Look what I put together in Floorplanner! North side is the deck side.
Our house was built in 1947. It’s a post-war, modest suburban weatherboard house and I like it. Unsurprisingly, a blank slate like this has seen some substantial modifications over the years. At least one extension has been added, and the original outdoor toilet was eventually connected to the interior. Most of those big changes were carried out in the 60s/70s, we’re guessing, and none of them are so hasty or bizarre that we can’t figure out what purpose they serve. Thankfully. The previous owners took good care of the place for 30 years, and wished us many happy years of our own. Aaawww.
The exterior is in good shape, but there’s still work to be done. All the weatherboards want stripping and re-painting. God only knows how long that will take; Jamie’s folks say that one wall per summer is good progress, apparently. The west wall is the worst of them, due to a leaky gutter that caused noticeable water damage. All those layers of paint are flaking off en masse, in cardboardy chips, and it’s time to strip it back and start over. The roof will also need replacing eventually, but we’ll get some years out of it yet. Modern colorbond roofs come in continuous steel panels, getting rid of all the joins which rust and corrode over time.
I have PLANS FOR DAYS for our front and back yards. Minimal lawn, plenty of native and temperate southern-hemisphere plants. It’s going to be kick ass!
The front door is not in the original spot for the front door. We think the master might have been a sunroom at one point that was converted to a bedroom; there’s a faint bulging square outline on the other side of the master wall – in the living room – where there was once a window. Anyhow, the entryway is an enclosed add-on, in order to keep the door to the master indoors.
The entry is a funny little space. It’s 7’4″ high, so, not very tall. I don’t like the pronounced pebble render AT ALL, but that rates pretty low on the “must fix now” list. Eventually I’d like to set up this entryway as a mudroom. Each and every object you cast off when you come home will have its place: coats, shoes, keys, mail you don’t feel like opening straight away. Or at least that’s the whole Pinterest dream. Pipe dream plans for this spot would be to put in a window or vault the ceiling or do something to make it feel less like the walls are closing in on you.
This is the master bedroom. Forgive me, this is one of the real estate photos. I got ahead of myself and started doing things to this space before snapping pictures, whooooops.
There’s two built-in wardrobes! Oh, good, tons of space for all our junk. The latest round of carpet was installed after the built-ins were set up, so they separately installed strips of carpet inside the built-ins. That’s thorough, that is. We’ve got ideas for changing the wardrobe doors, but that’s also low-priority.
This is the room I’m going to use for a workspace. It’s dark and entirely painted a dusty purple, even the ceiling. I’m keen to fix both of those things.
The fireplace is a double fireplace, shared with the fireplace in the spare room. We reckon these two rooms were originally the kitchen and dining rooms. Both of the fireplaces are are boarded up, but they have the potential to look cute. We ‘d like to put in ceiling ducts to transfer heat from the living room to all the other rooms, and Jamie figured that we may as well pop a vent down the chimney. Whatever it takes for this half of the house to be less of an icebox in winter, I’m all for it.
It’s a nice big room, which is going to be brilliant for a workspace. I’ll have my desk, and my plan drawers, and a workbench, and some library shelves, and all my posters up on the walls, and even a little couch and OH it will be so invigorating and awesome. It also needs more work than most of the other rooms.
There’s a lot of patching up to do, in this room and in all the others. Any weatherboard house is going to crack in places over time, especially around doors and windows where it gets the most physical stress. Jamie is serious about patching up the cracks in these old walls. He doesn’t spread a thin layer of skim coat over it and walk away, oh no, he gouges out each crack with an angle grinder and THEN we patch it all up with a crap-ton of joint compound. It’s worth it, but the process is so messy and takes days. Do I sound like I’m over it yet?
Third bedroom, which we’ll use as a spare. Or fill entirely with cardboard cat towers. Ha ha no but Jamie claims that he’ll use the space as a cats home and I’m not always sure how much he’s joking. It needs the same cosmetic treatment as the other rooms – cracked walls to fix, ceiling to smooth out, etc – but it’s pretty all right. It’s got a very tiny closet next to the fireplace, but eventually we may install a wardrobe on the wall closest to the door.
Interestingly, only the windows facing the front yard – that is, the windows in the study and the master bedroom – are solid, double-hung timber windows with 15 layers of paint on them. The rest of them are aluminum sliders (ugh) with varnished timber frames. Hmmm.
We inherited that space heater, because it fits so perfectly in the fireplace. Cute.
