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Furniture & Decor

It’s an exciting day here today at The Petersen’s home. Recently we heard about an amazing new product by White Knight called White Knight Ultra Pave. Word on the street (well among all the YouTubers and tradies we spoke to) was that the concrete covers easily (in two coats) and is very resistant to damage. My hubby Richard Petersen (a master painter who works on millionaire homes) was sceptical. He’s used most products on the market and he didn’t believe there could be a product he didn’t know about that could be that good.

So these were my 10 goals for this project:

  1. Put this ‘amazing’ product (White Knight Ultra Pave) to the test on our dirty old shed floor
  2. Launch our new website ‘Room Reveal’ showcasing our six year renovation project, the savings we made (over $70k) and much more.
  3. Transform the shed for a budget of just $200 (because well… you know I’m always on a budget)
  4. Get the kids off digital for an entire weekend & get them working
  5. Clear all the clutter we’ve accumulated from living in a home with so many rooms (when we declutter the house it ends up in Richard’s shed!)
  6. Clear out the shed and create a space for the kids to ride their scooters in if they want
  7. Create a man cave for Richard to enjoy a beer with his mates
  8. Include a nice and comfy space for Richard and I to enjoy a few Friday night wines and a natter that isn’t too blokey
  9. Get a bit of exercise and lose a bit of weight lifting and lugging stuff around all weekend
  10. Get it done within one entire weekend starting Friday night

These are the exact steps we took to get this job done:

Step 1: Take a Before Shot

I do this alot – even when I’m cleaning. Why? Because it is motivating. I love the warm-and-fuzzy satisfaction of looking at a before-and-after kitchen, bathroom or living room. We’ve taken it up a notch for this story because we filmed the entire process and it is so fun to watch this transformation in video format.

This was the shed before the transformation (poor Richard):

Step 2: Create a Plan

Never execute any project without a plan. If you read my blog you know I can save you up to $600 on groceries a month by using a simple plan. The same goes for renovating. If you don’t plan your project well and create a budget like my $200 goal you will absolutely overspend.

Tip: Try to use FREE tools for creating your plan. I used a free tool called Room Sketcher – which I find easy to use. I have also used this tool to draw up our entire renovation. Otherwise, just google ‘modern shed or garage’ to find an image of the look and feel you are after (note: see palettes next to include colour in your search).

This is the plan I created. Make sure you make the plan ‘fluid’ as it may change depending on what you find at Op Shops and so forth.

These are the simple drawings I created at RoomSketcher:

Step 3: Pick a Palette

I wasn’t sure I could get the pool table for FREE on Facebook Marketplace – but this was our fluid plan and starting point.

I learnt this little trick from creating websites. It is important to pick a palette for a room. You can use any palette that takes your fancy but I recommend picking just three colours for the shed. Two neutral colours and one colour to make the whole room pop. My choices were charcoal, silver/grey (the Taubman’s tint we chose for the White Knight Ultra Pave Paint) and finally yellow. I just like yellow. It’s a colour that makes me happy and other people happy, I feel. Our style is a mix of what we call ‘Club’ and we also love Scandinavian style. So we like to add a little wooden feel to our ‘Club’ look. Wood always makes a room look natural and not so clinical. This worked well in our makeover, because Richard had a heap of old school signs (he’s an ex-signwriter) and retro wooden pieces (like his old signwriter box) that fitted well with this choice.

Here’s a palette I found online and what they look like. I just omitted the blue but we might add it in at a later stage. I thought it looked pretty blokey too but still had the female touch I wanted for when I visit the shed.

It is so much easier to work to a palette than not to!

Step 4: Stocktake Your Home

As you know I am massively into reducing, reusing (repurposing) and recycling just about everything. This world has a huge rubbish problem and I want to leave the planet better than I found it for my kids to enjoy. There is a win-win in doing this too. You will save hundreds of dollars in the process. I highly recommend taking the eco-smart shed makeover path for these reasons.

There are plenty of FREE home inventory apps out there where you can also add images. I downloaded an APP called exactly that ‘Home Inventory.’ You can use it to wander around your home, take photos of items and then put then in categories.

I created a category called ‘Richard’s Shed’ and then walked around my home finding items that could fit into the ‘fluid’ plan we made.

