Renovating a '60s unit into a dream home with Ally Mooney
Ally Mooney — the social media manager for Tint Paint — sat down with us (virtually) to talk about renovating her ’60s home and giving it a ‘70s flare. She shared with us where she gets inspiration from and how to stay grounded in the whirlwind process of renovation.
Hi, Ally! First up, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm Ally - a Melbourne based Social Media Manager for Tint! I have a background in Interior Design and used to work for brands like IKEA.
When the pandemic hit, my partner and I had just started planning our wedding, so we decided instead to invest in our first home. In June last year we bought a 1960s unit and I'm so excited to take it back to its retro glory.
How did you start your renovation journey?
It sounds silly, but the first thing we did was just ~live~ in the space. That helped us see how we move in the space and use each room. We then wrote a huge list of absolutely everything we thought we'd want to do - going room by room, and the outside too. This included fun things (buying new furniture) to the more practical things (replacing the hot water heater).
From there we could break things down into smaller, achievable chunks, as well as budget and plan the order. For example, we planned to pull up the carpet and polish the floorboards underneath, so it made sense to do that first so we could see the colour before buying furniture or painting the walls.
What has been the biggest challenge with renovation so far?
Patience and reality! I love to just sink my teeth into things and get them done, but you have to be patient and realistic. We're not professional flippers, or renovators, we're two office workers, so we have a very real budget - we have to plan and save for things.
Ben, my partner, is definitely the more grounded one. I'm great at the vision, the planning and the details, and he kind of anchors me down! Just last week I found the couch we wanted for our lounge room on sale for half price. I was going to have a 'make it work' moment to save some dollars. He pulled me back to earth and refocused on our floors, which we'd just booked and was our financial focus for that month. So we walked away and will keep saving for it in a few month’s time as planned.
Ally's floors before and after their glorious glow up.
What’s your process with starting from scratch with a room?
Really looking at how you use a room. Great design is rooted in functionality - take what you love from magazines and inspiration interiors, but tailor it to your lifestyle!
Start with the non-negotiables - whether it's something you must have in the space (such as a desk for a study) or a piece of furniture you plan on keeping, that's not going to change, that forms the base of your design. Then, build from there - what else do you need, or love, and how will it work with the function and non-negotiables of a space?
And don't be afraid to change your mind. Just because something’s been planned, doesn't mean it always works out. I love a slow-design approach because it really means you're investing in considered pieces. So by the time you're bringing it home, the margin for error is small.
What inspires you when it comes to interior design?
I love looking at other beautiful interiors - of course! Seeing incredible spaces and how you can put a 'real life' spin on it. I also take a lot of inspiration from fashion, especially vintage. Mixing beautiful fabrics and patterns in outfits is a great entry point to mixing textures and colours in your home.
I have a box (or several) where I keep paint chips, fabric swatches and pages from magazines that inspire me. I also keep tissue paper from online orders, coasters from cafes or vintage sewing patterns that are rad! Just anything that I come across that tickles that part of my brain.
I firmly believe that everyone should have a space in this world that is theirs and is safe - whether it's a whole house or just one room. Fill it with things that you love and that make you smile!
Renovating can be a stressful process, how do you keep it as simple as possible?
I'm a big list and spreadsheet maker, so I keep track of a lot of the planning that way. Find a system that works for you. Keeping things realistic and achievable will also help to avoid overwhelm. Actually being able to tick things off your list will make you feel like you're getting somewhere, too.
What materials are your favourite in a room?
I love mixing textures and colours. Before we moved in we painted the walls white. Everything originally was seafoam green/blue - the carpet, the walls, the kitchen, the curtains, EVERYTHING! And it made the space feel really tight. Now we've pulled up the carpet and painted everything white, it's created a great blank canvas. The timber will add a great warm texture to the space and I can't wait to add in some rugs and velvet curtains. Working at a paint company I'm really looking forward to adding some fun colours to the walls too! I'm excited to play up some ‘70s colours and textures in the space.
Any tips for those planning on renovating?
Be realistic, plan as much as you can, don't bite off too much and bring in the professionals where you can/it makes sense. Also, follow me on Tiktok to learn all about interior design and how to create a home you'll love.
Above all, have fun! Don't pay too much attention to trends - build a home that speaks to you and you love!
Lastly, what are you reading, listening to, or watching at the moment?
I'm currently reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time. I recently saw the newest Batman movie (so good!) and that soundtrack has got me listening to Nirvana.
How was your experience with the Eva mattress and Timber Bed Frame?
Delivery was really great - the delivery man was lovely! It was really easy, from booking it at the time of ordering to receiving it. Love that the mattress box has those little wheels on it, too!
“Delivered straight to our door and so easy to assemble (it really felt this quick)! Finally upgrading our 8 year old mattress and bed frame for the new house. So quick and easy to assemble and comfffyyy. I’m obsessed!” - Ally’s insta
Huge thanks to Ally for sharing her renovation journey with us. The team here at Eva are glad we could help simplify things a little, with our no tool assembly bed frame and soft, supportive mattress. A good night’s sleep is the best remedy for stress after a project like this!
We may be bias, but that looks like one comfy bed.
Be sure to keep up to date with her progress over on Ally's Tiktok as her house continues to be transformed!