Repairing our spouting with Marley CLASSIC™

Old spouting

Curb appeal and protecting our investment is important so before winter sets in we are fixing parts of our spouting so the wooden deck at the back of the property doesn’t get damaged from rain overflow. Our friends at Marley have a great range of options for all styles of houses, you guys know we take our landscaping seriously, the spouting is no exception.

We have a 1909 Villa, so there’s no better option for us than the CLASSIC™. The name says it all, it’s made for properties like ours whereas a modern house would go with STORMCLOUD®.

Replacing your spouting is easy, we’ll take you through choosing the right design for your house and give you some handy tips!

Choose your design

Marley offers a wide range of spouting and downpipe profiles to suit a variety of house styles and rainfall levels. There are a few options to consider, however, we had the Classic™ installed already and it suits our 1909 villa with the original Roman profile design so went with that.


Like every element of a renovation, preparation and planning is key to ensuring you get the correct quantity of products and the right tools to do the job. Marley spouting and downpipes are intuitively designed as a modular system, making repair and replacement much simpler.

Measure your lengths

If you’re repairing or replacing your spouting, the measure twice cut once rule applies! You’re always safer to have too much than not enough as cutting is easy! You’ll have to consider things like expansion joins and downpipes and where they will be positioned too.

Marley Classic

Health and Safety

It’s a no brainer but better to be safe than sorry, wear all the correct safety gear and make sure your working space is secure before climbing any ladders.

Locate the low points so your water flows

Locating the position of the downpipe outlet or any corners the water will have to get around will give you your “low point”. Remember the water will have to flow down not up so the down points are important.

String line

Now you’re on the hunt for your “high point”. Install your first bracket as high as you can on the fascia under roof overhang – this is your high point. Fix the string line to the fascia using a screw adjacent to the first bracket and run the string line under the first bracket to the low point. Ensure a min fall of 5mm for every 10m of run.

Measuring Spouting

Drill those brackets in

The distance for the brackets should be no more than 500mm apart. In high wind or snow-prone areas (yes, I’m looking at you South Island) reduce spacing to 300mm. Use a minimum of 3 Marley galvanised nails or 3 stainless steel screws per bracket. If installing on wooden fascia The minimum screw is 6g x 20mm coarse thread count. NB: Gib clouts aren’t what you need so don’t go there!

Drilling in brackets

Expansion outlet

Position outlet at the low point (in line with drainpipe) and ensure string line aligns with the side tabs of the outlet. Secure outlet to the fascia using a minimum of 4 fixings.

Install the spouting

For internal brackets, position front of spouting into the front of the brackets, then roll spouting into the back of the brackets until secure. Check every bracket is correctly engaged.

Cutting spouting

Expansion allowance

Slide the spouting into the expansion outlet. Beforehand measure and cut it to length based on the temperature at the time of install, using the indicator marks on the inside of the outlet. Do not glue.


Use spouting joiners and only Marley MCS® solvent cement to connect lengths of spouting to components as necessary.

Note: For runs between corners exceeding 4m with no expansion outlet you must use an expansion joiner. And for runs exceeding 16m with an expansion outlet, you must also use an expansion joiner. Follow the instructions provided with this component for easy installation.


When required, solvent weld corners onto the correct end of the spouting. N.B Corners should be supported by brackets either side- 50mm clearance from the corner point for external corners and 200mm clearance for internal corners.

Spouting corner

Give it a good once over

While admiring your handy work, check that everything is secure and ready for a good downpour. Clean any excess Marley solvent cement (MCS®) from corners or joiners as you install to minimise potential pooling of water. Ensure spouting is correctly secured to each bracket and space has been provided for expansion and contraction, this is really important to include in the planning stage to avoid rework.

Marley Classic Spouting

There it is team, an easy guide to DIY’ing your spouting. It’s a quick job that can save you a world of heartache from rotting weatherboards and potentially internal framing (leaky home) and damaged gardens.

This blog is in partnership with Marley however all words are our own, visit to see their range of spouting systems and other rainwater features available in New Zealand.


