Friday, December 27, 2013


We are in!

It's taken me an extra week to post, as things have been rather hectic to say the least.

It was a mammoth week up to last Friday, the builder (we owe it all to him!) and trades worked around the clock.  All got done on time, just some extra painting and cabinetry to be finished off in January.

We are so pleased.

The move happened on Monday, then turned around the rental back to the agent by the following day (xmas Eve).  Can't believe we achieved it.  Our new house already feels like home.

So many things happened simultaneously that last week, it was a blur.  One good memory worth a mention was my marble splashback going in on the Wednesday.  250kg, one single piece of Statuaretto marble, took 8 men to get it in.  Far out. The attention to detail in that kitchen is splendid.  Love that fridge handle and the range hood and island bench legs!!  And yes, the cubby was built, it was all the boys wanted to see, and they absolutely love it and the sandpit and their 'bike' garage underneath.

I feel very lucky and overly pleased with the result, I still can't believe this is our home.

Here are some initial photos just before we moved in.  I'll put some more in when I catch my breath.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Each week ramps up just that bit more.

Not long to go now.

Bath went in. This was no mean feat.  Stone composite bath was very heavy.  Imagine 4 strong men struggling to get it up and around the U shaped stairwell, it was very difficult. I was very grateful.  Then me shining a torch underneath whilst the 4 guys lifted it up and onto the waste within millimetres!  Far out.  Really pleased with it.

Shower screens were installed.

Painting inside continued, the back room looks much better all white.

Basins and tapware started to be installed.  Love that wall hung basin in the bathrooms!

Each night the builder would work til late installing the oak flooring when the trades had all left.  He finished it after working all day Saturday and Sunday as well.  Love the crisp stairs.

Original fretwork was reinstated in the hallway and I love the combination of 1920s original with the contemporary feel of the home.

I painted one of the brick walls on our boundary in our back yard in a charcoal, in anticipation of a cubby/fort being built this week.  I think I need to do the gutter as well.

I continued to clean up the dust, to try to make the last week easier, dirty work!!

Chasing the stone benches and marble splashback, hoping it will all be ready for installation next week.

Hydronic panels started to be installed as well.

Add in a 2 year old who won't sleep at night again, and a sick 5 year old.  Plus christmas looming.  Starting to feel slightly loony with tiredness. It will be worth it!!

Sunday, December 8, 2013


The builder and the trade worked exceptionally hard this week.  Some days there were painters, electricians, cabinet makers, builders, plumbers, roof plumbers and renderers all on site at the same time.

Cabinetry carcasses for kitchen, laundry, linen x 2, main robes, entertainment unit, desk storage area - all got installed this week.  The cabinet makers worked their hearts out. Attention to detail was marvellous.  A few slight changes, but all works in really well and makes the most of every square inch of space.

Stone for benches and splashback were measured, what a process!

Strapping and rendering to the facade of the house is now complete.  Front door is on.

Tiler finished and grouted our powder room hex feature wall, both bathrooms and the laundry floor.

Lots of fiddly bits finished off, including the deck.

Upstairs bathroom caulked ready for bath install.

Painters nearly finished upstairs, what a difference it makes.

Packing and cleaning continues.

Final 2 weeks now, counting down!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


This week seemed to fly past in a blur.

Tiling continued.  I took the 12mm strips to the powdercoaters with my off white wall tile and matched a colour for powdercoating.  It was worth the effort, as the strips blend in seamlessly with the tiles, on the rake under the window etc. Both bathrooms are ready for grouting tomorrow.  Look at those recesses!

Fences went up on both sides.  It sapped alot of my energy this week, lots of liaising. We now have privacy along our hallway and the light court has taken shape.  I would like to clad and stain the inside fence line of the light court and plant some Moss White birches, underplanted with clivia or something similar.  The electrician has put a powerpoint out there, switched inside the hall, and I will place some uplights in the light court.

Plasterers finally finished, and I cleaned all upstairs today ready for the painters to start tomorrow.  Dusty work!  Therapeutic though.

Electricians did more cut outs downstairs. Frameless shower screens were measured.

Architraves went on front bay window, and plantation shutters were measured.  They won't make it in by xmas, but will be worth the wait.  Hoping that my black roller blinds for the rear area (motorised!) will be in by xmas eve though!

We've packed the storage shed to capacity.

Not as many exciting photos this week.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Yes, it was a big week. But I think the next 2 weeks will be even busier.

After we realised the recesses in the wet areas were larger than the 300x600mm tile it was supposed to accommodate, there was some last minute villa-filling to the recesses and another visit from the water proofer. Our tiler started on Tuesday and by Saturday afternoon the charcoal tiles were down in the bathroom and ensuite and 3/4 of the white wall tiles were up in the ensuite.  The tiler's attention to detail shone through when we inspected the mitre cuts on the recess and the 90 degree corner wall. Very pleasing!  Then we realised that the white tiles that had been delivered and placed on the walls were in fact my choice No 2!  Yes, the tile shop had given me a tile sample of my 2 favourite white tiles with the wrong codes on the back, hence the order went through on the wrong tile.  With everything going on, it did not occur to me to put the sample agains the delivered tile. But, alas, tile choice No 2 actually looks quite good!  Will require a different grout colour as it is not stark white.  And off to the powdercoater to coat angles to match the tile for the bathroom, as a result of the joins on our raking wall and raking window.

New barges and strapping are on the front facade, and the only eaves remaining are on the eastern side now.  The fiddly bits are coming together.

Borer came and we now have underground power cables.

Electrician has been on site and connected our underground electricity and did the cut outs for upstairs.

Plasterers still have a final few things to do.

