- Hopeful's yourtown Christmas Prize Home Review
Hopeful's yourtown Christmas Prize Home Review
YT #522 Review on Tallebudgera Valley:
Well, it is that time of year again where we look to the end of year's Christmas offering. This time we have something different. A house in the treechange suburb of Tallebudgera Valley. It has been about a year and a half since we last saw a Tallebudgera Valley home and what a home it is! A peaceful sprawling area that wafts bucolic bliss. As we conclude our Gold Coast/Border tour, let's look around at the treescape and creek backed offering during this Christmas season.
The general area:
Over the border from our last house is this year's Christmas home. In the lower end of the Gold Coast, we have excellent access to the airport, shops and things over the border. Further inland from the coast, heading for the hills is a viable option. Indeed, the region we are in is all about hills, trees and creeks. Your nearest source of shopping is Stockland at Burleigh Heads, which is where you'll be spending much of your time when you want to seek high civilisation. The hills are good for walking, the creeks for fishing and coast for swimming and more fishing. Since a lot of things on the coast are concentrated to a specific location you don't have to go too far for almost everything the coast has to offer. With Covid pretty much over, various activities are back with a vengeance. Particularly ones you would see at the Gold Coast Convention Centre. The major shopping complexes and airport are close, the rail network, hospitals and the golf is too (mini and regular). As usual, I've round up to the nearest 5 mins to account for real world traffic. So a '16 mins' trip would be listed as '20 mins'.
* 45 mins to Seaworld
* 40 mins to Cavill Ave (Surfers Paradise)
* 30 mins to Pacific Fair, Convention Centre and The Star Casino
* 25 mins to John Flynn Private Hospital
* 25 mins to Gold Coast Airport
* 25 mins to Currumbin Sanctuary
* 20 mins to Mudgeeraba Shops
* 20 mins to Robina Town Centre, train station & hospitals
* 20 mins to Bond University
* 20 mins to Tallebudgera Creek beach (Has red and yellow flags)
* 20 mins to Stockland Shopping centre at Burleigh Heads
* 20 mins to 'The Pines' shopping centre in Elanora
* 15 mins to David Fleay Wildlife Park
More specific local stuff:
The Tallebudgera Valley is a peaceful rural place, peppered with B&B's and tea places. The area is mostly really large properties that give you a lot of exercise just wandering around your land or doing tasks like feeding the chickens or tending the veggie patch.
Things you can do in the area are: Parks, cafes, the archery club & the golf course. You can also check out all the local stuff such as any car boot sales, markets and such. Local newsletters are great for finding out what is available. These can be found at various stores, cafes and supermarkets. Online versions of the newsletters are available most of the time as well. Lastly, the mouth of the creek and Burleigh Heads are popular and high value places to enjoy if you get the chance.
About the home:
Where to begin? This is a fantastic recently renovated Queenlander on a big piece of land that has a creek out the back, a studio, massive barn & even a cubby house. The trees are well established and the garden beds well designed. The home runs on its own water using 45,000 Litres over 2 tanks & has its own waste treatment system. As it is rainwater you'll be using, soft water showers await and you will be singing in the rain.
The stove is gas and I saw a gas bottle by the shed, I think it is pretty safe to say that this property is on bottled gas. Just adding to the buffered sustainability that the home provides. Further to that, there are a considerable number of solar panels (36) churning out 13KW of power. Given the state of things, more electricity generation is a good thing, and if you happen to make more than you can use, the credit can go towards paying for the gas bottle refills.
This home has a lot of space, so partying is a distinct possibility. This makes bin collection day (on a Wednesday) perfectly timed as it gives you 2 days of recovery after the weekend festivities are over. The fixed line version of the NBN hasn't quite got out this way just yet. It has a satellite uplink though. Till then, ADSL is available or possibly a mobile tower system with HFC being a possibility down the track.
As this is a renovation of an existing house, you can be assured that the 'things that need fixing' in a preexisting house have not just been looked at, but entirely replaced. Darren Palmer has done a marvellous job of restructuring this house. Combined with the furniture, he has somehow managed a fusion of contemporary design with a modern take on tudor revival.
The cathedral ceiling of the great hall (living room) combined with the old style fireplace, the high ceilings in other places, the long wooden dining table, the wooden panelling of the cupboards and the 4 poster beds two of the bedrooms. Finish it off with the small glass panels in the outer doors, the solid wood inner doors and the use of fire for cooking. All wrapped up in a fresh looking Queenslander exterior. A spectacular achievement! I could really feel the space standing in the living room. Actually, it was really evident on the first step into the front hall. Yourtown literally rolled out the red carpet on this one. I've not see them use one before.
