1st attempt at Shabby Chic

Once begun, half done – one of my favourite inspirations. And, we have begun our mammoth reno, but it’s a long way from being ‘half done’.

I’ve completed two out of six chairs, giving them a shabby chic look. The table is almost complete as well. I’m happy with the result so far, and I should have the remaining four chairs completed over the coming week.

An Annie Sloan paint job takes dark to white.

An Annie Sloan paint job takes dark to white.

Paul’s started filling the knot holes in the wood panelling, and he’s taken the chain saw to some of the garden, removing a few unwanted trees and giving one tree that we hope to keep a massive trim up. Hopefully, we haven’t pruned it into the never, never, but if we have, it’s better gone than in the terrible state of neglect it was in.

A lot of dark wood panelling to paint.

A lot of dark wood panelling to paint.

And more painting needed in the bedroom.

And more painting needed in the bedroom.

We’ve arranged a plumber to re-do our bathroom, and will arrange all the fittings early next week. We’ve arranged a handyman to fix our carport – Paul will help him. We’ve designed a remodelled kitchen, but haven’t as yet decided on the style of cupboards etc. We’ve arranged a builder to come and quote on the removal of an internal wall, a new ceiling in the living area and a few other things. And we’ve arranged a glazing company to come and quote on replacing the rotting wooden window frames with double glazed aluminium windows. So, a lot of the ground work is under way. Now it’s just a matter of time and elbow grease to get it all happening.

The existing bathroom, comes complete with shower over a 1970s mission brown bath - picture perfect - so not!

The existing bathroom, comes complete with shower over a 1970s mission brown bath – picture perfect – so not!

Tomorrow though is going to be a caravan day. We’ve almost emptied our van, but it needs a really thorough clean and a wipe over with a solution of oil of cloves in water to prevent any mould building up over the winter months. We miss living in our rig, and are almost certain we’ll be back on the road again by the end of summer. We’re feeling the cold and damp, and we received an email from our Road trip friends Lucy and Wally today. They’re up at Cape York for the winter – living the dream. And we’re so envious…..


Back from the UK

We’re back from our trip to the UK. Wasn’t the holiday we had hoped for, or the holiday we had planned. Unfortunately Paul’s dad was sick, so we never made it to Italy for our tour. The whole holiday ended up being a sequence of unfortunate events, and it would take a book to list all the things that went wrong. Anyway, enough tears have been shed over that, and apart from trying to claim the cost of the Italian tour back on our travel insurance, it’s now best put behind us.

We have bought a cheap weatherboard (wood) house in Tasmania. It needs a lot of TLC, so we’ve put our ‘Life of Riley On Wheels’ on hold for at least the remainder of this year whilst we get this place sorted out. Most likely we’ll be here in Tassie until the beginning of next winter.

I was going to attempt to start a second blog for the Riley Renovation Project, but without my grandson Tim in my back pocket, I wouldn’t know where to start as far as setting a blog up from scratch. So, rather than sending individual emails and photos to friends and family that may be interested in how this old house progresses, I’m going to continue posting updates here. Apologies to anyone who has been following this blog for the travel information only. It will be continued one day……

And now for a little bit about the house. The house is in Deloraine, a little town of just over 2000 people located in the north of Tassie about 30 minutes drive from both Launceston and Devonport. The house is on about 1500 sq metres of land, and both the house and the land need a lot of TLC to make them presentable.

The house had been a rental property, so no money or time has been spent on it I’m sure for some time. We can see potential here though……We think!!

We’re not sure of the age of the house, but we estimate it’s probably around 50 – 60 years old. It has casement windows which all need replacing, is lined with dark pine boards inside, which we will have ripped off and replaced with gyprock. It has an internal bathroom consisting of a hand basin and a brown bath with a shower over the bath, and there is a second shower, and the only toilet in the laundry which is located in an enclosed porch at the rear of the house. The kitchen is about as old and uncared for as the rest of the house, although the oven is reasonable.

As yet, we’re still to take a look at the floorboards currently hidden by a really grotty brown carpet. We’re hoping for the floorboards to be in reasonable condition, but just in case they’re not, we’ve postponed pulling up the carpet for a good look for now. We both feeling rather fragile after the unfortunate events of our holiday, and we have the flu (and it is the flu, not a cold – up there with the worst we’ve ever had), so we’ll save the removal of the carpet until we’re better able to deal with what is underneath. Fingers crossed, it’ll be a pleasant surprise.

The positives of the house – it has a long, high carport which accommodates the Travel home, although this also needs work. It’s located in Deloraine which we love. It has a fire in the lounge room. Other than that, there’s not much going for it. But, believe it our not, that’s a bonus. It means we get to do the whole house and garden almost exactly as we want it to be, instead of having to put up with something we’re not that fond of just because it’s too good to replace. Believe me, there’s nothing in this house that’s too good to replace…. LOL!!

Whether or not we do the house up for re-sale, to rent out, or just to use ourselves as a summer base remains to be seen. One thing we’re certain of is that apart from this winter we don’t intend to be spending winters here in Tassie. It’s way to cold…. We think that we managed to get the house for a price that should mean which ever way the future takes us, we shouldn’t loose.

For now though – we have a ‘project’. And what’s life without a project. Watch this space for photos.