Flip House Facade | The Plan & Progress

I must admit, from the start it’s been the ‘street appeal’ transformation which has had me most excited about this house. I haven’t had the chance to work on many (any!) full facades so it’s something I’ve always been super keen to tackle.

House Facade Before

Whilst the original state of things was clearly far from spectacular, I think the classic style and basic bones offered so much potential.

Of course, there are lots of different ways we could have gone with this however to me the general design lends itself to ‘cottage’ so we’re going to try and inject some modern country charm. Not only will this help distinguish the house from most of the other (numerous!) nearby properties on the market, though it should also impart a homey welcoming vibe and work with the semi-rural location (oh, and my personal love of contemporary cottage may or may not have influenced things slightly!).

Obviously we’re on a tight budget so for the most part I’ll be looking for easy and affordable ways to update existing elements and layer character on top.

PAINT

It goes without saying that one of the best ways to transform a house is with paint.

Now, some of you might like to look away because I know not everyone will like this however…the brick is now painted!

Painted Brick

Although the original brick wasn’t completely hideous (bear in mind it does look much better in the photos than in reality though), when teamed with the ashy roof and black trim the whole scheme simply came across as dated and lackluster. There was just no zing!

I wanted to create more contrast and after playing around with a few options eventually decided on white.

When choosing the white I wasn’t sure whether or not we would be painting the existing cream fascia and eaves, and also needed to account for the nearby yellow-toned boundary fences and retaining walls (which we probably won’t be painting) so settled on a warm white which would harmonise well. Dulux ‘Antique White USA’ is a rather creamy white which actually presents as quite crisp outdoors yet still has a hint of softness.

Dulux Antique White USA

Rather than use regular paint, I decided to try something different.

Dulux Texture Medium Cover is a thick and flexible acrylic paint which provides the rustic look of bagged brick. It’s similar to render though as it allows the brick structure to show through it offers more character – which I personally love.

I’d never used anything like it before and absolutely adore it! You cut in with a brush first, just like regular paint, then apply straight from the bucket using a mitt. It’s a little bit messy though actually fun! Of course it was kinda tricky for me to document the painting process whilst decked out in my stylish painting glove, however if you’d like more information we basically followed the manufacturer instructions and this video tutorial.

Once the brick was painted we decided the cream fascia and eaves were letting the new fresh feel down so painted them to match using Dulux Weathershied in Low Sheen.

Dulux Paint for the House Facade

Our black and white scheme is now crisp and simple and ready for a soft colour pop (more on that below).

GARAGE DOOR

Unfortunately there’s nothing much we can do to salvage the existing dented cream roller door so have decided to replace it.

Garage Door Before

This is one of our biggest ticket items of the entire flip. The garage accounts for almost half of the entire facade so I figure making it look great will be money well spent.

I’ve been to-ing and fro-ing over colour options though think I’ve finally landed on matte black to break up the white and bring in the other black accents. Ideally I’d love a carriage style door though I’m sure you can imagine that they can be pricey.

Garage Door Inspo

This is just a rough inspo idea.

So I’ve been looking into some DIY options and affordable alternatives and am excited to see what’s possible. Can’t wait to share what we end up doing!

ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS

As mentioned above, something I’m exited about bringing to this house is a sense of charm.

There’s not a huge amount of scope for adding decorative elements, and I certainly don’t want to go over the top, though two areas I’ve identified which could do with some zhoozhing are the feature gable and the window wall.

House Facade Plan

For the gable I’m planning on adding a timber accent pediment. I’ve actually already built it (from a $14 length of treated pine) and am hoping the rustic wood will warm up the white and impart some earthy texture.

Making the Gable

Easy DIY Gable Pediment

I had visions of creating something more decorative though decided that was a bit beyond me (and my tools!) so stuck with nice simple lines. Because I built it at home I made it slightly larger than required so I can easily cut it down to fit when I’m next at the flip house.

The large window on the right will be flanked by decorative shutters. Again, I’ve already built them (from $40 worth of cypress pickets) and plan to finish them in a soft duck-egg blue.

DIY Board and Batten Shutters

The front door, which is currently dark indigo and comes across a bit like an unwelcoming black hole due to its recessed position, will probably be painted the same duck-egg colour to provide some continuity and brighten things up.

Front Door

Although black and white alone can be stunning, given the house is quite simple architecturally I want to add one feature colour to provide a bit of interest, liveliness and pop.

