Two years ago a Tascott family decided they needed a change, so they moved from suburban Central Coast to the secluded Bucketty bush. During a country drive one Saturday morning, the current owners, Sean and Carly, found the Bucketty home for sale and immediately realised its potential.
Sean said things quickly fell into place.
They made the most of the hot 2015 market and sold their five-bedroom double-garage home to an investor and headed for the hills.
Nestled away from the windy valley road, the house is not easy to spot. It sits on about 9 hectares and, from the outside, appears to be just a corrugated iron shack.
However, once you step inside, wide windows along the north-eastern walls immediately change the home’s vibe from shed-like to majestic.
A luscious view of the Wollombi valley immediately catches the eye, and a massive veranda beckons with all the necessities for a party or a barbecue. The family shares the land with their guard dog and a horse named Stormy.
“We like the space; it’s very peaceful,” Carly says.
“On the weekend you hear the motorbikes and a few cars, but overall you don’t hear any neighbors.”
Sean says the family has enjoyed getting to know the neighbours. He loves the feel of the place and the view.
Before building this house, the previous owner lived on the property in a caravan for a year.
She scoped out the land to determine the best spot to take advantage of the view.
Inside you’ll find the necessities: a fireplace, a black leather lounge set (found on Gumtree) and a dining room table for six.
The owners kept to a budget and recognised that their home need not compete with its natural surroundings.
When they moved in two years ago, the place was just a shell and the couple and their three daughters all slept in what is now the kitchen/lounge room. Sean owns his own business, and Carly is a full-time mum to the girls, so the two have had their work cut out for them.
“There was no toilet when we first moved in,” says Carly. “There was just a little outhouse and it wasn’t a three-bedroom house it was a no-bedroom house.”
“It was just one big box. We started off turning the carport into two bedrooms for the kids so we weren’t all in one room,” Sean adds. “That was pretty awkward with the baby.”
Since then, they’ve divided the space. They made bedrooms using timber from Rutherford, Millfield and their own property. They put carpet in the bedrooms because the place gets cold in the winter. Carly and Sean used cypress shiplap on their bedroom’s internal walls. The stained glass in the windows came second-hand from a builder in Castle Hill.
Now they have the plumbing sorted. The house uses rainwater and a composting toilet. The laundry and bathroom are combined, and a claw-foot freestanding tub is an elegant touch.
After the move, they worked on the house every weekend for the first six months. Even though they haven’t finished renovating, the pair say the house feels much more like a home. A tiny granny flat next door is another thing on their list to renovate. They’ve painted the front door red but say there’s much to be done inside. Carly continues to improve the property; she has planted jacaranda trees, succulents and a vegie patch.
Sean said that when they first moved, he wondered whether he’d done the right thing for his family. He said one daughter was in Year one at the time and she went from a public school of 400 children to a school of just 60 pupils. At first it was hard for her to fit in. But, despite his worries, she later came to him and told him how much she loved her new school. He said all three of his daughters had adjusted well to the country lifestyle.
What Carly and Sean did was not easy, but their new life is blossoming.
Seeing this family realise their dreams is a refreshing reminder that there’s many beautiful ways to go about living.