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The Journey of building our forever home

The Journey of building our forever home

Hamptons Queenslander | House of the week tour

This weeks home tour is a fresh and bright Hampton's Queenslander.  Featuring my fav colour combination of classic black and white its a great example of a beautiful family home.

Who lives here 

Elisha Manning - Marketing, Luke Manning - Director of Business Development, Lachlan - 7, Bailey 5, Isla 2 and one more on the way (due July). No pets as yet. 

Style of home and location 

Hamptons Queenslander - a combination of the style of a Hamptons beach house with the relaxed charm of Australia's own Queenslander home. Located in Camp Hill, Brisbane. 

Timeline of build 

We purchased the home in October 2016 and it settled just before Christmas 2016. The next few months were spent designing, seeking council approvals, sourcing a builder, etc (as with many builds this process took longer than we had initially hoped). We kicked off building in June 2017 and the build took approx 5 months to complete - we moved in a week before Christmas. 

Tell us a little about your renovation journey?

We had been hunting for the perfect home to purchase or renovate for a few months when we came across a small 2 bed, 1 bath Queenslander in our preferred suburb. We had to move fast (so fast that I didn't even get a chance to see it in person before we signed the contract). Whilst small in size it was in a great location and was on a decent sized block which ticked a lot of boxes for us.

Our brief to our designer, Chris Brumby of Big House Little House was to achieve an open-plan classic take on the Queenslander. The home takes cues from the classic style of the Hamptons but has a strong focus on modern, tropical Queenslander living with a strong connection between indoors and outdoors. With 3 children and 1 one on the way it was important for us to design the home with our living on the lower ground to maximise the connection to our backyard. You will often find us on weekends gathered on the patio or by the pool sharing a meal or drinks with family and friends. We loved the relaxed style of living that the house provides.

What do you love about the Hampton's style and where did you find your inspiration for your beautiful home?

I love the timelessness and effortless elegance of the Hampton's style. The neutral colour palette, intricate details and charm of a weatherboard home were all characteristics that attracted us to the Hampton's style. Inspiration was sourced through images on pinterest and instagram - I have hundreds of images saved of homes and rooms that I loved that we used to draw inspiration from to create our dream home. 

Did you enjoy the process of building and designing your home? Any hiccups along the way or things you would do differently?

Renovating (or building in general for that matter) is a rollercoaster of emotions and a mix of joy and stress! Being a creative person with a passion for interior design I revelled in the design phase and in building out the detail of our home. During the renovation, we were on site every single day to oversee the build and ensure the brief was carried out. 

Camp Hill is appropriately named due to the steep landscape and rocky ground - this presented some challenges and additional cost through escalation and retaining and was a large component of our budget. Whilst there were challenges and minor changes that had to be made along the way we didn't encounter any major renovation issues. In saying that, it was still a busy and stressful time and we are certainly enjoying having the majority of the work behind us and to be enjoying our new home.

Favourite room in your home?

Thats a tough one as there are so many spaces to love  - If I had to pick just one room I would say our kitchen. It is everything I had envisaged and more. The crisp, white shaker cabinetry (by Corona Cabinets) provides a classic feel. 

To add some strength to the overall design we choose stone marble bench tops featuring a large vein to break up the whiteness of the space. The butlers pantry comes in handy when entertaining and is used regularly on a daily basis for storing glassware, making tea & coffee and keeping appliances out of sight! 

Any further plans scheduled for the future or areas still to complete?

As with any renovation and having only been in the house for a few months there are still a few projects to complete. These include a media room, kids play room, finishing off the children bedrooms and putting in a putting green down one side of the house (for my golf enthusiast husband). 

Is this your forever home or do you have plans for the future?

This home is our forever home (at least for the foreseeable future). We designed it to meet the needs of our growing and evolving family. Whilst the blueprint of the house isn't likely to change, I look forward to watching the house evolve with our family over the years. 

