WORDS: Laura Jackel

The high ceilings and oversized windows of this beautiful home in Charlestown make the most of its bush location, which was absolutely the intention of owners Lorey and Josh. With their gorgeous daughters Jordyn and Ryan and Staffordshire Terrier Roy, Lorey and Josh have created a happy family home that’s a perfect fit for their lifestyle. 

The subtle yet stunning white and timber palette throughout acts as the ultimate backdrop to Lorey’s abundant collection of indoor plants and foliage. This month’s stylish House Perv is a real homage to nature; showcasing the Thomas family’s success at creating outdoor/indoor flow perfection. 


IMAGES: Atelier Photography

Tell us a little bit about who lives in your home? 
L: Our crazy little family of four includes me, my husband Josh, our two daughters; two-year-old Jordyn, five-month-old Ryan, and our Staffordshire Terrier Roy! Josh and I own and run a retail flooring business in Gateshead; JT Flooring Warehouse; supplying and installing carpets, vinyls, laminates and more in homes across the Hunter. Josh and the boys are on the tools and I take care of the admin and sales side of the business. 

What is your story so far with this house, any renovation tales to tell? 
L: This is our second renovation as when we first bought the house back in 2011, we completed a small renovation to simply modernise it. Six years later, we knew the house wasn’t going to suit our growing family, so off came the roof and the walls and we part demolished what we had previously renovated and went for round two. 

This time however we planned and planned. We spent 18 months going back and forth with Murray James our architect, before we submitted anything to council. We made sure every single decision had a purpose before we both agreed on it. Most afternoons we would come by the build to see the progress; I would get Josh to lay pieces of timber out on the new framed areas to show me where the bed would sit, where the vanity would be, the position of the shower etc. I am extremely visual so I had a hard time visualising the space from its paper plan. 

Both Murray James and our builder Danny Smith were wonderful in helping us to realise our dream home. 

What are your key style inspirations and home must-haves? 
L: The beach, natural light and big open spaces definitely inspired the design of the home. We love clean lines, neutrals and wood, so at every point possible, we tried to include huge windows and doors to allow as much natural light into and throughout our home. I also love indoor living foliage so almost every room, including the girls’ bedrooms, have some sort of indoor plant in them! 

What you love most about living in your house? 
L: Our favourite area, especially now that the weather has warmed up, is the back deck. We can throw open the doors and watch the footy outside whilst having a barbeque or cooking a Friday night home pizza in our pizza oven. It has turned into an awesome entertaining area when friends and family are over. There’s also a single huge cosy armchair in our front room which looks out over the bush and down the road; any chance of a morning to sit and have a coffee in this chair is jumped at. Finally – I love the laundry chute; it was Josh’s suggestion and it’s by far one of best decisions we made for the build! 

What do you love most about the location? 
L: I can say hands down that it is the neighbouring bushland. If it wasn’t for the location of the bush across the road, we may not have decided to stay and renovate. Our whole renovation was designed around this view and so we wake up each morning looking out over the treetops. We’re also just five minutes from our business, the girls’ schools and we have family and friends living on the same street. 

Any jobs you still need to do on the house? 
L: We will always have an endless list of jobs to do! We are currently getting ready to fence the whole yard and I’m desperate to design the front and side gardens. We’ve been tossing up some ideas on a pool out the side of the home which will complete the big-ticket items. The money tree is however yet to blossom… 

Do you have any tips for other future renovators? 
L: Plan ahead and then sleep on it before making any big decisions. We had to decide if the extra cost in re-doing our architect’s plans, then going back to the engineer to get the tick of approval on the extra weight and new window design was worth having a particular bath in the master bedroom upstairs. The answer was a huge YES as it was completely worth the extra effort, but I am glad we gave it due thought and consideration. 

What three words would you use to describe your home? 
We could probably sum it up in one. Happy. We both feel completely at ease and relaxed we actually love spending our days-off just enjoying the yard. Our home has all the things we love and need in exactly the places we want them. 

Builder: Danny Smith Building

Architect: Murray James