This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Tallebudgera Transformation

Homes

Michael and Carlene Duffy of Cedar & Suede are professional renovators. I’m not kidding – these two have appeared channel 9’s The Block, Reno Rumble and more recently, Ready Set Reno. But don’t hold that against them!

The husband-and-wife duo are passionate about creating beautiful spaces, and today we visit their own home – a labour of love purchased eight years ago, in Tallebudgera, in the Gold Coast hinterland.

25th October, 2017

Inside the Tallebudgera home of Michael and Carlene Duffy, and their children Paddy and Stella. The hallway is one of the family’s favourite spaces. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

The home heros bricks from PGH. The console is from the The Gold Coast Antique Centre, and the art photograph if of the Duffys’ beloved renovated caravan, Millie! Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Bench seat with fabric by These WallsPhoto – Mindi Cooke.

Master bedroom with forest green bedspread by Sheets on the Line, throw from Kip & Co, and art by Kara RosenlundPhoto – Mindi Cooke.

Bedroom details. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

White marble cloud mosaic tiles by National Tiles and hand-crafted rugs by DecorugPhoto – Mindi Cooke.

Bathroom with product by Abey. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

The shower screen frame is powder coated aluminium; ‘steel was cost prohibitive, but we couldn’t love it more,’ tells Carlene. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Inside the bathroom. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Bathroom details. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Bathroom details. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Master bedroom. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Paddy’s room. The handcrafted rug is from Decorug and the Ottoman Arro Home. ‘I couldn’t find a red and white ticking striped bedspread so I had one made for $50 by a local sewer,’ explains Carlene. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Another shot of Paddy’s room, featuring another art photograph of Millie the family caravan! Carlene picked up the vintage velvet blue chairs in the kids’ rooms from an RSPCA op shop! Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Stella’s room. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Details of Stella’s room. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Exterior looking through the breezeway to pool. Rugs and Black Mountain oak flooring by Decorug. ‘I’m in the process of installing curtains here for added softness and opulence,’ says Carlene. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Carlene and Michael Duffy, with their kids Paddy and Stella. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

‘Our beloved pool is in high use eight months of the year,’ tells Carlene. They were lucky that the mosaic tiles were in tact, and Michael poured concrete coping, before astro turf was rolled in for the cut outs as a lush, low maintenance solution. Photo – Mindi Cooke.

Lucy Feagins
Wednesday 25th October 2017

‘When it comes right down to it, there is nowhere else in the world we would rather be.’ – Carlene Duffy.

Michael and Carlene Duffy purchased this property in semi-rural Tallebudgera in 2009, and spent the first year chipping away at a very basic renovation, to make the place liveable. ‘What we bought was one-and-a-half acres of land, with a three level structure that wrapped around a pool,’ Carlene recalls. ‘It was very, very basic – no kitchen benches, no flooring etc,’ Carlene recalls. The ‘before’ pics are not for the faint hearted – have a look here!

Affectionately referred to as ‘Our Big Beautiful Money Pit’, Michael and Carlene’s home has been a labour of love for the past eight years.

‘Very little logic came into play when we purchased this property, it was all heart and lust… We knew then, as we know now, that as long as we’re patient and content to chip away at it ourselves over 10 years, it will be a hell of place to bring up kids and eventually worth it!’

Last year, the industrious pair finally tackled ‘stage two’ of their renovations, which was filmed as part of a TV show – Ready Set Reno, on 9Life. All up, this final phase took about 15 months.

A light-filled breezeway now connects the living area to the sleeping quarters at the other side of the house, enveloping the pool.

Carlene designed all the interiors herself, relishing the opportunity to design a long term home for her own family. Combining bold, robust texture and finishes, the interiors are fun and functional, featuring red brick, bold colour and refined details.

‘I’ve borrowed what I love from different styles to create a home that is true to us,’ Carlene explains. ‘The rough sawn timber cladding with moulding has a modern barn-like feel, and the white window frames provide a coastal influence’. Inside, Carlene wanted plenty of texture, so opted to clad internal walls in Easycraft V-Joint panels, in a nod to the traditional ‘Queenslander’ home.

The landscaping, too, has been carefully considered; the pair worked with landscape designer Dave Franklin on a Palm Springs-inspired outdoor area.

