The floor boards that became a table.

When the builders were cutting through the upstairs floorboards to install the staircase, we managed to salvage some of the boards from the skip bin.  We grabbed some other solid pieces of hardwood too.

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old pearly jenkins

We knew we’d like to make something for the house with them and for the past year now the timber has been lying down the side of the house … but Fred got busy building us a fantastic outdoor table.

old pearly jenkins

old pearly jenkins

old pearly jenkins

He gave it a sand and a couple of coats of oil. Added some wheels and bought some stools for $19.00 each from Kmart.

Ta Da

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The whole project including the chairs was less that $150.00.

We love it!!!

old pearly jenkins

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What Mr F did ALL weekend.

Mr F was really busy over the weekend painting the walls and door frames in the hallway.  We took the bathroom and the back bedroom doors to John at Earth safe Paint Removal to be stripped and sanded.  For a very small and skinny hall, it took a long  time to paint.  Each piece of the vertical Joinery had to be painted with a brush to get in to cracks between.

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The photo below was taken when the tenants were still living at the house.  It’s hard to tell from the photo but the colour was a yucky kind of cream. The hall is now  sporting a lovely fresh coat of white and showing off its brand new hall light!!

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The hallway light.

We started sanding the hall last weekend.

For a small hall it seemed  to take ages as all the walls are VJ (vertical joining, or tongue and groove) but it’s done and we are ready to undercoat it this weekend and paint.

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After work this afternoon I went to a shop in Windsor called Victorian Living to look for a pendant light.  I’d never heard of this place before but I read about it on the blog  Number 90 and was keen to go and check it out.    Wow! It’s a very small shop and it is absolutely crammed FULL of lighting and hardware (original & reproduction).  I was a little hesitant to go in as I was sure I was going to knock something over but I clutched my handbag to my side and tip toed in.  The photo below was taken from the doorway of the shop.

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Looking back towards to entrance to the shop.

This is the shade I chose.  I brought the rod set too but didn’t bother to take a photo of it.

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I also brought this little sailor.  He’s only 5.5cm (two inches) tall.  My photo isn’t very clear.

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He is one of four, the owner of the shop told me that they found the mould for them when they were at the site of an old engineering workshop that was being demolished  here in Brisbane.  They cleaned up the moulds and  have cast  some new ones. The photo below is from the shops website. (I tried to enlarge it but it went all blurry).

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They are described as’ ANZAC soldiers’ and include Army, Navy, Airforce and ‘lady’ WRAAC.   They’d sold out of the soldier wearing the Slouch hat.  I’d like to collect them all.

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.

 .Old Pearly Jenkins

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.

Old Pearly Jenkins

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.

Old Pearly Jenkins                                                  Old Pearly Jenkins

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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Old Pearly Jenkins

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.

Old Pearly Jenkins