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HOUSE OF THE WEEK: Fresh take by the lake

by admin on 28/10/2018

HOUSE OF THE WEEK: Fresh take by the lake This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop
Wuxi Plastic Surgery

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

This old Eleebana home has a new lease of life after some clever and stylish changes. Picture: Peter Stoop

TweetFacebookIT can be difficult to see past the dated design and questionable colour palettes of an older home.

But if you strip away the drab trappings, you might just find a diamond in the rough.

Bede and Mel Campbell are putting the finishing touches on one such gem; a three-bedroom, two-storey house in Eleebana that they bought just over two years ago.

But they had a distinct advantage when it came to seeing beyond the property’s delightful salmon and green colour scheme and mismatched flooring.

Bede works at Newcastle’s EJE Architecture, where he helps clients create their dream houses and spaces every day.

Within moments of stepping inside what would eventually become their home, the architect could see its potential.

The cogs were in motion.

Their house is now a demonstration in how little changes can make a big difference.

“One of the best things we did was remove the wall to connect the kitchen with the living and dining area,” Bede says.

“It has completely changed the feel of that space, which is now open and bright, and we get a lovely breeze off the lake through the whole house.”

Windows running the full length of the living area frame a spectacular view of the lake.

A smoked mirror splashback in the kitchen means the Campbells can still appreciate the view, even when their backs are turned.

But one particular feature draws the eyes like no other: The couple’s custom-made, saltwater marine fish tank.

Full of colourful coral and tropical fish, it is mesmerising.

Picture: Peter Stoop

The Campbells were encouraged by friends who own the chain of PetQuarters stores.

“I was open to the idea, but if I was going to do it, I wanted it to be a feature of the house,” Bede says.

“I wanted it built into a wall. Better yet, on the corner of a wall with two sides exposed.”

Bede created a “fish room” accessed via the walk-in pantry.

The fish tank, and walk-in pantry, are framed by a product called CSR Cemintel Barestone.

Picture: Peter Stoop

“We received a sample at work of this raw concrete-look panel, and I decided to use it to introduce some texture and colour into the house, which is mainly white walls,” Bede says.

“It is a pre-finished panel usually used in external applications, but we wanted to use it internally to define the fish tank and walk-in pantry.”

They also carried the material into the kitchen on the front of the island bench.

The look is complemented by the three water drop cement pendant lights that hang above the thick white Caesarstone benchtop with waterfall edges.

Another small but significant change the couple made was to give the floor coverings some continuity.

They laid 130 millimetre grey ironbark hardwood boards throughout the kitchen, dining and living area, and along the hallway to the carpeted bedrooms.

Downstairs there is a self-contained space with a kitchenette, large rumpus room and bathroom, as well as access to a private in-ground pool at the front of the property.

Picture: Peter Stoop

They are in the process of laying timber-look vinyl planks over the dated tiles downstairs as a way of tying those rooms to the rest of the house.

The main bathroom also benefited from a revamp.

Large, charcoal vitrified floor tiles continue up the shower wall, and are complemented by the contrasting glossy white of the bathroom wall tiles.

The his-and-hers vanity was custom-made by Groves Joinery to the same specifications as the kitchen – white two-pac joinery with a “Snow” white Caesarstone benchtop. A ceiling-mounted shower rose, a custom frameless glass shower screen and a wide vanity mirror give the bathroom a simple, but luxurious finish.

“One benefit of being an architect was being able to visually express my ideas to Mel through the use of 3D CAD renderings,” Bede says.

Picture: Peter Stoop

“It allowed her to have some input on the finishes. She could see the result before we started construction.

“These images were also great to assist the builder – Malman Group – and tradesman so they could see what we wanted to achieve.”

The Campbells built a new deck and covered entertainment area.

Picture: Peter Stoop

They added a glass sliding door to create a visual and physical connection to the backyard and cubby house.

It is a change they anticipate will become more important after the arrival of their first child later this year.

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