First of all we bought a house here in the Highlands so we are not longer renting. We eventually settled on a 1/2 acre property about 5 minutes from Bowral - the main hub of the Highlands. We also had a baby 10 weeks ago, so things have been hectic to say the least!
Our house needs work but is very livable and since moving in last November we have (almost) finished painting the entire inside of the house, replaced all the carpet in the bedrooms, pulled out half the garden and started furnishing and decorating. It'll be a slow process as we do plan to do some renovations in the future but for now it's all about cosmetic and decorative touches.
Our next priority is to paint the external bricks, windows and doors, which should start in the next couple of weeks. We're doing most of the work ourselves to a) save money, and b) because my husband and I want to learn some new skills and are both very 'pro-active' people. My motto is "You can do anything. You just have to be shown how."
So, we're currently deciding on external paint colours for the brick and woodwork. We did consider rendering the brickwork, except we both felt it would make the house too contemporary. We love weatherboard / timber cladding but doing this would mean we have to replace all the window and door surrounds as the windows are inset into the brickwork. Plus, I'm really into painted brick right now. I think it creates a real cottage feel and can give a unique sense of character to a home.
Below are some of the images I'm using as inspiration. We're really leaning towards either white brickwork with white windows and charcoal shutters, or a light beige/white with white or faded grey woodwork. I especially love the colours in the first image below. Anyway time will tell!
I'll be sure to post the Before and After photos once we've finished! Nicki x