Our renovation has finally come to an end. We can now move freely around our home without leaving muddy tread marks all over the timber floors, we’re cooking in the kitchen instead of the garage and the bar has had an initiation of note! It’s time to reveal the much anticipated new extension. We’re extremely happy with the end result and can’t believe we can finally share the first images of the exterior. Next week, we’ll show you how the interior of the new extension turned out.
It’s been a good 4 months of renovating and living in an environment of noise and construction mess. Can’t believe that very soon we’ll be stoking a fire at night, cook in a beautiful new kitchen and hang out with friends around the new bar. Next week, I’ll show you how the new extension turned out, but first, the finishes…
The tiling of the interior of the pool is well underway and the limestone paving around it, have come up a treat. The stone colours flow very well with the indoor tiles of the new extension and create a seamless look. We can start visualising hanging out on the deck around the bbq and taking frequent dips in the pool as the day heats up.
The brickwork is slowly disappearing under render – this new room will have a bright, fresh look for that perfect indoor/outdoor feel.
To get the massive new bi-fold doors to the back of the house, extra muscle was required. I couldn’t assist, as I was holding a “heavy” camera at the time…
Our photogenic dog, Chloe, is supervising the tiling process. She’s trying her utmost to be in every single renovation shot. These indoor limestone tiles from Marble Matters have lovely warm tones and tie in well with the interior timber flooring.
The last few bits, painting and electrical and we’re ready to roll. Don’t miss next week’s reveal!
If you’ve missed the renovation in other parts of our home, follow these links:
We’re not newbies at realising the potential health benefits of outdoor living. Although this was not our first consideration before deciding to extend and enclose our entertainment area, it certainly helped in ticking more boxes in the pro’s than con’s list. This room would enhance our lifestyle by becoming a dining, living and entertainment room all in one. We wanted the design to be an extension of our home, opening up to the outdoors with new pool and merging indoor living areas with outdoor areas effortlessly. We had to do it right, first time around. Of course, the trick to designing that perfect outdoor room is to make it complement your existing home, to have it blend in architecturally, as well as selecting finishes that would tie in with the indoor rooms. The exterior part needs the same consideration, selecting roofing material that would match the existing roofing structure, face brick matching existing brick, as well as considering the pitch of the new roof.
As you can see, our dog still can’t miss any of the action and can’t wait for this project to come to an end… Nevertheless, she’s doing a great job overseeing the build 🙂
Before: This door to our tv room will be replaced by bifold doors and the corners of the room will be squared. We’ll remove the existing roof, as this is the only way we could effectively create a unified look with the new roof of the new entertainment area. The other option was to leave the roof as is and build a new sloped roof onto the new extension. Only trouble was, this could only be done by creating a box gutter, which collect a lot of water and could cause problems in the long run.
Construction: The timber structure for the new roof is up and foundation ready to be tiled. The tv room has been squared and steel support installed for the bifold doors.
Before: It’s time for the wall of the new extension to be built. This wall will house a fireplace and connect to the old formal dining room. The cavity, that used to be the formal dining room window, is now ready for a bifold door that would eventually lead to the new bar.
Construction: I considered the design of the fireplace very carefully, as this would be an eye catching feature in the new entertainment area. I wanted the fireplace at table height, so that it can be seen from across the room, including the dining area. I also wanted a cavity on either side of the fireplace to store firewood, while simultaneously benefiting from the rustic charm of raw timber. I wanted the design not only to be practical, but to fit the overall personality and style of the house.
Well, now you’re getting the idea! We’re finally ready to tile and render, install the new bifolds and share some great before and after photos! Hang in there, we’re almost done…
If you’ve missed the renovation in other parts of our home, follow these links:
We love our suburb of Cherrybrook – our home is in a quiet cul-de-sac, we’re close to schools, shops and in 2019, we’ll have a train station about a block away! After extensive homework, we came to the conclusion that it would be cheaper to spruce up our almost 20 year old home, build an extension and put in a pool, rather than move to a home close by with similar amenities. If you’ve missed out on where it all started, follow the link: Lyndie’s home renovation: First Phase.
After weeks of staring at a big hole in the ground, the pool has been concreted and will take a bit of time to cure before tiling begins. The time has arrived to demolish the pergola, remove the roof of the TV room and prepare the site to pour the slab for the new extension.
After a few hours, the job is done! My dog has the tendency to photobomb and it’s pretty difficult to find any photos without her in it. Luckily she’s pretty photogenic, so I don’t mind too much. So this is what the backyard looks like without the pergola – a little bit desolate and bare… The new slab will connect with the pool and stretch from the TV room all the way to the end of the house. This is where a new wall will be built that would house a fireplace, but more on that later.
A structure of timber and steel is built to hold and shape the concrete and additional piering was needed to hold the concrete in place and support the new structure.
We’re finally getting there… the foundation is ready, at the correct level and ready for the rest of the work to begin.
