Outdoors and the Exterior reveal – Episode Ten

With the inside almost finished it’s now time to turn our much-needed attention to the outdoors in our final episode…and let me say, it needed a lot of work! The exterior of the norsuHOME was ‘falling down’ – the weatherboards worn, the paint chipping off, the garden heavily overgrown and the paths non-existent.

As I’ve mentioned throughout the whole series, our absolute passion has been restoring our old 1920s Californian Bungalow by paying respect to its era, and when designing the outdoors, our approach was no different. Here’s what we did:

Painting and rendering 

When restoring the exterior of the house it was almost hard to know where to start. Weatherboards needed replacing, the overgrown ivy removed, the daggy seventies trellis pulled down off the dated fence and the entire house sanded and re-painted. To put it politely a LOT of TLC was required.

Lucky for us, our builders and painters specialise in period homes and knew exactly how to tackle our beast. They started by cherry picking the worst weatherboards. Rather than restoring them all, they advised us to replace the most warped. This dramatically changed the whole look without needing to break the bank. Tearing down the ivy was fast and satisfying, however it uncovered a world of higgledy-piggledy brick mess. Rather than unveiling the tuck pointed beauty we had longed for, our pillars had been constructed with different bricks in varied colours, and not the pretty type.

Quickly moving to plan B, we decided to render the pillars and not in the modern smooth approach, but instead in a rough cast render once again respecting it’s origin. This is when we met first met Gus and Giuseppe – masters of their trade (in this case, we call it art). Some of my favourite memories of the renovation were visiting these guys in the morning. They’d be passionately applying each rendering stroke as if it was the last, singing away loudly to Fleetwood Mac and would thank me every time I saw them for not pulling our house down. I even won some Brownie points with Giuseppe when I told him I loved Moritz beers. I miss their enthusiasm and feel so grateful tradies like these guys still exist.

After the rendering was finished and the detail added back into the facade, the Top Notch Coatings’ team set to work on the huge task of painting. When it came to selecting colours, Dan and I drove around the local area picking our faves. In the end we happily settled for Milton Moon trimmed with Natural White and Teahouse, all by Dulux. Using Milton Moon on both the inside and outside meant the house suddenly flowed, and you know by now how important this is to me. The Top Notch guys sanded every imperfection out and I’m sure their hands are still recovering. Suddenly our once old bland white house had transformed to a classic and Scandi inspired home. What I’ve learnt most is to carefully select painters whose attention to detail out-rivals your own. I can’t thank Sam and his team enough.

Classic double feature front doors

As you’ve seen in our earlier door episode, once we widened our hallway I had the perfect excuse to replace the pokey single door with its adjoining tiny seventies window. You can just imagine how unpopular I quickly became with our builders when I threw this curveball at them at the last minute. I’d secretly measured when they weren’t looking and to my sheer delight Corinthian Doors pair of Classic doors were a perfect match to this space and to the architectural style of the home!

So, surely it was going to be as simple as removing and replacing. Hmmm, apparently NOT! I’d never stopped to think about the whole installation and painting process. Our builders had to remove the existing entry way, craft the new door frame, install the doors to ensure they fitted perfectly and then remove them again for painting. Sam, our legendary painter from Top Notch Coatings, also recommended for the perfect gloss finish sending the doors offsite for two-pac spraying…for those who don’t know (like me!), this takes about two weeks. Here’s a tip, don’t remove the old doors until you have a plan attack for the new ones. What I’d stupidly overlooked was the mere fact that we’d have a open unlocked house for two weeks. Rookie mistake Nat!

Anyway, there’s always a solution to every renovating challenge…the builders boarded up the house with off cuts of wood left lying around the building site. The boys had to drill them off and on again to enter and leave the home every day. Massive OOPS…sorry guys!

I may not have excelled at the planning phase but the amazing end result outweighed this…my vision had worked! When they were delivered I honestly cried…they almost looked too good for our old home. These classic doors  continue the theme of the façade and provide an authentic period style for the home’s entrance, featuring  elegant deep carved patterns with traditional mouldings on each side that give richness and detail to the entrance, plus they’re so glossy you can see your own reflection in them… Harv and Bel seem find this very amusing! It goes without saying that I’ve learnt a lot through this process but above all my mistakes, I’m so thrilled I pushed the boundaries to get my much-loved Corinthian Classic double doors. I’ll throw a cliché out there “first impressions certainly do last”.

Driveway and paths

The home already consisted of a concrete slab driveway, which was completely underwhelming…and really, this is being kind. The only (and I mean the one and only) saving grace to this ugly driveway was its concrete slab formation. A concrete base makes the perfect foundation for laying something more wonderful on top. There’s always a silver lining when renovating…you often just have to search hard enough to find it!

After hours of trawling the net late at night, I excitedly stumbled upon a great easy-to-install, yet also architecturally stunning, solution to improving our dreary driveway – Euro Stone pavers from Adbri Masonry!

I’ve never been a huge fan of the poured exposed aggregate look, finding it a little underwhelming and a little too modern in design for older character filled homes. What I loved about the Euro Stone pavers though is they provide greater texture with their shot blasted granite finish, better variety in colour (especially for fans of grey like us!), and their varied sizes provide scope for creativity when installing them. After gushing over their range, we selected the larger 600mm x 400mm paver in the gorgeous colour Prague.

