House of the Week | Newcastle East | Photos

It’s been a little over a month since Mark Tisdell and his partner, Carolina Diaz, moved into a two-bedroom terrace in the East End. Perfect in size for the two of them, the airy space has plenty of views of the ocean, and you can smell the sea breeze as soon as you get to the top of their entry-way staircase.

“I had a place pretty close to the beach already. I said to Carolina, if we’re going to move it’s going to have to be pretty damn good,” Tisdell says.

He found the place on Domain and decided to have a look and realised he knew the owner. He went to see the place while Diaz was visiting her family in Chile. He didn’t know if she would be keen, but he was eventually able to convince her.

Now they’re in love with the place and with each other. They plan to enjoy the next 11 months while the home’s owner is travelling Australia. This is the first time the couple have lived together.  

“For me it needed to be quite special; I had a lovely granny flat in Redhead on the ground floor of this amazing beautiful house; I had ocean views,” Diaz says.

“If I’m going to move it also needs to be pretty special.”  

The house is pretty special.

“It compresses your senses into this dark tall staircase and then you come into the lounge room and then it reveals all its wonder,” Tisdell says.

From the small staircase the house opens up into a roomy lounge and kitchen on split levels. Timber windows frame the incredible ocean views and three-metre ceilings give the house a tremendous sense of space. Through the kitchen, walk out onto the balcony lined with succulents and gaze over the Pacific Ocean. It has a perfect view of the baths and the Cowrie hole, and Tisdell, who surfs regularly, always knows when it’s a good day for waves. He owns seven of the eight surfboards stashed in the space.

In their only bathroom is a clear view of the horizon, and attached to the front bedroom of the house is a small bright sunroom that looks perfect for an afternoon snooze.

In the guest bedroom, they’ve set up a workspace across from the bed, as both of them work remotely. Tisdell is a landscape designer and Diaz works for a technology company in the UK. They spend part of their time working from home and also at a nearby freelancing space where they first met, The Roost Creative. 

Tisdell studied architecture and believes location is key. He finds the place reflects his personality and love of design.

“We don’t have gardens, but we do have plenty of plants around,” Tisdell says. “Everything in here serves a purpose and a function. The windows are very well positioned so you get great ventilation and views in each room. As the kitchen drops down it feels like you’re in the bow of a boat.”

Diaz said that she’s been getting a bit of an education about architecture living with Tisdell, although much of the decor is hers. Tisdell did not bring much from his bachelor pad.

“The Lone Swimmer above the bed is an Aquabumps piece. It goes way back to when I lived in London, and whenever I was quite depressed because of the weather, I would scroll through their website. When I got back to Australia it was the first thing I got,” she says.

The only downside to their current location is all the construction in preparation for the Supercars race. They have to cross the tracks twice to get home, and the construction workers have started working until 9pm with little regard for residents.

“I think it’s just going to be a hassle. We’ve had to put up with six months of this for a three-day weekend we’re not even interested in. For me, my business and what I do, there’s little benefit,” Tisdell says.

Fortunately, it appears that the road work is the main hiccup in their otherwise idyllic life. Diaz and Tisdell could not make shacking up look more appealing.

Have a home that could feature in Weekender? We’d love to see it.

Email weekender@theherald.com.au.