When you get the keys to your new home, you get to see it without someone else’s furniture in it. It looks different than how you remembered it. With any luck, it looks better. It also reveals the truth of what is ahead of you. There is nowhere to hide.
That new home feeling
We knew that this run down old fibro beach house needed some serious love and attention.
But somehow the excitement of stepping over the threshold into your new home blinkers you to the stark reality of the work ahead. The dreamer in you only has eyes for its full potential and you can’t wait to get stuck in and nurse it back to health.
We did get a bit of a shock when we saw the garden again though. This photo shows the front garden when we viewed the house. I can’t find any photos around the time we moved in, but you can imagine the difference that 3 months of Spring weather made. All I can say is that it was a wilderness.
Creating a blank canvas
Before this big move to our new home on the Northern Beaches, we were all living in the City. We decided to spend a few weekends at the house doing some basic demolition works, cleaning and painting whilst the house was empty. Just so we had a clear, blank canvas before moving our belongings in.
It turned out to be a good decision as it would have been so much more difficult to have done that with 4 people (and a large dog!) living in the house.
When we first viewed this house, it was very full. The previous owners were creative souls and they had probably spent many years collecting much loved furniture and works of art. So after they had moved out, we were pleasantly surprised when we stood in the empty space and it felt bigger.
I took these photos at the time. They aren’t great quality but they will give you an idea of how we started off inside the house. This was our living room before it was painted.
Ahhh, renovation romance
There was no furniture in the new house yet, so we camped out on the living room floor. We were lucky as it was a fairly dry winter with plenty of sunny days. Thankfully, an Aussie winter is nowhere near as cold as an Irish winter, but it was still pretty chilly those nights without heaters and we lit the big open fire in the living room in the evenings to stay warm.
Initially, we had no electricity and no gas. All work was completed during daylight hours and we either ate out or had takeaway meals sitting on the floor by candlelight.
Once the electricity was connected, dinner was restricted to whatever we could produce with a kettle and microwave. It’s amazing what you can come up with when you need to. By the time we had proper cooking facilities installed I had mastered everything from boiling eggs in the kettle to producing steamed fish dinners in the microwave.
It was all great fun and very romantic in a dusty, smelly paint kind-of-way. Sometimes, it’s the simple things in life that hold the best memories, don’t you think?
What was the first thing you did when you moved into your home? Ever camped on the living room floor?