The Great Ocean Reno: A seamless integration of modern coastal design with original '30s charm

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Building Designer
Hunting For George

When Lucy Glade-Wright, Designer at Hunting for George and her husband Jonno Rodd decided to renovate, their vision was to transform a 1930s weatherboard beach shack on The Great Ocean Road, Lorne Victoria, into a relaxed holiday haven with enough room to accommodate their family and friends.

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No strangers to renovations; not only did they artfully restore the home, but they added an impressive extension turning it into a five-bedroom, five-bathroom Beach House fit for purpose.

“We’ve renovated a few houses now, but this was definitely our biggest project,” said Lucy.

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According to Jonno, the exterior transformation of the build needed to reflect a modern coastal design that complemented the existing home and its environment. They also wanted to future-proof the home to make it more efficient.

“Part of the exterior design requirements from council were to preserve the look of the existing building. The top half of the exterior had somewhat flat panelling, while the lower half had standard weatherboards. So, to get a modern look with the softness and charm of the original home we used Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding on the upper level and Linea™ Weatherboards below, both by James Hardie,” said Jonno.

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Lucy and Jonno chose Hardie™ Fine Texture Cladding for the upper level of the Beach House because of its lightweight composition which makes the product incredibly easy to install and maintain. The bush setting and close proximity to the unforgiving elements of the ocean meant that the exterior finishes not only had to look amazing, but they also needed to be fit for purpose, low maintenance and durable.

Jonno explains, “We are in a BAL29 fire rating area, so it was very important to use materials that are resistant to fire and comply with the National Construction Code… The home is also close to the ocean and exposed to a lot of different weather conditions, so the main consideration for us in addition to fire ratings was longevity. Linea™ Weatherboards by James Hardie combines the durability and low maintenance of fibre cement with the design flexibility to achieve your vision. By using the Hardie™ exterior cladding products, we got the best of both worlds", he said.

Lucy’s background in interiors and design meant that the couple had a very clear idea on what they wanted in terms of the design and functionality of the house. They had an architect work on the basic drawings for council approval and added assurance they were adhering to the council’s guidelines. Beyond that, Jonno and Lucy managed the entire build themselves.

Jonno said, “The whole process was fairly straightforward, my brother works in construction management, so he helped me manage timelines as well as working on the tools with Lucy and I”.

Lucy painted most of the façade on her own and had just three days to paint the exterior before the scaffolding had to come down.

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"The Linea™ Weatherboards were fantastic to paint because they didn't require any prep-work; they come pre-primed, and all of the nail holes are hidden because the boards layer over each other. All I had to do was make sure they were clean, and I could paint straight over the top of them, saving me lots of valuable time,” Lucy explained.

"When it comes to creating a modern coastal colour palette it's all about fresh whites and classic greys, so we combined Tranquil Retreat Dulux Weathershield on both the Linea™ Weatherboards and Hardie™ Fine Texture CLadding and Natural White Dulux Aquanamel on the window frames", said Lucy.

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The project took 12 months to complete, and the end result is a seamless combination of modern coastal features and original charm.

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“We’re incredibly proud of how it all came together. I especially love the integration of the new addition to the existing home. Being able to walk through the house in its entirety and experience all the design elements coming together is very rewarding,” Jonno said.

Watch the full transformation below.

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