Who lives here: Lauren Modi and husband Sunny, son Ariton, dog Marshall and cat Roscoe
Location: Robina, Queensland, Australia
Size: Four bedrooms, two bathroomsThe day Modi first got the keys to her new house, she opened the door with a sense of excitement. But that excitement quickly turned to dismay. “We knew it was a doer-upper, but it really was filthy. When I started wandering through the bedrooms, I realized something was crawling on my feet. Fleas! The house was riddled with them,” Modi says.
After ridding the home of the pesky ankle biters, she set about renovating the home to meet their needs. With the help of her dad, Allan, and her husband, Sunny, Modi designed and managed the entire renovation. “I have designed many projects from concept through to construction drawings and specifications, but being on-site and much more hands-on was a completely different experience,” she says.
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This was no small renovation. They moved walls around to make better use of the existing space and extended the front section of the house.
One of the biggest jobs during the renovation was creating more space in the living room by knocking down the wall separating the living room from a bedroom. Modi recalls a few people questioning why she decided to open up this space when she could’ve had a five-bedroom house, but she knew that the extra living space would become an ideal play area for their son. “I can see exactly what he is up to when I am working or cooking. I can also keep the mess of scattered toys and play equipment confined to one area of the house,” Modi says. Her father made the wood playhouse frame.
Modi particularly loves the open kitchen and living area, and says this is where they spend most of their time. Their 3-year-old goldendoodle, Marshall, is part of the family.
Sofa: King Furniture
The bi-fold doors open out to a small deck. On a dry day, the couple enjoy relaxing with a beer on the deck overlooking the pool and enjoying the view of the neighboring park. They plan to extend the deck to allow for more outdoor dining and lounging.
The home is also quite the party house. They have a large group of friends and host upward of 80 people for various celebrations.
“When I was pregnant with Ariton, I would have a bath with candles and oils every night, and listen to birth affirmations,” Modi says. It’s a peaceful and neutral space with natural wood textures and, yes, more plants, of course!
The bathroom renovation cost the couple about $8,000. To keep costs low, Modi chose an economical tile but had it laid in interesting patterns. “The one thing we have learned from this is not to skimp on the tiler,” she says.
Located farther along the hallway on the other side of the bathroom is Ariton’s nursery. Modi has always loved this room. When she was pregnant, she recalls spending time in here imagining what her baby would be like.
The couple chose to keep the gender of their baby a surprise, so they decorated the room with a neutral palette, adding a mint-green wall, mint-green cushions and a macramé hanging made by a friend over the crib.
One of these collected pieces is this vintage vanity, which was a gift to Modi from husband on her 25th birthday.
The couple spent three months in New York as an extension of their honeymoon before returning to Australia to purchase this home. The warmth of the brick adds an urban edge and is reminiscent of their time in the Big Apple.
The couple used hardwood left over from the construction to build a garden bed at the front of the new addition. The rich wood perfectly complements the charcoal clapboard that’s reminiscent of an original Queenslander — Modi’s dream home. “This garden bed is filled with rejects from The Borrowed Nursery,” she says. “Plants that were not good enough to sell ended up being planted quite randomly, and now most of them are flourishing. The Alocasia started out as nothing more than a bulb and one sad leaf less than six months ago, and is now huge!”
Although most of the home has been transformed, the two still have plans for the next few stages, which include a revamp of the outdoor deck and pool area, and a fresh update for the en suite. They always envisioned a home that they could enjoy with friends and family. “I’m not precious about keeping it perfect or things getting worn or broken because that’s what a home is for,” Modi says.