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A recap of the #William St Reno

Finally! A recap on the #WilliamStReno. This one is quite long overdue.

The #williamstreno project was a personal passion project for Tom and I that has ignited a flame for renovating. We absolutely LOVED it. After years of working with clients on custom projects, being your own client was both amazing and challenging all at once. I personally found that all my usual calculated rationale for design decisions went out the window (which I am sure Tom loved haha) but after a whole lot of planning, hours of pinterest and many a weekend spent paintbrush in hand - we got there!

Let’s start from the beginning.

We bought this little 3 bedroom house in Bulli; about 70km South of Sydney CBD and about an 1.5 hour drive. It is a beautiful beachside town, close to Wollongong and very popular with Sydney commuters.

When we bought, we knew we wanted something to renovate so we just focused on buying something that had good bones and needed a facelift. As it was our first ‘full’ renovation the goal was to find something that was liveable throughout the renovation, could be done in stages and on a part time basis (mainly weekends) due to our commitments with Timbermill. Whilst I think for any future renovations we would try not live in the house and do the full renovation in one stint - this worked for us financially with our first property as we took on the majority of it ourselves and chugged along throughout the year.

The house when we bought it had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, two outdoor spaces and one main living area.

The main part of the renovation and the area of the house we spend the most time - the living/dining/kitchen. Previously a closed off area, the main goal with this was to open it all up and let in the light and air flow to make the house feel bigger.

Due to some structural walls, a few large support beams were put through the roof. Whilst this was a very time consuming and quite costly process it was definitely worth it as it changed the whole house once it was opened up. Initially the plan was to keep the original timber floors, although after pulling the walls out it uncovered a lot of gaps between boards and patchy areas the call was made to replace the whole floor. Whilst this was an unexpected expense I am so, so glad it was done.

The whole space was pulled back to it’s bare bones and re gyprocked and new hardwood floors laid - we had a few VERY cold winter nights with both floors and roof open and bringing in some very cold drafts. Once the bare bones of the space were finalised the kitchen was installed.

After discussing with one of our regular cabinet makers for Timbermill, we actually went with plain white Ikea base cabinets for this kitchen. Knowing that this kitchen had a simple galley design and we were mixing them with caesar stone bench tops and custom timber & steel island and desk areas we decided to save money and work with plain white Ikea cabinets. I found some custom handles online from Superfront that are designed to work with Ikea cabinets. I have always been very pro mixing high & low - and believe spending money on the final touches (bench top, handles etc) will always go far. Going down this route saved us about $8K overall.

*Looking back, I think we should of integrated the laundry into the main cabinetry here (instead of the additional study desk) as then we could of swapped bathroom 2 and had a bedroom looking out into back deck and bed four could of been a smaller bathroom. But, you live and learn. Next time!


Kitchen Cabinetry | Ikea Veddinge Whit
Kitchen Handles | Superfront
Kitchen Benchtop | Ceasarstone "Fresh Concrete"
Island Bench | Custom made by Timbermill in Blackbutt Timber with white steel frame
Flooring | Silvertop Ash Hardwood Floorboards supplied by Abbey Timbers
Wall Panelling | Bought from Bunnings
Paint Colours | WHITE Dulux Snowy Mountains Half DARK GREY Taubmans Leadman
Sliding ‘Barn’ Doors | Custom made by Timbermill in Blackbutt Timber 

Previously this room was all decked out in a shade of salmon pink (see left photo) and whilst it was a shame to part with the pink toilet it was a pretty good feeling when this bathroom was demolished. It was stripped back to bare bones and replaced with a much cleaner layout.

We avoided moving the plumbing at all costs and just had to have a few things fixed up. Still, as I am sure anyone who has renovated a bathroom can agree - the budget blew out on this one, and bathrooms cost a lot of money to renovate.

After seeing a beautiful photo on Pinterest of something similar I informed Tom I would love floor to ceiling 23m D hexagon mosaic tiles. After two tilers turned the job down as it was too hard (!), Tom you tubed “how to tile” and did it himself. Never loved him more!

Although I think now when I start a sentence with “I saw this thing on Pinterest” he knows he is up for a challenge.

A grey 600 x 300 tile was used on the floor to offset against the white and then a custom vanity was made by our workshop team in Blackbutt timber.

When we got to Bathroom 2, we wanted to create a bathroom/laundry in one room but without it feeling like a laundry. So we created a wall through the middle of the room with a shower built into it and a cavity door which divided the two spaces (see photo below). This gave a private bathroom, and a laundry which opened out onto the back courtyard onto the washing line.

A beautiful recycled timber vanity was built to fit in the space, and the same hexagon tiles were used (thank you tom!) throughout although we used white grout as opposed to light grey for this space. What do you prefer?


Vanity | Custom Made by Timbermill
Shower Screen | Custom made by Divine Splashbacks
Floor Tiles | Choices Flooring GNS Industrie SLATE Tile 600 x 300 & 300 x 300
Mosaic Tiles | 23mm Matt White Hexagonal Mosaic
Laundry Cabinets | Custom made by Timbermill
Doors | From the original front of the house - repurposed and used in laundry