Construction Update 16: Timber Flooring, Kitchen Benchtop and Even a Spot of Landscaping

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Planting some Mondo grass between paving
Planting some Mondo grass between paving (let's see how long it lasts)

In my last construction update I asked ‘When the frig will my house be finished‘ and optimistically hoped I would move in four weeks from then…

Alas it’s just two days shy of that four week mark and with no power and no water, it’s safe to say I won’t be moving in this week!

But on the plus side I’m now finally believing the ‘we’re so close’ mantra everyone has been telling me.

So what progress can I show you today?

Timber flooring

We have a beautiful Blackbutt timber at our entry, hallway, staircase and upstairs landing and this week the amazing Fabio has been working like a trooper! All the flooring is down and he’s already begun sanding and oiling.

The only downside with timber flooring is that it does shut down those areas of the house to other trades for a few days (no one will be able to walk on the floor until Monday). So of course we’ve booked every trade to come on Monday to hopefully finish off next week!

Hallway construction update
Hallway
Upstairs landing
Upstairs landing

Kitchen

I have a feeling this will become my favourite room in the house!

Admittedly my cooking efforts of late have been rather pathetic but I think this kitchen could help change that.

Forgive the dustiness of the house (I’m going there today to clean, to you know… keep my idea of moving in next week alive) underneath all that dust is a beautiful black grain timber 😉

It took eight men to lift in the stone for our kitchen bench yesterday and here you can see it part way installed. I can’t wait to see the marble splashback and island kick go in!

Kitchen
Kitchen

Landscaping

This gorgeous Spring weather has inspired me to get out into our new garden and start adding some greenery.

Unfortunately my father-in-law who’s a landscape architect is overseas at the moment so I’ve gone rogue and done this bit completely unsupervised… I hope he doesn’t cringe at what I’ve done!

Our backyard will need to be almost indestructible because of our Rottie Arnie — all planting up high and out of reach and hardy ground surfaces. The damage those paws can make is unbelievable!

Arnie
He might look like an angel but don’t be fooled
Planting some Mondo grass between paving
Planting some Mondo grass between paving (let’s see how long it lasts)
Driveway and footpath for small house complete
Driveway and footpath for small house complete

Are you building at the moment? How did you stop yourself from going crazy while counting down to move in? I’ve taken to online shopping, buying ridiculous amounts of furniture and homewares, ha ha!

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Gina is the Editor of STYLE CURATOR, an award winning Australian blog about the pursuit of a stylish home. She is passionate about sharing her love of design, architecture, decorating and homewares. Having recently finished the build of her dream home, she's now tackling the never ending job of styling it. When she's not blogging or working with interior styling clients, you'll find her running after her 1 year-old son Patrick or getting her hands messy in a creative project.

20 COMMENTS

    • Thanks Remy, I’m so happy with how the flooring is looking! I was worried the Blackbutt could be a bit dark but it’s really soft and looking better with each coat 🙂

  1. The timber floors look stunning! I can see why you’re loving the kitchen. I noticed your door/window frames. What/who did you use? We are looking at thermally broken aluminium in the same colour but I haven’t seen the real thing yet. Happy shopping :b

    • Hi Jane

      How are you? Has your build started?

      Thanks, I’m really happy with how the house is all coming together and can’t wait until I can call it home 🙂

      Our windows are double glazed with argon gas in the middle and aluminium frame which we got from a local supplier (Canberra Aluminium Windows and Doors it’s called). We did get some quotes for windows with thermal break as well but it would have been more than double the price!

      Finding a window supplier that could make what I wanted without completely blowing the budget was the hardest and most painful part of this whole build. I’m not sure if you’ve seen it but I did a post about windows which you may find helpful here http://stylecurator.com.au/selecting-windows-home-nightmare/

      Hope your build is going well!

  2. Ooh thanks for that, Gina. I shall definitely take advantage of your research. I’ve gotta say, windows are not really my area of interest :/ But I’m learning that my what looks good doesn’t always go in hand with the budget… I’m good, we haven’t started but the house has been demolished and we should be up and running in two weeks! Suddenly I need to choose the type of bathroom vanities-eek!

    • He he, I had zero interest in windows until I saw ones in our price range and they were U-G-L-Y! I didn’t want to go through the effort of building only to put in nasty windows which started this epic 4 month mission. Maybe I cared more than I needed to? My top tip would be to find a supplier you like and work with them on price – changing some windows to fixed, sliding or awning saved us a bomb and they may be able to suggest other areas you can save.
      Ohhh vanities for your bathroom! Have you decided on colour palette or tiles? I chose Polytec timber veneer wall hung vanities but changed my mind a few times as my tile choices changed.
      How exciting you’re so close to starting!!

