Before and After: Shed to gorgeous guest house

An old work shed in Byron Bay has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis.

An old shed in Byron Bay now serves as a stylish guesthouse, thanks to a clever renovation and conversion which saw the structure completely stripped of its corrugated walls iron and roller doors. That left just the original framework, roof and concrete slab intact, forming the perfect foundation for the structure’s new purpose: to provide a comfortable place for family and friends to stay. 

A new timber floor was installed, along with VJ walls, ceiling cladding, new windows and doors as well as some additional framework to accommodate a combined bathroom and laundry. Some of the renovation’s major changes included building a brand new kitchen and installing built-in bunk beds in the open-plan living area. The whole project was completed with a lick of white paint and fresh new decor.

Guest house accommodation
(Credit: John Downs)


The compact kitchen feels surprisingly light and airy due to the open-plan design, full-width servery window, flush cabinetry and simple colour palette.

The architecturally designed hanging unit that features American oak and open-slat shelving is as stylish as it is functional and the servery window cleverly recesses into the wall.

Guest house kitchen
The ‘Mariner’ high stools were sourced from Workshopped. (Credit: John Downs)


With a rotating schedule of visiting relatives and friends, the bedlinen needed to be both luxurious and easy-care.

Crushed-linen sheets and ‘Flocca’ in Fog cushion covers by Hale Mercantile Co fit the bill. 

Guest house bedroom
(Credit: John Downs)

Living room

Custom built-in bunk beds provide additional sleeping areas in this swish guest space. The bottom bunks have been fitted with LED strip lighting and electrical sockets.

Guest house accommodation
(Credit: John Downs)

The bench behind the King Living sofa is American oak, which provides a place for books as well as additional seating.

Living room guest accommodation
For similar pineapple print cushions, try Temple & Webster. (Credit: John Downs)

Combined bathroom and laundry

Simple white fixtures and a subtle palette of tiles, plus a wall-wide mirrored cabinet, makes the combined bathroom and laundry feel larger.

A washer and dryer hide in a corner – a great perk for guests.

Bathroom and laundry
(Credit: John Downs)

Dining area/study nook

A desktop crafted from American oak, and fitted to the wall that runs between the bathroom and the bunks, creates a streamlined and space-enhancing computer hub. New insulation and ceiling fans keep the space cool enough not to require air conditioning.

An artwork by Jessie Breakwell, ‘Tres Melloini’, and The Coastal Cushion Company’s ‘Peony Paradise’ covers add a punch of colour, while a rustic table by Bisque Interiors and ‘Lana’ chairs from Globe West make a no-fuss option for dining. 

French oak floorboards and VJ wall panels in Dulux Natural White complete the former shed’s transformation. 


The old corrugated iron walls were replaced with timber cladding and the entire exterior painted in Dulux Quarter White Duck. The original roof was also given a coat of Dulux Colorbond Windspray and a merbau deck extended the living space.

A striking black and white awning by interior designer Kate Platt not only looks stylish, but is automated with wind and rain sensors. 

Guest house accommodation
(Credit: John Downs)

The dream team

Architect: Ed Davis, Davis Architects, (02) 6680 9202.

Builder: Dan Vardy, Vardy Build, 0416 081 399.

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