As most of you may already know we have made the big move out of our cosy little bridal studio and into a shopfront. While we are still currently in the transition period, we really wanted to share with you the huge renovation journey we’ve been on since getting the keys on December 1st 2017.
It’s now Week 7 of our shop fit-out and boy! – it’s already been one heck of a ride. Here’s a recap of our story so far…
8 Torres Street Kurnell//
So here it is, in all it’s outdated original glory – our new address; 8 Torres Street Kurnell. We took a leap of faith on this old building in our sunny seaside neighbourhood and jumped in head-first on a lease with our good friends and local creative floral duo Nikki and Lauren of Aisle of Eden. To say the building had seen it’s day is an understatement. The resident Doctor who had been operating out of his practice for many years hadn’t made an update to the premises since around the late 1980s (our guess!). But…we could see the potential in what this space had to offer. It has always been my dream to move into a bigger, brighter and lighter space – and this spot was just perfect!
DEMO DAY //
With our face masks on and sledge hammers in hand we all united together to face the challenging task of demolishing and removing all of the original features in the building. We had hoped to keep some of the original partition walls standing but come demo day every wall structure disintegrated away in our hands. Luckily all of the exterior walls are double brick, however the original walls and timber frames had been eaten away and totally destroyed by termites. Two skip bins and a couple of trailer loads later we stood back and examined the now large open space we possessed while congratulating each other for our hard work. Big hugs and huge thanks to our hardworking husbands (mine especially!), our friend Rob, my brother and Dad. We couldn’t have smashed it out as quickly as we did without the help of our nearest and dearest, so thank you!!
Next step was to get all the new wall frames built and installed to separate each business that would be operating from the premises. We would occupy the shop frontage as we required the biggest amount of space, while we would also be managing the back of the building to sublet to another creative business. This meant the girls from Aisle of Eden would be in the middle room adjoining the two spaces.
Once the wall studs were in place (again, thanks handy husbands!) we could insulate and get all the sheeting on ready for plastering. We decided to use two of the old surgery timber doors as they had a really nice stain-glass feature, so these were next to be framed in to separate the three spaces.
TACKLING THE BACK ROOM //
If only we knew what we were up against with the all-consuming back room! Our goal with this space was to strip back everything so it would appeal to a local creative business owner to sublet. My initial thoughts were “just slap on a coat of paint!”. Ha! Was I wrong. Nearly every wall needed to be cleared and cleaned of any termite damage, then re-framed, sheeted, plastered and sanded – that’s all before any painting could be started. Previously a shopping centre in it’s day, among other things (once a supermarket, pinball machine/games centre and prior to this a horse bridle shop) we were faced with a concrete landing platform that used to be an old cool-room which split the room in an uneven shape. The only solution was to jackhammer out all of the concrete flooring to make it level. But what we didn’t anticipate was how bad the termite damage had affected the external wall of the building. We got there in the end and now have an amazing roomy light-filled space with newly-sheeted high ceilings – much thanks to my husband and his talented Dad Joe for their incredible carpentry skills and sheer determination to finish the job.
This is only half way through our reno journey…so stay tuned and watch this space while we get to the pointy (and fun!) end of the renovation, including the shop frontage and window, pretty interiors and painting, painting and some more painting. Oh and did we mention painting?