bespoke bureau

Having finished the back room renovation, our thoughts turned to furnishings. We searched for a suitable sideboard but couldn’t find anything that was just right, though we did get a few ideas. The answer was to create our own. We had some old timbers lying around and supplemented our supply with a visit to the salvage yard where we also found four wooden crates (there were two A.B. Tonic ones).

I cleaned up the crates while Michael slaved over the frame using various reclaimed hardwood timbers

and some old fence palings. I found a recipe for rusting nails and it worked a treat.

6.shelves

A few coats of Cabothane brought out the natural hues as well as the perfect defects.

We kept changing our minds about what to use for the centre front and side panels so Michael experimented with rust effects on steel. The polyurethane coating has preserved the colours well.

9.rusted steel panels

Precision placed finger holes and felt lining completed the crates.

Over the years, we have accumulated some beautiful timber slabs and we selected a Huon pine for this project. Trimmed and prepared,

it was fixed to the frame

15.finished

and the steel took its place in the front and sides.

Some more Cabothane on the top highlighted the grain.

We are very happy with the result.

23.finished

renovation ruminations: part 7

Once we finished the renovation of the back room, we moved straight on to the decking of the outdoor space. We removed the old pavers

1.removing pavers2.pavers gone

and, under the watchful eye of the foreman,

3.the foreman

built the frame while working around existing obstacles as best we could.

4.framework

After much research, we decided to use Ekodeck, a composite material that (this is the best bit) requires no oiling, painting or maintenance.

5.Ekodeck

It didn’t take long to cut and lay the planks, we used the CAMO hidden screw system so there are no screws visible on top of the boards.

6.decking7.decking

We laid a metre wide strip to connect the doors with the garden

8.framework11.decking

and then added the edges.

12.deck13.decking done

For completeness, we laid a border of white pebbles

14.deck finished

and planted six dwarf camellias at the barbecue end.

15.deck finished16.deck finished

Next is the outdoor kitchen area….

timber transformation

Some of you may recall a post I wrote two years ago when we replaced the timbers on the bridge in our rainforest.  https://cannonhillchronicles.com/2016/02/05/broken-bridge/

1.broken bridge

We had stacked the old ones and left them down there in case we had a use for them later.

2.old timbers

Our new back room needed a dining table and we thought it would be interesting to use the reclaimed bridge timbers. We then had the idea that a ‘mini-me’ coffee table would be a perfect addition. We selected the best lengths, loaded them on the trailer and took them to the carwash for a spot of pressure cleaning.

We had to rid them of stones and any nails before taking them to the local sawmill to be sized to the same thickness. It was exciting to see the fantastic colours and grains under the years of accumulated detritus.

6.sawmill

After laying them out to determine the best order, Michael went to work with the circular saw. The long edges were tidied and the ends finished.

9.trimmed

A couple of hours of sanding

10.sanding

and the true nature of the timber revealed itself.

Two coats of Cabothane

and they were ready for the frame. We had bought a firewood holder at Agfest last year from a very talented local artisan. We approached him with our ideas for the tables, wanting something with a chunky industrial feel that would showcase the magnificent timbers. He understood perfectly and, two weeks later, delivered the goods. The base frame came in, supported on two trestles

15.frame

and the timbers placed on top.

16.timbers placed

The ends were fitted flawlessly

17.ends in place

and the trestles removed. The same procedure saw the birth of ‘mini-me’.

18.mini me

Two more coats of Cabothane added further protection.

19.more Cabothane

The original plan was to coat the metal in black but when we visited the workshop, we preferred the beaten look.

20.finished

We love the nuts and bolts and finer details, even the metal manufacturer’s initials.

The timber has retained its character and beautiful imperfections,

the coffee table is a very special smaller version.

32.mini me coffee table

Four pre-loved dining chairs have been given new seat covers and a dose of TLC to complete the picture.

39.dining area

We now take the time to relax and watch the birds feeding around the pond – when we aren’t too busy doing more renovations.

40.sitting area

A huge thank you to Adam and Clarissa for sharing our vision and helping to create the reality. https://www.facebook.com/adsfabs/

 

renovation ruminations: part 6

Our latest renovation project has been a few years in the making. When we moved in, the back verandah was partly enclosed and there were café blinds further along (the first storm took care of those). Apart from being immensely unattractive, condensation would drip from the ridges of the corrugated ceiling, creating puddles on the floor.

1.before

We solved that problem with a new ceiling in 2011, adding skylights to allow light into the house.

2.new ceiling Dec 2011

We had often talked about how nice it would be to enclose the room but other things got in the way. Forward to spring 2016 when a pair of welcome swallows moved in. Each time they started to build a new nest, we would remove it. They were so persistent, we attached plastic to the cedar cladding and cardboard ‘lids’ to the coach lights. They finally got the message – and so did we. In March this year, we started by removing the existing window and sliding door in readiness for a concrete slab.

A few days later, the builders started on the formwork, under the guidance of Poppy.

The driver manoeuvred the truck past the pond

8.concrete truck

and the lads got to work.

A few turns with the whirly-gig

14.whirly-gig

and next morning we had the beginnings of our new room.

15.slab

The old sliding door was repositioned at the entrance and a smaller window installed next to it.

16.new window, old sliding door

Three large stacker doors and a slider at the other end followed. The small stacker windows at the far end will sit above the bar and will open into the BBQ area. Poppy has a new doggy door which she thinks is great fun.

We left a channel open along the old exterior wall to allow access to pipes. The plan was to build timber frames so we could cover them with the flooring but remove if we have plumbing problems. Michael’s mammoth trench-digging effort unearthed the pipes but they weren’t where we thought, they were more central in the room.

19.trench for plumber

The old coach lights were removed and down lights installed, with power points to follow. We sanded the existing window frames so they would match the new ones.

20.sanding

We carefully extricated the cladding from the old exterior wall

and after attaching the moisture proof membrane,

23.waterproofing

re-used it on the new exterior.

Insulation came next

27.insulation

and then the plumber removed the old exterior pipes, re-directed them outside and installed fixtures for a bar sink. Now that we didn’t need the channel to access the pipes, we had another concrete delivery to fill it in

and laid a slab for the BBQ and pizza oven at the same time.

30.BBQ slab

Plastering and painting made it all seem a reality.

31.almost there

We decided on a small wood heater for those cold winter evenings,

32.wood heater

and vinyl planks for the floor. The excitement of laying the first plank

33.first plank

had quelled somewhat after the second day.

34.halfway

With skirtings fitted and varnished, we are very happy with the result.

35.finished

Poppy has a new bed (she refused to smile for the camera) made from reclaimed timber.

36.Poppy's bed

We couldn’t make up our minds on furnishings so decided to refurbish the items we already had.

We bought an old pew for our dining area, it revived beautifully with some TLC.

45.pew

The dining table and coffee table – well, that’s another story. Now we just have to build the bar, a couple of cupboards, the decking, the BBQ………