We came back to Adelaide at the start of 2010 for my Grandfather's funeral. I was pregnant with our third baby, we had recently sold our house in Melbourne's Albert Park (it was a little weatherboard cottage, as is common in the area, which we had outgrown with the advent of our second child starting to walk), and we were renting elsewhere in the area while we searched for our next house. While we were in Adelaide, I happened to see a real estate advertisement for our house. I just loved the look of the house, it was in an area that we liked, and so we drove past on our way to a family dinner that night. We rang the agent and viewed it on our way to the airport the next morning.

We ended up buying it at the Auction a month later. I like to think that my Grandfather had a hand in it - he loved family, and would do anything for us, and it would have pleased him so much to have us moving home. But with my husband's work in Melbourne, we had to work out what to do with the house. Initially we thought we'd rent it out for a few more years, then renovate and move home. Eventually we decided to just move back home almost immediately, and that my Husband would continue to work in his current job by commuting from Adelaide (he travels a lot anyway, so it didn't make much difference). And so I found myself with a 6 month deadline to get the untouched interior renovated for a Christmas move in (so that our oldest could start school in Adelaide, rather than be moved again). The only problem was that I had a two week old baby at that point, and a husband that did helpful things like flying to London for a week for work when I had a two week old baby...... but we survived, and somehow I managed to renovate the interiors, selecting bathroom fittings, tiles, wallpapers and fabrics, doing a lighting and power plan etc etc all while located in Melbourne, with a few flights to Adelaide to sort things out.

Some interior views from the real estate listing

And my builder, who did a fantastic job, made sure we moved in on our Christmas deadline (they were literally doing finishing touches as the truck with our furniture pulled in).

Some shots of the overgrown garden:

So, what we did initially was to put in two new bathrooms (I think you can survive with a horrible bathroom or a horrible kitchen, but both at once is really hard going), a dressing room, re roofed the house (there was significant water damage), new insulation, rewired the entire house (it was so old the meter box was inside the house in the hall, which meant that the meter readers had to come inside......), entirely new plumbing to the street main, new carpet, new hardwood floorboards in the hall, removal of 50 layers of old wallpapers and replacement with paint and new wallpapers, and new light fittings.

After photos to come....


  1. Just showed Mr FF these snaps we are in love with this house!!!!! We are looking at the moment and we cannot find anything near as good!

  2. You are very kind FF- and I know your pain. Melbourne real estate was completely depressing. You literally wouldn't be able to find somewhere as close to the CBD on so much land. Just doesn't exist, let alone a beautiful old house as well. Move to Adelaide!!

  3. Oh how I love your place - and have loved going through some of your 'after shots' - even more excited that you are in Adelaide. x

    1. Hi Kimberlee, thank you so much. We thought the house was a little bit unusual from a standard (but very beautiful!) Adelaide Villa. I think the verandas give it a bit of a "country" feel in the middle of the city. xx

  4. Your house s one of my face styles! For me, this is just the best of Oz! Great bones - lucky you! Really enjoyed the pics!


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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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