The Building of The Lake House –

Once upon a time a young newly married couple scoured South East Queensland looking for a good place to settle.  As fate would have it after only a few weeks in Brisbane they both scored jobs in the same suburb!  It was a rapidly growing estate.  It was small and bushy but held great promise.  They bought a block of land as big and as close to the lake as they could afford.

Over the years as every time they walked along the lake, they said to themselves.  “How good is this!  We can never live anywhere else!” The community grew, a shopping centre, parks, public transport, schools.  Now they had everything they needed and no need to ever move.  But as they walked each afternoon they dreamed of a block of land on the other side of the lake.  A little island surrounded by two lakes, that would one day be developed and connected by a road.

Life happened and the couple had three children.  The family grew but alas the yard didn’t.  The house was more than adequate but the title family dreamed of a pool and a bigger kitchen and of course that land over on the island.

They would drop in to the land office occasionally, to enquire on timeframes of the island being developed. 1 year, 2 years, 4 years, 10 years passed and then…….

August 2015

“Dear Prospective Buyer,  We are excited to announce that premium land within the “Island” estate is set to be released this month”

We were completely unprepared.  I wasn’t working, we had a house to sell, we had so much to do but we knew these things happen quickly and this land would go quickly if we didn’t jump on it.

September 2015

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The never ending list making of jobs to be done in preparation to sell.

A major decluttering and cleaning of the house.  We decide to prepare the house for the inevitable.  Selling.  For the first time ever (we have prepared the house for market before) I am not sad but excited.  We have real and tangible plans in place, making the lake house a possibility.  Its amazing that it took the sale of the house to finally finish some projects that we had intended to do for the last 10 years!

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Finally finished painting Master O’s bedroom!

 2nd October 2015

Crunch time.  We need to sell our beloved house.  We are worried about a shortfall and want to be realistic on what size land we can afford.  We interview  and choose the real estate agents.

9th  October 2015

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Preparing for the real estate photos

Photos of the house taken and spiel written, signs prepared.

 12th October 2015

We put out much loved first family home on the market.  We had been tempted to do this so many times over the last few weeks but this land was the perfect temptation.  We went with a local agent that we had known for years.  Open homes are scheduled and the pictures hit the internet and now we wait!!!!

Week 10 – 17th October 2015

The land is RELEASED! Yep 10 weeks after the initial panicked email! As we were buying in a new development it wasn’t as easy as looking for a block and buying it.  The process would be complicated but we had been through all of it 11 years earlier.  An email is sent showing all the prospective lots, their size, location and price.  That is it!  You can’t see the land or drive past it, nothing!  Luckily we had already been given a bit of a heads up from the developer.  We have to submit 3 preferences and even then you are not guaranteed your block.  Land is in high demand and it depends on what conditions you place on your contract and how long you have been on the waiting list as to wether you will secure the block you want. We chose with these priorities in mind;

  1. Price
  2. Bigger than what we have
  3. As close to the lake as possible
  4. Flat as possible
  5. Corner (for side access) is a bonus

Week 11 – 26th October

The land is ours!  We only had one preference and we got it.  We had a feeling we would as the odds were in our favour after being on the waiting list for 10 years! Its slightly bigger than our old block, flat, on a corner and ON THE LAKE.  Absolute Lakefront.  The catch.  It wa over budget.  We decided it didn’t matter and went for it.

November

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Making the most of the Cubby while they can!

Nothing but dreaming, planning and living in the never ending hell of selling a house whilst you have 3 children.  Did I say hell?  ABSOLUTE HELL.  I don’t think I could ever do it again. Lots of interest but no one with a serious price.

December

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Our last Christmas in the house.

Contracts start.  The Land contract is finalised with a registration date of April, and the contracts and negotiations start on our house.  Literally up to the end of 2015.

31st December 2015

Unconditional contract on the house signed.  We celebrated and commiserated. This is it, no going back.

January

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This little guy greeted us as we moved into the rental.

Now that the house is sold a new kind of hell begins.  Packing up a house you have lived in for 10 years, whilst returning to full time work for the first time in 9 years and getting prepared for back to school and of course how can I forget….finding a rental.   Not wanting to spend a lot of money but wanting to stay in the same suburb proved quite difficult.  We ended up renting a house that I had never seen! It has 4 bedrooms and 2 living areas but everything is small and cheap.  Most definitely built to be a rental, corners have been cut everywhere.

My husband had it in his head that we could move by ourselves but after a day of it we realised that was not going to happen. My amazing in laws came to the rescue and we moved the weekend after school started. This also happened to be the hottest weekend of the year!