Having invested hours of effort on the interior, we decided it was not the time to start cutting corners on the exterior. To ensure our finish was perfect, we recruited expert Stone Masons to carefully lay our new beauties with utter precision. With some caffeine bribery, Joey and Daniel weathered the freezing cold and worked their magic on our new driveway, creating a true work of art. They even built us a matching central-entry pedestrian path comprising of the same Adbri Masonry pavers, which now leads our guests to our feature double Corinthian doors. Suddenly our home feels welcoming from the minute you pull up – we finally have kerb side appeal!

Our new Adbri Masonry driveway literally transformed the look of our home in an instant. I’m blown away by the beautiful comments we receive from our neighbours who remark on how refreshing it is to see a paved surface. It’s certainly become a talking point in the area and we’re so thrilled by how much character and warmth our new pavers have added to the norsuHOME.

Deck and landscaping

You may recall in the first episode that stepping into our back garden was a serious danger zone! As you enter outside there was a decent 40cm drop. The previous owners must have had a make-shift deck at one point and pulled it down in a flurry when selling. This needed to be rectified and ASAP, it was time to build another.

Thankfully the back garden is on the larger scale so we decided to design a new deck that could house a decent sized outdoor table and chairs for entertaining our ginormous family. Additionally, it would be a wonderful space for Harvey to zoom around on his scooter. As the house is on the smaller size, it would act as another living space for my outdoor obsessed babies. For those interested, we purchased Globe West’s Marina table with some equally Scandi inspired Granada outdoor chairs to perfectly finish our outdoor entertaining area.

One obstacle that we turned into a feature was a beautiful old tree. It was smack bang in the middle of the area where we wanted to construct the deck. It felt completely sacrilegious to pull it down – it holds all the memories of the home and acts as beautiful shelter during the hotter days. Instead, we built around it adding bench seating as a feature. It’s turned into my of my favourite spots – I love enjoying a coffee on it as Harv and Bel jump (AKA fight) on the trampoline. Thanks Pridin Constructions!

We have filled the deck with an array of gorgeous outdoor pots from my favourite local go-to outdoor retailer Rock & Stone Outdoor Living, including different shades of grey in terrazzo and clay. I’ve jam packed them my favourite string of pearls, string of beans, succulents and olive trees. Lucky for me, my gorgeous 87 year old Nan waters them every Thursday when she babysits Harvey.

Lastly, my husband Dan loves gardening, in fact he’s left me to my own devices renovating up until now. He’s lovingly spruced up the front garden and driveway with some English cottage-inspired plants – ficus, box hedges, gardenias – and of course new lawn. What is it with men and their grass…? Watch this week’s episode to find out how seriously Dan takes this! SIGH.





Tips & Tricks


CREATE FUTURE PROOF STREET APPEAL WITH DULUX WEATHERSHIELD 

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Transforming the outside of your home with the right colour scheme and paint finish will future-proof your exterior and achieve curb appeal for years to come. 

To eliminate colour guesswork, Dulux has expertly curated three on-trend and fool-proof exterior colour schemes which can be easily applied to virtually any architectural style. 

Comprising Bright Spot, Botanical Life and Natural Beauty, these exterior palettes feature a selection of hues that can be mixed and matched with confidence to create a perfect and timeless colour scheme. 

Updating the exterior of the home with the right colour scheme not only makes a strong first impression and reflects a homeowner’s personality, but also has the ability to increase street appeal and add value. 

Comprising pops of brighter hues and a selection of easy-to-use neutrals, Bright Spot is especially ideal for popular mid-century architecture according to Andrea Lucena-Orr, Colour & Communications Manager for Dulux. 

“Experiment with hues to achieve a modern take on architectural colour palettes. Use bold hints of colour such as Dulux High Blue or Go Alpha in architectural details such as the front door, pot plants and even letterboxes.” 

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Offering a more traditional colour scheme, Botanical Life achieves a warm and welcoming lush look which is globally inspired with spicy colour accents, bohemian styling and tropical are such as Dulux Cinnamon Sand, Coyote and Jungle Cloak. 

“Outdoor living has become an Australian way of life and botanical features play a greater role in our wellbeing as well as our décor,” says Andrea.

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Natural Beauty is inspired by tactile elements to offer colours which are drawn from nature and focus on neutrals, warm greys and charcoals. 

“The Natural Beauty colour scheme achieves a look which is relaxed with colours such as Dulux Vintage Beige, Malay Grey and Domino which can be paired perfectly with materials such as brick, timber and stone,” says Andrea. 

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Achieving the right look and selecting colours can be daunting; these Dulux Weathershield exterior colour schemes simplify the painting process allowing homeowners achieve the perfect exterior look without fear of making a costly colour mistake. 

To create a long lasting finish, these colour schemes can be applied with Dulux Weathershield which protects the home with a tough, exible finish for long life protection from all Australian weather conditions. 

HOW TO FUTURE PROOF YOUR EXTERIOR WITH DULUX WEATHERSHIELD COLOUR SCHEMES

Andrea shares some simple steps to future proofing your home: 

  1. Select your main colour and accent colours to match. Use colour chips, A4 samples and sample pots to make sure your final selection is perfect for you. 
  2. Choose your Weathershield paint. You will need to use an undercoat for metal surfaces or when using Dulux ChromaMax™ colours. 
  3. Purchase the correct amount of paint according to the size of your job. 
  4. Be sure to read the paint label carefully for paint tips and clean up directions. 

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