Ever wondered how Bon styles a space ..... especially considering she's not exactly what you'd call "classically trained"? What about when she has to be super practical AND make it look beautiful at the same time? Well tune in tonight to get all of her hints and tips on how she did it down at the River Shack. 


 P.S - My fave tip is how she adds water to the faux plants.

P.P.S - we know a lot of you have an eye for great art based on the overwhelming response we had to Simon Davidson's "car burn out" artwork in the kitchen last week so... this week we think you're gonna love our artwork choices in the living room just as much!

Three Birds TV in proud partnership with our besties at realestate.com.au


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Want to get your hands on all the goodies we have picked for the kitchen? Shop the entire River Shack Reno by clicking the button below.



Last week we spent 5 minutes with Bonnie, so this week we’re spending 5 minutes with RONNIE!

Ronnie's our kitchen-maker extraordinaire from Carrera By Design and he’s responsible for making all our kitchen dreams come true!! There was the pale green kitchen he built us in House 5, then Lana’s white-on-white kitchen extravaganza and now he's delivered our lil’ black kitchen down at the River Shack. Ronnie knows EVERYTHING there is to know about kitchens so we asked him as many questions as we could fit into a 5-minute chat!

Q: What materials did you use in the black River Shack kitchen?

American Oak Timber Veneer stained to match Dulux Black and the internals are Polytech Natural Oak Melamine.

Q: Is it more expensive to have a wood-grain finish (like the River Shack) rather than a more traditional shaker style cabinet front? 

(Long pause)….. Yes.

Q: Do you love the woodgrain internals? 

Yes. I wish more people would do it instead of basic white. 

Q: Are they more expensive than traditional white?

Yes, but it’s worth it. 

Q: What’s the biggest mistake you see people make? 

Everything works on a piece of paper … but sometimes there are other factors that can determine the success of a kitchen - like how things will function and work once installed and if you don’t think about things practically then you’ll have problems. I recently was building some wardrobes for a client, however, I knew the sliding system they wanted did not suit the design, the house or the handle position – we argued about it (in a nice way) – they wouldn’t listen so I did what they said and it didn’t work and it had to be ripped out.  

Q: Do you have a preferred type of cabinet handle?  

No. Although I will say that I dislike push-touch because sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t. But if you must have push-touch, try and keep it to smaller doors, not large doors.  

Q: Who is your favourite Bird?  

No comment. Is this like when you asked me who has the best hair bun? All of you!! I can’t win. You’re all different.    

Q: Does Bonnie drive you nuts with her design ideas? 

No. What drives me nuts is HOW she designs the kitchens. There’s nothing written or drawn up. It’s all in her head and I have to stand there taking notes based on her hand gestures and words and then go back to the office and try to make it work on paper. Out of nothing …. we get a design! 

Q: How do you make coloured cabinetry?  

It’s pretty simple really. We can match cabinetry to any paint colour, for example, we matched the River Shack cabinets to Dulux Black and if you don’t know the name of a colour you like, we just need a sample of it and will send it off to our paint supplier for them to colour match.  Once we have the correct paint, we spray-paint the cabinets in a spray booth and then bake them like a car. We do all that on site in our factory at Smithfield.  

Q: Can you match to any colour your client wants? 

Yes but it needs to be a solid colour. We can’t do patterns, stripes or woodgrain paint. If you want woodgrain, we choose the right material for that like timber veneer, we don’t paint that on. 

Q: Out of the three kitchens you’ve done for Three Birds (green, white and black) which is your favourite and why?  

The green one and white one are both my favourites. The black one is nice ... it’s just a bit small and simple for me. I love the cabinetry and island design of the green kitchen and then the white one in Lana’s home is so big, bright and white, it’s hard not to like that one (and we all know she'd kill me if I said any different). 

Q: What’s the difference between Poly and Melamine? 

Poly is painted whereas melamine is a pre-finished board. Poly is a painted finish which you can have in any colour. Melamine is cheaper and more durable however you do see an edge profile (so great for internals).

Q: Do you have a tip for someone planning a kitchen reno?

Get all your ideas together, work out the style of kitchen you want and don’t go buying appliances before you’ve discussed the design with your kitchen designer. Know what style you want. Bring pictures. It makes it hard if you have no idea. 

Q: Why do kitchens take so long to make?

There is an intricate process of design, cutting, edging, painting, assembling etc etc.

Q: What’s the next BIG thing in kitchen design? 

Whatever Bonnie comes up with next 😉... Actually, bench tops are getting thinner and thinner, like down to 6mm and a modern take on shaker style cabinet fronts continues to grow in popularity.  

Q: From Michelle on FB: Can I remove and re-cut my Caesarstone bench top that currently overhangs the bench like a table and re-install it like a drop side? 

It depends on how much material is there. If there’s enough material then yes you could get a stonemason to come and move the stone to become a waterfall edge. 

Q: From Erina on FB: Is integrating your fridge and dishwasher expensive? Does it make it difficult when replacing/upgrading your appliances? 

Yes it adds cost - but looks good. It does limit you if you ever want to change appliances.

Q: From Jasmine on FB: Can I add soft-closing hinges to my current cabinets or do I need new ones? Is it expensive or worth it?

Soft close can be retro-fitted but you will need some modifications to cabinets and drawer fronts. Definitely worth it (that's what Lana tells me - she's had both).



You can win a killer vintage rug similar to the one we have in the River Shack thanks to our beautiful friends at Marr-Kett in Byron Bay!

And the best part is the winner gets to pick ONE rug out of the four incredible options above so you can choose the one that suits your house best.

