Work is slow - well, we have hardly done anything really. It would be tempting to just jump in and do everything before you move in, decisions all made and once you're in you're in, but that's not us. Houses have their own personality and it's better, especially when the house isn't brand spanking new, to let it have it's say. To slowly reveal secrets of lighting and flow. To encourage you to see past what's there to possibilities you didn't think about the first little while. Living in a house allows insights and nice little aha moments to flourish, if you stay aware. And it has to be said, having to be frugal helps, because it stimulates creativity!
What we bought, is a split level house built in the late 1960s on a block of land that is 759 square metres. It's not exactly pretty, and there's a lot of bits needing some loving, but it's a good house, solidly built from brick and hardiplank, with asbestos thrown in for fun (yay), but with no other little nasties like white ants or rot. The walls and ceiling are all nice and flat, which tells us the frame is good. There's roof insulation, and solar panels, and lovely hardwood floors, mmmm.
You go up a short flight of steps to the middle section, that has a little front porch, a back porch, a living room and small kitchen/diner. There are three decent sized bedrooms and a bathroom (no bath though) on the top floor, and under that, downstairs, are two "utility" rooms, a laundry and a toilet. Legally we aren't allowed to call them rooms, because the ceilings are only 2.1m high. Drat it, why didn't the builders just break out and add 30 measley centimetres? Oh well... they are entirely livable (even if we can't put in any ceiling fans or chandeliers) and we have plenty of ideas for them. And there is a lovely big covered area out the back that I christened The Pavilion. It's such a bonus.
(Note, I take photos with my iphone, it's all I have. Sometimes I will have better photos, but not usually.)
OK so the window shutters and the front porch roof and railings are a little "granny" but that's easy enough to update. We are going to gently undress this little house and give her a nice new look. I'm thinking less of the 1980s Granny and more of the Contemporary Cottage. You'll see. But there's going to be a lot of work to get her there. Not in an Extreme Makeover kind of way though, more like a gentle unveiling of her own inner beauty, shedding the shabby clothes and making the most of what we have.
We haven't just been sitting around doing nothing, but it's only been small steps so far. Funny what a big difference they've made to how I feel though. The very first thing I did was to take down the Grungy Golden Globe light fitting in the hallway at the top of the stairs and replace it with something a little more Glamorous and Girly. I think I forgot to take a photo of GGG, but it was kind of like this, without the fluting:
Yeah... SO not the look I want in my life. We took it to a charity shop. Now it has a white organza ribbon and crystal thing in place, that I picked up at K-Mart would you believe, for about ten dollars. It makes the whole stair and hallway so much brighter! It's probably not the final choice for here, but the brown light thing was just not going to live through the first week with me!
But then Duncan started taking the shadecloth down. Oh my goodness, what a relief, I could just feel this claustrophobic weight lifting and I'm sure the house did too! The light was amazing. After a few months, looking at these photos again makes me just cringe! So bad.
love Heather x
To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution. ~Jo Coudert