Though they have renovated countless properties over the past 10 years, this home was a particularly challenging project for Michael and Carlene because it was filmed for TV. ‘The show deadline meant there was little room for error. Once our reveal shoot was booked in, we had no choice but to get the house over the line in time!’ Carlene explains. ‘It was a mad dash race to the finish, but having that as motivation meant that we weren’t tempted to leave half complete. We had it landscaped and fully furnished, which made it so much more rewarding. Stressful but rewarding!’

View Comments

Similar Stories

Homes

A Contemporary Queenslander

A beautifully modernised, 1911 Queenslander, reimagined as a contemporary home for a young architect and his family.
Jo Hoban

Homes

Eco House Western Australia

A bright contemporary home in Perth designed with sustainability in mind and a considered array of intriguing materials.
Anna Flanders

Homes

Fitzroy North High House

An impressive North Fitzroy renovation turns inner city terrace living on its head.

This Week

On The Market

Permaculture Expert Ben Shaw's Gorgeous Geelong Home (+ Garden!) Hits The Market

A 1920s house with Geelong's best suburban garden (we're calling it!) created by permaculture expert Ben Shaw is up for sale.

On The Market

A Charming Victorian Cottage, Turned Contemporary Family Home (With Two Rooftop Terraces!)

A sleek renovation in one of Melbourne’s most coveted inner city locales revives this heritage home - and it's on the market!
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Street Artist Rone's First Book Is Released!

Read all about it – a new book chronicles the prolific Melbourne artist’s two decades on the Australian art scene.

Architecture

A Gloriously Verdant Inner-City Extension

BKK Architects design a contemporary addition around its luscious, sprawling garden for a pair of self-declared introverts in North Fitzroy....
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A Quirky, Contemporary Harbourside Penthouse, For Stylish Downsizers!

The Neutral Bay penthouse apartment of Tracy and Peter Fleming, renovated by their son Jono Fleming with Strutt Studios.

Modernist Australia

A Fond Farewell To Modernist Australia!

Going, going... GONE! We bid a sad adieu to Trish Callan, and look back at some highlights from Modernist Australia, the website that raised...
Sasha Gattermayr
  16 hours ago

Architecture

Go Inside Australia’s Most Incredible Architectural Homes - For A Great Cause!

To replace their annual fundraiser, The Robin Boyd Foundation launches Virtual Open House, offering the chance to video-tour through award-w...
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Seljak Brand Releases A New Wool Blanket Made From Recycled Jumpers

The pioneering Australian label releases a new recycled blanket spun from old woollen jumpers and garments.

Architecture

A Totally Transfixing Concrete Retreat

This contemporary family home in Kew by Architects EAT is totally secluded, yet bright, breezy and open!
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

Two Buildings + Two Courtyard Gardens = One Clever Inner City Home

This Fitzroy North house by Rob Kennon Architects turns the traditional house and backyard model on its head!
Amelia Barnes
  24 hours ago

News

Fab Face Masks Made By Women From Refugee Backgrounds In Melbourne

Second Stitch is a homewares and fashion enterprise offering training certificates and employment to women from refugee, migrant, and asylum...
Sasha Gattermayr
  14 hours ago

Shopping

A Sunny New Range Of Planters From Capra Designs

Capra Designs debuts a new collection of planters inspired by ancient Roman architecture.
Sasha Gattermayr

TDF Design Awards

Announcing Our 2020 The Design Files + Laminex Design Awards FINALISTS!

It's a big one today, people! From Architects, to Landscape Designers, Furniture Designers, Craft practitioners and more... say hello to the...

News

An Exhibition Weaving The Past, Present + Future Of First Nations Textiles

Distinguished textile artist Elisa Carmichael reimagines traditional weaving practices in today’s contemporary context.

Art

TDF Collect Presents 'Devotions' By Lucy Roleff

The much-anticipated debut solo show from the Melbourne realist painter is here!

Similar Stories

Homes

A Contemporary Queenslander

A beautifully modernised Queenslander – and a real family effort!
Jo Hoban

Homes

Eco House Western Australia

A bright contemporary home in Perth, designed with sustainability as a chief priority.
Anna Flanders

Homes

Fitzroy North High House

An impressive North Fitzroy renovation turns inner city terrace living on its head.