Nicole Beesley and Gill McMaster bought a rundown beach shack in 2011, located in Campwin Beach near Mackay in Far North Qld. Their dream was to renovate it, live there for a few years then keep it as a holiday home. But that wasn’t meant to be.
They decided to pursue IVF so they moved to the Sunshine Coast to have better treatment options, and they rented out the Campwin Beach house while trying to sell it. In four years on the market, only 3-4 groups had viewed the house, and the best offer they received was $200,000 for the land value.
IVF had drained them financially, but they finally had a daughter in 2015. Shortly thereafter, Gill was diagnosed with breast cancer. As if those strains weren’t enough, Cyclone Debbie then ravaged the house, rendering it unliveable and forcing the tenant out. Nicole and Gill were in dire straits financially, living on one income, paying for two mortgages and cancer treatment. They were desperate for help to sell their beloved beach shack and get their lives back on track.
The mould and mildew ravaged walls and ceilings were first to be addressed. After cleaning and prepping, the walls and ceilings were painted with an antibacterial, mould and mildew resistant paint to help prevent that build-up in the future.
The cyclone-ravaged windows and frames were the next step, updated and replaced with Luxaflex PolySatin Shutters. The shutters were the perfect application for this coastal residence. The shutters, locally manufactured in Queensland, are made of a highly durable polyresin compound with properties to resist warping, fading, peeling, blistering and corrosion. This is a common issue for coastal homes in humid or damp environments, with mould and mildew easily developing on fabric blinds. Salty air can also cause damage to wooden blinds and shutters, but this is easily combated by polyresin shutters or faux wood blinds, such as Luxaflex PolySatin Shutters or Luxaflex Wood Essence Blinds. Because the product will not fade or warp due to water exposure, the shutters can simply be removed and washed with a hose. This makes PolySatin shutters an excellent choice for any room in the house, especially in bathrooms, kitchens and laundry rooms where contact with water or humidity is very likely. Not only are PolySatin Shutters extremely practical, the adjustable louvres make them highly versatile in helping to control light and privacy. Louvres can be tilted up and down to any angle to manipulate the direction of the incoming light, and different panels can be opened or closed to bring light to particular sections of rooms.
The entry area was turned into a welcoming “wet room” with space to store beach towels and surfboards – what every good beach shack needs. Attaching VJ panels to the walls added extra beachy, Queensland character to the structure of the house. All the rooms got new light fittings and shutters, and were styled with beautiful distressed/beachy furniture.
The empty frames above room walls pre-renovation gave the house an ‘unfinished’ look, and did not offer full privacy to the rooms, and sound and cooking smells could easily drift into the bedrooms. The PolySatin Shutters installed in every room helped to improve ventilation and control airflow. The shutters filled the bare space and completed the look, and added a point of interest with the horizontal lines of the louvres contrasting with the vertically panelled walls. The shutters gave the house a much more sophisticated and modern look overall, yet clean and airy, without the clutter that drapes or curtains would bring.
Upstairs in the kitchen, the rusted cooktop was replaced along with a new benchtop and splashback to add some sandy, natural colours and textures.
The tiny beach shack is positioned at the back of the large block, leaving a huge empty area at the front with no definition or street appeal. Charlie planted low maintenance, drought-tolerant, salt-tolerant hedging shrubs which will eventually grow to create a defined boundary and privacy around the property.
A new driveway with a turning circle created clear and easier access for cars, and painting out the water tank to match the house helped camouflage the large concrete eyesore.
At the rear of the property, the grassed area that backs onto the beach is council owned. So all that needed doing is re-staining the deck, adding a few pot plants for greenery, and a couple of chairs to sit and enjoy the million dollar view.
The products in this episode were proudly supplied and installed by Luxaflex Window Fashions Gallery dealer Mackay Curtain Making Service, Mackay QLD.