PROPERTY lawyer by day, home renovator by night, weekend – and any other spare time.
Jesse Inns has always had a creative side, but he needed an outlet for it.
That’s when the first homeowner decided to buy a character home in need of a lot of TLC in the leafy suburb of Balmoral in Brisbane’s east.
Mr Inns spent two years looking for the perfect property to inject his personality into. “I’ve always been one of those people who had a creative flair and so I was looking for a project,” Mr Inns said. “I knew where I wanted to buy, but couldn’t find the bones I wanted to play with, until I saw this one.”
The post-war home had already been raised and built-in underneath, but it “hadn’t been loved”.
“It was just finding that empty shell I could spend some money on, but not completely rebuild, and this one ticked all the boxes,” Mr Inns said.
Fortunately, he had a tradesman in the family who could help him give the house a cosmetic facelift. “My brother’s in the concrete rendering field, so he helped a lot there, but I was onsite all the time,” Mr Inns said. “I love to get my hands dirty, whether it be painting, choosing the products – I even learned a bit of plumbing.”
The biggest jobs were gutting the kitchen, bathroom and master ensuite. Mr Inns decided to keep the configuration of the house and the plumbing to save costs.
He took a different approach to the bathrooms. Instead of using tiles, he went with rendered concrete, featuring a crushed limestone and pearl finish.
“I wanted to get away from that traditional tile finish,” he said.
“My basic style I worked from was mid-century modern, but I tried to bring more industrial features in.
“I’ve used a lot of concrete and render, a lot of stone, basically to make it a very modern, character home.
“The major challenge was adapting the concrete to work inside the house (as well as outside).”
The kitchen was in good condition, but dated, so it too was stripped back.
An island bench was put in, the appliances were updated and the cupboards redone.
In keeping with the monochromatic colour theme, Mr Inns painted the timber deck grey and added a unique, concrete side wall.
He designed the entire backyard himself on his iPad.
“I was inspired by a shot on Instagram, so I got the old iPad out and did a bit of sketching,” he said.
A lot of time was spent carefully styling each room and area to give the house a personal touch.
“I spent lots of hours scouring the internet for one-off quirky pieces, rather than stock standard white pots,” Mr Inns said.
“I spent a lot of weekends and nights doing this house.
“Some people watch TV at midnight; I paint walls instead.”
Remarkably, he also managed to come in well under budget. “It cost about $75,000 and I had a budget of $100,000 to spend,” Mr Inns said.
His advice for keeping costs down?
“Keep it in the family for trades and if you’re prepared to, do a lot of the work yourself.
“If you’re prepared to watch some YouTube videos.”
Mr Inns is already itching to start another project, but intends to live in this one.
”I’m looking for more of an investment property. This is my forever home at the moment.”