REN­O­VAT­ING

ONE THIRD OF BOU­TIQUE HOME REN­O­VA­TION COM­PANY THREE BIRDS REN­O­VA­TIONS, LANA TAY­LOR SHARES HER HITS AND MISSES SO YOU CAN GET AHEAD BE­FORE YOU EVEN PICK UP A PAINTBRUSH

Real Living (Australia) - - NOTED -

#1: There is such a thing as too much open space

Aus­tralians love open-plan liv­ing. Sum­mer bar­be­cues, beat­ing the English in any sport ever and open-plan liv­ing – we’re all over them like Scott Cam on a ham­mer. But we learned the hard way that there is such a thing as too open plan. One of our ren­o­va­tions saw us hav­ing to add walls back in be­tween ex­change and set­tle­ment be­cause buy­ers were con­cerned about noise trav­el­ling be­tween the two open liv­ing ar­eas. It was like res­i­den­tial re­v­erse psy­chol­ogy – the ex­act thing we thought made the house more live­able had, in fact, done ex­actly the op­po­site. Not a mis­take you make twice!

#2: No house is un­flip­pable

If you’ve ever gone house hunt­ing you know that feel­ing when you walk into what was ad­ver­tised as a “ren­o­va­tor’s de­light” only to find it prob­a­bly should have read “inches from be­ing con­demned”. But be­lieve it or not, you can turn any house around – some­times the more di­lap­i­dated the better. We know from ex­pe­ri­ence – the first ren­o­va­tion the Three Birds ever did was a hoarder’s hovel; the gar­den was so over­grown you could barely see the house and the neigh­bour swore the same bed sheet had been hang­ing on the Hills Hoist for over 10 years! But we turned the house (and a profit) around in the time it prob­a­bly took that sheet to dry. As long as ev­ery­thing’s struc­turally sound, it’ll stand up to re­hab.

#3: Never doubt the power of grout

The make-and-breaks of a reno aren’t nec­es­sar­ily the grand stair­case or the classy kitchen. It can some­times be the small­est of de­tails… like grout. If you really want your tiles to pop, choose a grout that con­trasts your tiles – test the colour by push­ing some grout pow­der be­tween a few spare tiles to see how it looks. It’s the kind of nu­ance that will make a bath­room sing like Pavarotti on a hot tin roof.

#4: You can change an en­tire house in one week­end

Truly – just two days is all it takes to com­pletely up­date the ap­pear­ance of your house. This coun­try is chock-full of red and blonde brick houses just cry­ing

“IT TAKES MORE THAN SEVEN WEEKS FOR AN EMU EGG TO HATCH AND YOU CAN COM­PLETE A FULL-HOME REN­O­VA­TION BE­FORE THE SHELL EVEN CRACKS.”

out for an up­date, but a lot of peo­ple don’t know that you don’t need to ren­der a house in or­der to give it a facelift – you can paint di­rectly onto the brick. All you need is a pro­fes­sional painter (or steady hand) and a spray gun. Tape up your win­dows and gut­ters and you’ll have the whole she­bang done in just two days. It’s cheaper, faster and eas­ier than ren­der­ing and can look like a million and one bucks.

Just imag­ine com­ing home to a fresh new house by Mon­day!

#5: You can fin­ish an en­tire house ren­o­va­tion in the same time it takes an egg to hatch

Here’s a fun fact: it takes over seven weeks for an emu egg to hatch and you can com­plete a full-home ren­o­va­tion be­fore the shell even cracks. You can do a whole house and back­yard in just six weeks, in fact! We’re con­stantly hear­ing sto­ries about ren­o­va­tions that drag on and on for years, but it really doesn’t have to be that way. We’ve done sev­eral renos in just six weeks now, in­clud­ing some of our most dif­fi­cult projects (see #2). Plan early, work late and stick to your spray guns. If we can do it, you can too.

The power of three

Lana Tay­lor (far right) with Erin Cay­less and Bon­nie Hind­marsh from Three Birds Ren­o­va­tions. For­ever home The team ren­o­vated Lana’s fam­ily home in North­bridge, NSW. In the out­door space (op­po­site), the white and timber theme is con­tin­ued from the in­te­rior. The ta­ble is from Al­boo, the stools from Oz De­sign Fur­ni­ture and the out­door rug is from Zanui.

See more of Lana’s for­ever home in real liv­ing’s Ren­o­va­tions spe­cial, on sale now

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