Inside Selling Houses Australia

Hoarder Heaven: Shaynna's Transformations

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 – Oxley Park:

This family home was like an overstuffed goose - full of the owners possessions. Shaynna’s first job was to remove some of those possessions from the reluctant owners. She did this with a coloured dot system – one colour for throw away, one colour for give away and one for keep. It helped Karen (the vendor) to keep focused, and broke the enormous job down into manageable chunks.

Once the place was clear it became apparent the bathroom, which had been used as a fishing rod store, was in dire need of help. The house was at the cheaper end of the market, so Shaynna had to create a budget bathroom that would appeal to family buyers. She did this by keeping it simple and not moving any of the plumbing. She replaced the shower and sink, but retained the existing bath, as removing it would have meant re-waterproofing the whole room. Next came the tiles, just simple plain white. This helped keep the costs down and the interest was added through coloured accessories.

Tip – White or off white tiles can often be picked up at a bargain price. Have fun by adding colour with your towels and accessories.

Shaynna’s other big challenge was dressing the front lounge room. When we arrived, it was little more than a corridor full of junk, but Shaynna had a clever tip to dress the awkward long thin space. Rather than spreading the furniture out along the walls of the room, she grouped it into a “coversation pit”, by putting the sofas and armchairs up in one corner and defining the space with a rug.  This created a seating area and focal point, leaving the rest of the space free for circulation.

Tip – Grouping furniture in a room, rather than spreading it out against the walls, will actually make a room feel bigger.

House 2 - Chatswood:

Life had got on top of owners Greg and Marge, and their house was out of control. It was full of junk, dirty plates and general rubbish. But underneath, was quite a beautiful old family home full of original features.

Shaynna wanted to grab buyer’s attention by making the most of the entrance and bedrooms at the front of the house. She used the same colour palate throughout - a green and cream. These colours were based on the traditional palate that would have been fashionable when the house was built in the 20’s.  To give the colours a modern feel, Shaynna ordered them a little brighter that would have been traditionally used. Next, she wanted to create individual character in each of the front bedrooms, whilst sticking with the same colour scheme. She did this by reversing the way she used the colours; One bedroom had green walls and cream above the picture rail, the other had cream on the walls and green above the picture rail.

Tip – Add interest to a unified colour scheme, by mixing and matching your palate.

The house was furnished in 1920s eclectic style. Shaynna drew on the Asian influences that were popular in this era, to give one of the front bedrooms an individual feel. This also appealed to Asian buyers who made up most of the buyer group in the area.

Tip – When furnishing your home, take your lead from the age and architectural style of the house.

House 3 – Ashbury:

This was by far the most extreme of all our hoarder houses. Every room was crammed full of the owner’s possessions, with piles reaching the ceiling. A fair proportion of the budget went on a specialist cleaning crew, leaving little for the makeover itself.

The brief was to create a cosy home that would appeal to first time buyers. The house needed a new bathroom and kitchen, but the kitchen was in a far worse state, so Shaynna decided to spend her money here. She went for a simple white flat pack, keeping the same configuration as the previous kitchen, but added interest by using a bamboo bench.

Tip – dress up a cheap flat pack kitchen with a wooden or stone bench for a feeling of luxury.

The house was a semi, and was very dark due to a lack of windows on the party wall. The first trick to lighten the place up was simple - light coloured walls and floor coverings.  But this wasn’t enough to lift the dingy hallway. Here, Shaynna used a cheap but effective skylight that bounced sunlight into the building – for just over $1000, the transformation was stunning.  Her next task was to maximize the light in the living room. She couldn’t add any more windows, but she could replace the solid wood front door with a glazed alternative. This allowed extra light into the main living room, making it bright and inviting.

Tip – Consider skylights for dark areas of the home – they can be as effective as turning on an artificial light without adding to your power bill.

House 4 - Granville:

Daphne was not your standard hoarder. Her house was neat, clean and tidy, except it was crammed full of nick-nacks. Every surface was covered with china, glassware and all nature of ornaments and Daphne loved them all!

Shaynna’s first battle, was to get this house-proud lady to realise less is more. Nick-nacks just clutter a room and can ruin any design scheme, leaving the eye with no clear focal point. To make matters worse, the lounge room was full of dark wood paneling, which just added to the claustrophobic feeling. Shaynna painted the dark paneling a light neutral colour, to take the focus off the fussy vertical panels and create a neutral back-drop. Then she stripped away Daphne’s fussy ornaments, and put in a handful of decorator accessories to focus the eye and add splashes of colour.

Tip – If you have a lot of nick nacks, don’t display them all in one go. Rotate ornaments and accessories – it will reduce clutter and give you a fresh new look every time you change them.

The kitchen was also suffering from clutter, not to mention Daphne’s other love – pink! In keeping with the living room, Shaynna sprayed the pink cabinets with a neutral cream and painted the walls to match. This served two functions - it modernized the room, but also made the cabinets visually recede into the cream walls. The result was clean lines, which made the kitchen look larger.

Tip – to make your kitchen look more spacious, use the same neutral colour on cabinets and walls.

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