The centre of the house, the source of heat and the place we eat! Our dining room is the heart of the home and was full of potential. Discover how we took this simple space, gave it a complete makeover with simply DIY projects and made it a show stopper.
When it comes to the laundry, is easy to shut the door and pretend it’s not there. Often it is the last project we will do in a renovation (if at all). That all changed when we arrived in Alexandra without a washer or dryer and had to use the laundromat. It didn’t take long for the laundry renovation to be at the very top of our project list. Here is how we transformed this neglected and tired laundry space into a functional and stylish laundry.
Setting the Budget
In Part Two of our ‘Dollars and Sense’ budgeting series, we share our strategy for setting our overall project budget for a renovation. This can and may vary widely depending on the state of your house, its location and the scope of your plans.
Our master bedroom may not be much to look at in its original state. But it had my heart from the very start, thanks to its position in the house - mainly because of its distance from the kids bedrooms! This new master bedroom will be a retreat in our own home and therefore deserves our time and attention. Unfortunately, those are two things we don’t have in abundant supply.
Within our renovation blogs we hope to provide others with advice, information and inspiration that they can apply to their own homes. And while we normally focus on a project, there seems to be a question that often pops up “How do you manage to have fun renovating?”. I do understand why we get asked that – and to be honest sometimes I have wondered if we are completely sane!
I couldn’t stand in the house a moment longer - the smell was overwhelming. We had been to long lists of open homes and Caleb had been focusing on some select suburbs trying to find the next project for us. I got to see some things I would rather have unseen - inappropriate drawings on walls, bedrooms that feel very “fifty shades of grey” (I don’t mean the wall colour), hoarding. But this was the most memorable of them all. At the open home we entered a room with a male tenant laying across a bed in the lounge, shirtless, smoking, who said we had to keep the door closed as there were four cats who weren’t allowed outside. I counted 8 litter boxes - though from the smell I could tell it wasn't the only place these cats relieved themselves. I stood outside trying not to vomit, Caleb looked at me not sure what to expect and was getting ready to start his sales pitch.
When we first started renovating we were complete rookies. While Caleb knew about property from his studies and beginning his career in project management, he had very limited understanding when it came to DIY or anything practical. And while I had a natural intuition with design and colour scheming, I had no idea about interior design techniques or where to source the products I liked. To sum it up - we had a youthful confidence which is probably best described as pure ignorance. Normally within a blog we would share details of our renovation to provide inspiration and advice - but this is more of an example of what not to do! Our first renovation project was our “boot camp” in renovating - and boy did we realise we weren’t “renovation fit”.
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.
Pushing our design and colour scheme ideas is an exciting way to renovate, we had to chose different elements for the bathroom without visually seeing it all together till the end result. At times it feels like guess work, making decisions from lying out one tile sample, looking at colour swatches and viewing products in a showroom. To see it all come together well - you have to do your best to imagine the end result, considering how each product will work in the space and finally, just back yourself and go with your gut.
Putting together a child’s room brings out your inner child – though for Caleb and I we have never struggled with that! We love playing with our soon to be 2 year old and designing him a new room gave us an opportunity to get creative and create him (and us) a fun environment.
Sometimes you hear people talk about a house needing a renovation as a ‘blank canvas’, if only that was true! The first stage of renovating (once your plannings in hand of course) is getting the house Back to Blank