Preparing for Hydroseeding


Landscaping is one of those tasks that many put in the too hard basket when the reality is a lot of your properties value sits outdoors.

Before we got our dog we had a perfectly manicured white stone path, she quickly turned it into her play pit and put stones everywhere. Combine that with the patchy blend of lawn/weeds and ankle rolling pits caused by the earthquakes, we decided it’s time we paid some attention to this area of our property.

Family front yard

We got planning and included a garden renovation in the mix when mapping out what we needed to do. We were under time constraints with winter just around the corner so needed to get moving. we started by stepping out the process so we knew what we needed and when

The process of replacing your lawn

⁃ Spray the existing lawn

⁃ Remove the path

⁃ Remove the existing lawn and top layer of topsoil

⁃ Build garden edges

⁃ Put a new layer of topsoil down

⁃ Compact

⁃ Hydroseed

We were completely blind to how extensive this work will be so I’m glad we did our research to get the process right but if I’m being honest we touched base with Canterbury Lawns nice and early and they gave us advice along the way.

It’s important you do the planning before you rip into it so you don’t have any surprises like the price of topsoil and how much you’ll need. We worked out our rate of topsoil being 50mm across the lawn so need 3 cubic meters, there are some great tools online to get you this measurement.

Turf Cutter Kennards Hire

Going to Kennards Hire for all our hire equipment was the best decision. Their team helped us find what we needed and I’ve never received such incredible customer service (honestly they shocked me it was that good). We got straight to work with a turf cutter that thing is a bloody good work out!!!

Once all the turf was gone we built our new raised garden beds to box up the gardens and create a border for the lawn. This was pretty straight forward just make sure you get timber that can be underground and not rot. Our tool shout out here was the RYOBI 18V ONE+ Brushless Planting and Digging Tool, it saved us a lot of work with the digging the holes for the pegs. We also realised at this point that our lawn was completely unbalanced to the level of the house so a good opportunity to straighten that up.

Woman Raking Soil

The laying and compacting of the topsoil was the easy part, I unloaded it into a wheelbarrow and Mooch with her meticulous eye evened it out. Once we were all done here it was time to call in Canterbury Lawns and get their crew in with hydroseed. This is like the icing on the cake – literally!!! They sprayed a mix of brown top, fescue, and ryegrass onto the topsoil and it’s all done in about 10 minutes! Their team also provided us with an aftercare sheet which is so helpful because all the info we found online varied from the weather we have here. Keep an eye on our Instagram for progress.

Hydroseeding small section

5 Fast-growing screening plants


If you have a fence that’s not too easy on the eye or your property is exposed to the road and neighbours, you’re probably looking for the perfect privacy screen to do the trick. Hedges are a great option because they add colour to your yard and are a cost effecient privacy screen.

Choosing the right tree for the job can be the hard part so we’ve been down to Southern Woods Nursery to check out what they have and put together a list of our 5 favourite screening plants for your home.


Bright-red growth tips on a compact, lush green shrub. Small white flowers in spring. New Zealand bred cultivar. Tolerant of a wide range of well-drained sites. Evergreen and hardy – the hands off gardeners choice!

A Photinia 'Red Robin' hedge after it has been nursed back to health.


A large shrub or small tree with attractive dense foliage and scented flowers. Hedges well for lower-tier farm shelter or suburban privacy screening. Excellent revegetation species. Tolerates wind, drought, frost and coastal conditions. Attractive to bees. Evergreen. Very frost hardy. If you’re after a good all rounder – this one is for you.

Pittosporum t. 'Silver Sheen' as sheered hedge. Mill Valley, CA


Attractive, fast-growing small tree with green foliage. Ornamental papery flower clusters in summer. Tolerates salt winds and dry conditions. Makes a great trimmed hedge or tall coastal shelter. Attractive papery bark. Prefers well-drained soils away from heavy frosts when young. Ake Akes are also evergreen and have interesting colours throughout the year with different shades of purple and green depending on your variant.

ake ake


One of the most popular hedging shrubs with large, glossy leathery green leaves. Has the benefit of sprouting away from bare wood. Becomes a small, round-headed tree if left untrimmed. Excellent shelter. Withstands drought and coastal conditions although performs best with regular irrigation. Trim in summer. Berries attract birds. Evergreen and hardy, if you’re after some brightness in the yard Griselinias are the perfect choice.


