Renovating expert Bonnie Hindmarsh explains how to plan and style a reno without losing your marbles.
For the most part, renovating comes naturally to Bonnie Hindmarsh. However, the passionate interiors devotee knows that even the best laid reno plans sometimes go very awry.
“It can be stressful, however if you can take a deep breath and be methodical, you should get through it without too much angst!” she says.
Along with her besties Erin Cayless and Lana Taylor, Bonnie is one third of popular renovation team Three Birds Renovatiosn. The busy mums and celebrity footballers’ wives, are currently doing a total makeover of Bonnie’s home in Pearl Beach, north of Sydney, and have teamed up with online retailer Zanui as part of their #stylehacks campaign.
Sharing their easy-to-follow interior decorating style tips, Bonnie has hand picked her favourite pieces to show how you can create the latest home trends.
Here, Bonnie shares her top tips to running a smooth reno.
What are the top three most important things to consider when renovating?
The first thing is to consider your vision for your reno carefully. You need to know what you’re trying to achieve and have a really clear idea of what it looks like. You also need to be able to articulate your vision as well. Your trades, your mum or anyone else who you explain it to should be able to easily understand it. Pinterest images are a great way to communicate what you have in mind.
Once you have a clear picture then you need to consider your budget. Do the two match-up? If not, you’ll probably have to make some compromises. Finally consider the team you want to surround yourself with. Renovating can be stressful and with the right team, this stress can be dramatically reduced so make sure you allow yourself enough time to find the right people.
How do you choose a style that suits your lifestyle?
I think the key here is to understand your lifestyle first. You need to spend time reflecting on how you live and the needs of the people you share the house with. We love open plan living for example, but if you have teenagers with their friends over every day, perhaps you also want a second living space which isn’t open plan as well. Once you get this, you can hone in on the style you like best.
How do you decide on a colour palette?
We choose our colour palettes based on the property’s overall theme and the feel we want a person to have when they are in each space. The theme for the Beach Shack is probably best described as “beachy”.
It was the obvious choice based on the location of the house and the fact it was supposed to feel like a “getaway”. It had to feel relaxed and have a distinct summer-holiday vibe. The colour palette then flowed from there which was lots of white, and natural colours such as beige along with calming pops of blue, green and gold.
What are your three biggest budget saving secrets?
Paint it white! That’s always a great starting point. We painted the walls, the ceiling and even whitewashed the old floors at The Beach Shack and it transformed the space immediately.
Next add some new artwork and rugs. There are lots of affordable options and it’s also a super quick and easy way to update a room. Lastly, don’t forget new soft furnishings like throws and cushions and bed linen.
When choosing furniture, what is the most important thing to consider?
Think about how much you love it. Furniture is something you don’t buy everyday so you need to make sure you truly adore it. Then obviously you want to check it’s comfy, durable and fits the space.
What common mistakes do people often make?
By far the biggest mistake people make is a lack of planning and research. You absolutely must allocate lots of time upfront to look through all the options out there before you decide on exactly what you want. Once you’ve decided, and the reno has begun, try not to change your mind as this will cost you time and money.
Do the three of you ever disagree on concepts and designs?
Absolutely! We’ve disagreed before on layouts, tiles, finishes - all sorts of things! We always share our thoughts on why we disagree and discuss the pros and cons, but ultimately these decisions rest with me as the creative director and that works well for us.