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As soon as the Bell family laid their eyes on a little slice of rainforest heaven in northern New South Wales, they knew it had to be theirs. So just an hour after viewing the land, they made the purchase.

To create the home of the Bell family’s dreams, Three Birds Renovations embarked on their first collaboration – and first-ever new build – with Sophie Bell (aka @peppahart), using HardieDeck™ to design an incredible pool cabana area for outdoor entertaining.

Bringing their vision to life

The Three Birds Renovations/Peppa Hart collaboration was a match made in heaven from the start. “All of Sophie's inspiration came from travelling through Greece and Italy, but it started when she fell in love with Masseria Moroseta, a boutique hotel in Italy,” Three Birds Renovations say.

And Sophie wanted to bring that same charming sense of Mediterranean bliss into her new home, using rendering and textured building materials to bring an old-world charm to the home.


The outdoor area is a slice of heaven for Sophie and her family!

Matching the process to their lifestyle needs

With the house enveloped by rainforest and set on acreage in the Hinterland, Sophie and Michael envisioned their home integrating seamlessly with the environment. They wanted to see greenery from every window, and when they went to bed at night they wanted to feel as if they were sleeping in a treehouse. Simply put they conceived of a home built around their lifestyle.

“There was something about the place that had them totally captivated,” Three Birds Renovations say. “They fell in love with how private it was, tucked away in a rainforest setting, and Sophie could imagine living there with the kids running wild.”

Moreover, the Bell family does a lot of entertaining, which meant they needed to focus on how their outdoor entertaining area would be designed. Plus, with young children they no longer went out as much as they used to, so they needed to bring the party atmosphere into their home. Their solution? A pool cabana that feels as if it’s been transported straight from the Mediterranean.

“We wanted it to feel like a beach bar in Greece,” Three Birds Renovations say, “white, rendered, with lots of Axon™ Cladding by James Hardie™ for texture. We also used an arch shape to tie it back to the main house design, so they are consistent in their aesthetic.”


The white-on-white aesthetic is reminiscent of a Mediterranean look and feel.

Ready to create your own slice of heaven? Visit our decking price calculator to begin your journey.

And to complete that aesthetic, the team needed a decking solution that would complement the Bell’s home while remaining durable and offering a sleek, high-quality look.

“We used HardieDeck™ in the cabana space and around the pool,” Three Birds Renovations say.

The moisture-resistant product gives the decking smooth, clean lines and was custom-coloured to suit their design needs. Moreover, it’s water-resistant which is easy to maintain around the pool, and the texture provides a safe surface that won’t splinter or warp due to overexposure to water and sunshine. “We love the look of it and the fact that it is low maintenance compared to timber.”

The result is an outdoor area suitable for all seasons and events. “It’s all about food and cocktails out there. The Bells have friends and family over regularly, so the cabana is the perfect place for everyone to enjoy the beautiful northern NSW summers. They also have a fire pit out there so they can enjoy it even in winter.”


HardieDeck is resistant to moisture from damage, making it the perfect choice for the pool area.

Find HardieDeck at your nearest stockist!

Life after renovation

Both Three Birds Renovations and the Bell family could not be happier with the result. “They have lots of room to entertain family and friends, both inside and out,” Three Birds Renovations say. “We also loved using family-friendly materials, such as HardieDeck to avoid splinters in little feet, and engineered wood flooring that’s hard-wearing and easy to clean.”

For homeowners who want to create their own Mediterranean-style home, the team behind Three Birds Renovations have a few tips:

  • Crystallise your vision: “Have a clear vision of the look you’re trying to achieve by creating a vision board for your renovation.”
  • Add arches: “Add lots of arches – doors, windows, doorways, niches. The more the better.”
  • Shake things up: “Throw in a round window for good measure!”

The Bell family had a strong Mediterranean-inspired vision for their home, drawn from their memories of travelling around Italy and Greece. You too can design the home of your dreams with durable, versatile solutions such as HardieDeck by James Hardie. Contact us for more information.

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