Week 8: Brick by Brick; Our Boutique Build – Airlie 38

So Week 8 was all about the bricks…  I’m loving our colour choice which is great, and once those red ones are rendered it will look even better.  Our delivery of bricks has been staggered, as expected, due to being in a built up area there isn’t much space to put them!!!  So once the first drop was laid the brick layers had a couple of days off as there was nothing for them to do.  On Friday I saw more bricks had been delivered and on Monday of Week 9 they were on site working!

The bricks are called Indulgence Praline – I can’t remember if they are Cat 2 or Cat 3 to be honest, but they were an upgrade.

So here are some photos….

Front of house

Front of house

Front door

Front door

Front post - red bricks are rendered

Front post – red bricks are rendered

Kitchen windows

Kitchen windows

Alfresco support

Alfresco support

Love our bricks

Love our bricks

Second round of bricks ready to go

Second round of bricks ready to go

Austral bricks

Austral bricks

No idea what you call these, but I'm assuming the bricks go on top to create the features

No idea what you call these, but I’m assuming the bricks go on top to create the features

Kitchen windows from the opposite direction

Kitchen windows from the opposite direction

How are we going to landscape this???  Insert confused face here....

How are we going to landscape this??? Insert confused face here….

Has anyone used Praline in their brick choice?

Has anyone hated their brick choice?

Week 3 Round up – Boutique Homes Victoria; Airlie

This past week has been a great one!!!  I’m feeling really positive about our new home, and thankful we stuck it out, as there have certainly been times when I questioned our decision to knock down and re-build.

I met our Site Supervisor (SS) during the week, and he seems excellent.  Our neighbour had called us a little concerned about a few things so I organised to meet with them both (neighbour and SS).  The SS was incredibly understanding towards our neighbour and explained what was going on and what else to expect in the next couple of days.  He was calm and caring and it gave me a good feeling. As it turned out though, the guys doing the slab prep had already explained everything to our neighbour in the morning, they even knew his name – so in my eyes another tick.

Cheers again to the slab prep guys – they were digging trenches and doing their stuff in the pouring rain!!!  I was certain when it was pelting down on my way to school drop off that nobody would be on-site, but to my shock there they were not huddled up in their cars, but outside in the mud. And there is plenty of mud, between the mud from our site, the naturestrip which the council dug up next door for pipes or something, plus the development across the road where they are creating driveways and also digging up the naturestrip, there is a lot of mud going on.  Lets hope some sunshine dries it all up soon.

And lets hope the sun shines tomorrow (Monday 10th of August, 2015) – I think the concrete will be flowing… yeah!!!!  And if the concrete flows, expect a photo of the champagne flowing at our slab party!!! lol.  BUT, the forecast is showers I think so lets hope the rain stays away.

So, a great week was had in the land of Build – lets hope this coming one is great too!!! It’s all about being positive at the moment (and K-Mart – kmart home wares to be specific.)

Check out the photos below of the past week… yes, I’m still stalking. lol.  But I’m more of a “Drive By Stalker” – most of these photos are from my hubby… so who is the stalker now??? ha ha.

Did you or will you have a slab party?  I’m pretty sure I will – well, i’ll just have a glass with my hubby, it certainly is a big step worth celebrating!!!

Slab prep

Slab prep






Finally – Approval from Council: Airlie 38 Boutique Homes Victoria

FINALLY – we have approval from council!!!  So the latest delay has finally been sorted, with approval for our setback being granted on Friday (19th of June 2015).  I don’t think our neighbour signed, so council made the decision.  Yeah!!!

Hopefully this is the last hurdle, and now we can actually start building the beautiful Airlie 38.  I’m really trying not to get over excited for fear of further delays or disappointment.  Let’s face it – it has happened far too many times on this building journey!!!  We had to sort out some tile issues with Boutique and re-sign some forms that have gone missing, so with any luck our file will move to the construction department on the 1st July. I believe we will then be assigned another person to assist us with the construction phase, where we will be given a start date!!!  I’m still so disheartened that it’s hard to believe anything will actually happen, but then I catch myself daydreaming about my kitchen, and decorating the kids bedrooms!!!

