Laura & Mitch

In our January #HousePerv we visit the Newcastle suburb of New Lambton where we take a look inside this newly renovated cottage. Welcome to the fabulous home of Mitch, Laura, William and Oscar.

Laura is an architectural graduate and modern-day superwoman, and Mitch, a very clever network engineer and renovator. They purchased this little cottage, situated on a big block of land, 18 months ago after falling in love with it. Despite its size, the dwelling featured plenty of opportunity to create and transform and it wasn’t long before Laura and Mitch started re-designing and building before moving in to their stunning new home six months ago.

Laura’s superwoman description barely does her justice. Not only did she completely design the entire renovation, she built most of it herself! Laura laid the floorboards, drop-saw and all, and purchased all the kitchen cabinetry from the joiner and assembled it along with Mitch.  One night she also whipped up the bookshelf in the second living room with leftover flooring – now that’s super impressive! 

One of my absolute favourite features is the rounded wall leading into the office which also backs onto the master bedroom ensuite. The office was designed with an open walk through which is wonderfully suited to both Mitch and Laura working from home much of the time, and is a genius idea for a growing family.

Come take a peek and enjoy!

IMAGES: CAITLIN SCHOKKER

Where did you draw your inspiration from?
L: I had a pretty clear idea of what we were going to do when we bought the cottage. It's not a new thing to juxtapose old with new, it just fits. All of the planning was derived from the site. The block is very long and narrow, so we broke up the internal spaces with a wraparound deck and glass louvres to get the northern light right inside the house which works really well. The curved brick wall was just a gentle way to introduce the addition and was also a very affordable feature. 

What do you love most about living in New Lambton?
L: It's such a beautiful spot. We wanted more space than we had in Hamilton, but to stay as central as possible. 

M: A change of pace from Hamilton, while still being close enough to Newcastle’s CBD. Plenty of parks for the little fellas to explore and a couple of good spots for coffee, especially since Gill from our old Hamilton haunt has opened Barista Miss nearby.

Where are you both originally from?
L: I grew up in Tamworth and moved to Lake Macquarie with my family during high school. We met when I was in Year 12. 

M: I started out in Newport on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and moved to Valentine at Lake Macquarie during my primary school years.

What is your best design/renovation tip?
L: Design specifically for your site. If you know what you like, try and source things yourself. Also check if you qualify for a CDC (Complying Development Certificate). We received design approval in six days because I kept within the constraints of the exempt and complying State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). It saved us valuable time and money.