Tuesday, 23 October 2012

What different eyes see........

We bought our little house nearly five years ago.

I fell in love with it instantly.

It was desperately in need of a whole lot of love.

To most it looked like a knock down but what I saw was a whole bundle of opportunity.  A blank canvas.

An opportunity to keep the history of someone else's family & add ours to it.

Our house is a classic 1920's Californian Bungalow.

The floors were like trampolines and some of the floors already had holes in them down to the dirt below.

The house had been unchanged since it was built by the owner's Mother in 1924.

When we won it at the Auction the family that owned it cried with joy that a new family was moving in to love it like they had despite the Real Estate agent warning them that most people would be looking at it to knock down and develop.

All I saw was joy.  No undoing someone else's reno that wasn't me.  My husband not so much.  He couldn't see what I saw.

To him it was just a smelly old mess that looked overwhelming.

To me it was a house filled with windows and light and opportunity.

The first time I saw it I had visualised walls down opening up the living space, floors sanded, walls painted and our family in it loving it.  I saw dramatic changes for not much money.  I am always looking for creative ways to make do without the dollar cost.

What I like isn't to everyone's taste but I am not one to make the design of my house about resale I am about making my house a home.  A home that tells a story about us. About what we love and about how we live.

Luckily my Husband trusted my judgment & let me bid for it & then freely create my vision.

Over the five years we have grown to love this place.  Our home.

But now as our children begin to grow very big (one is bigger than me and the rest won't be far behind) our little 3 bedroom bungalow is becoming a wee bit squishy and we are looking at making ourselves some more space.

I have been busily designing the extension with the same builder who knocked down the walls for me 5 years ago to create our gorgeous combined Kitchen & Living space.  I am lucky.

My builder understands me & my quirky 'out of the box' ideas.  He is happy to accommodate my nuttiness.

We had a meeting the other night to finalise the design.  He told me he is very excited about this job.  About doing something that is so unlike most other things he does.  I know how very lucky I am to have an existing relationship with a builder.  I trust him.  He understands me.  So very very lucky.

The important factors for me about the design have been about putting our personality into it with very large consideration to using sustainable, environmentally sensitive and recycled products where we can.   There will be some old recycled Australian Wharf timbers being used as features, there are plans for vertical gardens & kitchen gardens & we will be using a super energy efficient building method.

I wanted the new building to have harmony with the old but to be unique in itself.  I didn't want to mirror the old but celebrate the new.

Le Husband has left me pretty much to my own devices with regards to the design.  The wharf timbers was his idea & one that I am super doop excited about. The timbers will be visible from both inside and outside of the building.

It really is happening.

Our very own Grand Design.

And I am very very excited.
As will this little Builder boy be......

Watch this space.......

Have you caught the Kale chip frenzy?
It is everywhere.
I have mentioned many times on this blog my unashamed affection for Cavolo Nero.
I LOVE it. I use any excuse to put in stuff.
And so a couple of years ago when the kale chip frenzy began I was totes on board!
Another excuse to eat kale?
You betcha!
My kids ADORE these.  Plus they are SUPER nutritious and delish to boot. So much better than packet chips. My lads take them for morning tea snacks to school.
So so easy and so so yummy.
Give them a whirl - you will never look back.

  • 1 bunch Cavolo Nero (Tuscan Kale but you could use any Kale)
  • 1 tblspoon Olive Oil
  • Japanese Chilli  (you will find this in the Japanese section of your Asian Grocer)
  • Salt

Heat the oven to 150C.

Strip the leaves off of the stems and tear into large pieces.

Toss well in Olive oil so the leaves are coated (but not wet).

Lay out on baking paper so that the leaves are separate & not overlapping.

Shake over a little Japanese Chilli and salt.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crisp.

Remove from the oven and let cool.
 They won't last long!

This song has been on high rotation this week. So very lovely.......


  1. I adore that song - 'most days'! So calming and beautiful

    Very excited for your renovations! They sound very exciting... good luck and enjoy x

  2. How exciting! I'm so glad you guys aren't gonna move, the place you live in now looks amazing from the photos you post!

  3. Renovating is exciting but I find it stressful as well (Argh!). I haven't had that kind of simpatico thing going on with either builder that has done work on our place. You are fortunate.

    Love the video of your builder boy. Good to see that he's wearing what my son calls, "Ear mucks. Safe."

    I'm looking forward to your updates.

    Ms Nada

  4. I really hope you share your renovation journey with us Ruth, it sounds interesting & lots of fun!!
    How cute is your little guy?! He is just like sunshine, all bright & happy!!!

  5. Bubby will actually be beside himself!!! I cannot WAITx

  6. That is the cutest.

    SO thrilled for you re your house plans! How exciting! Looking forward to seeing the progress over the next while. xxx

  7. Having a builder who 'gets it' sounds wonderful...you are so lucky! We spent every step of our pretty basic Reno arguing with our builder about what we wanted and needed, and why it worked for us, despite it not being 'how it's normally done'. It made the whole thing very traumatic. I may need you builders details when we move onto the next stage!!! Can't wait to see how your Reno progresses!


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