Waterside haven

This Central Coast holiday home will sweep you off your feet. Yet the sweeping is done with such warmth, charm and character, it will also put a huge smile on your face.

A seven bedroom, five bathroom house with generous outdoor spaces, a courtyard entrance, multiple living areas, an infinity pool and direct access to the water is bound to be impressive by any measure. Yet this home is impressive and understated all at the same time. A custom built dream of a children’s playground is the first thing you see when walking through the front gate and that’s certainly not by accident. Homeowners Pam and Stephen wanted to create a place where the whole family could come together; a place that would be enjoyed as much by their two daughters and four grandchildren as it would be by the friends they love to entertain.

But while they imagined an entertainer’s dream with the perfect combination of communal spaces and privacy to put their guests at ease they also wanted a weekend retreat that wouldn’t feel empty if there was only the two of them. If there is such a thing as a sophisticated yet rustic beach house style then this is it to perfection. Pam and Stephen’s home oozes family living, lazy summer afternoons on the deck, relaxed barbecues with friends or cosy evenings in front of the fireplace. And it does so with such grace and style that every visitor instantly feels welcome and at home. Pam and Stephen had been looking for a holiday house for several years. They had been searching everywhere, from the Southern Highlands to Palm Beach. “We made offers on three other houses but luckily we were knocked back every time. They actually all ended up selling for less than our offer,” chuckles Stephen.

One day fate intervened. While reading the Sunday papers, Stephen noticed an ad for a plot of land in Wagstaffe. Not really knowing anything about the area, he started asking around. “As it happens, the guy who has the locker next to me at the golf club was a gentleman who had a holiday house in Wagstaffe that he shared with an architect. I asked them about the piece of land and they told me it was probably one of the best positions you could buy on the Central Coast. So we had a look and instantly fell in love. We ended up buying it within a week of first laying eyes upon it,” he says. But fate wasn’t quite done with them yet.

They ended up hiring Dennis Rabinowitz, the architect who shared the holiday home with Stephen’s golf buddy. What’s more, Daniel Syddall from Construct Central Coast who had built Dennis’ holiday home also built Pam and Stephen’s house. “We interviewed five different builders, but Dan was definitely our first choice,” says Stephen. “He has a great reputation for the quality of his work, but he is also such a nice guy and he really understood what we were after. We completely trust him and to this day he still has a key to the house.” “Both Dan and Dennis had to be very patient with us as we wanted to be across every detail of the design and build,” remarks Stephen. “It really was quite a journey and the plans changed significantly from where we began to the actual build We enjoyed the whole process so much, we are already planning our next project and will work with them both again.”

Read more in issue 94 of Hunter&Coastal Lifestyle Magazine.
Story by Cornelia Schulze, photography by Castle and Beatty and Mike Bell/Rawlife Photography