Selling Houses Australia

Dapto, NSW House - Before + After

Take a closer look at the amazing makeover of the Dapto, NSW house completed by Shaynna, Charlie and Andrew.

Sharon and Brad are facing financial disaster. They thought they had the perfect business opportunity, but when their investor pulled out they were left with a mountain of debts. The only escape, is to sell their Dapto home for the best price possible, but no one is biting. The train line in the back yard isn’t helping, nor is the fact Sharon’s teenage daughters have made the house look rather “lived in”. To top it all off, they’re competing with new builds just down the road, so the chances of finding a buyer are looking slim.



Summary of works – Interior

This was a huge dated house with a total of five living areas and felt more like an aircraft hanger than a home. Shaynna’s challenge was to visually scale it down, and create family friendly living zones. She achieved this with paint colour and flooring. The front part of the house was more formal, so the floors were carpeted and the walls painted in a modern deep grey, called Silver Bullet. The back half of the house was all about casual living. Here Shaynna used a lighter grey called Charcoal Heather (half strength) on the walls and teamed it with a driftwood look vinyl floor, to create a modern family space.

The house was full of cream down lights, which stuck out against the crisp white ceilings. Shaynna replaced them with white energy efficient LED’s for a streamlined look. She wanted buyers to really notice the lighting in the formal lounge, as this open plan space was more of a thoroughfare than an actual room. She placed three big pendants in the far corner of the room, to catch the eye and invite people in.

To the side of the lounge sat a strange little room, with half height walls and no specific function. Shaynna blocked up the walls so it could be closed off, and used as a study or extra bedroom.

The house had to compete with new show homes, so it needed an impressive kitchen. We didn’t have the budget to pull the old one out and start again, so it was stripped back to the cabinets and refitted. The benches were cut down to one level and replaced with a smart modern stone veneer. The size of the bench was increased, so it doubled as a breakfast bar. New cupboard doors in modern grey made the room look brand new, while a row of new overhead cabinets made the kitchen look wider.

Summary of works – Exterior

The front garden was a strange, impractical design with too many ideas for a small space. Charlie ripped out the conifers to open it up and turned the tiny patch of lawn into a mass planted flowerbed. He used a native called Scaevola or Fan Flower as ground cover and in the centre, a large feature pot that could also be seen from the master bedroom.

When Charlie first arrived at Dapto he thought the hedge was a pigeon berry, but in fact it was a malnourished yellow Murraya. It was a shame to rip it out, so he gave it a good feed with organic fertiliser and sprinkled around a slow release fertiliser to ensure its ongoing health.

The dreadful red mulch made the garden feel so 80s, so Charlie replaced it with a more natural coloured wood chip.

The house didn’t have much of a back garden and the courtyard at the side was in pretty poor shape. Brad and Sharon had covered the area with a pergola, which visually closed the space in and cut out the light. Charlie bucked the trend by pulling the roof down, which opened the space up and  flooding the adjacent indoor living areas with light.

In a small courtyard it’s really important to give some thought to the flooring, as it sets the tone for the whole space. Charlie went for grey French sandstone in an enormous 90cm x 150cm format. It gave a modern expensive look, and by shopping around he picked up on special for just $40 a square metre.

In courtyard design every surface counts and that includes the walls. Charlie clad the ugly metal fence with easy to install bamboo screen and to add some wow factor installed a hanging garden, or green wall. He used an easy DIY system from Bunnings. The modular panels simply clipped together and the pots were hung off brackets. Charlie chose tropical plants, as they added instant impact and the bright green foliage would look good all year.

Next came a little designer magic – to make the courtyard feel bigger. You might think less is more, but lots of paving and minimal planting can actually make a space feel smaller. To combat this, Charlie lined the edges with New Zealand rock lilies, potted lady palms and gardenias. To finish off, he dressed the outdoor dining table with potted herbs.

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