Our House Project

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The old house - will be reclad and repainted.
Last year, we bought this house in Sydney, and moved back up from the Southern Highlands where we had been living for seven years. We bought the house rather quickly, having only seen it the day before the auction. However, it seemed to have a good feeling about it, a nice old family home, where the same family had been living for over 50 years. It had good bones, was a decent size on a nice big level block and seemed to have the potential to be turned into an attractive family home. Having come off a 100 acre property, the size of the block, nearly 1000sqm was the main selling point.

The front entrance with old camellias and potted figs. This will be replaced and squared off to create a new entrance.
This style of house was popular in the 60s built by Cape Cod Australia, but unfortunately they didn't give much thought to aspect, sun and light, so the best part of the house being the north eastern corner currently houses the bathroom and laundry, and the kitchen blocks off the sun from the rest of the downstairs rooms, which are quite dark and pokey. Our plan is to open it all up, by reconfiguring the layout downstairs, and hopefully brightening the whole area up.

I have heard it described as both the gingerbread house and the Tudor House! Although the real estate marketing described it as Hamptons-style - the jury is out.
We are replacing this front deck and enclosing it to create a proper entrance with front door.
The house was built in the 60s and had the second storey added soon after. Apart from a reasonably new kitchen not much has been done since then. The backyard is full of crumbling old decks, a rusty old garage, musty games room, rotten entertaining areas all of which were condemned by council when we bought it and will all be demolished.

The back garden will get a new pool with spacious entertaining deck and cabana, lots of new lawn and landscaping plus the all important play areas for the kids.
The old garage, kids' games room and pergola. All going!
The front garden featured a wonderful and very old weeping willow which provided some much needed protection from the westerly sun, but sadly we discovered it was a serious liability as it was rotten to the core and almost hollow with borers. So unfortunately for everyone's safety it had to come down. There are many lovely old camellia bushes, in the garden but most of it will be re-landscaped.

The back of the house. This will be opened up and a full length deck built to replace the current rotten structure. 

Another derelict structure for demolition. 
The rear deck replaced an above ground pool some years ago, and was the site of many a family gathering. Sadly it's rotten and a complete safety hazard. The pergola you see in this photo collapsed one day and my husband had to demolish it. Luckily nobody was nearby at the time. Sadly the beautiful jasmine bush will have to go with it.

The old driveway leading to derelict garage in backyard. We are turning this into a kitchen garden.
The downstairs features a living room, small TV room (the current playroom), a bedroom (current office) plus family bathroom, kitchen and outdoor laundry.

The kitchen was put in about a year before we bought, so thankfully it's relatively new and modern. The orchid was a
present from the lovely family who owned it prior to us. 
The "banquet style" dining room
Currently the playroom, but it's cold and dark and the only room with a heater/air con.
The main living room complete with 60s bar.
Notice the light fittings - there's about 30 of them - all destined for Ebay.

This was the master bedroom (currently my office, although I need to wear sunnies in the afternoon it's so bright),
but we are turning it into a library/snug room.
Sadly the staircase is located in the only north facing room in the house.
We are moving it to the south side and will use this as a playroom
This was the teen retreat, but we are turning it into the main bedroom to be near the kids upstairs.
The one and only bathroom for all five bedrooms upstairs, 
will be enlarged for the master ensuite. 
The yellow room will be the guest room.
Blue room will be my son's room.

This is currently my WIR but will be my daughter's room.
Currently my daughter's room, but will become a stairwell and a new family bathroom.

So as you can see we have our work cut out for us. We have received council approval for our renovation plans and are now finalising costs with our builder. I have been collecting photos, magazines and tear sheets for the past two years for this project and am itching to get started. We are desperate to get underway as we've been feeling a little like we are camping at the moment, as most of our belongings are still in storage, so it's been hard to feel settled in Sydney again after the move.

We are going to rent nearby for the duration, which will save my sanity, although add to the cost of renovation. I can't see how it's possible to stay there with two little kids, although my husband can't see the problem! I told him if he still wants to be married at the end of it, we had best move out!

So, I hope you will join me as we embark on this project and I will keep you posted as the project progresses. Ultimately I'm hoping it might end up looking like this..........

or this......

or this.... 
Well, I can dream can't I???

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