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