Josh and Emily - Real Life Reno

April 29, 2022 5 min read

Design and build couple - Josh and Emily began the 5 month long renovation of their townhouse in late 2021. Living at the property whilst renovating it had its challenges, but the couple came through with a beautiful refreshed townhouse with two stunning modern bathrooms. Check out the transformation for yourself!


What spaces did you renovate?
Josh and I renovated our entire 2 bed 2 bath including laundry/toilet townhouse, gutting the whole house back to the bones. The walls were originally a bright teal colour which was very on trend in 2010 with orange undertone floorboards, it was in urgent need of a refresh.

What motivated you to renovate?
We are a couple who also own a construction and interior design business Longlife Building & Salt Sol Designs. This property is the start of many properties to come that we will be flipping. The space was very out of date and needed some tender loving care, we wanted to achieve a timeless space that in years to come will still be in style. I pride myself as an interior designer producing timeless designs.

Before

Were you living here at the time of your renovations?
Yes, we were living through the renovations which if anyone has done knows it’s an experience. We were living out of boxes with only one functioning bathroom and a bed in a freshly carpeted room as we had stripped the townhouse to the bones. We had no kitchen, flooring, laundry, cabinetry for a few weeks, we had to get very creative with our dinners using only a microwave and cardboard as our bench and cleaning our dishes in the yard with a hose!

Our Newport gloss white subway and the Newport matt sage small square

How would you describe your style?
We wanted to create a townhouse that was completely timeless sticking to a design style compared to a design trend which outdates. I adore colonial/provincial with a modern twist, I chose cooler tones based purely on the physical effect it has on someone in a space which is calming. Its important for resale value and appeal, people want something that isn’t going to need an upgrade in 5-10 years time.

Our Newport gloss white subway and the Newport matt sage small square paired with the Dural grey encaustic look tile

Talk us through the process you took in the planning stages of the renovation!
Pinterest is your best friend when brainstorming the design style you’re trying to achieve, I started off with creating a folder and putting what I wanted to achieve in there. Due to being an interior designer I have programs like SketchUp which allows you to create 3D models of the townhouse and exactly how it was going to look once completed. I skipped the digital mood boards as I used Pinterest as my mood board (cheat way), I went straight into flooring finish samples, tile samples, tap ware finishes etc. Getting these in person allows you to play around with flat laying which is important as you are seeing the texture, contrast, and the undertones (very important to either stick with cool or warm) in person. Once I had decided what I was going for it was easy to order and following on I started to look for lights, door handles, cabinetry handles etc.

Our Newport gloss white subway and the Newport matt sage small square

Were there any delays? How long did the renovation take?
We started early December 2021 and finished the month of April 2022, in total 5 months which is a very fast turn around to renovate a whole townhouse from start to end. It helped a lot that Josh has his own constructions business, and we were using all of his contacts plus myself an interior designer managing the whole process and ensuring everything was ready to go. We didn’t experience too many delays, but a few things were held up due to COVID delays which was expected.

Before

What was the most challenging part of the renovation? Did anything go wrong? How did you adapt?
I think the largest challenge was living through our renovations with the continuous dust and the never-ending cleaning, we just kept reminding ourselves the light at the end. As well as keeping up with the amount of rubbish, I shovelled 2 tonne of rubble from our bathrooms in a day as we needed it cleared in order to move our items into our garage.
We were waterproofing until 1:00am one night to prep our bathrooms for tiling to ensure we had a bathroom to utilise once we moved in. We had a 10 week old German Shorthaired Pointer puppy in the midst of our renovations as well which definitely tested the patience. We were quite lucky nothing went too wrong, nothing that couldn’t be quickly fixed which I think came down to Josh and I's experience but of course it is expected. Adapting can be a challenge for some, but the biggest thing is to remind yourself what your going to have at the end of it all and once it's done you will be so appreciative for it.

The Newport gloss subway in white paired with the Paddington white terrazzo look tile

Were you juggling a career as well as overlooking the renovations?
Yes, Josh had to still run his business plus two projects he was working on at the time. I was juggling working full time plus a job change in the middle of it all, now working for Josh as in house interior designer which included a project as well for myself. We were extremely busy plus the renovation meant we had our hands full!

Did you and your partner or family butt heads over the design at all?
Of course we did which is normal and to be expected, but Josh did put a lot of the responsibility in me to draft and complete the design of our townhouse. We more butt heads with layout and with what could be done and what couldn’t be due to restrictions etc.

The Newport gloss subway in white 

Did you come into the TileCloud showroom to look around at tiles? Did you order samples?
We ordered samples due to lack of time we had on our hands which I thought was great as it's important to flat lay all your samples to assist with your flooring choice, paint colours etc to ensure you are making a well fitted choice based on your palette.

Why did you choose TileCloud / What did you enjoy best about the TileCloud experience?
The variety of modern unique tiles is what appeals me to TileCloud as well as the price for quality you’re receiving. The convenience on how the tiles are delivered and the turn around on ordering to delivery is great! We recommend TileCloud to all our clients.

The Newport gloss subway in white paired with the Paddington white terrazzo look tile

Any advice for first time renovators?
Planning is the biggest element to renovating, this will reduce errors and design mishaps. Ensure you choose a design style and stick to it, don’t get carried away with all the options out there otherwise it will lead to an unbalanced design with no harmony. Ensure you know your budget, so you know what you’re working with, if you are time short maybe think about getting an interior designer to assist. There are great programs out there like stylesourcebook which you can create mood boards for your projects.

How can we find you? 
Emily Marsh - @saltsoldesigns
Josh Longmuir - @longlifebuilding + https://www.longlifebuilding.com.au/



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