30/52 {the house of chaos}

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Our ‘renovators delight’ Queenslander home has been the recipient of some love lately. After being in our house for six years and doing a few minor improvements here and there, we recently underwent some more significant renovations, in what we’re calling ‘phase one’ – knocking down a wall between the lounge and dining room, moving internal stairs and installing a new kitchen.

It’s been a great learning curve for us. With the guidance of my brother David’s wonderful building team at Jackbuilt*, we have undergone the process of choosing taps and appliances, deciding where powerpoints will go and what type of bench tops we’ll have. And there have been plenty of times we have let the builders make decisions on our behalf, in situations where we weren’t particularly passionate about the outcome and knowing that they are great at making calls in our best interests. Along with his polite and friendly team, and a web-based program/app we could use to communicate with the tradies and keep track of the project, David made the whole process pretty easy and low-stress for us.

We spent the first two weeks of the building project away from the house on holidays, but the remaining two weeks the house was safe to return to, even if the project wasn’t complete. But even with great builders, living with the noise and dust and chaos of a building site isn’t ideal. Nicholas would leap into my arms at the sound of any particularly loud noise, and he certainly wasn’t napping on the days builders were present. We have piles and piles of displaced items still needing to be cleaned, sorted and re-homed, but without the project being completely finished and a layer of dust on everything downstairs, it’s been hard to find the time or motivation to clear the chaos. And with a level of household chaos, everyone in our house is a little extra crazy.

But I know things will settle down, the chaos will be cleared and we’ll be less crazy before long. Already, the more open-plan living area has made a massive difference to how we live at home, and I’m loving being able to do things such as watch the boys do a project at our dining table while I’m cooking dinner. The walk-in pantry and updated appliances in a much more functional kitchen are already making life easier. I know that the short term pain of living through a renovation will mean significant lifestyle benefits, and we’re looking forward to finishing off phase one with internal painting and polishing floorboards over the next school holidays.

More photos to come when I’ve cleared a little more of the chaos 😉

*I know that I’m probably biased because he’s my brother and I really like him, but even so, they really were great.

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The ‘before’ shot of our kitchen, prior to the renovation. I wonder if we’ll miss our retro vinyl floors.
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Ta-da! Quick shot of the new kitchen while it’s momentarily clean.

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nicholas: When a new friend in the Down syndrome community visited Brisbane, it was a good excuse for us to wander in to South Brisbane and visit GOMA and the State Library for a Saturday morning catchup. You loved pushing pushing the rods into the holes to create your very own constellation of stars at the Swags and Swamp Rats exhibition in the kids area of GOMA. 
Mummalove-52-30-6Mummalove-52-30-4charlie: Since receiving your last Transformer toy, you have been carrying around and sleeping with the Transformer catalogue until the pages have fallen out, worn and tattered. You had your heart set on ‘Strafe’ becoming your very own and counted down the days until you could go out on your special ‘Charlie day’ with Grandma and Grandpa, when you would be able to buy this creature. And now, here he is. You are so lucky.

Joining in the 52 Project at Practising Simplicity ~ a portrait of my youngest boys every week in 2015.

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