Jetty Christmas!

Santa on the canals.

Santa delivers lollies on Christmas Eve.

In the scheme of things, I thought that a jetty was low priority.  After all, we don’t actually have a boat.  But The Nice Wolf had other ideas and last week the Jetty Man motored up to House By The Water, drilled in a couple of poles and attached a brand new jetty.  Just like that!

The Three Little Pigs watched the jetty poles go in.

The Three Little Pigs watched the jetty poles go in.  Jetty by West Coast Jetties.

The Nice Wolf paid attention to the functionality of our jetty design, I oversaw the aesthetics and I am rather pleased with the result.  An unexpected bonus of the jetty is that it visually extends our “back yard”.  Suddenly our canal side area seems so much larger.  The jetty has been well used already:  breakfast while dangling feet over the water and many boating guests, including Santa, a previously anonymous blog reader and some new neighbours who welcomed us with a gift of champagne!  Plus, there has been plenty of shenanigans on our kayaks and the Three Little Pigs’ Christmas gift, a blow up paddle board/windsurfer.

Another highlight of the week was the installation of our cray pot pendants.    They are not quite finished yet, but already I love them, especially at night.

Christmas baking provided a good test for our ovens and kitchen space.  Pavlova?  Check!  3.5 kg salmon?  Check!  2 adults cooking at once?  No problem.

Kitchen

Kitchen in use.

Kitchen crowd.

Boxing Day kitchen crowd.

Guess The Handover Date Competition.

Congratulations to John!  John guessed December 24th would be the day we received keys to House By The Water, 6 days later than our actual handover day.  A good bottle of West Australian bubbly is  available for collection or delivery.  Thanks to all blog readers who joined in with this competition.

Bench tops and tiles.

Alpine Mist Caesarstone.

Kitchen island in Alpine Mist and orange plastic.

The good news is that House By The Water is starting to come together.  The bad news is that the photos are lousy.  Dodgy, locked-out, bad angles, reflection-on-the-windows, ground-floor-only kind of photos.  I’m going to show you any way.

Last week the painters made the ceilings, doors and door frames white.

Then the tilers got busy in the bathrooms and the laundry.  I caught them on the job one morning:

Since then, the wall tiles in both bathrooms have also been laid.

The laundry tiles are almost complete.  There is just a small section under the cabinets left to tile.  This is going to be the hiding spot for our robotic vacuum.

Laundry tiles.

Keeping the laundry basic.

My powder room floor tile choice is proving to be more than just a puzzle:

Powder room mat effect tile.

Puzzling powder room tile.

The tiles come in a series of 6 different tiles.  When they are pieced together they create a rug effect.  We planned to use just three in the series since our powder room is fairly small.  All nice in theory.  Problem 1:  wrong tiles delivered.  Problem 2: replacement tiles still wrong.  Problem 3:  calculation of powder room floor space did not include extra width at the door openings, therefore 4 tiles in the series are actually required.  Problem 4: the second tile in the series is darker than the 1st and 3rd tiles making it look all wrong.  Gotta feeling the tiler isn’t going to love this tile.  I just hope I still do once all the problems are resolved.

The renderers covered some of the planter boxes beside the canal:

Planter boxes.

Planter boxes rendering in progress.

And, most exciting of all, the Caesarstone went in today.  Most of it is covered in protective plastic, but I managed to get a close up of the Alpine Mist bench top in our scullery through the scullery window.

Kitchen bench.

My kitchen bench. House priority #1.

Alpine Mist Caesarstone.

Alpine Mist Caesarstone

Behind the scenes, the landscaping ball is rolling again.  I’m selecting tiles for around the pool for the third time.   The first tiles were discontinued, then the second.  There’s a chance we will have some decking before handover of our house which is a thrilling prospect.  You all know that it’s the glass of wine on the deck that I’ve been dreaming about for the last 3 years.

Our dishwasher is purchased and is awaiting fitting.  We bought the integrated model of Fisher and Paykel’s double dish drawer.  This means that the dish washer will be disguised as a kitchen cabinet.  Very swish!  We’ve had Fisher and Paykel dish drawers in several houses over the past 15 years and I give them two thumbs up.

It’s almost time to start making some lists.  It’s not long now before Webb and Brown-Neaves’ work is done and ours is just beginning.

My husband wants an ugly coffee roaster.

I heart the Nice Wolf.  Really.  Picture source:  No Camels.

I heart the Nice Wolf. Really. Picture source: No Camels.

Dedicated to my Valentine.

I don’t like coffee.  Put half a teaspoon of it in a chocolate cake, and I won’t eat it.  And don’t even think about kissing me if you’ve had a Cafe Latte in the last 60 minutes.  Espresso?  You’ll have to brush your teeth first.

