It would be difficult to find two more exacting clients than Daryl and Tara Hewitt of DJ Hewitt Builders. As the company owners, their expectations could not have been higher for their own home renovation. To add to the pressure, the Redcliffs property doubles as an appointment-only show home for their well-respected architectural building company.
DJ Hewitt Builders
Anna Scaife, Abode Magazine
Managing director Daryl has over 30 years’ experience in the construction industry, and wife Tara provides an interior design consultation service for their clients. Daryl says that a huge part of the company’s success has been driven by their own quality-focused team and the wider group of committed subtrades they work with.
The couple’s Redcliffs home nestles comfortably into the prime hill site and enjoys spectacular sea views. Daryl and Tara purchased the home with immediate plans to make changes and never stayed a night before embarking on the renovation.
Daryl says, “We were downsizing, so this is a more compact home for us. We wanted to make good use of the spaces, extend the garage as it was pretty small, and also enhance the outdoor living.”
Before the extensive alterations, the house comprised three bedrooms, including the master with ensuite, open plan kitchen and living, family bathroom, gym, laundry and study, plus a double garage. The outdoor living areas included wraparound timber decks.
Matt Jeffery of Johnston Architects explains what Tara and Daryl wanted to achieve with the renovation project.
“Our design brief for this project was for a comprehensive refresh of the existing residence. The new design was to have a particular focus on expanding the existing garage and creating an outdoor room that could be used year-round to take advantage of the broad coastal views,” says Matt.
Responding to Daryl and Tara’s desire for an all-year-round entertaining space, the piece de resistance is the outdoor glass room affording 360-degree views. The lightweight steel construction and board-marked in situ concrete are set off by the Glassforce automated rooflight that opens to reveal star-filled skies at night. It’s difficult to imagine a more idyllic spot to celebrate or relax with friends and family.
Matt says, “During our site analysis, we recognised that the south-eastern corner of the existing deck allowed for great views and sunlight throughout the year. By providing a direct connection to the kitchen, it became clear that this outdoor room, which includes a barbeque, was the perfect location for entertaining.”
Alongside the revamped outdoor living, the alterations included an extension to the existing garage, replacement decking and some glamorous new additions to the interior spaces. A study that sat adjacent to the generous main bedroom has been re-purposed as a spacious dressing room blessed with enviable storage, and the ensuite elegantly renovated with the addition of a make-up nook beautifully finished with built-in lighting and custom joinery.
The ensuite and family bathrooms provide a distinctive highlight, finished with large profile tiles in a neutral shade and offset by stone vanity tops and fluted timber cabinets. Gold bathroom fittings and the striking brass heated towel rail are the icing on the cake.
Also on the agenda was new kitchen joinery, including the combination of timber and cream joinery complemented by Neolith Amazonico splashbacks and gold fittings. The renovation also allowed the opportunity for the addition of home automation via touchscreen control.
A garage extension to offer more space made it necessary to revamp and pave the driveway as well as create and execute a new landscaping plan. Daryl says, “Texture Group did a great job with the landscaping. They designed the concrete stairway with each step individually poured by our team, and the palm tree – I often just stand out there and admire it.” The result is an all-new and improved look to the exterior spaces, complete with sheltered courtyard and spa pool.
Stunning workmanship and thoughtful selection of materials and finishes have resulted in a seamless enhancement to the already fabulous home, taking it to the next level of luxury paired with functionality. Daryl and Tara had plenty of ideas of their own and engaged award-winning interior designer Davinia Sutton of Detail by Davinia to bring their vision to life. “Davinia helped us to push our boundaries a bit with the interiors, and we love the results.”
“It was a pleasure to work alongside Daryl and Tara and develop their home into something really special,” says Davinia. “The kitchen now sits centre stage to an open plan living space, anchored with strong layers of form and materials, while the bathrooms are now refined and elegant, providing a perfect space to rejuvenate and restore. A renovation well executed with attention to detail, refined elegance and layers of sophistication.”
Commenting on the completed project, Matt from Johnston Architects says, “The renovation was completed to the highest specification, so the entire project is a delight and a testament to the client’s dedication to achieving the best possible result.”
The couple took up residence in May and say the house works extremely well for their lifestyle. The glass room has seen plenty of use even during the winter warmed by the outdoor heaters. Tara loves the courtyard and the beautifully decorated master suite. An unexpected highlight has been the artificial lawn, loved the most by puppy Wilson who runs out each morning to roll on his back.