Sharyn & Mark
Just a sandy stroll away from sparkling Merewether Beach, you’ll find a yin and yang pair of luxury homes. Think light and bright modern build, and its black beauty twin next door – both feats of absolute architectural magnificence. The masterminds behind these visually striking custom homes are Mark Eddy and Sharyn Clare, owners of G.J. Gardner Homes, Newcastle.
When you take a couple with more than 40 years of experience between them in the building industry, it’s no wonder that these homes are something pretty special!
While the ‘White House’ has just hit the market next door (if you want to perv on that one, it’s showing with Stone Real Estate Newcastle), we will be taking a peek inside the ‘Black House’ – the moodier of the pair, and home of Sharyn, Mark and Bobbie the dog.
Architecture lovers – grab a pen, and take note! With a stunning chef’s kitchen, expansive open plan living, natural light pouring in from the floor to ceiling windows, and attention to detail custom finishes… this is how you do luxury beachside living!
IMAGES: Atelier Photography
Q: Firstly – please tell us who is currently living at your home?
My partner Mark and I live in the house with our 4 year old Westie dog, Bobbie. We have lived in Newcastle for the past eight years and we absolutely love it.
We are also the happy owners of G.J. Gardner Homes, Newcastle.
Q: Now onto your beautiful home – can you tell us about its story from when you purchased the property until today?
We purchased the block of land back in 2018 and were instantly attracted to it. It is located a couple of streets back from the famous Merewether beach and walking distance to ‘The Junction’ entertaining and dining precinct, while still being within a 5-minute drive to central Newcastle and our office.
It was big enough to build two homes which ticked all the boxes for what we had in mind and came with DA approved plans from Rainsford Architecture & Design. After slightly modifying the DA to update the design of the properties to suit our needs and make the most of the block, we knocked down the old house and started building with our company G.J Gardner Homes. The build took approximately ten months.
We have been living in our home now for 6 months and her sister property next door is hitting the market over the next couple of weeks with Stone Real Estate, having been beautifully decorated by Styled Interiors Newcastle – Thank you all!!! We love how the properties have been individually designed to perfectly complement each other and bring out the best features of each section.
Q: What are you happiest about with the home and how it looks and functions?
We love the north facing aspect of the home – the two-story floor to ceiling feature glass wall makes the house warm and toasty in winter, with large bi-folds which open up to a covered entertaining area and in-ground heated pool, making it breezy and cool in summer and perfect for entertaining guests or the grandkids when they come to stay.
I also love the free-standing bath and the timber niche where I can place my plants, candles and wine to create a relaxing space to wind down after a long day.
Q: What or who are your key style inspirations?
Pinterest is definitely my go-to! I always find great ideas to inspire me and make it my own. It might only be one or two things in the picture that I like, but I find I can use it as inspiration to help me create an entire room.
We have both been working in the building industry for quite some time and I am always looking for new ideas and design features to help us and our clients build beautiful homes they’ll love.
Q: How you would describe your interior style?
My interior style would be contemporary; focusing on texture, light and subtle sophistication.
For our home, we wanted a coastal style which matched the Merewether area, using natural features to give a relaxing and a homely feel – there is nothing like recycled timer to do that.
Q: What you love most about living in your house?
My favourite room would have to be the kitchen/living area. I love our light-filled open plan and how our custom dining table (made from Australian recycled hardwood) is exquisitely integrated into the kitchen design. The table extends from the kitchen bench but can also be moved to be used inside or outdoors, making it the perfect entertainer!
Our home is perfect for having guests to stay, as they can have their own accommodation downstairs. We have 9 children between us, and they often come to visit. Our grandchildren love the pool with the large step created especially for them so we can all enjoy long days of swimming. We’ve also installed a gas heater for the pool for use all year round.
During the recent COVID lockdowns, we’ve also really appreciated having the different office and living spaces throughout the house…especially when we’ve both needed to work from home.
Q: Can you tell us about the location and you what do you enjoy most?
We live in the beautiful beachy suburb of Merewether. I enjoy being walking distance from the famous beaches, cafes, coastal walks and parks. Being just the two of us, Mark and I love walking to ‘The Junction’ with all the pubs and restaurants it has to offer. Most things are walking distance away.
Needless to say, Bobbie also loves her daily walk to Dixon Park Beach.
Q: Is it your forever home?
We are happy here for now but being builders, we are always looking for new adventures and projects. We both love this beautiful home and one day we hope another family will be able to enjoy it as much as we do.
Q: Three words you would use to describe your home?
Luxurious, Homely, Relaxing