Masses of rose-crimson, bell-shaped flowers through summer. Popular for hedging. Likes a well-drained site in full sun. Larger flowers and leaves than other Escallonia cultivars. Evergreen and hardy, the escallonia is the most ornamental of the screening plants with its glossy leaves and bell-shaped flowers.

Escallonia Macrantha

If you’re looking for a garden centre with variety and expertise we always recommend heading to Southern Woods Nursery and talking to them. All of our plants have been purchased from them and have been a success from day 1!

Home Security – what is right for you?

arlo camera

Recently our house was broken in to and burgled, we lost family hairlooms, technology that enables us to be creative and earn income and the worst thing was our sacred space that we call home was invaded.

The one thing that would have helped keep our house secure or atleast identified the burglers is security. Security doesn’t just keep your home safe it keeps your neighbourhood safe too.

We’ve compiled a list of different types of security options so you know where to look and what’s involved. Ther’es so many different susbscription models and bells and whistles so we’ve outlined a few below. A piece of advice would be to check how much it costs to get all the benefits from your system.

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery

Protect every corner of your home with Ring Spotlight Cam Battery, a versatile wire-free HD security camera that lets you see, hear and speak to anyone on your property from your phone, tablet and PC. Adjustable motion sensors let you get the ideal setting for you and your home. With instant motion-activated alerts, you’ll always be the first to know when there’s someone on your property. A built-in spotlight gives you crisp video around the clock, and night vision has you covered, even with the lights off. For added security, there’s a 110-decibel alarm to help you scare off intruders. literally, everything you need to to get the job done!

Ring Spotlight Cam Battery
Camera1080p HD
Field of View 140° field-of-view
Night Vision Infrared night vision – will light up your whole yard
Audio Two-way audio with noise cancellation
Power 2,440 mAh battery, AC adapter (optional)
Connectivity 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connection @ 2.4GHz
Local storage no
Cloud storage $5 – $15 for different levels of subscriptions
Price $400

Arlo Pro2 – Wireless

Arlo Pro 2 Wire-free HD Security Cameras have everything you need to keep an eye on the things you love from every angle, indoors or out. Arlo Pro 2 cameras are 1080p HD, weatherproof, have night vision, 2-way audio and best of all, run on batteries that are easily rechargeable. Arlo has everything it takes to make home security simple. Arlo Pro 2 comes with 7 days of free cloud recordings without a contract or a monthly fee, motion and sound activated alerts that are sent straight to your smartphone and a 100-decibel smart siren that can be sounded using the Arlo app. Arlo covers every angle to help keep your home safe and secure.

Arlo security camera
Field of View 130-degrees
Night Vision 850 nm LEDs, illuminates up to 25 feet
Audio Microphone, speaker
Power 2,440 mAh battery, AC adapter (optional)
Connectivity Dedicated 802.11n 2.4GHz WiFi network
Local storage Yes
Cloud storage 7 days free, 30 days $13.99
Price $800- $950 for two cameras and base station

Swann SWDVK-445804 Thermal Sensing Cameras

The ‘get the job done without all the fuss” You’ll always know what’s happening with Swann’s surveillance technology. Peace of mind comes from being able to see activity in Full HD, with easy identification of facial detail, license plates and clothing patterns. This systems comes with 4 cameras and a HUGE hard drive that can hold 2 years of footage on it. This option isn’ wireless but its very cost effective for a DIY security.

wann 4 Channel Security System
Field of View 102 degrees
Night Vision 100ft/30m or up to 130ft/40m in ambient light
Audio No
Power AC adapter
Connectivity Dedicated 802.11n 2.4GHz WiFi network
Local storage Yes
Price $500-650 for 4 cameras and base 1TB hardvdrive

Hikvision home security – wired

hikvision cameras, can’t be bought in-store as they are generally used commercially because of their quality (better infrared for night use, standard is full HD at 1440p and image quality is much higher as the standard is 8mp) 2 cameras for a smaller homes is recommended. Can be used without a DVR as they support sd cards. It worksexactly the same as a DVR would and takes up to 120gb which is usually around 30 days worth of recording and can be used via an app. No hidden fees at all, the only thing the client will pay for is the system install. Email for install availabilities.

