Spring is the time of year we declutter our homes, get out into the garden…
Isn’t it fun how life changes on you? You planned A and it gives you B. You accept B and here’s C.
Your only option is to get used to rollercoaster, otherwise, you’ll just constantly want to get off. Amy however, is someone who has definitely got accustomed to the surprises—and along the way, she has built a home that has even surprised her.
Amy met her husband Ben in Darwin during a work trip. The connection was so strong that six weeks later Ben was down in Canberra and six months later, they were buying a house together. Is that what George Michael meant by ‘fast love’?
Apart from the attraction to each other, they were also really attracted to our Canberra. Originally from the Barossa, Amy really resonated with our country-like living while having the balance of an evolving, progressive city.
A first daughter came along and their standard three-bedroom and one-bathroom home in Page, which they had bought eight years ago, was perfect in size and form.
Amy never thought anything would need to change until life carved out plan B and gave them another daughter—even though Amy was predicting two boys. Yes, it was time to renovate and extend to ensure that four human beings (plus some fish) could live in peace and harmony.
As you can see from Cass’s photos, their decision to stay and improve was a superb one, since they’re now living in a home that they can truly call their own—created with a lot of love.
My favourite part of their home is the extended section that contains an entry, wardrobe, bathroom and master bedroom. Sounds pretty standard but it’s really not.
Firstly, the entry is actually a mud room. Now I’ve never heard that term and all I could think of when Amy said it was that dodgy 80s American mud wrestling trend, but ,of course, I am all that much wiser now.
It’s a massive spacious entry way with a sitting bench, hooks for bags, cupboard and draws for shoes and coats, plus a mirror to check yourself in before heading out. Fit for a royal family.
Secondly, the walk-in robe is more of a walk-in room. I could hear my own echo in there, and it felt like I walked into an exclusive store.
It helps that Amy used to work in fashion and retail, so her eye for setting up this space is what gives the room balance and that shop feel. They didn’t have anything in my size, but I could see Cass eyeing off a few pieces, so I asked if there was a sale coming up.
Thirdly, the bathroom. Now realistically, this should have been an ensuite and I guess technically it is, but as you can see from the photos it resembles something Egyptians would have built for their king.
When the builder said, “I don’t get it, why would you have a raised step to the shower and bath?” Amy quickly replied, “To build drama!” …and that it does. Though the best thing about it is that the size is so well complemented by the abundance of house plants and natural light, it seems nice and cosy.
Lastly, we have the master bedroom—and I really should have the word Master with a capital M. That round occasional chair you see in Cass’s photo next to the stacked bookshelf is big enough to fit all of my friends (and I like to think I’m quite popular based on the readership of these stories) and yet it’s dwarfed by the rest of the room.
There’s plenty of space for the whole family to play around on lazy weekend mornings and probably talk about how happy they are with their decision, or rather the decision that life gave them—to stay and make the most of the home they have.
I’ve been told that it’s good to end a story with a positive insight or philosophical thought, so let’s finish up by remembering that even though sometimes you plan for A but end up on B, it may have been a blessing in disguise. And if you’re on your way to an unexpected C—enjoy the ride.
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Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.
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