Here’s our house!

It’s been months in the making, but we are so excited to finally reveal the plans for our brand new house – and here it is!!

front new

As  you know we bought a house a few months ago with the aim of renovating it. We fell in love with the block, street and location and knew that the house had the potential to be what we wanted, despite it not being our ‘dream house.’ The first thing we did after we bought it was to contact Scott Salisbury Homes, an award winning Adelaide building company that I have admired for years. Seriously, 8 years ago when we moved back to Adelaide I became obsessed with looking at houses built by Scott Salisbury Homes and dreaming about us doing our own. Despite the timing not being right then it has always been something I have hoped to do one day, so seeing as they also do award winning renovations they were the first on my list to speak to about our ideas for our own renovation.

From the start they were wonderful to deal with and I was so excited to meet with our designer Peter to discuss all the ideas I had for our perfect family home. As you can imagine after doing The Block we knew exactly what we wanted and I couldn’t believe I was finally getting to design something that we would actually get to keep and live in! (To be honest, I still can’t.)

Peter immediately understood what we were after and came straight back to us with a few designs, all which were great. But after he had shown us the renovation designs (which involved keeping the three front rooms and facade and building a big extension) we where then presented with one more option – a brand new custom design house. As Peter and the team explained they wouldn’t have even suggested it if we had been set on a renovation and in love with the original house, but as they knew it was the location and block that we’d bought it for, they thought it was worth considering.

Now everyone who has renovated knows that it’s an expensive process. But even I was shocked to realise that it was actually the same price (or even cheaper) to build a brand new custom designed house as it was to do the renovation we had in mind. With an end result that would be exactly what we wanted, without any of the issues old houses and renovations bring. It seems like a no brainer, right?! But it wasn’t at first, because despite the problems they bring I do love the character and charm of old houses. And as much as I admired the modern custom homes that Scott Salisbury are known for, that wasn’t what we were after.  I also didn’t want to build a new home that tried to look like an old stone home, so that ruled that style out.

But then they explained that we could design whatever we wanted, we didn’t have to stick to a modern house or a character replica, we just had to tell them what we wanted. Well now my brain was racing! What if we could build my favourite of all houses – a weatherboard? What if we could design a Hamptons meets Queenslander, meets Edwardian weatherboard, a style that is not at all commonplace in Adelaide and would be something special. Now I was excited!

For the next few weeks I obsessively looked on Pinterest, Houzz and Google, to inspire our design. I drove the streets of Adelaide and took photos of the houses I loved and tried to analyse what it was about them that appealed to me. Was it the slant of the roof, the paint colours, the bay windows, or a combination of all of three. I did drawings, I pinned pictures and then I went back to them with a completely detailed brief of what I wanted. I cannot stress how important this step is! When it comes to building or renovating in order to get what you want you have to know what that is and be able to clearly brief your designers and builders on it. So do your research beforehand. However, having said that if you have no idea what you want Scott Salisbury Homes (and I’m sure other custom builders like them) have both exterior and interior designers to help you every step of the way, even down to the colour of the carpet you choose, so you don’t have to be a Block contestant to design your own house!

Here are some of the ‘style guides’ I gave the designer for what we wanted…

houseguide4houseguide7 houseguide5


After I gave them all my ideas Peter and I had a long meeting where he presented his first draft design and we went through every detail to get it just right. He even showed me visuals through their visual design system, so I could see exactly how it would look rather than just imagining it, which was so helpful. I was very specific about what I wanted, but Peter told me sometimes people make 50 or more changes before getting to the final design and I promised I would not be one of those people! I guess doing The Block and having to make immediate decisions does equip you for trusting your gut and not procrastinating about things too much. Although, there were a few redesigns! Mostly on the size of the rooms though, the front facade pretty much stayed the same from the first design, because I loved it then and I love it now.

Here it is from the back..

rear newinternal new

I actually squealed with excitement when I opened the email and saw that picture!

It might be just a drawing, but already I can feel the soul of it. I can see us sitting on the deck and watching the kids play in the pool, as the afternoon sun glistens on the white boards. I can picture how much light will fill the living area and how open and spacious that room will seem. I can see the kitchen full of people, as we throw yet another spontaneous get together. And I can imagine us watering the front garden and beaming with pride as people drive past and admire our dream home. It might be a brand new house, but we will fill it with character. We will reuse the stone from the original front facade (more of that in the next post!) so we retain some history and a connection to the old house. And I will choose the right fittings, fixtures and furnishings so it feels warm and textured.