Security camera
Camerafull HD at 1440p
Field of View 102 degrees
Night Vision up to 30m
Audio No
Connectivity wired
Local storage Support on-board storage, up to 128 GB
Price $800 upwards for 2+ cameras but no subscriptions

Real Reno – Master Bedroom Remodel


A master bedroom is like the middle child, it’s a great room but the glory and attention are often taken away by the kitchen and living space.

When Mooch and I were planning our house reno it was this room that was so easy to plan.

The old bedroom was the same shade of pinky-white on the ceiling, skirts, walls, sill and architraves. At some point, someone removed the original decorative architraves and skirting boards and replaced with smaller rimu versions that had then been treated to multiple coats of paint over the houses 110 years. We were replacing everything throughout the house to restore some character and elegance and this middle child wasn’t an exception.

THE THEMEWooden shelf

We always start our renovations with a vision/theme. I’m a plant man, so I may have had a jungle in mind for our room, it sparked the theme of the room, natural tones with a big focus on green through plants and a feature wall.


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We continued the black-white from resene in this room, accented with a flat alabaster ceiling, semi-gloss skirting boards and architraves and the boldest move to paint the wall behind our bed head “Celtic green “ by resene. Georgia fell in love with the colour when the velvety blues and greens were on trend as it wasn’t too rich or muddy for the rooms natural colour palette.


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I mentioned above that we upgraded the detailing in this room, this was quite the process for first time DIYers. We opted for MDF versions of the period features from Bunnings. Our favourite feature is the James Hardie, Hardie groove wall behind the bed. It plays on the 3m high cielings and you can’t miss it when walking past the bedroom.

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Exposed Shelving

The shelving system is from mitre 10, it only came in white and we wanted to match it to the black fittings throughout the house so we sprayed it black using white knight enamel paint. We wanted wooden slats to tone down the room so decided to invest hours into stripping back the rimu architraves and skirting boards, were so pleased with how they finished up and it’s nice to have elements of the house’s history included.

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The Curtains are all custom made for this room by Russells Curtains and Blinds. We had one of their local consultants come around and provide advice on what we should choose. We could style with Nicky any day, her advice was invaluable to our bedroom reno. With Russells, we made the decision to go floor to ceiling with natural toned linen, backed with their thermal lining. If this blog had a feature where you could touch what’s in the photos Russells will have to employ more consultants because they are absolutely stunning! You’ll notice the black rail with the reverse box pleat heading style, again another recommendation from Russells to tie in with the houses aesthetic.


The carpet is Fog grey from Flooring Xtras Miro range, a solution died nylon so Frankie doesn’t damage it. The choice to go this colour was heavily lead by Sam at Watkins flooring xtra who helped us in store and even came to our home to help us decide and bring us back down to earth with what was practical when you have a boxer puppy that uses your hallway as a quarter mile time trial.


We’ve styled this room to compliment the fixtures and colour scheme. The pendant and bed head are both from katamama, our favourite store for our house as everything as a natural tone and they are locals to Christchurch so you can go into their store and physically see everything.

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Our cushions are from H&M home and Foxtrot Home. We are VERY picky with cushions and we’ve found they both have the best range of linens and naturally toned cushions.

Our duvet is from ezibuy home, we’ve been longtime fans of their homewares especially their duvets and outdoor furniture.

This has been such a cool transformation and is now the best retreat after a long days work!

Capturing Water With The Marley Twist®

Water diverter The Marley Twist®

Environmental concerns on our waterways and newly chlorinated town supply water in Christchurch have us thinking of ways to create our own sustainable hub that keep us healthy as well as provide efficiencies. Growing up on a Farm there were many common practices that have been tried and tested over the generations that urban growth has forgotten about.

