We love nothing more than being allowed to step inside someone's recently renovated house and be fortunate enough to share it with our readers. Today's home, we are sure you'll agree, is the perfect example of how you can tastefully embrace a homes original features, whilst refreshing its charm and giving it a serious boost of sophistication.
Who Lives Here: Michelle O'Farrell and her beautiful dog Banksy
House Style: Newly Renovated Traditional Victorian House, Two Bedrooms, One Bathroom
Location: Inner-City Melbourne
How would you describe the style of the home?
It’s a traditional Victorian house with a modern extension. We were careful to restore the original period features to retain the charm of this exquisite home while using the modern light filled extension as an opportunity to cater to our lifestyle – open plan living with an expansive, landscaped courtyard perfect for entertaining.
What have you loved most about living in this home?
I fell in love with the beautiful traditional period features of this Victorian, the high ceilings throughout and the wall panelling in the bathroom. My absolute favourite feature would be the oversized skylight that drenches the open plan living/dining room in sunlight.
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You’ve just recently renovated the home; did you do this yourself or have assistance?
It was a family affair, we all chipped in. My brother David who is an experienced renovator, took the lead role and managed the renovation and the landscaping. My other brother Simon, an electrician by trade looked after the lighting, my father designed the landscaping and my mother and I designed and chose the finishes and styled the home.
How long did the renovation take? Planning/Researching and actual renovating time?
It’s been a year in the planning, however the actual renovation was extremely quick – roughly 8-10 weeks. We were under time constraints, which meant we had to compromise on some of the materials due to order times.
How did you begin the process and where did you know where to start? for example, did you decide just to focus on certain rooms or do a full makeover?
It was a full makeover. There were certain areas, which needed to be updated due to wear and tear, the bathroom and the courtyard landscaping. Possibly the most significant change came when we updated the 90’s kitchen – gone is the teal blue rounded bench top and blonde beach laminate. We refreshed the overall space using paint and new carpets throughout.
How did you source inspiration and products and what influenced your style selection?
I’m obsessed with good design. I’m continually researching websites and reading various magazines, both locally and OS. I love the unexpected – combining different genres and using unconventional materials. Using hard against soft, different textiles or materials. I have quite an eclectic style, however choosing quality pieces that are well made with good design are key as they will never date.
How did you find the process and what were the biggest challenges you encountered?
The overall process is incredibly rewarding, continually challenging yourself to think laterally, problem solving and being creative on a small budget. The biggest challenge with this project was the time restraints. Being organised was key as it was a race against the clock to complete the renovation in 10 weeks. Working with a good team is crucial to the overall success – it can make or break a project. There needs to be mutual respect at all levels.
What advice would you give someone thinking of renovating their home?
1) Have an end buyer in mind. If you renovate for your tastes you might limit your potential buying audience.
2) Ask for advice from the experts – builders, designers, real estate agents.
3) Understand the market – research what has sold what hasn’t.
4) Start with a budget, spend can get out of control quickly.
5) Use a mood board collecting sample swatches colours and magazine photos for inspiration when designing – it gets your ideas together in one place.
6) Don’t buy what’s in fashion today, it won’t be tomorrow.
Lastly, is there another project on the horizon?
Always! I’m on the lookout for one right now....
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