Renovate to enjoy – then sell!



Many people reside in a home for years and renovate when it is time to sell. However, this was not the case in North Shore Interiors’, Lane Cove West residential project. Rather than a quick profit, enjoyment was the motivating factor in the decision to renovate.


The owner of this 1950’s home desired a fresh new look with a view to maximise profit and sell within the next 5 – 7 years. In the interim, he wanted to ensure his home was inviting, comfortable and relaxing.

Renovation quick facts

Location: Lane Cove West, Sydney

The client: The home of a 40-something year old business man.

The problem: The home was in a great location but was tired and dated.

The solution: Work with the assets of the home, modernise and add light so that the owner could enjoy for a number of years before selling at a handsome profit.

New kitchen and bathrooms offer a breath of fresh air

The out-dated kitchen was ripped out and a new layout designed. The new plan created increased storage space and floor space. Clever storage solutions were employed to reduce clutter and to create an illusion of increased space. All appliances were taken off the bench top and concealed behind cupboards.

Only the

toaster and kettle remained in sight. In addition these cupboards included pocket doors to increase storage space.

The bathroom was also completely gutted-out and the layout redesigned. Whilst it is important to consider the additional costs associated with repositioning plumbing, in this case it was essential as it created greater visual space and accessibility. For example; the bathtub was moved and placed under the window. This allowed an expansion of the shower space and allowed the toilet to be tucked out of sight.



The existing timber flooring was in relatively good condition, therefore it remained and was stained a rich espresso colour and sealed with a durable polyurethane satin finish. Applying consistent floor material, the footprint of the house appeared larger as there were fewer interruptions in the floor area.
Bathroom and kitchen tiles were selected to be the same as this led to a seamless integration of tiling throughout the house and added an element of consistency.


There was much debate about whether the original fireplace would stay or go. The client did not regularly use the fireplace, and was willing to let it go. However it was a beautiful, timeless feature of the home, which added distinct character, therefore he agreed to have it minimally restored where there were chips in the brickwork. Considering that the fireplace can be viewed from the kitchen, a delicious charcoal colour was chosen to paint the fireplace. This created a tonal synergy with the overall kitchen and bathroom colour scheme.

The fireplace mantle was painted in a white to match the door trims, skirting and other woodwork throughout the house. As the fireplace has a working chimney the client has the option to convert the timber fireplace with a firebox insert powered by a clean ethanol burner. Retaining the original features of the home such as this fireplace will be a definite asset when it comes time to sell.

Lighting and colours alter the mood

Lighting makes a big difference to the overall feel and ambience of the home. All of the lighting was replaced and thoughtfully positioned throughout the home with brighter, yet soft LED downlights. A stunning pendant was placed overhead the dining table.

Previously walnut stained, all timber trims were painted in a fresh coat of white paint. The overall colour scheme chosen was a pure white canvas with dark chocolate accents and grey tonal blends in the kitchen and bathroom.

New window treatments brought a breath of fresh air and light compared to the old venetian blinds and curtains, which were removed and replaced with contemporary shutters colours that matched the walls.

A new skylight installed in the hallway instantly transformed the space– as natural light flowed through the space and allowed for a blurring of the outside and inside. A second skylight was installed in the kitchen and produced the same result.

Do you really want to go through the council approval process?

As a part of our initial assessment of the floorplan and living areas, we considered the following options:

  • Creating one large window above the current location of the bathtub
  • Widening the window in the kitchen to create a servery that services the outside

Both of these changes required architectural plans and likely lengthy Council approval processes, which in turn means added time and cost. As renovating is all about using your budget wisely, the owner decided they did not want to undergo the additional work, instead preferring to spend the money elsewhere in the house.

Clever home renovation tricks

In this project doorways were widened from the hall to the dining room and from the kitchen to the dining room. This involved the removal of the existing door frames and then widening each opening by 300mm. This allowed greater movement around the house and created increased expansive space.

In addition to replacing the entire door hardware within the home, a new front door and back door were also added. This ensured the owner would be able to enjoy the positive results of the renovation even before he has walked in the door!

Other changes that made a big difference were the incorporation ofceiling fans in the bedrooms and the removal of surplus cabinetry in the hallway to create more space.

Modernising high thorough-fare areas makes a big difference

All existing built-in wardrobes were ripped out and replaced with new white versions. Thought was given to the internal configurations to allow better storage of clothes, shoes and other items. The built-in robe in the guest bedroom was moved to another wall and the room layout changed to create more floor space in the room.
Outside, the rotting rear deck was replaced with a new timber deck that transformed and opened the space to the back yard. Rails on all four sides were taken down and replaced with graduated timber steps that encase three sides of the deck. The fourth and steeper side of the deck received new stairs with a rail.


The use of potted planter boxes along the stairs, provided a safety barrier from the deck to the grassed level (which was slightly higher than a regular step). An overhead awning cover and new outdoor furniture can also be added in the future to further complete the space.

The homeowner looks forward to enjoying many years ahead in his new look home, especially entertaining in the more spacious internal and outdoor spaces. When it is time to sell, North Shore Interiors are certain that this modern loved home will move quickly at a profit for the owner.