Thursday 29 November 2018

November - Open House Perth- Part II


Following from Saturday's visit to the Open House venues.

On Sunday, Sofia a friend who is an architect and her two daughters joined me for a visit to some of Perth's funkiest and innovative private homes.
Because I had to take the car this time I planned the visit with google maps so that I could travel from one place to the other without wasting time. I had aimed to see 11 houses but managed to see 9, as I hadn't counted on the waiting lines to get into some of the most popular houses, and the time spent inside each house...
Still, we loved what we saw and came home with lots of ideas.

HOUSE A was a 3-storey tiny house with a garage underneath, lounge and kitchen on the ground floor and a loft bedroom. It was built in the front of a block where an old house was already built (undergoing renovations), and a third house was being built at the back.
House A was made of recycled concrete panels and white washed recycled bricks, and the floors and kitchen counters were all made of cement.
It was ideal for a young couple, it had a little courtyard at the back with not much maintenance needed.

ABBETTHAUS was a recently constructed house, the owners had just moved in. Built at the back of an older house which faced the street behind, it was double storey, very modern, and I loved the tiny plunge pool at the entrance.

The BRICK HOUSE, probably one of the most popular destinations judging by the long line of people waiting outside (it took us about 30min before we got in), was designed to look like a renovated heritage factory turned house. 
The brick exterior didn't convince me, but I liked some of the indoor features.
It had 4 levels, with an underground entertainment room, the kitchen/lounge/dining/study and bathroom on the ground floor, 3 bedrooms on the first floor and a terrace above the main bedroom with views to the city centre.
My favourites in this house were the round window above a net over the lounge (it could hold 1 tonne) with views to the city and by the mini library. I could imagine relaxing there reading a book with the sun shining on me.

Lounge, round window with views of city, one of the bedrooms, the relaxing net and window, underground movie room, bathroom
The terrace and the hydraulic door/window above the staircase to the terrace, the kitchen, a vespa in the lounge and balcony

Designed for the rental market on a small block of land, the DOG HOUSE had two bedrooms each with a walk in robe and en-suite bathroom on the first floor and a kitchen, lounge and dining room that led to a small courtyard.
The front of the house pays homage to the owner's terrier (who died last year), with the main wall made of angled glazed bricks that shows a dog and even the cement pavement at the entrance had dog paws. 
The dog wall is better seen from the other side of the road.

BETON HOUSE would get my top 3 vote. It seemed to be very popular too with a long queue outside.
A 60's house renovated by Western Australia's favourite contestants from "The Block" and "Matt & Kim to the Rescue, it was chic and modern. It was for sale and the price includes about 30 thousand dollars worth of furniture.

When I searched online for the price I actually came across the previous sale in September 2014 with photos of the house before, and you can see the amazing transformation from awful to amazing in the two links. It went from a 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1 garage to 4 bedrooms, 3 baths and 2 car bays.
It's in a very good suburb and the price also reflects the renovation - from $732,000 to an asking price of between $1,175,000 to $1,225,000 now.
The only think I didn't like the bath in the upstairs bedroom, but on the other hand the walk in wardrobe behind the bedroom with access to the bathroom was my dream wardrobe!

From drab to fab - before and after (photos from Reiwa website)
Before and After house plan (photos from Reiwa website)

At the CASA 314 - STUDIO CONVERSION, entry was through a back lane that led to a former garage that had been converted into an architect's studio for the owner.
Folding glass doors had been added to 3 sides of the garage, one leading to the lane, the others to the courtyard. A small kitchen and bathroom had been added to one side of the garage which made the room self contained.
A nice green tiled spa bath was accessible from the garden and also from a room behind the kitchen.
We had access to the kitchen and to the upstairs family room via a funky staircase with the walls covered in mdf which had been burned with a torch burner and then given a coat of varnish. 
The upstairs room was also totally covered in mdf - tv unit, plenty of storage, a unit dividing lounge to a study, and even part of the house roof was covered with mdf and the former chimney extended - apparently the kids enjoyed climbing and sliding down that ramp.
The rest of the house was out of bounds to visitors.

