Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - Property

Heart and soul come together

When the owners of this beach house bought it a decade ago, never could they have imagined that it would become an epicentre, not only for family but the wider community too, writes Lisa Hughes


AFTER emigrating to Australia from South Africa 12 years ago, Allan and Shelley Hopkins could have settled their family anywhere, but it was the beautiful beaches and community feel of Mermaid Beach that won their hearts.

The couple came across a four-bedroom architect-designed home a mere 200m from the ocean, which they bought for $1.7m, and have remained there ever since.

Built to capture the essence of beachside living, the Hopkinses enjoyed the house as it was until 2014, when they carried out some major renovation­s.

Allan admits that Shelley, who is a jewellery designer with a creative eye, was behind the home’s now eclectic and contempora­ry style.

“We retiled the whole place, put the deck and carport in, redid the kitchen and put quartzite flooring down,” Allan said.

“The kitchen is made out of 18mm marine ply and the bench was built on site with the concrete poured in-situ. That was a bit of a nightmare but it’s solid as a rock, and basically bomb-proof,” he said.

The upgrades they made have not only stood the test of time in terms of style and design, but also durability and liveabilit­y.

“We’ve got two boys, now aged 21 and 23, who grew up in this home and most of the time it was like a train station,” Allan said.

“There was always someone coming or going, or just hanging out. I’m pretty sure every kid in the area knew the code to our front gate,” Allan laughed.

“But the house is easy to maintain and is an absolute entertaine­r’s dream.”

There is a guest bedroom, multi-purpose room, study and a laundry on the ground floor, which lead into the open-plan living and kitchen areas. These spaces blend seamlessly with the alfresco areas as soon as you peel back the bifold doors.

On the deck, and beside a 15m lap pool, is a covered, built-in woodfire barbecue and seating area, which, aside from the garage, Allan said was his favourite part of the house.

“Shelley and I love to entertain, so we are always barbecuing out there or throwing a party.

“The house has been a real home for us. It’s the place where our family and friends naturally congregate.”

At the front of the property is a fire pit and the Hopkinses’ kitchen garden, which is packed with finger limes, chilli and a gamut of herbs for cooking.

Back inside, on the upper storey, are two bedrooms and the master suite, separated by a sitting room and a balcony.

Allan said now that the boys had moved out, the house was a little too big for the two of them and so they are going to downsize.

But he said they would remain in their beloved Mermaid Beach.

“We love it here. The people we met ten years ago are all still in the area and even our two boys have stayed in the suburb because they love it so much,” he said.

“The thing that you find is that it becomes a bit of a community, so you know the local restaurant owners, the butcher, the baker on a first name basis – that’s a nice feeling.”

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