By Lana Taylor
House 4 is done and dusted and to take you on the journey, I’ve got some obligatory B&As (before and afters) along with some Q&As that I pose to myself and then answer myself #slightlyawkward #multitasking.
Did we keep anything from the original backyard? The existing concrete porch proved a god-send as we anchored a new deck off it and then painted it and the deck the same colour to make it look like one large alfresco space.
Is that timber decking? No. In all our previous renos we’ve built timber decks (as you do) but at this house we branched out into fibre-cement decking called HardieDeck. It has the strength and durability of concrete (and is fire-proof), but with the smooth look and feel of a modern boat deck. And the best part is you can paint it any colour you want.
Who doesn’t love a privacy screen? Nobody, that’s who! A privacy screen offers so many benefits: 1) it hides you from your neighbours and vice versa 2) it helps create the feeling of an outdoor room and, if built used Scyon wall cladding, it can become an architectural feature of the house. PS – we are slightly obsessed with Scyon walls so you’ll start to see them popping up in many more of our renos.
Why did we remove the upstairs balcony? The rickety wooden balcony was both unattractive and structurally unstable. Rebuilding it would have been costly and only worthwhile if it had provided our future homeowners with a nice vista to look out on. Given that this one looked straight over the back fence into all the neighbouring houses (no thanks) we decided to scrap it altogether!
Best budget buy outside? We saved some cash with our external servery. We bought solid timber benches from our local hardware store and had our builder cut and install them.
Is that a clad wall behind the bed? Yes – and would you believe me if I told you it is the SAME Scyon wall cladding from the outdoor privacy screen? Who would have thought it could translate so well inside!? #bonnieknew
Where’s the wardrobe? Behind the wall, behind the bed. We love a walk-around robe almost more than a walk-in version.
Where is that gorgeous painting from hanging above the bed? This stunning artwork is called ‘We are Sole’ by artist Danielle Cross.
Which tiles did we use in the ensuite? All the tiles came from Amber. We used 600×600 Statuario Grey Polished Porcelain on the walls for a touch of marble style luxury and charcoal Durastone Herringbone 25×50 on the floor. The seafoam subways (Spanish handmade Menta) were our favourite and kick-started Bonnie’s love affair with this lightest shade of green.
What if people don’t want an open ensuite? We love an open ensuite but recognise we might not be in the majority. For those who prefer the privacy of a closed-in ensuite, this design can easily be adapted by installing two cavity slider doors in each nib wall.
FORMAL LIVING ROOM
Is it the same room? Yes …. and no 😉 The before shot is of one of the rooms, but we removed the wall between it and another bedroom to turn the space into one large formal lounge with separate tapas bar.
Did I just say tapas bar? Every Aussie home needs a tapas bar, right!? Well maybe not, but we couldn’t resist in this reno. The formal lounge room was big so it worked to create two zones in the one space.
Why didn’t we keep the yellow walls? I know this is the question on everyone’s lips but we opted instead for our fave white, Snow Drop by Taubmans.
Our budget buy in this room? To save money we used cheap-as-chips IKEA sheer curtains ($12 for two).
Most practical decision? We learnt from House 3 that it’s best to separate your living spaces, so that one is truly an escape from the other. This was a challenge with the floor plan, but we solved it easily by adding French doors that can section off this zone from the rest of the house.
So that was Part 1 of the journey through the transformation. Next month we’ll share Part 2, which will showcase the kitchen, living and dining, along with the unlikely hero of the house –the stairwell.
–Lana Taylor is one third of Three Birds Renovations alongside Bonnie Hindmarsh and Erin Cayless, and one of our Resident Experts. The best friends and busy mums walked away from their corporate careers in pursuit of a more fulfilling life. They created Three Birds Renovations – a boutique renovation company where they buy, renovate and sell suburban homes. Their ultimate ambition is to build a life they love, hoping to inspire others to do the same.