Why you need to consider these ‘5 Fs’ when renovating
Serial renovators Bonnie, Lana and Erin of Three Birds Renovations, know a thing or two about breathing new life into old homes – or creating a beautiful build from the ground up.
Their latest project, House 14 is a masterclass in what they’re calling ‘coastal cool’, bringing together trademark Three Birds design features, from their most loved homes.
“House 14 really is the best of our signature coastal-cool style all wrapped up in one home – a breezy, open floorplan, white-washed timber flooring and trademark gas-strut window, built-in appliances, it’s the ultimate family home, perfect for indoor/outdoor entertaining,” the trio says.
Key to any renovation, aside from a vision board of course, is considering façade, fixtures, floorplan, fittings and furniture.
Here’s Three Birds Renovations take on the ‘5 Fs’:
Like a spray tan, a well-thought out façade instantly makes your home look better, giving it street appeal. Three Birds say it sets the tone and adds value. To achieve their trademark coastal feel, they recommend opting for cladding and corner soakers, or what they call “little Christmas trees.” And don’t forget your roof colour, “it’s like not doing your hair,” they say. They love Surfmist with white balustrades, trims and gutters.
From skirting boards to wall sconces, cabinetry to flooring, dishwashers to dryers, one of the biggest mistakes Three Birds see is new renovators not selecting fixtures and fittings early enough. Not only do they help achieve the look and feel of a home, but are also some of the most heavily used features in your kitchen, laundry and bathroom, so it pays off to invest in these items – and adequately budget for them. “Go window-shopping as soon as you’ve confirmed your vision board and take note of the price of each product to help populate your budget tracker.
“Appliances for example, fit in much earlier than you’d think in the planning process! Quite often the kitchen actually ends up being designed around the appliances as the choice of oven style, fridge size and other appliances you choose impact the layout and size of your kitchen plans.” For House 14, they included the 90cm Dual Fuel Freestanding Cooker EFEP916DSD, 609L UltimateTaste 900 French Door Refrigerator EHE6899BA and 60cm Built-Under Dishwasher with MyTime™ ESL69200RO. As for the signature Three Birds look, it’s down to three feature fixtures they say: custom cabinetry, engineered timber flooring and a gas strut window.
Australians love open plan living and as Three Birds say, if you don’t nail the layout, you’ll never get the aesthetic right. “A fabulous floorplan is key to ensuring a happy and high-functioning home.” The team recommend creating a split-level home where the top floor is for escape, and the bottom for socialising. “In House 14 we wanted to create an uplifted feeling for a family home,” they say. That meant kids bedrooms that are a 3m x 3m minimum, an oversized main bedroom, substantial laundry and open flow kitchen living and dining onto alfresco.
Decision fatigue is real especially when renovating as there are hundreds of choices to make - tiles, taps, baths, basins, handles, floorboards, carpet, wall linings, doors, cabinetry, appliances, lighting, skirting boards, hinges and more – they all need to work in unity together. The team recommend referring back to your vision board whenever you choose an item, “because the best visions can go rogue if you’re not staying true to it.”
As for fittings, they have a few rules for the laundry. “Practical doesn’t mean it can’t be pretty too! Add some bling tapware, a pretty pendant, whatever makes you smile,” and always make space for a dryer and front-load washing machine. “They’re perfect to use in a larger room or in a European laundry when space is limited. Aside from looking like a perfect pair with your dryer, they provide more bench space, are gentler on clothes, use less water, less detergent and cost less to run, especially Electrolux appliances.”
This is what they call the “icing on the cake” and believe it’s possible to find gorgeous high street products that won’t break the bank. For Three Birds choosing furnishings relies on four things:
1. Mix and match textures to add interest and another layer to a room.
2. Use furniture to establish dedicated spaces that feel distinct but have a flow within the one room.
3. Create softness with contemporary curves and balance by distributing the visual weight throughout the room.
4. Work with a muted palette, then add pops of colour. It’s like a blank canvas you can add personality and hero or focal pieces to.
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