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RenovatingReno Story: Updating A Gold Coast Apartment

Gold Coast living immediately brings to mind bright, airy spaces, embedded in beach culture and a love of the great outdoors. But filled with dark and dated accents, Tessara’s North-facing Queensland apartment was anything but that.

On a mission to breathe new life into her tired apartment, Tessara used her small budget together with some savvy online shopping skills to transform the apartment into a fresh home with a neutral colour palette that packs all the beach vibes.

The space was small, dark and drab, it wasn’t a space you wanted to be in, in order to make it feel inviting we had to make it brighter and feel bigger.

Tess's Living room
Tessara’s drab living room before the renovation

Renovation Details

  • Location: Gold Coast, Queensland
  • Budget: $5000
  • Time taken: Months spent chipping away at it on the weekend using a combination of DIY and professional help

About The Project

Tess's kitchen
Tessara’s kitchen before the renovation

Tessara’s reno included multiple areas of the apartment and one of the first undertakings was the kitchen. Previously finished with an unsightly blue laminate bench and mustard tiles from whole other age, it was crying out for a refresh.

Tessara modernised the kitchen by replacing the blue benchtop with a white bench found on Facebook Marketplace. She replaced the oven and cooktop and then painted over the yellow splashback and blue kickboards using the Dulux renovation range, which is heaven for transforming old tiles without the mess and effort of removing them.

In an absolute stroke of genius, and to stick to the limited budget, she then replaced the cupboard handles with DIY handles made from Kmart jar lids. So clever.

Tess's kitchen
The new kitchen!
Kitchen handles before and after
Kmart lids for handles! Genius.

Tessara added a few clever touches to the kitchen area to complement the coastal theme beautifully. Natural rattan stools pair perfectly with the existing cupboards, and the hanging chopping boards bring earthy, casual feels to the scene.

Queensland apartment kitchen
An open-plan kitchen with boho beach vibes

The breakfast nook is a stand-out feature of the apartment; it’s hugely inviting and big enough to stretch out on before a day in the surf.

Breakfast nook
The bright and airy brekky nook

I created a gorgeous breakfast nook using a bench seat and cushions I found on Facebook Marketplace for $200 and an art print also from Facebook Marketplace. In the lounge area, we added softness using sheers, this also allowed extra light to flow into the space, we also replaced the carpet with a much lighter colour to brighten the overall space.

Queensland living room
Sheers, new carpet and furniture brightened the living room

In the bathroom, it was out with the blue and in with a fresh white surface and kickboards, befitting the beachy location. A wooden bench in the laundry behind the vanity brings a contemporary touch and extra functionality to the busy room.

vanity transformation
A coat of paint was all it took to transform the vanity and kickboards

Advice to people with a similar project

When asked what advice Tessara would give renovators with a similar project on their hands, she told us:

“Give things a go, but seek help where you need it – and leave the plumbing and electrical to the professionals!”

Follow Tess’s renovation journey on her Instagram account: @labouroflovereno

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