MEET the new breed of Gold Coast property renovators documenting every step.
These savvy social media content creators have tapped into another market with their epic house renovations – and are garnering a huge following.
From a luxury Hamptons abode and coastal beach house to a self-titled “ruin” and farmhouse in the bush, we’ve picked out the top Gold Coast house renovators on Instagram:
Instagram handle: @ourproject.x
Full names: Matt Jamieson and Emma Sweeny
WOW factor and one-of-a-kind.
That’s what Matt Jamieson and Emma Sweeny wanted to create when they started their mammoth renovation of RUIN X.
Looking at the end result, it’s obvious the pair have blitzed what they set out to achieve.
“RUIN X is full of arches and curves with no square edges,” Ms Sweeny said.
“We wanted to create a home that had wow factor, a first-of-its-kind, you felt comfortable and welcomed as soon as you walked in, an entertainer’s dream, minimal (and) an incredible layout.”
The pair, who run three full-time businesses, bought the 1980s-built Burleigh Waters home in December, 2020.
“It’s on a huge block, it had incredible bones, the best location and extremely high ceilings,” Ms Sweeny said.
“We always knew we were going to renovate and to start creating one-off homes that have never been seen before.”
They enlisted the help of designer Jayson Pate in January, 2021 and spent five months renovating RUIN X.
The pair moved in just before Christmas, with the final touches being completed this month.
“Our builder Bradford Constructions has been absolutely incredible,” she said.
“Our house was a two-and-a-half-bedroom, two-bathroom and we’ve turned it into a four-bedroom with our main having a huge walk-in wardrobe, two bathrooms, two living areas, a carport, a pool and a huge alfresco area.”
The pair aren’t afraid to push boundaries and decided to render the entire house – internally, externally and the flooring.
“We even got everything powder coated, rendered or painted – aircon vents, smoke alarms, speakers, curtain tracks,” she said.
“We wanted a seamless home with everything matching.
“We created a concrete diving board that is rendered as well.”
And while documenting their renovation was initially just for family and friends, interest soon skyrocketed.
Mr Jamieson owns Render X – a creative rendering business – and there was a lot of hype on what he was going to do with his first house renovation.
“We then decided we would use this platform to showcase and help local and small businesses,” Ms Sweeny said.
“It is also so great to go back and watch and see what the house was and what we’ve created.”
Instagram handle: @lawnhillhomef
Owners: Alyce and Ben Thew
ALYCE and Ben Thew were originally heading towards a Hamptons renovation for Lawnhill Home but decided to go in another direction.
“After living there for a few months the home pulled me into a direction I never thought I’d like – the ‘Farmhouse’ style,” Mrs Thew said.
“It’s exactly what Lawnhill Home should be with the beautiful big gumtrees, surrounding native bushland and abundance of wildlife.
“I’ve always said it’s best to live in a home before doing any major renovations and to let the house tell you want it needs.
“We are going more with a ‘modern farmhouse’ with plenty of warmth, charm and character without it being too country or rustic.”
The pair, who have two daughters, decided to document the process to help and inspire others.
“Before we started renovating I drew a lot of my inspiration from Instagram accounts and I got a lot of valuable information from interacting with them in regards to colour choices, and flooring options,” she said.
“There also isn’t a lot of ‘modern farmhouse’ style homes in Australia on Instagram so I thought I may be able to fill a niche.
“We also mostly DIY everything ourselves so I thought it would be a great space to share the process and help others who want to attempt DIY.”
Since buying the property 12 months ago, the family has already made a lot of cosmetic changes.
“We started with yellow walls, blue carpet, terracotta tiles and a timber look kitchen with brown bench tops,” Mrs Thew said.
“Now we have crisp white walls, VJ panelling, timber floors, new internal doors, a new front door, all new electrical including feature lights and we are midway through a kitchen renovation.
“The biggest challenge so far would have to be living without a full functioning kitchen for the past month. It’s been a juggle but I know it will be worth it.”
And with everyone able to watch the transformation unfold on Instagram, it’s no surprise the previous owner stumbled across the page.
“She contacted me to say that she is loving watching us transform the home and is so thrilled to see that the home is bringing so much joy to our family as it did for her family,” Mrs Thew said.
“I have invited her out for a cuppa when the kitchen is complete.”
Instagram handle: @our_cactus_abode
Owners: Alex and Ryan Hutchinson
ALEX and Ryan Hutchinson can’t travel overseas due to the pandemic, so they have brought the holiday vibes into their own house.
The couple bought a four-beroom house in Elanora in 2016 before they spent a year travelling around Australia in their caravan.
