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
#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