House of the week | Waratah

Where other potential buyers saw a dilapidated frame, outdated appliances and overgrown yards, the eventual owners of this Waratah property had a vision for a stylish new home.

Brendan Williamson and Bonnie Marcus bought the Alfred Street property in 2012.

As a builder and graduate architect respectively, they soon put their professional skills in to action.

Over three years while living in, the couple created a modern abode.

“The house was on the market for a while before we bought it because of the condition it was in,” Williamson says.

“It was a good thing for us because being handy we could fix it. We did a full renovation.”

The renovation included everything from stripping the old cracked horsehair plaster and replacing it with modern material, to reconfiguring the layout of rooms.

“All the gutters had fallen off, the weatherboards hadn’t been painted in 30 years or so, the floor was about 150 millimetres out of level from the front to the back,” Williamson says.

“So we repiered … levelled the house back up. The ceilings were all out of level.

“It was a 50s kitchen in the middle of the house with red laminate benchtops.”

A three-metre long Silestone island bench takes pride of place in the new kitchen, which was opened up along with the living and dining areas.

The revamped home also includes two bedrooms at the front of the house, an enlarged bathroom and a master bedroom with walk-in wardrobe and an ensuite with louvre windows overlooking the garden and back deck.

The yard had a major overhaul.

“The backyard was terrible, it was all overgrown, one-foot high grass,” Williamson says.

“So that was probably the first thing we did, we cleaned all the yards up.

“We’ve got a vegie garden now, we established all that.”

A blackbutt timber deck, with built-in seating and recessed steps, is a highlight of the outdoor space.

With knowledge and contacts obtained through his business, Brendan Williamson Constructions, Williamson was able to find and recycle pavers and timber for outdoor features.

Pavers came from a former Lambton church converted to a preschool.

Hardwood timber columns in the carport were once the church rafters.

“We’re pretty big on trying to reuse materials,” Williamson says.

Bricks in the front path came from a fireplace in a Belmont cottage undergoing renovation, while those in the front fence were leftover from the renovation of another builder’s Hamilton East home. 

When it comes to a favourite part of the house, the couple nominate the main bathroom.

“We both think it’s pretty nice,” Williamson says.

“Everyone that’s come through though the house loves it.

“It’s just a nice space.”

All the plumbing fittings are from Reece, while the tiles are a mixture from Beaumont Tiles and Tile Warehouse.

The couple used 20-millimetre matt-finish penny rounds on part of the walls.

Cabinetry with mirror doors was custom made and tallowwood timber used for the recess shelf.

“What we tried to do with it, we didn’t try to go out with gadgets, we made a small space work,” Williamson says.

When it comes to the finished home, the couple are especially proud of the workmanship.

“Being our profession, we end up going the extra mile to make sure it’s perfect,” Williamson says.

“We’re stoked with the whole house and how it’s turned out,” Williamson says.

Having completed the house little more than a month ago, the couple already have “itchy feet.”

They have sold the Alfred Street residence and plan to build a house on a two-hectare property in Kangaroo Valley on the NSW south coast.

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