Before + After: A Major Transformation Of A Suburban Melbourne 1980s Brick Home (With Plenty Of DIY Inspo!)

Across Australian suburbia there are thousands of classic brick homes just waiting to be revitalised through clever cosmetic renovations.   

This recently completed project by interior designer Jono Fleming, landscape designer Inge Jabara, and builder Tim Clark shows the potential of these properties. Bunnings engaged the expert team to transform every room of a Melbourne 1980s house, using DIY wherever possible, and the results are major!

Scroll for the before shots and all the details of this huge transformation! 

Amelia Barnes

The kitchen. Porter’s Paints Volcanic Ash features on the cabinetry, with brass hardware, and engineered stone benchtops that bounce light around the room. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The light and bright scheme replaces the previous all-timber cabinetry and beige laminate benchtops. Photo – Jacqui Turk

Interior designer Jono Fleming. Photo – Jacqui Turk

A feature shelf suspended from the ceiling provides space to grow herbs indoors. Photo – Jacqui Turk

‘I used a standard off the shelf kitchen from Kaboodle for the main kitchen, but by painting the doors and adding a thin slimline trim, it helped elevate the project to look custom and bespoke,’ says Jono of the cabinetry. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The dining room. A newly-created banquette seat features built-in storage and upholstered pool noodles as the curved seat backing. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The banquette provides provides plenty of space for entertaining without blocking access between rooms. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The existing house arches were retained in the renovation. Photo – Jacqui Turk

Earthy Dulux Thurman green features on the new living room cabinetry. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The colour palette is modern but timeless. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The main bathroom. Porcelain mosaic tiles bring texture into the space. Photo – Jacqui Turk

Calming blues and white replace the previously all-beige bathroom scheme. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The work-from-home space. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The main bedroom. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The kids bedroom. Photo – Jacqui Turk

This joyful space contains a bunk bed, reading nook, a cleverly disguised projector screen behind a DIY wavy bulkhead, wallpapered ceiling, and space to play. Jono made the animal face wall hangings using placemats. Photo – Jacqui Turk

The before shots! Photos – Chris Chang

Amelia Barnes
28th of April 2023

The latest season of Bunnings’ home renovation series Make It Happen has launched, revealing a seriously inspiring transformation! 

Bunnings engaged interior designer Jono Fleming, Inge Jabara Landscapes, and builder Tim Clark to renovate an entire home in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs. The brief was to turn the tired 1980s house into a modern Australian home, using plenty of DIY projects along the way.

The existing house was a classic Australian suburban brick home. Jono explains, ‘The house was in a liveable condition, however, it pretty much hadn’t been touched since it was first built in 1987, with the original kitchen, bathrooms, and carpets still in place.’ 

Jono’s vision was to improve the functionality of the home and refresh the interiors with contemporary materials, referencing the property’s origins and location. ‘My design intent was to focus on how the modern Australian family lives in their space, and letting this guide the layout and design,’ he says.

‘Picking up on botanical tones found in the leafy suburbs, I made this my base concept, and chose colours and materiality that would reflect this. Soft sages, browns, and blues would be paired with warm timbers and textures to create a neutral, but not colourless, design palette.’ 

Every room has been touched in the renovation, most significantly the kitchen. A wall was removed to open up the existing space, and the all timber-cabinetry was replaced with a new light and bright scheme. ‘I used a standard off the shelf kitchen from Kaboodle for the main kitchen, but by painting the doors and adding a thin slimline trim, it helped elevate the project to look custom and bespoke,’ says Jono. 

Porter’s Paints Volcanic Ash adds depth to the kitchen cabinetry, teamed with brass hardware and engineered stone that bounces light around the room. A designated appliance cupboard hides the toaster, kettle, and other frequently used items, keeping the kitchen accessible yet clutter-free.

The adjacent dining room features a newly-created banquette seat with built-in storage that provides space for entertaining without blocking access between rooms. Jono built most of the seat himself, using upholstered pool noodles (!) as the curved seat backing. ‘This DIY project was under $50 and looks like it came straight out of a fine dining restaurant,’ he says. 

Jono has experimented with colour throughout the remaining rooms, introducing a range of blues throughout the bathroom, study and bedrooms; and earthy Dulux Thurman green on the living room and laundry cabinetry. ‘By adding some neutral but distinct colours, I was able to show that spaces can have their own personalities, without feeling too bold or polarising,’ says Jono.

The entire project was completed in just three months (!) with the help of the Bunnings team. ‘I love presenting ideas like this to the audience as it shows that refined, high end design doesn’t necessarily need to cost an arm and a leg. It can be achieved with clever details and some creative thinking,’ says Jono. 

The full renovation is documented on the Bunnings website. including detailed videos of each room, DIY tutorials, and a list of materials used. SO inspiring!

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