A Cal­i­for­nian-in­spired reno.

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - Contents -

WHO Todd, his wife Katie and their chil­dren, Zac, 12, Ava, 10, and Leo, eight, and their dog, El­lie WHERE Clovelly, NSW WHAT A three-bed­room Cal­i­for­nian bun­ga­low in Syd­ney’s east­ern sub­urbs

This spa­cious fam­ily home owes a lot to Lady Luck. Curious owner Todd stopped at an auc­tion for a stick­y­beak. “When the prop­erty was passed in, he made an of­fer,” ex­plains his wife Katie. “He came home and an­nounced, ‘I just bought a house!’”

The news was un­ex­pected, as the fam­ily was pre­par­ing to move to Los An­ge­les for a year. But Katie soon saw what spurred Todd’s spon­tane­ity – be­neath the Cal­i­for­nian bun­ga­low’s dust, mould and sag­ging ceil­ing, was the po­ten­tial for a per­fect fam­ily home.

The cou­ple hired ar­chi­tect David Smyth to cre­ate a de­sign that melded the clas­sic three-bed­room bun­ga­low at front with a new open-plan liv­ing space and par­ents’ re­treat at the back. “We re­ally love the idea of open-plan,” says Katie. “It’s im­por­tant for the home to have an ex­pan­sive feel­ing that flows from the front to the back.”

The fam­ily was in LA dur­ing most of the re­build, where Katie col­lected new de­sign ideas. Cross-breeze ven­ti­la­tion, ad­di­tional light and a tim­ber-lined ceil­ing in the liv­ing area were added to her must-have list: “I saw [the ceil­ing] in a magazine in LA and just loved it.”

Katie and Todd also fell for Span­ish and Mex­i­can-style tile dec­o­ra­tion. “The big­gest splurge was the hand­made fish scale-like tiles I had de­signed for the master en­suite and WC,” says Katie.

Many ren­o­va­tors would feel faint at the thought of be­ing away dur­ing a ma­jor project, but Katie and Todd didn’t sweat it. “It was an ad­van­tage,” says Katie. “I might have been one of those pesky home­own­ers who turn up to site ev­ery day and start med­dling.”

THE DECK Glass balustrades en­close a pool with­out ob­struct­ing the view from the en­ter­tain­ing area. KITCHEN State­ment lights from Spence & Lyda and cus­tom-toned Thonet chairs add a new di­men­sion to the neu­tral look.

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