MOD­ERN RETRO

When the search for their dream home led them to a per­fect block of land, Lucy and Steve de­cided to de­sign their home from scratch.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

Queens­lan­ders Lucy and Steve built a house while plan­ning their wed­ding. They sur­vived – and cre­ated a beau­ti­ful home.

“STEVE AND I ORIG­I­NALLY PLANNED

to buy an ex­ist­ing house, but we had such dif­fer­ent ideas on so many key points that it was im­pos­si­ble to agree on any­thing! He wanted a home on a quiet street and in a quiet area with­out be­ing re­mote and not fac­ing the western sun, while I was af­ter a nat­u­ral, brightly lit home that had a green out­look, all the while hop­ing for it to be a Queens­lan­der. Then a real es­tate agent sug­gested we view a block of land just re­cently listed, and we in­stantly fell in love with it.

Pas­sion project

We started build­ing in May 2014, and we wanted to be in the house by 1 Novem­ber (al­low­ing us a six-month build time), as that was our wed­ding date and we wanted to have a back­yard re­cep­tion. Build­ing a house and plan­ning a wed­ding at the same time cer­tainly was a big chal­lenge for Steve and me, but we suc­ceeded (sur­vived!) and the hand over for the house was just 48 hours be­fore our wed­ding. We couldn’t have been hap­pier to cel­e­brate with a beau­ti­ful back­yard re­cep­tion at our own place, and for our wed­ding night to also be our first night in our new home.

De­sign plans

Build­ing a house in a style that suited us was very ex­cit­ing, and we wanted what we call a ‘mod­ern Queens­lan­der’. The house de­signer we hired clearly hadn’t de­signed any­thing like it be­fore, so we took it upon our­selves to steer the de­sign process, point­ing out what we wanted and where we wanted it, with a lot of help from Pin­ter­est and driv­ing by lots of other Queens­lan­ders!

We wanted open-plan liv­ing with some seg­re­ga­tion so we could still say ‘the liv­ing room’ or ‘the din­ing room’.

We love en­ter­tain­ing so I was adamant that the kitchen had its own area but was open enough to feel you weren’t miss­ing out if you were pre­par­ing food while ev­ery­one so­cialised. We can look out at our big gum tree as we wash up, or see peo­ple in the pool while still chat­ting to who­ever is sit­ting on the bay win­dow or in the study area.

An in­clu­sion I had to have at the main en­try was the mud room or ‘drop zone’. It’s just so prac­ti­cal, es­pe­cially with a baby, to have a quick ac­cess area for bags, keys, pram and so on. I also wanted an area to be able to say, ‘Here’s where to take off your shoes’ with­out me hav­ing to say so my­self!

Vin­tage decor

Our home has a clean retro style, with bo­hemian tex­tiles, bam­boo floors, warm tim­bers and welcoming spa­ces. If some­thing has a vin­tage feel to it, it usu­ally grabs my eye! Steve and

I are quite lucky that we travel to the USA quite of­ten for work, and have dis­cov­ered Ur­ban Out­fit­ters.

(It now of­fers de­liv­ery to Aus­tralia for home­wares, and I cur­rently have my eye on a few more rugs!) Time, weight and size re­stric­tions come into play though, and we can usu­ally man­age to find what we are af­ter in Aus­tralia; Free­dom has been our go-to – the retro styling isn’t over-the-top so we can style it more closely to our tastes. I’m also drawn to the depth and warmth of the colours in Ikat Kilim tex­tiles. For ac­ces­sories,

I find small busi­ness mar­kets, such as The Fin­ders Keep­ers de­sign mar­ket, are fan­tas­tic for prints, ter­rar­i­ums and pot­tery. I also have a thing for na­tive flora. My wed­ding bou­quet, now sit­ting on the pi­ano, was all na­tives, and there are gum­nuts spread around the house.

Style files

Restora­tion and replica shops help with find­ing a piece that other­wise might be just a bit out of reach or price. Steve and I tend to think for a long time be­fore buy­ing any­thing for the sake of fill­ing a space – it has to feel right and some­times that takes time. My strength is sourc­ing items and Steve is the ‘ideas man’. I think that’s what makes this a home – not just that we live in it to­gether, but that it re­flects both of us.”

EN­TRY­WAY On the bench The cou­ple found in­spi­ra­tion for their prac­ti­cal en­try­way or “drop zone” on Pin­ter­est. GREAT IDEA Per­son­alise your car­pen­try us­ing fabric you love.

Na­tive flora in earthy colours looks great. EN­TRY­WAY Table talk The hall­way table is from lo­cal store, Wil­low & Bird.

OUT­SIDE Lush and lovely Lucy and Steve com­bined their wish list by build­ing a Queens­lan­der-style home in a quiet and green lo­ca­tion.

DIN­ING Bit of bal­ance Lucy pur­chased the vin­tage din­ing set­ting from lo­cal restora­tions store, Circa 70.

KITCHEN Top idea The warm wood bench­tops are made from hard­wear­ing mer­bau tim­ber.

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