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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.