Renovation Diary: Month 2

The past few weeks of my life have been nothing short of a whirlwind…. Crazy, emotional, stressful. But I wouldn’t change it for all the world….

We are renovating and I’ve been wanting to do this for YEARS. For it to be actually happening is a dream. One I never thought I’d live.

Yes, at times it might have been described as a nightmare, but for the most part we’ve had a pretty smooth ride of renovating.

About a month ago I shared the first post in my Renovation Diary series and I had planned to share more frequently (maybe once a week) but renovating is a full time job and all my energy has been spent trying to keep on top of this project.

Basically renovating is making millions of decisions you know nothing about… Paint colours, tap styles, door architraves, cornices, skirtings, light fittings etc etc etc

I’ve been well out of my depth many, many times. But, as with anything worth having, there’s a path that needs to be walked, often a tough one, in order to get to the other side.

If I’m honest, the “other side” is what is getting me through the tough stuff. I fall asleep every night dreaming of where I’m going to put each item of our furniture or how I’m going to become more minimalistic or what new decor items I’d like to source to create a new look and comfortable space for our home.

I’ve been dreaming for 14 years… another 3 months should kill me…. right!? Well, I’ve definitely been tested living in a tiny cottage filled with tiles, and baths, and toilets, and light fittings. Not to mention the wet washing strung up above our heads as we failed to hang out yet another load in time for it to dry on the one sunny day of the week.

I do wonder if I’m living in a reality TV show??? I’m sure there are shows like this…

So, enough about me and my day-to-day stresses and struggles of renovating. Let me rather get you up to speed on where we’re at with the project…

Last time I shared a few “before” photos and then one or two “during” photos. This post is all about the during… remember there’s almost 3 months of “during”

I left off last time when the roof came off. And it stayed off for 3 whole weeks. As silly as it sounds I struggled to fall asleep during those three weeks thinking about the rain pouring into our roof, damaging the existing ceiling, soaking through everything. Yes, it’s a building site, but it’s still my home! For women I think it’s really difficult to remove yourself completely from the emotional ties that a home has.

So, what did I learn. Well I’ve learnt to toughen up. I have forced myself to realise that for these few months this is a building site. And it’s important to brace yourself emotionally before each visit. Another NB point I learnt the hard way is to not leave ANYTHING of value or importance at the site. It might be a set of cupboards you think you’ll reuse in the garage, an old kids bed you’d thought might work as a futon or a worm farm you’ve been lovingly looking after for years. In our case it was all three! The bottom line is everything will get trashed. The dust, water, rain, damp will creep in and destroy. We managed to salvage the worms by moving them to another part of the garden but everything else we had to come to terms with losing. Luckily for us it wasn’t much but it’s worth remember. Rather pay for extra storage and move it out if you’d like to reuse anything.

Another very important point to remember is that there WILL be unexpected costs. We thought we’d been so meticulous with our extensive quoting and spreadsheeting. We laugh at ourselves now.

Things crop up. You decide on site that actually while you’re doing the “wet” work you may as well go ahead with the guest loo, the scullery, the extra door to the patio etc etc.

We had resolved ourselves that our build would only include the bedroom extension, main en-suite, front extension and open planning of the kitchen. Our persuasive builder reminded us that we wouldn’t want to be doing this again and so we did it. Balls to the wall. Everything. Do we regret it? Well, yes, when we have to fumble around to find the cash to pay for it. Will we regret it? NO. Never. The way we’ve opened up our living area and created so much more space for our family can in no way be regretted. This renovation will change our lives. I have no doubt. AND I’m hopefully that the money we have “invested” in creating this home will, one day, pay itself back to us in the added value we have added. We’ve gone from a 3 bedroom, 1 living room, 1 bathroom house to one with 4 bedrooms, an open plan living room, a family room and 2.5 bathrooms plus a fab outdoor entertaining area. From what I know about property I don’t think we’ve done too badly!

So… here are some of the during pictures to show you why I’ve been a bit more jittery than usual!!!

Our Wall

Yes, this was NEW only 1 year ago!!! Until the brick delivery guys thew all the bricks at it…. aarrrgghhh

Photo 2016-07-02, 2 55 54 PM

Front entrance

Photo 2016-06-26, 2 06 24 PM



Photo 2016-06-20, 2 10 36 PM

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Photo 2016-06-26, 4 54 48 PM (1)

Photo 2016-06-26, 4 55 58 PM

Photo 2016-07-02, 2 57 35 PM


Photo 2016-06-20, 2 09 58 PM

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Photo 2016-06-26, 4 54 05 PM


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Kids bathroom

Photo 2016-06-26, 4 55 18 PM




The first photos was taken before I decided I wanted to put in a door from my bedroom to let in more light!

Photo 2016-06-20, 2 11 13 PM

Photo 2016-06-26, 4 54 55 PM

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And there’s the door…. a last minute change of mind, but worth it I think!

IMG_3898Photo 2016-07-13, 2 52 53 PM



Kids bedroom

Photo 2016-06-23, 3 58 22 PM


Main Bedroom


Family Room


Back yard


Guest Toilet

An afterthought!

Photo 2016-06-20, 2 10 51 PM


Another afterthought!

Photo 2016-06-29, 9 53 38 AM

New Roof

After weeks of brickwork, the new roof finally went on… one truss at a time… and my dream of open trusses took shape overhead!

Photo 2016-07-06, 5 35 55 PM

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Photo 2016-07-11, 9 25 00 AM

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The floor is one of the last things that gets sorted and I’m hoping that it will start looking a bit better than this later in the week!




And finally… the state of my garden is not for the fainthearted… real tears have been shed for the mounds of builders rubble that’s landed in our lawn, wood piled on top of my hydrangeas and feet stomped all over my irises…. The only saving grace is that gardens do grow back… eventually!

Photo 2016-07-02, 2 59 16 PM


Kathryn Rossiter

Kathryn is a South African lifestyle blogger and mom of 2 who has been blogging daily for over 9 years! She writes about travel, health, beauty, fashion, decor and family... but not food (unless it's food she's eaten made by someone else) as she is a hopeless cook. She only wakes up early for 2 things... a red-eye flight to somewhere exotic and early morning game drives. She has just finished an extensive home renovation and would prefer to never see another box again. She's never met a chocolate or glass of bubbles that she didn't like!

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