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Classic charm

Take a look inside this charming renovated property. Words: Tamara Simoneau & Cassandra Fenaughty. Photography: Leah Hermann and Cassandra Fenaughty

There was a lot to love about the heritage-inspired home Cassandra and Chris Fenaughty spotted during a house-hunting weekend two years ago.

Its classic facade and sprawling front yard on a quaint Buderim hillside cul-de-sac were hard to pass up, and a tired interior ripe for a DIY revival was right up their alley.

“It was a former rental home and it was really dark inside with a dated kitchen and bathroom, and nothing in the backyard,” says Mrs Fenaughty.

“We’ve renovated before, so we weren’t intimidated, and the possibilities really excited us.”

The Fenaughtys are both landscape architects, so they relished the blank canvas they had in the backyard and knew exactly what they wanted to create.

“We were after that quintessential Queensland indoor-outdoor flow to a pool and entertaining area off a main back deck,” Mrs Fenaughty says.

Inside it was all about flooding the main living areas and master bedroom with natural light.

“We achieved this by adding windows and doors, knocking walls out and adding a large double door to our bedroom that looks out to our beautiful pool area.”

It took two years of hard work and endless weekends on the tools to transform the home, and now the couple is looking forward to enjoying lazy days by the pool with family and friends as summer gets into full swing.

Front facade
The charming heritage exterior was given a classic update with a combination of Colorbond Surfmist on garage doors, gutters, fascias and the roof by Over the Top Roofing. The Fenaughtys chose the ever-popular Dulux Lexicon Quarter for doors, trims and balustrades and a custom colour has transformed the weatherboard. The garden was spruced with a mix of exotic and native tropicals for maximum street appeal and a row of Murraya (mock orange) has been planted below the front deck to create a verdant trim as it matures.

The Fenaughtys designed an open-plan living solution by combining two small living areas, removing an arched dividing wall and adding a large square awning window. The original timber floors needed a refresh, so the pair had them sanded and finished by local company Stfi with Bona Naturale in a matte finish. Walls and ceilings have been lightened and brightened with a coat of Dulux Lexicon Quarter.

The Fenaughtys wanted to enlarge and enliven the old bathroom, so they demolished a wall between the existing toilet and bathroom to create an open-plan and airy space. A piece of timber felled from their former property was cleverly repurposed as a new vanity with his and her sinks, and the Caroma Origin Bath from Harvey Norman Commercial is perfect for a long soak. Archistone tiles in beige from Jerry and the Tilemakers fit the home’s neutral palette.

A bland backyard has been given the ultimate makeover perfect for our long hot summers thanks to a Federation pool from Narellan Pools and a beautiful travertine stone surround. A frameless glass fence by Blitz Glass allows uninterrupted views to the surrounding gardens.

Dining and Kitchen
The old floorplan didn’t make sense with Mrs Fenaughty’s vision for a better indoor-outdoor flow so she took advantage of the raised floor and had the kitchen and dining area switched. The new dining zone has french doors that open onto the deck and pool and the new kitchen connects to the existing laundry, which is now a combined butler’s pantry, laundry and mudroom. Ackerman Barkle installed the new galley kitchen to her specifications, combining custom timber joinery finished in a matte teak stain, with Laminex Polar White doors and a pure white quartz benchtop.

Master bedroom
Chasing light and sense of space in their master bedroom that looks out to the leafy backyard, the couple installed a large timber sliding door that opens to a new covered verandah with a view to the pool. Mr Fenaughty reconditioned original Parker furniture pieces for the room with Cabots Stain and Varnish in Walnut. Mrs Fenaughty dyed and stretched the feature shibori wall hanging.

Cassandra Fenaughty has a Bachelor of Built Environment and a Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture. For more than 20 years she has been studying and designing residential, commercial, educational and public domain projects. She has recently launched a renovation design consultancy where she works with real estate agents and homeowners providing renovation design advice and designs photo-real concepts for interior rooms, home frontages and backyards. Visit

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