Friday, October 29, 2010

The Shack

Over at The Brown Trading Co. Keren posted about this little gem. She must have been calling out to me! I hope she gets it for me for Christmas. Otherwise I will just have to buy it myself.

Go to The Brown Trading Co. new blog to read more HERE
And add her to your blog roll. It is shaping up into a fantabulous blog!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lonny Mag October

You know the drill. Click. Click. Ohhhh and Ahhhhh  HERE

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Images and Finance

It seems some of the banks feel this church property is "out of their lending criteria" so this is posing to be painful.

However, working through it slowly.

Now, onto some images I love

I really want an eating nook

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Swear

Sorry, this is a boring post. But essential as I swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Firstly, I have been surprised and amused that as I ask the universe for something, it appears. Big things and little things. From the actual church, to linen cupboard ideas - at the moment they seem to just appear!  Like this Church conversion currently being sold by a sister of a friend of mine. They are selling this as they have bought a beautiful barn style place to renovate in the country. All things church are coming into my life - how exciting.

See more HERE

Anyway, back to boring. I am sitting here waiting on finance issues. It seems there are no problems with servicing the loan or current valuations, but just that the bank is a little unsure of the purchase of the church.

Well on paper it is not promising....
Here we have a shell of an former church built sometime around 1880 on a small block in the middle of nowhere. It has electricity and a couple of lights, but no bathroom, sewerage or kitchen. It is currently zoned rural agriculture. No dwelling. It needs a lot of work.
If I was the bank I don't thing I would approve that.  So we have had to go in from the angle of 'potential' and 'future value' it has been interesting to say the least.

There have been involved talks with the Building Certifiers regarding the church being classed as a 'Dwelling'. If this is not completed, it would be a disadvantage at the time of sale (if I wanted to sell that is) but I am also a big believer in getting everything completed properly.

So that is where things are at with the Church.

Oh! And after some research at the National Library I have discovered a little more about the timing of the Church construction. The school opened in 1886 and I have been told the church was constructed before the school. So, we could even have a 1870s antique on our hands!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces

Yep, this is one I need! With the Church measuring a tight 7m x 5m my creativeness needs to SHINE!

According to Maxwell, size constraints can actually unlock your design creativity and allow you to focus on what’s essential. Well that is what I need!

He shares forty small, cool spaces which he claims will change your thinking forever.

From the blurb:
These apartments and houses demonstrate hundreds of inventive solutions for creating more space in your home, and for making it more comfortable. Leading us through entrances, living rooms, kitchens and dining rooms, bedrooms, home offices, and kids’ rooms, Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces is brimming with ingenious tips and ideas, such as:
 Shifting the sense of scale through contrasting colors
  • Adding airiness by using transparent collections
  • Utilizing the area under a loft bed for a kitchen and mini-bar
  • Tucking an office with chic vintage doors into an unused bedroom corner

My going with The Book Depository because they are super cheap and have free world wide delivery.
Are there any other books I should buy? For decor, design, home keeping?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Steeped in History

How amused I was when my solicitor emailed me an RP and asked me to indicate where the block we are purchasing actually is! I phoned her immediately and we had a good laugh over the phone about how old this plan was, that the roads are no longer named as they are marked on this plan, that the County was spelt wrong so they just put a little ^ and corrected it, that the Parish was completely incorrect and that they Proprietor had to agreed to the subdivision and sign his name -'James Barclay Junior' Click on image to enlarge.

Now I feel even more excited about the history of this little Church. Wondering of weddings, baptisms and no doubt many a Christmas mass were conducted here. Could people have attended James Barclay Junior's funeral at the church too? I am going to make it my business to find out!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ikea Delights

If Ikea is good enough for Joni at Cote de Texas then its good enough for me!

In her post 'No Excuses Allowed' she talks about how great Ikea is for those on a budget. With a bit of planning and some basic design ideas you can create a fantastic room and even stylishly furnish a whole house within a budget.

