Vir­ginia and Scott found their dream beach­side block in Caves Beach, NSW, and up­dated ev­ery space as their fam­ily grew.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

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.

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