This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

An Inspired Cosmetic Makeover Of A Perth Rental Property

Interiors

The nature of renting in Australia means tenants are usually unable to modify their place of residence. 

While that’s true for most, occasionally an agreement to renovate can be struck between the tenant and landlord, leading to incredible outcomes like this Cottesloe apartment. In this project, Ohlo Studio took a rundown Cottesloe rental and turned it into a ‘Sydney art deco meets Palm Springs mid-century’ space, without making any structural changes.

The renter now lives in a space truly reflective of his taste and personality, while the landlord reaps the long-term financial benefits of a much-improved property. It’s a win-win!

1st April, 2021

A rental property completed transformed by Ohlo Studio! Photo – Patrick Schuttler

Ohlo Studio took the rundown Cottesloe rental and turned it into a ‘Sydney art deco meets Palm Springs mid-century’ space, without making any structural changes. Photo – Patrick Schuttler

Ohlo replaced the faux timber vinyl floors, unattractive exposed electrical solutions, damaged finishes with an entirely new interior scheme. Photo – Patrick Schuttler

Much of the project’s budget was allocated to furniture and decor that will stay with the client for many years. Photo – Patrick Schuttler

Simple, inexpensive, but punchy steel shelving by Remington Matters. Photo – Patrick Schuttler

The lighting budget was allocated to occasional lighting wherever possible to reduce down lighting, create a moody atmosphere, and utilise the apartment’s existing electrical work. Photo – Patrick Schuttler

Magis Officina Armchair and Ottoman. Artwork by John Price Siddon. Photo – Patrick Schuttler

Hanging artwork by John Price Siddon. Photo – Patrick Schuttler

Locally-made and design steel bedside tables by Remington Matters. Photo – Patrick Schuttler

Wall colours were darkened, new carpets installed, and light fittings upgraded throughout. Shelving made by Remington Matters. Photo – Patrick Schuttler

Amelia Barnes
Thursday 1st April 2021

‘The major inspirations were the seaside location, exposure to vast blue skies, the client himself, and the opportunity to have some fun.’ – Jen Lowe

It’s not often we hear of an Australian tenant undertaking renovations to the residential property they’re renting, but if this project is anything to go by, maybe we should!

Prior to a renovation by Ohlo Studio, this Cottesloe apartment (a beachside suburb about 12 kilometres west of Perth’s CBD) was basic and uninspiring, but its location and ocean views made it the ideal rental property. 

With plans to rent the home for another five years, the tenant asked the landlord for permission to cosmetically renovate the living area and bedrooms, and an agreement was made. (By the way, new laws have just come into effect in Victoria making modifications to all rental properties a little easier!) 

‘There was some negotiation, but my client was making improvements, so the landlord was happy,’ says Ohlo Studio director Jen Lowe.

Ohlo Studio’s job was to vastly improve the apartment, without spending large sums on the base build. Aesthetically, the client was after a’ ‘Sydney art deco meets Palm Springs mid-century’ look with a ‘seaside eclectic’ feel and ‘slightly masculine edge.’ 

‘We were concerned this could turn into scrambled eggs, so we pulled elements from these references without being too literal,’ Jen says. ‘The major inspirations were the seaside location, exposure to vast blue skies, the client himself, and the opportunity to have some fun.’

Ohlo replaced the faux timber vinyl floors, unattractive exposed electrical solutions, and damaged finishes with an entirely new interior scheme. Maximum impact was achieved by relocating the main areas of activity (the dining area, lounge room, and TV area) in accordance with the property’s best views, and installing a cost-effective bold floor tile. Wall colours meanwhile were darkened, new carpets installed, light fittings upgraded, and dimmers added throughout the home, without disrupting existing services locations. 

Much of the project budget was allocated to furniture and decor pieces intended to stay with the client for many years. These include statement designer items, alongside those less expensive, such as simple locally-made steel shelving by Remington Matters. The coffee and dining tables were also custom made by this designer, providing the client with unique pieces, while introducing timbers and forms specific to the apartment’s scheme.

‘When our client relocates in five years time, he will have a great furniture and art collection that will age well, and the cost of the fit-out spread over the five years will have been economical for the use and impact it provided,’ Jen says.

Visit this home today and it has a completely new atmosphere not only beneficial to the client, but also the landlord, who will benefit from the updated apartment for decades to come. Jen says, ‘It has transitioned from a rundown student rental feel to a refined, relaxed place of respite and joy.’ 

