Accidental Renovators: Bringing Visions to Life – Part 1

Accidental Renovators: Bringing Visions to Life – Part 1

Meet Callum Hunter and Claire Segeren, the couple who famously, accidently purchased a derelict house at auction. The pair initially had their eyes set on a cool, two-bed city flat in Glasgow, but accidentally ended up with a crumbling six-bedroom Victorian eyesore 35 miles away in rural Dunoon after a misunderstanding at auction…


Upon visiting their new home, they discovered Jameswood Villa, a derelict property with crumbling walls. The property was in a state of partial collapse, there were gaping holes in the roof and walls, the timbers were rotten, and the land was waterlogged. This property had been empty for at least two decades, according to locals who lived in the nearby village. The couple were told that they would be better off demolishing it and starting again. However, the ambitious, fearless, conscious pair were determined to restore this property and take on the challenge of creating a home they could be proud of.

The determined couple committed themselves to this enormous house renovation project, full-time since 2019 whilst living in a tiny caravan on site. Cal and Claire have documented the whole process across their Instagram page '@WhathaveweDunoon' and since have gained a large following of people looking to help, support and follow their journey. Both Cal and Claire wanted to be as sustainable as possible for this project taking advantage of some of the original features and the existing structure of Jameswood villa. The pair took it upon themselves to undertake every task, to save on the house renovation costs.

Due to the fascination with their story the pair recently documented their renovation in a four-part series on BBC one Scotland, and soon became known as the Accidental Renovators. For the past four years Claire and Cal have taken on this unimaginable renovation project in Dunoon and have an incredible story to tell, a story here at Gemini Worktops we’ve been following closely!

With the end in sight, they’ve got to the kitchen design and build stage, which of course is our room of expertise! The Accidental Renovators share many of Gemini’s values including quality, design, craft and sustainability. This is the only part of their house renovation process which they have opted not to fit or install themselves, so we’re extremely proud and excited to be working alongside them and part of their amazing journey to finish their home and bring their kitchen vision to life.

Cal, who has a carpenter background has already begun creating the carcasses for the kitchen units, building them out of plywood (an affordable and beautiful choice) with a hope that the kitchen would be durable and last a lifetime. With sustainability and house renovation costs at the forefront of their project it was crucial that their materials and labour reflected this. Paired with matt black hardware we think Cal’s done a stunning job creating a kitchen to be proud of.

Dunoon Kitchen

Dunoon Kitchen 2

The next big kitchen design decision for Claire and Cal is their worktop choice. Claire and Cal wanted a high quality, high performing, durable, timeless and beautiful surface to complete their kitchen – making Quartz the perfect choice.

When deciding on their samples for their kitchen the pair were torn. Initially liking surfaces with a marble design, such as Gemini Quartz, Calacatta Gold Superior, Claire in particular felt the surface had the perfect blend of natural beauty and wow factor she was looking for. The drama and the natural beauty of this design is very on trend right now and Claire thought the warm gold veins would match with their cabinets really well. Other marble veins such as Siena Gold, Venetian White and Calacatta Imperial were also considered within the marble collection.

Cool Cement on the other hand was up there in their favourite colours but for different reasons. Cal thought it would be great option to create a cooler toned down, industrial look (fun fact, a cement countertop was in the original kitchen design however after considering the pros and cons of the material Cal and Claire decided to go for Quartz).

Next up for consideration, Gemini Quartz’s more timeless, earthy colour options - something that differed from the more popular, classic white worktop. Gemini Quartz, Atlas White and Timberwolf were picked out as fitting this brief. Claire and Cal wanted to pair a darker or warmer surface with the birch plywood that they had chosen for their kitchen structure, "Wanting to create a more natural and earthy look would be a great way to match our cabinet material. As our home had been done using natural tones and materials Timberwolf would fit nicely. It's different but timeless and something we had never seen anyone use before."

After receiving their samples in the post, and a little help from their followers and an Instagram Poll their dream surface was chosen. Gemini Quartz Timberwolf.

With materials and colours chosen, it’s time to talk design. Together we have worked on some innovative and extremely beautiful quartz design plans, and we cannot wait to take you on the journey with them. Stay tuned across all our social channels and their Instagram page to follow the journey and of course for the big reveal of their finished kitchen. We’ll also be sharing regularly blogs within our kitchen stories so keep an eye out for part two (covering our expert design and template process) coming very soon!

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Accidental Renovators

Accidental Renovators: Bringing Visions to Life – Part 2

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