September 4, 2016

 I'd had this beautiful old oak wardrobe for ages, but like many of its era, it was too shallow for the depth of a coat hanger. For years it was just a storage cupboard, too impractical for clothes.

When we moved we deconstructed it, hoping to put the doors to use again as a built in wardrobe in the house, while the base would become a window seat.

We contacted local fine furniture maker (and amazing wildlife artist!) Garry Rogers to turn the whole thing into a new, practical built-in wardrobe in the sloping walls of our attic bedroom.

Garry made up the front frame in his workshop, using the wood from the side of the wardrobe as new drawer fronts, and wood from our property for a new pediment on top.

Garry's attention to detail is meticulous. All the doors were refinished and cracks and imperfections fixed.

The finished frame was then built into the sloping upstairs hallway, where it serves as a very practical wardrobe with shoe drawers below.

We're extremely grateful to Garry for bringing this beautiful piece of furniture back to life, and cannot recommend highly enough his fine woodworking skills.

April 12, 2016

More recycled kitchen

Our kitchen has been a work in progress over the last six years. We didn't want it to look like a factory kitchen - more like a collection of interesting furniture.

The sink area was designed to look like an old marble topped wash stand. It stands out from the adjoining cupboards by about 50mm. Now at last the curtains have gone, and the door and drawer fronts have been installed.

Frames are from leftover grey ironbark, the flooring in the Macadamia Suite. The infill is pressed aluminium, from the panel used behind the stove. The lovely ceramic-look handles are from Bunnings.

The top is Corian, chosen to emulate marble and made to measure. While the top itself is great, the Corian sinks, which we thought would look like fired enamel butler's sinks, are a mistake. They stain really badly and are virtually impossible to get clean.

Drawers are standard Ikea drawer kits. The fronts simply click on with the fittings provided.

July 12, 2015

Updating White Gum Cottage - part 1

It's now ten years since we opened Turkey's Nest at Mount Glorious (we had a small B&B in Brisbane before that). When we bought the property the original cottage, White Gum - an old forestry workers' cottage moved from Beerburrum - was a little 'rough around the edges'. The best view was from the laundry, the kitchen faced a blank wall, and the bedroom had no view!

We renovated it in 2003, moving rooms and adding a new bathroom and kitchen.

The original kitchen - pretty grim!

The 2003 renovated White Gum kitchen

 Our guests love the cottage and its old world feel, but last year we decided it was now due for another makeover (aren't we all?!!) that would update the cottage without losing its charm.

The first job was to replace the flooring. There was carpet in the living and dining areas, and lino in the kitchen, with a bit of slate tile at the front door.

original flooring - carpet, tiles, lino

As it's a small area, a uniform flooring throughout this space was preferable. Unfortunately the existing timber floor under the carpet was an uneven, patched-together, un-salvageable mess, so we decided to cover the lot with a floating bamboo floor. Various finishes are available, including an 'aged' finish which suited the style of the cottage.

Bamboo is a renewable resource- it is a grass and grows very quickly. Whereas oak takes 120 years to grow to maturity, bamboo can be harvested in three, regenerates without need for replanting, and requires minimal fertilization or pesticides. The flooring can also easily be laid DIY.

Russell and a friend laid the floor in a day and a half. The foam underlay overcame the unevenness of the existing timber floor. The slowest part was getting the initial line, after which the boards clicked together quickly.

It took another day to make and add hardwood skirtings. A couple of rugs, sourced cheaply from Grays Online, completed the picture. It gives the whole cottage a finished, unified look and has maintained the old world feel.

The only hassle was a bit of swelling and lifting when the wet weather hit, which required some trimming. In retrospect, we should have left a little more space around the edges, under the skirting boards, to start with, and no further adjustments would have been required.

January 23, 2015

Drying room

I'm a great believer in all washing being hung on the line, and I rarely use a dryer. But we get a fair amount of wet weather on the mountain, and endless days of rain and high humidity are not conducive to drying multiple loads of sheets and towels.

Russell built this drying rack which can be lifted by a pulley system up to the ceiling. By adding a dehumidifier in the laundry, we have a solution that can deal with a fair amount of washing in a reasonably short time, and without the expense (and constant loading/unloading) of a dryer.

Rack in raised position

The rack is made from 25.4mm square section aluminium channeling with click-together corners, all from Bunnings.

Pulleys run across to rope down one wall

A series of pulleys make it easy to lift even a full load. Russell sourced the pulleys on the web, much cheaper than he could buy them locally.

Rack lowered for loading

In the lowered position it's easy even for short people to reach!

 Once it's pulled up, it's well out of the way (it helps to have 2.8m ceilings).

Rope rings and wall cleats

A couple of rings on the pull rope, plus cleats on the wall, mean it can be easily held at either the two loading positions (one for short people, one for tall!) or the drying position.

You need to have a closable laundry for the dehumidifier to be effective. Dehumidifiers run on considerably less power than a dryer. Buying a dehumidifier on Gumtree for less than a third of retail price was a bonus!

November 16, 2014

Path lights - more recycling

The opening of our new B&B suite required us to improve the path lighting to the house. We wanted something a bit funky and unusual. Russell had the inspiration to use some green glass high-voltage electrical insulators which he had picked up on one of his field trips.

We began with standard Bunnings 12-volt lights at $5 each - pretty boring!

Lights - before
We took off the top cover and slipped over some scrap pieces of PVC water pipe. These were various heights, painted matt black and with holes of assorted sizes cut into them to diffuse the light.

The PVC was topped by the green glass insulators to provide a gentle green glow upwards, but with the majority of the light directed down to the path.

Cheap, good looking, very funky and great recycling!

Lights - after

September 12, 2014

Winner - Best Eco-friendly Property, Queensland!

We're a winner!
We're very excited to have won Best Eco-Friendly Property, Queensland in the Stayz tourism group 2014 Holiday Rental Awards.

We take our eco credentials very seriously, so it is great to be recognised for our efforts by what is now one of the largest tourism groups in Australia. 

As a member of the Land for Wildlife Scheme, Turkey's Nest forms part of a wildlife corridor that links private properties with the National Park.

Both in our buildings and in our day-to-day work on the property, we aim to minimise our impact on the environment.

June 8, 2014

Land for Wildlife

We are delighted that Turkey’s Nest has just been accepted into the Land for Wildlife program, a voluntary program that helps landholders provide habitat for wildlife on their property. 

Over 130 species of native birds make Mount Glorious their home as well as a vast array of mammals, reptiles and amphibians, some of which are on the vulnerable and threatened species list. Turkey’s Nest provides a significant area of remnant rainforest, including a palm grove, which, in connection with other properties and National Park in the area, creates a wildlife corridor for native species.
Eastern Spinebill feeding on Grevillea

Land for Wildlife began in South East Queensland in 1998 and as of March 2013 had over 3900 members protecting over 50,000 hectares of wildlife habitat. It is a tool to help encourage, link together and inspire landholders to look after their land for our native wildlife. Providing healthy habitats for wildlife also has wider benefits such as reducing erosion, connecting patches of bushland together, improving soil health, improving water quality in creeks and improving our sense of well-being and aesthetics.

Palms. giant figs and rainforest trees cover two-thirds of Turkey's Nest

We are honoured and privileged and to be included in such a wonderful scheme