A 1920s Sydney House Is Getting Updated One DIY Project at a Time

published Oct 16, 2023

A 1920s Sydney House Is Getting Updated One DIY Project at a Time

published Oct 16, 2023
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“It was the stained glass windows that did it, really,” begins Samantha Mitchell of the house she and her husband, Heath, have owned — and been working on — for two years.

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Though there was a lot of charm in their new house when they purchased it, there was also a lot of need to fix up outdated and run-down elements. Not to mention a lot of color that didn’t exactly look great.

“Our ‘before kitchen’ had golden timber-look cabinetry, yellowing tiles and walls, and a dark gray speckled benchtop,” Samantha describes. “The handles and knobs were black and gothic-like, and there were even black dragon fixtures at the entry. It was very ‘80s and a bit lifeless. We really loved the stained glass in the top cabinetry and wanted to celebrate that— it has the same pattern as our windows.”

And that was just in one room. She explains that the small nook off the kitchen had “orange walls with dark timber paneling and a cream ceiling with rainbow painted flower decals.”

The couple wanted to update the space and honor the home’s history, and they’re doing so one project at a time, mostly by themselves. It’s a method they call “Realistic renovating” on their increasingly popular Instagram and TikTok accounts, @rainbowhomereno.

“We both like a cottage/farmhouse style home and beneath all the mismatched color was plenty of charm with decorative cornices and ornate plastering,” Samantha explains of the house when they first toured the house.” While they aren’t finished with the entire home just yet, they’ve had a lot of DIY wins already. You can follow along with their realistic renovation projects on their Instagram and TikTok.



  • Walls — Dulux “Vivid White”
  • Ceiling — Dulux “Natural White”
  • Bookshelf — Dulux “Angora Blue”
  • Kitchen — British Paints “Webster Park”
  • Bench — Spotlight “Buttersuede Fabric”




  • Everything — Pre owned



Thanks Samantha!

This tour’s responses and photos were edited for length/size and clarity.
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