Sunday, 20 July 2014

Blank Canvas

Its been a long time coming but finally I have some pictures for you.  The house is very bare, I am busy buying items to be added to the house, but I haven't actually gotten around to putting them in yet.  I have purchased pendant lights for the kitchen and the dining area and our electrician is coming by in a week or so.  I thought it would be good to show you the blank canvas and then you can see how the room evolves over time.

So... come in have a seat, make yourself at home..

Ahhh my lovely chair, which was a gift from hubby, it kind of steals the show in this room.  Ignore the TV, it most definitely does not belong there.  I had a sick child the day I was taking these photo's and the TV was temporarily set up there so she could lie on the sofa and I could keep an eye on her.

The little alcove where the TV is taking up residence will one day become shelving and storage but in the meantime, its just space.  As for the rest of the room...

Some serious artwork needs to go above that fire, or a mirror....

It is screaming for a rug, some artwork, some room decor etc, etc.. pillows are a temporary measure until I can find ones I really like.

The room looks very sterile, but that is the difference between a house and a home... I have some pieces to go up on the walls but we are just waiting on a few other things to arrive and decisions to be made as to where they will go first. 

Dining area... ignore the chairs, they are also a temporary measure until I find chairs that I'm happy with, I have a few in mind, however the replica's aren't to my satisfaction and the originals don't agree with my hip pocket, so I'm still deliberating.  You can just see the alfresco from this pic, nothing is happening out there for the moment.  I just threw the outdoor table there for the time being until we get our landscaping done then that will all change.

Anyone for coffee?  We get so much sunlight through the back of this room that the kitchen heats up like a little oven during the day.  Blinds are on order and hopefully arriving some time in the near future.

And finally our kitchen.  Many a meal has been made in here and with 3 kids, I can tell you this ~ its not often you see it looking like this.  This home is no show home, it is a hive of activity.  There is usually always something cooking, homework getting done, stories being told and blogs being typed at this kitchen island and we love it.

You have no idea how much I love that pantry ~ I'll show you inside one day... 

Photo bombed by the dog.. well it is his  home too.  Ignore my antique fridge, its biding its time before it moves into the garage, like everything else the fridge is on the to do list, I'm just not in any hurry to rush out and buy one right now, its on my list, I'll get to it eventually.

See ya next time...

Ms Betsy xo.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Completely Floored ~ So happy xo

Finally, I can update you on the flooring and I'm completely floored (ha ha)....

First of all I want to say sorry for my absence, we had some teething problems with getting Telstra to instal our internet.  It had nothing to do with McDonald Jones and everything to do with Telstra's protocol regarding connecting to a private pole, remember we are a knock down rebuild so there is no NBN installed in our area as yet.  Luckily, my genius husband and a very clever Telstra technician managed to create a miracle ~ and that is a blog for another time..

So back to the floor...

The last update I gave you we had screeded the lounge/kitchen/dining, hallway and the alfresco areas and I was patiently waiting for the tiles to be laid.  Of course so much time has passed since then that it is obvious that my floor is now laid, so rather than bore you to tears with words I'll just show you the goods ~ excuse the quality of the pictures, they are all iphone pics, trying to find the time to get my camera out is just too much effort.

Here we are with the concrete slab and after the tiles have been laid. 

 Before, during and after... 

close up anyone... 

Yes I did get down on the floor to take this picture for you (providing a little sneak peak of the kitchen)... I wanted to show you how level the floor was thanks to our BRILLIANT tiler, I really cannot praise him high enough, he was amazing.  His words to my husband {chinese accent} "I take my time, I treat your home like it is my own" and he did just that, the tiles are perfect, he did an amazing job. 

and here is the floor in the lounge area showcasing my gorgeous fire...

So anyone got any questions?

Let me premeditate a few of them for you.

Was is worth doing the screeding?

The simple answer to that question is yes.  However, I have nothing to compare it to.  The floor is perfect [PERFECT] and trust me I have been down on that floor looking from every angle for a lip or a slight squint ~ nope, its perfect.  It's actually better than the tiles in my wet areas.  I can't put my hand on my heart and say that if we didn't screed we wouldn't have got such a good finish because I just don't know, but I am happy that we did screed and I believe it was money well spent.

What size of grout do you have?

We have a 1.5mm grout.  This was the primary reason that we needed to do the screeding.  If we had decided to go with 3mm grout we could have got away with just using glue, but the risk was too high with the smaller grout line.

What colour of grout did you use?

When the tiler arrived he recommended grey grout, but I really wanted to have a seamless finish and try and blend the tiles into each other as much as possible.  I took a major risk and went for what I thought was closer in colour to the tile and hoped for the best.  I nearly died when I went to the house and the grout around the edges close to the walls appeared - wait for it.... ORANGE.  I kept telling myself it will be okay, it will be okay, it just needs to settle.  It was a risk that paid off, once the grout dried out it is practically the same colour as the tile.  Of course its impossible to have no lines whatsoever but they appear very minimal.

Is it easy to keep clean?

It is amazingly easy to keep clean.  I vacuum it when I have time and we wash it down with hot water and vinegar when we mop it which was recommended by our tiler.  He told us to avoid chemicals and that is exactly what I have been doing and so far I haven't had any trouble keeping it clean.