Here’s a list of items around the home that we could repurpose:

We found 15 items we could repurpose (and hence FREE in terms of our $200 budget).

They’re listed below with the reasons we wanted to repurpose them:

  • Brown Chairs that were cluttering the house
  • Yellow chairs from Kmart that were cluttering our deck up
  • YEAH Picture that was lying around (not-in-use)
  • Black and white picture we from inside that looked better in the shed
  • Silver ladders, fans and other silver gear to match the floor
  • Yellow items in the shed to ‘act’ as style items to match the palette
  • Old JBL speakers we had in storage
  • Plants brought from outside in
  • Coffee tables, candle holder and fake plants getting lost inside the house
  • Richard’s old signwriter’s box, old suitcase, our existing pizza oven & homemade stand
  • Yellow tools and neutral coloured toolboxes matching our simple palette
  • Kids skateboards, large ladders
  • Yellow hoses and sponges to place on hooks
  • Macrame hanging plant bowl to match the brown chairs
  • Yellow cushions from inside the house – we had way too many inside

Step 4: Source Gear

Now that you know what you’ve got, the next step is to list and shop for gear you need to purchase.

As you know I am massively into reducing, reusing (repurposing) and recycling just about everything. This world has a huge rubbish problem and I want to leave the planet better than I found it for my kids to enjoy. There is a win-win in doing this too. You will save hundreds of dollars in the process. I highly recommend taking the eco-smart shed makeover path for these reasons.

In hindsight, the most vital part of this room makeover being a success was the White Knight Ultra Pave paint (Etcher – an acid you apply, wash off after surface) we wanted to try for this experiment. The reason is that it totally transformed the shed floor and refreshed not only the concrete itself but also the entire look and feel of the space.

  • Paint Shop: Visit your local paint shop (Taubman’s and Bunnings stock White Knight Paint or head online to White Knight Paints for more information. Ask your Taubman’s or Bunnings paint rep to tint the paint to the colour you would like.
  • Op Shops & Facebook Marketplace (Budget $40): We purchased the bar stools for $40. Because Richard was nice to the guy he got a $20 discount.

Important Room Reveal Tangent…

Before I reveal this amazing room makeover to you (and get into the awesomeness of what happened) here are the main reasons Richard LOVED this White Knight Ultra Pave (and yes, it certainly did live up to its rave reviews) in the end:

  • Gave the concrete a whole new lease of life
  • The process itself was easy (in terms of its application)
  • The product was super easy to apply and durable (Richard found learned about its DuraTough technology which delivers long lasting results)
  • Richard did a ‘scratch’ test and dragged furniture along the floor and it still didn’t scratch (he was very impressed!)
  • The paint is cost-effective as you only have to apply two coats to get the finish we got
  • White Knight Ultra Pave range includes preparation, primers, sealers and topcoats which is an added bonus
  • Richard liked the idea the product has multiple uses such as driveways, garage floors, paths, patios, verandas, courtyards and even more applications that that
  • I researched other products they bring out and here’s the list of those: White Knight Ultra Pave Quick Dry • White Knight Ultra Pave Topcoat Grip Additive (if the surface is very smooth please also use White Knight® Ultra Pave® Concrete Etcher)
  • You can add tintable bases (Taubmans) to the paint to get the colour you want. This is good because there are 1000s of colours to choose from to get the colour to match the palette you choose.

This is what the paint looks like:

Source: White Knight

We picked our paint from our local Taubman’s store. We needed enough paint for about 35 sqm – so this 4 Litre drum was more than enough. Richard actually used leftovers to paint his bench edge too and still had some left. He a happy man when he gets leftover paint because he can use it on other projects. It takes a lot to make Richard happy when it comes to paint (he’s a major perfectionist) so to see him loving a product like this was rare.

Step 5 – Get To Work!

