Friday 14 August 2020

House Envy: From 1950s Surf Shack to Stylish Byron Beach Abode!

Much loved Australian television personality and presenter of The Block, Shelley Craft, embarked on an ambitious project with her husband, Christian Sergiacomi, completely transforming a dated fibro surf shack to a beautiful family home, and delivering the ultimate renovation on a budget in just nine weeks. The unique coastal pad, affectionately nicknamed ‘The Little Blue House’, held true to some of its original elements while completely stripping others.

Pacifico Cottage was built in 1950 and although Shelley is a huge fan of ‘retro’, there is always a level of comfort and modern living that needs to be considered when renovating. So the choice of colour and styling is a nod to mid century design style in 2020.

Colour played a major role in the design of the home, while natural accents helped bring the vision to life. The home was a striking blue colour when Shelley and her husband bought it and they wanted to have some fun this time around, so they’ve chosen to stick with that colour palette but opt for a more subdued blue. The beachside chic colour scheme is complimented internally, where Shelley plays with the pastel colour palette in the bedroom, kitchen, dining area, and special breakout quiet zones.

Taking into account the age of the property, and the fact it was fibro sheeting, Shelley chose wisely when it came to the type of cladding she used to replace the old she gets. To keep the cottage looking as original as possible, they chose to reclad the exterior frame in Cemintel and add the battens to recreate the 1950’s style.

As they had a really limited budget, they were plesantly surprised at the cost effectiveness of the Cemintel cladding. So much so, that they could now afford to do the exterior of the adjacent garage as well, all within budget. Removing old fibro can certainly have the ability to scare people off a renovation project, but knowing that you can reclad your home with a superior product within a tight budget is amazing. 

What is also significant about this particular renovation is the importance of using the right type of building materials internally and how it can drastically impact the livability of a home. According to Shelley, until you start to look into renovating, most people believe all plasterboards are the same. However, they are not. It is therefore essential to think about the long term wearability, liveability and longevity of your hard work when you build or renovate.

According to Shelley, one of the key challenges for Pacifico Cottage was due to it being a small home, with one open plan living area and shared common walls for all bedrooms, there was a significant need to ensure that sound travelling and unwanted noise was reduced as much as possible. Therefore, finding the right plasterboard product that provided the solution to this was imperative, and helped deliver a sense of privacy for everyone residing in the different rooms.

Shelley chose leading plasterboard supplier, Gyprock, for its superior range of plasterboard options for walls, ceilings and wet rooms like the bathroom and laundry, knowing that each product suited the purpose of how the room would be used. From Superceil for the ceilings to Superchek for the walls and Aquachek in the wet areas, Gyprock had the project covered.

Having spent some time in the house now, the use of Superchek plasterboard throughout the house has been one of the decisions having the biggest positive impact on the house for Shelley. Superchek and its sound dampening, acoustic qualities has created a cocoon like feel to the whole home. The density of the sheeting gives an extra sense of strength to the build and a very solid feel to the property, handling bumps and dings much better than the standard.

Throughout the house there is a wonderful brightness, which carries from the bedrooms out to the living areas. Here, Shelley kept the walls clean and white, letting in an abundance of natural light and staying true to the overall Byron aesthetic. In keeping with the overall style, natural timber was added throughout the home and brought particular warmth to rooms such as the dining and living area. These elements came in the form of floors, tables, seating and cabinetry. The use of indoor plants, textured throws and different level seating in the lounge area also added another layer of softness and comfort to the rooms, achieving a highly functional living space for the whole family.

When it comes to Australia’s renovators, Shelley Craft is one of the only people that could pull off such a tight timeline. Thinking outside the box and utilising an array of building skills, Shelley and her husband achieved show-stopping results in this quirky, stylish and vibrant build!

Hope you enjoyed this house envy home tour!

Till next time... think outside the box when it comes to renovating or building!

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