A blog that explores Australian houses. If you love architecture, design, interiors and interesting buildings of all types, The House Hunter is for you.
Tag Archives: beach

The Entrance…kinda

 

Okay, so it’s been … three months. Or thereabouts. Not great form. I apologise. I apologise also for such a lazy-ass post. But I had to get something on the screen, man. And this is the best I could do when contending with all the things that take up the days. Like hangover recoveries, eating hummus out of the container ’cause there are no crackers in my apartment, pissing off neighbours by playing music too loudly and watching Reservoir Dogs. Et cetera.

 

I wanted to bring you a sunsoaked vision of one of the less-than-amazing suburbs near where I grew up, The Entrance. My brilliant sister summed up the area pretty well: “I’m pretty sure The Entrance is where the rainbow ice cream flavour was invented.” That and the lower back tattoo.

 

So, on this particular day, I dragged my mother and sister to this place in order to take some photographs. “But why?” My mother asked. Good question, mum. Always listen to your mother, folks.

 

The problem, as it turned out, was rather than boasting charming Australiana beach shacks and apartment blocks with excellent old fonts spelling out names like ‘Beachcomber’ like the ones you see in Manly, The Entrance (on NSW’s Central Coast, in case you don’t know) doesn’t really have much of architectural value. So you know. I snapped these. I wrote a bit. And I’ll be back with something better. But in the meantime, this post stands as a testament of some sort to the average Australian suburb with nothing to offer. Yeah, I knew I’d be able to spin something out of this.

 

Of course, while dragging half my family around, my DSLR ran out of battery. This is unsurprising as I can’t actually recall having charged it since I returned from Europe. In April. I then discovered my second best option – my phone – was in the car. After I stopped hyperventilating from the realisation that a) I’d been separated from my phone for a good ten minutes and b) I would continue to be separated from it for at least another fifteen, I borrowed my mum’s phone, took a couple more shots, grumbled words like “hole” and “waste of time”, then left. And now I bring the truly glorious results of that to you.

 

Seriously, though, this place is pretty cool. Especially if you like right angles. And dolphins.

 

61 Cabarita Road, Avalon

 

This family home in Avalon is defined by two things: views and stairs. It’s built on a steep block and takes advantage of the Careel Bay views by incorporating levels. Each level has a water outlook, making for a pretty ideal northern beaches vibe.

 

 

The design aesthetic is mostly contemporary, and multiple timber decks ensure that the home takes full advantage of the outlook. One of the best parts of the home, though, is its quirky details, which can be perceived both in the décor and in the architecture. An example of this is the top floor of the house, a hidey-hole study at the home’s tip that, again, presents a glorious view.

 

 

The home is on the market, and I can see how it’s a pretty appealing package for home-buyers; views, architectural interest and a price around $1.325 million that seems spot on. The stairs up to the home also make a pretty decent exercise option, if you’re the kind of person who’s into running stairs (I am, and always seem to be identifying new stair-run locations…).

 

I love this wall sticker. Plus, I am significantly taller than the tallest height on it, which, even though it's intended for children, I take as an achievement.

 

Quirkiness rarely goes astray in my books. This children's bedroom also had an interesting second level/deck.

 

 

Light and space is well-incorporated into the master bedroom, which has this sitting area.

 

308 Thornton Street, Fairlight

 

Paul and Kerrie Carroll had a connection with their Federation house in Sydney’s northern beaches from the start; they bought it from family friends. When their friends decided to sell, it was an easy decision to buy – “We had always loved it and the area. At that time, we had a third child on the way and lived just two streets away,” Paul explains.

 

 

The house is a great exercise in bricolage – heritage charm is juxtaposed against colourful collectibles and antiques sourced from all over. The 1917 facade was not altered during the renovation. The couple’s interest in contrast is most obvious in the sitting room, where an eye-catching assortment of artefacts sit amongst the room’s classic period detailing. The result is a playful space. The couple notes that the fusion of contemporary and historic didn’t come easily. “The greatest challenge was deciding to add a modern design to quite an old house and making sure it worked, so that the old flowed into the new,” Kerrie says. The pressed metal ceilings are decorated with delicate plasterwork of Australiana rosettas. Special pieces – like the tiger head and rocking horse – were picked up by the Carrolls from vintage stores and markets.

 

 

“We wanted to open up the living areas and let the light in,” Paul says about their new living area. “When we renovated the back of the house, the living areas had become too small and pokey for a growing family needing space.” The area now combines with the kitchen to make a light-filled space ideal for entertaining.

 

The kitchen was a large part of the couple’s renovation, and is strictly contemporary in style. The space shows off their appreciation of clean, uncluttered spaces.

 

 

The living space leads out onto the back deck through bifold doors, creating an easy space to entertain guests in. The backyard is the couple’s work in progress – their next project to tackle. Paul and Kerrie note that they are still working on the garden landscaping, but their preference for farmhouse style elements is already apparent.

 

 

The couple worked with Team 2 Design to remodel the back of their home. Paul was impressed with the architects’ work, noting that they “came up with a great design that works well and looks great” while suiting the house’s Federation heritage.

 

 

“We nominate our bike racks as the house’s weirdest feature,” Kerrie says. Since it’s an older home, the couple decided to maximise the space underneath the stairs as an efficient storage solution. 

 

Paul says with a laugh, “If our walls could talk they would probably ask ‘Where are you?’ because we’re never home. When we are though, we love it.”
 The couple is continuing to improve on the house, turning their attention to the original bathroom, and plan to stay in the area. “The natural beauty, swimming and surfing at lovely beaches or in the harbour are too incredible to leave behind.”

 

Trinkets

6 South Scenic Road, Forresters Beach

 

“It’s a knockdown,” according to one local.

 

I totally disagree, although I don’t doubt that the next purchaser will knock down the quintessential beach shack and build one of the sprawling contemporary mega-homes already adorning most of the plots that adjoin Forresters Beach.

 

I knew about this house, which is currently up for sale with offers sought over $1.55 million, as I grew up in the area. Its peeling paint, pretty front garden and unbeatable beachfront position render it the perfect holiday home, and the idea of building a new place on the land makes me sad. It’s the kind of vacationer I aspire to own … when I make all my riches, of course.

 

 

Forresters Beach is a Central Coast suburb wedged between Terrigal and The Entrance (it borders Wamberal and Bateau Bay). It is notable for having an unpatrolled beach, and for also having exclusive access to Spoon Bay, a lovely, secluded … well, bay … that will take you to Wamberal and Terrigal beaches if you keep walking along the sand. It is an interesting place – small enough to walk from one end of the suburb to another (if you can be bothered), built primarily on sand, yet accommodating a wide variety of housing styles and inhabitants.

 

 

The beach side of the suburb houses the most covetable real estate (and, well … people), while the northern end of the suburb contains mostly middle-of-the road suburbia brick and weatherboard places. A large portion of the houses were once weekenders, so the suburb has its fair share of small fibro cottages.

 

This house stands out as it has one of the suburb’s best positions (with direct access to the beach), yet retains its character. It’s a beach home through and through – the kind of place you look forward to travelling to in summer, its floorboards inescapably covered with sand, its floor-to-ceiling windows letting in the salty sea breeze.

 

Its private beach stairs

 

Forresters Beach, on an unfortunately gloomy day