Friday, 4 January 2013

Our ugly duckling has become a swan

Still some finishing touches to do be done, like painting the outside but we have moved in.
Definitely need to go furniture shopping but now we can just take our time.
Next job in the nature strip and front garden.

New cast iron palisade front fence - looks just like it was meant to
 Letterbox to be installed into the fence
 Bedroom 3/guest bedroom - painting by Annette Lodge
 Matt tiles (very hard to find in Sydney) from Classic Ceramics in Leichhardt
 Stocked up pantry - just need to fix the wine cellars to the walls and then we can load them up too
Elliot Nimmo painting
 Need to purchase new dining table - sofa is arriving mid Jan
 Love the deck (so does the dog)
 Bedroom 2/dressing room
Master bedroom - wall to be wallpapered, pendant light made by Alex Earl, bedside tables from Bloomingdales, lamps from Life Interiors

WOW – what a ride

We can’t quite believe the whole process is almost over, in some ways we are bit sad and also wondering how we will fill our time. On the other hand we can’t wait to get in and start enjoying the house with our fur kids.
I’m not sure if luck has anything to do with it, or the willingness (albeit reluctantly) that we would have to spend a lot of money to get what we wanted but we could not be happier with the architect we choose or the builder. In neither case did we pick based on price and we also didn’t have personal referrals – in Dean’s case we had seen his work but with Trevor it was a gut feel. I think it is a testament to both of them that Mr R and I move in, still married, extremely happy and would recommend them to anyone. It’s great if you happen to know people in different trades and speak their language but if not, all I would say is that is you value your sanity and relationships, and can afford to spend just a bit more, then using a great architect and builder is the way to go.
So before we ruin the lovely clean lines with our crap, below are some photos…..

 Beautiful kitchen - just missing the mirrored splashback which will be installed in 2013
Timber veneer look is Navlam Brindle Oak with stainless steel benchtop, island is Dulux Natural White poly and Quantum Quartz Luna White benchtop. Appliances were from old house and are Smeg, fridge is the discontinued (so very hard to find) LG's GCL197DSL (stainless steel and no funny door thing on the front)

Downstairs bathroom - rainshower and shower rail from Rogerseller

Toilet Parisi Envy MK 2 from Domayne, wall hung and hidden cistern

Laundry with pet door - love my 4 colour tiled splashback inspired by Sarah Richardson


Our turkish light purchased in the Grand Bazaar and carried back with love - now in a prime position 

2nd bedroom - my dressing room - the far door leads to the secret S&M room 

Ahhh - our ensuite bliss
Samba pendant from Globe West) - bath from ACS - vanity is custom made with Quantum Quartz Luna White top

Vanity colour is Dulux Volcano Rock
Rogerseller Miky underbench sinks
Master bedroom

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The good, the bad and the ugly

Everyone wants to know, as we did, what would you do differently if you had the time again?

I would love to go through the process again but with a huge budget; I would have liked to let Trevor do more 'architect' things but we just didn't have the money. If we win lotto stay tuned for the next instalment - Balmain beauty with an infinity pool (tropical fishtank, bedroom sized walk in wardrobe etc).

