When Amelia and her husband Max bought their Noosa home in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast hinterland four years ago, they optimistically thought all it would need was a splash of white paint, albeit a lot of it. Yet after moving in with their son William, who was 18 months at the time, along with their energetic cocker spaniels Rocky and Bear, the scope of the task ahead really set in. Split over three levels, the taupe concrete ’90s home, cloaked in shrubs and bedecked with corrugated steel, tiles, and black wrought iron, was beyond dated. “Even just a cosmetic change was going to be a heroic effort,” reflects Amelia. “It ended up more of a restoration, with our goal to turn it from medieval to Mediterranean.
WHO LIVES HERE? Amelia, who works in marketing, her husband Max, a business owner, their son William, four, and cocker spaniels Rocky and Bear.
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE? Amelia: “Barefoot, carefree, boho, minimalist.”
BEST RENOVATING DECISION? Amelia: “Putting in our beautiful pool. It’s so lovely to take a dip whenever we want.”
ANY LESSONS LEARNT? Amelia: “Move out if you can. It wasn’t ideal to live in the house with a young child and two dogs while renovating… it felt like the renovation took longer because of our living arrangements.”
What the house lacked in looks, it more than made up for in location. Set on just over one hectare in a quiet cul-de-sac enveloped by rainforest, the family could glimpse the ocean from the soaring top terrace and jump in the car and be at Noosa Main Beach in less than 15 minutes. “It’s such a beautiful spot surrounded by nature and there was something about the trees and ocean outlook, which really reminded me of my time living in Greece – it was so majestic,” recalls Amelia.
Conjuring up memories of Santorini’s glimmering white cliff-side cubist architecture, the couple was inspired to take advantage of the home’s solid concrete structure and transform it into a minimalist whitewashed abode, nestled into the lush-forested hillside. Step one was taming the overgrown bushes and extending the front to create a compound-style entrance flanked by pandanus trees, with custom double timber doors opening onto an incredible breezeway, which encompasses a tropical courtyard garden and new pool. “I love the sense of arrival it creates,” says Amelia. “It’s very feng shui to have water near the front of the house and some of the best views are from the pool looking out to Noosa Heads.”
Rather than adhere to a tight renovation schedule, Amelia says the process was “more organic” with the couple taking on a lot of the work over a two-and-a-half-year period while they lived in the house. Across all three levels, spaces were pared back to create a blank canvas and start afresh. Even the four-car garage was overhauled and converted into a self-contained, two-bedroom studio complete with a kitchenette, bathroom and playroom. “In hindsight, pre-planning with an architect and builder would have streamlined our reno journey,” says Amelia.
A plumber by trade, Max fitted out the refurbished bathrooms and did most of the painting, which was a mammoth job inside and out. The entire exterior was repainted including the generous concrete terraces on the top and second floor, which were slathered in coats of Dulux Vivid White and decked out in timber furniture, which adds to the home’s island holiday vibe.
As the bathrooms were vast, Amelia was concerned white tiles might make them feel cold and stark, so instead opted for cocooning dark finishes. Custom mirrors spanning the width of the room also reflect the greenery outside. “I just love looking out across the untouched forest,” says Amelia. “The sea of green is incredibly serene.”
While the stunningly renovated home now embodies Amelia and Max’s Mediterranean vision, it’s the quintessential Australian location and wildlife that brings them the most joy. “Here we wake up to the sound of kookaburras at sunrise, cockatoos flock to the terrace to be fed and there’s a creek running through the bottom of the property that attracts wallabies,” says Amelia. “We wanted to bring up William surrounded by nature and here you feel you’re in a special part of the world.”
White on White
The key ingredient to transform the home inside and out was white paint, which gives a dazzling effect. The couple opted to use Dulux Vivid White with Dulux Weathershield Semi Gloss chosen for the exterior. “I love the pureness of the white we used as it makes the surrounding greenery really pop,” explains Amelia.
POOL: Concept Pools, (07) 5493 4666, conceptpools.com.au.