Monday, October 27, 2014

Catching Up - Walk in Wardrobe

I had the best intentions to keep to a regular posting schedule when I started this blog back at the beginning of the year but, as is my way, I certainly didn't follow through.

So let's try again.

I think besides my general laziness, the main problem was that I was feeling like I wasn't really getting anything done.  Which is still true, but when I think back to all the things we've achieved since April I realise we're not doing too badly.

So over the next few days I'm going to give you an update of where we're at.  Absolutely everything I'm about to show you is part way done, but I think you can see where I'm going with it all.

The first major project we tackled was the built in robe.  When we moved in the master bedroom was long and way more room than we needed, with a couple of built in robes with sliding mirorred doors.  Our stuff fit in - just.  My main issue was that my section of the robe went quite deep past the door opening, meaning I couldn't see more than half my clothes.  I have my clothes separated by colour then style, so I was missing out on everything that wasn't white, black or grey. The other issue was that there was no shoe storage whatsoever and I am a girl who has a lot of shoes.  And Joe (the husband) is a man that has a lot of shoes (and large feet, so his shoes aren't exactly compact).

Starting with our wardrobe at our first house - wow, I thought it was so organised back then, but now when I see it...urgh.  It was decent sized so it fit our everyday clothes (dresses and suits were stored in the wardrobe in my office) and had ample space to store shoes in their boxes (with photographs on the front because I am crazy) on the top shelf.

And as I was clearing it out.

We decided to have a wall built to create a walk in robe/dressing room.  We haven't quite gotten it to the "dressing room" stage but we're miles ahead from where we started.

This is the day I started unpacking the robe so the carpenter could come in and do his thing.

We decided to keep the carcass of the existing robe as it is quite convenient having the built in drawers - so just the sliding doors and their tracks came down.  One of the sets of drawers (third picture) was taken out to be used on the new wall to give us maximum hanging space.

In the days before the carpenter came, I had ordered a Billy bookcase from Ikea to use as shoe storage.  I didn't have the patience to wait to build it until after the rest of the robe was done, so here's a before and after shot of what that section of the robe looks like.

Then came the exciting part - The Wall!  Although there are plenty of handy DIY-ers out there that insist building a stud wall like this is easy as pie, I know my limits (the limit ends at flat pack furniture) so the pros were called in.

Here you can see the carcass of the original robe that we left in.

The wall lines up with the left hand side of the door from the hallway (the door on the right), so you enter the walk in robe to get to the ensuite - I did this to make it feel more like a dressing room, as well as to give us as much hanging space as possible.  We also opted not to add a door to the robe for now, which is working well.  I was worried it might feel unfinished, but I'm liking it so far.  Our carpenter said it would be fairly easy to add one in later, so there is always the option if I change my mind down the track.

After the carpenter was finished with the wall I ordered some custom made flatpack robes from Cabinets On Demand  I couldn't find ready made robes that suited the space, so we went the custom route - it actually didn't turn out any more expensive than getting robes from Ikea or Bunnings etc.  The robes on the left are the new sections and are double rails (which are optional).

Quick! Get all the clothes into the new sections!

Okay, now relax and organise the clothes.  just try and ignore the mess on the shelves.

And that's where we're at with that for now.  As with most of the projects in our house, we've reached a point of functionality and left the prettifying for another time.  This frustrates me, but at the same time I'm trying to decorate with purpose in this house, which means rather than just buying any old thing to fill a space, really making sure it fits in my overall plan for the house.  So we'll get there in time.  For now, I'm over the moon with the way our wardrobe has turned out.  There's so much extra room and I can see all my clothes without having to dig into deep and dark corners (for the record, the deep, dark corner I'm referring to is still there, it just contains Joe's suits and my formal dresses now, so it's very rarely accessed these days).

Let me know if you have any ideas for the shelves on the left hand side - there's really not much going on there at the moment, so any ideas are welcome. 

I'm off to write my next post, so you should be able to expect that in the next couple of days.  As always, thanks for reading, it means the world :)


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Let's Get Started

We've officially been in our new place for a month now - wow, time flies when you're having fun crazy busy moving your entire life from one place to another.

I've finally managed to wrap my head around the fact that we have moved and this is our new home - furniture is pretty much in its place, almost all the boxes are unpacked, I've started a bit of a house keeping routine (although it's quite a vague one) and I'm beginning to think about turning this place into our own.

Here's a few photos I snapped the afternoon I picked up the keys.  Sorry about the horrible blurriness, I was clearly excited and rushing!

Front Lounge


Dining room - to the left of kitchen

Front Lounge (it's 'L' shaped, kitchen is to the right)

Family/Living Room

Bedroom 1


Bedroom 2 - Taylor's Bedroom

Main Bathroom

Bedroom 3

Master Bedroom


Master Bedroom from the other direction

So you can see what we're working with - four bedrooms, two bathrooms, a lot of feature walls (not something I'm fond of), outdated kitchen and bathroom, but lots of space and room to improve.

