Wednesday, August 24, 2011


We are renovating.  You know that. 

What you don’t know is that we have progressed a little.  See, Phil, my lovely, wonderful and sometimes undervalued husband (read about that here) has had a bit of a slack new financial year.   

Plumbing, construction in general is facing a bit of tough time.  Two years ago, he had more work than he could poke a plunger at (do you like what I did there?), but right now, not so much.   Anyhoo, as such, he’s had a few days to work exclusively on our own home and I am pleased to tell you – we no longer have an asbestos fence.  I know right!  One more deadly poison taken out of the equation.    What a win for our children’s health.


Now, up until roughly three weeks ago, I was working from the dining room table.   Did I mention our dining room would be more appropriate in a Barbie Townhouse?  All too often, I found chick peas in my notebooks and chicken korma jammed in the printer.  The situation was less than ideal.


But, then, one bright day in August, we got a new bathroom and laundry, which made way for a study nook where the old laundry used to be.  And by jingo, lookey here, I have found my happy place.  It’s nothing more than a long bench and a chair, but it’s mine and I am no longer a nomad in my own home.

Study Nook & Jack using his best table manners.

All we have left to do now is:

Patch Internal Walls
Unfortunately our walls are about 50 years old and cracked to the shit.  Before we moved in, every single one of them was wallpapered.  And not in a good way.  So eager to start, I ripped it off every single wall.  Three years later, it’s like time stood still.  I haven’t hung a photo in my house in over 3 years.  I realise this is a total first world problem, but it saddens me none-the-less.

Jack showing you the crap walls.  Doing his best Captain Hook Impression.
Paint Internal Walls

Remember, about ten years ago, it was all the rage to internally paint your house in bright blues and yellows?  The beach theme I think it was.  Well we got right into that shitful trend.  In fact, we went one better and used blue and yellow SUEDE effects paint.  Pretty much impossible to paint over that bad boy.  Looking back, it would have been like living in a freaking day care centre.  So, from that we’ve learnt, less is more.  Neutral is my new buzz word.

Back Deck

Right now, we have a culmination of three different, 1970 inspired slippery as all fuck, patterned brown tiles leading onto concrete in our back yard.  Further to this, as we have just ripped out a concrete garden/jungle, we have a lot of dirt.  Whilst the two boys just love getting into this each afternoon and ending up as mud men, we intend to put a timber deck out and create an urban oasis.  Or at least stop the kids splitting their heads open each time they run out the back door.

Don't let the cute kid and dog distract you, killer slippery tiles alert.


A new kitchen.

You know what, I seriously think Phil and I sat down and smoked a big crack pipe the day we bought this house.   It is the only reason I can feasibly come up with as to why we didn’t see how useless this kitchen would be for a family of 5.  Or a family of 1 for that matter.

Not only is it tiny, there is zero bench space.  Further to this, there is hardly any cupboard space and more often than not, someone cops an elbow to the face if they attempt to enter when it is being utilised.  I know I exaggerate and I wish this time, I was.   It’s also starting to fall apart.  Something needs to be done before we try to sell it.  Either that or we will have to force-feed people joints at the door when they rock up for an Open for Inspection.

The kitchen is even sending Sam bananas.

A new driveway. 

Bit of concrete.  I have nothing funny to insert here.  It genuinely is, just fancier concrete than the revolting stuff that is out there now.

Right, all that needs to be done now is a) work to make money to pay for the above, b) find time in between working at our normal jobs, to finish it and c) agree with each other on the details.  Guess which bit is going to be the toughest?

And then, after all that, you know what we will do? The same thing we’ve done every other time we’ve renovated the bejesus out of a house.  Sell it.   And move on.  Will we renovate again?  To this extent?  Ooooh, let me think, did I enjoy living with mould, asbestos, lead paint and one toilet to share between five?    Let’s just say, I’d rather paper cut my own eyeballs with a ream of Reflex than attempt this again, so that’s a no.



Kylie L said...

Great front fence though!

Oh, you make me laugh. Mainly with you, but seeing as you aren't laughing, I guess that's at you. I have lived through one renovation, but it took ten weeks, not ten years. Forget making it back up to Phil after being hungover all Father's Day- he owes YOU big time for ever making you live through all that!

PSD. And don't let your real estate agent see this post, OK?

Smudgeblurr said...

Hey Bern,
Loved the post - can relate to some extent as have been renovating here for the better part of 2.5 yrs and while there are only finishing touches to be done, i.e. front fence... I will definitely be selling once it is done!!

Cate Bolt said...

You have the best front fence ever. That is all.

Kristy said...

So stressful! Hope it is something you can really enjoy when it's all done though!

brismod said...

Too funny about the big crack pipe! I'm sure we did the same thing. The fence looks good and so does the lawn!xx

livinglifeasme said...

I'm loving the front fence. It's all about first impressions. You will have potential buyers at the fence - hand out the crack at the gate & they'll love it as is.

Tracy (ruddygood) said...

Loving the fence. The rest? Meh. Great fodder for a *snort-your-tea-out-your-nose* blog, though.

Still, you might want to delete this post before you start seeking potential buyers... #everyonegooglesthesedays ;)

Seraphim said...