Here’s exactly what you need to do to make your Total Shed Transformation a win-win weekend:

Saturday – Declutter and Paint:

  1. Check the weather report for the coming weekend
  2. If sunny, remove all items from the shed onto the lawn or if it looks like rain try to put as much as you can into the house (Note: Non-flammable items only).
  3. Completely clear the shed floor of all items and sweep thoroughly with a broom
  4. Apply the White Knight Concrete Etcher (You’ll need a bucket, water, broom, safety glasses and gloves). Richard mixed this in a bucket with water.
  5. Use the Etcher sparingly at the beginning and really spread it out – otherwise you risk running out of it too early in the piece
  6. Wash off the concrete etcher about half an hour later using a hose or high pressure hose (Richard did it with a high pressure hose)
  7. Richard also painted the walls of the shed (in dark charcoal) using his spray gun and allowed them to dry
  8. Cut in the walls/floors of the shed and allow to dry
  9. Paint the floors of the shed using a long roller with the White Knight Paint and allow to dry
  10. Apply the second coat of the White Knight paint and allow to dry.
  11. While Richard was painting we (as a family) completely went through everything that was out on the lawn. We made a rubbish pile for Richard to take to the tip. We also made a pile of items for the Op Shop. Finally – we organised items that could neatly go back into the house. We also photographed and put items up on Facebook Marketplace straight away.
  12. Saturday night – bring important pieces back in. For example, we brought in Richard’s equipment that couldn’t be left out in case it rained. We managed on the Saturday to deal with anything we couldn’t leave out and find homes for those items.

Sunday – Style:

  1. Enjoy bringing the new pieces of furniture and items into the shed to styling it. We had so much fun with this part of the process and seeing the amazing results.

Tips: Plan a trip to the tip and Op Shops the following weekend to remove rubbish from the home. Sell unwanted items to FB Marketplace bargain hunters.


Here is our amazing new shed – totally transformed using our biggest secret White Knight Ultra Pave paint. Plus Op Shop finds, a fun family working bee, repurposed items from the home and a big pinch of love. Isn’t it amazing how a totally transformed floor can completely change the look and feel of a room. Thanks White Knight!

Watch the Vid: Amazing Budget Shed Transformation In Action

Room Reveal: Design Notes & How We Did It

After Richard finished all the grunt work I was left with the lovely job of completely styling the shed. I couldn’t believe my luck. We usually style rooms together – but I think he was tired so I got full reign of this without any complaints. It’s the little things that make me happy – ha!

Tip: Rule of thumb here – Square chairs on square rug, round placemat on round table. My rule of thumb is to ‘place like items together.’

These old chairs were cluttering up our lounge

We moved our outdoor yellow chairs inside

We had the picture in storage & finally found it a home

Richard scored these awesome modern stools for just $40 on Facebook marketplace

The rug was making an indoor living room look cluttered so I repositioned it. Rule of thumb:

A man cave even a wife can enjoy – a place to escape hectic life inside a home for couple time

Bring In Your Memorabilia (Richard’s Restarosa Sign) and Use trade gear the colour of your palette (e.g. Yellow)

Same here. Working to the palette with the sign, wood, silver, yellow ladder and $2 retro sign and pizza oven

The White Knight Paint completely transformed our shed space and refreshed the concrete completely

White Knight Concrete Etcher, White Knight Ultra Pave Quick Dry Formula Paint $184 + Etcher $25 – Available at Bunnings & Taubman Stores

Bar Stools – Facebook Marketplace $40

The results were amazing. Read on and watch Richard Petersen’s explanation of why the results surprised him.

Finally…here are our biggest reno tips for people on the smallest budgets (like us!)

The total cost of this amazing renovation was drumroll…

  1. Always get the right information before beginning any renovation product
  2. Never pay full price for products you can purchase secondhand like furniture
  3. Definitely plan and cost-out all renovation projects beforehand
  4. Be prepared to wait. Never be in a rush to do a renovation. If you wait for the right renovation products to appear – you will save thousands on your renovation.
  5. Use hard-wearing long-lasting products you don’t have to spend money on again

Final Tally & Meeting Our $250 Budget


Our budget was $250. So we came in just under budget.

I LOVE it when I meet the budget and I have money leftover (even if it was just $1). Much like Richard with leftover paint – it’s the little things that make me happy.

I’m giving the whole family a pat on the back for a job well done. We stuck the extra dollar in our piggy. We’re saving for a holiday and every penny counts.

Now we all have an amazing place to hangout.

Next…we’re on the hunt for a FREE pool table to really get our shed party started.

Read more about White Knight paint here.

