All posts by Carrie


Six months ago the best thing in the world happened to us, we welcomed a little dude into our lives. He’s a happy little lad, full of smiles for everyone. I could go on and on about how amazing he is, but I’m guessing people are actually here to read about the house.

When we discovered that we were expecting a little bundle of joy we realised we’d have to turn one of our spare rooms into a nursery. We had two spare rooms in our house, one that we were using as a study and the other that was meant to be our spare room but in reality was our junk room. We consolidated the study and spare/junk room into a study/spare room (removing a whole lot of junk was very therapeutic). Then we got to create a nursery. We didn’t find out the gender of our little man until he arrived so it had to be a gender neutral nursery that still had some character. My sister suggested yellow and grey with a bike theme. Once she had suggested it it seemed so obvious. A bike theme was perfect, Alex and I love cycling and yellow and grey are lovely colours for a little boy or girl.

The room was originally wallpapered, a lovely *cough cough* beige streaked wallpaper… So we bought a wallpaper steamer and set to work. Wallpaper steamers are well worth the money, we bought one on eBay. They’re so so much easier to use than trying to do it with a knife and scourer! We worked out that we made our money back by using it for just two days, rather than hiring one. Removing the wallpaper is also a very easy and satisfying job. After I started removing the wallpaper I discovered another layer of even more hideous wallpaper underneath! It was this mustard green, viney pattern. I couldn’t paint the room as you shouldn’t paint when pregnant. My brother had some time to kill so he painted the room for us. Lovely Marky!

The blinds were an easy fix. Mum and I headed out to Curtain Wonderland, buying blockout curtains with the holes pre done. Al made up a curtain rail and already the room was taking shape.

The last touches were all decorative. We bought an awesome wall decal from Etsy to match our bike theme, bought a lovely cot and matching second hand change table (so much money to be saved buying baby things second hand!). The last and coolest touch was organised by my sister and Mum. For my baby shower they sent out a wooden letter of the alphabet with each invitation. There were a few other letters sent to people who couldn’t make it to the baby shower – Alex, my brother, Al’s mum etc. She asked everyone to decorate the letters to their individual taste. I got to do one too 🙂 Everyone brought their letters to the baby shower, and now our little man has a very unique and amazing wall feature. He already loves just staring (and trying to touch) all of the different colours. It was such a good idea! It’s so great checking out the wall and being able to see a whole lot of friends personalities coming through their letters on my wall. Sis and Mum even came up with getting family members to decorate P-O-W-I-C-K and making them capitals. Clever ladies!

The last touch is a new cedar window that’s sitting in the garage. A while before that goes in I imagine.

It was so much fun creating a room for our little person! One more room down!

Vegetable Garden

Neither Alex or myself have ever gotten in to gardening. I used to think my parents were crazy pottering about for hours in the garden. Well, now that we have a garden of our own it’s quite rewarding. Alex especially has been getting into it and his first project was the veggie garden.

We decided to put in a curved fence so that our lovely puppy dog wouldn’t eat the vegetables or any nasty bug killers that we put on the vegetables. Alex built a freaking amazing fence pretty quickly. We have a picket fence! We’ve gone from no home world travellers to having a picket fence in a year! Crazy!

As Alex was clearing it out he discovered that there were already two pretty good garden beds there that had just been overgrown with weeds. We uncovered them and went to the local nursery to find out what we should do next. We followed his instructions for checking our soil and paid money for animal poo (again, how our lives have changed!). We turned the soil for a week or two and then went and bought some exciting vegetables and herbs. This is what our veggie garden looks like now – Alex is amazing!

So we have successfully been growing:

  • Chillies
  • A whole range of herbs
  • Spring onions
  • Zuchinnis
  • Tomatoes
  • Pumpkins
  • Corn

We’re excited to start trying out more. To top it off all of those grey, dead looking trees you see in the very first photos have turned out to be fruit trees! We are growing a variety of stone fruit, apples and figs! This year the birds got to the stone fruit before we realised what we were sitting on, but we have picked and shared around the figs. Turns out my parents weren’t crazy pottering about in their garden. There are so many things I’m looking forward to trying to grow! Next I think we’ll add some citrus trees.

Our House

This blog is to track the renovation of our first home. We want to keep track of what we did and how so we can see how we learnt and improved, and one day when we’re old and grey look back and be proud of our creations.

We’re armed with a stack of my mum’s old Better Homes & Gardens magazines, a desire to to our bit to save the planet, save money and create a practical, cosy house.

Our house is a typical 1970′s house in Canberra. It’s a brick three bedroom, one bath, one toilet, one living room house built up on foundations. Alex loves decks and timber floors so for us a house on foundations was preferable to a slab on ground.

When we got the house most of the rooms were carpeted (including the bathroom). The first thing we did was rip up the old, tired carpet to expose lovely Tasmanian Ash floorboards. They still need to be sanded back to remove the markings from the carpet underlay, however for now they still make the house lighter and feel more like ours (because we can do things like rip up carpets, goodbye renting!)

We bought the house for it’s potential. Alex looked at it and saw and bunch of things he could accomplish with his awesome carpentering skills.

Quick tour of the house (as bought in August 2012)