Guys, we need a plan

It’s all well and good to say ‘we’ll just work out the furniture when we move in’ but in the case of most houses, there needs to be a bit of a plan. Where does the TV go – without becoming the centre of attention? We do have one sibling whose family doesn’t actually own a television – there are only three of us, so I’ll let you do the maths – so let’s just say that a TV is never going to be a dominant feature.

But still, everything needs a plug or a powerpoint so you do need to give these things some thought.

These decisions – where the fire will go, the power points, the light switches, the lounges, seats, rugs etc – need to be done pretty early on. Well before the house looks anything like completed. WB called on her social media expertise (we knew those hours of googling would eventually pay off) and gathered as much inspiration as she could before launching into the plan. And a shopping list.

But like many new home owners find, the pennies to spend on pretties just don’t seem to be as forthcoming as when the whole project began. So Uncle Mike’s green lounge might still make the move out to Northcote. Although I am pretty sure CB will chain himself to the couch rather than seeing it at a new location. That lounge has served its purpose.

The practical aspect of pulling these ideas together meant going out to Northcote and laying a few plans in place. This was in the form of a paper tablecloth roll – cut up into the sizes of a lounge, a rug, a coffee table – as well as a beer, a bin and a baby and lots of imagination.


I think the island bench will be ‘this wide’

One of my fave ideas from the interweb experts was to bring in a couple of arm chairs for the bay window in the open plan living room, rather than building an actual seat – which could reduce the feeling of space and make the window seem a bit ‘boxy.’


Nothing a tape measure can’t solve…



Oh these chairs are SO comfortable.

Move in date is looking a lot like the end of Jan. Yikes! That’s only two weeks away. We can time it for the Australia Day public holiday, if that suits the majority. We will have a sign up form, where you can put your name down for a shift that suits you best, in an upcoming post.

And how could we resist another pic of this little fella. Siddy Boy is growing up. He’s on solids, sleeping through (in a fashion) blows bubbles with his dribble and is starting to form words, that sound a lot like animal noises. His parents are so proud.

Siddy Boy

Despite his parents being on the move, Siddy Boy still finds time to moonlight as a model.

Our friends at Woolerina are launching their new range for 2015 so called on a few friends to show off their wares.

Siddy and the kids

…and doesn’t mind sharing the limelight with his cute little friends.

Too cute.




A bloody beautiful bathroom

Yes, the bathroom is coming along beautifully, and as promised here are a few sneaky shots of the work in progress. Bathrooms end up being quite fiddly rooms – with lots of stages to work through.

The bathroom – which in the case of ‘Northcote’ is an ensuite as it is closest to the main bedroom – begins with the wiring, plumbing and of course the layout  – windows, doors, drainage holes, taps etc – and then the real fun begins. It’s a combination of lots of trades doing their thing, and not tripping over each other.

Funny how they all seem to congregate on Fat Friday.

I digress…

Water proofing comes first – it’s the blue paint that gets slapped on anywhere that tiles are going to be placed. It adds an extra layer of protection for the wet bits.


Baby blue…

Then the tiling begins – floor first – with the lovely job of grouting. And did you know that there is a colour chart of grout colours? WB wanted a seamless look on the floor – big charcoal tiles that are grouted with a matching colour so as to create the idea of a whole space in the same colour. Some people like to use grout as a feature – and it works beautifully with the subway tile look – but in this case, it was about maximising space and letting the tiles do the talking.

The wall tiles are WB’s ‘pizza resistance’ and are in a herringbone pattern. They had to be laid out on the floor first – just so our friend the builder could get his head around it. Then the pattern was transferred to the walls…a cinch! (not!)


A practice run…

It turns out there is more than one way to lay a herringbone pattern, so after a false start, the wall took shape. The first pattern would have definitely been fine if you used the bathroom with your head cocked to one side.

The Baker Family chose to do the one wall of the shower in herringbone and keep the rest as a painted wall.


