The Ultimate Reno
If you want a stylish, modern home your obvious choices are to knock down, or purchase a vacant block, and build. But, if you’re the owner of an 80s ‘hot mess’ of a house, there’s a better way.
Funky tiles, pastel laminate kitchens, red brick and dinky little decks … 80s style has seen the odd resurgence since the days of your ‘Choose Life’ t-shirt, but if you find yourself the owner of an original 80s home there’s little chance you want to keep it as is. Luckily these houses are the perfect renovation canvas, making them a very savvy investment.
The two storey, 80s brick box was a substantial home in its day, a home to be proud of. They usually have good sized blocks and are often found in great locations. They also have good bones, which gives you a head start with your renovation project. Solid foundations are a plus but the often compartmentalised layouts need to be addressed in order to create a contemporary modern floor plan.
The available space in these homes is often adequate for modern living, just badly arranged. This means you don’t need to change the footprint of the building, something that can keep costs down. For example you find many two storey 80s boxes that have all the living upstairs. Downstairs is under-utilised with garaging and utilities. This creates the perfect opportunity to add another living space.
Internally, it’s a simple matter of rearranging the existing space, knocking down some walls to improve the flow and create a floor plan that suits modern life. Our lifestyle priorities have changed over time. The simple moving of a wall can create open plan living areas, a butler’s pantry or a large walk-in robe. Larger windows can capture views and improve the flow from inside to outside.
Kitchens and bathrooms are often already generously sized so it could be a matter of simply ripping out laminate cabinets and pastel bath suites and replacing them with their modern counterparts. Similarly, laying modern flooring should be a straight-forward remodelling job and a great value-for-money renovation.
If you really want to spoil yourself with modern luxurious living, look at replacing the windows and add some feature windows to the façade, or skylights to brighten the living areas. This can have a dramatic effect on the existing spaces and creates a sense of contemporary opulence in your home.
Externally, decent sized blocks offer endless potential for improvement, whether it’s a large deck with outdoor living space and gourmet kitchen, a pool and stylish cabana or even a secondary dwelling or workspace.
The façade can benefit from being broken up a little. This can be achieved by adding articulation by reconfiguring the entry, adding a balcony or changing the roofline. Finishes such as render, painted brick and cladding can easily erase those red brick memories and nobody will believe your house dates from the same year that Bucks Fizz won Eurovision!