From Lake to spa

This family of five enjoys grandiose views of Lake Macquarie from their modern dream home with its very own spa oasis at the centre.

Dean and Belinda bought their first home in Speers Point in 2011 and spent ten years renovating and extending it to suit their family’s needs. “Essentially we re-built the entire home and lived on a construction site for years,” recalls Dean, who says that even with a growing family of now three young kids, the house offered enough space for everyone.

“However, we wanted a better flow, and to have a more sophisticated design and contemporary look,” he adds. “With our old home, we had to work with what was already there. But we had always wanted to build from scratch.”

When a property came on the market just a few blooks away, the couple decided to buy it. Although it was initially bought as an investment, they soon started planning a knock-down and rebuild with the clean, modern lines they both love.

A friend had referred them to Mark Lawler Architects and after their first meeting with Stephen Coon, they were so impressed, they didn’t seek out any other options. “He was so easy to work with and really understood what we wanted,” explains Belinda.

Even so, the couple took their time and spent 18 months tweaking and perfecting the design of their new family haven.

Stephen and the team from Mark Lawler were engaged for full scope services from the beginning to completion of the build. He said, “The design took advantage of the lake and mountain views and created internally focused spaces for family enjoyment. It’s a double storey home wrapped around a central outdoor area with a spa as the main feature.

“The street front façade has a strong, modern appearance and smooth rendered surfaces are complemented with striking timber battened features.

“Our involvement during construction, to act as the owner’s agent and undertake contract administration services, was just as important as the initial concept design stage to ensure the intended level of finish was achieved.”

Belinda says they debated whether to choose a spa or a plunge pool but went with a spa. “We thought it would get used more and also, a spa has a lid, which was an important safety consideration with young kids,” she shares. Another safety must-have was being able to see the kids playing around the spa from all angles in the home.

The couple also wanted a home that was future-proof. “We weren’t just building for the present we wanted a home our kids could grow up in and use as teenagers.

“That’s why we have all the kids’ bedrooms downstairs, with a second living area, a covered alfresco space with a barbecue and the spa all on the same level. They can have their friends over and have their birthday parties here when they are a little older.”

Windows towards the central spa area and glass balustrades in the staircase give the home a light and airy feel with the flooring carefully chosen not just to ground each space, but for durability and to add colour.

“I was very particular about the flooring,” Belinda admits. “This is not a coastal looking house, so I couldn’t go with lighter shades. But I didn’t want timbers with yellow or orange tones or anything too dark. I wanted a modern look with a bit of grain to hide any scratches that you might get with three children and two cats in the house.”

Upstairs, at the back, past a media room that currently doubles as their youngest son’s bedroom is the couple’s master suite with a spacious walk-in wardrobe and ensuite bathroom.

Stephen Coon from Mark Lawler Architects designed this charming family haven., (02) 4942 5222
Aluminium windows and doors were supplied by Bradnam’s Windows & Doors Newcastle,, (02) 4948 7038,
Kitchens for Living designer Justin Merry crafted the kitchen, the pantry and joinery in bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas., (02) 4967 7720

More about this beautiful home in the Winter Edition of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.

Story by Cornelia Schulze, photography by Murray McKean