A functional, open-plan living space leading to a backyard oasis has completely transformed an original brick veneer home in Sydney’s Forestville, making first time flipper Mariah Colella and her husband a substantial profit.
“We made significant changes to the layout,” said Mariah who purchased the two-storey home knowing it would require a complete overall including moving the kitchen downstairs. “Upstairs we converted the old kitchen into part of a large family bathroom and the remainder into a huge master with private balcony. We created a second living space by adding a wall and also combined the old separate toilet and bathroom into one space,” said Mariah.
The flip took place over 12 weeks and cost roughly $300,000. Downstairs, walls in the old granny flat were toned down to create an open-plan kitchen and dining space leading to a sunken living room and inviting backyard and pool. “Our favourite part of the renovation was the downstairs extension and how we were able to entertain in style with different zones on different levels, the kitchen and dining being on one level. The elevated alfresco area has a clear sight to the pool and gardens and the chilling lounge area outside with a gorgeous tree-lined view.”
To increase street appeal, the front façade was rendered and everything given a fresh coat of paint including the house, concrete driveway, paths, roof and aluminium window frames. “At the back of the house, we sprayed the bricks to tie into our new colour scheme and added new balustrade to the upstairs balcony,” said Mariah. “We also added a large pine timber deck, which we painted to connect the extension to the pool and the grassed garden. Lighting was also key for us – we wanted a premium finish and added downlights into all of the eaves and used aged copper lighting at the front.”
On the top level, walls were moved to make the main bathroom larger, while downstairs the bathroom had a budget revamp. “We updated the existing bathroom with tile paint and vinyl travertine tiles from Bunnings. We had our plumber put in a new toilet and shower heads to complete the room refresh.”
The biggest challenge proved to be designing a deck and stairs for the sloping block leading to the pool – an element of the backyard that was so successful, it’s now a feature. “Our builders did an amazing job at making the design work and executing it flawlessly.”
As for tips for would-be flippers, Mariah says “our biggest learning with this renovation was the importance of having a solid, experienced set of trades, in particular a quality builder. We could not have done this reno with the budget and timing we had if it wasn’t for Braden from Crearter Constructions who was able to guide us through it. A quality builder is your first step to a hassle-free reno!”
Mariah and her husband are currently working on their next flip — a weatherboard cottage. To keep up with their progress, follow Mariah on Instagram.