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Saturday
Aug212010

Meet the neighbours

Just some of the beautiful old homes within a block or so of my new old house. (This one is 2 doors down.) This is such an historic part of town. Convicts arrived in the area in 1827 calling it Limestone because of the soft white stone they came to mine and the settlement was renamed Ipswich in 1843. I grew up in this town but left when I was 17 to head off to university and a new life in Brisbane. Now many many years later I'm returning.

This last house was built about 20 years later than ours and shows the much simpler lines around the verandahs that have been replaced on our house with metal lace. Up until a month or two ago the house also had a slate roof like this one but it was in dire need of repair and the owners opted for the cheaper option of corrugated iron. A sad but completely understandable decision. Slate is prohibitively expensive. I can't wait to explore "my hill" more after we move in. Camera in hand and water bottle swinging I'll rediscover my roots and hopefully drop a few kilos! :)

Thursday
Aug192010

My new house ....

 

... if the building and pest inspection comes back OK and nothing nasty happens because it hasn't gone unconditional yet. Did I just write that? Am I jinxing myself by even revealing all this? No. I have a really good feeling about this one. The house was built in 1860 ... it says so in leadlight over the front door :) The front railings are not original, probably late Victorian so eventually we'll change them to something closer to the original and of course we'll have to paint some of it. Definitely not the brick. Brick is so rare in old homes in this part of the world.

The kitchen is in a separate brick wing. Common in those days because of the open fires used in cooking. The picture below is of part of the small attached stables. Hard to tell now but more obvious when you're inside. There's even a small fireplace where that the farrier used to shoe the horses. That's the chimney stack. Look at the huge Norfolk pines next door.

Looking down the cedar staircase from the second floor. Below is a shot of the wide cedar planks used for floor boards. You can just see the tip of my shoe. So many of my photos are slightly out of focus but I was just point and shooting as well as measuring, measuring, measuring. I was going to photoshop the pics but then I thought hang it. You get the idea :)

The main living room. It's actually a large room (by my standards) and this is just the fireplace end. Once again more cedar. Hate the terracotta tile floors but I can live with those for quite some time. Painting and a new bathroom (of the horrors of the original!) come first. Don't you just love the wallpaper and border trend of the 70s and 80s? NOT. The blurry photo below is of one of the colonial cedar shield door built in cabinets either side of the fireplace.

Look at those original cedar doors! The ones upstairs have been painted burgundy! Talk about "red" timber. What were they thinking? The ones on the bottom floor are all original thank god. The view is across the entry towards the dining room. Past the dining room is a breezeway and then the separate kitchen wing. Speaking of the kitchen ....

So much potential! I'll do minor changes to begin with. Maybe new timber counter tops and lots of painting, remove some things and throw in some open shelves but nothing too major. We'll live with this for a year and then refurb. Other things to do first!

That's the tour. I have lots more photos but they can wait till other posts. There is a lot of work to do but I am so excited. Just have to wait till it goes unconditional and hopefully in about 70 days it will be all ours!

Thursday
Aug052010

Update and new chair

LOL! Whenever I'm having house hunting stress I find the easiest way to relieve it is to buy a chair. Here's my latest chair :) Got it on eBay from the bestest eBayer in Bris Vegas, the lovely Ms Katherine from The Old Boathouse. It is apparently an old ferry driver's chair. (I said ferry not fairy.) Brisbane is a river city. These days sleek catamarans slide up and down the river but once little wooden boats chugged up and down and across the muddy brown waters. And the drivers or should I say captains perched on little wooden seats in their little wooden ferries. Strip, sand, danish oil and I have a fab industrial look chair for my house. Oh and speaking of houses I have two to inspect this Saturday and I'm pretty sure we'll be signing a contract on one. (Jinxed myself now!) Both from the middle of the 19th century, both brick, one a lot more expensive than the other. We'll see. We'll see. Wish me luck!

... before and now after ...

Saturday
Jul172010

Just a quick visit to say hi ...

 

... and share a few pictures of Mickey on the sofa. It's a little chilly here today and the "dog that must be obeyed "(he may be a service dog but it's Kelvin and I who do the serving when he's off duty) decided the flokati draped sofa was the perfect spot to spend the afternoon. Clever dog! I was thinking the same thing. Except he won't budge. On the house front I have my eye on 2 or 3 houses but must wait for a few more weeks. I want Kelvin settled in his new job and loving it before I buy a house in another town. Until then he can commute. That will be my cross to bear when we buy up there. At least I can do my blogging on the trips.  That's all for now. I'm off to push Mickey off that spot!

 

Monday
Jun212010

House update and what I bought instead

   

If you read my real estate stalking post today you will realise that we almost bought a house. Almost but didn't. There were termite problems and the sellers would not negotiate on price to take this into account. We happily walked away. Not such bad news as Kelvin has been offered his dream job ... in the next town about an hour away. He starts in a month. Now the search has to move to the other side of the city so that travel for him each day won't be so arduous. For those of you in Brisbane that means Sherwood, Chelmer, Graceville, Corinda area ... yes the "next town" is Ipswich. I was born in Ipswich and escaped when I was 18. That's 30 years ago. I know the city has grown and improved so much over that time but we are not quite ready to move back there. For one thing I work right in the centre of Brisbane and I'd be the one travelling!! The houses are lovely up there and very cheap compared to Brisbane. We could certainly get more bang for our buck and we're not ruling it out completely but .... I love Brisbane. So the house hunt goes on just in a different area. Not many bargains on that side of town :( At least Kelvin is getting substantially more money and will be so much happier in his new position.

What does a girl do when she can't settle on a house she has signed a contract on? She hits eBay and buys more "stuff". First a gentleman's wardrobe. (70s I think. It has trouser hangers inside.) My dip and strip man won't touch it. Too fragile so I won't sand it back, too much work. I'll either give it a light going over with fine sandpaper, steel wool and oil or maybe paint it when I know exactly where it is going in the new still to be found house. We think it will be a TV cupboard. (Photos are the seller's from eBay. These have gone to our storage shed seeing that we don't have a house :P)

The second purchase was this pair of swinging doors. Same seller, different houses. We believe there were more panels at one stage (imagine a wall of them). Thinking shutters or just leaning either side of a door. Love the carving. These will be painted as well. Colour? Still to decide. I'm too lazy to strip them by hand :) Had lots of luck at the thrift stores this week. Mainly fabric and West German and Israeli pottery and there was the huge twice yearly book fest where I picked up dozens of vintage penguin and pelican books but no photos yet. Maybe next week.