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If you are planning on renovating your home, you might be wondering where do I even begin? Whether you live in a small apartment or a spacious house, optimising your space will make a huge impact on the overall comfort, functionality, and aesthetic of your home.

We sat down with former The Block contestants Josh and Jenna Densten who are renovating their dream home in the country. They share with us their journey to date and expert tips to guarantee your home revamp is a success.

1. It’s been a while since Australia first saw you on The Block in 2011 – what have you both been up to since?

Since then we’ve completed a few renovations, had two kids, started a couple of businesses, and moved to the country!

2. Talk us through your new place, ‘The Castle House’ – how is the renovation going? What has it looked like so far?

We decided to make the move from inner city Melbourne back to regional Victoria to be closer to family. We were looking for a home with a little bit of land and a lot of character! Josh was scouring Facebook Marketplace and found a beautiful old home for sale.

The catch was… it didn’t have a roof! It was love at first sight as we could see the potential of restoring the 1800’s homestead that my daughter nicknamed ‘The Castle House’. We’ve spent almost two years now restoring the old home and adding a contemporary addition to the back. We’re at lockup now and hope to be complete and moved in (well) before Christmas 2023.

3. What are the five top tips that you have for those looking to renovate?

You need to be cost-conscious if you’re renovating today.

  • Only build what you need in regard to space because every metre adds up. Don’t get carried away with over-the-top design features and stick to basics.
  • Build sustainably and consider the orientation, cross ventilation, insulation, going all electric and a multitude of other sustainable building ideas that may cost you money now but will save you in the long run.
  • Find second-hand building materials and furniture to repurpose. Get creative and experiment with new ideas to overcome cost obstacles and give new life to pieces that may have ended up in landfill.
  • Consider a staged renovation if you can’t afford to do everything at once.
  • Be kind on yourself and strap in for a roller coaster. There are most certainly highs and lows, but completing a renovation is an incredibly rewarding process.

4. Swedish heritage and sustainability are at the forefront of everything Electrolux does. How does this align with your values?

When we think of Swedish living and sustainability the first thing that springs to mind is nature and self-sufficiency. This way of life is reflected in our countryside home with the property equipped with solar power and is home to chickens, bees, and veggie gardens.

5. How do you choose the right appliances for the kitchen and laundry? Is this part of the room planning when it comes to the aesthetic you’re aiming for?

We look for functionality as these are hardworking spaces in the home. Once we determine the functionality, we narrow in on the look of the appliances to ensure they work with the overall aesthetics in the home. For instance, not only does our built-in combination microwave oven (EMB2529DSE) take our microwaving ability to the next level it fits perfectly into the overall look and feel of our kitchen. We can’t not mention, the stars of the show in our laundry room, our Heat Pump Dryer (EDH804U5WB) with the innovative heat pump system which is kind to both your clothes and energy bills and Front Load Washing Machine (EWF1042R7WB) keeping colours brights, whites as good as new, and blacks dark.

6. What’s the biggest challenge that you routinely encounter with renovations? How have you worked around it?

The biggest challenge has been the overall cost. We renovated in 2019 and I’d say most things have doubled in price so that has been hard to swallow. We’ve overcome this by getting creative. For example, instead of custom built in joinery in our Rumpus room, we found off the shelf bookcases and used paint and filler panels to make them look custom. It cost 1/3 of the price and overall, a great outcome. Another obstacle we faced was when it came to choosing the right oven as we spend a lot of time cooking, selecting the right appliance was hugely important. When we read about the Multifunction Pyrolytic Oven (EVEP619DSE) and its multitude of features from AirFry Plus, SteamRoast and Pyrolytic self-cleaning oven we knew it was the right oven for us and our needs.

7. Can you share with us any other final words of wisdom for those seeking to renovate who might be hesitant?

Even though it may seem a little daunting, it’s a rewarding process. The key really is in the planning and being aware of the pitfalls. Don’t rush into it, take your time to get the plans right, make the right selections and ensure you find the right trades. Everything worthwhile takes time.

Follow along with Josh & Jenna’s renovation journey on Instagram:




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