Woodlands renovation turns 1960s property into modern delight

Woodlands couple Michael and Sophie Hirth. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.
Woodlands couple Michael and Sophie Hirth. Picture: Andrew Ritchie.

IT took Michael and Sophie Hirth two years of sweat and sacrifice to transform this home, so it’s little wonder they say the secret to a profitable renovation is hard work.

House selection and the state of the property market also matter, according to the three-time home renovators, who have worked their makeover magic in Wembley Downs and Doubleview.

A 1960s home on a 642sq m Woodlands property is their latest and largest project – and not an inch of the block remains untouched.

313 Huntriss Road, Woodlands before the renovation.

After buying the home three years ago for its great bones and potential, the couple sacrificed their social life and spent many late nights and weekends on renovation tasks – from stripping wallpaper layers to reconfiguring walls, demolishing bathrooms and adding an alfresco area and four-car garage.

“We love mid-century homes and their iconic features, like flat roofs, split levels and expansive windows,” Mrs Hirth said.

313 Huntriss Road, Woodlands before the renovation.

“This property also had the added bonus of being on a hill, which allowed for sweeping inland views.

“We wanted to achieve a house that was spacious, modern but still in keeping with the original style.

313 Huntriss Road, Woodlands before the renovation.

“We aimed to maximise the view and also wanted to create a continuation from indoors to outdoors.”

The couple’s skills again proved the perfect complement – Mr Hirth is a plumber and brought his trade skills to the project, while Mrs Hirth has an interior design diploma and designed the bathrooms, kitchens and furnishings.

313 Huntriss Road, Woodlands post-renovation.

“By now, we are both pretty good at painting,” she said.

Behind an exterior of bold, clean lines, the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home has a modern, industrial feel, with various finishes throughout including timber and porcelain tiles, matt black cabinetry, timber veneers and timber-lined ceilings.

Gone are the original small, drab living areas, replaced by a modern open-plan area on the top floor, where concrete-look porcelain floor tiles strikingly contrast with the lounge area’s scrapwood television recess and kitchen’s black cabinetry and subway tiles.

Floor-to-ceiling tiles in the same finish define the ensuite, as does the bath’s backdrop of New York tiles.

Plush grey carpet softens the ambience in two bedrooms, with original jarrah partitions repurposed to create the main bedroom’s feature wall.

Mrs Hirth’s favourite area is the alfresco area, which is a triumph of functionality and aesthetics.

“Having a built-in barbecue, pizza oven, sink and fridge makes the space ideal for entertaining,” she said.

“The view, especially at night, provides the perfect backdrop.”

In the once wild backyard, a restored concrete pool sets the scene for summer relaxation.

Renovation surprises included a cockroach infestation and finding an old suitcase filled with books in a wardrobe cavity.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t a suitcase full of cash,” Mrs Hirth said.

When asked what lessons were learnt, she said gaining council approval for additions was a laborious process that extended the renovation timeline.

The Hirths don’t do quick flips and after having enjoyed the home for some time, it is now on the market.

Altitude Real Estate director Paul Tonich has listed 313 Huntriss Road, Woodlands for sale.

The Hirths’ top five renovation tips

  • Find a house with good bones and appealing features. It will set the tone for your style. Don’t be afraid of old wallpaper, brightly painted walls or shag carpet – these are easily changed.
  • Stick to a budget and don’t overcapitalise. It’s a good idea to get appraisals done throughout the renovation process to get feedback on what buyers in the area want.
  • Create a wow factor as it helps sellability. A wow factor doesn’t always have to be expensive – get creative!
  • Maintain a neutral palette as it will appeal to more buyers.
  • Functional, well-planned kitchens and large, spacious bathrooms appeal to all buyers.