Inside The Breathtaking Home of Designer Sophie Bell
When it comes to collaborations, it’s hard to find a better match than Three Birds Renovations and Designer Sophie Bell. Together they’ve used their incredible eye for design and unique sense of style to create the dreamiest family home unlike anything we’ve seen before. Inspired by a Mediterranean farmhouse, the home features beautiful white textured rendering, endless arches straight out of your Grecian dreams, and gorgeous unexpected pops of colour, an ode to Sophie’s signature style. We chatted to Sophie about the inspiration behind the build and her top tips for those who are thinking of building their dream home. Read the interview and shop the looks below…
Congratulations on your new home, it’s absolutely stunning! The theme of the home is ‘Mediterranean Farm House’. What made you choose this theme?
Thank you so much for the kind words about our new house, we are over the moon! The Mediterranean theme came from our travels, we love Italy, Greece and Croatia and we are always majorly inspired by our visits there. We love that it’s a neutral base for a house, white textured render, white washed timbers, white pools - it’s all so simple yet so beautiful. Being our forever home, we wanted to design it in a way that wouldn't date instantly - we can mix up interior through art, rugs, cushions and bed linen with the trends, but overall the house itself is super neutral.
Where did you draw inspiration from?
Our biggest inspiration has been travelling, then of course Pinterest, Instagram and my fave magazines. We have renovated in the past and I have been there through all the Three Birds renovations, so I could really pick and choose what I loved best. This house is not for everyone in terms of how we have used the space, but it’s beyond perfect for us and how we live our life. There is nothing we would change about it after living here now, it’s honestly beyond our wildest dreams. I had vision boards galore for every space, and Bonnie and I really referred to them at every stage to make sure every decision we made was fitting with our overall inspiration for the house. If it didn't work with the vision board, it was out.
Do you have a favourite room in your home?
Ow that’s a tough one.... I have a few spaces that I adore... Sorry I am going to list more than one haha. The front foyer/art gallery is so special, I feel like it really sets the tone for the whole house, you open the doors and really feel the vibe straight up. I also really love the laundry - it makes me want to do laundry 24/7, I would happily live in there!! But it’s really hard to go past our master suite as the winner, it’s really my absolute dream room come to life. The scale of everything, the incredible open bathroom, dressing room, outdoor shower and balcony that wraps around - it’s all just beyond what I thought it would be. Waking up in there is still like a dream, it doesn't feel real. We wanted it to feel like all of our favourite hotels wrapped into one and we feel like we really achieved that.
What is your favourite element or feature in the home?
I really love all of the textured render, it’s everywhere and I think it really makes the house, it’s Mediterranean Farmhouse to a tee. We have rendered the beds, the walls, the bathrooms, pool area, pavilion, niches... I think you get the idea, it’s literally everywhere. My poor husband did all the rendering, he was going to divorce me if I asked him to render one more thing! I also really love all of the arches everywhere, in the doors/windows, niches, pavilion etc, it’s just so beautiful and makes a very square house soften.
What was the most difficult part of building?
Being pregnant and giving birth in the middle of it all, I was literally on site until I went into labour and our baby girl was on site from 4 days old, there was no time to stop. To say it was busy, is the understatement of the year but we are in the house now and have had a chance to catch our breath and we feel really proud of what we have achieved. My whole family was involved in some way or another and I love that. So many personal touches everywhere that really makes it feel like our home.
Were there any last minute changes to your original plans?
Nothing major, our only change last minute was we deleted one of the columns on the downstairs balcony under our master. On the plans it looked so beautiful but once the frames started going up, you could see that one of the columns would block the beautiful pool view from the kitchen - it meant adding an extra long beam in last minute but holy moly it was worth it, very happy we made the call to change it.
Did you have any non-negotiables/must-haves when it came to the design and styling of the home?
I really wanted a neutral palette, as I mentioned it’s our forever home so we wanted the house and styling to be things we can love forever. Tried not to stick to everything trend based and anywhere we have used bolder choices like the guest room bedhead, we can paint it back to white if we get over it.
We also love to entertain a lot so for us the house had to work well with having our loved ones over regularly, they can stay here for the weekend and have their own space. We moved to Northern NSW and our friends are mainly on the Gold Coast, so when they visit they usually sleep over so we can enjoy some Ink Gins together.
Another important one for me was having an office I feel really inspired in, being a creative I need to feel great where I am working. I can definitely say I feel beyond inspired in the office - it’s filled with natural light and tall ceilings.
For anyone building their dream home, what are your top words of advice?
If you can, live really close to the build. So much changes in a day. We were lucky enough to rent the house right next door, it was the best thing we have ever done. It meant I could be on site everyday but also duck back home to feed kiddies, work etc. If you are particular with how you want things to look, I cannot stress how important it is to be on site regularly even if it’s just for 20 minutes. That way you can avoid things going ahead in a way you hadn't imagined them. Also show your tradies images and vision boards of exactly what you want and how you want the finish to be, that way nothing can be mis-interpreted. Communication is KEY, the relationship with your builder is crucial. And treat your tradies well, you would be surprised how much they appreciate a BBQ lunch and some beers every now and then.