Paul Smith

Easy to see why this cover star made it

WHEN you're a model landing your first front cover photo shoot for a magazine, the feeling is one of excitement and anticipation for the greater things to come.

And as the front cover of a magazine is a coveted position for any model, in the housing industry it means the featured property is one that stands out from the rest.

So when Australia's Best Houses magazine chose Sunshine Coast building designers Aboda Design Group to feature on their front cover, we knew this designer home would be something special.

In Coolum, this property was the dream home for owner/builders Ian and Susan Callaghan. And their vision, together with Aboda's talented design team, resulted in an industrial yet modern design that has wow factor from the moment you step on to the footpath leading to the front door.

It was this wow factor that also scored the Aboda team the Best House over 450sq m award at the 2013 Regional Building Design Awards Queensland held in May.

"This is the premier prize in luxury homes," Scott Falconer of Aboda Design Group said.

"The over 450sq m category is often the most difficult to win as it's always hotly contested. The homes in this category often have bigger budgets, greater technical requirements and numerous constraints.

"It is also the category most often dominated by larger and more established design practices. To have delivered that home in this market was enormously gratifying for us and to deliver it for and with one of the state's best builders as an integral partner in the outcome was also a highlight."

The house also secured Aboda the 2013 Premier Award at the BDAQ State Awards which acknowledges the best design in the state.

"We were looking forward to going up against the best in the state. The Sunshine Coast has long been admired for the quality of work and we were proud to represent the Sunshine Coast in four housing categories, and to showcase three different homes," Mr Falconer said.

For the owners, Ian and Susan Callaghan, the house has been a dream come true.

They once lived next door to the property when it was just a vacant block of land and being both a builder and surfer, Ian had visions of what he could create on the block, ensuring he took advantage of the land's elevation and aspect.

But when they offered the then owner to buy the land, they were refused.

Undeterred, the Callaghans kept their eye on the prize and waited patiently until the block went to market.

More than a decade later they could finally call the land theirs and start building their award-winning dream home.

The house was built to follow the graduations of the block offering various levels of living, sleeping and entertaining zones where every room is like a surprise at the bottom of the stairs or around the corner.

It also meant privacy was assured for all family members.

From the street front, two thick panels of concrete stand proud on either side of a walkway leading to the home's front entry - a massive glass pivot door.

A second level is visible from the front of the home and its timber feature panelling softens the cold mood of concrete. Yet once inside, you learn the concrete is not just a visual element of design, it also offers a functional element.

Behind these two concrete walls are ensuites to the two bedrooms which sit either side of the front entry.

Its thermal mass means the ensuites remain warm in winter and cool in summer and Susan said she was surprised at how easy to clean the concrete was.

The vanity in each ensuite has been topped with stunning Calcutta marble and it provides a beautiful contrast to the concrete tones.

Tasmanian oak timber floor boards add an element of warmth to the home's interior which is dominated by white walls and feature concrete.

A sitting room not far from the entry enjoys vast ocean views with a wall of glass windows on one side and glass stackers on the other.

The next level down is the kitchen boasting more Calcutta marble and a dining area featuring a custom made lime-washed Oregon timber table.

This room leads down to another level where a fireplace warms a living room with timber bench seats, titanium coated windows for UV protection, stunning ocean views and wide stacker doors opening out to the striking lap pool and barbecue area.

The design of the home offers fluidity and each room offers a blissful sanctuary. You can't help but want to explore more to see what other idyllic spaces this home offers. On the upper level is the master suite boasting awning windows opening out to the views of the ocean.

"It was very gratifying to be selected by the publisher to grace the cover. Think Publishing specialise in architectural design across TV, print and online, as their core business," Mr Falconer said.

"In addition, having our work measured against a country of quality work, alongside architects, designers and builders was wonderful reward for two-and-a-half years work alongside the builder/client, Fauna Homes."

Owner/builder: Ian Callaghan t/as Fauna Homes Pty Ltd

Designer: Aboda Design Group

Interior designer: Justine Coleman

Features: Each bedroom has its own ensuite, Calcutta marble has been used in each bathroom and in kitchen, Tasmanian oak has been used on floors, LED strip lighting in master, titanium coasted glass windows, fireplace surrounded by travertine

2013 BDAQ Awards won by Aboda Design Group

WINNER - Best House over 450sqm - Callaghan House

WINNER - Best House between $1101 - $1400 p/sqm - McCann House

WINNER - 2013 PREMIER AWARD - Callaghan House for the best construction in the state

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