Today I have a wonderful house tour for you! Aleysha Turner and her family live in the leafy foothills suburbs of Adelaide, just 10 kms North East of the city. Aleysha is a part time Primary school teacher, Tutor for the Ronald McDonald Learning Program, and in the beginning stages of running her own recycled clothing business. Her husband Peter is Owner/Director at ‘TEK Building & Design’. They have 3 children, Angus – 11 yrs old, Toby – 9 yrs old and Polly – 7 yrs old. All of their children love playing football, cricket, basketball, riding their scooters and bikes, performing at Theatre Bugs, going camping and hanging out with family and friends. They also have Alfie – a 2yr old tabby cat and 5 chooks!
They have lived in their their double brick home for 2 years. It has big windows along the front, is on a large 960 m2 block and the mid century modernist inspired house, with touches of art deco, is around 170m2, consisting of 4 bedrooms, lounge, dining, kitchen, bathroom, large shed, undercover pergola, storage room and an office/2nd living area.
Aleysha aims to be sustainable in her approach, and they have solar hot water, 3 water tanks and those darling chooks! There are many original touches, such as a gorgeous feature in the back room of western red cedar lining on the walls and ceiling, amazing pendant lighting, and skylights in the kitchen and bathroom. Aleysha says they built their previous house in Payneham South, but after 18 months there, decided it wasn’t right for them. The land was less than half the size they have now and everything was brand new leaving their ‘creative’ sides wondering what to do.
How did you find your home?
I found the home on the internet on realestate.com.au and after seeing it for the first time I fell in love with it and knew I had to make it ours. We put in an offer, ‘subject to sale’ of our previous house, and within 2 weeks our house sold – yay!
The previous owners had lived here for 54 years and raised their 4 children. As the block is so big, they had a lot of developers interested in buying the house to knock down for investment opportunities. I think they were happy knowing that a family were going to live in the house and make it ‘their own’.
What made you fall in love with it?
Oh so many things… You are greeted by the big expanse of garden, lawn and windows across the front. Then the crazy paving leads you to our gorgeous double art deco etched glass front doors and big entrance room. Hello! The interior colours were dated (just imagine ‘salmon’ walls, carpet, curtains, bath, toilet and tapware) but it only needed cosmetic changes to brighten it up and enhance certain features. I have painted the interior brick wall and every other wall, door, window frame and skirting board in the house, white. The carpet has been pulled up, white linen curtains now complement the large windows, the bath has been sprayed, kitchen tiles painted and a feature tile added, new vanity and toilet installed, and one of the entrance walls and the concrete floor in the back room have been painted black.
The garden is well established with a variety of flora and fruit trees – oranges, mandarines, peaches, plums and apples. It was very overgrown and out of control in most parts but after a lot of hard work (and big bins!) we have got it to a size and look we can maintain.
Was there anything you didn’t love about it?
There wasn’t anything we didn’t like but we are now finding it a little trickier with 3 kids and only 1 bathroom and toilet. We have just drawn up plans to add another bedroom, ensuite and exterior decking.
Are there things you still want to change?
Our aim this year is to re-carpet all of the bedrooms and lay new floorboards throughout the rest of the house. We are in the process now of ordering and sourcing materials to convert half of our shed into a studio. This will provide an extra space for the kids to hang out in with their friends as they grow older. I think there will always be something we would love to change and create. Even small things like new light switches, door handles, pendants and repainting walls and doors. The kitchen is very functional and neutral, however we are going to eventually create a galley style kitchen that opens up to the back room and outside entertaining area.
Do you plan to live here long term?
Yes! As a couple, this is our 7th home. We have rented, renovated houses and built a house, and we now feel like ‘this is the one’. After living in many houses, in Adelaide and Melbourne, we know what we love, what we need as a family and what is important to us to enjoy life with family and with friends.
A great learning journey…
Can you tell me something you like about your local area or region?
It’s perfect! We love the proximity to the Morialta Conservation Park and also the CBD. We can enjoy the serenity of the bush, wildlife, creeks/waterfalls, hiking and also the fun and vibe of the city. Our local area feels like a real community. We are lucky enough to have a fruit shop and deli within walking distance, the streets are quiet and everyone is happy to say ‘hi’ when walking past. All of this allows us to give our children some freedom to ride their bikes, explore the creek surrounds and play at the local playgrounds.
What are your thoughts on sustainability and how is this part of your home?
I think it is important to teach our children how we can be sustainable in all parts of our life. We recycle all cardboard and plastics, we collect our cans and bottles which results in a fun trip to the depot for the kids, we have 2 compost bins, our chooks provide us with 5 eggs a day (yum!) and our many fruit trees provide us with fresh and delicious produce that we love to eat, cook with, juice and share. The kids have had many lemonade and orange juice stalls out the front. We also have a ‘play pod’. This is an area of our yard that consists of cool junk – crates, cable drums, pallets, off cuts of timber, ladders, tyres… anything from the side of the road that could be used creatively. My kids will often yell, “STOP mum! There’s a ____ on the side of the road”.
What is the inspiration for the decorating and design of your home?
Anything I love… whether it is new, found on the side of the road, from the salvage yard or op shop, handmade by someone I love, or passed down from family and friends. I love looking in magazines, instagram and other resources for ideas and inspiration, but I don’t feel I need to go out and get the latest items and follow trends. The larger, more expensive items are quite neutral so I can add pops of colour with cushions, prints, plants etc if I want to. Prior to moving in, the previous owners asked us if we liked old furniture as they had some stored in the shed. We now treasure these items and their history – a teak cupboard, 2 tables (one which we have added a strip of mosaic tiles down the middle), plants & pots, and my daughters dressing table.
Your favorite part of your home?
Our backyard. I love the size of it and the different zones we have created throughout it – entertaining area, sandpit, swings, trampoline, play pod, chooks, fruit trees, veggie garden, herb garden, grassed area, shed, ‘the deck’ (our stage). We can all be out there doing something we love without being on top of each other.
Other things I love around our home are:
– leather, rocking deck chair found at the school fair
– my lotus pendant in the entrance from Early Settler
– the TH Brown dining table and chairs from a 2nd hand store
– the walls and ceiling of our back room are lined with western red cedar
– the interior brick wall
– a pew found at a church being knocked down
Biggest Challenge in designing or decorating your home?
Space – I always seem to need or want more wall space to hang something or a corner to put a chair, basket or plant. Because of this, I have become good at putting things away and then bringing them back out again when I need a change. I am continuously ‘fluffing’ around to to find a new and different place for things.
What do people say when they come to visit you?
Friends and family always comment on how happy and beautiful our home feels. I believe it reflects who we are as a family and as individuals.
What do you do to relax and unwind at home?
My idea of relaxing is doing something productive and that makes me happy. That may include painting, gardening, constructing something, rearranging, or doing something up. The kids are always looking for someone to play a board game with, role play, hang in the play pod or have a game of backyard cricket.
I adore this home and Aleysha has such a natural ability to style and create lovely vignettes throughout her home. The backyard is divine. I can not wait to see what she does with her recycled clothing business!
Do you have a favourite spot in this home? And would you love me to feature your home or business ? Drop me a line!