Let's not get too excited, but…

I have taken Mum and Dad and Amelia back to look at the crazy house (the one with SIX bedrooms that I have mentioned previously) this morning and they liked it. I am still to be convinced but it seems too big and too cheap not to consider. I have never seen so much wood paneling in my life and I really, really don’t like wood paneling. The kitchen is basically made of wood paneling and the whole outside of the house is covered in crazy dark brown wood panel cladding. It continues to be called the Crazy House and if we buy it I will make a name plaque that says Casa Loca (though Maison Folle also sounds quite good) because it really is pretty crazy and it will be fun to strive each day to make it crazier.

Anyway, now that we are seriously considering it and getting lawyers to check out paper work and our building friend to do an inspection and so on, I am still not terribly excited but I am trying to work out how we might use the SIX bedrooms. Obviously there will by our room, and Amelia’s bedroom and a home office thing, but there are still three others to consider. The three rooms in question are awfully small so ideas such as pool room, home gym, music room, plant conservatory etc. are unfortunately not a possibility.

A guest room would be good, especially as we have many nephews and nieces overseas who are just getting into that “tour the world and discover yourself” age so you never know when they might need a boring suburban stop-over in between partying on the Gold Coast and going feral in the desert. Also, as we are living very far out in the suburbs we might need rooms for our friends who live in the inner city to be able to stay in after dinner parties as a late night trek home might be tedious… I am also considering a library – four walls lined with book shelves and a chair in the middle with a tiny little writing desk on which you can rest your pipe. That would be useful. We shouldn’t have got rid of all of Big-P’s academic tomes – he told me they would be useful one day… And perhaps I could have a sewing room and a room to do my illustration work in, and a print gocco room and Big-P could have a study too… and Amelia will definitely need a “teenager’s retreat” when she gets to that certain age and probably a seperate study so she can concentrate away from all the distractions kids need these days… oh dear, I don’t think this house has enough bedrooms. And if in the end we decide this house is no good, then we will have to find another house that has this many rooms!

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23 Responses

  1. I’m a big fan of knocking down walls, myself. 😉

  2. try not to stress too much, I know how hard house hunting can be, and wood panelling can be painted over.Although we are now three months in our new house and I am paralysed by choice with paint colours!

  3. Thanks Jen… it’s true… and this house would absolutely need to have a new kitchen which is terrifying and exciting too. I have never ever thought about what I would actually like in an ideal kitchen. It’s always been “has it got a stove? Check. Oooh those tiles are ugly but I can live with them”…actually picking out fixtures and tiles and so on (cheap ones but our choice never the less) will be an amazing new experience.

  4. Paneling is terribly ugly but once painted it can offer a bit of a cozy cottage style. Our basement, as most basements are, is covered in faux wood which I immediately painted cream and the entire place looks far less creepy than before. Imagine cottage, cozy, retro-comfort. It wouldn’t be so bad. Besides, panels are easily ripped out if you absolutely hate them.

  5. Hi Claire, don’t worry too much, an odd house gives a lot of creative possibilities…just give yourself some time, if you buy that house, start by living in it for a while, you’ll see how you will move inside it, the habits you will take and with that knowledge you can start to re-do the rooms one by one, maybe you even tear down a wall or two to make rooms bigger ? Wish you good luck and stay “zen”.

  6. i can’t help myself from putting in a vote for your own sewing/crafting room. i have one and its like my little hideaway. when my sewing machine and fabric and all the bits and pieces are always out it is just so inviting and easy to tuck into a project even if i only have a spare couple of minutes. getting started on things isn’t the big production it used to be for me.
    i’m liking the crazy house – it will be fun to watch you transform it into YOUR crazy house!

  7. I am quite serious about having a craft room – but not so much about the library etc. It would be fantastic. The woman who currently owns the house is a quilting teacher and has some beautiful pieces around the house as well as a room set up with a machine and so on for all her projects. I had a peek at her shelves which are loaded with scraps and bits and pieces and I could see me there hacking away at some kind of odd looking animal. The rest of the house I am not sure about… at least there was no wood paneling in her sewing room.

  8. I’d definately vote for a sewing/craft room, and then a study each. I dream of the space to have all my craft things in a room of their own, with cupboards and shelves so I could see everything I had to work with!

  9. You can totally paint wood paneling. My mother did that in her house, when she finally grew tired of her circa 1970 paneled living room. It ended up looking neat: at first blush, you didn’t notice it. When you did, it looked almost nautical.

  10. lauracarroll@hotmail.com says:

    There’s a house for sale in in my street with seven bedrooms, lol. Wood panelling might be pretty bad, but my sewing & daydreaming room has got little house on the prairie style country floral wallpaper…ugh!

