Some of Newcastle’s most significant and beautiful buildings were raised from the ground by a Davis: Newcastle’s graceful Town Hall, the much-loved David Jones in Hunter Street, and Belmont Hotel circa 1957 are all examples.
In fact, three generations of the Davis family – grandfather, father, and son – all of them called Charles, have built throughout the area. The son, the current Charles Davis (Charlie to his mates), is now semi-retired. He and wife Barbara, Belmont Citi Centre’s manager for 18 years, have built a few houses for themselves over the years, but none have they loved as much as the older home they found in Marks Point three years ago. They were living in a home Charlie had built in Redhead and weren’t actually planning a move.
But a chance sighting of a waterfront property in an agent’s window was enough to warrant an inspection.
From there, as the saying goes, ‘‘One look was all it took.’’
Three years on and quite a bit of work later, they love it even more.
‘‘It is not a mansion, but you could just not replace this spot no matter where you went,’’ Barbara says.
The ‘‘spot’’ is on the sought-after northern side of Marks Point, with gun-barrel views across the bay to Belmont Hospital and the Belmont 16-Footers Club.
As if that isn’t enough, the view stretches the full 180degrees east to Belmont South and west to the Watagans. Uninterrupted and never to be built out, it’s definitely as good as you could get – anywhere.
The house itself was in good condition but not quite to their liking. They decided to modernise it – including the addition of plenty of storage.
Charlie has done all of the building work for which, ironically, their furniture has provided the incentive.
‘‘Everywhere we have lived, I have built around the furniture,’’ Charlie says.
The first step was to reinvent an existing workshop and a garage to create a formal entry leading to a dining and lounge room on the lower level.
These formal spaces, overlooking the pool and the bay, provided the right setting for some of Barbara’s inherited treasures, such as a graceful green velvet lounge suite.
A bedroom on this level was also given a modern feel with additional wardrobe storage and the en suite was renovated to their taste. The centre piece is an unusual green glass vanity.
The bedroom itself has a large picture window allowing the occupant to wake to a water view every morning.
The pool area also received a revamp – a new deck with landscaping, new lawns and a water feature. There is also a slipway into the bay.
Upstairs, a new granite kitchen was installed, including a walk-in pantry. It is easily accessed from the living room, which has wall to wall windows looking straight at the view.
In fact, from the kitchen you can’t see anything but water, giving the distinct impression you are on a boat, rather than land. For Charlie this space is the best part of the house.
‘‘I sit up there for my half hour of meditation each morning. We get some beautiful sunsets over the Watagans and of a night when the moon comes up what it does on the water is just beautiful.
‘‘In the middle of winter you can live in that room and not even need a fire on. I’ve built a heap of houses for myself and you just have to have a north-east aspect.’’
Barbara agrees: ‘‘I can’t believe the lifestyle we’ve got and only be two minutes from Belmont. You never feel like you are on your own because on the water, there is always someone coming or going.
‘‘It is very much like being on holidays all of the time. You can’t beat waking up to this.’’
Do you know a house we could feature?