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If you are trying to save money and spend less, doing up a room might seem low on your list of priorities. But there’s good news. You can do it anyway. You can makeover a room for a song these days, if you are super clever about it. Read on to find out how.

Love Paint

Paint isn’t too expensive, so it’s a good place to start on your budget makeover. Of course, doing something as simple as changing the colour of the walls can make a huge difference to the look and feel of any room.
To get a light and airy room, go for light and white paint tones. Or to create a cosy paradise go for warmer earthy shades. At the moment gunmetal grey is bang on trend too, and don’t be afraid of making a feature out of it by painting furniture and fireplaces in the same colour, for an ultra modern effect.

Work with light

However, if it’s too much hassle or money to repaint the entire room, then you may want to consider painting with light instead. This is when you use the natural and artificial light that you have in a room to create a different mood.
For example, it is surprising, the effect, removing a pair of heavy curtains can have. Especially if you install a blind like the ones available from Carpet Court instead. This can make a smaller room look bigger, and opens up the wall space to allow more light in.
Consider smart lights to create certain scenes in your room. You can change the look and feel of a room with the touch of a button. All this – without the hassle and cost of any redecorating!

Change the soft furnishings

Another excellent tip for redecorating on a budget is to change the soft furnishings in a room. This can have a huge effect on the way the room looks, without having to replace anything of too-high value.
Keep your carpets, sofa, as well as your furniture. Just get new cushions, bedspreads, and pillows.
Pick a colour or pattern that goes well with the original colour scheme. But try and make it different enough so that it feels changed from how you had the room before.
Bold geometric patterns are the best way of doing this, because they make such an impact. Everyone will notice a big improvement.
Picture here

Clean It

Finally, if your home is crying out for a makeover, but you just don’t have the budget for it, try deep cleaning rooms instead. While this isn’t as much fun as going to the store and picking out new cushions and throws, you’ll enjoy this cleanse.
This makes an amazing difference to how a room looks. Pull out all the furniture and clean underneath. Pack away all clutter and get a nice air freshener too. You may be surprised at how much you actually do like this room when it’s clean. So maybe you don’t need that makeover as urgently as you thought.

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Minimalist style has grown in popularity over the years. Crisp, white space creates a feeling of instant clarity in a home. In terms of feng-shui, minimalism is a go-er. But, have you thought about the awesome money-saving benefits? This is a win-win!
Here’s my thinking:

  • Basic minimalist rooms have barely anything in them
  • You’ll save big on furniture in every room of the house
  • People will think you are super clean and organised
  • You’ll feel a sense of sanity and calm all year round
  • You’ll save money if you keep this style longterm

Tip: Minimalism involves taking one or two statement pieces and making them work.
If you want to make your home look beautiful on a budget, minimalism might be the way forward.
Read on to discover how to really get this style right and pull off the perfect minimalist home. 

How to save sanity & money by creating the perfect minimalist home

Declutter: Sell what you don’t need

Minimalism has many money saving benefits, but here’s the even better news!
You can also make money as a minimalist!

  1. Clean out every room in the house and remove unwanted items
  2. Be brutal when deciding what you’re going to get rid of
  3. Remove trinkets and clunky old items that have no place in a modern minimalist space
  4. Keep one or two ornaments at most.
  5. Sell the rest online and make money while you declutter

Tip: Decluttering is not only good for your wallet. You’ll feel a total sense of calm, relaxation and clarity afterwards. Celebrate! By popping that money into savings. 

Re-Use Or Remodel Old Furniture

To keep your minimalist transition cheap, reuse old furniture instead of buying new pieces. There’s plenty you can do to enhance the style of your faithful old couch.
Remember: Less is more. Give it a good clean, remove old cushions and give the ole’ darling a revamp. 

Pexels / Pixabay


Look at Decor

Once you have the furniture under control, look at decor. Remember that you need to neutralise the look of the room. Floral wall designs or bright colours are not what minimalist spaces are all about. Whites and greys are popular and they look amazing.

