After I put up the ugly before photos of our back renovation (which strangely sent my blog stats through the roof.... I had no idea readers were crying out to see them), and given that my highest viewed posts are the Before and After posts that I've posted on our current house renovations, I thought it might be of interest to show our first house in Melbourne. 

Just prior to moving in. Skips became a common feature in the street.
We bought our first house, a dilapidated weatherboard cottage in Albert Park, Melbourne back in 2002. The house was described as a renovators delight, which was a slight understatement. Frankly it should have been condemned. Cosmetically it was quite hideously ugly, but additionally the floors had collapsed in places, it smelt of cat wee, mould and cigarettes, and was structurally unsound. We bought it for land cost only. The before photos I'm showing I have scanned as this was around 10 years ago, before digital cameras. The reasons why we bought the house were that we felt could capitalise on the value of the property using my design skills - it had such an altered layout that most people couldn't see what you could do with the house other than knocking it down. Additionally, weatherboards are the easiest house to alter and renovate, and also much cheaper to renovate than a brick house.

looking in from the front door to the original living/ dining room jackhammering up the concrete floors. Through the hatch and doorway is the kitchen, the window on the right went to the "sunroom" as described by the agent. It had no floor.

The house was circa 1890, and had originally been two single fronted cottages consisting of a very narrow hall, two rooms (one behind the other) and an open kitchen/ dining with a tacked on lean to for washing etc. Out the back was the loo onto the back laneway. In the early 1960's the two houses had been knocked into one in a fairly clumsy manner by a DIYer. It had a single, off centre front door that opened directly into an open plan living/ dining area. Off that to the left ran a very narrow hall to three bedrooms, some with questionable colour schemes (navy blue and purple being one). From the dining room you stepped down to the concrete floor of the kitchen (almost no cupboards and a stove that was declared dangerous by the gas inspector). Through that you went into the old leanto which was a laundry on one side and the bathroom on the other. Almost all walls had holes in them, the electrical wiring was dangerous, and any original Victorian features (skirtings/ fireplaces) were long gone. Our neighbour across the street could remember it being done, apparently the Policeman who did it spent a couple of years on it on weekends, then sold to the owner that we bought from (it was a deceased estate). The previous owner was clearly very poor, and alcoholic - my first job was putting out all the empty jack daniels bottles that were on the roof, stacked in corners of the garden and hidden in undergrowth out for recycling. This took three weeks of emptying and filling up the recycling bin. No upkeep or work had been done on the house since the 60's renovation.

the view in the bedrooms, that was to become the second bedroom, although for the first 2 years was our Living room until we renovated the back of the house.

The built in unit in the second bedroom with collapsing plywood floors
The first job was to repair the structure. Mr AV and I had very limited funds, so we had to do as much as we could ourselves, and we had to do it quickly as we couldn't afford the rent on our apartment plus the mortgage payments. So, we did demolition on weekends (with some lovely friends that helped out), jackhammering up concrete that had been poured into holes where the floorboards had rotted out, stripping out the old 1960's ceilings that were collapsing and getting things ready for the builders who had to do the more professional aspects. We had the house restumped (the bits that go into the ground and hold up a floor structure), and rebuilt the entire floor structure as we discovered when demolishing that basically it didn't have one. We then laid all the floor boards ourselves, had the house rewired and had new walls built to alter the layout to a more conventional hall with two rooms on either side (one side having narrower rooms as the door was still off centre - there was a structural brick wall down the centre of the house). The narrow rooms became a bathroom and a nursery later down the track.

View into the back garden from the back of the house

In the back corner of the house looking back at the house

Next, we moved in, without power for the first week. After the first 5 months, we built the new bathroom where the original open plan dining area of the house had been. I selected limestone tiles for the floors, and a white subway tile for the walls. The shower and bath were original Victorian fittings that came from renovation works at my Parent's house in Stirling (they brought them over on a trailer one weekend for us). The vanity was a sofa table from Freedom furniture that I found on sale, cut down to the correct height and painted white. The hand basins, taps and toilet were Caroma - I used to get a trade discount at the time, which is commonly given to Architects and Interior Designers. Above the handbasins the two mirrors conceal built in medicine cupboards from Stegbar, which I put frames around using bits of architrave. We had a heated towel rail (a nice luxury in freezing Melbourne) and not pictured were two velux skylights, one above each handbasin. We had the manual opening ones, which was fine as our ceiling height wasn't too extreme. The cupboard in the corner with the bifold doors housed the laundry - a stacked washer and dryer and a laundry trough with shelving above.


