LIFESTYLE LURES GOLD COAST COUPLE
The laidback lifestyle and ample opportunities for recreation drew former Gold Coast residents Geoff Charlton and Lorraine Wallace to the Silverwoods in Yarrawonga, with the couple creating a home that will take them into retirement.
The laidback lifestyle and ample opportunities for recreation drew former Gold Coast residents Geoff Charlton and Lorraine Wallace to Yarrawonga, to build their dream home and enjoy retirement.
AN opportunity to increase their lifestyle options lured a Gold Coast couple to build a new home at the Silverwoods in Yarrawonga.
Geoff Charlton and Lorraine Wallace were looking to escape the city life and busy tourism area when they began looking at blocks of land in the lakeside development area.
The house is nestled away from main roads and is within walking distance to Lake Mulwala and Silverwoods’ 18-hole Black Bull Golf Course, with views to the horizon that offer spectacular sunset sights.
The double carport offers ample space for two vehicles and a motorbike as well as other storage, while there is plenty of backyard space for their dog, Scully, on the 575m2 block.
Inside, the home boasts three bedrooms, including a master bedroom with a spacious ensuite and walk-in robe, as well as a kitchen with an enormous walk-in pantry and butler’s pantry.
And it’s got a poolroom that would make Darryl Kerrigan - or any castle fan - envious.
Adorned with sporting memorabilia, retro-look bar chairs, a bar area and a full size pool table, it is easy to see why this is Geoff’s favourite room in the house.
“The house was originally designed to have four bedrooms but we wanted that extra space so we could entertain and play pool, all that,” Geoff said.
“The games room would have been two rooms (rumpus and a fourth bedroom) but we wanted it to be big enough so that you wouldn’t be cramped on your pool shots.”
Geoff and Lorraine have taken advantage of the laidback lifestyle options available to them, with Geoff making the most of the close-by golf course and Lorraine joining a local squash competition.
“I owned a Specsavers shop, we had that for a few years and Lorraine was a state manager of a menswear company,” the former optical mechanic said.
And while they love their new lifestyle, Geoff admits that getting used to the cooler winters and dry summers may take some getting used to.
But he said there were plenty of Victorian perks to help offset the challenges.
“I’ve never lived in the country so I find I’m still finding my feet a little bit,” he said.
“Lorraine hates the cold so we’re going to really struggle in the winter time - she’s already booked her flights to Queensland.
“The humidity is really bad up there in summer and I hated that.
“Playing golf in 40-degree heat here doesn’t bother me too much but playing in 35-degree heat with 100 per cent humidity up there just sucked the fun out of it.
“And daylight savings, we’d forgotten how good that was because it’s dark in Queensland at 6pm.
“I played nine holes here at 7pm one night with a mate. It was great.”
Packing up 16 years of life and work on the Gold Coast proved a challenge for the couple, who opted to rent a fully furnished home in Queensland while storing their furniture and other possessions in Victoria for the new house. >>
“Trust comes into it because we were building from so far away and I trusted them implicitly with the build and the decisions they were making. We got the feeling that if it.” anything happened they would fix - Geoff Charlton
But Geoff said the build process with Frank and Sandra Miccio from Hotondo Homes Corowa was a breeze, with the house being completed quickly despite being constructed during one of the wettest winters in recent history.
Working from Hotondo’s Kirby 246 option, the couple opted to change the design a bit to make it more their own.
The Kirby includes a covered outdoor patio area, to which Geoff and Lorraine have added pull down mesh blinds to help combat the sun and the wind.
“We flipped the design of the house so we get the whole sunset through the outdoor entertaining space,” Geoff said.
“We sit out there, have a drink and watch the sun go down, it’s really beautiful.
“We had some friends come over grand final weekend - we pulled all of those blinds down and put the heater on and it was actually warmer in there than it was in the house.
“When we flipped the design Frank was worried about us getting all the afternoon sun but I’m glad we did it because when we pull the blinds down you don’t even notice.”
Some cosmetic changes were also made to the front of the house to give it some individual flair.
“In Silverwoods, part of the requirements to live here was that you had to have three different textures on the front of your house and they weren’t allowed to be alike to the house next door,” Geoff said.
“We changed the façade to add some render and added the stacker stone on one pole.
“Down the side we put in a big double gate so you could put a trailer, a boat maybe, or a golf cart down there.”
The butler’s pantry in the kitchen was originally an extension of the pantry, but Geoff and Lorraine chose to add cabinets and a benchtop for extra storage and work space.
“That was one of the things we wanted because we had a small kitchen at the old house and Lorraine always wanted a bigger one,” Geoff said.
Building and decorating a house from two states away may seem like a nearimpossible task but Geoff said Frank and the crew made everything easy.
“We went with them because they are a franchise and being a franchisee myself I felt I had a kinship with them,” Geoff said.
“Basically what happened was we came down in May last year and chose everything on that same day.
“We had pre-planned and gone to a few open homes and display homes so we had a bit of an idea of what we wanted.
“A lot of what we have is similar to the Hotondo display home in Wangaratta.
“Trust comes into it because we were building from so far away and I trusted them implicitly with the build and the decisions they were making. We got the feeling that if anything happened they would fix it.”
Since moving in on August 22 last year, it’s been a matter of making the house a home, including adding fencing and landscaping, and decorating the interior.
“Once the house was up we still had to get fencing up and get gardening done so that took a couple of months because the ground was just so wet,” Geoff said.
All that’s left now is for Geoff and Lorraine to enjoy their new lifestyle.
“On the whole we’ve pretty much done everything we needed to do... it took around six months and now we can rest,” Geoff said.
OUTDOOR LIVING / A covered patio area, complete with television and dart board, adds another dimension to the home.