The Sweet Meadow

interiors

Renovation Update

interiorsAishe Besim
 
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
— John Heywood
 

It's been about a month since we received planning approval to commence upgrades to the cottage at 640 High Street Echuca. 

To put it bluntly, the space has seen better days. Lots of framework has been built, sections of walls removed, floors cut open, and plumbing and electrical upgrades started. 

An L-shaped counter will be built to the left of the fireplace which will be the front counter of the cafe. The other side of the fireplace will house a refrigerated dessert display and bench top. 

An L-shaped counter will be built to the left of the fireplace which will be the front counter of the cafe. The other side of the fireplace will house a refrigerated dessert display and bench top. 

Without doubt the most involved upgrade so far has been the installation of a grease trap. Like the name suggests, a grease trap essentially captures the 'grease' (think animal or vegetable fats) and releases the 'clean' water into the sewer line. Because this needs to be installed underground, it has meant a lot of the flooring has been removed to make room to dig connecting pipes from the kitchen sink to the grease trap. 

Pipes being installed to connect the grease trap to the kitchen sink. Believe it or not this space will be an all abilities toilet in the end!

Pipes being installed to connect the grease trap to the kitchen sink. Believe it or not this space will be an all abilities toilet in the end!

The structural change I'm most excited about is the installation of bifold windows where the front door currently sits. This will open up the whole front section to North and West facing light - happy days! You can see in the image below the space where the window will occupy. 

The current front doors will be moved to the small section of wall to the left of this image. 

The current front doors will be moved to the small section of wall to the left of this image. 

There are still a few more changes needed outside but all in good time. Every day it gets closer! 

Proposed architectural plans of the external view by  Brandrick Architects . 

Proposed architectural plans of the external view by Brandrick Architects

Video - The Makers

video, interiorsAishe Besim
There is undoubtedly a desire to know about the maker, the materials, the process and to have things in our home that give us a greater connection to the source. Visible imperfection and lack of pretension is also part of the narrative, as the handmade doesn’t mimic the machine and is therefore deemed more genuine.
— Karen McCartney, Perfect Imperfect
One of my newly favourite upcycled furniture stores,  Platform No. 5  in Castlemaine, Victoria

One of my newly favourite upcycled furniture stores, Platform No. 5 in Castlemaine, Victoria

We need to take better care of our planet. One way we can do this is by reusing or repurposing items that would otherwise end up in landfill. 

I prefer to use recycled materials not only as an ethical statement, but also because I believe they add more authenticity and charm. The lost, found and forgotten all have a place in the world I'm making.

Filmmaker Don Cameron believes vintage objects carry their histories with them as they travel through time. "I find great inspiration in imagining the places and spaces they have inhabited, which gives expression to new narratives when these individual objects are brought into dialogues with each other."

I explain more in this video. 

Wabi-sabi is the quintessential Japanese aesthetic. It is a beauty of things imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. It is a beauty of things modest and humble. It is a beauty of things unconventional.
— Leonard Koren

Video - It's happening

interiors, videoAishe Besim
thesweetmeadow
The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
— Anais Nin

After what seems like an eternity, we now have a planning permit! That means renovations can begin on the 1920s cottage at 640 High Street, Echuca.

Although, there's not a whole lot of major changes planned. It's important for me to keep the character of the space - that's the reason I fell in love with it, after all.

Check out the video for a look into the space and the plans for the future.

A drawing by  Brandrick Architects  of the proposed counter area after sections of existing walls have been removed.

A drawing by Brandrick Architects of the proposed counter area after sections of existing walls have been removed.