WORDS: Laura Jackel

Guarded by Buttons the basset hound at the front door, this distinctive lemon-coloured Lambton home is a complete stunner. Renovated and designed by the very creative Joni-Amelia Trevaskis, this month’s House Perv gives out some serious ‘Hamptons chic’ vibes with its sophisticated blend of vintage and classic styles. 

Don’t be fooled by its luxe good looks however, as Joni’s hands-on approach combined with her keen eye for a bargain, will inspire you to pick up the power tools and get renovating!

IMAGES: Atelier Photography

Tell us about yourself and who lives in the home? 
I’m Joni-Amelia, a retail design manager for the Stockland group. I grew up in Sydney then spent many years in the Blue Mountains before moving to Newcastle. I live here with my partner Tim, a landscape enthusiast, and my two teenage sons.

What is your history with this gorgeous home? 
We originally rented this house for a couple of years while doing a bit of travel around the USA and Australia. In 2013 I was gazumped on an offer I made on a property in Hawks Nest, so I asked our landlord if he would be interested in selling this house to me.  It literally hadn’t been touched since the 1970s so it was all very basic, but I have been in the process of doing it up bit-by-bit since then. 

You were involved in almost every aspect of the home’s renovations – tell us a little about some of the projects you worked on. 
I like working with my hands and I also like to know how to do things myself. I would either educate myself on how to make something, or ask tradies to help me learn. I built the deck, the veranda screens and did most of the landscaping myself. The team at NHS in Lambton were super helpful during this renovation journey, always helping me to select the right amount of materials and cutting the timber to size to save on wastage. 
The renovation evolved slowly as I budgeted for each room or project before starting. I saved money by purchasing big ticket items like our exterior fence, interior shelving and our kitchen, second hand from online marketplace, Gumtree

How has your background in retail design helped to inform your style? 
I have always been interested in design as I first trained as an interior designer before studying architecture at the University of Newcastle. Working in retail has taught me a lot about the importance of good flow, storage and lighting in every space. One simple retail rule that I also adhere to is, ‘every wall must be dressed’. 

What do you love most about your home? 
Coming from the Blue Mountains to Newcastle, I have always felt the outdoor space and garden to be more important than the house itself. In fact, in spite of all the work I’ve done on the house, I love just sitting on the top veranda step watching the world go by while being warmed by the sun and watching the plants grow. I think I only did all the renovation work to keep me busy, and my creative mind working! 

What do you love most about the area you live in? 
We live pretty close to the boys’ high school, which makes it easy for them to get home and have mates over. I love Lambton park and swimming pool, especially in the summer and it is great to be within walking distance to Elder Street for all the cafes and shops. 

Do you have any advice for House Pervers who might want to be more involved in their own renovations? 
Getting to know your home before you renovate is a good idea. I lived in this house for a couple of years before starting the renovations, so I had time to consider what would work logistically and also things like where the light was best, or how we could best use each space. 

I think it’s great if home owners want to get more involved in the hands-on on side of renovating and I always encourage women to pick up power tools and try for themselves! Sometimes it is just about having the confidence. I would advise chatting to your builder before you start and only work with tradies who are happy to give you a little guidance and let you have a go.