HOW SONY SURPRISED ME ...

Who says 'no' to Sony? I nearly did.... well kinda :-)

I'll be honest and say that our home entertainment system was the last thing on my mind when we renovated my family home. Choosing a TV to mount on my beautiful new wall was waaaaaay down the bottom of my To Do List. In fact, it wasn't even ON my list. 

So when the time came to move back in to our finished home, it became really obvious that we had no TVs in the house. So I asked my husband to go out and buy one (I think it was the only thing I let him choose for the house) I really didn't care what brand he bought cos they're all the same right? Husband comes home, new TV gets installed and 9 months goes by with lots of happy family viewing time. 

This Christmas, Sony asked me to try out their new OLED TV and my initial response was "no thanks - we already have a good enough TV". I seriously thought it was going to be a big waste of time to get it installed and then have to tell them it was no different to the one I already had.

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But they assured me it was completely different and that I would fall in love with the new technology.  Considering I'm not a "techie", that promise still wasn't blowing my skirt up.

Anyway - fast forward to today and I'm still catching up on Game of Thrones (now you know where my platinum blonde inspo has come from #khaleesi #motherofdragons #stormborn) and I have totally fallen in love with me Sony OLED TV.  Why?

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1) The picture quality is just so much better - the colours are insanely good and the blacks are really black - Harvey Spectre has never looked so good! #iamcatchinguponsuitstoo 

 2) The screen IS the speaker! My previous TV (and most other flat screen TVs) have the speakers hidden at the back of the TV so it doesn’t sound like voices are coming towards you. Well the techies at Sony have revolutionised things by having the sound project directly from the characters' mouths into your face, and it follows their movement across the screen. Now I actually get everything they're saying on GoT.

3) Last but not least, it's got a voice activated remote control which it right up my alley cos it means I can pull up Michael Buble concerts on request. 

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HIT PLAY BELOW TO SEE MORE...

 
 
 
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P.S - we're going to be giving away one of these Sony OLED TVs for Christmas so stay tuned for details.  

 
 

LANA'S FIRST CHRISTMAS IN HER FOREVER HOME

This time last year my family and I were squeezed into a tiny rental property while our Forever Home was still under construction.  

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Most people renovating in December are desperately hoping to be "in by Christmas" but more often than not, reality bites and they have to accept it will be another 12 months before they can celebrate xmas in their newly renovated space. 

As you can see from these never-before-seen pics of my reno - we still had a looooong way to go!

But one year down the track I'm pleased to confirm that we are well and truly IN the finished home and I'm soooo pumped for our First Christmas in my Forever Home.  We've never had so much space and style to play with so I enlisted the help of Bon to help me whip the place into 'all that jazz' which is Christmas.

Now I don't know about you, but I grew up in a house where clashing colours on the Xmas Tree was all the rage and you could never have too much tinsel. So this year, I asked Bon to help me style my house for Xmas.  Here's what we did...

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The Table - We transformed my round dining table with a mixture of faux and real plants (one of our fave tricks of the trade) and styled it with vintage glassware, matte coloured plates and gold cutlery. 

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The Tree - In the past, I've gone for real Xmas trees but this year we've opted for a fakie tree from Target and I'm actually loving it #cheapandcheerful. The base of the tree has been covered with a basket by J'Jute and then we decorated the tree with a mix of gold and silver ornaments.

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To finish off the space, we swapped out my juju hats (which you guys seem to love) for two wreaths I picked up from Freedom and added a bar cart with some champers!

 
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P.S - the presents under the tree are fake .... I literally have not bought one single thing yet #somethingsneverchange xx

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GET THE LOOK

Click the item name to shop.

BON'S CHRISTMAS LIST

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3 weeks until Christmas.... We repeat 3 WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS! Nooooo... If you're just like us you've probably been too busy to realise that Christmas is around the corner and you have not yet brought one single present! 

Do not fear, Bonnie has you covered. She's picked out her favourite gifts. Everything from splurge to steal. Click on the product you want to shop below to be taken straight to their site.

 
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3 RENO DECISIONS YOU NEED TO MAKE EARLIER THAN YOU THOUGHT

 
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Most people know that you need to decide on the overall look, feel and style of your home nice and early in your reno process. But I bet there are a heap of decisions you didn’t know you needed to make…early. 

When I share these tips with my friends they say “Oh, come on, do I really need to order my taps months before my bathroom reno starts?”

 Um. Yes you do. And if you want those gorge brass coloured ones, you REALLY do. Those babies can often take 12 weeks to make! 

So if you're planning a reno, here are a couple of decisions you might want to start thinking about sooner rather than later.  

 

 
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What kind of WINDOW COVERINGS do you want? 

If you're keen on having motorised blinds like me (PS they're life changing) you need to decide this early on so that your electrician can rough-in all the necessary wiring behind the walls - just like he would for lighting. 

Another reason you don't want leave window coverings til last is the cost. Imagine having a beautiful new home with bed sheets covering your windows because you didn’t budget for shutters? 

 
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Get moving on your TILES & TAPS early!  Your plumber, builder and tiler will all ask you what you've chosen here BEFORE they start any work.  This is because it impacts how they prep the floors and walls and also what it's going to cost e.g - smaller, fiddly tiles will cost more to lay than your standard 600 x 600 ones. On top of all this your plumber will need your chosen taps onsite for him to rough-in behind the walls. Some of the prettiest taps aren't always in stock so don't assume you can buy them off the rack like you can a white shirt in Witchery.  They can sometimes have a 3mth lead time so get on top of this early to avoid disappointment! 

