Do it yourself Home page features Miscellaneous

The big reveal

Finally … I am able to show my daughters new house. It took quite some convincing for her to allow me to publish these and it was on the understanding that I explain that they are still busy varnishing floors, skirting boards are still missing, and, and, and … there are unfinished things all over the place – so please bear that in mind.

Still not quite finished (notice the work people and equipment in the photos) they have been scrambling and working around the clock to get things as ‘finished’ as they can. The reason for this final rush to finish is that they have guests arriving from the UK on Friday and are hosting Christmas Lunch at their new home next week. You can see how much they have achieved in the last two weeks if you look back at this post where I showed the “garden” – or rather, the soon-to-be garden. What a change … the pool is almost ready to be filled, the entertainment deck and patio have been tiled and lawn has been laid. A new wall is being erected around the front to accommodate the new entrance gate and to replace the awful wall that was / is still there (will be removed once the new wall is completed) and more cobble stones are being laid to complete the driveway.

A quick recap: They bought the house primarily for the location and mostly for view from the property of the mountain which they fell in love with. The original house was demolished (except for the foundations which were sound) and they designed their dream home (no architects involved). This was partly due to limited funds but also because they had a dream of building their own house for quite some time. A student then helped them draw up their plans, they got the plans approved by council and then employed a small team to help them with the build*. All the beams and doors have been made from wood they salvaged from the existing house, they’ve installed solar panels (I can’t believe how little electricity they are using – I am seriously considering going that route next year) and they have invested in a big Jojo tank (for collecting rain water) and wherever possible, built using reclaimed material from the old house.

But enough with all the waffling, let me show you what they’ve done …

First, inside downstairs in the open plan living / dining and kitchen (remember that they bought the house for the view which they want to see from nearly every room. Hence the massive windows all looking to the mountain).

[one_half]Downstairs living room area to patioDownstairs living room area to patio[/one_half]

[one_half_last]From lounge to double volume dining areaFrom lounge to double volume dining area[/one_half_last]

[one_half]From the lounge looking to the kitchenFrom the lounge looking to the kitchen[/one_half]

[one_half_last]From living room to the patio and poolFrom living room to the patio and pool[/one_half_last]

[one_half]View from patio onto the driveway and lawnView from patio onto the driveway and lawn[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Back inside … the kitchenBack inside ... the kitchen[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Dining and kitchen area from stairsThe dining and kitchen area from stairs[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Another view of the downstairs areaAnother view of the downstairs area[/one_half_last]

[one_half]From behind the kitchen islandFrom behind the kitchen island[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The downstairs Guest suite (off the living area)The downstairs Guest Suite[/one_half_last]

The downstairs guest suite (which looks small in the photo but is actually very large) has an en-suite bathroom and separate loo, and the doors lead out onto the back yard area – potential here is for a created garden, something lovely and private.

Now let’s go upstairs … the banister is still being completed, the lamp doesn’t live there and there is still a bit to be done, as you will see.

[one_third]Going up the (unfinished)stairsWe're going up those stairs[/one_third]

[one_third]The unfinished bannisterThe unfinished bannister[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Three bedrooms up thereThere are three bedrooms up there[/one_third_last]

[one_third]The double volume dining areaThe double volume dining area[/one_third]

[one_third]As seen from the landingAs seen from the landing[/one_third]

[one_third_last]The landing to the bedroomsThe landing to the bedrooms[/one_third_last]

The main bedroom leads to a private patio with the lovely view they bought the property for, I won’t bore you with photos of the two other bedrooms (each has its own en-suite bathroom) and their windows look out to the back of the property.

