Get 10% off tapware when you order tiles and tapware together. Use the code YABBY10 (T&C apply)
Get 10% off tapware when you order tiles and tapware together. Use the code YABBY10 (T&C apply)

Magnolia House - Real Life Reno

Layla Sawyer
Shari renovated this run down property and turned it into a stunning Airbnb in Foresters Beach in the NSW Central Coast. After discovering water damage in the main bathroom she transformed the space using our Newport Gloss Sky Blue small square, The Paddington White Terrazzo look tile and the Brushgrove Matt White. She carried the sky blue throughout the property to achieve a coastal hamptons luxury escape.

What spaces did you renovate?
Magnolia house underwent a full renovation, with structural changes in common areas, wet areas and external attachments. The structural elements included the extension of the property to allow for a European laundry, a powder room and increased living space. When we purchased the property in July 2021, we knew the main bathroom had some issues however were hoping to avoid any work for a couple of years. Once we removed the plasterboard in the kitchen to find the bathroom walls hanging from the ceiling and floor joist rotting through, I made the decision that we were also doing the main bathroom renovation!

What motivated you to renovate?
We purchased the property off the market. It had been loved and used to meet the needs of an extended family. The property resembled a roof city with sheds galore and additional accommodation. It was great to know the property served the family well, but it was falling apart, and the council hadn't approved any of the buildings on the property but the main residence. With soaring building prices, my partner and I saw the opportunity to give the property a new lease on life.

Were you living here at the time of your renovations?
Fortunately, we live 200m away, so we didn't have to stay onsite. But it made site visits very easy!

How would you describe your style?
For Magnolia House, we worked with the existing materials and external structure to save money. I would describe the style as Coastal Hamptons.

Talk us through the process you took in the planning stages of the renovation!
I found some great style inspiration on Pinterest for the wet areas. The wet areas occupied such a small meterage every utility and fixture had to be well planned.
Regarding the whole project, I let the house determine the design direction. Due to a four week settlement, there were many late nights, and fortunately, the owners allowed me early access to measure and plan everything and start briefing trades. I used Sketch-up to design the house layout and, in particular, the entry gable.

Were there any delays? How long did the renovation take?
Yes, covid and material, I lost the two chippies I had lined up before we secured the property due to covid, which pushed all their jobs back. It meant that I had to quickly find a chippie who ended up not being the right fit for the job (it's a worry when he can't read an engineering plan). I brought in Bain Built halfway through the project and couldn't be happier. In all, the build took 14 weeks, and this included demolition, material delays, unplanned main bathroom, trade delays and working away for 6 weeks.

What was the most challenging part of the renovation? Did anything go wrong? How did you adapt?
Deep down, I knew the bathroom needed replacing. Fortunately, I had planned for this to happen in the designing phase. When we found the water damage, there was a mad rush to get material to the site. TileCloud was amazing in facilitating this.

Were there other considerations designing an Airbnb compared to a home?
If not an Airbnb, I would have opted for a neutral tile; however, I opted for the stunning Newport gloss sky blue tiles for a point of difference.

Were you juggling a career as well as overlooking the renovations?
My partner and I both work full time in emergency services. At the end of the renovation, I worked away for six weeks. I had to get trades where I would usually complete the work, extending the project.

Did you and your partner or family butt heads over the design at all?
We always butt heads. Everything is a compromise :)

Did you come into the TileCloud showroom to look around at tiles? Did you order samples?
I ordered samples from TileCloud, and they arrived promptly. I knew my wall tiles as soon as I saw them. However, I requested a consult for the flooring option. Courtney provided a great recommendation of Paddington that hides the wear of an Airbnb perfectly.

Why did you choose TileCloud / What did you enjoy best about the TileCloud experience?
The Three Birds recommended TileCloud. However, now I would recommend them to everyone, and their customer service is amazing.

Any advice for first time renovators?
Planning is key. The first plan may not be perfect. Make sure you speak to your trades and architect for advice, and don't be afraid to make changes.
Also, be sure of yourself. I have a background in building and can read plans. I picked up on my first chippies shortcuts and mistakes. If I continued, our house wouldn't have passed inspection.

You can find Magnolia House on Instagram: @magnoliahouse_forrestersbeach
or book your stay HERE

Layla Sawyer
Layla is a creative at heart, with an Advanced Diploma in Interior Design and being the Senior Marketing and Ecommerce Coordinator here at TileCloud she has a passion for staying up to date with the latest trends within the industry. Known for going down a rabbit hole on Pinterest and being a sucker for a good mood board to kick off any project.