Ready to transform your house into a renovation sensation? Make sure you have a team of experts behind you.
Jun 24, 2022 1:40am
There is a simple rule when it comes to renovating or building. Regardless of your personal style – whether your vision of home loveliness is a perfectly serene one, a deliciously moody one or a positively joyful one – professional help can reap the greatest rewards in terms of both form and functionality. Think talented architects or draftspeople, interior designers and, of course, a carefully curated team of tradespeople from joiners to plumbers and electricians. And so many more!
These days, there’s a new raft of highly specialised consultants to engage. They are the ‘secret weapon experts’ you never knew you needed for your home – until now. Read on to learn about five specialists at the top of their game.
WHO: Pang Tiangbangloung, lead lighting designer and coordinator, LA Lounge Lighting Architects
ORIGIN STORY: LA Lounge was established in 2009 by Susan and Glenn Stokes in response to a gap in the market for high-end, customised, quality lighting products and solutions, explains lead lighting designer Pang Tiangbangloung.
WHY YOU NEED ONE: “A well-planned automated lighting system is a cost-effective way to control and add value to a build, elevating the design outcome of any space while saving on time and costly mistakes,” says Pang.
FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM: “Great lighting design enhances the enjoyment of life,” says Pang. “Having the flexibility to adjust lighting levels allows a home to shift seamlessly through many moods, from entertaining with friends to family dinner times and relaxing in the evening. Also consider the task to be performed in a specific area, as well as the people who will inhabit the home and how they live.”
WHO: Tony Williams, owner, South and Sydney Tiling
WHY YOU NEED ONE: From heritage tiling to crazy paving, as well as tiles laid in everything from a herringbone to a basket-weave pattern, the options are seemingly endless.
“There’s such a lot involved in tiling these days, from the tiling in your average project home to the more exclusive specialist tiling jobs that are loaded with detail,” says Tony. “Once the lights go on, it’s a tiler’s work that is on display, while a plumber or electrician’s work is hidden under or behind a wall. So it’s very important that it’s done expertly. You do need to be on top of your game.”
WHAT SETS THEM APART: “All good tilers have severe OCD,” quips Tony with a laugh. “They need to see straight lines and have everything completely symmetrical. That is absolutely key for us – that attention to detail. We see it with our eyes closed. If I come to a place – even a shopping centre – and the tiling is slightly off, it does my head in!”
WHO: Steve Ouzman, managing director, J&O Bricklaying
ORIGIN STORY: A bricklayer since 1988, Steve Ouzman founded J&O Bricklaying in 2005. He and his talented team of specialist brickies make headlines in the building industry for all the right reasons. “I’ve always been a bit of a leader in my profession,” says Steve. “We’ve done amazing work for many award-winning builders and won awards for our bricklaying.”
WHY YOU NEED ONE: “We’re like a bespoke bricklaying company,” explains Steve. “We specialise in high-end residential projects that involve high-end brickwork. Our work really stands out because the dedication, the commitment and the delivery are there.”
WHAT SETS THEM APART: “The key to what we do is the precision in the brickwork,” says Steve. “We’re basically doing brickwork to the millimetre – curved brickwork, circular brickwork and arched brickwork.”
Another great job by J&O is the gloriously green Snake Seating Wall at Dee Why Park in Sydney’s north. “I won’t come across a wall like this again in my career,” says Steve with a smile. “I love that everyone gets to appreciate it.”
WHO: Tugomir and Dianna Balog, founders, Graphic Art Mount
WHY YOU NEED THIS: “Precious artworks require the highest level of attention and expertise so they don’t warp or tarnish over time,” says Tugomir. “Framing should be thought of as an investment where it is done once and done well. Framing with unstable and inferior materials, incorrect treatment, poor frame selection and poor workmanship are all factors that can damage an artwork and compromise its longevity and value.”
FRAMING NO-NOS: “Placing too much emphasis on the frame without considering whether it complements or overwhelms the artwork,” says Dianna. “A good frame elevates an artwork and still allows the art to be the focus – and a good framer knows exactly how to achieve this. We look at colours that are not too loud – finishes and woods that tell their own story whilst weaving into the story of the artwork itself.”
FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM: “Like people, framed works need their health check-ups,” says Dianna. “Graphic Art Mount encourages framed work to have a ‘check-up’ every five years, to ensure it’s coping well in the environment it’s been displayed in.”
5. HOME AUTOMATION EXPERT
WHO: Tim Fant, product manager, Clipsal Wiser Smart Home
WHY YOU NEED IT: “This is about having things happen automatically to make life easier,” says Tim. “For instance, you can just tap ‘All off’ on the app and it will shut off the whole home and close your blinds for you. It simplifies your life, and there’s a safety and security peace-of-mind aspect as well, where you can check in on your home. For example, you can even get notifications if you’ve forgotten to shut your garage door.”
THE ACCESSIBILITY: “It’s a very easy system to operate,” says Tim. “People are blown away by how simple it is to use, and they are really enjoying setting up their own home automation. It’s definitely also much more accessible and affordable than people would have thought it to be in the past. What’s more, it’s scaleable – you can start with one device in one room and then add after that, with more functions and features as you go.”
FINAL WORDS OF WISDOM: “There are some wiring requirements, but it’s definitely possible to retro-fit a smart-home system after a house is completed,” says Tim. “I would always recommend consulting one of the Wiser-approved installers – they’ve done all the training and know the solutions.”