We take a look at how renovation specialist Stephen Cox transformed his own family home.
WORDS Mina Phillips
Refresh Renovations specialist Stephen Cox knows a home with potential when he sees one. Such was the case with his own 1970s three-bedroom, one-bathroom property. While the house at first seemed old fashioned, Stephen knew the interior and exterior had the makings for a spacious and modern family home.
Outdoor renovation ideas
His first priority was to remove the “very old fashioned and impractical” concrete inground swimming pool from the front yard - to create more outdoor space. Stephen maintains that this is quite possibly the best decision he could have made throughout the project. The lawn was levelled, turf was laid and a welcoming open lawn area was created.
Around the lawn, new and refurbished retaining walls were built, keeping the planting scheme tidy and attractive. The garden update included “extensive planting of shrubs and trees - approximately 100 in total”, tells Stephen.
A new deck was built directly off of the back of the house, as part of Stephen’s plan to enhance the property’s indoor/outdoor flow.
Installing a bi-fold door
“We included a large bi-fold door from the house to the rear deck”, he explains - the bi-fold doors making it easy for indoor and outdoor spaces to blend into one. There is now a straight line from the interior kitchen, dining and lounge areas through to the outdoor living area. Quality, natural materials keep the outdoor spaces attractive and cohesive, while the shift in levels and colours between the deck and lawn creates different backyard sections, including a cosy outdoor lounge and BBQ space, which Stephen says were essential features within the overall design.
Last but not least, Stephen says sun protection was a large priority, given that the outdoor space was designed for summer entertaining. His solution? Two large, rotating and permanently fixed cantilever umbrellas.
Focusing on an all-round ideal home design meant that Stephen was able to focus on indoor/outdoor flow in more than just one area. Upstairs, a balcony now extends out from a newly renovated media room. Throughout the home, wide windows and skylights keep rooms feeling light and connected to the outdoors.
Stephen says the final touches included “painting the external areas to maintain the theme of the entire renovation, building timber privacy screening/fencing at the front of the house and installing paving.”
Weatherproofing was also an important step, with Rockcote Texture-Crete rendering being used to protect the home exterior against the sun and harsh weather.
Including the interior renovation work, the project took five months to complete for around $600,000.
“Landscaping was probably around $50k of this, including the pool removal”, notes Stephen.
Now enjoying the updated interior and exterior, Stephen says his favourite exterior features would have to be the “seamless indoor/outdoor flow, the rear deck and the easy access to the shaded, lawned rear yard.”
As an experienced renovation specialist with a background in building manufacturing and supply management, Stephen was able to make informed decisions while planning his renovation and landscaping project. He offers some key advice to anyone hoping to enhance the indoor/outdoor flow of their home in a similar way.
“Consider the aspect of the outdoor area and try to maximise winter sun as well as protect from the summer sun. Have the area close to the kitchen area of the home and consider lighting carefully, for both function and aesthetics.”
To find out more about the interior renovation for this project, see a Luxurious house extension of a family home in Terrigal, NSW.
Get in touch
If you would like to learn more about how you can improve the indoor/outdoor flow of your home, get in touch today to arrange a free consultation with your local Refresh Renovations specialist.