Beach shack to Palm Springs chic
A humble tree was the inspiration for this fibro cottage renovation, writes
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.
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.