Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Tiles ahoy!

Once we had signed up officially, paid all of our deposits, chosen our block* and had a glass of champagne, the first appointment we had as far as personalising the house was our tile selection appointment with National Tiles.

*A note on choosing our block: We had actually signed up and done all of the drawings based on a block in Stage 8 of our estate. By the time we got over to the land sales office to pay our deposit the block had been sold (no less than half an hour earlier) to another builder. Needless to say Porter Davis were not happy with the mix-up! The only other block that suited our house design was one that land sales had not yet allocated to a builder, but as we had been stuffed around a bit they told us it was ours if we wanted it. The block is across the road from the running track with no house in front of it, true north facing alfresco, and slightly bigger than the original block - Heck yes we wanted it!! The only downside was that it was Stage 9 which is why we're still waiting for titles until December, despite having signed up back in May. Had our original block not been sold we'd be in the early stages of the build by now! So there you go, that's the story of how we ended up being one of the first people to build a house in Stage 9.

Back to the tile appointment.

I had done hours of research and gathered many many inspiration pictures. Thank God for Pinterest is all I can say! The main picture we ended up going with for inspiration was this one:

We wanted something fairly neutral but modern, something we could add our own colours to through towels, vases etc that would work well for the people living there after us. I liked the large black tiles contrasted with the smaller white subway tiles on the wall, also the difference in textures between the black matt and glossy white. However once we were in our tile appointment and had chosen the basic black and whites and the trimming, I was feeling very under-whelmed. We were trying to stick to a budget so I couldn't do anything crazy, but I thought it would be good to add something that would make it just a little bit different to any other stock standard bathroom, so we chose a beautiful feature tile which will go between the sink and the mirror in the bathroom and ensuite. I'm so glad we did that, it's one of the things I'm now most looking forward to about the house! Here are some pictures of our tile selections:

My gorgeous feature strip:

All of the tiles together:

The larger photo also shows our wall colour throughout the house (Flokati by Wattyl), our caesarstone benchtop sample and the whites of our cabinets. The grey wall colour looks a lot darker in this picture than it does in real life. We chose it based on the Montague display home in Taylor's Hill because it's actually a very subtle grey. We're thinking we might do a feature wall in the master bedroom after we move in but that's something we'll decide once we've been living there a while and see how we feel.

The large black floor tile will also be used down the hallway and in the laundry. The white subway tiles will be on the laundry wall as well but without the feature strip.

So there we go, tile selections done! Feel free to ask me any questions regarding pricing or anything, but unless someone is specifically interested I'm not going to dig up those receipts. They're hidden somewhere within that great big folder (if you're building as well, you know what I mean!).

Cheers :)

Saturday, 22 September 2012

A bit about us

Welcome to our blog! My name is Courtnee. My husband Rhys and I have signed our lives away by entering into a contract with Porter Davis to build our first home and we thought it would be a good idea to document the process so that our friends and family can keep track of the build, and so that at the end of all of this we can look back and remember what we've gone through and hopefully be proud of what we achieved!

How we got here:

Rhys and I met when we were 14/15 at our local blue light disco. Rhys had just moved to Australia from New Zealand, I on the other hand had been attending said disco every month for about 2 years, so I noticed the fresh meat lurking about on the sidelines straight away! After a bit of stalking and 'accidentally' adding him to my MSN chat list, we were talking every night and have been together ever since! We married in October 2011.

For about a year before the wedding up until now we have been living with our housemate Iain in a two bedroom apartment in St Kilda. We love it here, St Kilda is fantastic, but we always knew we wanted a proper house with a yard where we could have pets and start a family, and for a couple of newlyweds in their early twenties Melbourne is a hard property market to crack into. We never stopped thinking about it though, reading the weekly property guides and auction results religiously, attending open house inspections for properties we knew we couldn't afford, buying lottery tickets just in case...

Cue our friends Dee and Sol. I'd grown up with Dee and when we left high school she moved straight to Geelong for uni. I have been visiting her pretty much monthly since then, and since she met Sol 5 years ago Rhys has been coming as well for fishing trips and general male bonding. When they told us they were building a house in Leopold, lightbulbs flashed for us and we knew it was something we should look into, so we began doing our research!

Fast forward to April 2012 and we'd signed a contract with Porter Davis to build the Montague 21 with the living and ihub, kitchen and grand alfresco options.

We thought that this was a great home for us to live in for the next 5 years while we plan the start of our family and we could see it being a flexible family home for some other lucky people in the future, therefore a wise investment for us.

Our land doesn't title until December this year so for now we're just sitting around twiddling our thumbs waiting for things to get moving, but the estate is taking shape so we visit every month or so just to check on the progress and get to know our future community.

I'll be sure to write some posts in the near future detailing our choices as far as colour and electricals, layout etc. For now hopefully you've enjoyed getting to know us (or for those who do know us, refamiliarising yourselves), and I'll check in again soon. Don't expect to hear much from Rhys on here. While he's very active in the whole 'setting up the blog' and giving me ideas for what to write about, he's quite happy to sit on the couch and watch me type!

Until next time :)