Ooh, so very neat.

The shower screen is a long glass panel that goes 3/4 of the way along the shower, with the end of the shower left open.


Boys, let’s lose the bucket.

Glen Egan from here in Forbes built the vanity, and what a splendid job he did. WB took him in a pic…and it looks exactly how she imagined it. The tiler even commented “It looks just like it came out of a magazine” Now there’s a compliment!

There’s still one door to come, plus handles, but you get the general idea.


Gotta love a bit of timber.

So while the first shower may be a little way off, things will come together rather quickly (“Eeek” I hear from WB) The electrician finishes off, the plumbers hook up the snazzy loo..


The snazzy toilet. Which is so tempting to use. But it’s not hooked up. Which could be awkward.

…and these guys will be having hot showers before you can say ‘Holy Herringbone.’

Talk soon


My, what big ceilings you have…

Size does matter, and in the case of the new River Road dwelling, this comes in the way of 3.6m – that’s 12ft in the old scale – ceilings.

They are magnificent and while they have proven to be a little tricky for the trades – particularly those with a fear of heights – the result is certainly worth it.


Gotta love a few guns

Bill made a whiz bang winning Ebay purchase (really, there are no failures on Ebay – well none that we speak of) and got himself a gyprock lifter. This thing is gold – the equivalent of the lemon zester in the 2nd drawer – and made light work of hoisting the sheets of gyprock all the way up into the air.

Gyprock lifter

12 ft ceilings…pfftt…a piece of cake

So there have been a few tricks put in place to bring those babies a bit closer to earth – try and make things look a little more cosy but still showing off those tall walls. The first one is a fancy cornice – which goes around the edge and is the meeting place for the walls and the ceiling. It’s going to be a bit ornate and wider than average.

The other feature will be wide skirting boards. And they are beautiful. Who would have thought you could get so excited about a piece of timber that runs around the bottom of a room? But yes, they are certainly adding to the charm.

Pre - cornice

Pre – cornice

In terms of choosing the fittings, it’s been quite a cinch…WB took loads of photos of the house in its original state – before it departed Melbourne – so the construction brief has been “match the original fittings”. And that goes for the rosette, which you can see here in its Melbourne surroundings.

The original rosette...quite ornate, don't you think?!

The original rosette…quite ornate, don’t you think?! Not so sure about the light feature…

This makes decision making a snap, and means the house hasn’t gone from Federation to Kardashian.

Next up is the bathroom…oohh you should see it!! I’ve got two words for you: Herring.Bone



Talk soon


The grand plan…

The part that gets a bit confusing for observers (i.e. me) is that the floor plan of the house that has arrived will not remain as the floor plan for much longer. A bedroom will be turned into a living room, the kitchen will become more open plan (bring on the sledge hammers) and there will be a general shift around of storage and other bits and pieces.

The bathroom will also be extended and have a makeover and then things should start to look more like Northcote (I’ve adopted the new name, without consent!)

Not that the bathroom necessarily needs modernising…CB can’t believe the quality of the enamel and the versatility of a shath (shower-bath) Once it is removed, he has visions of this  becoming a garden feature.

Good luck with that one big boy.


“…hmm, I’m thinking out the back, and close to the shed.”

Here’s a look at the current floor plan:

Existing floor plan-2

North is out to the right

And moving forward, the concept is thus:

– Bed 1 remains as the master bedroom

– The bathroom is made wider to take up some of Bed 1 and 3.

– The bathroom is then be divided in half to incorporate a walk in robe.

– Bed 2 will eventually become a living room, that opens up out onto the verandah.

– Kitchen will be extended out to match up with the existing northern wall of the lounge room.

– Kitchen and lounge will become open plan

– A deck will be built overlooking the river

And this will become known as ‘Phase 1’ of the renovations. Phase 2 has had a keen architect’s eye helping out with some pretty cool additions and they should be implemented  by the time their first born is off to university. Stay tuned.