Located on the NSW central coast, it’s hard to believe that this four-bedroom, three-bathroom coastal dream of a home was once a simple fibro cottage. “Our goal was to create a light-filled sanctuary that felt comfortable and inviting. It’s a real sanctuary but with plenty of space for entertaining,” says expert renovator and former Blockhead Kara Demmrich who tackled this project with her husband Kyal after purchasing the original home for $710,000 in early 2017.
Originally intending to carry out a single-level extension, the house was completely gutted and little of the original house remains. Aside from the four bedrooms, three bathrooms and large open plan living spaces, the home also has an outdoor kitchen and plunge pool – all of which resulted in the home being purchased at auction for $1.59 million upon completion. That’s quite some increase in value!
Drawing on a mix of inspiration, the original Canary Date palm tree at the front of the house and the Desert Modernism movement that came out of Mid-Century Palm Springs homes, were two key references.
“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. We’re so happy with how it’s all come together and we believe we’ve created the perfect facade,” says Kyal of the front of the home that features blackbutt timber decking, hand-laid limestone walls and white weatherboard cladding.
“The original home was a small weatherboard cottage with lots of tack-ons, such as a carport, shed, back verandah and outdoor laundry. Initially, you had to walk down the driveway and the front door was located on the side of the house – this is one of the first things we knew we had to update. First impressions count, and having an open, welcoming path to the front door is important to us,” says Kyal.
Mostly though, the high ceilings and large expanses of glass are what really catch the eye upon entering the house. “The first thing that strikes you about the renovation is the scale of the ceilings. At 3.6 metres high, they make a real statement,” says Kyal.
To ensure the project not only looked great, but felt comfortable too, Kyal and Kara selected Gyprock Superchek plasterboard for its impact and sound resistant benefits. “Gyprock Superchek makes this house like a little Fort Knox. It’s great for families because it delivers better sound absorption and less noise transfer. This results in a noticeably quieter interior environment and creates a level of serenity,” says Kara.
Kyal and Kara also chose to install some of the internal doors as sliding ones using barn door fittings – a time-saving choice as much as an aesthetic one. “The installation process was easy and saved us time and effort, and Corinthian Moda doors are factory primed on all sides and edges, and as a result they deliver a superior finish with any paint sheen. They are a great design feature that emphasises the shaker profile of the doors and create a statement in themselves,” says Kara.
The outdoor space is perhaps one of the most enviable aspects of the home – I love the Moroccan-inspired tiles lining the plunge pool combined with lush greenery and breeze block wall. Alfresco lovers, Kyal and Kara completed the space with a fully integrated kitchen and barbecue, covered deck area (with large skylights) and poolside outdoor shower.
“We’re big believers in every detail being carefully considered – it’s the details that count and create a unique and beautiful renovation,” says Kara.