Before & after: A sunshine coast home

One couple saw past a lurid colour scheme to create a charming home

It was a case of coming full circle when Robyn and Gordon found their home in the picturesque hills above Lake Baroon in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. When they first moved to the area two decades ago, they brought all their worldly possessions with them – including a house!


During the painstaking renovation of that colonial-era home, the couple developed a wealth of DIY skills which, combined with Gordon’s expertise as an architect, saw them design, build and decorate several houses in the area.


“It wasn’t terribly old, but it had a garish blue and yellow colour scheme, which I think turned a lot of people off. They just couldn’t see past it,”

So when they were recently looking to retire to a smaller home, they couldn’t believe their luck when they found a house for sale just a short drive from their original property.

“It wasn’t terribly old, but it had a garish blue and yellow colour scheme, which I think turned a lot of people off. They just couldn’t see past it,” says Robyn. Yet, after taking in the home’s stunning outlook over the lake, soaring ceilings and modular layout comprising two bedroom wings and a central living area that spills onto a deck, the couple realised that with a few key changes, its inherent beauty would shine.


The seasoned renovators, who have learned the secret to success is in the timing, ordered building supplies once the modifications had been drafted, and scheduled tradies to begin work as soon as the property settled. “It meant that we moved in with a painter and three builders, so it was incredibly hectic and the place was one big mess, but everyone was amazed by how quickly we got things done,” recalls Robyn.

One of the first changes was painting the interior white and reconfiguring the kitchen to create a more open-plan layout.


Other interior modifications included removing a wall to create a large guest room, installing a fireplace and improving bedroom storage. A modern palette of greys with red and orange accents enlivens the exterior, while improved access between the living spaces and garden help link the home with its leafy surrounds. Finally, Robyn used her decorating flair to add a sense of history, filling the rooms with covetable collectables such as industrial letters, birdcages and old signs.

“Everything worked out perfectly and it is a good thing it did,” says Robyn. “After moving so many times, our friends who helped us have said we’re not allowed to move again!”

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