I am beyond excited to start this process and with the original house being demolished within the month it will all get real very quickly. And we are thrilled to be working with Scott Salisbury Homes to bring our dreams to life. In fact, we have been so impressed that we have signed on as ambassadors for the company. We are very proud to be associated with a South Australian company that’s been around for 25 years and has such an esteemed reputation for both their builds and their service. So the journey officially starts now, we’re so pleased you could share it with us and will be posting about it here every step of the way. The highs and the lows! We want this blog to serve as a resource for those who are planning or dreaming about building and renovating, so you can be inspired by the things we get right and learn from the mistakes we make.

I will share our floor plan in a separate post this week, as there’s lot’s more to talk about there! Until then, I hope you like the design as much as we do and can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Amity xx


  1. Michelle says

    It’s gorgeous Amity! I love your taste and thank you for some great ideas. We hope one day to build our own home and I am eagerly watching your process to get some tips and inspiration. Best of luck with everything going smoothly for you and your lovely family. :)

      • Marlene says

        Hi Amity, how are you ? Question on this page you list some photos of style guides. Pic #2, if you had to guess what do you reckon the colour scheme would be. This is the hardest part for me in the building process is choosing the “tiles” and “paint”

  2. Raquel says

    Hi that looks great. Do you have a floor plan. We too are currently going down the same path and are very interested in floor plans. Thanks & good luck

  3. says

    Looks beautiful Amity! I love how your designer was able to give you such a great visual! Our house is brand new too but as we chose to put so many of the older elements in our build such as beautiful windows, high ceilings etc it already has such a great feel and soul about it. Looking forward to watching your dream house come to life x

    • Amity says

      Hi Louise, yes the visual was fantastic! We are doing very much the same thing with the character elements, so hopefully we get the same result. If it looks as gorgeous as your house I’ll be very happy! x

  4. Heather says

    Simply stunning. All of the styles I love as well. Can not wait to see the process and end result. Now if I win the lotto I’m coming their way.

  5. Diane says

    It is fabulous Amity. I love the beams you have there in the picture reminds me of a house I have seen once being renovated :) I am so looking forward to the updates and watching it being built but even better watching you pick your furnishings and colours for inside.

  6. Wendy says

    Oh my goodness Amity – I have the exact same picture (your first one) in my dream houses folder! Good luck with your build – it is going to be absolutely beautiful! I cant wait to follow the progress.

  7. Haley says

    Congratulations Amity! this looks just so beautiful!
    We will be doing our own ‘dream extension’ in Adelaide hopefully next year (given that first bub is due next month i’m not setting said timeline in stone!!) so we’ve been doing lots of walking around and taking photos of front gardens, side garages/carports, going to open inspections and obsessing over and pinterest!! We’ve also been taking photos of the builder’s/designer’s signs on the front fences of the many houses in the area that are currently being renovated.
    Half the time I think “there’s no way we can translate all the little bits of each aspect that we like, into a modern, appealing but timeless extension that won’t date if we went to sell it 10 years later”. It looks like you’ve achieved this with these concepts and with the help of a great builder/designer team. I’m adding them to our list!
    Can’t wait to keep an eye on your progress with this stunning home and for all the super helpful Amity tips along the way (butler’s pantry was great!). Good luck! x

    • Amity says

      Hi Haley, I can totally recommend Scott Salisbury Homes, they have been wonderful to work with and have helped us to bring our ideas to life. I will be posting lots more in the coming months on our process, so hopefully it’s helpful for when you build her dream home! Good luck with the baby. x

  8. Bren says

    Love it, You have great taste & its so nice to see a collaboration of some old style & modern architecture features being included together in a new build home.
    Cant wait to see the floor plans.

    • Amity says

      Hi Fiona, it is probably a lot less expensive than you think. If I saw the plans I would think it was a lot more than it is and was quite surprised to find that custom homes aren’t out of reach like many of us believe. It’s always going to be more than a ‘kit’ type home where everything is locked in and you can’t change it. But it was actually comparable to renovating the existing house and adding on a large extension, which I wasn’t expecting. But the great advantage of building a custom home is that you can tailor everything to your needs and taste, so you end up with exactly what you want. Have a look at the Scott Salisbury website to see the awards they’ve won for both custom and display houses between $300,000-$500,000, to give you an idea of what they can do. Hope this helps! x

  9. says

    Looks gorgeous Amity. How amazing are those design pictures – I would have been so excited too! Can’t wait to see it all come together. No doubt it will be just lovely.

