Selling Houses Australia

Problem Neighbours - Wollongong NSW

When Rhonda Mitchell first saw her weatherboard cottage in central Wollongong, it was love at first sight.

She adored its original features and the seclusion of the enormous back yard. But then the neighbours arrived. Rhonda’s quiet world was shattered when a multi-story unit block was constructed next door, with balconies looking right into her property. She fought council to no avail, and eventually rented the house out. Now married, Rhonda needs to sell up. So she moved back into the cottage to make the place look more homely, leaving husband Michael a 30-minute drive down the road. But that was months ago, and living apart is starting to wear thin. The overbearing unit block is turning buyers off, but how can you make a multi story giant disappear?


Toning down the kaleidoscope of colours and bringing the cottage into the 21st century was the aim with Rhonda’s house. After undercoating the brightly coloured walls Shaynna opted for a warm neutral colour scheme using Taubman’s Endure Atwill Buff on the walls, and Showbank on the trims.

In the kitchen Shaynna stripped back the paintwork on the fireplace to reveal the beautiful bricks hidden underneath. The checkerboard tile splashback was too busy for such a compact kitchen and so it was resurfaced, along with the benchtops, by Resurfacing Australia. With the clutter gone and a few simple cosmetic changes the kitchen instantly felt brighter and larger.

To allow more light into the cottage the soild front door was replaced by one from Corinthan that has frosted glass panels. To restrict the view from the units but still allow light into the kitchen Shaynna used a DIY frosted film on the windows from Apply To Glass. In the living area and bedrooms the heavy timber venetian blinds were removed and Shaynna installed white dual roller blinds from Luxaflex. The first roller provides privacy and sun protection whilst still letting the light in, and the second blockout roller provides full privacy when required.


Screening out the hulking unit block next door to Rhonda’s cottage was Charlie’s number one priority. He used an excavator to dig a trench and then screened off the apartments with 23 5-metre high clumping bamboo plants from Bamboo Wholesale.

To create a tranquil courtyard area Charlie levelled off the uneven surfaces with river sand and then used a simple brick paver. The area was then dressed with a timber outdoor setting from Valiant Hire and potted plants from Downes Nursery.

The rest of the garden needed some simple maintenance. The rear wall of the house was repainted to match the existing colour and the established trees and plants were pruned. Charlie then screened off the shabby old garage by creating a screen using composite timber slats and some mounted planter boxes.

For information on the suppliers and where to get the materials the Selling Houses Australia team used, click HERE


Sign Out

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.