The old kitchen that became a bedroom.

 

It has been quite a few months since our 14-year-old was able to move into his new bedroom that used to be a kitchen and I thought an update was long over due.

The photos aren’t the best but I hope that you’ll be able to see what we’ve done.

The photo below is what the kitchen looked like a year ago.

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And this is what it looks like now. I found the old set of drawers on Gumtree.  They sit in the old alcove where the oven used to be.  The old slab of terrazzo has been left as a reminder of what the room once was.

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The old possum house (the cupboard at the top) has been sealed off and the old pantry has been cleaned and painted inside and is now a wardrobe.

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The old back door and ‘dunny’ have gone and replaced with a lovely little study nook.

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The study nook is painted using Wattyl – Midnight Seas. It’s a nice contrast to the bedroom which is painted using Dulux – White on white

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The table was given to us by our neighbours who were moving out and it was on its way to the dump!!! I stripped it back and painted it yellow.

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The desk lamp was a bargain at Target, $35!

I found the fabric for the blinds at Fabric.com. I was looking for something that would suit a teenage boy and not look out-of-place as he grows into a young man.   The fabric  was  $8.47 US per yard.

This is a great price as many of the fabrics that I’d looked at here in Australia were around the $30.00 mark for similar fabrics.  Shipping to Australia was approximately $30.00. We needed quite a few metres for the three windows, yet the total bill (including shipping)  was under $100.00!!!

Just recently, I bought some shelves for the study nook at the Freedom mid year sale.  They were too hard to photograph so I’ve borrowed the image from Freedom’s website!!!

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The bathroom zhush is just about done…

It’s been quite  few weeks since we started this project.  We’ve had a few issues along the way like the toilet, which took three weeks to arrive. (Bathroom Warehouse in Coorparoo did say it’d take  3 – 4 days for it to be sent up from Sydney) and the toilet lid finally arrived yesterday (four weeks).

We’ve only got a few little details to finish like painting the door frame and attaching a hand towel holder but I really wanted to share these photos of the bathroom.  Plus we had a budget of $2000K to do it.

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The bargain $195.00 pedestal basin from Paddington Hardware, encaustic floor tiles from Elite Bathware and Tiles, East Brisbane and bevelled vintage mirror from James and Bell Antiques on Logan Road Wooloongabba.

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The walls are painted in a Dulux colour called Western Myall

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A ‘school house’ pendant light from Victorian Living in Windsor.

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I’ve been ‘hanging out’ to use these yellow Country Road towels I brought from the Myer boxing day sales.   I also brought  two of each in deep orange and light blue.

A bedroom for the boys

Until we decided what we’re going to be doing with this house, the boys (middle and youngest) are sharing the front main bedroom.  This room actually needed  a lot of attention.  The plaster ceiling was quite bad and the old ‘horse hair’ walls needed replacing.  The room had a really peculiar smell too.  It was a strange sickly, sweet smell.  Fortunately it’s gone now.  We really had no clue what the smell was but this is what it might have been.  As we pulled off each wall panel ‘this stuff’ was waiting behind.  It was thousands and thousands of tiny pellets.  We think it might have been cockroach poo but if anyone out there knows what this was, please let me know.

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Mr F also did a lovely job of replacing the ugly aluminium windows for much nice casement windows.   We used Dulux White on White again.  In fact this will be used throughout the whole house.  Gone are the days for us, when each room was a different colour.

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When we pulled off the plaster sheets from one of the walls we discovered some very nice ‘untouched’ VJ!  Except they were a bit crooked, prehaps the original builder was quite keen to hide his wonky walls. It didn’t take Mr F to put things right and with a good smearing of builders bog, you’d never know the difference.

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It was hard to decide what to do with the windows. We wanted to keep it really simple. We decided on ‘old fashioned’ retractable roller blinds. We had a few different quotes and Vista came in at the cheapest. To be honest, I’m not sure if I’d ever put retractable blinds in a child’s room again. They’re not that easy to put up.

We also brought a cheap chandelier from Early Settlers. We got it for a good price because someone had returned it and it was’nt in a box.  It looks fine and does the job. The electrician we used for the installation would have to be one of the nicest electrician you’re ever likely to meet.  He’s so incredibly honest and genuine. We’ve been using him for years now and would recommend his services to anyone. His name is Shannon Drysdale and his business is called Drysdale Electrical.  He is based on the Southside of Brisbane but doesn’t venture to the Northside for work.

