When it’s your for­ever home you can take time with the ren­o­va­tions

Noosa Life and Style - - NEWS -

REN­O­VAT­ING is sim­ple, isn’t it? Okay, stop laugh­ing, and let Danni take you on that per­ilous walk be­tween your dreams and the re­al­ity of home ren­o­va­tion.

AS I me­an­dered down the long drive­way and first laid eyes on this beau­ti­fully con­structed, colo­nial-style home for sale in the hin­ter­land, it lit­er­ally took my breath away.

It cer­tainly wasn’t the home of my dreams; how­ever, I knew right there and then it would be. Re­mov­ing fe­male emo­tion that has quite the ten­dency to takeover, I ra­tio­nally in­spected the prop­erty look­ing for qual­ity of con­struc­tion.

This beau­ti­fully cu­rated, 20-year-old mas­ter built home had tra­di­tional fix­tures and fit­tings, in­cred­i­ble at­ten­tion to de­tail in the de­sign, struc­ture and build, with un­fath­omable nat­u­ral beauty, charm and char­ac­ter.

We could, of course, build a brand-new home with this level of build qual­ity and style, how­ever the price tag in 2018 would be astro­nom­i­cal. By mak­ing the de­ci­sion to pur­chase an ex­ist­ing house and ren­o­vate, we could pick up a beau­ti­ful and struc­turally sound prop­erty at a rea­son­able price, ready to trans­form into my dream home.

To­day, we’ve been ren­o­vat­ing our homestead on and off for 2.5 years and I’m cur­rently in the ini­tial stages of trans­form­ing our rum­pus room into a re­sort-style sit­ting lounge and bar. In that time we also bought, ren­o­vated and sold an in­vest­ment prop­erty in Te­wantin, which I’m in the process of blog­ging. Peo­ple ask me ev­ery day when our home will be fin­ished and my an­swer is al­ways the same – it’s our for­ever home, which means I’ll be for­ever ren­o­vat­ing.

You may think ren­o­vat­ing is like a 100m sprint – more of­ten than not it even­tu­ates into a 200m hur­dles race as you stum­ble across the fin­ish line just happy to be alive. Prepa­ra­tion and re­search is the key. My biggest piece of ad­vice when look­ing for a po­ten­tial ren­o­va­tion project is to en­sure you have a clear vi­sion of what you would like the prop­erty to de­liver, and that the home meets these cri­te­ria. Ren­o­vat­ing is a stress­ful and time-con­sum­ing process but can be made eas­ier by start­ing with a home that is struc­turally sound and can pro­vide a great can­vas for your de­sign vi­sion.

Gather your army of trades. In the early stages, bring to­gether a good, solid team of de­sign­ers and trades that you gen­uinely like, re­spect and can rely on. You’ll have a long and te­dious re­la­tion­ship in par­tic­u­lar with your

builder or car­pen­ter, so main­tain­ing a mu­tual re­spect is para­mount. If you feel some­thing isn’t quite right about any facet of your ren­o­va­tion, you should feel com­fort­able and con­fi­dent to dis­cuss it with your team and change it be­fore it’s too late.

Price it up. Gen­er­ally speak­ing your builder will price your project, how­ever if you choose to ren­o­vate with­out one here are some tips. Cre­ate a spread­sheet with as many cost es­ti­mates as you can, break­ing down each sec­tion by room. Con­sider the de­tails of each room from floor to ceil­ing, what ma­te­ri­als are re­quired as well as ap­prox­i­mate labour charges. Now you’ve got your trades lined up, they’ll be able to of­fer in­sight as­so­ci­ated with their par­tic­u­lar scope of work in­clud­ing labour and ma­te­ri­als. Re­search your re­tail­ers – call the floor­ing, light­ing and kitchen com­pa­nies and ask them to pro­vide ap­prox­i­mate

quotes on a stan­dard se­lec­tion of prod­ucts and ser­vices based on your measurements and num­bers. For ex­am­ple, room sizes for floor­ing, num­ber of down-lights for light­ing sup­pli­ers, kitchen di­men­sions for cabi­net mak­ers, etc. Re­search and doc­u­ment the or­der of

cer­e­mony. Tim­ing is vi­tal when ren­o­vat­ing and if not fore­cast and planned ac­cord­ingly has the po­ten­tial to push your com­ple­tion date well into the fu­ture. Com­pile a list of time frames from your sup­pli­ers in­clud­ing light­ing, floor­ing, cabi­net mak­ers, plumb­ing prod­ucts, and even fur­ni­ture or­ders. To stream­line your ren­o­va­tion, or­der your ma­te­ri­als and prod­ucts ac­cord­ing to your time sched­ule. Fore­cast and pro­vide each trade ap­pro­pri­ate no­tice of when they are re­quired next, which un­for­tu­nately isn’t half an hour. In­vest­ments or flip­ping. If your project is ei­ther a flip or sim­ply not your ‘for­ever home’, com­pro­mise on cer­tain as­pects of the ren­o­va­tion. I un­der­stand how you feel about that gor­geous $1200 light you found from a bou­tique store in For­ti­tude Val­ley – but will it mat­ter when you sell the prop­erty in three months’ time with a sim­i­lar light you sourced for a quar­ter of the price? Prob­a­bly not… stay well clear of emo­tion­ally at­tach­ing your­self to the prop­erty and de­sign­ing a space around your per­sonal taste and style is a def­i­nite no-go. Your in­te­rior and ex­te­rior se­lec­tion should be beau­ti­ful, good qual­ity and aes­thet­i­cally suit­able for all buy­ers – young, old and in be­tween.

DIY: I like to be hands-on dur­ing our projects and if it’s some­thing I can do my­self, I will. The ver­sa­til­ity, strength and di­verse range of paint nowa­days is un­be­liev­able and I would go as far as say­ing, you can paint any­thing.

They say kitchen and bath­rooms sell houses, and

gen­er­ally speak­ing, older style houses have larger ver­sions of these rooms than their mod­ern-day coun­ter­parts. While they may have a prac­ti­cal lay­out and func­tional de­sign, they may also have mis­sion brown lam­i­nate cab­i­netry, an orange tiled bench top with a green fea­ture splash-back. If the con­di­tion of the cab­i­netry or ma­te­ri­als isn’t an is­sue, these spaces are per­fect for an aes­thetic ren­o­va­tion. White Knight Paints have a great range of lam­i­nate and wall tile paint ready for you to trans­form those hideous cup­boards and splash-backs, and Rust-o-leum of­fer a hardy floor tile paint.

We have ac­cess to such a di­verse plat­form of in­spi­ra­tion ready to en­cour­age and ed­u­cate us on tack­ling our next project – web­sites like Pin­ter­est, In­sta­gram, Blogs, Gumtree, eBay and even Ikea just to name a few. Backed with our own re­search and knowl­edge, we can be thrifty with our choices and in­ject our cap­i­tal in cer­tain ar­eas and save money in oth­ers.

Ren­o­vat­ing can be re­ally over­whelm­ing, es­pe­cially when you’re bat­tling mul­ti­ple projects – list your pri­or­i­ties and fo­cus on one step at a time. Stay true to your style, your bud­get and your de­sired out­come. For more in­te­rior de­sign in­spi­ra­tion, visit www.de­sign­by­danni.com.

In­te­rior de­signer Danni Mor­ri­son.

AF­TER: Danni’s kitchen post ren­o­va­tions. PHOTO: RIKKI LAN­CASTER


BE­FORE: The kitchen pre-ren­o­va­tion.


The pool house be­fore (above) and af­ter (be­low).

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