So here we go. #funatfarleigh
To start us off, this series of posts is a long time coming. Whilst the core of what we do at Timbermill is furniture & joinery (whether custom or hiring); as life shifts and evolves different opportunities arise which mean working across different disciplines and industries; although at all times our goal is to create and design in whatever we do.
The house renovations were something we did just for fun and behind the scenes, a bit of an antidote to the complete madness of running a small and growing business. But as time goes on, and we reveal small bits here and there we have noticed that there is a lot of interest in this domain about what we’re working on. This is both amazing and slightly scary as I definitely find it a bit easier being behind the scenes although with some gentle encouragement from the team, we’re going to delve a bit deeper into what we’re doing with our latest renovation project.
So here we go. #funatfarleigh
Tom and I bought this house nearly two years ago (how time flies) after looking at smaller terraces and apartments and then finding this monster of a house in Ashfield. After commuting from the South Coast for a year or so, we’d decided to come back to Sydney and in particular the Inner West for the foreseeable future. With the business based in Marrickville we rented in Enmore to test the waters and initially started looking for smaller terraces, semis and apartments around the area. Then one Thursday evening a friend sent us a link to a dilapidated five bedroom house in Ashfield, looking at it online we initially brushed it off as a bit too big and a bit too run down. Showing a family member involved in property later that night, he gave it a fresh perspective and told us we’d be crazy not to at least look at it. We then realised that the auction was this coming Saturday so again ruled it out as maybe just not being the right time but it would be ‘fun’ to go watch the auction. Famous last words. By Saturday afternoon we had a new house, an un-liveable monster of a 5 bedroom house in Ashfield. Needed a bit of wine that night.
Although it seemed a bit crazy, we realise that because of its current state (very unliveable and in bad condition) we could buy it for the same price as a big apartment it held a lot more potential for us to be able to renovate then sell on in the future. A classic case of the worst house on the best street.
And also; not too sure how to explain this one but something about the house just spoke to us and simply made sense. Do I think this is our forever home, no. But I do think this house came to us at a point in our lives when we really needed a stable spot to base ourselves, yes.
Fast forward a few months and we’ve got the keys to our new place but it wasn’t even close to being liveable. The first few days were just a whole lot of demo (all the while pretending were Chip & Joanna Gaines #ifkyk). Mostly everything was removed including the kitchen and laundry off the back of the house, internal carpets, render stripped off interior brick walls, original ceiling removed, and most of the gyprock on the upstairs level. The house wasn’t in great condition and nearly 100 years old so we made the call that to really give it the love and restoration it required it needed to be stripped right back to bare bones.
Multiple skip bins later, and a whole lot of dust later we had a relatively clean slate.
Needing somewhere to live quite quickly (I was quite pregnant at the time we settled), we got to work. The upstairs level was a renovation done in 1990’s by the previous owner which was plopped on the top of the original house (and funnily is used in council references of houses that did renovations that didn’t match the street style ha) and although we are gradually working to bring it closer to the original style from the streetscape it has been a real positive that it was designed to be a self contained apartment area and this has enabled us to renovate this area first up and then live in it throughout the whole process whilst not feeling like we’re living in a construction site.
So there you have it; an introduction into the #Funatfarleigh reno.