Inside WA House Rules team s renovated home
Carole and Russell Bramston. Picture: Michael Wilson

Sitting in the newly renovated home of WA House Rules team Carole and Russell Bramston, it's clear the pair do not just ham it up for the cameras - they bicker and banter affectionately, creating a house full of laughter. And what a home they now have, following the total transformation of their dilapidated 28-year-old abode.

The two-storey fibro home was advertised on Gumtree with the tagline "renovate or detonate" when Carole bought it, without consulting her husband.

"It was a tip, I kicked the balcony and the whole thing landed on my car below," said Russell, who wasn't thrilled about moving from coastal Sorrento to the Hills.

But despite the extensive amount of work needed, Carole had already fallen in love with the property.

"I felt like we needed a project," she said. "And I didn't mind it being a tip because of the view. It's spectacular."

While they were planning on tackling the renovation themselves over the following years, the opportunity to be contestants on House Rules presented itself before they had begun.

It was a brave decision, allowing a team of strangers to completely renovate their home but one the pair say has changed their lives for the better.

"It's been great for our family, especially the grandkids," Carole said.

"It's gone from not being able to get them up here, to we can't get rid of them," Russell added.

Stepping inside the home, the eye is immediately captivated by the lush valley views from the alfresco deck. It is now the perfect entertaining space, with a Naomi teak dining table and Shogun Carver chairs (all from Masters), and tableware from Kitchen Warehouse. Luxe gold cutlery adds a touch of glam, which Carole had wanted.

Both agree the open-plan living area that leads to the deck is their favourite element of the home.

"We're totally delighted with our small but beautiful home and how they captured the view," Carole said. "The view is what pushed me and motivated me to buy this property - it's uninterrupted - not many people can boast a view from the kitchen sink!"

In the kitchen, Carole's brief for "industrial chic" was achieved with a wire ladder shelf and silver Utility bar stools from Freedom.

Finishes include white Caesarstone benchtops and custom-made cabinets and Mosaic Wood Light 3-D tiles which create a textural feature under the bench.

Graphic "love" wallpaper from Pickawall (pickawall.com.au) creates a feature near the entry, alongside the barn doors (recycled from Carole's old bedhead) leading to the galley kitchen.

The living room continues the industrial chic theme. Highlights include a ute toolbox from Masters used for storage, a metallic coffee table, chestnut leather sofas and an assortment of throws and pillows, all from Freedom, and a pot- belly fire in the corner of the room.

"Initially I was upset the fireplace was taken out, I thought they could have done something really grand with that," Carole said. "Afterwards we found there was a problem with the chimney but I didn't think the pot-belly was a good use of space. Now I look at it and I think how wonderful it will be in winter."

"Plus I hear one log burns all night in a pot-belly, so Carole won't make me get up every hour to stoke the fire," Russell added.

A salvaged cabinet that Carole and Russell designated as a "keep" item takes pride of place at the far end of the lounge area, in front of a feature wall that continues up from the Provincial Lane Grey Ash floating floor from Carpet Court.

Down the hall, which features a built-in laundry concealed behind sliding doors, is the couple's relaxation haven.

The main suite boasts a walk-through robe behind a custom plywood bedhead. Pendant lights from Beacon Lighting, drapes from Curtain World and charcoal carpet from Carpet Court are paired with white Linen House bedding and a white upholstered Exuma armchair from Harvey Norman.

"Chocolate and champagne" was the brief for the bathroom, and the glamorous ensuite definitely delivers. The centrepiece is a Mintori freestanding spa bath, with full-height dark grey Antares tiles.

Carole said she loved to light the candles and open the blinds to take in the hills view while she was in the bath.

The guest bedroom across the hall features flocked Georgia wallpaper from Masters, sheer black curtains from Curtain World, a black iron bed paired with a mirrored dressing and side tables from Domayne, and an Ishmir antique-style mirror from Freedom.

The guest bathroom works miracles within a confined space, drawing the eye to the back of the shower where a feature-tile bath seat occupies the wall. "Both bathrooms are beautiful," Russell said. "I couldn't believe how they achieved the floor plan in such a small area."

Carole said it was emotional to walk into her newly renovated home and see the result, and she continued to look around and notice new things.

While the couple have finished the journey on this home for the minute, she is keen to continue her interest in interiors by moving into consulting on hospitality decor. "It's all about atmosphere, and I think some businesses fail in this miserably," Carole said. "I would love to start a tiny cafe with great coffee and funky music and deck it out properly."

And more renovating may be on the cards in their immediate future. One of their children has just bought a fixer-upper three-by-one and has requested the services of their, now expert, renovator parents. Carole has volunteered Russell to do the bathrooms and has already begun formulating a grand vision for the spaces in her head.

"I'm picking up the key tomorrow, so let's see what can be done - you've got to keep busy, keep moving!"

House Rules is on Sundays at 6.30pm, and Mondays-Wednesdays at 7.30pm on Seven and GWN.

The West Australian

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