BONAPARTES – Fortitude Valley Qld

Project Address: Bonapartes Serviced Apartments – 138 Gipps St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006

Project Type: Residential Interior Design & Decoration (Renovation)Â

Project Timeline: August -September 2016

Project Overview: The client approached us in July 2016 to discuss updating his investment unit in a serviced apartment complex in Fortitude Valley. As it was a good income spinner, the initial intention was to renovate the studio apartment and to continue letting it (furnished) for short stay visitors. On reflection the client decided he wanted to sell the property instead.

The 55m2 studio apartment is located in a building that was built in the late 80’s. The apartment had not been maintained very well, and was in desperate need of an update.

The overall project included renovating the main living area, kitchen, bathroom, laundry and bedroom.

We provided some recommendations to address the immediate concerns, and also offered a bigger picture vision for the property which included:

  • Spatial Planning i.e. zoning specific use spaces within the main living area
  • Renovating the kitchen
  • Renovating the very small bathroom
  • Renovating the laundry area which is located in the bedroom
  • Retiling the entire unit – main living/dining/kitchen, bedroom, bathroom.
  • Installing a robe in the bedroom
  • Repainting the interior
  • Installing new window treatments
  • Updating and reconfiguring lighting, light switches and power points and upgrading circuit board to accommodate new appliances
  • Furnishing and decorating the entire apartment

Client Brief: To update the entire unit, maximizing the available space, making it feel spacious and comfortable with an urban living feel.

Budget Limitations / Cost Effectiveness:  The original budget for this project was set at $26,765.00, which included the fee structure.

There were some variations to the selections of appliances, furniture, window treatments, floor coverings (as requested by the client), that were not part of the original scope of works – final project value $39 996.20.

Gross Size of Project: The property is located in a unit complex in Fortitude Valley. The total floor space measured 45m2 internally, with a courtyard and small balcony, which takes it to 55m2.

Rationale for Material / Product Choices: The rationale for the material and product choices, were mostly driven by the need to create a contemporary inner city urban apartment, with a sense of light and spaciousness.

We opted for an all-white kitchen, with a hexagon feature splashback tile and a darker contrasting Caesarstone benchtop. The floor tiles used throughout the unit are an earthy tone, with the light-coloured walls to help create the illusion of a lighter, brighter space.

We reduced the size of the room dividing wall by taking out the door, and lowering the height of the wall marginally. This allowed much need natural light into the living space from the bedroom.

Specific Challenges/Limitations: The main challenge we encountered was access for the tradesman to move materials and equipment from the off-street parking area and through a central courtyard to the unit.

Uplifting 2 layers of tiles in order to relay the new tiles also proved a challenge. The original floor tiles were not going anywhere fast.

The tight floor space called for careful consideration when furnishing the unit. We wanted to avoid cluttering the space, while at the same time filling the space appropriately. We wanted to make it feel like substantial accommodation, suitable for a couple or single professional.

Innovation, liveability and/or adaptability of Space: Although we worked within the existing footprint, we were able make the unit feel significantly bigger and lighter.

Using the new furniture, we changed over the furniture configuration from the original placement.   This meant the dining area was more appropriately positioned next to the kitchen zone with the living zone moved into the original dining area.

By mounting the television on the wall, we were able to utilize the angled space, an external stairwell leading to the apartment above the unit. This way the television could be watched from any of the zones in the living area.

The original laundry was on display and a bit of an eyesore from the bed. To address this, we enclosed the laundry area and concealed it behind a door. Â

The bathroom was a very small space, and originally did not even have a vanity or sink. We were able to add a wall hung vanity creating a more functional bathroom.

A Few Words from The Client:

“It is difficult to get buyers for units at the moment and more new units are still being built. I was concerned that my property would not sell easily as it had run down to the point where it was sad to look at.

If I was going to invest the money in doing it up I wasn’t interested in a run of the mill renovation that looked like every other property in the inner city. I wanted mine to stand out. At the suggestion of my agent I contacted Earthborne by Design.

Earthborne By Design took a really ugly space, and a mere three weeks later gave me back a dream city pad. The place looks fantastic and it has a warmth and homely feel that is lacking in so many modern units.

If you want a renovation and decoration to blow your mind or you want to walk into your new space and be speechless at the transformation, then give them a call. I’m thrilled I did! It is so good I’m not even sure I should sell it” – Mark Slattery

The property did sell.

Originally purchased for $136 000 in 2004, and sold after only 1 day on the market for record price for units in the same complex – $295 000.

In Summary:

It is a tough ask to spend $40 000 on the renovation of an investment property – particularly in a competitive unit property market which is oversupplied, only to sell it off the shortly after completing the transformation. It is also a smart and calculated risk to head the advice of the real estate professionals and financial advisors, to ensure the investment is a sellable asset – in this instance the advice and renovation investment paid off.

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