Katrina Lumsden has a strong passion for real estate. She has a new big goal: to buy, renovate and design a hotel in a cool holiday property. Think Palm Springs meets coastal luxe.
Styling for holiday accommodation is Katrina’s superpower. She has a business called Studio Haven which you can find on Instagram (@studiohaven_au). Working with holiday homeowners to elevate and transform their homes into must-stay destinations, Katrina is extremely passionate about her work, which she says lights her up. She has helped hundreds of holiday homeowners upgrade their properties and start earning a great income.
Harnessing your superpower, especially when you are starting out in renovating, will get you results much quicker than if you jump into something brand new. If you can combine something new with your passion, the world is your oyster.
The Studio In Katrina Lumsden’s Backyard
Katrina Lumsden and her husband have built a studio in their alfresco space – their backyard. They’re on a large, nine hundred and fifty square metre block, with a pool and a big chunk of land behind it. They weren’t using the space and found themselves constantly having to clean it up.
Their initial plans were to build a granny flat or an Airbnb on the piece of land. When they looked at the plans they realised the reality would be having strangers living in their backyard; the building would have to be built right next to the pool. So they started thinking of other ways they could create an income as well as a space they could use as a family.
Katrina combined her passion for holiday homes with her family’s experiences through the COVID pandemic to create a holiday at home. She uses this concept in her business too. She wants people to feel like they are on holiday no matter whether they live in the suburbs or on the water.
So, they created a space with a resort-style feel. They had three main factors to consider:
- It had to accommodate their large family.
- It had to be a space Katrina wasn’t precious about so their three teenage sons could use it.
- They wanted to earn an income from it.
A Quick Tour Of The Property
Katrina Lumsden described all of the features of the new holiday property in her backyard. It has a studio living space that overlooks the pool and all of the necessary practical spaces: a luxe bathroom, a kitchenette, a small cocktail bar and storage space.
A gas strut window opens onto the outdoor space. It has a barbeque, a daybed (where Katrina’s boys love spending time outside the house), a fireplace, a swing, a relaxed seating area and a dining table. There are a lot of different nooks, creating a variety of spaces for an assortment of activities.
Making An Income From The Backyard Studio
Katrina Lumsden’s idea for deriving an income from the holiday-style space in her backyard is to rent it out as a photoshoot studio. Her online listing is live and the space can be booked from the end of July for headshots, branding shoots and commercials. It can also be booked for workshops.
Katrina has done her research and is expecting people who need a backdrop for their products to be the type of clients who will use her beautiful space. Businesses who need a fresh look for their professional headshots are also top of the list of clients who may only need to rent the space for two hours. People who might need it for a little longer are those needing a quiet place to create content reels for their Instagram.
Katrina anticipates earning roughly $800 per week from her backyard studio. All she needs is two bookings of two hours each at $200 per hour to make that a reality. The bonus is that if the family needs to use it, or they don’t want to have strangers on their property, they can block out the days or weeks when the studio is not available.
The Renovation Budget For Katrina Lumsden’s Studio
Katrina Lumsden’s husband is a builder, so he did a lot of the work himself. It meant taking about two years to get it done, but they saved a lot on their renovation budget. The building cost them roughly one hundred and sixty thousand dollars. Their savings came in the form of using trade discounts, recycled bricks, and recycling bench seats.
The furnishing budget was separate from the building costs. Katrina had been buying pieces of furniture and decorative items in anticipation of the final goal.
Katrina says her biggest challenge was working with her husband. She also found herself changing her mind often and struggling to get things done due to her husband’s work commitments. Time was definitely a problem because they were doing most of the renovation themselves.
Katrina Lumsden’s Big Goal Of Renovating A Hotel
I love the idea for Katrina’s next big kahuna – to renovate a hotel. Her goal is to create a collection of holiday homes up and down the coast that fall under the umbrella of her business, Studio Haven. Katrina is in the process of getting all her ducks in a row and is on the lookout for her first holiday home. Her plan is to have at least three running within the next five years.
She is stepping outside her comfort zone but having made the decision to buy, renovate and run an Airbnb, Katrina is excited about her new project. Her advice to anyone who is feeling scared about taking the leap is:
Just push yourself out of your comfort zone, push through it because… what’s on the other side is where all the magic happens.”
You can get in touch with Katrina on her Instagram page or visit her website: studiohaven.com.au. She also has a podcast called “Holiday In Style”. She alternates between interviewing women who have created beautiful interiors for their holiday homes and sharing tips and tricks for interiors to help people at home or with their holiday homes.
If you want to meet up with a group of savvy renovators come over and join the She Renovates Facebook group. It is full of (mostly) women who are working hard to make their dreams a reality.