A First-Home Buyers’ Renovated Gem, Filled With Vintage Finds

It took months of house-hunting before Melbourne first-home buyers Brie Geary and Dave Gia discovered this 1950s weatherboard in Reservoir that ticked all the boxes on their wishlist.

‘Dave and I were constantly sending each other links to houses, initially when I sent the link to this house, we kind of laughed about it because it seemed a little out of reach,’ Brie says.

While the property was in disrepair, it had the added luxury of a big backyard with a pool. And Brie says it was the first house that felt ‘right’ the moment they stepped inside.

‘We loved the floorplan as it had the potential for a “straight forward” renovation in terms of creating open plan living’, she adds. Much to their surprise, they were the only bidders at the auction.

‘In the same week we purchased our home, we found out we were expecting a baby. With that deadline, we knew we had to start work straight away and get as much as we could done to make the house comfortable, clean, and practical,’ Brie explains.

They undertook most of the renovation themselves, enlisting their builder Markese Constructions for structural updates, including demolishing a wall between the living and dining rooms and having the house re-stumped.

Both the interior and exterior were repainted a soft white to make the old weatherboard feel ‘fresh’, new window shutters were installed in the bedrooms, and they built a timber deck to overlook the tree-lined yard.

One of the biggest transformations came once they ripped up the carpet to reveal beautiful original Tasmanian oak floorboards. ‘They were in fantastic condition for their age — we still can’t understand why people covered up timber floors in those days,’ Brie adds.

‘There are a couple of original features we have kept; the tiled fireplace is a great centrepiece and the original tiles surrounding it really tie into the house’s current style.

‘We also drew inspiration from when we lived in Japan in 2018-2019, as we absolutely adored their architecture’s grounded simplicity, clean lines and connection to nature.’

By the time the couple welcomed their son Raffy 10 months ago, the run-down property had become a ‘blank canvas’ they were happy to call home.

Almost all the furniture has been collected and sourced over the years by Brie, who sells second-hand and vintage pieces as Wavy Wares on Instagram. Even the handmade, Tasmanian oak timber dining table was a Facebook Marketplace find, styled alongside a series of soft paper lanterns and artwork that offer small pops of colour.

Brie and Dave have plans for future renovations down the line, but for now, they’re loving the calming and peaceful atmosphere they’ve created. ‘Nothing about it feels over the top,’ Brie says. ‘It just has a nice, simple character about it.’

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