GARDEN

When I first saw and photographed the property it was late spring and the garden, although overgrown and weedy, was quite green, lush and pretty.

Garden Before Summer

Then summer hit – and it’s been a long, hot, dry summer. With no-one living in the home to care for the plants many struggled and several died. We’ve had to remove a lot and drastically cut back others so right now things are looking rather brown, withered and barren.

Garden After Summer

We’re going to try and retain as many established plants as possible then fill the key areas and sparse patches with a simple mix of shrubs. Not certain at this stage though given the house is north facing we’re thinking tough varieties like Westringia and Dietes. We’ll see.

STYLING

At this point of the flip adding the finishing touches, such as lighting, pots, decor and furniture, is still a bit of a distant dream though I can’t help but look forward because they are the elements which will bring everything together – plus, to me, it’s the funnest bit! I have visions of matte black lighting, pretty pots and lush greenery, and natural materials such as wicker, among other things.

Facade Makeover Mood Board

DOOR MAT | OUTDOOR SCONCE | WICKER BENCH | BANANA PALM | GLAZED POT

This is just a rough mood board I put together. Like I said, we’re not quite ready for this yet though I can’t wait!

If reading all this has made you think I must be super self-assured and confident, let me tell you that I’ve actually been doubting and questioning myself the whole way! Like I mentioned, this is my first time working on a facade and, just like anyone doing anything new, I’m simply learning as I go. At this stage all I can do is cross my fingers and toes and hope that, just like with my interior makeovers, things all come together in the end!

Thanks so much for following along.

 

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You can catch up on Part One of the house flip HERE.

A New Budget-Friendly House Flip!

It was this time last year when I was in the final stages of readying my gran’s house for sale. It was a challenging yet super rewarding project which must have whet my appetite for more because now, almost exactly a year to the day of listing gran’s house, I’m excited to reveal there’s a new flip in the works!

This is my friend’s late father’s house…

Before

Before

Before

Before

Before

Before

Before

Before

Before

Having lived alone for several years, and being unwell toward the end of his life, the house had been somewhat let go.

Fortunately, it’s a relatively young house (only around 14 years old) with good bones and lots of potential. My friend knows she needs to capitalise on this in order to sell in the current wavering market – though she doesn’t quite know how to go about it. As I’m sure anyone can understand, it can be an incredibly daunting and overwhelming task, especially if ‘houses’ aren’t your thing.

So I’ve offered to help.

My friend has no interest in undertaking any major renovations and wants to keep the budget at around 12K so our plan is simple…

DE-CLUTTER

I can’t stress enough how vital this step is. And how transformative and inspiring it can be! For me, de-cluttering involves taking a room back to its bare bones, creating a blank canvas to freshly build upon. This means removing all free-standing items along with any fixtures (of course, for practicality purposes any pieces which you intend to keep can stay though I like to clear as much as possible). Light fixtures, window dressings, furniture, decor, hardware, even floor coverings or built-in cabinetry if you intend to replace them, should be removed. Up-cycle, re-purpose, sell or donate whatever you can. Sometimes it’s difficult to imagine what a room can be. De-cluttering helps provide the mental and visual clarity to capitalise on its potential.

REPAIR, REPLACE, REFRESH, REMOVE

Even if you don’t intend to undertake any major works, it always pays to remedy anything which is broken, damaged or just plain unattractive. We’ve identified a few key items so far which include the dented garage door, the wonky backyard pavers and the soiled carpet (these will be the most costly projects of the entire flip). In addition we’re also looking at some smaller jobs such as replacing the old toilets, mending a few broken kitchen cabinets, painting over some feature walls to give the house more continuity, replacing the rotting laundry door, doing something with the dated feature tile in the kitchen, removing the ugly security doors, changing some of the hardware and light fittings, and so on.

CHOOSE A FOCUS

Because we’re not doing a complete overhaul we’ve decided to concentrate on making some of the most important areas look as amazing as possible. These include the front facade, the master bedroom and the open-plan living space. Of course, we will ensure the entire house looks neat and presentable as well however these will be the pivotal zones.

MAKE IT PRETTY 

When you’re working with a beautiful home, good staging is just the icing on the cake. However, in a not-so-beautiful home, it can be the actual cake itself! Does that make sense? We’re fortunate to have a relatively simple and neutral canvas to build upon however given we’re not updating absolutely everything, dressing the house will be a major player in making it feel beautiful.