The former garage - entry, roof skylight, the studio and courtyard with kids cubby house
The staircase covered mdf, a spa bath accessible from the garden and from the interior, the top extension, the top lounge and kitchen

UNION ST RESIDENCE, was also very nice, a bit too modern for me, double storey, also had a small plunge pool on the tiny front courtyard.

OGILVIE HOUSE was number 2 on my list. A former 2 bedroom cottage which was remodeled and enlarged from a 2 bedroom to a 4 bedroom.
The front entrance was relocated to the side and the former entry corridor space was converted into wardrobes for the 2 bedrooms now at the front of the house.
A modern back addition added 2 extra bedrooms, a study and a very roomy lounge/dining/kitchen.
A lovely garden geared for kids and a small pool at the back completed this lovely renovation. A quirky detail was that in the old part of the house the ?antique" light switches and wall plugs were left.

And lastly we saw the house that was my favourite,  CLEAVER ST RESIDENCE which also combined old charm and ultra modern.
There was so much to love in this house - the views to the city from the top floor bedroom, the cosy courtyard, the bird like light fitting above the dining table, the lead glass original front door, the arches and corbels in the corridor, the long kitchen counter....

Courtyard seen from different perspectives
Lead glass front door, arches in corridor, bird like light fitting, kitchen, glass doors to the lounge
Top floor bedroom, view to the city from bedroom, looking into a bedroom window, small study with views, chairs on bedroom corner

Somewhere on one of our stops we spotted this synthetic grass covered VW. We had to stop and take photos. I wonder if it's roadworthy or it's just a garden ornament.

Hope you enjoyed the house tours and that the grass car made you smile 😊

Tuesday 27 November 2018

Open House Perth 2018 (part I)

November is always a busy month for me -  friend's birthdays, Open House Perth, Christmas lights trail in the city, Christmas events to plan, people to invite, a Christmas work function to attend, presents to buy or make, coffee dates with friends who I won't see again until next year, my grandson's birthday...
This year there's still a trip to the Philippines between the 8th and 22nd December,  which will shorten my time to do things...


Open House is an exciting weekend with thousands of  people darting from one end of the city to the other for an unique opportunity to visit some of Western Australia's best buildings, see behind the scenes of certain monuments and to visit architect designed private homes. This year with about 100 venues open, the choice of visits was quite difficult. 

On Saturday I started with a visit to Kings Park, not part of Open House, but just because it was the day before Armistice Day and I wanted to see the red poppies display.

I always feel so lucky to live in Perth when I admire the views of the city from Kings Park.
But I was sad to see that 90% of the people I came across were walking while looking at their phones, or sitting down looking at their phones, or even "talking" to others while they looked at their phones...

Why can't people leave their phones alone for a short while and enjoy the views and a face to face chat? And it wasn't just young people, some were older than me!

City views from Kings Park, people walking, sitting but always on their mobile phones

Poppies for Armistice Day on 11th Nov

Some of the Spring flowers still blooming


Then followed a visit to my first Open House venue - QT Hotel, at 133 Murray street.
The luxurious, 18 storey designer hotel in the centre of Perth City, opened in August and appears to be the new in thing in Perth. 
It has 185 bedrooms with luxurious bathrooms, and the art displayed and the decor of the hotel rooms are all linked to Western Australian fauna and flora and its colours. 
My favourite room was the Yellow room with the black cockatoo wall paper.

Bedrooms, art, bathroom and mini-bar in each room - the yellow room with the cockatoo wallpaper (top right)

On the first floor we visited the Italian Santini Restaurant and on the 18th floor the piece de resistance was the rooftop bar, with an indoor area for 110 people and outdoor area for 90 people, with views to the Swan river.

