An historical farmhouse.
AN OLD FARMHOUSE WAS THE ANSWER TO A FAMILY’S DILEMMA
he Talbot family had been living in the coastal village of Thirroul, just north of Wollongong, for about a year when Lee and Rick’s oldest son, Otis, was diagnosed with brittle bone disease. This meant their home on the escarpment in town, which had stairs, wasn’t a suitable place for Otis to live.
“We were quite overwhelmed,” says Lee. “We put the house on the market a week later and began a chaotic search around Thirroul.
“Then we saw this house. It’s got quite a beautiful history, and took our hearts immediately. It was our silver lining in a difficult time.”
The former farmhouse had been part of the Mccauley family’s estate – one of the valley’s first settlers. Over the years, land around it had been subdivided, but not much within the house had been updated. The Talbots did a quick $15,000 renovation before moving in.
“We knocked out a lot of walls to create modern, open-plan living,” says Lee. “Then we painted everything white. It’s got beautiful original features that have a bit of detail to them, and we’ve brought that out by doing them up.”
A room on the front verandah, which overlooks the ocean, was turned into a studio, where Lee creates her Maven Dolls, but she admits the house isn’t finished. She would like to restore the wraparound verandah and renovate the back half of the home: “I’ve got plans in my head and a local builder I’ve worked with in the past, but it’s still a way off.”