Renovating with Gilly's - an interview with Jess (@thehousethatjessbuilt)

You may have seen them on Instagram, or perhaps in the Daily Mail. Thousands follow Jess Micallef and her partner Izz’s journey every day. The couple is on the warpath to create their dream home and guess what; they’re doing it all themselves. 

Jess and Izzy in their light, bright dining room

We were lucky enough to catch some time with the busy couple to pick Jess' brain!

How did you get into DIY and styling? 

DIY – I’ve always had a huge love for things handmade. From a young age, I would love to make my friends gifts, from photo frames to body scrubs made with sugar, essence and food colouring. I loved (still love) finding a cute jar and decorating it, making my own little labels with a “Handmade with love, from Jess”. Just being all-round cute!

Styling – we bought a house! I have pinned millions of pins on Pinterest! 

Being in our own home allowed me to expand my ideas from my head into a room! 

I never thought I would be classified as a ‘styler’, but it’s definitely something that I love doing. Instagram opened up a world of “house accounts,” which is a place I draw so much inspo from.

What do you love about DIY?

I have always loved that one of a kind vibe that comes with DIYS! No one else can make the exact same product but you. It’s an original. I am a massive bargain hunter & don’t believe something needs to be brand new or expensive to be loved or beautiful. There’s a kind of wonder to something that has been previously loved. Being able to let my creative juices flow is something I find very therapeutic and good for my mental health. I also love that re-using material is a very positive impact on the environment.

What do you recommend for future renovators?

Give it a go! Be prepared for super rewarding moments & moments where you fully regret your decision & have a tear in your eye haha. It’s an emotional roller coaster. But the main message is to have fun with it! The journey is as fun as you make it. You can do as little or as much as you want. I have an IGTV coming shortly with my top 8 tips for renovating on a budget so that might be helpful for someone looking into it!

I read that you and your partner Izz, saved for 16 months - What tips do you have for people wanting to buy a house and take that first step?

Set a realistic goal. Plan out how much you need, plus a little extra because things pop up. Set a time frame and make a budget. Izz used to go to work every day and write on her hand how much we had saved so when she was driving her forklift at the time; she knew what she was working for. Every week the number got bigger. Once it started building, it’s a step closer to your goal and so worth it in the end.

5 best tips and tricks for DIY Renovating? 

  1. Research & planning is what makes the outcome
  2. Filler and Gap are your best friends  
  3. Paint is the biggest transformer
  4. Bend your knees
  5. There’s always time for a dance party

Your social media is great. It’s fun, yet informative, did you ever think you would be doing this alongside nursing?

Haha! Aww that’s so sweet! I LOVE that description.

And my answer is definitely not. I originally started my IG after a lot of family and friends would see my DIYs in our home and tell me I should start selling them or sharing them. They seemed shocked; it was a DIY. So I figured why not create a page that allows a safe environment for people to ask and be inspired by budget friendly DIYS. Now we are here lol.

Where to next - what's next in the renovations life?

We are currently doing our kitchen. From there, we still have our lounge room, bathroom, toilet, ensuite, wardrobes and undercover area. Whatever the budget allows is where we will be haha!

What was your experience using Gilly's Products?

Loved it! I didn’t even know half of the products exist until I came across Gillys! I have seen them before, perhaps in Bunnings! But I was approached on IG to try and review some products. I would happily re-purchase the ones I have used so far!

What was your favourite product?

I am yet to use all of the products; however I love the Leather Care! In the last ten years I’ve only used leather handbags and was so impressed by how much it made my bag look new again. Once we’ve finished our kitchen reno I plan to use the Scratch Cover on the floor, That’s probably the one I most excited to try.

 Why do you love Gilly's? 

I love that the company has made the switch to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly through uses of their bottles and tins. I LOVE that it’s an Australian owned company, supporting our own is so important. I also love how easy they are to use & they work a treat!

Follow their journey here: INSTAGRAM

White and bright study

 

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