An ugly duck­ling takes flight

A mod­est cot­tage at Baulkham Hills is re­born as a stylish con­tem­po­rary res­i­dence, writes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE -

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. ”

Ex­pan­sion plans

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.”

Colour­ful char­ac­ter

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

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