Technology is incredible how it can connect people from different corners of the globe and even old school friends from 15-years back. This is how I stumbled across the renovation of one of my best old buddies Naomi from my N.E.G.S boarding school days. It is such a great Before & After DIY success story which I just had to share with you. Many thanks to Naomi and her lovely man Harley (featured below with their real estate agent Ben).
We purchased our first home five years ago and lived in it for three years (rented it for two) before upgrading and purchasing this house (featured below) which we just renovated. We purchased the home with a fully renovated kitchen (woohoo) with Caesarstone(R) bench tops, soft touch draws and double oven. Both the main and the ensuite bathrooms had been tastefully renovated (double woohoo) with modern tiles, fixtures and fittings leaving us to deal with modernising the interior and living spaces. The house has five bedrooms (we say four and a study downstairs) and the master bedroom has an ensuite and walk-through robe. On the east side of the house we have a workshop in a large 9x6m shed with power and are nicely positioned on a land size of 2206 m² in the middle of town (in country Armidale).
Can you outline what renovations have taken place?
1. When we first purchased, there was an old knee high fence surrounding the property. As we are owners of two fairly excitable dogs the first task for us was to build a fence. We decided to stick with timber and built a 6m tall fence along the boundaries.
2. Leaving the outside work to the boys, my first job was to start painting upstairs in the bedrooms and moving down the hall and to the bathrooms. We chose to use Antique White USA for all interior walls and a semi-gloss white for all the skirting and windows. We upgraded all the light fixtures in the rooms, added a couple of TV points and updated the window dressings to white blinds.
3. The house was very dark inside with the use of stained wood and this was used down the stairwell and as a feature wall in both living spaces. To freshen it up we decided to keep the neutral look we created upstairs and kept painting the same Antique White USA for all interior walls and a semi-gloss white for all the skirting and windows.
4. In the two spare rooms with built-ins we removed the wooden doors and installed white and mirror doors to create the illusion of a bigger room and this also created more light.
5. We painted the linen cupboard doors in the hall, bathroom and the master bedroom, leaving our original mirror doors in our walk-in wardrobe.
6. In the living area we had two arched walk ways. We cut these out and made the room feel larger. The living room has a wonderful bay-window and we enhanced this feature by adding 2 double roller blinds and a single roller on the middle window, allowing more light in and better privacy at night.
7. Not having to do too much in the kitchen we decided on putting in some LED downlights and re-painting the ceiling. We also changed the window dressings to vertical blinds (at the back sliding doors) and a roller blind at the kitchen window.
8. Flooring time! We decided to carpet all upstairs and down the stairwell with a mid-range priced carpet – Eternity Latona 6304 Nelson. On the lower level we chose Roughsawn Oak Natural Elements vinyl tiles with a rustic wooden look that would be cost effective and practical for a growing family.
9. Going SOLAR we decided when we first moved in to swap the electric boiler to a solar hot water system. When doing our renovations this time we also decided to put a full solar system on the house.
10. The last thing to do on our list is to replace the interior doors downstairs.
Did you call upon professional trades, and if so, which ones and why?
We had a local professional builder and plasterer to help us with cutting out the arch ways and new skirting in the downstairs living areas. We picked Choices to do our flooring as we have used this company in the past at other properties and found their service great and pricing very competitive amongst other carpet companies. We used a professional electrician to help with all the electrical work and glaziers to fix a few windows and create crim-safe screens for the front and back two doors.
Can you share your top three tips for our readers wanting to tackle their own home interior reno?
Tip 1. Don’t be afraid to NOT use colour when painting. Express yourself with colour in paintings, your furniture and your styling such as pillows on the couch. Trust me in a few years’ time you will be wondering why that lime coloured wall was a good idea.
Tip 2. If you can, pull up the carpet yourself. You will save hundreds of dollars doing this task and it’s not that hard. Truthfully it’s a great way to de-stress!
Tip 3. Quotes. It might take a few emails or a couple of phone calls but try to get at least 2-3 quotes on basically everything you want to do! Quotes are [usually] free and by doing this and being prepared you will save money and can then follow your budget when renovating.
So tell us DIYer, how many quotes do you normally obtain? We love Naomi’s advice to gain 2 or 3.