The May FOCUS Home of the Month has been transformed by David Camilleri of Camilleri Homes … A top quality renovation, with a dramatically different before and after result. Chrissy Jones had the pleasure of viewing the home, aptly named “Hidden Gem”.
Clear communication and teamwork played a key role in the overall success of the project. It seems “do it right the first time” was the mantra for everyone involved, and this was achieved by David being on site each and every day to oversee his hand-picked tradesmen.
The nine month renovation has taken full advantage of its footprint. Additions on the ¾ acre block include a guest pavilion and carport space with secure storage. The exterior of the home has been given a new look, with the original tiled roof and bullnose verandah replaced by attractive and durable Colorbond roof sheeting and an attached skillion roofline on the extended verandah.
Entry to the home is via a stunning 1.3 m wide, Merbau pivot entry wave door, into the foyer. A doorway, once leading to a lounge area, has been filled in to create an artwork niche with recessed LED lighting. Cream Luna Durastone rectified porcelain tile, a multi-purpose tile with a variety of finishes, has been utilised throughout the living areas. Inside – a stylish matt finish, polished as a wall tile in the wet areas, and a brushed finished outdoors.
Left of the foyer is the home office. Shortened to accommodate a pantry in the kitchen beyond, it has purpose built cabinetry comprising a desk area with drawers either side, as well as a storage cupboard.
Previously a yellow and blue theme, the kitchen has been totally transformed. New Miele appliances, including a steam oven, pyrolytic moisture oven, induction 4 zone cooktop, gourmet warming drawer and a glass range-hood have all been incorporated into the cabinetry. Caesarstone bench-tops and Polytec Ashgrain door fronts enhance the work area, along with feature shelving, cupboards and wine storage in Cocoa Spruce. A walk-in pantry, easily accessible through an opaque glass sliding cavity door, adds to the storage along with the many soft close drawers in the main cabinetry. Velux skylights above the work area lets in an abundance of natural light.
Doubling as a breakfast bar, a large island bench with waterfall ends and pendant lighting above, has both a stainless steel double sink and an Asko dishwasher integrated. The island separates the kitchen from the living/dining area, whilst the bulkhead ceiling line does so from above. By raising the roof of the living/dining giving a raked ceiling line, plus the incorporation of highlight windows, a spacious feel has been created. All opens out through a twin set of triple stacker glass sliding doors to an outdoor alfresco.
Media Room/Guest Bedrooms/Laundry
New double cavity sliding door units lead you into a revamped media room with surround sound wiring and curtain bulkheads added, which also incorporate the new ducted air-conditioning system. The guest bedrooms, one of which has been reconfigured to make way for a larger master bedroom, have new built in robes and 100% loop pile Everest carpeting. A new laundry room, with external access, has wide bench-tops, overhead and under bench cabinetry with a space for the washing machine built-in, plus polished vertical tiling as a splashback behind the in-bench tub.
Beautifully fitted out, the guest bathroom is divided into three sections. The separate shower room has Tasmanian Walnut timber look tiling in the shower recess that is screened by a floor to ceiling glass shower blade. A purpose built Jarrah timber bench seat and wall shelving for towelling are provided.
A floating vanity has twin above bench hand basins, Tasmanian Walnut timber look tiling as the splash-back and a vanity mirror installed to ceiling height. The separate WC also provides easy access outside via an external doorway.
Master Bedroom/Ensuite/Private Courtyard
Evolving from Allan and Jan’s travels, the master suite is exquisite. Enlarged by the removal of a built-in wardrobe which was replaced with a custom designed his and hers walk-in robe, the master bedroom has been revitalised with new carpet, fresh paint and the replacement of a window with glass French doors with inset windows. Through the French doors you find a timber screened, glass roofed courtyard – a relax space for Allan and Jan in total privacy.
The ensuite is luxuriously appointed. Previously being the fourth bedroom, it has been transformed into an oasis.
A Clearwater Formosa free standing bath fitted with waterfall spout is perfectly positioned below window height, allowing unimpeded views through white shutters to the rear yard whilst enjoying the luxury of the deep bath.
A jade glass mosaic wall is a feature of the shower area and a beautiful contrast to the white floor to ceiling tiling.
As in the guest bathroom, a floating vanity with twin hand basins and a stainless steel heated towel rail add to the resort feel.
Alfresco Entertainment Area
Taking the renovation to the next level is the outdoor alfresco. Incorporating a fabulous outdoor kitchen, spending time outdoors or entertaining friends and family has now become an experience to embrace and a place where memories will be made.
Renovation work here was extensive; the existing meals and verandah areas were demolished, the floor itself lifted so the home is all on one level, enabling the indoors and outdoors to blend smoothly. The roof was altered to a high rake, allowing unimpeded views to the nearby reserve and tropical garden surrounds.
