The Star Treatment for the Convent – my own renovation rescue

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The “Before” shot with the untreated fibro sheets at the base of the windows

The "After" shot with full glass and street views. The neighbours like it too!

The “After” shot with full glass and street views. The neighbours like it too! Light now streams in making it the ideal location for those long Winter mornings.

The Convent seems to be enjoying all the treatment she is getting and is responding well. The painting inside is finished and the outside is getting pressure cleaned in parts and repainted for all the white areas which should make her glow.

The niche in the lounge room. The fireplace below is yet to be restored.

The niche in the lounge room. The fireplace below is yet to be restored.

The detailing which was overlooked with more bland institutional painting is now apparent with picture rails, feature niches, detailed windows … all being highlighted. In the next few weeks the floors will be done – predominantly sanding and polishing cypress pine boards which look as they will be in varied condition- some pristine and never exposed, others with heavier use. And Black Japan finishing which I am learning is not a good thing. Bedrooms are being carpeted. There are some reservations expressed by others about me not carpeting the whole building. Cold keeps being mentioned. I’m hoping that lots of rugs, furniture and some wood fire heaters and eventually and AGA or something similar in stoves will help. Closed doors also work well! If the worst happens, I can always carpet the rest although obviously I hope this isn’t necessary. I love the character of timber floors and these are original thick tongue and groove boards.

Just so much fresher and displaying the original attention to detail, particularly the beautiful doors

Just so much fresher and displaying the original attention to detail, particularly the beautiful doors

One of the great successes (and cheapest) has been the front sunroom window. I had great plans of replacing this with a heavier timber structure of full length glass, but the glazier encouraged me to try just replacing the daggy untreated fibro panels down the bottom with glass for a few hundred dollars instead of an expensive carpentry exercise. The aluminium fitting is actually fitted into a solid timber frame and the new glass panels look great. The views are much improved  from the loungeroom, the light floods in and it has become the dogs’ favourite hangout as they can watch the street activity whilst basking in the sun.

Post flooring will be curtains ordered from Mudgee Material World which I’m really happy about. Robyn has gone to great trouble to get me looking at magazines for ideas and has sourced curtain rails in keeping with the building. All the curtains are neutral but beautiful linens – from floaty light in some areas to much heavier texture in others and ranging from full length pleated curtains to Roman blinds.

With any luck floors and curtains could be finished by the end of September and me up there most of the time with my Sydney home on the market. There’s a long way to go yet, but all the basics should fall in place shortly.

The Chapel colours are more sympathetic to the amber headlights. All the old fluoro lighting has been removed so photos are a bit more challenging.

The Chapel colours are more sympathetic to the amber leadlights. All the old fluoro lighting has been removed so photos are a bit more challenging.

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