Living/dining. Hey look at that big open space! The previous owners took out the wall separating the two rooms, but it was a supporting wall so they left the beam to keep it all upright. (And there’s no way in hell you could install an internal supporting beam unless you took off part of the roof, so, that last little bit of wall stays.) This room is showing some wear and tear; there’s a lot of patching to take care of in here. More so than any of the other rooms. Imagine it with polished floorboards, it’s going to be nice.
We plan to create separate spaces within the larger one, because a. it’s useful to have both a living area and a dining area, and b. large groups of people always splinter off and chat in smaller groups anyway. The “room” with the heater will be the cozy living area with couches and the TV, while the other “room” will have a table and chairs, plus a buffet or something for more storage. It’ll be good for, say, using my sewing machine, or when we have friends over to play games.
OH, LOOK, GAS HEATING. Not everywhere in Hobart is hooked up to a gas main, so we lucked out here. It’s more efficient and far cheaper than using an electric heater, and much less of a pain in the ass to use than a wood stove. We’ve got this gas heater, as well as a gas range and gas-heated hot water. Cooking with gas! The heater is a behemoth and it isn’t going anywhere, because it’s got a flue in the back that’s sealed in place. It’s not worth spending hundreds of dollars to get a guy out just to shift it to the other side of the room, obviously, so setting up a layout will be interesting.
This kitchen area was part of an extension on the house. We had a look at the crawlspace, and dang, they did a good job matching the extension’s brick foundation with the original. It clearly is an extension, though, because there’s a set of concrete steps and an old concrete-encased hot water cylinder underneath. The floorboards under the kitchen are noticeably rougher than everywhere else in the house, too. I don’t think those ones were meant for the light of day.
Not going to lie: a little part of me regrets that the kitchen was already reno’d. Jamie’s dad has flat-fronted, blackwood veneer cabinet doors that were apparently the cheap, tatty option back in the 80s, and every time I see them I eat my heart out over those damn doors. Sure, we’ve got vague ideas about a Dream Kitchen, but that’s not going to happen for years. You live with what you’ve got, and this kitchen is very spacious and functional. (There’s even a secret cutlery drawer inside the main cutlery drawer!)
My gripes are purely cosmetic only, which, you know, is a good problem to have. Have you noticed that none of the ceilings are white? Every ceiling is the same colour as the walls, which are cream in nearly every room. When we repaint the rooms, the cream ceilings are going to look silly, so those are all getting a repaint too. Can’t argue with white.
The other half of the kitchen – the “living” space – is probably going to end up as a secondary entryway, since it’s by the driveway and leads to the deck. I’ll put down a rug and a bench by the window, and probably cram a bunch of plants into that area in winter because it gets ALL the direct northerly sun. If I can keep an avocado tree anywhere on our property, it’d probably be in this room.
So this is our laundry. It’s got a sink and a water closet – the suspected original spot for an outdoor toilet. (Check that door! I wonder if it really was the door to an outdoor dunny??) We plan to turn the combined space into a full second bathroom, plus the laundry. We’re keen to renovate the main bathroom too, but it makes sense to finish out a second bathroom first, so that one will wait a while yet.
80s Guy would love this bathroom.
A DECK! Pretty sure this right here is what sold Jamie on the house. He’s excited to fire up the grill, potter around in the garden, grab a bit on sun on winter days. Something about having a deck is putting fantasies in our heads of gorgeous summer days and entertaining all our friends, being perfect little party hosts. It’s strange but exciting?
That’s the wall of ivy that holds up the carport. Jamie wants to close in half of the carport and turn it into a workshop. We’ll see, who knows, we got all the time and ideas in the world.
I love the idea of garden beds, especially since I really want to give square foot gardening a crack this year. We’d like to rebuild them, and maybe adjust the placement. I’d also like to plant some tall grasses along the fence for added privacy and aesthetics.
At least one of the previous owners was a keen gardener, and he must have been proud of the mixed border out back. I quite like it too. It needs tending to, but there’s some nice established bushes out there. Cypresses, camellias, euphorbia, the scary shrub in the lefthand corner that wants to devour the rest of them, and then there’s a gum tree just hanging out on the right. Jamie grew up in the country, he knows eucalypts, but he can’t tell what variety this one is because of its ginormous gum nuts. The side yard is empty, except for a birch tree (visible from the living room) and an evil blackberry sprout that I need to wreck asap.
So there’s a basic house introduction! Welcome! Time to go do some things to it.