Ask a question

The Bunnings Workshop community can help with your home improvement projects.

A passion for transforming homes

Community Manager
Community Manager



Passionate renovator Claire and her husband Derek have renovated over a dozen houses.


“I genuinely believe you can create the home of your dreams, you just have to get creative,” says Claire, who is known as Renowayoflife in the Bunnings Workshop community.


While living in the United States, Claire and Derek left corporate jobs to pursue their passion for transforming homes, spending a decade renovating 14 different houses.


“We have a love of old houses and there’s a great satisfaction that comes from a completed project,” enthuses Claire.


Claire has a love of old homesClaire has a love of old homesThe pair are currently renovating a Queenslander in a southern Brisbane suburb with their three children. “It was built circa 1915 and although the two-bedroom floorplan didn’t suit our family needs, all we saw was potential,” explains Claire. “The house was brimming with original features.”


The couple has extended the floorplan but Claire says they have “worked hard to retain as much original features as we could, and replicated features like the fret work into the extension.”


A wide range of projects and skills


Popular projects on Workshop the hardworking team have shared with the community from the house include their bathroom renovation with upcycled vanity, plus their walk-in pantry and pool area makeover.


Claire and Derek have completed as much of the work as possible themselves, including framing, flooring, building a pantry and painting. Obviously tireless, the pair has also impressed community members with their renovation work at Claire’s parent’s house, including a kitchen transformation that was awarded best kitchen makeover in our 2022 search to find Australia's best D.I.Y. projects.  


“The freedom of creativity” is what Claire loves most about D.I.Y. “I will usually come up with a design for our room and concept and start to plan, then I will tweak it during the planning process, really considering how we use the space, doing research into more creative solutions.”


“No one cares about your house like you do. I find you take more time and do a more thoughtful job when you do it yourself.”


Claire says she has become more creative as she has built experience. “As with most things, there’s a lot of self-doubt when you start something new and you go through a steep learning curve. I now find a lot of peace when I work on my projects and really thrive on the creative outlet.


“The key to any skill is just to give it a go, make mistakes and learn.”


Advice for D.I.Y. beginners


Her advice to D.I.Y. beginners is to “do your research, ask a lot of questions” and get inspiration from other Workshop community members and on social media.


Claire feels upcycling furniture is a great way to start as projects are typically small and relatively easy. She has shared a step-by-step guide How to upcycle a chest of drawers with the community. “Shelves and nightstands are also a great first project,” Claire recommends. “Start by rough sanding and painting. These are the easiest.

Claire's upcycled bathroom vanityClaire's upcycled bathroom vanity

“If you stain, you need to strip the furniture completely. Although this isn’t harder, it takes longer, so start small and practice and give yourself some smaller, easier projects to build your confidence up. If you don’t like the finish, just sand it back and repaint it.


Claire says she finds real satisfaction from saving a piece of furniture from landfill. “It’s a much more sustainable way to furnish your home rather than buying new and it’s a great way to create a custom finish on a budget.”


Her most used tool is her orbital sander. “If you’re just getting started I would suggest getting a drill, sander, some sanding blocks and paint supplies,” Claire advises. “You don’t need a whole lot for upcycles but if you plan to tackle larger jobs you will need to look at saws and nailers, etc.


“Investing in the right tools is an investment in your time. The right tools will enable you to do the job more efficiently and achieve a greater finish.”


Source of inspiration


On Bunnings Workshop, Claire feels like “I found my community”. “I love to D.I.Y. and there are so many wonderful projects shared, everyone is so helpful and it’s a great source of inspiration if you’re considering working on a project.”


Claire says she is looking forward to sharing future projects with the Bunnings Workshop community, including her kitchen renovation, powder room, laundry and external stairs.   


“Trust the process! This is the biggest mantra I live by.


“A home is your happy place filled with the people and the things you love. Don’t get caught up on following trends or having the ‘perfect’ home. Create the spaces you love.”


4 Replies
Home Improvement Guru

Evening @Jason 

Thats brilliant! I have always wondered about the other contributers within the Bunnings community :smile: Its so interesting catching a glimse into another renovaters thinking.


I must admin @Renowayoflife does some nice work :smile:



Community Manager
Community Manager

Thanks @Dave-1,


You can read other inspiring stories about our Workshop community members here on our About Us section.   




Becoming a Leader

Thank you @Dave-1 , I agree it's always nice to see from a different perspective. :smile:

Becoming a Leader

Thank you @Jason I love hearing about community members, thank you so much for taking the time to work with me :smile:

Why join the Bunnings Workshop community?

Workshop is a friendly place to learn, get ideas and find inspiration for your home improvement projects