By Bonnie

A house full of termites isn’t top of most people’s shopping list when buying their future dream home… but when you find the perfect location, too good to pass up, what’s a few crumbling walls between friends? 

We lived in the house, rife with termites, dodgy plumbing and the occasional flood, for 4 years before starting our reno plans, so I had tonnes of time to spend crushing over inspo images for my ‘Modern Coastal Barn’ (check out my vision board to see more). This also gave my husband, Nathan, and I plenty of time to work out how we lived in spaces, how the light works and what we need in our forever home #3boysandababy!


So when it came to the plans, the sky was the limit #untilwegotthequote. With my vision board nailed and a plan in my head for a house the size of a footy field, getting an architect on board seemed like a good idea - to keep my creativity in check and ensure nothing was going to rain on my reno parade #helloBAL40rating. 


Lucky for me, my friend and architect, Michael Dawson from DawsonVu, was up for the job and was just the man to make sense of my crazy vision.  We worked together for 2 years, throwing plans and ideas backwards and forwards. I loved how Michael listened to what I said and came back with great alternatives.  I guess that’s the beauty of working with an architect – being able to throw ideas around… and hoping the good ones make it through to the end! 

The major feature of my dream home was always going to be the pitched roofs, so it was important to get these roof lines just right - definitely a job for a skilled architect! Michael put the plans on paper and I spent hours poring over them, finding more inspo images to bring them to life in my head and help articulate my vision.


With a project so mammoth and gardens spread over 5 acres, I thought some expert landscape design help wouldn’t go amiss either! Roll in landscape designer extraordinaire Mon Palmer #girlcrush. I’ve always admired Mon’s work and we instantly found similarities in the way we work, our mutual affection for plants that are green and/or white and the fact that we’re both loving working in male dominated industries #girlboss.

The floor plan of my house is all on one level, with pavilions to separate the adults from the kids. I wanted to create courtyards between the pavilions so that every room has a gorgeous outlook. Think lush green planting, palm trees, Frangipanis for days…

And the reason I am so confident in the landscape plans is because Mon brought them to life in the most magnificent way. She's renowned for her ‘3D fly-through’ videos and if my garden looks half as good as this when all is said and done, I’ll be ECSTATIC.

Mon was a dream to work with, open to my ideas and threw in her loads of her own #dreamteam #perfectmatch. My fave feature of Mon’s design is the sunken lounge area next to the pool. It’s going to be a gorgeous sun trap which I can just imagine filled with soft pillows and friends with drinks in hands, as the sun goes down.

They say that even the best laid plans come unstuck… and I can tell you that having plans in place didn’t stop me from making changes on the fly #executivedecisions – so, how did it all pan out? You’ll have to watch this space.