Entering is as easy as ever gang!






In a small kitchen, look for smaller appliances (they do exist). In this kitchen, we used a cute little 30cm cook top which still has 2 cooking zones but gives you much more bench space than if we'd used a standard 60cm cook top.  And have you ever heard of a "microwave combination oven"?  We hadn't either until we discovered a beauty from Fisher & Paykel. It has a turntable inside just like a traditional micro but you can also use it to bake and crisp with its oven setting #dualpurpose. And last but not least, not all dishwashers are the same - you can get single dish-drawers which are often all you need in a small household (it's also much quicker to unpack #bonus ;-).  


To give the illusion of a bigger kitchen, integrate your appliances where ever possible! In the River Shack kitchen we hid the fridge and dishwasher behind black cabinetry and even tucked a euro-style laundry behind the doors too. Tip: not all brands can be integrated. That's what's great about Fisher & Paykel appliances, they have loads of options for integration. 


You'd be surprised how much dead space can be sitting in a kitchen... behind a panel here and there or tucked around an awkward corner of the pantry. Talk to your kitchen designer and ask him (or her) to find you every spare nook and cranny and turn it into extra storage. At the River Shack we installed shallow shelves under the servery which you'd never know were there (perfect for the Pimms).


This tip kinda flies in the face of the previous one but if you want your kitchen to look and feel larger, ditching head-height cabinets will help do that. Allowing the splashback to run all the way up to the ceiling, uninterrupted, will immediately make the space feel larger and taller. You could consider adding a floating shelf to hold a few items which is a better option than heavy, protruding cabinets (especially if they're black!).


If you don't have much space inside, make your kitchen bigger by extending your bench top outside to create a pseudo dining table that can seat 4-8 people (half sit inside, half sit outside). We did this at Lana's Forever Home and then again at the River Shack. The wide opening also allows natural light to flood the space so even though our kitchen was black it still felt light and bright. PS - It's also super practical if you want to feed your kids (and friends) whilst they're playing outside (also keeps the muddy feet at bay ;-).



Want to get your hands on all the goodies we have picked for the kitchen? Shop the entire River Shack Reno by clicking the button below.



We have been so blown away by the love you've shown for the caravan conversion!!! So we sat down with Bon this week to get the low down on how she did it. Who would have thought an old run down girl like this (the caravan, not Bonnie) could be transformed into such a slice of heaven.


Bonnie: This property is a weekender so I really wanted it to feel like you are on holidays and for it to be a really beautiful space. I was also inspired by the surrounds of the property. It’s located on the river and has beautiful bush views.


Bonnie: The colour palette actually started with the wall paper. It’s a bit crazy looking and packs a real punch in the room. It runs up the wall and then onto the ceiling so it’s like you are surrounded by the beautiful Strelitzias.  Once I found the wall paper, I knew I wanted colours which were a bit more muted so I picked the blush, the rattan and the little pops of green and gold.



Bonnie: What? One thing?!! OMG it’s so hard to pick just one thing! Honestly, I love it all… I guess I’d say the wall colour which is Dulux Parchment Paper. I’m seriously in love with it as an alternative to white. Oh…but then again, I also reaaaally love the wall paper… And I also really love the bunks! I’ve always wanted to put in bunk beds.



Bonnie: I found a super cute pic on Insta, showed my builder and he knocked them up in a few hours out of plywood. 

After the bunks were built, for mattresses we had some thick foam inserts custom cut so they fit perfectly. And lastly, to finish it off we painted the plywood in the same colour as the walls.


Bonnie: The kitchen! This one’s going to really pack a punch. I cannot wait to show everyone how it came together.



Whether you’re lacking space in your share house bedroom or looking for easy ways to make your little one’s room larger, we’re here to help.

Tiny living is huge these days, as our tiniest reno ever – the river shack – is fast revealing to us. Here we share some of the best tips and advice we’ve learnt along the way for how to make a small bedroom feel bigger.


Want to get your hands on all the goodies we have picked for the Caravan? Shop the entire River Shack Reno by clicking the button below.


Thanks to everyone who entered our Oz Design Furniture giveaway. Tamara Alexandrovsky is the lucky winner of Lana's Tokyo Bar Stools. Stay tuned for more comps soon gang.



You see, the caravan sits at the back of the River Shack and even though it's at the back, it's still the first thing you see upon arrival (like a front door)... because unless you're arriving via rubber dingy, you park your car at the back and the caravan is sitting there waiting to greet you. Make sense?

So now that we've established the back is also the front (are you still with me?;-), we wanted the caravan to pop with personality and set the fun tone for this reno. 

The River Shack is a weekender... a getaway... a place to escape your serious life (and by serious I mean remembering to fill in your kid's excursion slips or trying to find time to dye your hair).  Painting the caravan pink and black with a gold lightning bolt seemed like the obvious choice!

And what about the inside? Well, Bon has gone on the record saying the inside of the caravan is her favourite space we've ever renovated!! Now that's a big call! Watch the ep and see if you agree with her ;-) Either way, I think we may have started a trend for wallpapering your ceiling cos geez it looks amazing!


Want to get your hands on all the goodies we have picked for the Caravan? Shop the entire River Shack Reno by clicking the button below.




Crack open the champers, vodka or chamomile tea (whatever floats your boat) cos THREE BIRDS TV IS BACK baby and it's thanks to our great mates over at realestate.com.au. We'll share every nook and cranny of this River Shack Reno with a new episode (and room reveal) each Monday night - 8pm AEST. Tune in to see how we transformed this run-down river shack and find out all our hints and tips for living it large in a small space.