Friday, March 2, 2012

I delight: Our house

To offset the previous rant I feel I should now cover a few positives.  It is a lovely quiet still night and I can hear waves crashing, which I love.  Coming up over the next few posts are a few more things I delight in.

First up is our house.  Apparently the summer that finished yesterday was the second hottest on record for this part of the world, and the hottest summer for 34 years.  But the thing is, compared to our first summer here - which was a complete nightmare and drove me quite mad - this one didn't feel so bad.  That is probably partly due to us taking the advice of locals and "lowering our expectations" of what is achieveable here in summer;  I have given up all hope of doing normal things like gardening or trying to use walking or cycling as forms of transportation during the height of summer.

But a larger part of it has to do with the fact that the house we bought and now live in is a squillion times more comfortable than the design-crime we were renting last summer.  Plus our utility bills at this house are tiny.  The irony is that this house is much older than the one we were renting and cost us significantly less to buy than that would have cost us.

This is no fluke. After the heat of last summer drove me mad I decided to take action.  We chose this particular house after doing a lot of research and reading.  Our house choice and renovations have achieved what we'd hoped thanks to the amazing resource that is The Sustainable Mandurah Home, the excellent sustainable housing collection held by Mandurah Libraries and the inspiring and informative content of Green magazine and Sanctuary magazine.  While reading for pleasure is undoubtedly a wonderful thing, reading to learn is still my all-time favourite.

We still have plenty more improvements planned for our house (the kitchen still needs a major overhaul and the outside is no oil painting - and for me, buying an ugly house was a very hard decision to make), but I am happy to report that despite another stinking hot summer, this year none of us went mad.

And while the angles are different, here is an idea of what the place looked like when we bought it.
I can't quite believe I bought that! No wonder my daughter thought I really had gone mad.


  1. Lovely to see the photos of your house(finally) and I'm pleased to hear it's held up well to the WA summer temperatures. Crazy really; here we are in the same country yet I had the heating on for the first time today and have spent the afternoon and evening at a friend's place in front of a blazing log fire. Definitely not as much call over here for the flimsy summer clothes I packed when I left NZ to go to WA.

  2. My flimsy summer clothes have disintegrated but when I went to the shops the other day all the winter stuff was in, which here gets worn for about 4 weeks. Mental. Have had to take up sewing again.
    Oh, we dream of sitting by a fire. We have a logburner in the house and Beate gave me her woodpile so we can't wait for winter, mild as it is.

  3. Wow! What a transformation! The place looks fantastic.

  4. Oh the house is looking so lovely Deidre. Isn't it lovely to have pictures up where you have chosen to hang them as opposed to where the hooks already are in a rental property. Hope you are having a fabulous day.