Article Photo

Remarkable renovations and living rough: The Property Hillbillies share their journey

27 Oct 2021

Taking on a home relocation is no easy feat, add dwindling funds, DIY renovations and living rough out of a caravan into the mix and you have Ryan and Ashley’s first experience at renovating a home. Fast forward three years and the couple now have four house renovations under their belt with no intention of slowing down. Getting stuck in on their newest renovation, a 1960s Art Deco style house in Putaruru that has been empty for 20 years, the couple have documented their renovation journey through their YouTube channel, The Property Hillbillies.  

Ryan films the episodes for the couple’s YouTube channel, The Property Hillbillies, to document the journey of the renovation.

“Each one of our properties has been a real journey,” says Ryan. “When we bought this latest place we knew it was going to be a special renovation, so I pulled the trigger and made the first video.” 

23 episodes later, the couple have a community of loyal followers who enjoy every episode’s highlights, tips and the odd renovating disaster. Filming the progress of their home, which has been fondly dubbed The Blue Palace, has been a journey in itself, says Ryan.

Before and after: The Blue Palace was transformed with Resene Pearl Lusta on the exterior, Resene Quarter Black White trim and Resene Baltic Sea details.

“The whole series is recorded on our GoPro Hero 9, it’s versatile and can take a beating. I do all the filming and editing and, like the house, the videos improve each week.”

Taking inspiration from other Art Deco houses they had researched, Ryan and Ashley created a colour palette for their home that was clean, homely and would not detract from the traditional features. The couple painted the exterior in Resene Pearl Lusta, a classic cream with a hint of yellow. “We literally walked off the street and met the owners of a beautiful Art Deco home,” says Ryan. “They’d used Resene Pearl Lusta and it looked so good we unashamedly copied them!

“Inside, we’ve kept things a bit more earthy and neutral.”

The couple used Resene Eighth Tana for the walls and Resene Quarter Black White for the ceilings and trim.  “The thinking behind this was to try and keep it traditional and homely, we didn’t want it to be edgy and modern,” says Ryan. “For the bathroom and dining we’ve used our new favourite colour, Resene Bandicoot. As soon as the brushstroke hit the wall, we immediately fell in love with it!

“We find Resene paint gives the absolute best finish and the staff at Resene are awesome when it comes to making sure you have the right paint for the job.”

The couple’s dining room is light, bright and beautiful, with natural light from the renovated French doors bouncing off the Resene Bandicoot walls. The trim is in Resene Quarter Black White.

While the house renovation is now on its final stretch, the couple faced some gruelling challenges along the way. Living in a caravan for the duration of the renovations hasn’t just been a money-saver, it’s also motivated the couple to keep powering forward with the renovations each day. “We’ve more or less lived on construction sites for the last few years. It’s been testing times to say the least,” says Ryan. “Initially we had our caravan on site until eventually we slowly moved into the house, but it was far from being in a liveable state.”

When the couple made the move into the home, there was no plasterboard on the walls, no lights and the wiring wasn’t complete, meaning they needed to run all of their power from a single power point. With no garage, all the tools and building materials also lived in the house with them.  

Before and after: The couple say the laundry was one of the biggest changes in the house. The newly installed bench complements the warm undertones of Resene Eighth Tana on the walls and Resene Quarter Black White trim.

“We’ve certainly got some great memories of these crazy times, but it’s certainly not for everyone, you’ve really got to want it!” says Ashley. “Seeing the progress week to week is such a good feeling, looking back at the before photos and videos is a quick reminder of just how far it’s come, it’s quite unreal.

“Transforming it from the worst house on the street to the best is very satisfying.”

Follow The Property Hillbillies’ journey on their YouTube channel.

Published: 27 Oct 2021