Isolation for Easter. No camping, no beach barbecues and certainly no large family gatherings. Our way of life has changed in an instant.
And although it’s unlikely this long weekend will be one of your greatest, we are believers in looking for the silver liningin even the most unusual of circumstances.
This is why we will be picking up our tools, wetting our paintbrushes and pulling on the gardening gloves over the four days (while boosting our energy levels with chocolate bunnies, of course!).
What better time than now to jump on to those DIY projects and odd jobs that have been piling up around the house?
Deemed Australia’s renovation queen – you may have spotted her on television shows such as The Living Room and Today Extra – Cherie Barber has built a solid reputation as one of the best in the industry. As a self-taught renovator, she now has the process down to a fine art, renovating around 15 properties a year. Ms Barber, who established her company Renovating For Profit in 2009, offers online courses and workshops for those wanting to learn more about everything from budget projects to flipping houses. Here are her five easy weekend renovation makeovers that will add instant value to your home. To find out more, visit renovatingforprofit.com.au
1. Break out the renovation liquid gold
In my decades of renovating I’ve yet to find anything that beats the power of paint to completely overhaul the look of a property – and the bonus is that you don’t need the disruption of tradies or a big budget. Just choose your palette carefully and get cracking with the rollers and paint brush. One renovation I completed relied largely on painting, inside and out, to achieve a $35,000 profit. So imagine what a weekend of intensive painting can do for your place.
2. Use specialty paints to update a kitchen or bathroom
If you don’t believe the killer power of paint, you only have to look at the dozens of bathrooms and kitchens I’ve absolutely transformed in my years as
TV renovator on The Living Room – with little more than specialty paints and resurfacing products. These days you can revamp tiles, baths, benchtops, cabinets and appliances with different products, and you’ll be astounded at the difference you can make for just a few hundred dollars.
3. Try this easy flooring option
So you thought it would take a month’s wages and weeks of inconvenience to lay new floors? What if I told you it takes days, not weeks, and hundreds, not thousands of dollars? Vinyl flooring is the magic bullet. You can just lay it straight over the top of any solid substrate. Many of these planks are also waterproof, so you can extend them to the bathroom and kitchen. You simply peel off the backing and stick them down.
4. Make an entrance
Never underestimate the power of a fabulous facade. For sellers, it’s those vital first impressions that either lure people in or send them running. Even just decluttering, tidying, cleaning, repairing and generally giving the front of your place some intensive TLC will achieve miracles. A good going over with a high-pressure hose strips decades off most old surfaces. And if you’ve got ugly, bare concrete paths or a driveway, then think about paving paint. You can tint it to any colour so it blends with your facade. New garden beds, an updated letterbox, some smart stainless steel house numerals, a few solar lights – it’s all those little touches that add up to a big impact. And don’t forget you can just paint the facade of a house instead of the whole exterior.
5. Bump up the storage
We all know you can never have enough storage, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. Maybe you simply don’t have the budget or space for a kitchen pantry or new wardrobes. That’s when some well-placed shelving, or one of the many modular wardrobe systems, on the market come into their own.
5 easy outdoor projects
Sunshine Coast-based landscape architect Cassandra Fenaughty has more than 20 years’ industry experience. She is the founder and owner of a concept design business that provides clients with options that range from a simple in-home consultation through to sketch plan ideas and photo-real concepts. You can find out more about her work by visiting cassandrafenaughty.com.
1. Plan, plan, plan
If you want to start a project, grab your hat and tape measure and begin by measuring your space and drawing up a plan of your project. The biggest trap for keen jelly beans is to jump into something without thinking it through first. You might find that later down the track you have to pull out or demolish something that cost you money and lots of hard work.
2. Celebrate small things
Don’t underestimate the feeling of accomplishing a small job. Weeding and mulching your front gardens can make such a difference in just a day, or pressure cleaning a driveway or mouldy wall can make you feel wonderful once it’s sparkling clean.
3. Plant a vegie patch
Why not find a plot in your yard for a small (or large) vegetable garden? Loosen up your soil, add some compost if needed and plant away. Make sure you pick a good spot with plenty of sun and don’t be afraid to pop your vegetable scraps and seeds into the garden to see what might pop up. If you don’t have space you could use a few large pots instead.
4. Get painting
Feel like a change? Why not spruce up an outdoor area with a new colour or just a freshen up the paint?
5. Add a fire pit
With the cooler months approaching, the construction of a fire pit might be a good idea. If you have the space and a safe spot, have a think about the overall style you are looking to achieve in your outdoor space. Choose a material to create your fire pit – some retro bricks, a few country-style rocks or some coastal-boho river stones will do the trick. Add outdoor chairs and a few logs on the fire and you are set.
Sometimes, a little inspiration is all you need to get those creative juices flowing. Unfortunately, there will be no visits to homewares stores this month. But this doesn’t mean you can’t find inspo in other places. Start by browsing and shopping online. Dozens of local stores have switched from mortar and bricks to online systems in recent weeks. You can also browse their Instagram and Facebook pages for ideas. Or why not Google your favourite trends and designers and create a moodboard of images on Pinterest? Another good option is to create a Messenger group and ask your family and friends to upload their favourite home projects or looks.