Hung up on restoration
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.
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