Before and After: Tim's Beachside Home

Before and After: Tim's Beachside Home

Jenny Butler
Sep 10, 2009

Tim Neve, editorial stylist and publisher, recently took on the challenge of making this rundown rental apartment into his beachside home. Tim removed the old wallpaper and shagpile carpet, patched the walls, added some fresh paint and after a bit of honest, hard work his apartment went from dark and dull to bright and relaxing. Find out more about Tim's home below the jump...

How would you define your style?
As a stylist, I try not to stick to one 'style' for fear of being pigeon-holed! But I would have to say I'm drawn most to furniture and homewares that have an organic yet design-classic feel, pieces that make bold statements (such as oversized light-shades), beautiful patterns, textiles in contrasting textures, and one-off, found or vintage pieces thrown in to give a space substance and heart.

What is your Inspiration for your home?
The wonderful beach-front aspect (the main selling point for me taking tenancy over considering the project that was ahead!) I wanted to capture the essence of relaxed, coastal life. But note: there's not a crafty seashell in sight here! Instead, muted sandy tones and organic textures in fabrics and found, weathered objects complete the scene.

What is your favourite element of your home?
I've established the dining area in an intimate sun-room which leads off the lounge through french doors. It's light and has views down the coast - perfect for casual dining and entertaining! Each morning I soak up the perfect light that fills the space, and think how lucky we are in Australia (it's been glorious here and it's winter). In the deep evening I have my last thoughts of the day here too, whilst listening to the sound of vicious waves crashing. I've also fallen in love with the original floorboards which are patchy and unvarnished - at first they annoyed me, but now they add a whole beach-house bo-ho feel that you could never achieve if you tried.

What is the biggest challenge of your home?
As a renter you are faced with the dilemma of wanting to change your space to feel like it is truly your home,  but without too much expense as at the end of the day you walk away and leave your hard work behind!

What do friends say about your home?
They immediately feel at ease and comfortable in the space because it's so light and welcoming - as a real home-body I'm pleased to have established such a sanctuary for me, and others.
I was too embarrassed to take anybody into the space until I'd waved my style wand, but now I have a 'before + after' photo album that I show and they can't believe the transformation.

What was is your proudest DIY?
The kitchen bench-tops have been given a new lease of life by simply covering the existing faded pink laminate with a durable wood-grain contact paper for around $40. It felt a bit like covering school books (which I was never good at and always got bubbles) but now friends have to stop and feel the finish as it looks like a whole new veneer! 

What was the biggest indulgence with respect to your home?
As I'm a magazine junkie I'm constantly surrounded by piles of magazines with tearouts or bookmarks for inspiration for any project that lies ahead - I never stop flicking!
I was genuinely inspired by Australian stylist Sibella Court's use of found objects  to create eclectic arrangements that tell a story together, as she does in her beautiful store The Society Inc. 
Another inspiration is my favourite retailer and interior design studio in my hometown of Newcastle NSW - Habitat, who have the talented eye to mix natural textures in modern, organic furniture and homewares perfectly. It's one of those stores you just want to live in!

What is the best advice you've given or received?
Received: Colour hides a multitude of sins! The walls were in need of major patching and repair - but as this was a DIY job the result is still far from perfect. The deep driftwood paint colour (Taubmans Buff Tone) I chose seems to even the light across the surface.
Given: Style and arrange objects in odd numbers - three is always magic.

Tim has a great blog that has heaps of exciting behind the scenes details of his work, you can visit it here.

Thanks Tim!

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