A growing family and a wish to live by the ocean were the driving forces behind this stunning home transformation in Mitchell Street, Stockton.
From a dowdy old dwelling to a bright and inviting beachside home, the renovation has created extra space, extra light and extra connection to a relaxed lifestyle.
Rather than just diving straight in to renovations, the family took their time to get it right.
"We purchased the house in mid-2016 and spent several months living in it to fully understand what alterations would really suit the block and the aspect and, of course, capitalise on the unique iconic Newcastle views and seascape," the owners said.
Once they had an idea clear in their minds, builder Troy Tarrant from Vogue Residential was called upon to bring the vision to life. And the vision was simple.
"The brief was always something they could spend quality time in long term as the family grew and allow them to enjoy the open-plan living and outdoor environment," Tarrant said.
Step one was to demolish the single room on the second storey, while preserving the staircase to be used later.
"We also had to remove the roof structure from the rest of the house to allow for the construction of an entire new second storey. This process took about three weeks as everything had be done by hand," he said.
Due to the proximity to the water, the scope of work included durable materials that could take a beating from the weather.
"Due to the harsh exposure that the property would face, obvious materials were used such as stainless steel fixings and hot-dipped galvanised steel beams and posts. We used a mixture of James Hardie Scyon cladding systems, such as Scyon Linea and Scyon Stria, because its fibrous cement has outstanding durability which suited the exposed location."
An eave sprinkler system was installed. This can be run via a mobile phone or an internal control panel, eliminating the need to go outside and clean off the salt spray.
Internally, a combination of open spaces, raked ceilings, hardwood floors and clever colours create an abundance of room, yet privacy is maintained through tinted windows and breezy curtaining.
"We drew inspiration for the colour palette and materials from the coastal environment," the owner said.
"We also integrated copper highlights throughout the house by installing some great Australian made copper-plated Brodware taps, some handcrafted, one-off pieces like the stair handrail, as well as towel rails and hooks."
These touches add a sense of elegance and further brighten the bathroom and kitchen, and will provide a warm patina with age.
Through a clever switch, it's the upper floor that houses the living and kitchen areas, creating a great connection to the outdoors. An upstairs balcony with glass balustrade allows for uninterrupted views across Stockton beach and up to the bay; massive Bradnam's sliding doors let in the sea air. It's become one of the favourite parts of the striking home.
"We love the layout of the new top floor because it captures the wonderful northerly sun in winter and breeze in summer. We spend most of our time in the kitchen-living area and it allows our family to interact, but also have lots of space," the owner said.
"The entire upstairs level is a feature on its own: combining the ocean views, the Rinnai flame fire, beautiful stringy-bark floors, a well-designed kitchen, the spacious tiled deck and a perfect northern aspect; we really enjoy the space all year round."
Despite some inclement weather during the build and the removal of the top floor and roof, things were able to progress due to a bespoke canvas tarp from Southern Tarpaulins. It kept the lower level dry and the build moving along.
"The other challenge was the wind category rating on the building due to its exposure to the coast," Tarrant said.
"Special tie-down rods from the new second-storey roof framing all the way to the existing footings on the ground floor added some extra things for us to consider.
The final outcome has exceeded the expectations of the builder and the owners, resulting in a home that is in harmony with its surrounds, and classic in style to last the distance.