Shirley Wilkins and Steve Sparkes live in the Bendigo suburb of White Hills in their eclectic, early 1900’s home - which also doubles as their antique shop. The 2-bedroom, 1-bathroom home lived many lives over the years – as a library, an RSL hall, and Shirley believes that part the Australian constitution may have been written there too.
With Shirley and Steve running their business out of the house, it has become overrun with their vast collection of antique furniture and trinkets. Not only was the clutter off-putting to buyers, but it was impossible to get a full sense of the size and features of the house. No wonder it spent eight months on the market and didn’t sell even after a price drop.
After major health issues for Shirley including back surgery, two heart attacks and a triple bypass, they know it’s time to de-clutter, downsize and move to something more manageable. This house needs a lot of TLC to expose the potential and character hidden beneath the colossal collection of antiques and bric-a-brac.
The first step of this makeover was to get professional packers to clear the clutter so Shaynna could work her magic. Most of it went into storage so Steve and Shirley could still run their business, and Shaynna kept several key pieces to style the house.
The front room was so huge, it could easily be split in half to create a third bedroom and retain a large space to run a home office. Since the back windows had been bricked-in, the obvious fix was to install skylights. And by tweaking the foyer floorplan, the office could be entirely closed off from the residence.
Using a lighter palette of paint colours, Shaynna brightened up the previously multi-coloured, dark rooms while retaining the character of the timber panelling. The excessively floral curtains in the master bedroom and vivid purple sheers in the second bedroom were replaced with new window treatments with an art-deco-inspired print, keeping with the character of the house while offering a much cleaner and modern aesthetic.
Luxaflex Dual Roller Blinds were chosen for the bedrooms for their versatility and ability to block out light. A grey-toned fabric from the Hyams range acted as the rear roller and provided full block out and control of the sun, and privacy when needed. This was coupled with a translucent blind in the front, with Shaynna picking out the sophisticated yet dainty patterns from the Luxaflex Print Collection, Spring Bloom range. This range is about embracing luxe details and channeling the decadent art deco movement from the 1800’s, creating an excellent match with the antique pieces thoughtfully chosen for each room.
Luxaflex Dual Roller Blinds are compact and do not intrude into the living spaces, and can also be installed into the reveal for a unified, smooth look at the wall. The dual opacities grants flexibility and gives the occupants the power of choice in the amount and intensity of the incoming light.
The kitchen, living and dining rooms were cleaned up to form an extensive open-plan living space, completed with the repainting of the walls and a refresh of the spacious high ceilings. The numerous windows were vital for the large room, but also required shading. Translucent single Roller Blinds were installed across every window, to block out the glare from the garden while allowing soft ambient light to enter. The Spring Bloom fabric, in colour ‘Grande’, helped to create a delicate and airy look at the window and brought the outdoors indoors with its patterns inspired by nature and classic floral deco.
Finally, Shaynna injected a bit of fun and practicality by mixing modern décor pieces with some of Shirley and Steve’s antiques. And a newly created attic space with ladder access will house many of the items that won’t fit into the home or office.
Charlie’s challenge for this house was to attract buyers who may want to use the property as a home-based business by creating eye-catching street frontage. His first step was to paint the façade with bold colours that also enhanced the character of the house. Using a dramatic black and grey colour scheme on the walls and trims, he contrasted that with a striking red door to match the existing letter box.
A lovely new garden with a flowering crab apple tree and a cobbled bluestone path creates a beautiful welcome. And widening the driveway to create an additional parking space is an attraction for any home-based business.
Despite being very attached to their eclectic collection of antiques, Shirley and Steve were practical when it came to purging their possessions.
Rid of the clutter and restored to its former glory by Shaynna and Charlie, the home's charm and character was on full display. The couple soon sold the property for $465,000 - $25,000 more than Shirley had initially hoped for.
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The products in this episode were proudly supplied and installed by Luxaflex Window Fashions Gallery dealer Needlecraft Curtains and Blinds, Bendigo VIC.