Saturday, August 16, 2008

Living Room Renovation

The living room of our house is also the entrance to the house. The photo taken above was on our first inspection when looking to buy it. My husband captured this moment of me looking not too impressed.

The current owners choice of furniture, pink walls, dirty cream architraves and patched up ply ceiling wasn't too inspiring!! But the high ceilings, original features and lots of natural light all had potential!

A few months later after a long and frustrating settlement the house was ours. The previous owners had planned renovation works so the house came with these plans. We didn't do any of their suggestions however this plan above became my bible! I had scribbles and scribbles all over the page calculating all the things we needed to buy!

This is the view of the entrance way pre renovation work!

Top quality ply ceilings in exceptional condition! Thats my husband in the roof... Is there a possum up there?

This little piddly door way didn't sit in the centre of the room between the living room & kitchen and is the first thing you saw when you walked into the house - it had to go!

Work begins! All the timber stripping is removed from the ply ceilings.

See the sag in the ceiling? top quality indeed.

New timber beams are put up to support the new plasterboard ceilings.

A panel lift is hired to lift the plaster sheetings onto the ceiling. This was a quite simple job and took 2 days to do the entire house. This saved us a fortune as the quotes were approx $5k to pay to have this done! Although, moving these sheets up a flight of stairs is a painful experience. We ended up cutting off our veranda posts so that we could carry up the 4 metre sheets!

The plaster is screwed into the ceiling.

Completed (very late at night!)

That old skinny off center door way is cut out so that we can make a much more open plan welcome to the house! The cornices arrived - we chose big colonial style cornices, much more expensive then your typical cornices, but far better suited to the style of house.

We employed the services of a fantastic plasterer to patch up the ceilings and install the cornices. These were delicate and expensive so we didn't trust ourselves not to ruin them! The plasterer charged $2.5k to do the entire house and took 4 days (our previously mentioned smelly tiler should take accountancy lessons from this bloke!)

The colonial style archway is installed. We were so lucky that we could buy this off the shelf from a colonial supplier and it fitted perfectly! It cost approx $400.

Archway completed and my husband drills holes for the downlights.

The mammoth sanding of the entire house begins! All the walls are timber VJ or Tounge and Groove walls and all had to be sanded. I obviously was still was friends with the sander above. This friendship was shortlived.

Painting begins! We are so grateful to Lili & Uwe our friends from the Gold Coast who gave up an entire sunday to help undercoat our gloriously sexy pink walls.

My husband getting some fresh air hanging out the windows painting the windows. Im so scared of heights so this freaked me out greatly!!

Painting the archway. Fiddly Fiddly!! Notice the newspaper and tape on the widows? We do not recommend using everyday masking tape... This is one lesson we have learnt the hard way - Buying the proper materials can make ALL the difference!

And finally we are finished!

We employed a floor sander & polisher to come restore our Silky Oak timber floors. The downlights were installed, handleware attached to the windows and skirting boards finished it all off. We are on the search for new couches to replace these beloved 20year old Moran Leather couches.

The archway now a much nicer welcome to our house as you enter the front door. The kitchen is to be demolished this week and the new one is on the way! The renovation of this living room is hard to calculate but we would guess somewhere in the proximity of $4k.

And finally it feels like home with my favourite Florence Broadhurst ottomans and cushions!


  1. holy smokes, what a lovely transformation!

  2. Fantastic!

    I love renovating vicariously through other people's before-and-afters....

  3. I love the detailed archway. I wish houses were built with details like this nowadays. It's nice to know that we can still add them in ourselves!

  4. This made it into Design Sponge!!!

    It's currently the second page in. I'm jealous, wish I had a beautiful Qld'r to turn into my own project!

  5. Oops you saw already :D I'm a noodle!

  6. Would you mind disclosing where you found that beautiful table runner?
    And thank you for sharing the story of all your hard work!

  7. Hello, it was bought from a small homewares shop about a year ago! The brand is Rhubarb - from memory I think it was quite cheap!

    Cheers, Alischa


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