We sat down with business owners Lana, Bonnie and Erin to chat about how TBR came out, their personal home aesthetics, and their latest project: Australian Staycation.
When/why did you create Three Birds Renovations?
We’ve been best friends for almost 20 years, but we decided to take a leap of faith together, quit our jobs and create Three Birds Renovations in 2014 in pursuit of a more fulfilling life. We wanted to work for ourselves while doing something we loved and most importantly, get to spend more time with our families because of it. Within a few short months of starting out we had successfully bought, renovated and sold our first property.
What was your breakthrough experience?
Seeing our second house featured on the front cover of Adore Home Magazine – it proved we could create magazine-worthy houses on a tight budget and even tighter timeline.
How would you describe your personal aesthetics? What is the style of each of your own homes?
We see beauty in lots of different styles, so when we design a home we put a big emphasis on the way you want to feel in the space, not just how it looks. We do all agree that feeling like you’re on holiday at home is always a good idea, so you might say that inspires our design style. We love anything coastal – think: light, white, bright, airy, beach houses... who doesn’t want to feel like they’re on vacay every day? You’ll see this in Bonnie’s #moderncoastalbarn and Lana’s #santoriniinsydney inspired homes. We’re yet to renovate Erin’s home.
What sort of renovations are usually done by TBR?
We love to renovate or build homes that feel as fabulous to live in as they look. We started out flipping houses and moved on to renovating and building dream homes.
What are some of the biggest challenges you've come across? And is it ever challenging working as friends?
Believe it or not, the biggest challenge we face is coordinating the three of us! With nine kids between us, we’re all busy juggling ‘mum life’, so after taxiing our troops to extra-curricular activities and keeping up with our day jobs, there’s not much time to get us all in the same place at the same time.
The beauty of our distinct roles within the business is that we’re able to work flexibly and remotely, but consistent, quality time in the same place can be a bit of a challenge.
Who have been some of your clients?
We don’t do client work. To help as many people as possible from afar we created our online courses The Reno School and Three Birds Styling School.
Can you tell us about your latest project, Australian Staycation?
Anchored by the Australian bush, this home is inspired by holiday destinations and design elements from around the world and is literally the owners' dream holiday brought to life, at home. Think: relaxed, coastal holiday vibes with luxe resort touches. It's their ultimate Australian Staycation.
It’s very much an open plan house with both family-living and entertaining in mind which we've definitely reflected in the kitchen. We think the kitchen should be the hub of the home. It's where families gather to eat, drink and chat, so we love to design kitchens that are enjoyable to use, with functional appliances, as well as looking good. That's why we've fully kitted this kitchen out with Electrolux appliances, to make it a great space for the family to hang out together.
But the real hero of the main house is the laundry (surprising, we know, but hear us out!). With two boys comes lots of washing so Louisa’s laundry needed to be pretty as well as practical which is why we decided to include not one but two washers and dryers and we lifted the appliances off the floor so they were at a much more comfortable height. They’re surrounded by a wall of push-touch cupboards for masses of slimline storage.
Gone are the days that the laundry is the small, damp room relegated to a dark corner of the house. We love to create laundries that are a pleasure to be in.
Anything else planned for the future/2021?
Hot on the heels of House 13 is House 14, and you’ll see her later this year. We’re also busy working on House 15 and 16 in the background too. Our next intake of our online styling course, Three Birds Styling School, starts on June 21 and Reno School will start again in August. We run our schools three times per year, so that always keeps us busy.
If Three Birds Renovations was a ____, it would be a _____:
A flower: Bird of Paradise – we actually love the plant more than the flower.
A TV show: Three Birds TV (of course).
An iconic woman: Kris Jenner – she built something from nothing.
A colour: White isn't technically a colour, so we'll have to say green (Cat Mint by Dulux to be exact).
A dessert: Three scoops of gelato.
A song: Respect by Aretha Franklin – we couldn't have come this far in business as best friends without having the utmost respect for each other and our audience.
A cocktail: Espresso Martini – we love enjoying our coffee after dark.