The boys needed a chest of drawers as the last house had them inside the wardrobes.  I’d been looking on Gumtree and Ebay for something suitable for ages.  When we were at Restoration Station looking for lights for the lounge, I found  these drawers downstairs.  The owner of the shop told us that they’d come out of a deceased estate in Paddington.  Supposedly the owner of the house had never married and the house had been his parents.  It’s a great story.. but the drawers were in a sorry state.

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I brought the drawers  and I  decided  that I didn’t want to strip them at all.  In fact all I did was scrub them, repaint the inside and give it all a quick coat of white paint.  the mint green on the drawers  is the original colour.  I’ve left them as they were, animal scratch marks and all.  There were a few knobs missing but luckily Restoration Station sell these too

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So now the boys have some drawers.  They’ll do for now!  It was fun to buy a few bits and pieces for their room.  I brought the whale cushion covers from a great shop called Three Two One by Kim & Judi  at Coorparoo.   I also enjoyed making the felt pom-pom garland.  I brought the pom poms from ebay and strung them onto the thinnest red cord I could find at Spotlight.  I also brought from ebay two cute lamps for each of the boys.  I was just about to buy one from a shop at Fortitude Valley and decided to look online.  I found them on ebay, the seller was in Holland.  For the price it was going to cost me to buy one here, I brought two, plus the postage and the convertor plugs. BARGAIN!!

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The Moose ‘Norbert’ came from  Green Grass Home and Body at Bulimba.

The house…..

The house itself is quite compact.  When we came to look through the house for the first time the tenants were home and it was kind of awkward.  It was a very quick visit but we knew that it had potential.  It still had some original features like VJ walls and picture rails.

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The block is ’16 Perches’, 405 sqm.  Yet the house is sitting quite close to the road which leaves quite a nice sized back garden.  Our first idea was  to push out from the kitchen and create a new living space.  After all the paperwork was done and we’d officially brought the house we contacted a building designer who had been recommended to us and he came to the house to help us work out what to do.

We told him that we needed to keep it under a certain price.  He explained to us that extending a house could get expensive and to use the footprint of the house would be cheaper.  So his idea was to raise it higher than it currently is and put the kitchen and living area downstairs.  Ok, we were cool with that.  He drew a rough sketch with us standing there.  It looked amazing and we got all excited.  The following day he sent us a better drawn ‘rough plan’ .

He seemed really motivated and we thought ‘this guy is young, fresh and eager, let’s go with his ideas.  So to cut a long story short.(its been a year, because the guy was growing a moustache.  So it was November)  He asked us to come into his office in Teneriffe.’Dahling’ and presented us with the plans.  The plans did look good and for the price of a trip for two to somewhere exotic they should have.

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After throwing a few insults at us and showing more interest in the Friday night drinkies happening behind us we got up to leave.  His last remarks as we walked out of his office were  ‘ Yeah I think this is going to cost more than what you wanted to spend’. ….’Sorry??? Are you serious ?? did you listen to anything we had to say??.  We left and thought ‘well that was a waste of time and money.’ it was said with a lot more of #%!!*>these words though.  We left him to join the rest of the boys with their moustaches and Boutique beers.  What a jerk!!!!

As soon as the Christmas/New Year was over and everyone was back at work, we started getting quotes from builders.  The quotes were coming back $50 – $100K more than we could afford.  We just threw up our hands and walked away from the whole building ‘thing’ for a few months and focused on tidying up the house.  Mr F and the Older Mr F got stuck in and painted the lounge and dining area.

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We have used Dulux – White on White in these rooms.  In the last house we used Dulux – Fair Bianca and it seemed too close to cream for us.  We are happier with this  new white.

The orginal ceilings in the house are really interesting.  Each room has a different design.  the lounge and dining room ceiling are quite Art Deco in style yet the kitchen, and bedrooms are classic and pretty.  They were in pretty bad shape but each night before we moved in, Mr F would get stuck in after work.  He’s done a beautiful job in the main bedroom, dining and lounge room.

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The lights obviously needed replacing.  We went all over Brisbane looking for something suitable. Restoration Station on Waterworks Road, Ashgrove have a fantastic range at prices for all budgets.

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The lights had to sympathetic to the age and style of the house and so we chose the lights (far right).  And here is what they look like installed.  We are happy with them.  Nice and simple.

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