Post-war cottage transformed in to chic family bungalow
IT was the big poinciana tree that caught Sangeeta Hunter’s attention when she first saw the post-war cottage that would become her family home.
She was sitting in her car across the road from the two-bedroom house at 28 Ormadale Rd, Yeronga imagining her then two-yard old son, Joshua, in the front yard.
“I could just see him swinging from the big, beautiful old tree in a tyre swing,” she said.
It perhaps was not surprising the sprawling branches of the poinciana made Mrs Hunter envision precious family moments, as the tree was planted by the original owners on the day their eldest daughter was born.
The Bournes built the house in 1955, raised their three daughters as the poinciana grew to shade the front yard, and handed the keys to the Rodney and Sangeeta Hunter in 2006, just two weeks before they welcomed their second son, Oscar, into the world.
Now, 13 years on, Mrs Hunter said her more treasured memories are of sitting on the front porch with her husband watching her sons play under the shade of that solid tree.
And while the poinciana has changed little in that time, the Hunters have transformed the tiny house into a light-filled, four-bedroom family home.
“When I first saw the house, it reminded me of Californian bungalow and I could really see potential in it,” Mrs Hunter said.
The Hunters extended and renovated the house across a three-year period, taking their time to ensure they had the budget to do the project justice.
“We lived in the house for a while and got a feel for it. And I started collecting a picture book of what I liked for inspiration,” Mrs Hunter said.
“We really wanted to make sure the connectivity between the old and new was happening. I think it’s quite seamless.”
The couple carried the timber floorboards from the original side of the house through into a new extensions and created a double-side fireplace from the original, ensuring it retained its role as centrepiece of the living areas.
“(Mrs Bourne) had three little girls and she used to dry their nappies next to that fireplace,” Mrs Hunter said.
Initially, the house was an L-shape with two bedrooms, a sunroom, a kitchen and a living area.
The Hunters began the transformation with the installation of an inground pool.
Next came an extension to one side of the house in 2015, which included a living room overlooking the front yard and an open-plan dining and kitchen area flowing out the poolside entertaining area.
The kitchen has a butler’s pantry with an underfloor wine cellar, and a door leading to a new powder room and laundry.
Mrs Hunter said they “punched through” either side of the original fireplace to connect the original home to the extensions.
The final stage of the renovation was the reconfiguration of the original part of the house, which now has a master suite where the original kitchen was, a modern family bathroom, two more bedrooms, a sleep out, a study and a formal living area.
Mrs Hunter said her favourite part of the home was the front porch with encaustic tiled floor and a view across the front yard.
“You can just sit there and watch the world go by,” she said.
“I also love the kitchen, it’s a great entertainer’s kitchen, and it’s lovely to nap in the living area on a Sunday afternoon as the sun sets.”
But despite loving every bit of the home, the Hunters have decided to move on to their next project.
Their home is on the market through Sharon Wilson and Kate Wilson of McGrath Annerley Yeronga.
“I’m hoping it goes to another family. I know they’ll have good times here,” Mrs Hunter said.
“It’s a great entertainment house and my kids have loved swinging that front gate open and coming home each day after school.”
RENO FACT CHECK
Time taken: Three years
Total spend: $350,000-$400,000
Builder: Keith Hunter — Life Space Builders
Architect: Dean Wiltshire — Wiltshire Stevens Architects