4 things not to forget when finishing off your renovation

Ash and Simon Vos have spent the last few months renovating their gorgeous ‘Palm Springs’ inspired mid-century home in Coffs Harbour, documenting their progress for our fabulous ‘Coffs to Cali’ video series – and they’re almost done!

But as Ash explains, before they sit back and luxuriate in their freshly finished home, there are some all-important things that need their attention – and that you should keep an eye on too if you’re finishing off your own renovation.

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Here’s Ash’s tips on the four things not to forget in any renovation.

1. Lighting

You’ve installed your fixtures and settled on your finishes. You’re done, right? Maybe not. A great way to tie your new renovations together is to turn your attention to your home’s lighting.

“Lighting is so important in the home – it can maximise texture, bring romance, highlight corners and vignettes,” says Ash, who, along with her Block: Glasshouse winner husband Simon, chose gallery lighting with a beautiful stone wall as a focal point.

“We chose lighting that subtly adds to our mid-century style,” she says. “We went to Beacon lighting for a half day and really nutted out each space and what we wanted to achieve.

As you enter their home, a stunning rock wall – very in keeping with their Palm Springs look – is the room’s focal point. They wanted to show this off to maximum effect.


The feature rock wall with gallery lighting. Picture: Ben Adams

“We had an existing rock wall out the front but it stopped half way where there used to be an outdoor decorative beam,” she explains. “It was gorgeous – but we couldn’t match the rock and the profile was a little off for the design we were going for.

“Instead of throwing it in the bin, we put it online and some avid gardeners picked it up and we opted for a veneer bluestone ‘arctic range’ to tie in with our exterior shale grey cladding.

“Simon and a mate hand-cut each piece for a few weeks straight – the mood is out of this world! The rock wall encompasses 8m from outside in and adds to the Cali / ‘Joshua Tree’ feeling of the home.”

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2. Dressing

Ah, styling – it’s that thing that can so often bring us undone. But, as Ash explains, it’s important to take some time to consider how you’re going to dress your newly decked-out space – especially if you’re renovating to sell.

“We are pretty minimal, and our taste tends to be a bit mid-century and masculine – we needed to dress up our home through texture so we did that with Boujad rugs, a bespoke linen sheer curtain, terracotta pots (and plants), coloured glass and linen cushions,” says Ash.

This was all in keeping with their relaxed Californian theme. “We are so inspired by the easy Cali lifestyle, and also the Palm Springs mid-century design where the outdoors and indoors have a seamless flow,” she explains.


Use different colours and textures to create mood. Picture: Ben Adams

Ashley made sure to pick furniture and dressings that would suit their lifestyle – not just look good in pictures.

“We spent quite a bit of time selecting our furniture,” she explains. “I guess when you renovate for a flip it’s totally different to building a home – furniture is just for styling when trying to sell a house, whereas we want to live here and enjoy the view.

“We went for furniture that matched our lifestyle, selecting modern furniture that had a nod to mid-century without polarising to the design era.

“Our circular table really is the icing on the cake, everyone who visits loves how it gathers you from the kitchen, living and outdoors together. We wanted the centre of the home to be a gathering place, so we created the custom love-seat to also maximise how we enjoy the view – it’s probably where I spend 90 per cent of my time reading or working. The view is just so soothing.”


The circular table ties the the space together. Picture: Ben Adams

3. Creating mood

Creating a mood is so important – especially as we’re all spending so much more time at home these days.

We all need that little sanctuary to make us feel safe.

“I think mood is becoming so important as people work more remotely – we are all trying to find the balance of working at home and then switching off in the evenings,” says Ash. “Mood is the best way to create that space from your job – it’s as simple as swapping out a blind for a linen curtain, or changing a lightbulb and adding some colour through artwork.

“You don’t have to own a home to do these things, you can rent and still create an incredible place to live.”


Sheer curtains create a relaxed vibe. Picture: Ben Adams

Ash and Simon wanted their house to exude a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere – and they nailed the brief.

“Aside from having surfboards and skateboards everywhere, we created the ‘Cali vibe’ by keeping every space pretty casual,” Ash explains. “The furniture is low level – nothing is really that tall – so that wherever you are in the living space you get to see outside, and look out at The Great Dividing Range.”

A beautiful fireplace keeps things cosy in the cooler months.

“Lighting, texture on the walls, colour, artwork, super shaggy rugs, a fireplace, linen curtains – there are so many ways to create mood,” says Ash. “The fireplace is such a focal point in our home and adds so much character! It nods to mid-century design and the ability to stack wood underneath, but the fact it still looks beautiful is my favourite thing!”


The fireplace and textured rug bring warmth to the room. Picture: Ben Adams

4. Set a purpose

Having clearly defined spaces in your home is important – as well as looking great, you want your home to be a beautifully, seamlessly functional place to live.

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“Artwork and paint colour is the easiest way to create clearly defined spaces,” says Ash. “We used a lot of colour in our home, but instead of focussing on creating a feature wall with colour, we used it to frame spaces – we placed bulkheads in the hallway, featured a beautiful artwork, and used ‘Daintree Green’ on one wall to focus on the height of the ceiling.

“The colours were all from a palette in nature, so we knew that although the selections were bold – they would work together.”


Shades of green are found inside and outside the home. Picture: Ben Adams

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