Hung up on restora­tion

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Jes­sica Howard

PE­RIOD- HOME restora­tion has be­come a way of life for Devon­port’s Karen Heine and her hus­band Kurt, who are now liv­ing in their third Vic­to­rian res­i­dence.

A love of pe­riod houses started early for in­te­rior de­sign en­thu­si­ast Karen.

“My par­ents al­ways loved pe­riod homes and they had an antiques busi­ness which I worked at, so we were brought up around all that, al­though my par­ents never owned a pe­riod home them­selves,” she ex­plained.

“Both my sis­ter and I own pe­riod homes now and I think our par­ents are pretty chuffed with that. I think it’s just in the blood – de­sign, styling, ren­o­vat­ing and restor­ing.”

Karen got her fi rst taste for ren­o­vat­ing when her mother bought a 1950s house which needed some work.

But it was two Burnie houses which re­ally gave her some­thing to sink her teeth into.

“When we fi rst got mar­ried we owned a lit­tle cot­tage in Charles St and that be­longed to the har­bour mas­ter’s as­sis­tant,” Karen said.

“That was just a lit­tle turn- of- the- century place we only had for about 11 months. We did it up and changed it a bit. Then we de­cided we wanted a fam­ily and moved around the cor­ner to a lovely her­itage- listed home in Princes St.

“We lived there for nine years and had our four chil­dren there.”

Af­ter get­ting an of­fer for the Princes St property, the pair cast their sights slightly fur­ther afi eld for a new project about four years ago.

Dis­cov­er­ing Cor­valis in Devon­port, they needed just one look at it to be sold.

“It was run down but it wasn’t derelict or any­thing, it was just tired and run down,” Karen said.

“The fi re­places were all boarded up and didn’t have any man­tles.”

The 1897- built home has been beau­ti­fully re­stored to cre­ate a mod­ern home for the fam­ily of six.

A high­light of the home is the lux­u­ri­ous mar­ble man­tle sur­round­ing the fi re­place in the liv­ing area. Half of which was sourced from Ar­mitage Auc­tions, in Launce­s­ton, while a lo­cal stone­ma­son hand- carved the other half.

In­cluded in the man­tle’s in­tri­cate stone work is the year the home was built, as well as its name.

Dur­ing this process Karen was busy try­ing to fi nd out the his­tory of her new house.

Orig­i­nally built for the Devon­port town sur­veyor, she was able to fi nd a lot of in­for­ma­tion from the sur­veyor’s board in Ho­bart and also a book writ­ten a few years ago about pe­riod homes in Devon­port.

The ren­o­va­tions con­tin­ued, in­clud­ing adding dou­ble glaz­ing, re­plas­ter­ing most of the house

and Karen re­painted the ex­te­rior her­self. The over­grown gar­den was fl at­tened and the cou­ple started fresh, pro­vid­ing space for their four kids to roam.

“It’s re­ally great for the kids; it’s very much a fam­ily home,” Karen said. “We do temp care and we’ve just had a back­packer stay and now we’ve got an­other three liv­ing with us for four months.”

Karen has also re­cently set up a char­ity busi­ness where people can use her house and gar­den as a back­drop to have their pho­tos taken – for any oc­ca­sion, from wed­dings to fundrais­ers.

“We just wanted to share what we were blessed with,” she said.

Pic­tures: CHRIS KIDD

REIN­VENTED: Above, Karen Heine in the gar­den of her ren­o­vated pe­riod home in Denon­port; right, a chan­de­lier high­lights the hall­way and a lux­u­ri­ous mar­ble man­tle sur­rounds the fi re­place in the liv­ing area.

PIC­TURE PER­FECT: The ex­te­rior of Karen and Kurt Heine’s 1897- built Devon­port home; right, the mas­ter bed­room with re­stored fi re­place; left, the mod­ern kitchen with is­land bench.

Pic­tures: CHRIS KIDD

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