Episode Eleven – Finale

It’s hard to believe I’m actually writing this – can it be possible that our reno journey is already over? NOOOO!! Truth be told, I’m a little stunned that we’re here so soon! Looking back, it has been both the shortest and longest six months of our lives… I’m literally scratching my head now wondering how we possibly completed everything in just six short months but at the same time, it’s flown by SO fast that we never really allowed ourselves time to stop and think about it…my gut tells me that’s a good thing!! It’s been some of the very best months of our lives.

It’s no surprise that we really bit off a bit more than we’d originally anticipated. At the beginning, the plan was a very quick cosmetic renovation that we could capture on film and show our followers and customers, in the hope we could inspire you to have a go at some DIY projects yourselves. I was so humbled at your interest in our last home which we featured on Instagram, so we thought it would be fun to share a ‘small’ cosmetic reno-journey over social media for something a little different. I know I don’t need to tell you now that what ended up happening was quite different to our original plan! Naaattt! 

I’ve renovated a few times before, so going into it I thought I had a pretty good understanding of the process, but this time around it was a little different…

Here are my top five learnings from this project…

1) Look after your tradies. Not a day went by where I wasn’t on site first thing in the morning with coffees for everyone. They were probably cursing me for checking up but deep down I think they liked it! Why this might not seem like a big thing, let me tell you it made a world of difference when it came to me making my many ‘last minute’ decisions/changes. And believe me I made a lot of these!! Think of it as building your bank of brownie points…you never know when you might need them, but trust me – there will be times that you’ll need to call on them 😉 Oh, and don’t forget the Friday afternoon ice-cold beers too, or for our tradies Friday MORNINGS, you can thank me later for this tip!!

2) Be realistic with your timelines. Yes, it’s safe to say now that we were a little ambitious with our timeframes, and pushed our trades to the limits at times (sorry guys!). Whilst in my head, everything was planned with fine precision, the one thing I hadn’t accounted for was the unforeseen glitches that slowed up the process. We came up against an unexpected building permit in the early weeks as our scope of works grew and grew and grew. This saw our ability to proceed with building stopped completely in it’s tracks until we received the approval from our local council, which threw my carefully laid plans into chaos and caused stress for everyone involved. We also built over the Christmas period and let’s just it’s tools down for three to four weeks.

3) Be mindful of the impact this will have on your family, and those close to you. Our family temporarily moved into a nearby rental property for three months assuming we’d be well and truly in the new home within this timeframe…boy were we kidding ourselves! We’d even planned to host Christmas Day at our home for our huge family…ha!! I even contemplated using the builders portable loo…what the!? I look back now and have a laugh over this, but at the time, it caused enormous stress for our misplaced (and almost homeless!) family. Fortunately for us we were able to extend our lease by a few months in the end, but it was touch and go for a while (sorry Dan and kiddies!). 

4) Have some wriggle room in your budget. This would be my biggest tip! If possible, have a little (or a lot) extra up your sleeve, because there are ALWAYS unexpected and unforeseen circumstances that arise. In our case, we were thrown many curve balls as we dove head-first into the project, including the need for a complete re-stump of the home before anything could begin, an extreme downpour in the middle of Summer causing flash flooding and lots of ceiling leaks onto our freshly painted walls and brand new cabinetry – oh dear! This resulted in the need for a whole new roof – ouch! Needless to say, these things were not planned in our original assessment, and added tens of thousands to the cost of our reno… Sadly it’s not always the pretty and fun things you need to think of – it’s absolutely critical to get the foundations perfect from the outset!  

5) Make sure you have some fun. Renovating doesn’t always need to be difficult or stressful. This is not a joke and probably sums up my personality, I would get goose bumps visiting the house every single day, so unbelievably excited by seeing the progress. It was like six months of the ‘night before Christmas’ feel. Also, don’t be afraid to have a go at doing some things yourself, take some risks with finishes, paint selections and your styling. As I’ve said time and time before, life’s too short for beige. 

As I write this from our brand new living room reflecting on our journey I’m now struck with emotion and gratitude beyond measure. I think the one thing we didn’t expect or consider at the beginning of the project, was the amazing friendships that we have formed along the way. I cannot thank all the people who have made this possible for us – and there are a lot of them!! 

The obvious start is our tradies, suppliers, and beloved partners that we’ve called upon along the way…We have no doubt you will become our life-long friends. To Ron and Tracey who madly took on the task, to Sam and Kent for their demolition prowess, to Paul and the plumbing boys, to Tony for the best heating in town, to Jase and Tamess for always saying yes, to Jack and the sparky team, to Gus the renderer extraordinaire, to Sam and the Top Notch Coatings painters, to Terry the tiler, to Billy and the Pridin Constructions legends, to Pete and his footy team of landscapers, to ABI Interiors for the brass bling sinks, to Adbri Masonry for our stunning driveway, to Buster + Punch for the coolest brass door levers in town, to Caesarstone for the bench tops all throughout the home, to Carpet Court for the shutters and blinds, to Corinthian Doors especially for our favourite Classic double entry doors, to Dulux for the best paint colours, to Easycraft for the VJ Groove panelling, to Gerard Lighting for the whiz bang bluetooth system, to GlobeWest our furniture partner, to Godfrey Hirst for our Scandi inspired flooring, to Ingrain Designs for our bespoke bathroom vanity, to kaboodle Kitchen for the amazing cabinetry, to nood co for our blush basin beauties, to Perini for the best tiles I have EVER seen, to Smeg for our appliances (especially the FAB fridge!) and Sussex for the most stunning gold tap ware that I adore.

