Selling Houses Australia

This oddball A-frame home gets a fresh and modern makeover

Geoff and Kim-Gai Wright own a home in Western Sydney that felt all wrong. It was completely back-to-front, with no street presence whatsoever.

One failed auction and three real estate agents later, the Wrights were desperate to sell in order to downsize and retire in Queensland.

Both Geoff and Kim-Gai had serious health scares in 2014, resulting in open heart surgeries within three months of each other. Selling the house would lift a huge amount of stress from their shoulders.

Since purchasing their home in 1986, the Wrights have made a lot of changes, like subdividing their block, adding a second storey and using lots of suede paint.

Kim-Gai loves bold paint colours and suede walls, and the house's doors and door handles couldn't escape a lick of the suede-effect paint.

Summary of Works – Interior

Shaynna had a lot of painting to do, starting with 'desuede-ing' the walls and dissuading Kim-Gai from the outdated trend. Different coloured feature walls in each room enclosed by contrasting trims made the interiors feel boxy and disconnected. By using the same colour scheme throughout the ground floor, Shaynna introduced a sense of flow and cohesiveness.

Removing two small walls in the kitchen dining area created big changes and a much more spacious feel. The old kitchen was gutted and, in its place, a huge open-plan kitchen with island bench was installed.

Transforming the fifth bedroom into a sitting room - with a wider entrance from the hallway and new French doors opening to the front deck - enabled a more seamless connection with the outside. This was especially important for this house, which unusually has the pool and garden at the front, rather than the back.

Summary of Works – Exterior

First on Charlie’s agenda was to address the fact that the front entrance looked more like the back. He created a defined and beautified entry path and fixed the dangerous access to an unfenced pool with new glass fencing.

Charlie changed the pool from an above-ground eyesore to a more secluded oasis by painting the timber fence in a dark, dramatic colour to match the new paving and added lush planting between the pool and fence.

A more usable space was created in the back garden by removing the dead trees and oversized shed, and replacing them with new turf and a more modern, streamlined garden shed.

Finally, creating a better street presence was necessary for this house - an obvious entrance and visible street number made it much easier for visitors to identify the front of the house.

The verdict

Although Kim-Gai was fond of her home's rainbow of colours, Shaynna's new painting scheme created a sense of harmony and continuity that helped the home to feel like one unified space.

The duo did their best to rework the confusing, back-to-front layout and ended up with a much more practical, usable home.

Despite being given a guide price of between $850,000 and $950,000 by their real estate agent, Kim-Gai and Geoff are determined not to sell the property for anything below $950,000 and unfortunately, the house remains on the market.

Selling Houses Australia continues on Wednesdays, 8.30pm on Lifestyle.

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