After a seamless renovation, Katy and Adam’s little cottage by the sea is now a spacious and continually evolving family home.
A harmonious blend of new and old construction and treasures, Katy Young’s coastal cottage rocks a vintage vibe.
“NATURAL CHARM AND AMAZING views attracted Adam and I to this cottage. Built 88 years ago for returned war servicemen, it had Art Deco-style curved windows and cornices, plus an outlook of water, trees, houses, boats and activity. We loved the house when we moved in, back in 2009, but it was too small for our growing family.
A PIECE OF HISTORY
Sadly, many of these little gems get bulldozed to make way for new houses. But not ours! We wanted to cover the deck, redo the kitchen and add more bedrooms. I initially thought we’d extend upwards but Adam suggested building down to be closer to the view.
We let the style of the renovation be set by the original features of the house, like the width and timber of the floorboards, the exterior weatherboard and the wooden window frames. Our plans were drawn up by a draughtsman then we found a builder by asking locals whose homes we liked. We struck gold – our builder was a problem solver who worked to his quote and schedule – and we are delighted with the end result.
The transition from old house to new house is seamless. We love our home’s position, its soul – which comes from age – and all the collections inside, which are a combination of bought, given and found. My decorating style
“Our home is constantly evolving in response to our family’s changing needs.”
is eclectic. I find a lot of things at council clean-ups – including coffee tables and sofas that I’ve had recovered – as the quality around here is incredible. I buy special things I like when I see them, then work out where they will go! And I’m always moving the furniture around and changing the art on the walls. Adam and I both have artist brothers and we collect art.
The house works in all seasons. In winter we spend time in the sitting room with the fire lit. In summer the excavated bedrooms are lovely and cool, and we can open up the kitchen/ dining area to the upstairs deck.
Everything outside is recycled, including the ‘found’ furniture, and we’ve worked with the original garden of camellias, palms, frangipani and agave. Our home is loved, lived-in and evolving, and we all enjoy its vibe.”
“Believe it or not, this piano only cost me 99 cents on eBay! But I did then pay $300 to have it delivered.”
Wall of art
The home gallery includes works by Katy’s brother Jock, an artist.
With its chandelier, ornate cornices and fireplace, this room shows off the home’s original features.
A bowl shows off family travel pics.
Favourite things Katy’s treasures include much-loved candleholders, gifts from a friend.
Storage splurge The 18th-century French bookshelf came from Sydney Antique Centre.
Family gathering The hub of the home, this light-filled space opens out to the deck.
Study of art Adam fell in love with this carved rabbit, so Katy bought it for him!
A view for work Katy loves the leafy outlook from her large kitchen.
DARK DESIGN Thonet “Bentwood” stool in Wenge, $195, from Relax House.
CURVY SHAPE Jennylund armchair in White, $499, from Ikea.
Outdoor art The vintage frame is from Beachwood, Avalon.
Katy is surrounded by collections in her study. Hat rack from the Antique General Store, Narrabeen.
The river pebble floor tiles are a family fave. Vanity from Hardware & General, Brookvale.
The sofa was rescued from a roadside, reupholstered and re-covered.
In the wild Assorted treasures create a “bit of an African theme”.
Love those leftovers Excess tallowwood from the renovation is now an outdoor table for the deck.
Outdoor style Katy loves decorating the outside of her home, too.
A quiet spot Mostly “found” pieces furnish the garden.
Come on in The street entrance is warm and welcoming.