Old adage ensures home ticks all the boxes

By Sharon Wright

Adhering to an old real estate adage has paid off for these Shepparton homeowners.

Buying the worst house in the best street is considered a savvy move in the property market.

For Tracey and Steve Curtis the decision to do just that ticked a number of boxes, including meeting budget, land orientation and size, and a location within walking distance of Shepparton’s central business district.

The couple relocated from Nathalia in early 2017 and spent 12 months renting while they tossed up whether to buy or build their next home.

“We wanted to be close to the centre of town and we had walked our dogs around the area and really liked this street,” Tracey said.

“One day I saw the for sale sign out the front of this old house, I rang the agent and put an offer in. It all happened very quickly.”

They realised the potential of the north-facing block and gave their architect son-in-law Isaac Mortimer and Barzen Builders, Shepparton the go-ahead to bring their vision of a modern, architectural-style home to life.

The old house was demolished and in its place is a new build with a mix of contemporary exterior finishes including the durable Australian hardwood silvertop ash, Nailstrip steel cladding, Austral Industrial bricks and black aluminium windows.

“I’ve always liked things to be a bit different, I like different textures and finishes but I wanted them all to complement each other,” Tracey said.

The interior design is a masterclass in style and convenience with the floor plan utilising the space to maximum effect.

Epitomising low-maintenance functionality, the open-plan living zone pays homage to clean lines with black stone benchtops, black cabinetry, integrated fridge and a butler’s pantry incorporating the oven and microwave.

A self-confessed minimalist Tracey has pared back the interior styling, instead allowing the 4.8 m raked ceilings, polished concrete floors and feature black chimney with gas-log fireplace to be the standout features.

Utilising passive design principles the house is orientated to allow the winter sun to stream in the double-glazed and UV-tinted windows to warm the thermal mass of the concrete floor.

“Our plan was to spend more money now and save on energy costs down the track,” Tracey said.

“We’re already reaping those benefits; we’ve been through our first winter and haven’t had to use the ducted gas heating at all.”

A sleek and sophisticated approach to styling blends white and grey tones on the walls and tiles, and black accents in the ceiling fans, door handles and hinges to add an industrial element, while oak timber furniture generates warmth and texture.

“I found using a simple colour scheme made it easy to pull the overall look together,” Tracey said.

The master bedroom suite is a true retreat with a false wall of black woodgrain panelling behind the bed concealing a generous robe and oversized ensuite with freestanding bath, double vanity and walk-in shower.

Views to the sparkling in-ground pool give the room a resort feel, and the other two bedrooms are perfect guest accommodation for the couple’s adult children Ashlee and Jake and baby granddaughter Willow.

High on the list of priorities was a seamless connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces.

A fully-functional outdoor kitchen and covered alfresco area has room for dining and lounge furniture and is ideal for year-round relaxed living.

“We’re quite social and enjoy entertaining so the outdoor area and pool was important to us,” Tracey said.

“Now that the house is finished it’s time for us to sit back and enjoy it; I like to think that ours is now one of the nicest houses in the street.”