Sunday, August 14, 2011

Changing houses hits Hawthorne



Edit 16/08/11: The title of this picture should have been “This Is Not My Home” because it isn’t. Sorry to anyone who I inadvertently misled. It was meant to be a generic house, but I can see why you would think otherwise. I don’t feel that our home is particularly photogenic, but I felt I sort of “owed” you all a pic, so you can now find one right at the bottom of the post (heavily processed to improve its appeal).

No, no, we’re not going to be on TV (thank heavens!) but we are finally going to be making some changes to our home and hopefully putting our own mark on the place.

We bought here (a three bedroom ground floor unit built in 1994) back in 2003, just before moving to Melbourne for two years. It was sort of our safety net. A way to say yes, we are heading south to live and hopefully have some adventures in a “real city”, while knowing we have a home back near our families, where we can return.

When we moved back two years later because the family needed us, there wasn’t really time or money (or energy) to do much other than move in and get on with life. But many years later, the time finally seems right(ish).

At the start of this year, we made grand plans for a renovation that would fine-tune the space we have to our (somewhat unusual) needs and lifestyle. Our “forever home” as Kirsti of Location, Location is so fond of saying.


Then we spent a month in Paris and we realized a few things. We saw that part of the reason we both become a bit disenchanted with the world is that Brisbane doesn’t actually offer us much of the things we love. High on this list for us is a sense of a long, long history and culture (with the appropriate buildings, layers of time, and yes, dirt & grime). On a bad day, I could go on and on about the things that Brisbane doesn’t offer and what it has replaced those things with, but it seems much more reasonable just to say, I’m sure some people love it, but it’s not for me!



At the moment we have “family things” that we want to do, but they won’t take forever, and then we will look to move elsewhere (exactly where is still undecided). In the meantime, it changes the way we think about this unit and the work we will do. Yes, now it’s 17 years old it’s definitely time for a refurb but if it’s a given that we don’t intend to stay here forever, the changes we make need to take that into account.

So you can see that there’s been a lot of thinking, discussing and heart-searching going on here, in this little unit, as well as practical decisions about a new kitchen and new floorboards to replace the horrible carpet. And of course, quite a lot of work in the studio towards the BAO edition with its approaching deadline (which I promise I will post about just as soon as I have time.IMG_0787crop

EDIT: 16/08/11

our-house                                                                      Our Home

We live on the ground floor behind the high fence. I may be a city girl and unit dweller, but I still like to have my feet on the ground.


  1. Ooh! The challenges! The angst! The hopes!
    Yes, Amanda, you take your time and the rest of us will be patient.
    And I know what you mean about Brisbane not offering what many would like.

  2. These issues are really heart-wrenching, but exciting at the same time. I must say your house IS pretty. Nice red paint and great trees! So at least it can nurture you a little until the next phase arrives. It's wonderful to have options!

  3. Ah I'm sorry I've misled you. The lovely red house isn't ours. It's one a few streets away I photographed when I was out walking. Our building is pretty dull, just cream brick, 5 units (apartments) in the block. We do have a lovely big tree at the front and I've planted lots of bromiliads and succulents in the bed around the tree, which are flourishing. The architecture of the building itself is however, dull in the extreme!

  4. Yes I know exactly what you mean. If you came here to our village you would probably be enthralled by the countryside, the greeness, the old buildings etc. etc. but to me, though I appreciate it, it's still 'not me' and the only place I really feel 'right' is by the sea: having just returned from a week by the seaside, I can say that with real conviction :O)

    As you know, we also had to do major renovations and building work last year for practical purposes. To be honest it was a hard row to hoe but it has been well worth it.

    Hope your refurb. goes well and that in time you can relocate to a place that really feeds your spirit and soul

  5. I spy a purty book.....

    I also spy a soul in search of its true home... I hope it finds it (you know what I think about homes...)

  6. Hi Amanda, it's interesting isn't it, how we sometimes travel along one path with what we think are quite reasonable expectations, and then a trip or some other incident jolts us into realising that we want soemthign slightly different...I hope the decisions and choices over the next while work out well and that 'home' becomes a place which feeds your spirits...go well.