close

BIG BACKYARD: LIVING MODERN IN THE COUNTRY

BIG BACKYARD: LIVING MODERN IN THE COUNTRY

JB0211061

FOR MOST PEOPLE the dream of a move to the country usually revolves around a quaint old farmhouse with plenty of old-world, rustic charm. Not so for the Edwards family who left their inner city weatherboard cottage for the coast a decade ago.

Many years spent building architect-designed properties in the city gave Glenn Edwards, a carpenter and wife Mira, who worked in industrial and commercial property, an appreciation for clean lines and contemporary style. “We wanted to build our own modern, minimalist dream home but wanted a different backdrop than the crowded suburbs,” says Mira. “We wanted a huge backyard and views, too.”

Glenn and Mira and their two children, Bianca and Oscar had holidayed many times on the coast of New South Wales and the township of Berry was top on their list of tree-change possibilities.  At under two hours drive from the city, the historic village, surrounded by rolling green hills and mountains fit all their criteria including being close to the beach so Glenn could still surf.

JB0211009

JB0211015

JB0211023

Initially they bought a house right in the centre of Berry while they waited for just the right acreage property to come on the market. “We eventually found it, five acres just to the south of Berry at Jaspers Brush, “ Mira remembers. “It was just perfect for us as it had established trees and great views and we especially loved the road leading up the hill through the fields of grazing cattle.”

The property, made up of roughly half bush and half paddocks, is near the end of the road nestled under steep, bushy escarpment, looking out to the ocean in the distance. “There is just enough land to keep Glenn challenged, room for the kids and dogs to run wild and for me to enjoy the privacy,” says Mira.

It had an old house in which they lived for five years. “This gave us plenty of time to get a feel for the best aspects of the site,” says Glenn, who also works as a professional fire fighter. “The house was oriented badly – the shed was on the sunny corner and hid some of the best views.”

JB0211040

 

“We wanted to build our own modern, minimalist dream home but wanted a different backdrop than the crowded suburbs.”

JB0211018

JB0211017

JB0211051

For Glenn, building in the country had its own set of challenges. “Whenever we poured concrete, either our dogs or a wombat would walk in it,” he recalls. “Wombats would leave their calling card at night to let you know that you’d ventured onto their turf, to remind you who’s boss.”

Mira, who had been collecting modern designer furniture for many years in anticipation, was in charge of the design and project management.

Armed with a large collection of magazines for inspiration she worked through a well-honed wish list that included an indulgent master bedroom wing with walk-in robe, a sleek kitchen with a generous array of appliances, an oversized laundry with plenty of storage and a large central fireplace made from stone.

“My dressing room is the envy of all my girlfriends,” laughs Mira. “Glen wondered why I needed so much space, but here in the country space is not so much of an issue, so I thought, why not?”

JB0211042

JB0211013

JB0211029

JB0211008

The northern wing of the house, overlooking the pool is for the children and guests and was the first stage to be built. It consisted of a second lounge room where the boys watch football and Bianca and Oscar entertain their friends plus a guest bedroom and office.

The main living area is in the middle of the house and huge commercial glass doors open right back onto a large covered terrace. Instead of the usual outdoor furniture, Mira had an old fifties lounge suite recovered. “This is the first place people gravitate to when we entertain.”

Mira has combined custom made furniture like the long dining table with industrial steel legs, with twentieth century design classics such as a bright red Egg Chair and Eames-style dining chairs. Relief from the neutral backdrop comes from pops of colour from vintage posters, accessories and the seventies “Spork” pool recliners she painted bright yellow.

JB0211003

JB0211014

JB0211001

JB0211012

The southern wing is a separate area for Mira and Glenn’s “hotel style” retreat, including the dressing room, a large ensuite bathroom and media room. “We wanted every room to have a view.” Mira says. “It was important for all of us to enjoy the house.”

“The pool is the major focal point of the house and was the first thing built.” Glenn adds. “We could use the pool before the house was built so it was nice to have some luxury whilst living through the chaos of a major renovation.”

The whole process took over two years. “Now that its done, we love it. “” says Mira. “People always ask us ‘what’s next?’ but we are really enjoying doing one thing at a time now and spending time with the kids who are busier than ever now they are teenagers. “

The bright lights of the city still have an attraction, though. “We are constantly popping up to Sydney for shows, work and shopping of course, but love coming back to our big backyard.

JB0211032

WORDS

CATHERINE SHIELDS

VIEW MORE FROM CATHERINE

PHOTOGRAPHY

CONTENT AGENCY

VIEW MORE FROM CONTENT

Content Agency syndicates media content worldwide. Content offers images and feature stories by a handpicked pool of photographers, stylists and writers. Content's credo is simple: it only trades in the best. www.content-agency.com

Keep up-to-date
Get the latest content first.
We won't share your email address and we won’t bombard you with news … we'll drop you an occasional line when we have a special story to tell.
Keep up-to-date
Get the latest content first
We respect your privacy and we won’t bombard you with news … just drop you an occasional line when we have something special to share.