Set For Life
Australian House & Garden Magazine|December 2020
Becoming empty-nesters gave the owners of this Sydney property the chance to make a fresh start without leaving the home they loved.
Chris Pearson

While many empty-nesters downsize, Judi and Paul, the owners of this tranquil retreat on Sydney’s Lower North Shore, preferred to stay put. Instead, they opted to revamp the four-bedroom home to ensure it will remain the perfect fit through their retirement years.

They bought the house in 2001, when their adult children, James and Georgia, were youngsters. “We had been living in Hong Kong for about 10 years when we thought it was time to look for a property back in Sydney,” says Judi. After searching the area for six months, the couple found this house, built just a year prior. “We loved the location – north facing, with a flat block leading down to the river and a private jetty – but also its simple, clean design.”

They tweaked a few things in the ensuing years, including adding a pergola on the north side upstairs, but since the house had been recently built and simply decorated, it was easy to live with, says Judi. After James and Georgia left home, the couple decided it was time to remedy the things that had niggled them and elevate the practical, family-oriented house to something more graceful and elegant.

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