 

So, that’s the basic idea. As mentioned, our budget is only relatively small and my friend isn’t keen to do any major works so for the most part we’ll be making the most of what we already have. Wish me luck!

Unlike my gran’s house, which I kept under wraps until completion, I’ll be sharing this flip’s journey step-by-step. I’d love for you to join me!

 

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How to Make a DIY Frosted Glass Sign

When I shared my parent’s $100 kitchen refresh a few weeks back the frosted glass doors were probably the most loved project.

DIY Frosted Cabinet Doors

It was a quick and easy little transformation which anyone can have a go at. Although subtle, the graphic adds a little hint of charm and interest whilst the frosting works perfectly to provide concealment.

As mentioned in the original post, my mum wanted to hide the contents though rather than frost the glass entirely we decided to experiment! I was skeptical though the outcome is really cool. A few of you asked to see a tutorial so here it is.

I didn’t record the process first time around so for the purpose of this tutorial I’m using an old picture frame.
Ideally, you want to apply this treatment to glass which has either a light or dark cavity behind it, or is positioned in such a way it’s often viewed from an angle, in order to enjoy the full effect.

STEP 1 | ENSURE GLASS IS NICE & CLEAN

DIY Frosted Glass Sign

I simply wiped mine with some window cleaner.

 

STEP 2 | DECIDE ON YOUR GRAPHIC

DIY Frosted Glass Sign Graphic

Of course, this is entirely up to you. For the purpose of this tutorial I went with something very basic. For the kitchen cabinet doors I wanted to create a vintage feel. It’s hard to make out in the photos though the door graphic states “Watson’s Bakery Co. EST. 1978” (“Watson” being my parent’s family name and “1978” being the year they were married).

DIY Frosted Cabinet Doors

Unless you’re feeling incredibly patient I would suggest avoiding anything too long, complex or intricate.

You can draw a rough sketch, create a template using a graphic design or word processing program, or simply wing it like I did! If you do happen to want a more intricate design, you could even use a vinyl cutting machine (if you’re lucky to own one) or engage a vinyl cutting service.

Of course, whatever your design, just ensure it works with the scale of your glass and size of your stickers.

For my ‘Hot Pies’ sign I simply drew a straight line on a sheet of paper then placed it behind the glass to act as my guide.

DIY Frosted Glass Graphic

I did the same thing for the kitchen cabinet doors however I drew an arch (using the rim of a dinner plate) and lines for each row of text. It’s pretty straight forward.

DIY Frosted Glass 'Hot Pies' Sign

Before I attached my stickers I cut them out individually and roughly arranged them to ensure they would fit.

 

STEP 3 | ATTACH THE STICKERS

DIY Frosted Glass Typography Sign

To keep the spacing nice and even, I started with the outer letters then worked my way back in toward the center. As mentioned above, I simply used a single line as my guide and just eyed the placement (fortunately stickers are pretty forgiving as you can simply peel them off if you make a mistake) however if you’d like to be super precise you can create a more detailed template. Once adhered, press firmly to ensure the edges are well sealed.

DIY Frosted Glass Door

In addition to my letters I also added a simple line which I cut from a strip of painter’s tape.

DIY Frosted Window Graphic Sign

 

STEP 4 | PAINT!

Dulux Frosted Glass Effect Spray Paint

Mist the glass with a light coat of frosting spray paint. I used Dulux Duramax Frosted Glass Effect. At first it may appear quite clear though after a minute or two the effect should emerge. Repeat with a second coat if required.

DIY Glass Frosted Sign

Of course, I didn’t need to mask off anything for my picture frame glass however as we couldn’t remove the glass from the kitchen cabinet doors I did use tape and old newspaper to protect the casing from any over-spray.

 

STEP 5 | PEEL THE STICKERS OFF

Frosted Sign DIY

Once the paint is touch dry, slowly peel the stickers back. I used a pointy implement (a metal skewer) to carefully lift one edge of each sticker first.

DIY Frosted Glass Sign

You may notice a very slight raised edge of frosting around the perimeter of the letters. This can simply be brushed back with a soft cloth or your finger.

 

DONE!

Easy DIY Frosted Glass Sign

It’s as simple as that!

Depending on how the sign captures the light, at times the graphic looks quite bright and distinct whereas at other times it can be barely visible (and very difficult to photograph!). Though there’s something about that I like. It’s almost as if it’s a little mystery you need to view from the right angle. And it’s perfect if you’re wanting something subtle and simple.

