Opened up with grand style
THE very first thing Sandy Bay’s Cornish family chose for their renovation were the beautiful tiles that are found throughout their Eurella Ave home.
They wanted to achieve a polished concrete look, which later set the scene for the theme of the renovation and the sparkling new look of their home.
Over an eight- month period in which they relocated to their shack at Eggs And Bacon Bay and drove an hour to and from work, Lady Gowrie Tasmania chief executive Ros Cornish and her husband, UTAS laboratory manager Peter Cornish, transformed their property from a 1970s style “timber and mission brown” home into a sleek, modern and stylish house that is more functional than it was in the past.
While the living space is now open- plan, it has retained a sense of separate spaces, from the dining to the study nook to the outdoor entertaining area.
Ros said before they launched into the renovation project, which quickly became bigger than Ben Hur, they made a wish list of what they wanted to achieve.
She said it gave them a firm idea of what they were looking for.
“We wanted to open the house up, make it open- plan and more functional,” she said.
“Retaining the sun was important but we also wanted to close in a deck area to make an indoor- outdoor room.
“The work in the lounge may have had the biggest impact on the feel of the house. Our architect came up with the idea to lift the ceiling, making the upstairs feel large and spacious.”
The family also moved their laundry from the ground to the first floor, improving access to the backyard; landscaped the gardens to create less maintenance and fit comfortably with the bush setting; and created a welcoming entrance replacing the former external staircase that led to the balcony.
Ros said the gardens were “perhaps the crowning glory for us” with 12 tonnes of rocks and 300 plants, with more to come, creating a beautiful setting.
An automated watering system has streamlined outdoor maintenance making weekend getaways all the easier.
The renovation also included turning a single driveway into a double, building beautiful, inviting, roomy bathrooms and replacing every window.
All their old furniture was sold and new pieces took their place, fitting with the theme of contemporary style, clean lines and classic black, white and grey tones.
They did keep a little of the old with the new. Peter used his handyman skills to turn the lounge room’s exposed beams into their new dining table.
Situated off Churchill Ave, in Sandy Bay, the family bought their house more than 30 years ago primarily for its proximity to the university.
And being located just five minutes from the Hobart CBD, having glorious city and river views as well as nearby bushland it had everything going for it. But after 34 years, the home had gotten “a little tired”.
“Our choices were upgrade here or move and we couldn’t find anywhere that we really wanted to move to,” Ros said.
“Once we had the real estate agents through our house to give us an idea of what it was worth, they all said ‘ location, location, location’ and that we would be crazy to sell.”
Ros said knowing when to stop a renovation was tricky, because there are always big decisions that need to be made urgently and many things can’t be changed easily, making decisiveness key.
“Also, something I learnt was that an unlimited budget would be very handy,” she said. And that wish list? “We got almost everything from it. If we were doing it again, I’d maybe move one wall back a few metres, but that is it,” Ros said.
“Our home is now easy to live in and to look after. We are very glad that we didn’t sell.”
OPEN LIVING: Above, Ros and Peter Cornish’s house at Sandy Bay features an indoor- outdoor living room; below, the kitchen- dining area.
Pictures: MATT THOMPSON