An Artist’s Spanish Mission Home In Newcastle

Artist Annie Everingham and Mode Hire owner Chris were immediately taken when they first saw this home — a rare Spanish Mission-style house in Newcastle, New South Wales. 

The home was serendipitously for sale when the couple were looking to buy 12 months later, and the rest is history! 

Annie and Chris worked with building designer Murray James to rework the existing home, opening the rear to the backyard, without extending. 

The completed home feels like a little slice of California… in suburban Newcastle! 

Lucy Feagins
Supported by Dulux

Annie’s family home in Waratah, NSW. Photo – Candice Carlin

Annie Everingham, her husband Chris, and their one-year-old son, Augie. Chris and Annie also own and run a property styling business, Mode. Photo – Candice Carlin

Mediterranean meets tropical paradise! The original cactus and established desert trees alongside tropical palms and bougainvillea decorate the all white exterior and arched windows of the Spanish Mission bungalow home. Photo – Candice Carlin

Inside the kitchen, which the family have refreshed by removing an old arched window and repurposing it onto the new wall above the kitchen sink, opening out to the pool and surrounding deck. Photo – Candice Carlin

Artwork by Stanislas Piechaczek. Coffee machine by Smeg. Splashback tiles by Academy tiles. Caesarstone ‘Primordia’ concrete look bench top. Photo – Candice Carlin

Front sunroom reproduction floor tiles from Jatana Interiors. Artwork by Nicole Nelius. Tully Round Dining Table by Globe West. Marvin Dng Chair White Leather by MRD Home. Photo – Candice Carlin

The home’s features original arches and spiral details on the front porch. Vintage encaustic tiles sourced from Jatana Interiors. Photo – Candice Carlin

Painting by Annie Everingham. Various cushions by Bonnie & Neil. Rug by Tribe Home. Amara Round Leg Coffee Table and Tully Side Table by Globe West. Floor lamp by Milk & Sugar. Photo – Candice Carlin

Dining room original fireplace featuring artwork by Annie. Photo – Candice Carlin

Painting by Annie Everingham. Various cushions by Bonnie & Neil. Rug by Tribe Home. Amara Round Leg Coffee Table and Tully Side Table by Globe West. Floor lamp by Milk & Sugar. Photo – Candice Carlin

Sunroom and Annie’s home studio. All artwork by Annie. Photo – Candice Carlin

Original arched windows ensure the studio is filled with sunlight! Reproduction tiles by Jatana Interiors. Photo – Candice Carlin

‘I love how serene and calming our home is, it feels like a world away from the busyness of life and has so many beautiful and unexpected little nooks and features. It’s truly one of a kind and we’re really proud to be a part of its story,’ Annie says. Photo – Candice Carlin

Artworks clockwise from left: Prudence Caroline, Loralee Jade, Giorgia Bel. Lamps left to right: Iris Lamp by McMullin & Co, Adairs. Marley Bedside tables by Globe West. Bedhead and valance by Create Estate. Bedding by Bed Threads and Sage & Clare. Photo – Candice Carlin

The recently completed plunge pool and surrounding deck created with Dip Plunge Pools and Tallowood Landscapes. Photo – Candice Carlin

Spotted gum timber decking with travertine around the plunge pool. Outdoor umbrella by HK Living. Vintage rug bought in Morocco.

Lucy Feagins
10th of August 2022

It was a walk home from the hairdresser that led artist Annie Everingham to discover her future family home in Waratah, Newcastle.

‘I walked past this particular house, and instantly fell in love with it,’ she says. ‘I scurried home and told [my husband] Chris all about it and made him drive me back past to show him. He loved it too, and we both agreed that it would be a beautiful house to buy and renovate if we were ever so lucky to come across it up for sale.’

12 months (and one intense auction) later, the home was theirs! 

Annie and Chris were attracted to this house for its Spanish Mission-style features including beautiful arches, ornate ceilings, and original timber floors. There’s an inherent character to the property reflective of its history and many previous owners — one of whom lives right around the corner!

‘When we moved in, our neighbours over the back fence came to introduce themselves and told us they had owned the house in the ‘80s and ‘90s… They had a printed history of all the previous owners and photos.’

Thanks to these previous owners, Annie and Chris know many historic details about their home typically lost to time. ‘It was a Spanish Mission bungalow built during the great depression in the 1930s by a talented and out of work builder, who handmade all the bricks himself,’ says Annie. 

‘Newcastle is historically a working class city, and most of the homes here were predominantly miners cottages and weatherboard homes, so the style of the house is unusual for the area.’

Ater moving into the home in 2018, Annie and Chris painted all the walls and updated the outdoor areas. They demolished the existing concrete and brown brick surfaces and installed a new patio, fresh turf, and tropical plants around an existing cactus garden.

More extensive renovations commenced when the pandemic hit and the couple were expecting their first child. ‘We discovered Augie was on his way and Chris sprung into ultimate nesting mode (fast forwarding our ‘down the track’ plans), and before we knew it we had a major renovation underway and a very tight timeframe to get it all done before the baby arrived!’ says Annie.

The couple worked with building designer Murray James to redesign the entire back section of their house. What was a pokey floor plan encompassing a small ‘landlocked’ bathroom, dead space, and asbestos became a functional domain opening to the outdoors.

In the original rooms of the house, Annie re-stained the timber floors a dark Japanese brown. ‘Everyone (including the floor sander and the participants of an Instagram poll!) tried to talk me out of it, but it was a risk that paid off,’ she says. ‘It’s one of my favourite features and I think it pays homage to the grandeur and quirkiness of the house.’

‘New’ features to the front exterior match the character of the original architecture, including the antique patterned tiles on the front porch, sourced from Jatana Tiles

The interiors are deliberately neutral to allow Annie’s ‘stuff’ to speak, including a growing collection of original artworks by local Australian artists Stanislas Piechaczek, Nicole Nelius, Prudence Caroline, Loralee Jade, and Giorgia Bel.

The most recent addition to the property is the backyard plunge pool facilitating a ‘holiday retreat’ feel. ‘We still have some landscaping to do (the pool was literally being finished the week these photographs were taken) but it’s really completed our vision,’ says Annie.

Last but not least is the home’s location in Newcastle, that Annie describes as the perfect mix of city and surf. ‘Newcastle as a city is just constantly on the up and up… There’s lots of creative people making stuff happen here.’

The family home is a serene and calming place with plenty of cosy spots to escape the everyday. Annie says, ‘It’s truly one of a kind, and we’re really proud to be a part of its story.’

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