Selling Houses Australia

Modern Tropical Home Makeover

See all the details of the amazing home makeover from Selling Houses Australia Extreme episode five.

List Price: Offers over $750,000
Makeover budget: $70,000

Story Synopsis

Owners Jack and Diana bought this ex community centre with grand plans to turn it into two holiday homes. But handyman Jack took on more than a weekend project and simply hasn’t had the time to complete the renovation. With no sale, no rental income and one of the most desperate housing markets this town has seen, the purchase is proving a costly mistake. Now only half renovated with no cladding on most of the walls and electricity cables dangling from the ceiling, no-one wants to take this incomplete building project on board.

While Shaynna and Charlie are handed a decent sum of money to make their changes, their skills are pushed to the limits in what’s one of their biggest makeovers to date! And while they slog it out in the tropical heat, Andrew enjoys a spot of sightseeing...


Shaynna had a massive task ahead of her to turn this construction site into a modern tropical home. She needed to create a whole new floor plan by opening the place up and turning it from two separate dwellings into one large family home. This involved moving the master bedroom into a better position, creating two new bedrooms, a second living area with new doors to lead out to the backyard. Despite the place missing so many walls, Shaynna actually started by knocking down the only wall Jack had got around to building!

Once the floor plan was right, Shaynna and Jack could get to work on finishing the rest of the walls. She used 60 tongue and groove cement sheets that easily fit together, supplied from James Hardie and Cairns Hardware. Because no drying time was required, Shaynna could paint them in Taubmans Endure Interior ‘Dusty Green’ as soon as they were nailed up, creating a timber panelling look. The muted green colour has a welcome cooling effect in the tropical heat.

Because this home is catering to a family market, it really needed an extra bathroom. Shaynna chose a plain white tile from Beaumont Tiles, and used Caroma Dorf’s combination bath/shower, large vanity, toilet and tapware to create a stunning modern bathroom suitable for any family. As Jack had already made a good start on the existing bathroom, Shaynna just fitted it out with matching tiles and tapware to continue the look.

For this place to seem like one large house instead of two holiday apartments, Shaynna had to use one simple floor covering in the living areas. Carpet Call supplied 100m2 of classic Oak Lined Wideplank floating floor, and also the new carpet in the bedrooms. Floating floor is perfect for high traffic areas as it’s so hard waring.

Being so far north, Shaynna had to find a new furniture and accessory supplier and hit the jackpot with Posh Lifestyle in Cairns. They had just the theme Shaynna was going for, with rattan furniture and fresh, beachy colour schemes. To complete the look, Shaynna needed some standout artwork on the new walls, and found some amazing local pieces to loan from the Australasian and Oceanic Art Gallery. These helped to reflect the gorgeous ocean and rainforest surrounds, and to create that resort style living so typical of the tropical north.


Charlie’s main task was to change the look from a government issue community centre into a welcoming tropical home. He started by painting over the existing custard yellow exterior with a vibrant and fresh Taubmans Exterior ‘Marzarine Blue’. It really gives it a wow factor for any buyers viewing the property online.

Next Charlie had to re-landscape the massive yard by digging up the concrete path, levelling the plot with topsoil supplied from Raw & More, before laying a vast amount of ‘tropical soft leafed buffalo’ turf. Turfing a yard this size makes an immediate impact, and is ready for family living.

Once the turf was laid, Charlie could accentuate the borders of the property by building a front fence in keeping with others in the local area. It got a coat of Taubmans Endure Exterior ‘Snowy White’ to match the home’s exterior trims, while the existing back fence was spruced up with Taubmans Endure Exterior ‘Dynasty Green’.

This property was in desperate need of a serviceable carport to compete with other Port Douglas properties on the market. Considering the heat and weather extremes in North Queensland, Charlie couldn’t get away without pulling down the temporary tarp Jack had put up, even if it took the entire team! To replace it, Charlie brought in the boys from Garage World to supply and install a new pre-fabbed flat-top carport in the front yard. Raw & More supplied River Stone Blue gravel for the carport surface.

The back of the house needed something extra to create a seamless indoor/outdoor entertaining area. Charlie used building materials from Cairns Hardware to create doors that open out onto a new undercover deck. Any remnants of the psychedelic community hall floor mural were painted over with a stylish ‘Charcoal’ paving paint.

Charlie was spoiled with a huge budget for this makeover, and purchased over 80 tropical plants from Gecko Garden Centre to make a real impact at the front of the property. He used Crocus and Purple Ginger to screen off the bottom of the deck, and created a stunning archway with red ‘Heliconia’ to help entice prospective buyers through the door.

Taubmans Paint Chart

Body of house - “Marzarine Blue” low sheen
Ext. Trims, Front fence - “Snowy White” low sheen
Ext. Deck - “Marzarine Blue” – Double Strength low sheen
Ext. Backyard paving - “Charcoal” ULTRAPAVE
Ext. Back Fence - “Dynasty Green” low sheen
Int. Walls - “Dusty Green” low sheen
Int. Ceilings - Ceiling “Flat White”
Int. Trims - “Snowy White” gloss

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