Derelict Queenslander Become Byron Bay Beauty

Derelict Queenslander Become Byron Bay Beauty

Armed and ready with her skills at school in Reno, Julie Granger has carried out the ultimate “right-leaved” renovation of a house in Queenslander.

We love a good Reno challenge, so we were super excited when Julie announced her project to the Reno school community. His plan was to move an old house in Queenslander to a plot in the hinterland of Byron Bay while he led the project 800 km to Sydney during global recent times!


We have already renovated a house on the beaches in the north of Sydney and built a new building on the north coast of New South Wales, but growing up in the area, I wanted to buy a small plot of land in the hinterland of Byron Bay forever. When we found a little more than a morning in Binna Burra, between Newrybar and Bangalow, at the beginning of last year, I knew that this was the perfect place to make this dream come true and luckily my husband agreed.

THE “HOW ” Of history” HAS LIFE

After securing the site, we jumped right up and bought a Queenslander from the early 1900s that I was eyeing. He was sitting in a yard in South Ballina (about half an hour from the property), already cut in half. But when I saw it, it made my heartbeat…VJ paneling throughout, wide original pine mature floors, original rosettes, and ceiling rosettes intact, large open plan living/dining room to the rear of the property, and those beautiful front casement windows well well, I was a goner. We knew that it would be well oriented on our property. It had incredible bones and character and a feasible floor plan that with a little renovation could accommodate a house with 3 beds and 2 bathrooms.

It was originally 3 bedrooms,1 bathroom with the bathroom from the kitchen (Original Queenslander classic style!), and a closed sleepout. We opened the old sleepout to restore the original envelope around the porch and reconfigured the bedrooms to fit 3 bedrooms, a master bathroom, and a bathroom in the footprint of the original 3 bedrooms. This meant that the kitchen could be opened up to the view and this important indoor/outdoor connection could be created. We also hired a talented landscape architect to design and build outdoor spaces to help the house integrate with the landscape, including connecting a 14,000-liter concrete pool to the house.

It took about 15 months between the purchase of the land and its completion, but preparing our DA and all related plans/reports for submission and approval was the most time-consuming part of the project. We moved into the house on-site in December 2019 and our builders started on site in February 2020, with the handover of the builders and our landscape architect at the beginning of July 2020.


I loved following the renos of The three birds and loved the simplicity of their style. I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for Reno School, but I saw that there were discounts at some of the providers I wanted to use and thought, “Why not? The course pays off if I use the discounts and I could also learn something.”

Good…i learned something or what ?!

The school in Reno taught me to plan the future, both in terms of the vision of the house and in terms of initial selection and early decision-making. It also gave me the confidence to make those decisions and stick to them. This helped us to provide detailed fields of work for the builders to be quoted, gave us the courage to keep searching while we struggled to find a builder who ticked all the boxes for us, and the judgment to respect our vision. As a result, we were able to lock up our dream team creators, meet our budget and bring our vision to life. And we did everything, 800 km from there during recent times!

The course fee was honestly the best money we spent on the entire renovation, and we paid it over and over again. Two things. First, think over every small detail early and indicate this detail in your field of work (with pictures if necessary). Secondly, to find your DREAM TEAM. We were lucky to have incredible builders who really “understood” our vision and committed to meeting our budget. I loved the Facebook group, where so many creative and talented people (including the birds themselves) jump and consult. I also loved the live Q&A sessions with Bonnie, Erin, and Lana… in fact, our bathroom dilemma was solved in one of these lives and it is now one of our favorite rooms in the house.

Patsy S. Anderson


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