Doer-upper never done

22:29, Aug 10 2014

Press journalist and first-home hunter Georgina Stylianou shares the highs and lows involved with getting a wobbly foot on the great property ladder.

Why is finishing a room so difficult?

I've long been a fan of the old adage that you should finish one thing before moving onto the next, but when renovating a house, I've found that simple desire becomes impossibly far-fetched.

Last week I wrote about the renovation lessons I've learnt in my seven-week-old life of homeownership and I really should have included the aforementioned fact.

My partner Robbie and I have roughly tackled three rooms since we moved in - the living room/dining area, the kitchen and the first bedroom.

They're all liveable now but the more finished they become, the more it annoys me that they are still a while away from being complete.


The kitchen still needs a vinyl floor, a vent in the roof so we can use the rangehood, shelves and an island bench or butcher's block to plonk in the middle of the room. It's odd how quickly your standards can change when the home you live in is yours. I'd never even thought about betterment of a property when I rented, it was merely about maintaining and cleaning it.

Our new kitchen is my pride and joy and it's even made cooking less of a chore. At the moment the floor is just thin plywood that was laid over the old, multi-coloured tiles and we haven't exactly taken care of it - there's paint splashes and mud stains all over it - and I can't wait for it to be finished.

There's also a few key kitchen items that we are still lacking. My friend Abbie literally walked away from me mid-conversation when I told her I had used a sieve to drain pasta.

''You don't have a colander?'' she asked in disbelief before shaking her head and returning to her desk.

We still don't have curtains so despite the living room being painted and clean, it doesn't quite feel cozy.

There's a hole in the middle of the room where a coffee table should be and our television is housed in a built-in wardrobe that we've taken the doors off.

When you own a house that is in such a state as ours was, you do the necessary amount of work to bring it up to scratch.

Once that's done, you go back and do the fancy, luxury stuff that really turns a house into a home.

I can't wait to spend some of my savings on a beautiful lampshade or wooden coffee table but I've accepted that it will be a while before I can do that.

Georgina Stylianou is a reporter at The Press . This is part of her weekly series about buying her first home.

Email or tweet @gstylianoupress

The Press