Virginia and Scott found their dream beachside block in Caves Beach, NSW, and updated every space as their family grew.
In NSW, Virginia and Scott Howell turned their blank canvas into a home that’s fresh and airy but with old-world charm.
“SCOTT AND I had always wanted to find a house that would be a blank canvas for us to put our stamp on. We finally found our home in 2005; it was plain and dated but it had a large yard, was close to the beach and ready for us to live in as is.
Bit by bit
Our home renovation has been pretty straightforward as we’ve done it in stages over the last eight years. A major part was the extension to the master bedroom which allowed us to fit in an ensuite and walk-in robe. At this point, we also installed French doors to open out onto our other new addition – the large, covered rear deck.
In the front of the house, we covered the concrete porch in a warm timber to match the back deck and replaced the Greek columns with timber ones that suited our style. We wanted to let more light in to the entrance area so the front door was altered in order to build glass side panels on either side.
We did some landscaping, put hedges in for privacy, installed a front fence and built railings and gates onto both the front and rear porches so we can close them off for the kids’ safety.
Inside, we removed the carpet and put in floorboards for a more cohesive look; the previously tiled kitchen now matches the rest of the house.
I love that the new kitchen is light and airy; it’s also more functional. The old L-shaped kitchen was dark and pokey, with the sink located under the window. We added in the French doors where another window used to be so we could easily access the new deck and changed the layout to open up the space – now it’s the heart of the house!
The deep counter houses the dishwasher. The tile top adds a soft contrast to the stainless steel, plus, it’s heatproof and easy to clean. It doubles as a prep, dining and work area for Lily and me; Charlie gets to sit with us in her attached highchair. I chose pendants that would tie in with the industrial feel of the benchtop and splashback.”
Cooking convenience Deep drawers next to the oven are a perfect place to keep big saucepans and ovenware.
WHAT A STEEL Reine extra large rug (1.8m x 2.7m) in Steel, $299, from Fantastic Furniture. VIRGINIA’S BEST BUYS EASY WORK Worx large bar stool, $24, from Fantastic Furniture.