“On returning home we have spent 2020 and 2021 renovating our very dated guesthouse (granny flat) for our interstate family and friends to enjoy and sections of our main house that were needing a revamp.,” Ms Hutchinson said.
“Our good friend Bridgland Builders have been amazing in seeing our visions come to life.”
Their house, which is two minutes to the beach, is a blend of a few different styles.
“Our guesthouse definitely has more of a Bali holiday vibe so it feels like you are on a holiday when you visit but our main house I would say has more of a coastal Mediterranean feel going on,” she said.
“If you can’t travel overseas to all these gorgeous places it’s nice to bring a little bit of those vibes to your own home.”
Ms Hutchinson said their Instagram account allowed them to look bar and see how far they had come with their renovation.
“We never dreamt our house could look like it does now,” she said.
“We have loved sharing our journey on Instagram and have made so many lovely connections with other families on the same renovation journey.
“It’s so great to be able to get loads of inspiration as well as helpful tips from like minded people and also to be able to inspire other people with your own design choices.”
Instagram handle: @goldcoast_reno
Owners: Josh Burkin and Ariana Margetts
A GROUND floor property, lots of natural light and a huge entertaining courtyard space were high on the property wishlist of Josh Burkin and Ariana Margetts.
The couple were looking for an apartment to flip and splashed $300,000 on their rundown beachside apartment in January, 2021.
“We were able to find a place that ticked all three boxes but as it was a bottom of the market buy, everything else needed doing … and I mean everything,” Ms Margetts said.
“We knew the place had great bones, and great potential for growth with direct access to the Broadwater.”
As soon as they got the keys the pair got to work and found a few surprises along the way.
“We found a surprise bulkhead when we demolished the kitchen – it wasn’t in the design plans so had to quickly work around it,” she said.
“We also found surprise tiles under 20 year lino in the kitchen.
“What went from a simple job of taking up lino and replacing it with floor boards ended up being a bunch of additional hours smashing tiles, grinding and re-levelling the concrete.”
Mr Burkin is a construction manager and engineer and tackled all of the demolition and renovations himself.
“From laying floors to knocking out walls and plastering, Josh did it all,” she said.
“The biggest trade challenge was by far cutting tiles.
“I knew the exact style of tile I wanted, but every single one of them needed to be cut in half. We went through boxes and boxes of broken tiles trying to cut them.
“So much so that at one point we joked about tiling a crazy pave instead.”
They said the online renovation community has been nothing but supportive.
“The amount of free advice, tips and tricks you can pick up is the main benefit for us,” she said.
“It’s also great to be able to keep up to date with emerging interior trends, and learn about homeware sales or specials.
“We’ve found it super supportive, and have always had a great experience when asking for feedback on different selections or plans.”
Instagram handle: @renovatingmates
Full name:Perri and Eddie Beith
RENOVATING Mates is all about helping other people successfully flip and profit from their home renovations.
Perri and Eddie Beith are behind the account – the pair has renovated 15 properties together.
“(We) always shared snippets online and had a good response, so we decided to start Renovating Mates as a platform dedicated solely to our renovations,” they said.
“We feel like there is a lack of information on what to look for and how to successfully flip and profit so we would love to help people do this.”
Mr Beith, a builder who runs Beith Building, has more than 10 years of experience in the building industry.
The pair said being in the industry definitely helped when it came to their own house renovations.
“You have a better relationship with trades and suppliers so you can get the best price but also book everything accordingly because of your knowledge of how it will unfold as well as maintain a better quality,” they said.
“We always recommend if you’re doing a big renovation, you hire a builder.
“They can save you a lot of money in the long run.”
The couple’s latest project is a double story brick house in Broadbeach Waters.
The pair bought it in 2021 and said it was almost unliveable.
“The main living area was upstairs with a small room downstairs and a garage,” they said.
“Once we stripped it back the house was in (a) bad condition, so it has taken it a lot of work to get it to where it is.
“After we have finished the renovation it will have four bedrooms, three bathrooms, a powder room, two living areas, office, five-car garage, pool, and a large backyard.
“It’s got a very warm beachy feel with a touch of sophistication.”
They offered this tip when it came to renovating:
“Don’t worry about doing it perfectly, just start and figure it out along the way,” the said.
“Ask for feedback from people on what they want to see and share as much as you can.”
Instagram handle: @ourmermaidreno
Full names:Amy Rose and Shaun West
THIS house is not for the faint-hearted.
A half pipe and poolside gym compliment the backyard at Amy Rose and Shaun West’s Mermaid Waters property.
