After eight years and three home renovations in the centre of Byron Bay, Cheryl and James Kitchener made the move just south to quieter Suffolk Park with their children Indiana (7), Zalia (5), and Ember (1) in 2020.
The family had been driving past this 1980s home for years, recognising it as something quite different with plenty of potential. The previous owner had also built the home, and Cheryl and James could feel the love he’d put into the entire property.
‘It’s built around a courtyard with windows all connecting to outdoor spaces, which isn’t common around here, and why we fell in love with it,’ says Cheryl.
The home’s ‘retro vibes’ with original cedar beams became the inspiration for the renovation and extension encompassing a new kitchen, sunken lounge, outdoor bathroom, and two more bedrooms.
‘We used loads of timber, spotted gum panelling, cedar joinery, and natural stone tiles in the bathrooms to create a retro feel that felt timeless and warm,’ says Cheryl.
Communal areas open directly to the backyard (reminiscent of a tropical island resort!), complete with a new pool, mature palm trees, fire pit, built-in lounge, and other lush foliage. This outlook is Cheryl’s favourite element of the home, and a welcome contrast to the more sheltered interiors.
‘Being Canadian, I wanted a cosy, warm, cabin-like feel but also wanted the Australian connection to the outdoors that highlighted our tropical, private and lush courtyard gardens,’ she explains. ‘I love that I can see the kids easily and how much natural light the house gets.’
What a stunner!