Where coast meets country
After moving thousands of miles from the Whitsundays in Queensland to Bathurst in Central New South Wales, this ocean-loving couple have the best of both worlds in their resort-style home.
Clare and Steven Fields have bought 25 houses in 30 years, so they know a thing or two about what makes a great home. Their latest epitomises minimalist chic with ample storage and a fresh, light colour scheme to make the most of the northern light.
“I wanted to bring a bit of the Islands to Bathurst,” explains Clare, who planned the whole build while they were still in Queensland. The house is in a part of town that has long been renowned for its older, classic-style homes. But Clare and Steven wanted to build something different, something that would stand out and also fit their clean, modern aesthetic.
NO PROBLEM TOO BIG
The build wasn’t without its difficulties. The position of a hundred-year-old heritage-listed tree in the front garden meant the couple needed to accommodate its needs. “We were required to build the house around the drip lines of the tree. It did mean some jiggling of the plans, but it all worked out in the end, and it is a lovely tree,” Clare happily concedes.
Visitors are greeted by its magnificence just beyond the six-foot-high rendered walls at the entrance to the property. “A lot of homes in Queensland have walls like this out the front and we liked the look of it,” explains Clare. “It also ensures privacy as we’re located in a battleaxe block.”
Clare and Steven are used to solving problems so they jumped their hurdles quickly and easily. Designing the interior space was almost as simple. “To be honest, it’s not that easy to build a home remotely like we did,” laughs Clare. “But the trick is to have a builder you can communicate with.”
Warren Harvey Homes of Bathurst were able to interpret their plans from far away and kept in touch throughout the build. “They also said ‘yes’ a lot – which helps,” says Clare.
On entering the home, the sense of space and light is striking, enhanced as it is by the soft interior. With tone-on-tone neutrals, Clare and Steven have achieved a look that is clean and modern but very liveable. “I’d call it ‘resort style’,” explains Clare. “I like the modern lines, it’s a look that’s very popular in Queensland and I suppose we brought it back with us.”
LIGHT AND BRIGHT
The main living area is dominated by the kitchen with its lower cabinetry wrapped in a chocolate brown laminate, and topped with bright white benchtops and upper cabinets. The bench seats at the island are in the same range as the dining room chairs which Clare sourced from Freedom. “We went to Freedom one day with our paint finishes and carpets and told them the look we were after. They were able to help us pick a lot of pieces on the spot that were going to work well.”
The white lounge in the main living area isa comfy place to relax after a hard day and contrasts gently with the walls painted in Bristol Paints Canvas Cloth. A neutral hue, the soft colour allows furnishings and accessories to take centre stage.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Top decorating tip?
“Choose all your colours before you go shopping; otherwise you get too confused by all the choices!”
Favourite part of the house?
“The lounge, because I can look out to the garden and the bathroom and it reminds me of the island.”
“Our builder! A lot of builders kept saying no, but ours always said yes.”
“Working around the heritage-listed tree.”
STORY JENNIFER BIRCHALL
PHOTOGRAPHY & STYLING DIANA SMITH