A retired Australian couple spent 17 years decking out every inch of their home with crafts and color. Now, they're listing the 3-bedroom house for $900,000 — see inside.
A quirky home absolutely bursting with color in New South Wales, Australia, is for sale for $900,000.
Retirees John Fuller and Robyn Mersh say they tried to use recycled materials in their DIY decor.
The three-bedroom house includes a Japanese-themed master suite and a newspaper-covered guest room.
When retirees John Fuller and Robyn Mersh moved to New South Wales from Sydney, they knew they wanted their new home to be different.
Their three-bedroom home, located across the street from the shore of the Bermagui River, is a sight to behold: no plain walls, nothing ordinary-looking, and nothing boring.
"We just thought it'd be nice to have a bit of color and do whatever we wanted to do," Mersh, a former librarian, told Insider. "We wanted to have a bit of fun with it."
"The house is a pretty typical Australian, coastal, countryside house, and we wanted to light it up a bit," Fuller, a former civil engineer, said.
And light it up they did. From afar, you can't miss the home's turquoise and orange facade. Up close, you'll notice the little animal murals — handpainted by Mersh — running along the perimeter of their large windows.
After 17 years of living in and working on the house, the couple is putting it on the market for 1.35 million Australian dollars, or about $900,000.
Mersh says that they bought the house in 2006 for about 400,000 Australian dollars. They are selling the property now as they're looking to downsize.
"We've got a big yard here, with a lot of trees and a lot of vegetables, and it's just getting too much for us to maintain," Fuller said.
Since Mersh and Fuller moved in, they've redecorated the home multiple times.
"The house has had several lives — it's been painted and repainted every time we got a bit bored with it," he said.
Melisa Ashton, a real-estate agent from Butterfield Property, holds the listing.
Houses in Bermagui, New South Wales, have a median house sale price of 835,000 Australian dollars, per real-estate platform Allhomes.com.
The bright interiors are largely influenced by the couple's travels around the world, although they also drew inspiration from their friends' homes.
"We spent a lot of time in Mexico, and we've been to places like Uzbekistan and Kashmir — a lot of places with a bit of color in them that we liked," Fuller said.
They were also inspired by the vibrant colors of Frida Kahlo's house-turned-museum, La Casa Azul, in Mexico City, Mersh said.
"A friend of ours who now lives in Cannes also used a lot of color in her place and it just looked so striking and interesting," she added.
Both Mersh and Fuller have no professional background in art and say that designing their home is a way to express themselves freely.
"We've never trained as artists or anything, but we like to dabble and do a bit of drawing and crafts, so we thought we'd do that on the walls," Mersh said. "It's a big canvas."
Take, for instance, the couple's Japanese-themed master bedroom, complete with fake screen doors and Japanese art prints painted by a friend.
"I found some lovely paper in an art shop and I didn't know what to do with it," Mersh said. "I had been looking at Japanese architecture, so we decided to make a pretend shoji screen. It just looks like one, but you can't move it."
They also tried to incorporate recycled materials into the decor wherever they could — like using old newspapers to cover the walls in the guest bedroom.
"There used to be a big news agency in Sydney that sold papers from nearly every country," Mersh said. "And I liked all the different scripts, like Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, and Greek, so I just used those old newspapers."
Their attempts at repurposing old materials for decor don't stop there: The kitchen's pink walls are decorated with cherry branches made from recycled bottle caps.
"A lot of them are beer. But I didn't drink them all myself, I had help — we've had parties here," Fuller said of the bottle caps.
"It's nice to reuse things, instead of it all going into the garbage," Mersh said. "There's nothing new in the house — a lot of it is recycled."
A lot of the things in the house — including the furniture — are second-hand items from thrift stores, Mersh said. Others are travel memorabilia.
"I like material, so I would buy bits of material in a lot of different countries, and some of them we hang up as curtains or use them as tablecloths, just to remind us of where we've been," Mersh said.
Even the bathroom walls are covered in a bright DIY mosaic.
"That's just John's imagination going whack," Mersh said.
Both Mersh and Fuller say it's up to the buyer of the house to decide whether they want to keep the decor.
Most of the items are stuck onto the wall with Blu Tack and will roll off easily, Fuller said.
That's how they've been able to switch up the decor over the years without too much of a hassle, Fuller said.
"If someone likes the house, but not the decoration, it's all easy to remove. They've only got to repaint the place really and they can have it white or beige," he added.
The property is solar-powered, and comes with vegetable and fruit gardens, making it the perfect home for someone who wants to live self sufficiently, Fuller said.
The gardens surrounding the property include macadamia trees, orange trees, and lime trees, Fuller said.
"There are areas for you to grow your own food, which is now expensive," Fuller said. "We've also got about five kilowatts of solar panels on the roof, which gives us plenty of power to put back into the grid."
As a result, the couple almost "never" has an electricity bill, Mersh said.
The home is located in Bermagui, a town in New South Wales, in southeastern Australia. It's about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Canberra, per Google Maps.
Although their future plans aren't set in stone, one thing's for sure: Their next house will definitely be colorful.
As they prepare to bid goodbye to their 17-year project, they're honest about how the home lands with other people.
"A lot of people like it. A lot of people hate it. Naturally, our friends sort of think the same way as us so they tend to like it," Fuller said. "But I think a lot of people are a bit shocked because they like white surfaces and stainless steel, and all that sort of stuff."
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