Funky on the inside

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Howard Email howardjr@the­mer­cury.com.au

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.

Pic­tures: KIM EISZELE

DE­SIGN VI­SION: Home owner Louise Down­ham ( in­set); the view; Louise’s dec­o­ra­tions; the bath­room; home­made ot­tomans.

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