If you’re a fan of this blog you’re no doubt aware of norsu interiors – the Melbourne based retail and online purveyors of stylish Scandinavian art and homewares started by Nat Wheeler and Kristy Sadlier. It’s a familiar story (virtually a trope!) but Nat and Kristy met at mother’s group, left their corporate careers behind and haven’t looked back. The latest chapter in their story has proven quite the social media hit.
Norsu relies heavily on styling its wares inside its founders’ homes so when Nat sold her house recently it left a rather large hole for the brand’s followers. “Selling it was bitter sweet. Our customers had seen me in the street and said ‘what are we going to do when we don’t see your house on Instagram?’ and that’s when I realised we needed to do something pretty special,” says Nat. Which is how the duo came to renovate Nat’s original 1920’s Californian bungalow using lots of stylish but affordable choices – the whole process of which was documented online.
Based in Glen Iris, norsuHOME was renovated in just five months and proved the perfect showcase for norsu’s renovating and styling prowess. But what made the process so captivating and impressive for the duo’s followers is that they managed to create a very luxe look for less. Think flat pack kaboodle kitchen cabinetry, partnerships with Australian and international suppliers including Caesarstone, Dulux, GlobeWest, Godfrey Hirst, Perini Tiles, Smeg and Sussex Taps.
“We wanted to share the journey with our social media followers and prove that renovating doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience. Our goal was to show viewers how to apply some creative choices during the renovation process without breaking the bank, while sharing tips on how to confidently select finishes, incorporate colour, create cohesiveness, and of course have some fun along the way,” says Nat who is an experienced renovator having done it several times before.
“Looking to keep costs to a minimum I searched every flat pack storage idea known to man. I had sample finishes sent, I visited every hardware store in the area and I saved one million ideas on Pinterest. I’ll admit, I went into this research phase with trepidation, afraid the flat pack options would be bland and somewhat unprofessional looking. Boy did I learn quickly how ignorant these thoughts were, especially when finding kaboodle Kitchens,” says Nat.
“I instantly fell in love with kaboodle, not only because of their extensive range of door profiles, but because they have a paint-your-own-door option. The idea of designing a bespoke flat pack option was perfect. I instantly knew that if we could select our favourite colours and paint finish, we could create some magical. This is exactly what we did,” says Nat who ultimately used kaboodle cabinetry in every room of the home.
Initially designed as a speedy ‘cosmetic renovation’ the overhaul quickly became a more involved task but the gorgeous result is an open plan, Nordic-inspired, practical family home that Nat shares with her husband Dan and children Annabel and Harvey.
“After the reno was complete, our day jobs kicked into gear, and we had some serious fun with the styling. We live and breathe interiors, and truly believe you can create something magical by carefully selecting the right furniture, art and soft furnishings for your home,” says Kristy.
This project was also the perfect platform for the norsu team to officially launch their dedicated styling arm, led by in-house qualified interior designer Lauren Bartlett-Bragg. “If you like the look of the norsuHOME and would like to recreate this within your own home, we offer a range of services to suit any budget and would love to work with you,” says Kristy.
And if you’d like to step right inside the process and glean some tips for yourself, there are 11 episodes available online where the duo share a plethora of practical renovation and styling tips. Each episode features detailed commentary from Nat on her personal experiences throughout the project as well as tips and tricks from norsuHOME’s expert suppliers.
In addition to the 11 episodes you can even do a walk-through of the home using amazing virtual reality technology that has captured the space in 360 degrees. It’s perhaps not great news for the bank balance though as (in a rather savvy marketing move) you can click through and shop every item in the home too. Enjoy!
Photography: Lisa Cohen | Styling: Beck Simon