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  1. Start blog – tick!
  2. Introduce myself, Lachie (aka grumpy husband – self titled) and of course Finlay (aka Captain Awesome) – tick!
  3. Introduce the base plan that will become our blank canvas! – oops, hence this post.

Well, after much deliberation (over a year!) we decided that buying an older place in Ocean Grove didn’t really suit our family life. Lachie and I renovated an apartment when we were first married and my grandiose ideas and Lachie’s perfectionism (not always called that when tired and wired on paint fumes!) meant that this experience wasn’t necessarily a great one. Eating from a makeshift kitchen with a George Foreman grill, kettle and bar fridge for 6 months whilst we slept on a mattress amidst concrete dust and rogue skirting boards wasn’t the most ideal start to a marraige or maybe it was? We certainly road tested a few vows very early on!

Anyway, with a toddler and reduced income (young family!) the idea of renovating one of the older and more affordable beach shacks just wasn’t viable for us. Land in old Ocean Grove was too expensive, so why not build in one of the estates? It was a struggle for me as I was slightly proud about being an architect and living in a project home, but then the thought of a new house, new kitchen, backyard, heating, cooling……well, it won over! We also have friends nearby in the estate and their house is lovely and such a great family home!

So then the house hunting became plan hunting! And yes, I redesigned every one of them until Lachie and the mystified sales consultants reminded me of the whole ‘off-the-plan’ concept.

Finally we landed on the plan below. It had the four bedrooms we wanted, a rumpus off the main living area (for supervision) and a walk-in-pantry. It was also a modest sized project home at only 24 squares!

London Plan

Living London

Kitchen London 24

The building company has allowed us to reconfigure the window and door sizes/ locations to the living areas to take better advantage of our site’s orientation.  We will now have a lovely 3.1m three-stacker sliding door to a northern courtyard and the same from our dining out to the backyard.  We’ve also completely changed the external finishes which involved convincing their head office to allow us to have weatherboards (for a more coastal feel) to the front facade.

So obviously I couldn’t help myself with the customisation, but hey, a girl’s gotta dream! In this case it paid off. Working with a company that allowed us to make quite a few modifications was the compromise between project home and our home.

I hope you enjoyed the brief introduction to our base plan – now for all the future plans to evolve! I’m looking forward to sharing my ideas room by room!

Northern courtyard concept sketches. A work in progress!

Northern courtyard concept sketches. A work in progress!