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A wash of white paint brought new life to this Hervey Bay oasis

Years of hard work paid off for a Queensland couple whose love for landscaping and flair for interiors turned their beachside abode into a holiday-at-home oasis.

The garden tends to be the final piece of the renovation puzzle, but for Hervey Bay couple Jamie and Dave, a vision for a verdant outdoor space sparked a three-year renovation journey that saw them transform their home into a haven from the outside in.

“I can still recall the phone call when Dave said, ‘I think I’ve found our house,'” Jamie recalls. “I wanted something a little different, Dave wanted a big block to landscape, the kids wanted a pool and it ticked all those boxes.” The clincher was its location, two streets from the beach.

Jamie and Dave’s stunning home in the small town north of Noosa in Queensland scores its fair share of admiring glances. After moving here in 2011 with children Tom and Ivy, the couple spent years cultivating lush gardens and renovating to create a soulful home brimming with charm.

In 2011, when the couple and their children Tom, now 16, and Ivy, 13, moved into the partially renovated home, they didn’t rush into any interior changes. Outside was a different story

The dining table sits on the deck – it is Queensland, after all – and retains its connection to the kitchen thanks to recycled French doors that function as a lovely link. “The doors came from a house being demolished,” says Dave, who also used recycled elements such as the rustic timber beam in the kitchen, sourced from a local timber yard.

Dave got stuck into transforming the desolate site, removing 20 tonnes of concrete and five tonnes of landscape rock that he replaced over time with palm trees, perfectly manicured lawns and hedged garden rooms.

“The biggest risk we took was gutting our kitchen and renovating it ourselves,” Dave says of the space. Concrete benchtops were poured on site for an island that’s a work bench at one end, with brushed copper sink and tapware, and casual dining at the other. “I made it from a timber coffee table that was the perfect width,” Dave explains of the tactile surface, illuminated by pendants from CLO Studios. Along the back bench, cupboards were swapped for pendants

from Beacon Lighting and a recycled timber shelf atop a splashback featuring textural Matt Avalon tiles from Tile Cloud

The couple decided to repaint the exterior white to offset the greenery, and the result, Dave says, “was a game changer”. Thrilled with the new luxe coastal look, the pair were inspired to turn their attention to the interiors, one room at a time.

Given the relatively small internal floor area, the family dines outside around a handsome rustic table from Oz Design Furniture, teamed with a bench seat and Malawi chairs from Village Stores. Domed pendants from Schots Home Emporium help direct the home’s interior style. “I was thinking the house might all be pink and rattan, but then I bought the copper pendants and it took us in a more bold direction,” recalls Jamie. “When we first got them, Dave hated them and I’d never loved anything more!” she laughs. “But they grew on him and it set the tone for the rustic elements and dark timber features.” In keeping with the natural look, timber decking boards were also sanded back to reveal their true colour.

“We set ourselves the challenge of renovating the house without taking out a loan and doing as much as we could ourselves,” explains Jamie, a teacher.

Plants are in abundance on the back deck, adding to the tropical feel.

“It meant we did it pay cheque to pay cheque and it took years, but I’m really proud Dave and I worked as a team… from choosing tapware to designing the firepit out the back.”

Dappled light pours into the outdoor room on the back deck, showcasing some of Dave’s clever carpentry work. “He made the Bahamas shutters himself, at a fraction of what it would have cost to buy,” Jamie reveals. Timber decking was used to create the built-in daybeds teamed with custom canvas upholstery. A casually scattered mix of cushions from Willow Beach, Rayell and Myer supply comfort and colour.

With life revolving around the school calendar (Dave is a school principal), the couple spent holidays and long-service leave painting, building shutters, adding recycled timber features and installing VJ panelling.

Topped with books and a fluted bowl from Barefoot Gypsy Homewares, a timber coffee table from Harper St is a central feature in the living area, with fresh foliage displayed in a rustic Villa Lane urn. The HK Living wall hanging from House of Orange imbues a tropical feel.

The kitchen was also gutted and re-imagined within a budget of just $8000. In a designer masterstroke, a louvred sunroom on the front deck was also converted into a beautiful bathhouse, which captures sea breezes and garden views.

Dave and Jamie’s bedroom steps it up a notch in five-star appeal with a bed dressed in luscious layers of I Love Linen, a colourful Jai Vasicek print on the white walls and, most significantly, easy access to the inspired bathhouse addition.

“Dave was the creative genius,” Jamie enthuses. “He had the vision for all the major changes and was so diligent with details. He painted our bedroom five times until we were happy we’d found just the right shade of white.”

The inspired bathhouse addition, Originally a front deck, it is now a semi-enclosed space with louvred doors offering sea breezes and garden glimpses. Contemporary brass tapware from ABI Interiors provides the elegant and modern match to a stunning solid stone bath from Stonebaths. A beautiful oversize pendant from House of Orange provides offers than a touch of modern-day rattan.

With a considered yet casual feel, every element in the house is true to the couple’s organic style, inspired by holidays to Byron Bay.

Simple and serene, Tom’s room was updated with the same wall treatments; shutters installed on the windows to help modulate light and privacy. Adairs’ Stonewashed linen is effortless and understated, so too is a pendant from The Society Inc and timber stool from Provincial Home Living.

From the earthy-toned linen bedding and cushions, to the tactile timber furniture, and individual feature pendants in each room – it all paints a seamless and relaxed picture.

To infuse the bedrooms with coastal warmth, Dave lined the walls of Ivy’s room with Easycraft panels from Bunnings, painted in Dulux Snowy Mountain half. Here, he installed a recycled timber ledge where the 13-year-old can display treasures. Dressed in Adairs linen and topped in Pony Rider and Sea Tribe cushions, the bed delivers a hint of pink to the neutral scheme while a House of Orange pendant and a mirror, casually leaning on the wall, from Brisbane’s Mirror Gallery, add layers of interest to the minimalist aesthetic.

The feel-good effect isn’t lost on the family, who enjoy the simple pleasure of chilling at home and pottering about in the garden.

Jamie: “Our hanging chair from Byron Bay Hanging Chairs. It’s framed beautifully by our front entrance.”

“Every day I say, ‘I love living here’,” Jamie reflects. “When we come home from work, we instantly feel relaxed and forget about our day.”

A Weber and handy fridge are the perfect tools for outdoor entertaining.

“We always knew we wanted to create something special and different.” ~ Jamie

Enveloped in greenery, this lush pocket of the beautiful backyard is a favourite spot for the family to gather for lunch on weekends. A Giant Taro (Alocasia) plant forms a striking backdrop to the space, where a Sunday Supply Co umbrella shades a Bunnings outdoor table setting painted in Dulux Black Caviar. “In summer we put our festoon lights on during the evening and it creates a lovely ambience out here when we have family and friends over,” Jamie says. When landscaping the block, Dave drew inspiration from the simplicity and tropical style of Mon Palmer, paired with the symmetry of Paul Bangay’s designs. “I planted every tree in the yard except one and have really enjoyed establishing the gardens,” Dave says. “For me gardening and renovating is quite therapeutic and a complete change from my day job.”

“I’m really proud Dave and I worked as a team.” ~ Jamie

A Sunday Supply Co umbrella shades a Bunnings outdoor table.

“Everyone comments on the gardens and bathhouse. When people stay they say the house has a ‘holiday feel’.”

One of the most striking features is the picture-perfect facade painted in Dulux Snowy Mountain Quarter and bordered with precision-trimmed Lilly Pilly hedges – Dave’s pride and joy. “If I can’t find Dave, he’ll be in the garden,” says Jamie.

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