Hubby and I had a rare day off from work today. Sadly it wasn’t a relaxing day-at-the-beach kinda day off as there’s no resting for the wicked when there are a million things to organise for the big move!

We couldn’t resist a quick drive by to the block to see the plumber and carpenters working their magic on our house. 

Upstairs Leisure painted in accent colour Dulux ‘Ceylonese’


Downstairs powder room tapware

I made a last minute change to upgrade the benchtop from laminate to stone. The change was negotiated directly with Castlewood Kitchens, who designed and supplied the custom kitchen and butlers pantry. As we had already picked the sink at Studio M appointment, I didn’t check whether it could be under mounted. I guess notūüėĪ

Butlers Pantry stone benchtop ‘Organic White’ and Mizu round sink


Downstairs walk in linen room.


I’m so glad we upgraded the exhaust fans in the wet areas. They were pricey but look 100000 times better than the standard model.

Kids shower dual rail

Here is the temporary bath that we had to keep in the contract. Metricon didn’t allow us to supply the Picasso stone bath we intend for the ensuite. So, we have to go to the hoopla of replacing the Kado after handover.

Freestanding bath ‘Kado Lure’

Houston we have another problem! The minute I walked in the ensuite, I knew they had put in the wrong shower rail. 

Porcher Cygnet round shower

We had picked the square one that was part of the promotion. An email was quickly sent to JM.

Hot Right Now promo


All the skirtings had been removed in preparation for the timber flooring installation. According to one of the chippies, the guys are starting tomorrow. OMG! I wasn’t expecting that till end of the week. Woohooūüėé


Kitchen Love

When we signed up to build the Hudson, we did so without the luxury of walking through a showroom. The video and image gallery on the Metricon website were enough to hook us in but I must admit to feeling slightly apprehensive that the house design might turn out better on paper than in real life! So far everything about the house has surpassed our expectations.

If you’ve been following our building journey for a while now, you may recall our bumpy experience over the kitchen and butlers pantry design. Michael from Castlewood Kitchens has been phenomenal and really gone above and beyond to get us over the line. With all the weeks of painful to’ing and fro’ing, I’ve been dying to see our¬†vision come to life.

From this….


Final 3d Kitchen Plans


To this…


Base cupboards in Smokey Sapelle and Silk White overheads



Integrated utensils drawer


Twin hideaway bins

We originally chose to have the full height pantry door in ¬†Smokey Sapelle. But after consulting with the interior designer who helped us with our colours, I made a last minute change to White. Now I’m not sure if I did the right thing. What do you guys think?



Built-in wine rack


Pull out pantry drawers

Love love¬†love all the integrated drawers and plenty of storage space! The stone benchtop and glass splashback¬†will be measured next week and should take roughly 10 days to manufacture. I wonder if they will install the waterfall end to the kitchen island before or after the floorboards are laid? We paid the hefty variation to delete the scotia beading so I’ve been wondering how¬†the¬† jobs¬†will be lined up to get it right?

And so we have frames

Before the Christmas break, our site manager informed us he was aiming to start framing the week of the 12th January. By that time, the slab would have well and truly cured after 28+ days of laying dormant.

So, Nick had been driving by on his way to work since Monday in the hopes of catching the builders in action. It wasn’t until Thursday when the chippies were finally out in force and boy did they make up for lost time! In two short days, they smashed the first floor frames out of the park and the house is starting to take shape. Welcome back to the block Metricon, happy building!

To give you an idea of how fast they had the frames up, these first set of photos were taken at midday on Day1.


Front view with the garage to the left



Rear view of the Family Room with a nice big opening for the sliding stacker doors


Side view of what would be our Home Theatre

And these piccies were taken at the end of day 1. As you can see, the first floor frames had all been erected and some of the wall panels started.



As luck would have it, our SM was on site when Nick rocked up to watch the chippies do their thing. Needless to say he jumped at the chance to have an impromptu site walk through. Lucky him! He reported that SM had spotted a couple of really minor errors.

  1. The opening to the Butler’s Pantry was too narrow. He thought they’d erected the frame the wrong way as to the right of the opening is the narrower fridge cavity so all they had to do was flip it the other way around. Easy peasy! Great pick up SM!
  2. We decided to have all our bifold and sliding stacker doors rebated into the concrete so they sit flush with the floor. Price per door was $110 so all up only cost us $440. Somehow the concrete rebate in the Dining was missed. No biggie and an easy fix.

Gotta be happy with the man in charge of building our house. He thinks framing will be complete by the end of the coming week. Let’s hope he continues to please ūüôā

And to round off this post, here are some pics showing progress on Day 2..


Steel beams now in place over the garage door opening


Floor joists for the second storey completed


Loving the wide entrance! Can’t wait to see our massive front door go in

Exciting week ahead for our Hudson! Bring it on, Metricon.

Studio M – Final Selections

After weeks of painstaking back and forth between us, Metricon and the design consultant from Castlewood Kitchens, I’m so relieved that what has turned into a royal debacle is now officially over.

What a saga!!!

