Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The New Kitchen Window

A few overdue tasks got done around here on the weekend. Firstly, tree trimming,

Lu and I made an afternoon of it, settling in on the front lawn to watch the progress...

Unfortunately, the tree trimming achieved was pretty minimal - the mulcher wasn't working properly. It was put aside as a job for another day. 

Meanwhile, the new kitchen window went in without a hitch. 

Here it is from the outside. You can see where the old aluminium cladding has been stuck back on by Dan - this'll have to do until we can bring in the new timber cladding. 

We also changed up our floor plan a little. Originally, we had been planning to move the verandah stairs and entrance to the middle of the house, as shown here.

But, we just couldn't work out how to fit everything we wanted into the living room and verandah if a large entrance came up in the middle of it all. We wanted to turn the living room into an open-plan living/dining room and there just isn't enough space under that plan. 

So, we've decided to leave the stairs and front door off centre, where they are now. The 'hall' - now an open breezeway - will be incorporated into the living/dining room to give us enough space. 

We won't have that symmetrical entrance so typical of old Queenslanders...

However, our house wasn't ever built to look like that. It's an L-shaped house and we believe now (this is my Mother's theory and makes a lot of sense) that the house may have been an old workers' cottage from around 1890-1900, moved to the site and extended on in the 1920s, when the pressed metal and glass features so typical of that era were added. 

She was a bit of patchwork from the beginning, cobbled together to suit the needs of the postmaster's family. 

She'll continue in that way to suit ours.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Here Comes The Roof

In just under two weeks, the roofers will arrive to completely replace the roof of Big House. That means the overhanging trees need to be cut back ASAP, and that massive aerial removed. (Austar, here we come...!)

It's a good thing the overhanging tree is being cut back, because it's dropping some fairly unwelcome guests into the house... We found this tree snake behind some VJs Dan removed yesterday. Dan moved him on, but he came back today to find his little home destroyed and seemed at a loose end. 

Tree snakes are a little aggressive but not venomous, so he can hang around until we work out how to get him down from there safely and relocate him to the trees, far away from the house...

This gives an insight into where we're up to in the kitchen/dining space. The VJs in the kitchen have been removed and that aluminium window you can see straight ahead is now out. The new timber window will be fitted tomorrow. 

Finally, I just love this photo so I'm sharing it. It's Lucinda and her Grandfather in the paddock, looking for wild ducks.

Happy weekend, all!

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Lights and Windows

I've been trying to find pendant lights I like for a while and had been hell-bent on getting some aqua coloured ones for the living room. (I posted a picture on Facebook last night - thanks to everyone who gave wonderful suggestions!)

HOWEVER, when I took into account the yellow and green coloured glass in the sliding windows in the room (you can just see them in the third photo down here), I decided the lights really had to be neutral. 

 I ended up buying four large charcoal coloured pendant lights (the ones on the right here - they look black in this photo but aren't) and three smaller cream coloured ones for the kitchen. 

I guess I had windows on the mind, because I came home and started to look on Gumtree for some pretty leadlight windows for the 'garden bar' (that dilapidated little structure on our property that we've decided should become an outdoor bar...but that's a post for another day) and I saw these. 

And it was love. 

Lu and I went and picked them up this afternoon and brought them home. They need repainting but the timber and putty is in good condition, which is more than can be said for most of the old windows in our place.

They're way too big for the garden bar, but they'll be perfect for the bathroom. The idea is that they'll be installed above the bathtub, so you can either open them and gaze out at the view or just lie in your very own pretty rainbow...

Friday, August 16, 2013

Kitchen Plans

It was a while ago that we went and ordered our kitchen from Freedom and I want to be very clear - it is 100 percent our fault that it is not installed yet.

However, we recently ran out of excuses and had our site measure and, a couple of days ago, our final plans were emailed to us.

I am thrilled. Within six months (fingers crossed) I will be cooking in here and admiring that view ( that is not actually our view - although I appreciate them going to the effort of superimposing a tree outside the window).

