Ariane’s First Renovation Project

Ariane, one of our BuildHers, started her very first renovation project in 2019,  where she created a calm and cohesive home that utilizes open plan living spaces and clean lines which are accentuated by breathtaking raked ceilings and a neutral colour palette. Nestled in a traditional wooden exterior, this renovation saw old meets new with polished concrete floors, mixed tone wooden finishes and decorative bathroom tiles. 

We sat down for a chat with Ariane to get the down low on her BuildHer experience and how she created the home of her dreams in Albion.

Ariane took us through the journey of her reno, sharing her favourite moment of the building process was seeing the stunning raked ceilings go up. We understand it’s hard to imagine what it’s going to look like but Ariane reflected on how exciting it was to see every room come to life when the ceilings were installed. This was a total ‘in awe’ moment and was one of the many things Ariane learned during this experience.

All images by @dylanjamesphoto

When we asked Ariane what else she learned, her answer was simple… “SO MUCH!”

She explained that because she was so excited to start the build, she started looking and purchasing finishes, fixtures and little bits and pieces prior to the build. However, at the end of the reno, her vision had changed so much that these purchases no longer aligned with her project and she ended up not wanting to use them. Imagine what you could’ve used that money for instead?! But, we can’t blame you Ariane! Sometimes it’s hard to control your excitement for all the potential of your new project. 

So take note ladies –  CURB YOUR SHOPPING ENTHUSIASM! And take Ariane’s advice:

“Don’t settle into something until closer to when you have everything confirmed. It’s important to do a mood board…”

What else would Ariane do differently? The inclusion of landscaping at the feasibility stage!

“We were under the impression that it should always be the house and the landscaping comes at the end. In hindsight we would’ve done it at the same time.”

The importance of landscaping as part of the feasibility not only ensures your costs are covered, but it also assists in bringing together the final look and feel of the design. 

And it makes sense to get permits approved upfront, especially if you’re considering a pool! No one wants this stress at the end of a build. So don’t be tempted like Ariane to only focus on the alfresco areas.  

“They [gardens] should be as beautiful as your house, it’s always nice to have the finished product of the landscape.”

What we LOVE about our student stories is not only hearing about the project development but also your personal development journey through the process. And what did Ariane gain from this experience? CONFIDENCE!

“It is quite a male-dominated industry and a lot of the time you do have the builders, plumbers (etc.) telling you what they think will look good and what I’ve learnt about myself is that I have a voice, and it’s my home at the end of the day.

Yes, they [tradesmen] have input and it’s valid, but you have to have that confidence and back yourself knowing that this is what you’ve wanted to do.”


Communication helps solidify the project relationships and building process – and who doesn’t want to make our on-site lives easier?!

So Ariane, what’s one piece of advice you’d give someone who is starting out? 

“Go with your gut! There’s a lot of influence from other people getting into your thoughts, social media, Pinterest, beautiful homes […] and at the end of the day, this is going to be your house, your home, and it’s important to go with your gut instinct. 

 If something doesn’t sit right with you, then it’s probably not the right thing to do. Have the confidence to try new things. Challenge the status quo

Going into her third year as a BuildHer, Ariane shares that the help she’s received is amazing and how BuildHer has helped throughout the process.

The perks are awesome! The perks outweigh any fee you will pay to join. The connections you’ve [BuildHer] put together, is amazing.

The fact that they’ve got available resources at your fingertips, is amazing. They’ve got a network, a community of like minded women that can share their experience and learnings with everyone. […] You’ve got instant resources that you don’t find everyday.

Ariane also said how much she loves getting to connect with the BuildHer cohort and get instant feedback. Also the Little Black Book of Suppliers and Trades is a great bonus for insight into who to trust! 

Now, would Ariane do this process again? 

“Yeah definitely, we’ve got an investment property, are doing a cosmetic flip, then hopefully the next property/project we get we’ll start with the renovation process again.”

Sounds like a busy schedule, Ariane! We can’t wait to see it all come to life. 

Ariane continues by saying she feels she’s been able to master her skills through her first project, which will enable her to have more control and understanding the second time.

“The more you do it, the more you become accustomed to those challenges,[…] you become more confident in taking those challenges.” Ariane even said she’s secretly looking forward to the next project. 

Are you ready to learn more about how to create the home of your dreams?  Or how to develop for profit? Book in a call with Courtney today via this link, we look forward to chatting soon!

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