Welcome to the sleepout! This room was a rough old toolshed in it's former life and was truly awful. It had mint green walls, built in tool benches and shelves and a rough concrete floor. Due to the lack of space inside the house, we decided to convert it into a useable space by getting power connected out there and a phone line installed. Taff replastered all the imperfections in the walls and repainted it to match the interior of the main house. We also had the carpet installed to make it a more cosy space.
The sleepout was Dad's bedroom during the week while he was working in Auckland and we also used it as an office and sewing room (all my machines were hidden in the brown cabinet and my fabrics were kept in the white chest of drawers). There was even a TV in there! We actually got a lot of use out of this room and fortunately when we came to sell the house, it was a really popular selling feature for potential buyers.
The backyard gardens were also in a real state and they had to wait a long time before achieving any of our attention. :-) I am not the greatest gardener so I knew we needed something low maintenance. I knew the look that I was wanting to achieve but needed Karen's help to put that plan into action.
She came up for a few days and we dedicated this time to getting all the gardens sorted. It was a lot of hard work but it was one of the most fun house projects I have ever done. I loved it! We cleared out all the weeds from the garden and got rid of a lot of excess soil and levelled the garden bed.
We then put down weed mat and wheelbarrowed in lime chip for a modern clean look. To add a bit of interest we sourced some contrasting charcoal paving stones to be the platform for our large pots.
I was also looking for a tidy solution for all the outdoor toys we had so I picked up this washing basket from Storage Box and it worked really well to keep the toys from being strewn across the lawn.
When we first arrived here, a large portion of the backyard was a vegetable garden, the pride and joy of it's previous owners. Sadly, it wasn't practical for us to keep it so Taff levelled it all out and laid new grass seed.
Once the new lawn was established, we used the area to keep the trampoline on and Rosie and Harry spent a lot of time out there in the summer.
About 18 months after we moved in, the daughter of the previous owner (she was in her 60's) came to my back door and asked if she could take a cutting of the rose bush that was by the tool shed, now a sleepout! I was so sad to tell her that it had been cut down about 6 months prior to this, although I didn't tell her that it was essentially dead anyway and no longer producing flowers. She really mourned the loss of her parents and this house was the closest thing she had to remind her of them.
On Fridays she would drive to the Shore to visit their graves and would often park outside our house for a while and just look in. I often wondered what they would think of the changes we made to the house and whether they would be happy. We hoped so. :-)
Tomorrow is the last post in the Sylvia series and I will finish with the work we did on the front gardens.