Haymes Blog › Melbourne couple's smart renovation

| 9th June 2017

Melbourne couple's smart renovation

If you’re anything like the average home owner, you’ve read one or two (or 50) magazines on how to renovate, DIY style. So we all know that doing your own renovation is really fun and straightforward and you end up with a beautiful new home – right? Yeah, we’ re not sold either.

Haymes recently followed the progress of a couple in Armadale, Melbourne who completed a smart DIY renovation of their 1960s, two bedroom apartment. Alannah and Dave gave us the low down on the realities of DIY renovations, and shared some brilliant tips to achieve an upgrade worthy of a magazine! With the before and after pictures to prove it!

Choosing Colours
The first DIY move was to paint the apartment. It hadn’t been done in years, and was desperately in need for a fresh coat. Before starting to paint, however, Alannah and Dave spoke with Haymes Colour Stylist, Wendy Rennie about how to choose colours for smaller spaces.

“Our apartment isn’t big, and had previously been painted all in white, so we were nervous of introducing any colour”, Dave said. “We are also planning to rent it out in the years to come, and didn’t want anything too bold. Wendy helped us choose some great tones that were fairly neutral, but so much more effective than the ‘off-white’ colour that was in the apartment before.

This 1960s Armadale apartment uses Haymes Parchment Grey in the lounge room against Haymes Greyology 1 on the trims (doors, windows and ceiling). The Parchment Grey has a soft grey/green undertone, and is neutral enough to work with any tenant’ s furnishings and style, whilst feeling fresh and contemporary.


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The master bedroom was painted with Haymes Feather Grey, to create a fabulously moody sanctuary. Feather Grey has a warmth to it with a slightly red undertone, the perfect colour for a bedroom refuge. Again, it was paired with Haymes Greyology 1 for the trims, leaving the bedroom feeling at once peaceful and fresh.

When it comes to choosing colours for a bedroom Wendy Rennie said that it’ s all about making sure that you add a sense of warmth and a more personal feel to it by adding tones that feel intimate and comfortable to be in.

Alannah said that it can be difficult to step back in your home and make colour choices, that are right.

“Just because you like a colour doesn’t mean it’s the right choice, there are a lot of preconceived ideas about colours and we definitely had our fair share. When Wendy initially suggested black for the kitchen or a neutral green tone for the loungeroom we were apprehensive, but the results speak for themselves, and I can’t believe how different it feels now. We wish we had discovered Colour Stylists years ago!"

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The couple also tackled their dated, beige, kitchen. “The kitchen was so tired, and very 60s. It had beige lino on the floor, shiny beige doorknobs, beige curtains and old beige cabinetry,” said Alannah. Did we mention it was beige? Kitchens can be quite a costly exercise, and Alannah and Dave were conscious about costs and time it would take.

One day we will replace the whole kitchen, but we’re going to be renting it out soon and didn’t want to spend a huge amount right now. So, we retained the existing cabinetry and fittings, and just gave it a cosmetic makeover. We were shocked at how much difference it made!”

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Wendy suggested Haymes Intrigue, the darkest Black Haymes has, for the kitchen cupboards, in a semi-gloss finish to give off a more contemporary look. As the kitchen wasn’t going to have a full renovation, it was important to bring in as many contemporary elements in as possible, to help contrast against the tired feel of the existing kitchen.

“When Wendy first suggested we paint the cupboards black, we were initially resistant, and thought it would look dark, and close the room in. But in the end, we figured that she was the expert and so we may as well go along with her suggestion.” The result?  “We absolutely love it,” said Alannah. “It has completely transformed our kitchen, all for the cost of a few tins of paint. It’s unbelievable.”

“Originally the beige cabinetry went right up to the ceiling, we decided to pull off the doors, and bring back the original 60s shelving that was there before the cabinetry would have gone in. Taking off the cabinets and painting the shelving white instantly lifted the space whilst opening it up more.”

The shelving was painted in Haymes UltraTrim in a gloss finish, to highlight the shelving against the low sheen walls, and to also help with durability.

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The simple change to the cupboards meant that the uninspired kitchen became a room with striking features, character and modern style. The couple retained the old timber trim around the kitchen benchtop, which meant that this classic 60s era characteristic still shone through and complemented the glossy black doors. Using a coat of Haymes Acqualac Clear to bring out the beautiful grain in the wood.

