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When one door closes another one opens (quite literally) for avid property investors, Melissa and Paul, whose latest project was turning this Auckland townhouse into a stylish contemporary home.

Once brown throughout, a bit dull and simply outdated, the unrecognisable Ellerslie property is on the market and ready to become someone’s forever home.

The people behind it all? Enter Melissa and Paul.

This powerhouse couple knows what it takes when it comes to turning a property on its head.

With each new venture, this pair exhibit their unique aesthetic and eye for detail, ranging from interior design to staging homes ready for market.

If you’ve considered restoring, revamping or modernising a property, you’re going to love this Project Story. We’ll cover Melissa and Paul’s latest project, including:

  • The lead up to investing in property and home improvement

  • Choosing the right tradesperson for the job

  • The trials and tribulations of preparing a property for market

  • Advice from one home renovator to another

  • And, their take on why there’s no time like the present to get stuck in.

Sneak Peak: An exterior facelift, to match the flooring | Photo: John Q (Ray White)

Lockdown 2021: Inception

When I first chat with Melissa about their Ellerslie project, I find out that she and Paul are already deep into their next project; it’s business as usual for these new venture seekers.

“We’ve renovated investment properties before, many years ago,” Melissa says.

Melissa and Paul’s sheer determination is clear to me as we continue our conversation. And with no surprises, I find out that with last year’s lockdown and housing frenzy, it was the perfect time for the couple to dive back into the market.

The first in line, a three bedroom Ellerslie home, which was well overdue for a facelift after being listed for the first time in 18 years.

“Everything was brown with carpet throughout and beautiful high ceilings,” Melissa says.

“We just wanted to make it light and bright,” Melissa adds, alluding to her vision of the home, which they purchased shortly after its debut.

Before: Once brown throughout, a bit dull and simply outdated | Photo: Diakrit

Journey To The Market

Melissa and Paul had foreseen most of the risks involved in renovating a home; timing for tradespeople, materials shortages, increased costs and potential risk of losing gains.

But even with their vision in mind, Melissa and Paul soon uncovered some minor hurdles along the way; the first one being wallpaper.

“We painted over the wallpaper upstairs, but in hindsight, we would have 100% stripped back the wallpaper and started with a blank canvas,” Melissa reflects.

Their second hurdle was timing; a struggle most people are familiar with these days.

“Because we’re both working quite a lot, it’s hard to be there to oversee things and make things happen on time,” Melissa says.

The floor-plan | Photo: John Q (Ray White)

The Flooring Decision: Carpet Or Vinyl

What Melissa and Paul had never anticipated was the difficult decision on which flooring to go with: carpet or vinyl.

“My husband said ‘we’ll just go for the cheapest option’, so I said ‘let me do some research and see first’,” Melissa laughs.

“Usually we put carpet throughout because it’s a whole lot cheaper, but I’ve always wanted to do the flooring thing, as I just think that laminate and vinyl looks amazing!” Melissa says.

During: A work in progress | Photo: Melissa

Matching A Tradesperson

For Melissa and Paul, deciding on the best tradesperson for their job boiled down to two things: great reviews and aesthetics.

“The only way you can know if a tradesperson is good is if they have raving reviews,” Melissa says, “I love seeing the photos and if they have a bit of style, because for me it’s an aesthetic thing.”

“We had a few people over and I particularly gelled with Andy,” Melissa says, listing the reasons why she believed Andy was a good fit.

“Andy was really efficient at booking in a time and brought all the samples over, which was great,” Melissa says commending Andy’s professional touch.

“He was also able to do the carpet upstairs, so it was a win-win!” Melissa laughs.

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Before vs. After: A modern twist with black and bronze tones | Photo: John Q (Ray White)

Enter Andy From Rising Flooring

It becomes clear to me when speaking to Andy, that both him and Melissa have matching expectations when it comes to undertaking a job, which are:

  • Communication: between all parties involved (including any sub trades)

  • Timing: of schedules for efficiency

  • Quality: of materials and the workmanship

  • Aesthetic: of the end result

I ask Andy what his secret is for maintaining a high standard of work, and he shares that a site manager looks at the job at every single point.

“That’s how we get great results and quality,” Andy says.

“For the materials, we used SPC hybrid flooring which is waterproof and durable, so the size and shape doesn’t change overtime,” Andy explains. “The carpet was a good, 60 ounce polyester, which can tolerate sunlight exposure and doesn’t change colour for years.”

After: Light and bright is an understatement | Photo: Melissa

The Results

A few months on, the once tired Auckland townhouse is looking refreshed and better than ever. With new paint, a modern bathroom, meticulously decked out living areas and pristine flooring, this home is sure to sell.

“We had some minor delays, which Andy was really good at accommodating,” Melissa says, reflecting on their experience so far.

Melissa goes on to tell me that they used BC again for their tiling job. “We had a quick response, read their reviews, and booked a tradesperson who came out and just got the job done,” Melissa says.

I ask Melissa how she feels about the space now, and she says it’s light and inviting.

“The feedback from the open homes is that it’s open and warm. I’m glad it worked out that way!”

The Before & Afters


Advice For Keen Renovators

At this point, I’m feeling inspired to tackle a renovation project of my own!

After: The stunning end results | Photo: John Q (Ray White)

The Future Looks Bright

Some people might feel burnt out after renovating and styling their home, but not Melissa and Paul.

When I ask Melissa what’s next on the cards, she tells me that they’re interested in a brick and tile property that’s just around the corner.

“I’m quite keen to do something with white on white, balanced with lots of greenery — something a bit different,” Melissa says, her confidence and style radiating through the phone.

“I think a lot of people are scared of doing a project because they think they lack creativity and confidence, but I think they shouldn’t shy away from just getting in there, buying a property and tarting it up,” Melissa says.

“I’m all about co-ownership where you go in with a friend or family member. Or simply just to buy something now and set it up for your family later.”

After: Styled and staged to perfection – this home is sure to sell | Photo: John Q (Ray White)

Thank You

A huge thank you to Andy from Rising Flooring, and our awesome homeowners, Melissa and Paul for sharing their story. You can check out their latest business venture here, and this property over at Ray White.

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