Our mini makeover before baby came…

Here we are sitting in our house admiring the work of the three workman who have installed flooring and carpets in our house last week. I’m now 40 weeks pregnant and we had wondered if I’d be in hospital this week but alas, baby seems very content inside at the moment!

It’s been just over 11 weeks since we moved to Broken Hill and we are excited to have been able to have the money to spend on the house to personalise it and make it ours. It all happened very quickly considering we’ve had the inside house (bar wet areas) completely painted, new lighting and new flooring installed. I wasn’t expecting things to happen so quickly and was prepared to just live in the house for a while before embarking on any renovations. But I am really glad that we took the plunge and made these decisions now. It’s modernised the home and given us a theme for the house to help direct some purchases we’d like to make as the budget permits.

Getting advice

I’ll be honest here and say I do struggle with making decisions. I’d like to think I’m someone who pursues excellence and quality but others might see that as slow and over thinking things. So the reason why we were able to get the ball rolling so quickly on this mini makeover is because I’d been given advice from Laurén Interiors. Lauren is an interior stylist (and friend) who provides e-consults which was a perfect solution during the COVID shutdown. At first I was looking for her ideas on making over our bedroom but in the process she recommended repainting the whole interior, putting in new flooring and changing the lights. Was it worth doing?

Colour Scheme

The colour scheme of our house featured cream, brown and blue colours. Our house is about 25 years and at the front of the house is the master bedroom and formal lounge/dining. Both of these rooms had a dado line throughout with cream above the dado line and a brown colour below the line. They had worn green carpet. The ceiling was plum/apricot colour. The cream wall colour continued in the kitchen, living area and hallway and there was a brown feature wall in the living room. The flooring of the kitchen, living and hallways was tiled in red and white colours. The three bedrooms at the back of the house were painted blue and had matching carpet.

Lauren had recommended painting the interior of the house Dulux’s Rottnest Island colour with white trims and white ceiling. I had wondered if we could keep the cream colour and repaint the brown and blue sections of the house to cut down on time and cost of having to repaint the whole house. But she convinced me the Rottnest Island colour which has a grey tone to it, would modernise the house. She’d also used and recommended this colour multiple times to others and that was the thing that reassured me the most.

Finding a Painter

While we were considering Lauren’s recommendation we got some quotes for painting the interior house. Wayne and Ruth Powell Painting gave us a quote and were able to start painting the following week. We weren’t expecting someone to be available so quickly so that was definitely a factor in getting things going for our makeover. They started painting when I was 33 weeks pregnant and completed the job in two weeks!

Lighting

Before getting ahead of myself with painting, I should also say here we had to make some quick decisions about lighting – particularly if we wanted to move lighting around as it would make sense for the painter to patch things up rather than do it after the painting. (Have a look at photos above again at the lighting throughout – definitely needed updating). Ruth Powell had recommended Michael Cain to do the electrical work. He literally turned up on our door step one day and said he’d run into Ruth that day and had been sent to give us a quote! He came and advised on a few different ideas. We decided being a hot climate that we would like fan lights in the bedroom and two fans in the formal lounge/dining area. After doing a bit of research of what I could source in Broken Hill, we went with white Deka Russell ceiling fans from Shannon Electrics. We also purchased 18 12W LED SAL Sunny Downlight 125mm from Shannon Electrics to install in the formal lounge/dining area, kitchen, living room and hallways.

Flooring

Lauren had recommended putting a wooden floor throughout the house and new carpet in the bedrooms. The wooden flooring throughout would make the space feel more open. We had been to Vines Furniture One and looked at Hybrid floors which could be easily installed over the tile floors. The May 2020 edition of House and Garden magazine said this of Hybrid Floors: “It combine the best qualities of laminate and luxury vinyl to deliver a floor that’s tough, waterproof and able to be used right throughout the home – even in bathrooms. A hybrid floor will withstand heavy foot traffic…won’t stain needs very little maintenance beyond the usual mop, sweep or vacuum.” With a baby on the way, it seemed like a good option for us.

As for carpets, my preference was to go with wool carpets because its more natural and can ‘bounce back’ from indents made by beds and furniture. While some advised not to go ahead with wool carpet with kids, others had recommended it and suggested they could keep it clean with the right products. My preference was wool but it would also depend on colours available.

The best piece of advice we got about choosing flooring was to bring colour samples home and lay in the house to see how it reflects off the walls. After Wayne had painted the formal lounge/dining area and master bedroom we brought about four different hybrid planks home and about eight different carpet colours. Although we had a colour scheme in mind for carpets and floors, the carpet colour we thought would work well in the space looked old and dated. The colour we went with was Carramar’s Canyon Mist and the Hybrid Floor we went with was Godfrey’s Apollo XL in the Pyrenees colour.

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Lighting plan?  

After we had the painting completed, our electrician Michael came to install the lights. Deciding on a light design plan is probably the most difficult aspect of our mini-makeover because of certain constraints we had to work with. Firstly, we had to work with the placement of two fans in the formal lounge/dining room. We also were constrained where we could put our downlights (they could not be where wooden beams were in the ceiling). Lastly, we were trying to space the lights in a way that was symmetrical for the room which had two windows and an evaporative cooler and smoke alarm in the ceiling. We installed eight downlights in the lounge/dining room and I would design it differently if we had our time over again but alas let’s just say it was a learning experience! We also installed some lights in living area and above a little study nook which I am really happy with.

Installing flooring 

It took three workmen five days work to install our flooring in our house which began when I was 39 weeks pregnant! You’ll remember from above pictures that our formal lounge room was carpet with a tile entry. They had to taper the floor between the tiles and carpet section in the lounge room before they put down the hybrid flooring. Over the tiles they had to prime and make smooth to help with the install of the floors. It was about a day and a half of prep work followed by about two and a half days of laying flooring followed by a day and a half’s work installing carpet.

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Before tapering the floors in formal Lounge/Dining

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Tapering the floor between the tiles and foundation

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Ready for baby

We are really pleased with our mini-makeover and even more pleased we were able to have it completed before baby came. I do love the paint colour and it ties in much better with the existing kitchen colours (for example the silver splashback tile and silver handles on cabinets). The hybrid flooring and carpet look exactly as I imagined and the floors throughout really open up the space. We love the feel of the carpet underneath our feet as we walk in our bedrooms.

Thank-you to the Broken Hill businesses who worked to our deadline! I never set out to do a house makeover seven weeks before our baby was to come but I’m still glad we did! We still have a few things we’d like to do with the house and purchases to make but for now we’ll enjoy this little milestone. When I talk to people, it seems the way to go – do a makeover when you’re about to have a baby!

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Formal Lounge/Dining Room
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Master Bedroom (dado line removed)
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Walk in wardrobe
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Kitchen

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Family / Living Room
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Baby bedroom – new paint and carpet.
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Back Bedroom

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