The planning process for your dream home can be overwhelming. We sat down with our design expert, Vanessa, and her client to get their insights and expertise on how they achieved success on the recently renovated Prahran project.
We’ll take you through this stunning home and show you how clever solutions and using form and function fluidly were just some of the keys to creating our clients’ forever home.
Our clients love to entertain and after realising they needed more space, they decided to relocate. The idea stalled, however, as they struggled to find another home that ticked all of the boxes for them. Instead, they decided to renovate.
“The key was we were doing it to live in it, not to resell it – so that was an important decision as well. We wanted to do it for our family, as this is where we are going to stay for a while” says Paula.
Our clients described themselves as very ‘un-creative’ people and knew they would need help in designing a space they would feel comfortable in. After a recommendation from a friend of a friend, they decided to engage Vanessa and the smarterBATHROOMS+ team in their renovation.
The kitchen was the main focus for our clients, with the main bathroom as a close second. Then they planned to have the other rooms flow from there.
“The kitchen was the focus point for us, and I always said I didn’t want to spare any cost on it, I was happy to do that”.
The result of the kitchen was really bold in terms of the colours and patterns chosen, however, that wasn’t always the intention. The idea of the bold blue, Shaker-style kitchen came from a Pinterest board. From their first meeting, Vanessa’s simple instructions to Paula were ‘just start a board, I’ll figure it all out from there’.
“I was so sceptical,” Paula laughs. “I did a board and sent it through, and a lot of the things I selected were blue – such as the cabinetry – which Vanessa picked up. I didn’t even realize I was just kind of leaning towards it.”
The kitchen is characterised by the blue panel doors, the copper handles, a concrete floor, a splash back window and feature blue herringbone tiles. Paula admits, if it wasn’t for Vanessa pulling it together and showing her how the overall look would be, she probably would have ended up with a much ‘safer’ space.
Every project has its challenges and for Vanessa, it was constraints from the window placement and the positioning of the staircase that proved the most difficult. In the end, she decided to incorporate these thoughtfully with the range hood. Meanwhile, for our client, the only challenge was her partner!
“I think sometimes it was getting Regan on board with Vanessa and I was the biggest challenge,” Paula laughs. “Vanessa made it really easy.”
Vanessa and Paula are both thrilled – the end result exceeded both their expectations.
“The whole home just flows together so there’s a synergy, which you can feel across the whole house. This was above our expectations in that respect because I wasn’t expecting that feel that ties across the whole house.”
Besides watching the entire project come together, the kitchen was a standout from the renovation process. Our client loves to cook and is relishing her entertainer’s kitchen where she can now move around easily. It has zero clutter because everything has a place and it has become a communal spot for her family and friends to gather around.
For the client: “I’m a big believer in when you have experts, you just have to trust them and go with it. It’s those fine details that make it really beautiful. And to me, that’s why the premium or additional cost you pay with smarter to get that expertise is worth it. It’s a really great model for people wanting to invest properly and make sure they really get it right”.
For the designer: “We could really hone in on the fact that while it looks fantastic what Paula said about the functionality is equally as important. And when you’re doing it for yourself and not to sell, it’s really important to really get what you want. It’s worth the extra cost to get it right the first time”.