Here is the entirely functional, exceptionally ugly, coffee roaster in question:

Coffee roaster

Hottop Coffee Roaster. Source: Hottop.

Let me start by sorting out the serious coffee drinkers from the “I’d rather have a pretty kitchen” crowd.  Could you, would you?  

My husband singled out this roaster after scouring through forums dedicated entirely to coffee and related paraphernalia.

The retail price for this supreme coffee roaster is (AUD)$1599.  I don’t begrudge the cost.  It’s roughly the equivalent of purchasing a daily Starbucks coffee for one year.  My husband loves his coffee and has made his own ever since I’ve known him.  We’ve had the same trusty coffee machine for 15 years – a great wedding gift from the groom’s best men.   I know the industrial look is on trend, but in a chunky, raw materials, manually-operated kind of way.  Not in a looks-like-it-belongs-in-a-disease-testing-lab kind of way.

Of course I’ve been trawling the web in search of a good-looking alternative.  I’ve found some lovely old-looking machines, the size of  sofas and the price of  cars.  There are very few choices for home roasters.  So I sent The Nice Wolf back to the drawing board and this is what he came up with:

Yup.  A popcorn machine.  Apparently they can roast coffee too.  I wouldn’t say that any of these are worthy of residing on my kitchen bench, but they are light and small and can easily live out of sight.  Possibly roasting coffee beans in them will wear them out, but for as little as $30, I don’t think we’d be too upset.

So that leaves some spare change for stylish new coffee machine.  And it just so happens that I’ve found a couple that fit the bill.

L to R:

  1. The Anza.  Shown here in Corian and teak!  Also available in concrete.
  2. Lavazza in concrete.  Source:  Bit Rebels.
  3. Classic style by Breville.   Various prices.
  4. Ascaso shown in Deep Blue, Polished Aluminium and Deep black.  Retro style from Spain in a choice of 15 colours!  $900.

So coffee lovers, have you got a coffee machine that not only makes coffee just the way you like it but looks fabulous too?  Do tell…   The Nice Wolf is an engineer, and a chemical one at that, so he likes to play with temperatures and air flows and other stuff.  One of those one-touch machines ain’t going to cut it.

And, serious coffee aficionados, (do any of those read my blog?) have you ever roasted your own coffee beans?  How did you do it?  I recently roasted my own cocoa beans in a purpose-made clay pot over a gas flame.  I wish I’d thought to enquire about purchasing a pot.

Gallery

Checking the final plans.

Justine Hugh-Jones did not forget to design in some leg room.

Justine Hugh-Jones did not forget the leg room.

With the finish line in sight, it’s tempting to sprint.  Our final plans, variations and addenda arrived last week.  Signing off on these is our last task before our house construction begins.  We are so close to moving from paperwork to real-live tradespeople, concrete and bricks on our block.

I spent a couple of hours reviewing the 56 pages of plans and addenda and found a few minor errors.  An incorrectly located outdoor shower was the most significant mistake.  Nothing major, but still enough to need a fresh copy of most of the paperwork.  The corrected documents were back the next day.  I was just about ready to return the signed forms when I happened upon a photo of the Rubix kitchen, prompting a small voice in my head:  “Check the kitchen bench again.”  We altered the original kitchen island design to accommodate 5 pairs of legs sitting on stools.  As a result, we ended up with a waterfall-edged bench and lost a couple of small cabinets.  Somehow along the way the cabinets snuck back in and our bench top overhang disappeared.  Note to self: Check and check again.  I am the Chief in Charge of Checking in our family, which is all very well, but you know who’s going to be blamed if something is not right.  It is an understatement to say that I would kick myself if we were to have a huge, stunning kitchen island and 5 beautiful wooden tractor stools, and were unable to sit at the bench.

On other matters this week, the outdoor tiles we had selected to surround our pool have been discontinued.  We’ve had to pick a comparable replacement.  How do you like these porcelain beauties?

"Block" porcelain tiles by Marazzi.

“Block” porcelain tiles by Marazzi.

Before you start to worry, the slip rating is suitable for outside.

I’ve also been thinking about the front yard again.  We wanted to lock in the cobblestone driveway by paying a deposit, but as usual that triggered a chain of connected questions.  The cobblestone driveway guy might need to know that we want a motorised gate across the driveway.  Does a motorised gate need a track?  What kind of gate do we want? And what about doing the front fence, driveway and gate altogether?  Blah!  I guess that will be next week’s research.

Not wood.  Plain and simple, for showing off the garden.  Photo from: Factory Direct Fencing.

Can’t see any “track” here.  Source: Factory Direct Fencing.

Does anyone have a motorised gate?  Did you retrofit it?  Can I forget about this until later?  Please?