Paula Er­cole found a house with ev­ery­thing go­ing for it – all she needed to do was re­move the 1980s!

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Paula’s house was ideal in ev­ery way, ex­cept it was stuck in the ’80s – un­til she did a to­tal over­haul and gave it a mod­ern edge.

“THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT WE are be­com­ing se­rial ren­o­va­tors! We tend to get a bit rest­less once a home feels ‘fin­ished’ and, with­out even re­al­is­ing it, we’ll stum­ble upon our next project. Ser­gio and I came across this house a cou­ple of years ago when we’d just sold our pre­vi­ous home that we’d built. It just had all the right in­gre­di­ents for me.

We love the beach life­style here on the Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula – we’ve al­ways had a pol­icy when look­ing for houses that they are no more than a block from the beach. This one is less than 100 me­tres from the sand. The next box it ticked was it had great bones: the floor plan just made good sense, the rooms were the right size and in the right place – in­stantly this makes ren­o­va­tion eas­ier and less ex­pen­sive.

To­tal facelift

Aes­thet­i­cally, the whole prop­erty was stuck in the ’80s. As soon as we took pos­ses­sion, we worked fast! The kitchen was re­mod­elled. Be­ing a small space meant we really had to be smart. I adore cook­ing, so I hap­pily re­placed the tiny wall oven with a 900cm free-stand­ing ver­sion. We cre­ated a floor-to-ceil­ing pantry by merg­ing lots of poky cup­boards and shelves, and chose black grout and a black sink, which really sharpen the look. The down­stairs bath­room was re­mod­elled along with the ad­join­ing laun­dry. We re­moved dated cor­nices through­out the house for a mod­ern fin­ish.

My favourite white, Du­lux Nat­u­ral White, gives the en­tire place an in­stant lift. When it came to car­pet, I had my heart set on some­thing that the lo­cal sup­pli­ers couldn’t get hold of. I called the man­u­fac­turer di­rectly and af­ter rav­ing about how much I loved the car­pet, they found me a roll!

Up next

Though we had no in­ten­tions of this be­ing a long-term home, it’s still a house that has worked beau­ti­fully for our fam­ily. The up­stairs liv­ing room is a lovely big space for re­lax­ing, mu­sic and movies, and the open-plan din­ing, liv­ing and kitchen serves as a day­time meet­ing place for the hus­tle and bus­tle of daily life. But as the boys grow we will need a lit­tle more space and, as usual, we are al­ready qui­etly hunt­ing for our next big project.

Look­ing plum “We love to visit our friends’ prop­erty and choose a bough for our Christ­mas tree. It could be plum, pine, gum or tea-tree,” says Paula.

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