They loved living in the area and wanted to downsize from their current home, but Geoff and Sue Cavanagh struggled to find the right house on the right block in Corlette.
“In our old house we only used the top half, it was too big for us,” Sue said.
“We decided to downsize, but we couldn’t find anything that met our criteria.”
That checklist included three bedrooms, a pool and a flat block in the neighbourhood.
They put their home on the market while they searched for a smaller place to live. However, their home sold within hours and they were left racing to find a solution.
As fate would have it, a cousin who lived nearby had a block of land behind their home. Geoff and Sue bought it immediately and set to work designing a new home.
They approached Graeme Bakker, of Bakker Homes. They had worked with Bakker Homes when they built and designed their previous home. It went on to win numerous HIA and Master Builders Australia awards.
The benefit of working together again meant he had a great understanding of what the Cavanaghs wanted.
“We called up Graeme to look at the new block,” Sue said. “He walked around it, sketched a design, and that is the design of the house today.”
The result is a split-level home with just a few steps inside, built in 11 months.
“The block had a slight slope that needed to be incorporated into the design so there were minimal steps,” Graeme explains.
“They also wanted to maximise the water views from the rear of the property. This was overcome by putting four steps into the hallway to keep the design to one level.”
The house has views to Corlette Bay, and across to Pindimar and Hawks Nest.
Sue wanted a neutral look upon which she could add her personality and coloured accents.
The house is white-on-white and exudes a casual beach vibe.
The exterior of features straight, clean lines and appears deceptively plain. It’s achieved through concrete render, smooth painted in Dulux White on White. The roof is white Colorbond. James Hardie Scyon Linea cladding was used at the back of the house to enhance the laidback “beach shack’ feel.
The white is offset throughout by charcoal accents.
A&L Windows provided pearl white window frames for the house and mastered the impressive sliding doors that open the house to the outdoor area. Contrary to the norm, these were custom-built in a different colour to the rest – using charcoal (Monument), to connect with the colour scheme.
The L-shaped house is centred on the fibreglass Barrier Reef in-ground pool, nestled under a navy shade cloth to keep it cool and safe all year round. True indoor-outdoor connectivity is achieved through the expansive 15-metre living-dining-kitchen area that fully opens to an undercover alfresco space, which is a truly impressive entertaining and living area on its own.
The master bedroom also opens to the terrace, creating a resort-style compound. Sloping cathedral ceilings add even more height and light, and pendant lighting from IKEA and Beacon add sophistication.
The house was originally designed with four bedrooms and a study, but, during the build, Sue and Geoff reverted to their wish for a three-bedroom home. They merged bedrooms three and four to make a large media room, with the study becoming a smaller bedroom. A few removed walls and sizing changes were also made during construction, but it didn’t faze Graeme.
“He’s so laid-back,” Sue said. “I change things left right and centre. He tells me if it can be done and if it can’t. He’s calm. It’s fabulous.”
It also helps when the designer is a builder.
“You can tell him your bottom or top price and he can design a house to fit into your budget.”
Doors were made extra wide, as was the hall, to allow for extra airflow. Floors in the living areas are a cement-style tile to keep clean and cool.
Luxury touches include a stunning kitchen with butler’s pantry, impressive Smeg gourmet stove and oven, plus a Quantum quartz bench top with black marble vein to tie in with the colour scheme.
Sue and Geoff couldn’t be happier with the final result and their family and friends can’t wait to come and visit.
“It’s beautiful with a nor-easter blowing,” Sue said.
“We love it every day.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.