Oceans Hideaway Toquay’s dream reno project…

Written by Carly McClintock

A Queenslander home always knows how to steal anyone’s heart. The charm and character ropes us in hook, line and sinker.

And there’s a sweet little 1930s bungalow doing just that, boasting a new renovation, welcoming its sun-seekers to a place of coastal calm.

Josh and Elyse have shown exactly how it’s done. This brother-sister duo has shown, strength, creativity and heart, giving this beachside bungalow soul and sanctuary, breathing life back into its tired bones and bringing comfort to its weary travellers. I caught up with them recently to hear all about it…

  1. Tell us a little about yourselves?
    Elyse and I are siblings, I am 25 and Elyse is 34. We’ve both lived in Hervey Bay on and off for the last 11 years. I own a wholesale company with Elyse’s husband, and Elyse is a paediatric nurse. We’re constantly looking at ways of diversifying our business portfolio and when the opportunity to renovate this gorgeous 1930s bungalow presented itself and start a holiday rental business we decided it would be a great move. We both love our jobs, but it’s been really fun to have a side project.
  2. Whose idea was it to buy and renovate Ocean Hideaway?
    Home design and decorating have always been a big interest of ours for as long as either one of us can remember. We always joked about entering The Block and have thrown around ideas for flipping houses. I had a friend who was a local realtor who showed me this beat-up old bungalow in Torquay that was for sale, the owners had done some minor renovations so it wasn’t going to be a huge project so he thought I might be interested in it. I inspected the property called Elyse straight after and said we had to buy it.

    Elyse wasn’t overly keen at first but when she saw it she agreed we could do a lot with it. So we put in an offer and it was accepted. We’ve stayed at a lot of Airbnb holiday homes around Australia and felt we could do something quite unique to Hervey Bay that had a point of difference from the standard holiday homes that are around.
  3. What style would you say inspired your renovation?
    Our style has a definite coastal influence. Neither one of us are particularly drawn to coastal style in our own personal style, but it suited the house and the beach-side location. We wanted to create something fresh and relaxing, that drew on nostalgic elements of holidays as kids. We decided to really pare the house back with beautiful white walls and stained timber floors so
    we could add pops of colour with our furnishings and decor.
  4. What’s been your favourite part of the renovation?
    Our favourite part was probably the dining/kitchen area. There was a wall blocking all light and airflow between the living and dining room, and a huge oversized bank of pantry cabinets. We removed the wall and removed the cabinetry and to our surprise found an original window which was just stunning and let in so much natural light. The kitchen we gave a pop of colour with the teal fish scale tile splashback and we found some gorgeous pendants from The Light House Noosa, which we just fell in love with.
  5. What challenges have you faced?
    Definitely being rookie renovators was the biggest challenge. We certainly made mistakes along the way but we’ve learnt from them for our next project. Also having the whole COVID pandemic and lockdown right after we purchased the house presented a lot of challenges for us both financially and with trades and the ability to finish the house.

    We did get told from our friends and family that we’d end up killing each other doing this together but for the most part, it’s actually been really great. We bounce ideas off each other and bring each other back to reality when the ideas get too big or crazy. We’ve had a few arguments here and there but I think we’ve both appreciated having each other. Elyse, having recently built her dream home, she knows decision fatigue is real and it’s been really nice not having to stress over every last detail because we’ve had two minds at it instead of just one.
  6. And lastly, what advice could you offer for those considering a renovation?
    Plan as much as you can beforehand. We were so eager to jump into it that we made some costly missteps. Budgeting is everything, it is very easy to overcapitalise and overspend without even realising it. It is really important to have a contingency budget for the unexpected as well. There will be things that come up that you’ve never even thought about before, so you definitely want to make sure you’re as prepared as possible for that. Also just to give it a crack, if renovating is something you’ve always wanted to do, have a go. Choose your project and make a plan – and never be afraid to get a second opinion and ask for help.