So still no idea on a start date…

Tile problem:  Boutique now do a hob on showers – which is essentially a little step into the shower.  So of course my beautiful tiles I choose for the master ensuite will look terrible going over a hob, and then the cut lines pushing the water to the drain.  So I have decided to just use plain charcoal tiles on the hob and the base of the shower.  The patterned tile will remain on the floor of the rest of the bathroom.

The tiles and pattern for the floor

The tiles and pattern for the floor

I still love these tiles even though we chose them 12 months ago…  Hopefully I still love them by the time the house actually gets built.  (and everything else we picked!!!)

For those of you that have built with Boutique – how long did it take to get to site from the date your file was moved to construction?



Still waiting… Knock-down re-build nightmare

It absolutely angers me that I have to write this post.  I’m pretty much broken in regard to this knock-down re-build.  The dreams of actually living in a new home are so far gone.  Problem after problem, and the actual build hasn’t even started.  There have been more dramas than I can even mention, but the latest is becoming very frustrating.  I don’t even know who to blame – the builders, council or maybe even ourselves…

Without going on and on, and to be honest I’m totally confused – we are waiting on “Sign & Consent” from our neighbours.  One neighbour signed straight away, but the other is playing games… the frustrating part is his house is not even occupied, and hasn’t been for around 14 years!!!  AND,  until recently even had a squatter.  It has been under renovation for the 10 plus years we have owned our house.  It’s a complete eye saw and brings the whole street down, but to council that appears to be ‘ok’!

So basically the way I understand it is that we needed our neighbours to sign and consent  to the setback we want.  Our setback is within council legislation, but is slightly further forward than the original house.  The part I don’t understand is that 8 of our neighbours were sent our plans whilst applying for the Planning Permit, and we had a Public Notice Sign up for two weeks.  Nobody objected so we thought all was good…  But we weren’t informed that we needed the neighbours (only the ones directly next door) to actually sign and consent to the setback.  I don’t understand why nobody at council informed us of this, and why the builder didn’t know – surely we aren’t the first people to encounter this???  Maybe we should have done more “homework” but there has been so much to get out heads around and understand.  We aren’t builders or developers!  So to cut a long story short, Boutique sent the unoccupied neighbour the forms to sign.  We took the forms to the neighbour we know, who signed straight away.  Technically the neighbour has two weeks to respond, but Boutique gave him three… he didn’t respond!  So the application was sent to Council, where they have now contacted him, giving him around another 3 weeks to respond!!!  If he doesn’t respond, Council will review the application and make a decision, and lets face it – nothing happens over night with Council (only your rate increases)  So yet again we are in the holding bay, with no control over anything.

Another part that saddens me is we signed on April 7, 2014.  That’s over a year ago… I really thought we would have been close to moving in by now – I even said by Christmas this year, thinking that we would well and truly be in.  However, now we won’t even make Christmas this year!!!  Apparently, it’s never taken this long to get to site before – not the award I wanted to win.

We are also now paying rent, as living with my Mother In-Law had run it’s course… It’s great having our own space again, but I am now saying goodbye to buying anything new for the house.  (But at this rate, the children will be  applying for university and we will be looking to downsize!!!)  To this point, the whole experience has been frustrating and I’m completely at a loss.  I knew it would be stressful, but I really think it’s getting beyond a joke…  Here’s hoping for some positive news in the coming weeks…


Demolition – Knock Down Re-Build

So finally something has happened… My last post was in September… and sadly nothing of excitement has happened.  We have still been dealing with council – I will go into detail on that once everything is good and the house actually starts (or even finishes) It’s been a massive process to get to this point, so much harder than I imagined.

The timing of our demolition wasn’t exactly great, we tried to sell a few things – which we did, but we could have sold so much more if we had more time.  Trying to do things over the Christmas period was a little hard.  Our kitchen was relatively new, and I was a bit sad to see it smashed to the ground, but what can you do.

I sold most things on gum tree – but by the end, we were away on holidays and it was too hard to sell things when you aren’t around. The empty house also got broken into a few times and I felt uneasy about going there with two children in tow to meet people.  We had been living in another house and were moving out of that (and in with my Mother in Law) so at the same time I was packing and putting our whole life into storage.  There just wasn’t enough hours in the day to manage both and a family (and Christmas) etc etc.

