Michael Hunnam is the Business Director of Kirribilli Homes, a renovation specialist building company servicing clients across the Hills District and North Shore. Together with Neil Walker, the two directors have generated "over 30 years of combined building experience to guide you through time-proven processes to a fulfilling renovation experience."
- Tell us a little bit about what makes Kirribilli Homes a leading renovation company
The directors have maintained the vision that Kirribilli Homes is the flagship renovation specialist company that would restore ethics back into the building industry. This comes at a time when according to the HIA, Home Warranty claims by builders are at unprecedented levels. As a result of exercising our stewardship of clients and their projects, we became a 100% referral business enjoying favour in the marketplace within three short years.
We also developed “Rebilt” as a sister company that offers “value proposition” renovation solutions for clients on a tight budget.
- What home design trends do you see coming in 2020?
Modern Hamptons styling with more open, sociable floor plans is an early wave in Australia. It brings the outdoor inside. We’ll see more integrated renovations with gas lift and bi-fold windows to new kitchen spaces and seamless benchtops extending out into smart servery areas. There’s a good video on kirribillihomes.com.au that showcases this design initiative. This kind of renovation is more suited to a licensed builder / renovation specialist than say a singular kitchen cabinetry company.
- If a homeowner is looking to renovate only a few spaces in the home, what spaces do you believe create the biggest impact from a renovation?
Removal of the boxy floor plan to a recreated, more sociable space. This often requires structural beams (timber or steel) to be installed. Some generic builders shy away from this kind of work or from having to collaborate with a structural engineer but our business is geared to such detailed renovations. The transformation for the client is very worthwhile.
Kitchen and bathroom options expand when you shift walls.
Decks can be as enclosed or privacy fenced as you wish and are a cost-effective alternative to extensions. These all create a big impact for client’s lifestyles and enjoyment of the home.
- What are 3 easy changes that a homeowner could make to bring a fresh look to their home?
It’s not easy for homeowners to be objective about their own home especially if they have been living there for more than a few years. An in house consultation is essential as we can come in with “fresh eyes.”
Three changes might include:
A. Removal of arches or space limiting square set arches. Open is “IN.”
B. Swap the front or rear patio for a lifestyle deck.
C. Add accessories like designer panels or privacy timbers, or if at the rear, add an external kitchen.
- What is the most popular request from your clients?
Our creative ideas.
The invitation to work directly with us.
Providing an accurate and therefore trustworthy quotation.
Putting our overall project management on the client’s unique project.
- How do you find your inspiration when designing spaces?
Inspiration often comes from previous projects, Instagram, suppliers and knowledge of the client and where the client wants to go.
- How do you use technology to create unique and functional designs?
We are essentially collaborative. We work with a cabinetry company who does 3D drawings for the kitchen designs. We have worked with the same structural engineer for 9 years who designs the engineering. We work with interior designers and a senior draftsman who all play their part.
We spent 18 months researching until we decided on Builder Trend as our web based technology for project management and keeping clients abreast of progress photos and documentation.
- What is your personal highlight during a renovation?
Watching a plan come together and seeing the client brighten up and get enthused about the look of their project. Watching the textiles, timbers and colours come together. Sometimes it’s watching the tradespeople themselves walk in and go “oh, this looks great” or “Hey, this is coming together nicely, isn’t it?”