Julia Reiterics and her boyfriend Philipp Noack built their dream home in the idyll of Burgenland in Austria. They did it all by themselves, brick by brick, together with Julia’s father, a trained master bricklayer. Her blog, Chic Choolee, now shares her experiences of building House No. 22. “It’s clear that many young people are interested in building their own home,” says Julia. And because a house like this is never really finished, followers can look forward to interesting blog posts about House No. 22 in future.
G-Pulse editorial team: It’s been a while since you first had the idea of building a house, and between looking for a plot of land and finishing the house a lot has happened. Which milestones do you enjoy looking back on the most?
Julia: We have particularly fond memories of the day that Dad laid the first rows of bricks. It was incredibly exciting to watch! Every few hours I drove by the construction site and saw how the house was growing. The anticipation grew and grew. Installing the windows and plastering the brick walls were other milestones that I enjoy remembering.
Our ‘last act’ before the winter break was to level our garden. This was also a major event for me personally. That massive pile of earth in the middle of our garden had been there since we excavated the cellar. And now, all of a sudden, we had to look after our newly seeded lawn. It’s mind-boggling what has happened over the past two years.
G-Pulse editorial team: But things didn’t always go smoothly either. Were there moments when you had the feeling that the whole project was getting to be too much?
Julia: Looking back, I have to admit that we really didn’t have any major problems on the construction site. Of course, sometimes you get annoyed about a delivery arriving late or a builder who thinks he has to do everything the way he wants to, but on the whole, there were no big hiccups and at no point did we feel that we had messed things up or made a big mistake. In our case, the only thing you could really call an ‘incident’ was the pandemic.
G-Pulse editorial team: In November 2020, you finally moved into your house. Would you say it really is the home of your dreams? And if so, why?
Julia: Oh yes! Absolutely! It’s exactly how we dreamed it would be. In fact, it’s much, much nicer! Long before we moved in, it was more our ‘home’ than our flat at the time. We were on the construction site every day and helped my dad a lot. There was always something to do, and after a certain point – when the walls were painted white, the first lamps and light switches were installed, and the water was finally on – it just felt like home.
G-Pulse editorial team: Julia, on your shared blog, you describe yourself as a big fan of interiors and interior design. How would you describe your interior design style?
Julia: I would describe my interior design style as natural and harmonious, but also modern and minimalist. Not too extravagant and not too luxurious, but still aesthetically striking. It was important to me that the house as a whole adheres to a design line and that the materials used are reflected in the rooms. I love open spaces and like things to be clean and tidy.
G-Pulse editorial team: You rounded off your interior design composition with Gira technology. Which products did you choose and why?
Julia: We decided pretty quickly on socket outlets, light switches, motion detectors, blind switches and an intercom system from the Gira E2 design line. The black matt surface didn’t just appeal to us visually, we also found the design and feel very attractive, as well as the proportions. And they also harmonised perfectly with our black recessed spotlights and black flush-mounted fixtures. We installed a few very practical Gira solutions outside, as well. For example, the Gira Cube motion detector, Gira light and energy profiles, and our door communication system.
G-Pulse editorial team: You’ve already told us a lot about your passion project. To conclude, what tips can you share with anyone who is building a house?
Julia: Never let anything rattle you, hold on to your dreams, but remain realistic. We found it hard to imagine that we could do it all on our own with more or less just one expert. But after sacrificing all our free time, our heart and soul, sweat, tears and our sense of equilibrium, we pulled it off together with our family. I myself can barely believe that I was able to manage it on top of my full-time job at the time and my travels. I had hardly any idea about building a house myself. But thanks to a huge amount of research plus my dad, we really nailed it.
G-Pulse editorial team: Julia, thank you so much for giving us an insight into your wonderful project.
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