Renovator’s challenge: blending heritage character with modern convenience

Finally the latest round of renovations at Bungaree are complete.

They kicked off last July with the installation of a new commercial kitchen in the Shearers Quarters, one of our function venues which is popular for conferences and medium sized events. Pouring and polishing of a concrete floor in the dining room was also undertaken, as well as re-tiling of the bathroom. The character of the building remains – for example, no shearers’ kitchen would be complete without an old AGA oven!

The Stallion Box, our smallest cottage, was next up. As they say, “from little things, big things grow”, and we’ve found that this is typical when renovating old buildings. We had planned just to do a relatively minor re-vamp of the kitchenette and bathroom, but then we decided it would be a wasted opportunity not to undertake more significant works, with a complete change of the floorplan, the building of a new bathroom and installation of a new kitchenette.

The Men’s Kitchen was next on the “hit list”. We knew there were gorgeous jarrah floorboards hidden beneath the carpets, so many hours were spent sanding and sealing floors. At the same time, the builders were working on demolishing and re-building one of the bathrooms, while we worked on re-designing the kitchen with a local carpenter and joinery business.

Finally works began on the Council Chambers and Manager’s House, two of our cottages that are side-by-side. These were the most challenging and significant renovations undertaken, involving demolition of “lean-to” additions made in the 1950s – 1970s, building (in sandstone quarried on the property) solid extensions for the new bathrooms and installation of new kitchens, treating saltdamp and repairing walls, as well as the usual sanding/sealing of original floors and painting. In undertaking these activities, we uncovered many of the original features which we have now highlighted in the cottages, including an old laundry copper and beautifully pointed fireplaces and stonework.

Next up, we’re going to take a few weeks to get back on top of the “day job”, but then it will be back to planning our next renovations – life at Bungaree will certainly never be boring!