    • Amity says

      Thanks Mindy, I was definitely excited when I saw the pictures! It’s so great to know exactly what you’re getting.

  10. Karen says

    Hi Amity, I too love that queenslander meets hamptons style. Looking forward to following your blog and finding out what materials and colours you choose. Also the ups and downs of building as you progress. As you say giving as much detail as possible to your builder is so important. Hope we get to see how you style it and where you source your furnishings from. Good luck!

  11. says

    Hi Amity, absolutely love your new house plans! We’re in the same boat – deciding whether to renovate or knock down and rebuild on our acreage block, and we’re also looking at building a weatherboard/queenslander/Hamptons/ style home. I just posted a beautiful house on Instagram that I think you’ll love – exposed trusses, white weatherboard exterior and all around gorgeous! Here’s the link to the builder’s website if you’d like to take a peek: Looking forward to seeing your next post – love me a good floorplan :)

    • Amity says

      Hi Kerri, I had a look at the house, it’s gorgeous! I’m probably biased now, but I’m so happy we’re building and not renovating. It’s different if you have a beautiful heritage or character home to start with, but if not, create your own! By the way, I know and love your site and products. They would go perfectly in the new house, so might have to make some purchases. :) x

      • says

        You’re right Amity, I’m thinking more and more that a new build would be much easier. We have no lovely period features so it’s much easier to start from scratch. And thanks so much for your lovely comments on my artwork! Would love to send some your way for your lovely new house x

  12. says

    That’s going to be magnificent!
    Looking forward to seeing your colour choices. This is the year I start picking up paint brushes for my little 60 year old weatherboard…

    • Amity says

      I have lots of colours in mind and definitely don’t want to just to white throughout, so stay tuned for some inspiration!

  13. Kathryn says

    Wow looks gorgeous, a lovely family home for your children to enjoy and you to entertain.

    Really looking to following the progress of your new home, especially because we will be one of your new neighbors!

  14. says

    Hi Amity, I was thrilled to discover you had started following me on IG this week and popped straight over to take a peek at your blog and house plans. WOW, is all I can say. It is going to look amazing and I cannot wait for the progress to start. I absolutely loved your style on The Block and I think we have the same taste in interiors and design. I feel like the plans for your house is my dream home! Cannot wait to see this unfold, so glad to have come across your path! x Ashlea

    • Amity says

      Thanks Ashlea, I love when you find a new site or blog that inspires you so I’m glad mine has done that for you! x

  15. Michelle says

    Came across your blog on the Scott Salisbury FB page, looking forward to reading about your beautiful home being built.

    Only one small thing I noticed, might want a sliding door between living and kids bedrooms to dampen sound?

    Also have you seen this site

    • Amity says

      Hi Michelle, very late response but I just checked out that site and I LOVE it! I hadn’t seen that one before, so thanks for the heads up! It’s beautifully styled.

  16. Vicki says

    It is absolutely beautiful Amity! We have just finished our renovation plans for a similar house in Melbourne and I kept on coming upon your pins, thinking we have the same taste. Now seeing your own plans, it is so similar! Best of luck, will look forward to the end result and getting some more ideas from you!

  17. Jo says

    Hi Amity,
    We were having dinner with friends last night discussing our new build in Melbourne. My gorgeous girlfriend told me about your build which she said was similar. As I read your first post, I realised our ideas are quite similar. We are building a double story weatherboard with an Edwardian exterior, wrap around verandah and “Hamptons inspired” interior. Really looking forward to seeing how your journey progresses and seeing where other similarities pop up – found some already with the trusses in your family room. So exciting!!!

    • Amity says

      Hi Jo, so great to hear that people are recommending the blog and that you’re finding it helpful. I love when I find blogs like that! I look forward to hearing what other similarities our houses have, it sounds like we have very similar taste. Amity :)

  18. Sandra White says

    hi Amity, I’m loving that you are sharing your build with everyone, i also am a huge fan of the hamptons style. i love your exterior colour scheme, love that greeny grey. i can’t wait to see what you pick for your bathrooms and kitchen. v exciting! good luck, and keep those posts coming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *