The stylish owner of rug and home­wares brand Tigmi Trad­ing has turned a couple of churches in Ban­ga­low into a fam­ily home

Real Living (Australia) - - CONTENTS -

THE OP­POR­TU­NITY TO PUR­CHASE A UNIQUE PROP­ERTY DOESN’T COME UP VERY OF­TEN, but when Danielle McCe­wan’s hus­band Ju­lian ac­com­pa­nied some friends to an auc­tion to buy some old church pews, he ended up buy­ing the church it­self! In fact, not one but two churches; a tim­ber church, built in the 1890s, and a ce­ment church, built in 1958. “We bought the house in 2005,” says Danielle, who owns rugs and home­wares brand Tigmi Trad­ing. “We cer­tainly weren’t look­ing for un­usual prop­er­ties but this one just piqued our in­ter­est, and we could see the po­ten­tial in what it could be­come.”

CHAL­LENGE AC­CEPTED The churches were sit­ting in the mid­dle of a field, just out­side of Ban­ga­low, New South Wales, in their orig­i­nal con­di­tion. They had no run­ning wa­ter, only one power cur­cuit and a stage in each build­ing. “It was quite a daunt­ing task to make them into live­able spa­ces, but we just took it one step at a time. Our goal has al­ways been to join the two build­ings, so we’ve made sure all our small changes sup­port our fi­nal de­sign and lay­out of the fin­ished project,” Danielle ex­plains. The couple started by up­grad­ing the plumb­ing and electrics as well as in­stalling a wa­ter tank, con­vert­ing the old tank into an out­door shower. In 2007 they re-stumped and opened up the back of the tim­ber church by putting in re­claimed French doors, built the deck and up­graded the bath­rooms with in­door toi­lets. “In 2012 we did some land­scap­ing around the prop­erty and later painted one of the churches black, which was the bit of con­trast we needed,” Danielle says.

COUN­TRY LIFE “We love the life­style that this area brings,” Danielle says. “Apart from the ob­vi­ous ap­peal of the beau­ti­ful, lush scenery and only 20 min­utes from some of the most beau­ti­ful beaches in the world, we also have such a won­der­ful com­mu­nity of like­minded peo­ple. It has been per­fect for our fam­ily while the kids are young – from the mo­ment they are awake un­til last light they are out­doors play­ing. We def­i­nitely don’t feel any pull of the city.”

Up the wall Sim­ple Ikea shelv­ing has been used in the kitchen to dis­play Danielle’s china and pot­tery. Cu­rated col­lec­tion A vin­tage 1950s rose­wood side­board was a find from an an­tique mar­ket in Syd­ney. An­other Si­mon David­son print sits on top, along with a 1960s Ital­ian ce­ramic lamb and a piece of Tamegroute pot­tery.

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