HOW TO CREATE THE IDEAL DINING SPACE

By Bonnie

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The dining space can often be the forgotten friend next to the glamour rooms of the kitchen and lounge room, but these days it’s quite literally hard to separate them as their boundaries merge. Modern living has meant people are pulling down the walls that used to separate dining rooms so you need to design and define your dining area with the adjoining spaces top of mind. 

This week I’ll show you how to create a beautiful, practical dining room which works well in an open plan room.

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When I was styling this dining space at The Beach Shack, I literally worked from the ground up, choosing the rug first! Most people might think you should buy your table first and often that is the case, but on this occasion I chose the rug first because then every choice after that just kinda flowed.  

I selected this beautiful round rug from Zanui with its muted tones of blue/grey through it because I wanted something with a bit of texture and colour but not be overpowering or compete with the colours in the lounge room 2 metres away. I also wanted it to be round because I knew a round table would work best for a few reasons:

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The dining space backs onto the kitchen, lounge room and alfresco deck as it literally sits bang in the middle of all three, so a round table joins all the dots seamlessly. 

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Round tables help encourage conversation – everyone can see each other and be included.

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And lastly, you can find round tables in a compact size which is great when floor space is limited but you can always pull up a few extra stools and fit more people around it if needed.

I chose a marble-look table top which I just love for that luxe vibe but then to bring it down to earth (as we’re at the beach after all) I selected rope chairs. I don’t think you need to match your table and chairs - it often adds a bit more interest when you mix it up. 

The other key element I believe every dining space needs is a pendant (or two) to help identify the space as its own special area and to make it look beautiful. At The Beach Shack, I selected these gorgeous fabric pendants that remind me of clouds and so whimsical. I chose two different sizes and hung them at different heights (keeping in mind you don’t have to be matchy-matchy). 

Watch how my dining styling hacks come to life in the video below thanks to our friends at Zanui.

BEACH SHACK BEDROOMS BABY

This week's #stylinghacks video reveals not ONE but THREE bedrooms at The Beach Shack - perfect for when two families decide to stay! Bon wanted to create a master suite and guest bedroom which felt like underwater sanctuaries (omg wait til you see the artwork!!) and a fun coastal kids room to sleep, four little people. 

WATCH HOW BON DID IT BELOW...

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HAVE YOUR SAY + RECEIVE A FREE PEPPA HART PRINT

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We are on a mission to give you only the good stuff so we’d love to hear what you think about a few things. It won’t take you long #promise #20questions #15minsmax. 

And the best bit? We’ll give everyone who completes our survey a FREE Peppa Hart print to download! You can choose either of the gorgeous designs below. Once you complete the survey, you will see a link to download your prints.

Survey closes Sunday, October 8th.

OUR S​T​YLING HACKS ​AT THE BEACH SHACK

Have we ever told you about Bon's Beach Shack? It's a little slice of heaven in Pearl Beach which has been in the Three Birds family for a few years. Now, this baby didn't always look so pretty.... in fact it used to be a little bit #oldschool #brownandbeige #notpretty!

 
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This transformation has been a bit different to others we've done - it's been completed in stages and over a few years. The first thing we did was rip up the old nasty carpet and whitewash the pine floors that were hiding underneath. Then we painted the walls and the ceilings white #prettysimple #prettygorge

A few years later we renovated the kitchen and added some new openings to connect the inside to the outside using our trusted fave #gasstrutwindow and cheap-as-chips French doors from Bunnings. We also added a large timber deck with stadium seating. 

And NOW we've just completed the self-contained studio (which used to be the garage) and we've RESTYLED the WHOLE HOME in 100% ZANUI - yup that's right, everything from the beds to rugs to artwork to glassware is from Zanui.

Over the next couple of weeks, we'll reveal all the rooms and show you how we did it including all of Bon's fave styling hacks. 

 
 

HOW WE PICKED OUR COLOURS FOR THE RIVER SHACK

 
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Whaaat? You aren't using white?! This sounds like some sort of madness...

Bon knew from the get go that she wanted to experiment with colour at the River Shack.

In the past, we've painted most of our walls white. In fact we usually paint our ceilings, walls and trims all the same colour #whiteonwhiteonwhite. Did we mention we love white? Dulux Lexicon Half....oh so pretty and how about Dulux White on White? Delicious! So whilst our love affair with white will probably never ever, ever... like e-v-e-r die, the River Shack was the perfect place to branch out of our comfort zone.

WHY? I hear you say?

Because it's a weekender!

