JUST ADD PERSONALITY
With a budget of $10,000, Cherie Barber completes the makeover of a 1970s unit.
WHEN PLANNING AN INTERIOR THEME for their property, many renovators make the mistake of getting stuck on one particular interpretation of “modern”. The reality is, “modern” can be anything from the popular mid-century look to a relaxed Hamptons style or stark minimalism. It all depends on the bones of the property and how cleverly you marry the existing architecture with your chosen style. While high-ceilinged warehouses are most commonly associated with an industrial style, this “plain Jane” unit was transformed by adding some industrial touches.
Some apartment blocks, such as art deco buildings, come with beautiful period features that renovators always want to play up. Not so with this
1970s block. It provided a blank slate to work with. An industrial palette of colours and materials injected muchneeded character and warmth – and also proved you don’t need a big old warehouse to create a successful industrial look.
Those darlings of the ’70s – brown carpets, vertical blinds and charmless
light fittings – were the first to go. Then I used Gerflor vinyl flooring throughout, at a total cost of $1600. It’s actually an easy DIY job: you just prep the existing floor, peel off the adhesive backing and lay it down. It’s fully waterproof, so it’s fine to use in kitchens and bathrooms.
SHADES OF GREY
The punchy grey tones of Taubmans “Invincible” paint was used for the feature walls, offset by plain white. To pull the colour scheme together, I tinted the White Knight laminate paint I had used for the kitchen cabinets in the same shade of grey. In the bathroom, I added timber trim to the existing large mirror and repeated the grey there too.
Fortunately for the budget, the kitchen was basically in good condition, but just needed an update. A new timber benchtop, mixer tap, modern handles and a new blind complemented the freshly painted cabinets.
OFF THE SHELF
For something a little novel that also proved cheaper than conventional shelving, I purchased a butcher’s block and cut it into sturdy shelf panels, which could then be mounted on brackets. It provided the rustic touch I was after in the living area and bedrooms, and tied these rooms together perfectly.
Industrial-style lighting put the final stamp on the theme. These were all purchased at Bunnings, which shows you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a high-end look. The pared-back palette and strategic mix of off-theshelf and bespoke items created exactly the right balance; it turned something bland and boring into an apartment with true character.
Go with the flow after Cherie used affordable timber-look vinyl flooring throughout, making the transition from room to room modern and seamless.
The headboard, timber shelves and bedside table add personal charm and create a strong focal point. after
Wake-up call This bedroom was a personalityfree zone. before