As a university professor, Bunnings Workshop member Nham studies genes, viruses and how they work together to cause certain cancers. It’s a role that gives him the “freedom to explore ideas”, and he brings the same methodological approach to his home improvement projects.
Nham often shares project instructions
Popular projects Nham has shared with the community include his broom holder and dining table makeover, complete with step-by-step instructions and lists of materials.
Nham also often returns to discussions months later to update members about his findings after using a new creation. Many looked to his large desk built on a budget and Spotted Gum student desk for inspiration to revamp their own work space while working from home during lockdown.
Nham lives in New South Wales with his wife Jacinta and three high-school-aged sons. The whole family gets involved in D.I.Y. projects around the house, but their favourite way to spend time together is in the Australian bush. The family’s go-to spot is the Grose Valley in the Blue Mountains.
“We did a lot of travelling as a family before COVID and my favourite all time activity would be wandering through the markets like the locals and being part of their community.”
Nham started getting into D.I.Y. when he and his wife bought their first home together years ago, a two-bedroom unit on the second floor.
Nham’s work space
“The place needed a lot of work and we were trying to keep on budget. It was a good time in our lives, just starting out together with lots of plans.
"I remember doing the floors, kitchen remodel and painting, with most of the work done at night and on weekends. As novices, we made some mistakes, but we didn’t mind. It was a great experience.”
Nham reckons you don’t need a dedicated area to start tackling projects. “I remember building a Pine bookcase when my son was born. I used the small balcony in our second-floor unit as my work area.”
His workspace is still “not big at all”. “A weeping lilly pilly is growing in one corner and I have a small shed to store all the tools in another corner. I also have a small, recycled table that I use for planting. It's a relaxing area. For any larger projects like building a desk, I move into the garage.”
When tackling a project, Nham will always have his measuring tape, cordless impact driver and mallet nearby. “You don’t need much to get started with D.I.Y., but these tools would be in my tool bag.”
Keeping it simple
Nham has an interest in “simple design that everyone can relate to” and loves being able to “fix a problem, create and build” through D.I.Y. projects.
“D.I.Y. is not just about kitchens, laundries or big-ticket items. I like the fact that D.I.Y. can involve gardening or small issues around the home.”
Nham is most proud of the laundry renovation he and his wife tackled recently. “The laundry was a complete mess and had been neglected for many years. It is a small space and we had to find ways to maximise the area and choose colours that made the room look bigger.
"We did everything from designing the laundry to demolition and installation. It was a very rewarding experience and the new laundry looks awesome and is very functional.”
After renovating the house’s interior, Nham plans to turn his attention to outdoor areas. “Our home is over 40 years old and there are a couple of repairs we need to do.
"First on the list is our driveway and the side of the house. Then we have plans to re-turf the backyard and grow our own vegetables.”