Funky on the inside
DIY queen lives the dream
STEPPING over the threshold of her Lindisfarne home for the first time six years ago, Tassie’s new queen of DIY Louise Downham knew she would be getting her hands dirty.
While perfectly liveable, the 1946 house was dark and safe and did not capture everyone’s imagination the way it did the government human resources worker.
‘‘ I walked in and didn’t see it in its current state; I walked in and saw it how it would be when I was finished with it,’’ she said.
‘‘ I’m quite lucky because not everyone has that vision. My sister walked in and screwed up her face, but I was so excited I couldn’t stop grinning.’’
Inspired by the high ceilings, square set plastering and hints of lingering art deco, design- addict Louise set about renovating the interior with her own fresh and funky style.
Louise, 31, also owns an investment property in Warrane, on which she did a sixweek renovation before tackling this project.
A massive overhaul of the bathroom, installing built- in wardrobes and several coats of paint were all completed on her own, including many other decorating projects.
‘‘ I think I’m lucky that I can look at something and deconstruct it so I can see how it might go together with something else,’’ she said.
‘‘ I’m not afraid to ask questions. I’m a big negotiator and bargain hunter and I think I get that from my mum because she has those sort of great people skills as well.’’
Upon entering the two- bedroom house through the sunroom with its window seat and hanging disco ball, there are great views over Lindisfarne and the river before moving into the fresh and modern living area.
The old fireplace now stores Louise’s sound system and at the dining table there are recycled chairs that have been painted in neon colours, providing a funky juxtaposition to the stark white walls.
The biggest changes occurred in the massive bathroom which now houses a luxurious free- standing tub, walk- in shower and handmade vanity unit Louise put together with flat pack cupboards and Laminex.
Louise’s talents have landed her a job as one of the presenters of the new Tasmanian DIY show, Weekend Warrior, which will hit screens around Christmas time.
‘‘ I’m excited about it because it’s about doing achievable, realistic things everyone can do, which is something I really believe in and get enjoyment from. That’s something I want to share with others,’’ she said.
For other people looking to start their own home DIY projects, Louise suggests keeping an ideas bank to store all ideas and inspiration; design down to the centimetre; make sure to incorporate heaps of storage; and surround yourself with people you can learn from.
Top local spots for inspiration and materials include tip shops, Moonah Buy and Sell, and Uptons.
DESIGN VISION: Home owner Louise Downham ( inset); the view; Louise’s decorations; the bathroom; homemade ottomans.