Balancing high-end tastes with a restricted budget is an age-old struggle, but having completed a whirlwind renovation of her formerly dishevelled Melbourne home, Nat Wheeler is a master. With friend Kristy Sadlier, co-founder of the Scandi-inspired homewares store and interior design consultancy Norsu Interiors, Nat went into the reno with big ideas and tight purse strings. “We had to be creative with what we did, so we didn't blow our budget,” she says.
One of the biggest expenses of any reno is joinery and, with a growing family, Nat had no intention of skimping on storage. Nat had used some Kaboodle cabinets for her kitchen reno and could see how the same units could be applied to other settings. With some creative thinking, she devised bedroom storage that looks completely customised, functions well – and all on a budget.
Tip: Kaboodle kitchen cabinetry offers a choice of profiles, from smooth and flat modern to grooved Shaker-style panels.
Among Nat's list of must-haves was tall cabinetry, achieved by stacking kitchen base cabinets on top of pantry units, and removing the adjustable shelves in the pantry section. This left enough room for shirts, short dresses and coats to hang comfortably. “Long dresses can hang, just folded up a bit – that was the one compromise,” says Nat. The top cabinets reach almost to the ceiling to create a wall of cabinetry, as well as providing extra storage for seldom-used items. “They are the handiest cupboards because all of our suitcases fit perfectly in them,” adds Nat.
Tip: To prevent wire baskets scratching your shelves, stick felt guards, such as Madico self-stick felt surface savers, on the underside of each basket.
Nat found a Sandleford steel rail compatible with the pantry units and installed it herself. “And if I can do it, anyone can!” she says. To make the best use of the deep cabinets and keep everything accessible, she used a range of baskets, storing clothes in the KonMari folding method, which uses the available space most efficiently and keeps it all easily visible.
There was certainly no need to compromise on good looks, with the beautiful paint job on the wardrobe doors enhanced by chic leather and brass recessed pulls. “That's how you add a bit of flair,” explains Nat.
Kaboodle's paint-your-own doors offer the ability to select any colour and finish. This was a major draw for Nat, who wanted a very specific look for her Alpine profile doors: a matt finish in beautiful Dulux Tranquil Retreat.
Tip: Nat used Kaboodle's 3D planning tool to design and visualise cabinetry throughout her home.
By having a plasterer install a bulkhead, Nat created the illusion of built-in cabinets – and the impression of a high-end construction. “That's one of my top tips: by not spending a lot, you can have it really look like it's built in,” she says, noting that even a lot of professional kitchen or wardrobe companies will leave a gap between wall cabinetry and the ceiling.
Organisational guru Marie Kondo has revolutionised our clothes drawers. Using her folding techniques, clothes are stored standing upright, not stacked on top of each other, which saves space and keeps everything easily visible. Here's how to do it:
Watch our video and learn how to put in units, build a shelf and attach a hanging rod in your wardrobe and pick up everything you need to complete your next project at your local Bunnings.