Kate and Christian - Real Life Reno

October 15, 2021 5 min read

Check out Kate and Christians front porch transformation! The couple used our  Belrose Blue Encaustic look tile to created a stunning entrance to their newly renovated home in the coastal town of Barwon Heads. The before and afters will shock you!


What spaces did you renovate?
My Partner and I purchased a typical historical ugly duckling in our small coastal town of Barwon Heads. We definitely knew this one was going to be a challenge to transform into a cute beach house that someone one day would call home. It required the entire home to be renovated. It was going to be a big project. We both had the same vision though, and hoped in the end it would look amazing with the vision we had in our heads.



What motivated you to renovate?
When my partner saw this home come onto the market with another agent and knowing the home well, he pounced on it. Properties do not last long on the market in Barwon Heads, it is a small thriving coastal town. This home was the last of the Public Housing owned by the State Government of Victoria in our town of Barwon Heads and the agent was keen to offload it and with no vendor to deal with, we had secured buying the property by close of business. It had a terrible history with unpleasant tenants and certainly brought the value of other homes down in the area because of how uncared it had been for a number of years. We knew it would be the perfect home to renovate and permanently rent out.

How would you describe your style?
We definitely chose a coastal theme style, with a touch of Palm Springs feel, in which our gorgeous Tile Cloud tiles created on entry! I saw these tiles a while ago and knew back then that I would use them one day in the future.


Talk us through the renovation and what was done!
We decided to turn it into what Barwon Heads represents, a cute coastal beach house, and will then hopefully find fabulous tenants to rent it and treat it like it was there own. We did this renovation over 12 weeks, we called it our lockdown project. We purchased it just before lockdown and finished 12 weeks later. No one was living there whilst we renovated, which allowed the trades to still work each day due to being an unoccupied property.

We had the place bagged over the top of the ugly orange/brown brick, this enabled us to then paint it white without great difficulties and still having the brick profile be visible. We enclosed the carport, erected a high front fence, built a pergola and deck and landscaped. The inside of the house was also painted, a wall demolished to allow more light to flow in, a double sided fireplace installed to create that wow factor on entry, new windows, kitchen, bathrooms, toilets, new carpet and wardrobes.


How did you go about planning the renovation?
My husband and I have renovated a few homes in the past, and both have the same style. Our last renovation was a 3 bedroom apartment in Cabarita Beach, Northern NSW. We ended up calling it CabaPink, we rent this one out through Airbnb. I always have created a mood board using pic collage. I tend to use instagram, pinterest a lot to find ideas and what style I’m after.

What was the most challenging part of the renovation? Did anything go wrong? How did you adapt?
We were lucky enough to have no real problems, except the most common, which is spending double the budget. In the beginning we were hoping not to have to do the bathrooms, unfortunately when a friend, who is a quality builder had a look for us, leaks behind both showers were discovered, and out they had to come. Also the laundry trough had dampness behind it meaning that had to come out too. Any dampness found adds cost but is so crucial to fix.



Did you and your partner or family butt heads over the design at all?
My partner and I don’t really butt head’s, we both have the same vision. The only problem is we both become so attached and want everything to be so perfect that we cant help to keep adding more features for the look we are after.

Why did you choose TileCloud / What did you enjoy best about the TileCloud experience?
We love our TileCloud choice in tiles. We used TileCloud in our last renovation in the bathroom and it also looks amazing. I follow them on Instagram and when I saw the Palm Beach tile introduced, I stored that in my head, and thought whatever project we do next , I will have to design them into the style. Being located in Victoria, our shopping was all down via instagram and the website. I ordered samples for our last renovation because I had a few choices, which could have worked, but this one I knew what I wanted. TileCloud customer service was amazing. The second renovation we had the tiles arrive damaged in transit. TileCloud were so amazing, they simply said take your time, wait until you complete the job and see if you need more or you may have enough to make it work, and if not we will refund the damaged tiles. They made a problem seem seamless.


Any advice for first time renovators?
The advice for first time renovators , is simply double that budget you have in mind because you are bound to go over it. Also take time in the design process and completing mood boards, it is really important to have a vision on paper first before jumping into it.

What did you hire trades for and what did you do yourselves or with help of family and friends?
We were so lucky to have one of our handymen qualified Builders in our local area that was able to take on the job on for us. He was amazing! Nothing was ever too hard for him. It is so important to have a trustworthy experienced builder. We tried to help as much as we could to keep costs down. We project managed, demolished kitchen, bathrooms, internal walls, kept it tidy, painted the entire outside of the house and fence, breeze bricks and landscaped and all the other smaller jobs we were capable of. We had amazing tradesmen, plumber, electrician, and local painter to help us inside. Being in the Real Estate Business and living in a small town, we are lucky enough to know all the tradespersons. We own a Real Estate business in our coastal town of Barwon Heads, therefore Christian was juggling this, however it happened to be lockdown, therefore freed up time for both of us to be able to get stuck into it and that’s what we did.



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