“At around 14 years old it’s only a relatively young house with good bones and lots of potential. There was certainly nothing offensive about it though there wasn’t anything special either. It just looked like any other slightly dated, somewhat neglected house in the neighbourhood – particularly the one right next door which happened to have the exact same colour scheme!” says DIY decorator Kristine Franklin (of The Painted Hive) who gave this Melbourne home a facelift for a friend recently.
The home of her friend’s late father, Kristine offered to help get it ready for sale by working on it over a three-month period – primarily on weekends. “Mainly we just wanted to make the most of what we already had on as small a budget as possible! Given the house has quite a simple classic design, and is located in a semi-rural area, I wanted to bolster the subtle cottage feel in a fresh, contemporary way,” says Kristine of her design choices.
The process began with a thorough declutter where Kristine cleared the old decor, removed the dated security screen door and removed the aluminium shade from the sidelight. She then painted the front door a lovely shade of blue (Dulux Duck Egg Blue), installed a new light fitting and added some stylish accessories too. “The front door was a virtual black hole prior and now it’s bright and welcoming and one of the highlights of the facade. It’s probably my favourite little area,” says Kristine.
“Although faux plants aren’t usually my thing, I wasn’t keen on forking out a small fortune on a feature tree for beside the front door given the house is unoccupied and nobody would be caring for it regularly. The fiddle leaf is actually artificial though it looks amazing and is guaranteed not to die throughout the entire sales campaign!” says Kristine.
Another integral part of the renovation, Kristine painted the original mottled stone coloured bricks using Dulux ‘Texture Medium’ in Antique White USA. “I’m sure some people will wonder why I decided to paint the brick. To be honest, it was never awful however it does look much better in most of the before pics than it did in reality. It actually presents as almost an earthy sandstone when it was actually a mottled cream/yellow with dirty brown mortar. Plus, the house next door has the exact same brick which is never a great thing when you’re looking to sell. I wanted a fresh start,” says Kristine who chose a white paint colour to contrast with the home’s black trims.
A master at DIY, Kristine also built the gable pediment and decorative shutters herself – the latter was painted in the aforementioned Dulux Duck Egg Blue. “All up they cost less than $60 and add the perfect touch of charm and character I was after,” says Kristine.
And while Kristine originally wanted the garage door to be replaced with a black alternative, she’s happy with the way the timber-look steel Gliderol one from Bunnings turned out. “I love the simple panelled design and warm timber-look finish. It complements the other timber elements and duck egg accents perfectly, as well as helps warm-up all the white,” says Kristine.
“This is the first full facade transformation I’ve ever worked on and I learned a lot! It was so lovely to have several neighbours walk by as I was taking the ‘after’ photos and comment on how good it looks now,” says Kristine.