Why a real life reno is nothing like The Block

Did you think you could transform your entire home in a week?!
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There’s a lot to be said for flipping an entire house in a week – the inspiration alone is mind-boggling, let alone the can-do attitude and rapid fire of design decisions renovating teams make on the fly, as they charge through room after room of stunning home transformations.

But just how much can we really learn from renovation reality TV, and what does a real-life renovation look like? House Rules winning couple Adam Dovile (now Better Homes and Gardens resident builder) and Lisa Lamond are renovating their own home and we talk to Lisa about what it’s really like.

Why a real life reno is nothing like The Block
(Credit: Karcher)

“To say our house is a little crazy at the moment is an understatement.”

Lisa Lamond, House Rules winner and Karcher Australia ambassador

Can you give us a quick outline of the scope of your renovation

“We are undertaking a full renovation of the existing home including an extension. The property is on an acre block and we have a lot of landscaping ahead of us. We have completed the extension which has all our rooms so it is nice to be in them now. All four of us and our dogs were living all together in the family room for a few months. We still have no roof over the majority of the home!”

Does it bring back memories of House Rules?!

“Absolutely, it brings back the memories of working alongside Adam but obviously without the added pressure of cameras watching you try and attempt things for the first time ever.”

Are you doing the interior design and/or decoration yourself?

“Yes, I am currently studying interior design – so I am really enjoying being able to put some learnings and my own creativity into practice.”

We remember you getting inspiration from Home Beautiful magazine during the House Rules show – a turning point being when you started a moodboard for each of the rooms you renovated in the competition. Are you using the same method for your own home?

“I have put together a few moodboards and flat lays together for different spaces within our home. It definitely helps me to visualise the look that I am trying to achieve, gives me a good starting point.”

What style are you looking to decorate your renovated home with?

“We have quite a French provincial exterior, however internally, we will be more modern/minimal. We are trying to design a home which is authentic to us with rooms which make us feel happy, relaxed and comfortable. I would like our home to be an entertainer’s paradise.”

What homewares products are you excited about bringing into your home?

“I will always be a sucker for wallpaper and its ability to make a statement in a room. I will be trying to bring in as much greenery into our home as I can – using some of the beautiful pots that are around. I am obsessed with artwork and posters at the moment so will experiment with these to bring in colour. Hopefully, this will help bring some softness into the spaces as we tend to lean towards bold colours.”

Lisa’s tips on how to survive through the chaos of a home renovation

1. Set aside daily cleaning time

With all the excess dust, it really is important to stay on top of the cleaning every single day. Without doubt one of the hardest aspects of living through a renovation is the dust and its uncanny ability to end up throughout the house. Dust needs to be vacuumed from the carpet daily or it will end up becoming almost impossible to remove. A steam mop is going to be your best friend at the end of each day.

2. Be organised

Organisation is key to getting through a renovation. The site needs to be kept as clutter-free as possible, without any trip hazards. Keeping a skip or trailer on site and regularly removing rubbish will help you keep on top of this.

3. Keep everything covered

Ensure door openings and furniture are covered at all times. Plastic sheeting can be used to cover the doors and rolled up drop sheets can be placed at the bottom to prevent dust from entering any rooms that are not being worked on. Any furniture, windows, and open cupboards in adjacent rooms should also be covered.

4. Set up a home within your home

Only take on one big renovating task at a time. This will ensure you are able to create a separate living space in your home away from the general work area. This space needs to remain large enough to comfortably live in. It must also be a safe, clean retreat where you are able to escape the chaos.

5. Safety must always come first

Safety on any building site is paramount. You must have a designated area which can be sectioned off and used for storing tools and dangerous materials. It’s also really important to clean out your air vents regularly to keep your house a safe living environment for your family.

You might also like:

House Rules 2018: the best rooms this season

House Rules Grand Final reveal: Toad and Mandy take out the competition

How to survive a kitchen renovation

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