Friday, 27 April 2012

I have a sink!

Spun past the house yesterday but I was in a hurry, the kids were in the car, and the block was so muddy that I only peered through the front windows! Was happy to see the basins were in. Today I ventured down one (muddy) side and was able to confirm my tapware in installed in the bathroom and the kitchen sink is also in!

Peering through dirty windows at ensuite basins.

From ensuite window.

Ensuite shower. Here you can just
make out the raindrop showerhead
as well as the handheld.

Again filthy windows - but you
can see my kitchen sink.

Laundry sink is in, too.

And external taps.

Study nook stone has been installed, also - but they have forgotten to drill a cables hole - so will alert them to remedy that.

Floors look magnificent. Apparently there is a final coat to go - done as basically the very last thing before handover.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Garden - Refining the ideas

So I know what I like in a garden. Glossy leaves, a variety of plants - something which looks wild and organic and interesting.

I also know next to nothing about plants!

Happily my friend Donna stepped in and put some names to my fancies and suggested some plants for our garden:

Salvia Nemorosa

NZ Rock Lily

Wild Iris

Sea Lavender 

Seaside Daisy 

Forest Pansy



Mock Orange


Autumn Joy

Snowball Viburnum

Russian Sage


Mexican Orange Blossom

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Beautiful Boards!

I didn't get to the house, today, until after the floor guys had already left. Yes - that's right - they worked yesterday (Saturday) and again today Sunday!

So all I can show you in bleary shots taken through my admittedly very dirty windows. And even I feel confident in saying they don't do my gorgeous boards any sort of justice!

This is just the first coat. There are several, yet, to go. But it gives you some sort of idea of the gorgeous colour, grain and interest in our boards! I am so thrilled with them. They look great!

Oscar's room.

Adelaide's room.

Looking in to the family room.

Family room from the deck.

Study nook/hallway from the deck.

 Can't wait to drop by tomorrow to take a really good look! The colour is beautiful and deep. All I hoped :)  Not to grey or red or brown or pink. Just right!

Friday, 20 April 2012

Concrete and floors

Met the concreter on site today to discuss the driveway and paths. Am getting quotes on different options, but at this stage am thinking a greyish exposed aggregate out the front and on the porch, and a coloured concrete in the service area. There's a lot of concrete, so I may change my mind once I see the quote ;)

Was surprised to see the floor sanders were there today, too. They said that they might even be polishing the floors tomorrow :o The boards look so good sanded back ready to be polished. Can't wait to see them done!

Also chatting with several landscapers about garden ideas. We need a lot of earth retained, so it's not going to be cheap, but I'd rather have it done now rather than later as later just seems to never come!

Once floors are done it's appliances, mirrors, splashbacks, plumbing fit-out and a damn good clean and that's it for inside. Outside there are a few bits and pieces like fly screens, gutter guard and touch ups and its done, too.

Is really feeling quite close, now!

Monday, 16 April 2012


Today the concrete layer rang to discuss what we want for our driveway. I must admit, this has been really troubling me.

I have several thoughts on the issue!

I LIKE exposed aggregate. Probably in a darker grey-type shade to tie in with the grey door and gutters. My reservations is it is quite a modern look. Will it look too new with our older style home?

My next thought is a charcoal coloured concrete edged with red-brick. It's not a great pic, but this sort of idea:

What does appeal as the coloured concrete is plain, but the border should bring it to life a bit, and it will tie in with my garden edging which I plan to do like this (in the same red brick):

Of course - I could do the same idea with aggregate. And I worry that the charcoal driveway might look boring. Here is a picture which gives an idea of both options:

I *think* I have made up my mind. I will chat to the concreter about costs and possibilities etc. But I'd be interested to see what others think? While it is only a driveway, given our front yard is not enormous, I'd prefer it to blend not be a feature!

Saturday, 14 April 2012

A rose by any other name...

So even before we started to build, I thought about the name for our house.

I like homes to have a name. Not necessarily stately. In fact often ironic! But our previous family homes are often referred to by name not address - even the most humble :)

I struggled with this one. 'Parkview' was something I've tried, for months, but it's still not sitting right.

So here I am - trying to find the right name for 'Parkview'. Because she needs a name. I just can't work out the right one :(

I don't want something pretentious. She's not an Elmhurst or an Enderbury. GREAT names - but she is a modest suburban home in a lovely vibrant street. I don't want her to aspire to what she's not. We have gorgeous oaks lining the street, and I'd love to follow this theme, but I am yet to find an 'Oak' name which sounds right.

We have a park 3 houses down (seen from our front yard) hence 'Parkview'. But it's not the right name.

I have searched original title / area / subdivision names with no success. I guess I am after ideas?

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Today was quite exciting - the first of the bathroom and door fittings went in! Suddenly it started to look like a real home - with smoke detectors, exhaust fans, lights, door handles, light switches and bathroom furniture going in! Small things, each - but the cumulative effect was profound.

