Cooks Hill

WORDS: Laura Jackel

From the beautiful original red brick frontage with its elegant sash windows, to the striking, light-filled timber extension; the Boyn family home is as warm and impressive as its six inhabitants. The seamless transition from old to new was envisioned by Geordie and Adrian from the moment they moved in and was bought to life by Vanessa Hedges of VMA, Newcastle and Winspace Constructions.

Be wowed by the space, the amber tones and the smart design of this timeless home as this month’s House Perv promises to leave you feeling inspired but utterly and devastatingly jealous.


IMAGES: Atelier Photography

Who lives in your home? Tell me a little about the Boyn family.
G: I’m Geordie Boyn a GP at Marketown Health and I live with my husband Adrian, an anaesthetist and our four children Harry (11), Rosie (9), Josh (7) and Tom (4). Adrian and I met when we were students in Sydney and we married in 2005 before relocating to Newcastle. We share a love of adventure in the great outdoors, both locally and overseas. We have just returned from an active family trip to Canada and last year we trekked for six days with all four children along the coast of Tasmania – an experience to remember!

Can you tell me a little of the history of your home and your vision for it?
G: As far as we know the original single-storey brick house was built in the 1920s but the original paperwork has unfortunately been misplaced. We purchased the house in 2012 when it had just three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It was renovated in 2001 and the previous owners added a long open plan lounge and dining area off the old kitchen. We were always going to do our own renovation as we are a big family and wanted more space. We knew Vanessa from personal connections and she immediately understood our vision for better flow, improved outdoor areas and an upstairs kids-only area. Demolition on the old two-car garage began in 2016 and we moved out for 11 months while the internal changes were made. We moved back in 2017 and we just love it!

Vanessa, can you tell us a little about the design brief from Geordie and Adrian?
V: With four children, more space was definitely high on the agenda and it needed to be flexible so it could change and adapt as the kids grew up. We created four additional bedrooms upstairs as well as a bathroom, reading nook and kids’ ‘den’ in the attic that was originally just going to be a storage area. Geordie and Adrian didn’t want to sacrifice the garden as they love the outdoors, so by removing the old double garage and long driveway, and replacing it with a grassed area along the side of the extension, it felt as if we unlocked the potential in the garden. The old grass became the pool and the covered entertaining area, otherwise known as a loggia which I am personally very pleased with.

In terms of the overall look, Geordie and Adrian didn’t want anything that was too trendy, they wanted a classic, timeless style that blended well with the home’s heritage beginnings. The warm tones of the teak timber used to create the rear extension works perfectly with the red brick and feels very much like a modern take on its original design.

The orientation of the extension maximised light but also allowed for sea breezes to flow through. The timber fins were not just for aesthetic purposes either, they provide shade in summer and yet still allow the sun in during the cooler months.

What do you love most about the home?
G: There is a lot to love about our beautiful home. I feel spoilt by all of the space we now have and I love how light and temperate the house feels through the changing seasons. I’m very pleased with all the storage, especially the shoe storage drawers! I love the reading nook at the top of the stairs and I adore the warm look of the timber.

What do you love most about the location?
G: We are in the perfect location halfway between The Junction and Darby Street so it is great for getting to school or to work or for going shopping. Every Sunday we have a family tradition of running and cycling from our home to Nobby’s Breakwall and back via one of our favourite cafes on Darby Street for breakfast and coffee. I love the community feel here in Cooks Hill and that I am guaranteed to bump into someone I know whilst out for a ride or a walk with the family, it’s a fantastic suburb to raise children in.