To our creative teams that have helped us transform the content into something viewable, you are serious geniuses!! Our Visual Domain crew have become our second family… It’s no secret that we had absolutely no idea how to react in front of the camera in the early days – heck, we still haven’t mastered that one yet – but these guys (Kaiser, Sean, Jonathan, Anton, Jake, Matt and Alex) certainly made us feel at ease when filming and put up with our inexperience. From capturing the footage to seeing the vision, and editing it behind the scenes, Dan, Jimmy, Stacey, Glynn and Jack – we have no words to express how incredibly grateful we are to you for taking a chance on us in the early days, for bringing the series to life…and for the late Friday nights making final touches in the editing suite before launching each Sunday! 🙂

And to the team at Ven Creative for our beautiful website, logo, and creative content. You managed to step inside our heads, see our vision, and somehow create it in real-life web page format. Don’t think we haven’t forgotten about the home restyle for the endless Sunday’s you dedicated to helping us launch in the early days… 😉

Secondly our norsu family. Having a glass of champagne in the home with our gorgeous team recently really made me sit back and appreciate the truly beautiful support structure we have at norsu. Everyone within our dream team has had a part to play in this renovation in some capacity. Many you’ve met on camera, but most of them have been busily working behind the scenes to keep our core retail business afloat and allow Kristy and I to dedicate time to being on site, filming, shopping, researching etc…you get the idea – they’re our absolute life lines, and without them, we simply could not have pulled this off.

Amy – without your design genius, attention to detail, and amazing style, the norsuHOME would not be half the home it is today. If you need help with colour selections, you will find no-one better!

Lauren and Kristen – your amazing styling capabilities have transformed the space and made it so liveable, I literally pinch myself every time I walk in the door. I love how you helped me create the toy room which packs a punch!

Annette – our original foreman, part-time counsellor and rock over the past six months, we’d be lost without you! (ps – don’t think I have forgotten you saving our cabinetry flash flooding in the wee hours one Saturday morning ;)).  

Caitlin – my part-time  norsuHOME PA, organising  Airtaskers, deliveries, installations – you name it – so grateful for your help! 

Mum (aka Leanne) – I’ve relied on you more times that I can even remember during this process, not only to step into the shop at a moment’s notice, but you also took care of Annabel and Harvey countless times when I’ve needed to be onsite. Thanks Pix!

Tracey, Ness, Jess, Shell and Suellen – Your ability to keep our warehouse afloat throughout this crazy journey, has not gone unnoticed. Thank you for keeping everything going in our absence, and delivering the most amazing customer support, always with a smile! 🙂

To Mandy, Bella, Brianna & Jen – Our backbones in the stores – always delivering the best in-store customer assistance, styling and guidance. I don’t know what we would have done with you guys, in fact a shudder at the thought!! 

And the amazing Kristy. Similar to Dan she just looks at me and laughs when I throw this crazy ideas out there. Not at me though, in a way of slight trepidation as she know the only answer she ever gives is yes. Some of you may not know that Kristy is very shy behind the camera and I’m beyond proud of the way she’s pushed herself out of her comfort zone to make this possible for me, and us. She’s our introverted entrepreneur and I love her more than words can express. 

To my very own family…not only did I turn their lives upside down with a renovation, for those close to us know that we were rocked by a family loss during our journey. The best lady we knew, our lady in red. Leaving the largest hole in our lives, to say Dan and the kids coped well is the biggest understatement I’ve ever made. Not only did Dan put on a brave face, he likes to tell everyone he’s given up on my crazy blush choices and that he just goes with the flow…truth be told, it’s true. Thanks Dan, Annabel and Harvey…you always support me five thousand percent and I love you so much.

Last but not least – thanks go to you – our incredible extended family, customers, followers and viewers. Thank you for joining us on this incredible journey – your support has literally blown us away!! From getting stopped in the street with questions and kind words, to meeting you personally in the stores, to the endless comments and DMs over social media  – this series wouldn’t be what it is without you. Never in a million years did we think that this was possible, when we started this little business of our 4 years ago, this kind of project was nothing more than a pipe dream… Ok, ok, I get this is starting to sound like an Academy Award speech now… I can already hear the wrap-up music playing in the background! I could go on all day, but now I’ll stop with one final THANK YOU to you all! 🙂

What’s next?? For now, we are happy to sit back and reacquaint ourselves with our families, our team, and kick our feet up in this beautiful new home…and sleep!! Lots and lots of sleep!!!!

If there’s one thing I can sign off with, I just hope in some way that we’ve given you some amount of inspiration you to have a go at this yourself… Renovating has opened up our eyes and challenged us in ways we never thought possible. Honestly as you’ll hear me say, please take a photo of your home and bring it in to show us! Or if you’re interstate, please email us at styling@norsu.com.au. We proudly offer styling services and we’d love to help you on your renovation journey. Let’s face it, I’ll need another ‘fix’ soon! 

We are now delighted to open up the norsuHOME for inspection… Grab yourself a cuppa and step inside for a virtual 360 degree tour through the whole home thanks to our friends at BAMCO. It’s time to get up close and personal with the home… Click here to take a peek.

Are we crazy enough to do it again?? Never say never! 😉 Until next time…thanks for visiting my home, the norsuHOME.

Nat x