Despite its boxy floor plan, daggy flooring and archways everywhere you looked in her Wembley Downs home, Danielle Huljich knew it had the potential to become a dream home for her family.
"It was such a little box, I couldn't live with it any more," said Ms Huljich, who wanted more space for her children, Seb, 4, and Stevie, 2.
Knowing that the split-level home had good bones, Ms Huljich and husband Dan Solomon decided to gut the kitchen and main areas to create an open-plan, contemporary area to take in the valley views, which could not be seen from the original kitchen, and allow the children to be seen while playing outside or in the pool when they get older.
She also wanted an area for her stunning collection of glassware and eclectic furniture, which she has been collecting from swap meets and local markets since she was 18.
"So I had all this glassware that I've been collecting for years - and I've still got heaps in the cupboards - and I really wanted everything to be white and just have this as a feature," Ms Huljich said.
After removing several walls, plastering and building up a window to create a more modern look, the pair ripped up the carpet and tiles and had the concrete underneath polished.
Ms Huljich said she loved the 70s feel of the flooring, not to mention the fact that it was ultra-low maintenance.
The walls were painted in Dulux Vivid White, which provides a clean canvas for the coloured glassware.
"I did have some help from my friend who's in my mothers' group (interior designer Jules Hurst)," Ms Huljich said. "She just helped me with all the end decisions."
Ms Huljich also had some help from her sister-in-law, Nikki Solomon, of home and personal organising specialists New Order.
The kitchen was completely gutted and is now a sleek and functional space.
Features include Essastone benchtops, vinyl-wrap cabinetry teamed with wood-grain laminate, flush handles, an Ariston oven, Smeg range hood, and an Oliveri under-slung sink with a Franke gooseneck mixer.
The fridge and pantry are cleverly located out of view.
Replica Philippe Starck Charles Ghost bar stools (purchased online from Matt Blatt) and a trio of Nud lights (from Great Dane Furniture, another online find) are just some of the furnishings that give the area its effortlessly chic feel.
Others include a hide floor rug, an oversized green glass bottle - an old Italian wine vessel - a retro dining setting and pendant light purchased on eBay, an old record player that was a gift from a friend, a rug from a Bali flea market, and various artworks, including a Ben Frichot work, Queen of Aces, a print from Mt Hawthorn- based Salu Art, and a piece from Vietnam.
Floating shelves from Ikea house the glassware, framing the doorway that connects the main living area to the rest of the home.
Originally an archway, the doorframe now houses sliding glass doors that Ms Huljich found in a verge collection.
"If it was a funky archway I probably would have done something with it," she said. "But I scored those doors off the side of the road and I really wanted to put them up here, so we decided to square it off."
Ms Huljich said the family was thrilled with the makeover, and planned to extend the renovation outside soon.
"This is where it's finished and there is so much more to do as you can see," she said.
"We want this to be our home forever."
TIP: Don't be limited by what's available on shelves locally. Ms Huljich favours eBay, swap meets and second-hand stores. "There are so many good little things out there and people get rid of so much stuff," she said.