There's been this dream I've been having lately, in which I discover an overlooked but really cool suburb, somewhere between Brunswick, Coburg and Pascoe Vale. Where the blocks are huge, the houses compact but charming and there's a funky neighborhood feeling, strip and supermarket shopping. It's really close to a frequent tram, bus or train on which I could travel work in about half an hour.  Always getting a seat. Of course, the schools are second to none and there are sunset views from all the front porches, but northern light into the living areas and linen presses in every hallway. The dream comes from a fragment of a conversation I had a couple of weeks ago with a real estate obsessed work colleague and the relentless viewing of houses every weekend. I thought the name Neverwhere came from one of Grace's story books or a song, but no, it's the title to a book I haven't read. Mentioned in a meme last week, but I only realised this when I saw it over at Bec's tonight. Pfft, I wouldn't know my own hand if I saw it in the supermarket.

Yesterday we saw some mindblowing carpet and some wallpaper I quite liked. In a house that I loved last Saturday, when I saw all sorts of possibilites for reworking the floor plan to provide a larger lounge room adjacent to a kitchen meals area all opening out to the backyard. My dream layout, for so many reasons. Which has sparked all sorts of
discussions about renovation versus living in a house as it is. And I discovered that a larger lounge isn't necesarily an attractive proposition if it means forgoing the idea of separate studies. Although we manage to share one quite well now. Even though I am massively irritating, what with not wanting to listen to music all the time. Grrr.

It's not like I don't find the idea of a little room of my own appealing, but you can't have everything and it hasn't come up as an issue with three bedroom houses. Just with houses that have four but would be much nicer with three. And this house, despite being butt ugly from the front (brick veneer over the original weatherboard, roller shutters on the windows, concrete garden edging) has a lovely interior. Especially at the front which is mostly thirties and has nice high celings, original door frames and a wide hall. There are fifties light fittings and a seventies kitchen that's pretty OK. Not a large block, just sufficient really, with a shed and a rear lane. Close to transport. And a school down the street.

Quite nice really, but in my opinion, it needs work and would be a goer for us at a certain price (laughs nervously, the auction is tomorrow). Grace liked it too, she's been talking to me about broken houses and fixing broken houses. Some of them have obviously upset her quite a bit. This one didn't and there was a room which she quite obviously saw as hers. We could definitely live in this house while we planned and waited for permits, but a lounge at the other end of the house to the kitchen seems daft to me. It would drive me batty in the long term, I'm sure. Still, we need to talk more. Because I'm big on ideas but I'm not the buildery one. I bet this house will slip away into the land of could-have-beens. Grrr.

p.s. I'm really starting to enjoy the new camera, especially for some reason, the sound of the shutter which is super fast compared to the brick. Still haven't figured out the buttons, but it's fun.


daisies said...

:) glad you are starting to enjoy the new camera!! the house plan looks interesting and it seems like a lot of good workable space ... good luck ...

Marg said...

That does sound like a dream suburb!

h&b said...

i've just commented over at your flickr, so had to follow you here next ;)
As for the 'lounge at the front', we got one here, and at first I was like 'this is a useless room', BUT, the genius of it is:
It's a formal room, a CLEAN room, a room in which to invite strangers into, without letting them into your domain down the other end, where the TV and the toys and the mess are. It's a way of entertaining without sharing your intimacies.
And did I mention, it's always clean ?
We call ours 'the train room', as it always has the trainset set up on the rug. It is a great escape for me to sit in there and read, and we made it so there is no tv and no music in there. It is a quiet room, away from family life, which is at the other end.
AND, we figure, it will be the 'slippers and a pipe' room later on, when the teens take over and are doing all sorts of disgusting things we don't want to know about down the back.
Oh - and the couch in there is also a pull-out bed ... so effectively, it's also a guest room.
I can send you my plans if you like.
Good luck today at auction !
( Sorry about the long comment ;)

Penni said...

Soooo? Waiting with bated breath.
I adore that wallpaper.
Yes, the Secret Suburb it's called here. I have actually dreamed about the Secret Suburb, it has a wild park in it too, with lots of gum trees and probaby a creek, though you can actually walk to the city. Ours is probably a little to the east, closer to Preston than Pascoe Vale.

sooz said...

My Saturday night thrill - the Muppinstuff house round up. Not quite sure, but I wait with baited breath for the unveiling of the secret suburb, and the auction results and the vicarious thrill of possibilities.

Kris said...

I'd second h&b comments. Our house has the same kind of set up and it does allow for one peaceful room, relatively untouched by scraps of food and tea towels used as baby blankets.
I'm in awe of your commitment to getting the right house Janet, and not just anything to get into the market or anything that takes your immediate fancy. It must take a will of iron and nerves of steel some days. Our first house we bought because I liked the feel of it and it reminded me of the houses I'd lived in in Brisbane. We somehow failed to acknowledge it was on a major road (and I hate traffic noise) and that what was kind of funky in our sub-tropical share house days was pretty grim in a Tassie winter. It was a disaster.

VictoriaE said...

I would want that carpet and that wallpaper.