Real Estate

amazing reno neglected cottage becomes cute as a button abode

Written by The ReReport

Joan Leahy and Patrick Klimczyk at the home they have just renovated in Camp Hill. Picture: AAP/David Clark.

INTERIOR designer Joan Leahy had never done “cute” before.
“Slick”, “minimal”, “entertainer” … but this was her first attempt at “cute” — and she nailed it.
Once a tiny, neglected worker’s cottage, 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, now looks like something straight out of the pages of a glossy magazine.

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The project was the sixth renovation for Ms Leahy and her builder husband, Patrick Klimczyk, who are seasoned property flippers.
But this one was going to be different from the others.
“When you’ve done it for a while, you just walk in to a house and you can see it,” Ms Leahy said.
“I could see the layout just worked.”

The front of the house at 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, before it was renovated.

The front of the home at 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, after the renovation.

Behold the cute transformation of 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill.

The last home they renovated was intensive, with the house being lifted and the land subdivided.
This time, they wanted something simpler.
“I wanted something simple with an extension on the back,” Ms Leahy said.
“This was more relaxing in comparison to our last one, although it still took it out of us!”
When they bought the property in June last year, it was in desperate need of some TLC, but Ms Leahy could see the potential.
“What attracted me is that most of the cottages I’d seen were two bedrooms, one bathroom, but this one had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, so it was a no-brainer,” she said.
“But it was very bushy — you could have a snake farm in the front and back yards.
“It also felt really small and hadn’t had much care.”

The kitchen at 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, before the renovations.

The kitchen in the middle of renovations.

The kitchen after the renovation.

The renovation involved adding a fourth bedroom, a second bathroom, a second living area, reconfiguring the kitchen, adding on a back deck and installing a car port for two cars.
“I just wanted to leave it to a buyer to either build in downstairs and create a fifth bedroom and another living space or a pool, or live in it comfortably as is,” Ms Leahy said.
“The block slopes down so on the balcony, you’re very high and feel like you’re in the trees.”
The couple did most of the renovation themselves over a five month period — paying strict attention to detail.
Ms Leahy said she wanted to create a “nice family home” with that “warm feeling”.
“In terms of feel, I was targeting more of a farmhouse than Hamptons — something really homely,” she said.
“I’ve used more neutral, beige colours rather than blues.”

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The dining area before the renovations.

The dining area at 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, after the renovations.

She said she was most nervous about not doing a white kitchen, like she usually always does.
“I said; ‘No, I’m going to paint the island green’ and everyone was like ‘that does not sound good’.
“They wanted me to play it safe.”
The sage green of the custom-made kitchen island bench is the same colour as the front door.
Gold lighting and door/cupboard handles accentuate the colour scheme, which Ms Leahy described as “simple sophistication”.
All the windows were replaced with originals to keep the character of the home.
“We didn’t want anything brand new, so we bought old windows and repainted them.
“You can’t fake rustic.”

One of the bedrooms in the home at 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, before the renovation.

One of the bedrooms after the renovation.

Getting the floors to match the colour scheme was challenging.
“We did the floors three times to get the stain the right colour,” Ms Leahy said.
“It doesn’t matter how many renovations you do, every house has its challenges.
“We do a lot of the work ourselves — we’re there until midnight five nights a week in the final months.
“We don’t stand around like they do on The Block having coffee.”
The end result a flowing, single-level family home with terrific street appeal and perfect for entertaining.

The living room in the home at 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, before the renovation.

The living room in the home at 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, after the renovation.

Ms Leahy said she could picture three types of buyers enjoying the house.
“I can see a family with young kids, or, I can see people who intend to have children,” she said.
“It’s all on one level and you can see everything from the kitchen, so it would be great for kids.
“But also maybe empty nesters as it can accommodate the kids who come and visit.”

The backyard before the renovations.

And…after some much needed landscaping.

The property is in the coveted Camp Hill State School catchment and a short drive away from Westfield Carindale, the new Coorparoo Square complex and the CBD.

One of the rooms in the home at 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, before the renovation.

The back deck of the home at 17 Tranters Ave, Camp Hill, after the renovation.

The property is being marketed by Patrick Goldsworthy and James Curtain of Place – Woolloongabba and is scheduled for auction onsite on Saturday, November 24 at 11am.


Time taken: 5 months
Total spend: Upwards of $200,000
End valuation: Going to auction, so cannot give a price guide

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