Selling Houses Australia

St Mary's, NSW House - Before + After

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

Lord Karl and Lady Bess are mad for everything medieval. They live, eat, breathe the days gone by, leaving little time for the real world. Their house, in the Sydney suburb of St Marys, is packed to the gunnels with medieval mess. They both run a business from home, Bess is a costume designer and Karl a sword smith, add 2 kids to the equation and the tiny cottage is bursting at the seams.

They originally bought the house as a renovator, with the help of Bess’s Dad. Everywhere you look there are unfinished jobs, which wasn’t a problem, until they needed to sell. Bess’s Dad would love to retire and needs his capital out. But instead of turning to an agent, this crazy couple turned to social media for advertising! Needless to say, they’re still waiting for a buyer.  So it’s Sir Winter and his trusty men to the rescue!



Summary of works - Interior

St Marys is an area popular with investors and first time buyers, so the house had to be ready to move into, with no unfinished jobs. The interior had been a dumping ground for busy parents, so a massive de-clutter was first job on the list.

The floor plan was actually quite good, but Karl and Bess had been using the lounge room as a workspace, which made the whole house look rather untidy. Shaynna relocated the office into a room at the back of the house that had previously been full of junk. She used flat pack kitchen cabinets to add some much needed storage and a kitchen bench, set at the right height, made a great desk top. The cluttered laundry was fitted out with more flat pack cabinets, and a large bench for Bess to sew. Practical vinyl wood look Generoclic flooring from Choices, gave both rooms a clean modern finish.

In the kid’s room, the fitted robe had no doors, leaving all the clutter on display. Shaynna installed a new flat pack wardrobe, while colourful bedding and cushions gave the room a fresh new look.

Karl and Bess had actually fitted a lovely modern kitchen, but failed to finish it off. Overhead cabinets were precariously balanced on top of the fridge, so they had to properly secured. The team also fitted a new range hood, painted the walls and re-positioned the light over the kitchen table. They were all small jobs, but once complete made the kitchen a major selling point.

The house felt very dark and dingy, so Shaynna repainted the interior in a light neutral grey. She highlighted the decorative cornices in a crisp white, so buyers would actually notice the attractive features.

White timber venetians worked perfectly with the sash windows, and could be angled to allow in light whilst providing privacy.

Summary of works - Exterior

The old cottage was pretty ugly and dated, so Charlie had to work hard to create street appeal. He did this by going with a bold grey, black and white colour scheme.

First, he ripped down the old fashioned awnings and replaced them with smart black and white shades. This broke up the boxy façade and gave the house some much-needed interest. The walls were painted in dark grey, but rather than using white for the trims, Charlie used black for a striking retro look.

The gutters had seen better days, so they were replaced with a clever system that prevented them filling up with leaves. Charlie chose black to match the window frames, for a feeling of continuity.

The steps to the front door were old and cracked and didn’t make a great first impression, while an old 50’s style hand rail just made the house feel dowdy. Charlie ripped down the old metal railing, and replaced it a more contemporary wooden handrail. The cracked concrete steps were freshened up with a coat of paint and the entrance dressed with a space saving, espaliered olive tree.

To soften the boundary between the house and garden, Charlie put in a row of plants. A new lawn made the front look tidy and cared for and a couple of Murraya bushes plugged the hole in the front hedge.

The back yard had no redeeming features and was in desperate need of an outdoor entertaining area. Charlie built a huge deck that doubled as an extra living room, adding real value to the property. He built the deck at the same height as the interior to give a sense of flow. Grey composite wood decking boards matched the exterior paint work and cut down on maintenance.

When space inside is at a premium it’s handy to have lots of storage outside, but Karl and Bess’s sheds were rather unattractive. To screen them out, Charlie put in a privacy fence that ran off the deck and continued along the garden. To ensure it flowed with the deck, he used the same composite wood decking board, but in a smaller 65 mm format.

Hard surfaces and entertaining areas are important to a garden, but they have to be softened with plant material. Normally Charlie would plant a hedge around the perimeter of the fence, but there was a big concrete ledge in the way. He cleverly used this to his advantage, by placing troughs of potted plants on the top. This elevated the shrubs and made them appear bigger than they actually were.

The final job was new turf and for a hardy good looking lawn, Charlie chose his old favourite - Buffalo.


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Posted by Keren18Report
What were the plants with the purple flowers called that they used in the front garden?
Posted by Amy1282Report
Where are they going to put the train carriage once it's renovated? Serious question.
I think it's a brilliant idea to get back on their feet, and something I can see my family doing to save that ever growing minimum required deposit. The most immediate catch I see is the lack of land to locate it.