Homeowner Maryann moved into her 1990s style Townhouse with grand visions of the home’s potential. Being a serial renovator that moves house every few years, she knew exactly what she wanted the end product to resemble. Check out this case study of a spectacular Melbourne townhouse renovation
When Maryann McNair moved into a 19-year old townhouse that had been in her family for years, there was plenty that attracted her to the home. It was generously proportioned with good-sized rooms, high ceilings, excellent flow and plenty of natural light. The only negatives were that the house was ready for a refresh and had cream paint throughout
Maryann, a serial renovator who says she usually moves every five to six years, knew exactly how to bring it up to date.
‘I wanted a home that was white, bright, and stylish too,’ she says. ‘The cream had to go.’
House renovation priorities
She briefed Marcus Smith of Refresh Renovations in Ferntree Gully to help bring her vision to life. He, together with his builder planned the renovation, which included installing a new kitchen and updating the main bathroom, ensuite and laundry, as well as repainting and reflooring the property throughout.
Marcus describes the project as a ‘facelift,’ but says there were a few challenging aspects to the job.
Marcus did a wonderful, wonderful job and was so easy to work with
Improving the bathroom layout
‘We needed to create a more functional layout for the main bathroom,’ he says. ‘It was built on a concrete slab so we had to cut new channels in the slab to redirect the plumbing. Creating a new layout took more time and required extra manual work, but it was well worth it for the finished result.’
He says Maryann’s clear brief and decisiveness meant they were able to select all the finishes, fixtures and fittings and appliances in one day.
‘Maryann was very clear about her design choices, but she was happy to have us as a sounding board. Having Refresh as project managers also meant we could negotiate the best prices for her.’
Home renovation costs
While value for money is always important, Maryann says investing in quality makes sense.
‘When I renovate I take the value of the property into account and spend accordingly, trying not to over-capitalize, without compromising on quality.’
With this in mind, she selected an Amorini Shaker kitchen that, with its simple elegant lines, suits the home perfectly. SMEG appliances, including a cooktop, oven and range hood, complete this functional, elegant space.
She says dithering can cost renovators time as well as money so once she’s made a choice she lives with it. For example, she chose oversized marble tiles for the kitchen, bathroom, ensuite and laundry. The end result is both contemporary and classic, but at first, Maryann wasn’t sure she’d made the right choice.
‘I normally just do white,’ she explains, ‘because anyone can move into something white. I wasn’t sure about the marble to start with, but now I absolutely love it. It really compliments the cool-toned white walls and the kitchen and bathroom cabinetry.’
While Maryann knew what she wanted, Marcus spent a lot of time cross-checking paint, tiles and grout to make sure everything went well together.
‘It was important not to mix cool crisp whites with warmer or off-whites,’ he says.
This attention to detail was critical for the success of the project. Undertaking the whole renovation at the same time made sense too, says Marcus.
‘It was much more efficient doing the whole renovation at the same time. It meant we could organise the trades in the most efficient manner rather than having to plan multiple visits,’ he explains.
Looking back on the renovation, Maryann couldn’t be happier with the process – or the outcome.
‘Marcus did a wonderful, wonderful job and was so easy to work with. We clicked straight away and I feel very lucky and happy to have found them,’ she says.
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