Tree Change House Tour – Part One

To be honest I’m not sure what really constitutes a ‘tree change’.  Do you have to move to the bush, or does a regional city still count?  Regardless, I’m calling our move to the regional Victorian city of Ballarat our tree change.  It’s not quite complete and won’t be until Mr Good finds himself work in this absolutely beautiful regional city.  Until then he’s got the somewhat onerous task of commuting back and forth from the city four days a week.

We’re now just a few days into our big move, the house is pretty much unpacked and we’ve started doing some minor DIY jobs.  It’s an old Victorian weather board cottage and while it’s in pretty good condition with a nice modern kitchen and manageable bathroom (and a laundry I adore), but it does need some work.  To begin with the cupboards in the bedrooms and laundry have been fairly shoddily installed and contain only hanging space. Mr Good has been busy installing shelving and I’ll paint it up tomorrow so it looks nice and bright.

For now I thought I would show you some of the rooms that I have finished unpacking and organising.

Firstly the girls’ bedroom.

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The blue walls really need a fresh coat of paint, but the 14ft ceilings are slightly daunting so for now it will stay.  The blue actually looks really good with the greens and blues of their bedding and accessories.  And you can bet how long the room stayed in this state…. about 15 seconds.

The wall behind where I’ve taken these photos from has a fire place that has been boarded up and some very dodgy built-in robes.  One side had huge cracks and gaps which Mr Good filled before building the shelving.  I’ll show some before and afters once that little project is finished.

Next is the spare room.


Not much to inspire one just yet and we definitely need some bigger prints for the walls, ours are looking dwarfed against these very tall walls.

The next three photos are the lounge room – a determinedly toy-free zone!

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The fire place is actually a gas heater, but with open flames not one that we will be using with the girls around.  The ceiling has been lowered which gives it a cozier feel, but with only an east facing window close to the neighbours house and our side fence it can be a little dark and dingy on overcast days.

I’m thinking of removing or plastering over the dark wood panelled wall and painting the whole room white, except perhaps the dark red around the fire place.  I’m also not sure about the built in cabinet on one side of the fire place.  I like it as a piece of furniture especially the two-toned timber, but it doesn’t really go with the rest of the room.  Any thoughts?  The final thing this room is calling out for is nice curtains instead of the cheap timber Venetian blinds.  This would keep the room a bit warmer, but also allow in more light during the day when they’re pulled back.

The kitchen is next….

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It has an amazing amount of storage space with full length cupboards the entire way along the rear wall, plus under bench cupboards and draws (pots draws!!  Love them!) and a couple of overhead cupboards.  Unfortunately the laminate coverings have bubbled and come away from the cupboard doors so they don’t quite look right.  And there’s not a lot of bench space, but I’m used to working in small kitchens so for now I can deal with all of that.  The big issue is that there is no space for a fridge, hence why it’s sitting in front of the window.

I’m planning to find some second hand timber stools, giving them a bit of a make over and sitting them under the bench on one side.  I’ll also paint the blue walls white again to brighten this area up a bit more. But in the long run I have plans for a complete refit, including a large walk in pantry and galley-style kitchen.  I dream of the perfect kitchen, it will be years before we can afford anything like that, just image how much I could add to my dream by then!

Off the kitchen is a lovely dining area…

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Sorry about the photos, these were taken late in the afternoon.  I love this area, it’s spacious enough for our table without it getting lost in a larger space.  It is a rather large back room opening onto a deck, but we’ve divided it into two zones. Other than painting the yellow walls white (hmmmm I do like white) this area will stay just as it is…. unless I find some light shades I prefer over the ones on the rear wall.

And the final show and tell for tonight is the girls’ play area which takes up the other half of the back room.


Again I’m loving this space.  It allows the girls more area to play without spreading their toys all over the house and they can get to all the toys and books I’ve put in this space.  I’ve got some plans to improve this with a low bench along the wall with cushions on top and storage below, a gallery for their art creations and some sort of small couch or couple of arm chairs so we can sit and read together.  There’s no TV in this room so it has already reduced the temptation measurably.

I’ll do part two soon which will include the two front rooms (master bedroom and study), the bathroom, laundry and the outside front and back.  I’ve been known to sit in the car at the front of our house and pinch myself when I realise we own a house this cute!! It’s screaming out to be cross-stitched, that’s how cute it is.  And as you can imagine I have to most wonderful plans for the garden.

Apart from showing you all the house and the improvements we make to it, big and small, along the way, I have plans to breath new life into the New Good Life blog.  In the meantime, if anyone else has made a tree change, sea change or just a life change I’d love to hear about it.  Did you love it?  Was it what you expected and hoped for?  What made you make the change in the first place?


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11 Responses to Tree Change House Tour – Part One

  1. petabreerule says:

    Agree with white and leaving the red. The panelling ain’t great. I covet your kitchen though, and honestly yellow is the BEST colour for a kitchen, in my less-than-humble-opinion. Also you can accessorise in red, and then it looks vaguely like the colours I associate with cheese and for some inexplicable reason this makes me happy.