Estatuario Neolith bench-tops and Rhino ply cabinetry house the outdoor kitchens amenities, which include: Electrolux BBQ and range-hood, stainless steel square set sink, under bench combination Bosch microwave/convection oven, soft close drawers and storage cupboards. Jarrah timber seating, a rain curtain water feature, ceiling fans and downlighting all combine expertly.
Travel Link – Covered Walkway/Pool Pavilion
Step down from the alfresco onto the Blackbutt timber walkway, that leisurely takes you through the landscaped garden to the pool pavilion. The pavilion was originally built Balinese style; it has been transformed resort style!
The round posts have been encased in Blackbutt; the existing mixed hardwood flooring has been stripped back, sanded and recoated, rejuvenating the space. Thatched grass roofing has been replaced with Colorbond, and the metal pool fencing is no more, replaced with glass balustrade. To complete the pool pavilion, a powder coated artwork with LED strip lighting – “Pandanus Wetlands”, leads the eye from the travel link to the pavilion; it’s reminiscent of walking toward a sunset.
As the home was reduced from four bedrooms to three, a guest pavilion has been constructed separate to the main dwelling. The guest accomodation is very comfortable. Having a floating timber floor, it comprises an open plan kitchen/dining and bedroom with adjoining en-suite. A small courtyard gives guests a quiet spot to relax outdoors; the guest pavilion ticks all the boxes.
From the Builder
Tell us a bit more about you and what’s behind your success?
The feedback from clients suggests there are two things that set us apart: exceptional quality and attention to detail. My first employer taught me the importance of not just meeting, but exceeding expectations. Customer service and communication are equally important too.
Did the owners have any specific requirements when they first commissioned you to renovate their home?
The main requirements were to fully refurbish the interior of the home to a high quality finish, add a new outdoor alfresco area and link the home to the pool area. We reduced the house from a four bed to a three bed, but extra space was wanted, so a guest pavilion was added as well as a new carport with lockable storage. There were extensive, well established gardens that had to be preserved while building, and we transplanted numerous palms that were in the construction zone.
Did you have any major hurdles to over come during the renovation?
The travel link roof frame was particularly difficult and was an unusual structure. There was virtually no detail on plan other than size and position. We were given a single printout of a picture that the owner had seen online, and told that this was the look that they were after. We then went about designing the structure.
It was constructed from Blackbutt hardwood and had pre-lined metal roofing over the centre, covering the walkway. The new deck height had to match in with the existing concrete patio, which was transformed into the alfresco area. To achieve this, we had to excavate down to allow for a timber deck frame. We constructed a concrete trough along the entire length of the walkway, which kept the hardwood frame at the desired height and correct clearance from the ground, while providing adequate storm water drainage.
Quality finishes are obviously important to you …
Yes, these days quality is a word that is used very loosely by people who don’t have the skill or expertise to deliver it. I will not tolerate any shortcuts. Near enough is never good enough. You can’t rush a quality finish; quick and quality do not go together. We allow our trades the time they require to finish their job to our high quality standards, and we set realistic deadlines.
I hear you may be the neatest builder in Port Macquarie too?
We clean up every day to minimise the mess and inconvenience. For any project to run efficiently, a clean and tidy work environment is a must. Owners and contractors continually comment on how clean and tidy our sites are, which makes a safer work environment for everyone. It also allows everyone to do their jobs more efficiently and accurately. Our aim is to make the building or renovating journey as rewarding and enjoyable as possible. Going that extra mile is an important part of that approach.
How do we go about commissioning you to build for us? What is the process?
Give us a call. You can contact David on 0427 069 322 to arrange a meeting or an obligation-free quote. Additional information, images and testimonials are also available from our website: www.camillerihomes.com.au.
Thanks David and Kate.
From the Owners
You chose Camilleri Homes for your renovation project. How was it working with David and his team?
We first came across David’s work in a renovation project feature in FOCUS in 2012. From what we read, we knew David was someone to approach when we were ready for our own project to commence. For us, it was wonderful that David was available to commence just as we were finalising architectural plans and interior design work with design studio 22, Coffs Harbour.
David’s quote was thorough and after several pre-build meetings, we knew we had confidence that David could bring our home renovation vision to life. From the beginning to the end of the nine month project, David was on site, meticulously co-ordinating his building team and the various trades required to complete the job. He ensured the site was clean and unimpeded for a good work flow. We valued the regular communication from David during the process.
Did you have any specific requirements when you first decided to renovate?
We had “shared” this beautiful home with five wonderful sets of tenants over the time since we had bought it. Once we had completed our travels and work responsibilities we wanted to stamp our own mark and make the home something that reflected our tastes.
