As the House Rules competition fades into TV memory, we’re finding many of the stunning makeovers lingering in our minds’ eye – not least the winning front yard transformation by Toad and Mandy in Hope Island Queensland, to take out the crown and win the entire competition.
More than just a manifesto for a TV show, the House Rules actually guide the entire design and renovation process to make the incredible transformations possible in such a short time. Here’s why Toad and Mandy’s Hamptons makeover of Mel and Dave's front yard won the judges over and what you can take out of the process to transform your own home exterior.
1. They stuck to the rules
Mel & Dave’s design rules were key to the success of Toad and Mandy’s renovation of their yard. “Turn 80’s brown brick into a Hamptons dream” gave them permission to do away with any reminder of the home that was in the transformation.
The Hamptons style is a strong visual reference to draw from and kept the look consistent from go to woah. It pays to have a clear design goal in your sights from which you can build a moodboard to help with colour choices and decisions throughout the process.
“Celebrate the water views”, was also helpful in decision-making. As homeowners Mel and Dave have lived in the space and know what they wanted to create in terms of a life there, including making the most of the amazing location. Toad and Mandy created a luxurious outdoor seating area on the front lawn for entertaining and relaxing, as well as the extra bench seat along the verandah to take in the water views incidentally in their day-to-day life. Their decision to keep the fencing simple provided an uninterrupted vista.
2. They worked to a moodboard
“Use blues, greens and greys” gave a clear colour palette to work within. Once of the most important decisions to make at the beginning of the decorating process. This informed key choices of paint colour and trim, but perhaps less obviously would have kept things simple in the plants chosen for the garden, the hard finishes of paving and timber and the soft furnishings and accessories used for styling the space.
3. They kept the homeowners top of mind
This worked throughout the competition to get the favour of the homeowners and earn points but even at the last stage of the competition, when it was only the judges giving scores for their renovation, Toad and Mandy put Mel and Dave at the front of mind when making decisions. By imagining how the home would be lived in they were able to release the potential of the space and satisfy all concerned.
4. They kept it simple
One of the most difficult things to do when renovating and decorating a home is to keep things simple. With no time to waste and the overwhelming number of options and choices to be made throughout the process, taking a step back to focus on the big picture is paramount to success. At the end of the day, less is always more when designing and decorating any space.
5. They took risks
Mandy’s determination to link the front door and dining deck with the addition of the wraparound verandah was possibly the design decision that won them the competition. Her design not only created a statement entrance to the property, leading right up to the new front door in classic Hamptons style, it linked the entrance to the rest of the home and garden right from the curb - with fencing, the feature arbour and matching balustrading along the verandah. This added gravitas and gave the impression of a more well-appointed home.
Taking risks when renovating can pay big dividends by pushing the design envelope for added wow factor.
In building or renovating your own dream home, make a list of your own house rules and keep your eye on the prize at the end of your own project – to live the life you’ve already dreamed of in your home.
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