There is certainly a lot to discuss here. Normally I tend to break the outside up into front and back, but here it just wraps around the home so well that it is just one large area with lots of features. The front of the property that the white picket fence that is quite classic. The well established trees out front grant a good deal of privacy too. The path from the front gate goes straight to the steps of the verandah via the ornate water feature that works really well with the whole aesthetic. The barn and studio are off to the right and set back from the house. The saltwater pool (9m x 4m), U-shaped fire pit area and the cubby house balance the other side really well.
I've always been a fan of a good fire pit. This one is surrounded on most sided by large stone blocks. There are some seats here too if you want to stare at the fire, but I just want to roast stuff on an industrial scale spit. Best bit about this is that since this is a rural area, most of the fire pit restrictions don't apply. The pool looks very inviting and formally laid out. The trees and hedge are just right for the layout.
Then there is the cubby house under the shade of a classic Australian native tree. I resisted the urge to go in, but I suspect it would suite a couple of young children or an adult sleeping off a night's drink.
The laterally minded might see the potential for an elaborate chicken coop. That isn't needed however, as there already is a coop hidden around the side of the barn, near the citrus trees.
The rest of the grounds are a large grassed area with strategically placed trees, some more lining the creek bank and of course the creek itself. There is plenty of potential for parties or if you're more commercially minded, a functions venue. It could be a good spot for the odd garden wedding or 'Melbourne Cup' day.
The Barn & Studio
Finishing off the outside of the property we have barn and the studio. The studio is a good sized room that might be used for painting, pottery, a sewing area or some other fine art.
Alternately it could be used as a gym, an office for a business, a recoding studio or just as a tranquil sitting spot to get away from all the tranquillity you're getting everywhere else on the property.
The barn however can be used for much less tranquil purposes. It is huge. Enough for 6 cars. So if you collect cars, you have a use already. Other uses could be for woodworking or metal working.
Perhaps for storage or to run a medium sized agricultural business. If we go back to the commercial mindset, it could work as a function room or even wedding/reception venue.
It isn't noted on Yourtown's floorplan, but the barn does have an upstairs loft as well. So you can store stuff like the Christmas tree up there.
Verandah & Entrance:
The verandah, something which defines a Queenslander, surrounds almost the entire house and offers 4 different sitting locations. While there are a couple of spots with just 2 seats, there are others like the alfresco out back or the outdoor dining in front where many can sit and eat. For me, the closer to the BBQ the better. The BBQ that is on the verandah is definitely a good one. Chilling fridge, sink, workspace, lots of dials and a hood. There is also space behind it on the grass for a nearby pizza oven which can be added later.
The entrance has a solid wood door with a handle right in the middle. Given the grassed area, the relaxed environment and this door, I half expected to be in 'the shire' ('Lord of the Rings' reference). The inviting entrance has a window and table to put your stuff on when you arrive. You immediately notice the lightness of the inside of the home from the lightly painted walls to the flooring.
This room is kind of like a cosy reception room meets old fashioned hearth. Soft chairs and couches huddle around a wood burning fireplace with a TV looking over it all from the side of the room. It seems like a great place to curl up on the couch with a book while enjoying the warmth from the fire. It is probably best to mention now that most rooms have access to the verandah, this room is no exception.
Its all about the cooking. But in this home, the cooking duty is spread out over four locations. Outside there is the BBQ which can fry and roast. The workbench inside with its sink can prepare the cold foods like salads, cold cuts & cheeses. The gas stove with wok holder and teppanyaki grill can fry, grill boil and bake. With multiple burners and ovens, you can cook up many things at once.
But that isn't the whole of it. Then there is the butler's pantry, more preparation space, another sink and still more oven options. You even have the wine storage here. It is possible to have 5 different roasts going, while boiling up the veggies, 2 people could be working on the cold food & another could be wok frying while grilling. You have the makings of a commercial kitchen. Oh, and the plant in the butler's pantry seems to be a variety of the fishbone fern (sp. 'plasticus fishboneii').
In addition to all this, the dishwasher, fridge and such are integrated so well that you'll have to go find them.
Dining Area & Alfresco
The dining area's whole purpose is to host the dining table. This table does the room justice. It is no secret that I love large natural wood tables and this is a fine specimen. Complemented well by the leather chairs the settings are ready for the Christmas spread. The ceiling lights above the table have a really nice look to them. They also look like they could be easy to decorate for special occasions.
Adjacent to the dining area is the Alfresco spot outside. It is very much the outdoor living room. Nice big couches with a sideboard table behind. A great spot to hopefully spot some wildlife. From what I could determine, there is a good deal of bird life here.
The living room is the central meeting place in every home. In the past it would be known as the great hall and all entertaining and major meals would be taken there. There would normally be a fireplace and the kitchen nearby. Things haven't really changed that much over the centuries. The living room has the cathedral ceiling, the rafters have been replaced with skylights though.
The gas fireplace at the end of the room isn't lime rendered stone but is still white and in the in the medieval bevelled style. The table in the centre is smaller, but it is a lovely wooden one. It will be a perfect spot for all to gather around on plush seats for Christmas. Add in some music from the big TV in the corner and you have the perfect atmosphere.
