Bought unseen, Jessica and Osvaldo thought their first house purchase would be a stepping stone, but after 14 years of renovation they love it!
Jessica and Osvaldo’s off-the-plan buy in Melbourne’s western suburbs is barely recognisable after 14 years of renos.
“WHEN OSVALDO AND I signed off on this house 14 years ago, we really didn’t think it would end up being such a well-loved, long-term home for us. It took us a while to get into the property market and, as we’d bought ‘off the plan’, we hadn’t actually been able to walk through the house – but we were excited. However as soon as we signed the contracts I found I was pregnant with our third child – all of a sudden we were a bedroom short before we’d even moved in! With a little negotiation we managed to alter the original design, moving a study wall, adding a door and stealing space from the original dining area to make a bedroom.
ROOM FOR ALL
Six months later our family of five moved in. I liked the neighbourhood, the proximity to schools and family, the open-plan design of the house, the fact the kids had their own rooms, the size of the land and the price – but it was all so very beige! All the fixtures were ‘standard’, even plastic tapware! We had included a couple of upgrades
– tiles from the entry through to the meals area, stain-resistant carpets and an extra heating duct in the children’s bathroom – but it was still beige.
MAKING IT OURS
From day one we slowly renovated our home, doing the work ourselves unless electricians or plumbers were required. First we tackled the backyard, building a pergola for shade and fencing. Next we replaced the carpets with laminate flooring in the living areas as the kids had a few asthma troubles. Then we got busy removing the beige! I used Taubmans wall paint without any tint throughout the house, along with a wall or two of Dulux Hog Bristle for warmth in the bedrooms.
We’ve also done major renovations on the kitchen and both bathrooms. After our eldest son moved out, we reconfigured some of the extra space so I now have a large walk-in-robe with a separate make-up and accessories room, which is such a luxury!
While ALL of the labour has been done by Osvaldo – to say he is ‘handy’ is an understatement – I love taking on the role of chief decorator and recently graduated in Interior Design. My style tends toward industrial, but I don’t like to put too many labels on it. I think it’s important to have your own angle on whatever style appeals to you – go with the parts you love, and leave out what doesn’t resonate with you. Following any trend to the letter rarely brings a good result.
My favourite room in the house is the master bedroom. We did the vinyl feature wall years ago with budget as the key consideration and it turned out so well! I love to find gorgeous items to really refresh a room without breaking the budget – Kmart and Ikea are brilliant! Cushions are my ‘go to’ item each season or if I feel a room needs a little something. And I tend to always have two throws on the bed – I really love a bed that looks so comfortable and luxurious at the end of the day.
Even though we’ve made so many changes to our house along the way, there are more to come! We plan to
add skylights to the living/dining space, put in bi-fold doors to the outdoor entertaining area, extend the kitchen and turn the garage into my design studio. Our lives, family and careers have evolved so much since the contracts were signed all those years ago, but with hard work and creativity, this little house has suited us well for the ride so far.”
This fabulous coffee table was made from two pallets, a sheet of glass and industrial castor wheels. Black chairs from Ikea set the monochrome tone.
A coat of Dulux Texture Fine Cover in Warm Neutral transformed the original brick veneer.
In the family
Jess made the timber and leather shelves above their eBay Ikea sideboard for $20.
Unable to find a narrow hall table, the couple designed and built their own.
Making it cosy Warmth is added to the mono palette with timber pieces and touches of copper. SHOP IT Hektar pendant lamp, $29.99, from Ikea.