We did manage to sell – the oven, the dishwasher (it was only a few months old), all free standing wardrobes, some retro sliding doors, and the air conditioner.  A friend took the kitchen overhead cupboards.  I had offers for the vanity and the front door but couldn’t organise the time to actually meet people.  (such a shame, but once the new house comes I won’t think about it.)  I wanted to keep the back door and the house number, but sadly missed my opportunity and there was no place to store the door – our storage unit was packed to the rafters)

So here are some pictures – it was a little sad to see a solid house, without a single crack in the wall go to rubble, but the new house will be amazing (I hope)








Some things to consider for demolition:

1.  Get a few quotes – they vary so much in price.

2.  Speak with your neighbours – it can be very stressful for them too

3.  Organise temporary fencing – some builders only supply it for the actual build, NOT demolition (and again get a few quotes)

4.  If you have time – sell off everything… There was so much more I could have sold. All sales help in the end… unless you are flush with cash.

5.  Our demo guys were so great – they were so lovely to my neighbour who was quite stressed out by the process.  They even moved some pavers of ours into her yard so she could use them.

So, again we are in the holding bay just waiting and waiting.  It’s been such a long wait – hopefully the new house will be worth all of this pain (because at this point I’m not feeling it)

Does anybody else have some good tips for demolition?

Bathroom Tiles : Inspiration from Daz and Dee – The Block

I’m a huge fan of the block… I have loved it since it started, and this year I am in LOVE with Daz and Dee.  I am a huge fan of the “Hamptons” styling, but I love modern too.  Daz and Dee are putting the two together perfectly.  When I saw their main bathroom, ‘it was love at first sight!!!’  (Yes, I’m a Kylie fan too. lol)

Anyway, I loved it so much we are going to ‘copy’ it.  Well the floors anyway.  I have a built in bath, insert sob here… really wanted the free standing… but the money tree stopped growing.  Anyway, the walls are all big white rectangle tiles and then the amazing feature tile on the floor.

Daz and Dee's Bathroom


Picture from The Block – Channel 9

We were going to go with a hexagon feature on the walls, but when I saw Daz and Dee’s design I knew that was more “me”.



This picture was taken from the Bunnings catalogue 


These were the colours we had chosen, with our floor tile on the left.

So the amazing floor tile is called ‘Milan’ from the Artisan range by Southern Cross Tiles.  We are going with ‘Charcoal’ for the colour, but there are 9 other colours to choose from. (Mist, Ash, Black, Black Dark, Clay, Chocolate, Forest, Sky and Denim)  They are non-slip with a P4 rating (I don’t know what that actually means. lol) and don’t require sealing, again ????, but it certainly sounds good!!!  The size is 200x200x7mm.  Another great selling point, they are Australian made and owned!!!

Our cabinets are white, and the bench top is also white.  I think I will have to look out for a nice pendant like this one in the photo.  I just want to go shopping and start buying stuff, but I will hold off until the house actually starts… and well I have no idea when that will actually be!

On a positive note – we submitted the plans to council today for the planning permit!  This has taken a long time to prepare, and I’m crossing everything that it is perfect and we will get approved without too much hassle.  (one must have hope)  We require planning permits as we are in an inundation zone and also had a design and development overlay as our property is close to a river.

The tile below is a feature tile we are having in the ensuite shower to bedroom 4.  We couldn’t decide whether to go the circles or the lines… we ended up going with the circles.



This tile is by Everstone and is called Durastone Porcelain – 3D Ispring.  I really love this tile.  Initially it was going in our bathroom, but then we went with the hexagon, and now the Milan, lol.  I still loved it, so we put in the spare ensuite (which will eventually be daughter’s room – we she is old enough to clean it herself)

IMG_1713Above is the feature tile in the shower of the main bathroom (kids bathroom).  One wall will have this, but in the turquoise and charcoal colour shown below. (bottom right) The floor tile is the dark timber look (a CAT 2 tile), and the large white rectangle (also a CAT 2 option)
I’m really excited to have something “different” and can’t wait to see them in my home… whenever that might be.

Has anyone used these tiles or gone with your own ‘something different’?  I would love to see your pictures.

And to those who have built the Airlie or going to build – did you have the built in bath, or the free standing???