Victorian bath, double vanity with medicine cupboards above

Ladder style towel rail, frameless glass shower and Victorian shower, bifold doors conceal the laundry

After the bathroom was complete (it was done first as the old original one was truly, truly horrible - when you showered water would go through the wall into the next room... and that is just the start of the problems) we started work on the facade of the house after the council approvals came through.
The facade had no original features. We demolished everything, and put in new windows (salvaged Victorian sash windows that would have been the size of the original ones), a highlight window over the front door to bring light into the hallway, and re-weatherboarded the whole thing (this was all work done by a builder. We are not that clever). Mr AV and I then built the veranda, front deck and front fence and painted the whole thing inside and out. Outside, I put up a French enamel blue and white street number, two copper up/down lights for outside lighting and planted a Murraya hedge and white wisteria to go up the veranda posts. After the facade was finished we could finally put in insulation in the ceiling, and carpet in the other rooms along with a built in wardrobe in our bedroom and salvaged doors - the originals were long gone and had been replaced by plastic sliding concertina doors. Luxury at last! I was fortunate to get the carpet from a Commercial installer very cheaply - it was left over from the Westin Hotel construction project, and was a very good quality wool plush pile. 
During demolition

That's happy me in steel capped boots with a shovel setting out the stumps for the deck

All finished

The next stage was the back of the house. Initially I drew up plans that were approved by council for a knock down and proper larger extension. But we didn't feel comfortable with the amount that our mortgage would have ended up being, so we decided to instead work with the original footprint and open out the old kitchen/ bedroom 3/ bathroom and laundry and turn it into an open plan living/ kitchen/ dining room. We used french doors from Schott's in Melbourne across the entire back wall, and I put an oversized (for the size of the cottage) salvaged sash window in the seating area to flood the room with light natural light, as the back of the house faced South. We installed a Jetmaster gas log fire to heat the entire house, and the floors were floating floors with a jarrah veneer to match in with the boards we'd used in the hallway - the entire back of the house was on an existing concrete slab. 







The kitchen posed a couple of problems. Appliances had been purchased from Miele with a hefty discount when we were planning the larger extension - I had chosen a wide oven and gas cooktop, and a built in coffee machine which I had felt would be a good selling feature in the future (and it was, the next owners wanted it specified in the contract that the coffee machine was part of the sale). Large appliances with a much smaller kitchen meant that the layout was a squeeze, but in the end I was very happy with the kitchen - it was extremely easy to work in, with everything in proximity to where it was needed. I used laminate for the cupboards (Laminex Parchment, which is my favourite white in the laminex range), and a composite stone benchtop (no specific branding, I got it from DeFazio tiles in Victoria Ave, Brunswick along with the bathroom tiles - they are fantastic and if you're in Melbourne I highly recommend them as they can get stuff in for you if they don't have it in their extensive range). The splashback was colourback starfire glass (starfire glass is colourless glass, ie it has no iron in it which makes any colour that is painted on the back a true colour, without a greenish tinge). The tap and sink were from Caroma again, and the brushed chrome D handles were from a supplier at my work at the time, who sold them to me at cost.




Later on we built in the bookcases on either side of the fireplace.



