In July, 2021 we purchased our forever home. It was something we had been planning for the last two years at the time. We already owned a home (a townhouse) but as you can imagine as our family was growing, we were quickly outgrowing that home too.
We were purchasing in a sellers market, which was great for the sale of our property but not so great for trying to buy back in. It was almost like a full time job trying to find the home. I think we made approximately 3 official offers on properties with no success.
We were getting a little desperate once we sold our home and settlement was getting closer, we were considering properties that were A LOT of work (thank god we set some boundaries) and we actually almost ended up purchasing a property outside of the zone we had set as one of our boundaries. The owner had actually accepted our offer, until he went out of reception whilst he was on a long-drive but it was in that moment where I felt like we were making a mistake that an agent called with an off-market property, in the location we wanted, size we wanted, and with our one requirement: "must have big backyard with a lot of grass for the kids to play". It was the one. 24 hours later, we had a deal.
The home was built with a lot of character, in the 1950's but has such a Mediterranean, Spanish personality about it that I just adore. I feel like every home, in every street is being built with the same features, same statements that to have a home with so much personality already was both the perfect way to make it our own, but beautiful family home with a continued story.
The Home We Purchased Gave Us It's Own Inspiration.
This means, that we are completely taking the home for all it is and giving new life for it. Keeping some of the most original character features such as:
It's high pitched external roofs
The original unique, and different in each room cornices and architraves (feels like it tells a story for each room)
The beautiful french doors and double hung windows
The hedges that surround us with nature (something I thought that would go, but have grown to love and adore)
The original timber floors (we will revamp them, but love the mis-matched character of them)
What We Plan To Change:
I have to say, the best thing we did (and I was told this) is to first LIVE in your home before renovating. I get that it's hard, you want to just make it all new and pretty straight away but if I had done that then I can say I would have a home by now that I would be wanting to change again.
The second best thing we did, before starting any renovations is hired a Draftsman [RW Creative]. I knew I wanted to hire a draftsman because we planned to change a lot of our floor-plan and I needed someone to be able to put it all into scale to make sure what I envision is actually possible. It also meant by having a draftsman do up our new floor-plan that it didn't matter when we engaged the trades because we always would have the same end result set up for the process and it allowed us to work out where to start first and how to map the renovations for both budget, time and practically.
"The time you take planning, is time you won't regret when you see your vision coming to life knowing just how you worked to perfect that."
I dream of our home to encompass traditional rugs, warming Spanish and Mediterranean lighting that screams a little bit of 'I'm from a different time' and art. A lot of art to warm the heart. I think that art is always one thing that should never be rushed, because the most treasured pieces are collected in time and with stories behind them.
Our roof, under all the current moss situation overgrowing on it is a red and bright colour which I once thought we would change, but we won't. We will restore it as is, and let any imperfections that show be the feature of the home, which I feel will again lean into its original state. Our home will be re-sprayed in white, with a little bit of detail tiles on our entry way steps inspired by the above.
The Kitchen is one I designed myself, I worked with a designer but first began utilising an App called Room Planner after we had our Draftsman plans and began playing around with layouts for the kitchen. Will it have a door here or a window? will we have a walk-in butlers pantry or open it right up? Will we have our laundry in the pantry or move it to a different part of the home? All the thoughts, and an app allowed me to just mock up everything, re-arrange and try again and again.
Once we decided on the above and the absolute positioning then came all the finer details from where I wanted cabinets, windows, the fridge. We had to make some compromises to have other things - like the fact that we sacrificed an integrated fridge to have a Pitt's Gas Top Stove (don't regret) we just moved our fridge to the butlers pantry so it wouldn't be eye-balling us it's silver skin each day.
I can't explain what my kitchen style is, as it feels like a complete mix bag which is just 'me'. It's kind of minimalist, a lot of white, a bit of nude tones and warming. It has curves, niches and lots of windows to span our home.
My inspiration started here...
We opted for a lot of selections that were more practical in a family home in terms of the bench tops we chose, and other selections to ensure we weren't blowing the budget and being very realistic. A lot of renovations nowadays seem out of reach to achieve due to high cost products but it's important to just choose what your 'hero/non-negotiable' selections are and go from there and that will ensure you get a premium feel whilst make sticking to a budget more achievable.
Stay tuned for the unveil of the first part of our home renovation, the kitchen due for completion soon...