There is a plant in the other corner leading to more bedrooms. I've identified it as a 'no watering' plant (sp. 'plasticus bilobaii') it seems to be related to the 'ginko biloba', a native of China. I suspect this is from China too, but couldn't grab my reading glasses to find out for sure.
Bedrooms 4 & 5:
Bedroom 4 has a warm style to it and has the distinct advantage of opening out to the verandah where the outdoor dining table is. This means the occupant can make quick work of getting there once the BBQ breakfast is on the table. The wooden furniture works very well with the bedclothes and err… throw pillows.
Bedroom 5 has something a bit different in that it has a modern take on the wooden 4 poster bed. The bedcovers even keep with the theme as they appear to have a brocade sort of contrast. Light and dark contrast is the theme for the room as a whole. I did notice a bit of green in the corner, it was creeper style of plant (sp. 'plasticus droopyii').
For something a bit different, Yourtown decided to use large marble tiles for the shower and floor in this room. A great idea, as the larger the tile, the less grout to clean. The shower has both head types (hose and rain) so you can pick your showering experience. There is of course the toilet, mirror and the sink as well. The power point for this room is to the left of the bench. A pot of no watering greenery here in full flower (sp. 'plasticus blancheorchidii').
Boasting a lot of storage space, this room has a workbench with plenty of power points, a sink and Miele washer and dryer set. Access to natural light is always import in a laundry & this spot has plenty of it. With a large back yard, a long patio and a dryer, getting the washing dry should be very easy. Across to the other side of the house I go, to check out the bedrooms there
Bedroom 2 & 3:
Across the hall from the media room, I find a couple of bedrooms linked by a shared bathroom. Before I enter those,I do notice a powder room with sink. It is good to know that this is readily available without having to go through a bedroom when in need.
The first room I enter is Bedroom 3. It has another one of those 'bilobaii' plants in the corner. The room is furnished with warm earthy tones and craves someone to collapse on the bed. I barely managed to resist. It is a well lit spot as plenty of light comes in from the louvred windows. Stepping through the bathroom to the bedroom beyond, I entered bedroom 2. This room has a refreshing feel. Partly from the cool green colours used and partly from the big doors that open to the verandah. There is even more light coming into this room than the previous one.
Heading back to the bathroom I just went through, I took a look around. The light coloured tile and wood is a really good look. The room has dual sinks and mirrors, a shower with both rain and hose heads and a bath tub. The interesting part is the shelving that is positioned between them. It is a convenient place to keep the towels. I've never worked out how the door system works in shared bathrooms, I guess more research is required. Just before leaving, I took a quick look at the plant life (sp. 'plasticus fernwireii') and moved on towards the mudroom. The power points for this room are behind the mirrors.
This room is designed to act as a stopgap when coming inside from the garden. As the name suggests, it is to stop mud from getting into the rest of the home. It also stops the spread of invasive species. While I could not see any mud, the 'invasive species' was all too present….the dreaded throw pillows. Until now there haven't been too many, except in bedroom 4. Tenacious things, it seems 'lock down' didn't stop them entirely. I'll have to keep an eye on their numbers.
Master Bathroom & Balcony:
Everything changes when you enter the master bedroom. The style of the walls change to a more textured feel with rounded corners. A large walk in wardrobe flanks you on both sides. Further in, you have the wooden 4 poster bed with the panelled doors of more storage space. The ensuite is very spacious with both a bath and a shower. The shower has both types of heads and one of the corners in the shower is curved. Excellent addition for making the cleaning easier. The power points here are behind the mirrors here as well.
Both the bedroom and the ensuite have access to the private verandah that overlooks the back treeline and the creek beyond. Here you can sip a small brew and contemplate whether or not to to do something that day.
The last room we will look at is the mezzanine. This makes the house technically a 'two story home'. Here is where the internet for the home is set up. There is a long wooden bench style desk, some really great deep set windows and a couple of relaxing chairs. It also has a Mac computer. Not to worry though, using the gold that comes with the home, the winner can buy a new PC. LOL.
As it is a mezzanine that is above the kitchen, it has 3 extra benefits. Firstly, when dinner is ready, the cook can call out to the person upstairs easily. Secondly, if you are too lazy to come downstairs, you can bring the meal up by rope. Lastly, it is a perfect spot to perform a 'sock puppet' show for the children sitting at the kitchen workbench, 'dinner theatre' at its finest.
This home is open to the public from 10am – 4pm, Thursday to Sunday until 18 December. Come and take a look, it's worth the trip. It shows what a designer can do when they get to both structure the house as well as furnish it. Buy tickets...lots of them. An 'after viewing' trip to Burleigh Heads and lunch at a cafe by the beach can do one wonders.