De­sign puts fam­ily first

Fam­ily came first in de­sign­ing this home to fit the whole clan

Herald Sun - Property - - FRONT PAGE -

OLIVIA and Leigh Cass had fate on their side when they looked into turn­ing an “ugly block full of pine trees” into their dream home.

“When we started to sketch it up on pa­per, our home pretty much drew it­self,” Mr Cass re­called. “It just felt right to both of us and there’s not a space we don’t use.”

Fam­ily comes first for the Ocean Grove pair, who are par­ents to Clara, 8, Ted, 6, and Hugo, 1, so hav­ing Mr Cass work full­time then spend his time af­ter work and on week­ends build­ing the home wasn’t al­ways easy.

“We re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate liv­ing here, prob­a­bly be­cause it was a re­ally hard nine months to build,” Ms Cass said.

The L-shaped home is di­vided into a bed­room sec­tion that is cosy and co­coon-like and a light-filled open-plan hub, where the fam­ily con­gre­gates.

“We pre­fer to keep ev­ery­one to­gether,” Ms Cass said. “It’s funny, but wher­ever we are in the house — whether it’s play­ing on the kitchen floor or mak­ing craft ex­plo­sions on the kitchen ta­ble — we all seem to be in the same spot.”

One of the first pieces the cou­ple, who run Leigh Cass Builders (leigh­cass­builders.com.au), bought to­gether was the din­ing ta­ble. They wanted it to be big enough as they added to their fam­ily.

“It nearly didn’t fit into our old home and we joke that we had to build a house big enough for it,” Mr Cass said. “It’s a bit scuffed and has a history, but we like that and at least we now have enough peo­ple to fill it.”

Mr Cass may be a per­fec­tion­ist when it comes to build­ing work, but his wife can match his per­son­al­ity when it comes to their in­te­rior, which beau­ti­fully con­trasts mas­cu­line dark wood and con­crete with pretty el­e­ments.

In­stead of bi­fold doors, the cou­ple opted for large french doors flanked by win­dows that let in lots of light.

“You do get af­fected by the weather and we fig­ured that we live in wild, windy Vic­to­ria, so wanted to feel cosy, like we’re pro­tected from it, while still see­ing ev­ery­thing out­doors,” Ms Cass said.

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