  You can check out the Artisan range here:

And don’t forget to watch The Block on channel 9 – I’m obsessed… can’t wait to see what Daz and Dee do with their kitchen…


Colour Selection Boutique Homes

So we had our colour appointment and electrical appointment during the week.  I thought it would be stressful, but it actually was rather enjoyable.  We got through it all much quicker than expected, and I think that was due to the fact that I went in prepared.  I had been to visit the showroom twice, so was well aware of what was available.  We also had most of the extras we wanted included in our quote prior to the colour appointment.  The main area that caught me off guard was  the staircase stain.  Nothing matched our Spotted Gum floor…  We really didn’t know what to do…  We ended up going a really dark stain (think chocolate brown) so it’s a total contrast.  We have dark tiles in the wet areas so I’m thinking it will tie in with this, and blend with some of the dark parts in the wood floor???  I guess time will tell….

Bricks and Roof

Bricks and Roof

These bricks are from Category 3.  We have taken the front render off so went a nicer brick.  The tin roof is by Colorcote and the Off White is similar to Colourbonds Surfmist.  We (well maybe 1) wanted a light coloured exterior to the home.


The render around the front door, and the feature over the window will be in Limed White Quarter.  The cladding/weather board look will be in Lexicon.  Windows are in White, and gutters etc in Off White.


The garage door is in Surfmist.  I’m very excited for the front facade – very happy with our choices.  It’s funny how all the colours start to look the same when you stare at them for so long.

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The front door lock was an upgrade. But we went with the above handle.


Carpet – The middle colour – Ocean.  Again an upgrade.  This is the same carpet as the display in Wollert which we loved!!!


Tiles in all bathrooms and the laundry.  Cat 2.  We went with very dark grout…  Hope it looks good!!!


Laundry – Floor tile, Polar white cabinets (above and below bench), counter top in Moose. Which is a greyish colour.  This is laminate, not stone.  If we change to a front loader down the track we will replace with stone and extend to run the length of the room.


The downstairs powder room and children’s bathroom has the same polar white cabinets but with a stone bench top in Urban stone. (grey)


Our daughter is after a pink room, so we went for a pale pink – Wisp Pink (second from the top)  She had a pink room at one stage in Sydney and she is after it again.


The long pull down sink mixer will go in the pantry, and we opted for the standard on the island bench.  We will replace that one with a black mixer after handover.  Boutique don’t offer the black tap range.  Urbanedge do, and they look amazing!!!


This is the selection of stone… we went with Frosty Carrina (4th from the left, bottom row) (Cat 3) for the kitchen counter tops.  Polar white cabinets.

The electrical part went well, it is kind of crazy how quickly it adds up though. We focused on getting downstairs right as that will be hard to change later.  We weren’t as concerned with upstairs.  Our electrical and colour consultant were fantastic, they were very easy to deal with and have kept communication going which is great.

So that’s the bulk of our colour choices.  Now the waiting begins again…

Boutique’s showroom is very small when compared to Urbanedge and Metricon.  Metricon have a massive space – it really is huge!!!  Everything is on display.  Boutique pretty much have a choice of two items.  More are available but you have to ask prior to your appointment and then go and check items out yourself. (if you want to see them in person)  There are no doors on display, only small samples of stone, brick, toilets and sinks etc.  On a positive there was no “up-selling” but at times I thought it would have been really nice to see the options available.  As an example:  with our staircase, we could choose round or square as the finish on each step.  There wasn’t an example or even a picture to show us the difference of how each style would look.  No bath or, staircase options on display either.  It probably saved us money though!!!  :)

If you are building, did you find it easy to pick your colours?  Or did you fight with your partner?  Did you find it easy to stay within your budget, or did you want every up-grade available???