Raising the roof line in the living area to capture the natural bush setting behind was on our agenda. We also wanted to have a better link between the house and pool. This is where the beautiful covered walkway to the pool pavilion came into reality. David and his team were able to take a picture inspiration and turn it into a beautiful, functional reality.
From our travels we wanted to make our master bedroom and ensuite like a luxurious hotel suite. This required taking the space of a fourth bedroom/study. The solution to retain this fourth bedroom on the property was to build a self-contained one bedroom guest house in the front garden.
What are some of the design elements of your project that you love?
Redesigning the living space with high ceilings, Velux sky lights and large sliding doors to the exterior alfresco area has completely opened up the living area. This makes for an easy transition from inside to outside. Having an indoor and outdoor kitchen along one wall space creates a wonderful area for entertaining. With David’s foresight and experience along with Keena Kitchen’s expertise, they helped us to bring our inspirations to life, even creating custom pieces such as Jarrah seating beside the outdoor BBQ and waterfall feature. Through ongoing discussions, we incorporated a lot of David’s ideas with small changes to the plans along the way. This has definitely enhanced the quality of the finished project.
We reoriented the lounge/media room entry, which now has access via double cavity slide doors directly from the living space. This made a huge difference to the air flow across the home.
Our bathroom renovations have achieved exactly the purpose we envisaged. Our large ensuite has a luxe spa feel with feature mosaic tiles, large open shower and free standing bath. Our guest bathroom, accessed directly via the covered walkway from the pool, was designed to cater to visitors. The shower’s timber look floor and timber shelving and seating provide our guests with comfort and easy access to supplies they may need.
Would you recommend David to other prospective home builders/renovators?
We would have no hesitation in recommending David. His attention to detail was faultless and co-ordination of a handpicked crew of trades gave us peace of mind. We felt it was a good partnership in bringing our inspirations to reality. At all times David was honest and reliable, with the project running on time and on budget, which was very important to us. We are delighted with the transformation of our home.
Thank you Allan and Jan.
From the Architects.
Tell us about design studio 22 – what do you offer clients?
design studio 22 is a holistic design practice incorporating sustainable philosophies in Architectural, Interior, Landscape, and Graphic Design plus Access and Mobility Planning focusing on large residential, multi residential and commercial clients throughout New South Wales and Queensland.
Our philosophy is one of holistic eco friendly environmental design offering creative options.
Architecture defines your spatial, zoning and internal living or working spaces including passive solar and thermal comfort requirements.
Interior Design introduces colour, texture and fittings to enhance both the internal and external features of the design while adding an individual component to your home or business.
Disability Access Design + Planning focuses on architectural accessibility within the built environment relating to disability, safety and ageing issues, rehabilitation planning and design.
Landscape Design unifies your internal/external areas giving pleasant vistas, creating exterior living spaces and edible planting zones.
Graphic Design provides targeted marketing packages, logo and website design plus professional business branding to promote your business.
You were involved in the renovation of our featured home. Take us through that process.
Tony Ross, Building Designer/Director and Jayne Chudzik, Senior Interior Designer, were first inspired by the vision of these clients early in 2013. The dynamics between designers and clients was immediately apparent and the journey began for the transformation of this quality, yet dated home and grounds, into a modern coastal paradise and entertainers dream.
What were the specific requirements from the Owners that you needed to incorporate into the overall design of the renovation?
Updating master bedroom, walk in robe, ensuite, main bathroom, kitchen and outdoor entertaining areas were the main focus with comfortable separate accommodation to be created for use as a granny flat or accommodation for friends and family.
How did you achieve this?
design studio 22 took a holistic approach, working with the client to expand the priority areas by reappropriating and redefining the existing/available space. This included relocation of the study into the little used separate dining space, allowing the creation of a luxurious master suite with a sunny north facing courtyard; a separate lounge became a media room; the indoor meals space was used to expand the kitchen, enlarge the alfresco area and include an outdoor kitchen.
A delightful pool house/gazebo has been linked to the main house via a covered path accessing bathroom facilities from the pool area. The location of the granny flat/guest accommodation, totally separate to main house, has also enhanced the privacy on this rambling 2300 m² piece of paradise.
What was the full extent of design studio 22 services used for this project?
- Complete evaluation of the site and in depth consultation with the clients to ensure the spatial design and site was best utilised to meet their needs.
- Full interior design, selection and documentation service to enhance the design with colours and finishes which reflect the client’s vision for their home and ensure the client’s requirements were communicated accurately during construction.
- Submission and liaison through council to gain favourable development and construction approval for the complete project.
How does the renovation improve the quality of life for its occupants?
The owners have created their own resort style oasis which they can now enjoy and share with family and friends in the comfort of their own environment.