Easy Kitchen Update

Have a great week all.

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DIY Frosted Cabinet Doors

Quick & Easy Spray Paint Update

It’s not always easy to see the potential in things.

Take this incongruous collection of second-hand planters I was gifted…

Plant Pots Before

At first glance it’s not the most attractive assembly of items, is it?

I mean, if you were looking to create a pretty co-ordinated cluster of pots, this renegade group wouldn’t even turn your head, right?

Though look what can happen when a little bit of spray paint is introduced…

Plant Pots Painted with Dulux Duramax Chalky Finish

Suddenly, what was a completely disconnected gathering becomes a beautifully unified collection!

Painted Pots Before and After

Here I’ve used Dulux Duramax Chalky Finish in both Elegant Greige and Pink Splendour.

Dulux Chalky Finish Spray Paint

The Elegant Greige provides a natural concrete look – which is just what I wanted – and the Pink Splendour compliments the cool grey perfectly for a soft, slightly feminine, feel.

Pink Painted Plant Pot

I’ve spoken of my love for Chalky Finish in the past. With its super matte appearance and incredible bonding power it’s up there as one of my absolute favourite paints.

To re-finish my pots all I did was ensure they were nice and clean before applying around three light coats of spray paint to achieve full coverage.

Dulux Duramax Chalky Finish Spray Paint

After just one hour the paint was cured and the pots were ready to be planted out. I used a combination of Lavender and Oregano with some pretty Scaevola to fill things out.

DIY Painted Plant Pots

Such a quick and easy transformation which packs a lovely punch.

Most of us have some random old planters laying around (otherwise they’re not hard to come by in re-use centers, op shops and charity stores). Why not have a go at transforming some of yours!

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Upcycled Plant Pots with Dulux Chalk Spray Paint

$100 Kitchen Makeover Reveal

Kitchen Mini Makeover

I must admit, when I posted about this impromptu room refresh last week and received lots of excited “Can’t wait to see!” messages, I felt a little worried.

Aside from the fact the budget was just meager, the room itself was quite nice and neutral to begin with. This meant there was no call for any particularly major changes so the transformation was never going to be super astounding (some of you may even struggle to spot the differences!). It might sound strange, though I find that the most striking makeovers tend to begin with the most hideous of spaces! I guess that makes sense given they offer so much scope for change.

Here, on the other hand, it’s all in the details. Well, mostly.

As mentioned in my previous post, this is my parent’s little kitchen.

After 25 years mum decided a freshen-up was in order so she took to it with a circular saw late one afternoon. True story.

She has plans to undertake a more extensive remodel in the next few years so this is just an interim solution.

I helped with a few minor decisions, a couple of little projects and the final styling, though overall this is mum’s project.

Easy Kitchen Update

And she’s thrilled with the outcome! Although the changes are only subtle, they’ve had a big impact on how the space both feels and functions.

Easy Kitchen Update

The big change (and where the circular saw comes in) is the re-imagined peninsula.

Easy DIY Cottage Kitchen Makeover

Where there was once a dated raised bar, obstructing sight-lines and further constricting the already tight kitchen, there is now a spanning benchtop which opens the kitchen up (from both sides) and invites people to gather. It’s hard to grasp the impact from the photos though it really is a game changer.

DIY Kitchen Lowered Bar

Due to the way the raised bar was originally constructed, mum worked out she could remove the entire panel, cut it down, then screw it back on again. She then carefully prized the timber moulding from the discarded bar and attached it to the existing benchtop to continue the trim line. To finish she covered the “new” panel with some paintable wallpaper (it’s Anaglypta ‘Waxwell’ which I bought a few years ago from eBay – she only used around 1/5 of the entire roll). Once painted the same colour as the walls (Dulux Antique White USA) it looks just like pressed tin!

Paintable Wallpaper

Paintable Wallpaper

Although, like the previous raised bar, there is no over-hang on the new bench, it’s still a great little spot to sit. Mum had two old school stools in the shed so decided to renew them with some gold spray paint (Dulux Duramax Bright Finish in Bright Gold) and fresh upholstery.

Bar Stools

The metal legs were badly pitted so the spray job isn’t perfect though it does the trick.

For the seat she used thick foam from an old ottoman and sewed covers to give them a more tailored look. The fabric is actually a linen table runner from TK Maxx. I love the distressed feminine design.

