This Love It Or List It Australia renovation was the biggest transformation yet.
Neale Whitaker not only redesigned the internal floor plan of Leanne and Glenn’s family home, he added an eight-metre extension to the back of the house – essentially doubling the size of their home.
This family of nine was cramped in an original 2-3 bedroom Californian bungalow in Sydney’s inner-west. Naturally, ‘more space’ was top of their renovation wish list so Neale worked his magic to make it happen.
Let’s look at the renovation and styling lessons we can take away from Neale this week.
1. Improve house flow
We’ve heard Neale mention Feng Shui a bit in previous episodes but it wasn’t until this reno that we could see it in action. The original floor plan had a bathroom in the centre of the home – blocking the hallway and ability to see from the front to the back of the house. Neale ripped it out to create a stunning hallway that runs from the entry through to the backyard and it was a showstopper!
Another area where he improved the flow of the home was their open plan kitchen and living space. This large family now has an area where they can comfortably gather.
If you’re looking to extend, take a leaf out Neale’s book and look at how the existing floorplan can be improved first. He was able to save on excessive plumbing costs by moving the bathroom into the old kitchen space – a space that was far too small for a kitchen but ideal for a bathroom – and placed the new kitchen in the extension.
2. Create a contemporary, but warm kitchen
Let’s take a moment to celebrate the incredible kitchen Neale designed from Wholesale Kitchens.
The mix of white and black cabinetry, timber laminate island benchtop and floating shelves, handmade subway tile splashback and sleek appliances were just some of the features I loved.
The trick to creating a modern but warm kitchen, as Neale has shown us, is all about mixing materials. If you were to pick only hard and smooth surfaces, such as a stone benchtop, glass splashback and glossy cabinets, chances are your kitchen may feel a little ‘cold’. But by introducing different colours, textures and materials, you can add warmth and interest.
You may also like the way I combined natural stone splashback, Caesarstone benchtops and black timber cabinetry in my kitchen below.
Room by The Style Curator.
3. Accessorise with cushions and textiles
It was hard to miss the beautiful selection of cushions and throws that Neale used throughout the home – from the new seating area in the girls’ room, to all the bed styling and sofa styling too.
A tip to making cushion styling work is all about contrast – mixing different shapes, sizes and patterns. Just try to find one or two common elements that connect them together. For example, all the cushions in the girls’ new seating area have a slight geometric pattern.
Try the latest season cushions from KAS to bring some fun summery vibes to your home.
Sacramento cushion from Kas - $49.95
Easton cushion from Kas - $59.95
4. Style a vignette in your kitchen
As beautiful as the kitchen was, Neale couldn’t help but bring a little extra style to the space.
I love the styling arrangement he made in the corner and below I’ve created my own arrangement to show how easy it is to do something similar in your home.
Simply layer a few cutting boards in different shapes and sizes, place a canister or jug in front filled with wooden spoons, place salt and pepper grinders to one side and then find a smaller item to place in front, such as a mortar and pestle or small ceramic vessel.
Room by The Style Curator.
I’m currently obsessing over the handmade ceramics by Clay Canoe, especially their bowls.
Leggy bowl from Clay Canoe - $90
5. Define spaces with rugs
Another clever trick Neale used to revamp the interior of Leanne and Glenn’s home was by defining spaces with rugs. We saw a circular jute rug on the floor of their new living room and a decorative rug on the floor of the girls’ room.
Rugs anchor furniture in a space and when you select the right size, shape and pattern, they can help to make rooms appear larger or more intimate.
Natural Daisy Jute Flat Weave Round Rug from Rugs of Beauty - $125.99
Watch Love It Or List It Australia Wednesdays at 8.30pm on Lifestyle.