Things I would do differently
  • get a full size sample floor tile and test them (ours show water marks etc) - sort of the industrial look I suppose
  • spend more time thinking about the kitchen design - we spent a lot of time (and money) on the look but I should have thought more about drawer depths etc as some are not very functional. I also think the Joiner should have spent more time with us given the amount we were spending. It was always rush rush rush. The Joiner didn't suggest any changes and surely he would know what depths are best for drawers? Anyway, luckily there are only two of us and we can make it work but it could have been much better
  • spend more time designing the wardrobe internals - again the joiner was not full of good/any ideas. The drawers are too narrow. Funny thing is that the last wardrobe we got from Complete Wardrobes, the guy who came to quote was amazing and asked lots of questions etc and we got a great end product. It seems everyone is so busy they don't have time to sit and talk about how spaces will be used. I mentioned numerous times to the Joiner that Mr R is 6 foot 2 inches and his clothes are really long and I got a lot of "it will be fine or you can change it" (not likely) - of course the rails are too close - top shelf too low. I should have been stronger I suppose
  • Not used renovation boys to buy anything. We saved about $2k buying from them but I just don't want to give them any business. Most of the products we received are fine but I am dreading taking the faulty stuff back - I think it would be hard to find a more annoying company to buy from. The buying experience from Rogerseller and Reece was much more pleasant and you also get some design advice.
  • Source products in Sydney - unfortunately the selection is a bit crap. We purchased a great 3 metre long light from Melbourne but it appears to be faulty and getting it back to Melbourne will be a major hassle - I won't be really happy if it's $800 down the drain.
  • Rented a better house - this caused us a lot of stress as the yard was not secure and so our dogs had to stay inside all day. It was also mouldy, cold and in a bad location.
  • Win lots of money and not get a construction loan from Westpac - I'm not sure what the current methods of torture are, but they could add this. I don't think the bank has ever given someone one of these loans and so no one knew what they were doing. In the last week of the build we had 3 valuations on the house, which we had to pay for, each time the valuer said they didn't know what they were doing there. Bank also withheld our money, so we had to use our credit card. I could go on for hours about it but it annoys me so I won't
  • Win lots of money! It's a very expensive process

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Racing towards the finish line.....

Only days before practical completion will be called - 24th December as per the contract, no one thought it would be possible but Dean the super builder and his awesome team, Mark, Strider and Mitch have done it.

I couldn't take inside photos today as the top coating (tung oil) had been applied but I took some outside ones (and through the window). Basically everything is ready inside with a bit of finishing off by the Joiner etc to do. A few things will have to wait until next year - the mirrored splashback due to powerpoint issue, front security door, outside painting (just the back will be done so our puppies will be safe). Not too worried about the painting not being complete as the painter is quite a tasty morsel and a pleasure to have around (actually there is a bit of eye candy on site but I won't elaborate in case any of them read this). So ladies if you are looking for a perve just spend a huge amount of money and renovate your house.

The most important job is complete - I have hammock hooks ready and fridge with ice maker is being delivered on Friday!

Ready for painting and new palisade front fence
 Side path painted 'Bluestone' - architect's nightmare but if it means I don't have to clean it so often then I'm happy
Spotted gum floors just finished today -loving our grey (Obsidian Glass) wall and 4.4 metre long entertainment unit

Trevor decided the pergola needed more pop and so it was changed and painted the wall colour above, looks way better. The roofing is some sort of Twinwall type product in a grey colour. Think we will spend a lot of time out there.
Our beautiful and real (not pool fence) front fence - a total extravagance but I think it will make a huge difference to the street appeal.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Yes I like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain

I'm not much into health food - I am into champagne..... I never knew the next line of the song but I think it's an ode to me.
I am starting to picture myself swinging on my hammock (purchased in Mexico about 14 years ago and never hung up) on the deck below and drinking Pina Coladas.

On the house front there still seems so much to do in so little time; at least them was a lot of progress today with the kitchen starting to go in and the laundry almost completed. Builder is still expecting to be completed (practical completion) by 24th December; so we will probably try to move in around 2nd January.
Very happy with the large deck, nothing worse than a small one

Kitchen in progress, looks bigger than I imagined and pretty spacious for an Inner West house

The laundry which Trevor and the painter says should not be all yellow (cabinets are white) but I am pretty sure I will get my way. They think just one wall in yellow would be better but I think a feature wall in a laundry is naff.

Downstairs bathroom - with little tiled niche on the far wall

Mosaic wall in the ensuite  Bisazza Oleandro shading blend mix
The atrium - almost finished - just needs a Rhapis Excelsa (see below) and a solar uplight (if they exist and actually work)