early 90s exterior reno

June 18, 2019
last modified: June 18, 2019

We’ve just had our offer accepted on an early 1990s home that has fantastic bones but needs a serious cosmetic overhaul. Luckily the sellers have requested a long settlement, giving us plenty of time to plan the renovation. Given our massive mortgage and the need to redo both bathrooms and a kitchen we’ll have limited funds for the exterior. I love that it’s a bit quirky but it certainly needs some updating and I’m not sure where to start without doing serious structural work. Any suggestions appreciated

Comments (18)

  • oklouise

    apart from making sure everything is safe and in working order...enjoy the outside of the house the way it is and don't try and change it to be like every other house...would love to see the floorplans and some inside photos

    breeannaj thanked oklouise
  • PRO
    MB Design & Drafting

    Landscape only. The house is amazing, the landscape lets this house down.

    breeannaj thanked MB Design & Drafting
  • Kate

    What annoys you the most?

    breeannaj thanked Kate
  • julie herbert

    Absolutely fabulous house, if I had to choose one thing to change I would replace the glass bricks with a clear glass window, the architecture is stunning, why change a masterpiece.

    breeannaj thanked julie herbert
  • ton12h

    I would think about replacing the glass bricks and and replacing or cladding the round column to make it into a square one , a new paint job always modernises things too

    breeannaj thanked ton12h
  • Deborah stephenson

    Congratulations, what a beautiful home.

    My best advice is to give yourself time to live in it. The facade is stunning. The problem with renovating before you've lived in a home is that you don't know how you will use the space you just assume.

    I know it sounds counter-intuitive to wait when you're itching to update things but when you live in a home for a while you have a much better idea of how light affects each room, where you find yourself gravitating to, where your family likes to hang out, how a space feels where the problem areas might be.

    You also have the bonus that you can put more money aside and do the renovation that works for you and not a quick up date to get you by.

    Cheers Deborah

    Interior Design Consultant

    breeannaj thanked Deborah stephenson
  • breeannaj

    Just to clarify - we agree with all the earlier comments. We like the facade and love that the house is different from everything else on the stress and dont want to loose this. We dislike the paint colour (somewhere between a dusty beige and salmon), however the brick driveway would be very expensive to replace if the new paint colour does not work with the brick colour. We have considered replacing the glass bricks - but as this part of the house is curved and the rest of the glass in the house is tinted dark, I'm unsure if this is a good idea. Landscaping needs a good update too - I think the house should be 'framed' better.This garden has just been recently retained and planted, but not to our taste. I love hearing that others also appreciate our quirky new home!

  • PRO

    Hi Breeannaj,

    I too think it is fabulous that you have bought something different from the norm. Whether it is to everyone's taste is irrelevant.

    Brick goes with almost anything in terms of colour mixing so don't worry about replacing the driveway. It goes well with the medium grey that is used on the retaining walls and garage door so use that as your starting point. Myself, I would paint the house white and tie in the nautical look of the round window in the garage but a very light grey would also update it if you thought white was too boring or stark.

    In terms of changes, the thing that sticks out to me, and I'm not sure if it is just from the angle the photo is taken from, is that the front door and entry way all seems a bit tight or cluttered. I would see if you could reduce the height of the wall that is to the right of the steps at the base of the column and maybe introduce some more low level planting there, possibly drooping over the lowered wall. Also, can the front steps be widened to the left to occupy the space where the agave or yucca plants are?I wouldn't do anything else as it would detract from what you have and possible make it too busy or look out of place. I think the glass bricks are fine as they are simple in their form and give light without compromising privacy.

    Enjoy your new home when you get it.

  • Margaret Barkley

    I know what u think about the pink. Suggest paint exterior cream and the garage door and window frames in greige. They are in the same color spectrum as the driveway bricks - all warm neutral colors that are modern. You could leave the glass bricks - they’re ok quirky - or replace with a plain window framed in greige like the others. And a blind for privacy.

  • Margaret Barkley

    Re above Also paint the garden borders in the same very pale greige. You could get some swatches and find shades that work for you then get sample pots to paint on the house itself in big areas as a test. Leave the paint on the house for a few days at least to see how it looks in the light at different times of day before settling on the exact strength of cours. Painting is a fairly inexpensive job and if u r both handy you could even save $ by doing it yourselves with advice from paint shop or Bunnings.

  • kbodman14

    I know this house, as I lived in the next and used to walk past and admire. It is so iconic and very appropriate for where it sits with its commanding view. I loved the slight pink in the dusk light of the northern beaches. My first task would be up update of the planting to soften the look. Then live there for a year and seek how you like the colour in different seasonal light. Congratulations it is a wonderful home and a great suburb that I miss as I relocated to Noosa. The afternoon light is not the same as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean.

  • amonymousanne

    Fascinating frontage on this house .I like the glass bricks as it blends in with all the other interesting features . Stunning architecture.

  • KK1000

    Just repaint , I love glass brick it belongs to the style of the house, enjoy it as it is.

  • pottsy99

    I love the look of the house ! I love the glass bricks -- there is no way I would change them . I love the angled glass . I love the round garage window . I could even live with the colour .

    The 3 things I would change initially is --

    1 -- the front doors . I understand why they are done in charcoal , but I'd be more whimsical -- maybe a bright lipstick red to soften the pink tones , maybe 2 big stainless handles to tie in with the balustrade , maybe rich stained wooden doors with long narrow frosted windows -- the 'ship' look ?

    2 -- the front 'fences' . Either they are wooden , or extremely poorly poured concrete . Do them in solid plastered concrete painted/rendered in the house 'pink' -- classy and ties in with the house .

    3 -- the plants -- they literally look like those creepers that grow over rocks that haven't been looked after . In my eyes , I imagine a huge ceramic pot at least 1.5mtr round and similar height , filled with several different cactus , on the left hand side . And 3 palm trees planted on the right hand side -- maybe 5 , 8 and 12 metre tall . Miami Vice all the way haha , along witha $500k capital gain !

  • petrucci0

    What a stunner! So nice to see something original and stylish. I think better landscaping will make it perfect.

  • PRO
    Plants in a box

    Love the house! You could go a few ways one way would be to channel Palm Springs vibe and go with a white house, feature coloured door and landscape the garden using statement cacti, succulents and boulders.

  • HU-453141286

    This looks like it’s fresh out of Miami Vice. Needs more palm trees and maybe a white Ferrari

  • siriuskey

    You could even go Japanese with that sloping glass, boulders, gravel and topiary plants