Take a walk down memory lane and relive some of the decorating horrors from series 1!
Check out some of these memorable transformations from resident decorating expert Shaynna Blaze!
House 1 –San Remo:
Sally Gillings was hopping mad. Her house was a shrine to frogs. There were frogs on the wall, frogs on the sofa, frogs in cabinets and live frogs in tanks. It was hardly fitting of the beautiful beach setting, so Shaynna had to transform this froggy swamp into a holiday beach house retreat.
Now we all think of a beach house in shades of white and blue, but Shaynna had a more holistic approach. She looked at the whole environment, taking her lead from the sand dunes, rough sea grasses and stormy skies. The colours were earthy and natural and she used lanterns, recycled timber, wicker furniture and lots of candles to create a restful retreat that invited you to stop and stay.
- Tip – A beach house can be inspired by the whole beach environment. From the shades of the sand, to the stormy seas and silver foliage of grass.
The other area that let the house down was the kitchen. There was no money to replace it, so Shaynna simply painted the cabinets in a light colour and put on a new bench top. It was a simple but effective fix.
Tip – If you have an old wooden kitchen don’t be afraid to paint it. High gloss white, or off white can revitalize a space with stunning results.
House 2 –West Footscray:
This little cottage was caught in a 70’s time warp, with patterned wallpaper as far as the eye could see. It had been bought as a renovator, but the project failed to get past first base. Aside from the wallpaper, the most offending item was the old dated kitchen. There was simply nothing that could be salvaged. Shaynna saved time and money by selecting a ready assembled kitchen from the building supplies warehouse. This was excess stock, and with a bit of inventive carpentry, the kitchen was made to fit the existing space. The best part was it came with a granite bench top. So the whole kitchen, cabinets, benches and appliances came in at around five grand.
- Tip – If you’re short on cash go to a builders auction. They have excess stock at a fraction of the price you’d pay for retail.
In the rest of the house, Shaynna removed the awful patterned wallpaper, painted the walls in neutral colours, laid new floors and then set about furnishing the space. She dressed the house in an art deco style, taking her lead from the decorative ceilings and lead light windows. She used couches with chunky arms and lots of mirrors. But the real genius was the way she furnished the house in a traditional style at the front, and blended it through to a more modern style at the rear to work with Charlie’s garden.
- Tip – If you have a period home, don’t be afraid to slowly blend the decorating style from period at the front to modern at the rear to work with a contemporary back garden design.
House 3 –Mt Martha:
This house was a décor disaster for a very different reason – it didn’t have any décor! The modern new build was almost empty, and it had no soul or character – a complete blank canvas. Shaynna had the difficult task of injecting warmth into the cavernous rooms. All the walls were a uniform cream, so the first port of call was to inject a bit of colour. Shaynna used coffee colours with bright pops of orange.
- Tip – If your house lacks architectural style, use colour to add interest.
The furniture choices also reflected the use of the rooms. The family room had club furniture, an L shaped comfy lounge created a casual feel. The lounge room had a more formal vibe, with single designer chairs by the fireplace, and a more structured 3-seater sofa.
Tip – Create different moods with your furniture. Choose L shaped lounges or over stuffed couches for informal living, and designer stand alone chairs for a formal feel.
House 4 –Highland Park:
This house was a custard castle, yellow as far as the eye could see. It was a grand modern design, but was old enough to be dated, so Shaynna had to work some magic to bring it into the present day.
Aside from the yellow walls, which were easy to fix, the biggest issue was the kitchen. It was big, black, dominant and no doubt would have cost a fortune in its day. With no cash to replace it, Shaynna needed to make it work with her scheme - no mean feat!
She did this by taking elements of black and reflecting it elsewhere in her design. She used black in the décor and painted the recess in the walls black to make the awful kitchen blend in and belong.
- Tip – If you have an ugly feature you cant afford to replace, make it part of your scheme. Do this by taking the colour or the texture from it and replicating it elsewhere in the room.
Shaynna had had already painted the awful yellow walls a neutral parchment, so next came the décor. She took her lead from the existing black wrought iron balustrades and came up with a French look, complete with an Asian twist. She used a lot of black in her furniture, and the Asian decorator items were also predominantly black. Suddenly the dated custard castle was a chic home, buyers could imagine themselves living in.
- Tip – If you are struggling to find inspiration for your furniture, take your lead from elements already in your house, such as balustrades or windows.