Homes of the HunterTerrigalPhotos

Homes of the Hunter | Steeped in style | Terrigal Pictures: Ashleigh Jane Photography

TweetFacebook Homes of the Hunter | Terrigal | PhotosLiving by the coast conjures images of lazy afternoon walks on the sand, weekends of sun and being by the water. It seems to offer a more laid-back approach to life than the often frenetic one we’re used to.

Looking for such a lifestyle change to suit their young family, Nigel and Kristie Szkut decided on a new build to accommodate their needs and dreams.

They bought land off the plan in the newly-developed Kings Estate in Terrigal a few years ago. It featured natural bushland and a slope that needed careful consideration.

The young couple approached Garry Oliver, director and design manager, and his team at Crighton Homes, in March 2015 to help design a home that would be comfortable on the block.

“Garry was so easy to deal with,” Nigel said. “They did what we asked without trying to change our minds.”

The couple put their design ideas on paper and sent them to Garry. He then turned it into a proper design.

“The land they had chosen had a slope of about 1:4.5, sloping from the rear to the front, reasonably steeply, but with the front of the land facing east towards the ocean,” Garry said.

“A glimpse of the ocean to the north-east was hoped for.”

But due to the incline, the preparations took some time.

“The process of developing the land took approximately 19 months before the land had settled,” he said.

In the design phase, Garry also had to keep in mind the slope in order to minimise the cut and fill. He also adheres to solar passive design principles that aim to use heating from the sun to drastically reduce energy costs.

“The driveway was designed first to minimise the gradient into the double garage,” he said.

This then “determined the lower floor level of a guest room with ensuite and home office”.

Plans were lodged with council just before Christmas 2016. With contracts signed by January 2017, building started.

As with most new residential estates, the land was subject to a coastal modern contemporary design theme.

Working within these parameters, the styling for the exterior of the home included skillion-style roofs and the use of different types of materials, such as James Hardie Newport cladding, stone, timber and Moroka-coated brickwork, which adds an extra layer of protection – perfect for coastal living.

Kristie was keen to emphasise the impact of the single stringer staircaseas a dramatic first impression on entering the house. And it worked. The American oak staircase is a striking feature as you enter through the solid front door, which uses the same timber, but stained a darker shade.

The multi-level home uses a split-level floor to accommodate the slope of the land.

On the first level is the master bedroom with open-plan private ensuite and Hollywood wardrobe – a true sanctuary. The deep tub for a delicious soak was supplied by Reece Plumbing and the west bathroom tiling was from Erina Tiles.

Also on this level is the main living areathat opens to a large north-east facing balcony, providing ocean vistas.

The floor then ascends one metre to the upper first level. It provides a connection, but manages to give the spaces “breathing room”.

On this third level is an open-plan kitchen, dining, family room, playroom, another three bedrooms, a store room, bathroom and powder room.

The sleek, easy-to-manoeuvre kitchen features a butler’s pantry, island bench with seating for four, Smeg gas stove and appliances, durable Caesarstone benchtops and mixed-colour cabinetry by Living Designer Kitchens.

The neutral Hamptons-esque palette running through the home ties in with the coastal theme, and is brought to life with pops of colour from vibrant green plants. The house is further brightened through the use of downlights, plus statement pendants from Quiklec Electrical.

Floating floorboards throughout the house inAmerican oak are sturdy and carpets used in the bedrooms and main living area add a sense of comfort.

The third level open-plan living area opens through sliding doors onto a covered, semi-enclosed tiled terrace area, perfect for dining, lounging and playing. With glass walls on two sides, it overlooks a sparkling in-ground swimming pool and cleverly landscaped backyard. The result is a tiered area that uses warm sandstone to create levels for a garden, for lawn and for the alfresco and pool zone.

The build took around 10 months to complete and the family are now enjoying that coastal vibe all year round.

“We’re really happy,” Nigel said. “It’s what we wanted and everything came up really well.”