I have a confession to make, we made a bit of a boo-boo during our last reno which we haven’t shared with anyone until now. We learnt from it …. and perhaps you can too.
If you’ve followed the Three Birds journey you’ll know that we have a real penchant for “open plan” living (let’s be real - who doesn’t?). We love knocking out walls to open up a space, but as we learnt from our most recent reno, sometimes open plan can be too open.
Let me tell you a story...
Once upon a time, there was a Red Brick House in Beecroft. This poor little house was ugly and wished away its days hoping for a magical transformation that would make it the most beautiful house on the street. One day, along came three birds (who we’re told were exceptionally charming and downright hilarious). They said to Red Brick House, “we are here to make you beautiful – don’t worry, it won’t hurt much”.
On the first day, the birds flittered about, working hard on a new floor plan. Finally they agreed to cut out the floor from one of the bedrooms to flood the downstairs with natural light. “A masterstroke”, one bird chirped. “This will be the hero of the house”, said another. Then the third bird announced triumphantly, “we will name this space …. The Void”. They all cheered.
Little did the birds know that The Void was going to play two roles in this story ….. both hero and villain!
For 7 weeks straight, the three birds worked hard (with their expert helpers) to transform Red Brick House. When all was done, it certainly was the most beautiful house on the street so it promptly applied for a name change to Gorgeous Grey Estate. The birds approved whole-heartedly.
Red Brick House
Gorgeous Grey Estate
On the first Saturday of the eighth week, Gorgeous Grey Estate was put up for sale, opening its freshly painted French doors in search of a new owner. Meanwhile, the three birds, proud of their fine work, were eager to watch the potential new suitors so they perched across the road, out of sight, and watched masses of people pour in. In reality they just sat outside the house in a black van with tinted windows, sipping on their Lattes.
The three birds thought life was truly wonderful that day until The Agent knocked on one of the aforementioned tinted windows. He had some troubling news. Whilst the potential suitors all agreed it was the most beautiful house on the street (and many other streets for that matter), they were worried about how the two open living spaces would work together with a bustling family. One living space was downstairs, underneath The Void, and the second living space was upstairs, next to The Void.
According to The Agent potential buyers were concerned about noise traveling between the two living spaces due to The Void. The Void, in all its glory, had revealed a darker side.
THE VOID BEFORE + AFTER
The three birds went mute at this news. Their faces screwed up like they were trying to digest a rubbery worm. Surely The Agent was joking – surely this was all folly? Alas, The Agent was telling the truth so the three birds huddled together to work out what to do.
As the sun set on that same day, the birds had drawn up a new floorplan for upstairs. They said to The Agent, “show this new floorplan to potential suitors. We will pull down the wall between the foyer and fourth bedroom to make a large new living space upstairs. We will add internal French doors to block out the noise and we will build a new bedroom where the second living space used to be. We will make these changes between Exchange and Settlement”. The birds waited with baited breath for The Agent’s response …… “I love it!” he said.
UPSTAIRS FLOOR PLAN - WITH PROPOSED CHANGES
UPSTAIRS FLOOR PLAN - AS IT WAS ON THE MARKET
A few weeks passed and Gorgeous Grey Estate found its new owners. But before the keys were handed over, the three birds returned to the house and did as they promised. Within a few days they had re-renovated upstairs and learnt a valuable lesson.
Open plan can sometimes be too open. Every family home needs two living spaces but they need to be quite separate and designed with enough walls and/or doors so that one space can be a true escape from the hustle and bustle of the household.
So whatever happened to Gorgeous Grey Estate and its new owners? Did they like the late changes the three birds made? The birds didn’t have to wait long for their answer - they received an email from the new owners:
Our girls wanted to give you the following individual messages:
"Thank you for building our house. I wish that you were filled with love. I like the upstairs and downstairs stairs. From Angela" (aged 4).
"Thank you for this wonderful house. We love our rooms and we are having a wonderful time in our house. I love the landscape and I am enjoying the view from my window. Here is an image of you guys in my room. From Mel" (aged 7).