The tiles have a matt finish - are the rumours true?

If you are thinking about laying matt tiles you are probably aware of the rumours that they are hard to keep clean or that they show up dirt really easily.  I have to say that I don't agree with that.  The tiles don't show up any dirt unless you actually don't clean for a period of time but even then it's nothing much to worry about.  As for stains, we have had a few explosions in the kitchen and cleaned up without any chemicals and no stains or issues getting them clean.  I wouldn't say I'm blowing the rumours out of the rumour mill but to date we haven't had a problem.  Our tiler told us we had picked one of the highest quality tiles he had so I'm not sure if it has something to do with the quality or not.  Maybe if you buy cheaper matt tiles they are more porous ~ who knows, but so far so good with ours.

Are they cold under foot?

Well it is winter so I was really worried about them being cold, especially since I haven't actually gotten around to shopping for rugs yet.  Surprisingly they aren't that cold.  Of course they aren't warm under foot (I didn't put under floor heating in) but they aren't that cold either.  We are all a bit of a 'no shoe' family, so we kick them off as soon as we get home.  I tend to meander around in socks most of the time and I'm quite happy.  Walking around bare foot at night it is a bit cold, but nothing that you can't handle.  Our rental home had old glass tiles in the bathroom and that was like walking on ice ~ happy to report it is nothing like that.

Would you recommend your tiler?

Without a doubt in the world I would recommend my tilers.  This company put up with me popping in to their showroom week after week, browsing their tiles, making them pull them out and let me see them in different lights etc, etc... nothing was ever too much trouble for them and they were always so friendly.  We picked our tiles about 10 months prior to them actually installing them, but they were with us all the way throughout the journey.  They accommodated our delays at the end of the build without any dramas and as soon as we said all systems go, they were in here getting the job done.

If you are looking for a great tiling company please do not hesitate to go to:

Lockwood Carpets & Tiles
3/323 Newbridge Road

Thursday, 3 July 2014

We have lift off... yeah I'm back.

Hi, I'm back... finally.  I promise to update my blog soon.  We had some major issues with installing our internet ~ no one's fault just circumstances, but we are back up and running again and we are loving being in our house.  Lots of things to still do and we are moving at a snail pace now as we are simply enjoying getting settled. 
However, new project is now turning this house into a home..
Talk soon
Ms Betsy xo

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Flooring - To screed or not to screed?

A while back I wrote this blog about flooring, most of the answers (that I know) about flooring is in that post. 

As I mentioned back then, we opted to screed.  I continued deliberating over this for ages even after I wrote that post.  I even spoke to my site supervisor and asked him for his professional opinion.  He informed me that MDJ don't screed that the glue is usually fine.  The word 'usually' didn't sit too well with me.  I get it, they don't screed and 90% of the time its fine, but in my scenario its not like I could call the builder back up and say "tile is broken, come and fix it" my tiles aren't the builder's problem because we are doing them after handover.

I did speak with a few more independent tilers regarding this and they all seemed to reach the same conclusion.  I was laying 600mm x 600mm tiles and I was adamant I wanted a 1.5mm grout.  If I had gone with a 3mm grout I could probably have saved myself the $$$ by avoiding the screeding but I knew I wanted the 1.5mm and they all advised me to do the screeding.  So we screeded.


I'm so excited looking at the house with just the screeding, can you imagine how excited I'll be when they actually lay some tiles...

Saturday, 3 May 2014

House - at last it's ours

Finally, finally, finally we got our keys... we are now the proud owners of House. I am currently reading a book called 'Room' if you have read this book it is from the view of a child and he refers to the room he lives in as 'Room'. In a sense that's how I feel about 'House' it is what it is until I make it 'Our Home', anyway without boring you all I know you don't want to read words as much as you want to see pictures.

Welcome to House...

View from front door
It looks a little bit all the same colour at the moment due to the floor being dusty concrete.  The tilers are working hard as I type, hence the next round of pics will show a more complete look, except that I still have no idea what artwork will be taking up residence in the space at the end of the hallway.

Proceeding up the hallway and taking a left, we have ''garage, laundry & linen cupboard'

Man Cave aka Garage

Woman Cave (NOT) aka Laundry

All Jokes aside my hubby does help but I like to be in charge of the laundry room especially now that it looks like this.

Linen cupboard doors

Linen internals
Note the blue stickers where the painter 'forgot' to touch up after PCI - he obviously didn't open the doors.  That's okay though, he can do it after our maintenance period.

Okay moving swiftly along opposite the garage/laundry we have the kids activity area/bedrooms & bathroom.

Desk area
We will be installing overhead cupboards into the area above the desk sometime in the near future, this area will become the home office area/kids desk area - I'm hoping to avoid the barrage of bills and papers that seem to make their way to my kitchen bench, by giving them a home here.

Kid's TV storage area
In this area built in storage will be going in along with all media related things for the kids
(TV, game consoles etc).

The kid's rooms have no light at the moment and they all look the same, imagine four walls, windows and wardrobes (I'll get some photos once I purchase light bulbs).