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Bench Top
Like the kitchen cabinetry, the bench tops in this 60s kitchen were an apricot-beige coloured laminate. Unfortunately, a DIY budget often doesn’t allow for a marble or stone replacement.

“We would have loved to replace the bench top with a high-quality stone benchtop. But our budget didn’t allow for it this time round. Instead, we got creative”, Dave told us.

The couple used Haymes Ultimate Epoxy, an incredibly versatile coating that can be used for multiple surfaces. It was used here to create a brand-new kitchen bench top. The result was a crisp, clean finish which perfectly rounded out the kitchen’s new glossy black cabinets and wooden trim.

The Epoxy was tinted to Aura with a satin finish. “The Epoxy was magic stuff – super easy to apply and gave us a totally different feel in the kitchen. The bench top is no longer salmon-coloured!

BEFORE:                                                                          AFTER:
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The flooring in the kitchen was next up on the couple’s list. The kitchen previously had lino in and (you guessed it) beige tile pattern, and was faded and worn.

“The flooring was quite a challenge, there are lots of apparently DIY products on the market, but when you actually start doing your research, most of them are really hard to install by yourself and can so easily go wrong,” said Alannah.

Dave and Alannah ultimately found a DIY flooring product that was able to be installed without an expert –Pickawall’s flooring product ‘Pickafloor’ Pickawall specialises in custom made, self-adhesive wall paper, and also produces hard-wearing flooring product perfect for kitchens and bathrooms."

We chose a blonde oak surface for the kitchen floor, as the perfect complement to the Haymes Intrigue colour of the cabinetry,” said Alannah. “This product is such a good low-fuss, low-cost flooring option.”

It's all in the detail
Dave and Alannah also made sure that they paid attention to some of the smaller details. As we all know, the final touches and finishes are often overlooked.However, these small details, while of low cost, have big impact.

Here, the handles and door knobs in the kitchen and bedrooms were replaced. The shiny beige door handles were swapped with matt black handles, to add that instant lift and improve the overall impression of the room.

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“We also updated the hideous old curtains that used to be the master bedroom, and replaced some of the old light fittings (though we got a licenced electrician in to do the electrical work).”

These sheer white curtains are a dreamy contrast to the moodiness of Haymes Feather Grey on the walls, and bring out the crisp white of the trims painted in Haymes Greyology 1.

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Overall? The couple told Haymes that renovating is much harder and more time consuming than they anticipated, but that the results far exceeded their expectations. “It was tough going at times, and took up a lot of spare time,”Dave says. “But the overall impact has been huge, and we are so pleased with how it’s turned out.”

“In the end our finished product was definitely worth it, we love what we have been able to do with the space, with a small budget,”Dave says.

The couple shared their top tips for other DIY enthusiasts out there.

1. Before you start, make sure you choose the right paint colour and paint types (enamel, water-based, high gloss, semi-gloss, mould resistant –there are so many out there!). Get advice from your local paint shop or a colour stylist - http://www.haymespaint.com.au/find-a-store/


2. Allow plenty of time – you want to be able to get the right quality finish, so don’t put yourself under tight time restraints. As with renovating anything can happen!

3. Preparation is key –sanding, filling holes, washing the walls, more sanding, and taping – make sure you do it properly, because it all adds up to a superior finish.

4. Do your research and think creatively about possible products –for us, the bench tops and the flooring product were not common ideas we had come across but turned out to be brilliant and super low cost.

5. Have fun! Have a glass of wine, crank the music, and enjoy the process. In the end you will love it!

Photography by Martina Gemmola and Styling by Ruth Welsby
Products by Hunting for George, Fenton and Fenton, Globewest, Clickon Furniture, Southwood Home and House of Orange

Products Used

(Undercoat) Haymes UltraLock (tinted dark) 4L 
(Top Coat) Haymes UltraTrim Enamel (tinted to Intrigue) Semi-Gloss 4L 

Bench top
Haymes Ultimate Epoxy – 3L Kit 

Bench Trims 
Haymes Acqualac Clear - 500ml 

Walls and trims
Bedroom - Haymes Expressions in Feather Grey - 4L
Living Room – Haymes Expressions in Parchment Grey - 4L 
Kitchen - Haymes Expressions in Greyology 1 -4L
All Trims - Haymes UltraTrim Oil Based Enamel in Greyology 1 (semi-gloss) - 4L

Pickawall’s – Pickafloor