HIND­SIGHT: PE­RIOD DRAMA

A 1920s home is given a sym­pa­thetic makeover in just four months, thanks to a clear vi­sion and a stroke of luck with tim­ing

Real Living (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

With the help of an in­te­rior ar­chi­tect, a team of ded­i­cated trades and great tim­ing, this cou­ple ren­o­vated their 1920s home in just four months

IT WAS AN IN­STANT AT­TRAC­TION when Gil­lian and Joel first saw their home on auc­tion day. “My hus­band had only seen two of the rooms when we agreed to buy it!” Gil­lian says. Wooed by the lo­ca­tion and Ed­war­dian fea­tures of the 1920s home, the cou­ple knew they had to have it. “While it clearly needed some love, the fairy­tale front, stained-glass win­dows, sky­lights and large in­te­rior spa­ces were im­pos­si­ble not to fall in love with,” Gil­lian ex­plains. “We knew we could grow a very happy fam­ily here.”

Set­tling on the house in March 2017, and now with a two-month-old baby on the scene, Gil­lian and Joel knew they had to hit the ground run­ning and be­gin their ren­o­va­tions. They man­aged to lock in their trades, who, for­tu­itously, all had open­ings and were ready to start straight­away. They also en­gaged in­te­rior ar­chi­tect Ge­or­gia Ezra to help bring their vi­sion to life. “We wanted to cre­ate a style that re­flected our per­son­al­i­ties and a home that couldn’t be con­fused with any other,” Gil­lian says. “Ge­or­gia en­abled us to be bold and ad­ven­tur­ous when we would have oth­er­wise been afraid to.” Like any ren­o­va­tion, the project had its chal­lenges. Here, they share the valu­able lessons they learnt through their ex­pe­ri­ence.

“THE BEST TIP WE WERE GIVEN WAS TO LAY OUT NEWS­PA­PER TO SEE IF OUR FUR­NI­TURE WOULD FIT”

MIX OLD WITH NEW

Whether it’s high-end pieces or sec­ond­hand finds on Gumtree, mix­ing old with new cre­ates a more unique and homely feel. “We de­cided on the things that were im­por­tant to splurge on and the items that weren’t,” Gil­lian ex­plains. “For ex­am­ple, our beau­ti­ful ma­hogany ta­ble was pur­chased on Gumtree and re­stored, and we found a fab­u­lous wood fur­ni­ture maker who made our vi­sions of an en­try bench and cof­fee ta­ble a re­al­ity. So that meant we could then splurge on some key pieces of fur­ni­ture, light­ing and tiles.”

SOME THINGS CAN WAIT

Af­ter months – of­ten years – of wait­ing for your dream house, it can be so tempt­ing to go out and buy the best of ev­ery­thing to fill your new home, but don’t do it at the ex­pense of your fin­ish­ings. “Many things, such as fur­ni­ture and some fix­tures and fit­tings, can be bought later, but things like tiles and plumb­ing are not so eas­ily changed,” Gil­lian says. “It’s of­ten best to bite the bul­let and make the choice now, even if it hurts the wal­let!”

KEEP ON GOOD TERMS

“Our amaz­ing team of trades and in­te­rior ar­chi­tect are the real rea­son we had such a fan­tas­tic re­sult,” Gil­lian ad­mits. And it re­ally does pay to choose trades you get along with. “Older houses will con­tinue to shift af­ter the ren­o­va­tion, so make sure you have a good re­la­tion­ship with your builder, painter and cab­i­net­maker so they can come back af­ter a month or two to touch up any ar­eas that need fix­ing fol­low­ing any move­ment.”

DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP

When deal­ing with the ex­perts, have the con­fi­dence to voice any con­cerns you might have. “Don’t for­get that you will be the one liv­ing in the house for years to come, so you need to be happy,” Gil­lian ad­vises. “There were some things we were told we could not do that we in­sisted on, and I thank my­self ev­ery day for stand­ing my ground. How­ever, there are also some things that we trusted the ex­perts on and I now re­gret – some­times your gut just knows best.” And when it comes to the de­sign de­ci­sions be­tween you and your part­ner? Gil­lian has some sage ad­vice: “Your wife knows best so just say yes!” Wise words, in­deed.

LEARN TO ASK QUES­TIONS

“If you’re not happy with a prod­uct, call the sup­plier and query,” Gil­lian adds.

Moody blues Floor-to-ceil­ing cab­i­netry was cus­tom-de­signed by Stu­dio Ezra and painted in Dulux “Companion” with cop­per han­dles from Bauer’s Hard­ware Col­lec­tions. State­ment pen­dants are from Pop & Scott.

Soft curves A Pop & Scott arched mir­ror in the en­trance echoes the new arch­way open­ings into the liv­ing room.

Nat­u­ral touch Green tiles from Sig­norino add a splash of colour to the kitchen. The bench­top is by Cae­sar­stone.

Fresh feel The kitchen, de­signed by Stu­dio Ezra and in­stalled by Paros Kitchens, fea­tures float­ing oak floor­ing and a large pantry. The stool is from Provin­cial Home Liv­ing; the arm­chair from Wey­landts. Grey scale In the liv­ing room, a brick wall was given a coat of grey white­wash. The ta­ble was de­signed by Stu­dio Ezra and made by Twist and Shake Wood, the cur­tains are by Al­lure Drapes De­sign Decor and floor tiles are Tiles of Ezra.

Two be­come one The bath­room was orig­i­nally two rooms, so a wall was re­moved and the ceil­ings raised. Ev­ery­thing was cus­tom-de­signed by Stu­dio Ezra.

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