An ugly duckling takes flight
A modest cottage at Baulkham Hills is reborn as a stylish contemporary residence, writes
When the team from Three Birds Renovations first set sight on this house in Sydney’s northwest, it was in dire need of love. The owner had called in the renovating trio — Bonnie Hindmarsh, Erin Cayless and Lana Taylor — to extend the footprint and create a family home.
While this was the ninth project for the renovating trio, it was their first attempt at working for a client.
“We went back to our roots, with a quickie renovation of an old-school Aussie eyesore, located in our heartland — the Hills District of Sydney,” Bonnie says.
“The house is in Baulkham Hills, backing on to a main road and overlooking a community carpark. If any little house needed some love, it was this one.”
Bonnie even goes so far as to describe the 1960s house as “ugly”.
She says while the block was a good size at 670 sqm, the house wasn’t large and the owner was keen to make it more liveable.
“This little house was your average suburban home but the floor area was only 114 sqm, which meant there just wasn’t enough house for modern-day living, with second living spaces and ensuites,” Bonnie says. “The brief was to open up and extend the existing footprint to create more space for easy living and entertaining. ”
Each of the team had a clear area of responsibility, with Bonnie leading the design decisions, Erin managing the builder and budget, and Lana looking after the suppliers.
They decided to extend the home at the rear and were keen to ensure the backyard became a more usable space.
“We blew out the back with a bold extension to increase the liveable space indoors and made major changes to the backyard,” Bonnie says.
The outdoor space at the rear of the property was practically unusable because it sloped away and had been let go.
“We used HardieDeck to raise and level the backyard so that it flows seamlessly between inside and outside,” Bonnie says.
“It’s no secret that we love great indoor/ outdoor flow and this home is now much more suitable for entertaining with both the kitchen and bar opening on to the alfresco entertainment area.
“We also extended the house a few metres sideways to add in the ensuite off the master bedroom and a bonus private little deck.”
With a view across the new sitting room, the kitchen features white cabinetry and a black glass display box, which contrast against the green cabinetry in the island bench.
“The island bench makes a real statement in the kitchen,” Bonnie says. “The curved profile and green Dulux Lorna colouring add charm and character to the room.
“We complemented the kitchen with sleek Electrolux appliances.
“To give the illusion of a bigger space, we opted for integrated appliances such as the fully integrated dishwasher which fits behind the cabinetry of the island bench.
“And we even tucked a European-style laundry behind kitchen doors, too.”
The facade of the home also required their attention.
“At the front, we created stairs and an entrance patio, so it’s the first thing you see and walk on as you enter the home,” Bonnie says. “The guest bedroom at the front has