Kids Bedroom Reno Recap | Charmer in Alexandra

Kids Bedroom Renovations = a chance for the inner child to have some fun! We have transformed this small narrow room with a lot of colour into a bright, warm, whimsical shared kids bedroom with space for play and sleep!

Hallway Reno Recap | Charmer in Alexandra

Our hallway renovation was all about enhancing the character of this 1900s mudbrick house while adding some modern influence. What was once dark and dated, is now trendy, light, bright and breath-taking!

Laundry Reno Recap | Charmer in Alexandra

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.

Our Advice for Saving for Your First Home

Saving for your first home can be a daunting and overwhelming task. It can be hard to know where to start and how to get to where you want to be. I still remember when we were newly married and set the goal to purchase our first home. It took my complete focus - from when we created our plan, until we signed the contract for that home. It was something we really wanted, so we prioritised our finances and focused on this goal.

Three | Dollars and Sense - the budget series

Allocating the Budget

Part 3 of our ‘Dollars and Sense’ budgeting series is all about allocating your budget. In this video we explain how we go from setting our budget, to allocating it. Removing the guesswork, to make sure it is realistic and setting your budget up for a win.

Two | Dollars and Sense - the budget series

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.

Posted on December 4, 2018 and filed under Advice, Budget.

One | Dollars and Sense - the budget series

The Budget Basics

Budgeting. It’s a love-hate relationship. Caleb “the saver” gets excited about spreadsheets, while Alice “the spender”… not so much! After seven renovations, we have come to value and prioritise the role a budget has within each of our projects.

Posted on November 23, 2018 and filed under Advice, Budget.

Buying the First Project for our Renovation Road Trip

Alexandra. Known as the hottest, driest and coldest town in New Zealand. Have we been here before? We drove through it on our honeymoon 9 years ago. But we didn’t stop. Now we have moved our lives down here. Good move? We sure hope so - and about to find out.

The Property Search for our Renovation Road Trip

Buying a house can be a daunting experience. As with anything, the first step is always the biggest, and when you learn the most. It’s often only through hindsight you realise how much there is to know and what you might have done differently. Our property story to date has been concentrated in one city - Auckland. This focus has helped us become experienced in this market, but we are newbies to doing it out of our hometown.

Our Strategy for Finding Property for our Renovation Road Trip

We are excited to start our Renovation Road Trip - but how do we narrow down where to move to when there are so many options? In fact, over 30,000 properties for sale in NZ right now. How do we know we will move to the right place? Or buy the right house? Will we be able to buy, renovate and sell a home and create a profit in any town? We may be have all the answers but Caleb has a strategy that will help us find right town and house that will suit us!

The Next Chapter in our Property Story - The Renovation Road Trip

For a while now, we have been working toward an idea we can’t stop thinking about - The Renovation Road Trip. In short - we are leaving our world in Auckland (including jobs), packing a car and trailer full of the essentials and relocating around New Zealand. The aim is to renovate 2-3 homes in different towns within 12-18 months, as well as taking constant road trips to explore our big backyard. This has been a plan that was conceived and developed over the past 2 years for us. But before we get started, we wanted to begin by sharing why we are doing this crazy, scary thing that is, The Renovation Road Trip.

The Rookies Bedroom Project Reveal | The Reno Race

The Reno Race Rookies, Dan and Claire had a project on their hands when it came to their master bedroom and the temporary guest bedroom (which will hopefully be a nursery one day - no pressure). The rookies nailed the brief to create a space that is all about comfort with touches of their own personality and style.

Posted on August 21, 2018 and filed under Renovation.

The Rookies Living Project Reveal | The Reno Race

The Reno Race Rookies, Dan and Claire took on their living space renovation focussed on three mains projects.. The first project was the preparation and painting of the walls, trims and ceilings. The second project was restoring the original hardwood flooring that were covered by the carpet. And finally upgrading the lighting plan and installing blinds.

The Rookies Bathroom Project Reveal | The Reno Race

The Reno Race Rookies, Dan and Claire inherited a bathroom that was designed for the previous owner (a lovely lady in her nineties). A while the bathroom may have been perfect for her - it wasn't exactly what they had in mind. The bathroom makeover was biggest renovation project the rookies took on, as they changed the whole layout of the space, removed walls and floors and essentially re-built the whole area. 

The Rookies Kitchen Project Reveal | The Reno Race

The Reno Race Rookies, Dan and Claire are first time home owners and renovators. There are a lot of things they are taking on for the very first time - a mortgage, power tools, a renovation budget, a project schedule, hiring trades, making interior design decisions... to name just a few! But by far their most significant first was their kitchen renovation.

Reno Advice: Restoring Original Hardwood Flooring

The great thing about older homes is often flooring is timber floorboards, even if it is covered by outdated carpet or vinyl (it still amazes me anyone would cover them up). Most renovators will want to add new, modern, on trend features to their house but keeping the original floors is a great way of keeping an element of the original house design that still looks modern and striking.

Posted on August 14, 2018 and filed under Renovation.

The Expects Kitchen Project Reveal | The Race Race

Our Reno Race project has been all about keeping costs down and renovating on a tight schedule. With the kitchen, we were pretty limited by what we could do, but what surprised us was how much of an improvement you can make without much money at all.  

The Experts Bedroom Project Reveal | The Reno Race

Our biggest change in this renovation was turning the separate dining room into a 4th bedroom. And that where the changing stopped - we didn’t add more power-plugs, add extra lighting or wardrobes. We kept costs down by only adding elements we thought would add value.

The Experts Living Spaces Project Reveal | The Reno Race

For our Reno Race project, the experts Alice and Caleb had a clear idea of how they were going to approach this renovation, it was a budget cosmetic makeover. The priority was to do it as effectively as possible - both in spending as little as possible and doing it as quickly as possible. In short our goal was to do the full project, interior and exterior in 3-4 weeks with a budget of $33K.

Kids Room Project Reveal | Relocatable Reno

Designing a kids room is always an adventure. Creating spaces for kids to play, learn and sleep (hopefully!) that suits their personalities and style – but doesn’t look like they have designed the room themselves. We decided early on we wanted to create a shared bedroom and a playroom, rather than one girl’s bedroom and one boy’s bedroom. As we renovated and designed there were a few things I focused on; adding storage solutions, creating defined areas in the rooms and adding details the kids would love.