.

A demolition application was made for these buildings late last year and swiftly approved by the Brisbane City Council despite a great level of public support for the campaign to save them - and more than 120 submissions to Council against the demolition.

Brisbane isn't a city famous for its heritage protection. Quite the opposite, actually. But I think it's fair to say that us old-building-lovers thought we'd come further than this.

Demolition may commence at any time. The space the three buildings occupy will then become a temporary park before the future construction of a concrete high-rise.

Brisbane Heritage isn't anti-development. The group  just believes these buildings should be incorporated into future development on the site. They'd make a beautiful foyer, a great venue for restaurants and bars.

I believe old buildings give a city its soul and character. We have so few of them left, it just defies belief that the Bonded Stores aren't deemed worthy of protection and incorporation into the future use of this site.

If you'd like more information or to support the campaign, the links below will take you where you need to go:

Over to you - do you think the Bonded Stores would be great incorporated into a development on the site? Or do you think they'd be better removed and replaced with something new?