Stylist Kylie Tyrrell of Gold Chalk Interiors recently attended Josh and Charlotte from The Block’s guest talk at Coco Republic Design School in Sydney. Here she reports back on their top tips for renovating success:
1. Location is paramount, buy the best you can afford.
2. Try to minimise any structural changes: knocking out walls costs a lot of money.
3. Try to maximise all living spaces and make sure they all connect. If you can and have the space, add stools to the kitchen bench. The kitchen is now another living space!
4. Invest in kitchens and bathrooms.
5. Save money on laundries — especially if, like theirs on The Block, it’s hidden out of the way.
6. Don’t forget the outside! Landscaping is a huge factor — their green wall was a pivotal space, it could be seen from all rooms and connected them together.
7. Use quality furniture, where possible custom build pieces to fit spaces. This then gives the illusion of space and really finishes off a room.
8. Josh was really big on calling in professionals to help with the planning; don’t be scared to enlist a professional for help, they are full of knowledge and will probably save you money in the end.
9. When it comes to following trends, they have a strict rule: trends are used only in easy to change pieces like cushions and linen.
10. Their last bit of advice was to give renovating a go yourself; it’s the only way you learn. Don’t be afraid to try it yourself!
What I loved best about the night was that these two were very down to earth, they mixed with the crowd and let us take lots of photos. They wanted to share all their knowledge with us. I will be keen to see what they work on next. It was easy to see that Charlotte was a big fan of Coco Republic, their style seemed to suit her: classic and timeless. She also mentioned she had just graduated from the design school having done the Decorating Essentials 101 course, all of which she hopes to put to use in Josh’s business, J T Design and Construct.