Airlie 33. Display Home – Boutique Homes Victoria. Clyde North

So Victoria has two Airlie 33 display homes – not sure why they didn’t make one an Airlie 38???  The front facade is even the same!!!  Anyway, here are the pictures I took of this display…

IMG_0105 IMG_0104 IMG_0103 IMG_0102 IMG_0101 IMG_0100 IMG_0098 IMG_0099 IMG_0097 IMG_0096 IMG_0095 IMG_0093 IMG_0090 IMG_0088 IMG_0087 IMG_0086I like the styling of the Wollert home better I think.  Although, I do like this carpet as well, and I LOVE the grey floor tiles in the bathroom.  I’m not a big fan of the dark overhead cupboards in the kitchen, I much prefer the white as displayed at Wollert.  So glad that Wollert displayed it white with white as that is how I want it to look.  My hubby couldn’t imagine how it, so thankfully the display opened before our colour selection appointment.

Can you “imagine” different colours, or do you need to see it clearly in the flesh?


Airlie 33. Display home – Boutique Homes Victoria – Wollert VIC

So as you know, we are going to build the Airlie 38, (which is actually 41) by Boutique Homes Victoria.  I thought you might like to see the display home pictures I took of the Airlie 33 located in Wollert, Victoria.  The floor plan is fairly different but you’ll get the drift.

Front lounge…  This is a sunken lounge, ours won’t be.  We only have a window at the front, and we are going to close it in and have double doors.

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Laundry.  Ours will have the same layout as this, including the overhead cupboards.  We have a top loader, so going to do a laminate bench top for now.  When we need to replace the washing machine (hopefully many many years down the track) we will change the bench to stone.  We won’t have the tall cupboard – that area will actually become a mud room – so excited for this.  I’ll chat about it another time….IMG_1323


Powder Room – Ours won’t be so fancy… just the basic loo and a standard basin and vanity for us.

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Kitchen – LOVE this space!!!  I plan on having the white cupboards, the window splash back and the black in the corners.  We will have a “normal” island bench – rectangle in shape not square.  I would love the induction cook top, but sadly I think it will be too expensive, so gas for us.  Our fridge will not be integrated (it’s the giant door next to the coffee machine and microwave)  I look forward to having a fridge with chilled water on demand!!!  No coffee machine either – but don’t worry, we have our trusty Aldi one!!!  I LOVE the sink – it’s a Pete Evans one….   We are going to go with a standard spout on the island bench, and change it ourselves to a funky black one after handover!!!  Would have loved a black sink too, but Boutique don’t offer them and I’m guessing that would be a little hard to change after!IMG_1338 IMG_1336 IMG_1351 IMG_1349 IMG_1343 IMG_1341 IMG_1340





Pantry –  Can’t wait for this either – so much space!!!  Ours will be slightly different as we are blocking the second entrance, so you can only enter from the kitchen and not the hallway.  The window splash back in here is also an upgrade which we are doing  :)

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Lounge / Dining / Outdoor Living Space – Again we have changed this area.  We flipped the Lounge and Outdoor Living.  So the Outdoor space will flow from the kitchen, and the Living and dining are next to each other. No fire for us  :(

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Staircase – we are having timber stairs.  I hate trying to vacuum carpet on stairs, a broom will be much easier.  And the carpet wears quickly in the middle, so ends up looking ordinary very quickly.  Not having any of the fancy glass, just normal plaster walls for us, and I think a smaller window.IMG_1382


Upstairs – Retreat.


Master Bedroom – Ours is a different layout, but here are the pictures.



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Other Bedrooms and Bathroom

IMG_1378 IMG_1375 IMG_1374 IMG_1372 IMG_1371Any other pictures…

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Thinking this carpet????

Please note, all these pictures were taken by me.  Boutique have better quality ones on their website.

What do you think?  What are you draws you in, and what don’t you like?



Building: Boutique Homes Victoria – Airlie 38

So my husband and I are walking down the path of building a new home.  I would be lying if I said it has been a joyous occasion – the soil hasn’t even been turned and many a tear has already been shed.  So many of my friends and family have trod this path, and they all have similar stories.  At first visiting display homes is exciting – but then after two weekends  the “novelty” wears off and the kids are over it, and lets be honest so is the hubby!!!  I remember being a teenager and visiting houses for over a year with my mum and siblings – ahhhhhhh, just build the house already, any house will do, I just want my own bedroom!!!  So after driving across the state we found our home.  I’m not going to call it a “Dream Home” – as that would involve a mega sized house with cleaners and cooks and a trainer – and of course a quarter for them all to live in!!!  It would have a pool with water slide and swim up bar, a couple of tennis courts (one for the adults and one for the kids), actually lets have two pools while we are at.  The Theatre room would be a full sized cinema and there would be numerous spaces for entertaining and relaxing.  So while we wait to win lotto for the “Dream Home”, we are going to build our “Family Home”.