 
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Once you've finished your reno you'll be patting yourself on the back if you thought about the acoustics in your home early!! If you don't think about it early, you'll miss the opportunity altogether. I don’t know about you, but the idea of limiting noise transfer between walls and floors really appeals to me. And there are actually lots of choices you can make early in your reno process to reduce noise.

Insulation: you can tell your builder to use Bradford Soundscreen insulation which helps reduce noise transfer. But if you don't tell him, he'll just use the standard stuff.

Glass: There’s such a thing as ‘hush glass’, which can reduce noise by up to 34% compared with normal glass. Living on a bus route means this is a winner in my household. 

Plasterboard A.K.A. Gyprock: If you want to cut down the noise, I would do all of the above AND use Gyprock Soundchek which adds another layer of noise reduction.  But remember, if you don't ask, you won't get!

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OUR BEST BATHROOM SECRETS

 
 

Bathroom renos are hugely popular and for good reason too. They’re a discreet space that can be transformed without having to do the rest of the house.  At Three Birds we’ve had our fair share of bathroom reno learnings. With over 13 bathrooms under our belts, here are some of our best bathroom secrets to help you achieve your dream bathroom.

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If you want to avoid that toe-stubbing little step which exists at the entrance of many bathrooms, ask your builder to drop the floor by about 5cm before the sand cement bed and tiles are laid.  That will ensure the finished floor height of your newly renovated bathroom is flush with the floor on the other side. This is especially relevant in ensuites where a carpeted bedroom might transition straight into the tiles, like in Lana’s Forever Home.  Remember, “flush is fab” but if you decide it’s too hard and costly to drop the floor, that’s ok too, just beware of stubbed toes #ouch.

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In contrast to the Justice League movies, there can only be one hero in our bathroom stories whether it be a large black bath or turquoise feature wall. To allow these statement pieces to shine it’s important to keep everything else quite muted and subtle. A skylight located above the hero also helps put it in the spotlight. 

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Make sure you spend time choosing your grout colour – it can make or break your bathroom. If you want your tiles to ‘pop’ as individual pieces choose a contrasting grout colour, but if you want the tiles to blend together and look like one big piece, choose a colour which matches the tiles.  In Lana’s Forever Home, we chose dark grey grout for the feature wall so that the grout was less noticeable. We wanted the turquoise tiles to shine.

Hot Tip: set up a few of your tiles on the ground and rub dry grout powder into the cracks to see what the end result will look like.

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White plantation shutters are a fave for many and we love putting them in our bathrooms for a super-chillax Sunday sessions vibe. They’re easy to adjust for light and privacy and the Luxaflex Polysatin ones are mould resistant so perfect for steamy rooms with lots of moisture.

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Natural light is highly coveted in most homes, especially in bathrooms. Windows are one solution but skylights are hard to go past for added wow-factor. Try and position your skylight above the shower or bath where you spend most of your ‘relaxing time’ #heaven.

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In case you missed our most exciting announcement to date, the Three Birds Reno School has launched. We are sharing everything we know about renovating! The early bird Reno School price is almost over, do not miss out.

5 WAYS TO SAVE MONEY ON YOUR RENO

 
 

By Lana

We’ve all been there… you ‘pin’ an amazing interior designer look on your Pinterest board, show friends and family what your reno is going to look like only to be brought crashing down to earth when you find out how much it’s going to cost to get THE look! So many of us have Champagne taste on a beer budget! What’s up with that?

Fear not! You can still achieve the reno of your dreams at a fraction of the price. In this week's blog, we are going to share our top 5 ways to save a bit of coin. 

 

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If you’re renovating a brick house, you might assume that you need to render it to get the look you’re after – but that can cost a packet. We’ve found one of the best ways to transform an ugly brick exterior is by spraying the bricks using standard exterior paint. This is much cheaper than render and can be completed in 1–2 days by a professional. Oh, and did we mention sprayed bricks also look great? One of our sprayed-brick properties even made the front cover of a glossy magazine! But, if you’ve got your heart set on that rendered look, consider rendering just the front façade and spraying the sides and back of the house. We’ve done that too.  

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It’s true what people say about not moving your plumbing to save money. A bathroom, kitchen or laundry renovation will cost much less if you keep the main plumbing services where they are. Feel free to upgrade your toilet and shower by all means, but don’t move their location. If you feel you must move them, the smaller the move, the cheaper the price. So, before you decide to shift your toilet from one end of the room to the other, consult your plumber and then your budget.  

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Save on materials and labour in bathrooms by tiling only 1.2 metres up from the floor (except for the shower recess) and then use paint for the rest of the walls. This will cut your tiling bill in half and give the bathroom a softer feel, with fewer hard surfaces.

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Gone are the days where only tradies could access a huge range of tapware at great prices. With the expansion of online shopping, you can (and should) take on that responsibility yourself by finding the items you like and ordering them direct. This removes the mark-up your tradie would have passed on to you, not to mention their charge for the time spent sourcing and buying them. Check out Little Miss Know-it-all laying down the law to Ez and I in this picture below ;-) That's the tap we put in the kitchen of House 5 #dorf #vixen.

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One of the single biggest ways for costs to blow out is if you change your mind mid-reno causing ‘variations’. Seemingly small changes, like a different tap or bath, will cost you if your plumber has already ‘roughed-in’ for something else. The same applies to wall placements and features like built-in bench seats and picture windows. If your builder has to re-do work or do extra, he will charge you for a variation.

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In case you missed our most exciting announcement to date, the Thre Birds Reno School has launched. We are sharing everything we know about renovating! The early bird Reno School price is almost over, do not miss out.

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