And at a weekender, you want it to be different to your home. You want it to feel like a real escape and what better way to do that than to experiment with colour!

So... the million dollar question was "which colours?'

How did Bonnie do it?

Watch this video to find out more and get The River Shack look here.


 
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Do you want to experiment with colour at your place? 

Our mates at Dulux are here to help and have a fabulous team of colour designers who can help you pick your very own dream colour scheme.... PLUS you ALSO get 50L of Dulux paint! #howgoodisthat?

 
 

 
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We simply loved our colour choices at the River Shack! And we actually got lots of inspo from the Dulux Colour Forecast they put out every year. Want to know what's on the horizon?

Check out some of their picks below (click to enlarge)...

 

ESCAPADE

ESSENTIAL

KINSHIP

REFLECT

EPISODE SIX | THE ULTIMATE WEEKENDER

 
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It's the final hurrah so we decided to share our thoughts on how to design the "ultimate weekender"? Here are some of the tips we learnt while renovating the River Shack...

ONE - HAVE FUN WITH COLOUR & TEXTURE

By definition you don't spend everyday in a weekender so you don't need to play it safe in this space - it's not like you're going to get sick of a pattern or colour cos you're living with it. Here's where we splashed out at the River Shack...

+ We painted the exterior in bold Dulux 'BLACK'.
+ We chose 'grained' Axon wall cladding for a textured finish and true cabin feel #cabinfever.
+ We went a bit cray-cray with the caravan using intense wallpaper on the low, curved ceiling and we made a statement with the pink/black exterior with lightening bolt to boot.
+ The bathroom is probably the best example of us having fun. Pink and Black. Square and Round. Peek-a-boos of gold. 

TWO - SLEEP AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE

Weekenders are a great place to come together with extended family and friends ... so having lots of places for people to crash overnight can help extend the festivities. One way to achieve this is through dual-purpose furniture like oversized day beds that turn into night beds and of course the magic BoConcept ottoman that folds out into a single bed! And don't forget to include windows coverings that allow you to sleep past sunrise. We installed some funky black Luxaflex Duette Duo-Lite Shades which can be made transparent or opaque depending on how much privacy and darkness you desire. 

THREE - STORAGE IS KING

You can never have too much storage in any house, and especially not in a weekender. So find as many places as possible to steal potential dead space and turn it into storage.  We used bench seats and day beds as a great place to create storage along with hidden cupboards under the kitchen servery and under the bunk beds in the caravan. 

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FOUR - LOW MAINTENANCE MANIA

To quote Bonnie, "I don't even have time to maintain my life, let alone a weekender". And I'm guessing most of you reading this would agree wholeheartedly. You need your weekender to be low maintenance. You're not going to be there all the time to take care of it and the house is going to get its fair share of "activity" as you'd expect in a holiday home designed for fun times! Here are some of the low maintenance choices we made at the River Shack...

+ HardieDeck - it looks like timber but is much more durable and doesn't need all the upkeep. It's warp resistant, rot-resistant, termite-resistant and fire proof, so absolutely perfect for the great outdoors. You can paint it any colour you want but at the River Shack we chose a timber stain and absolutely love how it turned out.
+ Axon Scyon Wall Cladding - a fibre-cement product that looks like timber but is much more durable - it has lots of the same benefits as HardieDeck and won't need repainting for years. We used Axon cladding inside the River Shack too so even those walls will be able to withstand a lot of action - again perfect for a holiday home!
+ Faux Plants - you don't want to arrive at your weekender to the sight of dead indoor plants. Not what you'd call a 'warm welcome'. No worries, this is easily solved by opting for fake plants instead.  There are so many good ones available now it's a great choice for somewhere you only visit intermittently. 
+ Durable Flooring - we chose vinyl planks from Godfrey Hirst because they look great (always our first criteria ;-) and they're super durable and water resistant which is perfect for a home by the river.  They're also easy to replace or repair in small sections as you don't have to rip up most of the floor.

FIVE - BUDGET BUYS

Wherever possible try and save some cash with your weekender. It's not your Forever Home so you probably don't need to go super-premium with some of your choices. In the River Shack we recycled some old windows which Bonnie surreptitiously pulled out of Lana's backyard during her home reno. Good idea! With a lick of Dulux "BLACK" they looked brand new! And last but not least, we saved thousands by hinging together some inexpensive Bunnings doors to create bi-folds.  Let's be honest, they're not gonna be as long-lasting or smooth-running as the real thing, but all you need for a holiday home and at a fraction of the price.


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