BY THE SEA

DAVID GLEE­SON AND LEAH ATKINS BUILT THEIR FAM­ILY HOME FROM THE GROUND UP AT MOL­LY­MOOK BEACH ON THE NSW SOUTH COAST.

Country Style - - CONTENTS - WORDS VIR­GINIA IMHOFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BRIGID ARNOTT STYLING VANESSA COLYER TAY

A builder cre­ates his own dream home close to the beach at Mol­ly­mook on the NSW South Coast.

The break­fast nook in David and Leah’s home has folding win­dows open­ing out to the court­yard deck. David made the ta­ble and bench from re­cy­cled tim­ber. The cane pen­dant shade came from Leah’s former home­wares store. FAC­ING PAGE The fam­ily’s home is a stone’s throw from Mol­ly­mook Beach, where Leah walks each morn­ing.

DAVID GLEE­SON AND LEAH ATKINS are sea­soned when it comes to build­ing homes, so when it came to build­ing their own coastal dream home they had a wealth of know-how to call on. David is a builder in the Mil­ton area, but the new fam­ily home on Mol­ly­mook Beach, that he and Leah moved into last year with their son Paddy, 11, was a joint ef­fort. “As well as build­ing houses for other peo­ple we have done our own projects and have built and sold a few houses to­gether,” says Leah. Be­fore they had Paddy, Leah had owned a home­wares store in Mil­ton and now quite en­joys work­ing on in­te­ri­ors, de­sign­ing and dec­o­rat­ing. David and Leah both grew up in this re­gion and had been liv­ing in Mil­ton, about four kilo­me­tres in­land from Mol­ly­mook Beach on the NSW south coast, when they de­cided to look for some ru­ral prop­erty. “We sold up in 2014, but at the same time we got a car­a­van and trav­elled around Aus­tralia for five months, think­ing we’d buy some land when we got back,” Leah says. On their re­turn in 2015, how­ever, they had to re­think those plans. “When we came back we just couldn’t find any land at all — we were rent­ing, and then this block came up in Mol­ly­mook and it was so close to the beach so we thought we’d bet­ter buy it and build here so we had some­where to live! We snapped it up.” As it’s turned out, they couldn’t be hap­pier with the home they’ve cre­ated and the place they’ve cho­sen to put down roots. “I love my home, it’s such a calm serene en­vi­ron­ment,” Leah says. “The beach is just across the road, down a lit­tle bush track and I walk there ev­ery morn­ing with our dog, Ol­lie. David has a boat, and he and Paddy surf, dive and fish and are in the wa­ter all year around. Mol­ly­mook is a coastal sub­urb of Mil­ton, and we have a lit­tle shop­ping vil­lage with a Rick Stein restau­rant and a bit of ac­com­mo­da­tion.” When they work on their own projects, Leah de­signs the home and chooses ma­te­ri­als, and David builds. The lo­ca­tion de­ter­mines the style of the home. “In Mol­ly­mook here, we’ve done a bit more of a con­tem­po­rary look on the out­side even though the in­te­rior is quite homely and cosy, not min­i­mal­is­tic, and not clut­tered but still a lit­tle bit coun­try.” En­try is through a walled court­yard with a large pizza oven and fruit trees on a tim­ber deck. The ex­te­rior of the house fea­tures grooved cladding, painted a dark char­coal grey. In­side the four-bed­room house, the en­trance foyer has racks for coats and hats, and in the kitchen, folding win­dows open out to the court­yard from the break­fast nook. Walls are painted a bril­liant white; a shade made up by their painter af­ter sev­eral test runs. Hard­wood floors are stained dark. “We did it our­selves and stained it to get the rus­tic,

FAC­ING PAGE The heavy tim­ber front door opens to a tiled foyer and hall­way with hard­wood floors. Stor­age cup­boards line one wall, while cus­tom-made barn doors lead to the bath­room on the other. The jute run­ner is from IKEA.

FROM LEFT The house is clad in tim­ber pan­elling and painted in Du­lux Domino. David and Leah cre­ated a court­yard at the front of the house; David, Paddy and Leah with Ol­lie, the golden re­triever cross labrador.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.