Stool Upholstery

A subtle detail which is easy to miss is the change we made to the glass fronted overhead cabinet.

Mum decided she wanted to re-claim that cupboard, which had only ever been used purely for display purposes, as a space to house all of her regular crockery. Though she didn’t want to have to worry about keeping it neat all the time.

Our solution was a bit of an experiment.

At first we were merely going to frost the glass, though then decided to try adding a vintage style graphic. Almost like the glass had been reclaimed from an old store or something.

DIY Frosted Cabinet Doors

We cleaned the glass, attached basic alphabet stickers in a simple design (Watson’s Bakery Co. Est. 1978 – ‘Watson’ being my parents surname, ‘1978’ being the year they were married), taped off the door surrounds to protect them from any over-spray, then coated the glass with frosting spray paint (Dulux Duramax Frosted Glass Effect).

Once the paint was dry we carefully peeled the stickers off to reveal the design. I was skeptical though it actually looked pretty cool!

YOU CAN NOW FIND THE FULL TUTORIAL HERE

Like I mentioned, it’s just a subtle detail, and can only be properly seen on certain angles, though it adds a nice point of personalised difference. And the frosting works perfectly to conceal the contents as intended.

Pantry Wall

You can see the laundry cupboard I added trim to a few years back through the doorway.

Along the ‘cabinet wall’ there was an open cubby (just below the microwave) which mum could never keep tidy. Dad built a basic cupboard front using scraps from the shed and hinged it from the bottom so it drops down like a bureau.

Not only does it work to now hide all the crap which accumulates there though mum uses it as a little work station to write shopping lists and pay bills.

Drop Down Door

It’s painted semi-gloss white to match the trim, rather than satin cream to match the cabinetry, though because it’s different I think it works.

Removing the raised bar opened up more wall space above the bench, providing the opportunity to install a simple open shelf.

Kitchen Shelf Vignette

Open shelving is always a great solution in basic rooms which can benefit from having some pretty decor on display.

Kitchen Shelf

The brackets are the EKBY VALTER from IKEA which mum painted an earthy green and the shelf itself is a relic from my brother’s childhood bedroom.

Shelf Vignette

A few other simple updates include…

…switching out the generic window winder for a cute antique style brass latch. Mum found it at Bunnings.

Mixing Metals with Brass Window Latch

…changing the pantry door hardware to more modern style gold pulls. These ones are from IKEA.

Pantry Wall

…removing the blinds. They were sweet though after twenty years it was time for a change. It’s nice having the windows free from any dressings though I think some colour and pattern would be nice here. Mum will probably put some new ones up in the future.

Easy Kitchen Update

…painting the brass pendant black. I love brass and don’t mind when it’s a bit worn and weathered, though the pitting and tarnish really bothered mum so she hit with some black chalk paint she already had.

Kitchen Makeover

…replacing the range fan cover with a piece of timber trim. The original plastic cover was yellowed and just plain meh. Mum attached a left-over section of moulding from the old raised bar to better integrate it with the cabinetry.

Easy Kitchen Refresh

These little changes don’t always translate well in photos however all add-up to make the room as a whole feel fresher, updated and more refined.

Of course, some pretty styling never hurts either.

Kitchen Vignette

I was careful to use only bits and pieces we already owned (most of which are inexpensive op shop and charity store finds). Bringing a room to life with accessories is probably my most favourite thing about interior decorating.

Kitchen Vignette

Kitchen Vignette

Kitchen Mini Makeover

I’m sure there are those among you who may prefer the more old-fashioned charm of the ‘before’. That’s cool. I know it was never a terrible room however I think we can all relate to needing a change.

And I’m well aware there was sooooo much more we could have done to really change things up (adding trim to the cabinets, maybe painting the lowers a dramatic colour, switching out the hardware, altering the benchtop in some way, adding new lighting) however, like I mentioned, with so much of the original kitchen being nice and neutral it just didn’t feel warranted. Plus, remember, this is only a temporary fix.

The main thing is that mum released her creative tension and absolutely adores her “new” space.

Here are the comparison before and after pics…

Kitchen Before

Easy Kitchen Update

Kitchen Before

Easy DIY Cottage Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Makeover

Kitchen Before

Kitchen Refresh

As always, feel free to ask any questions.

I hope it helps inspire!

 

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Easy DIY Cottage Kitchen Makeover