How These DIY Renovators Are Restoring A 1970s ‘Shag Manor’

Publisher and editor Georgia Frances King and art director Mete Erdogan, love the character of Australia’s 1970s brick veneer homes — a style they call ‘Mediterranean’ due to their historic association with European migrants who often built and lived in these homes post WWII.

Mete is Turkish Cypriot, and his own grandmother lived in one of these homes, so he instantly connected to this property for sale in Melbourne’s north. It not only shared the same nostalgic qualities, but was incredibly well built.

Georgia and Mete bought the house in 2023 and have been updating it ever since mostly through DIY cosmetic renovations. Honouring the original interiors is at the heart of everything they do.

Lucy Feagins sat down with Georgia and Mete for the latest episode of TDF Talks. Listen to the full episode to learn everything they’ve done so far, and read the highlights below!

Why they chose to buy this particular house

After looking at over 150 homes, Georgia and Mete knew exactly what they were looking for in a property: natural light, and an open plan kitchen and dining area.

They also have fondness for 1970s brick houses that once dominated much of suburban Australia. Many of these homes have been, or will be, demolished, but Georgia and Mete say they’re often brimming with untapped potential — and it seems they’re not the only ones! Their Instagram account @shag_manor documenting the renovation has 70k people following along to see what they’ll do next to restore and enhance this 1970s beauty.

How they’ve honoured the home’s history

Georgia and Mete purchased the home with no intention of stripping away its 1970s flavour, which Georgia describe as a ‘Wes Anderson ‘70s dreamscape.’

In fact, through their Instagram account, the couple have become friends with the family of the original homeowners, who have gifted them crystal glassware, and materials leftover from the original build, which Georgia and Mete plan to integrate into the home’s renovation.

‘It’s been incredible because we’ve had the chance to walk around the house with the person who built the house,’ says Georgia.

Mete and Georgia have made all their design decisions with the intent of restoring what’s already in the home, rather than ripping features out and starting from scratch.

Georgia explains. ‘It’s so rare to have the luck to find a house of this era that no one’s done a bad ‘90s reno in.’

The original orange 1970s bar and amber glass sliding doors are going nowhere!

How they’ve managed being first-time DIY renovators

Prior to tackling this project, the closest Georgia and Mete had come to renovating was assembling some IKEA furniture!

They’ve since learned how to renovate almost entirely through YouTube, tackling projects such as wallpaper stripping, carpet removal, painting, welding, and building a kitchen island bench.

Of course, they’ve hired professionals when need be, such as for plumbing, electrical work and sanding the floors.

What they’ve spent so far

Buying an underappreciated property freed up some budget for Georgia and Mete to spend on the renovation.

So far, they’ve spent $15,000-$20,000 mostly on the floors, paint and various materials from the hardware store.

Another $20,000-$30,000 is earmarked for turning a laundry and toilet into a second bathroom, plus another $20,000-$30,000 is for finishing the garage, landscaping the backyard (which is currently all concrete), and building a deck.

This episode of TDF talks is brought to you by Koala. Head to Koala to check out their full range of Australian-designed furniture at down-to-earth prices!

Listen to the full episode with Georgia and Mete below, or find TDF Talks on Spotify and Apple Podcasts!

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