Hello 2017…the year of the reno completion!

After a break that was shorter than we anticipated, the guys were back on site in full force last Monday. Before Christmas they managed to get all the blackbutt flooring laid throughout. This week has been all about architraves and skirting, archways and breezeways, and starting to sort out the internal stairwell. 

Entry hallway - Queenslander renovation
Entry hallway – now sporting lovely new arches!
It’s really starting to take shape. The kitchen and dining room archways are looking good, and they’ll look significantly better when they’re fully dressed with their architraves and whatever else needs to be done to finish them off. Only a few more weeks until our cabinetry from Designer Kitchens is installed – absolutely can’t wait! They’re also doing our bathroom cabinets, entertainment unit, built-in bookcase and cupboards, and our mini mudroom entryway storage. 

Queenslander renovation - kitchen and archways
The kitchen – looking through to the living room on the left and the dining room on the right
Breezeways and archways!
So much goodness in this pic! Breezeways! Archways! Doors! Skirting! Love it 🙂
 We need to make decisions on internal paint colours by the end of this coming week (ARGH!). I was down at Bunnings this weekend picking up a big range of potential colours – and purchasing their corresponding sample pots. I’ve compared them against our bench top stone choice (Ceasarstone Noble Grey) and our bathroom tiles, and I think they will work. Because both the tiles and stone are a dirty kind of grey rather than a very crisp blue-tinged one, I’m thinking something along the lines of a Casper White or Dieskau Half – with a  stark white Lexicon Quarter trim. Who knows though, could look rubbish when I actually try them out! Will need to get that sorted super early one morning before work this week.
Paint choice conundrums - again!
Paint choice conundrums – again!

This week our safety fence along part of the retaining wall at the rear went in. I’m not a fan at all, and I wish there was something we could’ve done at the design stage to have alleviated the need for it. We did go through a lot of options at the time though, and in the end we made the call that this would be the best choice as it allowed us to have a long thoroughfare  up the boundary edge with a gentle gradient. Definitely a plus from an access perspective. However, this mandatory handrail (due to the >1m drop with the retaining wall) does make the garden seem smaller. Going to need to some lovely landscaping, I think!

Safety fence above the retaining wall in the backyard
Safety fence above the retaining wall in the backyard

And on that note, we met up with the lovely Bre from Outdoor Aspect – a landscape architecture firm in Wilston. I supplied her with a very long brief outlining all my likes/dislikes/must-haves/must-not-haves and she’s been super efficient at coming back to us with a plan for our front garden. We’re getting her to plan the whole lot, but the front has been a particular priority, as until the front is planned, agreed and built, we can’t get our front stairs installed. Prior to Christmas we’d been dealing with a different landscape architect which ended up being THE biggest waste of time. Absolutely nothing achieved, a gazillion missed deadlines, and a total inability to respond to emails or phone calls. Anyway, onwards and upwards!

We were at Spicers Clovelly over the Christmas break and fell in love with the simple, formal gardens. Agapanthus were always going to play a key role in our garden, but I’ve decided tri-star jasmine will too now – love the elegance that a clipped border gives, especially when bounded by gorgeous granite flagstones. We’re going to have to make some pretty severe compromises on landscaping though due to budget, but hopefully it’ll still look good.

The very gorgeous lawn and garden at Spicers Clovelly
The very gorgeous lawn and garden at Spicers Clovelly
The very gorgeous lawn and garden at Spicers Clovelly
The very gorgeous lawn and garden at Spicers Clovelly

We finally made a call on our verandah brackets. We’ve decided to go with wooden ones instead of cast alumium lace. I’d definitely have preferred the aluminium to tie in with the lacework balustrades, but it ended up being a budget decision for me. Wooden ones were already in our contract, while lacework would’ve been an additional $1,600. And, the husband doesn’t share my love of lacework’s ultra frilliness. So that was a battle I lost. 

Here’s the final choice. Does it go with the gable? Possibly not! But I’m over it (it doesn’t help that I bought samples of nearly every bracket that Woodworkers sells!) so these ones it is!

Queenslander gable and verandah bracket
The chosen gable undergoing a rigorous testing process!

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