Super-charge your own reno by following accounts like @oakbankreno

When renovation power couple Chanice and Spencer – a digital marketer and tradie, respectively – decided to purchase their own slice of paradise in beautiful South Australia, little did they know their journey would inspire tens of thousands of other home transformations. The pair run popular Instagram account @oakbankreno, which chronicles the highs, lows and everything in-between of their self-proclaimed “slow design” DIY renovation. Here’s their story, and how James Hardie is helping make reno life a little easier.

A place for creative expression

The couple have always loved working with their hands and tackling projects from start to finish. So, deciding to renovate an old property into their dream home wasn’t the most surprising endeavour. But it’s all the other elements that go into a home reno that Chanice and Spencer had to learn from scratch.


“We moved here in 2017 and we started renovating in 2019, but we really didn’t have any renovation experience before we started this house,” says Chanice. “So, it took a whole extra year before we really got stuck into the extension plans around 2020.”

Since then, it’s been a whirlwind of DIY upskilling, coordinating trades, making parts of the house from scratch and, for Chanice particularly, pouring all her efforts into design.

“I designed the house myself – the extension and all the internal and external cladding. But it’s not your typical renovation. With Spencer working in the mines every second week, it’s only when he’s back that we can renovate. So, we’re doing things at a pace that suits us when we have spare cash and spare time around a toddler. It's been a real labour of love.”


Inspiring more than 60k followers

Unlike other renovation accounts that focus more on the individual journey, Oakbank Reno is committed to inspiring their tens of thousands of followers and telling them that yes – you can do this too with a little DIY savvy and a commitment to learning on the go.

“I think we’re different because we try to be as relatable and as authentic as we can,” Chanice says. “We definitely try to share all of the ups and downs!”

From building delays at the outset due to not finding the right team to delays caused by changes to the plan, this reno pair certainly don’t hide the sometimes-ugly truth from their followers.

“We want to show how we are finding ways to save money for parts of the project, how we juggle normal daily life and renovating, and explaining that we didn’t start with all these skills – we learned them along the way. We also get questions all the time through our DMs and in the comments, so we help people in that way as well.”

What makes Oakbank special

Aside from having affable personalities that translate well to social media, Chanice says they’ve been able build their brand organically because of their unique take on renovating.

“This home isn’t a cookie-cutter design,” she says. “There are multiple design influences, from mid-century modern to Japandi to Balinese villas. We’ve also used a lot of dark accents and timber, which are materials that people aren't typically comfortable using. Whereas lots of renovations use whites and beiges because they are the ‘safe’ option, we’ve gone for warmth, boldness and colour. We’ve also used lots of raw materials like concrete floors and benchtops.”


While Chanice and Spencer bring the creativity and reno skills to this project, they believe it’s the products they choose that make the biggest difference. Like Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding, which Chanice says is an exceptional product for any renovation or modern extension.

“The Fine Texture Cladding is an amazing alternative to traditional render, particularly because of the price point,” she says. “There's also much less material to have on-site, and less time spent installing it.”


“So while a traditional render is very labour- and material-intensive, which raises the cost, the Hardie™ cladding gives you the same effect but can be installed within a day. And that's what we absolutely love. We went from frames to fitting the final cladding within a day.”

Ready to start your own renovation journey? Learn more about Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding.

Order a Sample

Ready to specify Hardie™ fibre cement products in your next project? Order a sample to help visualise your design decision. Paint samples in any colour to suit the vision you have for your dream home.  

order a sample

©2023 James Hardie Australia Pty Ltd ABN 12 084 635 558. ™ and ® denote a trademark or registered mark owned by James Hardie Technology Ltd

Other articles in Get Planning

Back to top