Dee Why cottage transforms to house of the week

Transformation of a humble cottage

When Nicki Barratt and her economist husband Jonathan bought this property at 4 Bennett Street, Dee Why, 28 years ago, it was an original beach cottage with two bedrooms.

"When we first saw the cottage, we were captivated by the character and charm of the sandstone surrounding the building," says Nicki, a floral stylist who many style-savvy locals will know from her time at the flower house at Alfresco Emporium in Collaroy.

"Apparently, the original land was a sandstone quarry. It's this history I wanted to incorporate into our future upgrade."

At the time, Nicki had newborn twins, followed soon after with a little boy. It's now also home to their poodles Daisy and Billie.

"It wasn't long before we needed to grow the house to suit our growing family," she tells the Northern Beaches Review.

"We commissioned a local northern beaches builder who had a background in Scandinavian design."

The brief from the family was to incorporate a hint of its unique history with an organic modern feel, and to bring the outdoors in with a lot of sophisticated alfresco living.

"I love that from the street facade it is a simple unassuming home reflecting the original character of the building," she says.

Once you get past the original front porch of timber floors, there is a conventional lounge room, formal dining and kitchen before opening onto a contemporary space.

"Most people are taken by surprise with the Scandinavian features," she says.

"It's a really modern feel with tall, vaulted ceilings and lots of glass that lets the light stream through. The floor to ceiling louvres also bring the afternoon easterly breeze into the house."

Nicki loves holidaying in Byron Bay and was inspired to recreate a similar feel in the four bedroom, three bathroom home.

"I wanted to create an outdoor living area of tropical palms working with the original Norfolk pine and the trees," she says. "As a florist, I love being surrounded by nature."

The indoor living space opens to the deck via bifold doors to an outdoor entertaining area that features a pool. "We wanted to have very little delineation between outdoor and indoor space," she says. "And we love the outdoor area, it's like a private sanctuary where we can relax."

The home also boasts two separate large study or home office areas as well as a stylish parents' retreat with walk-in robe and ensuite.

Now with the kids all grown up, it's time for their next chapter in life. "It's time to say goodbye to this part of our lives and allow another family to nurture and grow this dream home with loads of soul."

Auction: September 15

Price guide: $2.7 million

Agent: Belle Property Manly

Robert Killian: 0418487099