I can't resist mixing things up and taking on new projects - so the house is always changing and there is always something on the go!


Instagram accounts: 
@Ourlittleabode - our personal account on our renovation journey plus photography
@bighouselittlehouse - our building designer and photography

Contemporary Melbourne | House of the week

This weeks home tour is a contemporary home located in Melbourne. Originally an 1920's art deco home it's been renovated in a classic contemporary style with beautiful high ceilings, loads of natural light and stunning art

Who lives here 

Rebecca (interior consultant - instagram @becshnider ),  Braham (Management Consultant) , Twins Romy & Blake 22, and Berry 12

Style of home and location 

Contemporary style, Melbourne

Timeline of build 

The house was renovated in two stages -  The first renovation which included adding on two bedrooms, ensures, study area and laundry was done 5 years ago and the kitchen and downstairs media room was done 2 years ago.

How would you describe your interior design style and where did you get your inspiration for your beautiful home?

I wouldn’t categorise myself with a particular style, but i love white walls then adding warmth, colour and texture through furnishings and artwork to create a cosy feel.

For inspiration I devour my magazines, instagram and my huge selected of coffee table books that I’ve collected over the years and that’s always being updated. I also get lots of inspiration when I travel

Tell us about your renovation - what did you change?

In the original renovation we added on a teenagers retreat, study area and laundry to accommodate our older twins. We added in some cabinetry throughout the house and painted the house white as it was quite dark.

More recently we added  a new kitchen and 2 skylights as the kitchen is south facing and needed a boost of natural light throughout the day.

Best tips when renovating? 

• Live in the house first to get a feel for it.
• Do as much as you can to add in natural light
• Don’t be afraid to add colour and texture.
• Do your research thoroughly before starting any work as to minimise variations and costly mistakes.

Whats your favourite thing about living here?

Probably our favourite thing is being in a smaller house now while it still has everything we need.  It also quiet in our street and the kids can play out the front with the neighbours every night. Even all our dogs are out there playing together! Its also in great proximity to the city.

Your home features lot's of beautiful artwork - can you recommend some great places to source art? 

NKN gallery, Irving Laffner,Edwina Corlette, Fenton and Fenton and almost every artist now is on Instagram too.

Photography - Derek Swalwell  and Lauren Bamford


A Grand Hamptons | House of the Week

This weeks home tour is a grand Hampton style home located in Sydney.  Oozing sophistication with high end finishes and beautiful family and entertaining spaces.

Who lives here 

George (project manager), Mersina (lawyer), children Erin & Amanda and Bella (the kitten “aka” destroyer of new lounge!)

Style of home and location 

Hampton's inspired home in the South of Sydney 

Timeline of build 

Labour of love….2 years in planning with a 19 month build. 

Tell us a little about your build journey

My husband did the build as “owner builder”. it was a very detailed build with lots of intricacies. For example the panel throughout the house was measured, cut and placed piece by piece. 

We had an amazing foreman “Rory” and a knock out designer “Zoe @ ZC Artique”. 

What do you love about the Hampton's style and where did you find your inspiration for your beautiful home?

We love the character and warmth that comes from Hampton's designed homes. It’s timeless and always feels lived in. The inspiration grew on us over time. We were both modern minimalists but found that we wanted a home that wasn’t just for display. There were lots of ideas we took from but mostly from pictures in the US. 

Did you enjoy the process of building and designing your home? Any hiccups along the way or things you would do differently?

The process was relatively seamless. We had hiccups along the way but dealt with them one by one…..we even managed to get away to Europe for 4 weeks in the middle of the build and before lock up. 

I’m not sure I do too much differently. Maybe have gone through council to obtain more height as opposed to a complying development…..that’s about it though. 

Favourite room in your home?

That’s a touch one……I’m not sure I have one. Over the 2 years we’ve been in I’ve learned to love most of the space. 

Is this your forever home or any plans for the future?

Nothing is forever….Home is were my husband and children are. If we move, we’d just build another one.