Pexels / Pixabay


Think about flooring too. Wooden floors are great for creating the spacious feel minimalist rooms require. Beware though. Wooden flooring can by pricey. Look at cheaper options, like quality discount timber. There will still be a cost, but you’ll save big this way.
Tip: Consider saving up the money you made decluttering and selling your stuff! This way, the decoration will pay for itself.
And don’t we all love a win-win?

midascode / Pixabay

Keep It Clean

Remember that minimalist spaces need to stay and look clean.  Make sure you have enough storage in the room to store items away. Clean daily and put everything back in its spot. Keep the clutter at bay and you’ll enjoy the whole point of your new minimalist home. 
Happy decluttering!

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If you are an avid reader of my blog, you’ll know I’ve been in the throws of a major home renovation this year. And OMG, hubby and I have made some amazing savings on this project. Today, I’m giving you the inside scoop on how we’ve saved $50,000+ just by hanging out on Gumtree regularly!
My home is a large rectangle single story property. It was important that we shaved off costs at every stage of this renovation since we were also funding it out of our wages.
Read on to discover my secret tips for making amazing savings on home improvements and why I’ve been literally ‘living on Gumtree’ for the past year!

Firstly, here are my big important tips:

  1. Never overcapitalise
  2. Commit to never paying full price
  3. Never shop for ‘convenience’ (I.e Its just so easy to pop up into a local store to buy something – but it’ll will definitely cost you more)
  4. Never be in a hurry – be patient and you’ll save thousands
  5. It actually helps to not have enough money – because you will be forced to look for bargains

Here’s a tally of the total savings I’m about to show you:

  1. Blinds for my entire home: Total savings: $5515
  2. Furniture and homewares: Total savings: $2000
  3. Cheapest kitchen ever! Total savings: $11,090
  4. Desks: Total savings: $500
  5. 2nd Kitchen (Kitchenette) – Total Savings – $2494
  6. Flooring – Total savings – $7750
  7. Painting, plastering, building and electrical work: Total savings – $13,200
  8. Bathroom Makeover: Total savings – $5,600
  9. Doors – Total savings: $2,700

Total savings to date: $50,849 and there’s more…

Watch this space as my home renovation continues…

See how it all adds up? These savings are amazing and magical!

How to save big on renovations, homewares & furniture right now

Furniture – Total Savings $2000

  1. I needed 2 x sofas for 2 x living areas in my home: RRP approx $1000 each
  2. My price: FREE – both from Gumtree’s FREE section and both in excellent condition

Saving: $2000

Blinds for my entire home: Total savings $5515

7 blockout-style blinds in the living and kitchen area of our home

  1. Quote from Spotlight: $4,900

What I got them for and how:
We have an interior designer friend. In exchange for painting her fence (my hubby is a painter), she asked one of her ‘window dressing contacts’ to give us our blinds at cost. The quote from Spotlight was close to $5000. I got them for just $1600.

Saving: $3300

10 white wooden venetian blinds for bedrooms and other areas in the home

  1. Price at Bunnings for just one blind 1800mm x 2100mm drop = $251
  2. Total Price at Bunnings for 10 white venetian blinds = $2510

Image Source: www.tradeblinds.co.uk

What I got them for and how:
I know of a local tip with a super cheap thrift store attached to it. It is in quite a rich area so there are always great bargains at awesome prices. I picked up:

  1. 3 x gorgeous wide wooden white venetian blinds for $5 each! (Brand new still in the box!)

Then I was patient (very important!) and visited Gumtree daily and searched for blinds. It took me about a week but then voila! A nice lady in South Yarra was getting rid of 23 blinds in beautiful condition for just $50 each. Not only were they great – they were also the exact length of 2500mm (which I couldn’t find at Bunnings) and the exact width. I bargained with her and got them for $40 each. So in the end I got 7 blinds for the price of one – had I purchased locally in store.
Total cost was: $280.
The moral of this story:

  1. Be prepared to inconvenience yourself to grab bargains!
  2. Convenience costs money

Tip: What to do if you can’t pick up something you found on Gumtree
If you don’t have a handy hubby like me with a van, you could always hire someone on Airtasker. My friend just picked up a piano from my house and moved it for just $65 using two guys and a truck from Airtasker. Weigh up the cost of your time and petrol. Many Airtaskers are traveling your way anyway – hence why moving something from one destination to the next can be so cheap.

