Selling Houses Australia

The Shamrock, Alexandra - Pub Special

Find out more about the amazing makeover carried out by the Selling Houses Australia team.

Ever dreamed of owning a nice little pub in the country? Think again. Barney and Barb thought their country pub would give them an idyllic lifestyle where they could work and play together; the reality was a 24/7 commitment working 7 days a week, 14 hours a day. The couple purchased the leasehold on the run down pub in Alexandra, Victoria 3 years ago and worked tirelessly to turn the place from bankrupt to the most popular pub in town. They’re pillars of the community raising thousands of dollars for charity, but running the pub has taken its toll, physically, emotionally and financially. Despite their hard work, the pub is struggling to make a profit and now they just want out.

Summary of Works – Interior

The interior of the Shamrock was tired and dated. So it was our job to lift it from ordinary, to a stand out pub in the district, whilst still keeping the country charm. This meant an overhaul of 4 key areas: The main bar, the bistro, the old stables and 2 upgraded accommodation rooms.

Shaynna wanted to give the main bar an intimate feel with an Irish twist, befitting of the pubs name. To achieve this, she chose a bold combination of black walls and bright jade timberwork. The sticky old pub carpet was replaced with a smart green alternative from Choices commercial range, and a new vinyl floor was laid around the bar to prevent slipping. The bar itself got a major face-lift. The old surface was re-covered in modern black granite from Granite transformations. Stegbar installed mirrors on the back walls to reflect light and create a more dramatic feel. Above the mirrors, carpenters constructed a timber bulkhead to give the bar an industrial country look. Shaynna selected dramatic black and gold pendant lights from Bunnings to hang above the bar, to make the area a stand out feature. Frames and chalk boards were hung around the bar, so Barney and Barb could still put up community notices and photographs without it looking cluttered. The area was dressed with timber furniture from Bunnings.

Next on the hit list was the Bistro. This room had incredible exposed brick walls and a pressed tin ceiling, but neither feature was accentuated. Shaynna used copper uplights and old carriage style lights to highlight the bricks and ceiling. The walls were dressed with old photos supplied by the local historical society, featuring the pub through the ages. The same industrial carpet and black granite bench top as the bar were used in the bistro, to create a feeling of continuity. Shaynna didn’t have the budget for new tables, so our trusty bathroom and kitchen sprayers came to the rescue with some resurfacing. Finally, the tables were dressed with sheets of paper and big buckets of crayons to create a family friendly place to eat.

The old stables were a character filled, wasted opportunity. Shaynna embraced their heritage by designing some fixed timber booths in the style of barn doors. Anna’s Mobile Patchwork Quilts upholstered the bench seats and cushions in a palm design harked back to the Victorian era. Shaynna used the same coach and copper lights to highlight the brick walls, and the area was finished off with some potted palms to fit with the Victorian theme.

The Shamrock had 9 accommodation rooms, but we didn’t have the time or budget to tackle them all, so only 2 received an upgrade. The overall feel was a clean smart boutique accommodation. The walls were painted a pale blue and new neutral carpet from Choices was laid. The windows received modern dual roller blinds from Luxaflex. These were ideal for the pub, as one blocked light and the other provided privacy whilst allowing light through. The double room received a new sink, and shave cabinet. A new fan and simple flat pack wardrobes and fridge cabinets gave both rooms much needed storage.  Both the double and single also received new beds from 40 Winks along with stylish blue bedding ( also 40 Winks)  and towels from Ziporah.

Summary of Works – Exterior

The pub beer garden was little more than a barren wasteland and a huge wasted opportunity. Many people used the entrance from the car park through the beer garden as their main entry to the pub, so it was Charlie’s job to create a good first impression. He decided to go all out and zone the enormous garden into key areas: A kids playground, an informal seating area, a dining / BBQ and outdoor bar area, a lawned area and a sheltered smokers lounge.

Charlie’s first job was to create a sense of arrival.  He did this by constructing a timber pergola to frame the entrance through the back gates, and painted it in Taubmans All black.

The BBQ / new outdoor bar was all about creating additional streams of revenue for potential buyers. Charlie built an awning over the bar so it could be reinstated and Bunnings supplied banks of BBQs for people to cook their own food.  To finish it off, Charlie added a bit of a wow factor with a vertical herb green wall that people could use whilst cooking.   The area was dressed with smart hardwood tables and chairs donated from Bunnings.

The pub was missing out on the family market, so Charlie appealed to children and parents alike by making a safe kids play area.  He built a slide, climbing net, some sand pits and a blackboard wall to keep the kids entertained. He located this in a corner, still visible to parents but tucked away so it didn’t disturb anyone enjoying a quiet beer.

Charlie recognised the pub needed a designated undercover smoking area, so he asked Luxaflex to install a stylish retractable awning. Beneath the awning he laid a new floor of deco granite; this is both a cost effective and attractive solution that provides a firm base in all weathers. Next came the fun part -  new pots, outdoor heaters and bar tables and stools,  all from the Bunnings range.

The largest makeover area was informal seating. Charlie planted new trees to soften the fence line, laid more hard wearing deco granite and dressed the area with more tables and chairs. At the rear of the garden, he created a lounging area with a fire pit for those cold Victorian winter nights.

The remainder of the garden was finished with grass; this created a feeling of space and added greenery without breaking the budget. To help preserve the grass in such a high traffic area, Charlie used a Bunnings product called turf pave. It’s a plastic grid system that is used in high traffic areas and protects the grasses roots.

The remainder of the garden was dressed with pots, and lots of outdoor heaters to ensure it could be used all year round.

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3 comments
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Posted by Heidi308Report
Great ep.Did they sell???
Posted by MimiJReport
this episode was a real tear jerker
Posted by Jessica1816Report
An unbelievable makeover! Well done team :-)