There's so many things that you have to get right for a renovation to be successful.
First and foremost you have to have the vision to see beyond the ugly and find some redeeming factor that gives you a glimmer of hope that this unattractive space is worth spending time and money on.
Take this living room above - it is from a home that won Australian Home Beautiful's House of the Year in 2000. Here's the living room before: lots of seventies brick (minus), ugly bar (minus), exposed beams (plus), soaring ceilings (plus, plus).
Now I'm sure many potential buyers would take one look at this living room and walk straight out again - all that wood makes it look not only dated, but closed in - claustrophobia inducing.
But some clever and talented person had the vision to see that if you painted that wood white, the room would open up, especially if you added some mirrors to bounce the light around. The drab fireplace becomes a feature with a beautiful new surround, while those rickety looking shelves look fantastic painted white and artfully filled with antique silverware, books and other small treasures.
Check out this next living room before - very dated, furnished with uninspiring furniture, but check out the soaring ceilings, and the sheer size of this room.
Here it is below, renovated so tastefully. At last this little lady gets to show off her assets!
I love the pitchforks as art. Gorgeous! And the staircase looks so more open and lighter with the clunky bannister replaced with something fresher and quirky.
Change of subject: Aussies please note that Coles (on Friday the 13th) and Woolies (on Friday the 20th) will donate all profits from sales Australia-wide to the bushfire victims. So if you can, please save your supermarket shopping til then. It's been inspiring to see how generous Australians have been, raising more than $10million already.
And thank you to those of you from around the world who left lovely messages of support yesterday.
Best wishes to you all,