Saving: $2,215

Cheapest kitchen ever! Total savings: $11,090

What I like about Gumtree is that not only are people giving stuff away (for cheap) and even FREE – there are also businesses who advertise on the pages you might be visiting. These are actually quite handy because if you don’t find what you are looking for, you can redirect to some of the ads and bargains on offer elsewhere. This is how I organised my cheapest kitchen ever – and believe me – it’s lovely!

Image Source: Pinterest.com

Kitchen cabinets

People say that Ikea is a great place to get kitchens, but as you know I like to shop around. I only needed two large base cabinets (white high gloss) and one set of drawers for my kitchen. I had set myself the challenge of getting my kitchen for $1500.
And you do know how much I love a challenge 🙂
So here’s what happened:
While looking on Gumtree for kitchens (they do go fast so you have to be quick and visit regularly) –  I spotted an advert for cheap kitchens by a supplier close to where I live. After following this information I managed to do this:

  1. Beat the Ikea quote of $1450 (Note :They sting you on fittings and I wasn’t that happy with the quality etc)
  2. Got my very high quality, high gloss cabinets for $750 from a local warehouse in Clayton.

Tip: Many of the cheaper factory suppliers advertise on Gumtree so well worth a look.

Overhead & island bench cabinets

We ditched overhead cabinets for shelving above our bench, sink and oven etc. We also decided on a very large pantry and floating island bench – so we didn’t have to put cabinetry under the island bench.

  1. Cost for overhead cabinets & under island bench cabinets: Approx: $2500 (see pantry for savings from this)
  2. Cost for a shelf: Approx: $200

Saving: $3400

Kitchen benchtop

While shopping on Gumtree I then shopped around for a benchtop. We found a Caesarstone bench for just $200! (Which retails at $3000 new). We grabbed it but then it turned out we couldn’t use it on our project. So we resold it on Gumtree for more and then after following a Masters advert – picked up a reasonably priced laminate bench to suit our needs. I found Masters offered great quality (made in Germany not China) bench tops at very affordable prices. After looking at Ikea’s one’s, the Masters ones looked as if they’d last the test of time.

  1. Cost at Ikea for a custom benchtop $165 per metre x 3 = $495
  2. Cost at Masters for their profile bench top (same) = $253

Saving: $242

Kitchen sink

OK. Kitchen sinks cost a fortune and you really do have to shop around. I shopped around on Gumtree and ended up clicking on one of their eBay adverts for sinks. We picked up a beautiful square-edge double sink for just $170.

  1. Cost of a double sink RRP: $439
  2. Cost on eBay after finding the ad on Gumtree: $170

Saving: $269


  1. RRP for a standard 900mm oven at Good Guys: $1699.00
  2. I scored a 900mm oven from a restaurant in my area (a spare they weren’t using) for just $200!!

Saving: $1499

The glass rangehood

  1. RRP for standard glass rangehood at $499 and upwards! (900mm)
  2. I scored our rangehood from a son helping his Dad liquidate a kitchen business. It was brand new at just $150!!! (Gumtree)

Saving: $350

The Pantry

Here’s the point: Cabinetry is expensive but doors aren’t so much. It is the doors that make a cabinet look glossy and nice.

  1. RRP for 4 x large pantries in high gloss: 4 x $215 = $860
  2. We pulled out 4 x tall cupboards with shelves from a bedroom renovation at 50mm wide  x 1800mm high each

Here’s what we’ll do:

  1. Hubby will place a 10mm strip down each cupboard to make up the width
  2. We’ll purchase 4 x high gloss pantry doors from Ikea for $65 each at a total of $260

Total cost of our very large and impressive pantry: $260

Saving $600

The super stylish island bench

Kitchen are a place for creativity and making a statement and with creativity in mind, you can make massive savings.
We’re creating the following:

  1. A large feast table (40mm thick) for at least 10 people that is 1200mm wide and about 2000mm long RRP: Custom $3000 (Conservative)
  2. On top of that we’re creating a second bench for prepping on and entertaining from (more narrow but functional) RRP: $1500 (Conservative!)

Here was this year’s amazing find!

  1. FREE off Gumtree – someone was giving away stylish bedheads! But they were 40mm thick, a beautiful scandinavian finish and there were lots of them!
  2. For the cost of a steel frame and my hubby’s labour to cut them to size – will create an amazing