For those not playing along at home, yes we live in a teeny tiny 1930’s farmhouse, and yes we are expecting our second child soon. So, where to house said child?! Or more to the point, where to shove his/her big sister, you ask? Well, even since when we lived here at Brindabella in 2010-11 before we had children, our grand plan was to convert a fairly spacious storage room at the rear of our carport into my sewing and creative space. With baby no.2 now on the way our ‘sometime-in-the-future-plan’ has found a much needed purpose and drive to happen before this Winter! Eleanor will be moving bedrooms into our third (and smaller) bedroom, which currently houses my sewing room/study and where Matt works from home occasionally. This space will be finding a new home out in the carport room to make way for ‘Eleanor’s Big Girl Room’, then leaving her still fairly gender neutral nursery for baby.
Still following? Good. Here’s what our chaotic storage room looked like to kick things off, ey ye ey…
And I can hear your thoughts now: but where will all this stuff go?! Good question – ha! Well, as the room is quite long (about 5.5m x 2.5m) we planned to split it into two-third’s sewing room/office and keep one-third as a store room. A big ask perhaps to cull all that stuff, but honestly a good excuse to be a bit ruthless! Just because we had this storage space I’m sure we’ve kept things we simply don’t need. It’s also a case of anyone and everyone knowing about said space… “Hey, Matt and Emma have that storage room.” Yeah. That. So, a lot isn’t even ours. And a lot needs to go. And the rest needs to stored more efficiently in custom built shelving and tubs and what-not.
Firstly, we cleared out all the stuff and Matt got to work removing the old sheeting (thankfully not asbestos) from the walls and ceiling, giving us a blank canvas to work from…
We actually completely flipped on it’s head, quite literally, what our original plan was – with the storage room up the other end of the space and the sewing room/office down the western end. Once we cleared the space out though it was fairly apparent that it would be such a better idea to have the new room orientated to the east, with a new window looking out into the backyard to watch the billy lids play under our chestnut tree. Much better. Matt set about not only installing the new window on the eastern wall to overlook the backyard, but I was just plain painful and asked him to move the existing window a foot to the left. And he did it. What a champion.
Now came the building of the bones – putting in a new door for the storage room (which you will enter from the carport, there’s no access between the two rooms, no need) and of course the dividing wall to split the space up into two rooms. We also had to sort out exactly what our plans were for this luxurious new space of ours. This was tricky, I thought we would build the room and then the ideas for furniture placement and cabinetry would come to me…but Matt wanted all those decisions done and dusted before he started plastering, as he might need to build more re-enforcement into the walls (which he did, for a fold down cutting table he is building me and the wall cabinetry we have planned). We also insulated both rooms, hoping that this won’t be too frigidly cold in Winter…maybe?!
Matt had a week off work over January to get started on Operation Brindabella Carport, but since being back at work obviously renovation works have come to a slower pace, limited to after work at nights and weekends. Through it all we’ve had a very willing, but perhaps not so able, apprentice by our side: Site Foreman Eleanor at your service! She has been very ‘helpful’ to Daddy, passing him screws and arranging his screwdrivers just so. I really wanted to get her a little mini tool belt to wear, until Matt pointed out he still hasn’t received his own from last year’s Fathers Day gift voucher. Oh. My bad…
Stay tuned for Episode #2 in our renovating adventures for our new sewing room and home office space – involving the never ending plastering and painting efforts, urrrrggghhh!!! I’m positively certain it will all be worth it when we have this fabulous new studio in the backyard and two kids bedrooms in the house…but honestly, who’d be a painter?! As I said to Matt last night at 11.20pm whilst we were painting: “Probably plasterers…”
Looks great! I’m keen to see how you fit out your storage area. We are undertaking a similar project under our house with the creation of a ‘family cave’ (workshop/storage room, rumpus room and powder room) that opens out to the backyard and am on the hunt for some great storage solutions!
I am sure the extra space inside will make this well worth it. Can’t wait to see the finished product.
Jo @ Country Life Experiment says
We are getting close to starting our Reno and seeing yours has got me excited. Can’t wait to see your finished room #jealous
Oh yours is going to be so epic! So glad this isn’t in our actual house. With a toddler. Ugh. Although after this is done we’re moving proceedings inside to get Eleanor’s new room/baby’s nursery painted so stay tuned for that disaster…