A Half-Demolished Structure Becomes a Fresh, Modern Home

It is not every day that a design-build team has to be their own customer. However, when Nathan and Bettina Waller, who oversee the Sydney-based residential renovations company Capital Building, found a half-demolished structure in the eastern suburb of South Coogee, they chose to remodel it for themselves. Drawing on twenty years of experience, they built a fresh new house with a modern edge.

in a Glance
Who lives here:
Nathan and Bettina Waller and their two sons, Jesse and Remy
Location: South Coogee, Sydney, Australia
Size: 3,552 square feet; 4 bedrooms, 31/2 baths
Completed: 2012

Before Photo

A previous owner appeared to have made some attempt to reconstruct the original 1970s home, but when the Wallers found it, the structure was partly demolished.

After they took over the site, they adopted the approved renovation plans in order that they could proceed quickly using their very own renovation.

Capital Building

AFTER: The final product is a multi-tiered house that suits the nature of its suburban surroundings, maximizing natural light using myriad windows and displaying a crisp, modern aesthetic.

“When we were considering the design, we desired to discover the perfect balance of modern, neutral, eclectic and industrial,” Bettina says. “This blend gives enough modern to feel modern; it’s neutral enough to feel serene and does not compete for attention; the feel grounds that the feel back to nature; and the industrial component makes it feel as if you’re able to live in it and not be scared to spoil it.”

Capital Building

Inside the home, the team used a palette and timber to help deliver a soothing texture. “You really feel like time could stand still in the home, along with the manic pace of life outside does not come in,” says Bettina.

The entry opens into an airy reclaimed wood staircase, which leads around the bedrooms or down to the living area. The Wallers made the custom made front door having a typical solid core door offset by a jigsaw arrangement of wood in varying depth on the outer side.

Capital Building

The industrial-inspired kitchen combines a wood island using a timber bartop produced from a utility pole. The countertop is dark stone that is composite. Parisian-style metallic light fixtures hang above.

Countertop: Essastone in French Black

Capital Building

The dining room continues the glossy appearance of the kitchen. A local carpenter built the dining table with parts of an old fence. Basic light fixtures in multiples help frame the scene. The area opens to a deck area with a basketball goal.

White chairs: OzDesign; upholstered chairs: Curio Design

Capital Building

The Wallers had two patterned rugs sewn together because one was too small for the living area. Ethanol is burnt by the fireplace. “They do not create an enormous amount of warmth but do produce a beautiful gentle heat,” says Nathan. “Plus, there’s no smoke, so no mess”

Sofa: Sofa Studio; chairs: custom upholstered with Par Avion cloth from Warwick Fabrics; rug: Italtex

Capital Building

Simplicity affected the toilet layout. A Engineered wood vanity complements wood floors and natural textures. “This half bathroom is among my favorites because we have managed to make a space that is functional but does not feel like a normal guest powder room,” says Bettina. “It seems just like a different designed space that conveys our style”

Capital Building

The soothing main bedroom features a laminate wood floor that extends to make a backdrop and headboard. A blade wall conceals a small hall that leads to a walk-in closet and main bathroom. “We call this space ‘the cloud’ as you really feel as if you’re up among the clouds,” says Bettina. A custom-made floating mattress pushes this effect.

Industrial elements like thick cement lighting fixtures blend with softer ones like a cream-colored shag rug. To the other side, a faux fireplace made out of MDF commercial timber painted white holds a bundle of driftwood purchased online.

The ceiling falls to fit the reverse-cycle air conditioning, positioned above to assist mirror the placement of the mattress.

Lights: Curio Design

Capital Building

This bathroom incorporates a recycled wood dressing table plus wood-style wall tiles, giving the effect of bringing the mountains into the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney.

“Taking what would normally be a cold, slick area, we actually wanted to maintain that earthy textured texture but not make it too thick,” Bettina says.

The counter includes a water-based stain and water-based clear conclusion.

Capital Building

The home’s unique pool filled the whole backyard area. The Wallers demolished half the pool and created a new one using a more modern form. This freed up area where the kids could run around on bud. Glass partitions keep the kids safe. Nearby, there’s a large built-in barbecue and outside lounge area.

“Today we have created spaces that join with inner rooms to make each space feel larger,” Bettina says. “All of the outside areas have a purpose; they all connect with each other and each family member of any age and stage is catered for. Among the most common comments we hear when people come in is, ‘It seems like a hotel’ “

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