How a modest townhouse became a renovation masterstroke

REAL ESTATE

STAFF WRITERS

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The transformation of this Osprey Close apartment in Port Douglas has been stunning. IMAGE: Supplied.
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PORT Douglas real estate agents are describing it is as one of the best renovations in recent times.

In total, the transformation of this modest two-bedroom townhouse into a ‘sexy as’ modern classic took about a year. 

Newsport Real Estate caught up with the creative mind behind the Osprey Close gem, Rosie Wang, about some of the pitfalls and success stories she encountered throughout the project.

The house is now selling through the Pink Company.

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BUY A HOUSE WITH GOOD BONES


This house was perfect with the cathedral ceiling and the Romeo and Juliet balcony. The stairway was also good with two large long windows on the middle landing.

Being 15 years old it was a relatively modern house and was structurally sound. Checking on water flow and drainage gave me the confidence that I wasn’t going to have an outside pool in the rainy season.

I had no preconceived ideas except that I wanted to create a house that was light and airy, modern with a coastal, industrial edge. 

Add light with skylights (these were ideal as south facing so it doesn’t make the room too hot in Summer).

Throughout the design I looked for accent pieces that would add texture, colour and character. 


The house took about a year. This was not continual and the timeline was mostly dictated by the availability of contractors. The tiler in November wasn’t available till beginning of March!

TURN YOUR HAND

Amazed at the cost of lampshades and unable to find ones I like, I decided to research and make my own. Do not be scared to learn new skills! I am now able to make cushion covers and even created the hall table by preparing a piece of wood and then having the legs made.

Planning ahead and organising the tradies in the correct order is also important. It’s no good organising the tiles to be laid if the plumbing hasn’t been completed.

If you are project managing yourself it is important to check each step along the way. Small details like the heights of sinks and showerheads, position of lights all need to be clarified.

BE PREPARED FOR DISASTERS

I bought some ‘plain’ white tiles that showed plain white in the viewing window on the box. The tiler had already tiled one wall of the bathroom when I saw that they weren’t plain, but had a marble effect. So all had to be removed.


Do not take ANYTHING for granted with when giving instructions, be specific and give drawings as well. I have had handles fitted on the wrong door and walls painted the wrong colour.

When organising electrics and lights bear in mind the cost of moving light switches and sockets. Consider dimmer switches, but also there are some light models that can’t be dimmed.

If you are purchasing anything electrical or plumbing orientated on line make sure that they meet local standards.

TRY THIS ONLINE SAVING LOOPHOLE

Again, for purchasing on line, if you are shipping up items interstate try and give a Cairns address. It can add a couple of hundred dollars shipping direct to Port Douglas. If buying various furniture items from Cairns stores try and organise items to be ready to picked up by a van service altogether. With $120 quoted by stores for delivery per item this can work out to be a big cost saver.

Placement of TV’s, ovens, dishwashers, fridges and AC units all require attention to plumbing and/or electrics. When planning the layouts consider existing sources.

Due to the long drops from the ceiling for light fittings I had to consider the drop and make sure that the lights came with enough length to be where I wanted them to be. 

Measure once, measure twice… and then type/write it correctly! I did order some venetian blinds that were 1 metre too short as I had typed in ‘1’ instead of ‘2’.

LET THE HOUSE ‘SPEAK’ TO YOU

If it’s a modern house then it will naturally lead to a more modern design. Due to the modern lines in the house I felt that it would be perfect for a more geometric and linear type design.

Don’t play safe! So many people think that painting everything white is the answer. It can lead to a bland, uninteresting room. Using colour and feature walls add interest and used cleverly can make rooms seem larger. If you don’t like it – you can always paint back over it!

MOST IMPORTANTLY, ENJOY IT!

I am not a clothes and bag shopaholic, but I love picking up inspiration from design magazines and just from walking around the furniture stores.


The most fun bit of the house has been meeting and working with some wonderful tradies.

Without these people this wouldn’t have been possible – or I would have much greyer hair:

Myles (Builder) - 0414 298 376 – Units, cabinetry, fitting of doors, wallpapering,
Dave (Painter) – 0401 194 138
Nigel (Electrician) 0404050 861
Darren (tiler) – 0411 174 462
Marty Voerman Plumbing - 0476 991 001
Ron and his van - 0457 988 555

The house is available now for sale through The Pink Company.

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PROPERTY

 

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