When innovation combines with a process that isn’t all that new, it’s bound to not just improve but impress. I saw that Master Plumbers had released their product of the year at the NZ plumbing awards and it was the Twist®, I was already conjuring up ways to use this in our backyard. While yes, this is a sponsored post, I’ll tell you now that we were all set to buy one prior to the collaboration but our renovations got away on us.

Marley Twist

Get to know The Marley Twist®

A compact rainwater diverter that turns your downpipe into a free source of water. Quick connect any standard garden hose, “twist” to the on position and enjoy the benefits. Rather than letting rainwater flow away into the stormwater system, Twist can be used to divert rainwater to a storage tank for all the jobs around the house. We’ve been using ours for the below:

  • Fill Frankie’s water
  • Wash Frankie after her muddy runs at the park
  • Wash the lawn mower
  • Clean hands after gardening
  • Water for our goldfish

Marley Twist

The Marley Twist® is designed with aesthetic and function in mind. Designed to capture free rainwater and has been specifically designed and manufactured in New Zealand for New Zealand conditions. Water is our most precious natural resource, and a regular clean supply, whether in urban or rural areas, can no longer be taken for granted. Easily installed, you can put the Twist® onto existing downpipe/s to really maximise clean water capture. And when integrated as part of a Marley spouting and downpipe system they carry the same Marley 15 year guarantee.

Easy Install

We’ve put together a “how-to” video guide to installing The Marley Twist®, watch below:

Shop for your colour here:

NB: This is a collaboration with Marley, all words are our own.

Creating a basket wall

Hanging wall baskets

Basket walls are covering our Instagram and Pinterest feeds. People are becoming more and more in touch with natural tones and sustainable living, so hanging baskets that may be vintage or used in another country for function are fast becoming aesthetic.

We’ve recently updated our guest bedroom as part of our whole-house renovation.  The walls are a smooth grey tone and we’ve chosen to style the room in a boho/desert vibe to add a sense of calm for our guests (and because it’s bloody cool). Having a 3m high ceiling stud meant that although we’ve styled the room with a lot on the ground, on the walls – it still felt sparse. Adding a cluster of baskets to the walls looked to be a fun project and bring a new element to our home.

We’ve covered the install of the baskets on YouTube but keep reading to see the end result and a few pointers.


Hanging wall basketsKnowing how many baskets to choose.

We have a bit of room to play with, both horizontally and vertically. So we decided that we will just go shopping and see what we can find. We ended up with six large size baskets (over 30cm wide).

Where to find the baskets

So this we thought would be the easy part – nope!

We went to thrift stores expecting to bag a bargain and found nothing, we also went to a few of the likely suspects like KMART and The Warehouse and again nothing. So we had to think outside the square. We looked in the placemats section and managed to find a really cool chunky weave back at KMART and then at Freedom Furniture found two placemats that were perfect again! We also spotted the best find of them all at H&M Home, a large natural tone basket with a slight bend in the sides!  Farmers have recently upped their game and we got the striped one from thereThen on a recent trip to Junk & Disorderly (our fav shop for all things retro), we found another beauty to complete the set!

How to choose your layout

We placed them on the floor first to visualise how the set will look together and the rough design we wanted. We realised that we shouldn’t over think this part because they looked awesome as a complete set however we structured it. So we started in the middle of the wall and worked our way out from there. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t think too hard about the design and being symmetrical, things like this work best when it’s natural.

Final step – how to fit them on the wall

We used small command hooks (the ones with the tape that you can pull off without removing paint). They were $6.99 for a pack of 6 from Briscoes and had a “strong hold” – Ideal.

We were told you could easily sew a little loop on the back of them by hand, or use cable ties. But we figured that it was all weaved so just used a part of the weave and it worked great! The only thing we were anal about was ensuring they all had a uniform gap between 1 of the baskets it bordered. This just means that it’s easy on the eye and spacing works so much better.

