Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Let the floorboards begin!

There are many aspects of home renovation that are very time consuming, and for Rob and I it seems to be the planning and decision-making process that really eats up the time. Maybe it would be easier if we weren't both indecisive Libras who need to endlessly weigh the pros and cons of every little possibility and impossibility, but then again, maybe not. I'm not sure that making a multitude of choices about very costly, (semi)permanent things is all that easy for anyone.
One thing that we were very sure about from the get-go was the need to rip out all of the dirty, smelly old carpets and install hardwood floors. Both Rob and I suffer from allergies and those carpets were harboring a host of nasties that set us of. We considered a number of different options for floor coverings and finally settled on recycled jarrah floorboards. Jarrah is a native Australian hardwood that has been used extensively in building in this region for ages. It's highly resistant to termite infestation and has a range of beautiful colors from rosewood to strawberry blond. Neither one of us wanted to support the harvesting of new trees just to have pretty floors, so it was nice to discover that there is a small but prosperous industry committed to collecting and refurbishing old floorboards that get ripped out of demolished houses. So, no new trees were harmed in the beautification of our home and the boards didn't have to travel long distances to get to us - it's a win-win situation
The process started with the tried and true - measure twice, cut once…
Above: Rob's makeshift work bench and a pile of boards directly from the recyclers.

Below: Boards are prepared and laid out in the master bedroom.

Below: All the boards have been cut to size and laid out in anticipation of installation in both the master bedroom and office.

Rob spent an entire day carefully cutting all of the boards and arranging them to highlight their natural color variations. It was no mean feat to get it all sorted! The next day our friend Brad came to help with the actual installation process. The two boys spent nearly 13 hours completing the two rooms! It probably would have gone a lot faster if Brad didn't lie down on the job so often…
Above: Loads of heavy stuff stacked on the boards to hold them in place whilst the glue dries.

Below: The kitties enjoy a sunbeam on the nice new floors…

Monday, November 30, 2009

Life's a Beach

I haven't had much time away from the house and renovations, but I did head down to Cottesloe one fine weekend to play catch-up with Megan and Simba. Whilst down there we discovered this awesome sun dial down by the beach.

It's designed so that you can read the time at a specific date and get the exact time to the minute. It's interesting because you can't see it from the road or the beach, you have to walk down a little path behind a building to find it, but very cool when you do!

Progress on the House

Oooh, pretty blue walls to replace the weird dark bluish green one. Our colors were all so edible - Artesian Well, Blueberry, Custard Cream…

And a lovely 'Indulgence' lemonyness for the new office…

Renovations Part II

Rob discovered that both the window sills and the baseboards were solid jarrah timber - Bonus! We decided to go with the bare wood look. Stripping back a few decades of paint = a WHOLE LOT of sanding and equal amounts of dust. But the end results were beautiful.

Along with the sanding came the painting. And with the painting comes the funny painting suits…

Renovations Begin

In the beginning there was a lot of dust…
This cotton candy pink room had to go! Out with the nasty carpet, steamed off the wallpaper strips, stripped the baseboards and window sill, etc., etc.…

Master bedroom needed a lot of help too! Rob and his cousin Justin pulled out the built-in wardrobe, pulled out the carpet, and stripped everything down. The guys did an awesome job!

Friday, November 6, 2009

In The Beginning, Part II… The Garden

Upon first glance, the yard looked like a little slice of heaven - fruit trees, chicken coop, pagoda, pool, raised garden beds, a great covered patio and lots of space. What we didn't realize is that what we thought was clover was actually a very nasty weed known as 'bindi' that turns into horrible, brown ground cover full of hard spiky balls, and what we thought was grass was predominantly weeds… We also discovered that 2 out of the 3 potted ficus trees around the pool were dying and/or infested with ants, that the chicken coop had been defunct for years and weeds had grown up thick and waist high, that every tree and vine desperately needed pruning.

View from the back door out to the shed/yard/pool.

Dying ficus tree, overgrown lemon tree and bougainvillea next to the chicken coop.

Dilapidated chicken coop, overgrown peach tree, crazy huge weeds, and volunteer tomato plants! (hidden under the weeds)

The bougainvillea attempting to eat the pagoda, and the 'lawn' that turned out to be nothing but weeds :( Our friend Brad decided to give me a heart attack by informing me that, 'one year of seeding leads to seven years of weeding'. Thanks Brad. Nice pool though!

The view of the front yard from the master bedroom - the garden bed erupted in weeds shortly after this photo was taken…
And the huge neglected grape vines in their bed of weeds.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

New House - In the beginning…

In the beginning there were nasty old carpets, terrible paint jobs, crappy kitchen cupboards, heaps of weeds and over-grown plants, festy tiles, windows needing replacement, and an incredible amount of 'potential'. Rob told me when he put the offer in on the house that it 'needed some work', but generally gave me the impression that these would be things we could do for 'fun' as time and finances allowed. Um… yeah…