  11. You could fill the extra rooms by having more children??Good luck with the house.

  12. I live in a house with painted wood paneling. The hardest part is scrunching the paint in between the panels. 6 bedrooms sound dreamy and very fun for hide and seek. Good luck!

  13. Too many rooms is a whole lot better than not enough rooms (within reason)

  14. scottnmari@comcast.net says:

    ok i hated apt and househunting…but i *love* planning;-)
    you’ll find a place – even if it’s not this one!
    if you want and get the crazy house:
    o, you’ll find things to do with your 6 bedrooms – fear not. Def. shoot for sewing/gocco/other rooms. The paneling can be painted (or removed). my porch was so ugly we just threw primer up and it made a *huge* difference. I bet an enamel would be nice or some kind of wash or treatment or murals to take away some of the panelled look.
    i agree with janine about living in the house a little first (like waiting that 1st year out to see what a garden will do).
    while your doing that, i’d highly recc. keeping a notebook with pix and ideas of rooms and colors and fixtures you like; from mags and such. i did that and it helped me shape what i wanted to do, gave me time to shop around, to discover, change or set my mind. the other thing i did was look at/buy paint recipe books. sort of helps to make you feel like you’re accomplishing something, too during the saving, shopping, dreaming period. chin up and good luck!!!

  15. grussin@okstate.edu says:

    One room for Amelia’s small toys, one for Amelia’s larger toys, and one room for your craft/gift wrap/Mommy needs some alone time!

  16. aleece@refrigeratorgallery.com says:

    I’ve been enjoying your site for a while but haven’t chimed in. There are lots of “paintable wallpapers” that can go right on top of paneling. They are usually textured — some of them are quite awful, but many of them are nice. Consider it a possibility to break up the monotony of the vertical stripes left when you paint paneling. My parents have done this successfully in an old home they purchased.

  17. I painted wood paneling out in my sunroom. Check it out on my sunroom project page off of my blog page. The craft room sounds wonderful… imagine a big table with bits and scraps all over it. Yum.

  18. lisa.cann@yvvaluations.com.au says:

    Hi ClaireWe have 6 bedrooms on the outskirts of Melbourne. Its a 1930’s house that we moved – its great. But I do have 3 kids so we use 4 as bedrooms and one as a guest room and then one is MY STASH ROOM Yay!!! Re the panelling – a little thing called paint and lots of it in wonderful bright colours. Good luck

  19. For ideas, look at Rachel Ashwell’s book – The Shabby Chic Home (or house or something like that) Its the one where she redid a house that sounds a lot like yours, lots of dark panelling, etc. Looking at the before pictures I would have thought no way, but the result after just white paint is astonishing. It made me start lloking out for that kind of house on my random house-hunts. I love the idea of a big rambling house with lots of extra rooms. I have made one into my studio for illustration and computer stuff, one for sewing, crafting and whatnot, and yet another one is for messing around with wet stuff like paints! And hubby uses one for his office and workout room. We love it!

  20. I love the idea of 6 bedrooms – we only have 3! I agree with everyone who says paint is the way to go – relatively cheap & fast & easy to tear the paneling down if you still hate it later. Good luck!!

  21. Have more babies? Or just get some cats and give them their own rooms?
    Is it possible to combine some of the rooms into one so that you have bigger rooms? Or make one into a huge walk-in pantry? Or even a huge walk-in wardrobe?

  22. blossomscottage@bigpond.com says:

    Some time ago I purchased a house that not only had wood panelling on all the kitchen walls, but it was also on the ceiling! UGGHH!!! very ugly but we pulled it all off and found old lining boards underneath which I got sandblasted and they look terrific. I then go the walls re-plastered and painted it a light colour to reflect the light.
    Don’t stress out over this minor problem. As others have said you can always paint it….or replaster. The trick is to get the house in the first place then mould it to suit your needs. I’d kill for another bedroom so I could have a craft/sewing room AND a guest room. What bliss!
    Just think of the possibilities – endless.

  23. mgiacobello@brw.fairfax.com.au says:

    Go the crazy house!We bought a crazy house 2 years ago. One of those so ugly nobody else wanted it kind of things. I actually love it 2 years down the line and some of the uglier things are incredibly practical – like the concrete path leading to the clothes-line which dominates the back yard… LOTS I will change one day though. One of the nice things about starting with a crazy house is that you HAVE to think laterally to make affordable improvements so the end result is really unique and nothing like it would have been if you’d had the money to point at something and say “let’s have that”. If you really hate the wood panelling, you can fill the cracks between the boards and paint over that, throw up a cornice and picture rail – nobody would ever know… My crazy house is still very much a work in progress and with a little one and one on the way there’s not much space to do anything to it but at least it’s ours. Good luck with it Clare. If it’s meant to be yours, you’ll find a way!