HOME: Style statement in Valentine

There's a buyer for every house and while Garry and Carolyn Manwarring weren't looking, their Valentine Gardens house found them anyway.

A sticky beak through an open house just up the road took the Manwarrings from "just looking" to serious contenders in a short time.

That was five months ago and their "big, beautiful new house" is just ideal for their family of two teenage boys and three energetic bichon frise dogs.

Backing onto Green Point Reserve on the highest point in Valentine, the two-storey Tuscan-style house has 2.7-metre ceilings on both levels and valley views to Mount Sugarloaf from the top deck.

The entrance is framed by handcrafted oregon timber double doors with large ornamental black keys hanging from the handle.

The doors lead into a tiled atrium from which the house fans out in different directions.

Open-plan living comprises a stunning designer kitchen and a TV area.

A downstairs bathroom, a guest bedroom that Carolyn calls her Pink Room, an office for Garry, a cinema room, formal dining room and a large gym make up the ground floor.

A grand red ironbark timber staircase with wrought iron railings flows upstairs to three more bedrooms and a huge rumpus as well as an outdoor terrace.

A six-car garage provides plenty of storage space.

The boys and their friends provide a constant stream of traffic through the large house.

For entertainer Carolyn, it is the ultimate party house and the couple have, in three months, had four parties for 30 or more.

The house has handled it easily.

They have plans to change a few things over the next few months including renovating the backyard to include a water feature, pebbles and some lawn and adding an outdoor kitchen to the upstairs terrace. A small room off the rumpus will make an ideal bar.

But overall the couple love their new home very much.

So much so that they changed their plans of building a new house on a block of waterfront land in Kilaben Bay to buy it.

"It's really lovely and very private," Carolyn says.

Throughout the house evidence of Carolyn's design style is in abundance.

At the top of the staircase two of her favourite treasures flank either side - huge black and silver pots from the House of Imports at Warners Bay.

Further around a large circular mirror greets the visitor.

But rather than hanging on a wall, Carolyn has positioned it on a picture stand in a corner to great effect.

She sourced much of the rest of the furniture from another favourite shop, Empire Furniture, as well as Domayne - interesting pieces such as a large timber table with metal chairs in mismatched colours to add some drama in the dining room.

A huge floor lamp anchored at the bottom by a stormwater trap is another interesting piece, as is the white woven paper abstract behind glass from Africa, which fills a wall void in the entry perfectly.

It's flanked by two chess pieces, bought without a spot in mind but fitting in perfectly.

"I had to picture what I wanted in all of the furniture before we moved in, which is quite hard to do when you are working with big spaces and can't measure anything.

"I was crossing my fingers that it would all work, but it does," she says.

Do you know of a home we could feature?

Email weekender@theherald.com.au.

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