[one_half]Looking down from the stairsLooking down from the landing[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The landing seen from belowThe landing seen from below[/one_half_last]

[one_half]The main bedroom with its viewThe main bedroom with its view[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The view from their private patioThe view from their private patio[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Towards the dressing roomLooking towards the dressing room[/one_third]

[one_third]The dressing roomThe dressing room[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Seen from the dressing roomSeen from the dressing room[/one_third_last]

Ok, now for the outside and what still remains to be done …

[one_half]The House that Steffi built!The House that Steffi built![/one_half]

[one_half_last]Here it is from the front …Here it is from the front ...[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Trellises will go in between the pillarsTrellises will go in between the pillars[/one_half]

[one_half_last]The new lawn and newly built, unfinished wallThe new lawn and newly built, unfinished wall[/one_half_last]

[one_third]Old vs new wall (incomplete)Old vs new wall (incomplete)[/one_third]

[one_third]Almost there, tiling the lap poolAlmost there, tiling the pool[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Still lots to be done hereStill lots to be done here[/one_third_last]

So there we have it! The house that Stefani & Iain built – they are both notorious for starting projects and not finishing them … lets hope this is not one of those 🙂

Do it yourself Gardening Home page features Miscellaneous

The Old house

About two weeks ago I showed my daughters ‘new garden’, well, what is going-to-be the garden of her newly built home (see post here … Intimidating). These past two weeks they have been very busy cleaning up the front areas, erecting a wall around the front, paving the driveway, tiling the swimming pool and tiling the outside entertainment area. Its looking VERY different to the photos I showed you in that post and I’m looking forward to taking photos of the completed hard-scaping they are doing in the front garden area. Its looking superb! (I was banned from taking ‘during’ photos of this phase of the build :)).

But before I show off their beautiful new home in the next day or so (by popular request), I thought I’d show one last ‘before’ post. Prepare yourself … it’s pretty scary!

These are the photographs I took at this time last year, just after they had concluded the purchase of the house and took ownership of the property.

The old house

The old house

The old house

A couple more that you can click to enlarge:

[one_half]Old house[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Old house[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Old house[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Old house[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Old house[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Old house[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Old house[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Old house[/one_half_last]

And here they are, sometime around June this year after the steel beams had been laid (terminology?), well proud of themselves, and rightly so! Shortly after this photo the first bottle of champagne was consumed on the property, right up there on the beam!

On top of the house!

Photos of the new house are here.

Happy Gardening

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Intimidating …

I have a new project. It’s extremely intimidating. Let me share …

In November last year My daughter and her partner took ownership of a house they bought, in the same block around the corner, from my home. It’s a fabulous area* and they bought at a great price. Reason the price was so great is the house on the property was so neglected it required extensive work. It was in fact uninhabitable and the garden was so overrun with weed and overgrown neglected plants that we had to chop back creepers to get into the house. Really. It was so bad I can’t describe it adequately, I will have to show photos some time. They bought the house for the area and the amazing view of the mountain from the property.

Long story short, the existing wreck of a house got demolished, a new one was built and they now have a beautiful new home, situated in a mess of a “will-be-garden-some-day”. I’d like to add to the story that these two built the house themselves. They designed the house (no architect involved), got it approved by Council, then gathered a small crew consisting of a bricklayer and three labourers and proceeded to build themselves a beautiful home. (At one stage my little girl was mixing concrete and laying foundations … I have the photos to prove it :)). The end result is a an impressive house and I am incredibly proud of what they accomplished. (If our readers are interested, I will show the house – leave a comment if you’d like me to show and I’ll do a photo post soon).

So being the avid gardener that I am, I somehow got myself roped into ‘doing the garden’. No problem I thought. How hard can it be? Filled with enthusiasm, Lovely Daughter and I spent last weekend planning and discussing and then went to photograph the area. What you will see on these photos is only the mess I have to work with. You won’t see the beautiful house they built – all you will see is the most intimidating project I’ve ever taken on. Seriously. Looking at the photos I am tempted to call in a garden designer and pay the big bucks to let someone else start it off for us. Unfortunately having just built a house there is no budget for fancy garden designers, so LD and I will have to work through this, one step at a time.

Please tell me this is not intimidating?

Front of the property (seen from above patio) – From left to right

Front of the property (seen from above patio) - Far left

Front of the property (seen from above patio) - Still far left

Front centre

Centre and right

The driveway area to the garage (note the bare soil area against the wall)

The left, driveway

End of driveway to garage

The back enclosed yard / garden area:

Back yard area

What a mess

Last shot ...

So would you tackle this yourself or call in help?

*Two excellent schools in walking distance, a lovely family neighbourhood … I’m praying for the pitter-patter of little feet in a few years time xxx