Old Things Can Have New Life


When Alyssa Bestmann was moving to Muswellbrook from Newcastle at 22 years of age, she was looking at homes based on price, as we tend to do.

The 1945 built home on a cul-de-sac in Muswellbrook fit the bill – but it also had pressed tin ceilings in the loungeroom which helped sweeten the deal.

“We got in and it was a mess, we cried and through ‘what have we done’,” she said with a laugh about the state tenants had left it which was less than desirable.

“But over the years we have made it a lot nicer.”

They started with ripping up carpet and painting which made a big difference, yard work and eventually a new bathroom.

When her third daughter was born there was not enough space so an extension was added with an extra bedroom, bathroom and deck.

But the house itself is only a small part of what Alyssa and her three daughters love about their home.

A creative at heart, and one not to let anything go to waste, Alyssa’s favourite thing about her home is her boundary fence made out of old doors.

“I started collecting doors and my old neighbour down the road built it for me,” she said.

“I’m always going junking and finding bits that I can turn into something in the garden, I love upcycling.”

The yard is a kids’ paradise with a cubby house, inground trampoline and swing set, it is no surprise that any given afternoon the yard is full of friends and neighbours.

Another feature of the yard is the vegetable garden Alyssa planted around a year ago after getting confidence and knowledge of gardening by getting involved with the Muswellbrook Community Garden.

“I love it, yesterday I had for lunch, an omelette that I got the eggs from the chooks and the vegies and things straight out of the garden,” she shared.

“You can make a meal from your garden – it is a good feeling.”

Alyssa and her girls have made the house their home and they couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.