After we finished all house renovations, we decided to start a family. While I was pregnant, I designed the back courtyard which was still as originally pictured in the before shots, and had a few challenges. Firstly, we were overlooked (as is common in inner city Melbourne). Secondly the ground level was higher outside than inside, which had in the past meant that water would come into the house when it rained. We re-levelled the garden, painted the fences in a unifying colour (there were 5 different fence types in a very small area, so painting them one colour was a much cheaper solution to building new), and had large sandstone coloured concrete pavers put down on concrete pads. In between I planted mini mondo grass (trays and trays of it when I was 8.5 months pregnant. It took me two weeks to finish. Extreme nesting.) which was on a watering system. This was because I wanted a very small area to look lush and green all the time - entirely paving it would have looked quite harsh, and we couldn't lawn such a small area. The garden beds contained Bradford pears, an ornamental pear, which have a pretty autumn colour, and lovely blossom in spring. I clipped them and trained them over a few years to block out the view of the neighbours. In Summer it was a lovely green private space (these pictures were taken for the real estate listing in early Spring). I wanted a feature in the courtyard as a focal point and something that drew the eye from the front door down to the back to make an otherwise tiny plot seem more spacious. We bought the giant rusty urn on plinth at Going Going Green in Hawthorn and it did the trick nicely. I planted English box hedging, and roses underneath the trees and that was where the planting stopped - we had a Jack Russell so he needed somewhere to dig and play. We put in a sandpit later on for the children, which is the wooden lidded box you can see to the right in the second picture. 



On a practical level, we had a clothes line put to the side of the house - I hate having washing on display from the open front door, which is something many houses in the area suffer from due to small plot sizes. On the other side of the back of the house Mr AV built a small shed to house our (now extensive) tools. We also put in evaporative air conditioning just before our oldest was born.

We started with a 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house, and we ended up with the same, but the layout suited modern living much better. We also did not spend a lot of money on this house - we were always mindful that it would be a house we would sell, and we also did not want to increase our mortgage to a point where it was uncomfortable for us while we were living in it. And so we lived in the house for a total of 7 years - the first 2.5 was the period of renovations. 



I tried to keep the house neutral and classic - as there were not any original features, I tried not to recreate them in too obvious a manner, so no iron lace on the veranda, ceiling cornices or roses. The house had such a lovely, warm feel to it, it was just too small for our needs, so with some sadness we put it on the market and moved on... but then that led to our current house and project. Hope you enjoyed the tour.

54 comments:

  1. Gorgeous little house. Love it. Very hard work though! I think the front in particular looks beautiful.

    Laughed at the mondo grass/8 months pregnant story. I planted a lawn from runners when pregnant and can vividly remember bolting outside at about 7 months pregnant and screaming at some sheep that had escaped and were digging it up. I then phoned my husband (who was in Copenhagen on business) and demanded a proper garden fence ASAP. Interestingly he phoned one of our workmen to do the fence before he got home. Think he was too scared to get off the plane otherwise!

    Can't wait to see the finished product with the current renovation. Exciting.

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    1. T, that is so funny with your lawn. I can well imagine how scared your husband was, even from the distance of Copenhagen - you don't mess with a pregnant nesting woman! I can still recall how difficult it was to plant (why it took 2 weeks) as I was absolutely enormous.... my first baby was 9lbs 7 oz, and I'm quite short, so bending over was very hard going. xx

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  2. Wow! Such an informative, well-written and fascinating post deserves far more than a 'wow', but I am almost at a loss for words. What you accomplished is truly amazing! I am in awe that you did so much of this yourselves, and that you turned it into such a beautiful place!
    I really love the bathroom - will certainly be using the mirrors with architraves around as inspiration when we start our own hellish renovation journey.
    I wish you were in Sydney so I could get you to do our place!!
    Thanks so much for sharing this. Truly inspirational!

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    1. Thank you so much Ruth! I was worried the post was getting a little long, so I did cut things out a bit... I haven't looked at the before photos in years, so it was quite interesting to go through them all selecting photos for this post. I'd sort of forgotten how bad it really was!
      The mirrors with frames worked really well - Stegbar with custom make to your size, and it's not that expensive. If you have an old window or doorway, or a weatherboard house, it's very easy to fit them in. xx

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  3. luff it!

    All that white is very flaming.

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    1. thanks FF - thinking you mean calming but it autocorrected?! xx

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  4. Heidi, the house looked brilliant, however you and your husband must have worked so hard! I really enjoy reading all of your renovation posts.

    If Mr B and I ever renovate (we find going to Bunnings/ Mitre 10 daunting - so not sure if renovating is wise for us), I will no doubt be considering all of the tips you have suggested in this and past posts. Love the neutral colours and the kitchen looked great.

