Herald Sun - Property

Cockatoo in all its natural finery

Greenery and light fill home


Greenery can be glimpsed from every room of this Dandenong Ranges cabin that has been totally transforme­d over the past decade by a father-son team.

Matt Smith, who runs Matthew James Design, said the home was “dark and cold”, with “slate floors and no fireplace”, when he and his builder dad, Geoff, took it on.

They repainted it, updated the bathrooms, installed a new kitchen with Caesarston­e waterfall benchtops and Smeg appliances, laid new floorboard­s and carpet, and landscaped the 1983sq m grounds.

Mr Smith said they also

“brightened it up“by installing double-glazed, floor-to-ceiling windows framed by spotted gum, and skylights. “The place glows with natural light, any day, any time,” he said.

The expanses of glass also made occupants of the home feel like they were “encapsulat­ed by the forest”.

“There are no curtains through the house because the outside is talking to you all the time,” Mr Smith said. “The house is immersed in nature.”

He said the property, named Black Cockatoo, felt like it was “a million miles away” from everything. But it was only a 50-minute drive to the city and close to the

Olinda and Sassafras villages.

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