Af­ter find­ing the per­fect plot of land by the beach, this fam­ily built their dream con­crete-and-tim­ber home



When Sally and Marty Price were at a loose end in the Easter of 2012, they de­cided to pass some time house-hunt­ing. “We were vis­it­ing my fa­ther and there wasn’t much to do or much open,” says Sally. “So Marty said, ‘Let’s go check out this house’.” The house was a down-at-heel beach shack in the coastal Vic­to­rian town of Torquay, and they were the only ones at the open for in­spec­tion – it was Easter Sun­day, af­ter all.

It was meant to be a quick sticky-beak, but a week later, the cou­ple pur­chased it. “Marty loved it,” says Sally. “He could see the po­ten­tial for a fam­ily home, but it took me a while to come around.” But come around she did, and five years on, Sally now con­sid­ers her­self lucky to have snapped up the dou­ble block. Sally and Marty en­listed the help of MG De­sign & Build­ing to de­mol­ish the old fi­bro house and con­struct a five-bed­room fam­ily home. Now, huge win­dows and doors frame the rich green sur­round­ings, which are loved by the cou­ple’s three chil­dren. They even man­aged to save the old ten­nis court, which sits on the sec­ond of the site’s two blocks. “I guess that means I will have to learn to play ten­nis,” says Sally.

Sally, what was it about this par­tic­u­lar block that you liked,

or ended up lik­ing? I grew up in Torquay and the house is only about 400 me­tres from the beach. There is so much space for the kids to kick a ball around and, even in the colder months, they’re out­side in the yard while I’m mak­ing dinner. The older gen­tle­man who sold the house to us had lost his wife and he wanted a quick sale. He had left all of his pos­ses­sions in the house and ac­cepted our first of­fer. We later learned that he was re­ally happy that it went to a fam­ily be­cause so many dou­ble blocks in Torquay tend to be bought by de­vel­op­ers.

What look and feel were you hop­ing to cre­ate? I wanted a re­laxed, modern feel, bear­ing in mind that it had to be child-friendly, too. When the glass slid­ing doors are open it’s a seam­less tran­si­tion from in­side to out, so when we have par­ties there are al­ways kids run­ning in and out. When I’m stand­ing at the kitchen bench, I can see the kids wher­ever they are in the yard and down­stairs. Was it a big change from where you were liv­ing pre­vi­ously? Ab­so­lutely. We lived in Lon­don for six years and soon af­ter Harry was born, we moved home. We rented a town­house down the road from where we are now for a cou­ple of years.

There was no back­yard, which was a chal­lenge with two boys al­ways un­der my feet – they were go­ing stir crazy. It was such a change when we moved in here. All of a sud­den, they were never in­side.

If you had to choose, what would be your favourite room? The kitchen is my favourite space, prob­a­bly be­cause I spend so much time there and I love cook­ing. I grew up learn­ing to cook by watch­ing my mum. I would sit on the bench and chat to her while she made dinner.

And you have a but­ler’s pantry now! Has that changed ev­ery­thing? Yes! One of the great­est dis­cov­er­ies has been the but­ler’s pantry. It’s the best way to en­sure that you keep a kitchen tidy. When peo­ple come over, you can just stack the dishes away out of sight. And it’s great to have some­where to keep the ap­pli­ances, like the ket­tle and the mi­crowave, tucked away so the kitchen stays clean and tidy. Well, I do have three kids, so I mean rel­a­tively clean!

Do you have any fur­ther plans for the house? Be­cause we went over bud­get, we de­cided to wait be­fore we put the pool in the yard. It’s not such a bad idea, re­ally, be­cause I think I would be ner­vous hav­ing young kids and a pool – it’s prob­a­bly best to wait un­til they’re older any­way. I’d also like to fin­ish hang­ing the rest of the art­work on the walls! Find out more about the builder at mgdes­ig­nand­build­

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