At this stage, you might think that it will be months before social get togethers can commence. You’re completely wrong! We had a pool party just after the concrete was poured! No swimming took place, but dancing in an empty pool is much safer anyway…
If you’ve missed any of my previous blogs about our renovation, follow the links below:
You know where to find us if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with your own renovation. Not only do we work with great builders, but we can draw up plans, get it passed through your local council and assist with all finishes and layouts.
Although pools don’t usually give you a good return on investment, it must surely be on the list of every Australian’s Dream Backyard. Cherrybrook, in NSW, can get as hot as hell in summer, so we decided to go all the way and put in a concrete pool. The entertaining area extension will have a view over the new pool area, so we thought we’d better not skimp on the size. To fit the budget, we chucked the water feature and splurged on heating and nice pavers. Heating would prolong our swimming season by at least 3 months, so now we can get the most out of this new expensive toy 🙂 If you’ve missed the beginning of the pool installation, follow the links below:
The excavation is finished and now ready for the framework. The frame is built with corrugated iron, steel and a timber frame to contain and shape the concrete.
The stairs are shaped and smoothed, ready to be tiled after the curing process.
Finally, the pool is ready for our first “pool party”. All it needs is a few weeks of curing for the concrete to harden. It also needs a good hose down every day, to ensure that the concrete doesn’t crack. We’re now ready for tiling, but first, we need to start the demolition work to make room for the new home extension’s foundation. More on this next week.
If you’ve missed the renovation to the interior of our home, have a look at these links:
We have a great arrangement with our neighbours. When they go on holiday, we look after their dog and have use of their beautiful pool. Our kids usually couldn’t wait for them to go away and when they were little, they would put on their goggles and swimwear, open the blinds in their room for the world to see, and watch the neighbours pack their car for the holiday. Understandably, this became a bit embarrassing at times, so we thought we should consider putting in our own pool, just to give our neighbours a rest 🙂
Of course, putting a pool into a small backyard, isn’t as easy as you might think. Over the next few weeks, I’ll show you a few obstacles we’ve had work around, as well as how the extension of our home has progressed. Have a look at the First Phase, to see a bit of background of the area we live in, the history of our house and what we’ve planned for the entire project. For now, we’ll start with our plans for the backyard and what it looked like before we started…
To see what we’ve done to the interior, follow the links below:
A home bar is something every grown up home should have. Grown ups like popping into each others homes’ for a drink, either to wind down after a busy day, but mostly to get away from their children 🙂 Of course, you don’t need the full Monty bar… a bar cart with a few essential items will certainly do the trick! In our case, we chucked our formal lounge during our renovation, not because we love drinking that much, but because we tend to dine informally (and to accommodate our drinking friends 🙂 To follow our bar renovation and inspiration, follow these links: Lyndie’s Bar Inspiration and Formal Dining Room Demolition.
Our vision for our bar is slowly coming into fruition. The height of the glass pendant lights are determined and the back and front counters are installed.
Luckily there’s time for a break after a hard days’ work! The guys are getting very excited about having the first cold one to initiate the new bar!
At last, it’s finished! It was great fun unpacking everything into the shelves. Now we can pretend we’re having a night out on the town every night!
This new area makes entertaining a breeze. We love how the formal lounge flows into the bar and then out to the new entertaining area with fireplace. I see a few social gatherings happening this year!
Let us know if your home needs a make over. A renovation can be very daunting, especially if you haven’t experienced it before. We draw up plans for council approval, assist in layouts, as well as selection of all your finishes. To see the changes we made to other parts of our home, follow these links:
When we decided to reconfigure the interior of our home to suit the way we lived, the conversation between my husband and I steered towards every man’s dream, a cellar, or man cave. In my mind’s eye I could already picture the ladies sitting around the dinner table (or most likely doing dishes) and the guys congregating in the underground cellar, getting worked up about rugby, army and politics. Seeing that our formal dining area would become an unused space after building the extension, we decided that this would be the best spot for the new bar, rather than excavating into the ground. This would ensure a great flow from the formal lounge into the bar and then out into the new extension with fireplace (which you will see in the following few weeks).
Hard to believe that this area would soon house a bar, but it’s wonderful to work with such a blank canvas!
As our bar area would have an open doorway from the kitchen, the two rooms needed to “talk” to each other, but we certainly didn’t want the bar to looking like an extension of a kitchen. We used black polyurethane cabinetry in the kitchen and finished it with Caesar stone benchtops, so we needed to repeat these finishes in the bar for cohesion. We also wanted open shelving to display a whiskey collection, a sink and tap for quick rinsing and a cabinet for the storage of wine and glasses. We also designed a bar counter with a cavity at the back, so that bar stools could be stored out of sight when not in use.
