This house tour is one that is very exciting for me to share, after sharing Angela and her family’s beautiful rental house tour a few years ago, and in my book. At the time Angela was fairly new to Australia and had big dreams to buy their own home. A new baby and a few years later, and this gorgeous home is now theirs. Living in the home for 6 months, the family now includes Angela, her husband, and their children Arabella 5yrs, Sienna 4yrs and Bjorn 17 months old. They also rent out the granny flat to a student to help take the cost of their mortgage down – very smart thinking.
How did you find your home?
On realestate.com.au and then we drove and sat outside on several occasions and just stared at it and discussed all we could do to renovate it!
What made you fall in love with it?
That it was unique, grand, stone and reminded us of a old french house. It had so much space and scope and potential for renovating, and putting our own stamp on the home. Nothing had been touched in the house since it was built in 1945 and so literally everything needed work, there was no form of heating or cooling and there was carpets and lino everywhere which they had let the dog wee on , so it stunk quite a lot!
Are there things you still want to change?
We want to re-instate the rotten balcony we took down for safety reasons, replace the kitchen and bathroom and replace the railings outside. We have put in a wood burner, which was in return for some plumbing work – it’s very small and if we had the money would replace that. There is no other heating or insulation in the roof, so we would like to put in solar and look at an affordable, economical, eco friendly heating and cooling solution in the house that does not cost the earth. The laundry is in a little room outside the house, so would like to build a laundry inside the house. We would like to re-paint the inside and create another bedroom in the loft.
I’ve been working on the garden and totally love love love gardening (I think I’ve found my passion!) it’s so incredibly relaxing, rewarding and addictive. I’ve bought a lot of roses and other plants that people did not want in their garden, and have gone and dug them up (flip roses take hours to dig up…) and replanted them. It is so rewarding to see the plants thrive when you have taken the time to recycle and re-use plants that would have often be destined for green waste!
What do you like about your local area or region?
We can see the wild parrots from every window and we often have koalas in our trees. There is a cricket green opposite our house and we have Joan’s Pantry that we look over from Arabella’s window that encourages sustainability. It has veggie community gardens to the back of it and we are surrounded by nature – we just love it and all the natural beauty.
What are your thoughts on sustainabilty and how it is part of our home?
Every piece of furniture in our home is repurposed and upcycled. We have experimented with sanding and lime washing all our floors. We do all the work on the house ourselves and have hired no trades. We really want to sort out our heating and cooling to be as sustainable as possible as we are finding electricity more and more expensive -it’s just crazy. We have chickens for eggs and are shortly going to start creating a vegetable garden.
Any advice for others wanting to own a similar home?
We found it really really hard to get the deposit and stamp duty etc together, but we choose location, character and area over everything. Doing every ounce of the work ourselves has saved us a fortune. We are only doing work we can afford. My husband still works away 3 out of 4 weeks of every month interstate, so we can save to do up the house – it’s very very hard work. We are good savers but having such a old house that has never been touched since 1945 is hard, however it is very very rewarding.
What is your inspiration for decorating?
Making it look light and fresh and easy to live in is my jam. Nothing is pristine or perfect – it’s just fresh and french, shabby chic in style. We have three kids under 5 yrs old so nothing is perfect, but we are always painting and doing stuff to freshen and do up the place, its a work in progress.
What is your favourite part of the home?
I love the front garden. I’ve spent hours and hours working on it and creating it from nothing, and sitting having a coffee on the back porch on our painted church pews.
What has been the biggest challenge?
The scale of the work and not knowing what is the most important thing to do at that particular time. Having a dream and wanting to do it all now, but having to do it very slowly on a tight budget.
What do people say when they see your home?
It’s absolutely stunning! Like it’s one day going to be in a magazine. They can’t believe how much it’s changed in such a short period of time.
What materials and processes have you used so far in the renovation?
We lime washed all the floors, it completely lifted the look of the house to be light and airy. We just learned as we went along and by lime washing it cost a fraction of the cost vs changing the floors. We removed all the lino and carpet that was soiled and disgusting, hired a sander and sanded the floors ourselves, and then learnt how to lime wash them. I love gardening and Conrad loves renovating the house. It has been such a long long dream of close on 15 years since we first got married to have this home. We feel so privileged and honoured to finally own our own home – we find it relaxing to work on it and just feel so proud to own it.
Angela is such a talented interior decorator and stylist and I can not wait to see this home as it progresses. I look forward to a visit very soon! If you want to share your home, please get in touch