February

I have quietly had a builder in mind the whole time so we organised a meeting with them.  We know that with this particular block and to get our dream home, we will require a custom builder.  We looked for someone with knowledge of Queenslanders in the hope they would “get” our design ideas.  We are wanting a hamptons/coastal/modern queenslander home.  Think white weatherboard and a sprawling front porch.  We met with the builder and his wife in their divine old Queenslander.  It was truly a blessing to find someone who was not only so easy to communicate our ideas to but who was realistic and honest.  They are willing to take on the job and we leave absolutely ecstatic.

March

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Lake House dreaming.

With a folder full of ideas we meet with both the builder and Architect. The Architect operates separately form the builder but also works with him to ensure we all create a design that matches our budget.  The Architect is also a mother and at this meeting she is a few weeks off giving birth to her third baby! I am hoping Mother’s practicality and commonsense will influence her designs.

April

 We are still waiting for the land to be registered. As expected their are delays with the developer.  We eagerly drive by on the other side of the lake trying to make out our blocks boundaries between the trees. Our street has also now been given name.  Can you see how desperate we are for any updates!

May

The block is registered!  Finance is approved.   On the 17th of May 2016 we FINALLY got to drive on our block.  I say drive as we had to be escorted by the construction manager as it is still a construction zone.  Our feet didn’t get to walk on our block but it was oh so good to see it with our own eyes!

June

New satellite images of our block are released and we get a clearer picture of where it sits in relation to everything.  The contract is finalised, the block is settled and finally ours and we have the mortgage to prove it! Most excitingly we could visit the block with the builder and the architect !  This turned out to be a debacle of a day and again we were only allowed restricted access and had to remain in the vehicle.  Our block has been turfed around the edges, roads are done, we have gutters and a footpath is busily being laid.   Now that the Architect has physically seen the block she can start drafting plans!

and that is where we are at……the architect is drawing, the developer still won’t give us full access and we are waiting, waiting, waiting and trying to not kill each other living in this rental.

Now that I am all caught up I hope to update you all more frequently especially as this is where things are now going to start getting really interesting!  For all of our house inspiration check out our Lake House Pinterest Boards and #thelakehouse on Instagram.

 

Kids Bedroom Planning and Inspiration

 

We seem to be a family of bedroom swappers. Without a doubt every year we reassess the kids current bedroom situations and do a swap and reorganize. From shared rooms, to creating a nursery, to sharing a guest room, to everyone having their own room, the swapping never ends in a growing family!

A few years ago we made the decision for Master O and Little Miss A to share a room.  Although some thought this was a sure clue that baby #3 was coming along it was simply because they were begging us to share!  It was one of the best decisions we ever made and resulted in an amazing nights sleep for everyone!  Little Miss A would now wake up her big brother if she was scared instead of us.  It also meant they would wake each other up in the morning and sneak down to watch tv instead of coming into us to declare that they were awake!

But earlier this year Master O expressed a desire for his own space and we made the move to separate them.  We had one problem. This would mean that we would “lose” our guest bedroom.

We NEED a guest bedroom. Both of our families live far away so when they come to visit (which is often) they stay for an extended period of time and we need to have a dedicated room for them. So beds, beds, beds!  How would we make this work?  We decided to

  1. move Master O into the “Guest Bedroom”
  2. leave the Queen size bed in there and
  3. when guests come, he can move out into the lounge room on the sofa bed.

Simple. Except that’s as far as we got. We literally just moved his clothes into the cupboard and only in the last month got him a new queen size quilt.  With all our bedrooms now full, thanks to baby number 3, we really need a more permanent solution, so I am  looking at affordable furniture options that will be both suitable for the needs of a growing boy and for guests.

 

Bed Size and Style

 

Ordinarily in a kids room, especially when short on space I would look at a loft bed or trundle bed. I love that this maximizes floor space and creates little niches for desks, play areas or just extra storage.

 

LOFT BED

Manhattan Loft Bed

Manhattan Loft Bed

 

 

TRUBDLE BED OPTIONS

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Barn Bedroom Suite

 

Unfortunately for me, I don’t think the grandparents would be quite as excited climbing up a ladder in to bed as Master O would be. BUT, it is the absolutely perfect option for Little Miss A’s room!!!!  It wont take up too much room and when guests arrive her brother can camp out on the trundle!!! and just to add, the styling of this room is perfection.  This is EXACTLY the look I would love to achieve.  Masculine but not too dark or boyish.  PERFECTION.

