It’s the fourth house Julie and her fam­ily have built in six years, but this time they’re stay­ing put.

Homes+ (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

After build­ing three houses, Julie and her hus­band Jeremy are lov­ing their for­ever home on a small block in Bris­bane.

“I THINK OUR BLOCK OF LAND WAS wait­ing for us. We’d al­ready built three houses and were look­ing for the right piece of land to con­struct the next one. This va­cant lot was flat, which was a god­send after the steep street we’d been liv­ing on, but was un­der con­tract when we found it. Luck­ily for us, the con­tract fell through. De­spite the block be­ing just 387m2 with a 9.5m frontage, we seized the op­por­tu­nity to own land in a sub­urb we loved. And be­ing the first to build on the block was re­ally ap­peal­ing – noth­ing was torn down to cre­ate our dream home.


We re­ceived de­sign and de­vel­op­ment ap­proval three months after buy­ing the land and the build hap­pened over nine months. We did the ‘top and tail’ work our­selves – clear­ing the block prior to build­ing and then land­scap­ing and plant­ing at the end.

Our past three houses were very mod­ern with lots of white and hard sur­faces – we were very fo­cused on re­sale. But for this house we took a dif­fer­ent ap­proach; we wanted it to have per­son­al­ity and to re­ally feel like home. Due to the size, we didn’t have much flex­i­bil­ity around the floor plan, so we paid a lot more at­ten­tion to the in­te­rior to en­sure we got the right feel. While we were build­ing, friends would ask us about its style and we’d de­scribe it as Queens­lan­der meets Hamp­tons with a French twist! It’s cer­tainly got el­e­ments of all those styles.

One of our goals was mak­ing sure the house could grow with us. So up­stairs there’s a liv­ing room next to our son’s bed­room, which will be per­fect when he’s a teenager and wants his own per­sonal space.


When we sold our last house, the new own­ers bought most of our fur­ni­ture. So we were able to start our in­te­ri­ors from an al­most-clean slate. I wanted some­thing that felt homely and cosy, but live­able – not a show­piece. When build­ing a house you have the ben­e­fit of time, so I started a pin­board al­most im­me­di­ately, seek­ing out styles I liked and over time find­ing more af­ford­able ver­sions, mostly from chain stores. I am a big bar­gain hunter and peo­ple are sur­prised when I tell them our whole house was fur­nished for $15,000!

I’ve be­come quite good at work­ing out where to spend money to get the max­i­mum bang for my buck. In this house, the lights in the kitchen, the wall­pa­per and the floor tiles in the main bath­room are ex­am­ples where we spent a bit more to cre­ate an im­pact. We wanted to achieve a ho­tel feel for the main bath­room – lux­u­ri­ous as well as invit­ing and fam­ily friendly.

Black and white The gal­ley kitchen’s two-pack cab­i­netry is topped with an Es­sa­s­tone bench­top in Verona Mist. A com­plete mix of cush­ions in sim­i­lar tones adds so much more per­son­al­ity.

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