Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Necessity is the mother of all invention during a live-in reno

I'm not really going to  miss this room.
While living in the middle of a building site for several months sounds like a nightmare to most, to James and I it just makes good sense.  I'd rather be able to afford to have a few more bells and whistles in our fit out than cook cordon bleu for a while!

After a hectic weekend of sorting out, letting the boys watch copious amounts of television and several bouts of takeaway the boxes were all packed and our kitchen was ready to be removed.  I put an ad up on Gumtree a few weeks ago to sell the whole kit and caboodle (cabinetry, stovetop, oven, sink, rangehood) for $350.  Given it was a timber kitchen it really was a steal (10 calls in 12 hours was also a good indication that it was priced well) but I couldn't bear the thought of it going into landfill and we didn't want to have to do any removing ourselves, so the deal was the buyer did all the hard yakka taking it out.  This all happened yesterday without too much drama.  It's fascinating to see the remaining carcass - all this will be demolished.

The main reason that we're able to stay here whilst the renovation takes place is that all the work is happening at the rear of the property and Ross is able to board off the work area leaving us with what is essentially a safe and secure 2 bed apartment.  We've got 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a large living area at our disposal.

The room will be "boarded off" from where the architrave is (and if anyone wants it let me know)

My solution to make our "apartment" work was for the boys to move into the front bedroom (previously used as a study),  turn the main bathroom (which is pretty big) into a kitchen and for us all to use our ensuite for the duration.  I must say I am pretty pleased with the kitchen.  The pictures speak for themselves:
Ta da! Note the toilet is taped up!
I've got microwave, weber bbq, 2 burner gas top, slow cooker and about 20 pre-cooked meals  and lots of baking in the freezer!
My dining table is sitting over the top of the bath - all my appliances (whizz, sandwich press etc) are sitting underneath.
Yes that is a pantry in the shower!
(note the taps weren't removed until after one small boy decided to see if they still worked...they did)
Check out my sink - sourced on Gumtree for $30.  Simply took the bathroom vanity out and voila!
I must admit I don't think the whole kitchen-bathroom deal would work so well without this fabulous find. 
Two breakfasts, two school lunches and two dinners down and no complaints...yet.
The paper towel holder of champions!! 
'What's for dinner?" - the question on everyone's lips at the end of the day!
So I'm feeling pretty relaxed about the whole live-in arrangement at present. Of course that's before it's all started and I might change my tune fairly quickly.  We're off to South West Rocks for the holidays and the demolition should happen whilst we're away.  No point hanging around asbestos removal; it's so expensive - about $1200 a room - just imagine I could be going 5 star rather than camping under the stars if we didn't have to pay for that!!


  1. Hi C, WOW - you're resourceful! You must have been cooking your butt off! I once lived through a reno, pregnant with first child, and no kitchen for the best part of 6 months! Made do with MW and BBQ - so it is do-able (just hope yours doesn't take that long!) One appliance I wish I had at the time was my Thermomix - it's the equivalent of 10 appliances rolled into one. Best of luck and I look forward to seeing lots of photos. xx

  2. You are a total legend. Love the whole set up and so agree with the money saving side of this.We too can board up the front half of the house but unfortunately only have one small bathroom at our place otherwise would do exactly this. The cracker for me was that paper towel spot! Cannot wait to see it all happening. mel x

  3. Wow this is amazing. I am in awe of your organizational skills. Good luck! F xx

  4. Oh Clarissa you are a total super star!! I loved the read. Am looking forward to seeing the progress post holidays. Happy renovating. Holly