    Some of the weatherboard cottages in Ballarat are just gorgeous. I ended up in the ‘Rat accidentally earlier this year. Did you know the Eureka flag – the original one – is at the art gallery there? I was quite excited to see it. The Swede on the other hand did not quite understand the fuss and it would be fair to say the history of the Australian union movement was slightly lost on him.

    I’ll be in town next year probably for the FISA world masters rowing regatta on Wendouree, I’ll swing by and say hi to you and the gals if you’re in town. And will attempt not to show up on your doorstep in lycra.

    Anyway, have a brief story to tell you Mrs Good:

    Last night I was teaching my weekly tutorial in Media Law and Ethics at the local university here in Perth. I give the kids a handout of “10 words you need to stop spelling wrongly” which included weather and whether.

    As most of these “kids” are 17 and older, this should technically just be a refresher. That said, I find myself channelling Mrs Kumnick from time to time, and am known for being easy to distract by telling stories.

    I said to this class of tertiary students that I had not bothered including the third wether on the “weather/whether” list as it would be something they were unlikely to need in their journalistic careers, unless they went on to write for the Weekly Times or something.

    Not one kid knew what the third wether was.

    I also went on to discover none of the kids learnt basic snake-bite first aid in primary school.

    Ergo I hereby fully support your tree change, may your beautiful daughters grow to know which wether is which, that a tourniquet is not an appropriate treatment for a snake bite and that you can make explosives from fertiliser.

    These are life skills you only acquire in the country.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Nice to hear from you PBR, and yes drop by next time your around, I’m we’ll be here. I could probably even overlook a bit of lycra.
      Sadly it doesn’t surprise me that tertiary students are still terrible spellers (especially with using homonyms correctly), it was my constant mission as a teacher. That and drumming in the fact the GOOGLE is not a source to be referenced on a bibliography – IT”S A SEARCH ENGINE!! I did yell that at my Year 7s repeatedly, and they shouted it back to me on my last day, bless them!

      As for the yellow, I can’t live with it, I have nightmares about yellow rooms and this one is paired with the classic 90s blue. It white all the way for me. My original plan was to do the whole house the same white (did you know white rooms use less electricity – now that’s how eco I am, hardcore!). But the red won me over and the thought of painting 14ft walls in the other rooms has me quivering already so besides the yellow and blue the rest will stay for now.

      And now it’s time I saw pictures of your house – its a bit Deco isn’t it? Have you blogged recently?

  2. Jenny Pearson says:

    Hi Barbara, your house looks delightful, and I especially like the girls’ room with its beautiful bunting on the wall – think another special room would look lovely with something similar for our mutual friend!! That kitchen is to die for, and so much storage, heaven, I know you will just love to get right into your cooking in there, and think of all the yummy soups, stews etc. to warm tummies on those cold days, and all wrapped warmly in your cosy little cottage. Look forward to seeing your garden and the ideas you have – also room for a couple of those egg-laying feathered friends will be the icing on the cake. I truly wish you well in your “tree-change”and feel sure that you will find endless things to do both inside the house and outside in the wider community for both yourself and the girls – enjoy your lovely home and city.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Ah Jenny, it’s always so nice to hear from you. I love the bunting too and have one on the go for that mutual friend – are we going to double up? Perhaps she could swap them month about?

      The kitchen is fabulous and I’ve just stocked the cupboards and fridge ready to get cooking.

      The garden excites me, so many ideas, but also SO MANY white stones to dig out of every existing garden. My back is aching at the thought right now. We have the perfect spot for some feathered friends – I’m thinking 3, is that a good number? And Mr Good has plans for a movable coop. You will have to come for a visit one day to give me some advice. And I should bring the girls out to your place and test how they go with your chickens.

  3. Jenny Pearson says:

    Hi Barbara, no we won’t double up on the mutual friend’s present, and I won’t tell, how lovely. Great idea with a moveable chicken coop, they can be quite destructive if let loose into the garden proper, you will need to fence off areas if you ever let them actually free range – I keep mine under control in quite a large area, they also have a permanent home and fully enclosed yard for times when I am out, so they are completely safe from all sorts of predators. Any time you want to come for a look, you are all most welcome – I’ll put the coffee machine/kettle on. On a side issue, am reading Should Be More Dancing – am enjoying same, very black humour and a bit quirky just like me!!! Have also just received from our library The Dressmaker so no time for TV thank goodness! Have just realised that you asked me about numbers for chickens – 3 is good – I have 4 and they provide me with enough eggs in the main laying time – Spring/Summer, to use myself and have a few to sell, so depending on how many you use 3 should be quite good.

  4. Cat says:

    It looks gorgeous! Love it and cant wait to visit.

  5. Ailsa says:

    What a beautiful home! I love the girls bedroom, very stylish!

    • Barbara Good says:

      Thanks Ailsa, the bedroom is mostly courtesy of Ikea – it was just luck that it all looked so good with the blue that was already there. Oh and I have a very clever friend who made the bunting.

  6. Liz says:

    Your new house looks great. I hope you have more success than me with the toy free lounge room. I don’t know how many times a day I have to gently explain (read yell) about toys not being left on the lounge floor.

    • Barbara Good says:

      Funny you should say that Liz. Mr Good’s first comment when he came home from work today “I thought this room was supposed to be toy free!” So not quite working out how I hoped, but I will persevere (Read Yell!)

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