She quotes
"if I was starting out today, or if I was furnishing a vacation house, I would run to IKEA and buy their slipcovered sofa in white"
She has linked a company Bemz located in Sweden which has recently come out with a new line of Belgian linen fabric slips, which they call their “Loose Fit Country” line.  Not totally cheap.... but very beautiful... see...

A good friend has just refurnished her children's retreat fantastically with new desks build out of some of the kitchen bench range, some day beds which convert to double beds and a new slimline TV cabinet, all within a modest budget but oozing with style. It looks fantastic!

If I can primarily fit out the Church with Ikea, splattered with a small helping of some Queensland Antiques I have been hording (a few Rosenstengel pieces) and some of my black and white photos I think it would be perfection. No french this time. Something different. Rustic. But clean.

I have always loved Ikea, but our love is deepening. I think we are going to be honeymooning together frequently over the next few months. Check out Ikea's new catalogue online HERE.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Site Plan & Floor Plan

So here are the vendor's site and floor plans for those interested. Really? Honestly? Who would put a full size kitchen and dining area in a house this small? And is there really any point of the expense of a small 2m wide veranda? Not sure. Yes, well, needless to say I will not be proceeding with everything on this suggested floor plan. My idea is to spend only what is required to produce a comfortable result. It is important that everything is 'in keeping'.

The idea I have is to create rooms with furniture, not walls. And lets face it, unless it is raining or we are sleeping we are unlikely to spend too much time inside. Well, that is unless I put in a little fire place or pot belly stove... maybe.

I am so lucky to have the most amazing ex husband (long story) who has an open builder's licence so I am set on that count.

This marks out on either side of the house the suggested irrigation area for the sewerage plant

New Spring Beginnings

On the first day of Spring it was all finalised.  The girls at work keep calling me 'The Land Baroness Capitalist' You can always count on them to make you laugh!

I am now working on plans and sewerage and council. All fun times and you will be amused to know that the sleepless nights have started. Dreaming of wall sconces was last nights thoughts while staring at the ceiling. And my good friend Kt has suggested I start a video blog to keep up with everything. I am considering that.

So I have to arrange a meeting with council next week. I asked my solicitor to create a clause for me to assist with any issues the council may have and this clause was built into the contract:
This contract is subject to and conditional upon the buyer/s at his/her/ their expense undertaking all reasonable town planning inquiries within 21 days of the date of this contract of the relevant Municipal Council as to whether the improvements to the property may be converted to a habitable/residential premises and to further undertake all Heritage/Character inquiries as to the property. In the event the results of the inquiries are unsatisfactory to the buyers, this contract may be terminated and the deposit monies refunded in full.

I am also slightly concerned that my usual home insurer will not cover the Church. This is because it is not classed as livable because there is no bathroom and kitchen. So off to find an insurer today. How awful a situation to have it burn down before we can even start. Gosh, that makes me feel horror!

Today's To Do List
Obtain insurance
Phone my onsite sewerage designer and get him on the case
Obtain a price for VJ paneling
Continue thinking about outdoor room options which will suit in lieu of a deck (HELP)

Sorry for the different path this has now taken. Do not fear, the lakehouse is still bubbling along, it is just a bigger and long term project. Is it ok to take you all on this journey here or should I start a new blog?

Can not stop thinking about building an open fire again and toasting marshmallows

Bellamore Circa 2009

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Playing Tennis

When you know how much a vendor has spent on a property (damn you RPData) it makes it very difficult to tolerate any B.S. when they try to tell you what you should be paying. Especially if they have done nothing but use the place as a storage facility and watch it waste away... poor little church. 

Anyway, while we play that game of tennis with the contract going back and forward with conditions and a thousand dollars here and there, I am googling away and maybe on the search for a copy of Jan/Feb 2010 issue of Elle Decor. Anyone... anyone?

Linda at Surroundings featured a transformed 175-year-old church Check it out on THIS blog and more details are in the Elle Decor as mentioned above.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Church - An Update

Sorry for the confusion everyone!

We are looking to buy the church and land as it is located currently as a weekender to renovate for family and friends (hopefully for a project this summer) if we can get it for the right price.

This will also give us an idea of the local area and tradesman working rurally and build relationships for building the lake house.

