Bought un­seen, Jessica and Os­valdo thought their first house pur­chase would be a step­ping stone, but af­ter 14 years of ren­o­va­tion they love it!

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

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.


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.


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.”

DIY de­sign

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.

Ex­te­rior facelift

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.

Per­fect fit

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.

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