Posted by Christina Brooke Jul 11 2012, 12:11 am in A Duchess to Remember, Bandit Booty, Christina Brooke, colours, Giveaway, house renovation
So I thought I’d update you all on the state of my house renovation (yes, I know you were dying to hear!)
Well, except the landscaping and surfacing and filling the pool, but the actual house itself is finished.
We could move in tomorrow were it not for the EVOL gas company who won’t reconnect us for three weeks. But that is another story.
What we did was lift a one level house up a storey and build a second storey underneath. We also reconfigured the rooms we already had. The outside still looks pretty messy but I’m very happy with the interior. I can’t wait to move back in!
How about a tour chez Brooke? I know it’s empty of furniture but it’s never going to look this good again so I have to show you now before it is filled with all our junk:)
Above, we have formal living & dining room. I love the blue and white patchwork tile on the wood burner surround, suggested by my gorgeous interior designer Anna Spiro. The lovely light came from her shop, too.
The living/dining room is traditionally used during the winter months because we always eat on the deck (above right) in spring, summer and most of autumn, too. The pavillion now has a ceiling fan, which will not only cool us down but hopefully ward off flies in the summer.
This will be the rumpus/family/TV room/bar.
The main reason we wanted to do the renovation was so our boys would have somewhere indoors to play that wasn’t also our only living room. The rumpus was still being cleaned and the paint touched up while we were there but you get the idea.
A certain little person just had to get in the photo! He can’t wait to move in, either.
I was delighted I could keep the colourful leadlight windows that were original to the house. It’s details like this that give a house character, I think. I insisted on keeping both my front door and my bathroom door which also have pretty leadlight panels–even though I believe it gave the carpenters a headache. We also had to re-set this window, which was taken off an internal wall, but it paid off.
I deliberately kept the colour scheme on the walls fairly neutral, just using whites and a bit of grey in the kitchen and bathrooms where the white appliances and cabinetry needed a bit of contrast.
I love colour, but that will come in with highlights of blue in the stained glass and the wood burner tiles and more colour with soft furnishings, drapes and blinds. They can be changed around more easily if I get bored with a certain pattern or shade.
Here’s the kitchen, where I will spend a good chunk of time. Can’t wait to try out the appliances and put some decorative pieces around to lend it more colour.
It needs blinds and stools for the breakfast bar. So many more things to buy to furnish the house–that’s going to be the fun part for me.
There are so very many choices to make almost every day when you renovate. At the start, I was such a Libran when it came to making decisions! My eyes would glaze over every time yet another paint colour or placement of a light switch had to be discussed.
But after 14 months of this, I’ve become quite impressively decisive! Deciding quickly leaves time for more important things, like writing. I haven’t regretted too many of my decisions (although it’s early days yet!)
Boy, but I am looking forward to moving in and taking a break from decisions for a while.
What about you? Do you like a neutral house or do you prefer colour? Warm colours or cool? Feature walls or all painted the same?
What is the one room in the house you’d love to renovate and how would you do it? Are you decisive or a ditherer when it comes to making decisions?
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Posted by Christina Brooke Nov 11 2011, 12:44 am in Christina Brooke, house renovation
I might have mentioned recently I’ve been doing a leetle bit of refurbishing lately.
Well, OK, quite a lot.
This is the home we’ve lived in since before our children were born. When we were first looking for a house, we wanted something completely different from this 1920s Queenslander. Modern, low maintenance, perhaps on acreage but within easy reach of Husband’s work in the city.
By some strange twist of fate we inspected this house, which didn’t tick any of our boxes, and instantly fell in love. It has character with its gables and airy verandahs and leadlight glass. It was the first house I’d seen that I could imagine as a home.
When our family grew by two, however, it was time to think about expansion because although this house seems quite large, the space inside was a bit of a rabbit warren of rooms that had been added to over the years. We wanted a rumpus room for our boys to play in and keep their toys. And of course, a study for moi!
Queenslanders are traditionally built on stumps to let the air flow through beneath them and they have a lovely open-plan feel that is also designed to accommodate the heat. However, we decided that rather than expanding the footprint of the house, we’d raise it and build in underneath. You can see from the photo below that the house is rapidly taking shape now. And yes, it will all be painted that same blue with white trim when it’s finished!
If I’m using a writing analogy I’d say the house is almost at the end of the first, dirty draft now. The structure is there and we have a bit of the flesh on the bones (how’s that for a totally mixed metaphor?).
It still needs stairs, which Ithink of as making sure all the threads of the story carry through. It needs more fine detail, more attention to setting, and of course a good spit an polish at the end.
OK, that was a poor attempt at disguising this post as something book-related but work with me, here! This has been a large part of my existence for the last few months.
Have you ever done a renovation or built a house before? What are the most important things to you in a house? What, besides a lot of love, do you think makes a house home?