Will keep you all posted.

A HEAP of work

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Falling in Love

Loving this

Loving this

Not loving this
Or this... but heaps of potential - no asbestos! YAY

So there you have it. More info to come asap.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Church needs an Owner

Like the pining in the eyes of the doggies while I look at the RSPCA Adopt a Pet page in the newspaper... that is how I feel when I look at cute rural cottages and sweet old places.

I have kept my eye on this place a while now. It is so cute. I would LOVE to get my hands on it and fix it up. But you cant have everything right.

Although I am working on trying to have my mother to buy it. She loves it too. I think the idea of the flowing creek for the grandchildren to play in was what got her across the line.

Then I will have another little project to work on. Yep, just what I need!

Cute - TICK
Leafy - TICK
Lovely vista - TICK
Power - TICK
Street appeal - TICK
Potential - DOUBLE TICK

The only large expense is sewerage / septic and never fear I have become quite the expert on that little topic!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Fire Place

Probably should have stated this in my last post. I actually own the house I am considering moving to the lake. So it is just a matter of working that in as AN option or THE option.  So I am working with AN option and we are going to complete a bit of due diligence on this idea and see what we come up with.

My main issue is that it will not be exactly what I want and the front of the house hosts two of the bedrooms and the back of the house the kitchen and outdoor area. So then comes the question - Do you have the bedrooms looking out to the water or the kitchen (with potential deck and outdoor dining area?) Or do you have the front facing the entry from road with the lounge and one of the bedrooms to the lake. But then I need to keep street appeal in mind too and how it will look over all on the block. Big decisions.

Anyway, onto a little fireplace post:

I am having a fireplace no matter what. I have never understood the closed fireplace idea. And modern fireplaces just do not make sense. To me a fireplace is something which should be kept traditional and not messed with too much. Well that said, not caveman style! More federation, open fireplace style.... you get my drift right?

Anyway... this is the fireplace I am planning to recreate.

Very old and 'nothing' photo but only one I could find without launching a search party through disks or waiting to take a photo and then load it etc etc. Life is busy people!

What works:

I like that it is elevated from the floor. You don't have to bend too far to stoke it and it also creates more of a feature in the room as it is closer to eye level. It also works very well in a smaller space.

I like that there is a little mantel on the top which is basic.

This fireplace draws like a dyson which some people might say is not efficient when it comes to fuelling it? Hey, for years I had unlimited firewood supply and for me its about being able to sit there and enjoy the feel of it. I can promise you it does not ever smoke up the house or make anything smell of smoke. It is fantastic!

I like this simple design. What are everyone's thoughts?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

To Move a House

So here goes.

I have an option to move a house from Brisbane to the lake.

It has potential, but would be a lot of work too and maybe not exactly what I would 'design' myself.
It is circa 1915. Very high ceilings. Bullnose veranda (once the 1950s additions are removed along with the asbestos eeewwww) Three bedrooms, beautiful wide timber floor boards which are in good condition.

But do I really want the issues of house relocation? What I do know though, is that if I don't move this house it will be either demolished or moved by someone else. The demolishing makes me sad though.
Please share any stories.
Lounge Area

Friday, July 30, 2010

Cabbages and Roses on SRT

The Girls at The Skirted Roundtable have impressed me again. Most guests have interesting and inspiring stories to tell. This week Christina Strutt of UK's Cabbages and Roses and author of her latest book At Home With Country: Bringing the Comforts of Country Home.

Go HERE to listen.
I really like the dark timber and white contrast.
Although I would have to tidy up that sideboard.

Timber! 'Fodder' for the fireplace. Yes!

Yes. Must have a sofa like this. With some different cushions though.
I like that the sides are not too high so I could prop up a little pillow to lay down and read.

The New Book - Off to order at American Book Store tonight.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bedroom Love

This week I met briefly with a designer to talk about elevations. I am going to start there and work my way to the inside. When building modern residential project homes, mostly you choose your floor plan, then the elevation. That is not what I am looking for.

How exciting to see how it will evolve from the outside in!

