Family-of-three transform their 1920s home into a coastal oasis

A family-of-three have transformed their rundown Federation-style home into a modern coastal oasis complete with a fireplace in the centre of the living room, a boho children’s room and a large outdoor retreat for entertaining. 

Rochelle Dare, 31, and her husband Wally bought their property in Moonah, Tasmania, in June 2019 because it was a ‘rare find in their budget’ and had the ‘potential’ to be something amazing.

Twelve months later and the mother-of-one has shared stunning images of the finished result on Facebook, much to the excitement of fellow renovators.

‘My recent full home renovation is not shy of a Kmart Basket, vase or throw cushion… we just have the en-suite to go which I’m sure will follow suit,’ she said.

Rochelle Dare, 31, and her husband Wally (pictured with daughter Teddie) bought their property in Moonah, Tasmania, in June last year

Rochelle Dare, 31, and her husband Wally (pictured with daughter Teddie) bought their property in Moonah, Tasmania, in June last year

The fireplace has been expertly placed in the centre of the living room, and has been a welcome treat in winter

The fireplace has been expertly placed in the centre of the living room, and has been a welcome treat in winter

The outdoor area (pictured before and after the renovation) took a number of weeks to complete, but offers a sunny disposition

There is an outdoor table, fireplace and ladder-like decoraton about their heads

The outdoor area (pictured before and after the renovation) took a number of weeks to complete, but offers a sunny disposition 

Rochelle’s tactic of purchasing ‘expensive looking’ furniture from budget department stores like Target and Big W has paid off, with hundreds of people asking her where certain products were from.

‘You can go and buy the expensive basket from an exclusive store to quote it was from there, or you can get the same look from Kmart for a quarter of the price,’ she told FEMAIL. 

The mum-of-one recommends eBay, Gumtree and your local Buy, Swap, Sell groups on Facebook as great places for picking up bargains. 

Rochelle and Wally bought the property knowing they would have to renovate it and build a new kitchen, bathroom and living area that worked for the family’s needs.

The bathroom has a unique black shower and bath with matching black tapware

The bathroom has a unique black shower and bath with matching black tapware

The kitchen needed a lot of work and a brand new set of cabinetry installed
The Ware family purchased a $100 bench to use as the kitchen island and it's surrounded by a number of more expensive appliances
Slide me

The Ware family purchased a $100 bench to use as the kitchen island and it’s surrounded by a number of more expensive appliances

‘We played around with the floor plan for a bit until we could come up with a design that would make the most of the space,’ she said.

One of the biggest structural changes involved moving the living room to the back of the house so it could open up onto their outdoor area, but the kitchen, dining and bathroom areas remained.

The Dare family aimed to have the bathroom finished first so they could move into their humble abode if needed, then the kitchen and living area.

But unfortunately things took longer than expected and it made more sense for the hired tradesman to work all at once rather than in sections.  

‘We finished the bathroom in week three but didn’t actually get it fitted off by the plumber until the kitchen was ready in week 10,’ Rochelle said.

The main bedroom has a unique rattan art feature above the bed and matching timber decor

The main bedroom has a unique rattan art feature above the bed and matching timber decor

The house had a front porch that was turned into a laundry room
‹ Slide me › The laundry is out the front of the house, with the washer and dryer both bought brand new
Slide me

The laundry is out the front of the house, with the washer and dryer both bought brand new

‘We were lucky to have a builder who had the team to do a lot of the jobs (carpentry, joinery, plastering) and relied on friends and family who were tradies to take on the job on short notice.’

In total the entire renovation – bar the ensuite bathroom which still needs to be installed and the fireplace which was only just finished – took between 10 and 12 weeks and cost $140,000.

That price included all new furniture and appliances, particularly in their outdoor laundry area. 

‘We converted the original lounge room with a wood fire into our bedroom and just needed to paint and sand the floors in this, as well as the other two bedrooms and hallway,’ she said.

What are Rochelle’s top tips for renovating? 

1. Work out a time frame and budget then be prepared to even double it.

2. Make sure you have a builder that has all of the trades or have a list of trades in your area handy.

3. Make sure you finish before you move in if you can. We have a big list of odd jobs that would take five minutes each but still aren’t done in the two months we’ve been here.

4. Do what you want, at the end of the day you have to live there. We’ve got an old $100 workbench off Facebook in the middle of our brand new kitchen and appliances. 

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The main bathroom, kitchen and living areas were more complex and required walls to be moved and removed, new timber floors to be installed and a cathedral ceiling to be created

Many of the glamorous pieces Rochelle has placed around the house were repurposed products she had lying around

The main bathroom, kitchen and living areas were more complex and required walls to be moved and removed, new timber floors to be installed and a cathedral ceiling to be created

The main bathroom, kitchen and living areas were more complex and required walls to be moved and removed, new timber floors to be installed and a cathedral ceiling to be created. 

‘We also moved the laundry to the veranda and built the outdoor entertaining area,’ she said. 

Many of the glamorous pieces Rochelle has placed around the house were repurposed products she had lying around. 

‘You would also be surprised at what you have lying around in your backyard or garages that can be used,’ she said.

Rochelle said people should take the time to go to their local tip shop or auction house before they go to a big store like Bunnings Warehouse to see what they can find.

The bathroom has a rainfall-style shower head and a stool to hold creams and lotions

The bathroom has a rainfall-style shower head and a stool to hold creams and lotions

Rochelle said people should take the time to go to their local tip shop or auction house before they go to a big store like Bunnings Warehouse to see what they can find (Teddie's room)

Rochelle said people should take the time to go to their local tip shop or auction house before they go to a big store like Bunnings Warehouse to see what they can find (Teddie’s room)

‘This gives you a chance to discover things you maybe wouldn’t originally have thought of, and once you see an idea, it jumps out at you.’

If it’s the first time you’re undertaking a renovation Rochelle recommends working out a time frame and budget, then being prepared to even double it in the process.

She would also hire a builder who has access to all kinds of different tradesman, finishing before you move in and, at the end of the day, creating a space that you like above all else.  

‘Do what you want because at the end of the day you have to live there. We’ve got an old $100 workbench off Facebook in the middle of our brand new kitchen and appliances,’ she said.

You can follow Rochelle Dare on Instagram here

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