It only took 2 long months for Metricon to come back to us with a quote that we can live with and to be honest I’m not 100% convinced that they got it right. But at this late in the game, we decided to put our blinkers on and sign off on the kitchen albeit begrudgingly just so we can finally move forward. The saving grace in this schmozzle is that we are absolutely thrilled with our custom kitchen and butler’s pantry. I can’t wait to see the 3D plans from Castlewood.

Kitchen and Butler’s Pantry

  • Benchtop and Island including waterfall edge: 40mm Caesarstone Organic White
  • Overhead Cupboards: Laminex White Natural Finish
  • Base Cupboards, Microwave/Oven Tower and Island Cabinetry: Smokey Sapelle Crystal Gloss
  • Splashback: Colombia Clear Tough Glass
our Hudson Kitchen and Butler's Pantry

our Hudson Kitchen and Butler’s Pantry by Castlewood Kitchens


With some creative budgeting not to mention a whopping $8k credit for the revised stormwater plans (thank you Ryde Council), we managed to keep as many of the Studio M upgrades as possible. YAY!


  • Ground Floor: 1-strip, 14.5mm Spotted Gum engineered timber floor (we paid extra for no scotia beading)
  • First Floor: ¬†Lasting Impressions ‘Cloud’ carpet

1-Strip Spotted Gum 14.5mm timber floors  and Lasting Impressions 'Cloud' carpetFront Door

  • Hume Savoy XS26 – 2340mm x 1200mm with translucent glass
  • Lanes 316 Round “T” Handle in Stainless Steel – 900mm back to back

    Hume Savoy XS26

    Powder Room 1

Powder Room 2 and Bathroom


And the piece de resistance in our luxe Ensuite…cue drum roll…here is our beautiful stone bath in light grey.

Picasso Stone Bath

Picasso Stone Bath

I’m stoked that we fought to have this uber limestone bath, the Picasso¬†from the Natural Stone Bathroom.¬† I have to say that I’m very disappointed in the way Metricon handled the situation with the bath.¬†To cut a long story short, we requested to swap the Kado Lure bath we have in the contract to the¬†Picasso. As expected Metricon said no to us supplying the stone bath. Rather than try to come to a compromise that was agreeable to both parties, Metricon made it virtually impossible to change the bath after handover by refusing to¬†provide plumbing provisions for the water and waste points. WTF!

After the fiasco with the kitchen the last thing I wanted was another drawn-out saga over the bath but I’ll be damned if we took this lying down. So, with a lot of¬†negotiation and a firm ‘will not take no for an answer’ stance, hubby single-handedly turned a hell no¬†around and came up with a solution that let us have the bath. Go hubby!

Kitchen – heart of the home

As cliche as it sounds, the kitchen is most definitely the heart of our home.

It’s where we spend a lot of time together as a family. It’s the place where we love to lounge and have a quick bowl of muesli before starting our separate days. It’s where the girls like to chat and share stories about their day while enjoying an after-school snack. It’s the place where we go to de-stress and unwind after a long day in the office. And of course it’s where delicious hearty meals and calorie-laden but oh-so-scrumptious treats are made with love!

My darling husband also fancies himself as a bit of a chef. He loves to cook up a storm and unceremoniously leave a disaster zone in his wake. For some reason he feels the need to use every pot, bowl, utensils in the kitchen whenever he cooks! We have a rule in the house that he likes to enforce – “the cook doesn’t clean”. Funnily this rule seems to get overlooked when I cook!

In our last house, the kitchen was a no-frills U-shaped design with an average working triangle. It lacked serious bench space and storage. If Shaynna Blaze was judging that kitchen, you can bet your bottom dollar she’d be screaming blue murder about the lack of storage. It also only had two sets of double power points – not an ideal setup to keep all the kitchen gizmos – the trusty toaster and kettle, Nespresso, cold pressed juicer, high speed blender and the like conveniently plugged in 24/7.

So, when we decided to build our dream house, we had a wish list for our dream kitchen.

1. Open plan with an efficient and functional working triangle
2. Good size island with breakfast bar seating for five
3. Fully equipped kitchen with a double oven and a rangehood ducted externally to keep the bad smell out

Dream Island with breakfast bar

Dream Island with breakfast bar

4. Butler’s pantry with pull-out cupboard systems and built-in wine rack

Perfect Butler's Pantry

Perfect Butler’s Pantry

5. Ample bench space for easy and enjoyable food preparation
6. Plenty of storage to house all our kitchen stuff

The standard Hudson kitchen needed a bit of tweaking to turn it into our dream kitchen. We worked with Metricon’s kitchen consultant to transform our ideas on paper and this is what we came up with.


Our dream kitchen and butler’s pantry

As I mentioned in this post, we were less than impressed and disappointed when we found out what our custom kitchen and butler’s pantry may cost especially when we made it very clear what our budget was. What annoyed me the most is that we had repeatedly requested the pricing ahead of our colour appointment to avoid any surprises. Murphy’s law!

So, where are we at nearly 3 weeks after our Studio M appointment? Well, the good news is that most of the other upgraded items we’d asked for have come in under budget. This means that we have a bit more in the kitty to spend on the kitchen/pantry and it’s now a matter of doing the ‘back-and-forth’ dance of revising the design to get the price down to within budget. We are so close to the magic number and I’m finding it so hard to keep my impatience and frustration at bay.