I have previously posted of a couple of elevations I am very fond of and we are working with those to come up with something which will suit. I really want to work with sun angles to make the most of warmth and cool.

I will also spend this weekend stalking some recently purchased Australian magazines. There are currently LOADS of country styled places making their way to the front covers of the glossy mags this month. Yay for me.

Also, a HUGE welcome to my newest follower Sandy Foster of the most beautiful blog My Shabby Streamside Studio which I posted last week. I am so honoured and excited for her and her project. Sandy, you are my hero!

Onto a smaller and pretty project.  I am working on getting this bedhead made. I am even thinking of attempting it myself! I love it. And have loved this fabric for a few years now. I will use it now and then it will be sent to Heaven at the Lake.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Bella Cottage

Could be the smallest lived in cottage in the world! Love to have this as a little guest house.

Over at Daisy Pink Cupcake is where I found My Shabby Streamside Studio .

I will leave you with just the photos of this cottage and a note that I love this woman's gusto with a drill and her little under step home for it. Would the name of a drill which lives under the stairs be called Harry Potter!? Boom Boom!

The drill under the stairs - Cute

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


For as long as I can remember I have wanted an Aga. Why? I just like the look of them. I am not sure about performance and all of that important stuff. I just love them. Why wouldn't I!!??

This weeks Brisbane News refreshed my memory by featuring an Aga on their "Loves" page. So I will go and check out Aussie BBQ's and Fireplaces at Murrarie

From an article in The Age in 2007 titled Gaga for Aga
"THE question has intrigued me for some time. Why do so many middle-aged women get steamed up over a big hot box that squats in their kitchen and has as much steel as a small Korean car, but costs twice as much?"

Makes me laugh. I'm not middle age!

If anyone has strong feelings about Aga, please note them below.

I would love to have either of these:

Maybe the second one is too big.

What my budget would probably only allow:

The Sunday Roast Aga Teapot

No, this one is probably more my style and takes me back to my heritage:

The Italian Aga Teapot

Yet they do say about the Aga:
"When you have one, you have this wonderful relationship with the kitchen. There's some dishes you put in the simmering oven when you go to bed and they are ready by breakfast-time. It is always there and always ready."
Is $17,000 too much to pay for an oven?

Maybe at a tenth of the price ($1,700) and about a tenth of the style too I should get a Thermomix instead.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Homes in the UK

The only hard copy magazines I consume now are the following:

Home Beautiful (because it was a free subscription for signing up with Origin Electricity)
BBC Homes and Antiques (UK)
Country Style

Sometimes another one might grab my attention and beg me to take it home or a wonderful agent from Belle Property may drop me off the current issue of Belle. Or a good friend may bring me one as a treat. But otherwise, I find so many beautiful images, ideas and inspiration through the blog world that I have no reason to buy anything more.

So, back to homes in the UK.

Check out this beautiful place which I have scanned out of my current issue of Homes and Antiques.

I like the contrast of the outside to the inside. I kind of 'don't judge a book by the cover' feel. You may expect a dark, musty place filled with old books and chipped china. But its anything but all of that!

I like the bed net idea for a guest room / office.

I love the bath... I miss my claw foot bath. MUST HAVE

I like the exposed beams to create more space / light.

I like the use in two rooms of bench seats against the tables which in one has created a kitchen nook without it being built in (renters take note there!)

I do love the white slip cover look however I know I am a more structured person and I would forever be fiddling with them to straighten them up. So not sure about that one.

What you may have missed (because the photos are quite small)

The kitchen is nice. (peeling veggies in my high heels is not my thing though and I would probably trip on that mat and smash my face against something - I am a clutz)

I want this tea pot!

A question. Would you believe this is a kit home?  Oh yes-sir-ree!

Oh I wish some of these companies were in Australia.

Oakwrigths - oak framed houses with a traditional feel.

Potton - Classic (barns) or contemporary looks and a bespoke service.

There are so many more places too, if you would like my bevy of kit home websites contact me. But trust me, there is nothing as good in Australia. Please advise if you do find one.  Otherwise, Australia should be ashamed of itself.

THIS is the only half decent place I have found yet, if you want a cubby!