    I remember you once wrote about your experience with some European ovens/ appliances etc. Is there a brand that seems to have less faults than others? I just wish brands were still made with quality in mind rather than dollars!

    Have you been watching The Block? I am looking forward to seeing the auctions tonight.

    Fab post xxx

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    1. It was a pretty tiring couple of years FiFi, as we both had quite demanding jobs during the week, but it was worth it. In the post I wrote on Bad Design, I did mention the problems I had with the Miele, and I don't recommend it to clients (and will never buy it myself again). No appliance brand is perfect, but I am looking at Neff and Siemens, and Qasair for rangehoods. I don't like many of the non European brands as they have built in obsolescence of about 3 years. Fisher and Paykel are ok if you want a more local brand/ lower price range. Haven't watched the Block this year, I'm a bit reno'd out on my own home front! xx

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    2. Oh I've got Miele, because mum told me to buy it! All still going strong after 13 years.

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    3. You would have bought it before the changes. I've found anything from 2003 onwards has not lasted at all (and with clients too). My mum had it in the 80's and hers lasted for years and years. We also have service problems with them in Australia, and as any special parts come from Germany, it can take a long time to get a repair done.

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    4. Dear Heidi and Tabitha
      We must be lucky too as we bought all our Miele appliances (dishwasher, cooktop, oven, combi oven, and warming drawer) before 2003 at the time we were having the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry re-done. So far (touch wood!) we haven't needed any service people as they've all been fine and the Quasair Range Hood great too.
      Heidi, no wonder you weren't put off by the extension horrors after what you achieved with your previous house! It's amazing what you were able to accomplish! It truly was a beautiful transformation! So clever!

      Hubby and I are totally incompetent and would never make it on one of those reno programs. We're well matched - he doesn't know one end of a spanner from the other (has many other talents of course, just not a handyman or a renovator) and I can't sew curtains or clothes to save my life (tapestry and embroidery, yes, clothes and curtains, no). I learned long ago that if we wanted something fixed we should call in a specialist! Husband's hamfisted early efforts usually made things worse and cost more in the long run. My stumbling dressmaking attempts got stuck halfway made and ended up thrown in frustration in the bottom of the linen cupboard (to be decluttered later!) or given to people to cut up for patchwork. My father was very unusual, a very male but feminist Dad! and he banned me from learning traditional female jobs like sewing - I studied art and academic subjects and languages instead, and probably enjoyed it more - and also had to keep it secret from him that I learned typing as a hobby one term! I can design - our kitchen and other renos were all my designs but the actual technical drawing and exact measurements and the real work were done by our wonderful professionals - because I'm not clever enough to do any part of the actual job. I so admire your achievements!

      Our son has grown up rather like his Dad, a wizard at financial and economic analysis and also tax advice but an incompetent at fixing things around the house. Our dear DIL has inherited her father's skills (he was an engineer) and his tools and does wonders.

      Best wishes, Pamela

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    5. Technical drawing has nothing to do with artistic abilities though Pamela - I'm hopeless at sketching things, fairly embarrassingly! The technical drawing was taught at Uni, and honed through work after, sketching is more of an artistic talent that I lack. I think you can also say that Mr AV is a reluctant renovator, and was not a natural with tools. Hanging that mirror last weekend ended up with me finishing the job as he finds our crumbly walls very frustrating to drill into!
      Your Dad was obviously very progressive Pamela with your education, but I've always felt some basic sewing is very handy, for both males and females. When you have to have a button sewn on by the drycleaner, then that is a very sad state of affairs! Hope you had a good weekend xx

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    6. Dear Heidi
      Can manage buttons and hems - my grandmother on my mother's side taught me when I was very little and staying with her. She didn't hold with feminist ideas! Don't think my Dad ever knew about the buttons. Yes, he was a remarkable man - and his brothers were the same. They were trained to help around the house and to use the time during chores reciting serious poetry. All became committed and voracious readers and at the same time keen sportsmen in representative teams. They were also brought up to appreciate women (their mother was a very feisty lady, a pianist and music teacher): the few girls on his side of the family are all university graduates. One currently doing a Ph.D in maths. Sadly my Dad died when he was only 48.
      Weekend was lovely, beautiful early autumn weather here. We've been enjoying the French film festival and catching up with old friends! Hope your weekend was a good one too!

