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