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The Journey of building our forever home

The Journey of building our forever home

A Fabulous Renovation | House of the Week

A knock down property in Mildura now turned into a stunning family home.
 Beautifully renovated and styled to perfection - 
the transformation is amazing!

Who lives here 

Luke, Mikahl and 4 kids Connor 17, Maddison 15, Elise 14, Drew 10 and our boxer dog Leo.
We have our own Building company in Mildura, Victoria operating under the business name Sunraysia Lifestyle Developments for the past 18 years.

Style of home and location 

A character filled 1930's weatherboard family home located in Mildura, NSW

Timeline of build 

Our home consists of 4 bedrooms, a study, formal lounge, open living, meals and kitchen, all on one level. The extension/renovation began in 2015. The process of turning this old run down property into our new family home took about 6 months.

Before the renovation 

As it stands today - what a transformation!

Tell us a little about your build journey

My husband Luke and I started our building company in our 20’s and have been building and renovating homes passionately for the past 20 plus years. In between, we have been lucky enough to have 4 kids and travelled extensively with them both here in Australia and overseas, gaining inspiration for projects from amazing parts of the world. Whilst I am the creative and artistic one, Luke has a great business sense, and together we have been able to find that balance to make our business and personal relationship work.

The before Kitchen

And after - just amazing!

What do you love about the style and where did you find your inspiration for your beautiful home?

We have always loved the older style period home rather than a new build. When this home came up for sale, it was the perfect project for us both. ‘Ripe for Renovation’ was probably an understatement, and being right in the centre of town, walking distance to shops and schools, it was the perfect choice.  We were ready to move on from our previous renovation and do it all again with new and fresh ideas.

Did you enjoy the process of renovating and designing your home? Any hiccups along the way or things you would do differently?

The process of turning what could have been a ‘knock down’ property into a home is always exciting. A draftsman was brought in to help with the design and repositioning of some spaces. The outside of the property was cleared by a small excavator as there was nothing worth saving. Often it is much easier starting from a blank canvas. A garden sketch was drawn by myself and a paver hired to lay paths and edge garden beds. Inside walls were replastered, new floorboards laid, new doors fitted and our bedroom wall was extended out to make a larger room. Walls were repositioned and added to the rear of the house to make room for the new open kitchen, meals, and living area. 

Fitting everyone into the home comfortably can be quite challenging!. Nothing makes me happier than seeing our 4 growing children and their continuous stream of friends fill the house, but sometimes I do wish we had a little bit more living space, and bigger meals area, maybe a separate ‘kids room’ or perhaps even the addition of another bedroom to the rear of the house. Maybe in time we will consider adding some additional rooms to the property, going upstairs is an option we are looking into.

With this home, I wanted to make an immediate impact by finishing the floorboards with Feast Watson’s ‘Black Japan’ floor stain and installed charcoal carpet. I added deeper colours to the front formal lounge and main bedroom.  It immediately changed the aesthetics of the home. Those floorboards certainly keep me honest but I love how they make such a bold statement. We retained the big original front windows of the home which let in loads of light. We opened up the rear of the house with big windows and doors to create an open space that is child friendly. Now that the major works to the house have been completed,  I now need to slowly add pieces of furniture and decorative pieces to the home. 

I am so thankful that we were able to save this home that was slowly, slowly falling to pieces! I absolutely love that we are right in the heart of town with everything so close and yet still have a really big spacious and green yard surrounding us.

Favourite room in your home?

My favourite room in the house would have to be my bedroom. It’s a really big bedroom with the original windows and loads of natural light streams through.

The master bedroom - a serene and stylish space full of natural light

Is this your forever home or do you have plans for the future?

I don’t believe in a forever home! I am a gypsy and absolutely love change. For now though, we are very happy but we are always on the lookout for that next exciting project.

Garden before

And the garden after - what a beautiful green space!


Instagram account    @maddison.bloom

Enquiries relating to any items used in the house that aren't tagged please contact Mikahl over on her Instagram @maddison.bloom

Modern Hamptons | House of the Week

This gorgeous home is a mix of Modern Hamptons with a slight boho feel.  Owned by a builder and a interior design student this home was destined to be amazing!

Who lives here 

Heather; an interior design student, hubby Aaron; a builder and their three children Stella, Ami and Ace.

Style of home and location 

A modern Hamptons home with a slight boho feel, located in Regentville at the foot of the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia

Timeline of build 

We designed the floorplan and façade ourselves so that took about 6 months whilst we were waiting for settlement of the land. Fortunately we designed it to be a complying development which meant the approval process only took 2 weeks. Construction started in September 2015 and we moved in late May 2016.

Bar stools - Freedom Furniture  Stone - Caesarstone London Grey Cabintry INZ Kitchens

Tell us a little about your build journey

We purchased the land from a friend who had a home across two titles. Since we had to wait awhile for the development approval and the existing home to be knocked down before settlement of the land, we had plenty of time to plan. Not only did we design the floorplan and façade, all interior selections were made in this time which meant few changes during the build process. In the past 10 years we have renovated and built over 10 properties, most of which we have lived in which made designing the home a lot easier. We were able to take our previous successes and failures into account and design a home that suited our young family and lifestyle. Aaron is part owner of a home building company so we were able to rely on the companies existing systems and processes to ensure a smooth hassle free build.

