Fran and Freddy Stoshek are originally from South Africa and moved to Australia 18 years ago to care for Fran's sick uncle. When Fran's uncle passed away he left them his house - a heritage listed stone cottage smack bang on Sydney harbour. The couple have spent many happy years here, raising their two kids and enjoying the amazing views. But now the kids have long gone and it's only them and the dogs left. Now the couple want to downsize and move to the Sunshine Coast to be near their daughter.
Situated in the well to do suburb of Balmain East, their water-front sandstone cottage has been on and off the market for the past 3 years, with Fran almost accepting an offer of $4.1 million 18 months ago before getting cold feet. Its heritage listing and the lack of ability to subdivide the large block, are preventing a sale, as is the run down state of the building and some of Freddy's half-finished Reno jobs. With a renovation budget of $175,000, the team performed a stunning transformation.
Being heritage listed, Shaynna had to work with the current footprint of the house and think out of the box. Incorporating the beautiful sandstone, Shaynna helped make the kitchen bigger by running bench seating into the living area which doubled as seating for a large dining table. Marble stone bench tops and white and navy cabinetry added class and contrast. And voice activated lighting brought the space into the twenty first century.
Speaking of technology, Shaynna ditched Freddy’s unfinished spiral staircase which stuck out like a sore thumb in the middle of the living room and installed an electric ladder which folded away into the roof cavity allowing for extra space.
The wood stained window frames were painted over, and Luxaflex Pirouette Shadings in white Magnolia were fitted to match. Whereas prior to the renovation the dark windows and drapery stood out drastically against the walls, the soft white Linen fabric of the Pirouette Shadings blended with the architraves and neatly rolled into the slim headbox, to give a cleaner and more modern aesthetic at the windows.
In line with the smart home technology installed in the rest of the house, the blinds were also motorised with Luxaflex PowerView Motorisation to complete the package. Able to be controlled via remote, app and even voice command, the upgraded Pirouette Shadings brought a whole new level of convenient living to bring the heritage home into the future.
Check out the video to see how Shaynna has picked out the Luxaflex window coverings for the home, and explores the ease of controlling all her blinds at once with PowerView Motorisation!
The upstairs attic was also made over, with the key feature being replacing the timeworn blue curtains with sleek Luxaflex Roller Blinds. Along with a fresh coat of white paint, the blinds brought light and airiness to create a casual and inviting space. Most importantly, control over privacy could be achieved with the translucent fabric, while allowing a subtle glow to shine through to fill the room with ample natural sunlight.
Hamstrung to take down walls, Shaynna reconfigured rooms to turn a small bathroom into a much larger modern one by making the original bathroom a new powder room come laundry, and turning the larger study into the bathroom. She wasn't allowed to put plumbing in the heritage listed walls, so she added a nib wall which is hardly noticeable! Smart lighting in the bathroom also meant while you're having a bath you can turn the lights on or off without even getting out!
Luxaflex PolySatin Shutters were required for the windows as the neighbours were able to look right in, so the flexibility of adjustable louvres and a water resistant design made them perfect for the job. A modern and highly practical solution, PolySatin Shutters are ideal for high humidity spaces such as bathrooms and laundries and can be simply wiped clean. The Polyresin material of the shutters are engineered to last even in the toughest conditions, and are guaranteed under the famous Luxaflex 20 year warranty to not blister, peel, flake or fade.
Because of the restrictions in the main areas, Shaynna was able to do a really glamorous master bedroom and went for high drama with bold paintings and motorised Pirouette Shadings which help show off the magnificent view of the harbour. The room darkening fabric offered the privacy the bedroom needed, whilst the PowerView Motorisation features took it to the next level, allowing the blinds to be scheduled to open and close at morning and night in tune with the daily needs of the residents.
Sympathetic of the changes made, council approved the downstairs music room as an additional bedroom turning only a 2-bedroom house into an official 3-bedder.
The backyard proved the biggest challenge for Charlie – in its unkempt, untidy state. Other than pruning and a general tidy up, he also needed to fix up the rotting deck which was being held together by a mish mash of materials. Charlie rebuilt the deck from scratch and extended it across the pebblecrete turning it into a much bigger entertaining area and added much more comfortable outdoor furniture to it. A firepit with seats was also added to the area at the very bottom level of the property which added yet another entertaining space.
Demolishing the cracked pebblecrete around the side of the yard was time consuming but worthwhile. Charlie replaced that material with stone steppers and plants that look like grass but require less maintenance in between them.
Out the front, the focus was on repointing the leaning and patchy sandstone wall. Charlie had to spend a few extra bucks and hire heritage approved sandstone masons to do the work.
He also removed an old vehicular gate which blocked the view of the front of the house, and removed the cracked pebblecrete in the car port with cheap and easy gravel.
In the falling market, Fran and Freddie managed to get $3.95 million, just weeks after the property debuted on the market.
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The products in this episode were proudly supplied and installed by Luxaflex Window Fashions Gallery dealer A Style of Shade, Double Bay NSW.