Back panel in lift, the dining room (top), the first floor bar, foyer, corredor with earth colour murals (bottom)
Rooftop bar, indoor and outdoor area, the QT hotel building

Next was the Hadiqa restaurant, and here they had a limited time slot for visits, so I was on time.
This Morocco inspired oasis which opened in April this year, is located in the newly developed area east of the CBD - Hibernian Place across from the new Westin Hotel.
The lovely and green public square on the corner of Hay and Erwin streets has given the eastern side of the city new life.
The narrow restaurant, long bar and open kitchen seem quite spacious and fresh with a lot of fake greenery hanging from the ceiling and walls, and on the second floor they also have a small rooftop bar.
All visitors were given a sweet mint tea before a short talk by the Hibernian Place coordinator and by the designers of Hadiqa, which means Garden in Arabic.

Hadiqa restaurant with Middle Eastern decor 
Stairs to the rooftop bar and rooftop bar (left), dining area and Moroccan lanterns and decor (right)
Hibernian Place - resting areas, flowers and herbs, green spaces, the Hadiqa restaurant and rooftop bar

ART GALLERY OF Western Australia

My last visit was to the Art Gallery of WA where I visited 2 of the exhibitions on display - 
Sidney Nolan's Ned Kelly series and Beyond Bling.

After the gallery visit I stood for a few minutes enjoying the sounds of Jazz music - part of the International Jazz Festival - being played across from the gallery at the Wetlands outdoor entertainment area.

Jazz Festival, The Art Gallery of WA, statues in the gallery
Ned Kelly series of pictures, other art in the gallery
Beyond Bling exhibition
  Around 4,30pm it was time to take the train home and finish dinner as my son, daughter in law and grandchild would be arriving at 5,30 for an early dinner.
Around the Cultural Centre they have a community garden with flowers and herbs, and anyone can help themselves to some herbs on the way home. The old Perth station is just below and I crossed it to access the newer area on the other side from where my train departed.

Community garden at the Perth Cultural Centre and Perth train station (bottom right)

Monday 26 November 2018

Monday Mural - Kindy Fun II

At McDougall Park kindergarten, in the suburb of Como where I work, there is a new mural in the classroom building just behind the shed that has the mural I originally posted in June 2017.
Because it's all behind the school fence I have no idea who painted them.

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you;
just follow the Linky steps below.   Be sure to link back to this blog and visit your fellow posters.  Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks, Sami.

Below the mural on the shed in front of the school building with the mural I posted in June 2017.
Original mural at McDougall park kindy, the one posted today is in the building behind.

Saturday 24 November 2018


Ducks eating and the trees reflected in the Canning River (Perth), taken at my friend's house.
They have a small deck from where they feed the ducks, black swans and whatever birds come around (twice a day) so they are never short of hungry visitors.

Participating in James's Weekend Reflections and Eileen's Saturday Critters .

Wednesday 21 November 2018

Signs - Letters

Various signs with letters taken on our trips in the last couple of years.
For more signs from around the world follow this link.

Iata code for Dubai Airport

Sign in an airbnb house we rented

"Here" sign at a Perth beach

"Hello Hungary" sign at Budapest Airport

My husband and I at the "Marseille" sign

M for Marseille

Adelaide Zoo
Perth Arena and Entertainment Centre

Igloo Garden Rooftop Bar in Budapest
L for Learner (driver's licence)
Darling Harbour - Sydney

Monday 19 November 2018

Monday Mural - Flowers

I photographed this mural in the Phoenix Shopping Centre in the southern Perth suburb of Spearwood, when I drove my daughter there to meet up with a friend, when she visited us in September.
Next to a flower shop stood this beautiful mural of flowers painted by Mandurah (suburb south of Perth) artist Tahnee Kelland.
Aren't the flowers so pretty?

If you like murals or have a mural you'd like to post, this meme is for you;
just follow the Linky steps below and  don't forget to visit 
your fellow posters.  
Looking forward to your mural finds this week.  Thanks, Sami.