Nat Wheeler has got it bad for renovating. In fact, she openly admits being obsessed by it.
“There’s nothing I love more than a little demolition work,” Ms Wheeler said.
Over the years, she has renovated three houses and, with her Norsu Interiors store business partner Kristy Sadlier, four shops (the latest is the new norsuHome Concept store in Malvern East).
Her fixation with remodelling spaces began when she was just 12 years old and decided to hire a steamer to remove the pink wallpaper in her bedroom.
“Back then, I wasn’t into pink at all, but through my work with Norsu, it has become my signature colour,” Ms Wheeler said.
So, when it came time to renovate the California bungalow in Glen Iris that she shares with husband Dan and their two children, Annabel, 7, and Harvey, 4, she was absolutely in her element.
But Ms Wheeler’s latest renovation was a little different from the others.
This time, the whole reno was documented for social media (@norsuhome; @norsuinteriors; Norsu Home) and for an 11-part video series on the Norsu Interiors website.
Also, Ms Wheeler and Ms Sadlier worked closely with their favourite interior fitting and fixture companies for the fit-out.
“We wanted to share the journey with our social-media followers and prove that renovating doesn’t have to be an overwhelming experience,” Ms Wheeler said.
It was the floorplan that first attracted Ms Wheeler and her husband to the home, along with the fact it was virtually in an original state, apart from a family room tacked on the end about 40 years ago.
“It used to be a dark and poky house, but we’ve been able to really open it up with light and colour,” Ms Wheeler explained.
The couple knew they could work within the constraints of the existing floorplan, which helped keep costs down.
Also reducing their renovating spend was flatpack cabinetry, which they’ve used throughout, including in the bedrooms.
“It’s such an affordable way to create storage,” Ms Wheeler noted.
The cabinetry is a real feature of the home. It has been spray-painted in light shades using a two-pack matt finish, and luxe features have been added “to create some wow”.
In the kitchen, for example, is a marble splashback and brass details, giving the fit-out a bespoke, luxurious look, and in some rooms there are leather handles in brass, black or blush.
“I’m all about the detail,” Ms Wheeler said.
The Scandi-style decor features a colour palette that is a gentle mix of soft greys and olive green combined with crisp white and pops of blush pink, which gives each space personality and an uplifting feel.
Wide-panel oak floors, wall panelling, delicate window sheers and white plantation shutters add charm.
But of particular note is the mix of materials in the bathroom, which adds up to a look that’s all glam.
“In previous renos, we have gone with white-on-white boring in the bathroom, but here was my chance to step away from that by using things like pink basins, brass tapware and the most gorgeous pink-tiled wall (with tiles by Perini Tiles),” Ms Wheeler said.
“Even our laundry isn’t a dull space. You enter the room through these great barn-style doors and I’m just in love with the fabulous pink penny-round splashback.”
Having a round table in the dining nook was a must for Ms Wheeler, who said the shape was more entertainer-friendly.
By fitting a built-in bench seat along one wall, less chairs were required and the table can be easily pushed in when not in use to create more space.
“The kids love it. They think it’s like being at a cafe when they are sitting there having dinner,” Ms Wheeler said.
As with any renovating project, there were surprises along the way.
“The biggest surprise was when we started gutting rooms and found the home had a lot of false ceilings,” Ms Wheeler said. “It was like finding gold because we were able to have higher ceilings in the front entry and the kitchen, which we really love!”
Postscript with Nat Wheeler
What do people comment on the most about your home?
The amount of pink. A lot of people think it’s like stepping into one of our Norsu shops — it has the same feeling and I think that is because our brand really is an extension of who we are and what we like.
Your favourite spot?
The bathroom. We live such a crazy life — working, renovating, opening shops. Sunday afternoon is when I have a bit of downtime. My favourite feature of this space is the marble herringbone tiles. I pinch myself over those tiles; they’re just so beautiful. There isn’t a day I don’t walk in there and jump up and down inside.
Best time of day in your home?
The minute you wake up. I cannot tell you how bright this house is in the morning. The living area is just flooded with natural light and is so white and bright. It makes me feel happy and energised. On the flip side, I also love it when the lights are down at night; when it is just Dan and me on the couch and everything is a bit calmer.
What gives your home personality?
The styling. It’s layered, textured and full of wonderful knick-knacks. It’s the little details that give our home its story.
What does home mean to you?
Home means everything. It is where we raise our family. It’s where we create memories together. It’s where we have our best friends over and it’s where I feel inspired.