We started off really well - the night we got our keys we painted Taylor's bedroom, walls and ceiling, before we had even moved any of our stuff in.  I figured that was going to have to be job #1 since it would be a pain in the backside to keep moving her around once we were in. I wasn't sure how she was going to react to the move, but she loves the new place and didn't have a care in the world on moving day.  I think the best thing we did was send her on a sleep over at Nan's place the night before and day of, so she missed all the traumatising removal of furniture and toys.  I still need to paint the skirts in the room (we ran out of paint that night), but I'm loving the colour.  When I've finished the room I'll devote a full blog post to it.

Once we were in we started noticing all the bits and pieces we didn't really take note of during the viewings of the house during the buying process.  Things like mismatched doors and handles, light fittings in awkward places, bad paint jobs of skirts and cornices, a lot of cosmetic things that we had taken for granted.  To be fair, we really did buy this place because of the address and the block, so although I was overwhelmed when we first started noticing things, I knew we had always planned on making a lot of changes to the actual house.  Hardly any of it is to my taste, and I think I would've felt bad changing things just because I didn't like the colour if it had've been quality work and fittings.

The first projects I want to work on are the kitchen and interior doors - none of the doors in the house match, the door handles are not only different shapes, but some are gold, some are chrome, some are even porcelain (which to me is quite bizarre, since they all come off one hallway).  I feel like upgrading to doors and handles that match and are better quality will make a huuuuge difference to the feel of the house.  I've sourced the doors from Bunnings and am pretty sure I've found the handles, just need to make the commitment to buy. 

The kitchen is going to take a lot more time.  We need to have a dishwasher installed - I say 'need' and I mean it.  This is not a luxury item to me.  The configuration of the cabinetry is proving a little difficult to work with, but I think I've finally found a solution, which I'll document later.  I ordered knobs and drawer pulls today, so hopefully in a couple of weeks when they arrive, I'll have something exciting to show you.  I'm also thinking of bamboo benchtops - if anyone has any experience with these, I'd love to hear your thoughts? I've googled but haven't been able to find too much in regard to their longtime wear since I believe they're a relatively new product to the Australian market.  

So that's where we're at for now.  I've got a carpenter coming to quote us for a walk-in-robe in the next couple of weeks, a process that I'm really looking forward to sharing, and kitchen plans will probably start happening a little faster now.  Hopefully you'll stick around to see how we turn this old house into our family home.


Thursday, March 13, 2014


We've officially sold our house! Yes!!

I got a call on Thursday from Matt letting us know our purchasers had got their finance approved.  What an absolute relief.  I was pretty sure these guys seemed like they would be smooth sailing, but I guess you just never know so the anxiety was still there a little.  But it's all over - now the real fun begins. And by 'real fun', I mean packing!

I'm one of those weird people that enjoys packing and unpacking - making lists, labeling, organising, wrapping, I love it all.  I've already made some pretty good progress, our front room is lined with boxes all ready to get loaded onto the truck when the day comes (in less than three week, phew!).

Last night I spent a few hours disassembling Taylor's 'meat safe' or safety cot.  Man, what a challenge.  The size of it and the positioning of the doors in our current house mean we could never get it in or out without taking the entire thing apart (believe me, it took us hours of trying to get it in before we admitted defeat and just pulled the damn thing apart).  I really wish I'd taken a couple photos during the process, but it was all hands on deck and it was tricky.  We've decided to sell it, so after I repair a couple of the fly-wire panels, up on it'll go.  I really liked it for Taylor, but our main reason for that style was to protect her from our cat, who incidentally never went near her as a newborn, so we're going to go with a traditional cot next time.

So here's my to do list for the next week:
  • Book moving truck
  • Update address and connections for utilities 
  • Pack knick-knacks and decorative items (almost finished this)
  • Pull everything out of our roof storage (apparently my parents once forgot to take everything they had stored in their roof during a move)
  • Sell Taylor's cot
  • Organise a termite inspection for the new place
  • Put together a 'first night' box so we're prepared when we get to our new home
  • Organise my online store so that I can close for a couple weeks during the move
  • Figure out which furniture is going into which room at the new place so our DIY moving team knows exactly what's going on on the day
  • Get our mortgage docs sorted
  • Rearrange all our direct debits and budget plan
  • Organise insurance for the new house 
  • Meal plan so we get through most of the stuff in our fridge and freezer
Our move is going to be the first week of April, so we've got a lot to do between now and then.  Yay!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Back on Track

Last Friday I had a missed call from our real estate agent (his name is Matt, and since 'Matt' has so many less characters than 'real estate agent' I'm going to refer to him as that from now on).  He hadn't left a message so I assumed he had dialled me by mistake, but I returned his call anyway.

"Hi Matt"
"Hi Tarynnnnn :)"
"What's up?"
"We got an offer!"
"Huh?  From who?"
"A couple of investors that went through your place during the first home open!"
"The offer is for the same amount as the last time"

We hadn't even had a home open since the last offer fell through, so I was absolutely shocked and taken by surprise.  The couple that had placed the offer were going away for the weekend and had only made the offer verbally, so Matt suggested we still have the home open we had booked for that Sunday just in case they reneged over the weekend.  We agreed (although I was dreading cleaning the house all over again) and ended up getting a second couple interested in the place.  They wanted to come back and view the property again, but couldn't get back until later on in the week.  

