PEARSON + PROJECTS, a home for projects, ideas and inspiration for DIY enthusiasts, home makers and renovators.
Brought to you by Alice + Caleb Pearson, husband and wife duo, winners of The Block NZ 2013. Learn more about our story here.
We offer a wide range of consulting services for renovations. We love to use our skill set to help others in their property adventures, so please email us at email@example.com for more information.
For information about Alice's Home Staging and Interior Styling services, go to NEST Stage and Style or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
The story of buying our first house together is best shared as a tale of “she said, he said”. Because to say we had a difference in experiences and expectations - would be an understatement. We didn’t begin our property story as a united force, though there was a lot of forceful emotions involved! So as unconventional as our story about Caleb buying a first house is, the way we started ours “together” may be just as surprising...
Its not everyday a 16 year old boy buys a house, but this is where our property journey started back in 2003. Still in school and with no facial hair (not much has changed there) I purchased my first property. So what can a schoolboy afford to buy in 2003? I purchased a 3 bedroom fibre cement home in the kiwifruit capital of NZ - Te Puke. Purchased for $96,000 with a 10% deposit with a rental of $180 per week. The property itself wasn’t anything special, neither was it a great bargain at the time - rather just a traditional cash-flow investment property
Caleb and I have always had a different story to most when it comes to owning a family home. The concept of buying a house that caters for all our needs in an area to settle down is a normal aspiration for most house hunters but not yet been a priority for us. While most have a personalised and detailed wish list of what they are looking for in a house, our focus is on just one - a good buy. I had no idea 6 years ago when picking a colour scheme for the first time that we were on a journey to become seasoned renovators and neither was it our intention. However 6 projects later, we have learnt, grown and gained in our renovation and project experience, our property portfolio and our passion for doing this.
Our fireplace originally stood out for all the wrong reasons, but to replace or remove a perfectly functioning fire place just for looks was not an option for us. So we started our DIY investigation - researching, exploring new ideas and finding products we haven’t used before. The result - our fireplace transformation cost approximately $400 and took us a week to complete by outworking 3 simple projects.
Recently I heard someone making banter about lounge spaces – claiming they had no idea why it was called a ‘living room’. Sure if you have a formal lounge, a family lounge, a kids playroom and entertainment room – the options for living are vast but if you live in our home (or most older homes in NZ) you have one option – the lounge. Our lounge truly is the living room in our house - it caters for our children’s play, our family dance parties, quality TV viewing, hang out with friends and wrestle time with Dad (I’m referring to playtime with Alek in case there is any confusion). For our lounge I focused less on creating a magazine cover look that everyone would be wowed by, rather keeping it simple and flexible, functional for our needs and keeping unity in style with the rest of our open plan dining and kitchen.
It seems to be the way – it’s just starting to get cold and we have completed our outdoors projects! Putting aside our disregard for seasons – we love it and what a vast improvement and transformation from when we purchased our home. After a year in the house, we had a pretty clear idea of what didn’t work with the outdoor layout and what was a priority for us - this formed a clear plan for our renovation. The hero of our outdoor design is the stunning deck which became the feature and centre for our outdoor design and landscaping. From there we looked at ways to finish the rest of the project with minimal cost, which included getting creative with exterior painting, using recycled elements and getting hands on ourselves.
As we were planning our outdoor paving area around our deck, Alice had grand plans but we didn't have a grand budget. When Alice considers “the look”, Caleb considers "the cost" of a project. It causes that balance of what do we want and what do we need, where do we spend money and where do we intentionally save money. We had concrete pavers from our old courtyard and it seemed like a waste to buy new ones. But then again - old tired pavers beside our brand new deck and freshly painted fences was not going to be a good enough look for Alice. Our solution – PAINT THE PAVERS. This transformation is straight forward and total cost is under $300.00.
What is the No. 1 mistake people make when setting up their outdoor space? What should everyone get to transform their outdoor space? What are your top three tips for people setting up their outdoor space? How do I make my outdoor space an extension of my home?We recently answered some questions about renovating and updating exterior areas. Here are some general tips and tricks for making the most of your outdoor space.
Painting is a cost-effective way to achieve transformation in an outdoor space and there are so many surfaces you can paint to add colour and freshness – timber, concrete, tiles, metals. I have a list of areas I want to paint in our outdoor renovation – the house, the roof and trims, the base boards, the fence, the paving edging, outdoor furniture, the pavers – oh and stain the deck! As labour intensive as my list is, the more challenging part is deciding what colours I should use on all of these elements