When we first started looking we found plenty of homes we liked, some I was drawn to by the facade, others the floor plan and some quickly got cut from the list when we sat down and studied the plans. Initially, we were going to extend our existing home, but after working on the plans we just couldn’t quite get what we wanted.  A lot of people told us to knock down and start over… so to cut a long story short, that’s what we are doing.

The home that ticked most of the boxes with minimal changes (as changing the plans costs money) is The Airlie – by Boutique Homes Victoria.  The downside is the floor plan we are building doesn’t have a display.  Both displays are the Airlie 33 and we are building the Airlie 38 with an extension over the garage creating a ‘Grand Master’ – making the home 41 squares.  We won’t know our ourselves in this large home!


Some of the main points on our list were:

– Wider garage:  lots of the garages were only 5.5m x 6m – this size garage might fit two cars in it, but good luck opening the doors with children, and where are you going to store the bikes, prams, lawn mowers, christmas tree and all the other garage stuff???  (And my husband doesn’t even have many tools.)

– Walk in Robes:  I wanted WIR’s for the children’s bedrooms as I had one as a teenager and my siblings didn’t.  It was the best.  So much space and it’s easier to keep it neat and you can actually use the whole space.  No trying to squeeze things under the wardrobe frame to make use of the space towards the roof.  AND for me – I wanted a huge WIR – think Carrie Bradshaw.  I love clothes and hats and have dreamt of the day when they can all hang neatly with a nice little space between each item.  My friends know I am a little obsessive compulsive when it comes to clothes.  I fold them perfectly, put them in colours and lengths etc.  (I blame working in retail as a teenager and using a ‘folding’ board. lol)  My Walk In Robe, or in this case, my Walk In Room (either way WIR) will have just the basic fit out to start – one rail and one shelf.  Down the track I hope to fit it out properly. (squeal with excitement)

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–  Walk in Pantry:  I keep my pantry like my clothes… It’s going to have a sink and all.  So exciting to be able to see all of my groceries, without feeling like I’m playing a game of chess or jenga.  The juicer can stay on the bench, but it’s hidden from the main kitchen. yeah!!!  Who knew a pantry could be so exciting?

–  A Sewing/Craft Space:  I have sooooooooo much craft stuff.  But I find it hard to use it when I can’t access it easily.  My own little crafty paradise!!!

–  A Mud Room:  This is quite American, but we wanted a space where the school and sports bags can hang and dirty shoes can come off.  We wanted it to be in a concealed space so we don’t have to look at it – it never looks tidy, but I wanted it to be accessible – I know I will be searching for notes and lunch boxes when the life chapter of school starts next year.  OMG – I going to be a school mum!!!

–  An Office:  Hubby wanted his own office.  We saw a few displays where the office was off the master.  We really liked this idea and it suits our lifestyle.

–  Rumpus/Theatre/Formal Living/Formal Dining :  We wanted a room downstairs where it could be whatever we wanted it to be.  We figure as the children grow our needs will change too.  To start this room will most likely be a rumpus, when teenagers possibly a theatre and maybe one day a formal dining – now that sounds nice!!!

– Entertaining Space:  We like to entertain and wanted a great outdoor/indoor space. With this house being built in Melbourne it really needed to work both indoors and outdoors.  To start the outdoor space is very basic.  We will extend this space and build in a BBQ down the track.  A pizza oven has been suggested and I imagine some nice comfy lounges and a sun bed.  During the cooler months the back of the house is nice and open and will be great for entertaining, especially around our giant island bench.

So these were the main things on our wish list – there were certainly a few more but at some stage the “B” word (budget) has to come play.  Sob sob sob.

We do our colour selection next week… it’s finally a step forward, in a long drawn out process… and we haven’t even got to council yet… ahhhhhhhhhh.

Anyway, all good things come to those who wait…. so here is the floor plan…  What do you think?  What was on your “Wish List” when building a new home?  Has anyone built with Boutique Homes Victoria – I would love to hear from you.