Surf city

It’s a ver­i­ta­ble Tardis in­side this once hum­ble Laud­erdale Beach home

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Howard Email jes­sica.howard@news.com.au

ALAUDERDALE cou­ple has proved you do not need to spend a for­tune or ren­o­vate a home un­til it is com­pletely un­recog­nis­able.

An­drew Wil­liamson and Sue Leake’s waterfront home has been a 13- year ex­per­i­ment in fru­gal­ity and rein­ven­tion.

Only me­tres from the rolling waves of Laud­erdale Beach, the cou­ple dis­cov­ered a 1954 ver­ti­cal- board beach shack that had been ex­tended in the 1970s by the owner who was a brick­layer.

‘‘ We walked in and the pre­vi­ous own­ers had it set up beau­ti­fully,’’ An­drew says.

‘‘ We didn’t even really look at the house but straight through to the water and it was so beau­ti­ful so we de­cided to buy it on the spot.

‘‘ We had the guy cor­nered in the pub that night and I was fir­ing of­fers at him, and I think he got sick of me in the end!’’ Ini­tially en­am­oured with their fan­tas­tic sum­mer find, things changed when they were given the keys and re­al­ity sank in.

‘‘ It was quite a long set­tle­ment so by the time we ac­tu­ally took pos­ses­sion it was win­ter and I was six months preg­nant,’’ Sue says.

‘‘ We got the keys at 5pm and it was this dark, cold, win­try day and we came here and it

was empty, freez­ing and we pulled up the car­pet to see Besser blocks sit­ting on sand.

‘‘ We were just think­ing ‘ oh my God, what have we done?’.’’

Al­ready with Sue’s two sons Jake and Ni­cholas and daugh­ter April born not long af­ter buy­ing D’lo­rah ( Harold back­wards – a name found scrawled in var­i­ous dis­creet places around the home), Sue and ar­chi­tect An­drew soon set to work to make the space more live­able for all the fam­ily.

De­spite look­ing rel­a­tively small from the street, the in­side opens up like the Tardis, An­drew says, and in­cludes a small up­stairs loft space used by now 13- year old April and a down­stairs wet area and bed­room for el­dest son Jake.

‘‘ It was fan­tas­tic when the kids were lit­tle,’’ Sue says. ‘‘ The beach was like their back­yard and we had lit­tle boats and ca­noes, and they’d get out there with their friends build­ing forts in the dunes.’’

Work­ing with a lim­ited bud­get, the dra­matic but fit­ting ren­o­va­tions in­clude con­vert­ing the car­port into a sec­ond liv­ing room/ mu­sic room for An­drew, with glass slid­ing doors on both sides.

This al­lows the space to be opened up in sum­mer but also means the neigh­bours across the street still have their water views.

An atrium- like en­try hall con­nects the old house with the new and a sec­tion of the orig­i­nal ver­ti­cal boards and 1970s bricks have

‘‘ Here you come in and it’s all about the beach. We didn’t want to turn it into a fancy, big­ger house which is what hap­pens with so many beach houses – and then they lose their char­ac­ter.’’

An ex­tended kitchen and master bed­room were other ma­jor changes, al­low­ing for more space with­out chang­ing the fab­ric of the home.

The master bed­room has ac­cess to the newly com­pleted front deck and its win­dow seat is a favourite spot to get away from it all.

Sim­ple but prac­ti­cal ma­te­ri­als such a marine ply­wood floors plus tin and drift­wood ex­te­rior cladding main­tain the beach shack feel.

While a par­adise in sum­mer, liv­ing so close to the water comes with some dan­gers – but An­drew says there has only been one se­ri­ous case of flood­ing in their 13 years.

‘‘ It’s a nice, ca­sual sort of house that leads you to live a cer­tain way so there’s a nice level of con­tact but a bit of sep­a­ra­tion at the same time,’’ he says.

‘‘ We’ll stay here – as long as we don’t get washed away!’’

Pic­tures: ROGER LOVELL

PER­FECT SPOT: ( Clockwise from main) The master bed­room at 120 Bayview Rd, Laud­erdale; the din­ing ta­ble; the sit­ting room with views over the water; An­drew Wil­liamson, daugh­ter April Wil­liamson, 7, and Sue Leake; and a surf­board at the front door.

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