After finding the perfect plot of land by the beach, this family built their dream concrete-and-timber home
A NEW BUILD BY THE BEACH COMBINES CONTEMPORARY DESIGND WITH BRIGHT, COSY TOUCHES FOR THIS FAMILY’S FOREVER 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 mgdesignandbuilding.com.au.