var _gaq = _gaq || ; _gaq.push(['_setAccount', 'UA-32774066-1']); _gaq.push(['_trackPageview']);
This is our little cottage in the condition she was when we bought her… sad isn’t she?
Well, a little bit scary yes. Just look at that fence! I particularly love the plastic chairs. They make a nice place to sit and watch the world go by on a sunny afternoon.
A bit of both I suspect… But then, we saw so much potential, so much history in her beautiful exterior, we knew with a bit (well, let’s face it – a lot) of TLC we’d be able to find the charm and warmth we knew this old girl had in her and bring it alive again. Call us crazy – yep, go ahead I know you want to!
She was built back in 1910 when the suburb was exploding with respectable working class and lower middle class English immigrants, at a time of growth in Sydney’s history and we were excited about breathing new life into her old, blue trimmed body.
She belonged to a family for 80 years before us and somehow knowing that made me feel even more attached to this old girl. Suddenly she gave me a beautiful feeling of belonging and tradition that was so important to us when choosing a home to raise our family. Not much to ask of an old girl is it?
On the day we settled and officially moved in, Mr LCBL and I found a letter addressed to us sitting on the kitchen bench. The first thing I thought was who was in our house?
It began by congratulating us on buying the old cottage and we quickly realised it was written by the family who owned her before us. They told us how generations of their family grew up and played here and were raised and had all loved here. And thats when I started crying. Well I just couldn’t help it.
They explained how they hoped she would bring us as much happiness as she had them, all their growing years and they hoped we would lovingly renovate her and be happy here while raising our family just as they had been. After some tears from BOTH of us, and a whole lot of gumption, we got started on the journey with this old girl, knowing she would bring with her a big life, a life we wanted.
We tiled the floor, the floorboards were just too far gone and painted the walls in a beautiful putty colour called Pebble Bay by Taubmans. The front of the house just needed cosmetic love to make her look pretty again. On our budget we had to work with what we had…
The back of the house was more of a challenge. Originally there was no deck, only steep cement stairs going down to the yard and an anchient outside laundry. It was completely disfuctional so we built the deck over the stairs after we removed the laundry but we decided to keep the outside toilet in tact. What would a fair dinkum Aussie home be without an outside toilet I ask?
We cleaned her up nicely and painted her in Saudi Sand by dulux.
There was no kitchen window so we experimented with this one, needless to say we werent happy with it, I wonder why…
Mmmmm, what were we thinking?
We replaced it with this amazing concertina number – Aaaah much better.
I love this window, it is my favourite spot to be in the house. Sitting in the kitchen, you catch the breeze coming in off the ocean in the afternoon. Pure bliss.
In the end it took 2 years (did I just say 2 years?) to renovate our little cottage. We started when we had saved some money quite a few years after we bought her and still have jobs to do even now (the weatherboards down one side are looking pretty grim).
So the journey through this big life begins for us at our little cottage. Come on in and join me on the adventure.