Bern I start renos in a couple of weeks. Have been stressing to the max about it. Reading this really helped ;)
Glad Phil has been able to do some of the place up and your front fence? SWEEEEEEET!

MMBB said...

Oh yes I love that fence!

I love renovating, I wish I had more money, there is so many things I want to do to this house. I think our house is around 40 years old!

Maxabella said...

Awful. I wish never to have to renovate to this extent. I could weep for you. The end.

In Real Life said...

That is a beautiful fence. Renovating is no fun at all. We have only done some minor things to our house so far, but the list of things I would like to do is endless. In fact, it's so overwhelming, that it absolutely deters me from beginning anything.

Lori @ RRSAHM said...

Front fence looks awesome!!

Just think, Bern , ten years down the track, you'll look back on this with rose colored reno goggles. And decide it's a good idea to do it all over again.

MultipleMum said...

I love that your "all we have to do now" list is a mile long. *Sigh* renovations suck! You have managed to keep your sense of humour in tact and I applaud you for that :) Look forward to the updates.

Melbourne Mumma said...

Hope you did smoke the pipe. You're lucky your hubby's able to do some reno work though. Mine only recently mastered changing halogen globes over. Whenever we get work done at home, we know we're getting ripped off, but not much we can actually do about it.

I see have a teal green kitchen you will be pleased to know, and cork floors in the kitchen and bathroom. Though bathrooms are not teal green, previous owners went with dark blue and light blue laminate respectively. Yes - kindy toilet-room style!!

Inspiring You To Save! said...

Visiting from the Blog Hops! I love your site. I can't wait to get to know you better. Stop by when you get the chance. I have a Meet Me Monday blog hop and I would love if you could join in.

Nomie said...

I slept in a bedroom painted acid yellow and blue for 9 years. I still twitch thinking about it. I spend more time in a change room deciding on clothes than I did on our last house purchase.

Your fence though is awesome.

nikkimoffitt said...

Another snap - we bought a house in 2000 and promptly painted the whole kitchen and living areas bright yellow - by the time I had thirteen different shades of yellow on the walls I was already sick of the colour but was committed so carried on through - and we painted it ourselves (that was probably the best / saddest part). When we moved overseas in 2003 I self painted the rest of the house while living with a mattress, one beanbag a port-a-cot and one of each type of kitchen utensil & my now 7 yo in a washing basket a VERY neutral colour - I couldn't believe when the tenants moved in and asked if they could paint the kitchen / living to match!?!?!?!

Lucy said...

Ah the joys. As a child I moved from wreck to renovators delight to wreck again. As soon as each one was done up, the parents sold up. And we started the whole caper all over again. I swore I would never do that. But me and the lovely husband have lived in no less than seven houses in 14 years.

History repeats? Arrrgggg.

dogsmom said...

While I do love the fence, any realtor will tell you it looks like you are living in a fortress and trying to keep evil elements at bay. Call it zero curb appeal and would prefer it come down.
As for the survival indoors, congratulations on your bench and chair. That would be a welcome change for me around here.
And will you do it again? Want ot or not, once its in your blood...
Maybe when the kids are older and can help more?

Denwise said...

And you were worried about how to 'make it up to Phil' ummmm shoe now moves onto his foot. Right, chuck that guilt about F day out and make a bloody plan.hell yeah - a PLAN now that Phil who is so nice has more time ..then he can start. God, Bern the kitchen is so small ..and the fence is so, strikingly big and good. Do you want to stay there? If so, extract the digit (phil) because you're already work bound.. Take the load off love, no more guilt. And I'm good at planning if you want a kick up the bum from Grandma/Principal Denyse xx

Being Me said...

Whoa! Sorry to sound like a copy-cat but your front fence is bootifool and amazing. And great cupboard in your new nook. You have some style, lassy! I am with you, though, we have done the same thing here (renovated/extended ever since we moved in, and they're big things too) and are told how great it's all looking but, man, at what cost to sanity!? *shakes fist at sky like Scarlett O'Hara*

Thea said...

I can so relate, but I wish I didn't know what the hell you were talking about!
We're not even at our house this week and my husband is still sitting on the couch lamenting and ruing the day we ever bought the damn renovator!!

Bec @ Bad Mummy said...

Wow! It looks great!

I'm so jealous of your desk, nook thing. I might have to adopt the term "nomad in my own home" because that's pretty much me, working from the lounge chair lol.

Wanderlust said...

I used to think I wanted a house with "character" and a big garden, but being a homeowner with children has given me an incredible appreciation for a low-maintenance home! Renovation is a *huge* job. At least you have a great sense of humor when you write about it! x

Veggie Mama said...

I wanted to make out with you the minute I saw the words "study nook". I'm making one. TODAY. No more working in the spare bedroom for meeeeee!

pt said...

Bern, if MrPt and I ever get around to buying our own place we'll be screwed. It took us four years to agree on a couch FOUR YEARS!! It will be delivered next month... Hell it took us two years to agree on new saucepans (he kept choosing ugly non stick ones with black knobs?!) If we ever actually have to pick out wall colours or a kitchen or god forbid a front fence I fear there will be blood.


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