Design puts family first
Family came first in designing this home to fit the whole clan
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.