Beach shack to Palm Springs chic

A hum­ble tree was the in­spi­ra­tion for this fi­bro cot­tage ren­o­va­tion, writes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - STYLE - Pic­tures Grace Pi­cot

They cut their teeth on The Block so Kara and Kyal Demm­rich have plenty of ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing un­der the pump on build­ing sites. But throw a tod­dler and a new preg­nancy into the mix, and ren­o­vat­ing this Cen­tral Coast prop­erty just got a lit­tle more com­pli­cated.

The cou­ple bought the prop­erty at Long Jetty with the in­ten­tion of ren­o­vat­ing it and quickly putting it back on the mar­ket. At that point, the prop­erty had two things go­ing for it: it was close to their own fam­ily home, and it had large palm tree at the front of it.

“We de­lib­er­ately bought a home that was only a few hun­dred me­tres from our own house, and I knew this was the house for us when I saw the palm tree. It made me fall in love with the house be­fore I had even walked through it,” says Kara.

The price is right

The cou­ple bought the fi­bro shack cot­tage, which sits on about 650sq m, for $710,000 in early 2017, with the orig­i­nal idea of a straight­for­ward sin­gle-level ex­ten­sion.

“In the end we kept the fa­cade and the first two bed­rooms. Most of the house had as­bestos, so we re­moved about 90 per cent of it,” says Kyal.

The front fa­cade was spruced up with black­butt timber deck­ing, blend­ing beau­ti­fully with hand-laid lime­stone walls and white weath­er­board cladding.

“Although the palm tree in­spired our de­sign theme, we wanted to cre­ate a clas­sic coastal look for the fa­cade us­ing some of our favourite ma­te­ri­als, white weath­er­boards, timber and lime­stone,” says Kyal. “We’re so happy with how it’s all come to­gether.”

Inside, the new ex­ten­sion in­cludes a kitchen (which fea­tures a mix of rattan-style cab­i­net doors and Amer­i­can oak timber posts on a en­gi­neered stone bench­top), mul­ti­ple liv­ing ar­eas and the mas­ter bed­room and en­suite. To save on space, Kara and Kyle in­stalled slid­ing barn doors in some of the rooms.

“There’s great sep­a­ra­tion be­tween the kids’ and the mas­ter bed­room at the back,” says Kara, who was early in her preg­nancy with their sec­ond child when work be­gan.

The main liv­ing ar­eas are im­pres­sive, with 3.6m raked ceil­ings, a neu­tral colour pal­ette and an abun­dance of nat­u­ral light.

Back­yard bo­nanza

The crown­ing glory of the home is the out­door en­ter­tain­ing space. The cou­ple’s vi­sion for the back­yard was to merge “Palm Springs style with Moroc­can tex­tures” as is ev­i­dent in the mo­saic-tiled plunge pool, along­side green­ery and a breeze block wall.

They in­stalled a fully in­te­grated kitchen and bar­be­cue un­der­neath a cov­ered deck area with large sky­lights that let in nat­u­ral light. A pool­side out­door shower adds to the back­yard’s coastal vibe.

Kara and Kyal’s hard work turn­ing the beach shack into a lav­ish fam­ily home paid off when they sold the prop­erty at auc­tion for $1.59 mil­lion. In the end, Kara loved what they had achieved, but was happy to hand it over to new own­ers.

“I had morn­ing sick­ness for the most of the project, so I wasn’t that fussed about leav­ing it be­hind,” she laughs.

White weath­er­boards and lime­stone walls give the fa­cade a breezy coastal vibe.

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