We’ve just sold our house – and what better time for a walk down memory lane?
When we bought our house 3 and a half years ago, it looked very different. It was a lovely solid brick home with polished timber floors, beautiful mountain views out the front and quiet bushland out the back. But it was… dated. Your grandma would’ve loved the floral curtains in every room, but they weren’t doing it for me.
Add in some dinghy dirty-white paintwork, scuffed and scratched floors with an oil-based polish that had yellowed and darkened to an orangey tone, and rickety old ceiling fans…. well, I could go on. Not to mention that the lounge, dining and kitchen upstairs were walled off into three separate areas. It wasn’t a huge space to begin with, and the walls made it feel claustrophobic and closed-in.
Here’s the dining room hidden away on the other side of that walled-off living area:
The kitchen was tucked away behind a second wall, in one of those classic U-shaped configurations that I personally loathe. Why?? Because there’s no bench space. Check it – there’s a ginormous double sink smack in the middle of one bench, and a cooktop centred on the other. All your prep work has to be done on the measly leftover bits, hunched beneath the overhead cupboards and forced to stare unendingly at the 80’s grey gloss tile with grandmotherly floral features. (To match the grandmotherly ruffle curtain.)
Okay, I’m being dramatic. It’s a reasonable kitchen really, and we considered doing a cheaper update by just replacing handles and re-tiling the splashback, but I desperately wanted an open-plan kitchen with an island bench so I could keep on eye on the kids as they played in the lounge. We love open-plan… it just suits our lifestyle so perfectly.
The long and short of it was, the walls came tumbling down. Jericho style.
Here’s an after shot of the kitchen:
The cupboards are Laminex silk finish, which is a darn sight cheaper than 2-pac and still gives the same sleek and glossy effect. Benchtops are smartstone (a reconstituted stone) with waterfall ends to the island bench. I added drawers… lots of drawers. A corner pantry. (Yeah!) An Ilve oven. And glass-coated ceramic tiles for the splashback. Goodbye, 80’s. Hello, shiny new kitchen, my precious.
We also replaced the garage-style fluorescent strip lighting with downlights, and added pendants with drum shades over the island bench.
Here’s the view from the kitchen into the living area with that kitchen wall removed:
And from the dining room back into the living area. Amazing how much bigger the space feels with those two walls gone!
You may have noticed a couple of other little updates in these pictures. We replaced the ceiling fans with stainless steel, and had the entire house re-painted. The main wall colour (that soft taupe-grey) is Dulux “Pearl Ash.” The feature wall is Dulux “Wild Dove.”
Because of the two walls being removed and the enormous patches that left on the floors, we also had to sand and re-polish the entire upstairs floor. It was remarkable how much fresher it felt with that dark orangey polish stripped back and a natural water-based polish used instead. The floors became much lighter, and we could see all the beautiful colour variations of the timber that had previously been hidden.
We also replaced these turned-wood stair railings:
… with a sleeker and more modern alternative of clear-varnished timber and stainless-steel.
For window coverings we opted for something as non-grandmotherly as possible. Out with the floral. In with roller-blinds for the front two windows, to preserve those gorgeous views of the tree-clad mountain:
And Roman blinds in the same fabric for the side windows, to add some interest to a very long, blank wall. All window coverings were custom-made from Curtain Wonderland.
(The cushions keep changing in these photos. It’s like magic.) Another view of the Roman blinds, and the easy flow between kitchen and dining:
A few detail shots of the decor. (Dining table, chairs, kitchen stools and couch all from Freedom Furniture, aka “best store in the known universe”…)
In the shot above, the print on the left was purchased in Venice, Italy, and one on the right came from Spain. We purchased the wooden couple sculpture in the photo below from an art gallery in Prague on our seventh wedding anniversary. The painting above the TV (not that you can see it because of the reflections – ha! Photo fail) was bought from a street artist in Spain. We love to buy art when we travel, because it’s so easy and cheap to ship back and it makes such a memorable souvenir. We just rolled the prints/ canvases and had them posted in cardboard mail tubes, then framed them when they arrived back home.
The door to the left of this pic leads out onto the front balcony.
When we bought the house, it sported some gnarly iron lacework out the front:
… which would actually look really lovely in a heritage-style home, with the right colours and details. But in a white-brick box-like facade, it’s not looking so vintage. Just… dated.
We revamped with glass panel railings so we could enjoy the view unobstructed.
So, that’s it for the upstairs living area. I have so much more to show you in my upcoming posts: a glam bathroom makeover, romantic master bedroom reveal, sweet baby-girl nursery, and how we transformed our downstairs rumpus room by adding an extra bedroom and bathroom to our house. Stay tuned! If you don’t want to miss a post, make sure you take a look at the sidebar to subscribe by email and like my page on Facebook!
I’ll leave you with a last before and after shot of our living area.
Bit of a transformation, right?! I hope you enjoyed this first home tour through our house full of sunshine. Stay tuned – lots more room reveals in store! If you liked this post, I’d be thrilled if you would stop past and like my page on Facebook to stay in the loop!
Linking up at Get Your DIY On: Room Revamps!