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Quebec Bedroom Suite

For Master O’s Room we will eventually need to update his bed  (which is from before we were married 11 years ago!) or at the very least a new mattress.  A Queen Size bed that is of a classic style will fit in with the decor of his room, suit both kids and adults and be the perfect size for his average sized room.

 

Bed Side Tables

With two kids in one room there was previously no room for bedside tables. Add to this that anything with a flat surface, was used by curious toddlers to climb on to, they just didn’t suit the kids bedroom. However, times have changed and Master O has been using a little stool next to his bed for a lamp and his books. For guests a table either side of the bed is a must, with room for glasses, phones and a glass of water.

Quebec Bedside Table

Quebec Bedside Table

Desks.

This has been a tricky one for us. To desk or not to desk. We have decided to add a desk to his room not as a place to study but more as a place to escape to draw, build and read away form the hurricane baby and curious little sister. It will also serve as a place to store treasures away from little hands and above it we can place a noticeboard to display his memorabilia and certificates.

 

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Ollie Storage Unit

Storage.

We are lucky enough to have a designated playroom in our house but some toys are just not designed for babies! I would like to incorporate some kind of toy storage and display just for special/dangerous toys like the one million lego creations and remote control cars.  At last our oldest child will be able to put some of his things away just for him to play with.

 

These storage boxes will be perfect and even better they will fit inside his wardrobe, making the most of limited floor space and hiding them away form guests.

So that is where we are at.  Planning, dreaming, measuring, window shopping and weghing up all the options.  So what say you?  Desk or no desk?  Fan of a trundle bed? How gorgeous is that bedroom!

All images and stock can be found at Super Amart.

This is a sponsored post in conjunction with Super Amart.

The PROJECT LIFE Storage Carry All

Ok so that is a really long blog post title.  But their were just not enough words to express how much I love my new storage for “Project Life.”  You can read all about what Project Life is HERE I warn you though, it will change your life!!!

This project was on my To Do List!  After Our massive throw all space declutter I got read of all my other scrapbooking pieces!  Yes you read it right “Project Life” remains but scrapbooking has gone!  Don’t worry I didn’t throw all those paper goodies out I kindly donated it to my classroom!  There will be some very lovely collaged pictures coming home this year! Since my new Project Life Kit arrived in January I have been struggling to find the right storage solution  for all the bits and pieces.  Last year I stored them in a small plastic container but this year I had two kits to try and contain!!!  It has been living in the throw all space but that had to change.

When in doubt of how to store something…….HEAD TO IKEA!

A warning first…..before going to IKEA be prepared and know exactly what you want! I needed

  • Something sturdy with dividers
  • ONE container that could hold lots of bits and pieces
  • Something easy enough to move from one place to another 
  • A solution that was practical but looked good too!

…..and there it was!  In the kitchen department.  A Cutlery Tray.  Dividers, a handle, large enough to hold everything and small enough to carry!  PERFECT! So drum roll please…..

It is so perfect!  The front divider is big enough for photos, the back one for the larger cards and the sides for journalling cards!  I could even fit my stamp pad and pen! I finally have an organised, practical and inexpensive place to store the memory making kit that has changed our lives!

IKEA = Idea

I heart IKEA.  
I love everything about it.  
The products, the store, the restaurant, the prices…EVERYTHING.  
I would happily move into an IKEA showroom.
You will not find a room in our house without an Ikea product in it!

If there is one thing I love the most about the products is their versatility.
There is even a whole “movement” dedicated to Ikea Hackers.
People who take an Ikea product and repurpose it for something else.

This versatility is very evident in 
THE TROFAST

A storage system composed of shelves and plastic containers in as many different size combinations 
as uses for it.

We have been pretty boring with ours and used it in the most common way
as a toy storage system.


But check out these clever ways others have used it!

Cheap, practical and multi use change space.
The problem with changetables is that they are great when you have a baby but once the baby grows up you are left with a fairly unusable piece of furniture!
We have this Ikea change table
Hensvik
Love it because it is a changetable now and a bookshelf later.
The table part just screws off.
You can even buy some little doors for it!



Oh how I would love this in my classroom!!
Each box contains a different “school” activity!
Love this!  Short on space?
How about Trofast as a mini wardrobe?
It is just the right height for those child size clothes.

but my favourite….

10/10 for clever!
If I didnt have a child who was more than likely to fall out of bed or use the steps as a bumpy slide
I would love to do that.
This is great for a small bedroom as you getting storage, a place to sleep, a play area and a secret little reading nook
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!
Oh and that red circle mat…we have that as our time out space!
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