      Best wishes, Pamela

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    7. Far too young to loose your Father. So very sad, he sounds like a wonderful and enduring role model for you. The French film festival sounds wonderful, we had a busy weekend, more to do with our children's busy social life than ours though! But I'm glad that the weather is cooling down a little, and I'm planning a long weekend in the garden this weekend. xx

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    8. Yes my Dad was wonderful. I try not to think about all the things he missed in life. He was such a dedicated and caring father but he didn't live long enough to see my graduation or meet the man I was to marry or to become a grandfather. He volunteered at the start of WW11 and spent most of it in the Middle East. Then after they were shipped home his unit was sent up to New Guinea. He was badly wounded and though he recovered (kind of) a GP told him on return that he'd never see 50. So he tried to pack a lot into his life and live as fully as possible knowing he wouldn't have long - part of that was doing voluntary work for the other diggers who were in worse condition than he was. He collapsed on his way home from being guest speaker at a Legacy dinner and died that night. My brother and I were still teenagers. I often feel sad that our darling son never knew him. Best wishes, Pamela

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  5. What a brilliant before and after - I so enjoyed reading this post. I have been planning that my first home purchase will be a project, and this post has just helped to re-affirm that decision!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post Annie. Good luck with the house purchase, finding the rough diamond can be difficult in itself! xx

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  6. Wow, it's so beautiful in the after shots, what a huge amount of work you did, I love seeing the different architecture down your way.

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    1. It's quite a different style to Scottish houses, that's for sure! Weatherboards are common in Melbourne - we don't have them in Adelaide due to termites, and lack of forests to cut down to build them. All our houses here are stone or brick. xx

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  7. Wow Im in awe of your prowess with tools .. but seriously it looks really great. I live in an old buidling which was converted in the 1920s I think, into four flats. Mine is one of the ones on the ground floor, really good bones but seriously needs some work. It's the money at the moment that's stopping me and the fact I dont have a clue about building, renovating etc and the thought of embarking on a project scares me to death .



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    1. We both learnt a lot doing this house, but there are some things that are definitely beyond us. Your place sounds lovely, but I would say that you need a bit of help if you're not great at renovating.... either get an architect or interior architect in to give you some idea of what to do and how much it will cost, and as for building things, if it's just the kitchen or bathroom there are companies that specialise in just the design and construction of those, and can really help you choose finishes and do things within your budget. But ultimately, our budget was what led to this being a 2.5 year project... we had to wait at some sections to get the money to do the next stage, or we were doing so much ourselves that it took forever to get it done. xx

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    2. Thanks for your thoughtful reply , I actually have a friend who oversees renovations ..she organises tradespeople etc but doing business with friends?

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  8. You did a great job! I used parchment for our kitchen too!

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    1. Snap Deanne! Love parchment - it's a nice warm white. xx

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  9. Oh Heidi, hats off to you, you are a serious hard core renovator.....and your results are stunningly gorgeous! My husband refuses to get down & dirty himself so am impressed by your husband's dedication to the cause! Have lived through 2 renovations and with great regularity my husband comes home & suggests new ones.....still recovering so keep saying no! Can't wait to see how your current project works out! Rx

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    1. My husband was/is a somewhat reluctant renovator. He was definitely out of his comfort zone, and felt very frustrated at his lack of building knowledge compared to mine... he learnt a lot (as did I). He is not a happy camper living in our house as it is at the moment, despite the relatively luxurious conditions compared to living in the Albert Park house while it was being renovated. Don't blame you for not wanting to renovate again though.... I'm thinking when it's all finished I'd like to just enjoy for a while and do other things, it's been an action packed past 3 years since we bought it (including the birth of baby number 3 in there!). xx

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  10. Hi Heidi
    Love your blog-really helpful, interesting and inspiring.
    I am renovating too and have been on the Choice website where I have seen negative comments by some unhappy owners of Neff and Siemens ovens too. Sad, that it is so hard to build a decent oven, despite the enormous prices. You could buy a car with what they charge!
    Anyway, thank you for the effort you put into your posts, they are great and I am looking forward to more!
    Renie

