Downsize your home in style

By Shepparton News

When Jeanette and Noel Coverdale decided to downsize, their son asked if he could design them a house, and of course they said yes.

As retired farmers, Jeanette and Noel had already downsized when they moved to Kialla Lakes, but when Noel had some health issues they decided they needed somewhere smaller.

“We decided to downsize while we could both enjoy it,” Jeanette said.

After looking at various retirement villages the couple chose Freedom Place because it isn’t too big, residents own the land they build on and its convenient location.

They gave their son Steven, of Steven Coverdale Designs, a free rein — only stipulating the budget, an open-plan living area and plenty of storage.

Steven selected a block to suit the north-facing design he wanted to create and gave the house a dramatic, mid-century, modern façade.

Built by Barzen Builders the house runs in a straight line from west to east, with virtually the entire north-facing wall consisting of double-glazed sliding glass panels.

“The whole idea of the glass and the deep eaves is that the winter sun comes in and warms up the concrete floor and then in the summertime, when the sun is direct, not one bit of sun hits any of those glass panels,” Jeanette said.

“It’s just beautiful, we have sunlight through the whole of the living area and our bedrooms get this beautiful winter sun.”

In winter the Coverdales turn off the heating about 9 am and on sunny days don’t need to turn it on again until late afternoon.

Because Jeanette feels the heat, Steven incorporated a shady area on the south side of the house.

“He’s made me a little nook so that when it’s really hot I can sit out this side in the cool,” she said.

“These doors (to the south) all open so you get good cross ventilation.”

Keeping his parents’ age in mind, Steven made the hallway wide and used sliding doors throughout in case a walker or wheelchair is needed in the future.

Outside the garden is planted mainly with natives that won’t need a lot of care and there is no grass to cut.

The Coverdales are delighted with Steven’s design and their decision to downsize.

“We’re loving it,” Jeanette said.