Design
I've always been a bit of a fan of modern design, although you would never suspect it from my slovenly appearance and general messiness. So when I found myself the accidental owner of a run down terrace house in the Sydney suburb of Surry Hills, what started as a bit of a cosmetic makover became a full blown renovation, with all the design work done by myself, and the physical work done by a builder friend.

Unfortunately, I have lost all the 'Before' pictures but think complete wreck with no floor in the front room, pokey small rooms, exposed brown bricks, archways, a brown laminate kitchen, no upstairs bathroom, a concrete rear yard and so forth. And I didn't take all that many 'After' shots before I sold it, but you should be able to get the idea, if not some of the nifty details.

There were some problems, notably with the downstairs flooring, which had to be replaced three times due to water warping it from a leaky pipe and then Sydney's biggest hailstorm in decades hitting while the roof was off.

The kitchen is made from plywood, with gloss red doors in the upper section, stainless steel benchtops, and a glass tile splashback, and a moveable island bench with a metallic finish from the maestros at Axolotl. There is a trapese lighting system

At the rear of the existing house we built a two storey extension with an iron folding glass door, and aluminium louvers. The bathroom has a spa bath (no jets) and opens via opaque glass sliding doors to a small Japanese pond so you can have a bath almost outdoors. The louvers open to let fresh breezes through the house or close up for complete privacy, but can be a hassle to open and close manually.

The back yard is now paved, with tall bamboo providing even more privacy and somewhere for the cats to be cat-like.

Upstairs, the whole back was replaced and extended to make a master bedroom with attached bathroom. The bathroom opens to the bedroom via an etched glass door and is basically one giant shower with stainless steel fixtures including the toilet. It is tiled with large sanded white marble tiles.

The bed is a custom made platform bed made extra large so that reading materials can be placed on it.

The room overlooks a void downstairs, with a custom stainless steel banister so you don't fall out. It looks out through the louvers given a great view of the garden, and the neighbours a great view of any shenanigans.

All in all it is a pretty cool house, and it was a very satisfying experience doing it.

Once completed, the only question would be what to do for an encore.