Happy 4th birthday ByEstellaDotCom!

Hello! Hello!

It’s that time of the year again. Byestelladotcom is now officially 4! Thank you for being here to help the blog blow out its virtual birthday candles on the imaginary birthday cake.

How have you been? As you may have gathered from my last post (I know, it’s getting further and further between posts and I feel a tad guilty about that), I’ve embarked on the mother of all renovations; I did the math the other day and it turns out my Queenslander may be closer to 100 than 90.

Right now, you wouldn’t envy her; she has a half-formed infant’s body and the face of a hag! But never fear – she will have her full Megan Fox-esque facelift once I locate a couple of gold bars somewhere. In the meantime, John Hardy, my trusty builder, and his men have been slaving away on her body. She’s shaping up to be a stunner, if I may say so myself.

As of this week, we have finished the foundation of galvanised steel and Hebel, built at a height determined by Hydraulic Engineer Anthony Lenehan of Lenecon to withstand flooding, framed to roof trusses, protected her from the skies above with a welded and painted Colorbond roof, had some of the custom-made double-glazed and tinted windows put in, and three quarters of the external Hebel skin put on. Members for the frame were specified by my wonderful Structural Engineer Steve Hackworth, and built by John Hardy to both their exacting standards. Here I wish to thank Michael Nguyen of Fresh Design & Drafting for his countless updates and changes to the original plans.

In the interim, I’ve been reviewing fixtures, fittings and tiles for the 2 en-suite bathrooms, deciding on balustrades for the stairs (HRH has his heart set on glass), pendant lights to hang over the stairs (with a nod to Queensland, I’ve picked 3 plywood pineapples – pretty groovy), put a down payment on kitchen stuff at Winning Appliances after Janaki so graciously ferried me to and fro, and babysat the boy while I swan about the showroom, trying to picture how each appliance would jive with the interior scheme of my future kitchen. I gave more consideration to function over form. Still I went with a Schweigen black glass cassette rangehood as it not only looks hot (hello, black glass!) but has a mean suction of 3200 rpm. It’s silent to boot, thanks to twin motors, installed on the roof of the house.

I was meaning to leave it to the final reveal, but I also must thank Kirby Hood of Big Ass Fans for assisting me in my purchase of 5 absolutely efficient (I am a stickler for utility), bespoke, utterly drool-worthy ceiling fans that will keep the building cool in summer and warm in winter. As I’ve told HRH, the house is a modest-gal but she will have a touch of sparkle here and there; probably not apparent to most except dedicated readers of Inside Out and House & Garden like myself. I’ve also drawn heaps of inspiration from all the articles and pictures on Houzz – my style album is yours to flick through should you wish.

Even though its size (350m2 inside) obscures the fact, it is a GREEN build: the ancient front (98m2) has been kept in entirety, the new build (252m2) is of quality material which is fire-rated, insulating and sound-retardant. Hebel also boasts green credentials, in that it is recyclable – although I chose it for its other attributes and longevity.

On the non-house-related front, my hours pedalling away in the sweatshop of HRH’s admin office have increased in tandem to his burgeoning private practise. We are a family enterprise so all (including the kids, who frequently roam hospital lounges) must put in their time. Just this evening, HRH was harassing me  to get his Business Activity Statement done, chase payments and type what he says are two weeks worth of patient letters. Oh brother!

I’m still routinely prodding my brain for inspiration to complete my next manuscript; Amanda likes it better than the one I was writing when I gave you my last update, so its yippee-ki-ay-aye for me. Picture me doing a happy jig in my jammies.

I’ll leave you now with pictures of my Queenslanders journeying to the 22nd century. Do Enjoy!

Holes for foundation.

Holes for foundation.

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Looking from under the old house.

Looking from under the old house.

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Side profile of my house taken from my neighbor’s place. Trees obscure part of the length. Total building is 43% of my block size.