Selling Houses Australia

70s Penthouse - Darwin, NT

While a title penthouse apartment may conjure up images of style and luxury, the reality of this Darwin property is anything but...

Bob Crispe isn’t your average property investor. Instead of making calculated buys, Bob buys property to help friends and family out of trouble. So far he’s clocked up a house in Queensland to help out his brother; his childhood home in South Australia to help out the whole family when Mum and Dad passed away and a penthouse apartment in Darwin, to help out a mate who needed pay off debts.

Bob eventually moved into his Darwin penthouse, and was managing to keep his head above water paying all those mortgages until he lost his job. Now up to his eyeballs in debt, Bob needs to sell. But while the title penthouse apartment may conjure up images of style and luxury, the reality is anything but. The building looks like a remand centre, the roof terrace a prison exercise yard, and the inside is like a scene out of a bad 70’s movie with wall to wall gaudy tiles. Darwin may be in the midst of a property boom, but when it comes to the awful penthouse this is a case of property gone bust.

Summary of Works – Inside

Shaynna’s biggest problem with Bob’s 70s penthouse was to bring it into the 21st Century on a tight budget. With a bathroom, an ensuite and an additional toilet all covered with hideous multi-coloured wall tiles, it would have been a huge job to retile, so the Resurfacing Australia team were called in to respray all three rooms. Shaynna chose Sonara Bone Lapparto floor Tiles from the Northern Tile Gallery to complement the look, which were laid over the existing flooring. New vanities, new toilet and gleaming Caroma tapware and fittings from GWA bathrooms & Kitchens added the finishing touches.

The kitchen was also extremely dated (the 90s in this case), with bright blue bench tops and patterned splashback tiles so Resurfacing Australia used Flintstone II Desert Stone on the bench tops and a gloss white on the splashback to bring it up to date. New tapware and sink from GWA and a new Euro appliances electric cooktop and double oven supplied by Cerbis completed the smart and stylish new kitchen.

Shaynna wanted to add colour and interest to the walls and so chose Taubmans Low Sheen in Grey Ghost to add a touch of warmth. She used Taubmans Semi-Gloss in Crisp White on the trims and also used this to update the dark wooden entertainment unit, wardrobes and doors. The lighting throughout the apartment was old and too heavy-looking for the modern penthouse look that Shaynna wanted to create, so she replaced all the light fittings with a selection of sleek modern ceiling lights and wall sconces from Beacon Lighting.

The front door gave a terrible first impression as it was literally falling apart. Shaynna replaced it with a stylish wood and opaque glass Corinthian Lumina door and added smart Omni Allure stainless steel door fittings from Gainsborough Hardware.

With heat and humidity being such a problem in the tropics, Shaynna couldn’t use wooden flooring so selected vinyl wood-effect Floorclic in Snowgum from Choices Flooring, which was laid throughout the apartment.

Innovative remote-controlled dual roller blinds from Luxaflex were installed in the lounge, bedrooms and kitchen. These use a blockout layer to keep out the heat while the finer greenscreen layer allows the light in.

To achieve the exotic tropical look she was after, Shaynna sourced the perfect selection of furniture and home wares at an independent local store, Pina Furniture, who also supplied exterior furniture for the terrace. Striking accessories from Loot and bright patterned cushions, bedlinens and throws from Kas Cushions were used to add modern splashes of colour. With stunning artwork loaned by talented local artist John Altomonte, this glamorous tropical penthouse was complete.

Summary of Works - Outside

As there was no garden on this occasion, Charlie’s main challenge was to turn the two “prison exercise yards” into attractive terraces that would show off the stunning views and become the selling point of the apartment. Focusing his limited budget on the front terrace, the first job was to level and retile the enormous area. Charlie chose 600x600 Flame Beige tiles from the Northern Tile Gallery, which were laid over the existing tiles.

To keep costs down, Charlie’s team (assisted by Andrew) taped out squares on the back terrace then painted the entire area. The tape was then removed, to give the effect of tiles. The painting was continued around the walkways for continuity and a clean look.

As Darwin is prone to both extreme heat and cyclones, Evo Cable Awnings from Luxaflex were fitted to the exterior of the six main windows. Beacon lighting supplied smart stainless steel outdoor lights and brackets to turn the terrace into a stunning panorama by night.

The blue support posts were painted a fresh crisp white and the terrace was then dressed with a lounge setting and a dining setting from Pina furniture and cushions from Kas.

Luckily Bob was on hand with his crane to bring up a stunning assortment of pots supplied by Tiger Pots, which were then planted with a variety of tropical plants and shrubs that Charlie had chosen from Paradise Nursery.

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1 comment
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Posted by Rhyl2Report
I felt very nostalgic viewing this episode. I lived in that block of units in Rapid Creek in 1973. They were quite new then, but still badly built. One unit had the ceiling fall in, and you could push bricks out of the wall in the stairwell. Glad I had moved before Cyclone Tracy when several cars ended up in the pool!