Selling Houses Australia

Kongwak, VIC House - Before + After

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

You’ve heard of the old lady who lived in a shoe? This is the story of 7 people, in a cramped cottage with one wardrobe! The Soumilas family bought their cottage as a fixer upper, with plans to sell and trade up. But 18 months later, they’re still waiting for a buyer. With 5 kids crammed in two bedrooms, one bathroom for the entire family, a sale can’t come soon enough.

Although the house was renovated, it is still incomplete. They are now at a stage where they don’t know what else to do as they do not want to over-capitalise.



Summary of works – Interior

Owners Bridget and Ben had done a great job of renovating this tiny cottage, but it was a little lacking in character, not to mention storage! There was only one wardrobe for 7 people and the make-shift pantry was open shelving. The family had done wonders to keep the place tidy, but with so many of them crammed in a small space, the tiny cottage looked cluttered.

First up, Shaynna emptied the house of its oversized furniture and then set about adding storage. The bedrooms got flat-pack wardrobes from Bunnings, while the kitchen was treated to a country style dresser made up of more flat-pack units. This meant all the clutter could be hidden behind doors, making the house look streamlined and bigger.

In a small space its important to have a focal point and Shaynna chose the fireplace. She clad it in a local Castlemain stone, to tie in with Charlie’s crazy paving in the back yard. The natural stone added warmth to the lounge room, and gave the cottage the cosy country appeal it was lacking.

A dramatic wall colour contrasted perfectly with the stone and a stylish new rug brought the room bang up to date.

The make over was pretty simple, yet the results were very effective. By removing the visual clutter, Shaynna has allowed for character and charm in this cottage to come to the fore.

Summary of works – Exterior

Buyers expect country cottages to have tons of outdoor space, but this one was stuck on a suburban sized block. To make matters worse, much of the garden was dominated by a tumbledown asbestos shed, which added little to the property. Charlie’s first job was to bring in the experts and get rid of it. This freed up a huge amount of space, but the shed had been holding back dirt from the sloping block, so Charlie had to build a treated pine retaining wall to create 2 level areas. 

The back yard was in desperate need of an entertaining space and Charlie built a gem full of rustic charm. He used a local Castlemain stone in a crazy paving pattern, to give an informal feel. Built in bench seats provided casual seating around a stylish metal fire pit, while a large table and chairs from Bunnings, dressed with potted herbs, created the perfect spot for alfresco dining.

The front garden of this property was one of the better ones Charlie has come across on Selling Houses, so it only needed some minor adjustments.  He painted the gutters and trims and dressed the veranda with a simple cape cod chair.

Ben and Bridget had bought their front picket fence off e-bay, which was a great money saving idea. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite stretch the distance, so Charlie continued it up the side of the house to show the property boundary.

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