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  • James Treble

Renovation Complete: The Reveal

Well, the day has finally come. After years of planning, endless decisions and a huge amount of work, the renovation of YUGGAWAI is finally complete! Run down over time, but oozing with character, the renovation of this home has been a labour of love. Among the long list of repairs on this renovation, the house needed a new roof, a new double garage, which of course had to match the existing house’s façade, and functional access from the street via new outdoor stairs, both clad in sandstone, a feature already found on the original home. The new deck has been extended to allow for a new upstairs balcony, and the new timber floorboards have been stained in a rich dark timber stain (Johnstone's Professional 'Caboa') to add a contemporary contrast.





Due to the historic character of this home and its highly visible location, the external scheme of this house was always going to be important, even more so because this home was built by Mr. Taubman’s. The colour palette we chose starts with white (Taubmans 'Akimbo'), a logical choice to highlight the many architectural details such as the new timber balustrades and posts, and the repaired timber windows and window surrounds. The choice of white not only works due to this being a period home but is also the perfect choice for this coastal location.



For the main walls of the house we opted for a two-tone scheme to highlight the different finishes: a midtone grey (Taubmans 'Steeple Grey') for the brick wall of the ground floor and a lighter grey (Taubmans 'News Print') for those striking shingle walls on the upper level. We played with many colour combinations but ended up opting for these specific greys, which have a slight blue tinge, as it complements the orange of the sandstone so well.



One bold feature I loved right from the start was the original stained-glass front door, which also needed restoring, and to add more impact and create the grand entrance this home deserves, we chose a deep charcoal (Taubmans 'Canyon Black') which complements and frames the glass’ colours but also allows the door to stand out against the other colours of the façade.



Inside, we knew the original floors would be timber, but we didn’t know in which condition they’d be until we removed the carpet. Finding the floorboards in such great condition was exciting, and it allowed us to retain another original feature in this home. Sanded and stained in a deep brown the timber floors now provide a strong contrasting feature for the interiors, where just like we did outside, we repeated the use of white (Taubmans 'Crisp White') to highlight the stunning architectural features which actually create the character inside these rooms. For the wall colour we decided on a contemporary soft neutral, a slightly greyed off earthy tone (Taubmans 'Taupe Grey), which provides a current on trend colour, which also works well for a period home.




It’s always important to retain as many original features as possible when renovating a period home, and we achieved that here; but some changes were also necessary, one of these being access to the newer 1980’s extension at the rear, so we decided to create a new opening in the wall next to the fireplace allowing easy access to that newer part of the home where the kitchen is located. One space now smoothly flows to the next, further enhanced by continuing the overall scheme of the house throughout. The inspiration for the colour of the kitchen cabinetry came from the facade, this time in a slightly warmer tone of grey (Taubmans 'Iron Age'). The new timber flooring here has been stained to match the original flooring, beautifully connecting the two halves of this level, which combined with the continuity in wall colour wall helps blur the lines between the original parts of the home and the newer extension.


Being the first thing you see as you enter the front door, the stunning staircase has been bought back to life by painting the risers white to bring attention to it and staining the timber treads to match the dark floors. In the middle, a carpet runner allows for a quieter access, a great choice with two young boys in the family, without hiding the beauty of the staircase. The looped wool carpet, (FlooringXtra 'Tromso Holt'), the same used on the whole floor upstairs, adds a rich textural element to this original feature, with its modern colour and style providing the perfect blend between traditional and contemporary.



Upstairs we relocated the original tiny bathroom into what was a small bedroom, and by moving one wall, we achieved a generous and functional family bathroom, a great decision! The finishes of course had to be in tune with the rest of the home and we chose encaustic look floor tiles, with a soft blue pattern, teamed with the timeless appeal of white subway tiles for the walls. But this is the Taubman’s House and colour is important, so we picked a soft coastal blue (Taubmans 'Saxby Blue') for the walls, inspired by the floor tile colour, creating a calming feel, whilst the character filled vanity is in a deeper blue tone (Taubmans 'Jet Grey'), adding further contrast, in a soft way. Black works so well for the tapware, which we selected in a range that provides a heritage look, and teaming this with matching accessories and a modern framed shower, also all in black, provide the perfect balance between the historic character and a contemporary touch.



For continuity, the feature wall in the bedroom has also been painted in blue, a deep inky tone (Taubmans 'Admiralty') loved by the new owners to match those amazing ocean views we can see out of the new french-doors. Out on the new balcony, we can not only enjoy the spectacular views, but also get up-close to those original shingles that cover the whole of the upper level. Painting these in a soft grey (Taubmans 'News Print'), and repeating this on the gable end, allows the white (Taubmans 'Akimbo') to highlight the character features as well as the well positioned house name: YUGGAWAI.



Mr Taubman’s working shed in the back garden has also been renovated, with a brand-new roof with most of the original features now restored to their former glory. The updated colour scheme applied here is the same chosen for the home, inside and out, and this will now become the playroom for the owner’s sons, who can use this space as a source of creativity and inspiration, just as Mr Taubman’s did over 100 years ago. I’d love you to watch the video to enjoy this historic homes beautiful transformation, with Taubmans Paints a proud supporter of this project.

All interior and exterior photographs on this page by The Market Collective


The complete colour palette and details we used are now available on Pinterest (click here), but before the family moved in, I also created a video tour of the Taubman’s House, which is now available on YouTube for you to enjoy.




This has been an amazing journey and one I am proud to be part of, but there is much more to this renovation than what I have listed here, so, I encourage you to watch the videos we took to fully understand what it took to transform this old historic home into a contemporary one which is now ready for its new family to move in.

I’d love to thank the new owners, (amazing clients) for their trust and friendship and for allowing me to be a part of this massive renovation. I’d also like to thank and acknowledge the many trades and suppliers who contributed in the transformation, and Sandro Nocentini for his amazing filming and editing, as well as his patience! Last but far from least, I wish to thank the team at Taubmans, particularly the marketing team, for their continued support, excitement and belief in the story of George Taubman, his creative legacy is so much a part of this historic home, now ready for the next 100 years!




James Treble is an ambassador for Planet Ark and firmly believes in sensible purchasing, recycling and creative re-purposing. James has 3 decades of accumulated experience in the Building Industry, Real Estate and Interior Design and regularly shares his knowledge and experience in adding value to homes through clever design & styling. Watch his free videos on YouTube, and follow him on Facebook and Instagram for more free information.





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