House of the Week | Merewether Heights | Photos

The new owners of a stunning Merewether Heights home are settling into their peaceful space. The family of four (plus a dog) moved in April of this year.

“We’d been looking for about three years in Newcastle (for a house) that ticked all the boxes. We have two young daughters so we absolutely wanted a pool - privacy and character were important too which we knew we had found straight away,” the owner says.

“Features like the louvre windows allow us to open the house right up to the outdoors giving great natural light and a beautiful airflow — small details like this make it feel very much to us like a resort home.” 

The 30-year old house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, one study and two living spaces. Surrounded by trees, the house enjoys lovely light, and the owner said that the previous owners did a great job renovating 10 years ago. She describes the home as having “good bones.”

“The house has really tall and impressive conifers bordering the yards. These trees are striking due to their immense size, and they provide us with total privacy. From all windows we have beautiful outlooks to greenery of the pool and yard, and with this against the black floor, it all looks very dramatic yet calm,” she says.

When the family moved in she took charge of personalising the decor. It was all about updating the lighting and the floors

Changing the cypress floors was non-negotiable. They went from being a honey tone to having a black stain which, while a challenge, the sanders got right. She says it’s not as common in Newcastle but it’s done a lot in Sydney and Melbourne.

“It pushes the depth of the room down and gives the illusion of space,” she says of the black floors.

“You would think such a dark floor would close the room in but in fact it’s the opposite.”

She describes the interior’s style as coastal contemporary. 

While she was decorating, it was important to know when to stop, as a lot of designers think they have to keep going. 

Their house only has things in it that make the owners feel happy.

“The home was styled with carefully selected pieces - we wanted it to reflect a coastal lifestyle but in a subtle manner.

“Relaxed, minimal in appearance and playing on its great natural light from all angles was always what we kept in mind with the décor,” she says. 

The owner works in interior design, but this is the first house she’s really enjoyed decorating because she loved the house from the start. 

Charcoal, cream and blue are the coastal palette for the house.

Above her couch is a contemporary wooden screen that enhances the coastal feel. From a wholesaler called Papaya, the screen brings texture into the house without being too dramatic, she says.

A soft teal painting from art wholesaler La Grolla takes pride of place, its pallet echoing the colours of the swimming pool.

The most popular place in the house is the front room with the hanging screen. The previous owners had it set up as a television room, but this family moved the TV to the back room and created a retreat for the kids.

The owner loves to sit in the front room and reflect on the greenery in the front yard. This adaptable space in not just as a place of quiet contemplation, it’s perfect for entertaining friends and family.

The family doesn’t really miss having a TV in the living area. No TV means more conversations, she says.

Now that the floors and décor are done, the owners are happy to sit back and enjoy everyday life in their holiday-like home.

“Both of us have busy work schedules, so ensuring the house felt calm and uncluttered was always important,” she said. 

“More often than not we come home at the end of the day and comment on how it feels like a holiday villa - which has to be a good sign that we got it right.” 

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