Saturday, December 3, 2011



I was catching up on all the blogs I read tonight and happened to notice my stats.

We've had exactly 37,700 views on our little blog!

Thanks everyone who has been following and reading :)

I PROMISE I haven't forgotten you all. Just been SUPER busy working on the house, and keeping up with the day to day. There are just NOT enough days in the week or hours in the day..

Our landscaping is done and dusted for the moment so I will do a proper post on that soon - but for now heres a sneaky peek..

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Just when I thought all the hard decisions were behind me...

I need to decide on a fence/gate to go between our boundary fence and our garage. Its a decent area to span - maybe 4 metres across, so its a big decision aesthetically.

My choices are - a paling fence/gate, hopefully lap and cap style, painted, probably to match the gutters and raintank (Dune) OR a Colorbond fence.

If I went with Colorbond I would try to match in with the gutters etc OR perhaps go dark to tie in with the driveway.. The dark would blend with the landscape/plants etc better but the lighter colour would be a nice contrast to all the brick I think.

Our garage door is dark Timberlook, and our front door is stained Merbau.

Currently around the perimeter of our block we have 8 foot lap and cap paling fences..

Any bloggy pearls of wisdom out there??? Anyone??

There are benefits to Colorbond over timber in the maintenance stakes (with Colorbond there is little to none - maybe a hose down periodically!) - but really, when it comes down to it I just want what will LOOK the best :)

I'll be sure to keep you updated on this all important decision ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Driveway excitement..

As promised here is a follow up post to the last one on the landscaping progress - better late than never right?

Almost three weeks ago our driveway and front path were poured - and not a moment too soon in regard to the weather!! The driveway was poured Thursday, and the layback and new gutter on Friday - and from Friday night onwards Sydney had torrential rain for a solid week!

We decided to go with a coloured concrete driveway, in Charcoal, after weighing up a few options. At one point we were going to stamp a slate type pattern on it but a combination of not being able to get the stamps when we needed them and deciding it would be too slippery on a sloped driveway like ours saw us sticking with the original plan.

The day arrived and our son was super excited that the "cement mixers" would be there that day so we set up camp on the front porch - his cars and trucks in tow and watched for hours!

All formed up - pump truck preparing for the cement truck to arrive

The view from our porch - delightful huh?

Our son has developed a keen interest in photography of late :)


Its all happening :)

Finshing off the smoothing process - before the colour is added. Aerial shot from upstairs balcony.

Thats a whole lotta concrete!

Almost done - now with colour added. The colour is added by literally throwing a powder over the wet concrete and smoothing it in. Hence the boys ending up filthy!

After much deliberation over colour I'm glad I went with a dark one. I wanted it to blend rather than stand out and once the plants and grass etc are sorted out I think it will all compliment nicely.

Very happy with the finished product!

The next day saw the final touches with the new gutter and layback being poured. The landscapers ripped out the old ones and we repositioned it all to suit the new house and driveway better. Its wider now too which is great, as our street is narrow and curved so its always been difficult to get in and out of the driveway.

Exciting stuff huh?

So there we are - one big step closer to the finished picture!

And remember - Better View Landscapes - call Shane on 0412 157 117 if you need a quote :)

Will update again soon and the inside happenings, what's gone wrong, what's been fixed and what we are STILL waiting for 8 weeks later!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Rain rain go away - I'm sick of all the MUD!

Thought it was about time I posted some pics of the landscaping progress - not that this weather is helping at all. Sydney has had the wettest July in 30 years and apparently we had a months worth of rain in a few days..

Thankfully however our driveway, path and new layback and gutter were poured last Thursday and Friday - just before the rain started!

Now its just a huge charcoal tease taunting me as we can't drive on it for another two weeks!

Not that we could park in the garage because its still overrun with "stuff" still to find a final resting place, but to be able to get closer to the front door with groceries in torrential rain will be fab!

Our retaining walls are all but finished, with just a small amount of blocks still to be laid, and they look great. Next step (after walls are complete and driveway is sealed) is decking.

Cant wait for that!

After that all will grind to a screeching halt until we replenish funds!

To the pics -

The top of that wall is around the height of the original natural ground level of our block at that point ( it still needs one more course of blocks to finish it off) - so its shows how much was excavated for the house. The huge pile of dirt is what was excavated from directly to the right of this section of yard. Stairs to be built in that opening.

And still more dirt. You can see from the level at the back there how much was excavated out. Almost a weeks worth of excavation. Yep - this backyard is going to have cost a small fortune by the time we are finished with it ;)

This is the view when turning 180 degrees from where I took the above photo.
As the Laguna is only about 12M wide we still have a generous amount of space down this side of the house.

Timber retaining walls will eventually be covered with soil as the top will be the new finished ground level.

The other side of the house. Low retaining walls now exist there, almost the whole way down. We chose to set the house further away from the fenceline than we legally had to for two reasons - because we had the space, and to be nice to our neighbours :) Still enough room here for a slim line shed down the track I think.

A good indication of the amount of excavation that took place on site before construction of the house commenced

As our site slopes quite a bit the landscapers have put lots of drainage in to redirect the water 

Eventually the entire perimeter of the yard will be planted out, same as along every retaining wall etc. Loads of green!

