Opossum ... what a life
Opossum Bay provided Angela Gough and Matthew Khourey with the perfect spot to build their dream beach house
AS the heat rises, temperature records are broken and the beach looks increasingly enticing, having a modern beach house has never been more desirable.
Escaping the Sydney rat race in 2007, Angela Gough and Matthew Khourey have since discovered the idyllic lifestyle they had always hoped for at picturesque Opossum Bay.
The couple met at Wollongong University and decided to return to Angela’s home state Tasmania after becoming enchanted by the close- knit community and the spectacular water views in the coastal suburb.
‘‘ When we discovered the vacant block of land in early 2007, we knew it was the perfect spot to build the modern beach
house we had always envisaged,’’ Angela said.
‘‘ A stone’s throw from Shelly Beach, it was exactly what we returned to Tasmania for, having spent a number of years not enjoying the Sydney rat race.
‘‘ We’d get on a train expecting it to be a 20- minute trip and suddenly it would turn into an hour and a half.
‘‘ So when planning our new home in Tassie, we didn’t want to be too far from town but we wanted to be far enough away for it to feel like we’re on holiday all- year round.’’
Having found the perfect block, putting together the design for their first home was a fairly easy and inexpensive process. Built by Merlin Constructions, the three- bedroom house was completed in late 2009.
‘‘ We designed it ourselves,’’ Angela explained.
‘‘ We wanted it to be sustainable, nothing massive – we’re not the McMansion types. We wanted a modernistic beach home; an earthy, sustainable home with a seamless connection between indoors and out.’’
The indoor/ outdoor connection has been achieved with bi- fold doors at the front of the home which fully open up on to a timber deck facing the water and the hills of the Eastern Shore in the distance.
The exterior is a combination of Tasmanian Oak and concrete render while the interior consists of white walls and polished concrete flooring.
While simple, the effect is striking and provides a blank canvas for the decor.
Angela says they chose this style so the pair can update all the time, never letting the house look outdated.
Thermal mass collected in the concrete floors, double- glazing, solar hot water and renewable timber all combine to create a sustainable and energy efficient home.
‘‘ We are by no means complete,’’ she said. ‘‘ We like the fact that we continue to add to our home. I like to search for unique pieces of design elements including accessories, furniture and artwork and constantly pore over my home magazine collection for design inspiration.
‘‘ When I was a child and other girls were buying Dolly magazine, I was buying house and design magazines. I’ve always been in to interior design. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to make a career out of it yet but I hope to in the future.’’
Three months ago, Angela and Matthew welcomed baby Jude.
‘‘ Our goals for 2013 include completing the home with full solar panelling and to work on a design for the back area of the home for a patio area with a pizza oven and grass for Jude to crawl and play on,’’ Angela said.
‘‘ We certainly see ourselves here for a very long time.’’