It’s super cost effective and a fun project for a weekend to give you those desert vibes like the houses you see on Pinterest! Check out the pics on our Instagram of the grey room HERE.Hanging wall baskets

Painting our walls – what we’ve learnt so far

Last winter we were sitting in our lounge with freezing feet discussing how the next investment after the wedding will be carpet – with a seriously good thermal underlay. It also didn’t help that our laminate flooring was closer to a trampoline it puckers that much.

Fast forward a year and here we are, winter 2018 and charging full speed ahead on getting things done ready for carpet. We have to be honest, we underestimated the work that it would require to be ready for carpet at our place but we’ve gained some knowledge along the way which has made things super easy for us now.

Where we’re at

Our lounge was very separated from our kitchen and the whole house felt very disjointed because it’s an old villa the floor plan wasn’t created to appeal to entertaining. So we ripped out a doorway to the rest of the house, extended it to create a better flow and then had the whole lounge skim coated (see what it looked like before here). We don’t have the scope with what we want to do to our house to fully insulate the walls, we already have full ceiling and partial underfloor so decided it would be fine because it’s not an icebox. Once the skim coating was done we took on the role of painting (for the first time) and quite honestly, did an amazing job. We’ve been covering the full renovation on our Youtube and Instagram.

Pets in renovation

Choosing Resene was a no-brainer because of their vast colour range and they are an NZ company so there’s something comforting in that too. Painting the walls, you soon get to know your house, getting close and personal with every nook and cranny. We had new lights installed by our brother in law that we picked up for a bargain from mitre 10 to match our large Chelsea light from lighting plus. We also decided while we’re at it we will change out the light switches and plugs to the iconic range by PDL Schneider.

Architraves and skirtings

We hadn’t realised until we started painting that the skirting boards were different in every room! Some were period style and some were small, then the architraves were the same, they had all been replaced with smaller rimu architraves so didn’t suit the skirting boards. We’ve priced up the remainder of the house at Bunnings and it’s a snip at $50 for 5.4 metres so will pick it all up this weekend.  We get MDF for the house because it looks the same and I’m not a seasoned pro so if I do muck it up we don’t need to remortgage the house haha. We paint our architraves and skirtings in alabaster by Resene prior to installing them, it’s much easier than having to paint them on the wall and saves the knees and arguments when one of us gets more on the walls than the skirtings!!


What we’ve learnt

Planning saves time

Planning saves you a world of disappointment and heartache, we recently posted a video that included how we plan before we buy the paint for our rooms. Looking through magazines of houses similar to ours and what works with their spaces certainly helps but we also have boards on Pinterest and spend hours at Resene collecting swatches to try at home. You also need to factor in the cost of rollers, drops cloths and brushes – they can build up costs fast!

Teamwork makes the dream work

Cliché yes but it’s very true. We start by sorting who is doing what, I’m usually on the ladder and Georgias usually on the roller. We plan the day if its the weekend so we can factor in shooting out for supplies (coffee) and dry time between coats. There’s a fair bit of me trying to convince mooch with brunch the next day to help me finish a coat (at 11pm) but in the end, it’s that teamwork that gets it done and we can stand back and appreciate our efforts.

People painting

Good music goes a long way

Before you begin a large painting project like us, there are two things you need: A good playlist and a portable speaker. Wehave two UE Booms that we alternate and they are on as soon as the paint hits those trays. It often turns into a dance battle until Frankie gets too excited and tips a paint tin over.P1220744

Preparing the living room for paint

When renovating the inside of a villa, there are a few things you need to consider. Do you keep it traditional to its character, or modernise so when you’re inside it’s like you’re in a new home. This is particularly important when starting in the living room like us.Traditionally, villas were designed to face the street, leaving little planning as to where the sun will be and what time of the day it will be there. That being said as you enter our house you walk straight into our living area, it sets the tone for the house, the atmosphere for the space so of course should be well considered.

