Little changes can make a huge difference in how you use space in a house. We have a lovely home in the ‘burbs of Wollongong. It is an ex-government house and we are only the second family to ever have lived in it since it was built in the post-WW2 building era in Wollongong.
It has been our home for coming up to 15 years, it is the home we bought together and started our family life in. It is the home that we brought all our babies home to. So I have a huge emotional attachment to our home. I often harbour grand schemes of moving house to somewhere bigger with more bedrooms, bigger bedrooms, more storage, newer and prettier kitchen you know how things go. But then I keep coming back to this is my home, it is where I brought my babies home, and somehow for now that outweighs everything. That and the ridiculous changeover costs of moving house, legal fees, moving costs, setting up a new home etc. Plus if we moved would we be able to stay in the area we currently live, or would we need to move to a new area and leave our friends, then needing to establish ourselves somewhere new that is all to overwhelming for me now and really ever.
So a few years ago we made some changes, added a couple of new spaces to extend the time that we can stay where we are now for a little bit longer at least.
I apologise the photos are not great at all. I hope though they convey the love we have for our home and in it.
These are the changes to the front of the house and porch. Not quite finished we need more slats for the screen and we will likely paint the bricks the same colour as the privacy screen to tie it all together. It never ceases to amaze me when I look at old photos and see our holey gutters! Our gutters desperately needed replacing when we bought the house but hubby just patched them with lots of silver tape until that also rusted through lol.
Not very exciting changes in the bedrooms
in my room I have simply spun the bed around but I think it makes a huge difference.
In the girls room because we have only three bedrooms they will share well pretty much for as long as we live here or until their big brother moves out. Our girls are incredibly close and pretty much always shared a bed since they came out of their cots so that has always been their choice. They were getting to a size when they needed a bit more space and it helped when they had sleepovers to have an extra bed so we bought the dbl on the bottom with the single on top. We also added them more storage so we got two ikea storage units and put them together like this so light still came into their room and they had places to put all their special things.
The updates to the kitchen. I must say it was an interesting trend that the tiles on the bench and floor matched! Our kitchen isn’t anything flash at all but it is updated and the cupboards are much easier to keep clean. The window had to go because on the other side of it is the shower in the new bathroom.
The kitchen is by no means my dream kitchen but it works and it is where I create all the cakes, meals and treats for my family. One day I will buy my dream oven/stove and then design a kitchen around that.
Moving through the house to the biggest transformations.
This is our hallway through to the back half of our house. It was also the location of our laundry and the doorway where we have the blue curtain (to keep the warmth in the loungroom) once upon a time been the external back door with our rumpus room being the back porch. You can see in the pictures of the kitchen we cut the wall between the kitchen and laundry in half to incorporate it all into one room. We did this in the early years of moving in because to get from our loungeroom to walk approximately 12 steps to the doorway in the picture we had three doors to open and close! It felt like a rabbit warren so this opened up the space.
Where we have the “library” I had thought I would put a study bench there for the kids but honestly the space isn’t wide enough for chairs! So the library is really a great use of this space! We also made the choice to forego a laundry sink because as you can see we used it as a location for the beer fridge so it didn’t really get a big workout! Our laundry (or just washing machine really) is now located in our new second bathroom.
This group of photos isn’t overly exciting, I am just trying to walk through the house in a logical order. The brown door to the left was our backdoor and the windows the back wall of the house. When we tiled the new bathroom we took the opportunity to re-tile the rumpus room as well so that it all flows through and looks like it belongs instead of one of these rooms looking like an add on. And before anyone asks yes that is a working mirror ball hanging from the ceiling!
Now we get into the building things!
This is the space that is to become our 2nd bathroom. You know how Nicole is super excited about her new ensuite well imagine having no second loo and the only loo you have is in the bathroom with everything else! I am sure you can understand my excitement at a 2nd loo! You can see on top of the loo there is a tiny sink it is both a water saving feature and my solution for hand washing with no laundry sink. When you flush the water flows through the top into the sink before filling the cistern which then gets recycled when you flush. We also have no dryer in our laundry this is hubby’s great idea so that I don’t use the dryer too much! In all honesty it is only about 6 steps from the backdoor into the shed so it isn’t all that far away if I want to use it! We have an upright cupboard from ikea next to the machine and a cupboard on the wall on the same side as the door for storage of all the things you need in a laundry and bathroom. This is probably my most favourite room in the house.
Last but mostly certainly not least and has most probably transformed our lives as a family the most in how we use our home in summer and if we had an outdoor heater (hint hint nudge nudge honey!) possibly winter too.
I am reliably informed that this beautiful space is far more of a man cave than a lady cave with a tv and beer fridge and bbq.
So that is the little wander through our home with the changes we have made. Of course with an endless budget I would do more like completely redo my kitchen and probably go up to add a parent’s retreat so there would be three bedrooms downstairs and a parent’s retreat upstairs. My dream would include a study facing east out towards the ocean (about 1km away as the crow flies) a lounge/reading space, a huuuuuugggggeeee bedroom with a walk through wardrobe into a bathroom with a double sink luxurious stand alone bath and separate shower and of course a loo, because it would be super inconvenient to have to run downstairs in the middle of the night for a wee!
However, we don’t have an endless budget and apart from maybe one day replacing all the old wooden double hung windows that are broken, painted shut and some of them the glass is barely staying in, it is highly unlikely we will ever do any other major renovations. Of course the main bathroom could do with an update but it all works so for now we live with it also.
Anytime you are passing through the Gong shout out the kettle is always on, there is usually some wine in the fridge or chocolate in the cupboard and with enough notice I will whip up a cake or a meal!