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Tessara Van Beek of Labour of Love Reno takes us behind-the-scenes on how she transformed her beach-shack apartment into a modern coastal home.

Provide some insight into the home that you renovated; what was it like prior to the makeover? Tell us about the style of the renovation; what inspired this look?
A: My husband and I own a cosy apartment by the beach which was in serious need of updating. After years of renting out the apartment to holidaymakers, we decided it was finally time to rid the space of its 90’s beach-shack look and bring the space to its full potential. I still wanted the interiors to be reminiscent of the nearby beach without completely stripping the home of its character though, which is why we opted for a modern coastal look that was bright, open, pared back and relaxing.

When it came to selecting your carpet, what was the brief? Were there any particular requirements or lifestyle factors that needed to be considered before making your selection?
A: When it comes to creating any space I believe in working from the ground up, which is why I put thought and consideration into selecting the right carpet for our apartment. Due to building codes and restrictions, we were required to use carpet in the dining area of our home (of all places!), which made our carpet selection particularly important, so we selected a wool carpet due to its natural stain resistant qualities. This meant we could lay down a carpet that was not only made from beautifully textured, natural fibres, but offered a hard-wearing and durable solution too - something that is especially important when choosing a carpet in a high-spillage zone of the home!

What are your top five tips for choosing the perfect carpet for your room? (materials, colour, durability, etc.)
A: When choosing carpet for your home, my top five tips are:

  1. Consider where the carpet will be located; are you looking to create soft plush bedrooms, or are you carpeting high-traffic areas?
  2. Consider the type of carpet that best suits your space. For example, cut pile is a soft and luxurious variety but tends to wear quicker, making it a go-to option for spaces like the bedroom. Loop pile, on the other hand, is a durable option and great for high-traffic areas such as the living room.
  3. It’s important to consider what fibre you want to use, such as nylon, polyester or wool. There are pro’s and con’s to each, so do your research and pick what works best for you.
  4. Colour should be an important factor in your decision-making too. Think about your long-term use of the space, future trends, and whether your colour selection will adapt with you and your home over the years to come.
  5. Speaking of the future, be sure to pick a high-quality carpet that will stand the test of time.

What are your top three tips for undertaking a renovation? What advice would you give to someone looking to undertake a renovation for the first time? (e.g. budget, inspiration, etc.)
A: Before starting your own renovation, the first thing you need to understand is that hiccups are inevitable. To address this head on, my advice would be to:

  1. Go into the process knowing this and adapt where necessary. That doesn’t mean you don’t have to plan, in fact, the more you plan the smoother the process is likely to be.
  2. Make sure you set a budget with a contingency plan.
  3. Have a clear vision in mind - start by drawing inspiration online, taking a look at Pinterest and creating mood boards for the renovation to give yourself and your trades a visual guide.

How did you make an informed decision on your carpet selection? Did you review samples to see what colours and textures would and wouldn’t work in your home? Did you seek advice from an expert at Carpet Court?
A: Before selecting our carpet, I researched the different types of carpets available on the Carpet Court website and used their online style visualiser tool to see how it would look in our home. This really helped remove any uncertainty I had when making my decision. I then went into my local store and collected samples so that I could really get a feel for it in the space.

Why did you choose Natural Formations in Hanging Rock for your carpet? Tell us about the benefits and quality of this product.
A: I was immediately drawn to the beautiful colours of the Natural Formations Collection by Carpet Court, each inspired by the Australian landscape. The colour I chose, Hanging Rock, reminded me of sand which brought a touch of the beach to the apartment. What really solidified our decision though was its durability rating for residential use; as it felt important to know that I was making a long-term, quality investment.

Why did you choose Dunlop Court O Pedic as your underlay? Tell us about the benefits and quality of this product.
A: Before we renovated, the underlay at the apartment would’ve been 20 years old. When it was pulled up it was as thin as paper, providing no cushion or comfort whatsoever. It was definitely time to treat ourselves to some luxury, which is why we chose the Dunlop Court O Pedic underlay. This underlay also has great acoustic properties, giving me confidence that we wouldn’t be disturbing our neighbors below.

How long did the flooring installation process take with Carpet Court? Did you have to undertake any preparation before the install? Please provide details.
A: Before the installers arrived, we removed all the furniture so that they could get the job done easily. From there, the carpet installation happened so quickly - all in a morning’s work and completed by midday!

What was the biggest setback during your makeover, and how did you overcome it?
A: The biggest setback during our renovation was the lack of access. Bringing the carpet up four flights of stairs from the basement proved challenging - carpet is heavier than you think! Thankfully our installers were so positive and up for the challenge.


Our collaborators take you through their renovation journey.