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The Journey of building our forever home

The Journey of building our forever home

A Renovated Coastal/Hamptons Home | House of the week

This weeks home tour is a renovated Coastal/Hampton style.  What was once a standard and very 90's brick home its now been transformed into a beautiful family home

Who lives here 

Sam - 32 Cabinet Maker/ Small Business owner @starlowkitchens, Eliza - 31 Office Manager, Stella - 6, Arlow -2 and Ally the dog 9. 

Style of home and location 

A coastal/Hampton's renovation located in Mount Martha, Victoria

Timeline of build 

Our Renovation has just ticked over the 1 year mark. We planned for a couple of months prior but basically just planned on the go!

The before - a standard brick home
The after - with a new colour scheme and weatherboards the homes transformed

Tell us a little about your build journey

We purchased our home just over a year ago with the hope of completing it within a year. We have retained the layout for the most part but replaced all flooring with Wild River Timber in herringbone pattern, repainted all walls and installed wainscoting in all rooms to add that feature and Hampton's feel. Completely replace kitchen, bathroom and laundry as well as added in some French doors to create a private study. We did a massive overhaul on front exterior changing it from a red brick home to a weatherboard look using James Hardie Scyon Cladding product.  We have just ticked over 1 year and still have ensuite and outdoor alfresco to go.

The before kitchen - very 90's!

The after - what a stunning transformation!

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

I love that the style is relaxed, timeless and elegant all in one. I really connect with the style and cannot see myself having my home any other way!

Dining before

Dining after with Hampton's style kitchen, herringbone flooring and wainscoting

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

We have absolutely loved renovating our home and it will be bittersweet when its done. We have been pretty lucky and avoided any major problems. Being our second renovation we learnt a lot along the way with our first. We did have the dust vacuum stop working on the concrete grinder when grinding all the floors in preparation for the timber floors leaving a huge amount of dust through the entire house. It took days and days to clean. Just when I thought I had it all, more dust settled. I never want to remove floor tiles again in my life! It was a huge task!
Formal Lounge before

Formal lounge after

Favourite room in your home?

This is a tough one, I love so many rooms. But if I have to pick one... its the kitchen. Its stunning and practical for our family. We spend so much time in it and make so many memories! I loved baking in it with the little ones over Christmas!

Lounge room before

Lounge after

Any further plans scheduled for the future or areas still to complete?

Still have ensuite and outdoor alfresco to go. Alfresco is next, we plan to do a stunning coffin ceiling with lining board roof complete with outdoor kitchen and pizza oven. Maybe a cute little picket fence added to the front yard too!

Master bedroom before

And after

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

Our forever home, It's perfect for us!

Bathroom before

And after


Coral Art & Feather Art - @driftwoodinteriors
Scyon Cladding - @jameshardie

Transitional Hamptons | House of the Week

This weeks home tour is a stunning transitional Hamptons - a style that mixes traditional Hampton style with contemporary.  Built to exact standards this home is a true masterpiece with strong attention to detail.  It also features beautiful lighting from the couples own lighting company Montauk lighting Co

Who lives here 

Gino Premici and Marie Botsis-Premici

Gino is the General Manager at Australia's largest building and renovating centre - Home Base in Subiaco.

Marie is an experienced commercial lawyer, having advised major property developers on commercial and residential property developments. She now works on the couple's business, recently launched, The Montauk Lighting Co., full time.

Style of home and location 

The home was styled off the traditional Hamptons homes in Long Island, New York. Internally, we took plenty of cues from these same homes and the beautifully layered, transitional interiors of so many of them - where contemporary and classic collide to create a warm, homely feel. 

The home is located in Wembley, a leafy, established suburb located between Perth’s City and the crystal blue beaches of WA's coastline - just under 10 minutes by car either way.

Timeline of build 

We began the owner builder process in November 2013 and the build took just over two years to complete, moving in around February 2016. It was a huge undertaking but very much a rewarding one.

Tell us a little about your build journey

For us, it was all about location.  We were living near Fremantle and wanted to make our way back to inner city Perth.  It took us just over a year to find a house to demolish with no redeeming features and when we found the house, it took us just over a year to get the plans in place and secure planning approval.  The build itself took about 18 months and here we are, almost five years later, living in our home. 

In terms of the style of home, we tried to be as sympathetic as possible to the ‘Californian bungalow’ style of the area.  We didn’t have the heart to build a modern looking home among all of the beautiful character homes on our street.

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

The amount of natural light we get in our home is breathtaking at times. That was one of our non-negotiables when it came to the design of the home - we wanted plenty of windows for both natural light and ventilation. 

Another thing we love is the sense of space - high ceilings were a must. Most of the ceilings in the home are around 3 metres high, including a large double-height void in the living room that is around 6 metres high. 

While the house is large from a square meterage perspective, we love the fact that we don't have rooms for the sake of having rooms. No superfluous spaces - just big, workable and functional rooms that are comfortable to move in, relax in, sleep in and entertain in.

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

We absolutely loved the process from beginning to end. Working with our designer, Jo Germano from Germano Designs in Perth WA, was a great experience.  Seeing the vision for our home emerge as we reviewed the plans and chatted about spaces and details, was a lot of fun.

Undertaking the build itself as owner-builders was certainly a daunting experience. Thankfully, Gino's dad has been in the building trade for almost 50 years, so we had some pretty amazing experience and advice to call on throughout the journey. 

Other than long days juggling work and the build, and some serious hard physical labor, there weren't really many hiccups at all. We were really fortunate actually. A few small things popped up along the way but nothing that stopped us in our tracks - all very manageable. We really believe the key to the success of the build came down to the quality of our trades.

We absolutely love our home and wouldn't change a thing. 

Favourite room in your home?

