Experts help turn spaces into a home

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A CHANGING Canberra has made way for a rise in apartment living and for some, pod living. But no matter what “home” is, there’s nothing better than making it a place for its residents to enjoy.

So whether it’s finally fixing that leak, changing the furniture or repurposing that TV cabinet, “CityNews” showcases the goods and services of local experts who can help achieve those objectives…

The Pod Canberra’s operations manager Jacki Valk, director Robert Valk and accounts manager Debra Valk

Family business modernises pod-living

FAMILY-run business, The Pod Canberra, is changing living spaces for people of all ages and all abilities with their modern, secondary residences – or “pods”.

Operations manager Jacki Valk says the idea behind The Pod Canberra came about when her grandparents were looking into aged-care accommodation.

“We didn’t want them to go into a home so we thought of a better solution,” she says.

Policy changes around secondary residences in Canberra have also meant The Canberra Pod makes every pod accessible, which Jacki says means disability friendly.

But Jacki says their pods are also popular with young adults because they are more modern than the house.

“Or people use the house as an investment property while living in the pod,” she says.

Which is just one of the many benefits, according to Jacki.

“It’s about half the price of buying a brand new apartment in Canberra and it’s even bigger than most of the brand new apartments in Canberra,” she says.

“All of the pods are built on site and we stick to the same designs so we can build them faster – within eight to 10 weeks.”

Designed by Robert Valk, The Pod Canberra offers one-room pods to two-bedroom, two-bathroom residences.

“All of which have lots of double-glazed windows and doors,” she says.

The Pod Canberra opens a two-bedroom, one-bathroom pod in Giralang once a month for people to take a look.

The Pod Canberra, 34 Enderby Street, Mawson. Call 6101 5917 or visit

Taylor Radnell, left, James Fullerton and senior executive, Lady, right.

Designer furniture at a no-nonsense price

CANBERRA’s leading dealer in surplus office furniture is making home improvement dreams affordable, says the owner of Ex-Government Furniture, James Fullerton.

“Everybody wants designer stuff but nobody wants to pay the price,” he says.

One of the best reasons to come to us is because we have secondhand stock at great prices from some of the best quality Australian and global brands such as Schiavello, Herman Miller and Wilkhahn.”

But that’s not the only positive of going to Ex-Government Furniture and James says there’s obvious environmental benefits from buying secondhand such as reducing waste.

And, he says, they also get a lot of people coming in who want to repurpose furniture for their home.

“We have a lot of people buying up the vintage industrial trolleys, with some people converting them for kitchen storage,” he says.

“We’re seeing a lot of people going mobile. Traditional filing cabinets are out and mobile storage is in.”

At the moment Ex-Government Furniture has a lot of electronic sit-stand desks, high-quality designer chairs and sliding door storage units coming in.

Ex-Government Furniture gets weekly shipments of furniture, with everything from the vintage to the modern, so James says there’s always something interesting coming through the doors.

“We charge fair prices and are often able to source the best, no-nonsense, quality furniture available, always with an eye for good quality,” he says.

Ex-Government Furniture, 6 Yallourn Street, Fyshwick. Call 6280 6490 or visit

Duncan’s Plumbing

Duncan delivers quality plumbing

OWNER Jason Duncan, of Duncan’s Plumbing, and his passionate team of office and trades staff promise to deliver the best plumbing in Canberra.

Boasting a skilled team, a range of top-of-the-line equipment, dedicated vehicles and a workshop test bay customised for fault testing, Duncan’s Plumbing offers a huge array of services for the region.

“We are licensed for both the ACT and NSW, and our tradesmen in the field are in constant contact via mobile and an internet-based SMS service, providing you with flexible, reliable assistance at need,” says Duncan’s Plumbing.

“Our maintenance services include all plumbing and draining.

“We also install all manner of appliances (gas, electrical, tapware, hot water systems, toilets and more), perform backflow prevention testing, service thermostatic mixing valves, and certify, fix, install and repair all gas units.

Duncan’s Plumbing has been in business for more than 40 years and has been servicing the region for more than 20.

Duncan’s Plumbing, 1/9 Page Place, Page. Call 6254 5678, email or visit

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