      • I completely agree. I’ve spent so many hundred hours on the design, it would be a shame to ruin it with something fugly! We will have 3 bathrooms (one is mini). I think I’ve come up with the style of vanity for each and a bunch of materials I like but haven’t pieced it all together yet. I’m keen on a rectangular trough-like marble basin sitting on a wall mounted timber vanity for one. If that means economising elsewhere, so be it! The exterior palette is light grey recycled brick, charcoal metal cladding and a splash of timber so I’d like to carry that through inside. The mini bathroom has a shower window facing a courtyard so a feature mosaic wall in the shower adjacent to that would be nice. The main bathroom has a feature window/skylight over the bath so I’d like to feature something behind the bath and keep the rest pretty simple. For the ensuite I’d love to use a tumbled(?) travertine tile but that’s all I’ve got for now :b I also envisage changing my mind. A lot. I’m so envious of your split levels – my architect wouldn’t let me do it… something silly like not being a practical solution on a flat block haha!

        • Oh my God, stop it Jane, that all sounds amazing!! Especially loving the marble sink and skylight above the bath, my dream! I can’t wait to hear how your house continues to evolve over the build!

          I do love the split levels at our house (for us it meant minimal cutting and filling on our sloping block) but did take a nasty fall down one set of stairs last weekend. Ouch. Note to self, socks on newly sanded timber floors is not a good idea! I’m all ok now though 🙂

  3. Your post makes me so excited because your floors look beautiful and we have committed to blackbutt too. We’ve chosen blackbutt from NSW because it is lighter in colour than the WA equivalent. How are you planning to seal/finish the floors? Is your timber considered “select” or “feature grade”? As for going crazy, I’ve definitely turned the crazy corner after being patient and reasonable for almost 3 years. I just can’t pull it off until the end. I don’t know how I will cope if there are some days without progress. Your shopping idea is good, but I don’t have anywhere to store purchases.

    • I’m so glad it’s not just me that’s gone a bit cray cray! I don’t know how you’ve lasted 3 years!! You must have the patience of a saint!
      You definitely made the right choice with Blackbutt, it’s so beautiful. We went with select grade and are finishing it in a satin oil (he does 3 coats with a buff or sand in between each?). Yesterday he did the first oil so it looks even nicer than these pics where the timber is still raw.
      Hmmm pity the online shopping trick won’t work for you 🙁 Maybe instead you could start planning your house warming party? I don’t know but I think having an activity that celebrates being in the house when you’re not yet in is helping, even if it’s sending me broke, lol!! You must have a tip for me having lasted this long??

  4. Good idea Gina. Last night’s diversion, which you may also enjoy, was to plan what is going where in my new kitchen and scullery. (Probably, I should have done this before the kitchen was designed, but it’s a “ready-made” design.)

  5. Hi Gina, So excited to read your update! I am swooning over your blackbutt floors – they are absolutely beautiful. I think they compliment the polished concrete beautifully also.
    And your kitchen is looking awesome! Can’t wait to see your marble go in. Our stone benchtops went in yesterday – really happy! We still seem to have a fairly long list of things to be completed but we are getting closer :-).

  6. Yay! I’m so glad you’re happy with the bench top you picked! I really liked it when I saw it in store 🙂 Isn’t it exciting to see all these little decisions come together?!

    I can’t wait until next week, once the carpets go in on Tuesday I plan to start moving in. Never mind there’s no power or any of that, ha ha!

  7. What’s the small house for?

    Those timber floors are heavenly! And I cannot wait to see that kitchen finished. Kitchens are always my favourite room and new, shiny, beautiful ones are even better! You have the patience of a saint, I can see why you’re so frustrated! Even I want to see the end of the project!

    • Ha ha, you crack me up Dan!

      Fingers crossed this build won’t drag out too much longer and I can have fun with styling and finishing off the interiors 🙂

      The small house is to rent (and help fund this build, ha ha!). Our block is quite big and on a corner so we’ve built two houses – the small house has a driveway on one street and our house has a driveway on a different street so it just feels like they’re our neighbour.

      The kitchen is really coming along (the ovens went in yesterday) so I can’t wait to reveal it soon 🙂

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