Top renovation tips from TV expert

Cherie Barber will be in Perth this month.
Cherie Barber will be in Perth this month.

RETRO-LOVING renovator Cherie Barber from TV’s The Living Room makes revamping the home look glamorous.

But as the Sydneysider points out, renovating for profit is seldom glitzy as shows such as The Block and Flip or Flop portray.

It is really hard work, she says, and by the end of the day you are covered in filth.

Cherie Barber from The Living Room.

“It takes three hours to wash your hair and two hours to pick the paint up from under your fingernails,” Barber said.

“I typically say ‘Don’t watch the TV renovation shows because they have the objective to win ratings and what wins ratings is chaos, drama and tantrums and people going off the rails, budgets blowing out, timelines blowing out and stress – but in real life, those things will destroy you financially if you’re renovating to make money’.

“If you are renovating for profit, you have got to be organised and disciplined and not make any emotional decisions; it all has to be calculated and you must make changes that are relevant to the market rather than what you personally like – so it’s the complete opposite of the TV reno shows.”

A bedroom renovated by Barber.

Barber has two rooms she most likes to rework. The bathroom is not one of them.

“I’m definitely not enjoying bathrooms anymore; I’ve probably seen one too many pubic hairs – I have a pubic hair phobia now,” she shared.

“My first favourite is the master bedroom because you can do something a bit romantic there.

“The bedroom is totally private, not a thoroughfare, so I might be a bit more conservative in the communal rooms like the kitchen where you’ll have visitors, but then be more adventurous with colour with the bedroom feature wall to give that room a bit more personality.”

A before picture of the facade.

Her second favourite is the facade.

“I adore taking an ugly crapper and transforming it – taking it from the ugliest house on the street to the best looking house on the street,” she said.

“There are lots of things you can do: if it’s a horrible brown brick I might render it and then on top of that overlay timber detailing and paint that in a contrasting colour.”

The after of the facade makeover by Barber.

Barber’s hot tips are shopping from eBay and Gumtree for bargains and opting for hues in green and terracotta.

“Organic colours remain very popular: we live in a digital world and greens are favoured so we can have some connection to nature,” she said.

“If you’re doing your master bedroom there are colours you don’t want, like oranges and red, because they are very unsettling. Blues and greens are more soothing.”

Barber is at Crown Convention Centre on February 15 for the Renovate To Accumulate National Tour, sharing key principles on how to renovate to sell or rent in 2020 and beyond.

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