We’re kicking off TGIF with a celebration of our brand spankin’ N.E.W themed post, DIY Project of the Month.
First cab off the rank (and thank you so much for participating), meet co-owners and entrepreneurs Celeste Mitchell and Zac Gill from Share Space. They’re your laid back Sunshine Coast lovebirds with a million and one bright ideas, including their new venture Share Space. It’s a biz concept to house creative souls in a co-working environment under the one roof. Perfect for freelancers, start-ups, virtual employees and entrepreneurs (just like me at Nikki Dudley Freelancing).
So without further-a-do, let’s get stuck into their DIY renos and importantly see how they’ve managed to transform this tired church at Cotton Tree, Marychoodore into an urban working space we know people will be stoked to roll out of bed and commute to work for.
Can you kindly share with us the steps you went through after signing the lease on the church to getting the renovation wrecking-ball swinging?
Being the eager beavers we are, the first step was to strip back the hall and just turn it into a blank canvas. (This did involve a few Skype calls with nooks & cranny for advice, ha). The last life of the hall was as a dance studio so there were old ballet barres on the walls and a horrible (read: really horrible) kitchen and locker area. This demolition process went on over a few days (umm nights) but as we were in a commercial area we managed to put in a few hours after our day jobs and not annoy the neighbours.
Running concurrently with this demolition process we also started mapping out the look and feel we wanted on Pinterest – searching other co-working spaces, logo styles we liked and plenty of decorating and DIY tips! We identified the logo styles we were after and sent this out to a few graphic designers to see where they would take us. Once we had the logo design back (which is a simple black and white colour palette) we had the basis for the design cues in the hall.
From here, on went the white paint to cover the apricot ceilings and washed out lime green walls and then after that we started to accent various features with black. We used a professional painter to paint the area and it was the best money we spent on the project! No one wants to roll 3.4 m ceilings!
How did you went about the demolition and cleaning process?
Demolition is fun. Well at least smashing stuff is. The old kitchen was just a chipboard mess held together with the odd screw and several layers of paint. This had to come out first. After that it was on to patching the walls, replacing the timber beading and removing the old sticky tape residue and chewing gum (yes, chewing gum) from the walls and floors.
Our demolition tool kit was pretty simple and consisted of a circular saw, reciprocating saw, several crowbars, a claw hammer and a rubber mallet. After that it was all elbow grease and sugar soap followed by gap filler and sand paper.
We know there were some issues including a dreaded toilet cistern. What happened and how did you guys come out on top?
I could sum up the issues we had on this project with one simple word: plumbing! Putting a new cistern in was only half of it. We tried to save some money and bought things second-hand on gumtree. We scored some great deals like our black feature tap in the bathroom but others were more miss than hit. We picked up a second-hand basin that required new drain waste connections and a new mounting frame, so by the time we picked up all of these we were back at the price of a new one minus the four hours we spent driving around and returning to the hardware several times.
Continuing the plumbing saga we also reinstalled the old hot water system after having been assured it would work. Within 30 mins of turning it on, water was leaking from the base and we found out the reservoir was cracked. So out came that one and in went another one. It was really frustrating to just feel like you were paying for everything twice with the plumbing.
We came out on top by focusing on the biz open date and pushing the plumbers to just work out a solution. We could have driven it better by being on the plumber’s case as we opted for a time and materials basis rather than a fixed quote. Given we ended up both being away on the day of the majority of the plumbing I am sure it would have worked in our favour to have the fixed price quote. We also eventually went back to the landlord about the hot water system and he came to party and paid for it and the new installation.
What was your favourite part of the project design and execution process?
For me (Zac) the best part was just in the execution of small simple jobs. I work in contracts and business development normally so to use my hands and have some wins was really satisfying. When I was younger I was obsessed with Lego and in a small way it felt the same as building that old Lego town.
The transformation from apricot and lime was also really satisfying in just making the space so much more inviting and clean.
Celeste: For me it was definitely sourcing all the aesthetics! I became Gumtree, IKEA, Etsy and Pinterest obsessed and made more than a few trips down the highway to Brisbane and the Gold Coast to source furniture, our old school lockers, vintage typewriter, ping pong table and one of my favourites, the aqua couch!
Tell us a little about your new venture Share Space. How does one book a desk?
We’ve created a really flexible open-plan environment and offer a few options. We have dedicated desks for people who want to lock in a weekly commitment – they get the benefit of more space, a locker and access to monthly events. Otherwise, you can pop in as a casual in our communal hot desking area and pay just $35 per day, giving you access to high-speed WiFi, Nespresso coffee, tea and the benefit of working around other like-minded, creative souls.
Outside of that we have an ‘un-bored’ room for hire, which seats 10 around our ping pong table for those brainstorming sessions, workshops and important meetings. This gives you privacy, aircon, dedicated Nespreso machine, whiteboard and TV for presentations.
We also have a lot of fun with the variety of uses the main space can play outside of working hours – we have a pilates instructor who holds classes in the space three times per week, meditation courses, video shoots, seminars, meetups and more.
In a few months’ time we also plan to have a soundproof studio for recording podcasts and webinars, a beanbag-filled space for phone calls and an ‘analogue desk’ for getting the creative juices flowing without technology. Watch this space!
For more information or to make a booking, jump online.
And guess what? The coolest thing, nooks & cranny have already taken Share Space for a test run - and it rocked!
Have you ever thought to apply some DIY skills to your business or home office?