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Inside The Pink Bungalow, Brisbane

A mum and daughter duo who “always dreamed of flipping houses” have created every woman’s fantasy getaway.

It’s a pink bungalow filled to the brim with features to make you go “wow” – and today, we’re having a tour!

Brisbane-based interior designer Nicola Ramsey of She Creates Co “flipped” her first home on a budget a few years ago. And with that, the renovation bug took hold.

However, it wasn’t until the recent arrival of Nicola’s daughter Indigo, that the next project was born.

With Nicola’s mum, Liz, frequently flying back and forth from Sydney to spend time with her granddaughter, the duo realised they had an opportunity to put Nicola’s passion for interior design to work, and create a home away from home for visiting family members along, as well as an Airbnb property:

We took the risk, bit the bullet and went to auction for this little run down fibro shack that we saw huge potential in… and it became ours.

After repainting and decorating the entire north Brisbane home, “The Pink Bungalow” was opened for bookings. Filled with large scale art pieces, LOTS of pink and luxurious touches, it’s clear that the mum and daughter team had lots of fun bringing their new project to life.

So, let’s hear from Nicola about the story behind this clever renovation and her interior design, styling and photography business She Creates Co.

Where or how did you learn about how to reno?! 

My partner and I flipped my house a few years ago. We did it on a minimal budget and in a very short time frame but managed to completely transform the look and feel of the home. My job as a designer can also be both hands on and I have luckily gained experienced with renovating, panting and basic experience with tools.

What was your vision for the Pink Bungalow and did it change as the reno was underway?

Our original vision was to go all white with just a pink door.

During the time we were waiting for settlement my mum said “why don’t we do the whole house pink?” and I thought “GENIUS!”.

If this was my permanent dwelling I probably would have gone all white but because this is a holiday house why not have a bit of fun and do something unique!

I love your style! How would you describe it – and does this seem to change over time?

I can not put my style into words, I suppose you could say its very Scandinavian, transitional, tropical, luxe!? I feel my style has definitely matured over time and I have a huge appreciation for the finer details, craftsmanship and good quality design although I love breaking the rules and always being creative and having fun with my designs. 

Tell us about how the reno process has felt for you and your challenges or wins along the way?

The renovation process was challenging as I was on maternity leave as a new mum and my mum lives in Sydney so the only time we could get stuck into the renovation was when she was up and even then we would have one person down on baby duties. We were working on a tight budget so had to get really creative on how we can still make the place look amazing. We sourced a lot of unique furniture pieces from op shops and painted a lot of furniture. We made sure to splurge on items that would make the guests stay luxury such as good quality mattresses and a wine fridge of course!

You are also an interior designer, stylist and photographer.Is this your main gig outside of your renovations?

I specialise in interior design as my main gig. I have always had a passion for photography and have owned a DSLR since a young age. After hiring photographers to shoot my spaces and trying to communicate how I wanted it to be shot I found it made total sense for me to learn myself and buy my own equipment and then I realised I had a passion for styling and photographing anything from interiors, to products to even people. I feel my eye for design goes beyond interiors and to branch my business out into these other avenues just made total sense! 

How long have you had this business for and how has it changed over time?

I have been an entrepreneurial spirit from a very young age, I actually created my current Instagram account five years ago because I knew I wanted some form of a creative outlet. I named myself ‘Haus of cool’ and I actually made concrete pots and sold them at Bondi Markets.

After studying interior design, I worked for full time as an interior designer and I began to create this online creative community on Instagram and would sell my pots at the markets on the weekends through that I also tried to offer interior design services. It has been a super slow process but when I fell pregnant unexpectedly in late 2016 I felt this sudden panic to really follow my passion as I knew I would now have little eyes watching me…

I want to show my daughter how to chase your dreams.

This was when I named my business She, I think this was a pivotal moment in my career and slowly but steadily my business has grown but it still has a lot more growing to do and I am really only just getting started!

What has been most challenging about running your own business?

I think it is the amount of work that actually goes on behind the scenes to actually get a business up and then to keep it running. The unpaid hours of setting up websites, social media, trying to get clients and it costs money in the beginning, it takes a while to actually see any results and that is possibly the most challenging part.

There are many moments where you feel like giving up but then some opportunity or light bulb moment happens and you know in your heart this is what your meant to be doing.

What marketing has worked the best for you for growing your business?

To be honest with you above social media and everything for me its face to face human interaction that I have actually gotten my jobs from. I think when your offering a service for such a personal thing like altering peoples homes, people either need to see examples of the work you’ve done or see it from the person themselves to trust it. Although in saying that social media has been huge in helping me get my name and even the Bungalow’s name out and through that I have met some of my favourite clients. 

How would you describe your strategy for Instagram for your two accounts? What do you focus on?

I don’t pre plan my posts or anything I just make sure to be consistent with putting content out, making sure on each account I am offering variety when it comes to content, such as inspiration, a quote, design advice, before & afters etc. I also make sure that the photos posted work visually inline with my branding and are cohesive with the other photos on the page.

What’s next for your business?

I have a few exciting clients at the moment which I am super excited about! I’m hoping to continue getting amazing clients and continuing to better lives through spaces and imagery. 

Do you have your sights set on any other renos?!

We have outgrown our current home, so I am really hoping to upsize this year and can not wait to get my hands stuck into renovating again.

Eventually I would love to open up a sister AirBnb on the sunshine coast!

Finally can you name drop a woman who has a chic Aussie home for us to stalk?

Cass Deller’s studio. We did a shoot in there and we pulled together all of her art works and made a large wall filled to the brim with her works it looked so beautiful and inspiring!

A big thank you to Nicola Ramsey for sharing The Pink Bungalow with us – take a look at the images below, all shot by Nicola of She Creates Co.

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