A home to love

A young couple turned a dowdy old house into a wonderful modern home with clever planning, creative ideas and on a small budget.

Taking on a renovation to modernise an older home can be a time consuming and expensive project. Many homeowners tend to take the route of doing it room by room, as and when the budget allows for it, and that's exactly what Gabbi and her husband did with their new home.

Every room in the home required updating, whether it was a paint job and new fittings, or a complete overhaul to make better use of the space. From the entrance to the guest bedrooms, this property was transformed from an ugly ducking house into a beautiful home.

The original entrance was boring and didn't provide any impact. In conjunction with the overhaul of the open plan living and dining space, the wall separating the entrance was removed. The new entrance is now incorporated into the space and gives wow factor when entering the home.

Walk into the house and immediately enter the spacious open plan space that accommodates the living and dining areas.  

Grubby old carpets were replaced with modern laminate wood floors that complement the new or refreshed furniture that fills the space.



The wall that blocks off the kitchen is removed to allow for a small family breakfast bar, that ties in nicely with the open dining space. Removing the wall allows more natural light to shine through.

Just off to the side of the dining room, the kitchen is next on the list for renovation.

To save on the cost involved in removing and replacing kitchen cabinets, the existing wood cabinets were painted in white to carry through the neutral colour scheme. In a week, the dark kitchen becomes light and airy and feels more in line with the new, modern style. New appliances finish off the modernisation.

When planning a large renovation and putting together a budget, make sure to allow yourself plenty of time to work room by room as and when funds allow. You don't need to do everything in one go and it will save you money if you can do a fair amount of the work yourself and not hire contractors. Even hiring local labour to do some of the hard work will still save on costs, as long as you are able to supervise the work to make sure it gets done properly.

The guest and main bathrooms were cramped and space was tight. Although it was nice to have two separate bathrooms, it made more sense to knock down the wall between these two and turn the two into one large, spacious bathroom.

The layout allowed for new fittings on the existing plumbing lines, which helped to keep the cost as low as possible. While this situation may not always be possible, look at ways to place new fittings to avoid high rates for running new pipes for water and sewage.