Looking in at my bedroom lights.

You can't see them so well here.

Ensuite shower. Shower shelf on left - towel rail on right.

Ensuite toilet. Door on, with handle, and toilet roll holder.
No toilet yet, though!

Kids' bathroom shower shelf.

A porch light.

Today they estimated about 3 weeks to handover. Still a but to do - driveway, splashbacks, mirrors, raise shelf etc. in robes, data cabling fit out, plumbing fit out, sand and polish floors.

Is looking like a proper real house now, though!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


A random drive past today illicited unexpected results. The electricians were on site!!  So a planned quiet day of paperwork catch up turned into a frantic day of running around.

Firstly I raced back home to grab them the lights for the front porch, bedside wall mounteds, the hanging lights in the kitchen and the alfresco lights. Then I contacted the lighting people who had my hallway lamp on back order.

To be honest I had been feeling less and less enamored with my chosen hallway lamp - so I took its unavailability as a sign. Swapped it for another model (which I far prefer) although this model hangs a little too low.  In retrospect the other design would have been even worse!

Honestly right now I will put up with it - and will find the uber perfect light for that space in the future.  That said - I think it looks better than my initial selection so am pleased.

Entryway light

The sparkies have been great - really can't fault them! By this afternoon they had done most of the downlights, the entry light, my bedside lights (which I forgot to photograph!!) and my kitchen hanging lights. They're back again tomorrow, so I will pop by and photograph the rest then :)

I am particularly pleased with my kitchen lights. A bit more 'pronounced' than typical in a kitchen space - but I love them - and I am hoping they'll help set the style for the space!  I can really see them once the space is cleaned and the dark brown glass splashback is in.

Kitchen lights

From another angle.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


So after the $6.5k gate quote I decided I'd need to visualise something a little more moderate!

For weeks I'd been admiring a fence of a house in Macleod - but it was at an awkward spot to stop and get pictures. So imagine my pleasure when I saw a very similar fence being built this afternoon just around the corner from our current house!

Had the camera with me, so jumped out - said g'day - and snapped the following pics.

I like the way the pickets are thick then thin.
Subtle but different. I am thinking of something like
this for the side pedestrian and car gates.

This is also the house which got me thinking about
dark window frames!

Have also started thinking about a front garden fence. As there is not a lot of garden I don't want anything too dominating or 'hard'. Started thinking about a living-fence AKA The University of Melbourne. At the uni they have ugly wire 1980s 'pool fences' on which they have fast growing creepers. These are then clipped into a living hedge. The fence underneath helps them retain their shape. Once grown you would not even realise there is a wire fence 'inside' the hedge. I only realised when I saw them growing a new one after some building works!!

Throughout The University of Melbourne
they have 'living' fences - hedges grown onto
plain metal fences. They look great!

Am not sure how we will go being our front garden is so shaded by our gorgeous front tree. Might stop and chat with a gardener next time I am at Melbourne Uni.

Painting Part 7 - Finally finished!

So yesterday the walls were finished and the skirts were being done. The new colour is PERFECT! I am so pleased I changed it - now it is exactly what I wanted.

Outside the meter box and downpipes have also been painted.

Heritage Red Meter Box and Downpipes

Front. Again :)

In the new colour. Much happier now :)

Monday, 2 April 2012

Painting Part 6 - Inside and Out

Visited the house this morning to meet with the painter. Was exciting to see so much progress made. Almost all the outside windows had been done, and my gable was painted, too!

This morning - my gable is now done!

I'd been thinking a lot whether to go monument grey (same as the front door) on the front double hung windows or dune (the same as the rest of the house).

Front door and sidelights. Undercoated, here.
Will be finished in high gloss.

After a lot of discussion with our painter, Matt, we ended up going in Dune. So I was delighted to stop by this afternoon to see it done and looking great!

Double hung windows in Dune.

The facade now almost complete!

So the front of the house is now done bar driveway, porch and rendered top of piers. I am actually wondering whether to still do those? We're planning a 'cuff' around each pillar just below the point where they start to taper, and then render the top bit. Am now wondering if less might be more, here?  Will have to check how neat the tapered bricks are. As the intention was always to render it might not be so neat? Will check it out tomorrow.

Also came to a decision re: interior paint. The yellow of the walls was just a bit too yellow for my liking. Since we were going to need a third coat anyway, I've changed the colour just a little. It may end up needing a 4th coat to do the full colour change - but here's hoping.  In either case the amount to change it was less than the amount it bothered me!!

So still a bit more painting to go - a 3rd coat internally, the downpipes and meter box and a bit on the alfresco area. But it's complete enough you can get a good idea of how it's going to look - and I must say I am delighted. I wanted something subtle and elegant - and (to my mind) this is what I've got!