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    1. Hi Renie, thank you for your lovely comment. I've looked at the appliance review websites in the past, and there are problems with them all... I also recommend Asko, which I've personally had really good experiences with, but a comment on the Bad Design post was that their Asko dishwasher had caught fire after less than a year! I tend to think online reviews have the negative feedback more than the positive (If you're unhappy with the performance of an expensive oven, and received lackluster customer service you'll likely go online to vent about it, similarly if it works you won't be thinking about doing a review).
      You're right - ovens have become very expensive. I recommend people to buy the lower end of the range they're interested in. Higher priced ones just tend to have lots of programs and features you don't use, or can easily do without or that will possibly break and require an expensive repair.
      Have you seen the Wolf ovens that were launched in Australia a year or so ago.... they start at $25,000 and go up! xx

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  11. I am seriously impressed that you tackled this renovation and I love everything that you did, especially the Freedom table converted to a vanity. It looks like something imported from the States. The urn in the garden is beyond fabulous as well. Mind you I love all of it! xx

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    1. Thanks Emma - the table turned out surprisingly well, never had a problem with it being a painted finish and the water, and it certainly gave an atmosphere to the bathroom that a standard one wouldn't have done I think. xx

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  12. Oh Heidi I agree with everyone's comments on this post. I'm amazed that you and Mr AV tackled this yourselves - and what an amazing result. What strikes me is that even after a few years the decor and finishes look like something from this year - everything looks classic and certainly not dated. The whole darn thing is gorgeous - thank you for sharing and I can't wait to see how your current home transforms. K xx

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    1. Hi K - I think you could say that we jumped into the unknown with the project. I'll never forget the look on my Mother in Law's face when she came to view the house 2 weeks before we moved in.... no walls, horrible facade etc and she said "oh it will come up so well" obviously trying very hard to be positive, but completely shocked at how bad it was! As for the furniture.... it's all in our current house now with not a lot extra at this stage -that's the 13 year old sofa with slipcover that we still use as our one and only! Thank you for your lovely comment xx

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  13. Wow!! Amazing and inspirational! You are very clever Heidi! Hard to believe that was 10 years ago - proves that elegant white is timeless. I'm feeling very inspired. X

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    1. thank you anon, you're very kind. It was all done in a fairly classic and simple way, so it has stood the test of time pretty well. xx

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  14. You must be kidding me - this is an AMAZING transformation. We are in the throes of renovating an 1800's beach house and you've given me so much inspiration. We're at the stage where we're not sure it's ever going to be habitable...I can't believe how charming the outside is...LOVE!! Happy to be your newest follower ~

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    1. Thank you so much! It was a lot of blood, sweat and tears along the way, but completely worth it for the end result. Thanks for following xx

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  15. I loved having a nose around your old house. Thanks for sharing. I'm especially impressed with the flooring - it looks beautiful. It must have been bittersweet to sell and move on!

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    1. Hi Charlotte, the flooring was lovely... and it was a bit bittersweet, especially as the place we ended up renting was such a disaster for us to live in, but we are much happier having moved home to our new house. xx

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  16. Wow. What a fantastic transformation. You certainly know what you are doing!

    Especially love the bathroom, and both the front and back yard. Gorgeous!!!!

    With our front fence, do you think it will look unfinished even once the hedge is fully grown, if we don't get a tubular fence put in between the pillars?

    B

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    1. Hi B, thanks for the kind comment. With your fence I don't think it would look unfinished once the hedge is grown. I think it's just the growing in phase that will be annoying to you. The tubular steel fence would disappear into the hedge largely, so I would personally not waste the money if you're going to do the hedge anyway, and just go with that. Hope that helps?! xx

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  17. You are so clever!! I don't even know what else to write. I am just so looking forward to the renovations on your current home! The fact that the bathroom still looks seriously amazing today is a testament to how good of a designer you are. This is very inspiring!

