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‘Flipping-good’ renovation advice


‘Flipping-good’ renovation advice

Whether transforming spaces or creating full-blown renos, expert know-how makes the process that much easier. WORDS: Caitlin Zerafa

It’s no secret that the Sunshine Coast renovation revolution is red hot. It’s so hot, in fact, that we are the second-biggest spending region in Australia when it comes to renovating.

Whether it’s as simple as a fresh coat of paint, new tapware, cupboard handles or a reupholstered couch to a full-blown ‘property flip’, a renovation can be a fantastic way to add value to your property and improve the overall aesthetics of your home.

There are so many ways to renovate, too. While some go down a do-it-yourself route, others may hire a designer and team of professionals to come in a get the job done.

Any home-renovation project, however, will involve money and time.

But it seems Sunshine Coast residents are sparing no cost when it comes to creating their dream home.

Data from Budget Direct shows that the Sunshine Coast has the second-largest spend per person when renovating, at $641.

It is just behind Geelong in Victoria, which comes out as the biggest spender by population size with $725 per person going towards home improvements.

When looking at the total spend, the data reveals that Sunshine Coast homeowners are spending more than $234 million per year on renovating.

This places the region as the fourth- highest spender behind Brisbane, Sydney and the Gold Coast respectively.

When it comes to creating a ‘dream home’, designer Adrian Ramsay says its important to have a clear idea and budget in place.

The Buderim-based designer specialises in luxury new homes and renovations and, using his unique ‘Design Magic’ process, is passionate about helping people create their dream space that fits within their budget and wish list.

Mr Ramsay says it is important to make the right choices in the planning and budgeting stages, and that includes if you choose to engage designers, suppliers and tradespeople.

“Take the time to put together your team: it’s about creating harmony between you, your designer and your builder,” he says.

“Like any team that’s well built, the magic comes when they are aligned with you, your wants, needs and values.

“Look for experienced individuals or companies with positive reviews and a proven track record in Sunshine Coast renovations.

“Investing in the right team will mean everything by the end of the project.

“Put aside a realistic design budget and be prepared to sign a preliminary contract with a builder to work with you and your designer on the journey to your dream renovation.

“Start with the design and ensure you are aligned here, then bring in the other members.”

The accomplished designer is also set to host the upcoming Season 2 of Channel 9’s Dream Homes Revealed, which is expected to air later this year.

The show is not only a visual feast of stunning homes but also an educational opportunity for those looking to embark on their own home transformation journey.

“This season, we are excited to showcase even more diverse and inspiring homes that will not only captivate our audience, but also provide valuable insights for anyone interested in creating their dream home,” Mr Ramsay says.

“The passion and creativity behind each residence truly make Dream Homes Revealed a unique and enriching experience.”

When it comes to sprucing up the interior of a home, Caroline Dockray, from Cloth Noosa, says upcycling is an ideal way to achieve a dream look.

Specialising is textiles, Ms Dockray says there are many ways to create a bespoke look within a home with the right fabrics, textures and décor.

“The No.1 question we hear is: ‘Is it worth upcycling furniture’ and the question is a clear ‘yes’,” she says.

“Creating bespoke custom furniture, anything is possible – breathing new life and value to the original, saving materials from landfill while using minimum new resources of the latest advance fabrics.”

When giving advice to residents, she says there are a few simple steps that can be taken to reinvigorate décor.

“Upgrade upholstery, change hardware, add a rug, new cushions and wallpaper,” she says.

“Yes, wallpaper has made a major comeback.”

Ms Dockray says wide, bold marine stripes, tone-on-tone mini checks, chunky tweed blends, large-scale florals and ‘Coastal Grandmillennial’ are her top pattern trends for 2024.

“Showcasing the latest fabric innovations with intricate weaves and rich textures are not just decorative elements but tactile emotional experiences,” she says.

For more information on Adrian Ramsay, visit or head to for updates on when Dream Homes Revealed will air.

For details on Cloth Noosa, visit

Top Tips

Adrian Ramsay’s top tips for Sunshine Coast homeowners looking to create their dream homes through renovating.

  1. BUDGET –If you are looking to build or renovate, setting a realistic budget before you begin the project is important. Be sure to leave some wiggle room for unexpected expenses or contingencies. By starting with a clear understanding of your budget, you’ll be able to make informed decisions about materials, labour and other costs.
  2. SUSTAINABILITY – Sustainability is another factor driving the trend towards renovations and interior design. Renovating existing homes helps to reduce waste and minimise carbon emissions, making it a more-sustainable choice. Embrace sustainability by choosing environmentally friendly and locally sourced materials for your renovation. Look for energy-efficient appliances, recycled materials and sustainable building practices. Remember, the most-sustainable house is the one that’s already built. I love to create great renovations. It’s such a puzzle of space, needs and costs.
  3. SET CLEAR WANTS AND NEEDS – Clearly define your renovation goals and priorities before starting the project. Determine which areas of your home are most important to you and your family. Whether it’s updating the kitchen, adding a new bathroom, or creating a more-open living space, having a clear vision will help guide the entire renovation process.
  4. PLAN FOR THE FUTURE – Anticipate your future needs when planning your renovation. Consider how your family may grow or change in the coming years and ensure that your home design accommodates those changes. Planning for the long term can help you avoid costly renovations and ensure that your dream home remains functional and comfortable for years to come.

Something else to consider when renovating is if you require council approvals or changes to your home insurance policy.

Before you make changes to your home, check with your council to see if approval is necessary first.

This will include if you are planning to add a structural extension, carport or swimming pool, removing trees, or building new fencing or retaining walls.

Depending on the nature and extent of the work, you may be required to lodge a development application.

Sunshine Coast Council has resources available at

Similarly, your home insurance may not cover you during a renovation period, so check with your insurer on your policy details.

Some insurers may provide partial cover during renovations, while others may offer an additional separate cover applicable to renovation periods.

Be sure to review your home and contents insurance yearly to ensure it’s up to date, especially concerning the value of your house and household items after a renovation.

How much can I do myself?

You may set out to complete a DIY renovation, but some jobs call for a professional only. For any electrical or plumbing work, be sure to contact a licensed electrician and plumber. Don’t attempt that work yourself.

While those in the know might be handy enough to paint, lay flooring or put together flatpack cabinetry, if you come across anything you are not sure on along the way, always call in an expert.

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