20 May 2011

Must-read: "No place like home for extreme makeovers"

A very interesting article entitled: "No place like home for extreme makeovers" was published in today's Sydney Morning Herald, and brought to my attention by the lovely The Sydney Magazine Tweeters. It's a very insightful read, and begins: "Walk into any open inspection on Saturday and there is a good chance it has been styled. You can tell by the new white lounge, walls in muted tones, glass-topped coffee table, and bright cushions co-ordinated to match the mass-produced art (no personal photos, please). Then go to another house. Same coffee table. Same muted tones. If you're lucky you might even score the same art. All stylishly presented, comfortable and inviting. The Stepford homes. Perfect, but lifeless. So much for a stickybeak on the neighbours' life. They aren't there. They took their real stuff and put it all in storage a few days before the professionals arrived with a truckload of designer gear from the last home the agent sold". See! told you it was good... Click here to continue reading the full article.

Well, I can confidently say this was not the case with our house - as evidenced by these, the original photos from the real estate campaign:

(above) The Living Room. At least it's big!

(above) Looking back through the dining room to the living room.

(above) The... other living room, currently our dining room.

(above) The kitchen (which I now understand why they didn't show more of!).

(above) The dining room - This is the area we have the blue chairs in now.

(above) The pink(!) patio. Note the spectacular floor.

Admittedly, our house is on a very large block, 1395 square metres to be exact, but would you believe me if I told you the real estate agents were describing it as "land value only, folks, great opportunity to redevelop" on he day of the inspection?! Grrrr. Yes, Tonic-ettes. It might be rough, but it's a bloody diamond!


  1. I just seize up when I step into a home that has been styled for sale, in an obvious way. I generally turn around and march straight back out. Because you get a much better idea of how a place functions if the real furniture is in place. Where the light falls, where the shadows are deep, etc.

    That's not to say that a bit of styling can help, which it obviously does, but if they all look the same there is nothing memorable about the actual property. And your before shots certainly fall into the "memorable" category!

  2. I think it is a diamond too - I love mid century design. Can I ask do you have any issues with drainage in the "butterfly" part of the roof. We have a 60's house that we want to add an extension to and wanted to butterfly the roof for the extension. Our draftsman is trying to talk us out of it citing drainage problems so i wondered if you had come across any issues.

  3. Oh, Helen - He's right! Don't do it! It's a nightmare. We knew it was an issue when we first inspected the property, and yes, it leaks like crazy. And isn't a new roof about the most un-fun way to spend $5-10k!?

    Phew. Crisis averted.

  4. Your place is a spectacular diamond! And I second your comments on the 'butterfly' roof - beautiful to look at but.......

  5. I have to admit i just love your blog and reading about what you are doing with your fabulous house - i am quite obsessed with checking every day to see whats been updated. i also esp love the various links you include as well (lurve ikea hackers and fox in flats !!!)

    but i have to ask, why no pictures of your kitchen or bathroom? those are the 2 rooms i love to see decorated....

    anyway keep up the good work :)

  6. Hi Rosemary,
    What a lovely comment, thank you! Now, be careful what you wish for - there's good reason you haven't seen pics of our kitchen or bathroom. They're HIDEOUS! But I'll blog them soon, just for you. Promise!

  7. It's true, it is so Stepford out there in real estate world. And apartments are even more Stepford than houses. It's like there's now a body corporate law that mandates a glass coffee table, modular lounge and "Keep Calm & Carry On" sign in all apartments prior to sale. So boring. And so over it! Amber

  8. Huge MCM fan here. I am always surprised at how real estate agents have absolutely no idea of the aesthetic and historic value of these places. You would think that if your job was to sell houses you would at least have some vague idea of what has architectural merit. There is plenty of MCM real estate love over at www.modernistaustralia.com

  9. You know Louise, I hate to admit it but after looking at these photos, and showing my lovely husband(just to make sure!)I think some of this furniture came from our previous shop...the daybed and dining suite. HOW embarrasment!

  10. I definitely love this blog, I getting some variety of idea as an interior designer on how I going to please my customers in terms of aspect and design they want.

  11. Can i just say WOW. What a transformation you have made so far! You truly are an inspiration.. i am studying Interior Design at the moment, and it is no walk in the park.. certainly not as glamorous as everyone stereotypes it to be.

    I am loving it. But it is nice to see renovations such as yours, and see what a fabulous eye you have, and for once i can TRULY appreciate it.

    Love Krystal-Belle


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