There was little connection between the areas of the house, no flow means enclosed spaces ultimately making the house seem small and not overly entertainment friendly. The living room had also played subject to a DIYer who really didn’t care about what they were doing, bubbles behind painted wallpaper, ripples from earthquake movement that were plastered over and more dodgy botch jobs than a plastic surgery in LA.

Renovating our living room

It’s exciting renovating, but can be extremely overwhelming from the get-go. Where do you start? What will the investment be and is it worth it? What can you do yourself and what should you get a tradie for and of course, how is it all going to pull together at the end?

We learned a few things in the preparation stage that we thought is worth sharing for first time renovators as essentially, that’s what we were!

Stage 1 – Research and Plan

Some people will start with a spreadsheet, others start with a timeline, we start with a mood board. Knowing what you want is far more valuable to the project than knowing how much money you have in the bank. If you start by making a mood board of what a living space in your home will feel like in your eyes, you can start being realistic with your self in terms of what style you actually like and will it actually work in your home.Check out our mood boards for living rooms and Villas, they certainly helped us narrow down the mass of ideas that we had.

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 11.54.36 PM

Useful places to collate information from:

  • Pinterest – Easy to create boards and share them with your partner or family so they can attribute their thoughts.  You can also pin directly from the internet if you stumble upon an image you like.
  • Instagram – Our favourite for getting feedback from people and inspiration from accounts you like to follow.  We often search hashtags like #nzhomes #villarestoration #characterhome
  • Facebook Groups – Ask questions on Groups like NZ Home decor tips tricks and advice, ask for photos from people that have done the same thing, this is great because it’s real life – not staged imagery.
  • Your home and garden magazine – Amazing for New Zealand home renovations and they share content that is relevant and helps.

Now is a good time to start ordering swatches from places like Resene and Dulux to match them to the decor you have or confirm that they are hitting the mood board vibe. Smaller things like getting switches and lights are easy to do while work is being done and gets you out of the house while the paint dries!

Stage 2 – Price and Timeline

If you are making structural changes or working with several professionals, it’s important to take your time to be 100% on everything before you begin so that you are less likely to have regrets when you are finished. Get quotes from at least x3 people and always look for credibility. Websites like are always failsafe for finding the expert tradesman for the job.

The price at this stage is indicative of where you came to with your mood board. We always spreadsheet money we have spent on renovations to keep an eye on not over-capitalising and it also helps us be realistic as to what is a reasonable budget for each room. For our lounge, we were happy to go a little extra higher as it does set the tone for the house and is the room we spend the most time in and leaves the first impression for guests. At this stage, it’s a good opportunity also to find out what you can do to save cost that won’t disturb the professionals.


Who we used:


For the skim coating, we used Dans Decorating. Dan did my parents house who are long-time renovators and couldn’t recommend him enough. You know you have great tradies when they walk in and make you feel super comfortable, it really shows in the finish of his work how experienced he is!


We had to remove all the switches and plugs so Dan and Ryan could do their thing so of course used Todd from Rossiter Electrical. Like Dan, Todd makes everything easy as and is fantastic at providing advice on lighting and switch types etc.


Our Friend Ryan who is a qualified builder removed a door and a non-structural wall and had that sorted in no time, he’s a pro with his own home reno on the go.

Stage 3 – Prep work and completion

This part probably seems the longest of the lot because by this stage you’re so excited that you’re finally here – but it’s still not done, yet.


Do what you can to prepare, it also gives you a sense of involvement too. We stripped all of our wallpaper using a $60 KMART garment steamer – lifesaver. We also applied a pigment sealer after sanding the walls to hide the hideous pink and every other colour under the sun before Dan came in to do his amazing magic like work with the plaster.

We tried to make it as clean as possible in the area for the tradies so when they come in it’s easy to find what they are looking for. Preparation is difficult and you may start wishing you never started. In the grand scheme of things it’s very little work for the amount of satisfaction you’ll get from it – so persevere! It’s funny, you start to understand your house so much more when you take sheets of plaster and GIB off the walls, you see its imperfections and then find some quirk and beauty in it too.

From here, it’s over to the finishing touches to get the room done – stay tuned for more info on our reno!