Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A piece of history

Last night I was browsing through the real estate section of the local paper and came across a photo of a house that I knew immediately was by the same builder who constructed our first home. I can pick one of their houses from a mile away - they had a portfolio of about six or seven floorplans and would buy up blocks of land in a street and knock up a row of spec homes.

This one caught my eye and I had to have a squiz online at the photos, because I could see from the teeny pic in the paper, that they had the same kitchen colour scheme we originally had. The layout is different, but the colour, materials and quality are exactly what we endured for about 14 years before we ripped the whole thing out and had a new kitchen installed:

What do you think? Classy, eh? No overhead cupboards (I was so jealous of our neighbour who had the cupboard above the oven like this one; we had nothing but plaster....), no rangehood, and the colours! Those cheap plastic grip thingies on the cupboards (which were solid chipboard inside; nice!), the stylish brown plastic tap handles, and those TILES. I can't believe this house still has the original oven....

Oh, you should have seen the bathroom. Wait, I'll show you:

We didn't have anything as flash as this - no cupboard under our basin, just air, and no vanity top extending over the bath. (Again, I was jealous of the neighbour who had this house).

I'd somehow forgotten how bad it was, since we renovated kitchen and bathroom back in 2001. But looking at these photos, I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry....

The hilarious thing is, this house is advertised as "renovated". Apart from the floor tiles in the living rooms, which look to be c. 1990, and the addition of evaporative cooling, I can't see a single sign of renovation here. Unless that's now real estate speak for "had a paint job in the last five years".

Monday, April 5, 2010

Oh, my aching EVERYTHING!

I am completely exhausted, after yet another weekend of slogging away outdoors, and Bike Boy is feeling the same. I don't even want to imagine how we'd feel if we hadn't had the bulk of our landscaping professionally done. All we're doing is the planting, plus adding some finishing touches.

It's all come together beautifully, so here are a few photos of some of what we've been up to.

A screen to provide a support for some Chinese Star Jasmine to grow on and give us something more attractive to look at than the fence from the lounge windows:

The perfect planters for a herb garden. I'm going to add one more, but I'll wait till Spring when new plant stock is available in the nurseries:

Another screen. This one is just to provide a backdrop for the tall pot and give us a focal point at the end of the path. I think it makes you want to go down there to see what's around the corner:

The difference a few plants makes. Before:


We've actually done a lot more over the past month than these few photos show, but it was mostly planting, painting and small but necessary bits and pieces that aren't very interesting.

We still have to add a pergola outside the sliding door to filter out the western sun in summer, build the water feature we want and eventually get a thatched hut-type shelter built to provide a peaceful and private seating area. But we're really happy with what we've achieved, especially the fact that there's a "view" from almost every window now.

And Mrs B, I haven't forgotten about your lovely blog award.... I'll get to it soon, I promise!