This is a difficult one – love our open-plan kitchen, dining and living space for its functionality, light and outlook over the pool.

If we have to choose however, we really do love the sitting room upstairs just at the top of the staircase - it's a beautiful, sun-filled room in the afternoon – it’s been perfectly finished off with a couple of ‘Madeline’ occasional chairs from Arthur G featuring the stunning Diane Bergeron fabric, Great Jones in Sea Glass.

In the same position but downstairs is our front porch.  We have possibly spent too many evenings there having a drink and watching the sunset and enjoying the friendly neighbourhood banter. 

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

Hard question. We certainly built the house firmly planning for it to be our forever home, but you never do know.  Working in the industry ourselves, we’re constantly inspired by design and we may just have one more build or renovation in us!  


Photography  - Alana Blowfield Photography

Building Designer: Joe Germano from Germano Designs
(Insta @germanodesigns \ Web www.germanodesigns.com.au)

Kitchen, Scullery, Laundry and Bathrooms: Town & County Designs
(Insta @town_and_country_designs | Web www.townandcountrydesigns.com.au

Built-in cabinetry, wardobes and alfresco: The Kitchen Studio IQ

Bathrooms, laundry and alfresco tops: Caesarstone

Kitchen, ensuite and powder room tops: Bianco Carrara Marble by Bravvo Stone

Lighting: The Montauk Lighting Co.

Dining Table: Orno Interiors

Furniture: Arthur G

Tapware: Perrin & Roweand Phoenix Tapware
Plumbing, sinks and tapware: Parkwood Plumbing
(Insta parkwood.plumbing.centre | Web www.parkwoodplumbing.com.au

Bricks and rooftiles: Midland Brick (a Boral Company)

Windows: Avanti Glass

Cladding: James Hardie

Fireplace, door handles, timber lining: Subiaco Restoration

Outdoor furniture: Alboo
(Insta @alboofurniture | Web  www.alboo.com.au

Landscaping: Country Earth

Pavers: Gaudi-inspired concrete pavers from Roget James

Paint: Exterior - Dulux Flooded Gum and Lexicon Half. Interior - Dulux Lexicon Half 

A Modern Farmhouse | House of the week

This weeks home tour is a gorgeous Modern Farmhouse that has touches of country and Hampton's style.  With four beautiful children and a gaggle of animals this home will make you want to move to the country and enjoy this enviable lifestyle!

Who lives here 

Ryan McDonald - Builder and Farmer
Rebecca McDonald - Stay at home Mum
Matilda  - 9 
Tommy  - 7
Annabel  - 5
Elsie - 3
Pets - too many to name all!
Snow flake - horse
Wrangler - horse
Tractor - Jack Russell
Dorothy - Blue Cattle dog
Pig - Kevin
Peacock- Pedro
Tiger Lilley - Cat
19 chooks 
9 Guinea fowl
Vegemite - goat
Ice cream - goat
Lots of Black Angus cattle

Style of home and location 

A modern farmhouse, a little coastal, a little country, a little Hampton's. I don't think it could be described as just one style. Our home is located 17km from the Queensland country town of Goondiwindi.

Timeline of build 

The build began in April 2016 and we moved in just before Christmas 2016. 

Tell us a little about your build journey

When we purchased the 5500acre property is was a blank canvas. There was no water, no electricity, no roads and no infrastructure. We realised a lot of work would be needed, however the property was a good size and only 17km from town. Therefore we knew we could have the best of both worlds - continue the farming side of things yet also have the luxury of going to town when needed. From the start we focused on creating a home that was easy to live in, with plenty of room for the family and able to accommodate visitors and guests effortlessly. We wanted the home to be practical and functional while taking into consideration where we are located.

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

I love that the home is designed with zones and wings allowing areas to be closed off when not in us. It is incredibly spacious and the home's layout flows seamlessly throughout. We found a lot of inspiration from previous renovations we have undertaken and other projects Ryan has completed as a Builder for clients. I also found a lot of inspiration from magazines, pinterest and instagram.

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

We love a project and we thoroughly enjoyed the process. Ryan being the builder makes its quite easy. The only part I didn't enjoy was not being on site regularly as I was living four hours away from Victoria Park during the build. 

With 4 beautiful children and lots of animals what are some key features that you included in your build to suit your family? 

Functionality plays a key role in our home, with additional areas built internally and externally to accommodate our lifestyle. For instance, entering from the garage into the laundry, a wet room has been constructed with four nooks - one for each child- for school bags, sports equipment and everyday items. A cold room has also been installed with double sided access from exterior and interior which allows for easy hanging of meat and also makes easy work of unloading cold items from the grocery shop. The addition of a craft room/school room is a favourite with the children. Plenty of fun measures have been put into place to keep the kids occupied, with a pool and guest house, fire pit, full size tennis court and footy posts. A large chook pen, stable, pig sty and animal enclosure has been constructed for the animals. 

Favourite room in your home?

My favourite room of the house is most probably the kitchen/dining and deck area.  This is where we love to gather with family and friends. With the addition of beer on tap, built in bbq and projector screen it is a very easy place to relax and entertain.

Tell us a little about staying at Victoria Park farm in your Airbnb guesthouse

We have recently listed our guesthouse on Airbnb.  The guest house consists of two bedrooms, bathroom, kitchenette and living areas. Our guests can make use of the pool, tennis court and firepit and can enjoy a night away in the country. To stay at this beautiful property see HERE


Instagram account    @victoriaparkfarm  and @ryanmcdonaldbuilding

Builder                        http://www.ryanmcdonaldbuilding.com.au

Photography               @elouise_photographer

Styling                        @lanacaves_styling

Enquiries relating to any items used in the house please contact Kate over on her Instagram @victoriaparkfarm