Houzz Tour: A Budget-friendly Refresh of a Small Home
See how smart use of colour and materials, and considered storage solutions transformed a drab house for £27,000
Who lives here? A couple with two toddlers
Location Edithvale, Victoria, Australia
Property A weatherboard house
Size Three bedrooms and two bathrooms
Rooms redesigned Open-plan kitchen/living/dining area, main bedroom, study, playroom and outdoor areas
Interior designer Candice Stroud of Mos Interiors
Budget $50,000 AUD (approx £27,000), with most being spent on the open-plan kitchen/living/dining area
Answers by Candice Stroud
Photos by Daniela Fulford Photography
The homeowners wanted a bright, modern interior with a Scandinavian feel for their recently purchased family home. With two small children, they required easy-maintenance furniture and finishes, but they also wanted the spaces to feel grown-up and worthy of dinner parties.
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The owners’ must-haves
- A comfortable, easy-care sofa.
- Built-in units for the TV and study.
- New feature tiles for the kitchen splashback and island.
- A couple of investment pieces of art.
The owners wanted the adjoining living and dining areas to be complementary, with a comfortable yet elegant sofa at the heart of the living space.
They were keen for the living area to feel clean, uncluttered and suitable for children, but that once the children were in bed, they could quickly and easily hide the mess of family life.
Everything is new – furniture, built-in cabinets and the colour palette. We only kept the white blinds, which I softened with the addition of beautiful, white s-fold sheers.
The sheers also help to control the strong afternoon sun that comes into the living area.
I chose calming tones of soft green and milky white, paired with natural timber. The owners are busy with work and young children, so I wanted this space to feel relaxing.
We all fell in love with the custom paint colour for the TV unit and the green-blue of the large penny tiles in the kitchen.
Tying all of this back with warm whites and hints of bolder colours, such as moss green, peach and pink, just worked.
The wall-mounted TV unit creates useful extra storage space in the living area. While the room is a good size, it can feel a little full, as it’s shared with the dining area. The wall-mounted unit also adds a bespoke feel to the room.
Edithvale is a beachside suburb, and it was important to reflect the home’s location with a few gentle coastal touches.
Texture in the lighting, coffee table and bar stools adds a casual feel to what are otherwise elegant pieces.
I created cohesion in the home by ensuring all the rooms contained an element, big or small, of our main feature colour – blue-green.
I also included other linking elements throughout, such as brass handles and oak touches.
A dining table large enough to fit eight people, with chairs that would tuck fully beneath it, plus gorgeous feature art.
All new furniture and art.
Colour and materials palette
Oak, rattan and touches of soft colour through the original Kirsten Jackson painting.
First and foremost, the client wanted me to get rid of the kitchen’s original bright green glass splashback. They love green, but the colour was too loud, so we used this as a launch pad for a new, softer palette.
I kept the original white and dark grey cabinetry and added blue-green penny tiles to the splashback and front of the island, plus a pair of rattan pendants overhead.
The original front door was fluorescent yellow and the owners wanted a selection that was more in tune with the home’s coastal location, but not an exact match with the blue-green used elsewhere in the home.
I changed the door colour to warm blue, added an oak console table for some interest and warmth (and somewhere to drop keys), plus a beautiful wall print of Wilsons Promontory, which is a couple of hours south in Victoria.
Colour and materials palette
Oak, warm blue and milky white.
Brief for the study
This narrow study is used by one of the owners and it needed to be clean and uncluttered, and feature generous storage and bespoke fitted joinery that tied in with the TV unit.
The main change is the addition of a wall-mounted desk, which I purchased from Ensemble and had customised with my choice of colour and finish.
It works well in this narrow space, as it doesn’t take up a lot of room and creates height to trick the eye into thinking the space is bigger than it actually is.
As cohesion and consistency was key for both the client and me in this project, we used the same palette as in the main living area – soft green, milky whites and oak.
Brief for the main bedroom
To be a comfortable retreat for the parents, with a grown-up feel.
Everything in here is new.
I specified a lighter and more pared-back colour scheme for the main bedroom to give it a really serene and relaxing feel.
Are you impressed with this budget-savvy makeover? Tell us in the Comments.