 Feature wall – Taubmans Black Jack   Horse artwork - Hamptons at home  
Wall Hanging Babara's Store

Lounge, coffee table and side tales - Freedom Furniture  Rug - Nick Scalli  Fiddle Leaf  - Adairs 
Decorative Wall Crosses - Eclectik Blonde 

What do you love about the Hamptons/contemporary style and where did you find your inspiration for your beautiful home?

We love homes that have a welcoming relaxed feel the moment you walk in the door and we felt a contemporary Hamptons style home would achieve that. We also spent many years trying to keep up with current trends only to be disappointed because we didn’t really love them. This was the first time we were really true to ourselves and picked a style we loved. We took our inspiration from the northern beaches of Sydney, where we lived and worked early in our marriage and also in our local area which is filled with quaint cottage clad homes.

Did you enjoy the process of building and designing your home? Any hiccups along the way or things you would do differently?

It was really exciting. We love every stage from designing and planning to the actual build and seeing our vision become a reality.  The 6 month planning stage was probably the toughest but most valuable. So much time spent getting every little decision right can be exhausting but ultimately leads to a shorter build time. Other than rain there were no real hiccups but it does happen from time to time and we have just learnt to roll with it, Aaron always says the perfect home has never been built.

Favourite room in your home?

Master Bedroom. We love that it is so moody. I was very hesitant to paint every wall such a dark colour but Aaron really encouraged me since the room was so large and is west facing and I don’t regret it at all. In terms of styling it was probably the least planned out room, but I love the colour scheme of the linen, eucalyptus and dusty pink against the navy wall with the warm from the pendants and bedside tables.

Pendants - Milly and Eugene  Bedding - Adairs Vintage Washed Linen

Wall Colour - Taubmans Black Jack

Is this your forever home or do you have plans for the future?

Just as we reached the finish line with this build our dream block of land became available but this build took a lot out of us both and we let it go for the sake of our family and our sanity. We had planned to live here for 3 – 5 years, but about a year after we completed the home our dream block of land became available again and it was too good an opportunity to miss this time around. We have commenced building that and it should be ready later this year.


Instagram account    @oakandorange

Builder                       www.betterbuilthomes.com.au

Enquiries relating to any items used in the house that aren't tagged please contact Heather over on her Instagram @oakandorange

The Wren & Whippet | House of the week

This gorgeous Modern Country style home located in the picturesque Blue Mountains is a stunner. Recently featured in Country Style Magazine, this beautiful 5 bedroom home is now offered as a luxury getaway for those that love style and sophistication. It's the kind of house that you can enjoy with family and friends for the perfect country weekend escape.

Who lives here

Kasturi; owner of legal practise Wren & Co Lawyers, hubby Simon; Director of IT company Bluesource plus two fur babies; Whippets Coco & Toby, ages 5 and 6 respectively. 

Style of home and location

Modern Country style located in Leura, Blue Mountains, Australia

Timeline of build

It took one and a half years to find the perfect block. The block itself was a jungle but the tree lined driveway gave it a glimmer of possibility and hope.  It took 9 months for the design process and preparation for the DA and another 9 months to get council approval. It then took 1.5 years to actually build the house which my husband did as an owner builder.

Tell us a little about your build journey

The journey had its moments of joy, anguish, trepidation and uncertainty. There were unexpected costs, delays and problems.  There were times I thought we would never be done. I used to dream of what it would be like sitting in my lounge room. The part I loved so much was towards the end when I got to style the home.  You can read more about their building journey on their blog www.Passagetoleura.com

What do you love about Modern Country style and where did you find your inspiration for your beautiful home?

I went crazy on Pinterest. I found the pictures that resonated with me and then made it my mission to source similar finishes.

Favourite room in your home?

My favourite room would have to be the main bedroom and lounge room.

Tell us a little on staying at your beautiful accommodation

The home is a perfect retreat. Luxurious without being too overwhelming. Peaceful with out being isolated.  Nourishing to the soul is the sentiment I experience but to our guests, Wren & Whippet is a place they can escape from the world with their closest family and friends.  We have a perfect cooks kitchen with a large Falcon oven, a fire pit for evening or pre or post dinner ramblings and a French fireplace for those wine and cheese moments.  For families the best part is a large TV on the other side of the home, away from the adult zones.

To book at a stay at this gorgeous country retreat please see www.wrenandwhippet.com.au


Instagram account                                           @wrenandwhippet

Building Design                                                Storybook Homes

Garden Design                                                  Myles Baldwin

A few of Kasturi & Simon's favourite suppliers for the house

Lounge Camerich
Tables   Stonepony
Decor Tomolly   
Tiles Rosa Stone
Stools and Hoshi armchairs Stylecraft Home

Enquiries relating to any items used in the house that aren't tagged please contact Kasturi over on her Instagram @wrenandwhippet