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A fresh white palette and gentle renovation has revived this little villa

With a light touch and a pared-back approach, David and Lea Eaton have breathed new life and luxury into their cosy Devonport villa

Meet and greet 

Lea Eaton, museum guide host, David Eaton, firefighter and karate instructor, Laura, 25 (human rights lawyer and masters student), and Daniel, 17, plus beloved pooch Frankie (she rules the world!).

A fresh white palette and gentle renovation has revived this little villa

Best lessons learned?
Lea: It’s really important to understand that however long it takes to complete your renovation, it’s the tiling, finishing and hardware that you have to live with every day. There’s no use spending a fortune on the guts of the build and then getting second-rate hardware.

Any DIY disasters?
Don’t paint your bargeboards late in the afternoon. The morning dew makes it run!

One thing you would change about your home if you could?
I’d make the kitchen a more functional and practical space. We’re working on it right now!

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had in your home?
Late summer evenings under the grapevine, good banter with mates and enjoying the company of family visiting from overseas. Magic!

Budget

How much have you spent on your home renovations?
$200,000.

How did your budget forecast compare to your actual spend?
The bathroom renovation was supposed to cost $35,000. It was double.

What areas of your home did you save or splurge on?
We splurged on new furniture when we moved back in. We saved on… well, now we don’t need anything, it’s easy to walk into gorgeous stores and walk out without spending anything!

Do you tend to buy high-end homeware or seek out a bargain?
Always the good stuff! We have purchased cheaper couches over the years but they only end up becoming pilled and ugly.

What’s your best advice when it comes to spending money on a home?
Get the best you can afford. It pays off in the end.

How did you keep track of costs during renovations?
Well, my husband looks after that!

Words by: Tina Stephen. Photography by: Helen Bankers.

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