Lauren is a member of our Renovating Mums community who has just completed the first stage of her open plan renovation with the kitchen & bathroom, read on for her experience…

We are a family of 4, 2 adults and 2 young active boys under 4 (!).

We bought our house off market and it is really run down and old. The house is an old 1960-70’s home. It needs a lot of love with an improved floorplan to make it more user friendly.

One of the key features of our open plan renovation is we wanted to keep the house’s vintage features and style but add those updated touches to make it our own. 

Whilst we love our house, it is not going to be our “forever home”. Our plan is to be here and make it comfortable for the next 10ish years and to renovate it so it is suitable for a young family.

Hopefully the next stage of our renovations will involve a special hidden laundry and bathroom ( at the moment there is only one bathroom and second toilet in the external laundry), new built-in wardrobes and a new deck / outdoor space – maybe when we win the lottery! LOL!

Where did you find your renovation inspiration?

Pinterest, Houzz Magazine and Instagram were my go-tos for all our open plan renovation ideas!

How long did you live in the house before starting your renovation?

It was 9 months before we started the renovation.

How did you find the planning process? Any tips to make this easier?

A project manager! We engaged a project manager and they made the process super smooth  and helped with planning our open plan living as we had never done a renovation like it before.

How did you go with the budget? Did you have a budget and are you under / over what you planned?

Yes we had a rough budget, but that was without choosing the fittings, tiles, hardware and additions.

We went over our initial budget but did add extra things to our list as well. All of this has increased the overall budget.

Did you use an Architect or Interior Designer?

We engaged Just In Place at Belrose, they are an ‘all in one’ company that offer home renovation design and project management.

We could not and would not have done it without them. I love their style, support, dedication, professionalism and their product.

I found they definitely helped steer us in the right direction and helped guide us as there were so many renovation ideas and I was very overwhelmed at times!

How was trades management? What worked and what didn’t? Any tips?

Our builder and stylists worked together which made everything super easy and smooth when it came time for the renovation build.

Renovation A was the builder and they managed all the trades which took the stress off us, especially with the 2 young kids to juggle.


What do you love about your open plan renovation?

I love how it really opened up the house.  I can see all the living areas easily now (keeping an eye on the kids) and I find it makes the flow around family life easier.

In fact, the kitchen has now become a focal point in the house but it is also very functional.

My favourite things in the kitchen renovation are my appliance cupboard, 2 ovens, and my one big sink!

I also love the display wooden shelves and the splashback.

How did you source your fixtures / fittings?

Most of the hardware was supplied and sourced by Just In Place and some of the stuff I sourced.

Unique Tiles Sydney
 Photo: Beautiful Tiles

What does your family love about the renovation?

Everyone love the new fridge!

What was the hardest part of the renovation for you?

Making decisions! I found I became overwhelmed with all the choices.

Did you have a timeline?

Yes 4 weeks – trades where great and they met it!

The team worked super long hours and days to get it done for us to move back in. I found their planning of trades and workmen were impeccable!

Thank you Lauren for sharing your open plan renovation with us and your experience with using a project manager. Delighted to hear you loved Just In Place Renovation A (both are fabulous trades listed in our directory!) and that they really assisted you with the smooth running of your project. 

If you would like to feature as our next ‘Real Mum’,  we would love to hear from you! Please contact us here.
Don’t forget to join our community Facebook group to chat with other local Sydney renovating mums. 

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