BUILDING OUR FIRST HOME: ARCHITECT AND DESIGN

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If you guys follow me on Snapchat (you can follow me @misterweekender) then you’ll know a lot has been happening with our plans to build a Scandi inspired cabin slash house on the Sunshine Coast back home in Australia. My last update was exactly four months ago and boy, has a lot changed – most notably with our architect and design of our house. When I first started this series two years ago, I had my heart set on building a cabin in the remote wilderness of Tasmania. However, as with life, work, family and love, things might change and move, but this dream is still a reality – it just looks a little different. So where are we at with everything?

OUR LAND HAS SETTLED

Hurrah! The purchase of our block of land finally settled last Friday, and we could not be anymore excited! Hello mortgage life and being a responsible grown up…insert stressed emoji. Jokes. But seriously. Honestly though, it’s the best feeling in the world knowing we own our own little slice of paradise on the Sunshine Coast. And it just happens to be right opposite the beach. If any of you have bought a house or land, you’ll know these feels.

WE HAVE A NEW ARCHITECT

In my last post I was so excited to tell you we had finally found an architect, however the fee was a bit too high for our budget and unfortunately as hard as we negotiated, and weeks waiting for a response, we decided not to go ahead with OGE Group Architects. It was devastating at first but their focus is very much commercial and we knew our cabin wouldn’t have been a big priority for them. Obviously not their fault at all! I guess at the end of the day, budget is everything.

So what happened? Well, our builder Dave, who also happens to be Jason’s best mate, introduced us to Dragi Majstorovic - an award winning architect based on the Sunshine Coast who also happens to be Serbian and is heavily influenced by Scandi architecture and design. Hurrah! As soon as we told him what we were looking for and what our architect design budget was ($10,000) he took us on. Needless to say, five meetings later, a few beers and lots of emails back and forth, we have finally completed the design of our cabin slash house. So good! Who knew choosing windows and doors would be so exhausting... The drawings are now with the engineer and will then put into council for final approval. To think we could start building mid August is mental.

THE HOME GRANT HAS INCREASED

In more exciting news, in Australia first home buyers are (for the large part) eligble for a grant. It’s an incentive to encourage young Australians to enter the home property market. Well, recently it has been increased from $15,000 to $20,000 – which is exactly the budget we have put aside for all of our furniture and whitewoods, aka fridge, washing machine, dishwasher, lounges, rugs. So happy! This means we can now allocate that extra $5,000 we have saved to put towards the garden, or better fixtures. Hurrah!

WE ARE STILL COLLECTING ARTWORK

This has long been a passion of mine and if you have been keeping an eye on Snapchat then you'll know I love collecting wall art. Whilst we are being mindful of how we spend our money before we move into our house (more on that below), we are still collecting artwork if we absolutely love it. We just have to make sure it will exist sensibly with the interiors when we move. A lot harder than you think.

WE HAVE REFINED OUR STYLE

You know, furniture things. We're going to use the next few months to refine our interior style. In my earlier post, we had a clear vision but even now, four months later, we’ve changed our minds a little. Read on to find out what has stayed the same and what has changed.

What has stayed the same?

We want the interior to lean more towards masculine, than feminine. We don’t want any greys in the house, as we find the colour overall very dull. We love 70s interiors, a lot. Especially rattan. We still love plants and want to have as many as possible in the house. We have decided to keep the tiles in our bathroom the same – all white. We just need to decide on the right colour grout. We don’t love the dark greys typically used on the floor with whites used on the walls, so we’re tossing up all dark grey or all light grey. This might seem like a tiny detail but it will make a huge impact overall. We would love black cabinetry for the kitchen cabinetry with a white stone bench top. • And outdoor furniture? Don't even get me started, because we have no idea and that's hasn't changed haha. I'm still a huge fan of rattan but we need to make sure it stands the test of time.

What has changed?

We have finally decided on our colour palette – tan, black, white and neutral beige. We have decided on a 70s medium tan for our timber furniture. We originally liked light timber, but we’ve changed our minds. We would love a neutral beige lounge for the living room and have found the perfect one at Nick Scali. We would love to style our plants a little differently that how we’re doing this at the moment. We love areas of the house dedicated to a small group of potted plants and want to explore this more. We were totally happy to have silver tap ware in the kitchen and bathrooms, but we love matte black tap ware. This obviously all comes down to budget so hopefully we can make this work. We know cabinetry can be really expensive if it needs to be tailored and built, so we’ve decided on floating shelves from Ikea in the office and kitchen to save on costs. We are both minimalists and don’t plan on filling the shelves up with 'all the Pinterest worthy stuff', so I know they’ll look great without my OCD eye twitching every time I look at them. We've been thinking a lot about the kitchen splash back and are tossing up the idea of having a neutral brick like this with a clear coating to protect the brick, instead of a traditional tile. We've been brainstorming carpets and were originally going to go for a dark colour but now we're going for a neutral so we can have black, yes black, curtains and blinds. This will be very interesting indeed! But here's our inspiration. And finally, we were unable to fit a walk in wardrobe into the master due to shape of this area of the house, as well as our budget. But we're ok with that so our wardrobe will be fitted along one side of the master wall. To make sure this stands out as a bit of a feature, we're thinking of spending a little bit of money to do this. Thoughts?

Below are a couple of mood boards we've created to get your head inside ours. We'd your thoughts, tips and advice for building your first home and interior styling, so please feel free to comment below!

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