We definitely wanted to steer away from the traditional timber bar look with framed rugby jerseys against the wall, as this would not suit the style of our formal lounge room, which is connected to the bar. By using black cabinetry, an immediate sense of drama and old worldliness was created, which was further enhanced by an antique mirror splashback and soft lighting that cast a glow on the whiskey display. We decided to finish the bar counter in black panelling and a timber top, to suit a modern country style and to create an informal atmosphere in the area. Glass pendant lights, which mimicked the shape of a wine glass, were installed above the bar counter. The only thing missing, was a rustic timber slab for the top…
Funnily enough, it was on a search for an ever evasive winery during a recent holiday in Mollymook, South of Sydney, that we came across a timber yard. As luck would have it, they had the most exquisite timber slabs, just perfect for our new bar! It only took a tractor and bent roof racks to get it back to Sydney, but it was well worth the effort!
Next week, I’ll show you the end result…
If you would like to follow the changes we made to other parts of our house, follow these links:
Setting up home is all about learning how you like to live in it. Seeing that we’ve been living in our home for the past 12 years, a few things dawned on us during this time. Firstly, we realised that we’re not ones for formal dining arrangements and secondly, we “needed” (wanted) a home bar. I gently persuaded my husband that an underground cellar would probably not be the way to go, as this would segregate the drinkers from the non-drinkers (who we still need to meet) too much. We decided to ditch the formal dining room, as the new extension would house a large table for dining and social gatherings and we had a small dining table in the new kitchen for family dinners. The former formal dining room would now be opened up with bi-fold doors and connect to the new extension and become our bar. So this is what we did:
Next week, I’ll show you the inspiration behind the bar design and what finishes we selected to make it fit in with the style of the kitchen and formal lounge area.
If you would like to follow our renovation in other parts of our home, follow these links.
If your home bar needs an update or you’re wondering where to install one, give us a call for some instant inspiration 🙂 We could give you a full bar design, selection of finishes, or assist you with a quick update for your bar as well as a cocktail making course (only kidding).
We’ve learnt that clients get frustrated if we answer: “It depends on what finishes you use and the the size of your bathroom.” (Even though it is true!) This is one of the questions we get asked the most!
So today we will give you a better breakdown on how to budget for your bathroom renovation.
We divide it into three categories:
The face-lift ($5,000+)
The standard bathroom replacement ($15,000+)
The luxury bathroom ($25,000+)
1. THE FACE-LIFT ($5,000+)
If you renovate to sell, or you renovate because your bathroom is falling apart but your budget is very low, the face-lift option is for you. This will not be your dream bathroom, but rather a working and less old fashioned bathroom.
To save money, you need to keep the plumbing (positions of taps and toilet included) in the same place. Don’t change the layout of the bathroom at all! Do not buy feature tiles, as they are expensive. Focus on a cheaper tile, but still choose something interesting and on trend. To save costs, do not tile all the way to the ceiling. (We hate to recommend this, but it will save you a lot of money on tiles and labour) Get a quote to resurface your bathroom if possible. Check out Resurfacing Australia’s website for ideas. Shop around on e-bay for vanities, toilets and taps. If you project manage this yourself, you can save a lot of money!
2. STANDARD BATHROOM RENOVATION ($15,000+)
This is the minimum amount we always prepare our clients to budget for a bathroom. If you want to have a bathroom that is on trend, new and will have a WOW factor, you need to budget for more than just a face-lift bathroom. This option is for people who want to enjoy their new bathroom for many years to come.
We don’t do face-lift bathrooms for clients, but we do design and project manage many bathroom installations in the standard bathroom category. Clients must be willing to buy quality taps, a new toilet and a new bath. Old fashioned shower screens are replaced by frame-less screens. Many times we twist the bathroom layout too, so the client is willing to add a few hundred dollars to change the bathroom layout slightly. In a standard bathroom you can still not splurge and buy the top of the range products, but you will be able to create a beautiful new quality modern bathroom that will add value to your home.
3. LUXURY BATHROOM ($25,000+)
It is very important that you do not over capitalise your home. You can not spend $40,000 on a bathroom if your house does not fall in a price category to suit this expense. If you are unsure on how much you should spend, chat to your estate agent or interior designer. If, however, you are lucky enough to build your dream bathroom, you might easily spend between $25,000 to $40,000. The trick is to choose what items you should splurge on. If you save on some items, you can keep the budget affordable. The labour cost does not change much between the standard and luxury bathroom. It is the finishes that break your budget! Good spatial planning, choosing quality finishes and good styling are the keys for the luxury bathroom. If you are planning to spend this amount on a bathroom, it might be good to get an expert’s opinion and design advise. It won’t cost an arm an a leg to pay for an interior designer’s professional help, but at least you know the $30,000 you spend on your bathroom will have a WOW factor and be the envy of your neighbourhood.
THE OBVIOUS SECRET:
Always get more than one quotation. We always get at least two quotations from a bathroom installer, and relevant tradies and tile shops. Planning your bathroom will be the key to saving money. And most important, STICK TO YOUR BUDGET!!!! No, you don’t need the fancy tiles you can’t afford!