For years, we’ve asked the question: why are horror stories an expected part of renovatiNG?


We’re sick and tired of constantly hearing the horror stories told to us by friends, family, acquaintances and clients – the budget blowouts, the delays, the miscommunication, overwhelm, unscrupulous players and the shattered dreams,

But we know that it doesn’t need to be this way …
so we are on a mission to change this.

Let us tell you a little more…

We're on a mission

We believe that everyone can, and should have, a great renovation experience – that it is possible to bring your renovation project in on time, on budget, and get the home you’ve always dreamt of … without the nightmare and stress … no matter your budget or the size of your project.

We know there is a better way to approach home renovation. one that puts you in control – one where you have the confidence to go forth and conquer your reno journey and seize your dream.

It’s time to take control of your project…

modern chair

Hi, I’m Sarah,

I’m the Founder of The Zen Reno, a Landscape Architect, wife, mother, a business woman and [these days an intermittent] serial renovator. 

I am passionate about helping people achieve their renovation goals..and working with them, guiding them to achieve their dream. So to be able to share my knowledge and experience in a positive and supportive environment is a dream come true. 

There are so many people out there who deserve their part of the great Australian dream… and it’s my goal to  help them get it by providing the missing link between their renovation ideas and a successfully finished project.

Having a growing family myself, means I understand the struggle that comes with committing to and balancing a home renovation project, a family, work and well just balancing it with life in general. Because of that a big part of our approach is to ensure that you take control of your project in such a way that it doesn’t take control of your life.

I’ve been in this game for more than 20 years so I’ve learnt a thing or two along the way. Not to mention having renovated a number of home with my hubby to live in as well as for profit.


Let me tell you a story…

When my husband and I renovated our own ‘forever’ home, it became blindingly obvious it’s way harder to stay focused and on track when it’s your money and your dreams on the line. Decision making becomes more stressful and less straightforward, when there’s so much at stake, you don’t want to miss out on things you’ve dreamed of and you can’t afford to get it wrong.

The lesson we learned from that experience was that it’s much easier when you’re doing this as a bystander, it turns out it’s an entirely different experience, when it’s your dream on the line, your money at risk and your busy life that you’re trying to juggle.

outdoor patio with yellow chair

And even with my professional experience and know how, I got caught up in the excitement, and ignored my own advice. I got distracted by every shiny object and was diagnosed with a severe case of FOMO.  

Leaving me  stressed out, overwhelmed, constantly second guessing my decisions when it all came to a head.

After almost derailing our dream, due to making some rookie mistakes in our excitement to finally be doing it, we realised how easy it is to go wrong, especially if you’ve never renovated before.


It can be really hard to stay focused and on track when it’s your money and your dreams on the line.




kickstart your home reno project

7 things you need to do BEFORE talking to a Designer or a Builder...

Many homeowners in their haste to get their project started miss some really important and pivotal steps. 

Our guide shares the very first steps that can make the difference between getting the home of your dreams and having a successful, enjoyable project and well, not. 

And these first steps can be done from the comfort of your home… and won’t cost you a cent.

Click on the button below.. and Voila, it’s yours… 😉

birds eye view of modern staircase

So drawing on our years of experience and following the process that saved our own forever home project from the brink… it became our goal to create such a place where homeowners can learn the nuts and bolts of renovation.

And thus our Renovation coaching consultancy, Buildit123 was born.

Although Buildit123 allowed us to help many homeowners achieve their dream home, it quickly became apparent we were still limited to reaching only a select few, rather than our goal of helping many.

There seems to be an expectation in our society that people can successfully navigate a home renovation journey with no experience – and as all the horror stories attest, nothing could be further from the truth. 

And BTW – binge watching every season of ‘The Block’ doesn’t count as experience.

It was at that moment that we realised that many renovators had nowhere to go learn ‘how to’ renovate….let alone in a supportive, unbiased environment. This meant they, and their projects were open to risk and lots of trial and error, and crossed fingers… which is far from ideal.

blue sofa
beautiful modern interior scene
pink and neutral basket

‘The Zen Reno’ was born out of the ashes of Buildit123 in an effort to help more people. 

They say knowledge is power after all, so with that in mind,  We decided to create a safe place where people can learn ‘how to’ renovate their homes so they can make smart decisions and take control of their project. 

The Zen Reno provides an online learning environment that teaches everything homeowners need to know about renovating their forever home from the very start to the very end, and one that [provides ongoing support throughout the journey.


We believe that everyone can, and should have, a GREAT renovation experience.


We know that it is possible to bring your renovation project in on time, on budget, and get the home you’ve always dreamt of … without the nightmare and stress … no matter your budget or the size of your project.

We want this to be your story…


Renovation is a journey best done with friends…



We share 10 things you should know to look out for before you start.
Because if you can SPOT then you can easily AVOID them in your project. 

Click the button & Viola… it’s yours…WIN/WIN