Project | A recap of the #WilliamStReno

William St Renovation | Kitchen Area

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

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.


The house | before

Above Gallery: Before Photos


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,

The renovation | design stage

The design brief was to create a house with open plan living, bright white interiors to suit the coastal area and to ensure all outdoor space was maximised. The renovation was broken up into four main stages (to ensure we could live in it during). To give an idea of the layout, see the original floor plan, and our proposed changes wiht the the breakup of the ‘stages’ in which we planned to renovate.


Back Garden | BEFORE SHOT

Back Garden | BEFORE SHOT

The deck was originally an old concrete space that was a bit of a nothing area (as shown in image to left). Not too sure what it had been used for previously but it had bad drainage, and wasn’t very inviting with the entrance into this area being a small set of sliding doors and a rotting laundry back door. Lovely.

As the existing retaining wall couldn’t be removed; it was disguised by building some new planters onto it, staining it black and filling it with plants creating a vertical garden. Next up, a deck was built to level out the space and fix the drainage issues below. After finding some incredible bi-fold doors on Gumtree for $100 (!!) we opened up the back of the house and fitted these - this was the big game changer as it made the back deck feel like part of the house. Finally, after finding some recycled pavers off Gumtree we laid these ourselves in a herringbone pattern throughout the areas in the backyard not covered by deck this was done as one of the final jobs on the house as the laundry floor had to be adjusted).

The vertical garden has become one of the main features of the back area and has changed the whole dynamic of the space. It has definitely ignited a love of gardening and has enabled this house to now have a secondary outdoor area.


Vertical Gardens | All outdoor treated pine with Porters Palm Beach Black Stain

Garden Supplies | All from Bunnings

Decking | Tallowood in feature grade from Abbey Timbers

Paving | Bought recycled off Gumtree

Bi-fold doors | Bought recycled off Gumtree


#williamstreno | knocking down the wall between kitchen & living

#williamstreno | knocking down the wall between kitchen & living

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. 

#williamstreno | space stripped bare & re-gyprocked

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!

#williamstreno | Wall panelling for Living Area

#williamstreno | Wall panelling for Living Area


Kitchen Cabinetry | Ikea Veddinge White

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


New wardrobe doors installed 

New wardrobe doors installed 

The bedrooms needed more of a freshen up than anything. We replaced all carpet, painted all walls and wardrobes were replaced with standard cabinetry and Tom made us custom panelled wardrobe doors which were then sprayed in a satin white finish. Being a lover of all white, I tried to incorporate different textures with the white throughout the house (painted timber, painted panelling, satin/matte finishes, white mosaic tiles) to try make sure the all white look didn’t come across as flat & boring.

#williamstreno | bedroom 2

#williamstreno | bedroom 2


#williamstreno | demolition complete for bathroom 1

#williamstreno | demolition complete for bathroom 1

BEFORE Salmon Pink Bathroom :)

BEFORE Salmon Pink Bathroom :)

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.




WilliamStReno_Renovation - 17.jpg

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

And there you have it - the recap of the #williamstreno.

Since then we’ve been busy launching Level One but we're also on the look out for the next reno project (YAY).

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