I am taking a break from Organise ’08 (hey that rhymes!) today – there are more pressing house issue to focus on and more fun ones at that!
We have an architect coming out to visit us on Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Yes, I know that is a lot of exclamation marks but I need a lot of them because I am trying to convey to you all how flipping exciting it is to have an architect coming, here, to talk to us, about house renovations, this week!
We moved here from a three bedroom single fronted Edwardian house in the inner suburbs of Melbourne. It was the first house the Baldy Boy and I bought together and we’d done some basic internal renovations – put in a new kitchen and bathroom (yes I had no kitchen or bathroom while pregnant with the Twinadoes, good thing I was in hospital for most of the last 5 weeks of my pregnancy!), fixed up other things here and there and we loved that house. Things changed though, and the decision was made to sell up and move. Sell we did…. but buy another house.. that was a different story.
We looked and looked at various houses in various suburbs. We went to auctions, we bid, we bid over our limit, I had heart failure until someone else out bid us and we missed out on yet another house. The girls and I stayed with my parents on one side of the city, the Baldy Boy with his family on the other side, closer to his work. We kept looking and bidding and getting more and more demoralised about the whole house buying caper. Then, on a whim one weekend, in desperate need to get out, and away from the real estate game, the Baldy Boy took us on a drive to the country… he had secret plans to show me a house… to taunt me with the perfect house that we couldn’t buy.
It was a house just like the one I grew up in, a Californian Bungalow. Even the lead light windows were the same as the ones in the house I spent my first 21 years of life living in. I was instantly in love. I wanted this house SO BAD. I didn’t care that it was in the middle of a paddock full of weeds, that it was ‘in the country’, that it was only 2 and a bit bedrooms and that it was probably out of our price range. I wanted to buy that house. We drove into town, ate at the local bakery and talked about all the reasons why we couldn’t live there…. and slowly decided that actually we could… maybe… possibly. The auction was the following weekend. I left the Baldy Boy with a strict limit and walked the girls down the long long drive way because I didn’t want to hear us being out bid yet again, I wandered back to discover the house was ours!
So for the past three years we’ve been ‘living in the country’. The best kind of ‘country’ because it is far enough from the city and suburbs to still be country but close enough for the Baldy Boy to get to work, and for us to go in and out to shop and visit friends and family. We moved here on a whim and it has been the best thing we’ve ever done!
We have almost ten acres, that is mostly weeds with a house plonked in the middle of it. We’ve done lots of outside work since we arrived. We’ve planted more than 300 trees since we arrived but with the drought they are all still pretty small. We fixed the windmill and now have bore water to water veggies. We’ve put in a big veggie garden, an orchard of fruit trees, extra water tanks, fenced in a safe ‘back yard’ area for the kids to play in, fixed various farm fencing etc etc.
The house was moved here from suburban Melbourne about 6 years ago and had been basically restored to a liveable condition so it’s been easy to live in without having to do anything much, but….
It is small.
Pretty much only two bedrooms as the ‘third bedroom/study’ is a tiny room tacked on out the back. That wasn’t a huge problem when we moved in but we’ve added an extra person to the mix since then and while Muski happily sleeps in with the Baldy Boy and me for now, one day I am guessing he will want his own room.
It is cold.
We have polished floor boards throughout which is lovely, but the gaps between them let the wind whistle around your toes which is not so hot. There is no wall insulation and the only heating we have is the slow combustion wood heater in the dining room, so the rest of the house is icey in the winter.
It’s not laid out real well.
The bathroom is literally in the centre of the house, which has it’s good points and it’s bad points. The kitchen is in a separate room, which is the bane of my existence. It allows my kids to get up to all kinds of things while I am cooking dinner as I can’t see them or even hear them very well. The study also, tucked in the back corner of the house, is too isolating… I have to totally ignore my children to get any work done.
Even before we moved in we had plans for renovations. While living here my desire for renovations has grown and grown. In the last year or so I’ve just about gone out of my mind wondering if I’d ever get my renovations. I’ve been a good girl. I’ve been patient and understanding. I know financial security is way more important than a ‘perfect house’. I’ve scrimped and saved whiled we funnelled as much extra money into the mortgage as we can, and secretly been rather proud of how frugally we’ve lived. But it has all been hinging on the day… the day we knock off the back of our house and add a new kitchen overlooking a family room/living area, with a study opening to one side, and a nice wall of glass opening onto a veranda and the back garden. Plus a new master bedroom making our house into four bedrooms and a study!
That day is not quite here yet, but an architect is coming here? Now that makes me believe that ‘That Day’ might actually be just around the corner!
I think ‘Organise ’08’ might be over taken a little by the early start of ‘Renovate ’09’ as we make plans for the big build and I desperatly look for renovation wisdom from all of you. I am still on a mission to get more organised and have a few things I need to tackle and share… but.. yeah… well… I am just not a very organised person by nature so there is only so much beating my head against a brick wall that I can write about on this blog. So make way… here come the renovations!