It's a classic story, the Sydney-based family who flees the chaos of the city to find the peace in the calm, slower-paced lifestyle that Newcastle generously bestows on its residents.
Matt and Belinda Field and their kids Rocco and Sage (and their latest addition, Gracie Mae, a Kelpie Blue Heeler puppy) are part of this club. For the last three years they've lived in Newcastle, and for the last year they've rented in Cooks Hill. They reckon their two-bedroom one-bathroom terrace is around 100 years old.
Prior to moving here they had lived and travelled to a few places.
"One of the life lessons that I learnt in Barcelona, I've never been more creative than when I lived in that city and that's because the whole population of Barcelona is so creative that you can't help but become creative," Matt says. "I realised then that whoever you are surrounding yourself with, you sort of can't help but become that."
He compares here to his busy lifestyle in Sydney, and he feels much more relaxed and at peace.
"I fell pregnant with Sage, and we were in an apartment in the Northern Beaches," Belinda says. "It was a choice either for Matt to change work or for both of us to stay creative and support the industry and live more of a creative lifestyle while spending time with our family."
Along with being proud parents, they are passionate about their work.
Matt is a musician who hosts events and also NBN's Amplified, a music show highlighting Aussie talent.
Belinda is a graphic designer who works in textiles and illustrations. One of her recent initiatives is her ethical clothing line, Nacido.
Their house is full of art from their travels and creative items made by their loved ones. They've been adding to their collection since they got together a decade ago.
"I'm like eternal op shops, side-of-the-road, reno queen. We let it go and get something else in and fix it up and make a space a home," Belinda says.
In their lounge room the huge surfboard immediately catches your eye, made by Matt's cousin, Sean Ziggy Sonter. They put it on the wall after a few good runs in the waves.
There's a lamp from Belinda's Uruguayan paternal grandparents. (Her maternal grandparents are from Spain).
Atop the shelf in the corner has a plaster cast sculpture of Belinda's belly when she was pregnant with Sage. The bookshelf holds many yoga books, and it stands in what Matt's designated as his "music corner", where he listens to music sent to him from different Australian artists.
The kitchen has lots of vintage cups and trinkets. The blue tie-dye stools stand out, as does the washing machine, a European touch. Matt gave Belinda an espresso machine as an isolation present, so they've been experimenting and making coffees and mochas daily. Belinda jokes he'll have a new skill by the time the pandemic is over.
Next to their kitchen is the kids' toy room which includes classic metal cars Matt grew up with. For a long time they were stored under his mum's house, but Matt gave them to Rocco for his fifth birthday.
From the toy room the house goes to the succulent-filled courtyard where the kids often play with the pup.
Head upstairs to their bedroom with more art and a picture of Matt's dad from when he was 15.
Matt's also happy to tell you about his instruments including his vintage 1969 Yamaha drums.
"They're the first edition of Yamaha drums that Yamaha ever made. I have a collection of vintage drum kits I just love. I believe the wood ages and gets this beautiful timbre to it," he says.
The second bedroom is the kids' room, and they sleep in the bunk bed Belinda's dad, Nelson Cairelli built for them out of his old fence. They have plenty of art in this room as well as Matt's childhood dollhouse. Out the window is a lovely view overlooking the other terraces in Cooks Hill
"When people ask, we find it hard to pinpoint our 'style'. It's just a reflection of who we are, where we've been and what we love... And most importantly somewhere our kids can feel at home, play freely, and not worry too much about breaking things," Matt says.
They're quite happy living in Newcastle for now, and they're flexible to the future as well.
"We're not afraid of change and our foundation is family," Belinda says.