When Stu Klees decided to renovate his Bondi studio apartment, he didn’t have to look far to find the right team for the job.
The brother of Virtue honcho Dave Klees was happy to have his sibling on the tools to bring his ideas to reality.
“It didn’t feel like working with my brother,” Stu says. “Dave was still totally professional. It was good, he let me be as involved or as less-involved as I wanted. Certain trades I would speak to directly, others happened while I was at work. So it was good.”
Stu collaborated with interior designer Catherin Heraghty from The Stables, before taking their plans to Dave for additional insight.
“Myself as the owner, and Catherine would come up with ideas, and we’d tell Dave. He’d provide additional feedback, and we’d work out what was best,” Stu says.
While renovating a studio may sound simple, turning Stu’s vision was actually rather involved.
“We turned a studio into a one-bedder,” he says of the build, which took only seven weeks from start to finish.
“We re-did the whole bathroom, put in a window, a barn-style, soft close door, turned a bedroom alcove into an actual bedroom with fresh air and a door, put down polished concrete floors, moved the kitchen about two metres, and installed a new kitchen,” he says. “We just pimped it out!”
The renovation included a re-styling, including the use of the polished concrete and recycled timber wall panelling to create Stu’s desired aesthetic: industrial, minimalistic and slick.
As well as working together to refine ideas for the build, the brothers also found themselves working side by side, when Stu swapped his usual school teacher’s shoes for labouring boots.
“Yeah, on my days off I was working with the boys, and Dave was cool with that. I enjoyed it, it was heaps of fun to do,” he says.
Stu plans to live in the property for a while before selling, and he would have no hesitation undertaking building projects in the future, nor with working with his brother and the Virtue Projects team.
“I would do it again for sure, and I’d use them again,” he says. “I’d probably go bigger next time. I wouldn’t just do a unit. But this was a good start…”