We hmm'd and haw'd over whether or not to see what their offer would be, but in the end just decided to go with the one we had, considering it was the same amount as last time and we were more that happy with that.  Who knows, we might have been able to get a few extra thousand out of the second couple, but honestly, Joe and I just wanted to get the paperwork signed.  The owners of the house we're purchasing were getting a little hot under the collar after our last offer fell through (they even had a home open over the weekend even though our offer was still within contract), so to save everyone a bucketload of stress we went with the easy option.

So here's hoping it's smooth sailing from here on out!  Matt messaged me earlier today to let me know he's received the deposit from our new purchasers (and it's a large deposit, which makes me feel slightly more comfortable, not sure why) so we're on our way.

Back to Pinterest I go!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Well, we thought that all happened a bit too easily!

Everything was going along nicely, I'd started packing a couple of boxes, working on my plans for the move, began making lists and all that good stuff.  Had a valuer from our purchasers' bank come to value our property and then *BAM*! 

We got the call.  Their finance had been declined.

That hurts.

Apparently, when the couple (not) buying our place applied for their Lenders Mortgage Insurance they were found to have a bit of a black mark next to their name due to an old debt that went to collections. They'd paid it out and were okay with the bank, but the LMI mob weren't happy to take them on.  So they've been declined and we're back to square one.

I feel the pain for these guys, it sucks so much worse for them, since they're going to keep coming up against this problem, and the only way around it is to find a cheaper place or come up with an extra $20k before they make an offer on another place.  

We still have three weeks to sell our place, three weekends of home opens, so I'm still feeling confident (just a little miffed).  We've actually got someone coming through the house tonight, so hopefully they just fall in love with it and buy it right away, save us the hassle of home opens.

Ah, the joys ;)

Saturday, February 15, 2014


I mentioned in my last post that I'd been doing some hardcore pinning since we put an offer on our new place - I've got so much that I want to do, I can't wait to just get in there and start figuring out what's going to be possible and exactly what I've got to work with!

Since I've got nothing else to report back on, I thought I'd post a few of my favourite pins that I'm hoping to incorporate or draw inspiration from in our new home.


Our original plan for when we outgrew our current home was to find a nice 1/2 acre block of land and build our dream house - but blocks that aren't at least 2 hectares are very rare in our chosen part of the world, so we ended up buying established.  Which is more than fine (I must admit, I was dreading that house building limbo period), but it means my fantasy of exposed beams (which was an absolute must have in my mind) was not likely to come to fruition.  I'm not entirely sure that the ceilings in the new place are going to be high enough for us to manage this, but at least this gorgeous rustic look has made it back into the realm of possibility for us!  I'm actually pretty sure this is something we could manage to pull off.  Fingers crossed.

I'm pretty much taking this entire kitchen and replicating it in the new house.  I can easily paint the existing timber cabinetry and I've already sourced everything else I need.  The layout will be a little different, but everything else is perfect for the look I'm after.  Maybe having my dream kitchen will inspire me to be a better chef!

Doubtful ;)

Plus these stools for the breakfast bar.  I love their industrial look.

I won't be able to do this soon enough!  I haven't researched this one yet, but one of my besties works the paint desk at the local Bunnings, so I'm sure she'll be able to point me in the right direction.

Green isn't exactly my colour but I love this for the entryway.  Our front door leads straight into the front lounge, so I'd love to add in a half wall to create a separate space there.

I'd love to recreate this in Taylor's room - the thought of her having a little reading nook excites me to no end, since I was a little bookworm myself.  One of my greatest hopes for her is that she is able to discover all the hidden worlds that books can take you to.  There is no greater gift than the ability to enjoy reading IMHO.

link unavailable.

We're planning on removing the build in wardrobes in the master bedroom in favour of a walk in robe. It won't be as grand as this, but this has a similar feel to what I'm going for. Let's hope we can pull it off!

You'll probably find that I do a few more of these posts, since I can't keep off Pinterest for the life of me.  You can follow me via the link to the right :)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Under Offer!

After two homes opens and two private viewings, I am so happy to say we are Under Offer!  I feel like we really lucked out, with the property only being on the market for two weeks and man, am I grateful!  

We went down south for the weekend (our first trip away since Taylor was born!) and were on our way home when we got the call.  Fist pumping and car dancing ensued.

So now we're just waiting for the purchasers to get their official finance approval.  They told our real estate agent that they had a pre approval that expired only a couple weeks prior, so since their circumstances haven't changed, we should be alright from here on out.  I must admit, it was a massive relief.  And a massive wake up call.  This is actually going to happen!  We're actually going to be moving house!  

I've been going pretty hardcore at Pinterest since we accepted the offer - I've got so many ideas, I just want to get in there and get going on redecorating!  But first comes the much dreaded packing stage.  I've collected a few packing boxes, packing tape and newspapers, but am trying to hold myself back from actually putting things in said boxes until we get the official word that the purchasers have their finance approval.

Fingers crossed it doesn't take too long! Let's keep this ball rolling!