Di perched on is­land par­adise

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME - Jes­sica Howard

STAND­ING on the “G& T deck” at Diana Droog’s new Flin­ders Is­land home, over­look­ing the emer­ald and sap­phire wa­ter, it is easy to see how this place lures people into leav­ing be­hind their old lives and start­ing anew in this unique en­vi­ron­ment.

Diana and her hus­band Hugh Sar­jent’s home The Perch, at Blue Rocks, was com­pleted just a cou­ple of months ago af­ter many years in the mak­ing.

“My hus­band bought this block in 1972 sight un­seen and we’ve been com­ing here for well over 25 years on hol­i­days,” Di said.

“We’d bring any­where be­tween six and 12 friends over and we’ve nor­mally hired houses [ but] there weren’t any houses here I wanted to buy so we de­cided to build in­stead.”

Mov­ing from Hawthorn, in Vic­to­ria, build­ing on an is­land was al­ways go­ing to be a chal­lenge.

“It’s been a long project be­cause orig­i­nally we planned it about six years ago but then the GFC came in and we couldn’t get any good builders,” Di said.

“It’s taken about two years to get to this stage. We’re head­ing to­wards a re­tire­ment phase so ev­ery­thing’s been de­signed to suit us as we get older. It was built to be en­ergy effi cient and it’s very well sealed to keep the wind out.”

The abode rises out of the rock base, giv­ing the property the feel of a moon­scape.

De­signed by Flin­ders- based ar­chi­tect Peter Reid and built by a lo­cal team un­der Steve Kacir, the home fea­tures dou­ble glaz­ing, hy­dronic heat­ing and ther­mal mass.

Is­land liv­ing also means wa­ter must be care­fully con­sid­ered. Both bath­rooms only con­tain show­ers to avoid wastage and a sep­a­rate com­post toi­let has been so ef­fec­tive, Di said she wished she’d added an­other close to the sec­ond bed­room.

“When we put the plans to­gether, we didn’t know how much room we’d have un­der­neath be­cause of the rocks,” she said.

“I think we would have had an­other room for a sec­ond toi­let. That’s the only ma­jor thing in hind­sight which I’d change.”

Work­ing from home, the cou­ple have set them­selves up with work sta­tions in both bed­rooms, which they move be­tween af­ter de­cid­ing the sec­ond bed­room had a bet­ter view.

The huge open- plan liv­ing, din­ing and kitchen space is fi lled with light via the north­fac­ing, fl oor- to- ceil­ing win­dows and doors which slide back onto the wrap- around deck.

Most of the home is on this level but down­stairs also pro­vides a gym/ re­cre­ation space where Hugh can play his French horn with­out any­one around to com­plain about the noise.

The project was not with­out its chal­lenges but the re­wards far out­weighed any strug­gles, said Di, who nom­i­nated deal­ing with the Flin­ders people as the best part of the whole ex­pe­ri­ence.

“You meet all the lo­cals and they’re all dif­fer­ent,” she said. “This place has such an in­ter­est­ing collection of people.”

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