And after much deliberation, we gave notice at our rental.  So we really will be in by christmas.

Royal Oak was delivered and I spent Saturday afternoon looking through the variations and choosing the pieces for our floating shelves in the boys' bedrooms, the entertainment unit and the bathroom vanity shelf.  There are real deep toned ones as well as lighter with distinct oak character, which I love.

Still trying to get the last of the light fittings.  I did manage a visit to Ross Gardam and his studio on Monday to look at his Oak pendants - natural oak and stained black oak - one for the kitchen.  

Once the kitchen is in I will decide.  The pendants are really lovely.

And it has rained lots and lots, so the mud is through the house again.

We've rented a storage box nearby, so we are carting boxes away already, to take the pressure off on that final weekend.

Managed to get to The Design Files Open House in Hawthorn on Sat for a quick peek, and some inspiration!  The Dulux dog of Victoria, called Violet, was there! How funny.

Sunday, November 17, 2013


The plasterers continued this week and finished upstairs.  T giggled watching one of the plasterers on his stilts trowelling the ceiling. It was pretty funny to watch.

The bathrooms were finished, in time for the waterproofer on Thursday.

Tiles arrived to site. Charcoal for the floor, matt white for the walls.

All ready for the tiler to start tomorrow morning. A few minor problems, but I am hoping they get ironed out tomorrow.

Sashless windows were installed and look lovely.

Yarra Water arrived to site for the 4th time this month and finally were able to cut off the old 15mm line and put a new direct 20mm line from our water meter to the pipe in the middle of the road.  Yes, there was a digger, yes they made a big mess, yes, the road is very uneven now.  But we now have water pressure.

The front porch deck was completed and the rear deck is nearly done.

I stained some battons for our gate charcoal to match our cladding.

The boys and I re-planted our veggie patch so that there is some semblance of a back garden when we move in shortly!

Renderer finally came back to do the final coat on our boundary walls = colour chosen by neighbours. And yes, he ordered the wrong colour, and yes it is fluoro green, and yes the neighbours aren't happy.  He said he would come back and sort it out the following day.  No show.  Trying to keep everyone relatively happy is no easy feat. Hmmm.

I think Week 21 might be a big one.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


The black cladding was finished on the upper rear level, once the plaster had been passed up and into the window space. Sashless Aneeta windows will now go in next week (where you can see ply sheet, upstairs and downstairs).  I am pleased with how the black timber 'cave' envelopes the playroom.  Another coat of charcoal stain will shortly be applied.

Gyprocking continued.  Sheets are all up now.  Skylight over the stairs looks even better now!  Eaves under porch, verandah and western side are mostly up.  

More work was completed on the facade. 

Schedule for remaining trades now finalised and booked in, so let's see how the tight timeframe goes until xmas.  

I ordered BrightGreen LED downlights this week, there was a great special.  Just trying to finalised kitchen pendant and bedside pendants, all within a tight budget!

The boys were 'helping' out:

Upper hall:

Rear open plan entertainment area:

Sunday, November 3, 2013


We entered another phase this week. Gyprocking has commenced!  Upstairs is done (initial part, flushing etc not yet).  I really like the P50 detail, very neat, contemporary.  Builder has installed door jambs with special P50 detail in timber jamb for hard to reach places that would not have been do-able with a P50 steel detail like the rest of the house.  Nice attention to detail.

Cypress decking for deck arrived, plus 40x40 cypress battons for front 'picket' fence.  I will stain the battons charcoal to match the upper level cladding.  We put one coat of clear wood preservative on the timber decking, took a while between rain showers on Sunday, but had some helping hands.  I have used Quantum products for all the staining, and it has been really good.  The Frencham Cypress cladding, decking and battons are really lovely.

We took up concrete path for us and neighbours (don't ask) and got rid of it in skips this morning at 6.30am.  Fence quote accepted, so hopefully that goes in on western side next week sometime.  All takes time to sort out and organise all these little bits and pieces (and to 'liaise' with 'interested' parties).

Given that deck will go down shortly (and be covered up) I went with my landscape architect (who is just giving us some guidance when I feel like we need it - would have loved an 'full service' but budget didn't stretch that far!) to Kilby Trees and selected a Gingko Biloba and a Golden Robinia (to hide back neighbours).  We've planted the Gingko in the deck, and the builder will deck around it with a 150-180mm round cutout.  I am really pleased with how it looks.  Don't ask how I got it from the nursery to the house (T was enveloped in branches in the back seat!).

Check measure happened with cabinet maker and my great designer friend.  Tinkered with a few aspects in laundry (managed to fit in hanging rail below upper cupboards if we lift bottom melamine by 100mm but keep cupboard front low to hide it) and hallway linen (to fit vaccuum and winter coats).

Gas meter was relocated this week, actually was an easier process than I anticipated.  And after getting the run around with Telstra etc, I called out a private firm to re-connect our old 'lead in' phone line to our new phone line from our house.  Who would have thought some simple things could be so painful. Still waiting on water authority to fix our very small pipe going out from our water meter.  They have been 3 times, and dug up the road and everything.  Hmmmm.

Trying to sort out wall tiles for one wall of the powder room.  I am tending towards a charcoal hex 110mm tile, to offset oak floors and black Astra Walker tap ware.

View from back glazing.  You can see how the Golden Robinia will grow to hide the rear neighbour.  It is also planted to get a glimpse of the vibrant green leaves as you walk down the hallway to the rear.

P50 skirt detail.  P50 timber door jamb detail.

W's bedroom all gyprocked.

Cypress decking with clear coating, drying in our bedroom!

Gingko in rear deck. Beautiful leaves.