Lake­side up­date

Herald on Sunday - - HERALD ON SUNDAY HOMES - By Cather­ine Smith


Three years ago, as San­dra and An­drew Hiskens’ chil­dren were get­ting driver’s li­cences and cars, San­dra be­gan scout­ing the streets in her neigh­bour­hood for prop­er­ties with garag­ing for three cars. The fam­ily were liv­ing nearby, and when San­dra spot­ted a ‘for sale’ sign on the 1990s place that lead to the lake, she knew she’d found the per­fect spot. And the house needed only a bit of tweak­ing, she thought.

“We did noth­ing struc­tural, it was just a makeover — although it took about six months,” says San­dra.

With her skills in in­te­rior de­sign, and An­drew’s in prop­erty, their ver­sion of “makeover” was im­pres­sively thor­ough. As well as putting in a new kitchen, new decor and mov­ing a wall, the cou­ple also up­graded light­ing through­out to LED, im­proved heat­ing, cool­ing and smart wiring and over­hauled the land­scap­ing. Favourite builders Coastal Builders and Hewe Kitchens were brought in to make sure the cou­ple got the qual­ity they wanted.

The three-level con­crete plas­ter house was a clas­sic from the 1990s, de­signed by Ter­rence Hitch­cock with his sig­na­ture cop­per hip roof and spout­ing, de­tailed cedar join­ery and in­ter­est­ing use of lev­els and sight lines to open up views. The ex­pe­ri­enced Hiskenses — they love do­ing up houses — knew im­me­di­ately there was a great mod­ern home lurk­ing be­neath the dated black slate floors, black lac­quer and colour scheme that in­cluded pur­ple, golds and cho­co­late.

The fam­ily liv­ing at ground level opened to a ter­race of sand­stone pavers around a clas­sic pool with ter­raced gar­dens lead­ing down to a spread­ing lawn on the lake front. Pavers needed re­plac­ing and gar­dens were re­built around sleeper steps (clev­erly sur­faced with ar­ti­fi­cial turf to sur­vive in the shade) so that the fam­ily could make the most of the stun­ning lake­side lawn.

On the ex­te­rior, pas­tel plas­ter and tired cedar was up­dated with fresh white and dark black stain. Clip­ping and tidy­ing the hedges at the front en­trance re­vealed once more the wel­com­ing lines of the en­try por­tico.

In­door/out­door car­pet and ex­tra stor­age went into the sin­gle and the dou­ble garages that now store an eye­pop­ping ar­ray of water toys, bikes, work­shop and more. So much for San­dra’s search for park­ing for the cars — they’re all on the roomy park­ing court out front.

The dou­ble-height en­try is on the mid­dle floor of the house, with a gra­cious curve of stairs lead­ing down to liv­ing rooms or up to the kids’ floor, with the mas­ter suite on this level. New pale car­pet and wide oak floor­boards were an im­me­di­ate, beachy up­date and San­dra sourced strik­ing light fit­tings di­rectly from over­seas for key spots around the house.

On the liv­ing floor, the Hiskenses tweaked the ex­ist­ing ar­range­ment of kitchen and din­ing room. A ca­sual sit­ting area half a level be­low the din­ing room fea­tures a Mediter­ranean-style con­crete fire­place that merges with built-in con­crete di­vans, per­fect for loung­ing, what­ever the sea­son.

On the other side, a larger sit­ting room and me­dia room were opened to the kitchen to im­prove flow and con­nec­tiv­ity. A smaller ad­ja­cent room, used as An­drew’s of­fice, has slid­ing panel doors so it can be closed off from fam­ily hub­bub.

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