The garden you can see on the right hand side was planted by myself 6 years ago when we first moved in so we decided to retain those plants and work them into the new plans.

Thats how the house looks today pretty much. Love the aluminium shutters upstairs - they really make it feel very private while still allowing us to see out. This whole area will be decked.

Ground level here to be built up to height of retaining walls, which are in line with slab. Wishing we had been given an option to increase size of water tank - we have the room for it - and its currently very full!

Entrance to house

These are all from a few weeks ago so things look quite different now. This is a pic-heavy post already so I will be back with driveway pics soon.

And now for a plug: If you are after some structural landscaping especially (retaining walls, paths, driveways etc are their specialty) - give Shane a call, from Better View Landscapes, on 0412 157 117. I can't speak highly enough of the guys from Better View, they have gone above and beyond for us, have done a great job so far, are very friendly & a pleasure to have on site.

Have a great weekend and those of you in Sydney - stay dry somehow!

I'll be back soon with more landscaping details and a wrap up on what's been going on inside the house - its never without a small drama or two!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Win a blog makeover from Katrina from "The Block"!

I have been following the blog of Katrina from "The Block" for a while now and its super exciting to see her and sister Amie on the tele almost every night :)

I'm loving following their progress - and now she is offering a Blog Makeover as a prize just for following her! She is a graphic designer and runs a business so knows her stuff. L O V E D her artworks in the room they put together week 1 on The Block.

If you don't follow her already - head over and check it out!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Long time no post!

Wow - its been quite a while since my last post - due to a combination of being super busy and not having the internet connected here at the house until last week.

Lots has been happening since I last posted - landscaping is plodding along, with a weeks worth of excavation (sloping block back to front and side to side..), footings poured for the retaining walls delayed due to rain, then walls are now almost finished but we had another rain delay as we had to wait until the ground was dry to get a bobcat in to backfill behind the walls.

In terms of things needing to be attended to by Metricon those are slowly being sorted too.

The front doors has been reglazed in translucent glass, all the painting fixes have been done (took one painter a whole day), the kitchen doors have been resprayed (and Castlewood Kitchens made and installed a small shelf for my appliance cupboard at no cost - HUGE tick to them for customer service!), the dented roof over the study side projection has been fixed, and the top shelf in pantry and linen cupboard were finally installed on Sunday. Yay for the jolly man from Stegbar for working on a Sunday to get it done :)

We are STILL waiting for our heated towel rail (which cost a small fortune BTW), a towel rail in the main bathroom (yes - we have NO towel rails in the house at all!), the powder room door handle to be replaced (our SS installed a temporary one on handover day which isn't correctly installed so doesn't stay shut when the light/exhaust fan is on - VERY annoying), replacement door handle for french door upstairs and a few other small items.

Also, our Master Balcony roof sprung a leak over the long weekend when we had torrential rain. Probably just a cracked tile but not something we want to leave until the 90 day maintenance inspection.

In terms of unpacking I am thrilled that with the pantry shelf finished I could finally finish unpacking the kitchen this week - those last two huge boxes were so annoying!
Finished unpacking our sons room yesterday  - with no wardrobe fitout as yet until the money tree fruits again there were a few boxes of stuff I wasn't sure where I wanted to live!

The study has been the biggest challenge in terms of furnishing/decorating/unpacking for a number of reasons. The first being it is at the front door and is open plan so I don't want it to look cluttered and messy. Secondly it has windows on two walls and the staircase on the third (no fourth wall as its open to the entrance) - making furniture placement tricky..
Thirdly we had NO furniture at all suitable for this space so have had to buy everything new - which is lovely but expensive at this stage with all the other costs on our plate right now.
I am slowly getting there which feels nice as a few weeks ago I had 30 boxes piled in the study to try to work around and unpack!

Ok, ok, enough with the wordiness right? Pics?

One side of the study as it is today

Wider view - starting to encompass the messy side!

Still lots of tidying, another trip to IKEA and styling to be done here

Powder room on moving day

Our sons room on moving day

Guest room on moving day


Upstairs living - mostly finished just needs styling/feature wall

Upstairs living. I find it ironic that this living area is larger then the only one we had at our old place :)

Master Bedroom

Master bed balcony - painting just finished here so not yet "done"

Looking into Master Bedroom

Love out new huge bed! New bedsides to come - these are our old ones. Looking for wider ones to balance out the size of the bed, and use up some more space!


Ensuite - LOVE my feature tiles - you can see some in this pic

Keeping it real! Still 6 boxes for me to unpack in my wardrobe - LOL. Messy but fitout will have to wait. Looking forward to this being a super organised, pretty space eventually.

Another real shot - the spare room!!

Love my chaise!

The playroom/ second living area

Playroom - still some organising/sorting to do in here too

Living area

Looking from Dining through to Playroom

Living area - still needs to be styled/finished, tv mounted etc etc


Looking from living through house to front door

Rubble city outside!

Cant wait to put lovely long sheers up over the doors, just for looks rather than function. I think they will add a nice depth to the space. 

Sorry you all had to wait SO long for this post - will be back really soon with another pic-heave one, including landscaping pics!