Life & Style

A 1920’s treasure that has been given a new life

Purchasing the property back in February 2012 with the intention of doing a quick flip, Lauren and Michael Charge’s plans altered rather quickly, falling in love not only with their new home but this perfect little pocket in Hamilton South.

Now, thanks to Lauren and Michael's attention to detail, smart design and careful interior edits, the 1920’s art deco treasure has been completely transformed and is on the market with Tammy Hawkins at McGrath Estate Agents.

Chatting with Lauren she provided some insights into the renovation process and what it was about the home that they loved so much.

"Apart from the location, I'd have to say it was the light. It has a north-western aspect and all of our living areas are north-facing which means you get light from early morning right through to the late afternoon which I just love."

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What shape was the house in when you bought it?

It’s funny, it had pink walls and a green trim, but it was a really solid brick home, with good bones, and that beautiful art deco style finish. To be honest it was a pretty simple renovation and mostly just required some paint. We did add new floorboards throughout so the transition from old to new was seamless and we did an extension on the back that went above that section to create a master bedroom, nursery/study and ensuite bathroom, a kind of parents retreat.

The other change we made was converting the wrap-around verandah, that was at the front of the house, into a front entry instead of a side entry. A lot of the heritage homes in the area have a side entrance, but we like the idea of walking into an entry way.

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Being a heritage home did you find it difficult to add an extension and make it feel all as one?

With the renovation, we didn’t want to replicate the original house too much, as that can often not work out so well. What we did was stay true to the art deco feel and selected a three-step cornice, rather than a standard or more modern cornice, which are a bit more decorative, and we didn’t square set anything.

We also chose door handles that retained the original look and when we extended the downstairs area we used timber windows so it tied in with the windows at the front of the house.

house proud lauren charge hamilton south real estate

I also bought some beautiful triangular leadlight windows from a friend, who salvaged them from a house that was being knocked down in Merewether, and used them upstairs so the front facade kept a similar appearance.

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So we chose to go with some subtle nods to the original home and maintain that cohesive feel, rather than trying to replicate anything.

When it comes to the renovation is this something you do yourself or do you get outside trades in to help?

My husband Michael is an electrician by trade so he did the wiring. He’s also very handy, he makes furniture for a hobby and he did a lot of the work. My brother’s a builder and his company Greenbuild did the building for us. Dad and my other brother are plumbers, so there are tradies all through the family which helps a lot, and why we fell into renovating in the first place.

There are some things you can DIY, but sometimes you need professionals so the renovation is done properly, especially when it comes to wet areas, it’s so important to get those right.

house proud lauren charge hamilton south real estate

What are some of your favourite aspects of the house?

I love the leadlight, it’s one of the things I will be so sad to leave, it’s art deco style but it’s not over the top florally, it’s just a really beautiful classic design.

I do also love the pizza oven which we built. We had a pizza oven in our previous house, they are so so fun, we’re always roasting vegies and pizzas in it. We trawled online for ages and pieced the design together then Michael did some research on how to build it. It's such a great area of the house.

house proud lauren charge hamilton south real estate

How long did it take you to do the renovation?

We moved into the house in 2012 and started renovating in September 2013, and finished in April 2014 so in total about a 6-month turn around which was pretty quick.

I think coming up with a design is the hardest part, and getting your head around a space. Which is why I find living in a house before you renovate it, if you can, for a while helps, so as to get an idea of all four seasons, where the light falls and how it interacts with the spaces, and getting all those cross breezes working for you.

You have a very distinct style, looking at this home and your property Salt in Port Stephens. Is this a personal preference or when it comes to styling homes for either the purpose of selling or accommodation that it makes sense to keep the styling minimalistic?

That’s so funny that you say that, I can’t see it but people tell me all the time that I have a certain style. I think I just gravitate towards those natural neutral tones, and then I like to introduce textures and natural fibres rather than having bright colours.

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I like a space to be calm and minimalist, but our home was anything but prior to the big cleanout. We actually had an amazing guy called Cale from Quiet Clean and Organised come in and he decluttered our space, he cleaned everything up and boxed up our entire house, then styled the space so it was calming and nice. He did it so quickly and efficiently and was so good.

For more information about the property, contact Tammy Hawkins at McGrath Estate Agents on 0412 028 418. To make an enquiry Click Here.

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