Thursday, October 15, 2015

Unfinished renovations and it's okay

I thought I'd share a few snaps I took yesterday from around the house. We still have loads to do after the renovations but it's all progressing. I was talking to someone this week and mentioned that we still had a few projects to go (and that the builder's left at Easter time) and she said (a bit snootily) "Well when I renovate our house I want to be sure we have enough money to finish it all properly." I couldn't even be bothered to explain that it wasn't really a matter of money - more making decisions and making time. 

When the builders left this was my to do list. I've crossed off:

paint the shed, 
paint the pergola, 
paint the guest room

paint my new studio, 
rip the studio carpet up and decide on floor treatment,
paint the carport
lay carpet in the guest room, 
paint the fireplace and mantel

paint the entertainment cabinetry
hang pictures and mirrors
install shelving in the linen press
install the basketball ring and hoop for my basketball mad family,
find a bed for my daughter
decide on upstairs window coverings (romans or roller blinds?)

get a chandelier fixed and hung
level, top soil and turf the back yard,
blah blah blah the list goes on...

We've progressed a lot but for example I still have to paint the tv cabinetry - I did a great job priming it when it was first installed but couldn't decide if I wanted it grey or white so decided to just leave it primed until the answer came to me. Just recently I decided that I really do want it a very light grey to bring the best out of the marble slab on top. I'll start painting (and probably finish painting) it next week.  I have beautiful handles already bought and put aside for the doors.

I also need to sort out a BBQ table. I've found ones I would love but can't bring myself to spend the $2000 plus that they cost so I've decided to make one. I had some old pedestal bases that are really from an indoor table but they have sat out side in the garden acting as an orchid bench for a year now and are no worse for wear so I think they will be fine. I found an old door on the side of the road and plonked it on top. It all looks fantastic but it's too small for what we want so I priced up some reclaimed timber yesterday and I'm going to build a table top for it. I'll share my progress as I go.  

This old door I will turn into a desk / table and will be selling it so let me know if you are interested. It is such a beautiful shabby old door.

The benches I bought for $70. I was going to paint and sell them but Phil just loves them so I'll paint and keep them. I spent a lot of time sanding them as they were in a terrible state. Much better all smooth (on top at least, still more work to do on the legs).

We still need to re turf the back yard and lay a slab for the basketball court but we were waiting for spring (and for the concreter)  -  Phil's been doing heaps of gardening on the weekend. He loves his lawn and he thinks we might be able to salvage it and just top soil it. I'm not so hopeful - there's a lot of bare earth...but you know that's not my department so I'm just letting him do his thing. He always gets it right anyway. Clever man.

The jasmine on the fence has gone bonkers and is balancing the lack of grass :)

I bought this old cement urn below from my salvage friends and plan to paint it ASCP Graphite eventually...possibly. I don't mind it dirty old white so I may actually never do that. These are Jonty's flowers in the urn and they are loving it here.

Other updates - still have to sort out one of the chandeliers as it's not quite right, finish painting the front windows that at least now are well coated with Zinsser primer, I painted my studio door last weekend (YAY), I would love to paint my studio walls white and paint the skirtings but it's so low on my agenda it's not funny, the bedroom blinds have been ordered, new bed had been ordered, a few more little projects but we are very close to the finish line.

So there you have a few unfinished things  - I really don't mind. I am happy with taking this house slowly and doing a lot ourselves. I don't like outsourcing - we derive such pleasure in doing a lot ourselves and work well together as a team so it's okay that we haven't thrown money at it and got it all finished at once. But if someone doesn't get that DIY philosophy then it's hard to explain that there's a certain pleasure in a long to do list and an unfinished house.

What do you think?  Have you renovated - did you get it finished in one hit or is it still lingering on and on?
Fiona xx


  1. Coming along very nicely! Tthink I will be sad if I ever check off everything on my to do list.

  2. Nice that you have some projects to look forward to. I've never renovated, always lived in rental properties, but that doesn't stop me dreaming of changes.
    I see you have star jasmine, that's my favourite jasmine.

  3. Bonjour from a chilly SW France, We are in exactly the same position. The majority of the work is finished but there is still the laundry and my dressing room to go....and a stair runner to be laid.

    I had the plasterers in this week plastering my new walk in wardrobe. Once this is dry I will paint then the builder will come back to lay the tiles and then we can think about rails, drawers etc.

    I have learnt from previous restorations that it is better to take things slowly and think a bit more before actually carrying out the task. It has taken me a couple of montsh to find a sofa that I liked but I am happy that I did not rush out and buy the first one that I saw :-)

    I also love the idea of having a list and crossing off the tasks one by one....

    bonne continuation, Leeann x

  4. Well, I have not stopped rennovating since we bought our stone farmhouse in 1992. I do pause, but that is for diy decor or furnishings.

    I love your pinwheel jasmine! We had a fence of it in So. Calif. where I was raised. Heavenly!! Do your kids pluck the blossoms an let them fall like helicopters?

    Now Repeat After Me: "I am an artist with vision, and collaborating with others does not mean I leave the finesse to them."

    Snooty cow can't deal with a little plaster in her pudding!! ;-)

  5. There is great satisfaction in doing things yourself in your own time. I really love your outdoor table pedestals, they will look great when the table is all finished.


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