This Week

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.
51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

Indigenous Art

15 Excellent Indigenous Art Centres To Support And Celebrate!

We've spoken to some experts, and pulled together this guide on purchasing Aboriginal artwork ethically, and some ideas of where to find it!...

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Creative People

The Mother and Daughter Duo Uncovering Perth’s Hidden Terrazzo Treasures

A community exhibition uncovering Fremantle residences containing terrazzo floors by master artisan, Giuseppe Scolaro - as part of the city'...

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

View Comments

Similar Stories

Interiors

A Pokey 1970s Unit Turned Sleek, Monochromatic Marvel

Influencer and fashion designer Rebecca Karagiorgos of Twice Blessed transforms her two-bedroom unit in Ringwood North into a sophisticated

Interiors

A Sublime Darlinghurst Apartment With A Gallery Aesthetic

Taking inspiration from their client's passion for Japanese and Scandinavian design, as well as their unique collection of art and objects,

Interiors

A Natural, Textural Living Room Makeover

We teamed up with Koala furniture to transform a simple country weekender into a textured, tactile heaven. click through to see the transfor...

This Week

51:47

Podcast

Country Road’s Managing Director On The Stickiness Of Sustainable Fashion, On TDF Talks

In this podcast conversation, Elle Roseby talks leading one of the country’s most iconic brands through a new age in the fashion industry....

Creative People

The Mother and Daughter Duo Uncovering Perth’s Hidden Terrazzo Treasures

A community exhibition uncovering Fremantle residences containing terrazzo floors by master artisan, Giuseppe Scolaro - as part of the city'...

Homes

A Designer’s 1970s Bells Beach Dream Home!

The incredible eclectic home of interior designer Léo Terrando and Jessica Watts, on Victoria's surf coast.

Gardens

A WOW-Factor 'Secret Garden' In Blairgowrie

Ian Barker Gardens creates a private outdoor sanctuary on the Mornington Peninsula.

Interiors

Get The Look: Dark + Moody Bathrooms And Kitchens

All the product and styling advice you need to achieve the dark, moody bathrooms and kitchen interiors trend, brought to you Oliveri.

TDF Design Awards

The Sensational Interior Design Finalists In The TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021!

The 12 incredible residential projects in the running to win the Interior Design award at the TDF + Laminex Design Awards 2021, presented by...

Architecture

Everything You Need To Know About Working With An Architect

Four of Australia's best architects answer your frequently asked questions, from what an architect does, to how much they cost!

Interiors

A Colour-Drenched, 'Grandmillennial' Home In North Sydney

Bold colour, and both English and Moroccan influences come together in this North Sydney home by Lisa Burdus.

News

Get Luxe Designer Furniture For Up To 15% Off!

Designer furniture retailer DOMO is discounting in-stock and custom items from HC28 + HC28 Cosmopolitan.
Sponsored

Studio Visit

Two Best Friends' Lockdown Hobby Turned Cult Candle Business

Creative entrepreneurs Ruby Kannava and Emma Cutri pooled their respective small business knowledge to found Blazed Wax - a colourful, cult-...

News

Shop These Plush Woollen Rugs And Get A Special TDF Discount!

Carpet Court’s customisable rug range is made with 100% New Zealand wool and can be cut to suit the size, shape and colour of your interio...
Sponsored

Interiors

A Glam ’60s-Inspired Makeover For A Drab Suburban Home

Kaiko Design transform a forgettable suburban space into a ritzy family residence, with big personality!

News

The TDF ‘ALL THE THINGS’ 500k Giveaway!

Help us celebrate half a million (!) Insta followers with epic prize packs for three lucky readers! 

On The Market

A Light + Bright Beachside Home Hits The Market

This property in Sunrise Beach, Noosa is a full time home that feels like a holiday home - and it’s ready for new inhabitants!

Indigenous Art

15 Excellent Indigenous Art Centres To Support And Celebrate!

We've spoken to some experts, and pulled together this guide on purchasing Aboriginal artwork ethically, and some ideas of where to find it!...

Similar Stories

Interiors

A Pokey 1970s Unit Turned Sleek, Monochromatic Marvel

Influencer Rebecca Karagiorgos of Twice Blessed transforms her two-bedroom unit into a sophisticated contemporary home, with the help of Ree...

Interiors

A Sublime Darlinghurst Apartment With A Gallery Aesthetic

Hecker Guthrie have created a light and bright sanctuary in this inner-Sydney apartment, located in an iconic building!

Interiors

A Natural, Textural Living Room Makeover

We teamed up with Koala furniture to transform a simple country weekender into a textured, tactile heaven. click through to see the transfor...

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.