The pair have a single-level four-bedder on an 826sq m block complete with a pool and outdoor entertaining area.
“We are slowly chipping away at our renovating dreams (and) turning our home into a bright and light modern coastal space for our family and friends to enjoy all year round,” Ms Rose said.
“When we initially moved in the gardens were very overgrown.
“Since then we have cleared most plants from the front and backyards, allowing more natural light to filter onto the property.”
The pair said they had always enjoyed watching other people build and renovate their homes and so it was a no-brainer to share their own journey online.
“We just hoped we could do the same for someone else by creating an Instagram account of our own renovating journey,” she said.
And their biggest tip to budding renovators: “Create vision boards to help you decide on the colours and ideas you are trying to bring to life”.
“Always have a go at it yourself (some things do need to be done by a professional) but don’t be afraid to ask for help.”
Instagram handle: @our.next.project
Full name: Nicki and Paul Harms
PAUL and Nicki Harms are old-hands when it comes to renovating on the Gold Coast.
Mr Harms, who runs PJH Constructions, has been a qualified builder for 15 years and has worked across hundreds of projects across the city.
Together with wife Nicki they have built or renovated nine homes – and often live in them along the way.
Their latest joint venture is Kooringal Lodge at Tallebudgera Valley and Ms Harms admits it’s the largest renovation they had ever undertaken.
“We are so excited about this property,” Ms Harms said.
“Apart from the spectacular and secluded location, the house is going to be different from what we usually do in terms of style and layout.
“The home has a modern alpine lodge feel with some amazing architectural features.
“This is the largest renovation we have ever done so we think its exciting to see the transformation from start to finish.”
Kooringal Lodge is on very private block with a running freshwater creek and is set to feature a pool, two firepit areas, cellar wall, master retreat, several entertaining spaces and a separate two bedroom guesthouse
“The renovation has been designed by Reece Keil and he’s created an amazing home that will be an absolute dream to live in,” Ms Harms said.
“It’s going to be a fully integrated, sophisticated smart home as well which should appeal to many people.”
They said their biggest challenge, apart from the rain, was ensuring the existing house and extension worked seamlessly across the block.
“We’ve tried to keep a lot of the existing elements while changing the overall style, layout and increasing the size enormously,” Ms Harms said.
“The architect has done an amazing job of making this work.”
The pair have continued to document work at Kooringal Lodge on their Instagram account.
“Sometimes it’s a bit of fun for people to follow the journey of a renovation and see what can be achieved with a group of really great tradesman, contractors and suppliers,” she said.
“Before and after photos along with 3D rendered images help people visualise what you are hoping to achieve.”
Instagram handle: @ourhamptonshaven
Owners:Hannah Polites and Garth Small
INFLUENCER Hannah Polites has been documenting her Hamptons renovation much to the delight of her followers.
Ms Polites and her husband are transforming their dream home into a coastal Hamptons haven.
Their latest reveal included the kitchen, butler’s pantry, laundry, powder room and kids’ bathroom.
“The kitchen is the heart of the home and the space where we spend the most time,” Ms Polites wrote on Instagram.
“All of the planning, the moving things from one room to another, packing while pregnant, living with my parents etc, it was all worth it.”
Instagram handle: @styleshousereno
Owners: Carol and Wayne Styles
IF you’re fond of Palm Springs styling, this house is for you.
This house, once dubbed the street’s ‘ugly duckling’ has been transformed into a stunning Palm Springs oasis.
Owners Carol and Wayne Styles bought the rundown 1975-built house in Sorrento during the height of the pandemic last year.
“We thought we would do Hamptons but because the house had a flat roof we weren’t really sure,” she said.
“It was my niece who set us down the Palm Springs path as the house had a flat roof.
“She sent me a picture of a house with breeze blocks and we knew we had to keep the breeze block wall we already had. From there it just evolved as we went along.”
The couple, who lived in the house during the renovation process, raised the roof, gutted the residence, and extended the living area to create a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home with an open-plan design.
Breeze blocks, desert style landscaping and a bright orange door sets the tone from the front while raked ceilings, wallpaper and timber continue the Palm Springs vibe inside.
“When we started researching into Palm Springs style we knew we had to do a bright front door,” she said.
Out the back, a covered entertaining pavilion complete with a barbecue area overlooks the pool.
“We kept the back garage and transformed it into the poolside entertaining area,” Mrs Styles said.
“It’s not even recognisable as the same pool and we spend so much time out here.”
The pair sold the property this month.
For any real estate need either Buying or Selling or Investing, contact me either via email or phone given below.