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    1. Thank you Laura! I'm glad it seems to be inspiring people - you really can change a house enormously.... with a lot of hard work, but not necessarily money. I can say though that I don't think I'd ever want to live in a house like it was at the start again!! xx

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  18. You really are fearless! The before and after in your first home is incredible. You should have no trouble with the current home transformation. I wait to see! Ann x

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    1. Thanks Ann. Fingers crossed it will go relatively smoothly from here.... xx

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  19. I think this post shows a lot of work having done the work but also compiling the post!

    I can't believe the amount of work you guys did, and ome of it yourselves...kudos to you both.

    It must have been hard to sell it because even when I paint something I always look at that specific object a little longer than the other stuff builders did.

    Great stuff and before and after pics. But I do love those types of houses in Melbourne but I never had the chance to live in one of those...can't wait fr the after of your garden!

    Ps I did write a comment but it seems not to have registered while I was in Asia xx

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    1. Your first comment did come up, but it was on a totally different post! I did manage to work out that you were commenting on this though!! I always loved the weatherboard houses too - they're very pretty. Although we did used to wonder if it was going to blow away when a strong South Westerly started blowing off the bay.... Mr AV used to call it "the house of sticks". Thanks for both your comments xx

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  20. What a wonderful post...thank you for sharing your last renovation with us. It was truely a massive achievement and so interesting to see how little it has dated. You were definitely ahead of the times style wise. Enjoying following your most recent project too. x KL

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  21. Such a wonderful and beautiful house.I love the interior designs of the house.Thank you for posting this very informative and brilliant post.

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  22. Great post and great work done!
    Thanks for sharing;o)

    ***
    Happy day.

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  23. Heidi, beautiful job - thanks for sharing. Wondering, how did you find the Jetmaster Gas Fire? I'm looking to put one in a fireplace in our home and keen to hear reviews.

    Thanks.

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    1. Hi Jude, I absolutely loved the Jetmaster gas fire - it heated up the entire house, and we almost never used the electric heaters in the front bedrooms (aside from on very cold Melbourne days). I definitely recommend having the remote switch for it though, it made turning it on and off much easier. Not sure if that's standard now, but at the time it was a small additional cost, and was worth it - no crawling around on the ground trying to find the on/off switch.

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  24. Thanks so much, Heidi. Glad to hear.

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  25. I know I'm late to the table (having just discovered your brilliant blog!), but I am interested in finding our what colour paints you used throughout, particularly the exterior paint and trim colours - and the wall colour in the master bedroom?

    Could you also please tell me if your kitchen cabs were custom-built? We're currently fixing up one side of the kitchen and extending the cabinets to incorporate our separate fridge & freezer. The plan is to retain the existing carcusses, along with the new ones, but replace the actual doors to give a more ergonomic, integrated look on this side of the room. (The rest of the kitchen cabs and drawers on the other side of the room, will be retained as is.) We do not want a big spend by going custom-built because, like yourselves, we plan to put this house on the market in the near future.I really like the look of the Laminex "Parchment" colour you used, so am thinking this may be a more cost-effective way to go. We aren't planning on replacing our laminate bench tops as they're still good to go, and we don't want to push out the budget unnecessarily. ~ Cheers, heather (Brissy) x

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    Replies
    1. Hi Heather, I used Dulux Fair Bianca throughout the general interior, semi gloss on the timber, and flat acrylic on walls. The master was Dulux mud puddle. The exterior white was Cottontail, the walls were Pale Earth and front door and gutters were Namadji - all dulux
      The cabinets were custom built, but were flat pack and we put them together ourselves. I did the design and had them made up by a company in the north of Melb, but I can't for the life of me remember the name. Laminate is definitely the most cost effective way to go - our kitchen was really cheap and I upgraded it with the bench tops and nice handles, but if you want to keep your laminate ones just doing a nicer tile for the splash back would do the trick to give a higher quality feel to it all. I used laminate again in my current laundry - if you do a search in the search box for laundry you'll find some photos of it. I'm really happy with it, and it would be great in a kitchen - doesn't look cheap at all (bench top is also in laminate). Doing the mirrored splash back really gives it a lift. Good luck!

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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on anadelaidevilla@bigpond.com
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