Kid's bathroom

Kid's bathroom (again)
We have two girl's and a boy in our house, we installed a 2nd sink into this area to avoid the teenage arguments that will come in the future with having two girl's in the house practically the same age (a year apart).

Kid's toilet
not much to say about the toilet, the original window in this room was bigger, it went down to meet the toilet, I shrunk it to give me space to put a shelf above the toilet so that I can put some smelly things in here (candle?!) and a little basket to discreetly hold some girly item.

Moving into the Master Suite...

Master Bathroom
I only have a picture of the master bathroom at this stage, it is screaming out for colour and accessories which I fully intend to supply very shortly.  

I had no light in the bedroom and at this stage it is an empty room so apart from 4 walls and 2 windows I have nothing to show you.  This pic looks a little strange because it's one of those landscapey pics, it was the only way I could get the whole view in for you.  Where is the toilet? I hear some of you think - it is hiding behind the wall with the towel rail on it ~ lets not go into detail as to why I like the hiding toilet, I'll leave it to everyone's imagination.

...and heading to the back of house, lets take a backwards glance and admire my front door...

The front door

The Lounge... the Dining... the Media & the Kitchen otherwise known as the back of House

Yes, this is where most of the living will take place, except for when I decide I've had enough and I send all the naughty kids to the 'front of House' to give me some thinking space.  Ha, no seriously I have lived in a house which was too small to swing a cat in, moving into this space will be like heaven, I don't think I'll be sending the kids off anytime soon, it will be a pleasure to share this space with them without feeling like I have a million little voices pounding on my head (that is how it feels with a lot of voices in a confined space, competing with TV noise and game noise)... 

Lounge Room

Lounge Area - looking in from kitchen

We will be putting in cabinetry and shelving to the areas on either side of the fire.  You will note that there is a TV connection to the left of the fire, but at present we are going to leave the TV's to live in the media area and a 2nd one in the kid's activity area (and I'll have one in  my bedroom hidden somewhere).  We don't really watch much TV so we have opted to leave this area as a quiet area for the time being, hopefully to encourage talking and just spending time together.

Dining Area & Alfresco
Of course right now all you can see is the doors, without furniture and lighting there really is nothing to show you.  You can see the Alfresco from there, which again is just a concrete area until it gets finished off.

Media Room Doors
I daresay these doors will be open 90% of the time, unless of course we are all in there watching a movie.  It is very difficult to get a photo of the media room, below is one of the landscapey ones again, it makes the walls look rounded but it gives you an idea.  The original plan of this house had the sitting part of this room where we have the TV, I switched it around so that on the off chance I'm in there watching TV and the kids are roaming about in the living area, I can still see them from the sitting area.  I like to be able to keep an eye on things.

Media Room
and my pride and joy - the kitchen...

what can I say I love it, once the flooring is in it will all come together and my appliances will go in after the flooring.  Below are my pantry doors and internals - cannot wait to unleash  my inner organising nerd and give that pantry a makeover.

Pantry doors

Pantry Internal

Kitchen looking into dining

and that's it so far.  I'll get some better (not iphone) photo's again once the tilers are done and the carpets are in to give you a more complete look.  Below are some more landscapey photo's (with bendy walls) to give you a general idea of the space.


Back of House

and finally a night time shot from the street.

Front of house with all the lights on

It looks like I have no roof - I will need to get a daytime shot.  We obviously still have driveway and landscaping to attend to ~ we are busy trying to make decisions on that at the moment.

Ms Betsy xo

Saturday, 5 April 2014

New Page - Faux Pas {Tiny Wee Mistakes..}

I have added a new page which is static (next to electrical selections). It is a way for me to list any mistakes I've come across during this build. I'm sure over time I will discover more, especially once I move in. I will update the page whenever I come across anything, hopefully other people can learn from my mistakes and avoid them. Happy Building.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Photo Update...

Well finally, as promised, I have some photo's for you.  Hubby had a site visit the other day and snapped some on his phone (sorry if the quality isn't fantastic)...

It's all coming along very nicely and I'm patiently waiting for someone to tell me I can move in... yes I'm still patient (only because I can't be bothered packing up the house at the moment), its a bit like being pregnant, I'm waiting for the nesting to kick in THEN I'll start packing...

In the meantime... 

Come on in, excuse the mess...


I love the hallway, the picture niche at the bottom is screaming out for some artwork... the problem is the choices are endless and I can't decide on anything

Kid's Bathroom & Master Bathroom

How dirty is that floor - scandalous.. 

As you can see not much differs between the bathrooms, we kept the colour schemes exactly the same


Not sure I'll ever love laundry, but it will be a heck more pleasant doing it in here.

Lounge Room

Fire is still a work in progress, hopefully they will finish that some time next week.  
Shelving etc will be installed after handover.

Media Room

Sorry - I have nothing, I thought for sure he'd take pics of the media, but nada ~ next time


calm my beating heart - I am in love... 

Can't wait until it is cleaned up and finished

Cannot wait to fill this baby up... my organising brain is in overdrive


Ignore my beat up fence, it will be replaced after handover when we tackle the landscaping

Till next time
Ms Betsy xo