It’s official – my very first attempt at home renovations is about to begin! And I admit it – I’m slightly scared…..
For those who don’t know, I bought myself a lovely old house about a year and a half ago. The original section of it dates from the 1890′s or thereabouts (no one knows for sure) and it’s been added onto at various times (once again, no one quite knows when). So it’s a bit of a hodge-podge, sprawling cottage. Which gives it lots of character, in my opinion.
However, it has four main issues with it, all of which I intend to deal with.
The first issue is – it’s all white! All of it!!! (Well, except the bathroom walls, which are a pale lemon yellow.) Every single other wall in this house is painted off white. Including the outside walls. And as anyone who knows me will tell you – I’m far more of a colour girl. I’ve actually become accustomed to the off-white walls in the hallway, lounge and kitchen (for two reasons – they’re great for hanging artwork, and my purple lounge suite looks fab against them. Woo hoo!), but the rest of the place is, well, bland. Or I think it is, anyway. Especially my bedroom. (I’ve even had friends tell me they were surprised the first time they went into my room and saw white walls.) So, clearly some more colour needs to be added!
The second issue is one common to pretty much all old, wooden houses in New Zealand. They aren’t insulated. Crazy, but true. Brrrrr! So, that also needs to be changed!
The third issue is the chimney. The cottage used to have a back-to-back fireplace in the wall of two of the bedrooms, which has been completely boarded over. However, the brick chimney is still raised up proudly a good 1.5 metres above the roof. And Wellington is in quite a major earthquake zone, so having a chimney looming over two of the bedrooms makes me nervous. Very nervous at times.
The fourth issue is the kitchen. Half 1980′s, half 1950′s, it’s an impractical mess. So much room for bench space, and someone (or a succession of past-owner-someones) has done a variety of odd things resulting in virtually no bench space. Not ideal for someone who likes to bake!
So, I’ve been a good little girl and been saving my pennies, and I’m about to get my first lot of fixes done! Exciting!
Since some of them require quite a bit of technical skill, I’ve gone with the safe (although admittedly less fun) option and hired someone to take care of it all for me. They were around today to put up the scaffolding, and the work starts on Wednesday.
So, what am I getting done first? (Not all of it, sadly, as my budget doesn’t extend anywhere near that far!) It’s focused around the two downstairs bedrooms to begin with. That scary looming chimney is coming down, the walled-over fireplaces are being taken out and nice, big, walk-in wardrobes are being added. (More storage space! More space for fabric! Yippieeeeee!!!!) The ceiling in my room is getting insulated, as are the two outside walls, and both rooms are getting painted. My room will be a nice, sunny yellow and the front bedroom (where my flatmate Sam lives at the moment) will be a deep, bright green.
All quite exciting stuff, really. I’m rather looking forward to seeing the end result, especially with the warmer, more colourful rooms with the added storage!
However, the amount of work being done in my room means I somehow have to move everything out of there. And I mean *everything*. Which is quite a bit, since my bedroom is also my sewing room. Naturally, the first priority is finding a new home for my sewing machines for 2-3 weeks, as I go a bit stir-crazy when I’m separated from them for too long!
The sewing must go on, even if the house is in complete and utter chaos!!!!