IT is a country-style property with city conveniences that took five years to find and just three months to build.
Tony and Vanessa Williams didn’t expect to get it easily when they set out looking for a few acres on which to build a new home.
“My wife gave me a funny brief,” Tony says.
“It’s got to be flat, within five minutes to the kids’ school and we’ve got to be able to see other houses.
“I said ‘you’re dreaming,”
But when the perfect block came up on The Weir Road at Teralba, near the north end of Lake Macquarie, the couple didn’t hesitate.
As directors of Williams Designer Homes, and Tony a builder, the pair were well placed to get on with the job.
The home, set on a 1.3-hectare block, was built in 14 weeks. “We had the midnight oil burning,” Tony says.
The house features four bedrooms, the master with an ensuite featuring an impressive two-metre long, free-standing high-backed Luxe bath and a shower with a seated area.
“If I’ve had a hard day on the tools I can come home and I can sit under the hot water,” Tony says.
The main bedroom also includes a parents’ retreat.
“It has a TV and a couple of chairs so I can chill out of a morning with a coffee,” Tony says.
A large alfresco area overlooking the pool compliments the open-plan living and dining spaces, as well as a kitchen with Smeg appliances.
A study, home theatre with projector and Dolby surround sound, games room, gym and teenagers’ retreat provide plenty of space for recreation.
The property also has two bathrooms, a powder room, laundry and garage.
The couple and two of their three sons who still live at home, took up residence in December 2015.
Tony says he and Vanessa chose the block for its beautiful bush outlook, coupled with the central location close to schools, shops and the lake.
These characteristics are reflected in the house design.
“We wanted a ranch-style house … country feel on the outside but very modern on the inside,” Tony says.
“We didn’t want heaps of timber on the inside, we just wanted everything nice and clean and modern.”
The choice of materials was key.
Tony says the exterior’s ranch style, based on an American homestead, is rendered up the top to create a look akin to a whitewash finish, with brick around the bottom.
He sourced 100-year-old recycled tallowwood bridge timber for use outside to give the property a country feel.
Inside however is about clean lines and a minimal style, from the polished porcelain Italian tiles to the square-set (rather than using “heavy” cornices) open-plan areas and 45-degree angle feature ceiling in the main living area.
Louvre windows throughout the house capitalise on cross breezes, while the orientation of the living areas capitalises on a northerly aspect.
The view is one of Tony’s favourite features of the property.
“I love getting up of a morning, making a coffee and looking out the back over the pool into the trees,” he says.
He also loves the home theatre.
“I love football,” Tony says.
“I just sit there and watch football and football-related shows.”
An ample yard is a plus for the boys to ride motorbikes or just get out of the house.
“They’re spending much more time outside,” Tony says.
Vanessa loves the rural qualities too, especially the horses belonging to a neighbouring property.
Everything the Williams’ wanted in their home is realised in the finished result.
“I didn’t want to get to the end of the build and say ‘I wish I had of’,” Tony says.
“I can honestly say I never ever had that thought.
“Because every time I’ve renovated or put extensions on a house before I’ve always thought “I wish I’d done that a little bit bigger, a little bit better’.
“I nicknamed it [The Weir Road property] Jurassic Park when we were building it.
“I was going to have everything I wanted.
“No expense spared.”
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