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Styling Decisions

It's time to make some more styling decisions. Yippeeee!

I have re-discovered Pinterest ( you can follow the board I'm making for Big House here if you're interested).

When I try and describe what I want to people, it always comes out a little jumbled. A country Queenslander with a classic contemporary interior with a slightly eclectic, possibly Moroccan feel in the stylings and tiles. Big, dark leather couch (we already have that) and furniture with Turkish rugs and bright cushions and colourful art and plenty of books.

I just can't wait to bring the vision to life...

Here are some pictures of interiors and exteriors I love for various reasons, most of which feature in my slowly growing Pinterest collection.

Row One: 
Left: This light is from Schots Emporium in Melbourne. They will not ship to Brisbane. This is, in my opinion, a travesty. 

Middle: The middle picture is from Pinterest (check the board linked above). I love the colour of the pressed metal ceilings - it's what I want for ours. Grey, but not too dark to be overpowering and definitely workable with our high ceilings. 

Right: I've pinned this because I like what they've done with the screening under the house. We've got ugly concrete stumps (you can see our house currently here) and a dark colour screen option like that would really help hide them away.

Row Two: 
Left: I think I just like the baby, actually. Cluck cluck.

Middle: This is a bit like what we've ordered for our kitchen. We've gone with a more traditional handle, but the cabinetry, bench tops and butlers sink are similar to what we've ordered. See my Pinterest board for the source. 

Right. I love this because the floorboards and French doors are very like ours. I will be making curtains like that, too. Once I have the room to pull my sewing machine out. 

Row Three:
Left: This is the York fireplace, also from Schots Emporium. Please start shipping to Brisbane, people. 

Middle: Probably a bit more modern than what we'll be doing, but the louvres are gorgeous. And the batwing gates will definitely make an entrance at our place. 

Right: Our tile, which is sitting in boxes under the house. I've mentioned it before but it's the Amity tile from Tera Nova in Sydney. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Spring Cleaning

Spring has arrived. It's early, and it caught me a little off guard if I'm going to be completely honest.

Earlier this week, this is what the gardens all around Little House looked like - overgrown, weed-filled and oh so inviting to our soon-to-be back slithery friends...

Over the last few days, I've been hard at work clearing the yard. All that garden bed is now cleared back to bare Earth.

 Yesterday, I had a day's help from my in-laws. They cleared out all the undergrowth around the flowerbeds and we picked up all the old, rotting pieces of timber and carpet the previous owners had left around the base of the Little House. I've got a final whipper snip to do and then I can do a reveal on our new, snake-safe gardens.

  Next week, Dan and I are planning to put in a metal mesh product around the base of the house, dug slightly into the ground to further discourage anything unwelcome from getting under this house, which has the kind of gaps and spaces throughout it that only an old, wonky, slightly rotted building can have.

The final precaution we're taking is a serious gap filling session, which I will go into more next week when I do it.

I've also started planting a hedge down the side of Little House, to screen it from the neighbours (eventually). We finally decided on Mock Orange and I just can't wait until they're a little bigger than this...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Big House Gets A New Roof

After much umming and ahhing and will we and won't we, I'm happy to report that we've made the executive decision to hire a roofer for Big House.

We need a roof urgently, but Dan had been toying with the idea of putting a new one on the house himself.

That would have been great and all, except he doesn't have time and as the months keep ticking by and the water keeps dripping in, a new roof seems a pretty high priority place to direct our dollars.

We've also got a check measure on Monday for the new kitchen for Big House. And then? Financially? We're done for a while. The kitchen and roof will pretty much sap everything we've got left.

That's not the end of the world. We'll rig up some temporary solutions to get us through until we can get a bit more cash together and get more materials.

We're hoping to be in Big House again by early next year.

Little House Front Verandah

In the meantime, with Summer right around the corner, if you're looking for me over the next few months, I suspect the Little House front verandah is where I'll be... It's a lovely spot to hide on a Sunny afternoon.